Out Of The Box

Applications of Social Media Outside The Organization

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

In this course, we have studied the ways in which online marketing and social media can be used to promote the strategies and goals of an organization. We covered various themes which included:

  • Media monitoring and measurement
  • Listening
  • Building a social media strategy
  • Internal communication and networking

These areas of concentration provided some best practices for how marketers should use digital platforms and tools to ensure success when it comes to social media strategies at an organizational level.

However, if we take into account the definition of social media as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content (Benkler, Yochai: 2006)” we can start thinking of other ways one might be able to use social media outside an organizational setting. Particularly, I wanted to highlight the last bit of the definition where it mentions social media as the creation and exchange of user-generated content. Bearing this in mind, I want to identify 3 unique and trending ways I see the common user utilize social media platforms. They are:

  • For Activism:
    In 2015 there was a great flood that occurred in South India. I heard about it on various news outlets and social media platforms. But, what was interesting to me was that local communities were using Whatsapp as a way to get the word out regarding rescue efforts.  They had set up Whatsapp numbers just so people can find food, shelter and any provisions they needed. There have been other instances where social media brought forth movement, so much so that Governments have been known to block certain social media platforms during times of civil unrest and backlash.
  • For Holding People and Companies Accountable:
    In the last few years, I’ve noticed social media is used to call out the actions of people and organizations. For example, when a customer is not satisfied with a company’s service they can take to Twitter to vent their frustrations. It’s a way to hold them accountable as well. Similarly, people are holding others accountable for their discriminatory actions.

  • As An Alternate Way To Earn An Income and Pursue Your Passion:
    Social media is utilized by people to pursue their dreams and earn an income outside the typical 9-5. I know people who have taken up photography, baking, dancing and make up artistry after the rise of social media. On the other side, social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook have become the new YellowPage. If you need a cake for example, you can just search Facebook’s Marketplace or pages on IG for someone near you. The good thing about doing this is you can see their work and reviews as well. This is tied into using social media for your business, but it focuses more on the individual rather than the organization.

These three examples are a great way to understand social media outside of the box. It helps us highlight the ever evolving nature and application we are seeing when it comes to social media. One of the impacts social media has had on our lives, outside of online marketing, is that it has shrunk the world. Meaning, the user can now connect with and learn from strangers around the world. They also have more control over the news and content they consume. Social media can be used within organizations like we saw in this course, but it can also be used to collaborate and communicate in other ways as well.

What is the most interesting way you have used social media?
What are some pitfalls and advantages of social media?

COM0015 Assignment #5: Event Participation

I attended the AdMax2022 Virtual Marketplace Summit back in January. I chanced upon an advertisement for it on LinkedIn. This summit was a two day event that was presented by Teikametrics. Unfortunately, due to my schedule, I was only able to attend the first day. Teikametrics is a leader within Marketplace advertising as they work with big names such as Amazon and Walmart. I was very keen to attend this summit as it centers around my line of work, which is advertising for Marketplace businesses. I would say the main reason why I signed up was to get a better understanding of how to successfully advertise a business on various Marketplace platform and also learn about trends within the industry.

The first day of the summit mainly had people from the company, Teitrametrics, speaking on different topics. The presenters included the Director of Digital Services, Marketing Managers, Content Managers and eComm Analysts. Each of their sessions were focused on varying topics which included:

Advanced Goal Settings for Full Funnel Strategy
Supply Chain and Inventory
Amazon Benchmarks and Projections
CPCs and Competition
DSD & Sponsored Display
Artificial Intelligence

I enjoyed the seminars on CPCs, Sponsored Display and Goal Setting, particularly because we had just started doing Sponsored Display for our clients. There was also a presentation on keywords which was insightful. They talked about match type keywords and the CPC for each of them which was useful for me. Unfortunately, the summit did not have much interaction. We did not have access to other participants; in fact we could not even tell who was in the presentation with us. However, there was a Q&A session where there was lot of interesting questions that were asked. I, admittedly, did not ask any questions due to my shyness. But, looking back I would have asked certain questions centered around advertising with a limited budget.

Some of the major ideas I walked away with from this event was around upcoming trends. They showed us the YOY growth for each category like patio furniture, kids, women, toys, etc. This really helped put things into perspective for me as I can now focus on these growing sectors within our business unit as well.  

