COM0015: Blog #2: Social Media: Who’s Got It and Who Doesn’t

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One company that benefited the most by using social media is Uber. As most of us know by now, Uber is like a ride-sharing for of transportation, like a taxi, only cheaper.  Uber was founded 8 years ago in San Francisco, offering a cheaper means of transportation by having licensed drivers who have their own vehicle, a smartphone and that can pass a background check, can sign up to become a driver. Consumers can download the Uber app to find local drivers and see their rates before requesting a pick up. They have their product, but now how to get it out there to make it a success, what can they do? They realized that the fasted way to grow a business is through word of mouth, only today’s word of mouth is found on social media. Uber created a Facebook page and Twitter account addressing what their business is and how it works. They also posted for users to try their services and then share their experience to their friends as well as sharing a code that would give user’s a free ride home.

I think Uber successfully uses social media right from the start. By having users post promotion offers for free rides on their Twitter or Facebook page helped build their customer base. With little money spent on advertising, just by using social media they have been able to become a multi-billion-dollar company that operates in 633 cities around the world. Their social media efforts didn’t stop there, they also used it as a way to interact with their market, by addressing question and concerns users had about their experiences with the company. They use their social media accounts to post offers, deals and new features. Uber also would partner with certain hashtags, for example when national Ice Cream Month happened, in certain cities users could summon an ice cream truck instead of an Uber car. Customers could have their ice cream and tweet and post with the #NationalIceCreamMonth and thank Uber, this way while the hashtag is trending, Uber is being promoted and generating business because they are linked to it.

A local company in Smiths Falls (where I live) that could benefit from using social media is HY Fund Studio. They are a photography studio that specializes in high quality photos, be it headshots, wedding, or just personal photos, but their social media efforts are lacking. They did create a Facebook page, but it has been dormant for years. I would finish setting up their page as well as set up a Twitter and Instagram account for them. Ultimately, they want to generate a bigger customer base as well as showcase their photography skills, by using social media they can achieve this. I would make sure they are posting daily, whether it be about their services, special offers, or even photography tips, to help start a conversation with their audience. I would also offer to customers to share or post their photo from their session and offer them a discount on more prints or their next session. Also, I would send out friendly reminders during the holiday seasons like Christmas and Valentines day offering their services as the perfect gift. These are just a few steps that they can make, as mentioned above the new “word of mouth” is social media.

Is your organization using social media?

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COM0015-Blog 1: Tooling Around the Social Media World

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Although I have not been using social monitoring tools to a great extend yet, I have got a good taste of the tools that are available through taking the previous courses in this program. The tool that had me smitten the most was Social Mentions. One of the reasons I prefer it to other available monitoring tools is that it has a simple clean look to the site and with one search it compiles many useful statistics. You can see an organizations top keywords, main outlets they are being mentioned on, top hashtags and time spent per mention to name a few. Since my preferred platform is Twitter, I am also a fan of Tweroid. With this tool I can find out when the majority of my followers are on Twitter, when they are often tweeting and replying. I see this tool being helpful when I am working for an organization because it will help give me an idea of when to Tweet to best reach the majority of their clients.

When it comes to news, updates and current events in the world, my main source is Twitter. Twitter is consistently giving up to the minute updates on what is going on. I also like that Twitter will link me to other sources like CNN or take me to entertainment blogs. I use Twitter multiple times in a day to stay updated, by simply scrolling through my feed, I will see headlines that I can click on to read further or see other’s comments on daily events. A big area of interest to me is the entertainment world, so other than Twitter I am a frequent visitor to the Entertainment Weekly site. This site notifies me of up-coming films, or new roles an actor is taking, and various interviews with people in the industry. They also seem to be one of the fastest sources for updated information on the industry.

We are lucky that we live in a time were there are so many tools and outlets for us to use, and the numbers keep growing. These were just a couple of my favorites that currently work well with my day to day life, helping me stay connected and keep on top of things. Google Analytics is another great tool and probably the most popular, but I find it can be a little overwhelming with the amount of data it compiles and shares with you. I still use Google Analytics in moderation and they are continuing to advance with new tools to use, currently it is Tweroid and Social Mentions that work for me.

What tools are you using the most?

