Professional Development

COM0015 -Applied Social Media in Business

When I saw this assignment, I looked at a bunch of different professional development courses and tutorials.  I thought about this assignment for a couple of months and I could not get around the point that I took this course for professional development.  I have been working in Marketing for the last 6 years. Over the years I have taken a few classes through our internal learning portal but digital and social media marketing is something that is continuing to grow.  I wanted to ensure that I caught up to where everyone else in the field was and of course I want to surpass it to be and expert in my field.  I was looking for courses in social media and thought that this one would be helpful.

I have enjoyed this course immensely.  This is the last class for me to complete to obtain my social media certificate.  Through this experience I have gained more confidence on the areas that I was not as certain of before the course and I have learned where I have areas of weakness.  I found out that the area that I am not familiar with is reporting, monitoring and analytics. This is the last class that I have and this is the last assignment that I must complete in order to obtain my certificate.

In thinking about answering the question about will I take another course like this the answer is yes!  I have signed up for my next certificate that is focused on my area of weakness; Digital Analytics.  I have a plan to complete this certificate and I have started to research the next course that I will take to work towards some of the other areas that I would like to strengthen.

Over the years I have continued to invest in my education through schooling, volunteering, and on the job training. I was raised on a quote that luck is when preparation and opportunity meet.  I have been preparing for the next step that I am looking to take until that opportunity arises.  Once I am there, I start preparing for the next step that I would like to take.  I have found that in every course I have learned something that has led me to the next course.

Out of the Box

Blog #4 – COM0015

This course has been a very interesting experience for me. I have loved every course and I have learnt so much. When I started the course, I thought of social media just as Facebook and Snapchat.  I thought about social media as apps.  I have learnt to expand that thought to social media is place where people can meet socially on line.  It is a place where they can connect and share their stories.  I started to realize that there are many more platforms other than the big ones that everyone knows. When I searched how many social media platforms there were I was able to find a list of 17 that all had millions of users.  The list is as follows:

The list is as follows:


You Tube





Facebook Messenger




Sina Weibo







This list has some platforms that I have never heard of and it also does not include LinkedIn.  I never thought of LinkedIn as a social media platform. Nor did I consider Pinterest as one, but through this course I now understand that they are. 

I had not considered a lot of the possibilities with social media and the digital space.  It is all connected an it is extremely important to have a connected and cohesive plan for marketing.   When putting together a marketing plan you need to think about all the digital spaces that can be seen.  The misuse of an of the social media or digital space and change the course of your marketing plan drastically.  People are all on social media and are living a digital life but in order to utilize these appropriately it is important to understand your target audience to ensure that you are using the right platforms with the right type of communication to get to advertise your product.

I have also learned from this course that there is a lot of ways to monitor and measure your social media efforts.  This is something that I was not aware of.  I currently work for a large company and as naïve as it sounds the data just comes to us.  I do some basic interpretation of the data points from dashboards that are provided to me but I have never had to collect, monitor and fully interpret the information myself.  This is an area that I am now very interested in that I was not before this course.  I am now taking a new certificate to gain more knowledge in this area.  Thanks, this course has been wonderful and been very enlightening.

Professional Networking

Blog #3 – COM0015 – Applied social media in Business

When I started my career networking was spoken about a lot and very formally.  It was something that you had to lean on others to do.  It was about being the person that others wanted to introduce to others in their network.  It was hard because you never got close enough to executives to have them support you in your career goals.  When you did get the opportunity to meet someone often there was a lot of pressure to be fantastic but also get out as much of your accomplishments as possible because you might never get an opportunity again to impress this person and get them to invite you to be their mentee. 

Over the years networking has changed but its still such an important part of building your career.  I saw a move to more and more awareness of the need for networking opportunities.  In my experience companies started to take more stock in the employees that they had and wanted to maintain them and move them up the ladder and expand their career opportunities.  This was beneficially to the company   because investing in the employees that they have improves employee satisfaction, employee productivity and is more cost efficient.  One of the first things I noticed in this change was networking events throughout our company.  There was suddenly a lot of opportunities to attend networking events organized by my employer.  We did speed networking where there was a panel of executives and you met for 10 mins with each one and asked questions about how to advance your career into the areas of the company that you wanted to move into.

This is currently transforming again into a move digital way in conjunction with some more traditional ways.  Now we don’t seem to do as many networking events and moving toward platforms like LinkedIn.  LinkedIn is where professionals meet digitally. On the platform a persons resume; education and experience is told.  People look through LinkedIn has recruiters looking through the profiles and reaching out to poach people that have the experience and education for a position.  To increase your reach, I personally have joined different volunteer organizations to obtain new connections on the platforms.  I have taken courses and other programs to further my skill set while meeting new people that can further my network of people.  I believe that the digital platforms are the future of networking.

