COMM0015 – Tools & Sources

Google Analytics and Facebook Insights are the go-to monitoring tools that I have been using to follow both my current job social media platforms and the personal sites that I have a hand in promoting. These two tools give me the most information at a glance – sometimes it’s enough to know what is happening and other times we would need to dig deeper into the stats. We also use Facebook Insights and Social Mention for up to the minute information about who’s talking about us.

The more that I get into these courses the more information there is to absorb and reflect upon – I’m looking forward to learning more about how we can utilize these tools in our everyday monitoring of our website and social media platforms. To be able to know your audience inside out and to be able to write content towards their thoughts, concerns and interests become the ultimate challenge and these tools should make that process just a little bit easier.

Implementing a social media listening strategy will allow you to track, analyze and respond to anyone who has mentioned your brand or industry. The actionable part of social media listening is what actually differentiates it from just monitoring. Analyzing these mentions will allow you to identify the actionable items that could be anything from talking to a customer or maybe even changing your whole brand positioning strategy.

All businesses who engage in social media should be doing some social media listening; if you’re not then your strategy is being developed with blindfolds on. If you don’t monitor your social media then you’re not taking advantage of all the insights you get from real people talking about your company. If you don’t care about social listening, you don’t really care about your customer, and that’s just bad business.1

These monitoring apps are easy to use and are very insightful. They allow you to drill down on the statistics in Google Analytics and Facebook Insights. For now, these will work to enlighten us as to what is being read, seen and commented on but as the program progresses I hope to revisit this blog and make sure that I have learned more and implemented different strategies to monitor our social media platforms.

1        NEWBERRY, Christina. June-13-2017  “Social Listening: What it is, Why You Should Care, and
          How to Do It Well.”
          https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-listening-business/

 

 

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COM0014 – Personal Reflection

Of all the courses I have taken in this Certificate program – I feel that this course was the one that I felt was possibly the most difficult. For those of us who are not writers, it was sometimes a nightmare to try and write a blog post.

I am a business person and I write business letters, thanks for your business, please send your payment and a referral would be beneficial for both of us. This is the writing I have done for many, many years. To try and write something that is unfamiliar was often times difficult.

I tried to be funny, I tried to be serious and I tried to be the kind of writer I thought everyone would want to read – but reflecting back now on those times I struggled with writing the “right” words or saying something witty was somewhat uncomfortable.  Now,  I can honestly say that the times when writing felt the best was when I was writing like ME! I don’t want to be someone else and I’m sure they wouldn’t want to be me. This course has opened my eyes that maybe being a “perfect” writer might not always be what’s required.

The diversity in our audiences can help make this storytelling as diverse as them. What I will take away from this course is that I can write (somewhat) and that I just need to have our audience tell us what they want through connecting with them in an effective way. You will know when it’s not right – they just leave and not come back. So it’s OK to experiment with how you approach and educate your audience.  We will tell a story to them through our actions, sharing and communicating with the right communications tools. However, it may be by trial and error but through compelling storytelling we want our audience to feel emotion when they see our “brand” and hopefully, our stories will motivate them, evoke some emotion and possibly they will take some sort of action – we will know when our audience approves.

My last blog !!!!

(in this course . . . )

 

COM0014 – Blog No. 6 – Too Much Has Changed!

Ten years ago, who would have thought we’d be here today? Only. Ten. Years. Ago! Wow, there has been a lot of blood, sweat, and tears over the last ten years. There has been so much happen here especially with the people who have come and gone. Stories told and re-told, losing some of the panache along the way.  Where will we be in the next ten years?

Too much has changed; the people, the technology, and the way that people consume our product. We used to be the only source where people could get our product. With the years that have past, so many changes – the biggest change – Social Media. My heart aches for the people who come after us. So much has changed.

How do you get your news? We had our popular day in the sun when dinosaurs roamed the earth or so it seems. It’s hard to believe that within the last ten years the student newspaper here at Brock University has almost become extinct.  I fear that within the next few years it will go by the way of the dinosaur – extinct – never to be revived.