 

COM0014-Blog#7: Tell Me A Story

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Storytelling is important in creating great digital content because you want to have engagement with your audience. When expressing your ideas, you need to take your audience on a voyage from point A to Point B to Point C and so on. It is beneficial to your brand to know who your audience is to know how best to tell your story. We need to realize that everything we post, tweet, blog, vlog, that we are telling a story, and the purpose of a story is to inform, engage and make our audience question.

Now that I have learned more about the art of storytelling in the digital community, I will be taking a better look at who my audience is and what type of content I am creating. I will be brainstorming longer than I normally did in the past to help best express my views in my story. Before I hit publish, I will read through my content multiple times and see was my initial view I wanted to express apparent in the content I just created, and if not then it is back to the drawing board.

I want to tell engaging stories where I get to open up discussions with my audience. I want to share meaningful insight into areas of interest to me, to find like minded people that share similar interests or to inspire others.

COM0014: Blog #6 -Customer Story

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Photo Credit: Fotostock

At this chapter of my life I am going back to school and currently working part-time at the local grocery store. Ironically 16 years ago when I started in the workforce, I started in the grocery industry, looks like I have come full circle. What brought me back? Originally, I left and worked for Wal-Mart as a Claims Manager for 10 years, later leaving for a Quality Assurance lead position at a Tech company in Ottawa until they closed down last year and moved to the States.  Here I am now, back at the grocery store. The one thing I didn’t realize that I had missed was the interaction with customers and providing helpful customer service.

One day while I was doing my usual day to day tasks, I was working on the grapes counter, reorganizing and rotate the product when a woman approached me. She asked me if I knew if this week’s batch of red grapes were very sweet, see her taste buds were particularly sensitive to sweetness. I had just recently bought some so was able to comment on them and their sweetness level. The woman thanked me for my perspective and sales pitch and put a bag of red grapes in her cart.

A week later the same woman came in shopping and I stopped her and asked her what she thought about the grapes. “You were bang on, just the right amount of sweetness” she replied and carried on her way. The following week we met again at where else but the grape counter. I warned her that I had not purchased any of that week’s batch yet, so I couldn’t give her a fair review. Her reply made my day, no my week “You know I told my husband about you and how nice you are and the fact that you would remember an old lady like me. Your bubbly personality just puts me in a happy mood every time I see you and I tell all my friends and the cashiers at the front about the nice young man in produce.”

This is one of those stories that really sticks with you.

COM0014-Blog #5 Me: Eldon Hunter

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I Eldon Hunter am an actor. I have successfully completed 2 Drama courses and have been a film extra in 14 different movies. Since I was a small child I have always seen myself as an actor. Watching films earlier on in my life I remember being amazed at how a certain actor’s (did not matter male or female) performance could convey a certain emotion in me. I wanted to do that, to be able to convey a certain emotion for some small boy, girl, woman or man that would make them escape their reality and get lost in the film I’m acting in.

The greatest thing I can contribute to the craft of acting is my passion. I love the film and television industry. I have over 2000 different films and over 80 different shows on DVD/Blu-ray and have seen a lot more than that. Anyone who has met me will tell you about the gleam in my eye or the excitement on my face when I discuss film and television. I also have the many years that I have studied various films and acting styles and traits to help me further my craft. A little over 2 years ago I started working in background acting and slowly started to gain more experience and take on various roles. On down time I learn the “behind the scenes action” how a certain shot is taking and use that knowledge to convey a better performance.

My fellow performers and peers would say my best qualities are my professionalism on set as well as my ability to take direction. Even as a background performer each person is given a direction, some peers forget or don’t retain theirs during the excitement of it all, so I help remind them of their actions and provide helpful ways to remember so that each take it looks the same on camera.

COM0014-Blog #4- Slime Craze

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I am sure by now at some point in the last year and a bit you have been introduced to the Slime Craze, where children (and some adults) use glue to create a slime like substance. It all started in 2016 when a vlogger posted a video on YouTube with a slime recipe that contained Elmer’s glue. The video became popular and Elmer’s took notice and took over the craze. Elmer’s saw that this video was popular and decided it was a great way to cash in. They soon started marketing their glue with slime, offering their own slime recipes, gearing their website to slime, promoting other slime recipes, starting the #slime on Twitter and Facebook having customers post/share their own slime creation.