Personal Reflection

COM0014 – Blog #7 – Digital Communications

We can see story telling in all different languages from English to drawings and pictures. Telling stories is the way that people have been connecting to each other. The way that we tell the stories of our lives are how we get to know each other and how we tell others who we are.

With the growth of the digital space telling stories has changed.  The way that we are telling stories now in with the use of technology has taken all the previous forms of story telling and encompassed them all and the most recent technology that has made an impact to our stories is social media. 

This platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are places where the people can share their stories quickly in a variety of formats; videos, words or pictures.  If someone wants to tell their stories in more depth, they can always reach out to platforms like You Tube or blog sites on line.  These platforms allow anyone to share so there is endless content that anyone is able to consume.  The other different that this brings is the need to be critical of the content that is being consumed.  The ability to analyze the content and come to your own conclusions is extremely import with these platforms.

Through my exploration of the social media platforms, I learnt that it is important to keep my stories to the point quickly.  The attention span is slower in the newer generation. When I was in school, I only learnt one way of writing and through my exploration I have learnt that it is important to write in different ways for each of the platforms. 

Using more than one medium of telling a story makes the story more interesting and appealing. I am working to determine my writing styles but I am using the things that I have learned to diversify my portfolio and practice as part of the marketing committee for my local service club while working full time in email targeted marketing deployment.  I am looking to tighten my communications with more expressive content that is interesting to the audience of my choice. 

Do People Know Your Story?

COM0014-Blog post #6-F22-Digital Communication

share your story suggestion on a sticky note against grained wood

In an article by John Jantsch in his article, Do People Know Your Story?; there are a number of questions to tell a story around.  In reading these questions I am going to answer the following question: What is the greatest challenge your business must overcome? I will discuss this question in regards to the local service club that I am a part of. The greatest challenge that the service club has is getting up to speed digitally. There are a number of reasons that this is a challenge for the club and the consequence of not getting there is too great for it not to happen. 

In our current state the website that the club is using is archaic.  It is not able to perform basic functions and it is not safe to be putting any personal or club information.  The club is currently using Facebook for their social media needs.  We have no marketing and communications plan with a strategic use plan for getting our message out or to advertise our fund-raising events.  This is our greatest challenge because of the knowledge gap that the members of the club have in the development and use of technology. The majority of our members are in their retirement and or are not familiar with digital marketing and digital communication techniques.  

These digital short comings in the club are only the start of the reason that this is our biggest challenge to overcome.  Some of the reasons are as follows:

  1. Funding – being a service club we operate on funds that we raise to better the community and money that is raised from the public is put back into the public and not used to upgrade our website and digital abilities.
  2. Abilities and education – the club is made up of volunteers and therefore not all the are guaranteed to have anyone in the club that is able to complete the work needed to put together or execute on a marketing or communications plan.
  3. Resistance – Members are resistant to changes and are uncertain of the things that they don’t know.  The idea of introducing a marketing plan is scary to the members.

How we will overcome these obstacles?

  1. We will ask the district and the government for grants to upgrade our website and digital tools.
  2. We will develop templates and educational documents to assist members with completing the tasks needed to execute the communication and marketing plans
  3. Start small utilizing the social media platforms that the club is used to and adding other platforms in as we show how planning brings success.

We have put together a team of people from a bunch of different clubs that have expertise in communications and marketing in an attempt to overcome the above listed obstacles in the 3 ways mentioned.  If this is not successful the club may not continue. 

The reason that this project is so important because the success of the club hinges on this.  For the club to continue we need new members and continued participation of the community around us.  Statics show us that the world is online.  People find all their news and their entertainment online.  If you are not there then they don’t know who you are or what you are about. If we want to talk to our community, assist our community, and be part of our community we need to be where they are; online. This is our greatest challenge because if we don’t overcome this our club may cease to exist.

My Personal Brand

Post 5-COM0014

Developing a personal brand is important for career and personal development.  For myself it started with looking at how others viewed me and the qualities that I held that people didn’t know as well.  When I started to look at this people were describing me as argumentative instead of inquisitive and loud instead of passionate.  I was not being seen as I had hoped and it has been a journey to learn the ways that I could show my authentic self in a way that they people around me would view the way that I had hoped. 

This has not been a journey of becoming who others wanted me to be but a journey to how to show others who I really am and the qualities that are my real insides.  I wanted people to know the personal qualities and characteristics that I have that make me, myself and set me apart from others.  Some of these qualities are as follows:

  1. I am very trust worthy.  I will work hard to protect my team and set us up for success always.
  2. I am a Team Player and I will jump in to help our team whenever is needed.  Staying at work after hours to ensure that everyone on the team is succeeding.
  3. I have been through change many times in my career and I adapt well to change and can say I even embrace change.  I enjoy moving forward and learning and with that change is always a good thing.
  4. I love to learn and I am eager to do so.  I have taken many courses in many subjects and I am always looking for my next learning opportunity.

