COMM 0015 Post 4 – Out of the Box

I have never realized how much social media has been intertwined with online marketing until taking this course. I only thought that I saw company advertisements on tools such as twitter because I was using a free service. It is amazing to think how much the online marketing industry has changed (and is still changing). This course has not only made me realize the applications of social media in business, but has taught me valuable unexpected applications that I might use one day.

The first unexpected application I have learned is one that I have mentioned many times, the use of social media to drive customer service. More and more companies are moving toward social media tools such as twitter and Facebook to generate customer feedback towards their business and services. Instead of the annoying pop-up we are all used to seeing when you first enter a website; this application is no doubt the best way to quickly and efficiently interact with your customers, produce feedback (both negative and positive), and provide a response in a timely manner to your customer.

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The next one that caught me by surprise was the amount of job posting and applications companies accept with social media. There are actually Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn pages and feeds that are dedicated to getting the word out about job opening and opportunities. The LinkedIn social media application amazes me the most. Not only can you connect with fellow co-workers and friends, but the application is a hub for recruiters, employers, and employees. It blows my mind that people can actually get hired by applying for a job using a social media app. Who knows what the next social media and online marketing breakthrough will be in the next 10 years….

Images: http://fluidsurveys.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/popup-survey-invite.jpg

 

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COMM 0015 Post 3 – Professional Networking now and in the future

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Five years ago, if you were to ask someone about how they network online, they might have said something along the lines of Facebook or email. Now days, when asked the same question, no doubt the number one answer would be Linkedin. The Linkedin application adds a professional touch to online networking. I use it every day to add people who I work with, and to explore other job opportunities. My current job is 75% computer based. I have no idea what 99% of the people who I talk to look like. I have been able to find people who I work with indirectly through Linkedin. Most importantly I add company executives I know with Home Depot (current employer) and realty firms (potential career field). For the next while, starting in the New Year after exams, I will be building my online network with Linkedin on a regular basis. After that, I plan on communicating with applicable company representatives to simply get my name out there in the industry. That should open up more potential job opportunities upon completion of my College programs (OREA and Algonquin).

Just recently in my Human Resources course, my final assignment was to attend a networking event related to your career (or potential career) industry. I attended a “Career Night” hosted by Royal LePage. Not only was this networking event a suitable choice for my assignment, it was actually something I have wanted to attend for potential career purposes. The event was located at their Cambridge office location. It only lasted for about 30-45 minutes, but I had the chance to meet the Broker of Record with Royal LePage Grand Valley, Keith Church.  About 80% of the event attendee’s left almost right after the presentation, so I had the perfect opportunity for quality networking with the branch executives, including Keith. Below is a link from the Career Night

http://www.careerinrealestate.ca

I am making more of a conscious effort to network in person more than online. I feel you can only show so much of yourself online. People learn your true character in person, whether it be at work, at a coffee shop, or at networking function such as the one I listed above. I have started to attend these networking events more frequently. For the next year my goal is to fully develop a network of potential employers and employees that will be able to refer me to those individuals. I will be accomplishing this through attending Real Estate Career fairs and current workplace training functions. District office executives are always present at both functions.

Image: http://www.allspammedup.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/linkedin_logo_11.jpg

COMM 0015 Post 2 – Strong & Weak Organizations

When I was searching for two organizations that have impressive social media strategies, the first thing I checked was my Twitter feed. I probably would have checked Facebook as well, but I know it’s a trap if I reactivate my account. I will be sucked in for hours trying to find these organizations and probably end up submitting this report next Christmas! The two organizations that immediately jumped out on my Twitter feed were CNN and The City of Guelph.

CNN is very efficient when it comes to their utilization of twitter. I don’t even know how it is possible to cover the amount of news they seem to handle on a daily basis. When I wanted to add mainstream news feed that I could keep up with, I chose “CNN’s Breaking News” Twitter feed. There are many other CNN Twitter news feeds as well which is very important to cover all different types of people. I think, some Twitter followers get annoyed with Twitter feeds that flood one’s own feed (possibly causing them to unfollow that feed). With the amount of news CNN processes, they balance the amount of tweets posted very effectively. They also cover every single possible social media tool as outlined on their website.

The City of Guelph is also doing a fantastic job in terms of their social media strategy. Usually the most important information people seek to know from the city is Bylaw updates and enforcement’s. For example, many residential roads in Guelph have seasonal parking/no parking bylaws. Every year the date changes due to the city’s first snowfall prediction.  In order to help prevent parking infraction and help the general public, the City uses multiple social media tools to broadcast these updates. I find these strategies boost moral within the city and turn people away from thinking that the city bylaws are just “money grabbers”. If you look on the City Of Guelph’s website, the first thing you see is their logo header and a list of all the social media tools they use.

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I am going to cheat a little bit and use my own employer as the organization that needs to adopt a better social media strategy. The company I am talking about is The Home Depot. Yes they have a Facebook page, Twitter feed, and a YouTube channel, but they also have over a hundred stores within Canada! Each store belongs to a district, and each district to a market. Each market and district has their own different store promotion and events. How can you use only one Twitter feed to cover 190 stores? Also, unfortunately, you have to scroll to the bottom of the home website page to see what social media tools they use. The corporation needs a little tune up in their marketing department.

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COM0015 – Blog #1: Tool & Sources

Not too long ago, there was a compelling documentary shown on Netflix examining the ongoing private policy issues in relation to social media networking. Government cyber watchdog applications, third party private information sales, even criminal profiling based on one’s “Facebook account” can cause quite the negative riff when it comes to evaluating the purpose of social media as a whole.  Recently I have noticed a positive change in atmosphere on some of my favourite social media tools that I follow on a daily basis. I don’t subscribe to merely half the social media applications that are out there as is. Facebook and Twitter would have to be my two favourite trend following applications. I enjoy(ed) Facebook so much that I have actually temporarily deactivated my account for this first semester. I might have a small tendency to procrastinate once in awhile and sometimes I would catch myself browsing the “news feed” for a little bit longer than one normally does. On the other hand, Twitter, because of its somewhat more basic layout than Facebook, does not take 17 hours to follow the latest news and trends from friends, family, and the world. Twitter is also one of my favourite news sources alongside Google’s “News” page. The ability to customize your news preferences and privacy settings, I find, separates these 3 media tools from the rest. Facebook, unlike the ol’ “Myspace” (do people even use that website anymore?) or even twitter allows you to have 100% control of A) who can view your profile, posts, tags, etc and B) whose profile, posts, and tags you can see yourself.  Being an employee of a large retail chain, sometimes pictures would surface from fellow co-workers that I would rather, not be posted. Good thing for privacy settings!  On the topic of large retail chains, it is nice to see large corporations using social media for customer service in general. An example I would like to use is the US airline industry. Airlines across the US (and select other regions) have been using Facebook and Twitter to gather customer feedback. I learned this, by accident, after tweeting on a recent KLM flight.KLM I was actually quite floored!  Within one hour of stepping off of the airplane, my pocket vibrated with a new notification that someone had Tweeted me. Being a potential business owner, and someone who works in the customer service driven industry, this actually changed my perspective on customer feedback and social media. Not going to lie, that tweet made me feel a little bit loved and I am for sure motivated to fly with them again! It’s amazing how now-a-days social media tools are used. The KLM tweet is an example of using social media listening tools for the better, and I hope this trend continues to grow within social media and small to large businesses. That small experience definitely gave me new insight on one day using the benefits of social media tools to prosper my own business.