COMOO14-Blog #4 IKEA: An Interactive Online Case Study

Introduction

IKEA, is possibly one of the world’s most known furniture stores because of its quality products, customer service, and famous Swedish meatballs. However, in this blog I’ll be briefly, describing the company’s founder, history, digital platforms used for client engagement online, and a personal opinion, on whether their digital strategies are working or not.

Photo by Alexander Isreb from Pexels

Humble Beginnings and a Furniture Empire

Ingvar Kamprad, was born in 1926 on a Swedish farm. Ingvar an entrepreneur from a young age, started his first business at five years old and sold matchboxes and by the age of ten, sold stationary, herbal, and holiday supplies. Also, Ingvar suffered with Dyslexia but worked hard on his studies which his dad, financially reward him for as well. This eventually, prompted Ingvar at only seventeen years old, to open an IKEA store in 1943 which sells furniture and household items. However, the first stores outside Sweden opened in Norway in 1963 and Denmark in1969. The stores gained popularity in Europe quickly and expanded into other countries like, Japan, Australia and Canada where IKEAs would have grand openings with crowds of people lined up. Today IKEA, has 433 stores in 38 countries.

IKEA’s Online Platforms and Customer Engagement

  • Pinterest: IKEA uses visually attractive photos of furniture which are presented to international retailers in the United Kingdom, United, States, Canada, and other countries.

Personal Opinion on IKEA’s Online Interactions

In my opinion, IKEA, does a fantastic job at interacting with its audience on Facebook posing questions, using pictures, and posting videos for getting attention of potential customers. Furthermore, IKEA, takes advantage of others social media sites like Twitter, with interesting company campaigns pages by increasing the curiosity of its potential customers. Finally, IKEA, displays colorful photos on Pinterest which are for selected markets all over the globe.

How does the company you’ve selected interact online with its customers?

COMOO14-Blog#3: Target Audience Generation Z: What Are You About?

Introduction

Discovering ones’ target audience could be a multi-layered process. However, through my current research, Gen Z, might be the audience I’m looking for. Therefore, this blog will discuss some of the demographics like, age, diversity, and education. Also, certain demographics which include habits, values, or beliefs of Generation Z. For example, I’ve a personal passion for spreading awareness of environmental issues but so could they. Finally, discovering communication strategies that could engage this audience. Let’s find out!

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Demographics:

  • Gen Z is ethically diverse with 65% Caucasians are in the adult population but only 22% in the kid category. However, children with immigrant parents grew from 19%-25%.
  • Poverty in Gen Z dropped to 18%, the rate of high school dropout is at 4%, and the number of young adults that attended/finished college was 49%.

Psychographics:

  • Generation Z are concerned about uniqueness, ethics, and less about status. Gen Z make, 40% of the market, but unlike, their millennial counterparts, are more concerned with sustainable products and wants more individuality. Nevertheless, a study conducted in 2015 discovered, Generation Z wanted to create a consumer culture.
  • Generation Z has the greatest concern for the environment. Protecting the environment is a core value of this generation. Furthermore, being socially sustainable, is part of daily life. For example, although, millennials on surveys scored higher with concern for climate change, Gen Z, was more proactive by protesting and demanding action.

Communication Strategies to Reach Gen Z:

  • Make Purpose Known. Gen Z wants to know what you stand for.
  • Purposeful Brand. Be clear on this! Generation Z want a brand that has an impact.
  • Funny/ Positive. Gen Z audiences favor comedy around 62% and positive content at 32%.  

Who’s your target audience?

COMOO14-Blog #2: Storytelling and “Good Writing”

Introduction

In my opinion, storytelling, is a method used to communicate messages through drawing, writing, dancing or singing and usually shared by others with intent of passing them on. This blog, briefly explains the history of storytelling and how its historic roots have not changed in the modern age, differences of passive and active writing, and describes the reason active writing is preferred in communication.

