Assignment #1, Blog Post #7-COM0014: Personal Reflection

During this course I have learned a lot about social media and its large role and influence in marketing and advertising and in our lives. Social media has really changed our world forever and when it’s used properly especially for communication it can make big waves for almost any company. We have seem some businesses who struggle to use social media accurately and to properly communicate with their audience in order to succeed, but those who have gotten it right have had great customer service reviews, increased profit, increased traffic, etc.
The business to customer consumer method is most popular especially in social media, when a business makes the step from communicating TO their customers to WITH their customers great results are achieved. This needs to be done correctly though, if a business wants it to be effective. They have to care about their customers opinions, they have to give customers a reason to love their product or service, they have to meet customers needs, and most importantly they need to want their customers opinion and approval.
Throughout this course we have gotten straight forward lessons on how to communicate digitally and properly. For anyone looking to make a business in the future this really helps you gain the knowledge in order to make contacts and functionally network yourself. Nothing is more important in business than building relationships with people, gaining people’s trust, and letting people know your story. Like we learned, sometimes a business mogul’s personal story is the businesses total success; people love hearing how people got to where they are, or what plans they had and achieved.
Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed this class and I have gained a lot from writing all these blog posts and doing all the assignments, it has been very beneficial to someone like me who is looking to start her own online business. There would be no way for me to survive the online business world without the proper knowledge of digital communication.

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Assignment #1, Blog Post #6: Do People Know Your Story?

WHAT ABOUT YOUR CHILDHOOD HAS SHAPED YOU FOR THIS MOMENT?

As a child I was incredibly shy, I spoke very little, only when I was spoken to and guess how many people were linin’ up to talk to the shyest girl in town? Let’s just say not very many. People like me are often misread, we don’t proclaim who we are with confidence, therefore people put tags on us defining who we are without our permission, even without truthful facts. So when I was a young and timid tom boy/emo looking girl people tagged me as depressed, now that I have become more girly and “polished” if you will, yet remain quiet people sometimes see me as stuck up or “too good”. I think being so criticized really prepared me for this moment, when so many people are throwing around opinions of you whether or not they are false or true it really gives you a taste of the real world. This has taught me to has such tough skin even when it can feel overwhelming or lonesome, in the end the opinions of others can and won’t stop me from living my life in a way that makes me happy. Life is like a battlefield, you have to make tough decisions, you have to do whatever it takes in order to make it to that finish line… no one ever survived no man’s land by being a push over.

Assignment #1, Blog Post #5: COM0014-Personal Branding

When it comes to promoting myself, I want to speak nothing but the truth, sometimes the truth is hard, sometimes its ugly, sometimes its not the best way to sell the brand “me”; regardless the truth is always most appealing and intriguing to people. I am not perfect, not on my YouTube videos, not in Facebook profile picture, not in my filtered Instagram posts, not in my “busy” Twitter feed, and not in real life. I never want to claim or put out this image that I am perfect because I believe that people don’t always appreciate such boastfulness… i never did say that people don’t appreciate a woman who is confident in her abilities.

I make YouTube videos that relate to young girls and women, I talk about faith, fashion, makeup, hair, beauty, friendship, relationships, and everything else that i feel passionate about or can relate to. I have the ability to talk to a camera without feeling awkward or uncomfortable, its actually very freeing and I find that i am most myself when put on the spot like that. I am also a writer, i blog about my faith and bring together teaching, encouragement and relatability. I am sweet, kind, generous, always know as the nice girl with a big heart. I think people like to watch me because i am like a friend, not a celebrity, not an authority, but someone who can help them and understand what they are going through. The best part about me (and i say that with all the humility in the world) is that i am not perfect…i mess up every single day of my life and i don’t want to hide it. When people, especially girls,  know that they are not alone in something that means that creates a want in their heart, to watch or read or know you.

So that is who i am from a personal banding perspective anyway, obviously there is more to me because i do not share every little detail of my life online. Personally i think that is the way things should be because if not we will all find way to many things to complain about and pick on each other for.

My introduction video:

Assignment #1, Blog #4: COM0014- B2C Case Study

For the B2C case study, I chose Ting, an inexpensive mobile telephone provider who have correctly used their social media platform to increase sales, website traffic, and customers. Without social media this small mobile provider would have suffocated under their very large and already successful competitors. They worked with however small following they did have and from there came out as a competitive provider.

What did they do right?

The first thing Ting did right was rather than just using social media as a broadcasting tool, they used it as a communication tool. They actively update followers with video blogs, behind the scenes, etc and they also re-tweet their followers questions and comments. The thing that got them followers in the first place is the incredible following campaign which gave them a 75% increase in followers. They did this by productively compelling their followers with facts and discounts on their services.