With the introduction of social media and the way that people consume it every day; is it any wonder that people have opted for a faster, easier, up to the minute way of getting their news. Students, faculty, staff and just everyday consumers of news will turn to their smartphones, iPads or computers to get it. We are in a transition period – how do keep up with our social media neighbours?  Not an easy task these days. We are trying to re-invent who we are! We want to have people be excited about getting their news from us again.

Students don’t seem to have any time for anything other than a headline, although that doesn’t always tell the story. We want people to slow down, pick up a paper and read about what’s happening here – right where you are!  Students are hungry for knowledge and have a thirst for up to date information and yet the student newspaper sits on the racks untouched.  It’s not too hard to handle, it’s not too big to hold and it’s not too complicated to read but no one wants it.

The fear is what happens next! Where do we go from here? How do we let people know that we don’t want to become extinct – we want to live!. We want to be the first choice in news on campus once again!

Would you drop by and read a paper with us?

 

Let Them Live Longer

What does one say about one’s self? How does one talk about themselves without sounding like a narcissist? Everyone knows in their heart what they’re good at or better yet – what they’re not so good at. So, just to break the ice I think that some of my personal qualities that would set me apart are the fact that I am extremely organized, a person who thrives on details and depending on what we’re talking about I can be quite knowledgeable. Now, you’re saying everyone could also have all of these characteristics. I think though, that I can say that I am just a little bit better.

I have had a couple of personal standouts over the last few months. I took on the position of Editor of the newsletter for the Canadian Bernese Mountain Dog Club. I have been doing this for almost a year now and I am constantly getting compliments that I am doing a great job. This helps with the confidence levels when people are encouraging from behind the scenes. The last issue that was sent out including a collection of photos I had taken at the recent National Club Show in Quebec.  The previous Editor had never used any of her photos. I think these photos allowed the newsletter to be reviewed a little differently. The compliments just flew around for days. This is an ego booster, for sure.  Having my photos used – let me and the newsletter stand out just a little!

Whether I’m working with colleagues in my workplace or with the Bernese Mountain Dog Club and the Blood Collection Project (which I talked about in previous assignments), they would all truly describe me as dedicated. This is one of the best attributes I have. This is something that I have worked a very long time to recognized for – being reviewed as someone who is worthy of working there and to know that they have a person who can be counted on.

My constant drive is to complete every task with enthusiasm and be distinguished from the rest because I know that to do something – is to do it right and complete. This would be a remarkable and measurable trait.  Bragging rights have to go to my involvement in starting the Blood Collection Project – my heart project is to see our Berners living without these horrible diseases that keep taking them way too soon. When we finally get this project off the ground (in the next couple months) we’re all hoping that people will participate and maybe – just maybe this could be the life-changing breakthrough that the researchers need to help our Berners live longer!

COM0014 – Blog No. 4 – Life Without Dogs . . .

A B2C Social Media analysis. This blog will be somewhat a self-critique. The Bernese Mountain Dog Club of South Western Ontario is dedicated to the promotion of the breed standard, the working heritage of the breed, and protecting the interests of the breed all in a fun, friendly and active environment enabling its members to enjoy their Berner friends and family members.

I am a part of the social media team for this club. I am able to make changes to our website and make Facebook posts on a fairly regular basis when we have upcoming events and news releases.

When I first became active in the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of South Western Ontario their social media presence was barely visible – they had 308 followers on Facebook (which was about 18 months ago). Today, they are approaching 775. This has been a victory to earn more followers. The efforts have consisted of posts that included pictures/graphics and text – this seemed to attract more people to stop and have a look at what was happening at the time of the post.  The website is consistent with the Facebook posts, many of the visuals used on the Facebook page are also being used on the website. Updates are done simultaneously.

Most of the events that are promoted are for dog shows and fun activities. People will go to this club’s social media to find out more information about these events, such as when and where.

