COM0015: Blog Post #5: Assignment #5- Event Participation

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The event I chose to partake in can be found online through a website called DIY Genius. If you go to www.diygenuis.ciom you can access free online trainings where you will gather knowledge, insight and digital skills into different online training programs that best cater to what you are looking for.

The one I chose to partake in is called “Story Tribes: Captivate, Educate and Sell with Brand Storytelling” hosted by Kyle Pearce. If you click on this link, it will bring you to the free webinar that I chose

The reason why I chose this event is because I have learned a lot about storytelling throughout my social media courses and I understand just how important it is to paint a picture, or a story, of what it is you are trying to portray, achieve and have people understand in order to keep people intrigued. We are always storytelling, whether it be through our personal life, or through our work, storytelling helps to create our tribe and build a sense of connection, trust and loyalty with our followers and audience. When you are storytelling, it helps to not only gather and captivate people’s attention, but it also allows them to relate to you which is so important.

Here are some pictures of the event to show that I attended:

Kyle Pearce was in charge of this web seminar, and he did all of the talking. This web seminar was merely just participation by reading and following along, therefore I was unaware as to who else was in the seminar. It felt very personable and intimate which I really liked, and also less distracting. Because there wasn’t a way to contribute to the interaction, I contributed by compiling notes of things that stood out to me that I can use going forward. I learned that I am actually quite a good multi-tasker because I was able to read during the seminar, listen and write notes.

Going forward, I would definitely utilize DIY Genius to do another seminar because it was very informative and educational. I really liked how it was free, user-friendly, and you can do it on your own time without any restrictions which is really great.

Some quotes that really stood out to me during this seminar are the following:

“To build a story- driven funnel that sells your brand story, you need these three things dialed in: you must reach the right audience, with the right messaging that resonates, and offer the right product or solution” – this couldn’t be more true. These three things are so essential when it comes to branding and the online social media world.

Another quote that really stood out to me was: “Great brand stories are based on 3 things: Core values, a mission, and a creative vision” –which again, as simply put as it is, it is so true. I will definitely be factoring in these quotes when promoting my work through social media, or if I was ever to start my own brand.

Some ideas that I have walked away with from this event are the following:

  • Brand stories really help to captivate your audience’s attention
  • Brand stories are shareable and memorable
  • Your personal values are so important and should shine through your work and influence how you share your message

COM0015- Blog #4- Out of the Box

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When it comes to the evolving world of social media, some unexpected applications that I found along the way in relation to online marketing and social media that have been eye-opening and a learning experience for myself, are the following:

  1. The importance of building your brand/followers- I wouldn’t say that this was totally unexpected as I knew how important it was to build your tribe and have a foundation of followers, however I realize now just how crucial this is in the field of online marketing and social media. The integrity of your brand relies on your audience and your followers, which is why it is important to scale your brand and see if you do have a big following system, and are continuously growing, so that you have an indication as to whether you are growing. People also like to follow accounts that have a big following because to them, if you have a big following system, it indicates that you are in fact worth following, and are doing good.
  • Utilizing Slack and other applications – I came across this application when I started doing social media work and unexpectedly became a huge fan. Slack helps keep you organized, communicating, and on the same page. This application has been very helpful and useful in my workplace and I hope that it can be of assistance to others.
  • Buffer-  -I really enjoy this application because it helps you schedule your posts to whatever social platform you are using- Twitter, Facebook or Instagram say for example. They help you grow your audience, stay inclusive to you and your brand, as well as help form lasting connections.

With that being said, these unexpected applications that I have come across, have really helped me in the field of online marketing and social media. There are many applications out there that you can utilize, but it is about picking the one that best suits your brand or company. Are there any unexpected applications that you have found to be very useful? Please feel free to share in the comment’s section below.

COM0015: Blog Post #3: Professional Networking Now and in the Future

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Networking plays an essential role in the growth of our career. It allows us to gain recognition and visibility, promote our brand, boost our self-esteem by allowing us to be more confident, as well as help build lifelong relationships with other entrepreneurs and business individuals.

When it comes to strategies, I have many in place to help develop my professional networking for both online and in person. I find these key strategies beneficial in building my network experience.

Networking in person:

Know what your topic will be when you are networking with another person. In other words, be clear and concise at what you are discussing, and keep the other person engaged and interested so that they want to know more, or essentially even collaborate with you.