I think one thing that gave Ting the competitive edge is their clear price reductions especially compared to other providers, this helps turn shoppers into customers, this gave them that B2C marketing advantage. People love hearing about a good deal whether it’s online or in person, the good thing about being online is that consumers can get immediate reviews about whether or not to make a purchase, not only from other customers,but also from the company themselves.

The B2C message that Ting brings across is that their product/service will greatly improve your life, their give basic points about why their service is actually better then everyone else, and because of their flexibility as a phone provider they really seem to put themselves in the customers shoes because they use logical phone plans such as “you pay for what you use”.

Assignment #1, Blog Post #4: COM0015- Out of the Box

An unexpected application I have discovered for Social Media is cyber bullying, i know that may seem random and useless to online marketing, but i found it to be one of the most prevalent applications for social media. The proof is on the internet, almost every story, video or interview is slammed by at least a portion of the online population. People use social media in order to attain an anonymous avenue for bullying, whether it be high school girls hating on each other on Facebook, or die hard fans hating the new girlfriend of any teenage heartthrob.

Sometimes, the “haters” can become  some sort of movement, this can either help or hurt an industry’s online marketing tactic. The downside to this part of social media, is that it really takes the fun out of some peoples experience…i mean why would people feel free to come onto a site when they know it is not a safe and reliable environment? This application of social media can actually cause problems for any given site; once parents or authorities get involved, and the users hate each other enough to leave, there is really nothing left.

Recently, while scrolling through Facebook, I noticed another Kim Kardashian headline claiming her new photo shoot is insulting, a joke, and too provocative. Now it may not seem like bashes against Kim K hurt her feelings, but even if she enjoys the publicity, cyber bullying anyone gives a bad excuse and example to other people. Social media is such a great thing, it’s a growing marketing platform for many, many people and businesses; but it is also a great threat to many people.

Next time you see something you don’t like online, rather than being rude or mean, keep your opinions to yourself, or simply express them in respectful and intellectual ways. The one good thing about people being on social media is when they rally together in order to stand up for what they believe in, but there are always lines we need to make sure are not being crossed from “freedom to speak” to “cyber bullying”.

Assignment #1, Blog Post #3-COM0015: Professional Development Now and in the Future

If you want to create a following online and in the future you need to walk and talk as if you yourself are a business. Be as appealing, creative, interesting and exciting as possible, it’s also very important to be different and unique…give people a reason to want to follow you. The best way to gain a following and to develop a professional name and standing is by being yourself! People love to see someone who is real and easy to relate to.

I love how YouTube stars do their networking, they are smart and do the least amount of work because they decide to hide nothing, resulting in a high magnitude of success. When networking I would let people know who I really am, where I come from, what I believe, and what I do. Also, I would care more about people, and be interested in them in order to get them interested in me. And while being honest and real is a great way to network and meet people, also being objective about your opinions helps, not insulting anyone or making to big of a scene.

Networking really depends on the people you already know, followed by the people those people know. If you have contacts with lots of friends or who reach large audiences, that is a great way to get in to their success. I would host a party inviting lots of important people and talk to them about what I do or who I am, I would give out my social media info and business cards, if I provide a service I would give out samples of some sort. Everything you do should properly advertise your personal brand, again, you should walk and talk as if you yourself are a business.

Even if you are not the best a speaking with people or being totally introverted, it does not matter as long as you make some sort of lasting impression. For example, even though I am a calm person I can still network and sell because I am passionate about what I do. If people see that you care about what you are talking about, and that you put a lot of work into it they too will become excited about it.

Assignment #1, Blog Post #3-COM0014: Target Audiences

As a young woman, social media lover, and fan of looking semi-decent on a daily basis; I love makeup! It’s a huge industry that makes millions of dollars each year, there are countless brands and products being raved and review all over social media. The target audience for such a wide and variety driven industry is obviously females, and for the sake of this project I am limiting to audience to females aged 15-20. I got into makeup a couple of years ago when i started watching YouTube videos, there were tons of beautiful girls posting demos, reviews, raves, and favorites videos online. The videos were kind of addicting and the more I searched the more “beauty gurus” I found, they talk about hundreds of products each year and it’s an amazing form of marketing/advertising.

The target audience is young and “impressionable”, let’s say we like to follow trends and we like making ourselves look good. The reason the “beauty gurus” do such a great job in selling is that they relate to these young women, they are regular people posting videos online about things they love and it inspires others. These young women also have jobs to buy makeup/beauty products with, they live at home (usually) and so getting them inspired to purchase a new lipstick is easy. I would say that this audience is visual, when they see something they like they go after it immediately, we are a fast-paced and instant type of generation so things like online shopping work.

