COM0015 – Strong and Weak Organizations

The companies that I think are standing out in the social media world are Molson Coors Canada and on the complete opposite spectrum Sephora.

Sephora

I have always had a love for make-up; it stems from my mother and her love of expensive makeup.  I can remember rummaging through my mom’s makeup drawer to test out all the new freebies she had gotten from making the minimum makeup purchase from The Bay or Sears makeup counters.  It was usually Lancome or Shesado.  I would try my luck and sneak the makeup bag it had come in; she only had like 100 of them.  She wouldn’t miss just one.

Naturally, as an adult, Sephora was going to be my favourite store to shop.  The reason I think they do social media so well is what they offer,  teaching, humour and community.  Sephora, on a regular bases responds to comments on social, most questions about beauty.  They incorporate humour with a witty, relatable voice when responding and publishing memes with humorously relatable messaging.  Sephora has a community of followers that they find ways to engage with them around beauty

Sephora is on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, Kik, Wishbone and SnapChat.  Each social channel serves a different communal purpose, which requires different delivery types of content. On Instagram, they use live, stories and posts, focusing on the quick eye candy. On Youtube, they post long-form educational content. They use Facebook and Snapchat for event coverage and Wishbone for polls and quizzes where customers vote on things like their preferred beauty looks.

Molson Coors Canada

What Molson Coors Canada does right is promoting national pride.  We Canadians love to show our pride for our country, and capitalized on that.   Its award-winning campaigns combine the effective use of video with a sense of national pride. Its video featuring branded beer fridges left in random locations across Europe that dispensed free beer to anyone opening them with a Canadian passport added around $6 million to the company’s bottom line without any increase in the marketing budget. The fridge has proven a powerful branding symbol.  Savvy marketers successfully tapped into the growing sense of national pride emerging in Canada and topped this with the feel-good factor of getting something for free.

The trick for Molson will be to keep the symbol fresh: The fridge is already in its fourth year, and with alcohol consumption habits in flux, the big brewers are facing a bigger fight to convince people to keep stocking their fridges with beer.

Company that needs some help with social Media: Hambrgr

I have written about this in past posts.  Hambrgr is a locally owned restaurant company with its home base in Hamilton, Ontario.  My husband works there as the Director of Operations thus why I started following them.  At first, their social media looks great, the images are very eye-catching with lots of colour and delicious-looking food, but that is ALL they post.  I would like to see more videos, behind the scenes, maybe of the chef cooking a juicy burger, I want to see who works there, more interaction with the community in maybe a form of a contest.  Thye are also located in the heart of the downtown district so the opportunities are endless to interact with the community, maybe even do a chef collaboration with another restaurant or offer lunch specials as they are so close to office buildings.  Unfortunately, they post to sell, and that is about all the post for.  From my understanding they use a social media company as well, so I’m not too sure how they are falling short.

My Personal Brand

What are some personal qualities or characteristics that set you apart from your competitors?

I can’t imagine this assignment is easy for many people.  Taking a step back and evaluating yourself is, though!  The few things I could think of that could set me apart from my competitors are:

  • I am detail-oriented.  I refuse to do anything less than perfect.
  • I am taking a social media certificate course so I can be ahead of the game and have an edge on my competition.
  • I always am looking to improve myself and learn new things.  It could be educational where I am online looking into courses on regular bases or business where I think I keep on top new trends and new techniques and watch tutorials weekly to improve my craft.

What have you done lately to make yourself stand out?

I think what will make me stand out is the fact that I am taking the social media program through Algonquin College.  I will have gained a better understating of how to market myself and my business through social media.  Hopefully, that will make me stand out and be on top of the game.

What would your colleagues say is your best trait?

I am very organized.  I’m that person that has a spreadsheet for everything and travels with an accordion file for all travel itinerary.

What is the greatest challenge my business must overcome?

TIME!!!

I have 4 kids, a husband and a full time job, I think it’s safe to say that the greatest challenge my business must overcome is TIME.

When I was on maternity leave with my daughter Avery (now 9), I started making baby headbands because I couldn’t find unique and cute ones in stores. I made her so many cute and adorable headbands and clips, but guess what? She didn’t let me put anything on her head or let alone leave it there for more than 5 minutes. I had so many headbands, and no one that would wear them and I didn’t want to stop making them, it was fun, and I was good at it. So I started my own Facebook business called Averlee Park Accessories (Named after my three kids Avery, Haylee and Parker) My page is still up and running today, but I haven’t touched it in years. Check it out. I made okay money, nothing to write home about but I did it because I enjoyed seeing my creations on Lil baby girls. As Avery got older, I had less and less time, and before I knew it, I was back to work, and my business fell to the waste side. TIME……

TIME!! Why does the day not have more hours??

