COM0015 – Assignment 5

Everyday Instagram Hacks for any Business in 2021

www.youtube.com/watch?v=DT5iqEICzdM&ab_channel=HubSpot

The event/webinar I chose to participate in was a YouTube video created by HubSpot on Instagram Hacks for Businesses. I decided on this because Instagram is an extremely popular social media platform, but it is easy to get lost in the chaos of it all. 

With COVID happening, going to an event in person was out of the question in my position so I did some research and found that videos such as this one and other ones that HubSpot has created and posted were a better alternative.

This video was both educational and made me laugh! The presenter Jamal Meneide was engaging and made you feel as if this was a face-to-face conversation. Interaction on YouTube videos is only done by sharing, liking and commenting. I left a comment and liked other comments that were shared on this video. When the final part of the video with relevant links is shared, it was fun because in the top right corner they shared a few bloopers from filming, it reminds me of mid or post-credit scenes in movies. It’s a creative way to make sure that your audience is with you to the end. 

Jamal made many good points throughout the video, it was clear and concise without dragging. Jamal pointed out that when creating a bio for your Instagram page it is a good idea to add in keywords and hashtags. This will help people find you easier than it would be otherwise. 

Jamal explained the difference between product, lifestyle and flat lay photos and how to keep your theme/concept consistent. This is a key part of becoming popular on Instagram, you should also engage with other pages that are relevant to your field. I will walk away with the idea of keeping every post in one colour palette and one filter, to keep things looking consistent. 

Three quotes from this video stood out to me and I believe are something that should be remembered when posting on Instagram and other social media platforms. 

“60% Original. 30% Shared. 10% Promo.” 

“Social media content is a marathon, not a sprint.”

“Never buy likes or followers. They will never engage with your content.” 

I will be watching other videos from HubSpot like this in the future because Jamal narrowed down the information and presented just what was the most important in a funny and creative way. Jamal and his information was made engaging and easy to watch, if more webinars or tutorials were made like this I believe more people would be willing to give them a try. 

COM0015 Blog Post #4- Out Of The Box

Out of all the popular social media platforms that have risen higher than ever before thanks COVID, I was surprised by the way Zoom had taken off. It came at just the right time and has become everyone’s go to application when it comes to everything from work to personal use. Back in the day the go to video application was Skype, but nowadays it is all about Zoom. Thanks to COVID all Zoom had to do was promote to businesses and toss a few commercial’s onto television and on YouTube ads and it became an instant hit. 

Zoom was first used as a professional and educational tool, but now everyone is using Zoom. Chef’s are using Zoom to give cooking lessons, yoga and other exercise classes are being held across Zoom. Zoom has become a staple in the social media landscape and I believe that even after people are allowed to re-enter the work world and schools, it will still be popular and well used. It will be joining the list of social media platforms that are used daily and have impacted our lives just as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok and others have done so since they were first launched.

Blog Post #3- Professional Networking Now & In The Future

Over the next 6 to 12 months, I will be focusing on gaining regular clients for my freelance writing platform. I will be working on increasing brand awareness and showcasing my work in eye-catching ways. 

Online Networking

  • Consistence Updates Across All Social Media Accounts
    • Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr & Patreon 
  • Daily Promotions 
    • At least 2-5 status updates on each social media platform a day to keep relevant on my follower’s feeds without making them feel as if I’m bombarding them with information. 
  • Short Prompt Runs
    • Every 2 month’s I will open up short prompt runs across my platforms, it will showcase my writing skills and show my followers and potential clients what my writing style includes and a small example of what they will get if they commission me. 
  • Contribute to Writing Events
    • Writing Events such as “Zine’s” are very popular online and they draw in many potential clients. Zines are collections of art and writing for a particular theme and those who run the Zine are very good at promoting their content creators. It is like a spotlight shining on your writing and a very good way to gain followers and clients. 

In-Person Networking

  • Take Part in Writing Worships
    • Writing worships are good ways to increase my writing skills, the more refined and descriptive my writing can become the more people will be willing to commission me. 
  • Join Creative Writing Groups
    • By joining creative writing groups, I can pick up tips and tricks on how to increase my skills in many different genres. It also helps with meeting new people and begin making a name for myself in the community, which will translate to my online community. 

COM0015- Blog Post #2 – Strong & Weak Organizations

Strong Organization – The Try Guys

The Try Guys is a very popular YouTube channel that features Zack Cornfield, Ned Fulmer, Keith Habersberger and Eugene Lee Yang. The premise of this group is to live up to their name and try anything. They started as a part of Buzzfeed, but recently they have left that company to launch their own and have become very successful. I have been following The Try Guys for years, they are entertaining as individuals and as a group. They allow you to experience things you could never experience otherwise. 

