One of the unexpected practices I have learned are Google Alerts. I had never used them before and found the simple, quick, and effective idea brilliant. Rather than scrolling through and hour of tedious postings, my Google Alerts send me the best workout everyday, or meal to cook, and its something that makes life a little easier, which is one of the great gifts of social media.
I have also learned the effectiveness of listening to your target audience, finding where they are, and tailoring your campaign/product towards them. Through this, I have read and studied so many cases where people built empires out of nothing. They listened, observed and found their niche market and were able to built super successful companies off of free social media apps and websites.
My networking abilities is something I am very much always working on. A year ago, I even spent a fortune on a ‘Career Coach’ to help me out in this department. My weaknesses are selling myself and ‘putting myself out there’. This is a bit ironic as I am a very outgoing person, and love meeting new people. I think I just find these networking events so awkward and forced.
Recently I started a new job in the Middle East. I will be working here for minimum one year, but would ideally like to stay here closer to two. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet new people, and expand my network professionally. In doing so, I hope to be able to use these experiences to find other jobs elsewhere in the world and guide my next move that way. I no longer want to (plus, I am past the age) of moving to a city empty handed and trying to find something for 6 months. I would rather move to a city with something lined up. By doing so I need to always be checking in with my old friends and colleagues to stay relevant. Perhaps the best tool for this is LinkedIn. My goal for the next 6-12 months is staying on top of that and updating it to the best of my abilities to showcase my strongest assets. When the time comes, and when my working visa here is coming to an end, I will reach out to different people, networks and organizations in hopes of getting my name out there.
LinkedIn is by far the most professional of networking devices, but I would also like to use Instsgram and Facebook to reach out to people. Recently I have focused on changing my Instagram to show more of the aesthetics of where I am living: the landscape, culture, and styles. As oppose to before when my Instagram was a place to show me and my friends having a good time. I have found it is definitely attracting more photographers and business owners in the city, because I am always checking in my location and hashtagging important and relevant sights.
One of the organizations that I really admire for their social media is Tide. I have written a few articles on this company for previous courses and they not only make themselves relevant with what is popular in pop culture (ie: their Super Bowl 2018 Campaign ads), but also did a complete turn around on a social media disaster with the #TidePodChallenge where teens across the country were ingesting (and dying) from eating Tide pods for likes, follows, and retweets.
Another organization that I admire their social media brand is Always. A feminine hygiene product, they are challenging the stigma of the ‘period talks’. They make their commercials and campaigns more about female empowerment than dreading ‘every 28 days’. They are slowly abolishing this idea that periods are ‘gross’ and ‘taboo’ to talk about with boys; and they’re doing it well.
A brand that I believe could be better is Sensodyne. I know this seems a little off the charts, but their commercials and campaigns are so poorly made I have nightmares about them. It’s like they are trying to make it looks like hidden-camera-gorilla filmmaking and it is just a headache to watch. Shockingly, they have not changed their formula since these started appearing ten years ago. Even after film school I would watch these commercials in awe as they were filmed exactly as we were told NOT to do. I know toothpaste isn’t exactly ‘sexy’ campaign product, but with a little imagination you can still make an entertaining ad.
My favourite social media monitoring tool is Google alerts. I receive the emails daily with the exact buzzwords that I am looking to follow. In my case, I use it for fitness & health purposes, so I love waking up and seeing what new workouts, meal preps, and suggested recipes are uploaded for the day.
Recently for my work, I have started using Twitter. I know Twitter isn’t necessarily an alert like Google, but following the most recent hashtags or pages has allowed me to be on top of my game professionally (I work in TV & News, specifically Middle Eastern). It’s so easy for me to follow the latest trending things
In terms of where I get my source from, Facebook has always been a staple for me. I am able to follow pages like Vice, Business Insider, & Hollywood Reporter. These are all topics that really interest me and find myself getting a lot of great information just from the daily scrolling of Facebook I do anyways.
What about your childhood shaped you for this moment?
I think a million little pieces about my childhood brought me to where I am today. Of course, I’m not going to name them all, but I’ll share the ones that stick out the most for me.
For starters, I’m a middle child. There’s a reason we get a bad rap. We’re usually loud, messy, independent, sassy, and overall: a handful. I was a tomboy (especially compared to by ballet-dancing old sister), and when I wasn’t getting dirty playing soccer in the mud, I was stomping it through the house yelling my favourite tune at the top of my lungs for all to hear. I truly think this is where my ease for making friends, and my ability to tell stories took off. I embraced this identity of mine.
When I was in grade three my mother became very ill. She was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour, and my siblings and I watched out mother go through rounds of chemo, and then radiation. This is where I learned perspective, and empathy. It has carried with me into my adult world, as I continue to watch and care for my sick mother who has relapsed, I believe a powerful tool builds inside of any person who watched a loved one go through this. It’s a mixture of strength, but also seizing the day. Since moving to the other side of the world for a work opportunity, I’ve been asked by some people as to why I did that when I have a very sick mother at home. Because, I say, she’s the one who wouldn’t let me not take the job and lose out on this incredible opportunity.
These are just a few of the things that helped shape me into who I am today. I see them in a positive light, and am grateful for the perspective and strength they’ve given me to get to where I am today.
Some of my personal qualities and characteristics that set me apart from my competitors is my cheeky personality that I put out online. I’m not about the selfies and the seriousness and the million filters to morph my face. I truly do try and put an authentic version of myself out online.