Communicate– communication is key when it comes to networking, especially in person. Be mindful of the words you use, body language that you are giving off, and be prepared to answer any questions that the other person may have. The more confident and knowing you are of what you are trying to essentially “sell” the better people will respond.

Build a rapport with people– The more relationships you have with others, the more people you will have in your networking circle that you can share and bounce ideas off of, share insightful tips and tricks, and even help promote one another’s brand, blog or business.

Ask people for their contact information and follow up with them about any discussions you had during your networking event. It shows your interest and initiative.

When it comes to networking online, I follow the same key tips as I would in person, however the following are also very helpful and good to keep in mind as well:

Be cautious of your wording and tone in e-mails and always be professional.

-Find a personal connection with that person and make it a point to share it.

Don’t be afraid to follow up. If you didn’t hear back the first time, its okay to send another e-mail to follow up because sometimes people get busy!

These tips for networking online and in-person have been very successful for me and I have found that I receive a good response when I follow these tips. I am curious to hear if you have any tips or suggestions when it comes to networking. If you do, feel free to comment in the comments section below!

In the next 6-12 months, the commitments and activities I hope to be attending are social networking events that are based around networking and social media, because I feel as though that will help strengthen what I already know now, may also teach me some new tips and tricks that I can keep in my toolbox. If you live near the Toronto area, this website can show you upcoming social networking events that they have and you can filter through and see if any appeal to you.–toronto/social-networking/

I will also continue to build my Instagram page to continue the development of my networks, and network with other brands or companies that share the same interests and passions as me and see if we could potential help one another help. I firmly believe the more networking you do, the more recognition and appreciation you will get, and the hard work will pay off in the end when you have a big and thriving network.

COM0015: Blog Post #2: Strong and Weak Organizations

When it comes to impressive social media strategies, two particular organizations stand out to me the most. First and foremost, Dove has been on top of their social media game with their impressive branding, impactful brand messaging, commercials and advertisements that I feel as though we can all relate to. They definitely push their limits and comfort zone by bending the stereotypes that society try’s to push on us, by branding themselves as a company that speaks to all shapes, sizes and colour. Personally, I believe they are killing the social media game, constantly impressing me, and I truly feel as though they fit into the category of an impressive social media strategy. 

Another organization that seems to be on our TV’s, stuck in our head, and is advertised so well, is Wayfair. Not only do they have a commercial that you can’t get out of your head because their slogan is catchy and intriguing, they also have everything you could possibly want from home décor, furniture, bedding, and much more. Wayfair has teamed up and collaborated with online social media entrepreneurs, which has not only gained them more recognition and buzz, but has also skyrocketed their sales. I am an avid Wayfair buyer and I can also vouch for their excellent customer service team. They are quick, efficient, supportive and truly understanding which is what makes their social media strategy and team so effective. 

An organization that I feel needs to adopt a better social media strategy would have to be a big fashion company called Dolce and Gabbana. The reason being is because they made a huge, huge error in the social media world, calling their customers “fat” by posting a shoe that had writing on it that said “I’m thin and gorgeous.” Personally, I don’t think I would ever waste my money or time on any of their products, and I feel as though they are going to have a lot of re-branding to do because of their seriously offensive marketing campaign. It speaks to me on so many levels because it boggles my mind how somebody could be so sensitive for such a worldwide, popular fashion company. 

When it comes to an organization that I think would benefit from a better social media strategy, I feel as though Snapchat could benefit. Yes, they do have some advterising, but they also went through a ton of backlash when they released a game called “Would you rather” and had the face of singer and celebrity Rihanna up there with the caption “Would you rather slap Rihanna” which ties into her abusive relationship with Chris Brown. Needless to say, they need to work on what they put out into the universe because as much as people love the use of snapchat and have fun with it, it is important to be mindful and empathetic when you are such a big organization, to ensure a huge and insensitive fail like this doesn’t happen. I think they need to focus more on just being a fun and interactive app where people can send pictures and videos back and forth. As much as Snapchat is a fast and growing social media platform, they still aren’t as quick, efficient and popular as Instagram as they are really only a mobile friendly app. I’m curious to hear what organizations you feel as though would benefit from a social media strategy as I had a difficult time trying to narrow one down because social media is so huge and impactful in our society today and everyone is using it.

