What unexpected applications I have found in the field of marketing and social media is a tough question to answer as someone who has come to age when social media first started to become more popular, and as someone who has grown up expecting the new trends.
That being said, something I have found unexpected recently, is Canva being introduced as a feature on Sprout Social. Appropriate and well-fitting graphics (i.e. the correct size for a platform so that it isn’t cut off etc.) in my opinion is crucial to a sophisticated feed. This can cause barriers to smaller teams or businesses that may not have a designated graphic design artist (or even entire team) that assists the content writers, editors and communication team members. I think applications becoming more integrated with each other to allow a more even-playing field is a great thing. I haven’t yet explored Canva’s possibilities in Sprout, however I look forward to exploring and having this new tool at my disposal.
What new tool or application has caught your eye recently? Share in the comments!
The event I decided to attend was the Ajax Diversity XChange second installment, Understanding Racism – A Discussion on Racism & Anti-black Racism, linked here.
This was an interactive webinar, free of charge that was live on Facebook, YouTube, and the Town of Ajax’s website. Guest speaker Dr. Joseph Smith discussing topics such as: social conditioning, racial hierarchy and classifications, microaggressions and a live question and answer session. At the event participants included local residents to the area, businesses and community groups. There were interesting discussions on microaggressions at work, and how the language you choose may affect others. I chose to listen and observe in this particular space as it was my first event of this nature, however I do plan on attending the rest of the series which will be live later this year (part 3, 4 & 5).
Quote from event from Dr. Joseph Smith: “the way discrimination conditions all of us, is it gets us to see people as a problem, rather than the policy that condition that reality”.
Building a professional network can help build your career foundation (and even take you in directions you had never thought of!). Networking can help you land your next job, give you a great reference, help with mentorship, help with career best practices, and much more.
In a professional sense, I am active on Twitter and LinkedIn and love to take advantage of local events and conferences where possible. I like to keep certain social media accounts only for professional reasons and other accounts only for personal reasons and don’t have them overlap.
Over the next 6 – 12 months I plan on consistently updating my Twitter and LinkedIn feed with relevant content to my industry (Communications and Politics) and to regularly review my own personal information, updating photos, roles and responsibilities etc. as needed.
I also plan on taking advantage of local events and conferences that will be occurring online due to Covid-19 restrictions still. I follow my local Board of Trade to stay updated on professional and business events in the area and plan on following additional local influencers and professional that I will meet from these events.
Social media is now an important part of any marketing and/or public relation strategy for businesses. Customers expect businesses to have active social media pages and are looking to ‘get to know’ the brand they are purchasing more and more, to ensure that brands align with their personal values.
Two organizations that come to mind immediately for this would be Nike and Aerie. Both organizations are active across mainstream platforms and use social media to be a voice on social issues rather than just about their particular products. Nike often uses their voice to bring attention to global social justice issues and Aerie promotes body positivity and female empowerment using no photoshop on their models for #AerieReal.
An organization I think could really step up their social media game in my personal opinion is Amazon. For being one of the most successful companies in history, to me it looks like their social media presence, activity and quality could be much better. I find their graphic content and posts to be of lower quality in production value compared to an organization like Nike – you can tell Nike assigns professional designers for every single one of their posts and that a lot of effort goes into what videos and static images they allow on their feeds. Next, Amazon doesn’t post consistently. Some times they will have gaps of days or even weeks where fresh content hasn’t been posted and I don’t often see them in the comments of their posts engaging back with customers.
Overall, all organizations can benefit from continuously monitoring and updating when required, their social media strategy, to stay relevant and on top of trends.
The world of social media can be fast and furious, and is ever evolving. Most of us either have our own profiles on major platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, etc. or if we don’t have our own we all definitely know people who are active online.
Social media has become very mainstream in employment settings as well, with many organizations using social media for marketing and engagement with customers. Leading active social media profiles at work can sometimes feel like a whirlwind – the comments, reactions, and posts never seem to stop! But there are many tools to help us navigate and stay on top of trends and what is going on.
My favourite platforms for keeping up on news for me personally would be Twitter and Instagram. I love twitter for news as I find it is updated the quickest, with new updates provided in a thread format for ease of user information access. I also like that Twitter has a limited character count so that the information provided in the tweet must be concise and to the point. If the tweet topic is of interest to me, I can also read more on a link provided or subsequent tweets. For similar reasons, is why I like Instagram as well. I find Instagram although it doesn’t limit your character count in the same way Twitter does, because it is a image focused platform, the captions are also more concise and to the point. I also like the story feature on Instagram, so that your main feed isn’t necessarily being bogged down with quick content or redundant content. I would like Twitter to expand their Fleet feature to be more user-friendly, to encourage more users to take use of it.
To keep track of what is happening across my accounts and what customers are saying about my organization and services, I like to use Meltwater and Sprout Social as listening tools. I find Sprout to be very user friendly in providing quick information – how many views did that video get? Likes? Comments? How does our engagement trends look compared to this time last month? Are our posts receiving more engagements? Less? I think it is a great starting tool for analyzing your feeds. Meltwater I love that it is so customizable and has great options to track media stories, and what other accounts are saying about you, and even provides the sentiment of what other posts/stories are saying about your brand. Receiving a massive amount of comments can seem great – your post must be working! Right? But what if all of those engagements have a negative sentiment to them?
Overall, I find it can best to utilize a few different platforms for news and social listening. Different platforms can help bridge gaps in information and can help provide a more fulsome picture of your efforts to help guide your strategy going forward.
