COM0015 Assignment 5: Event

The event I chose to attend was called “To Incorporate or Not to Incorporate Your Business? That is the question”. The webinar was held by Score Live Webinars and hosted by an attorney named Kelly Keller. The link to this webinar was:

This webinar focused on advice for someone interested in creating a business but don’t know if they should go through legal avenues to be established as an entity. The presenter’s advice came from a legal perspective, which is something that interested me because written legal content can be so dry and boring to read through. Another reason I wanted to attend this event was because I would have never known where to begin when starting a business – I don’t necessarily have a business to open, but understanding the steps and processes to do so will be helpful as I move forward in my career. It’s also relevant information as I progress in working WITH small businesses who have recently incorporated. Understanding legal jargon around ownership and liability is also advantageous.

A screenshot showing the questions answered during the webinar

This event provided me with a good understanding of why or why not an individual should “incorporate” their business. I learned that incorporating a business means going through legal avenues to establish the business as a legal entity – to not incorporate means the individual could still sell their service or product, but they are liable for everything. I learned that establishing a business as an entity can protect the individual from PERSONAL liability, but if the individual decides to continue operating without incorporating, they are personally liable for any debts or payments.

The presenter provided a great anecdote to explain how incorporating a business can protect the business owner: “You’re jumping inside a big box, and the box shields you from any of the liability coming back”.

I would love to attend a similar event in the future that focuses on Canadian businesses. The presenter lived in Pennsylvania and touched on requirements for a few different states. I didn’t really consider that the legal processes might be different in Canada until she began describing differences between states within the same country. Generally, I see benefit in understanding legality and liability, even if it’s not something that might impact me at the moment. As silly as it sounds, it could be easy for a business to break a law because they didn’t know what was required and what was not.

At the end of the presentation, the floor was open for questions from other attendees of the webinar. The attendees were small business owners looking for free legal advice. Questions were centred around specific concepts – for example, someone asked if they need a member to be included in their limited liability corporation, or if they can proceed into establishment on their own. Unfortunately the webinar did not show the list of attendees and the questions were not shared with the entire group – only the presenter was able to view and respond to them. I would have liked a webinar that was was more interactive with the viewers so I could have learned more about who they were and why they were attending, so I’m not sure I would attend another online event using this service.

All in all, it was useful knowledge that I enjoyed learning more about.

COM0015 Blog #4: Out of the Box

Something unexpected that I have experienced in the field of social media marketing is the content users choose to engage with.

I’m sure I’ve said this a million times but I run a merchandise store Instagram account for a large brand, and I have scheduled posts for three times a week. I pride myself on posting only original content unless one of my followers tags me or shares a post with me.

Lame product, but this must be the best picture of an air freshener ever

Sometimes I will come up with a concept and the content creation could take days. I could envision this really cool video with the product facing a certain way at different times of day – and then spend hours editing it too. I could get so hyped thinking my followers would love it, and then the result can be anticlimactic. I might still get likes and shares, but I can usually determine success through comment engagement – or lack thereof.

On the flip side, I could be RUSHING to prepare content, take 5 photos, spend 1 minute editing it, and post. Sometimes I don’t have the time to prepare and I have to post something I’m less-than-pleased with.

But often times, those are the posts that people love!! I posted one just today that I literally took while lounging on my patio. It was too hot all weekend to take a photo in a sweater, so I took a quick picture when the sun went down. Of course, this is the post that people decide to engage with in the comments.

I can never understand WHY some posts flop and some don’t – especially when I feel some of my content is so lame I’m embarrassed to post it.

Effective social media, I have learned, can sometimes be a product of trial and error. Try something, analyze it, and repeat or build if it works. Try something, analyze it, and scratch it if it doesn’t.

This photo had a ton of engagement and I do not understand why

Have you ever shared something on social media you thought would get more engagement than it did? In turn, have you ever shared something on social media you thought nobody would care about that turned out to have tons of engagement?

COM0014 Blog #7: Personal Reflection

I liked this course because it focused on the fun part of social media – the creative and engaging side. Monitoring and analyzing is important but finding a voice and developing an online personality is so much more fun than pondering over numbers and figures.

Storytelling makes for good digital content because it’s a good strategy to draw people into your page. There is so much content out there on social media that brands and individuals need to think of creative reasons their followers should remain loyal to their online persona. Storytelling can be captivating and engaging, and it can create the best user experience possible for those viewing the content.  