Each member of the Try Guys is very experienced in Social Media, after all, what Buzzfeed is best at. They took their skills and applied them to their own company, they keep their social media presence consistent across every platform such as YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and their website. They upload interesting and well-thought-out video’s twice a week to keep their presence constant in their target audience’s feeds and timelines. They promote something else their company has created in each of these videos such as their book, a tour, a movie, clothing line or podcast. Each member keeps their personal Twitter’s updated with news about their lives, funny encounters or their opinions on what is happening in the world. This way they can interact with their fanbase in a more personal manner. 

Since COVID hit the world, they created a podcast called ‘The Try Pod’ that would allow them to upload once a week and keep their followers from feeling as if they have been bereft of new content. Each member has even created a spin-off podcast either with their spouses or fellow YouTuber’s to spread their influence across new and different audiences that they may not have reached before. 

Weak Organization – Mariposa Market 

Mariposa Market is an amazing bakery on the main street of Orillia, Ontario. It is a personal favourite of mine, but their online presence isn’t as strong as it could be. While their website is well detailed and easy to navigate, the only other social media platform I could find was their Facebook page. This hidden gem is just that, hidden and has the potential to become more if they implement a skilled social media plan other than giving the option to be emailed a newsletter.  

They update their Facebook page regularly with witty comments, daily deals and photos of pastries and cakes they bake daily. This could easily be linked to Twitter and Instagram as well, Instagram would be a very good platform for Mariposa Market as it is image-based and people love seeing and liking photos of interesting and pretty baked goods. 

Bakers from Mariposa Market competed in a Food Network show called ‘The Big Bake’ during a Halloween-themed challenge. Showcasing their bakers and decorating process would be a great idea for a YouTube channel or even short TikTok’s. It would include a wider audience and show off their skills and baked goods to a new audience and a younger generation. 

These are fairly simple, but effective ways of increasing their customer base and drive traffic to their online ordering system and in-store food traffic. A quick edit to their website to include social media links would help show their viewers that they have other ways for them to get daily deals and updates that they wouldn’t get from their email subscription. 

COM0015 – Blog Post #1 – Tools and Sources 

Media Listening/Monitoring Tools

  1. Google Alerts

Google Alerts sends you updates on certain alerts that you can curate in regards to your business or personal interests. You can easily edit how many update emails you receive daily and edit the alerts in case you are getting repeated articles in your email alerts. It is a reliable and constant stream of news alerts that are directly related to your selected interests. 

2. SimilarWeb 

This site is very easy to read and the site charts out all sorts of helpful information for whatever your monitoring. It is colourful and eye-catching, which aids in the readability of the information presented on this site. SimilarWeb allows you to refine your search parameters in many different ways. Each way is created to fit a different monitoring need. This site breaks down the information into percentages and into factual numbers along with allowing you to select any period of time that is relevant to your data collection.  

New & Update Sources

  1. Twitter

Twitter is something rather new for me as I had avoided using Twitter as a source for news updates for a long time. Looking back I can see how that was a mistake and going forward I plan on utilizing Twitter to the best of my abilities. Twitter allows you to select topics of interest from a plethora of different topics. Twitter then ensures that you will see the most popular or currently trending posts in each of the selected topics on your feed. This an easy way to keep in the loop about current news on each topic. On the top right side, there is a news feed area that updates frequently and is tailored to the area of the world you live in and worldwide breaking news. That news feed along with the people I follow and the topics I have selected help ensure that I am always updated with the most recent and revenant news. 

2. Facebook

I have been a long-time user of Facebook, for a while I used it just to keep in contact with my friends and family. Now however I am using it to keep in touch with more niche content thanks to Facebook pages and groups. Breaking news is the only world news that does appear on my Facebook feed because unlike Twitter it does not have a section on the homepage dedicated to what is trending around the globe. However, I can scroll through my Facebook feed and only see news and trends related to the pages I like or groups I am a part of. In this regard, I am always up to date on what is trending and new in each group that I have personally joined so the experience is more refined and personal than what you would normally see on a Twitter or Google News page. 

COM0014 – Blog #7: Personal Reflection 

Thanks to this course, I have realized that storytelling is even more important to digital content than I had first figured. I always knew that storytelling was the main way that digital content from long blog posts to quick 140 character tweets, but this course showed me that there are so many different steps to ensure that the storytelling method is successful. If you do not choose the right style of storytelling, then your digital content will not be successful and not make a splash in the way your business wants. If you pick the right style of storytelling and do it effectively, then that can make a world of difference in regards to site traffic, sales and your target audience. 

I will keep my content consistent with what my business and I am. Business to Consumer (B2C) is the communication style I will be focusing on as my business is writing commissions. I will keep a personal touch to my promotions and interactions while ensuring that my clients feel as if they are talking to a professional, but also a real person. I want them to know that I am not a faceless company behind the words I write, but a person just like them. I will build current and potential relationships to the best of my abilities using personalized storytelling styles. 

