COM0015 – Assignment #5: Event Participation

Learning is a lifelong process, and professional development events can be a great way to continue learning and discovering things about your industry which you can leverage to do your job better. I make it a goal of mine to carve out time each week for research and professional development, and this was no different. In light of the current global pandemic, I opted for an online event that would help me dive into upcoming trends for digital marketing, and stumbled upon “Digital 2020: Data, Trends, and Opportunities to Guide Your Marketing Strategy”. This was presented by Hootsuite featuring Speaker Simon Kemp, the founder of Kepios. I chose to attend this event as it sounded very intriguing and related to the wok I do. I work for a multinational corporation with customers all over the globe. For my position, it’s important that we remember to look around us and take trends into consideration from all over the world.

screenshot of the event that took place on March 11, 2020

This event was targeted at professionals in the digital marketing industry who want to stay on top of current and upcoming trends worldwide, and this was evident from those in the meeting. The event did not have a chat log like most of its kind do, but participants were, however, encouraged to chat online about the event using the hashtag #Digital2020. There was a twitter feed displaying uses of the hashtag that updated in real time next to the presentation slides. I think this was interesting as it very much went along with the theme of the presentation, how the digital world is so important and ever-evolving. In fact, in his presentation Kemp said that “Social media is now the remote control for most of our lives”. There’s no denying the impact social media has had on life as we know it, and it is now a major player in any company’s marketing arsenal.

This event, as the name suggests, focused on global trends. It was very helpful to learn more about industries and digital usage across the globe, rather than just focusing on one area. While speaking about social media in general, Kemp highlighted that organic posts are great to keep your company top-of-mind for the followers you already have, but growth is very unlikely to happen without sponsored posts and ads to increase awareness and continue growing. The webinar provided some great insight as to where companies typically spend their ad money, and what platforms customers are typically using. Kemp also spoke about upcoming trends and adapting your marketing strategy to align with them.

The webinar interestingly also discussed the rise and power of Tik Tok, and how companies are beginning to adopt this platform into their social media efforts. Tik Tok is not currently relevant to my work in particular, as our target base does not match the user base of Tik Tok, but it served as a reminder to always be looking at new avenues that can be used to reach out to customers. By going to platforms where customers are already active, you have a higher chance of getting your messaging in front of them.

You can view a recorded version of the webinar for yourself by signing up here. I will definitely attend a similar event in the future. Whenever I have a light afternoon at work I like to find a webinar to attend so that I can constantly be learning and improving our processes.

COM0015 – Blog #3: Professional Networking Now and in the Future | My plan for networking during a global pandemic

Developing your professional network is very important, both online and in person. Typically, I find it easier to expand my network in person, and continue to cultivate the connection online later. I recently finished my undergrad, and thus much of my networking experience is from my time in university. There were many networking events on my university campus that I would attend to meet new people and expand my network. These would usually be hosted by my faculty and they’d invite students and alumni from related industries to congregate and mingle with each other. For any new contacts I would make at these events, I would be sure to follow up based on the contact information I have for them, for example sending a LinkedIn message, and reach out to them after the event. Some of these contacts I would meet for a coffee chat later and discuss business, trends, career goals, professional development resources, and more. During my last year of university my classes would often have guest speakers that were alumni of the school and had since graduated and had successful business careers. I would make it a point to go up to them after class and say a quick thank you for sharing their insight and experiences with us. Often times we would end up adding each other on LinkedIn or connecting again and having a chat.

In light of the current global pandemic happening, I’m not able to continue in person activities to grow my network. Until we are able to return to a time where public gatherings are safe again, I will be using this time to focus on and strengthen the network I already have.  I plan to make use of this time spent staying inside by setting up virtual coffee chats to keep in touch with my network. I think it’s important to contact members of your network and interact with them every now and again. This is a unique opportunity right now, as many people are also craving social time. By setting up calls with people in my network it will strengthen our connection and allow us to discuss relevant information for our line of work, as well as help fulfill our social needs in these trying times.

Com0015 – Blog #2: Strong & Weak Organizations

One brand that I think does a great job with their social media is the clothing store Dynamite. They do such a great job, in fact, that I had to unfollow them on Instagram as I realized their content was making me buy way too much of their clothes for my wallet to handle.