Content can be guided by story in the same way any piece of news is pushed through the inverted pyramid. Start with the most engaging information first and work the way down. For example, I recently posted a video of a high-tech water bottle on the company account. I wanted to show off the item, but I also wanted to inform our followers WHY they should buy one – beyond its features. I started the caption with a statistic about the success of promotional drinkware and flowed through a story to the specific item shown in the post.

I don’t have a specific type of story I’d like to tell. Instead, I’d like to tell stories that I can create in the most captivating way, through resources, images, and excitement. I might LOVE to tell a story about my favourite childhood playground, but without captivating visual content, the story will probably be lame. I might not care too much to tell a story about my first iPhone, but I might have enough captivating visual content to make the story seem better than it is.

I look forward to applying what I learned in this course towards my work and personal social media usage. This course reaffirmed my ambitions and gave me concrete knowledge I can use to improve my skills.

Would you rather tell – on social media, of course – a boring yet visually pleasing story, or a captivating story that can only be told through words?

COM0014 Blog #6 – Do People Know Your Story?

What new information or tips can I provide my audience? What would help them?

When I read this question, I thought of the audience I have on the company social media accounts. I work in the promotional product industry and there are always new trendy pieces coming out that brands can put their logo on. It can be hard to reach out to every client to show them new products, which is why social media is a great tool to reach all of our customers that follow us.

Usually, the items are also seen in retail – we can source most retail brands like S’well, LARQ, Under Armour, and so on. Some of these items can be demonstrated in a video, sometimes in a how-to format. This type of content is the best way to engage the audience – the other day I posted a video of how the LARQ bottle works, for example. You press the button, and it purifies the water and cleans the bottle every few hours. What better way to show how it works than a video shared on social media?

A customer commented on the post and said she wanted some. She would not have known of the bottle or its purpose prior to that, and it caught her interest into making a purchase. I believe this to be proof that information and demonstration are effective to providing value to our audience.

It also doesn’t hurt to make a sale, am I right?

Isn’t Extraordinary just Extra Ordinary? – COM0015 Blog #3

As awesome as working in social media can be, it’s nothing unique anymore.

Truthfully, it’s hard to stand out when there are so many people out there with the same capabilities. That doesn’t mean there isn’t value in courses like this to build a bigger toolbox in social media – it’s probably more relevant now than ever – but that means there is a lot to competition. You can’t be extra ordinary – you have to be extraordinary.

LinkedIn is a great tool to use for professional networking and developing relationships online. It’s definitely one of the best social platforms to develop an online network because it’s a one-stop shop to find someone, learn about where they work now and in the past, and reach out to them instantly.

Most of my connections are people I have worked with but likely have not met in person. But I want to connect with those people when they post, I want to hype them up on successes and remind them that experiences with me are positive. For someone socially awkward, that’s difficult to do face-to-face. While I don’t consider this a “strategy” necessarily, I suppose it is strategic and will be carried on for the next 6-12 months. This is pretty ordinary, but I’m not trying to make waves online. With LinkedIn, I think less is more.

My office is quite small with less than 15 people. I personally don’t think the company does a good enough job of showing appreciation and recognition to employees so the first Christmas I was there, I held a small award ceremony before the party. I made little structures with hot glue and gave everyone unique awards for qualities I thought stood out about them, and then I held more ceremonies in the years after. I think that annual gesture aids in the development with my coworkers – my networks – in person. Nobody else makes the effort to do something like this, which might make it extraordinary.

A few of my awards

That will be coming up in the next few months, but I reinforce my relationships at work regularly. I’m always around to lend a hand and show people they can count on me. That’s really important to developing a relationship and is something I will do naturally over the next year, in addition to my LinkedIn presence.

What do you think is more important when developing a network – genuineness or uniqueness?

COM0014 Blog #5 – Personal Brand

Describing your own personal brand is kind of awkward.

I would say I always try to be as genuine as possible, and I don’t take things too seriously. I have always loved getting to know people’s personal lives – my teachers or my friends’ parents and siblings. Maybe because I’m nosy, but I think it’s because I enjoy connecting with people and having something to bring up the next time I see them. I’m known to crack a joke but I can also be a reliable shoulder to cry on.

The thing that makes me stand out from my competitors is my ability to humour myself out of an awkward situation and make others feel comfortable. I try to talk to everyone like they are a friend and I believe that makes others think I am easy to be around – at least that’s what I’m going for.

Recently a co-worker left the company and the other people in her role weren’t efficient enough to be trusted with her work. I used to be in that role and was promoted out of it at the beginning of the year, but hints were dropped that someone was needed, and I agreed to help. I’ve stepped up in ways that nobody else was willing to do and I think I’ve proven that I am a team player who can always be relied on regardless of the context, and there’s value in that. That makes me stand out.