Another take away from this event, which could be turned into a quote would be “What makes the most sense for your account?” I believe this also relates to a lot of things we do everyday. When we are faced with so many options, we just need to step back and figure out what makes the most sense.

I would attend a similar event again but perhaps next time I’d like to attend something more to do with advertising rather than sales. I was also under the impression people from Amazon and Walmart would be guest speakers, which was not the case. That would have been helpful as well along with having smaller break-out sessions with the participants instead of a larger Q&A.

COMM015 Blog #3 Road Map To Success

Photo by Product School on Unsplash

Social media allows for us to be digitally connected to the outside world. It provides ample ways in which we gain information and insights about various aspects of daily life. As for me, I’ve always consumed social media as a form of entertainment. That is of course until my career in digital marketing allowed for an exploration of social media through another lens. Today, I’d like to explore another dimension of social media, one which lends itself to career and personal networking.

Below are the three major ways I would like to develop my professional network online and in person. I have segmented this into roughly three month timelines.

As outlined by Gibbs, the first step is to review your online presence.  Therefore, within the first three months I would take a look at my blog and LinkedIn profile to ensure they are up to date and in accordance with what I am looking to achieve. For example, I want to expand my career from digital marketing to digital communications. Many of the job postings I’m coming across require writing samples. In this sense, it would be beneficial to me if I update my blog with some of my best work so it can be easily linked to my resume.

The following three months, I would start digging deep into what I want to achieve from my networks. It would allow me to assess which platforms to pay attention to. Two major ones I already know I want to spend time networking on are Twitter and LinkedIn. Part of this exercise would also be researching groups to join, and people in my field I would like to connect with. I already have a template I use to reach out to people on LinkedIn, but it can definitely use a revamp to be more concise. This of course should not take three months in practice but I also do not want to connect and follow too many groups as it will get overwhelming. Within this time period, I would also like to post more on these platforms instead of passively participating by liking a couple of posts here and there. In an effort to overcome my shyness, I would also like to take part in some networking events for public speaking and leadership seminars; perhaps, a Toastmasters event. This would help me tremendously when I reach out to professionals.

Simultaneously, and it’s something I have already started to do, I would network within my current job. I have already started using my internal networks to develop skills that are outside of my regular duties. For example, I explained to my manager that I would like to work with analytical platforms used by our Ad Ops team. Once I received her approval, I reached out to an Ad Ops team member via our internal instant messaging platform, Slack, to set up some time for him to train me. Right now, we are working remotely, but I hope when our office opens up again I can then take this relationship from virtual to in person and have more job shadowing sessions with him.

Towards the end of my first year of implementing my professional networking strategy, I hope to attend networking events I find through my platforms. As well, I hope to meet up in person with people whom I’ve made a solid connection with. Often times we reach out to people for a cup of coffee and never hear from them again. I would like to ensure that the connections I make can go beyond a first coffee date. For this, I would like to make connections with people who share similar interests and likes so I can do activities outside the usual coffee date, for example, hiking. This would also help to make new friends and perhaps grow my connections by meeting their friends as well.

In summary, to develop my professional network online and offline I will:

  • Clean up my online profiles
  • Research platforms, networks and people I want to connect with
  • Build those relationships while attending networking events in person and online webinars
  • Repeat this cycle as needed until I achieve what I set out to do

What does your road map to success look like when it comes to professional networking? And, what road blocks do you foresee?


Gibbs, Sonia. (2022). Module 6:Professional Networking. BrightSpace. Retrieved From

COM0015 Blog #2 Social Media Strategy – A valley of hills and troughs

Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash

What does it take for a business to succeed in the world of social media? Does an organization need to be well versed in all social media platforms? Understand the nuances and be digitally savvy? If you’re like me and just starting out, this might seem like a herculean task. Where should I start? What platform should I use? How often should I be posting? How do I know my creative assets and copy are just right? These are just some of the many questions that might arise. According to Gibbs (2022), a well laid out social media strategy should:

  • Fit into the wider corporate strategy
  • Work words a goal and has an objective
  • Listens to various channels in order to examine the market, the competition and public’s opinions of the organizations brand/product
  • Build brand awareness and maintain customer’s trust

If these criteria are met, then a corporation has succeeded in building a strong social media strategy.