Fast forward eight years and I was on maternity leave again, but this time I was planning my wedding and starting a new business. I bought a Cricut cutting machine to make DIY wedding accessories and decorations and found I could use it on so much more. I honed my skill and began to dabble with vinyl cutting. Lone and behold, I started buying product and vinyl to start a new business named Dekal Dekor. This time I wanted to make a profit and make it a fulltime job, so everything had to be right, the product, the photos, the marketing, everything. I concentrated on research, checking out the competition, pricing out my products, doing trials, and once again, the TIME has gotten away from me, and I have yet to get my dream off the ground. I am back to work again. TIME…..

My challenge is finding TIME!! I need to stop with the mom guilt and set aside time to make my dream of having my own Etsy shop a reality.

Are there any mom entrepreneurs out there that can give me some tips for time management??

COM0014 Blog Post #4 B2C Case Study

Hambrgr

I decided to use a local business for my case study, Hambrgr. Hambrgr is a locally owned and operated restaurant/bar with 3 locations, one in St. Catharines and 2 in Hamilton. Hambrgr opened their doors in 2015, in the heart of downtown Hamilton with the promise of “making the best damn burger you’ve ever eaten.” With simplicity as their mantra, they deliver the perfect combination of locally sourced ingredients, a large selection of craft beer, culinary artistry, and an experience you will not forget.

Why I choose Hambrgr

Choosing Hambrgr was pretty simple for me because my husband works for the company as their Director of Operations, and I already follow them on Instagram and Facebook. When I first started following their Facebook and Instagram pages I loved it, I thought the pictures where very well executed and colourful and I didn’t put much more thought into it until I started taking this program. Now through taking this program, I have a different set of eyes and have had discussions with my husband about what I like about their social media presence and what I think could be improved upon.

Social Media Platforms

Hambrgr utilizes Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (although they have not posted to Twitter since April 2018). They post a lot of promotional posts, mostly menu items, including the monthly milkshake flavour as well as the limited weekly chef special (Chef Smash). Here are a few ways they can break up the monotony of promotional posts.

  • A contest – They could run a contest to have the customer invent the next milkshake flavour, add a hashtag
  • A Survey – Have them vote on a pre-selected list of flavours
  • Share customer-generated content – turning their customers into valuable brand ambassadors by showcasing their comments and photos to the world.
  • Show behind the scenes of the business – Profiling the people behind your restaurant is a great way to build relationships and add personality to your brand. You can make followers feel more connected to the business and the people that make it all possible.
  • Adding to the behind the scenes bit, I might even shine a spotlight on individual employees and share what their favorite menu item is.

Customer Reviews

I did a general search of Hambrgr online and found a few reviews on Yelp and TripAdvisor; none had been responded to by Hambrgr. The non-response is a missed opportunity to learn about their business and to turn naysayers into brand advocates. By addressing negative reviews and showing gratitude for positive ones, they can build a transparent and friendly persona online. It can show that they are not afraid to talk about their flaws and make a public attempt to improve upon them. On the other hand, when it comes to their Facebook page, they do an excellent job of responding to the positive feedback. They personalize each response by including the reviewer’s name and responding to the input and not just using a generic reply. But, they have missed a huge opportunity to grow their business and gain a broader demographic by don’t responding at all, responding inappropriately and not listening to the customer. A consistent negative review they receive is about the atmosphere not being child-friendly and not having high chairs or boosters to accommodate families. I have included one response below, how would you have responded differently?

Taken from: https://www.facebook.com/pg/hambrgrstcath/reviews/?ref=page_internal

Why would you say you appeal to an “older crowd”? What does that mean? People over 50 that do not necessarily have small children? What about grandparents? There are more and more people waiting until their 30’s before starting their families. I’m confused by what demographic they are targeting. I don’t see how having a few booster seats on hand would hurt their business primarily because in this same response they boast about being a “family-focused” restaurant. To me, what they are saying is “family-focused” to those who have children out of a booster seat, and if you have a baby or toddler, you are unwelcome. It’s just hurting them.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I do believe their approach is working but could be tweaked and made better. Hambrgr needs to interact with their customers more and not just post promotions all the time. Social media platforms provide you with a direct line of communication to existing and potential customers. They need to keep those lines open and listen and join the conversation on all posts regarding Hambrgr, not just their Facebook reviews.