My colleagues probably say my best trait is my reliability. I never come to work late, but I also don’t stay late often either. I don’t think I’m predictable necessarily, but I think that I stick to a routine so often that my colleagues can rely on me when they need to. I think that goes for my friends in my personal life as well.

I’m most proud of getting a handle on my mental illness. For a long time, I struggled and never dreamed I would get to the point I am now. Even though I still have further to go, I’m happy with how far I’ve come. It reminds me that I can overcome anything thrown at me but it also grounds me to let go of things I can’t control. I think that’s a big part of me that allows me to approach my personal brand in the way I have.

Do you think a personal brand needs to be purposely reinforced, or do you think simply staying true to your brand in all the work you do is enough to make it obvious?

What the F does the F mean in Finsta?

I’m a little ashamed to admit most of my relationships are maintained through social media.

A girl I was friends with moved to Toronto in 2018 or 2019 and I saw her a handful of times since then. I noticed somewhat recently I couldn’t find her Instagram anymore, but she was the type who would maybe delete it. It was the main way I kept up with her so we haven’t caught up in maybe a year. Not to think much of it – she’s a friend who I could meet with and it would feel like no time had passed.

Today, I got a follow request on Instagram from an account that was very clearly my friend’s finsta. A finsta is a private profile that someone might make to post daily, casual, and silly photos they would not want to share on their main. They will be selective about who can follow them and their followers will comprise of close friends and acquaintances they deem worthy of the private account. And of course, the name “finsta” is a play on words as many refer to Instagram as “insta”.

An example of an Insta vs. Finsta I found on Google from

I can understand why people make finstas – there is this pressure to have a beautiful Instagram profile that carries the same filter and only features the coolest of outfits and locations. It’s been known that social media platforms like Instagram can create expectations that are formed through comparison and lead a user to believe the lives of others are better than their own.

An example of a profile grid. Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash

It’s great because now I have a way to connect with my old friend, and I learned her real account had been hacked so her finsta became her main. It looks the way her regular account did – she never cared about the Instagram dreams to attain “aesthetic” – but I can empathize with her hacking situation.

Instagram suggests users to follow and sometimes I find people I might know but certainly not well enough to follow their private account. But I will say it is a little funny to think of how far a finsta might reach through Instagram’s algorithms to find people you know, and they, in turn, find you.

Considering Instagram was designed for users to snap pictures and share them instantly, isn’t the concept of a finsta redundant?

Follow up question: Do you think there is a way society can change how social media is used so finstas can be regular instas?

From Eastside Online

Facebook: Not sure why your friend stopped posting on social media? They might have made an account for exclusive followers – but not the kind you’re thinking of. Don’t be a pervert. Learn what I’m talking about here:

Twitter: Don’t worry about the #Instagram aesthetic – finstas are changing the IG game. Follow this link to learn how social media can become fun again:

COM0015 – Blog #1 – Tools and Sources

Growing up in the age of technology, learning new tools and platforms was normal. But learning how to use them for a purpose was not something I was always familiar with.

Vine, for example, was at its peak while I was in high school. Everyone I knew was making Vines. As we saw in this weeks module, Vine was the fastest growing app in 2013 – but by the time I began studying at Carleton in 2014, Vine wasn’t popular anymore, at least not with my age group.

At the time, I wasn’t using any tools that monitor trends. I just followed what everyone around me was doing. Now as a professional, I understand why it’s important to be proactive in grasping the next growing trend before you fall behind it.

While some may consider TikTok to be simply an entertainment app, it has created trends businesses can capitalize on. You might remember Nathan Apodaca, the guy who went viral after posting a video of himself on a longboard, drinking cranberry juice, and listening to “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac. Many businesses saw the trend, made their own versions, and have continued to use TikTok to identify trending videos and apply them to their own marketing content. I like using this app because it provides insight into trends while also providing entertainment as I scroll.

In my professional life, I haven’t used any other monitoring or listening tools, however I like the layout of Mashable and the intent behind it. Like many people, I’m guilty of relying on my favourite sites or agencies to get news from when I should be seeking out many sources and opinions. I do agree that Mashable’s site can seem like click bait, but there is also value in a site that covers so many topics without a hidden agenda or bias as many news agencies have. 

