COM0015 – Blog #4: Out Of The Box: Chat Bots.

What's in your tool box_ (3)                                                                                     *image from Canva edited in Canva

When I started working for Norfolk Dental Hygiene, the extent of my social media experience was my personal Facebook and Instagram account. Norfolk Dental Hygiene (NDH) had an existing Facebook page of which I began to manage. Once I realized how much clients and potential clients used social media to engage in conversation, I added an NDH Instagram, Twitter and Youtube account to our social media portfolio. Over the last few years, the client’s preferred method to contact NDH has become messaging through social media. I chose to take this Social Media course through Algonquin college to help me better understand social media practices and applications to take advantage of this trend.

I think one of the most unexpected applications of using social media for marketing that I discovered through this course is the ability for our Independent Dental Hygiene clinic to use it as a customer service tool. More and more clients are using social media to ask questions, schedule appointments and engage in conversation with us. When we contact a client through their preferred method of communicating we almost always receive an immediate response, phone messages are a thing of the past!

I was most amazed at the use of Facebook Chat Bots by one dental office owned by Dr. Anne O’Donnell. She instituted a client aftercare system called “Care beyond the Chair”. Clients enter a code in Facebook messenger after they leave their appointment that correlates with the treatment they received. They receive scheduled chatbot messages that follow up with them after their treatment. They receive personalized messages that make them feel appreciated and cared for. Depending on their answers they will receive aftercare advice, links to dental hygiene products and a reminder when they are due for appointments. A most brilliant way to use social media! This is definitely something we hope to implement in the future.

I have appreciated all that I have learned during this course. It has definitely improved my social media game and in turn, that of NDH. What was an unexpected application of social media that you discovered in this course?

 

unknown-1 Out Of The Box: Chat Bots  http://bit.ly/Outoftheboxchatbots

unknown Out Of The Box: Chat Bots  #socialmediamarketing #customerservice  http://bit.ly/Outoftheboxchatbots

 

COM0015 – Blog #3: Professional Networking Now And In The Future

What's in your tool box_ (2)                                                                 *image from stocksnap.io edited in Canva

My networking strategy is based on the fact that I am an introvert. Now, I would say that over the years I have become a well-socialized introvert. I can start a conversation even though small talk does not come easy. And I have learned strategies to help establish a rapport with new people and hold my own in almost any conversation. However, nothing changes the fact that I am an introvert and that makes some things more difficult. Specifically attending networking events and meeting new people, which are very important when trying to market a business.

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Screenshot of meme on Introverts are Awesome Facebook page

Most of my online networking happens through Facebook and Instagram. As an introvert, it is much easier to be vulnerable and personal online when it comes to building connections. There is no awkward eye contact, no awkward silences, and I can take all the time I want to form a response when engaged in a conversation with a new contact. There is no anxiety over that “I should have said this…” when replaying conversations back in my mind. I find this style of networking much more enjoyable, I am more my true self and as an introvert, it does not exhaust me like a face to face networking would.

Do I get excited about being in a group of strangers? No. When it comes to networking in real-life situations, my strategy is to be the person that I would want to network with. I remind myself that I am more than likely not the only one in the room feeling intimidated and instead of worrying about how terrified I am to approach a person I don’t know, I think about how thankful I am when someone approaches me and starts a conversation. I usually look for someone on who is not currently not engaged in conversation and approach them thinking I am helping them feel more comfortable and soon the connections start to flow.

In the next 6 months to a year, the business that I work for is expanding in new and different directions. I will need to continue to expand and develop my contacts and networks. I have given myself a networking challenge of attending 2 previously attended networking events and stepping out of my comfort zone and attending 2 new events. These are great opportunities to meet new people and reconnect with old contacts.

I also plan to spend some time working on my elevator pitch. As an introvert so many times I lose the opportunity to make a connection because I don’t know what to say. It makes a great difference when I have some rehearsed scripts up my sleeve so when I have to opportunity to say what our business is about or what I do, I have a well thought out answer that builds connections.

What are your goals for networking in the coming year?

 

unknown-1 Professional Networking Now And In The Future: Goals and Strategies http://bit.ly/NowandFuture

unknown Professional Networking Now And In The Future: Goals and Strategies #networking #marketingstrategy http://bit.ly/NowandFuture

COM0015 – Blog#2: Convince Me – Bunkie or Tiny House?

What's in your tool box_ (1)                                                                              *image from stocksnap.io edited in Canva

My daughter and son-in-law just purchased a farm. It’s a beautiful property complete with a large pond, vineyards, fields and the like. The two of them have a great sense of fun and have added a beach to the pond, strung a million solar lights thru the vineyard bought a couple of golf carts to tour around the property.