So you probably just spent essentially your entire childhood and teenage years rushing off to games, practices, personal training and team events. Sometimes 7 days per week during the season, and maybe got some *slightly* more free time in the off season (but lets be real, you were probably on a strict training schedule still to stay in shape). You probably also juggled school sports along with your competitive sport of choice. The time management skills of young athletes could be taught to most adults.
Unfortunately you have graduated and moved on in life, you are an adult now and need to find a career. But how are you to find a job post graduation when your sport schedule probably has never allowed for any part time jobs? You feel lost with the sudden amount of free time you have and worry that your skills aren’t relevant.
That was me. After playing competitive hockey growing up and into my young adult years, it was such a big part of my identity, I was so lost at first. Applying to office jobs, I had a great education but no experience, who would want to hire me?
For background I am a 27 year-old former athlete. I played hockey beginning at five years old – it definitely was my favourite! I was constantly travelling to tournaments out of province and out of country and had to juggle my school, family and friends with hockey as the priority. I also loved to play on school teams, joining the volleyball, basketball and soccer teams. On a normal high school day I would get up, go for a run, go to school, go to my after school practice for whichever school team was playing at that time, go home, eat dinner, take a nap and then go to hockey. Repeat. This teaches at a very young age time management, self-discipline and being able to work with other people (a.k.a be a good teammate!). I went on to play sports at the University of Toronto while maintaining a full course schedule.
So what happens once your sporting life is finished? That’s the purpose of this blog. You can use your sport experience to your benefit yourself at work!
Once I figured out that so many of the soft skills employers really value are taught through team sport, I began utilizing hockey experiences on my resume, cover letter and in interviews. Once I started to use my hockey background to my advantage – every job I’ve applied to I have gotten a call back for and every interview I have participated in I have been offered the job (not even to brag, before utilizing my athletic experience, I got approximately zero calls back).
I invite you to follow me as I share tips and recommendations on how to show employers the value of your sport background. Hit like and follow and come with me on my journey, I’ll be posting multiple times per week on specific uses for certain skills, including how to include your athletic experience on a resume!
Do you include your athletic past on your resume? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!
As we end our 8-week course, it is evident of why story-telling is important in digital communication. Good story telling makes people feel connected to your content, it makes people believe in what you are saying and can spark an emotional response and lead to engagement. Good story telling will make people remember you, your service or your product.
Going forward I’ll ensure to keep story telling at the front of my mind when creating content, using the inverted triangle approach, and keeping a wide angled view. Its also extremely important to know and understand your target audience and what your own end goal is, to drive direction. I’m hoping that people feel connected from my content at work and I hope my content makes residents feel proud to live in our community.
Looking back at my career so far, based on the types of jobs I have done, at first it was hard to answer the question who am I? What do I do? Throughout University I was a Bridal Consultant (yes, exactly like Say Yes to the Dress), then I was an Executive Assistant supporting a CEO and President of a private national company, next I was an Executive Assistant to a Mayor and Council, and now finally I am working as a Social Media & Communications Coordinator – all seemingly very different roles!
As I thought more about what I really do at work and has been consistent throughout all of my roles, I help people. I go out of my way to make other people’s jobs easier. As a consultant? I’ll choose the perfect dress for you, you don’t need to lift a finger and I will make sure you aren’t stressed ever during the process. As an EA? I will organize your own work responsibilities to make you more efficient, and will go out of my way to do things for you that aren’t in my job description. As a Social Media Coordinator, I help residents, who after a long day of their own, find information quickly and easily, and provide entertainment for their children. On top of my regular responsibilities, at each place of work I have always been the go-to person for organizing charitable events such as toy and food drives, and even more unique assisting with Period Purse donations one year.
So what do I do? I help people and try to make other’s lives easier.
It can be challenging to boast about yourself. What makes you unique, special and what your strengths are. A lot of people can find it easier to describe what they are not.
What sets me apart from my competitors is my time management and flexibility. Growing up playing high level team sports (I literally played hockey 7 days per week since i was 6 years old!) taught me extremely early on how to manage my time and be the most efficient possible. Not many people before joining the workforce had to juggle, school, family, friends, school sports, homework, and the pressure of high level team sports. I don’t think there is a fast-paced environment that is too much for me, I have learned how to prioritize and be as efficient as possible. I think my colleagues would agree that my best trait is how quickly I am able to finish tasks and switch gears to the next project/issue/meeting.
Being able to perform in a high pressure, face-paced environment is critical to working in communications as news, events, and information can pivot so quickly and it is important to have team members that can keep up.
What would you say are important traits for someone new to the communications industry?
Nike has millions of followers across their accounts and is great at engaging with followers through thoughtful and impactful story-telling that provokes emotional responses. Their content is timely to current societal issues and trends, and speaks to many different targeted groups. Gulsen Erkilic commented in her blog, 5 Brilliant Nike Campaigns Created with Effective Digital Marketing Strategies, regarding Nike’s success on how Nike is excellent at emotional branding and at crafting ads to make their products “more meaningful through the eyes of the customers”.
I personally really enjoy looking through the content Nike uploads onto their Instagram page. They use primarily short videos with full captioning on the videos to draw attention to the impactful words of the videos (and to be inclusive) and you can tell that they put a lot of effort into drawing attention in a positive manner to issues globally. I love the “triumphant” feel of their content and the hopeful vibe for the future that is portrayed. I also love how it feels like Nike is a global community and that their content doesn’t just speak to North America but spans to include trends and issues throughout the world.
I do really think Nike’s approach is working and that other multi-national companies would really take some pointers from Nike on an engagement perspective.
What other businesses do you think rival Nike on social media and would be great to learn from?