Did all this social media marketing help their brand?

Yes, the proof is in the pudding, or rather slime I should say. Elmer’s saw a significant sales boost in the last quarter of 2016. Sales more than doubled in the month of December and to this date continues to soar, their 2017 first quarter showing a 9 percent growth. All these sales have meant that Elmer’s needed too also boost their production as the craze still continues. Elmer’s still to this date promote their slime generating product with holiday slime recipes, various slime hashtags and fun family videos.

Have you and you children created slime? What is your favorite recipe to use?

Sources:

Fox Business News: http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2017/03/28/elmers-glue-ups-production-to-keep-up-with-slime-craze.html

ABC.net: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-16/global-diy-slime-craze-led-social-media-has-kids-excited-science/8812332

 

COM0014 Blog #3: Who Still Goes to The Movies?

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(Photo Credit: Warner Brothers Wonder Woman Promotional Still)

When was the last time you went to the theatre to see a film? What was it? Did the theatre seem packed or almost empty? I hear from friends and the media that theatre attendance is down, but would it surprise you to know that the film industry was up 1% in 2016. The verdict is still out for 2017 as we still have our last films debuting in theatres including the next Star Wars installment this December. In 2016 all films combined earned 38.6 billion dollars, that’s not something to laugh at.

So, who is still going to the theatre?

Out of that 38.8 billion dollars, U.S. and Canada make up 11.4 with international sales of 27.2 billion (with China taking the lead). In 2016 ticket sales where mainly made up by Caucasian viewers and a slightly higher attendance of woman over men. The movie industry has looked at these numbers and saw what were the big draws to the theatres, which in 2016 were action films (Captain American Civil War, Star Trek Beyond, Ghostbusters etc.) Flash forward to now in 2017 and we see a rise in action films, particularly superhero films. Films like Thor 3, Justice League, Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2 all debut. The film industry listened and brought the most popular genre of film to the screen multiple times this year. Did they listen to their main movie attendance of a higher female presence in their theatres? Cut to Wonder Woman. It makes sense for the industry to finally release a female lead action/superhero film. Wonder Woman opened at 100 million dollars at the domestic box office, making it the highest opening film of the year until Thor 3 recently premiered. However, Wonder Woman does claim the title as the highest grossing origin superhero film making a total of 821.8 million dollars. This is just the first of many female driven action films to come.

Sources:

MPAA Organization: https://www.mpaa.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/MPAA-Theatrical-Market-Statistics-2016_Final-1.pdf

Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/wonder-woman-highest-grossing-superhero-origin-movie-2017-11

COM0014- Blog #2 Storytelling and Communication Styles

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(Photo Credit: Unsplash.com stock photos)

I learnt this week how storytelling has evolved through the years and how to compose a story that entertains, informs and captivates readers. With each blog we post, we are telling a story to our readers/viewers and it is our job to deliver clear and concise content. Our content must engage them to continue reading and force them to think and from their own opinions and hopefully share them as well. So, how do we do this?

To tell a good story you need to know your content, what do you want to express in your post? From there, what is you goal? what do you hope to accomplish from your consumers? Make sure to communicate in an active voice not passive, be firm with your views when expressing them. Start with stating the most crucial information in your opening paragraph to catch your audience attention. As you write make sure there is an easy flow to keep them engaged. When finished, proofread, proofread, proofread, make sure your content is spelling/ grammar error free.

Lastly, have fun while you are blogging. If you are enjoying what you are talking about than your content will reflect that, and it will help captivate your audience.

COM0014- Blog 1- My Mini-Vaca to St. Catherines/Toronto

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(Me and my cousin’s daughter, Parker on the kiddy roller coaster at Wonderland)

The last vacation I took this past summer was when I went to visit my cousin in St. Catherines for a week. My cousin is 10 years older than me, but we joke that we share the same brain, we have the same opinions and taste in most things. The purpose of this trip was not only for a family visit, but also some fun in Toronto. I traveled by train to Toronto, as I often do, with a connecting GO train to Burlington and then a connect GO Bus to St. Catherines. When I first arrived, I was so excited to see my cousin, her husband and her 10-year-old daughter. Even though we text everyday, it was nice to see her in person. The first thing on their itinerary for me was supper at one of their favorite spots, Pho Ngon for some delicious pho. This is when they surprised me with passes to Canada’s Wonderland for the next day.

