COM0015 – Blog 4: Out of the Box

The world of social media and digital marketing is vast and ever-changing. What was used several years ago can easily become outdated and replaced by alternative software. 

Some of the new applications that I have discovered in my social media journey and that I use regularly include: 

Follow Track

This is a free app that connects to your Instagram in order to provide you basic analytics of your account. It keeps track of your followers, who you are following, users not following you back, users you yourself are not following back, new followers, and followers who have unfollowed you. 

It also shows you how many posts you have, comments on your posts, amount of videos you have, average views per video, new followers amount per day, total likes, and average amount of likes per photo.

I mainly like to use this app to see who unfollows me after I have followed them, as many accounts are bots or just follow to get follows but will then leave your account shortly after.

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Analytics details


Another app I have discovered is Preview. This app is for Instagram and acts as a template for your images that you want to post.

Having a template is a good idea so that you can make sure your posts are cohesive and tell a particular story in presentation. 

For instance, here is a sneak peak at some posts I have been planning from my travels that have been edited to have a similar colour scheme and aesthetic.

blue crazy

My setup not yet published

PS Express

Following the Instagram theme, I have also been using PS Express to edit my photos from my phone. It’s a free app that acts as a limited photoshop.

With it, I have been able to change the colour of my photos to a more purple hue, as well as erase people and blemishes out of the background.

This is also where it’s important and healthy to remember that most of Instagram is curated—I see it as more of an art form than true to reality. 


Another new trend that I have seen in online advertising is putting your own image into the template of a phone or laptop. Essentially, this is presenting your information in a more technologically advanced way.

I have seen this from digital portfolios to hard-copy marketing pamphlets in order to make your presentation more neat and streamlined. 

insta iphone8

My Instagram through MockuPhone

Overall, these applications have been useful in my own endeavours in improving my Instagram account as well as learning new ways of presenting information. Keeping up with new technology is important to stay relevant and look professional across social media platforms.

What other applications do you think are upcoming in social media and online marketing? Let me know down below!


Ottawa Fashion Network: Event Participation

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Image from Facebook

Networking in person, especially in the winter, can be a struggle. When I saw this event on Eventbrite, an event management website, I thought I would give it a shot since I am interested in fashion and would like to meet others with similar interests here in Ottawa.

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My Golden Ticket

Not expecting the pouring rain, I still hustled myself over to the venue by myself and am glad I did. I was a bit nervous at first, since there weren’t too many people there and everyone seemed to already be in friend groups. The loud music didn’t help things.

However, luckily I found another girl who was also there by herself and sat near her. We got to talking after a little while, both glad to have someone to talk to and get to know!

Surprisingly, she was also in communications and we had a lot in common that we could discuss. I got her contact details (Instagram) and we plan on talking more later this week.

“You have to use what you have.”

When I was telling her all about my networking in London and how much more fun it was over there in comparison to Ottawa, she told me something that made me think which was about using what you have.

She made me rethink how I view Ottawa, and realize that there is a place for fashion and ingenuity in my home city. I always like to have new perspectives so I really appreciated that comment.

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What is different from in person events is all the preparation that is involved. I definitely spent a while planning what I was going to wear that would fit the ambiguous ‘dress to impress’ dress code.

After googling what to wear to a networking event, and what a ‘mixer’ even was, I settled on this hopefully chic look to the left.

The amount of effort it takes to look effortless is exhausting sometimes. The icing on the cake was being complimented not on my outfit, but the highlighter (makeup) on my face. Such is life!

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I was also able to see the guest list on Facebook. After scanning through, I found a designer whom I didn’t see at the event but thought was cool so I sent her a  message on Instagram.

You never know, maybe we’ll meet up some time as well! A mix between in person and online networking is key.

Overall, I am definitely glad that I went to this event and will go to more in the future when I can. I got out of my comfort zone and made a worthwhile connection. The Ottawa Fashion Network also reposted my snippet of their event, so I’m on their radar now as well which is great.

If that wasn’t enough, networking in person leads to some great appetizers! It’s rude to not eat the free food.

What kind of networking is more your style? Let me know in the comments!

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One of many events to come!

Blog Post #3: Professional Networking Now and in the Future

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Photo from Eventbrite

In the past while I was living in London, networking was easy. I would attend multiple events per week in the evenings after work, as well as connect online on LinkedIn and Instagram. 

There was always something going on, which made for a pretty hectic work week but kept up the excitement to the point where I never really had time to be nervous about meeting new people since it was so fast paced. 

Since being back in Ottawa, over the past few months I have definitely let the cold weather keep me more indoors. There’s not as much going on in terms of events, but through different search mediums I can get the most out of my location.

Eventbrite is a great source for finding events in cities all over the world. Some events cost money, but quite a few of them are free. You are able to search by location or key word, and input dates to refine your search. 

