COM0015 – Blog #4 – Out of the Box

Since joining Facebook in 2007, lots of things have happened in the world of social media. New platforms like Instagram (2010) and Snapchat (2011) have emerged while others like Twitter (2007) and LinkedIn (2003) continue to grow.

As stories popularized, I’ve been impressed by how organizations adapt to all the updates that Instagram and Facebook continue to incorporate. This includes polls, questions, countdowns, and filters.

On July 2nd, Instagram just revealed their “Group Chat” sticker that allows followers to request to enter a group chat. Instagram introduced this feature as a “solution for people who want to have a big group conversation about something or for making plans”. The account who created the chat as the power to select who is permitted in this chat. I look forward to seeing how larger organizations with thousands and millions of followers will use this feature. Is this something Instagram will remove in the future because it does not go as intended?


Driving users to your page and grabbing their attention is very important. Businesses have been very creative with their profiles and cover photos because that is the only thing you can do. You haven’t been permitted to change the colour or layout of your profile since MySpace. outlines the ten most creative ways to use social media in 2018 which included augmented reality, live content, shocking visual content, use of brand influencers but I was curious about “unexpected” ways to use social media.

Of course, organizations use social media to do damage control if something negative is said about them, but Constant Tech listed the top 3 innovative ways to use social media as crime prevention and response, disaster management and tracking the spread of disease. It is interesting to think of social media in this context because sometimes it is not all about pretty pictures. It is important that large organization to use the tool and resources they have to do things like finding lost children, catching criminals, alerting the public about the impact of a natural disaster or the impact of measles. Social media allows them to get the message out to a larger audience during a crisis.



Unexpected Ways Your Organization Can Use Social Media

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

Although this program is related to social media, my professional network going forward will be primarily focused on the career change that I am currently undergoing. I recently obtained my Human Resources certificate and want to start studying to be a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) in August. 

Currently, my professional in person network is limited to the people I interact with through work or roller derby. My online network is LinkedIn which although updated, I have no problem admitting, I don’t use often as I should. I’m aware that I will need to use it more going forward in order to achieve my networking goals. The strategy I will use to develop my professional network online and in person is getting more involved in the HR community. When possible, I work closely with the Human Resources Coordinator at my work. This allows me to apply the knowledge I’ve learned before transitioning into the field. I currently work for a tourism agency which falls under the Ministry of Tourism Culture and Sport. My position allows me to interact with employees who work at a much higher level than myself. Getting my name out there and making a good impression is extremely important as I continue my career as an Ontario Public Servant (OPS).


In the next 6-12 months, I want to job shadow a CHRP within the OPS. I have spoken to my employer and she supports this initiative. I’m excited to interact with another Human Resources Professional in a different Ministry. I have been with my current employer for 7 years and I would like to learn about how HR functions are done in a different environment. Once designated, the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) holds professional development events. ​​​​​​​​HRPA’s Professional Development programs “provide members and others with high-performance learning experiences designed to help members meet the demands of an ever-changing and increasingly global work environment”.  Events touch upon topics such as hours of work and overtime, principles & practices, onboarding, employee notice period, etc. The type of events ranges from in-person seminars, certificates, and webcasts.

From a social media standpoint, I should and want to get more involved on LinkedIn. I would like to get more connections and interact with others in the field of HR. This includes commenting on related articles and the posts people are sharing.


COM0015 – Blog #2 – Strong and Weak Organizations

With over 9M followers, Benefit Cosmetics US has a strong social media presence. Their uniform posts follow a distinct pink and peach colour palette and pattern. Posts alternate between products and regrams of makeup looks from influencers. The aesthetic of their Instagram page is undeniable and is visually appealing. You can tell that they are confident in their brand and continue to be consistent. I enjoy the slogan “Laughter is the best Cosmetic”. The light heartedness of the slogan really shows in their posts.














Recently, Benefit Cosmetics held their third annual Benefit Brow Search: Arch Academy. After receiving over 15,000 entries, the top 20 were selected to go to Oheka Castle in New York to compete for the title of Best in Brows, a social media contract with Benefit Cosmetics and 50,000$. Social media beauty influencers were recruited to be team captains. These influencers have over 14.3M followers combined. Even while promoting the campaign, Benefit ontinued to use their established model.

I was drawn to Benefit Cosmetics because I use their products. They have been on my radar more these days because I follow Nakita Dragun who was heavily promoting her Arch Academy team.

Continuing with beauty and cosmetic trend, I have been seeing a lot of paid social media ads from Shopper Drug Mart. Although Shopper Drug Mart is not a worldwide brand like Benefit Cosmetic, they are still Canada’s largest drugstore chain where many turn for their beauty needs.

