COM0014 – Blog Post 7 – Personal Reflection

Thanks to this course, I’ve improved my writing skills, I’ve deepened my knowledge of social media and I’ve learned how to grasp the attention of an targeted online audience.

As we all know, the internet world is very vast and there is a lot of competition. There are millions of blogs being posted online every day, so the competition is fierce. For this reason alone, storytelling and the content of our blogs must keep readers engaged, from beginning to end.

One way to go about doing this is to always start with the most interesting information at the top. This is called the inverted pyramid. By not burying the lead, it captures the reader’s attention. Another way to keep you readers interested is by asking questions. This will help start communication and foster a two-way conversation. Lastly, since the internet has the power to lead to viral opportunities, using social media ensures that readers have the capability to share your content by using social media buttons, like ShareThis button.

This class has taught me that storytelling is important when creating digital content. A good story gets passed on when it’s interesting and when people feel connected to it. That’s exactly how I want my audience to feel. Personally, I want to captivate my readers by painting them a picture with the words that I’ve written and I think that I’ve learned a few tips and tricks on how to achieve that.

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COM0014 – Blog Post 5: Personal Brand

I’m a mother. And I’m a good one too.

Nothing in life has made me feel so passionate as being a mother has made me feel.

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It’s no lavish life, let me tell you. I have boogers wiped onto my clothing, I don’t see my friends, I change stinky diapers, and I use up my vacation days to be with my son when he is sick.

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But none of that really matters because these are just the small things and there is so much more to it.

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There are a lot of responsibilities with being his mom. I make him happy when he is sad. I rock him when he is tired. I tell him no when he is bad and yes when he does good.
I respect him. I nurture him. I adore him.

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Being a mom has changed me, you see, for the better I believe. It has made me more compassionate. It has helped me to become more patient. It has forced me to be more responsible. And I never knew my heart could grow this big!

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To someone who doesn’t have children, it’s really hard to explain the feelings and love that you have for your own child. I live my life for this little gifted bundle of joy, and it really is an honour being his mother.
I’m a mother. And a good one too.

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So, now it’s your turn. You tell me, what is it that you’re good at and proud of too?

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COM0014: Blog Post #4 – B2C Case Study – Amazon

The goal of a B2C company is to get the costumer to click the “Buy Now” button as quickly and as often as possible, and I think Amazon is a perfect example that does just that. Allow me to explain.

Amazon is a perfect case of a B2C business who engages with its audience. Online audience, that is. Let me start by saying that Amazon has great customer service. “You can go speak to an Amazon employee at and Amazon store?”, you might ask. No. You cant. Absolutely not. It’s impossible. Their customer service is purely online. “But how could that be possible?” It’s almost impossible to reach someone by phone. If you have a question, comment or issue, you have to chat with an employee on their website through an online message application that pops up on your screen or you can submit a private message to their customer service. The company basically wants to avoid calls in order to perform every business duty and interaction online. Not only that, but they also offer international shipping for some of its products, and if you don’t like it, the returns are easy, too. They will email you the return label.

Amazon also uses social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest in order to engage with its online audience.

Their Twitter account posts links to plenty of their Lightning Deals. Basically, you get an incredibly huge discount on one of their products and this deal only takes place for a very short period of time.

They also have a very popular Facebook account, with 25.5 million likes. I’ve noticed customers have posted questions or issues on their FB page and Amazon really does a good job at replying immediately. They also post Deals of the Day, they post videos, images and comments. They even ask people to post photos of their pets in Halloween costumes. And, they also post best reviews of a product and handout giveaways.

Amazon also has a Pinterest account with 24 boards of different categories ranging from technology gadgets, kitchen bestsellers, to favourite gift registries.

What really tops the icing on the cake about Amazon is that they have reviews that you can read for each and every product that is being sold on their website. This way you have open and free access to what customers really think about the product they bought so that you, as a consumer, can make an informed decision about your potential purchase. Customers can also post a question they have about a product and it will get answered either by another consumer or by the seller. Pretty sweet, eh?

Of course, for each of the Amazon products being sold on their website, it has the Share This button for Facebook, Twitter, Email and Pinterest. They’re definitely on top of their social media game.

So, with all that being said, what are your thoughts about Amazon as a B2C company?

COM0014: Bog post # 3: Target Audiences

Reaching out to your target audience is crucial if you want your product or service to become a success. Especially for a new photographer, like me. Photography is not only my passion, but for my clients as well. So for that reason, I need to really understand my target audience and here are some ways on how to do that.

Determine and understand your target audience. 

Begin research before you dive into your communications plan, or in this case, a social media strategy. Doing so will help you develop appropriate messaging which will have a huge impact on your sales. Ask yourself questions like these to determine the demographics of your target audience: Who are they?  How big is their immediate family unit? What is their education level? Are they married, single or divorced? The answers will help you to define the next part of the equation, which is, the psychographic information of your audience.  What is their lifestyle like? How do they spend quality family time? Are they a traditional family? What are some of their opinions, values, interests and hobbies?