The critique comes from not providing enough information on the breed and where people can go to find out where to locate a respectable breeder, suggestions for feeding, fun activities to do with your Berner, etc. I would like to provide this information on all social media and to find out maybe if Twitter might be an avenue to explore, especially leading up to the events that are being advertised on other social media platforms and possibly start a Blog, although people can comment on the Facebook page.  I feel that there can be more social media activities done for this club. Learning about the social media possibilities makes you want to try some of them out and see what responses you get and if something can help promote this Club more.

Who could have a Life Without Dogs . . .

 

COM0014 – Blog No. 3 – Young or Old, They’re Good as Gold

Target Audience

Young or Old, They’re Good as Gold

My hobby is an extremely niche one – Bernese Mountain Dogs. In researching for a target audience many different search words were used in Google Trends and Twitter Search. I realized at some point through this exercise just how niche it is. Twitter search came up with probably hundreds of individuals who own a Bernese Mountain Dog and maybe just a few groups or clubs relating to Berners. The searches (e.g. #berners, #bernese, #bmds, to name a few) would be a good place to follow like-minded people.

The Google Trends search turned up a little more information than Twitter on the demographics of this particular Bernese Mountain Dog search. It was able to give me information on the Interest By Region, some Related Topics and Related Queries see examples below (top 5).

Interest By Region

Canada                                              100

Ireland                                               85

United States                                    69

Australia                                            57

New Zealand                                     52

Related Topics

Breed – Bernese Mountain            100

Dog – Animal                                    100

Mountain Dog – Topic                     30

Puppy – Animal                                25

Breed-Organism Classification      5

Related Queries

Puppies                                             100

Puppy – BMD                                    95

BMD – Puppy                                    80

Dogs                                                   80

Bernese Mountain Dog                  55

There are several clubs that maintain Facebook Pages – this is where I would start listening to clues about my audience and to get to know their communities as they are throughout Canada and the United States. I currently follow most if not all North American Bernese Mountain Dog Facebook Group Pages. My heart project – the Blood Collection Project for Bernese Mountain Dogs that I spoke about in my Assignment 2 this is a Canada wide project to get blood samples from Berners across the country to be used for research into diseases that affect this breed – this is where news would travel the quickest and where I would go to get the word out. As well as directing professionals (vets, members of Berner-Garde, and MSU) to follow our communities to learn more about our Berners and the ailments that are affecting them. The owner of these big beautiful “bears” talk about all things good and the horrible things that we experience. This breed only has an average lifespan of only 7-9 years – not long enough for any us.

I would use the data from Facebook as an indication whether or not people were talking about this project, if they are sharing the information and if they are inquiring about the project. The people who scour social media about this breed are from all different age groups, ethnic backgrounds and have differing reasons for doing so, pet owner or breeder. We have fun in our local Facebook Group and hopefully, every other Group does as well. It takes all kinds of people.

Young or old, they’re good as gold – all the people who make up the Berner world.

COM0014 – Blog No.2 – The Importance of Getting It Right

A ton of reading and digesting information has led to a more confusing mind then when I first opened this lesson on Digital Storytelling. Through all of it though there is the importance of getting it right. There are several ways to do the same thing and it has led me to believe that you can tell a story in a thousand different ways. One way has stood out for me. Through further reading and in an article on blog.bufferapp.com/storytelling-formulas “11 Storytelling Formulas to Supercharge Your Social Media Marketing” by Alfred Lua – he quoted from J.D. Schramm via Harvard Business Review:

Parachute in, don’t preamble. The best storytellers draw us immediately into the action. They capture our attention and set the tone for a unique audience experience. Avoid opening with “I’d like to tell you a story about a time when I learned . . .” Instead, drop us into the action and draw the lesson out later.1

This communication style can be used to grab your audience’s attention so that you don’t lose them or have them just skip on by your story altogether. Once you’ve determined your style and you begin to tell your story – tell it in an active voice. This style is normally more clear and inviting to your readers. Once you start to write always remember to be your own copy-editor. Diligently look for correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar all the while staying within your style. Remember practice, practice, practice . . . will make you a better writer.