Photo by KoolShooters from Pexels

A Brief History of Storytelling

Storytelling, has been around for thousands of years, from ancient humans that painted on cave walls which told of successful hunts. To stories told on pictographs created by the former Aztec Empire. And in medieval times. Where people would describe exciting stories through song and dance. I’m no entertainer though! Also, singing and dancing to tell stories, are preformed by cultures like Aboriginal communities in present day. However, when the printing press was created, many stories could be printed and shared globally. Therefore, no need to embarrass myself with bad dancing! Nevertheless, storytelling applies in current times since telling tales has become a part of online content.

Passive and Active Writing

Passive writing, although, grammatically allowed its not preferred in communication. This is because passive writing describes the subject’s action in a way, where its already completed. For example, “Jon had gone to the store.” (Passive). However, active writing is when a subject is completing an action. In other words, (state of doing).  For example, “Jon is going to the store.” (Active). Therefore, active writing is the choice method because it excites audiences. Nevertheless, knowing the differences, between active/passive writing could increase chances of people reading your blog or not. After all, me telling you of a personal experience when its happening is more interesting right?

How do you think active writing could improve someone’s blog?

COMOO14-Blog #1: A “Semi Productive” Staycation

Introduction

My vacation or staycation in this case, was different than any other year. For example, the pandemic had caused businesses, schools, and other institutions either operating at half capacity or completely closed. Thus, because of the situation, it had provided feelings and thoughts of concern on what to do. Although, despite the ability to do college courses online eventually, I decided that it was best to relax instead of focusing on my studies but still had an internal need to be productive. Nevertheless, this blog will discuss my staycation last summer and how it became one of the most pleasurable and productive ones that I’ve had in a long time!

Staycation Desk Setup by Matt D

The Staycation Experience of Last Summer

The staycation, last summer originally, was never supposed to happen. I had already planned to extend my education into the summer semester. Thus, it would had been a summer centered around learning. However, as the pandemic news coverage grew schools, businesses, and other institutions were shutdown as mentioned above. Plans ruined! Well, not exactly… Although, despite the chaos taking courses online was still an option but ultimately, decided to focus on myself. Therefore, many movies that I’ve not had been able to watch because of academic obligation but suddenly, there was all this time to enjoy them like “Dolores Claiborne”, “The Stand”, and “Dreamcatcher” by Stephen King along with a variety of other films. Despite, the fact, I’ve enjoyed these leisurely pleasures, there was still an internal need to be productive. Furthermore, while thinking on what could keep me motivated enough to learn but not feel like a “chore” or turn my summer staycation into an extended homework period. Nevertheless, I’ve decided learning languages with Duolingo and Rosetta Stone could fill that want, sure enough it did! A habit had quickly developed and almost everyday I would learn Spanish or French for an hour (French; bonjour, Spanish; hola “hello”). Not only that but the days where motivation was low, learning continued but passively through music and video.

Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels

Conclusion

The vacation/staycation last summer, was not intended to happen at all. I had already planned to focus on studies. However, because of the pandemic, a personal choice was made to put personal relaxation fourth. Therefore, as mentioned above much leisure time was used to watch movies that I wanted to see for a while. Although, with all this free time to be had there was a want to learn that remained but without turning the summer holiday into a work one. Thereby, subjects of interest, were considered that I’ve wanted to learn but would not become a bore. Nonetheless, French and Spanish were learned on a daily basis actively and passively. However, by combining pleasure which semi-structured learning, it fulfilled the need to focus on leisurely hobbies while still being productive without creating an imbalance. Nevertheless, last summer was my most relaxing and productive staycations ever!

What was your most relaxing or productive vacation/staycation?

Social Media: “Fix These Mistakes!”

Introduction

As someone who’s starting there blogging experience on social media, I’m often in wonder of the question What are the common blogging mistakes and could they be avoided? Well, this blog will discuss common mistakes bloggers could make when creating blogs for social media and ways to avoid them. Nevertheless, avoiding these errors could make sure you maintain readership with your audience!

