As I have just recently recovered from Covid, and was unable to attend an event or live webinar, I have decided to write about a Webinar I previously attended in March of 2020 and have re-watched to get a refresher.
The Webinar I attended was simply titled Marketing Webinar and was through Jobs.ac.uk. The reason I chose Jobs.ac.uk is due to it meeting my current needs of finding Advertising & Marketing employment. They are a well established Job board that has been around since before Google! They offer career advice, job leads, careers in other countries not just specific to the UK, and they are created by the academic community for the academic community.
The reason I chose a UK based webinar, was because I wanted to see the differences in Advertising and Marketing around the world. I was interested to note the similarities and differences, and to see if other countries were on to something that perhaps we haven’t caught on to yet in Canada.
The presenters for this Webinar are Andrew Buckley who is the Director of Marketing Communications for Durham University, Katja Lamping who is the Student Recruitment Director at UCL, Debbie Naylor an Events Manager at the University of Birmingham and Sarah Dietrich who is a Business Development Manager at the University of Warwick.
A few things that I’ve picked up while watching this webinar, is that it borders on classist in terms of education, and at times those leading the discussion can be quite arrogant. As a Job Search agency, they appear to focus on the perfect candidate, and education, rather than added some of the human aspects like having a strong moral compass, which is needed in order to communicate to members on your marketing team. While it was difficult to get through what appeared to be an ego stroking contest, of who had the most credentials, the Webinar did have some good points.
For instance, Andrew Buckley mentioned how it’s a digital age, and that while traditional marketing still has a place, the trend is leaning towards digital. This is leading to less interest in newspapers and magazines, and more interest in reducing a carbon footprint while offering an effective strategy which increases engagement. Another point that he made is how graduate students are often confused about the roles offered in the industry. They receive the education, and training, however one thing the Universities and Colleges fail to prepare students for, is the actual job titles they will be applying for, leading to confusion and applicants being discouraged to even apply for positions.
Overall it was an eye opening Webinar, it offered some good information, but not great. Rather than focusing on the point of the Webinar, it often lost focus as it turned to credential boasting to one up one another. I expected more, however I came away learning something, and that’s the goal.
As someone who is well verses in social media platforms, I was worried that I may not come across something that was truly unexpected. This course has humbled me, and allowed me to understand how ever evolving social media is and how deep and complex it can be. I have had many moments that have been completely unexpected, for instance; I have recently learned that Instagram is actually not as popular with this generation as I had previously thought, at least not in the traditional sense.
As a need to remain more anonymous, they use apps that keep their privacy intact way more than I previously thought. Amongst popular apps, teens rely on apps such as Snapchat, BeReal, Whisper, to keep a level of secrecy from parents. Through those apps, they share photos from parties, or underage drinking or drug use, or behaviour you would typically get in trouble from your parents for. The key with these apps, is that the photo disappears after a certain amount of time, leaving no trail for parents to find.
That’s not to say however that teens don’t use Instagram, rather they just use it in a non traditional way. Instead of posting photos of the stuff they don’t want parents to see publicly, they create a “Finsta” or Fake Instagram. Typically it’s kept private, and created under a different email and username so that parents cannot find it. As more apps come out, and social media continues to evolve, the more ways kids and teens are finding to hide things from their parents. While privacy is a good thing, these techniques can lead to real world trouble with online predators, and it shows the need for parents to understand what these apps are, but more importantly having discussions with their children to not take away their privacy but rather educate them on the dangers that exist online.
As a former student who graduated on the deans list of an Advertising & Marketing Communications program, I’ve seen from the side of those who have succeeded with gaining employment, and the side of those who haven’t. You can chalk me up to being one of those who wasn’t able to attain employment in the field.
Was this due to lack of sending in applications? Was it due to lacking the required skills? Was it due to an over saturated ad field? What was the cause? Well, it was a little of an oversaturated advertising field, however it was mostly a lack of confidence, and a fear of failing at what I had been successful at in a classroom setting for 3 years.
With that said, i’ve thought a lot over the last few years as to how I can gain that confidence back, and try again, this time succeeding at an industry I won’t give up on. My parent strategy is quite simple, and was put into place before taking this course; it was to go back to school, this time specializing in an area of the advertising world that I enjoyed and felt like I would have the most success in. The plan was always to begin this course, then to take a course after this that addresses my weak points in an area that I know will be used frequently, that area is the Excel program. Following that course, I will then move onto an analytic based social media program where I am able to utilize the skills learned from the Excel program. Following these courses, will be actively setting up career meetings with the school, in order to make sure my resume is up to snuff, and to make use of any resources they have, which will help me along the way.