After a few visits enjoying this new playground, we were offered a vacation spot to move in a trailer. They joked that we should start trailer shopping and get our own golf cart. I teased back that I am not a trailer person but I could move into a Tiny Home or Bunkie. And just for fun, I began to research!

A Tiny House with a Stagnant Social Media Presence.

The first website I came across was Tiny House Canada. I loved the look of their website. Right away you can see links to the social media platforms that they are using. Scrolling through the home page, near the bottom, I was very excited to see that they had a link to their latest tweets that showed a retweet about a video with Property Brothers. I enjoy

Screenshot Webpage

*Screenshot Tiny House Webpage

the Property Brothers and if they were doing a video about Tiny House Canada, it definitely warranted further research! However, within seconds I noticed that their “latest tweet” was actually a retweet from 3 years ago. Disappointing.

I returned to the links to check out their other social media. The first link is their Facebook page. Right away you can see that their last post was over 3 years ago. A quick scroll through and they had some great posts with some good engagement, it just seemed to drop off suddenly. Their next link is to their Twitter account. I didn’t bother checking it out as I already knew it was over 3 years old. On to their Instagram, and there seems to be a theme, the last post is over 3 years old. Their Youtube channel is pretty weak, they have two videos, again over 3 years old.

Anytime I come across social media that is not updated regularly, I wonder if they started without a plan and quickly it became too much to handle or are they out of business? I lost interest in their stale social media and decided quickly to move on and continue my research.

A little Bunkie with a Big Social Media Presence.

Next stop in my web search was The Bunkie Co. Their social media links were very easy to find as I quickly glanced through their home page. I also really liked the look of their website. It was very easy to navigate. And their product, the Bunkie, each style looked amazing!

Their website prompted me to check out their Instagram right away. The Bunkie Co is doing a great job with their Instagram. They post regularly and there is a good mix of

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Screenshot of The Bunkie Co Facebook post

pictures of their bunkies in different locations and used as different applications, such as guest rooms, offices, cottages, etc. They also post a few personal posts of their staff and post of different stages of the building process. The Bunkie Co is also rocking their Facebook and Vimeo pages. After watching a few videos on their Vimeo and Facebook, particularly this one, I can definitely see myself enjoying the Bunkie.

I believe if I ever decided to follow through and move to my daughter’s property I would choose The Bunkie Co! Their social media convinced me. Can you tell me about an experience you had where a company with a strong social media presence persuading you to purchase their product?

 

 

f_logo_rgb-hex-blue_512Convince Me – Bunkie or Tiny House? Is your social media strong or weak?  http://bit.ly/StrongorWeak

twitternewConvince Me – Bunkie or Tiny House? Is your social media strong or weak?   #tinyhouse #thebunkie #moderncabin http://bit.ly/StrongorWeak

COM0015 – Blog#1: What’s in Your Toolbox?

What's in your tool box_                                                                                   *image from Stocksnap.io edited in Canva

My husband’s toolbox is jammed packed with hand me down favourite tools along with a few shiny new ones. He has them all crammed into their own spot in his toolbox. If you borrow one you need to put it back in the exact same spot or the lid won’t close! He has the appropriate tool for any fix-it situation.

My daughter just moved into a new apartment and she has a mix-matched screwdriver set along with a few dollar store additions. There have been situations where she needs a tool that she does not have in which she has tried to use one that isn’t quite right. This only leads to frustration, wasted time a job half-finished.

If I apply the analogy of my family’s toolboxes to my social media toolbox, mine is a small toolbox filled with a few trusty beginner tools and a few shiny new ones I haven’t quite mastered what they are used for!

My favorite social media monitoring tools.

Each day when I open my work email, I peruse through my Google and Talkwalker alerts for the day. I have established alerts for our business as well as keywords for our industry and our local geographic area. This is one of my favourite tools for monitoring mentions of our business along with keeping up with new and exciting developments in our industry and our local community.

Another way that I keep up on the latest is through Facebook insights, the Watch pages feature. I follow some of the top dental peeps in the industry as well as dental organizations that promote and educate our philosophy of preventive dentistry. The watch pages feature allows me to see their top posts that are getting engagement. This helps me to research and promote what people are interested in as well as gives me new ideas on how to present topics in an interesting and engaging way.

How I keep up with the news.

My husband is a news junkie. I am not. For better or for worse I usually get my news through my Facebook feed. I don’t follow any news pages other than the local radio and newspaper pages. However, I have very active friends who usually post all the latest news to their feeds. Between Facebook and my husband, I am up on all the latest!