Photo by Poppy Thomas Hill from Pexels

Avoid These Blogging Errors!

In my opinion, with many pieces of content to pick from, it’s easier than ever for potential readers to click off your blog and say, “Next!” So, What will make people want to read your blog? Well, here are some casual blogging mistakes to avoid annoying your readers.1. Complex structure. Writing down thoughts/concepts which are hard to translate might seem intelligent but untrue. Explain ideas in a simple manner. Remember, blogs are not scholarly journals! 2. Writing in detail about personal life. Most readers will not be interested in your full life’s story (a harsh truth). In fact, most are looking for help with problems. Telling about experiences/stories are alright, but should be used for making connections to your content. For example, only provide readers a chapter of a book, don’t give away the whole thing! 3. Publishing Daily. Over posting could lessen your value and clogs inboxes. Instead, write fewer but well-crafted blogs could excite audiences rather than posting for sake of doing so. Having a good developed blog is like a good edited report, it takes longer but efforts are worth it! 4. Don’t solely focus on SEO. Getting Google’s attention, by using certain words might bother your readers. Blogs are for humans not artificial intelligence so keep audience in mind first! 5. Ignoring number of words. More content isn’t always better! “The task of a writer is to communicate a message in the length it takes to fully communicate that message” (Duistermatt, 2013 “You focus on word count”, para 3). That’s exactly the reason why I’ve created this blog and others like it. Too much information at times, could have an opposite effect of helping but instead creates more conflict! 6. Not writing in plain English. Complex or unfamiliar language causes confusion for your readers. For example, unless, I’m having a language lesson with Rosetta Stone or Duolingo, being able to understand familiar text reduces stress. 7. Giving dull conclusions. A boring end is like buying cheap food after a nice meal it’s not great! Instead, start with your conclusion or write a day after. Personally, I’ve’ always found writing concluding statements next day, the easiest option. 8. Not knowing your target audience. Unaware of who your readers are wastes time. For example, my target audience are students which whom I’ve created this blog for. 9. Not caring about a topic. If you don’t care neither will your readers! An interesting blog post has effort put into it. Consider writing when you feel, happy or energetic.10. Editing posts to quickly. Most people can’t edit effectively while preparing a piece so, review post structure, take out unnecessary information, re-edit, and watch out for grammar mistakes. Although, despite best efforts errors could still happen! Therefore, over-editing is never a bad practice. Finally, 11. No Personality. Many blogs have similar topics so, using your personality in writing, makes readers feel a personal connection to the content like, this blog presented right now!

Conclusion

Remembering all these blogging mistakes and avoiding them might be difficult especially, for a new blogger who’s just starting out like, writing about complex ideas which makes a person seem smart but actually doesn’t help you or readers. It would be easier on both parties to express thoughts simply! Also, explaining personal details about your life in detail. This sounds good, but most readers want solutions to problems. For example, it’s like making small talk, when you need answers now on doing CPR in an emergency!  Remember readers do want to hear about your experiences but bring them into the content directing the reader. Furthermore, avoid constant updating. It’s better having an inspiring blog than aimless content. Think of it like an assignment, I’m going to spend more time on tasks which provide greater value (internal rewards) than others which I’ve little interest. Also, don’t write to get on Google’s good side. Remember, your audience notices you before Google does! Therefore, more words used in your blog doesn’t mean quality. For example, I’m a student with many deadlines so, if getting to the bottom of a piece takes more than 3-5 scrolls with a mouse wheel chances are it won’t be read by me! Also, having a blog in plain speech eliminates any frustration. Furthermore, reading dull conclusions don’t help a reader’s experience either, due to lack of uniqueness. The best strategy is to create one before anything else or day after. In my opinion, concluding statements are best written on a following day because the draft you start with might be different closer to finish. However, not knowing your target audience creates confusion and wasted effort as well . For example, I’m student so, thinking like one helps to write for that target audience! Thus, discuss topics which you’re interested in, because not doing could become a joyless experience. It’s best writing when happy or energized. I’m much more likely to type away for hours if excited about a topic rather than one which bores me. Furthermore, blogs that are swiftly published neglect forgotten grammar errors so remember maintain your post’s flow, edit more than once, and stay alert for grammar mistakes. Finally, let your personality come through. This allows you to stand out in a crowd. Nevertheless, avoiding these blogging mistakes could guarantee people would read your content and take you seriously, as a blogger and an individual!

