Starting out in this program I thought I was fairly comfortable with social media and the online community in general. After a few short days-I quickly realized there was much more to this internet world than meets the eye, and it continued throughout every course!
Along the way I have found so many new and surprising things that I didn’t know existed before attending Algonquin’s social media program; but one that really caught my attention was “Facebook Analytics & Business Suite”. I had been using Facebook/Instagram on a weekly basis for work, not knowing most of these tools even existed and were actually so simple to use. After learning about listening and monitoring-I quickly jumped on the train and found so much information that I had no idea was even there! Facebook Analytics gives me data about my audience (average age, location, gender, times using the app), the content I create, engagements and so much more. Not only does it show me Facebook insights, but now with the link of Instagram on Business Suite-I can see both platforms at the same time; helping me compare where my audience goes to. I seriously recommend trying this out for your own business or company needs-it’s also FREE!
Overall, this entire program has truly shed some light on what is available to you- if you simply search and look. I have learned new skills, found new networks, broadened my online knowledge and simply brought myself “out of the box” when it comes to the social persona I had before! Where I go from here is a loaded question, but I look forward to finding my path. Good luck to everyone graduating this course, I’m sure some of us will cross paths in the future ❤
Looking back at 10 years ago, I never thought that I would be this versed on social media etiquette; let alone attending college for it! If I can come this far and turn back to astonish myself with the progress, then I’m very curious to see what the future holds for my social media presence.
Whether it’s work, personal or even a mix of both-I’m always so nervous that I actually have no clue what I’m doing online (not even kidding). Somehow I sit down- or actually do 10 other things while working online and scare myself with how I manage to create some of the content I do. I’ve been taking a lot of time to monitor other social media accounts, companies and read information beneficial to what I’m doing; it has seriously been a godsend. Monitoring, listening and all that jargon seems really boring and tedious, but it actually gives you some really interesting insight on what’s happening in your business/industry.
Broadening Networks, Online & Offline:
I recently posted an ad of sorts on Facebook to my friends, family and coworkers-about how I’m graduating from Algonquin and therefore will be looking to add to my resume. The amount of feedback, post shares and leads I got was astonishing; crazy how something so simple can open so many doors. Not only am I using my personal social media to find new connections, I’m also slowly trying to learn about LinkedIn and grow a professional network there. There is so many colleagues of Loblaws, as well as many other corporations and companies that network within the platform-giving me access to so much in one place.
As for offline connections, I grew up in a smaller town- meaning everyone knows each other… making connections a little easier! I recently was contacted by a family who moved their dairy farm from Brantford, ON- and was looking for help on and off. They have already given me so many branched opportunities and I will actually be doing photos and a catalogue write up for them this coming spring.
New Job Venture
From the outsourcing and creating new connections, came a job opportunity to get a feel for the social media/digital marketing career path. I have a friend who lives in London, On, working for an agricultural seed company-and they are in desperate need of a complete media overhaul. He wants to rebrand, redesign and reissue themselves online; I’m so excited to help bring them into the modern generation of social networking! Their logo is quite outdated, and they have never learned about monitoring/listening to what the customers are saying… so this is a huge step for the company. My plan is for this to kickstart my presence and get name/face to who I am-eventually opening up more potential jobs and positions.
When it comes to the next 5 years, I have no idea where I’ll be-or even what I might be doing with my career path. I’m very excited to let things happen as they want to, and from there take advantage of all the opportunities I can. Where do you hope this program takes you? What have you started doing to grow your presence and social media persona?
When I look at the difference between companies in regards to their social media, I like to consider each business as having the potential to become “strong”. The definition of weakness is “the state or condition of lacking strength”; and therefore capitalizing on the areas where the company may be lacking -can create the opportunity to be one of the strong ones.
This past year has brought many challenges for small businesses-and keeping it local is something we all have seen across our social platforms/communities. I’ve really been focusing on some of my fellow companies in Kemptville, trying to learn from those who are stronger in the social media game, and even from those who aren’t! Just because a company might be weak in some aspects of presenting themselves online-doesn’t mean they don’t have their strengths as well.