An example of an organization that has successfully implemented a great social media strategy would be Wendy’s. Like most people, I love to scroll through social media aimlessly in an effort to find something entertaining and funny. Wendy’s Twitter account does that, and at the same time it invokes in me a desire to go out and buy their sandwiches. Wendy’s has done a great job in maintaining a Twitter handle that delivers great content, without even trying to seem like they’re advertising. They’re known to roast the quality of food their fellow competitor restaurant chains offer while praising their own. In this way, Wendy’s is using Twitter to build brand awareness, working towards their objective and listening to their competitions. GymShark is another example of a strong social media strategy. I didn’t know too much about this company to be honest, but all of a sudden they were all over Instagram. A major reason for their success is using fitness influencers and their following to get their message and products out to their customers. Here, we can see Gymshark demonstrating social media strategy by aligning their corporate strategy (their vision of their brand) with social media (choosing the right influencers to carry their brand forward).

Inversely, social media strategies can be weak. A case in point is the Dove Transformation ad. As a company, Dove has always stood behind “natural beauty.” They are known for their marketing campaigns that celebrate the natural women in whatever shape, form, or size through their Real Beauty campaigns. However, as analyzed by ImpactPlus, in their Dove Transformation on Facebook they went against their corporate strategy. This ad in particular caused a stir among their audiences because it showcased a black woman changing her top to reveal a white woman. Was it a truly innocent message? Was it more? One thing is for sure, Dove displayed a disconnect between their core values and what they stood for causing confusion, backlash and a moment in the troughs of their social media strategy.

In order to succeed in building a great social media strategy a corporation has to be mindful of its mission, values, goals, and objectives. They must listen to their audiences for feedback while keeping an eye on their competition. It seems like a lot of work, but with the right messaging and content on the right platform using the right tools, one can find success.


How do you connect social media strategy into the broader corporate strategy? Who would be the key players to make this into a seamless integration?

Can corporations truly recover from the troughs or failures of social media strategies from the past?


Gibbs, Sonia. (2022). Module 1:Reivew of Best Practices. BrightSpace. Retrieved From

Gilliland, Nikki. (June 25. 2020). 30 brands with excellent social media strategies.
           Retrieved from https://econsultancy.com/30-brands-with-excellent-social-media-strategies/

Hamdi, Karisa. (May 29, 2018). 6 Social Media Marketing Failures & What You Can Learn 
            From Them
. Retrieved from https://www.impactplus.com/blog/social-media-marketing-

Robertson, Suzanne. (July 27th, 2021). 15 Companies That Use Social Media Marketing
. Retrieved from https://resources.smartbizloans.com/blog/business-marketing/7-

Blog # 1 – Tools and Sources

eCommerce and Social Media

Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

Across centuries, various modes of communication have been central to the survival of society, its culture and history. We’ve seen society move from oral to written; and of course with the emergence of the printing press humankind was able to share its stories far and wide. Fast forward few hundred years, we now have a new kind of communication method brought forth by social media and the evolution of technology. Social media is defined as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content (Benkler, Yochai: 2006). This user-generated content on social media serves many purposes including personal, business and advocacy. For some, social media is a tool to communicate and share their stories and thoughts. For others, social media is an instrument by which they can influence others to buy their products or ideas. Another emergence from technology has been the world of eCommerce. As someone who currently works with Marketplace vendors, I would like to examine the cross section of eCommerce and social media to better understand how social media monitoring tools can be used by eCommerce businesses to generate awareness and sales. As well, I would like to explore couple of sources for news and updates for Marketplace vendors.

When it comes to staying up to date on news related to Marketplace, Teikametrics and MarTechSeries seem to be great sources. Teikametrics is an ad management platform that helps sellers on Amazon and Wal-Mart marketplaces to optimize their online listings. Their connection with industry bigwigs along with their credible resources (blogs, webinars and newsletters) make it beneficial to follow them. Another great source for news as it pertains to the Marketplace landscape is MarTechSeries.com. MarTechSeries “covers marketing technology news, editorial insights and digital marketing trends from around the globe.” (Martechseires.com, 2022).  Again, it would be beneficial to follow them as they are thought leaders within the industry with reliably sourced articles, interviews and events from around the globe.

