Personal Reflection

This course was one of the most beneficial and insightful courses I have been able to take. I feel like I have learnt so much valuable information that it is hard to compartmentalize it all! Learning about the ways of identifying your audience through demographics and psychographics was so fascinating, as it was the first time hearing about the latter. This really allowed me to have a better grasp on the ways businesses do their target specific marketing. I also loved learning about the B2B, B2G and B2C ways a business operates and the different things each one values. 

The whole concept of storytelling by sharing stories for education, entertainment and cultural preservation is such a great concept. 

Having the idea of being a story teller rather than just a content creator allows for more personal, authentic and valuable content! Having a main story you are hoping to get across will become a filter for everything you produce in the future. This will help you know exactly what content your audience is looking to see, because they are following along with your story!

When I think about what kind of stories I want to tell I can only think of the word “refreshing”. I want stories that have so much truth and depth to them. Content that isn’t just fluff or a place holder, but rather something that takes up space and importance. When you are marketing yourself towards consumers you need to be truthful and empathetic and show how their lives can be improved by trusting you. This is a burden, but is also an incredible opportunity to produce great content.

Out of the Box

The online world is always changing and growing, with something new being added to the mix daily. As someone with online marketing in mind it is so crucial to be paying attention to the ebb and flow of the online world. 

Through this course I have been able to recognize and identify some ways of utilizing social media that I had not thought of. Having a business mindset as you navigate the online world opens up a lot of doors and new pathways. I think seeing trends as points of potential profit rather than just fun social media trends is so important. Taking time to identify what is popular and trending so that you are able to insert yourself into it is a concept so important for companies that are marketing online.

I have found that the line between personal and professional use can be pretty foggy when it comes to social media and online marketing. People want to see authenticity from the brands they support, and they are not afraid to call a brand out if they are not happy with them. Having a separate personal and professional life is so important, but it is also important to work your professional life with a bit of personality!

Being able to take this course while working in a business that used so many of the ideas and lessons on a daily basis has helped me tremendously. I am able to see the importance of using social media, and am able to see the downfalls of not marekting well.

Do People Know your Story?

Thrifting has been a part of my life since I can remember. I grew up going to Value Village and small local thrift stores rather than the mall. It allowed me to be creative with my style, and to save lots of money to have experiences rather than things. As i grew up societal pressure to buy new overtook me and I fell out of love with thrifting. While in college I got into a car accident and developed chronic back pain which resulted in a lot of time in bed and a LOT of online shopping. I mean a LOT. I would get a new wardrobe basically every week, and every week I would just give my old wardrobe away or pile it at the bottom of my closet. 

Eventually I realized that what I was doing was not healthy for my wallet so I stopped buying things. I then started doing research into the companies I had been buying from and the whole fashion industry. This is when my mind was blown. I started reading about the horrible ways that Fast Fashion impacts the environment and impacts people. As I read I started to feel worse and worse about my shopping habits and I started to thrift again. What started as a moment of “shame” quickly turned into an educated decision. I realized that I truly didnt know any better when it came to buying my insane amounts of clothing. I had no idea the effect my purchases were having in the grand scheme of things and I had no idea there was another option that would allow me to continue to shop and have fun with fashion while supporting charities and supporting sustainable shopping. 

This is why I started reselling thrifted clothing on Instagram. To show people that there are some seriously cute items out there, and that its easier than it looks to shop second hand. I started to share information about the fast fashion industry and why shopping sustainably was so important. My business is not about making insane profits, but rather giving people information about thrifting and offering a place for them to get started. 

Strong & Weak Organizations

Starbucks is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. There are Starbucks locations in 63 countries. It is a global brand, with tremendous influence. Their social media platforms are run with incredible precision and wisdom. They have the perfect balance of their own media and the media of consumers, which encourages people to post photos of their Starbucks purchases with the possibility of their image being shared. Their original Instagram account has 18.2 million followers, and then they have instagram accounts per country. They have a wide web of influence and they use it well. You are able to see their influence by the Frappuccino phenomenon that happens every year. Starbucks produces a limited edition Frappuccino and advertises it all over their social media. They make sure to make this Frappuccino “Insta-worthy”. Meaning they create a drink which essentially becomes free advertisement any time someone purchases it. This is a smart way of using social media to create online buzz and momentum. 