Lately, I’ve tried to show a more vulnerable side to stand out. A year ago I made a difficult move after a breakup and rather than masking it with ego and pride, I posted a moving quote from one of my favourite authors Brene Brown, and a small caption telling people I was moving. The response was supportive and gracious. I think it was a nice reminder to people that we are all just doing the best we can. And although our instagram pages show us living our best lives, we all face hardship and try dealing with them the best way we know how.
My colleagues would definitely say my best trait is my sense of humour. I am always the silly one making light of situations and trying to put a smile on everyone’s face. I show this in my online persona as well. This is also something I am most proud of. I like being the one with the energy to liven people up. I want people to see my web pages and smile, or laugh. Of course, I want to be vulnerable when I need to, but I do think it’s equally important to make people laugh. We live in such a tough world these days anyways.
In the first course of this Social Media Certificate program, I wrote my last assignment on the Tide campaign for the 2018 Super Bowl. I’d like to continue this streak because it was absolutely a great example of Business to Consumer marketing (although I didn’t know that’s what it was called at the time).
Tide bought 5 commercial slots for the latest Super Bowl, after their disaster teenage-starter campaign #TidePodChallenge where young kids were ingesting Tide pods for likes, follows and retweets. Some cases were fatal. Tide stocks fell and to retaliate they came back stronger than ever with their Tide Campaign. First, they hired their lead who is one of the leading characters on the hit Netflix series ‘Stranger Things’. Immediately this is going to appeal to wider audience since the show itself is huge therefore the actor is recognized by many. However for each segment (they had a total of 5), they payed homage to previous ad campaigns. There was one for car insurance, men’s razors, classic car, etc. by advertising for one product, they were able to put it into literally every scenario possible. Their slogan was ‘every commercial is a Tide commercial’ which is brilliant because every commercial features clean clothes. And how do we get those clothes clean? Tide. Something that every household across North America can have.
I grew up a pretty serious athlete, and since retiring from my super competitive days; I have taken up workout out as a hobby. Although I miss running up and down the field with teammates, I have discovered (thanks to social media), and entire world of online workouts, trainers, and fitness apps.
Most of the online trainers I follow are female. As a woman myself, I relate and connect best with them and their goals, exercises and meal plans. Some of the super popular ones like Anna Victoria and Laura Jane, have created entire empire’s based on “workouts you can do wherever”. Their target audiences are fellow working women and they strive to show that you can always get a good sweat in wherever you are. They design their workouts in small, easy increments (usually no more than 20 minutes) and often use bodyweight alone. When something is broken down to such a simple formula, it takes the stress and pressure away. You don’t need an expensive gym membership or tons of equipment to reach your goals.
I appreciate this mindset, and have enjoyed logging onto their Instagram pages everyday to see what workout is laid out. They both also often to 30 Day Challenges which is another great way to hold one another accountable. The online fitness community has been so supportive and uplifting. I am so pleased to see, as a woman who is always struggling with appearances, to not feel intimidated or overwhelmed in that world.
This week, while reading the lessons, I learned that the most important thing in storytelling is listening to your audience. Knowing what to write and when to write about it is key to hitting a large audience in the most impactful way. This way, you can target who exactly your audience is. Perhaps they’re not who you originally set out to write for, however that should not slide you away from embracing the audience that is there to stay, listen, and interact.
Another important thing I learned is finding your voice. It was reassuring to read how companies are embracing the humanization of companies. They enjoy when huge companies start to get cheeky on Twitter. It shows that there’s a human behind there, and not some automated robot. It’s a goal of mine to run the social media account for a large company in the future, but I would be disappointed if they only wanted me to slur out facts and numbers. Making the texts in posts fun encourages people to engage in conversation, and especially a for a platform like Twitter, people don’t always want to be bombarded with serious talk and numbers. Growing your industry is also all about sharing, and if you have something current, fun and relevant, the odds of people pressing ‘Share’ skyrockets.
This past April I was in desperate need of a new experience. I knew I wanted to travel somewhere, but I also knew it needed to be somewhere I had never been before. I set out some feelers and emailed a couple friends. A former roommate of mine, Bianca, had married a man from Israel and moved to Tel Aviv a few years ago. Before speaking with her, I had never really considered Tel Aviv, or much of the Middle East, as a hot spot on my bucket list to travel. There were still so many other places I wanted to visit first, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity when she suggested I come for a few weeks and stay with her. Within three weeks of talking, I booked my first trip over there, and needless to say it was the start of my next great adventure.
I landed in Tel Aviv the night before their 70th Independence Day. The city was covered in flags and the feeling of pride and nationalism was everywhere I turned. It was surprising to see such an old piece of land celebrate such a young anniversary.
Bianca and her husband Dima lived in Old Jaffa, which is one of the oldest ports in the world. I enjoyed hearing of Israel’s history through the eyes of a local and not from some tourist group. He spoke passionately of the mandatory three years that every young Israeli man must serve in the military (for women, it’s a year and half), and proudly described in great detail each jet that flew over our heads at the Independence Day parade.
What struck me most about Tel Aviv was its modernism. Despite the beautiful old architecture, I often forgot I was halfway across the world. The culture is so vibrant and young. Live music fills the streets, and restaurants have gorgeous colourful carpets seeping out of their front doors. The Mediterranean Sea breeze makes everyone seem energetic and youthful. Besides not knowing a word of Arabic or Hebrew, I didn’t feel as out of place as a Caucasian woman in the Middle East might. And the people of Tel Aviv are rightfully proud of the persona they’ve created. It has become one of the ultimate spots out East to visit. So much so that in a month I will begin a year contact at their international news station. The place is bursting at the seams with foreigners like me who visited, fell in love with it, and made it a passion and a goal to move back.