The last characteristic is one of the things that drives me to do the things that make me stand out.  During my career I have always been learning and once I have learnt that process or position then I learn ways to make things more efficient.  I have done this in every position that I have had.  In my most recent position I have made many enhancements to the process that make the processes more efficient.  I have developed my excel skills to an expert skill level to automate and prepopulate data that is needed to complete our work.  This showed leadership in finding the pain point and creating the solve for the problem and documenting the process enhancements to share with the team. This is one example of how I have shown my skills recently.

My best traits are all intertwined in who I am.  I was raised on a couple of things that my father said to me over and over.  He would repeat the following things to us kids over and over:

  • You have 2 ears and 1 mouth because we were designed to listen before we talk
  • If you are the smartest person in the room then you are in the wrong room
  • Luck is when preparation and opportunity meet

These instilled in me that we always have more to learn and we can always be better.  I believe that my collogues would say that my best traits are that I am always learning, that I am always sharing my learning and that I have exceptional organizational skills.  Its these traits that allow me to get more work done on my team and remain focused on my work.

Strong & Weak Organizations

Blog #2 – COM0015 – Applied social media in Business

Thinking of organizations that are impressive in their social media usage Amazon and Starbucks come to mind. Fitbit is an organization that needs to work on their social media usage and engagement.  These companies are all successful companies and they are all using social media but when looking at their social media strategies it could be better and change the organization to the better.

Amazon uses all the social media platforms in the strategy to drive awareness and sales to their page and products.  Over the years Amazon has perfected its use of social media to gain the trust and engagement of their audience. They use their platforms to promote their products and their services.  They link product posts straight to their website to purchase the products.  They use Facebook as their main social platform and Twitter as their output for content.  They link to pages with more information or blogs from their Twitter site.  Amazon has positioned themselves as an organization that is helpful, polite and fast on their responses.  If there is a comment, feedback or review left on their social media they respond within 24 hours. Amazon has even developed their own social media platform for communicating about shopping on Amazon called Spark.

Starbucks has a great reputation.  Everyone knows Starbucks and they have mastered the customer service journey with the personalization that each order brings. They write your name on your cup so when your order is ready, they can call you by name.  They are happy to make your order to the specifications that you want.  They are also killing it on their social media platforms.

Starbucks social media statistics:

  • 37.2 million Facebook likes
  • 11.9 million Twitter followers
  • 16 million Instagram fans
  • 153K YouTube subscribers

Fitbit on the other hand is using social media but they are missing a few things that I really think that they could do better to up their product.  Fitbit is a brand that is very good at being the first to the new abilities of the fitness activity watches but they have lacked in their engagement and lost customer because of this.   They have many negative comments on their social media platforms and they are not great at responding. 

They are not quick to respond and customers feel like they are not listening.  The negative reviews are met with suggestions that don’t match the feedback and customers are left feeling angry. They need to follow up and be more engaged on their platforms.  They also have posts that are not always clear that the are about Fitbit and sometime the Fitbit is not even in the ad. If Fitbit had a more robust social media plat it could have kept their fitness watch on the top.


Blog#4 – COM0014

When I think of a company that is doing everything right one of the first that come to mind is Amazon.  This is a company that seems to be endlessly growing and everyone know who they are.  Amazon has made it easy to get anything that you could think of delivered right to your house.  This is extremely convenient for the consumer but also for the seller.  This saves the very large cost of opening a brick-and-mortar store but also opens the possible clients up from only the people who can get to the brick-and-mortar store to everyone that can get access to the internet.

Amazon uses all kinds of platforms to reach its audience. On Facebook Amazon has 28.7 million likes on its page. They post content that is about all of their product and services and they respond to their comments and feedback.  The responses are polite and quick.  The responses are within in a 24-hour time frame. 

On Facebook you can find content about all of the Amazon family of products as well.  There is the Amazon Prime, Alexa and their tablets to name a few.  For all of the special events that arise over the year Amazon analyzes the data and uses Facebook to deliver up relevant ads.

Amazon uses Twitter in a different way than they use Facebook.  The Twitter feed is about advertising and linking to the blog content that they have developed.  Looking at their Facebook I see quite a few ads for their products and services using video.  This is a preferred consumption of content.  Consumers have a shorter and shorter time frame so short to the point videos are a great way to provide information about the product or service that they are selling.

Amazon uses a few other social media platforms:

  1. Pinterest for Amazon is essentially an extension of its main online store, with links from Pins straight to the Amazon page.
  2. Spark which is Amazon’s own social media platform for shopping.  Allowing customers to get to the site to purchase products directly.