It had been years since I was last at Wonderland and was so excited to see what it’s current state was like. The fact that I got to experience it with my cousin’s 10-year-old daughter made it even more enjoyable. We spent a total of 8 hours (no that is not a typo) touring the theme park, riding on various rides, seeing live shows and eating junk food. I managed to do something I was to chicken to do the last time I was there, and went on 3 roller coaster rides… and maybe the kiddy roller coaster 3 times as well. We all had a great time with lots of laughs and mementos from our fun day.

The next night of my stay we all went to the movies to see Wonder Woman, that we were all waiting so long to see. We all enjoyed the movie and spent the whole car ride back to my cousin’s place talking about the film, what we liked the most, what we thought it lacked etc…

On the next night I had a pass to a film/crew party in Toronto for the film Code 8, which was currently filming. My cousin escorted me to the pub that the party was taking place at where we got to mingle and meet people from all over the world and people in the film industry. Later that night we got a surprise visit from Robbie Amell and his wife Italia, who are very nice, caring people. The next 2 days I would actually be attending the set of Code 8 and being an extra in the film, my cousin joined me for every step of the way. It was fun getting to experience everything with her.

For the remainder of my trip I visited with my aunt and uncle, my step aunt and uncle, went wine tasting in Niagara on the Lake, and ate and ate. It was just a short trip, but it meant so much to visit with my family plus do some really fun things in the process.

When was the last time you were at Wonderland? Are you a family trip lover like me?

Fourth Place is Fine with Me

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Which of the social media platforms is my favorite? Answer, Twitter. My reasoning, it is a very quick way to inform, communicate and instantly update people. Twitter was the first social media outlet I signed up for, yes even before Facebook, which I actually joined 2 years ago. (do not gasp, don’t judge me) When Twitter first started out it was more successful with celebrities, most common people did not use it. This was the best way to interact with a celebrity that you liked. My main reason for joining Twitter was to interact with celebrities and share my love for their work and ask questions.

I joined Twitter when it was just starting out and it was defiantly not popular in Canada, I like to always say I was the first Canadian with Twitter. When I joined I first followed actress Charisma Carpenter for Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel and Canadian actress Jennifer Finnigan, this way I could maybe interact with them and find out about current projects they are working on. It took maybe a month to have my first interaction with both actresses commenting on roles they have played that I felt impacted me. To this day I still tweet with both of them as well as others, through the years I have started following a lot more people, celebrities and companies.

I got the exciting opportunity to meet Charisma Carpenter when she attended Comic Con in Ottawa a few years ago. How did I find out she was going to be there? A tweet of course. She was a last-minute replacement for Eliza Dushku who had to cancel, she tweeted the day before the convention started that she would be attending. At the time I was working in Ottawa so after work that next day I attended my first Comic Con and got to meet Charisma. What happened when I met her will shock you. We said hello to each other and she saw my name “Eldon” on a Post-it note to use to autograph a photo of herself. She saw the name and said “Eldon? like Eldon Hunter?” I said “Yes” to which she replied, “I know you, we’ve chatted on Twitter a few times right?” Containing my excitement and composure I replied “Yes” with a smile. We continued to chat for about 10 minutes about different things, her career, Canada, future projects etc.. So, you see how social media (Twitter) helped connect a celebrity and a fan, two strangers, that when in person the celebrity would recognize them.

Why the need for my title is because of an article by Priit Kallas that found Twitter to be ranked the fourth most popular form of social media that is used on a daily basis. In my mind Twitter is ranked number 1. Twitter is my most used form of social media and app for that matter, it helps keep me up to date with daily events, world events, and yes keeps me updated on my celebrities.

What form of social media is your favorite? How has it helped you connect with others over the world?

facebook Which social media is my favorite to use? Would it surprise you that it’s number 4?

http://bit.ly/2giNOsN Fourth Place is Fine with Me

twitter Fourth Place is Fine with Me http://bit.ly/2giNOsN  Why #Twitter is my fav social media to use