I plan on growing my network via career fairs, catch up with those who I graduated with on Linkedin, and freshen up those connections, and attending advertising events hosted around the city.
There is a vast sea of social media empires, but when it comes to finding the companies who are doing a great job, and those who are doing a not so great job at utilizing the platforms available to them, it takes an experienced fisherman to find them.
When it comes to a strong social media presence, I think Nike is spot on with their usage. They haven’t always utilized social media the best, and if you search their presence you’ll notice they appear as one of the worst social media presences around 2015. A lot of time has passed, and so has their social media strategy and personally, I love how how they operate now, especially how they create a sense of community through each platform.
They set an example by featuring women and men of all colours, abilities and sizes equally on their platforms, this creates that sense of unity, and inclusivity. They don’t shy away from the social justice issues, and create campaigns that directly bring attention to those said issues. For instance, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, they had changed their tag to read “For once, don’t do it.” alluding to the on going issue of systemic racism in the United States. They also featured athletes of all colour on their platforms, with messages of support and personal stories of racism they too have experienced.
These videos enhanced the message of equality, and the importance of coming together. This is just one example of the many that Nike has been successful at through social media platforms, if you want to find a company that does it right, look no further than Nike.
There are MANY weak organizational uses of social media, but one takes the cake. Pizza Hut has a terrible social media presence, which is sad to say because it is filled with mouth watering visuals. They almost have it right, but instead of coming off as a quirky and quick witted social account, that is trying to one up accounts of a similar nature such as IHop, Denny’s and Jimmy John’s, it comes across as an out of touch “boomer” who is trying to stay young and cool. It misses the mark, and comes off as “cringe” and it’s not hitting the intended demographic.
If I were to make some changes to their social media usage, I would first start by either hiring a younger person to take over the account, and switch up the online image completely, using terms that this generation is familiar with. The second option is to simply embrace the cringe. Make it your social media image, keep the bad dad jokes, throw in images or videos featuring dad’s in the meme worthy dad clothes. Make the online presence a meme, something to talk about. Teens are embarrassed by their parents, that’s a phase they all go through and can mostly all relate to, embrace it.
If there’s one thing that I love about living in the digital age, it’s that we are now able to track so much more data. Whether it be determining the trajectory of an asteroid passing in earths atmosphere, or in the case of Social Media experts; listening to the users and tracking trends in analyze in order to create a social plan that will build a bigger audience, the continued growth of data analysis is simply impressive.
When it comes to choosing a listening and monitoring tool, the first item on my checklist is to make sure it has an extensive dashboard. I feel as if dashboards are so vital to the success of a good social plan, and while the data is the most important part, so is functionality. With how many data points there is available, it’s critical that a dashboard is designed in an organized manner that makes searching for and accessing that data an easy task.
That said, my two favourite listening and monitoring tools at the moment is HootSuite and Sprout Social. Some of the main complaints others have with Hootsuite, is they find the interface to be confusing. I have to disagree, like anything there is a learning curve, but once you understand what you’re looking at and how to navigate the tool, it’s easy peasy. The reason I enjoy this tool is because it can track data points across more social networks than a lot of these competing tools offer. That gives us more to work with, and helps us create a more detailed and thorough social media plan. I also enjoy how if there is more than one user on an account, you are able to separate tasks in an organized manner.
My second favourite listening and monitoring tool is Sprout Social. I really enjoy how easy it is to navigate, and how simple it is to analyze the data given in order to create growth and improve engagement. Personally, I think the addition of a Tasks tab is a great touch in terms of organization, as it helps separate the clutter, and essentially gives you a space to assign specific tasks to each team member directly. This ensures that each member knows their job, and can identify feedback as specific to them.
When it comes to which news sources I focus on, it solely comes down to what sort of news i’m looking for. If i’m looking for gaming news or entertainment, i’m going to be checking Twitter, if i’m looking for something more professional and career related then i’ll be searching LinkedIn. If I want to search on Twitter for those career related topics, I will use a professional account and create a list of my favourite content creators. This will create a timeline of more mature and career focused content from individuals I have verified as being authentic. I will also only use that account for career related searches, so that the Twitter algorithm only shows me related content.
Another news source I use often is Reddit. Due to the vast amount of sub-reddit’s, you can easily search for any breaking news related to a category of your choice. For instance, if you want worldwide news you simple visit the sub-reddit r/worldnews and if you are interested in local news, you simply search r/ and the location you are looking for. I visit r/Toronto frequently to catch up with news in the city as it happens. You can also use the search function to type in keywords that will bring up a specific news article that you are looking for.
What’s in your toolbox? Let me know in the comments below!
I’ve always considered myself to be quite proficient at communication. I thought the way I would write, and get my message across to others whether it be through a written assignment or social media post was hitting the mark. I never considered it to be a weak point or something I needed to improve upon, that is until I took this course.
I’ve learned so much in this course with regards to communication, the first being to listen to your audience. I never realized how important it was to listen to your audience and to be in tune to what they are saying. Once you are mindful that a conversation is between people not at people, you begin to understand a base point of where to begin. For instance, using the RSS Feed Feedly.com you are able to centralize a topic of interest, and keep track of the conversation being had about specific content. It can help you track and keep tabs of the conversations and allow you the opportunity to jump in and offer material of substance related to that conversation.
The second most important thing i’ve learned is storytelling, and why it’s so important in creating quality digital content. The goal is to always keep readers engaged to the story you are telling, and following a few steps should allow for that to happen seamlessly. The first thing you want to check is that your story is clear and concise, meaning your written work must have a clear beginning, middle and end. Breaking up your content with subheadings makes it easier for the reader to stay focused and if they feel like skimming they can find the relevant parts. The difficult part is to find a balance between detail and rambling, if you ramble on for too long it’s quite easy to lose the attention of the reader, so finding a good balance can be a trial through error process, but beneficial when you find the correct mix.
The second step to focus on is that your grammar, spelling and punctuation are error free. A written post without simple errors provides an element of professionalism to your piece, and will typically earn the respect of the reader. Your reader will always appreciate being able to read an article or blog post, without having to decipher along the way.
The third step is to know the difference between a passive voice and an active voice. Typically you want to write in the active voice, as putting the subject of the sentence in an active role is more clear and to the point. It cuts out the wordiness of sentences, and focuses on the important information while keeping the focus of your reader.
You want to tell stories that are interesting, and captivate the reader. It should be your goal to captivate, inspire, motivate, and thoroughly entertain your audience. You always want your reader to enjoy the story so much, that they interact afterwards and keep coming back for your content. It’s important to keep a theme, if your content is about travel, it’s important to keep to travel, and not create posts about gaming or tech. You must know who you are, what content you offer, and keep to the recipe that works without confusing readers about what you offer in terms of content.
I recently read an article written by John Jantsch titled “Do People Know Your Story” and as fascinating as it was, there was a question he asked that really grabbed my attention. The question he posed was “What excites me to get out of bed every morning?(related to my business)”. It’s something I never truly thought about, as with most people, life can become stagnant and repetitive, both at home and work, and mine was no different. I would wake up, have breakfast, take the train to the city to work, and then come home to eat dinner and go to bed – repeat.
When I read that question posed by Mr. Jantsch, I took the time to look inside and to really find what excites me to get out of bed every morning, because there’s a reason I do every day and why I make a living, it’s not just a routine it’s a want. I realized that I’ve been failing to look at the little things during the day, specifically at work. Once I began looking more intently, I noticed the small day to day changes, and I no longer found it as repetitive as I made it out to be. Each day the conversations with colleagues were new, the task at hand changes every day, the clients wants and needs change. If only by a little at times, I found that my job is not as repetitive as I thought.
Once you’re hired and begin your new job, everything is new and exciting, and over time that excitement wears off as you become adjusted to the workplace environment. You find your groove, and it becomes ‘easy’ and as someone who is goal oriented, I realized what excites me every day is the challenge. I realized that if I want challenge, I needed to take things into my own hands and ask for more responsibility, and so I did. I now wear several different hats, received a raise, and made it a daily mission to uplift others who may be feeling in a rut themselves. It excites me every day to be my best self and to continue learning and developing, and eventually becoming an invaluable asset to the company, sometimes you need to create your own excitement.
I’ve always been a person who is good with finding the words, at times I can talk up a storm however when it comes to talking about myself, the words tend to escape me. Over time, I’ve realized that it was mostly due to wanting to fit into the mold of others, rather than staying true to myself. Once I made the conscious decision to stay true to myself, the words appeared.
When it comes to setting myself apart from competitor’s, I could easily say that it’s my hard work that sets me apart. However, that’s something anyone can say, and the true answer is that it’s my level of empathy. I’ve been through a lot in my life, and since an early age have always had an abundance of empathy for others. This allows me to connect with people on a more personal level, and understand where they are coming from and what they are going through. In the workplace, it helps improve the performance of others when they know there’s someone there that they can bounce their frustrations off of. Giving people an outlet to vent, and a safe space is something I believe I excel at.