Photo via @dynamiteclothing on Instagram

Dynamite is active on their social media platforms and regularly post. They are consistent in their branding and messaging across platforms and very cohesive in their approach. Particularly on Instagram, they post very flattering pictures of their clothing, and have a nice balance of posting the clothes hanging on racks, posed on models, or styled in real life and taken outdoors, highlighting how pieces can be worn together for specific events in your life. Dynamite uses their story on Instagram to feature new arrivals or ongoing sales. They’re also sure to include shopping links so customers can easily purchase items that catch their eye with little to no effort. Dynamite is also known to like some of the pictures they’re tagged in of customers wearing their clothes, interacting with customers and not using Instagram as a one-way conversation like some brands do.


Wendy’s is another company that I think does a great job with their social media, but for an entirely different reason. When you think of a fast food place having a social media account, you don’t expect much more than to be bombarded with tweets about how cheap their burgers are, but Wendy’s also serves up a side of comedy with their social media efforts.

via @Wendys on Twitter

Wendy’s balances their posts between being traditional “brand” posts which focuses on their products and enticing customers to order their food, and mixes in some funny posts which entertains and delights users who come across their content. Especially on Twitter, Wendy’s is known for roasting the competition, fellow Twitter users, and all around adding some humour to the platform. This is great because it keep people interested in the account, increases brand awareness, and generates plenty of buzz and word-of-mouth marketing, ultimately contributing to sales.


On the flip side, a company that should adopt a social media strategy is Dragonfly Earring Co., which is a small jewelry business that primarily sells at trade-shows or pop-up locations. Using social media would be very beneficial, as it provides a direct channel to communicate with customers. It would also be a great way to share which trade-shows they’ll be attending so customer know when and where they can check out the stock and buy product. Social media would also be the perfect place to post pictures of the jewelry pieces that are available to drum up interest from potential customers. Overall, using a social media strategy would allow them to connect and interact with customers, highlight their great products, and grow their sales.

Com0015 – Blog #1: Tools and Sources

With the fast-paced nature of the online world, social media trend listening and monitoring tools can be a great help to stay on top of the ever-changing digital landscape. One of my preferred tools for this is Google Alerts. Why? It’s quick, it’s simple, and it’s free. Using Google Alerts, I can set up keywords and have Google email me a round-up every morning, so I can wake up to a summary in my inbox. This makes the process very low effort on my part and gathers related online chatter to deliver right to my digital doorstep.

Another great option is TweetDeck. This tool allows you to track mentions, keywords, and hashtags all from one dashboard setup. It collects the information you need and houses it all in one place for you to scroll through and review.

photo via pexels.com

One way I get my news is by scrolling through twitter. This is a good way to digest news for me since I can customize what I see by selecting the accounts I follow. I can also click on hashtags used to find other relevant posts if I want to learn more. Being that twitter only allows 280 characters per tweet, I’m also able to get a quick summary of the news story and decide if I want to click any accompanying link to read more about a story. Twitter is also fast paced and dynamic, and a great source to stay up to date with breaking news stories.

My other source for news is YouTube videos. I like this medium when I’m trying to multitask, and I can listen to the news while doing something other than looking at my phone. This can also be accomplished through podcasts, but I prefer YouTube videos as if a story is interesting and there are visual aids provided on screen in the video, I like to be able to go back and look at them. YouTube is also a good source for me because I am easily bored and TV news stations draw out stories and talk about them for longer than need be. With YouTube, I can increase the playback speed of the video and remained entertained and attentive in order to properly digest the news.

Com0014 – Blog #7: Personal Reflection

Storytelling is important for any person within any company in any industry. It allows you to grab your audience’s attention and get them to actually listen to what you’re saying. Instead of your content going in one ear and out the other, people will actually listen to what is being said to them, and as a bonus they are more likely to turn into customers. 

Simply telling stories is not enough. It’s important that you take a look at your audience and take the time to analyze them. Pick out common characteristics and focus on content that will jive well with them. Don’t be overly analytical – people enjoy a personal touch, and the tone should be inviting and not robotic. Remember that the people in your audience are more than just data points; they are real people with real lives and by targeting and interacting with them properly you can create real results for your company and achieve your goals. 