What are common mistakes in online blogs do you notice? Please let me know in the comment below!  

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References

Duistermaat, H. (2013 October 16). 11 Common blogging mistakes that waste your audience’s time. [Blog Post].  Retrieved from https://copyblogger.com/common-blogging-mistakes/

Social Media: How Do I Conclude You?

Introduction

Through my current understanding of the many blogging “rules” on social media so far, I’ve learned how to properly structure, write, reference, and cite a blog. However, questions remain like, this one Do all blogs require long-written summaries to complete them every time? Well, I’ve noticed by looking at different blogs online, that not all are concluded equally (in the same way). Nevertheless, this blog will provide a variety of strategies on how to conclude a blog for social media.

Photo by Ann H from Pexels

Ways to Conclude a Blog

In my opinion, writing a good conclusion provides value to a piece of content just like a strong induction. Also, writing a conclusion could have similar challenges. For example, both the beginning and end need to have an impact on the reader and use related words but not totally exact. However, when concluding blogs for social media, there are many ways to finish them. Here are some examples that might help you. 1. Writing a summary. Creating a summary at the end, reminds the reader of the important facts made throughout your blog. I typically, like this one because I’ve used it many times to finish reports. Or as I like to call it, “The report conclusion method.” 2. Asking a question. Blogs should provide a feeling of two-way communication between you and the reader so, ask them a question below. In other words, avoid the “No questions good!” style of conversation. 3. Inspiring your readers. Asking an audience at the end of a blog to do preform a task could provide a sense of engagement. For example, share this blog and help struggling students! 4. Having links to another blog post. When your blog is complete provide links to related blogs. E.g., Social Media: “Fix These Mistakes!” (Coming soon). This has almost the same effect like, YouTube recommendations. You can never just watch one video well… at least I can’t! 5. Having a discussion question. Blogs should create or continue a conversation (call-to action). This is just like saying, let’s continue this awesome conversation about how to conclude a blog. 6. Providing a product teaser. Informs an audience that more content is on the way and to except it soon. For example, a sequel for a movie that’s not out yet but know is coming in the near future. Finally, 7. Answering who, what, why, when, and how. Consider these following questions; think of how the information will help the reader, what to do with it, when apply it in daily routine, and should anyone care?

The Final Conclusion

There are may ways to conclude a blog for social media as mentioned above like writing a summary. This is a personal favorite method on how to conclude a blog because of many years of practice from completing reports. Another way to end a blog is asking questions which both the writer and you communicate while providing a balance of inclusivity by requesting input. Furthermore, it’s nice to be asked a personal opinion. Also, ending a blog could be done by inspiring your audience by having them become involved with a blog like, sharing information or experiences which could make them feel more connected to your content. However, the method of completing a blog by providing links to other blog posts lets readers find similar material of yours. This is telling an audience Hey, look what’s coming soon! Therefore, continuing the discussion which might create a mini-online community. Also, a great way to conclude your blog is including product teasers. This informs readers of what particular content to expect in the near future, like a new series on Netflix. Finally, one of the best ways to finish your blog is asking these important questions, Who, what, when, where, and how? Why this blog will assist the reader, how will the information be used, how to it could be used on a daily basis, and why should they care? Thus, tying up the conclusion by reminding readers of highlights in your blog (most important points). Nevertheless, there are many ways to conclude a blog, but the best choice may be one, that increases chances of your audience coming back for more so experiment!