Always be aware of what you are hoping your audience gets out of your story and as you go through future story ideas you should always keep your audience in mind. Writing a great article doesn’t always mean that it will be read – be mindful of how you can encourage people to read, absorb and interact with your content. You should also be considerate of the experience you want your audience to have. Social media should be a two-way conversation and if so, you will need to coax your audience to take some sort of action. Before you start to post your content know what action you want it to be. Some actions you could have your audience do is share a message, leave a comment or ask a question. Some successful content writers will end their story by asking a question.

And finally, give your audience easy ways to share your content. Persuade your audience through great content to want to share your stuff.

 

  1. SCHRAMM, J.D., October 8, 2014. “A Refresher On Storytelling 101” Harvard Business Review  hbr.org/2014/10/a-refresh-on-storytelling-101

COM0014 – Blog No. 1 – Dog Days of Summer

Post No 1 – What I Did on My Vacation

Photo Credit: Gaye Janzen

Vacation! Who wants more than a few days off at a time to go to some exotic location and just soak in the sunshine? Not I.  My vacations consist of weekends at agricultural fairgrounds, community centres, and arenas. No sunshine here (well sometimes when we’re outside); as we travel between Ontario and Quebec. My Bernese Mountain Dogs are the reason. Would you travel for hours to have fun with your dog?

We show my dogs in Canadian Canine Conformation. Conformation showing is all about whether or not your breed specific dog conforms to what the breed standards state is correct. Is the colour of their fur the right colour, do they fall within the height limits as set out in the standards, is their tail too long, are their ears too short, is their body the right shape . . . All of this is judged by judges who have worked for years to become a conformation judge. They must take classes on breed standards, they must be mentored by other judges, or breed specific breeders, pass tests and then they must judge a specific number of dogs within a breed before they can be qualified to judge that breed.

Enough of all the technical stuff, we have a blast every summer taking our Berners on adventures throughout Ontario and Quebec. This summer was no exception! We traveled to Knowlton, Quebec for the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Canada’s Canadian National Conformation Show. All the best of the best Berners were there from across Canada, the United States and I believe there was a couple there who traveled from Europe.

We left early Thursday morning, got stuck in rush hour traffic for about an hour and a half. Wasn’t that a great start to this “vacation” (can you just see the air quotes happening?). I’m not one who loves to drive on the 400 series highways so the delay was a little more aggravating than normal. We got through the traffic jam and started our eight-hour drive down the boring (and I mean boring) 401. Kilometer after kilometer ticked away and we finally arrived at our destination. Nine and half hours later – the reason is another story.

Upon arrival, we ran into so many friends and people we knew. It’s always a great time when you can vacay with friends; it makes the parties so much more fun. We needed to get settled in and set up – a friend rented an RV for us but it was a little small – I need to tell you that my husband is a bigger man and our dogs aren’t small – I’m not huge but I’m certainly not small and we could hardly fit us all in – just made for a cozier four days. The dogs didn’t like it at all – that was for sure!

For the next two and half days we competed in all the classes we were eligible to compete in – although my one guy won his class – he needed to move up the ladder and there was no more love after his class wins. All the dogs competing were the best and beautiful representations of this great breed. The judges came from all over the world (Austria, Australia, US, and Canada) had nothing but great comments about all of the competing dogs. We were happy for our friends and for our new friends who were honoured with some of the great wins. Sunday afternoon, we packed up and with a heavy heart said goodbye to friends we wouldn’t see for a while and some new friends we might not see again then headed back down the highway towards home.

Friends, dogs, ribbons, great weather and a mini vacation – could you ask for anything more??

#bernersarethegreatest

7 Steps for an Instagram Campaign from Nothing

Instagram continues to rise in popularity ever since it entered into the social media scene. As of July 16, 2015 it was active with over 500 million users  –  the second most popular social media platform next to Facebook. What a huge marketing opportunity, just imagine the impact on leads and sales.