I want to tell stories that have mutually beneficial purposes, and provide some value to whoever is reading it. Instead of harping on one cool thing a company did, I think it’s important to focus on the impact for customers or the community. This is the “so what?” factor. Telling stories is more than just recounting what happened, it’s also about telling why you’re telling this story. What is the purpose? Why should someone listen to your story instead of someone else’s? How is your story more important? These are some of the points I try to cover with the stories I tell. We as people are selfish in nature, and by telling readers what’s in it for them, they’re more likely to :

  1. listen to what you’re saying; and
  2. find value in it

For me, that’s the true value of storytelling.

Com0014 – Blog #6: Do People Know Your Story?

When I was 16, I got a concussion which made me a hard worker. I know – sounds weird, but humour me and imagine for a second:

It’s an evening in June after you’ve spent all day at high school being confused by trigonometry once again, and you’re on the soccer field practicing with your team. The sun is setting, the grass was freshly cut that day, and you can hear children at the park in the distance. Can you feel that light spring breeze? Well, as we were practicing, the setting sun became less of a beauty and more of an annoyance, causing us to squint to be able to see. We were practicing controlling the ball out of the air, when all of a sudden – WACK! Out of nowhere a soccer ball hits my arm, which I was using to block the sun, into my head. I can still hear the sound of my bones colliding. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I got my first concussion.

It wasn’t just the resulting pain that affected me, it was the inability to process things as quickly as before and losing my extensive vocabulary. I didn’t suffer from retrograde amnesia when I got hit, but I basically damaged my ability to process. I had to relearn how to learn. I had to spend more time and effort to understand things in school, and high school wasn’t the easy breeze it was before.

I used to have a very extensive vocabulary, and I loved learning new words, but after my concussion there were words I couldn’t recognize anymore, and didn’t remember what they meant no matter how many times I googled them. Some were more difficult like lackadaisical, haphazardly, or benevolent, but some were as simple as tight, icicle, or specialist. To this day, I have a list of words on my phone that I struggle with. Through this experience, I learned to work for the things I wanted. I had to dedicate time and persevere more in the remaining 2 years of high school than I did in all my years of school before that.  I learned to find the good in the bad, and strengthened my drive and determination for what I want in life.

Com0014 – Blog #5: Personal Brand

Personal branding is important in order to convey who you are and what you stand for. This gives people the opportunity to understand what makes you you, and what makes you stand out from the rest. This is especially important and beneficial in an online community, where content is already plentiful and the market is saturated.

Personally, I’m a creative twenty-something who is starting her career and ready to take on the marketing world. Marketing has always been a passion of mine. This started when I created jingle for a local business when I was 11, and continued as I created marketing collateral for a teacher in high school. Currently, I work in digital marketing for a computer software company. My experience spans across social media marketing, traditional marketing mediums, and more, but for right now my focus is on e-mail marketing. I have a Social Marketing certification from Hootsuite Academy, and next up I’ll be working on related certifications from HubSpot Academy and Google.

I like to be creative in all that I do. I spend much of my time doing photography, editing, or finding new ideas to incorporate into my marketing campaigns. I like to stay up to date with marketing news, industry podcasts, and strengthening my coding skills. Whatever I work on, I give my full effort. I’m constantly searching for new ways to improve my skills and bring new ideas to the table with a fresh perspective. No matter what project I’m working on, I enjoy drawing on my creativity and my skills to do my best and continue to be a constant learner.

Com0014 – Blog 4: B2C Case Study [Wendy’s] – Do you want a roast with that?

Immediately when thinking about brands who use social media to engage with customers, Wendy’s comes to mind. Wendy’s takes an interesting approach to their social media efforts, which earns them a lot of buzz online and contributes to their brand awareness. Namely, Wendy’s is known for roasting customers and competitors alike.

Wendy’s approach to social media stands out compared to other brands. They still post the traditional product and promotional posts, but they’re unique content has customers coming back for more. They have a clear idea of how they use social media, just read at their twitter bio: “We like our tweets the same way we like to make our hamburgers: better than anyone expects from a fast food joint.”. Wendy’s is active on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, with Twitter being their most popular with over 3.5 million followers. Twitter allows them to seamlessly engage with customers, as well as deliver some quick roasts too. Wendy’s uses their social media well to engage with customers, responding to their comments and even joking around with them.

View this post on Instagram

No shame.

