COM0015 – Blog #4 Out of the Box

As a photographer, I am an avid Instagram user. I have been on Instagram since 2010 and have posted over 2000 times. I have always used the app as a way to share my photos that I like taking. I never quiet realized how people and companies use it as a marketing tool until very recently.

As an experiment, I started to market myself on Instagram and see what happened. I started by making my account no longer private, then I began following more people. I found a local business or two and started following all of their followers. I also would use locations on my pictures. I’ve always been against using lots of hash tags as I find them to be annoying. I ended up boosting my followers by a couple hundred. I then started to un-follow people to see what would happen, and my followers went down significantly.

One thing I noticed when I began to follow more people is how many companies and lifestyle bloggers use Instagram to sell their products.  Some people try to make it more subtle than others by masking their products behind pretty pictures and meaningful sayings, where others just flash their product or service in your face. At the end of the day, Instagram has moved away from an image sharing app to a marketing app and has been very successful in doing so.

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COM0015 – Blog #3 Professional Networking Now and in the Future

Being fairly new to the world of professional networks, I have not created a strategy for myself as of yet. I am more interested in creating a strategy for the company that I work for, Open Options Corporation.

LinkedIn Logo

Currently we have a LinkedIn account and that is about it for our social media presence. I am hoping to revamp our LinkedIn profile and add more to it to make it more interesting to prospective clients. It is lacking content, photos, videos and members.

As a small strategy consulting firm, having a Facebook and Instagram would not benefit us or our clients very much, but we have talked about creating a Twitter account. We are in a very specialized field and creating a social media strategy plan is proving to be difficult. Coming up with relevant content to post on a regular basis is a challenge.

As for commitments that we would like to make in the future, we would like to find ourselves at consulting conferences all over the world. There is the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts. There is also the Change Management conference. And more locally, in Hamilton, Ontario, there is the National Strategy Consulting Competition and Conference which is open to university students, but as a company that specializes in, we would likely be able to get involved in that conference.

COM0015 – Blog #2 Strong and Weak Organizations

Strong Organization

An example of an organization that has a strong social media strategy would be the Toronto Blue Jays. For many years, the Blue Jays were floundering. Their viewership and stadium attendance was dismal. The team itself lacked heart and soul and wasn’t performing very well at all. That all changed in the 2015 season when they made an extraordinary comeback after the trade deadline in August when they acquired some no name, all star players.

With fans starting to pay more attention to the Blue Jays, their social media coverage began to explode with the team. I love baseball and have been an avid Blue Jays fan ever since I can remember, I follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. They have lead impressive hashtag campaigns with #cometogether, #ourmoment, #lovethisteam and a new one for the 2017 season #letsrise. These hashtags bring people together and let them share their love for baseball with others. Last year when the Blue Jays were doing well late into the season, I felt like I could go up to anyone and talk about the Blue Jays and they would know what was going on, even people who aren’t normally into baseball. When sports teams do well, it really brings people together, and the Toronto Blue Jays have grabbed onto their popularity and have done an impressive job with their social media platform.

Weak Organization

On the other end of the spectrum, my husband works for a small print shop in Kitchener, Ontario which is run by a baby boomer who has owned the shop for 35 years. My husband has been their for a just over a year and feels like the print shop would benefit greatly from a social media strategy. The printing business is not nearly as popular as it once was, but there is still a small market for it and they do well. The shop is located in a a city with two large universities nearby. There is a massive student population that they are not marketing to. They do have a Twitter, a Facebook and an Instagram but never mapped out any strategies to properly and consistently use them. If they were to use these social media tools effectively, they could be engaging the students who live close by and start to bring more business into their shop.

Their objectives should be:

  • Use appropriate and creative hash tags to grow their social media audience
  • Direct products and services to the large student population
  • Celebrate the clients they already have

In order to implement these objectives, they need to create a consistent social media strategy that would see them posting more frequently on their social media platforms. They need to outline creative and engaging ways to share their products and services and try to reach their untapped student customers.

COM0015 – Blog #1 Tools & Sources

I seem to be behind the times when it comes to using social media listening tools. I have never used an RSS feed or thought to use Google Alerts. If something doesn’t make obvious sense to me, I tend to shy away from it instead of trying to figure it out. Unfortunately, I have always thought of these tools as being complicated. Thankfully, after learning a little bit more about RSS feeds and other trend listening tools, I am no longer intimated by them and will try them out. This will help save time and garner faster results.

In my industry, we do a lot of work with major corporations and I have found the two trend listening tools that I use is Google News and Twitter. I like Google News because of the search capabilities. I can look for a specific corporation within a certain time frame and I can find many different articles quickly to gather information on them. We then turn around and use that information to help sell ourselves to them in hopes to get their business. I also use Twitter for mainstream news. Twitter is a great tool as you can search using hashtags to find topics you’re interested in. It’s also great because of the way it uses short headlines to grab your attention. If you’re not interested in a particular tweet, it takes no time at all to just scan over it and move on.

In my personal life, I use BuzzFeed and Facebook, as well as Twitter, as my main sources of news. I find these social media platforms give you a wide variety of information on many diverse topics. I believe it is very important to be in the know when it comes to current events. It allows us to have intelligent conversations with our peers, and also to make informed decisions in our everyday lives.

In my job, being up to date with what is happening in the world is very important. It’s not always obvious to us when a corporation has an issue that we believe we can help them with. More often than not we have to go looking for issues that they didn’t even know they had. Being able to get out in front of a problem is key and having the right social media tools to do that has proven helpful.