COM0015-Blog#4: Out of the Box

Beginning this course, I had very very little experience with Social Media therefore most of what I learned has admittedly been unexpected. If I were to really pin point one application that stood out for me it would be some of the tools available to companies, bloggers, etc to monitor the activity of their site. Google Analytics in particular was incredibly informative as was Hootsuite.

With one of my assignments, I was able to use this tool to view a company’s monitoring of their goals, and direction. It was clear to the organization what was greater interest to the public, which allowed the company to better target possible clients. The company I reviewed also had recently upgraded their website, and had created more interaction with clients through Facebook and Twitter. Doing this, they discovered the number of followers doubled within a couple of weeks. This information is incredibly important to the success of every company out there.

In addition to reaching a wider audience that they may not otherwise have reached, getting immediate and direct feedback from existing clients proved to be very informative. The company can quickly move to corrective action when necessary and generally get a good feel for how their customers think, and feel about their product allowing them to maximize profits in their competitive industry. They no longer ‘guess’ what their customers are thinking, they ‘know’.

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COM0015-Assign#1-Blog#3 Professional Networking now and in the future

Please share 2 plans for the future and explain if you foresee any obstacles that may stop you from reaching your goals outlined in your blog post. What activities and commitments are you making in the next 6-12 months to continue the development of your networks?”

By far my personal favorite professional networking tool is Linkedin. I am fortunate to have contacts that have put me in touch with important contacts of theirs for various reasons – most of which were for future employment. Although it hasn’t so far landed my dream job, it has put me in touch with so and so, who put me in touch with so and so … and so on. As much as Linkedin is a great networking tool in terms of making professional contacts, a million of my online friends are also doing the same. Given the shear volume of contacts that ‘decision maker’s have at their disposal, it is more important than ever to ensure follow up wherever and whenever possible, with person to person contact.

The following are two plans I have for improving success in achieving my goals:

1. Make bolder requests for contacts from my own contacts

This is a challenge for me as I am generally not very aggressive in requesting introductions, but I do plan on doing so more boldly as my current quiet approach is not producing the results I would like to see. One challenge I will have doing this is risking that this may turn off my current contacts or risk being ignored by mutual contacts but I think the risk is worth the potential possibilities for work.

2. Subscribe to Linkedin Premium to allow for optimal followup on potential leads for employment

This is more of a financial obstacle. I have had this service as a trial when first signing up with Linkedin and found it to be extremely useful. The additional perks of this service include finding out who exactly has been viewing your profile, where you fit in in terms of other applications for various jobs that you either have or want to apply for, and the ability to send emails from Linkedin directly to hiring employers. The challenge for me will be finding the additional funds to do so. But, it is a goal/plan that I do want to realize.

COM0015 Assignment #1 Blog#2 – Strong & Weak Organizations



Strong & Weak Organizations


To determine whether or not an organization has a strong or weak Social Media Strategy, one first must determine the purpose of the purpose of the plan. Is the purpose to foster awareness, receive support and assistance, make sales, generate feedback to organization, provide organizational transparency or increase donations? Once the purpose has been clearly defined, it is then much easier to evaluate whether the social media plan is accomplishing the organizational objectives.

With these factors in mind, I choose two organizations that are important to me personally – an English public school board in Quebec, and the Ottawa Humaine Society for the protection and prevention of cruelty to animals. They both happen to be non-profit organizations but also both requiring public support and/or funds to be sustainable. In order to achieve their main objectives, I have assessed various forms of social media tools to determine whether or not their current strategy would like meet their goals.

  1. Strong Organization example

 

The Ottawa Humaine Society

http://ottawahumane.ca/home/index.cfm

The Ottawa Humaine Society is a local non-profit organization with a strong social media strategy using it as a means to both expanding awareness and encouraging donations. Like many people in the community, I have known about the Ottawa Humaine Society for years but sadly as the old saying goes, out of site, out of mind. I actually only thought of this organization when something hit the news or on the rare occasion that someone brought something specific to my attention.

  • The Humaine Society is using tools such as Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter regularly. The last updated Youtube was 6 days ago which is pretty recent considering the province has just had a 4-day Statutory holiday. Their website is also regularly maintained and up to date providing a whole host of information to the public/donors and potential donors. They have also made plenty of opportunity of interaction with their audience to make staying in the know, easier. They also have links to other social media tools directly on their website enabling clients to easily stay in touch using different types of social media tools such as Twitter, Blogs and RSS feeds.

 

The bottom line is that given that the Ottawa Humaine Society’s is a not-for-profit organization, one of their main objectives would be to reach as many people using as many free social media tools as they can to promote and give attention to what they do and I believe they are being successful. I know because I too became a regular monthly donor as a direct result of being exposed to their plight on some of the tools. Goal attained!

 

  1. Weak Organization example

 

Central Quebec School Board

http://cswq.wqsb.qc.ca/default_en.html

 

English school boards in Quebec are in a difficult situation. With declining populations, and tight admission requirements for new potential students each year their enrolment is decreasing rapidly. Also being a not-for-profit organization having very little funds available, they NEED a solid social media plan to reach the public to ensure people know what they offer, and to generate attention to their boards to entice people to register with them. But .. they don’t.

 

In reviewing the social media tools that they use, the only updated one I could find was a non-interactive website. In additional to this, there was one Youtube video, a dead Facebook page, no Twitter account, etc. Developing and maintaining some of these free resources and tools would allow them to reach the maximum number of potential students, at zero cost hence ensuring their continued viabåility.

 

 

COM0015-Assign#1-Blog#1 Tools & Sources

Tools of Social Media  … I’m a little old school so I personally do not use Social Media in my professional life.  I work for a public school board and the main form of communication we have online is information for the parents of children in our organization.  We share relevant content on our website for them.  There is no ‘interactive’ communication however, only one way – hence not very social. 

At home, I mainly use Facebook as a tool of communication with friends and family.  I appreciate and am interested in the sharing of information, photos, humour and event the organization of events with this tool. 

I also use Linkedin regularly for my own personal professional life.  I monitor this site regularly for new connections and content applicable to my professional life.  I use it to learn new skills, gain information and even to apply for jobs.

AS for Sources ….  

I follow several different organizations and people on again, Facebook and Linkedin .  On Facebook, I enjoy following certain fitness pages which give me a little motivation and I enjoy a few uplifting positive focus type sites as well. By logging in regularly, I get a daily dose of each of these websites that motivate me toward similar goals that I am on track for. They keep me in the know.  

I also follow a few specific companies on Linkedin for similar reasons.  For instance, there is a resume service site that I hired to build a resume for me that I follow and to my surprise, I have found them to be posting very helpful advice and support in developing and preparing yourself for interviews, do’s and don’t’s, etc. essentially sharing best practices for landing a dream job.   I look forward to their daily updates, support and tips.