When it comes to communicating to these audiences, companies have to be very real and easy to relate to. The skinniest model isn’t always as appealing as the real young woman, people want to know that in their regular state of being they can also achieve “runway” beauty. The use of social media and YouTube videos is a great way to reach this audience, and one way that they could increase their popularity is by reaching our to real woman. Whether by contest, or video submission, or anything creative industries like this could make big waves.

Assignment #1, Blog Post #2-COM0015: Strong and Weak Organizations

Strong Organizations:

The first organization that i believe is doing well in the field of social media is Tim Horton’s, they have made incredible moves on their social media pages lately. They are living proof of successful social media marketing, if you look on their Twitter page alone they are always updating, sharing photos, re-tweeting fans, holding contests, making up cool challenges and constantly pushing their limits, most recently seen when they turned a house into a friendly neighborhood Tim Horton’s.  I chose Timmies, because i am a huge fan, it’s every Canadian’s go to doughnut shop, they have reasonable prices, good quality, variety menu, friendly employees, many locations etc.

The Second organization that i chose because of their social media success is McDonald’s, i’m trying to stick with the food theme. They are a successful business without social media, but they have used such platforms to greatly, and i mean greatly increase their success. As i was scrolling along their Twitter page, i found that they are huge on visually promoting their new menu items, whether it be coffee or burgers and this marketing tactic always works. They also answer a lot of their critics with “proof” of their foods quality, though the speculation has never hurt their reputation because everyone’s “lovin’ it”.

The third organization that i chose because they need to work harder on their social media skills is Nate’s Deli Family Kitchen. I chose this place because they sell food, and they are a local, smaller business. Now, just because a business isn’t a franchise does not mean they can’t use social media to expand their audience and broaden their locations. I believe that is any local businesses greatest fault, not staying on top of social media. Yes, it may be difficult to gain a large following a first, but if your start small with just your local audience, and if you have damn good food, your business will soon grow and become very popular and well known.

Every business has a choice, to choose or not to choose social media. When they favor the generations favorite tools they gain respect, profit and success. When they remain “old school” they lose their ability to relate and reach further customers.

Assignment #1, Blog #2 COM0014: Communication Styles

I am currently sitting on a small blue chair inside of my college, there are a couple of people studying and tutoring behind me and a quiet girl sitting right across from me. Almost everyone has a laptop sitting on their thighs, weather it’s studying, writing a blog post, or going on Facebook…we are communicating, but to the naked eye it would seem that a lack of communication is more prevalent than anything because everyone’s head is down.

Communicating Effectively Online

When your talking to someone face-to-face you normally have to look interested, actively nod your head or blink a couple of times just so people know your still mentally present, but when you are “talking” to someone online you can easily skip out on all the appropriate facial expressions and respond/ask questions without all the exhausting extroversion. In order to write a effective and crowd pleasing blog post, you have to make it sound like you are a real person and not a computer operated machine. Using slightly imperfect language can help make you feel more reachable to your audience, for example rather than saying “When did children become so rebellious?” you can say ” when did kids start rebelling so much?”.

I like taking  on the personality of a readers friend, not a teacher, not a parent, not a person of authority, but simply a friend giving life experience and advice or information about an interesting topic. I also find that asking questions causes the readers to remain interested and keeps their attention to the topic in which you are talking about. And finally, everything needs to sound as natural and unscripted as possible, being yourself is true for both real life conversations and online communications.

The Different Kinds of Communicators

The relator is someone who acts like a readers friend, who tries to relate and act in a warm and easy way. Everyone can relate to this communicator, but sometimes they can focus too much on personality resulting in lack of information being provided. The thinker is a perfectionist, many people like their organization and direction, but their attitude is sometimes mistaken for arrogance. The socializer is enthusiastic and fun about everything, they know how to have a good time and get people excited about anything, but sometimes they cross the boundary lines and can become irritating. And finally the director is the “lion” of online communication, he/she is decisive and dominating with an emphasis on power and information rather than relationships and reliability. Which communicator do you think you are? Are you the same kind of communicator in real life as you are online?

COM0014-Blog #1: What I did on my last Vacation!

I decided to make a “2 minute” video for this assignment, rather than write up a post because I really like making videos and talking to a camera (as weird as that may be). I hope that you enjoy the video and leave me some comments telling me about your favorite moment on your last vacation. What is your favorite vacation memory? Who were you with on your last vacation? What kind of weather was there?

You can check out the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKEe1iXk4-A

And here are some photos 🙂