I know that there are shinier new social monitoring and listening tools out there. But for this beginner, I find these easy to navigate and accurate! What are some listening and monitoring tools that you find accurate and easy to use?

 

facbookWhat’s in Your Tool Box? My Favourite Social Media Monitoring Tools.  http://bit.ly/Toolboxblog

twitter-1What’s in Your Tool Box? My Favourite Social Media Monitoring Tools.  #toptips #socialmediamonitoring  http://bit.ly/Toolboxblog

 

 

COM0014 – Blog #7: The Best Stories Are The One’s YOU Write.

I’ll tell you a secret… I’m an introvert.

Now, I don’t go around advertising this fact, but when the subject comes up, people never believe me. Introverts are not typically legendary storytellers. And I am no exception.

You see, my words don’t come out easily when I am speaking. My mind goes blank, my mouth gets dry and I stumble over my words.

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**photo source unsplash.com, edited in Canva.com

I have learned through the assigned blog writing in this course that my words flow a little easier through writing. It flows a lot easier when I have a story to tell!  I have learned that personal experiences make the best stories. Being vulnerable and sharing these experiences invites authentic connection with my audience. I will continue to practice my storytelling and apply it to all avenues of my social media marketing.

If you had asked me at the beginning of this course if I could tell a good story, I would have said no. If you had asked me if I would enjoy blog writing, I would have said no. And now I can honestly say that I can tell a decent story.

Do I now enjoy writing blogs? Enjoy might be a strong word! 🙂

 

 

COM0014 – Blog #6: My favourite customer story… in which I was the customer!

I remember very clearly the first time that I made a purchase based on excellent customer service. The summer I turned 15 years old, I started work for a catering company at our local airport. This company made the meals for the airlines. Soon into this job, I realized that standing on the cement floor of the assembly line in my $5 dollar tennis shoes… was not good for my feet. I decided it might be time for an upgrade in my footwear.

Raena, (I still remember her name!) was the sales associate at the first shoe store in the mall in which I stopped. Raena took the time to listen to what I needed. We both bonded over working on our feet all day, and she took the time to help me find the right fitting pair of shoes. I remember the “sticker shock”… as it was the most I had ever paid for a pair of shoes in all of my 15 years!  And. I. did. not. care.  I felt they were worth every penny! Raena had created value. She didn’t sell me something I didn’t need. She sold me something more than a pair of Reebok shoes, she sold me an experience.

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                                                             *photo credit feliperizo.com from unsplash.com

Even though it’s only been a few short *coughthirtypluscough* years since I bought those shoes, I still draw on that experience when it comes to the customer service that I provide. I do my best to create value in each job that I have had since that time. Excellent customer service is created not just by how you treat your customer but how you treat your co-workers, suppliers and/or fellow business associates.

The nature of the current health service industry that I work for, I am fortunate that we have repeat clients. I have more than one opportunity to show authenticity and genuine care, this, in turn, creates an experience and deeper connections with these clients. My favourite clients are the ones that have become friends!

 

 

COM0014 – Blog #5: The Power of a Personal Brand.

Personally and professionally, I am noted for my organizational skills and creativity. I can envision a project, organize and execute it. My personal brand is my love of organization, health, and dental wellness. Especially organization, I often refer to myself as an organization Ninja!

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                                                                                      *personal graphic using the Bitmoji app and Canva.com

As an Office Administrator and Social media manager, I am passionate about creating a positive customer service for clients. The constant need to keep up and improve the customer experience when it comes to the rapid changes in social media and technology has stretched and expanded my creativity further than I have ever imagined! Most recently, I am most proud of my accomplishment of setting up an online appointment booking system for our clients! This took a great deal of organization to make the transition as seamless as possible.

I believe you can never stop learning! I continually take courses to keep my skills current. I also take every opportunity to meet with fellow business professionals. I find that peers in these groups have proven strategies that they have implemented and they are often willing to share their experiences and resources. I find it very fulfilling when I have the opportunity to speak or lead a workshop on a topic of which I have some knowledge or share a skill or experience that can help others.

What is it that makes you unique and you feel the most fulfilled?

COM0014 – Blog #4: Sash Bag, The Hands-Free Wonder Bag.

“Sash is the ten-pocket, hands-free wonder bag that will revolutionize your life! It’s mega organized, comfortable, and cute!” I no longer put my purse on the back of a restaurant chair, nor do I hope that there is a hook for my purse in the public washroom so I don’t have to put it on the floor,  I don’t lose my purse in the car, or put my purse on the counter or floor the minute that I get home.

I first discovered this company when I came across a Kickstarter campaign online. I’ll admit that I researched and followed them for a while before I made my first purchase. The way that they engage with their audience convinced me to give it a try.