While Teikametrics and MarTechSeries provide reliable sources of information, it is important to ensure Marketplace businesses utilize social listening tools to monitor their brands and competitors online. As discussed in a post by Hootsuite, social listening “is the process of scanning social media for mentions of your brand or products and conversations related to your brand” (Mikolajczyk, 2021). It can help businesses understand what products their customers love, learn more about their competitors and get a sense of public’s sentiments towards their brands (Mikolajczyk, 2021). Two social media monitoring tools that I believe will be helpful to Marketplace vendors would be Hootsuite and Mentionlytics. Hootsuite allows its users to ”set up unlimited streams of social media content based on mentions, selected keywords, hashtags, or locations. (Lua, n.d). Similarly, Mentionltyics helps to “track mentions [of] Brand and Products, Competitors, [and their] Industry” while allowing its users to manage their brand reputation and grow their sales (Mentionlytics.com, 2022).

I believe these two social media monitoring tools and two sources of news channels would be of great value to eCommerce businesses as it allows them to effectively sell online.

Do you have any suggestions for other sources of news and tools for social media listening designed for eCommerce? What are some of the hurdles you are finding with using such tools and any advice you’d like to share?


Gibbs, Sonia. (2022). Module 1:Reivew of Best Practices. BrightSpace. Retrieved From

Lua, Alfred. (n.d). Are You Listening? The 19 Best Social Media Monitoring Tools.
            Retrieved from https://buffer.com/library/social-media-monitoring-tools/

Martechseires. (2022). About Us. Retrieved from https://martechseries.com/

Mentionltyics. (2022). Homepage. Retrieved from https://www.mentionlytics.com/

Mikolajczyk, Karolina. (2021). How to Use Social Media for Ecommerce (Tips and Examples).
            Retrieved from https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-ecommerce/


Image Source  Nelly Antoniadou via Unsplash

When this whole pandemic started to really bear upon us back in March, I like most, was worried about what was in store. However, there was one thing I was stoked about, and that was to be working from home! One of the main reasons for my initial excitement was the thought of not commuting to work. I hate commuting! In fact, I had to switch jobs just for the commute. So the prospective of my early morning commute being from my bed to my desk was very appealing! It allowed me to save on some gas, and I got to sleep in a bit!

Image Source  Agnieszka Boeskevia Unsplash

But, 7 months in, and I’m starting to regret my initial joys. You see, work from home (WFH) arrangements doesn’t really suit a majority of people. I’m sure parents who now have to juggle their work life, home life and their kids’ school life will agree to this.  I am not a parent so I cannot speak to that. However, what I have found is the following:

Working from home has:

  • Blurred the lines between personal and professional life
  • Caused tension between members of the household
  • Lack of Social life
  • Affected Mental and Physical health

Image Source JESHOOTS.COM via Unsplash

 When I reflect on the above, I am not at all surprised to see that working from home can cause depression in some people and burn out in others. Working at the office allows me to leave my work behind. However, WFH has caused a blur between my personal and profession life. More often than not, one ends up working overtime without realizing it when they work from home. Also, with different modes of communication available to keep in touch, I am never disconnected from work. Where there was once the office phone and emails, there are now hundreds of DMs via Microsoft Teams, Skype and the likes. The negative effect of this on one’s personal life is profound if one lets it seep its way there as well (which I am guilty of). I can take out my frustrations on those dear and near.

However, after taking a step back in the last few weeks. I have gathered some ways to deal with this new normal. I am giving myself more breaks during work hours and ensuring I step away from the monitor for lunch. I also managed to get in a few walks after work and have been enjoying the last bit of fall weather before old man winter arrives. More importantly, I am sticking to a routine and setting boundaries. This last bit has helped me significantly as I am able to pursue other interests after work.

Image Source Aaron Burden Via Unsplash

Which brings me to my questions. Has anyone else recently started working from home? What has been your number one struggle? And for those who’ve always worked from home…any pointers?

The pitfalls of working from home and how to overcome them https://tinyurl.com/y2jsvz6w

WFH…not as fun as it sounds Find out why https://tinyurl.com/y2jsvz6w

My Personal Brand

Image by Arnel Hasanovic Via Unsplash

Against all odds I’ve survived since day one. The doctors told my parents I wouldn’t make it but lo and behold, here I am.