I want to tell stories that make an impact on each person who reads them, no matter how small or large. I want them to come away from my writing feeling good, feeling as if they spent their time wisely and hopefully willing to return to my writing regularly. I want my stories and the emotions they bring out in people to bring them back for more via my writing commission business. 

COM0014 – Blog #6: Do People Know Your Story?

What is your greatest fear for your business?

When I began taking writing commissions, I truly worried. I knew that I had a decent-sized fanbase for the free writings I put online, but expanding into paid writing? That was a big step that had left me unsure. My readers enjoy what I post and have been lovely enough to leave reviews to tell me so in their personalized ways, but I worried that people don’t enjoy my writing enough to pay for it. That is a fear for my business that is still at the forefront of my mind each time I promote my commission business online. 

Thankfully, I have been slowly but steadily building up a stream of clients that have become my regulars over the past few years. There is always room for improvement like in any business and I fear that my commission business will remain stagnant. That I will ever only get a few commissions every few months and this side of my writing will never take off. I fear that my writing will not reach a wider audience if I can’t figure out how to expand my business and remain a small name in a niche market. 

COM0014 – Blog #5: Personal Brand 

I do not own a company, but I do take writing commissions in my spare time. I enjoy writing and creating something new and fresh, my writing style and way with words help me stand out from my competitors in this field. I am a prompt and polite responder, I keep my replies professional and yet I manage to remain personable and I can connect with my clients. They come to me because they enjoy my style of writing and creative ideas. They know I can take a simple idea and spin a world around it with just my words. 

I always do my best to ensure that my writing is up to the standard that I hold myself to when I am writing a paid piece of work. I make sure to clarify and run any new ideas by the client to make sure that they are fine with the changes I think of and if not then those changes can be easily scrapped. I lay out my ground rules in a clear conscience way and I am always willing to bend and twist to make sure that my clients are happy. With this method, I am slowly building up a solid if yet small customer base that comes back almost monthly that has spawned from the free pieces of writing I post online to expand my fanbase. 

COM0014 – Blog #4: B2C Case Study

Shea Moisture Canada 

‘Shea Moisture Canada’ is the Canadian branch of the mother company ‘Shea Moisture’. I will be focusing more on the Canadian branch as I live in Canada and have to adjust my social media search accordingly. This company was created by a black woman in 1912 by the name of Sofi Tucker. It has expanded from her simply selling her homemade hair care products in her village to an international name that all people with curly hair know the name of. While Shea Moisture does supply larger name stores such as Walmart, Amazon and the like, they still purely focus on Business to Customer when it comes to their online presence. 

‘Shea Moisture Canada’ has a well updated Instagram and Facebook presence. They are not shy about sharing images from Shea Moisture users, to help promote their brand and show their customers that their products truly do work. Instagram does focus more on the image-sharing aspect while Facebook focuses more on their current campaigns and new product launches. Currently ‘Shea Moisture Canada’ ran a ‘Salon Relief Fund’ contest where they awarded a local GTA black woman-owned salon the prize of $3,000. They also are standing strong with all the anti-black racism movements. 

Oddly enough while their Instagram and Facebook pages are public and easy to view, when searching them on Twitter. Their ‘Shea Moisture Canada’ page is locked until you are accepted as a follower. On the other hand, the main page for ‘Shea Moisture’ is open and easy to access. With the stances and hashtags they are using, I believe they are reaching their target market rather well. They even have an online viral series in partnership with ‘Code Black Communicator Network’ called #SheaBusiness both their Canadian and main YouTube channel, which also offers handy tutorials on how to use their products on different types of curly hair. 

COM0014 – Blog # 3: Target Audiences

HBO Max

HBO Max’s target audience has settled in the range of 16 to 35. HBO Max has cast their net wide enough to catch every one of all material status, genders, single or families along with those of different ethnicities and religions. HBO Max is targeting those of middle and upper-class incomes as they need to be able to afford HBO Max as a luxury and not a necessity. 

HBO Max is geared towards entertainment lovers with less active lifestyles with high school education and up. HBO Max has plans to focus more on young adult-orientated shows than HBO has available hence the younger target audience. HBO has a target audience of age 40+ and that reflects in their more adult and sometimes slow-paced programs. 

HBO Max is keeping their updates consistent throughout all their social media platforms to ensure the correct information is spread through every channel available. Youtube is one of the best social media platforms for HBO Max to use as their company is video and streaming-based. So a platform like Youtube is perfect for HBO Max to showcase their new content as they do their best to rouse interest in their new streaming platform. They are recently diving deeper into TikTok and Instagram, which is what I would have suggested doing as it is a fresh platform that not a lot of video and streaming companies have delved deeper into using. 

HBO Max’s current brand campaign slogan is ‘Where HBO Meets So Much More’ showing clips of iconic Warner Media movies and television shows from the new ‘Zack Snyder Justice League’ to classics like ‘The Wizard of Oz’. This is showing that HBO Max will one day be merged fully into HBO, but for now, they want to showcase the difference in content between the two.