Here’s an outline of steps to follow to be able to take advantage of Instagram:

  1. Find Your Niche

Before opening an account, download the app, or before you start posting pictures you need to figure out your niche. Because of the millions of users you will need to determine what will make you stand out from the rest and that you provide something valuable and relevant to the specific demographic you are marketing.

  1. Claim Your Account

You need to decide between a personal account and a branded corporate account. Download the app, pick a user name (short and relevant to you). When you complete your profile use a delightful image of yourself and be sure to connect to all your other social media accounts. Be thorough.

  1. Post Something New Once Per Day

To be able to attract a following you must be providing a steady stream of new material so you give people a reason to return. For the Instagram social media platform, posting once per day is the general rule. Check out 100 Killer Ideas For Your Social Media Content

Attract Initial Followers

If you decided to create a personal brand and connected your Facebook – you canfollow everyone you know. You can also ask people to follow you. The bigger the audience the more you’ll need to meet a minimum threshold. Check out 50 Free Ways to Increase Your Instagram Followers.

  1. Perfect Your Photography & Hashtags

The more exceptional your posts are, the more followers you will attract, and the more engagement you will get from them. You don’t need to be a professional photographer to be able to post great Instagram Photos but you do need to know some of the basics such as the rule of thirds, effective framing and the right/wrong way to use colours. Example, a photo that is pre-dominantly red would attract more interactions just because they would stand out on people’s newsfeeds. Hashtags on everything you post, labelling them with a description or specific trends. People use hashtags to help you find new material. Have a look at What Does the Perfect Instagram Post Look Like

  1. Follow People in Your Niche

Now you need to follow other people in your niche. This gives you an opportunity to expand your following. This also gives you the opportunity to check out your competition and to learn from the kinds of posts they make. You could even work together to help expand your reach.

  1. Engage

The most important aspect of Instagram Marketing success comes from the reason we have social media to begin with: engaging with each other on a social level. To keep your audience they need to be engaged, informed and entertained.

These are important for building and maintaining a follow up.  To start, comment on images in your newsfeed and respond to all the people who comment on your images.

These steps can’t guarantee a massive Instagram following – for that you need amazing content, consistency, and engagement.

 

source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2016/07/14/7-steps-to-start-an-instagram-marketing-campaign-from-nothing/#8731ad060eb1

 

“Thing” To Do!

Several years ago, at work, we started using several different social media platforms because wasn’t that the “thing” to do? Well, up until now we haven’t really been able to determine how we were doing.  We have used some of the metrics info you find within the different platforms, without much success. After going through the information in this lesson – it has become apparent that there is still much to learn.

Key Performance Indicators

Now when we decide to launch a social media campaign and for it to be effective and efficient we most certainly have to have a defined set of measurable objectives and outcomes. In order to have measurable outcomes or Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are agreed upon metrics that will help us establish how successful our social media activity actually is. The first important thing to decide is what we want to measure. Some of the popular metrics are:

Reach –  it could measure the number of fans, followers, blog subscribers and other statistics which would gauge the size of the community

Engagement –  is about measuring retweets, comments, average time on the site, bounce rate, clicks, video views, white paper downloads, and anything else that requires the user to engage

Competitive – data may include the brand’s “voice” across the web or number of competitors brand mentions

Sentiment – possible measure the number of positive or negative mentions

Sales Conversions –   you can measure social media referral traffic which goes to the top of the sales funnel or  number of sales aided by social media efforts

Budget Comes Into Play

The budget will come into play for the amount data which needs to be collected and archived. This will help in the determination of the cost of social media monitoring. Before going out and buying the most expansive tool  that promises to keep your data forever, you can ask yourself do we really need it? There are several lower-cost tools that would include some Google Alert. Google Alerts is a free way to monitor our brand terms across the web. Google analytics is a free tool which helps us track social media.

So to make sure that you’re getting the best deal, make sure that you provide yourself with all of the knowledge of exactly what you need to track your social media.

What will you use to monitor your social media?

Source: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/5-social-media-monitoring-tools-to-simplify-your-marketing/