Screenshot_20181014-055628_ChromeThe Sash Bag Facebook page keeps customers up to date on new colours and styles of bags. It is also filled with videos showing the attributes of the bag and tips on how to use it. The Sash Bag VIP Facebook group connect women (and a few men) who are fans. It feels like a large group of friends. They post selfies, tips on how to use the bag and some fans sell or trade their Sash bags. Many of the customers refer to themselves as Sash Sisters or the Sash Squad. On both the Facebook Page and VIP Facebook Group, the feed is full of positive feedback and mentions of how customers are happily spreading the word on what they believe to be an outstanding product. I’ll admit that I also posted a picture of me wearing my Sash hiking this fall. It was fun engaging with fellow #Sashsisters!

 

Screenshot_20181014-060030_ChromeSash Bag’s Twitter feed is filled with reviews from bloggers and customers. Sash bag engages with their audience on their twitter feed linking back to their Instagram and Kickstarter pages prompting likes and sharing of information. This is definitely an effective approach to using Social media and gaining more #SashSister followers. So effective that their second Kickstarter campaign was fully funded in 36 minutes and ended up raising $1,019,486 –  which far surpassed their goal of $29,000!

Have you purchased a product from a company that has caused you to engage with them online? What was your experience?

COM0014 – Blog #3: Do you have teeth? You are my target audience!

Hey! (2)

                                                                                                                                                  *photo credit Unsplash.com

If you have been following my blog, you know that I am the office administrator and social media manager for an independent dental hygiene clinic. After completing a few social media courses I have come to a clearer understanding of the concept “target audience”.  A social media campaign can be much more successful when a strategy is well planned out and focused on the needs and wants of a specific age group.

Demographics and psychographics are two important methods to analyze the target audience for Norfolk Dental Hygiene. Demographic analysis is fact-based data that can be categorized and classified. It tells us information that includes factors such as gender, age range, occupation, marital status, etc. The psychographic analysis is based on information that is more subjective but tells us about our audience’s personality, values, wants, and interests.

At Norfolk Dental our largest target audience is comprised of Retirees. This is based on the demographics of our geographic area. Some retirees are no longer covered by private dental insurance and live on a fixed income and are concerned about the cost of caring for their oral health. Other retirees are newly widowed or divorced and looking to improve their smile cosmetically as a confidence booster. And some retirees have had dental issues all of their life that seem to be getting worse with the changes in health that come with age.

The obstacles and struggles of our retiree target audience are opportunities to let them know how we can solve them. The psychographic analysis along with the demographic analysis helps us learn what our clients need, along with what information they are looking for and how they like to receive their information. This enables us to get the right message to the right people.

There need to be a few more considerations than just the fact that person has teeth and we can clean them! How has learning about target audiences helped your social media marketing strategy?

COM0014 – Blog #2: Hey! I’ve Got Something to Say!

Hey!                                                                                                  *photo credit unsplash.com

Are you a “Painter” or a “Pointer”?

Years ago, when my husband and were newly married we attended a relationship workshop on communication. The workshop was based on the works of Dr. David Ludwig.  The leader of the workshop divided the group into “Painters” and “Pointers”. The “Painter’ tells a story by painting a picture with their words. The “Pointer” works out the story before they verbalize it, and when they do, it’s to the point. It became very clear that my husband was the “Painter” and I the “Pointer”. This workshop was my first introduction to communication styles and the idea that I have one. My style has evolved over the years but stays very true to the “Pointer” style. It is the way I communicate both personally and professionally.

When writing my first blog for the class Introduction to Social Media it was a very intimidating experience to expand on my usual “to the point “ style. Writing about my personal experience and adding bits of my humour left me feeling vulnerable. The first comments were very positive and enjoyable to read which has made blog writing become less of a chore!

Who is your audience?

I believe my “Pointer” communication style has served me well when I communicate professionally. I try to post topics that are interesting and engaging to my target audience. I believe professional posts should be informative, clear and polished. A little humour can humanize a professional post.  Personal posts can be light and fun. Authenticity and knowing who you are writing for is the key for both professional and personal.

How will you invite interaction?

Writing an attention-grabbing opening is a great way to entice your audience to read further. Thought provoking content with an invitation for the reader to give feedback is a great way to start a conversation. This can be done by asking a question at the end of the blog.

Providing links to related content invites your audience to research further on your topic. It also provides greater interest and credibility. This article explains that “If you’re not including links in your posts, you’re missing out on big opportunities.”

Through blog writing for Introduction to Social Media, I have come to realize that I have something to say and I am learning how to say it!  What have you learned about your communication style? Share a blog or two that you regularly follow. What about their communication style keeps you coming back?