This is a perfect example of someone who’s main weakness is lacking a bit on the presence of their company-BUT are strong when it comes to knowing what their customers are looking in relevant/attentive content.
“B&H Your Community Grocer is Kemptville’s only truly independent grocery store. We specialize in local produce and meat on top of a great selection of hand made in store baked goods and ready-made meals!“.
Above is their facebook business page description and they are keeping in line with what they state by supplying their customers with exactly that! Local produce from apples, cucumbers, broccoli, and strawberries; as well as legitimate local grass fed beef! With so many larger companies importing their products and COVID-19 taking such an effect on small businesses-it’s a well known fact that customers are looking to support local when given the opportunity.
When it comes to the weaknesses, I look at the platforms their business is available on and the lower consistency of social media participation. Currently they only post content to a Facebook page and run a website (which could use some work on architecture), but they are making an attempt and that’s a step in the right direction! Both these weaknesses could stem from lack of funding or skilled man power to implement the extra work into their social profiles-but I believe investing the time and labour would be absolutely worth it for their business. They have 3,350 page likes on their Facebook profile and get upwards of 50+ engagements on most posts-that is amazing potential for something great to be created. ( I work for a huge company tied to Loblaws, and our page only has 975 page likes! Think about that!)
For my example of a strong company, (still keeping it local) I went with a business I recently used for an assignment as well; and I loved working with one of the coaches to learn a bit about their social media strategies.
Another relevant focus for people during a pandemic where there is nothing to do… working out! This small business has expanded since their opening days and still managed to keep in line to the morals they started out with.
“Here at CrossFit Kemptville, you can be a part of more than a gym, you can be a part of a community with like-minded people all striving for health and wellness. Our philosophy of a healthier lifestyle is developed through medium size classes, instructed with the highest qualified coaches in the area.”
Reading through some of the information on their website, incorporated blog, Facebook and Instagram-I found that this tied perfectly with their social presence and content shared. I saw so many photos of coaches working with small groups, people looking happy and the gym looks to create a sense of belonging.
They are currently closed due to the lockdown in Ontario, but are still doing their best to implement workouts through social media on their business pages-as well as coaches personal profiles as well! Sharing daily ideas for at home exercise, challenges and much more. You can tell everyone is eager to get back into the gym and be able to support one another face to face. But until then-their content and social support is sufficing.
Though this company is the stronger of the two I’ve discussed, they still have areas for improvement too. When searching for “Kemptville CrossFit”, the first search result you get on Google, is their old website. This can be confusing for some customers and maybe taking the positives from the old site and adding them to the new one-would be a benefit to them. Also, their social media content is well chosen-but it could be more often; yes, less is more sometimes but being that they are closed temporarily-invest the time into this while it’s available!
Overall, the comparison of these two companies is very close when it comes to whether they are considered strong or weak, but each has it’s own steps to take in order to become the best of themselves. I had a difficult time finding a company that was really guttering when it came to their social media, and maybe that’s because I’m not versed enough in looking for the red flag; so did anyone else find it hard to dig up a really bad example for social media? (Other than an obvious google search related fail of course)
Being the one and only member of our social media team, makes monitoring and listening difficult sometimes… and don’t forget tedious. Extremely tedious.
My company mainly uses Facebook and Instagram as our content sharing platforms, therefore it makes sense to connect and follow things off these platforms as well. Recently I have found an amazing app called “Mention”, it is a paid service-but you can sign up for a free 14-day trial… which I have time and time signed up for, using different emails. Savage I know…BUT it’s worth it. I can pick 4 companies, brands or products to follow-because it’s a free trial-and then it grabs me posts tagged from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogs etc.
These are my current keywords/brand tags, and it’s making work so much easier right now!
Though this app is a great way to monitor large amounts of global posts/mentions at a time; though I also like to check my local Facebook groups/communities as well. These families of people are those who shop right here, at our store-and can give us detailed experience/feedback about just us! I have my staff around the store help me out a bit with this-as obviously there are many local groups, and I can’t be on them all at once. Staff member sees a positive or negative blurb about our store, they screen shot, message or text the issue right over to me. Teamwork at it’s finest!
All in all, listening and monitoring can be a bit overwhelming for sure; but that’s why companies and entrepreneurs have found ways to make it easier. Try out Mention and let me know what you think!