Blog #3: Target Audiences

Getting Ready for Etsy

For a little over a year now, I have been preparing, researching, buying and creating to open my business on Etsy. I have been very apprehensive about starting my Etsy shop without having all my ducks in a row and feeling like I am prepared. One way I have been developing is by taking this social media certificate program at Algonquin College to get a little edge over the competition.

My Company

The company I plan to launch in the coming months entirely is a vinyl and heat transfer decal shop offering custom onesies and t-shirts for toddlers and kids. Eventually, I will add more items, such as makeup bags, mugs, throw pillows, totes, and wine glasses. Aside from taking pictures of my products, which in my opinion is one of the most critical aspects of marketing, I am just about ready. The final step will be choosing my marketing strategy, which brings me to determining my target audience.

My Target Audience

My key demographic are new parents, new moms specifically, and who are, for the most part, Millennial moms. Millennials are rare in that they discovered modern media as it was developing. They grew up as modern media grew up, and are therefore very invested in it. A millennial mother is a mom who fits this millennial category. According to a study conducted by Goldman-Sachs, first-time mothers are closer to 30 than ever before, and the average is climbing slightly every year.

According to Adweek, nearly 80% of millennial mothers cite safety as a top priority, higher than value or price. Additionally, just under 50% of millennial moms list the use of wholesome ingredients as a key deciding factor when comparing brands. The de-emphasis on price and the raised emphasis on quality is also indicated by the use of coupons, which is done by around 65% of this group. Millennial Moms believe that advertisers don’t understand their needs; therefore, they trust word of mouth and recommendations from other moms over advertisements. Reaching out to bloggers, creating campaigns that add extra value to these moms, rather than just talking at them is a key that marketers can’t avoid.

The Strategy

Millennial moms love recipes; Millennials are sometimes referred to as the “foodie generation.” Seventy-six percent of Millennials say they like to cook, and 89 percent want to get better at cooking. They enjoy reading about tips and tricks; they trust content from other moms and are highly engaged with parenting communities according to comScore and blogs such as CafeMom, BabyCenter and PopSugar.

I would build a strategy around this info, for my product content, I would highlight the quality of my vinyl and diaper-shirts and if it was made with natural ingredients. For non-related to product content, I would post recipes and tip and tricks to my social media pages such as Facebook and Pinterest. Millennial moms connect with imagery and find that imagery centered on the family or the baby captures more of her attention, so I will make sure to include people in my product images and not just the product.

References

R, Remi (n.d). 5 Trends You Need To Know To Better Market to Millennial Moms. Retreived 22 July 2019 from https://www.nativeadvertising.com

Denn, A (07 May 2018) The Biggest Mistake Brands Make when Targeting Moms. Retrieved 22 July 2019 from https://adage.com/

Assignment #1, Blog #1

Magnet-a-jaun

My family of 6, including my husband, four kids, Parker, 17, Haylee, 13, Avery, 9 and Hudson, 21 months traveled to Magnetawan, Ontario recently for some much needed R&R. Let me start by saying, I had a lesson on how to pronounce Magnetawan by friends and family when I would try and explain to them where we were headed to for our vacation. I was not saying it right or anywhere near how it should sound. So here’s my quick lesson for you on how to pronounce Magnetawan. It’s pronounced Magnet-a-jaun. Magnet-a-juan is centrally located between Huntsville, North Bay and Parry Sound in the Almaguin Highlands Region. Commonly known as the “Northern Muskoka region,” Almaguin Highlands offers impressive amounts of natural scenery, space, outdoor activities, and the community feel.

R&R with Four kids is not actual R&R

We rented a cottage on the shores of Whalley Lake, and it was BEAUTIFUL! It had all the amenities one could want in a cottage – beach, dock, deck, BBQ, a canoe, kayaks, paddleboards, firepit a paddleboat and fishing equipment. There was so much for the kids to do. In a nutshell, the kids spent our vacation on the beach, in the water, fishing or just hanging out. Me, on the other, spent my holiday, cooking, cleaning, keeping sand out of my 21-month-old mouth and picking all things in arms reach up so he wouldn’t break them. But, that’s life as a mom, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Would I recommend this vacation spot?

Yes, yes, I would. Aside from the numerous bugs and let me tell you there were tons of bugs, it was great. The water was so warm and inviting, the fish were biting, the nearest grocery store was only 20 minutes away, general store 5 minutes away, and the kids were happy.

Communication Styles

Deprogramming from Essay rules

When I was in high school way back in medieval times, we were taught that to write a good essay; it had to be factual, unbiased and using the words “I think was bad.” Your essay had to have an outline including an introduction, body 1, body 2, body 3 and a conclusion. With blogging, it is almost the exact opposite. I’m finding it difficult that even after so many years (I won’t say how many) of being out of high school to deprogram myself from those rules.

