Since the start of the Pandemic, transitioning to online working has increased the need for tools and systems to allow more efficient communication and ways to network internally and externally. Speaking from my organization, quick transitions were required. Our IT team had been working with programs like Microsoft teams that have effective chat and sharing channels. Rolling the program out across the country provided some hiccups but eventually everyone was on board. Using tools like teams has actually increased the ability to communicate with teams across Canada. This in turn has increased the ability to network internally with employees we may not have had the chance to collaborate with before.
Tools like zoom have allowed the opportunity to network with groups and organizations that once only functioned in person. Now you can attend any networking event or online certification without having to leave home. Over the past year and a bit I have had the opportunity to join masterminds, online communities and groups that wouldn’t have previously been available to me before everyone went online. The movement to online and virtual has actually increased the worlds ability to attend and offer services and programs.
I would love to see in the future a move towards providing hybrid options that allow local participants to participate in person while distance participants can still participate virtually. Opportunities are virtually limitless!
Social media is king when it comes to current advertising and marketing. Companies that are doing well generally have a strong and dedicated social media presence. Due to low cost and low barrier to entry, smaller companies and organizations can greatly benefit from using social media. Add in the fact that everyone has been stuck at home and scrolling their phones for over a year, if you are not on social media, your message is being missed.
Since my social media channels are curated to my likes, I see a lot of fitness related content. The first one I will discuss is StreetParking. StreetParking is an online fitness community that was birthed right out of Instagram. It started off as an Instagram page and grew into a 35,000+ community. They have two popular Instagram accounts, one being a public and one private for the group members and they have invested heavily into managing and dominating these channels. On their public Instagram page, they have 131k followers and their public Facebook page has over 25k+ followers. StreetParking has a YouTube channel with 17k+ subscribers and they are newly stepping into the world of TikTok. Their Tiktok account is slowly growing and I would argue they haven’t quite hit the mark with how to use TikTok but they are trying.
Another small business succeeding on social media is Klassy Network. Klassy Network started as a fashionable sunglass company and has grown to include braless tank tops called brami’s. The founder Natalie has really honed in her skill on working social media. She is extremely skillfull at Instagram Reels with thousands of views. Her personal Instagram page has 127k+ followers and her business page @klassynetwork has 65.9k+ followers. She also works the TikTok circuit with over 53.2k+ followers and thousands of likes.
Searching for less successful companies are a challenge, as they won’t populate your feed unless you know about them. One type business model that pops into mind is social selling companies. The successful marketers learn and adapt to use social media to their benefit while the less successful marketers fail to understand and harness their power on social media. Social selling is a difficult industry if you don’t understand how to work social media to your advantage. There is an abundance of “hater” TikToks about their frustration with poorly executed social marketing.
The bottom line is if one is to succeed online in this day in age, you need to understand the social media system you are using and really develop your skill with that medium.
How does your business use social media? Need assistance? Here to help!
Over the course of this Social Media program, we have learned the value of listening. Listening is an important skill if you are running a business and using social media. Currently I am not running a business but I enjoy seeing what is happening and trending. I like using Google Trends and Google Alerts as they are free and easy to use. If I am researching a topic, I like setting up several Google Alerts to my inbox so I can filter out which articles and blogs I am interested in reading.
I also loved using Brand24 for a previous course as it gave really in-depth insights. The struggle with many of the listening tools is they offer trials or free versions that are watered down versions of the real deal. Although they give a taste they are not as effective. For example, they will give some metrics but block or hide others unless you shell out the moolah. Prices also range all over the place from $50 a month to $500 a month. Until I am working as a consultant or in a paid position doing social media, I’ll keep playing with the free versions.
As for news, that’s another challenge. Getting accurate and non biased news is difficult through social media. We all saw The Social Dilemma and learned about how every click curates our view of the world in social media. As silly as it sounds, I like scrolling through TikTok to see what is trending. Surprising you can find some interesting takes on what is happening in the world. One must be mindful of what you are watching but often points of interest have lead to doing further research outside of social media.
TikTok is a great source if you use Instagram as a marketing tool for your business. Generally, what trends on TikTok will start trending on Instagram Reels shortly after. Reels are extremely popular right now as a marketing tool. Instagram is heavily favoring Reels as a bid to compete against TikTok. If Reels are part of your marketing tool kit then doing research on TikTok will be essential.
What is your favorite listening tool? What do you think of TikTok as a source of news?
Building a personal brand is a constantly evolving process. As we understand ourselves more deeply, we can better articulate our brand out into the world. For my personal brand, I am a fitness professional who loves to share my fitness journey with the goal to inspire other busy parents to be active from home. I am a working mom of 2, an enneagram 8, a personal development junkie, an avid reader and a dance music lover.
