COM0015 – Assignment 5 – Social Targeting at Work

A little over a month ago I took part in an online professional development session at work which was hosted by Ogilvy Red online. The event ”What’s Next for Social Targeting” was a one hour session throughout which two hosts discussed social targeting and tools that can be used to track social media and to used social media as a marketing tool. Different individuals at work will organize these gatherings once or twice a month based one what topics/the time the sessions are available, this gives the multiple teams within our division to interact and get to know each other a bit better as we generally don’t get much chance to work with one another. Here is a link to the recording of the event I attended:

https://www.slideshare.net/mobile/socialogilvy/whats-next-for-social-targeting-mass-reach-vs-microtargeting-recording

Unfortunately, during the live screening at work the power cut out, but I was able to watch the recording later on and watch it until the end.

It was interesting getting to learn the differences between using mass reach and micro targeting when dealing with your audience in addition to when each of these tactics is best used. The presentation included examples of companies that had previously used each technique and studies that had been conducted in regards to the efficiency of each technique my agencies such as Facebook.

Have you recently took part in any events at work or on your own that aided your professional development?

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COM0015 – Blog Post 2 – Strong and Weak Organizations

By far, the company I see most active on social media is the Walt Disney Company. However I am not going to focus on the company’s overarching social media but rather to their dedicated Walt Disney World social media pages. This includes active Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages in addition to advertisements and promotions that are run on other social media platforms, websites and television. The park regularly posts updates about updates to news sections of the park such as Pandora or the new Toy Story and Star Wars Lands. In May, the park ended the the staple firework show Wishes which has been at the park for over a decade and replaced it with the updated Happily Ever After fireworks and projection show. The last Wishes show and first Happily Ever After show were live streamed to Facebook and the videos are available on YouTube.

With the advent of the Disney Fairytale Weddings the social media channels have started posting wedding pictures from couples featured on the episode. These posts had three purposes; advertising the television series, advertising the park and advertising Weddings by Disney occasionally even promoting the Alfred Angelo Disney inspired wedding dress line. 

On Instagram, there are regular posts of families enjoying themselves at the park.

In contrast, a company that could take better advantage of social media is the Ottawa Humane Society. At present, the not-for-profit only posts about animals that are available for adoption, usually if they have been at the shelter for a lengthy period of time. Occasionally they will post about an event they are hosting but this is rare. The OHS could take better advantage of social media by posting about unique rescue stories, posting whenever they have new animals at the shelter and not simply advertise the animals that have been there for a long time. They could also post about tips to keep pets safe throughout the year, at present that is only done in media releases which don’t tend to reach their social media fun base. Creating different content for their various platforms could also help their following as they tend to post about the same thing on both Facebook and Instagram.

COM0015 – Blog Post 1 – Tools and Sources – 4 Ways to Listen Online

COM0015 – Blog Post 1 – Tools and Sources – 4 Ways to Listen Online

As I have been delving further into the world of social media and blogging I am learning more and more how important it is to listen to what your audience is saying (or not saying.) Here are 4 tools I use on a regular basis that help me listen.

Trending Now

My favourite listening tool may not fall under the classic definition of listening tools at all but rather under that of a feature available on Twitter and Facebook; the “Trending Now” section. I find this feature of the social media platforms particularly useful to know what topics would have the largest built in audience. Most recently the obvious topics of interest are Donald Trump, the hurricane aftermath in the Caribbean and southern states or yet another specific to Canada the legalization of marijuana.

Hashtags

Of late I have been working on developing a lifestyle blog focusing on fitness, health and wellbeing, consequently I have been doing a lot of research on these things. My reason for doing this is that I have been trying to lose weight for a long time always focusing on the nutrition side of things and each time I would fail. This time around I am also working on my fitness level in addition to focusing on nutrition. It is my understanding that working on both elements in addition to writing about my experience on a blog, Twitter and Instagram will allow me to find other individuals going through the same experience and share with them what challenges I face everyday in addition to my victories. As I use Twitter and Instagram with this independent project of mine, I find the use of hashtags very useful while trying to increase my number of followers and direct traffic to my blog. Hashtags that I frequently used and that have proven to be rather useful have been #weightloss, #fitness, #fitbit, #nutrition, #healthy, #weightlossmotivation, #weightlossjourney, #fit, #strength. Using these hashtags allows me to build my brand but also build a network of likeminded individuals who write about similar topics.