On the other side of the coin we see Costco. Costco is the type of organization that doesn’t need advertisement. They are well known and have thousands of people recommending them by word of mouth. I cant remember the last time I saw a Costco advertisement or social media post. In todays day and age, just because you don’t “need” to be on social media does not mean that you shouldn’t! I believe that all organizations and business who want to continue to connect to their customers should be meeting their customers where they are at. If you take a look at Costco’s instagram account they only have 720k followers while they serve more than 10 million members in Canada alone. These numbers speak to the fact that people are not treating Costco’s social media as important. Their platform has content posted on a seemingly random schedule and not a lot of relevant engagement. The comment sections seem to be a place for customers to air their grievances and receive general responses from the Costco team. 

If costco wants to use their social media account in a different way they should take time to plan out what they want from it. Do they want higher engagement rates, do they want a place for people to access information, do they want their account to serve as advertisement? Once their figure out their goal they can then implement changes to reach that goal.

Personal Brand

I have had a job since before I legally could. Weekends have never really meant anything to me because Ive always worked Saturday or Sunday since I can remember. I have done this because my parents instilled an incredible work ethic in my siblings and I since we were young. My father was a firefighter and my mother is a lawyer. Two jobs which require tremendous dedication and hard work. They have been role models to me time and time again.

Because of this, I give one hundred percent in to everything I do. Every job I have had has resulted in a quick promotion and praise from my superiors. I pick up things quickly and I give 150% all the time. Even in the job I am in now, I was hired to do the bare minimum and after three weeks of being there I was given more responsibility that someone who had been there a year. 

I pick up concepts very fast and crave more responsibility. Whenever I go somewhere new I just want to know everything as fast as I can. I think I am distinctive in my work ethic and ability to excel. This has been proven time and time again, and is the thing my coworkers and superiors comment on. It all stems from my parents example and encouragement to do my best always. I owe so much of who I am to the way that I was raised. I am so grateful for the work ethic instilled in me, and look forward to passing that on to my own children! 

B2C Case Study – SMASH+TESS

Smash + Tess is an online business with its headquarters in Vancouver that sells rompers. They are a well known clothing company, and have had many celebrety clients. Their marketing is done online and they have proven to continuously engage well with their consumers. Recently they launched a new romper design in collaboration with Jillian Harris, a lifestyle blogger in the Okanagan. This launch was promoted online through instagram posts and stories, and through the use of brand ambassadors. This is a common way that businesses are promoting their products through social media. It allows for more people to see their item and for more interaction with the content.

Something they do well is the use of Instagram stories. In their stories they show behind the scene content, and the owner of the company will often ask questions and seek engagement. This is a smart way of interacting with your online audience because they have a direct connection to the company. Smash & Tess will reply to comments and like and comment on photos they are tagged in, which also builds audience engagement. Before any new launch they will host an Instagram giveaway which draws attention to their profile and garners large new numbers of followers. 

Smash + Tess does a great job of engaging online and has shown to be a company that produces authentic and memorable content and products! 

Target Audiences

Thrifting and shopping sustainably is something that I absolutely love and value so much. I think that our clothing specifically can speak volumes into what we value. With this being said, a personal hobby of mine is thrifting for cothing. I find so much joy in finding clothing second hand, and in contributing to slow fashion rather than the fast fashion industry. As someone who is a part of this community I have realized a few things about the general demographic of the others in the community. 

Firstly thrifting has become something utilized not only by lower income individuals as it once was. There are now lots of people who lie more in the middle class range. However, sustainable clothing is a lot pricer than thrifted clothing and it is very much a privilege that a lot of people do not get to indulge in. These are the shops that are supported by middle class and higher class people. It can be tricky to be a lower income individual and spend $200 on one piece of clothing. It is very important to recognize the privilege that can often lay beneath the surfaces in the sustainability community. Both with clothing and other aspects of life. It is important not to shame or judge anyone, because some people just genuinely can not afford the sustainable options. 

As a brand or as a person who exists in this community it is so crucial to recognize that privilege that is there. I need to recognize my own privilege as a white woman nestled safely in middle class. And I need to carry myself with respect and care as I encourage people to switch to a sustainable life without shaming them. Encouragement over shame. Every time. 

Post 3 – Professional Networking now and in the future

When I was younger my mother worked as a radio host on one of our local radio stations. Im still not sure how she got that job or why she did it, as she was a lawyer for years before and is now a lawyer again. Despite my confusion as to why that was her career for a brief period of time, I remember so many fond memories from that time. We used to g in to the studio to watch her and would get to go to concerts and festivals for free with a “press pass”. Something I will always remember is my mother explaining the importance of networking at events like that.