Here are some Canadian social media stats:

– 64% of Canadians have an account on a major social media network
– 12million Canadian Instagram users.
– 23million Canadian Facebook users
I’m sad to report that Shoppers only has 149K followers on IG and 992K on Facebook.

In 2013, Shoppers increased the square footage of their counters and increasing luxury brands. With that said, I don’t believe their social media accounts reflect the steps they have taken to differentiate themselves from stores like Sephora. Shoppers uses their Facebook to promote beauty and wellness as compared to their Instagram which focuses strictly on cosmetic items. The images they post are beautiful but there is no specific formula or design. They may have a strategy in place but I can’t see it. The first thing I believe they should do is establish a logic and plan for each post.


The account’s bio encourages followers to use the hashtag #ShoppersBeauty, which is surprising, because they DO NOT use hashtags in any of the body of their posts. I believe not using hashtags is a missed opportunity. I was impressed by the number of quality images that were posted under their suggested hashtag. The organization should be utilizing this free content by interacting more with the hashtag and regramming these images which are created by customers and beauty counter makeup artists.

As I write this blog, Shopper Drug Mart posted a video of their #ShoppersBeautyPros campaign which states that they search across Canada to find the brightest beauty stars and narrowed it down to 19 finalists. I would be interested in finding out where they were promoting this contest because I’ve done a deep dive and this is the first time I hear of it! There seems to be a disconnect.



COM0015 – Blog #1 – Tools and Sources

Every day at 12:05pm I receive an email. I hear the ding, look at the time and instantly know that I’ve received my daily Google Alerts email. I have this set up on my work email so I can receive the latest news around words that I have flagged related to my job and employer. Words include the name of the organization, certain tourist attractions, different townships as well as the name of our CEO and Board members. This helps me keep an eye on what is being reported about our organization and to alert the Executive team of any red flag.

To keep up to date on the latest trends, I subscribe to Mashable through Snapchat. It’s the easiest way for me to get the latest tech news. If you aren’t familiar with Snapchat, the Snapchat Discover feature gives organizations full access to publicly visible snaps. They are updated daily and provide live breaking updates. For this reason, Snapchat is my main source of news.

What exactly is Snapchat Discover?! G2 explains it well: “Snapchat Discover is all about keeping you up-to-date on current events, pop culture, and more. Long gone are the days of Snapchat being used just to connect you and your friends. Now you can get the lowdown on breaking news, big events, and celeb gossip all at your fingertips. On the Discover screen you can watch your friends’ Snapchat Stories, Publisher Stories, Shows, and Our Stories.”

When I first started using Snapchat in 2013, the only “stories” users could see were posted by friends or celebrities. Snapchat Discover started in an effort to reach a wider audience and encourage people to sign up. Snapchat users are typically between the ages of 18 and 24, with the next largest demographic being 13-17. Although I am not part of this demographic, it is still a very attractive and centralized place for me to get all my news.


Users can subscribe to their favorite stories to ensure that they are seen first. I can honestly say that I rarely use Snapchat for its intended use of sending real time photos to friends, I spend most of my time on the app catching up on the latest. In one location I can get news from Vice, Now This News, CNN, The Washington Post, NBC, The Telegraph and The Daily Mail (to satisfy my gossip sweet tooth, of course). Each “story” can have anywhere from 10-20 screens. Each screen includes a headline, brief description and as the above video mentions, a full article that can be found by swiping up.


My second source of news is Buzzfeed. I subscribe to them on multiple platforms and get a lot of my information there. Their extensive cross-platform network includes things like articles, lists, quizzes and videos (which I LOVE) but I also spend a lot time on Buzzfeed News. Although they may not always be viewed as credible, they do provide the latest in “world-class reporting and investigative journalism”. As of March 24th 2019, 60% of millennials are reached by Buzzfeed and 70% of Buzzfeeds total site traffic comes from mobile devices. Social Blade reports that so far this month, Buzzfeed News has had over 1.45M views and in April of 2017, the website had an impressive 8.58M views.

I use these tools and sources because they became integrated into social media platforms that I have been using daily for years. It was not something I was looking or asked for but appeared over time. It is definitely out of convenience because all the sites I would need to visit individually are all in one location.


Reints, Renae (July 17, 2018) A New Snapchat Initiative Will Help Journalist Find and Verify Breaking News:

Wahl, Jordan (October 10 2018) What is Snapchat Discover: Fresh Content at your Fingertips:

Kunova, Marcela (July 13, 2018) How The Telegraph is reaching teenagers with news stories on Snapchat Discover :

Smith, Craig (May, 11, 2019) 38 Amazing Buzzfeed Statistics and Facts (2019):

Social Blade, Buzzfeed News: