COM0015 – Blog post #4: Expect the unexpected

Photo by Nik from Unsplash

Social media marketing is a powerful way for businesses of all sizes to reach prospective and current customers. Using social media platforms to connect with the target audience costs very little and has potential for great return. Building a brand, increase sales, and driving website traffic, can all be positive outcomes from simply being present on major social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

While I understood the significance of utilizing social media tools has on the field of online marketing, I was surprised by the importance of two applications: social media stories and videos.

Social media stories are snippets (videos, videos, stickers and text) of content which focus on the storytelling aspect of social media. They can be found in the story section of multiple platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube.

Image from The Next Web

While I understood they have become increasingly popular, I was surprised by the volume of stories being produced and the growth opportunity brands have when they utilize this tool. At the F8 2019 which took place April 30th & May 01st 2019 in San Jose, CA, Facebook reveled that more than 1 billion stories had been shored every day across their family of applications. No surprise, the social media giant made it clear that Stories were not a fad and were here to stay.

Infographic from Oberlo

Videos have become the new preferred way of digesting online content. Entertaining and engaging, it can give marketers potentially huge return on investment. Statistics show that demand for video content is increasing with 54% of consumers wanting to see more videos from brands and businesses they support. This I found unexpected, as I had assumed too many videos would create unnecessary noise. However, the fact is, consumers love seeing videos on social media and are their favourite type of content on a whole. Clearly, video is a much more powerful marketing tool then earlier expected.

Is your preferred content from brands delivered using stories and short videos?

What unexpected applications have you come across?

COM0015 – Event Participation

After struggling to find an online professional development event that grabbed my attention, I reached out to our instructor Sonia Gibbs for some guidance. Boy was I happy I did. Sonia had no shortage of ideas, and from the list she provided me, one event stood out.

How To Start A Six Figure Advertising Business In the Next 10 Minutes (Without Having Any Previous Marketing Experience) Presented by Danny Tran

The course itself seemed too good to be true. I was skeptical right from the start, but hey, some previous students had participated in the event and I thought if anything it would be interesting, so I signed up! I have always been curious about these sorts of courses, and the subject matter: online advertising, really spoke to me.

The 90-minute course had 97 participants, but yet, despite the instructor Danny Tran’s call for participants to use the chat functionality, it remained silent the whole time. Danny, however, was a great speaker and kept the seminar going regardless of the lack of participation. I think his enthusiasm and quick speech pace had everyone engaged regardless of how few words were spoken by anyone else. What I learnt from this one-way interaction was that confidence speaks volumes.

Despite the online seminar really drilling in the fact that anyone could make a six-figure living from the comforts of their own home (with Danny often repeating “I’m going to show you the exact steps I took to get my online advertising business from zero to $10,000 in profit every single month.”), the most important lesson that I learnt was to put yourself out there. Danny did a great job of explaining how to gain potential clients, and despite the obstacles or how hard it is, confidence to reach out to others will make a big difference.

Furthermore, I found the statistics presented in this seminar around Facebook Ads quite interesting. According to Danny, 62% of small businesses fail with Facebook Ads. However, it only costs $0.25 to reach 1000 people using Facebook Ads compared to the more traditional method of printing in a newspaper which costs $32.00 to reach 1000 people. These statistics really prove that businesses need digital advisement to move forward.

While I don’t plan to make the leap and leave my 9 – 5 job, I did really enjoy this course. I took some lessons away and understand better the impact of digital advertising especially it’s ties to social media. If the opportunity were to arise to participate in a similar event, I would most likely take it. Even if I learn just a small thing, I believe it would be worth it.

What online events have you participated in?

COM0015 – Blog post #3: Committing to networking

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

For me, professional networking has always seemed like an overwhelming task. While I understand the importance of building a network, I never knew where to start. Presently, my efforts have been around face to face interactions with colleagues, however, this year I’m committed to doing more.

Photo by Evangeline Shaw on Unsplash

A professional network, which can be online or in person, is a group of individuals who have connected with one and other for career or business related reasons. Together, they can solve work-related problems, recommend vendors and suppliers, introduce job leads, and provide information about prospective employers, employees, and clients.

As I currently have not been putting much emphasis on online professional networking, diving into this world seems complicated, however, breaking down the tasks makes it much more manageable. Some of my objectives for the next few months are:

  • Join an online professional networking site
  • Reconnect using social media with old coworkers, classmates and friends
  • Participate in more online courses

Additionally, I plan to broaden my in-person networking by:

  • Participating in work run development courses
  • Joining the workplace social team

Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

So where should I start? My first task will be to join LinkedIn, currently the world’s largest online professional networking site. It has millions of users in over 200 countries all over the world!

Despite being outside my comfort zone, I’m convinced that by developing my professional networking I will be able to further my career aspirations and have a great support system to bounce work-related discussions off of. I’m excited to see how my objectives will influence my work-life.

How do you tackle professional networking?

Do you find online networking or in-personal networking easier?

COM0015 – Blog post #2: Social media strategies; the strong and the weak

Photo by Clark Tibbs from Unsplash

Did you know that marketers with a documented content marketing strategy have been consistently found to be more successful than their peers? According to CMI’s annual Benchmark, Budgets and Trend research this is the case year after year. But how does this tie into the world of social media? Well, today it’s hard to come across a marketing strategy that does not incorporate social media in some way.

Image from Customer Insight Group, Inc.

One company with an excellent social media strategy and presence is Domino’s pizza. With their eyes fixed on dominating the pizza market, Domino’s is continuously innovating with ideas such as Tweet-to-order on Twitter and ‘Dom the Pizza Bot’ for Facebook Messenger. This company which truly understands it’s target audience and the need to connect and listen to them has a well-integrated social approach. Furthermore, the pizza giant is not averse to the odd PR stunt to catch the attention of social media users.

Alongside digital and social ordering, Domino’s pizza is also now notable for an honest and open tone on social media. This win is due to the success of the ‘Pizza Turnaround’ campaign which launched back in 2009. With the intent on winning back customers who were not happy with the quality of pizza on offer, Domino’s released a series of ads and the hashtag #newpizza which set the tone for the brand.

Image from

In contrast, an organization that in my opinion could benefit from a social media strategy is the Ottawa Sport & Social Club (OSSC). While this organization is trying their best to stay relevant on social media platforms, stiff competition from other sport and club organizations for participants is diluting their overall message. The OSSC team will need to look towards new tools and techniques to stand out amongst the crowd.

OSSC may be interested in taking a book from Domino’s book and launch a successful hashtag campaign to put themselves ahead of the rest. Developing a stronger social media strategy will allow the sports and social club to meet objectives such as increasing the size of the club’s audience, engaging future participants, and supporting the delivery of the club’s events.

Have you come across an organization that really stands out due to their social media strategy?

What new innovative tools or techniques have you seen organizations on social media utilize?

COM0015 – Blog post #1: Are you listening?

Image by Carl Heyerdahl from Unsplash

Social media listening has become a key component of audience research in today’s society. It provides valuable insight into what your customers think about your brand and what they are saying about your competitors. There are many tools available to help accomplish the large task of monitoring social media, however my preference is Google Alerts and Hootsuite.

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Why you ask? Well, currently I am not the best at utilizing all the functionalities social media listening and monitoring tools have to offer as I find many of them difficult to use. Therefore, I often turn to Google Alerts and Hootsuite due to their ease of usability. Both tools gather information in one spot that helps me stay organized and keeps me from missing key elements.

Image by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash

While I do not use these tools in my office job (there’s a specific team hired to do just that) I have used them to aid with some side personal projects. In these cases, I used social media listening tools to follow news on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, the platforms where I was promoting my business and where my consumers were. I found that the tools helped me pinpoint where my audience was the most active and how to engage with them in a more meaningful way.

