Assignment #5: Personal Branding Workshop

Personal Branding Workshop

Personal Branding is crucial in this day and age where everything is going virtual. It is critical that we “brand” ourselves properly online, since that is our first line of defense when people, especially potential bosses look us up.

Our speaker was Emily Baillie, she is a social media professor in Humber College and McMaster University continuing education where she teaches Social Media and Content marketing, Social media listening and monitoring tools, digital marketing that focuses on industry trends and practices.

She is also a founder and a chief content creator for compass content marketing where she provides social media strategy, content creation, and community management services to small and medium sized enterprises.

There are four social platforms that she discussed, mainly:

  1. Facebook,
  2. Instagram,
  3. Twitter, and
  4. LinkedIn

For Facebook, it would be healthy to have a mix of personal and professional content. Posting a “humble brag” of achievements would not hurt. Looking after one’s Facebook profile and posts makes that person an excellent candidate for a particular job. Also, avoid anything political, since everyone has their own stand.

For Instagram, if one has questionable images it is best to keep it private. Otherwise, it is also good to have a mixture of personal and professional content. You can insert up to 30 hashtags per post, and that can get you followers so much faster.

At Twitter, always participate in conversations that are relevant to your industry of interest. This the Twitter profile of our speaker, and people come to her to speak about marketing and advertising, and she is always on the loop with the latest trends and strategies today.

Lastly, LinkedIn is where most hiring entrepreneurs and human resource managers go to see a potential employee. You should refurbish and continually update and beautify your profile to make sure it is professional but also authentic.

For the “about me” section, it has to be in the first person tense, and it is a space where one could showcase one’s personality, strengths, and any research interests. “Featured” section would be the achievements and feats that you have reached in the course of your career.

At the end of the event, we went into two discussion rooms to check out each other’s LinkedIn

This event brought about a breath of fresh air in how to address the lacking pieces of my LinkedIn profile, and therefore makes me think about reinventing myself and how I can be my own brand. I need to constantly attend events like this to challenge me that I am a work in progress and I have to continually create myself to be heard and to make a difference as well.

Social and Digital Connections

Blog Post #3: What is your parent strategy for developing your professional network online and in person? What activities and commitments are you making in the next 6-12 months to continue the development of your networks?

When I entered into McMaster University, a lot of doors opened for me. When I met my advisor, Dr. Belkhir, he made me feel like I am a person who will reach many pinnacles in life, as long as I kept my curiosity. Then there’s also my cohort, consisting of people from different backgrounds: Finance graduate in University of Waterloo, Mechanical engineering graduate in UBC, a software engineer based in the UAE – getting to know these people placed me in a whole new network of influence and connections.

Since our program is project-based, I got into a group of four, myself included, and we come from a pool of different cultures as well. This enabled us to function as a team properly, and try to learn from one another and even be nice to each other whenever there are bumps along the road in the course of our venture.

Not only that, I was also invited to be the Social Media Coordinator in one of our graduate organizations, School of Engineering Practice and Technology Society. This also expanded my knowledge in social media marketing and branding, as well as working with people from different backgrounds. I got to learn immensely from them and I believe they got to also learn a tad from me.

Recently, my organization had an event called Personal Branding lead by Emily Baillie, a Digital Marketing Professor from McMaster University, of which I spearheaded. Her main topic was about how we can reorganize and rebrand our own personal LinkedIn account. She gave various tips, like how we would write our “about page”, of which it has to be in the first person POV. She also mentioned that we only have one photo on our profile and that is our profile photo, so it should look professional but also authentic.

I think that would be one of my goals for the next 6-12 months, that is, to refurbish my LinkedIn profile and keep it updated. Also to continually connect with people from McMaster and to widen my social network through their connections as well.

Social Media for Business – Blog Post #2

Pepsi Co.

  • Strong Social Media Presence
  • Aggressive brand awareness and advertisement campaigns
  • Authentic in projecting their brands
  • People-centered and engages the customers

Pepsi Co. is one of leading social media campaigners and innovators in the soda industry. Its only rival is Coca Cola, and both of them are aggressively putting effort in their marketing strategies and execution. (Pratap, 2018). They invest capital onto their marketing and research development teams and it has brought significant results as net sales rose to 4.3% compared to the previous year. People want to see an authentic brand, and Pepsi Co. has delivered that to its customers (Kelly, 2019).

Pepsi uses Facebook mostly for brand awareness and recognition. Occasionally, they would reply to comments and engage customers on Facebook. Twitter has given a unique value proposition for Pepsi through “real-time marketing”, which engages the customers more often. They do not overwhelm their social media platform by overdoing their marketing, but a well-planned strategy just makes the difference, especially for brand recall. Instagram is a great platform for marketing through photos and videos. Pepsi has different profiles for different products, and they post photos and videos in relation to each of those merchandise. Their engagement is higher than that of Facebook, and therefore it suggests that their brand presence is strong. Pepsi also uses YouTube to upload a series of videos, like the “Uncle Drew” videos, that has gained millions of views (Pratap, 2018).

One of its successful campaigns was in one of their flagship brands, Doritos, in which they released the “Another Level” campaign. They took away the branding from their logo and instead added a Snapchat filter that allows people to take selfies that shapes their faces into triangles, depicting the Doritos chip. As they continue through their marketing campaign, they have created a database to store their insights and from there learn what are the next marketing strategies they could execute in the future (Kelly, 2019).

Canalside Soda Company

Canalside Soda Company is a local craft soda brewery situated in Niagara region. It started in 2019 with the help and support of the community, where people come and purchase their products in the heat of the summer months.