What’s your favorite way to conclude a blog post? Let me know in the comments below!  

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Social Media: “Please Reference Me!”

Social Media Has a Different Set of “Rules”

In my opinion, referencing/citing sources and doing it right is probably one of the hardest skills, for any student, writer, or professional blogger to learn! For example, there is APA (American Psychology Association), MLA (Modern Association of America), Chicago style, and many other citation guides that are used to reference and cite sources for academic purposes. Now, social media has its own rules UGH! How I am going to remember all this? Well, I’ve done some research on proper referencing and citing for social media, including visual images. This blog will hopefully take “some of the hard work “out of the process by providing easy instructions on how to reference and cite for social media by giving credit to the original content owner( s) in order to avoid plagiarism or worse…  

Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

The Easy Way to Reference and Cite for Social Media

The easiest way to reference is by paraphrasing and hyperlinking. Taking the authors words but changing the wording of a sentence to make it your own and a hyperlink, which just signals to the reader where the information came from. All hyperlinking is just a way of giving credit to the original content owner like, high lightening key facts out of a book that grabs the reader’s attention. However, there is more than one way on how to give credit. For example, on social media in general, the simplest way is to include the content owner’s name or username if available.  (E.g., Jane Doe, Mystical Pixie 02485). This will make sure that the original writer has been credited by telling the reader” Hey, look whose content has inspired me to write this blog!”

Referencing and Citing for Different Social Media Platforms

Some social media websites have made the process of citing and referencing even easier! For example, on Facebook there is a “share” option that makes giving credit to the original creator easy as 1, 2, 3 and done! Furthermore, Twitter like Facebook, has made this process even simpler by just clicking on the sideways looking arrows near the top of the page but don’t forget, to use RT for “Retweet.” That way both you and the original author will be credited and people know you’re a source to be trusted. However, Instagram does not have a repost feature either so downloading the Instagram Reposting App could be an option (to much work for me). Even by taking a screenshot or photo could be provide credit but remember an Instagram handle (e.g., @ Matdobri) and #hashtag before reposting. It’s better to be safe than sorry! Pinterest has a different way on giving credit by saving your “Pins” to creative boards. Make sure the picture is selected, click save, and nothing more! Referencing and citing is starting to seem easy well… not yet but eventually! Finally, LinkedIn. Select “share” underneath your post and give credit by choosing the company or person you would like to give credit to by using the @ symbol (e.g., @Jane.Doe).

How About Referencing and Citing Pictures

In my opinion, one of the most important areas of referencing and citing properly for social media is pictures and graphics. Sure, words tell readers a story but photos grab their attention first!  However, there are certain steps to follow when taking pictures from the internet. Unfortunately, when crediting photos or other imagery it’s not so easy to understand especially because of copyright laws. However, one of the best ways to give credit is putting the writer’s name under the picture and a link to the source or website (e.g., Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels ).This way, pictures will be cited giving recognition to both parties. I have extra credit why not share? Also, don’t forget the name of the image. Instead of putting confusing numbers and letters write the exact name of the picture and the year (if possible) and avoid complex codes with numbers. No one I know could read binary! Finally, don’t forget the original links even if the picture is posted on a public search engine like Google images. For example, “via- Google,” just doesn’t provide enough information. Usually, a link will be available to the original source but I personally like using this method when that’s not possible “When in doubt, leave it out!”

