COM0015: Blog Post 4 – Out of the Box

This is an interesting question to think about. And, really, I had to think about it. Social media is such an integrated part of our lives that it’s hard to separate the “new” from the “regular”. Upon reflection, I realized that the world (ok, a bit of a stretch) is a lot more transparent and we are having a lot more conversations. We have options and insights that we weren’t privy to in the past.

Consider for example almost any corporation or organization…even the government. In the past we were always “pushed” messages. Topic “X” is what we knew about and it was delivered in a certain way; the way that suited them the best. There is a lot more “pull” and that is a good thing!

We now have transparency, interaction and multiple points of view. Granted, this comes with hardships too. What I mean is; what piece of information to do you hold to be true? What side do you agree with? The good news is that you at least get to choose!

This leads me to my next revelation. We now need people to feed these conversations. Think about all of the people who are employed because of social media. Almost every organization has a content contributor or a writer who help to publish social content.

A lot has changed in such a short amount of time. I can’t wait to see what new applications we encounter!

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COM0015 Blog Post #3 Networking is the Name of the Game

networkingLike many people I struggle with finding the time to complete everything on my to-do list. Although I realize the importance of networking, the demands of my family and job take priority right now. That doesn’t mean I’ve thrown in the proverbial towel. I’ve decided to focus my networking mostly to online activities because I can manage that better than I can leaving to go to an event (I’m not quite comfortable with online meet-ups…maybe in the future).

I use LinkedIn as my base. I try to ensure my profile is up to date. I would like to have more testimonials that the two or three I have now, but don’t worry about it too much. I have found that I do receive a lot of unsolicited recommendations, which is great to see. I subscribe to groups, share articles of interest and post comments where I feel comfortable. New in-person contacts get prompt LinkedIn requests that I personalize.

I do take care to ensure that my Facebook page is consistent with my online brand. I don’t have weekend photos or stories, but rather choose to have more of a professional presence.

Social events like “Women’s Day” or even non-profit events and trade shows pop into my calendar throughout the year. When I attend, I make a point of introducing myself (as difficult as it can sometimes be).

I’ve come to realize how important networking truly is. I plan on continuing to improve my online networking while trying to attend more events throughout the year.

* Image care of: http://www.thedigitalagenda.org

COM0015 Blog Post #2 – Strong vs. Weak Organizations

Strong Organization

#1

Some organizations have capitalized on the use of social media more than others. I examined non-profit organizations to see if and how they use social media to engage their audience.

In terms of doing things right, I think that the Heart & Stroke Foundation has a solid social media strategy. Their website clearly directs visitors to all of their social platforms which includes Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. They even pin to Pinterest! They can also be found easily on all of their platforms and there is fantastic alignment of their brand across account.

Their content is easy to digest, fun to share and is updated frequently. There isn’t a lot of hard selling, or as you might expect, donation requests, but rather they base their messages around several key areas:

  • Research
  • Education
  • Prevention
  • Food/recipes
  • Real life examples
  • Donations
  • Advocacy
  • Volunteering

2The Heart & Stroke Foundation has a good number of followers across all of their platforms, but even more important is that their audience is engaging with them. Because the topic of health, disease and prevention are emotionally charged topics, the Heart & Stroke Foundation has done a good job of relaying optimism, and positivity. Their tone is consistent and exudes happiness.

#3

 

 

 

 

 

 


Weak Organization

#5I had a really hard time finding an equally visible non-profit organization with a weak social media strategy. Again, some just seem to make better use of their resources than others. I selected Community Living Ontario as an organization in need of a stronger social strategy.

Their social associations are not listed on their webpage and it isn’t clear if they are using social at all. It turns out they are on Twitter and have a decent following. Their page isn’t as bright as the Heart & Stroke’s feed, nor is it branded to look like their webpage. The messages are short and clipped and rather sporadic with posting. Their message isn’t overly clear, nor is their focus. Most of the posts centre around defense or retaliation of discriminatory statements or donations.

I believe they should have a more optimistic outlook and highlight the tools and services they can offer to people needing their organization. I would also suggest that they need to lighten their tone and demonstrate more of a personality. A blog might also be a useful tool to utilize to put a more personalized spin on some of their stories and descriptions.

COM0015: Blog Post #1 Tools & Sources

alerts

 

What do you do with so much information? You do some research, you get organized and you continually review your options.

I have tried multiple programs for social tracking and monitoring. I keep coming back to the same two.

My two favourite social media monitoring tools are Google Alerts and Hootsuite. I prefer both of these tools because they are easy to use, reliable, flexible and are widely accepted as good programs to use when looking to track and monitor social media.

In terms of news sources, there are so many out there to choose from! While I subscribe to a small handful, I prefer Huffington Post and an aggregator called CIP (Canadian Insurance Professional) Daily. Huffington Post gives me what I need from a personal standpoint – content for my personal social presence and those pages that I work on during my freelance hours. CIP Daily allows me to gather data for the social platforms I maintain from a professional standpoint.

The most important thing that I have realized is to not be afraid to try something new. Just because these are the sources I am using today, doesn’t necessarily mean that I will still be using them next month. With the amount of variety out there, I think it’s good to get some perspective as it many provide you with a new way of developing your social presence. I recommend using online bookmarking pages to keep track of source content that would make for good material.

*Image sourced from: googleenterprise.blogspot.com