Let’s take my photography business as an example. I don’t point and shoot just anybody; my specialty is photographing children and babies. Keeping the end result in mind (clients with babies and children), I’ve determined that the demographic and psychographic information of my target audience would include the following: Women, pregnant women, parents, first time parents, 20’s-40’s, young families, married couples, pregnant or with babies and/or young children, live in Ottawa, graduated with a university degree or college diploma, middle class, trendy yet traditional, family oriented, happy and proud parents, enjoys sharing photos of their children online and on social media sites.

Tools and strategies to reach a target audience.

These days, most of the general public spends some time online, surfing and browsing several websites. In order to be a success, you should always brand yourself or your business by using a variety of social media platforms. Here are a few ways to keep your audience engaged.

Create a Facebook page that anyone can access
Everybody has heard of Facebook. Facebook group pages also include analytics that can help you determine how effective and engaging your activity is. In terms of photography, here are a few reasons why photographers have used Facebook with their clientele:

  • Announce specials
  • Post photos of recent shoots
  • Link to new posts on your blog
  • Hold contests
  • Show what goes on behind the scenes
  • Post ways how clients can look good in photos
  • Share content that inspires you

Here’s a link to Jana Williams Facebook page, a photographer that inspires me and really knows how to use social media.

Create a Twitter account
Twitter is not only a great listening tool, it could also be used as a way to soft-sell your product. But don’t be that heavy, tacky, sales rep either. In 140 characters or less, you can leave soft and subtle messages, tips, links to your work and images from your photography portfolio. Here you will find tips on how to promote your business using Twitter: https://business.twitter.com/

Pinterest
Pinterest allows you to pin and share images. You can use Pinterest to help your business get more profile and exposure. Basically, the more your images are pinned, the better chance you’ll have at getting people to visit your website and buy your product. You can also create promotions, hold a photo contest and sell your products and services, which all help to strengthen your brand. This is a great tool for photographers to use.

Understanding your target audience and using some social media tools are ways that would definitely benefit your business and help you to become more successful.

Hope you enjoyed my blog post.

 

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Reference:
http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/2593 4.asp
http://jana-williams.com/
https://www.facebook.com/janawilliamsphotography
https://business.twitter.com/
https://www.pinterest.com/

Assignment # 2: Personal Bio

Hi there!

Thanks for stopping by. I’m Michelle Aron and I’m a photographer in the Ottawa-Gatineau

region.

About My style

I turn special events into incredible long-lasting memories. I specialize in photographing babies,

children, cake smashes, portraits and head shots. My style includes a combination of traditional posing as well as candid,

photojournalistic photography.   I capture special moments in people’s lives using preferably beautiful natural white light which

I believe makes a photo more captivating, colourful and organic. My work also includes meticulous time towards post-

processing using various techniques and technology to make your pictures into vibrant pieces of photographic art.


About me 

I find pure enjoyment in capturing special moments with my camera and I love creating fun and memorable experiences for

my clients. I believe that photography is not just about taking pictures but about having beautiful images to look back on as

memories. Photography is my new-found passion – a new love that was discovered after my son’s birth in 2013.  I’m originally

born and raised in Ottawa and graduated from the University of Ottawa with a Criminology degree and would love to be part

of your special day.
About my work

Please take a moment to visit my website, blog and portfolio. As you will see, my son, Octavian, is my model in most cases.

You can also join my Facebook Group page to see my latest photo posts and status updates.

Thanks again for visiting my page and I look forward to capturing your memorable event.

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COM0014 – Blog # 2: Storytelling and Communication Styles

Interested in learning not only how to improve your writing but increase your readership too? Keep reading.

Encourage interaction
Would you like your readers to actually read your work from beginning to end and not just skim through it? Here are few things writers should keep in mind when preparing content.

Always start with the most interesting information at the top. This is called the inverted pyramid. By not burying the lead, it captures the reader’s attention and in most cases, has them reading til the end.

Don’t just state facts and comments. Remain engaged with your readers by asking them questions. This will help start communication and foster a two-way conversation.

Share, share and share. Make it easy for people to re-post and share your content or page by using social media buttons, like the ShareThis button. Don’t forget, the internet can lead to viral opportunities with just one click from the mouse.

Take full advantage.

Communication styles
Are you reaching your target audience? There are several ways to develop your own personal communication style. But here are some pointers that every writer should incorporate as part of their style if they want to reach their audience.

Be clear and concise: The internet world is very vast and there’s lots of competition. Your beginning, middle and end should be clear in what you’re trying to convey.