Conclusion

Referencing and citing properly is not as it sounds, at least not all the time. Although, I am much more experienced at referencing/citing reports for school I have little idea when it comes to social media! However, I hope this guide will help students in most situations that could be encountered. For example, paraphrasing is taking a sentence and using similar language to make it yours or hyperlinking, highlighting a simple reworded section within your content to make sure the author is credited. Also, don’t forget to include their name or username if able. Furthermore, social media websites have made the process of referencing and citing sources simpler like, Facebook has a “share” button to credit content or Twitter with an easy function (sideways arrows) to copy and paste original material. Not to mention Retweeting “RT” and using #hashtags which make certain the content owner is credited. Even Instagram has an easy way of referencing/citing sources, with the Instagram Reposting App or just by taking a screenshot or using an Instagram handle or #hashtags to give credit as discussed above. Nevertheless, Pinterest appears to be the simplest to use in terms of giving credit by just highlighting pictures and saving them. Finally, LinkedIn the most business like out of all the social media sites, you just select who or what company and use the @ symbol first. Then, you’re finished!  However, on the other hand when it comes to referencing/citing pictures it’s a little more complicated due to copyright laws but the best way to give recognition is to put the author’s name, link to their original source, and name of the image as well (include the year if possible). Finally, please remember to add original links to pictures. Most should be available but if not avoid it no mater how tempting!

What did you think about this blog? Did it help you understand to a little more about proper referencing and citing for social media or not? Please let me know in the comments below!  

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Note: This blog was created based on my own understanding of the articles I’ve taken reference from. I will not be put in front of an academic council if a student accidently, plagiarizes a piece of content or held legally responsible because of copyright infringement. I strongly suggest, that students continue to search for online resources about citing, referencing, and copyright laws to a lesser extent. Also, to seek guidance from teachers and make their own personal judgements.

CoM0011- A “Simple Guide” to Create a Social Media Blog

As someone who has never blogged in their life, I’ve had asked myself, how do I start a blog anyway? How does it have to be structured? Or Does it have to be formal/informal for a social media audience? While searching on the web, I’ve found many different articles/blogs on how to create a successful blog but lots were long, boring, and tailored towards a business audience. Basically, I just wanted to have a reference with simple steps and language that would get to the point! Well, I finally found it!

Photo by Prateek Katyal from Pexels

Simple Steps to Make a Social Media Blog

A blog that explained how to create a blog in simple language. This is my understanding. 1. Introduction. Having a clear start explains to the reader the reason for writing. What are we talking about again? 2. Headlines are important to highlight interesting facts. Something I always do. Also, don’t forget subheadings and cram in more “buzz words”… I mean facts. 2. Short paragraphs. Make your blog post into bite sized pieces so that it is easier to read or if you’re someone like me who enjoys writing endlessly as much as humanly possible. 4. Write in plain English. Structure content in a way that is available to everyone by avoiding jargon or complex terms. Say, schadenfreude ten times fast!  5. Use your voice. Having personal opinions about experiences will help you get noticed in a crowd. Like wearing a bright red shirt. 6. Let it be the length it needs to be which is great for Google’s search results! 7. Use compelling Imagery. Pictures grab the audience’s attention. The photo (s) used in your blog make it more inviting instead of boring walls of endless text. No one will be moving in anytime soon if that happens! 8. Have a conclusion. Much like a report have all facts summed up at the end and do not include new ones. It would be like finishing up homework for the day only to discover there’s more! Finally, 9. Have a Call to Action. This is a simple way to engage the audience by asking them What did you like or did not like about the blog? Well… did you like it? Did you!  Let me know in the comments below!

A Simple Conclusion to a Simple Blog

In my opinion, with these steps anyone could create a great blog for social media because it provides the basic knowledge that anyone could use. For example, an introduction gets to the point quickly the same with subheads. Attract attention with headlines and outline points of interest to the audience and write short paragraphs so that any human can read your content. Furthermore, using your voice helps readers to know who you are on a personal level. Also, write in plain speech so anyone could understand and long enough to appease the search engine overlords but not bore the reader. Now, add a picture or two when necessary because people like brightly colored things! Next, have a conclusion… Finally, have a call to action asking the audience what they liked about the blog. Well… did you like it? Did you!  Let me know in the comments below!

For more information please click on “How to Structure a Blog Post” by Kristina Adams

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