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Image credit: Kjyrstenols

Google Analytics

Another tool I use regularly for monitoring and listening is Google Analytics. I find that searching for the keywords I listed above in Google Analytics is a good way for me to get a broader glimpse of the online action of related topics. I can see what keywords had the most traffic, where on the globe they were most used and what keywords were used in relation. This allows me to broaden my keyword search and further understand how the blogosphere functions.

RSS Feeds & Subscriptions

I have created a few RSS feeds that allow me to further track topics related to my lifestyle blog without having to do exhaustive research on the internet. Using the RSS Reader app I am able to stay up to date on a series of topics including but not limited to those I write about on my blog and others of interest. In addition to RSS Feeds, subscribing directly to different blogs has proven to be a great resource as new content is delivered directly to my inbox when it is published, this also keeps me up to date on events or promotions/contests the blogs might be running.

Have you used any of these tools? Do you think you will from now on? Let me know in the comments section below.

COMM0014 – Blog #7 – Personal Reflection

Storytelling is important to creating great digital content because people connect to stories better than any other form of advertisement or promotion. A story allows the viewer to connect with the subject of the story and get to know that subject (character) on a human level. Because telling a story via a character vs a company is so much more effective, it allows the organization in question to sell or promote a lifestyle or story that ultimately promotes the product or service by association.

It is important to target your audience specifically not only based on who the group of individuals are but more importantly based on the relationship that is ideal between the organization and its audience. That relationship will define the tone and approach to the communication in addition to the style of writing. Targeting that audience and writing the story to match up with their expectations is key if you want to succeed at getting their attention and keeping it.

Knowing what your goal is and how your story will end is key to writing a successful communications piece. If you don’t know what your end goal is, how are you supposed to accurately develop the product or advertising piece.

COMM0014 – Blog 6 – What is your industry’s greatest flaw?

Going through college, my professors told me stories of their time spent in the film industry, for some of them, that story included how they ended up working at a college instead of on a movie set — others seemed to neglect that chapter. Through this experience and working with colleagues who spent years in the industry, I have learned of many flaws.

The biggest flaw that I have learned is that you are the luckiest person on earth if you are being paid right away when you start your career. I knew that wasn’t something I would be able to afford or wanted to do.

Next the industry is dominated by men, and few women ever working on the production side of the business, favouring to work in pre-production or post-production. This would make finding my way in the industry all that more difficult because I would have to prove myself more than anyone else on the crew because I am a woman. I am finding even working in government in this industry, I feel I have to always prove myself a little more than everyone else on the team.

Finally, while storytelling is the ultimate goal of filmmaking, once you start working in bigger productions the story isn’t always the focus. For me, storytelling is very important and I wouldn’t be able to work on something that I didn’t believe the story should be told.

COM0014 – Blog #5 – Filming Stories

COM0014 – Blog #5 – Filming Stories

P1020002I think off the very top, what sets me apart from many of my competitors is that I chose to study film and media production as opposed to learn it through on set training. This gives me the upper hand working in the federal government as a post-secondary education is a requirement to being hired.

As of late, I have been working on short film scripts in effort to eventually produce a new short film to add to my resume and demo reel. In addition to studying film and media production I also spent a year focusing on scriptwriting and storytelling, which had been what I wanted to do for a long time. Spending more time writing is allowing me to better hone my craft and develop my storytelling skills without the limitations set by government officials.

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What my colleagues have said about me to others I work with is that I know how to tell a story, which is the most important thing when doing the line of work I do. When I was told what this particular colleague said I was in shock because I am my own worst critic and tend to think everything I produce is terrible.

COMM0014 – Blog #4 – Premium Tea Online

COMM0014 – Blog #4 – Premium Tea Online

18740571_10155306368432910_8013155930072845676_nDavid’s Tea is a Canadian premium tea store that sells loose leaf teas, tea to go and tea accessories such as tea cups, travel mugs and teapots. I have been following them on social media for a few years but only recently started to really pay attention. For the purposes of this post I am going to focus on their Facebook interactions even though they are on Twitter and Instagram, I believe their Facebook presence is strongest.

The company regularly posts about its in store promotions, as most stores do, but they also post about lifestyle, recipes, tea of the day and other one off posts that relate to tea in one way or another such as this short video from 2 years ago.

I like how they play on colour, mood and lifestyle to advertise their tea, while it remains the focus of the video.

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The company also has someone on duty to respond to comments and questions that could help better the business and customer satisfaction such as this response saying that they will take her comment into consideration. Not only do they respond but they answer her, beginning with her name, which means that while their made be a script or format, there is some personalization that takes place.