Another application I use to find events is Couchsurfing. This is primarily an app that lets you find hosts for free accommodation. There is also a feature where you can search for events in whatever city you are in.

I was able to network and meet amazing people in Paris, for example, when I was doing photography for a festival. We met at the Louvre, all not knowing each other, had a picnic and then went to the festival together. How cool is that?

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Couchsurfing friends and I in Paris, Lollapalooza 2017

Currently, I have been looking at Facebook events to see what events are coming up or that show friends in attendance. Eventbrite is also still a great tool to find both online and in person networking events. 

In the next 6-12 months I will be working at a new job, so I hope to network as much as I can there and meet new people. I also plan to attend any relevant events I can find that interest me or can aid in my professional development. 

After meeting someone in person, I could also be more vigilant in connecting online via LinkedIn as well. Making the extra effort and keeping in touch with people is necessary to building that connection. 

Instagram is a growing platform for networking—following certain hashtags can allow me to find new people or brands to connect with that may share my same interests. 

I would like to attend at least one in person networking event per month—whether for work or for personal endeavours. I also want to post three times per week on Instagram with insightful and artistic content highlighting my photography or other skills. 

Just showing up to events is half the battle for me, since I can be quite anxious when I am by myself—but I also realize that I have the most potential for networking when I am alone as it forces me to get outside my comfort zone.

When I attend events I usually like to set a goal, like talking to three new people and collecting at least one business card or contact information. Making one strong connection is better than saying hello to many people and not fully resonating with anyone. 

Connecting online is generally much easier than in person; however, if I can get through to someone in person and then follow up online, that is my preferable route to building a strong professional relationship. 

What is your favourite way to connect? Let me know in the comments!

COM0015 – Blog #2: Strong and Weak Organizations

There are many organizations all over the world that implement excellent social media strategies and create campaigns that are meaningful to their audience. One of these is a corporation that most of us are familiar with:


I saw a post recently on Facebook about Nike and their new “Dream Crazier” ad that features Serena Williams and other female athletes. I found it very inspiring where it goes on to promote gender equality and seeks to reduce stigma on what it means to be “crazy”—rather than regarding women as emotional, acknowledging their outstanding capabilities. The video was also released in good timing since International Women’s Day is just around the corner.

There is also a separate Nike Women page that highlights amazing achievements by female athletes. This page seeks to be more inclusive and celebrate diversity—one example is when they released the Nike hijab for muslim women. Although controversial since some customers did not agree with bringing religion into the brand, discussion increases engagement and creates change.

Nike Women

Photo by Nike Women on Instagram

On top of creating relevant content, Nike has their popular “Just Do It” slogan and that is all over social media and merchandise. They are also consistently active across all social media platforms. Nike is definitely a corporation that is jumping on the bandwagon of social change, and although not everyone wants that from a brand, it’s definitely something that seeks to provide engagement and transparency.

University of Ottawa

Another organization a little more close to home that I find has an excellent social media strategy is the University of Ottawa. Having done my undergrad there, I have seen how they have improved over the years online.

I saw them post on Facebook last month about their Wellness Week: a week full of free activities for students like discussions on stress management, yoga classes, and even a pet therapy day which really caught my eye since I love animals. I can see how that catches attention while also trying to connect with the students on a more human level.

They are also active on Facebook and Twitter, along with having blogs which provide opportunities for engagement through comments. Content is also bilingual which is important being a bilingual university and capital.

Also keeping up with changes in technology—the University of Ottawa makes use of the highlights feature on Instagram to divide content into categories like winter activities, mental health, exam tips, questions to students, and club information.


Image from uottawa on Instagram

Using these highlights to ask questions directly to students is a great way to engage and provide a more authentic experience for the students.

There is one organization that I found which could improve upon its social media strategy:

Mood Disorders Ottawa

With events like Wellness Week taking place at the University of Ottawa and the rise of campaigns like Bell Let’s Talk, the need for mental health awareness has never been stronger and more talked about than it is now. But it can always be better.

When looking specifically for organizations in Ottawa for those affected by mood disorders, I found Mood Disorders Ottawa (MDO) which is a peer-run volunteer organization. They host a variety of support groups and counselling for those affected by things like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, along with the families of those affected.

They only have two posts on Instagram and only post about four times per month on Facebook. I found one comment on their Facebook page about someone who found their organization just through a web search. They wrote that the support groups were helpful and provided hope for the future.

Improving their social media strategy could help many more people in Ottawa who would not have known that the organization existed. By posting more frequently and consistently on Facebook, they could build their community and give the information that could save lives of those affected with these disorders. Posting on Instagram consistently and using the highlights feature could increase engagement and help people not feel alone.