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For The Love Of Home Décor

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Home decorating has always been a love and passion of mine ever since I can remember. I have an eye for re-creating and re-vamping blank spaces into something beautiful, authentic and homey, all while staying under a realistic and affordable budget. My appetite for design definitely stems from my mother, who use to countlessly play HGTV’s Fixer Upper with Joanna and Chip Gaines over and over again, talking about how she would re-do a space, or make it her own, and that is where my love for home décor began. Not only is decorating fun, exciting and challenging at times, it is also a creative outlet and expression of who I am, and what my overall taste, vibe and feel is. Now that you have a feel and understanding as to what my blog entails, an introduction is most definitely in order.

For those of you who are new to my blog, my name is Kira Alexandra; I prefer to go by the name Kay which is what my friends and family call me. I am 29 years of age, and live with my boyfriend Brenden, and our two beautiful dogs, Finley and Rosie, in Uxbridge Ontario. Currently, I work from home managing an Instagram page and the communicative aspect of my families’ upcoming rental vacation property in Exuma, Bahamas, as well as am in school for my social media certificate, and finishing my Bachelor’s Degree at Ryerson University for Child and Youth Care. I like to take on more than I can handle at times because I thrive off of pressure and deadlines. I have a passion for home décor, as I’m sure you already know from this blog, animals, and writing. I am an open book, so feel free to ask any questions that you may have, and I will be happy to answer them in the comments section.

This photo is me and my two pups, Finley and Rosie

Now, back to the importance of my blog, For The Love Of Home Décor. This blog is a reflection of who I am, my passion for home décor and design, and my love and inspiration for all things home décor. I find myself constantly re-arranging spaces in my home in my head, and how I can change up what I already have in the space to make it different, as it draws out my creative side, and allows me to be inventive and artistic. 

Home Décor is an avenue I hope to explore further as I finish up my schooling, as I would eventually like to make a career out of this. I would love to know if any of you have a passion for home décor like myself, and what your favourite styles are. Be sure to comment in the comments section and subscribe to my blog if you would like to read more! 

COM0015: Blog Post #1: Tools and Sources

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Social Media has come a long way in its advancements making it harder to keep up with the latest trends, updated apps, and current social media trends. Everything we could possibly want to know, read, hear or listen about is at the tip of our fingers, and as easy as typing a few words into google and the information that we want pops up. It is so accessible, intriguing and fun! 

There are many social media trend listening/monitoring tools that are of interest to me personally. My top two favourite would have to be the following two:

  • Keyhole– this social media-monitoring tool gives you a complete run down on how your brand, company or account is doing. Keyhole provides tracking for your hashtags, Instagram page, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, keywords and much more. It provides you with all of the data you could possibly need, to ensure that you are on the right track and that people are engaging with you, intrigued, and coming back to see what you post next. This social media-monitoring tool does most of the work for you so it is seamless, and effortless, and also offers a free trial so that you can get a feel as to whether or not it is a good fit for you. I’m curious if anyone is familiar with this social media tool? If you are, feel free to comment in the comments section and let me know!
  • Hootsuite– Hootsuite is amazing. Not only does it let you set up your posts and schedule them for when you want them to go live, it also tracks your performance to give you insight and a breakdown into how many people were engaged with what you posted that day, what time of day it was, and gives you an overall progress as to how you are doing. It is insight for big name brands or even brands or companies that are just starting out because it gives you a feel as to how you are doing. 

When it comes to the best sources of news and updates that interest me, my favourite two would have to be the following:

  • Twitter-  twitter always has up to date information, important news events trending, and is always full of the latest headlines. Personally, whenever I am on Twitter, I always get current information anywhere from the latest weather report, celebrity gossip, update on a current case or trial, and much more. I enjoy this as a source for news and updates because it is easy, accessible, quick and user-friendly. If you type in something on twitter, whatever it is you want to know about, thousands of tweets or hashtags pop up about that topic giving you a whirlwind of information.
  • Google News- Google news is a great source for updates and news because it always has the latest breaking stories for you to read and follow, as well as has categories that you can click on. For example, sports. When you click on this category it will give you current information and news on this specific topic. 

The reason why these tools are my favourite, and I prefer them over other popular social media monitoring tools and news sources, is because they are easy to access, you just have to download the app or type it into google which takes a couple seconds, and because they are always accurate, up to date, and on the ball with having the most precise information. Both Keyhole and Hootsuite are great for monitoring your progress on social media by creating reports that you can analyze to see where you are at, and they are my favourite because I have personally used them. In regards to Twitter and Google News, they are both places where I have sourced information from for a long time, and have found them to be very accurate and quick, which is why I keep going back.