Amazon uses social media in my opinion to the most.  Amazon is main social media platform is Facebook but from there they also strategically use other platforms is a way that ensures that people are aware of who they are and what their products our.  In my household alone we have multiple Fire Tablets and have had others in the past. We have Amazon Prime Video that we watch on TV each night for our entertainment. We also order most of the items that can’t be picked up at our local stores.  If you didn’t know or were unsure of Amazon at the start of COVID, when the store’s closed Amazon was the saving grace to get items that were not available.  Amazon is a great example of how to get to and be engaged with your audience.

Cross Stitch Target Audience

COM0014 Assignment #1 – Blog #3

As a kid I remember always looking for crafts to do.  My dad was a carpenter and his mother, my grandma knitted and sewed all kinds of things.  This creative side was something that I have always been exploring.  I enjoyed drawing and making all kinds of different things.  When I was 9 my parents got me a Precious Moments Cross Stitch kit as a gift.  Looking back, it was way too advanced for a 9-year-old but I gave it a try.  It was a counter cross stitch meaning that it was blank fabric and you had to count the squares from the paper pattern and complete the patten on the cloth. I messed it up almost right away but the challenge intrigued me and I tried another one and another one until I figured it out.  I have been doing these my entire life and I still love doing them.  I find it relaxing and keeps me busy doing something while watching TV at night. 

Over the years they have faded away.  The kits used to be found in a craft store like Michael’s or in Walmart and now you almost always have to order them online.  It seemed that although this was a craft embedded in our history it was fading and no one was doing it anymore.

With the emergence of Pinterest, I believe that we saw an uptick of people interested in these types of craft, being the ones that had started to fade out such as quilling, macramé, cross-stitch, crochet etc. Social media platforms gave the people who still did these crafts a place to connect and share. This helped bring the audience out to somewhere that was reachable.  Without social media and online visibility, the craft was not finding its people.

To find your target audience you can utilize Pinterest and Facebook quite easily. Pinterest is the platform where people go to get new ideas and share their own ideas and crafts.  The DIY trend that has been happening for the last couple of years brings all kinds of people to this platform looking for ideas on things that they can do themselves.  These people often share interests with the crafting community.  An article titled How To Target Facebook Ads To “Cross-stitch” Audience | AdTargeting, gives a lot of useful information on how to reach this target audience. 

The article lets us know the following stats:

  1. The audience size on Facebook is 8,003,460
  2. This audience is made up mostly of women at 89%
  3. The major age is 25-34 accounting for 30.75% of the audience
  4. 57% are in a relationship as engaged
  5. Majority have a college degree

Knowing these things can help develop the ads that would be developed.  For example, people in the age range of 25-34 are not likely to be drawn into the craft by images of flowery landscapes.  Instead showing kits of Harry Pottery is more likely to draw them to the craft.  This has happened in my own home.  I am interested in some of the flowery landscapes because of the complexity that they hold but my husband was not.  I showed him a cross stitch of Yoda and he has purchased it and is now learning to cross stitch.   Knowing what to show your audience and how to get there is a large part of engaging with the people who will be interested in your product, but there is more.

** The above images in the title gallery can be found at these links:

Horror Cross-Stitch

Lady Bug Black Work

Cross Stitch Facebook Group ***

Writing for social media

COM0014 – Assignment #1 Blog #2

Social media platforms are utilizing shorter and more to the point writing than in the past.  These platforms are hosts for conversations with your readers so engage them.  You should encourage them to post on your communications.  You want to write to intrigue your reader so knowing your audience is extremely important when writing on a social platform.   People are spending more and more time on their social media accounts, and they want to feel heard.  You need to know what problem you are solving for them with your communication and ensure that you get the across in the first few seconds of the communication. The way that information is relayed from one person to another is very important in how the information is interpreted, but attention spans have diminished so you need to do this quickly on social media.

This is something that I have been practicing for years.   This course reenforced the information that I have been given in the past.  In my work life I have been working on my storytelling abilities for the last couple of years and I must say I have come leaps and bounds from where I was, but it seems that there is always more to learn.

To make sure your story is heard there are a few things that I have leant:

  1. Make sure your spelling and grammar is correct.  This can distract the reader from the point you are making.
  2. Make sure you plan your story out.  Your writing should be organized and have a logical flow to the end.
  3. Write in the active voice.  This makes your writing more engaging.
  4. Know your audience and write for that audience.  You should change your writing style to suit the audience that you are writing for. 

These are the rules that I am learning through my work experience, and they have proven to be very helpful.  I have tailored my emails and presentations using these tips and have experienced a positive result. I have received better answers to my questions and proposals, but what this course has taught me is that writing for social media is different.  Your writing needs to be tailored to what is expected on these platforms.  Clear, precise, engaging, and authentic.