Overall, social media can be isolating when used improperly. Content must be consistent and authentic when trying to reach any audience—as well as motivating and inspiring while keeping up with the times. Doing all of this right might just get you the engagement you need to succeed across social media.

COM0015 – Blog #1: Tools and Sources


Photo by Ada Love on

In today’s day and age where multitasking is the new norm it can be difficult to manage our time effectively. We can be consumed by having so much to do in such a little amount of time that any tools which can help us select and analyze the information we need most are extremely useful.

Whether it’s using these tools for your own personal brand or for social media strategies in a business, the main goal is to minimize stress.

Think of it like yoga for the body. We can stretch our muscles and sharpen out focus, self-reflect upon what’s working for us and what we could improve upon. Just like these tools help us organize our thoughts by scheduling posts, and seeing what can be done better through analytics, it’s important to use these tools properly to get the most out of them.

So what tools are most useful?

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is great. I can use it to monitor the web for topics that interest me, like keeping an eye on digital marketing and public relations key words as those are the career paths I am pursuing.

I like that I can tailor my search results and listen to what trends are changing to stay on top of social media trends related to business.


I like Buffer because it’s simple. I know a lot of people who praise Hootsuite as the end-all for social media scheduling and monitoring, and I do find it great when managing multiple platforms at once, but I prefer the streamlined interface of Buffer more user-friendly for personal use of just my own accounts.

I found an interesting article comparing the two here, which points out the different features each has to offer in case anyone was curious.

Simply scheduling my posts and having analytics which show me basic engagement is enough for now, though I would consider adding Hootsuite as a complementary feature.


Aside from listening and monitoring tools, we also gather our precious news from many different sources that best suit our needs.


I love Facebook because it not only acts as an access point for communicating with my friends and family, but also is a great feed of news updates depending on whom you follow.

I personally like to go to Facebook for my motivational updates. I follow pages like Inc. Magazine, which shows ways to better improve yourself and bring success to things you do, and Girls LOVE Travel®, which is a community of women from all over the world who talk about their adventures and ask for advice.

On top of motivational pages, I can get my daily news from places like CNN or the Ottawa Citizen, which keeps me informed on what’s happening in the world.


In contrast to Facebook, I like to use Instagram for more creative purposes.

Since I am into fashion and would like to work with environmentally-conscious brands in the future, I follow many on Instagram to get a better understanding of international brands that maintain my interests.

A couple of the pages I regularly check on for news include Global Fashion Exchange, a page focused on news relating to sustainability in fashion, and LONDRĖ Bodywear, a Canadian brand that I love which makes swimwear out of recycled water bottles.

Having interests in photography also makes this an excellent source as it presents information largely through images which can sometimes be more powerful, and more concise, than articles themselves.

With all of the different news sources available today, it can be overwhelming to try to consume so much at once. What is your favourite news source or monitoring tool that keeps you sane? Please let me know!


COM0014 – Blog Post #7: Personal Reflection

What is the best part of any great story?

Stories have the power of commanding our attention, not through facts, but through their very experience. What we take away from stories leaves a stamp on our memory because of the emotional ties that are created when we first read or hear them.

For digital content, as opposed to traditional word-of-mouth or print media, captivation is even more important because of the competing information we are fighting against. Social media is a great tool for information, but it challenges us to up our creative game when it comes to developing interesting, yet character-limited content.

In my own writing, being able to jolt an audience from their electronic coma is important. Being both authentic and relatable, while maintaining witty dialogue, gives my audience a reason to stay with me.

The main thing I want to do is create a connection from my side of the screen through to many others, opening a door for discussion and the exchange of ideas. This felt connection can then provide inspiration to those in the same boat as the storyteller, and insight to people viewing this boat from the shore.

Regardless of position or perspective, there is something for everyone to take away from a story, so we better make it a good one.

After all, great stories live on forever, especially when stored in cache.

COM0014 – Blog Post #6: Do People Know Your Story?

What is your greatest achievement?

For almost my entire life, it seems, I’ve struggled with identifying exactly what I want to do in the future. Breezing through primary and secondary school with a tendency to do well in most disciplines, I wasn’t too sure where to go from there. My mother is a teacher and her father a professor, so I thought I could probably teach since volunteering at my mother’s school had of course been fun in the past.

Then university came, and majoring in English seemed like the predestined choice, a seemingly perfect match for the girl who loved to read and had a knack for creative writing. And although I enjoyed the people I met and the learning taking place, there was an aspect of excitement missing. I knew I could handle the road I was headed down; after all, it was in my blood. After convocation, began the months of limbo; I was neither inclined to work on my MA in English nor get my teaching certification.