Social Media has many different monitoring tools, and sources that you can use to gather information, but it is important to check them all out and see what works best for yourself. I always do my research before picking one and sticking to it, which is why these four are my top favourite because of my own personal use, and because of the benefits each one has to offer. I would love to hear what your favourite social media monitoring tools and online news outlets are so that I can check them out. Again, feel free to comment in the comments section below!

COM0014 – Blog #7: Digital Communication

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This course has given me a lot of knowledge, insight and understanding into the in’s and out’s of the digital communication world. It has given me the proper tools and resources to better communicate efficiently and effectively online through various social media tools- blogs, instagram, facebook, twitter and much more. Throughout the many lessons and assignments of this course, some of the key concepts that have really impacted my mind and learning are the following:

Storytelling– this has opened a whole new world for me. Having the mindset that everything is a story really stuck with me and helped me with my future content posts for my job because I ask myself before posting now “what is the story I am telling” and it resonates with me. 

Audience diversity– This was also really interesting to learn about because your target audience is going to come from all parts of the world with different backgrounds and language and it is important to be accepting of all and really know your demographics and where your audience is from, what part of the world they live in, if they speak another language and so on. I feel that this is something to be extremely mindful of. Does anyone else agree? If so, people feel free to comment in the comments section below!

Target Audience– Knowing who your audience is will really help with your brand. It is so important to know beforehand, whom you are trying to target, or if your brand could cater to all ages and genders. 

For me, these three key concepts really stood out to me and helped me have a better understanding of the online, digital world and how to properly communicate to people. 

Storytelling is so important because it helps to convey a message of what your brand or company is trying to portray. In other words, it helps to paint a picture on a blank canvas. People respond to the emotion, vulnerability and excitement of a story, which helps draw them in and also intrigues them to want to dive further and know more. It is such an effective way of communicating because it allows for people to share and to relate. Storytelling helps to create great digital content because it captivates your audience, and helps to create a strong connection between your brand and your audience. For me personally, my content will be guided by a story by ensuring that the story is compelling, relatable, memorable, easy to follow along, and has some awesome visuals to make the story stand out that much more. The stories that I want to tell are stories about my childhood, my friends, and family and about things that I am passionate about. 

I look forward to storytelling more often in my career and personal life and feel confident that I will succeed knowing that I have the resources and knowledge to do so. 

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

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Growing up I always strived for perfection and success. I remember being a little girl, strong willed and fierce, never wanting to give up at anything because I didn’t want to be a failure.  My parents, soft, strong and compassionate, always pushed me in the best way possible, without being too hard on me. They had expectations for me but allowed room for me to grow, fall and even fail. They reassured me that it was okay to “fail” because you will learn and grown from your mistakes. I never looked at it that way and still to this age, 29 years old, fear was and is something I always had in the back of my mind sending shivers down my spine whenever I thought of it, as I never wanted to not be great at something. Through the hustle and bustle of life and landing a career that I am doing great at and feel so passionate about, I cant stop thinking about my greatest fear for my business and work over and over again like a never ending song I can’t get out of my head. The words fear and failure imprinted in my mind. My greatest fear for business and work is failure. Failure to not be enough, failure to not make enough, the list goes on. I know this is a fear that we all have and think about from time to time, and I try to remove the negative thought as soon as it comes, but fears are scary and failure is something I’m sure we would all like to avoid. If it does happen, I will remind myself that this a chapter in my life, a lesson worth learning from to build on, and that it’s okay to “fail” every now and then because it will help me learn from my mistakes, and make me stronger and more aware. 

How To Grow Your Social Media Audience

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Social media is all about being active through communication, content and your overall brand. It thrives off of your audience and without it; there really isn’t room for growth. Having an audience helps to not only build your brand and help you gain recognition, but it allows room for more followers, more comments and more importantly, more hype.  The first and most important steps in growing your social media audience is to simply figure out what sets you apart from other brands, who your target consumers are, and whether or not your audience will be intrigued by what it is you are selling. Another important step to ask yourself is how you will reach your target audience. Whether it be through Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, it is important to research where your target audience tends to be active most. 