Twitter is my favourite place for real-time updates that interest me the most. The page showing what’s trending among users offers a unique perspective away from traditional news agencies but can also breed toxic communication and give uneducated voices a platform to spread misinformation. I enjoy Twitter for its face value and opinions that can be thought-provoking, but do not consider it to be a reliable source of news.

My other favourite place for news, while biased, is the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). I am aware that CBC often leans on the left side of the political spectrum in reporting news and that they are a government-funded organization. However, I can rely on CBC to provide facts, insight, and for the most part, they do a good job of covering news across a variety of topics.

Technology changes quickly, but it’s to our advantage to grow with it. What’s that saying – use it or lose it? Use technology to benefit your social strategy or lose it.

COM0014 Blog #4 – B2C Case Study

A B2C company I have recently seen engaging with its audience is Poo-Pourri.

This company, known for its fragrant toilet sprays, has an interesting approach to engagement that I find funny. One of their largest goals is certainly to increase sales of their products, but a product centred around bowel movements isn’t super “sexy” to advertise. Poo-Pourri has managed not to take themselves too seriously and approach their advertisements and engagement with relatable humour.

Take this ad from 2020, for example. This is not social media engagement, but it provides context into who the company is and how they approach marketing their products.

I am a big fan of trash reality TV, so of course I watch The Bachelor. I’ve noticed, on one current contestant’s Instagram in particular, Poo-Pourri comment on a few different posts. They are engaging as if they were a friend, hyping this guy up and congratulating him on successes. It almost looks like they do in fact know him – or maybe someone within the organization does. Sadly, the algorithm is now betraying me and Poo-Pourri’s previous comments on these posts seem to be buried by others.

However, I don’t think there is any personal connection between the reality show contestant and this brand – I think they have found their brand’s voice and know how to run with it. Since I run a B2C social media account, I try to take a similar approach. I’m happy to drop a pop culture reference or quote and engage with some of my audience as if they were a friend. I’m inclined to think that Poo-Pourri does not actually know this contestant but they know engaging with him is certainly going to capture attention, such as mine. They also clearly watch the show and chose to interact with a contestant who has a good sense of humour.

Even their own posts are funny and relatable, like this one posted only two weeks ago. To effectively market an item tied to pooping, they need to take a humorous approach to capture attention, and I think they’ve done a great job of creating an online persona that effectively represents the brand through their engagement.  

Would it be strange if you suddenly rose to a small amount of fame and Poo-Pourri commented on your posts? Maybe. But if you can appreciate their sense of humour, wouldn’t you be a little excited?

Ghosts From Twitters’ Past – How Long Can They Haunt For?

Social media is not new anymore. There are folks who have been on Facebook or Twitter for years, maybe a decade or longer. This includes celebrities and influencers, people who live in the spotlight, people who have dedicated fans – or worse – dedicated haters.

And every so often, remarks made on social media years in the past resurface and the poster is held accountable.

Chrissy Teigen is a celebrity who doesn’t hold back on social media and has come under fire for resurfaced tweets. Most recently, model Courtney Stodden shed light onto a series of tweets Teigen posted in 2011 that are too horrible to repeat. She said derogatory things to and about Stodden, and continued to do so over the coming years with other celebrities.

An iconic Chrissy Teigen gif that is humorous to use in this context
Gif from

But do celebrities as famous as Chrissy Teigen REALLY face consequences for these actions?

From an immediate business perspective, sure. After the interaction with Stodden unfolded, Teigen lost a few business deals. Retailer Macy’s dropped her cooking line, and marketing efforts for her new cleaning brand began to exclude her from their advertising campaigns.

But ultimately, she will probably bounce back from this. She’s still a millionaire and these broken business deals might be peanuts to her. To you or I this might seem pretty impactful, but to her, this could only be a slap on the wrist.

I believe that when celebrities show they are sorry and that they have grown and matured, it is difficult to justify holding a grudge. Even if they just SAY they have, apologizing is the smartest move and eventually the scandal will blow over. If they double down in their remarks, they are bringing them to the present and that is a different story.

There are other notable celebrities who have also experienced heat over past online remarks – Kevin Hart, Blake Shelton, and Iggy Azalea to name a few.

Are you a fan of an artist or celebrity who has sparked controversy on social media? How did the situation and its aftermath impact your opinion on them?

Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash

Facebook: You might lose your job if your employer finds offensive remarks on your social media. But do celebrities lose anything when the whole world sees their remarks? Read my thoughts here

Twitter: #ChrissyTeigen might have been a bully, but she’s still a millionaire. How quickly can celebrities recover from a social media scandal?