Insert Google, my holy grail and information database. After pages (you know you’re getting desperate when you’ve past page 14) of links related to jobs for my degree, I found a tiny source of light buried under piles of uselessness. It was in that moment that I first felt excitement about public relations and all of the possible opportunities. Through my inability to settle, I found something that I could see myself doing for a long time. I think that this resilience is my greatest personal achievement, as it changed my whole direction and perspective on life from a simple state of being, to something with a greater purpose.

COM0014 – Blog Post #5 – Personal Brand

One of my most consistent traits is my exceptional ambition. As an achiever, I happily fill my schedule to maximum capacity. I am currently working full-time hours in retail; simultaneously, I am taking two courses with Algonquin and one separate course working toward a different certification.

I volunteer on my days off with social media at the University of Ottawa’s Alumni Association, while also working daily on my personal social media accounts. I just reached 3000 followers on my Twitter page I started posting regularly to this past September, which gives me a sense of accomplishment.

Socially, I continue to make connections relevant to public relations, my desired field, both online and in person. I love spreading knowledge, which I find social media incredibly useful for.

I also thrive with intense deadlines, finding the added pressure exciting and motivating. Fast-paced is the way I enjoy my days, and constant adventures, whether professional or recreational, give my life meaning.

Additionally, I have a talent for processing information, and sorting through piles of research rarely intimidates me. I enjoy the process, rather than just the outcome, of learning. Thinking deeply is a necessity for me and often leads to future insight.

For me, tutoring throughout high school and editing papers for friends in university provided a certain thrill, as I was seeing through complexities and finding the best path to understanding or more concise writing. I continue to enjoy intellectual discussion and see reflection as the solution to complicated situations.

Lastly, I am deeply strategic and consider every possible factor to a given situation. I also pay extreme attention to detail, as you never know what tiny bit of information will be crucially important.

All of these characteristics make up who I am and who I will continue to be in the future.

COM0014: Blog #4 — Maybelline B2C

When I think about a beauty company who is active on social media, I immediately think of the Maybelline commercials on TV with that catchy, Maybe She’s Born with it, Maybe it’s Maybelline slogan.

Not aware of their social media activity, I am glad to report that they seem to be doing well across various platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest. This immediately perked my interest into a short analysis as a B2C business.

I like their Twitter page, as it comes across as personable. Maybelline doesn’t just promote their products, but creates an entertaining story. They present funny quips about beauty, along with inspirational quotes on confidence. They also give surveys and engage in #TipTuesday hashtag campaigns. Additionally, they are quick repliers and use emojis, which is a fun touch.

Maybelline New York

Maybelline New York

They do not post too often on YouTube, and have a smaller audience, but they do have informative makeup tutorials. Snapchat extends the #TipTuesday hashtag from Twitter to create quick, unique tutorials through snaps.

Instagram and Pinterest both post pictures of their products in packaging and on models. They also do giveaways through Instagram that increases engagement with their audience.

Maybelline New York

Facebook, however, is slightly different. Of all their platforms, Facebook has the largest audience base, with just over 4.7 million followers. With such a large audience, they do not seem to reply to customer concerns authentically (as in, you can tell it is a scripted message) or in a timely (sometimes weeks later) manner. This strikes me as needing improvement.

Other than that, I love Maybelline’s online activity and am impressed that they carry across so many platforms! It really is important in reaching the largest audience possible.

Do you think companies should reply more personably in comments, or is the one-message-for-all approach fair?

COM0014 – Blog #3: Fashion Online

I have had an interest in fashion for as long as I can remember. Treats when I was a kid included the latest issue of Teen Vogue or Seventeen magazine. Now, as a young adult, instead of collecting pages of photo shoots on my wall, I have Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

On Twitter, I have curated content specifically for fashion and beauty lovers. I post all kinds of articles, from fashion bloggers to mainstream magazines. I think a large part of my audience includes the 18-30 age range of mostly female, middle-class individuals. I also have many followers from the UK (as I will be visiting in the fall).

Twitter is the best way to communicate with my audience. Lists are especially useful for organizing influencers and bloggers. Hashtag chats are another fun aspect of Twitter.

One successful and well-known fashion destination is Who What Wear. This was one of the first fashion content distributors that I followed on Twitter. Another is Oracle Fox by Amanda Shadforth. Lastly, Harper & Harley is a fashion blog that I started obsessing over on Pinterest and quickly followed on other social media platforms.

What do these three examples have in common?

  1. They are all streamlined
    • There are many sites out there that are filled with noise. De-cluttering the format and design of a website pulls everything together and makes for a more enjoyable experience.
  2. They are all monochromatic
    • Just my personal style—but I love greys, whites and varying shades (yes, it’s a colour!) of black.
  3. They are all chic and classy
    • Less is more, in my books. Minimalist style and clean lines really take the cake!

Well, there you have it! Have any of you taken your interests and applied them directly to your personal accounts? Do you separate them across platforms?