The company also occasionally posts fun little pieces that prompt an action or reaction, such as this post for National Iced Tea day this past weekend. Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 8.20.07 PM.png

I have noticed that they tend to post early in the morning during the week (7:00-9:00) and a little later on weekends (9:00-11:00) which coincides with when people are waking up and getting ready for the day (many scrolling through Facebook or other social media platforms as their routine.

Cheers!

COM0014 – Blog #3 – Social Media Audiences

I presently work as a contractor at the Department of National Defence producing videos for the department’s social media outlets, and other online platforms. When developing or editing a video I always need to keep the audience in mind.


Here is what of the videos I have worked on:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUSfxxpE5CE

When developing a story line I always have to keep the audience in mind, even though it is quite broad. I need to target Canadian Armed Forces members, their families, potential recruits, CAF retirees and anyone with an interest in the military. What I do when thinking of my audience I think of which portion of my audience would most appreciate the story that I am molding.


Watch this video before continuing to read:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZVyMpyjZKk&index=8&list=PL55Fcekr-FU0gE5D0_HK9g7zaKgKWDEPe

When editing this video, I had a specific audience in mind, I was thinking of parents, young adults or anyone who has helped someone that is ill. I wanted to pull at the audience’s heart strings and so started off with the challenge: Zak had cancer that had taken over 75% of his body.

For other videos such as the Cpl Reyda story above, the audience was more specifically people with a dream, in this case it was a dream to fly, however this could be for anyone with a dream career who has struggled on the way to their goal.

How do you target your audience?

COM0014 – Blog #2 – Writing a Digital Story

It is difficult to change the way I write when I have spent so much time training and learning to write prose as I presently do. When you’re telling a conventional story, you want to give the reader just enough information to keep them interested but not enough to give the hook – or big twist – away. However, writing for social media and digital communications is a different formula; you want to lead with that key piece of information because that is what interests the reader from the get go. You then want to introduce the points you will touch on in the article.

An additional point which I understand completely but also find baffling is knowing the end game before you even start writing your first sentence. Out of everything I have written, my favourite piece to date by far is the one I wrote with little planning, the character and her story evolved that year as I did and because of that became my most important story. I wrote stories, first outlining key elements and then starting, but I found the experience less exhilarating as a creative person.

The constant here of course is grammar, spelling and punctuation. The moment any piece of writing other than that of a second grader’s is riddled with mistakes it is looked at as unprofessional.

What styles of writing do you use when writing? Is your writing conventional, unconventional or somewhere in between?

COM0014 – Blog #1 – Disney World at Christmas Time

IMG_1770It’s been a year and a half since I went on a real vacation that didn’t involve visiting extended family and the stresses included on such trips. I had always wanted to spend the holidays at the most magical place on earth (Walt Disney World, Florida), and decided that is exactly what I would do for Christmas 2015. Late in July 2015, I found out about a promotion for a free meal plan for trips booked during specific dates, needless to say I jumped at the chance and booked my trip at Coronado Springs Resort, a moderate hotel at the park.

I spent weeks researching different events at the park that take place around the holidays, reading countless blogs from people who had made the trip themselves. These were the most useful:

Dreaming of A Disney Christmas… in July

5 Things to Do at Disney World in December

All About the Holiday Season At Disney World

I could tell you about my entire trip, but that would take far too long so I will focus on the experiences that stood out the most throughout my 10 days at the parks.

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is an experience that was in it’s last year in 2015. A large section of Hollywood Studios park is done up in Christmas lights which are in turn choreographed to music. It was an amazing thing to see in person and I couldn’t help but do stand there in awe, staring at the lights dancing before my eyes. I am so thankful that I was able to see it before they closed it down. Click here to watch a video of the show on YouTube. Did you get the change to witness this amazing sight? What were your thoughts?

Be Our Guest Restaurant

IMG_1796When I visited Magic Kingdom, the newest section to the park had just opened and this included Be Our Guest, a restaurant themed on the Beauty and the Beast movie. The main dining hall is a real life ball room with pendant chandeliers and large windows over looking the French country side. The atmosphere was something I couldn’t put into words and the IMG_1823food was amazing. As per Lumière’s recommendation I did try the grey stuff and it was delicious.

Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade

I had been to the parks a few times before but always in the spring. Seeing the Christmas parade was a magical experience for me and my family, as we would watch it every year on TV, but seeing the marching toy soldiers and dancing gingerbread men in person – not to mention Mickey dressed up in his Christmas attire -was a unique and one of a kind moment that I wouldn’t pass up for the world.

What are some of your favourite experiences on Christmas vacations? Have you been to Disney World or any of the other Disney parks? Let me know in the comments below.