A post shared by Wendy's 🍔 (@wendys) on

Wendy’s is known for roasting customers, and despite how it sounds, this brings a lot of positive attention to the brand and customers flock to the account for their chance to be roasted. This unique approach is seldom found in competitors’ social media accounts, and allows Wendy’s to stand out from the rest. They also post relatable content and stay up-to-date with trends, posting memes and challenges along with the rest of their content.

It’s hard to say how Wendy’s modern approach to social media impacts sales. While memes and roasts are fun, it’s not necessarily convincing customers to buy their product. It does, however, keep customers interested in their content so they are more likely to stick around and see the traditional promotional posts which drives them to make a purchase. Wendy’s is one of few brands that isn’t afraid to be relatable and jovial with customers, which gives their social media a much more personal touch instead of feeling cold and corporate. It will be interesting to see if brands follow in their path as social media continues to explode in popularity.

Com0014 – Blog 3: Target Audiences

Photography is a passion of mine, and something I very much enjoy doing outside of work. It serves as a creative outlet for me is a great escape from the hectic routine of everyday life. When I say photography, I don’t mean just taking pictures of your latte with an iPhone, I mean using a legitimate DSLR camera and manipulating camera settings to achieve different effects. Delving more into characteristic of hobby-photographers, I’ve done some research which sheds more of a light onto this group, and certain strategies to captivate this audience.

Photography enthusiasts are pretty evenly split gender-wise, with a slight skew towards males. Photography costs a bit of money to get into properly with the right base equipment. Because of this, the typical photographer is middle to upper class, and has likely pursued post-secondary education.  This puts them in a slightly higher income bracket, which allows them to afford the required equipment.

Hobby photographers primarily fall into the age bracket of 18-29, which makes them quite modern and trendy in nature. Sharing is also common in the photography community, whether it be sharing local places to go take pictures, the best equipment to be using, or the actual photos themselves. A certain photographer’s opinion on things like equipment are more influential if their content is excellent. Nobody is going to want to buy a camera recommended by somebody whose pictures are constantly blurry and over-exposed.

Photography content is typically shared on sites like Instagram and Flickr. This makes sense since the age category also overlaps with the ages that most frequent these websites. The bustling communities on these sites make them a great platform to use for targeting these audiences. Companies can easily reach audiences with targeted Instagram ads, or by working with small photographer influencers in the community.


Sources:
Distribution of Instagram users worldwide as of October 2019, by age group. (2020, February 4). Retrieved from Statista: https://www.statista.com/statistics/325587/instagram-global-age-group/
Sattari, M., & Mousavi, S. (2020, February 4). The Role of Gender in Photographic Works: Do Men and Women Capture Different Photographs? Retrieved from International Journal of Women’s Research: https://ijwr.ut.ac.ir/article_50138.html
Share of Americans who practiced photography in the last 12 months in 2018, by age. (2020, February 3). Retrieved from Statista: https://www.statista.com/statistics/227424/number-of-photographers-usa/

Com0014 – Blog #2: Storytelling & Communication Styles

Short attention spans are ever-present in the modern world. It’s no wonder we have trouble focusing in a time when you can communicate with a friend half way around the world in a matter of seconds, or ask your robot butler to turn off your lights – you don’t even have to walk to the light switch for instant darkness! While these technological advances are fun, they’ve shriveled up our ability to focus to resemble that of a goldfish, which creates quite the roadblock when trying to get people to truly read your content, and that’s exactly what we learned about this week.

Storytelling has been around for centuries, which proves its strong importance. People are drawn to stories, and communicating correctly can help to draw in your audience and immerse them in your content. If someone is bored, they aren’t going to read what you wrote, no matter how much work you put into it. It’s vital to recognize the different types of readers, and take your audience from inspectional phase to analytical phase. Draw them in to form opinions about your content and engage, rather than simply skimming and moving on to the next thing.

One way you can attract a reader’s attention is by speaking in a present voice, rather than slipping into a passive voice, which is something I fall victim to very often. By gripping readers through targeting their reading style and attention, they are more likely to absorb your content beyond surface level and truly engage in digital communication. This is just one improvement strategy, but there are others including proper punctuation, being concise, and encouraging engagement. For example, do you have any tips for writing engaging content? Let me know in the comments below!