They are a small company, and their social media presence is fair. However, having only 900 likes on Facebook and 1,445 followers on Instagram indicates that there ought to be more social media campaigns and efforts within their market.

  • Understanding customer persona

It is first and foremost important for them to understand their customer persona, including the demographics, ethnographic, and the geographic perspective. This is done via a market research and segmentation through surveying, gathering and dissecting of data, and planning social media efforts based on that data. Once they receive formal feedback from these experiments, they are able to use the proper tools to learn and capture the market.

  • Understand different platforms and integrate them into the overall marketing strategy

Every platform has its own unique niche and the addition of new features, and the company should understand how to utilize all these platforms best, for example, TikTok for Business. With the Soda company, aside from doing old-fashioned marketing, they also need to start integrating how social media will also benefit their overall strategy(McCarthy & Moorman, 2021).

  • Engage the consumer and let them generate content

It is good that the Soda Company constantly advertises how their product is different from other competitors, given that it is locally made and extracted from organic materials. However, it is critical that one should engage its customer by understanding the online community, their trends that they are following on, and what they watch online. Once this level of interaction is set, the customers themselves will comment, share, and view the content provided. By understanding and addressing their wants and needs, the company is building brand loyalty amongst their market(Horton, 2012).

  • Hire the right talent

As more and more companies start to move their stores online, competition is tough to get the product to stand out in each and every platform. Hiring the right talent will spare the company the useless efforts in the wrong kind of campaign made by amateur social media marketers. The suitable person for this job will thing about how to make social media management agile, maximizing opportunities even in the pandemic, and putting up the right kind of posts.


Horton, C. (2012, May 17). 5 Ways Pepsi’s Use of Social Media is Right On. Social Media Today.

Kelly, C. (2019, December 9). Marketer of the Year: PepsiCo. Marketing Dive.

McCarthy, T., & Moorman, C. (2021, January 19). CMOs: Adapt Your Social Media Strategy for a Post-Pandemic World. Harvard Business Review.

Pratap, A. (2018, October 4). Pepsi Social Media Marketing Strategy. Notesmatic.

Blog #1 – COM0015

What are two favorite social media trend listening/monitoring tools and the two best sources of news and updates of interest to you?

Explain why you prefer those tools over others and the significance of the source as they relate to your professional development or organization interests.

Over the past several years, a plethora of multiple social media monitoring tools have sprouted from different brilliant companies. One of them is Hootsuite, a platform that Ryan Holmes developed in 2008 (Hootsuite, 2021). I currently use the platform to monitor different social media accounts that are related to my work and organization.

From my perspective, there are two things that are absolutely important for every website and mobile application. One, is user interface, and the other is user experience. On the Hootsuite website, I adored how the interface is simple, straightforward, and easy to use. All the important icons are placed at the leftmost side (Create, Streams, Publisher, etc.). Next to that is the social media accounts I added, and lastly, the streams of each account. It allows me to schedule posts on multiple accounts, pay for boosting, and read messages on one single platform.

One the other hand, the user experience was still excellent, however, I encountered a few drawbacks while using the site. The first one was that due to some privacy issues, Facebook is no longer allowing third party applications like Hootsuite to show users on the ‘mention’ stream. The second was that if an Instagram business profile is not connected to a Facebook profile, it cannot authorize Hootsuite to comment, post, or like. This is a drawback since my organization decided to permanently delete its Facebook page and retain just the Instagram account. Despite that, I still enjoy Hootsuite, and will continue to utilize it.

I considered two main factors as to why I have chosen this particular platform over the others, and that is the price and the functionality. I canvased other websites like Awario, Mention, and Sprout, but most of these were expensive for my current needs. I needed at least 10 social accounts I could manage alone, can reply messages in it, and had to have an account manager. Awario’s cheapest plan was $49/mo, but without the account manager. Mention had a plan for 10 social networks, but was charging $83/mo, not to mention Sprout charging $149 for 10 profiles. Hootsuite was charging all these functionalities for 29USD/mo (roughly 37CAD/mo).

Another tool I enjoy is Google Alerts. It’s simple and I can basically navigate through the platform quite easily than the others. Alerts can be directed to my email, which can be very convenient at times.

For my two best sources of updates, that would be Harvard Business Review and Facebook. HBR’s articles and magazines are an amazing source of information for current events, yet packaged in a well-written and concise manner. It talks about various topics like Strategy, Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and so much more. These keywords align to what my masters program is, and hence, why I like to keep reading them. Being in a class full of engineers and business graduates, I have to be at the top of my game all the time, even in this COVID season. And reading HBR helps me to stay sharp.

On a less serious note, Facebook is my best source of news updates especially regarding the happenings in my home country. People right away post current events even before the news broadcasts do. Even popular news anchors already update on their social media first than any other platform. It has its downsides, however, since fake news can travel a lot faster than it should. People can be quite opinionated and aggressive on the app, hence I am also careful on how to navigate whenever I am in it.

Despite that, being in all these platforms keeps me aware of the current trends, as well as the behavior of our customers. This helps me decide what to post, when to post it, and how to get the most out of it. Sometimes, it can be a ‘hit and miss’ or a ‘bullseye’ process, as my experience in social media for a while. I never really know if a strategy I execute will work or not. Sometimes it does, sometimes I lose paid ad money. All the more I need to learn how all of this functions, that way, I can optimize the results in any possible agenda and series of plans in the foreseeable future.


Hootsuite. (2021). About Us. Hootsuite.