Blogging Tips

What I’ve learned from this weeks lesson is how you communicate will affect how people perceive you and your form of communication. There are specific blogging rules that you should follow to get your content noticed and shared.

  1. Know your grammar and punctuation. Lousy spelling and grammar make you look uncreditable and unprofessional
  2. Choose whether you want to write in passive or active voice and stick to it. The active role generally tends to be more clear and exciting to the reader.
  3. Practice makes Perfect, with everything, the more practice you get, the better you become.
  4. Begin with the End in Mind. think of what action you want to entice from your audience
  5. Don’t Bury the Lead. It is essential to put your information in the right order. Use the inverted triangle as a guide.

The Audience Experience

So this part is a little tricky; I’ve learned that everything has to be deliberate. Know what you want to achieve in the end before you start. If you want people to comment on your post, then you need to ask a direct question. If you want your post shared, then add a share button to make it convenient for the reader to do so. KNOW YOUR END GOAL.

Taking the Perfect Picture for your Social Media Campaign

Every business should be active on social media to stay relevant in today’s digital world.  But does every business realize the importance of posting a good picture? Only a few pictures inspire you enough to stop and notice rather than scroll on or leave entirely. That’s because many businesses take random pictures and post them to their profiles last minute without putting much thought or effort into it.  If you are one these people you are doing a huge disservice to your business, everything you post must have a purpose and be top quality.

1. The rule of thirds

The rule of thirds is a basic photography skill you should be using. It will create balanced, visually appealing images. Here’s how to do it:

  • Turn on the gridlines option in your smartphone camera settings, two vertical and two horizontal lines spaced apart equally should appear.
  • Position your subject and anything important in your photo where those lines intersect, do not centre your subject, it CAN create an unappealing photo.
Image result for rule of thirds
https://www.capturelandscapes.com/the-rule-of-thirds-explained/

2. Look for symmetry

Pictures that contain symmetry can be incredibly pleasing to the eye — if you have the opportunity to capture symmetry in a picture you should go for it. In photography, symmetry usually means creating an image that can be divided into two equal parts that are mirror images of each other.

3. Reflections are your friend

Using water, windows, mirrors or any sort of reflective surface can change the perspective of an image. It’s a good way to show off your photography skills and make an image more interesting. For example, let’s say you want to promote your restaurant that sits in the heart of the downtown core wouldn’t it be a great idea to take a cool shot of the front your building reflecting in its windows the hustle and bustle of the busy downtown nightlife?

Related image
http://matlosana.co.za/tempsites/meiring/index.php/component/spsimpleportfolio/item/13-sun-glasses

Take Candids

People are great subjects for your social media campaigns. Photos with faces get 38% more likes and 32% more comments than photos without them. Candid photos are better able to effectively capture the emotion and essence of a moment and make your brand more relatable. Also, show the people behind the brand, take candids of your staff.

Related image
https://www.lightstalking.com/candid-people-photography/

In conclusion, next time you post a picture ask yourself two questions, does it have a purpose and does it has quality. The key to a successful social media campaign is your picture quality. You don’t need fancy equipment to achieve an amazing photo just a little bit of know-how and inspiration. Side note- your photos should stay with a certain style, so your campaign has a more uniform feel, whether it is a dark and brooding look and feel or a crisp and clean look and feel they should all have the same feel, but that’s a whole separate topic.

What kind of photos does your brand share? What types of photos make you stop and take a second look when scrolling?

References:

Quicksprout (December 12, 2018) 12 Tips for Taking Better Marketing Photos for Your Social Media Campaigns Retrieved from: https://www.quicksprout.com/2018/12/01/12-tips-for-taking-better-marketing-photos-for-your-social-media-campaigns/

Good photos get you more likes Read about here: https://bit.ly/2XWcjjH

Do you post good photos? Find out here: https://bit.ly/2XWcjjH

Finding “THE ONE” on dating apps

Has on-line dating apps destroyed traditional dating?

My answer is YES; I have read many articles that say the same thing. Dating apps have given people way too many options. With pictures and profiles at your fingertips, ready for your viewing, the choices are endless. But do you really have all those options?? I disagree. I have a friend who is 36 years old and still searching for “the one” she has tried all the dating apps and still has not been successful in finding a suitor to match her criteria of what a husband should be in her eyes, and that’s the problem. My friend is very artsy, likes the outdoors, going to museums and art shows and guess what she’s looking for? Someone who likes the same things, but why? Do you want to date yourself? If she sees a profile picture of someone wearing a jersey or being at a game, she automatically discredits them since she hates sports. My husband likes sports; he owns jerseys, he watching games but guess what, I don’t have to watch them with him. That’s his thing and that okay.