Before 2020, I was an active gym goer but with covid, I had to pivot to full time at home workouts. As part of that process, I started posting on Instagram as a way to document my journey. This documentation has turned into a small online community of fellow parents. I use my platform to encourage and connect with other at home workout community members.
My colleagues would describe me as outspoken, opinionated and encouraging. I am the team player who stands up for what is right and the team’s needs.
I am most proud of my self-discipline. With the switch from going to the office to working from home, I was able to maintain routines throughout the chaos.
As I dig deeper into how I want to show up online, I know my personal brand will evolve and change. But the core will always be there, the desire to inspire and help.
As the tide of working from home (wft) began to rise in 2020, there was a massive push for comfy new office wear as the Corporate world put away their business suits, heels and dress shirts in exchange for sweats. Despite the fact I live in athletic wear (hazard of my job) I too began to notice the online marketing and my desire for even more comfortable wfh gear. I kept seeing ads for a company called Soft Serve clothing.https://softserveclothing.com/ Soft serve is a USA hoodie company that kept popping up on my Instagram feed and claimed they made the “softest hoodie ever”. My interest was piqued. Yes, I wanted the softest hoodie ever! Of course I did!
Soft Serve Clothing Co is a Business to Consumer (B2C) Company that thrives off Instagram and Facebook ads, flash sales and limited edition products. From personal experience, they respond quickly to direct messages on both Instagram and Facebook. Due to the shipping delays with the pandemic, my first order took months to arrive but they were always happy to respond to any inquiries I had. From personal experience and reviewing their social media interactions, they are highly responsive and engaging.
When I received my first hoodie, I was actually a little disappointed. The fuzzy side on the outside of the hoodie left fluff on my leggings and the inside, which is supposed to be smooth felt a little itchy. After a wash, though the hoodie stopped pilling and was much smoother inside. I have gone on to buy a second hoodie and actually had to remove myself off the mailing list because they kept tempting me with more and more beautiful colors. So is their marketing working? I would say so!
Understanding your target audience is important as a content creator. What is even more useful is curating your target audience. By developing your avatar- or in other words your ideal client, you can better direct your social media marketing efforts.
So what is an avatar? Your avatar is a specific and detailed ideal client. This is your niche. By taking the time to determine, exactly whom you want to work with or whom your product is precisely for you can create the best ways to reach your clients.
We all know that not everything is for everyone and when we try to sell our product or services to everyone, it is a struggle to develop a voice. Let us say for example, you are an online life coach. You provide a very specific service for working moms who are heading towards burnout. This service is not for everyone. Therefore, you develop your avatar to attract the ideal clients.
Imagine your perfect client. As an example, your perfect client is female, aged 35; she is a mom with a couple young children, makes $85,000 a year as a corporate manager and is struggling with balancing it all and avoiding burnout. Knowing these details about your perfect client, you can develop marketing material that speaks to her pain points, mom guilt, struggles with balance and a need to find a solution.
Understanding these details, you can then develop your social media marketing that will speak to and attract your ideal clients.
Do you know your avatar? Are you directing your marketing to attract the perfect clients?
Through this week’s content reading, I learned about the inverted triangle method to writing. This was new to me. I had not learned a methodology to laying out my content before. In the past, I would write by what made sense to me. Story telling in an important part of how our history is passed from one generation to the next. Without stories, we wouldn’t have the lessons that previous generations have already learned. It is like that famous quote “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana. Stories are how we remember and learn from the past.
With the growth and popularity of social media, how we tell stories is constantly evolving and changing. It is common to use Facebook or Twitter as a way to gain knowledge on what is happening in the world. The struggle is sources like Facebook and Twitter are not necessarily reliable. The benefit to social media is anyone can share their stories for the world to see. This ability allows individuals to learn about stories that relate to them even though they are an ocean apart. For example, if you had a rare disease you could share your story online and find others with similar conditions. You could then share therapeutic practices and remedies, which was not possible decades ago.
Then you have negative aspects of global online sharing. Think of the example of the former President Trump. He had the liberty to say anything he wanted without the use of common sense or a filter. This would not be as much of an issue for the common human but with the title of being the president, he had immense influence on the population. This influence lead to confusion and the passing on of misinformation and “fake news”.
How do you like to share your stories? Are you more traditional with word of mouth or do you prefer the use of social media?
Once upon a time ago, pre March 13, 2020 we used to do a fun thing called going on vacation. Vacations were an opportunity to not only leave your house but to actually go to someplace completely new, even to another country! Vacations for the past year have looked very different. Now a vacation looks like throwing on a mask and heading (childless) to the local Costco. My how times have changed.