I am accountable, adaptable and approachable. Or so, that is what I see in the mirror. I don’t take anything for granted and I find a way to succeed in everything I do.  

My colleagues see me beyond these words. They value my resourcefulness, diligence, eloquence, meticulousness and team player attitude. They recognize my ability to go beyond the call of duty to ensure tasks are completed to the best of my ability. I have been praised as a high achiever and go-getter with a steadfast positive attitude. My handling of key projects that have resulted in stellar revenue generation has been noticed company wide. More importantly, leaders are thankful for my willingness to share my knowledge and inspire others.

My friends and family are grateful for my patience and willingness to share their burden. They appreciate my helping hand in times of need.

Reflecting on my journey, I recognize it hasn’t been an easy one. But despite the many setbacks, I ensure I make the most of what life throws my way with a pleasant attitude, a kind spirit and persistence.

This is not just a personal statement, it’s who I am and what I strive to be every day.

Marketing Under The Influence

If I were to say I am addicted to Youtube that would be an understatement. At one point I was spending hours upon hours on it, traveling across the globe and listening to countless stories from the comfort of my home. I’m sure I’m not the only one; in fact social media has become a major part of our lives in the last decade.

Image by Sara Kurfeß via Unsplash

Throughout the years there are couple things I’ve noticed when it comes to the videos I was watching. The Youtube landscape gradually changed from viral cute cat videos to the dawn of family vloggers and now lifestyle vloggers.  Along with this, I saw a rise in ads as well. I later came to know this was a new form of marketing called influencer marketing.

Image by  Stricker Mule via Unsplash

Influencer marketing, according to Forbes, is a type of social media marketing where brands partner with online content creators with significant followers in order to promote their products and services. This is because influencers have more engagement. They not only connect with their audience but activate their followers to comment and share their videos/posts and more importantly buy the items they promote. Although influencer marketing can be costly, it is believed to have a profitable ROI. It is no surprise as influencers can tap into their huge audience base that trusts them. In fact, 6 out of 10 people say they would buy from an influencer over T.V. personalities. Due to this, influencer marketing can be a great addition to a company’s social media strategy as it is impactful to the bottom line.

Image by  Diggity Marketing via Unsplash

However, it’s not all smooth sailing when it comes to influencer marketing. The industry, netting nearly $5-$10 million in market value, has become highly saturated. It seems everyone these days has a promo code for HelloFresh and the likes! Companies also have to be careful of those they bring on to partner with their brands. It has been known that many influencers buy fake followers to increase their audience. On the flip side, influencers face many challenges and rewards too when they partake in such advertising. They also need to be weary of the brands they endorse. For example, YouTube recently saw influencers back away from DevaCurl for ethical reasons. There’s also a need to be always “on” and be creative to gain more followers which can become taxing on the individual.

Image by  Mateus Campos Felipe via Unsplash

As an audience however, I am concerned about the legitimacy of influencer marketing especially when I see nonprofessionals giving out advice. It’s interesting to note that sometimes these advertisements are not blatantly evident.  Take for example Susan Yara of Mixed MakeUP. She does not hold any valid certification in dermatology, and that is not to say she cannot be an expert, but when she is critiquing dermatologists I do have some reservations.  Recently she also came under fire for promoting a company without being upfront to her audience about the fact that she was one of its co-founders.

Which leads me to my questions, is there room for improvement when it comes to influencer marketing? Do you know of any examples where it has been tastefully done?

Marketing Strategies for the new age. Is it worth it? Find out https://tinyurl.com/y3qfejfc
Influencer Marketing: A hit or a miss? Find out https://tinyurl.com/y3qfejfc

Lego: Blocked in?

Lego has been the staple of childhood pastimes and a nuisance to parents’ toes everywhere. Either way, Lego has been around for decades. It seems the company had a Midas touch in anything they tried their hands at. Their success over the years and the growth in their market share can be attributed to their efforts to diversify their product portfolio and target segments.  Lego has always catered to the young/adolescent boy market. However, they now incorporate product lines for young girls and adults offering not only the original Lego (or Lego Friends for girls), but licensed products and movies. For a brand that markets to various segments I was intrigued to explore further into their global campaign in an attempt to understand whether their success can be duplicated in a global market.