“Image 1” & “Image 2” are both retrieved from my personal listening platforms.
The strength behind a good story is capable of connecting people on a different level; and thanks to social media, you can share that story, that moment, those words- all across the world.
Starting in grade school, I’ve always had a strength with words and have always been moved by them. But I never saw myself being a writer of books, or a journalist… I didn’t really know what else to do with my strength. This course actually helped me realize that connecting and sharing my story doesn’t have to be done the old fashioned way. Being able to get my story out there and to share with people the things I’ve been through, or have done is rewarding.
Starting a conversation that most people don’t want to start- because they’re too afraid no one else is thinking it… is how I plan to incorporate the importance of story telling into my social media. Storytelling and sharing is honestly the centre of human connection and social media is just a stemmed part of connection-a way to broaden your reach.
Do you remember a story you saw on social media that really moved you? Did it make you cry? Feel happy? Feel connected? That’s what good content is all about… creating words and photos that show people-we’re all human. It also gives them a sense that other people do understand, we listen and we want help improve life!
Have you ever sat and thought about what really got you where you are? Was it the people in your life? Money? Ambition? Hope? Whatever has driven you to this place in time, and to this part of your life is part of your story; a unique representation of solely YOU.
I constantly do for others, and forget myself. I worry that I won’t be accepted because of the things I’ve done-and the choices I’ve made. I am absolutely so tired of helping other people get ahead in life; it amazes me how many people take, take and take… but never give back. I always said I wanted to stand up and speak for the people who aren’t ready to… for the men… the women, whoever is or has ever felt not good enough. But I never could find the starting piece to the puzzle; something that I was good at, something that also made the world better.
I based my blog off my personal happenings because I saw this as the best way to put my foot in the door and say I tried… that I tried to help; even if it’s one or two people who get something from what I write. It’s more than what I had accomplished sitting there thinking about it.
Watching the “Jeffery Epstein” documentary on Netflix is honestly what kickstarted my inner thoughts to compile. There was a young woman who created the hashtag across social media “#metoo“,and the world exploded. Knowing that something so small like that can give people the courage to speak, showed me that my writing could do the same. I don’t mean they need to speak out publicly… but simply to a loved one, to a friend, a family member… someone. The conversation can be started and it can honestly do wonders.
When you’re asked to describe yourself… it’s like your mind tries to find things you’re terrible at-just so you don’t sound conceded. But at some point or another, you’ve analyzed your strengths and you know deep down, they’re your own -and they’re important.
One thing that took me a long time to realize about myself is my dedication…my work ethic when I put my mind to something. My loyalty and strength to push through the most tedious boring tasks-is amazing. No, I don’t WANT to do these tasks, but somehow-someway my mind goes into it’s own world and gets it done. Things other people don’t want to do, or don’t have the patience to do; that’s usually my calling.
I can be a very independent person and I find that comes out in my words each time I write. My opinions are usually based on what I truly think-not what I might be swayed to think or do by trends. I’m different, I know I’m different and I guarantee there is other people feeling the same way-that’s where true opinions come from.
If you asked my mother, my grandmother, my brother or sister… I guarantee the common word used to describe me would be reliable. I’m there to help take down the Christmas tree, shovel the sidewalk in the middle of a snowstorm, wash the dishes after a family dinner and be the last to leave-making sure the cleaning up is done and my grandparents are safely on their way home. I’ve realized life is short, and sometimes the smallest things will leave a mark on people’s hearts and minds; so that’s the person I’ve become.
It’s hard to find people who hold the door, carry the heavy box upstairs, help take groceries to the elderly woman’s car or even stay late at work to help in busy times-without being asked; the purity of kindness is kind of disappearing… so one thing I’ve promised to myself-is that I leave this earth being one of those people!
In a world that is constantly looking for whatever makes life easier… Amazon’s B2C side of the company -has taken the market by the reins.
Whether it’s music, tv, digital books or a wide spread smorgasbord of shopping, Amazon has it. They see how the world is evolving into a “less work-the better” consumer based audience and they have literally created the current answer to all your lazy needs.