Have you used social media listening tools? If not, I highly recommend looking into them. You’d be surprised how much they help identify opportunities to engage in conversations about your brand.

If you have, what tools do you gravitate to?

COM0014 – Blog #7: The final chapter to this story

Photo from

Storytelling, according to the Cambridge dictionary, is the art of sharing stories.

However, the course COM0014: digital communications, has shown me that storytelling is so much more! Storytelling is in fact a major aspect to creating great digital content.

I have learnt over the past few weeks how important it is to choose the correct storytelling tools for your audience, the best approaches to developing an online communication style, and the significance of engaging with your audience.

In today’s online world, it is difficult to capture the attention of potential consumers amongst the noise and distractions of competing businesses. Not only does the average web user have a very short attention span, but we tend to be great content skimmers rather then avid reader. To convince people to buy your product or service, not only do you need to stand out by utilising memorable content, but you must also design your subject matter in a clear and concise fashion with an end in mind.

Moving forward I will use the act of story in my marketing to relate with the target audience. By showcasing a bit of personality behind my words, I am hopeful potential readers will connect with me and will consider my digital content as authentic.

I hope the stories I tell in the future will showcase my personality, be entertaining, inspire others, and ultimately entice my audience to take some sort of action. In the end, the act of using storytelling in marketing is about connecting with potential consumers and having them engage with your product or service.

I cannot believe this course is already wrapping up, and I am excited to take on my last class in the social media program!

COM0014 – Blog #6: the little white lie

Photo by Artem Beliaikin

What is your favorite customer story?

A few months ago, I had called H&M’s customer service line to have them put a pair of pants on hold for me (the company uses a general phone line to avoid calls to their flagship stores). However, despite their best efforts, each time I called, the person on the end put the wrong item on hold for me at different stores all across town

Frustrated, as this happened quite a few times, I decided to call a last time to make a complaint. However, since my name had been used regularly, and the employees could associate my name with a face, I decided to used the false name Kelsey!

Photo by Negative Space on Unsplash

I could never even image what was going to happen next. The man at the end of the line was very sympathetic to my situation and promised generous coupons for my troubles. What great customer service! The only problem was he needed to send them to my email address. I panicked, I had no email address associated with the false name, and worse, my email address is MY full name! So, I gave him my email address and passed it off as a sibling. The hole was getting deep, but surely, he wouldn’t know me from H&M headquarters in North Carolina!

As soon as he heard my last name there was a distinct pause. Do you know Ashley he asked? I did, she is my first cousin. With glee he explained he had connected with her on and that they were distant cousins, making us too relatives.

What were the odds! After the call ended, I quickly called my cousin to explain the whole situation but to my surprise this man had already written her. She cheerfully asked, “who’s my cousin Kelsey?”

Moral of the story: avoid white lies, you never know who you’ll be related to!

Do you have a funny customer service story?

Have you ever been caught in a white lie?

COM0014 – Blog #5: who am I?

Photo by Aleks Dorohovich on Unsplash

A personal brand speaks before you. It is the affirmation of who you are and what you love to do.

So, who am I?

I am a young professional who works full time as a graphic designer and part time as a freelance designer with a specialization in vector illustrations. My unique designs have helped me develop a style that I am hopeful stand out amongst other design competition.

“I develop eye catching digitized designs utilizing bold colours and a memorable style”

During the day I work for the federal government. While many would think that this work would be uninventive, my colleges would say that I am quite good at finding creative, out of the box solutions to design projects. I try and push boundaries while remaining professional and on brand with my employer.

Photo by Kate A

At night and during the weekends I work on freelance projects. Most of my clientele are contacts I’ve made playing sports. During these projects I enjoy unleashing my full creativity, using bold colour schemes and fun subject matter. I am most proud of the designs I make for these clients, especially when I can translate their visions to print in a way they hadn’t thought of.