Below is a list of ways that you can grow your social media audience effectively and organically: 

  • Have an understanding as to who your audience is. This is so important in any social media growth because you want to know who you are targeting, and then base all of your social media content around that.
  • Post quality content– The more quality and eye catching content you have, the more it will catch your audience’s attention. You want to ensure that the content you are releasing is in line with the overall message and value of your brand, as well as really speaks to your brands representation.
  • Hashtags- Hashtags are so important and effective to use. At my current job now, whenever I post any content on Instagram, I always use as many hashtags as I can that relate to the photo or video content that I am posting. Hashtags will get your content more recognition and views from all over the world, which increases the views of your content from Instagram users. I’m curious if any of you have used hashtags in your line of work and found it to be effective or not? Please feel free to comment in the comment section below.
  • Engage with your audience- Communication is key in building your brand and audience growth. Followers love when you respond and give feedback and insight, and it also makes them feel important when you answer back efficiently. People like to get their questions answered and it is important to stay on top of this so that you don’t lose any trust or followers from your audience.
  • Use Advertising or Ads- The more you advertise and utilize ad’s, the more you are getting your social media page noticed, recognized and seen. 

These five, effective steps are key in growing your social media audience. There are many more factors to consider when growing your social media audience, however I wanted to highlight the important ones. Do you know any other key factors in growing your audience? If so, I would love to hear them. Again, feel free to comment in the comment sections below.

Here is a link that highlights 15 ways that you can up your audience game. Let me know what your thoughts are on this article and whether or not you think they highlighted the important steps.

Growing your audience takes patience, time and hard work, but if you follow the proper steps in growing your audience organically and honestly, chances are you will succeed. It is important to really take the time to know your audience thoroughly, so that you can continue to flourish and have the respect and loyalty from your followers. 

Are you looking to grow your audience and gain more followers? #audiencegrowth #morefollowers

Do you feel like you are giving your audience what they want? Is your audience growing rapidly instead of decreasing? Comment what your key effective steps are in the growth of your audience.

COM0014 – Blog #5: Personal Brand

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Interior decorating is something that holds my interest like no other. I am passionate, driven and excited about decorating a space or a room because it is a creative outlet for myself and I am able to see a vision come to life, which is pretty remarkable to see. Whenever I am feeling down, or not myself, I always find myself looking at a space in my home, dreaming of how I would re-arrange the space to make it feel more calm and comforting. For me, my personal brand is interior decorating and because this career is high in demand, it is important that I take into consideration how I will set myself apart from others, and the importance of my brand and what it means to me.

Some personal qualities or characteristics that will set me apart from other competitors will be listed below:

  • Remain authentic to myself and my brand
  • Be mindful of a budget and ensure I do not go over that
  •  Creativity
  • Drive
  • Time Management
  • Take the time to really get to know my clients and have a proper understanding of their vision and style
  • Communication- which is key in any business. Ensuring that I respond in a timely matter to my clients is very important
  • Love for design- This is something that is very important to me and my brand because it will shine through my work. When you really love and feel passionate about something, people can see that, and because I have such a love and desire to want to do this, I feel as though it will be noticed. 

Lately, I have been thinking about ways I can make myself stand out. For starters, I am currently working on a project with my family that takes place in Exuma, Bahamas. We bought an abandoned house and have been renovating it into a luxury vacation rental. I have been hands on and involved in the process every step of the way from sourcing fabric and furniture, picking out flooring and paint colours, and even helping with the architectural design of the rental. It has not only given me a vast knowledge and understanding of this field of work, it gives me the opportunity to get my name out there and gain some recognition so that I can slowly build my portfolio and clientele. 

If I had to guess what my colleagues would say is my best trait, I believe they would say my respectfulness. I am always mindful, courteous and sensitive to others feelings, ideas and thoughts. I care about each and every one of my colleagues and their abilities to help our work environment thrive. Whether it is a simple hello or asking of how their weekend went, to a surprise coffee, or a compliment, I always treat my colleagues, as well as others, with the same kind of respect that I would want to be treated with. A simple conversation could make someone’s entire day, as we truly never know what someone is struggling with, so I strongly believe this is a trait they would highlight about myself. 

Interior decorating is not just designing a room or a space and fulfilling a clients dream, it is about communicating effectively and efficiently with clients so that we are always on the same page as to what is going on, which I think is very important. With time, I hope that I can make something out of this career interest and really brand myself in a way where I can be different from others not just design wise, but business wise as well. I look forward to my future endeavours and would love to hear what your passion or future endeavours are!