Pay a monthly membership, and reap the rewards beyond your wildest dreams!
“Free two-day shipping on over a hundred million items.
Free overnight shipping on select items.
Instant streaming of thousands of TV shows and movies.
Instant access to thousands of books on Kindle.
Instant access to thousands of songs on Prime Music.
Additional discounts and perks.”
With the use of this membership, they gain a monthly income, but also income from other purchases made on their websites as well. I don’t know about you, but when I see “free shipping” it makes it even easier to purchase that sweater I REALLY don’t need… but Hey! I’m saving money not driving, and not paying shipping… It’s a win, win-right?
They market themselves well, and follow through on customer loyalty and service to boot. Your package got delivered to someone else’s home? Amazon just refunds it and sends you a new one because it’s cheaper and easier than paying someone to track down where this package went! How to calm a situation at its finest.
They’ve introduced so many strong movements to the Business to Consumer game, I’m very curious to see where they take the company in years to come. Where do you think Amazon will end up in 5 years? 10 years? I mean they have drones that deliver packages in some locations… what does the future hold?!
Before a customer spends their hard earned money-they analyze many things about where and what type of company they’re buying this product or service from. To earn that purchase and customer relationship, means finding exactly what your consumers needs and wants might be.
Being in the business of grocery, is something that can reach a vast group of people; and I have found it very hard to pin point an audience to specifically focus on. My largest concern recently, when it comes to our marketing and “story telling” has been based on our PC Express department.
Why? During Covid the online grocery service became a HUGE demand from many of our customers, and we tried to rise to the occasion; and meet the needs of our community. The issue I’m facing is not a specific group of people are using this service (ex: Just seniors or just young families), so how do you relate and market to a wide group of people? You find the one thing (or few) that relates and is bringing them to look for a service of this type… COVID/Restrictions of life.
When COVID began, many of my senior shoppers were opting to use our online grocery service to avoid entering the stores-which is great- but technology isn’t always the simplest thing to wrap your head around. The issue was website crashes, seniors having difficulty with their laptops or tablets/smartphones. So when we caught wind of how difficult it was, we created a “How-To” post on trying online grocery. This caught people’s attention and they appreciated that we were willing to take the time to understand, relate and understand to the elderly customers.
Another thing I have tried to focus on is the families who have schedules… that are busier than “Downtown Montreal at Rush Hour”; and how we can help. I’ve slowly been learning to listen around, look at what meals are trending or maybe what new products we get in the store. Then, we do posts saying “Easy Dinner” or promote our 20 minute meal kits. People are always looking for something to make meals easier, and that’s what we’re marketing!
I’m currently the only person running social media and I’m not going to lie, it’s a lot! But my concern with adding more people is being able to make sure they understand HOW to respond and deal with customers online. It’s not the same as talking to your friend from high school or maybe your parents even… it takes a great deal of reading a situation through a computer, and realizing you still might not be right in understanding the customers tone. Replying with a relatable, personable but yet professional tone-is something hard to keep to form when you get more than a few people involved in responses. So… for now I’ll be a lone wolf on Facebook and Instagram.
“Featured Image” retrieved from Pexel Free Images on November 21st 2020
The art of writing and story telling is something we likely all participate in- and more than likely don’t even realize.
Keeping in line with our own style of verbal/written execution or following one that suits those of our audience-is the key to keeping it real. Most people who are reading content on the internet tend to skim and look for whatever interests them… So where do you want the most important information? Right here-in the beginning, making it easy and quick to get exactly what they need from your article or blog!
If the reader is interested and finds the writing or story to catch their attention, they’ll read further-where you offer information that is supportive or evidential. This part of the writing could also contain an argument, background to the above story or include an expansion of it to give your reader the whole idea. You could even throw in a photo or video to add more texture!
Lastly, the information provided near the end of the article is stuff the reader could probably live without, but it does tend to sum up the end of your story/article. Because without an easy flow of words, your writing can become choppy and confusing; leaving the reader with a void in what they just read! So, remember-most important first, the support second and the “optional” info last; and don’t forget to keep in line with the communication style you’re writing for… it makes the story exceptional!
“Featured Image” retrieved from Pexels Free Photos