If I am not working on a design project, I try to stay up to date with current design trends. Despite being professionally trained, it is important to ask for help and stay up to date. I, personally, have found joining online communities of likeminded people (such as the Graphic Designer Tips Lounge on Facebook) particularly helpful.

The brand you build around yourself is one of the most important ways you can stand out! It is how you present yourself online and offline to potential clients.

What does your personal brand say about you?

How do you make yourself stand out?

COM0014 – Blog#4: Who do consumers really trust?

Photo by John Schnobrich

Would you believe that most millennials and Gen Zs use social media to do research on products before making a purchase!

Social media outranked retailer websites and price-comparison sites in terms of which media channel consumers place their trust in. These social platforms have changed the way brands and consumers interact, placing ownership on companies to be authentic, respond directly to consumers’ concerns, be accountable for mishaps, and to be relevant.

Photo from Marketing in the Age of Digital

One brand that has seen much success due to their social media activities is Wayfair Inc. If you haven’t heard of the online furniture giant, it is an American company that sells home goods. In recent years, it has expanded from a two-man operation to a large-scale business employing over fourteen thousand people and generating over four-point-seven billion dollars in revenue!

While Wayfair engages customers on a multitude of social media platforms, most of their efforts are put into Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. With advertisements and content targeted at millennials (like me) and Gen Zs, who are moving into new homes and apartments.

Image by Kasasa

Despite Wayfair’s largely spanned target audience due to the vast products they offer (can you believe they offer over ten million items!), the company has truly utilized the social media platforms where its consumers are spending their time. Early adopters of new social media features, such as videos and Instagram’s shopping feature, has kept this online retailer competitive with other large furniture brands.

In my opinion, the company has done an excellent job at creating consistent feeds on their social media platforms without becoming repetitive or dull. The decision to follow bright, colourful themes with a mix of different types of posts (beauty shots, animal photographs, lifestyle photographs, videos, extra) has served them well. Furthermore, Wayfair has done a great job increasing consumer engagement using questions and humour in their posts, with many people commenting or tagging friends.

Photo from

t’s clear from the numbers, Wayfair certainly knows how to utilize the power of social media. With no brick and mortar stores, the company relies solely on their online presence. I know I’ve been a consumer in the past, and I am confident I will be in the future!

Have you ventured to Wayfair Inc due to an advertisement or post you’ve seen on social media?

Does Wayfair Inc. online interactions give you confidence in the company?

COM0014 – Blog #3: The epidemic of online shopping

image by Negative Space on

Have you ever chosen the convenience of shopping online versus walking into the brick and mortar store?

If your answer is yes, you wouldn’t be alone. While I personally never enjoyed shopping in the past, browsing for products online has become a new found interest! I am no longer surprised to find myself ten pages in on a Wayfair search for cushions or sucked into the hot trending deals on Amazon. Browsing endless item options from the comfort of my couch has a real allure.

Image by Kasasa

I, my friends, am a millennial. I was sure that others in my generation would be like minded on their shopping preferences. However, I was shocked to find out that research performed, (such as the analysis done by Verto), pointed out that the majority of heavy shoppers are in fact Generation X (35-54 years old). No surprise though was the finding that online shopping was particularly popular amongst women, who comprised 52% of all online shopping activities.

So, what does this mean for online marketers who want to target heavy online shoppers? It means they need to use appropriate tools and strategies that target the “super shoppers”. That 47-year-old female who spends a monthly average of 44 hours shopping online.

According to WordStream, the best tactics for marketing to Generation X are the use of direct mail, being present in video content (such as advertisements in YouTube videos) and be present on social media, especially Facebook and Twitter! Can you believe 80% of this generation reports to being on these online social platforms despite being so busy!

What tactics have you seen from companies targeting online shoppers?

Are you an avid online shopper as well?