Image Source by Xavi Cabrera via Unsplash

Image Source by Kelly Sikkemavia Unsplash

But with their first global campaign in 30 years something fell short. The ad according to Marty Swant was a step towards global inclusion aiming at markets outside of North America and Europe (where Lego had their humble beginnings). Of course, on the surface it appears to be a success. The narrative strongly aligns with the campaign’s theme of “rebuilding the world”. In my opinion, this narrative centers on the shift in power dynamics. This can be seen through the diversity examined by gender roles (the newly wed bride carrying the groom holding his bouquet or the female black cop), animal welfare (the hunter being hunted) and the environment (animals and humans co-existing safely as seen by ducks crossing a busy street and a deer enjoying coffee with a lion on a crowded patio).

However, after watching this ad few times, what I recognize is something is missing. It doesn’t take long for one to notice that this ad catering to a global audience is missing, well, the rest of the world! It holds a very Western/European centric viewpoint, and we can clearly see that if we examine the streets, the characters and the story itself. A major reason for this could be that, despite close to a 500 person in house team, the ad was created with the help of French and Danish agencies. This is crucial and highlights the thoughts shared by Sonia Gibbs in developing a social media strategy in a culturally diverse world. According to Gibbs (2020), it is important to not only know your audience (through research) but value their input and feedback when developing social media strategies. It seems Lego failed in the second bit as they have completely excluded the target audience they were seeking in their ad.

Image Source by HONG LIN via Unsplash

Image Source by Yogi Purnama via Unsplash

Lego has found great success in classifying their target segmentation into personas and developing social media strategies around them; not only in an effort to create dialogue but for brand awareness and product improvement through user generated content as well. But for a brand that built its own airport to better sell its products to the world, Lego needs to find better ways to speak to its global audience (specifically if we look at their Rebuild the World campaign). If they truly want to inspire kids to build a world without limits they need to do a better job of including their target audience and not blocking themselves into a corner.

Gibbs, Sonia. (2020). Module 3:Understanding Audience Diversity and its Impact on Communication Style. BrightSpace.

Why I am the Perfect Candidate

Image Source

It was finally over. A long day of work followed by an even longer day sitting through a lecture– which says a lot because I loved that class. As I made my way to the bus loop thinking of what I’d have for dinner it hit me. I had left my phone in the lecture hall! It was truly a doh! moment as I hurried back to retrieve it. As I got closer, the thought of never seeing my phone again dawned on me. But, I quickly shook it off thinking, who would want a taped up phone with half the numbers rubbed off? As luck would have it, one of my fellow students turned it in and my professor was waiting to return it to its rightful owner.

My name is Anitha and the above story is a representation of my belief around consumption. I hate throwing things in the garbage knowing it’ll sit in a landfill untouched for years to come, especially when it works just fine. So to answer your question, yes, I do go out of my way to reduce, reuse and recycle – so far as to even taping up my phone.

I went on to finish my courses at university earning a degree in Communications. But it is my passion for the environment and writing that led me to apply for this role at your company today.

As a Communication major who has taken several marketing courses I know the value and importance of communication, advertising and marketing. I am familiar with consumer behaviour, social media platforms, and communication strategies. I have used Microsoft Office, and SharePoint extensively throughout my career, and I am familiar with Adobe Creative Suite. 

My experience, as a Marketing and Sales Coordinator at a not for profit, provided me with many of the skills required for this position. For example, I have experience in coordinating communication activity in a multi-stakeholder environment. This included building and maintaining relationships with both internal departments as well as external vendor partners such as mail houses, graphic designers and news agencies like the Globe and Mail. One of my greatest achievements was surpassing our target by 10% within half the fiscal year. I managed to obtain this stellar result through critical path development, as well as constant measurement and evaluation of marketing campaign performance against plan. Furthermore, I am a highly motivated and result orientated person that values team work along with open communication and resourcefulness.

I believe my knowledge of communication strategies and my ability to manage multiple priorities simultaneously makes me a great candidate for this position. However, what excites me most is the oppourtunity to combine my passion for storytelling and project management with my passion for helping environment.

Image Source