Grammar, spelling and punctuation: You can lose some serious opportunities, credibility and have a reader look elsewhere if you don’t triple check your work.

Use an active voice: People tend to make the biggest mistake by writing in a passive voice. Avoid this faux-pas by putting your subject in an active role. It’s more interesting this way, and where there’s interest, there are readers.

Practice: It’s true what they say, practice makes perfect. So don’t fret, the more you write, the better you’ll become. Keep calm and practice on.

Storytelling
How is your story useful to others? What can your readers gain from what you have to say in your written work? A good story gets passed on when it’s interesting and when people feel connected to it so keep that in mind when writing content. Paint them a picture with your words – be creative, descriptive, have a good flow and ensure clarity – and you’ll have them reading out of your palms.

I hope that these simple writing tips and tricks can help you improve your work. If you have any comments or questions about this article, please don’t hesitate to post a comment.

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References:
http://www.sharethis.com/get-sharing-tools/#sthash.ukCgHfIY.dpbs
http://teddemopoulos.articlealley.com/blog-writing-dont-bury-the-lead-783743.html
http://www.zdnet.com/20-more-writing-mistakes-that-make-you-look-stupid-3039286660/

COM0014 – Blog 1 – What I Did on My Vacation: Visiting Beautiful Italia – It’s just like in the movies

Everyone has watched a movie scene where an actor is on a romantic gondola ride down the Grand Canal in Venice on a dimly lit night, and thinks to themself: Man, I wish I could do that!
Well, you know what, I did, and it was just like in the movies!

A place to fall in love

No words can really describe Italy’s beauty. ‘Beautiful’ is such an understatement.
Italy is magnificent. It’s spectacular. It’s incredible. It is simply breathtaking…
A place to fall in love with someone or something, Italy has something to offer for just about anyone.
Pizza, pasta, vino, art, ancient culture, beautiful scenery, beautiful people, romance… What would be your reason to visit?
I spent two weeks traveling the country with my then-boyfriend-now-husband, and I can truly say that this country is perfect for any type of escape.

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A part of history

Did you know that Italy is one of the oldest, most populous, countries in Europe? Not only famous because it holds a shape like your favourite pair of riding boots, it’s also famous because of its unique landmarks, long and rich history, and amazing architecture.

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When in Rome

We started off in Rome, an old city over 2,500 years old. Rome is paved with teeny tiny, narrow, cobblestone covered streets with gelato vendors on every corner. Previously the capital of the Roman Empire where Julius Caesar once ruled, its centre has some of the world’s most known historical sites which are part of the UNESCO World Heritage.
Famous landmarks we went to visit included the Trevi Fountain, where we tossed a coin for good luck, and the Coliseum, where we got totally ripped off from the men posing in gladiator outfits.

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Fashionista

As I’m sure you know, Rome is a fashion capital, a mecca for those die hard, frou-frou, name brand-wearers, like Chanel, Guci and Prada.
Take note that it’s not a city where you want to walk around in your most expensive heals (or shoes) either (unless you want to ruin them due to the cracky stone sidewalks and streets) but people do dress to the nines, let me just tell you. Speaking of which, you’re gonna want to do some research before you start packing, otherwise you might have the fashion polizia come after you. Someone should have told me that it was a major NO-NO to wear jeans with sneakers!
(Was there a time in your life where you felt embarrassed by the clothes you decided to wear that day?)

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Splendid Venizia

Whether you’re there for the fashion or the romance, what’s a trip to Italy without stopping in for a visit in Venice, which is where we ended our vacation.
With the millions of tourists constantly buzzing past you, the noise in Venice sort of gets all muffled by the romance that you feel in the air. I’m talking Lady and the Tramp style. You know, the Disney movie.
Although we weren’t there for our honeymoon, I can easily see why this city would be hot spot to come to for it.

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A place to be in love
Whether you spend your time guzzling down delicious red wine on a quaint patio in Rome, or on a gondola ride with a lovely Italian in a striped shirt serenading a beautiful foreign love song, you can’t go wrong – Italy has it all. Travel, food, culture, history, romance.
I definitely enjoyed all of these during this trip – every single bit – hand in hand, with my then-boyfriend-now-husband.
Because, you know, just like in the movies, sometimes real life ends with a love story, too. This one just happened to be in Italy.

 

References:
How to find your social media voice:
http://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-marketing-voice-and-tone
Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade by night Italy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAOVvgCsem0
Wondering what to wear in Rome Italy or maybe what not to wear?:
http://www.travel-tips-packing-luggage.com/What-to-wear-in-Rome-Italy.html
SEO best practices: 6 ways to optimize your content:
http://en.community.dell.com/dell-groups/small-business/p/socialmediatoolkit_chapter4_seo
Finding your brand voice:
http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com/social-media-marketing/finding-your-brand-voice/