Annually, my family used to leave Canada, drive for two days and arrive in a beautiful location surrounded by the ocean at the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Our trip took place every May the week of Mother’s Day. We would have an assortment of different family members join us each year plus a few consistent friends. This trip was something we looked forward to each year. It was an opportunity to breathe in the ocean air, enjoy some sunshine, feel the chill of the ocean water and indulgence in the local fare. 2020 put a halt to that.
The last time we went south was in 2019. We packed up our two young children, drove for two days and arrived at our rental home. These annual trips started in 2012 with my now husband then boyfriend Grant. He had been going to North Carolina with a friend of his for several years to go kiteboarding. The trips have evolved from a sporty kiteboarding week into a family oriented beach vacation. The first year I went I even brought my 80 year old grandma! Since then we have hosted both sets of parents, siblings and family friends. It’s become a family affair.
Our trips to North Carolina are filled with many happy memories. It’s where we got engaged, both my children grew up going there and many family games were played. I look forward to the year when we can cross the border and safely travel again.
The past 12 months I have reminisced about going on vacation and breathing in that salt ocean air. Quarantine, varying states of lockdown and social isolation have been hard on all of us. I’m sure given the chance, many will jump on the opportunity to resume travel. In the meantime, we can dream and plan future vacations. Until then it’s masked trips to Costco.
Do you miss vacations? What sanctions need to be lifted before you’ll consider travelling again?
In February of 2018, I became pregnant for the second time. I was a hard-core gym goer and loved to workout but pregnancy changes everything. I realized I wasn’t going to be able to continue going to the gym for 2 hours a day 6 days per week with a toddler and a baby. That’s when I found Streetparking.
I had followed Miranda Oldroyd as she was known now Miranda Alcaraz on Instagram for years. I kept seeing these posts about this program called Streetparking and videos of her doing these at home workouts while pregnant. Miranda was a famous CrossFit Games Athlete, which is the biggest of celebrities in the CrossFit world. And here she was being raw and real while pregnant and training at home. I wanted in!
So I signed up within weeks of finding out I was pregnant and it completely changed my life! Because I signed up, my best friend signed up, she brought in two other women who are now my tribe. Then my husband joined. Now he works out at home too instead of going off for two hours per night at the gym. Then my brother who lives across the country signed up and now I get to virtually workout with him every morning at 6am. I have gained an incredible at home workout program, new best friends, time with my husband and a deeper relationship with my brother.
How did Streetparking do it? A simple at home workout program? There are hundreds of online workout programs. Every fitness celebrity, influencer and trainer has an online training program but few have had the reach that Streetparking has. Streetparking who’s numbers reach over 30, 000 members around the globe did it through optimizing social media.
They built an incredible community on facebook, they have an extremely active facebook group of members that celebrate each other’s accomplishments and share in each other’s tears. They hired talented people to coach and moderate in the facebook group. They actively use Instagram to connect and reach out with their members. They respond and give back to the community.
On top of all that, they have created incredible workouts with tons of options every day so that you can make it work no matter what. No equipment? No problem, there’s something for you too. There is a huge library of educational and informational sources on their website www.streetparking.com. Along with The Streetparking PODCAST and Vlog on Youtube they have utilized countless social media platforms to reach out to their community.
Add in the pandemic and they are untouchable- It was as if they had a crystal ball and could see into the future. The whole world sheltering in place and needing to exercise! Here is the answer- Streetparking!
President Donald Trump recently tested positive for covid-19, a virus he has spent the last year downplaying as a concern. In his his video he states he’s going to “beat this corona virus, or whatever you want to call it.”-President Trump.
President Trump discussing his ordeal with covid-19 on twitter.
Although this is an interesting turn of events, it is not surprising the rise in conspiracy theories floating across the internet. The main one being that President Donald Trump is not actually sick with covid-19. “In this particular case, however, the flood of conspiracy theories about Trump’s positive test comes against a mountainous backdrop of misinformation built, in part, by the president himself.
As news of the Presidents illness unfolds, the American country is left divided between believing he is actually ill and worried about the reality of what will happen if he succumbs to the disease before the election is complete. In a way Present Donald Trump’s pervasive use of social media, especially twitter is coming back to haunt him.
President Trump has played a huge role in the controversy surrounding the covid-19 conspiracy theories.
The study, published by the university on Thursday, examined over 38 million English-language news articles about the coronavirus from Jan. 1 to May 26. Of those, just over a million contained misinformation or disinformation. Misinformation is any false information, regardless of whether the person sharing it intended to mislead, and disinformation is shared with the specific intent of misleading or deceiving.