Snap Judgement

With online dating apps, I think that people are searching for the “perfect” mate when that person doesn’t exist. I’m not saying to settle but to give someone who may have different interests than you a chance. Maybe you can learn something new, or teach someone something new. With dating apps, you judge a person from reading their profile without really knowing them, and that’s what you’re missing from traditional dating, getting to know someone over some time rather than 2 minutes of reading their profile.

But, again maybe that’s the problem, there are too many options. Maybe in my friends head, she thinks “the one” to match all her criteria is out there. Instead of relying on dating apps, get out there and meet people and get to know them instead of reading their dating “resume” and and making a snap judgement.

Do you want to date yourself? Read more: https://bit.ly/2IThiLw

Has dating apps ruined traditional dating? Read about it here: https://bit.ly/2IThiLw

Social Media and Parenting

WE LOSE PRECIOUS MOMENTS

Who else sees their kid doing something cute, rewarding, funny, entertaining or sometimes not so safe and the first thing we do is grab our phone for a photo to post instead of high-fiving, kissing or running to the rescue or just simply being present.  In that moment, we lose out on something special, those intimate moments with only you and your child, no sharing or likes by anyone on the outside

WE DOUBT OURSELVES

As a mom, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll run into THAT mom who is always bragging about her child and all their fantastic accomplishments.  Thanks to social media, you don’t have to leave your home to be bombarded with this information.  It’s all laid out for you in a beautiful timeline with pictures included of the very best of everyone’s children.  Parents react with likes and comments, but many parents compare their parenting style on what they see online.

You see Brenda has happy smiling kids at the Carnival this weekend, Nancy has taken her kids out for ice cream, Victoria’s son just won a race, Mark is cooking a nice healthy dinner for his kids.  All the while you and your kids are home this weekend eating take-out and staying in.  You doubt yourself, you think “should I be doing all those things with my kids this weekend?”  “Am I doing enough?”

When you look at social media, parents aren’t showing the good, the bad and the ugly.  They are showing the glossed over versions of their lives.  It leads us to believe that everyone is doing better than us and creates undue stress.

WE SPEND WAY TOO MUCH TIME DISTRACTED

I catch myself often scrolling through social media when my kids are trying to talk to me, and I have to make an effort to put my phone down consciously.  If you were to honestly write down every time you picked up your phone to indulge in your social media feeds, I think you might be surprised how often you do it.  Social Media will suck more time than you thought possible.

My daughters just recently had their dance recital, and my 13-year-old daughter asked me how she did, and of course, I said she was terrific.  She replied with how would you know, you were looking through your phone videotaping it and not actually watching.  That was a blow to the gut, I was watching, but in my daughters’ eyes, I was not present at the moment. Ask your kids if they think you are a distracted parent. 

I’m not saying we should abandon all things social media. Just set limits for yourself like you would your child.  Kids grow too fast, we need to unplug and enjoy.

WE ENCITE EYE-ROLLING

We are all proud of our kids because they are fantastic, of course, but some parents take that to the extreme with bragging.  I know that I have rolled my eyes at many parent’s updates.  My personal favourite is the “Look what Santa brought” posts that show a disgusting amount of perfectly wrapped gifts waiting under the Christmas tree.  This says to me- look how much money I have and look at what a great parent I am because of it.  Puulleesssee.

WE CREATE FAKE MOMENTS

Okay, I admit I am guilty of this.  My kids do something cute, and I think, that would have been an excellent picture.  So I ask them to do it again, but wait the background is messy we should do it over here, you were blinking let’s try it again. CHHEESSEEE.  By the end of it, my kids are rolling their eyes at me with frustration.

Just snap pictures and have fun with it, you take the pleasure out of it if everything is staged.  Your children will thank you for it.  Also, I do think that as our children grow and understand what social media is, you should ask them permission before posting any pictures.  My 17-year-old son asked me years ago to stop posting pictures of him, and I have stopped unless I ask him permission first.

LIKES, SHARES, COMMENTS – WHO CARES

If you disappeared from social media tomorrow, would that make you any less of a good parent? In fact, would it make us feel better about ourselves and our parenting skills?  Who cares what Brenda is doing with her kids this weekend.  Focus on what you are doing with your kids this weekend.  We should take a step back and think of the effect social media has on us as parents and the effect it has on our children through us.