This past Monday, a colleague expressed that they were going through hard times, so I offered an open ear. They say sometimes all that’s needed is for someone to listen, however I have been through so much that it’s allowed me to be able to sympathize and offer advice that helped me get through the same sort of situations. In this particular moment, I didn’t push for more information, I allowed my colleague to provide what they felt comfortable with, and was able to determine whether I should only listen, or to provide input, and in this case all that was needed was an open ear, and a hug; compassion goes a long way.
I believe my colleagues would say my best trait is my trustworthiness. I know that gossip is a regular occurrence in any workplace, and it’s something that I dislike and feel is uncalled for. I wasn’t raised to judge others, or to be catty, so I think they appreciate that if they tell me something, I don’t feel the urge to spread it to the entire workplace.
Walmart is one of the largest retail stores in North America, with over 100 million customers entering their stores each year, Walmart has cemented its spot in the upper echelon of discount stores. Their stores include every essential item one could need; they have even entered the grocery industry in an attempt to cover each market. With any company, growth is an important metric to track, one way to do that is through the proper use of social media. Now we know that Walmart is succeeding in the current market, but how are they doing so? Is social media being utilized as a way of increasing growth and are they engaging with their customers? I did a deep dive, and found out which social platforms Walmart uses, and how they use each one.
One of the ways Walmart uses Twitter, is to provide a direct line to their help desk, which answers all of your questions in a timely manner. Typically responses come must faster than they would if you call them, as there are employees at the ready for live support. They also like to promote upcoming deals, and take part in worldwide hashtags such as #WorldPartyDay with related content to both the brand and the trending hashtags. At 1.2 million followers, it is the least followed form of social media for the company.
The majority of Walmart’s posts on their Facebook page, are product recommendations. They also hold entertaining contests, that are fun for everyone involved, an example is a caption contest for photos of cute animals doing adorable things. They don’t have much to do with the brand, but it’s a way of not taking themselves seriously, and engaging with their customers. At 32.6 million followers, it is their most followed social media page.
Walmart’s use of Instagram boils down to teaming up with celebrities or internet influencers, to showcase products being sold at the stores. They don’t just show a photo of the product, they use the product. They also post collaborations with companies such as Spotify. Their Instagram presence is entirely visual. At 2.7 million followers, it is their 2nd most followed social media page.
What do you think about Walmart’s use of social media? Are they hitting the mark, or do you think they can improve?
While there are many crucial steps in designing an efficient social media strategy, most important perhaps is assessing who your target audience is. There are a few ways of doing this; you must find your demographic, psychographic, listen for clues about your audience, and getting to know the community.
As an example i’m going to use a personal hobby of mine which is Daily Fantasy Sports in order to break down and determine what the target audience is.
According to the Fantasy Sports and Gaming Association, the following numbers are found to be true.
Gender: 81% Male, 19% Female. Age: 50% are between the ages of 18-34; the average age is 37.7 years old. Employment: 67% are employed Full-Time Income: 47% make more than $75,000
We can assert that the average Fantasy Sports player is a 37 year old Male, who is employed and making more than $75,000 a year excluding Fantasy Sports winnings.
According to Fantasy Sports and Gaming Association, Fantasy Sports players are on average found to be above-average in every level of consumption.
87% of Daily Fantasy Sports players have visited a fine dining restaurant in the last year. 89% have visited a sports bar in the last year. 78% have used a food delivery app. 43% have purchased a Nike item. 34% have used Instagram. 31% have used Snapchat.
We can assert that the average Fantasy Sports player enjoys the luxuries of life including; fine dining, feeding their hobby at bars, and using social media at a higher rate than the average person.
To fully assess my Target Audience, i’m going to simply type #FantasySports along with popular fantasy sports companies such as #DraftKings, #FanDuel and #YFS in order to read tweets that are being sent out from players around the world. Once doing so, I will create a Twitter List which will be filled with important “Sports Fantasy Guru’s” who provide their advice and suggestions to help you earn money. I will also create a separate list for beginning accounts of players looking for advice.
Keeping tabs on both of these is important, as current trends, tips and advice can be easily tracked and sorted through the mess of unrelated tweets and accounts misusing hashtags.
With the information provided, I can conclude that my Target Audience would be a 37 year old Male, who is employed and making more than $75,000 a year excluding Fantasy Sports winnings. He enjoys the finer things in life and actively takes part in all forms of social media in order to find an edge in daily sports betting.
Industry Demographics – Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association. (n.d.). Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association – Connecting Fans to the Sports They Love; thefsga.org. Retrieved March 29, 2022, from https://thefsga.org/industry-demographics/