She would always say that half of her job was networking. That is how she got access to things in the future and how she gained listeners and supporters. This lesson is something I see in her Law business as well. It is also something I see in my every day existence. A well developed professional network is so crucial for any kind of company, business, or entrepreneur. It is how you start out, how you continue to grow, and how you are a trusted name. 

I worked as a Children’s pastor for two years, and networking was so evident in the church community. When we would go to conferences I had to spend a good chunk of time “shmoozing” (thats what we called it). Meeting people from other churches, getting my name out there in case I wanted a new job, or if they needed a speaker for an event. Networking is essentially advertisement that you get to do with your personality! 

I have done a pretty good job of learning how to network in a setting of a confrence, where everyone is all in the same room with the intent of networking. However, in the last little bit I have been learning how to do networking online. Right now I work for an ethical clothing company. We network all the time! A way that I get to do that is through our social media. Commenting on different photos of people who look like they would be a good fit for influencers for our brand. Making relationships with people who are customers or who fit into the demographic of what our customers are. 

In the future I will continue to take advantage of the online community that has been built. I will stretch and develop my ability to connect with people over social media while continuing to work hard to keep my in person people skills alive and well!

Blog 2- Storytelling and Communication Styles

When my family gathers for a meal its a time of deep belly laughs and friendly arguments. Each of these things stems from the story that one of us is telling. We use stories to communicate information, to reminisce on the past, to bring insight into our future. Storytelling is an art form deeply ingrained in our human psyche. Reading through the information this week I was able to recognize the truth behind that belief! We have been telling stories since the beginning of time. 

It is also so interesting to me to see the change in a persons ability to focus. I bet you have skimmed over a few if not all of these words yourself! However, hundreds of years ago people would sit around a campfire for hours listening to a single story. While I skipped through my friend’s Instagram Story because it was fifteen seconds too long! Time has changed so we must change the way that we communicate our stories. It is up to us to change not what is being told, but rather how it is being told. I thought the idea of graduating from an inspectional type of reading all the way to an analytical and then even a syntopical type was so interesting. I have been able to identify myself resting at different levels depending on the content I am indulging in. It was really cool to be able to see titles for those things I can see in myself! 

The Dangers of Cancel Culture-

The popularity of social media has resulted in a surge of influencers skyrocketing to internet fame. With that there comes brand deals, fancy new homes, lots of adoring fans, and the terrifying chance of being “cancelled”. 

Its been seen time and time again. Just as a new YouTube or instagram influencer rises to fame, tweets resurface, people come forward, photos are posted, and drama ensues. 

James Charles is a Youtube star who has been cancelled so many times. The largest example of this was in 2019 when a fellow YouTuber posted a Youtube video titled “By Sister”. This Youtuber was a long time friend and collaborater with James Charles, and he often refered to her as his “LA mom”. The video that Tati Westbrook posted was forty minutes of her criticizing Charles. The main concern was that James was manipulating mens sexuality. As a gay man he apparently would offer fame to straight men in exchange for them to spend time with him. After the video came out people were furious with Charles and his subscriber count dropped substantially. His cancellation was trending on twitter and people were threatening him and his family.

However, as of right now his subscriber count is back up, he posts regularly, and people are supportive of him again. Herein lies the issue. Cancel Culture praises the extreme gut reaction of cancelling someone and ending their career, but there is no longterm commitment or plan. People who collaborate with the person being cancelled are forced to cut all ties or risk being cancelled themselves. This leads to the individual being completely ostracized by the community the once felt at home in. It can become aggressive and even unsafe. 

There are two issues that Cancel Culture can run in to. The first is a too aggressive approach. Accountability is so important, and people need to be held accountable to their actions. However, cancel culture often takes things too far. People are threatened at their homes, their families are borough into it and they loose hundreds of thousand of dollars in brand deals because no one wants to be associated with them. Often people will never let the individual give any explanation and will just jump into cancel mode with aggression and rage.

The second issue is a lack of longevity. Often times the cancelled individual just needs to make an apology video or post, wait a few months for things to blow over and then their lives will go back to normal. This teaches them that there is no real consequence for their actions and that they can continue to be above the law. 

At the end of the day, influencers are asking to be in front of the camera and on the screens of millions of people. They are putting themselves in the spotlight and will be experiencing the highs and lows of that no matter what. However, I believe that there can be a health medium ground in-between cancel culture and letting them run free. Their audience must hold them accountable, but must do so in a way that is mature and not life threatening. 


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