COMM0015 – Blog #4 Out of the Box

Before this course, I did not realize or recognize that a major component of social media use was to direct followers to information of the organizations choosing. Often times, tools such as twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube are used to draw viewers to the organizational website or other blogs that align with the organizational mission.

Prior to studying social media marketing, it had not occurred to me that while social media could be used as a platform to get timely information out to followers, a major use is to direct the flow of viewership.

As an example, while I discovered Marie Forleo first through YouTube and then twitter, I became a more active follower when I started using her website; leaving comments and interacting with other followers. Her videos and twitter posts often direct you to her website for more discussion.

Additionally, I could see organizations using social media as a means of keeping followers connected on a personal level, such as the way Karena and Katrina of Tone It Up give you access to parts of their lives through Instagram and YouTube, while at the same time directing you back to their website for the next workout, recipe and commercial goods.

The uses of social media today compared to what we have seen in the past has changed dramatically as more and more sources become available and more organizations and individuals use the various tools. The future of social media is indefinite, as this relatively new medium for marketing evolves at an increasingly rapid pace.

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COM0015 – Professional Networking now and in the Future

I have heard over and over again that networking is one of the most essential activities in order to develop a successful career. Networking is useful as a form of creating new connections, opportunities for career advancement and discussing best practices in your area of work.

Presently and throughout the coming months, I plan to attend networking and social events where I know I will meet likeminded people. Joining a professional association and becoming involved in local chapter activities is an excellent example of my strategy for in-person networking. I am a member of Meeting Planners International, where I am able to discuss strategy for effective meeting planning and meet the top players in the industry. I am also a member of the Canadian Society of Association Executives, where I am able to meet with others working in the same sector as myself.

My strategy for involving the online component to networking often follows an in-person event. I make follow-up connections online with those I meet in person, often through LinkedIn and sometimes twitter. Using LinkedIn, I am able to send personal follow-up messages and keep in touch between in-person events. I can also reconnect with people leading up to future gatherings. A continual stream of networking between in-person and online assists in developing and maintaining connections and has become a standard means of interaction in the digital age.

COM0015: Blog #2 Strong & Weak Organizations

Tone It Up and Marie Forleo are two companies who base their organizations entirely in the virtual world; and do it well. These companies have had a major impact on me and many of my “online friends” for all things Health & Fitness (Tone It Up) and Lifestyle & Career (Marie Forleo). Through their YouTube videos, continual updates on facebook, pinterest, twitter and/or instagram, and blog posts on their website, followers feel connected to them. They make you want to be their friend in the real world!

With all the great work these organizations do, one main reason people keep coming back is because of the sense of community they create. You start interacting with other followers and get a conversation going. Something that Karena and Katrina of Tone It Up do especially well is their interactions with their followers. Getting a like, favorite, retweet, regram from them is outlandishly thrilling (going into girlish fits of glee over a like and retweet is both thrilling and somewhat embarrassing J)

The thing about these women is that they are all regular everyday women. But their use of social media and virtual platforms has resulted in these exceedingly successful organizations, now multimillion dollar ventures, both in under 5 years time. All through the use of the web!! I mean, how amazing is that!

An organization that could use social media to its advantage is the Glebe Community Association. Though they have a basic website set up for information sharing, the opportunities for directed promotion of their events and causes could be improved through social media such as twitter, facebook, youtube and instagram. Their main event, The Great Glebe Garage Sale, through by most standards very successful, could be even more improved by promoting in the pre, on-site and post stages. The opportunity to create a buzz and conversation might bring this longstanding event (inception 1986) even more success.

The website is poorly laid out and it is frustrating to find the date of the event, let alone in what vicinity of the Glebe it will take place. These details should be sent out to followers well in advance, highlighting different opportunities for vendors and attendees. Initially, creating a facebook page where all forms of media promotion can be posted (pictures, videos, etc.), would be a good starting point. These days, most people have a facebook page, and can follow the group. They should also cross promote through twitter and encourage interaction with attendees, vendors and organizations within the City of Ottawa. Perhaps this would create an opportunity to expand the scope of the event, increase tourism and raise profits for their causes.

Finally, creating a position for a social media specialist on their board or committee would also be beneficial. Reorganizing the fluidity of their website and connecting browsers to their social media platforms would enable awareness and conversation for all their events and activities.

COM0015 – Blog #1: Tools & Sources

My two favorite social media tools are Facebook and YouTube. In the realm of Facebook, you are able to access compatible individuals and groups with a goal of information sharing. Through the use of Groups and Pages, organizations can update and reach their consumers with news, events, interest pieces and more. As well, group members are able to interact with one another to enhance the objective of the organization. The online forum of Facebook also allows people from all areas of the world to connect based on interests; often instantly with the advent of smart phones. Through the use of the news feed, up-to-date information can be shared. By liking and re-sharing posts from others, users are able to transmit and disseminate information. Organizations also have the ability to share information from other social media and online sources, such as; websites, twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

YouTube is an excellent source for organizations to connect through the use of video. This communication tool allows viewers to experience and be part of the organization or group. Through the use of videos, people are able to quickly see and hear what is going on within an organization. In so much, viewers feel as though they are a part of the organization’s activities. The ability to imbed YouTube videos to be played through other sources, such as Facebook and company websites, expands the use of YouTube for companies.

In terms of news monitoring and updates of interest to me, two of the platforms I use are Paper.li and ToneItUp. In terms of being aware of news and current events, Paper.li is an excellent source. The online “paper” is geared to me based on my areas of interest and pulls news stories from different sources, all to one online source. Users of Paper.li are able to share their personalized “paper” with others through Facebook and Twitter.

The second platform which provides updates of personal interest to me is ToneItUp. The creators of this blog and online community use many social media tools to promote their message of health and personal wellness; providing workout plans, nutrition plans, personal interest stories and an online community of support. The multi-platform approach enables followers to be involved in the community and correspond with one another and its creators.

Hope Caldwell