I previously had the pleasure of meeting the CEO for the company NORM (Natural Organic Matters). Chevon Riley a Chemist graduate from UTSC recently created his own natural cosmetic company featuring his 3 ingredient product NORM natural almond balm. I chose to attend Chevon’s event as he mentioned this to me, and it worked in my favor as I knew I had to choose an event for this assignment. I also have a very strong interest in natural beauty products and one day hope to affiliate market for NORM.
Who did you meet or interact with at the event?
I was not seen by the customers as I attended in person with Chevon. He personally allowed me to be in the same room while his Christmas Giveaway went live. The live event was broadcasted on the company Instagram. Those who tuned in had a chance to win free NORM products by simply answering some fun Q & A’s. Three people in Canada won prizes and they had the pleasure of meeting Chevon as he delivered them before Christmas.
What did you learn from that interaction and what did you contribute to the interaction?
Although I did not contribute to anything, Chevon did happen to gift me a NORM product himself. I have recently tried it and I have to say it smells great! I learned more about brand awareness and customer engagement. Chevon always remained positive, enthusiastic, and very determined. He did look a bit nervous but overall kept his composure. Despite some of his audience not being as engaged this did not deter him at all.
What ideas have you walked away with from the event?
I believe this was a great way for Chevon to get his product out there and engage with his customers. After all it was a Christmas giveaway, and it was free. I think that social live events and giveaways are a great way to engage your customers and get your product out there. I would recommend that he changes the background suited for his product. The music and vibe were great! I think Chevon set the right mood to interact with his customers. I would recommend him to be open to affiliate marketing.
Collect a quotable quote from the event. Will you attend a similar event again in the future? Explain why.
“Little is the new more”. Chevon’s NORM product is an all natural Almond balm which consists of only 3 natural ingredients. Within the cosmetic and beauty industry it is 1 of a kind. I would love to attend another event in the future and hope to help Chevon make his business more successful!
Over this past year I have learned so much, I do not even know where to begin. I originally signed up for these courses as I always wanted to create my own online business, but I had no social media background. Anyone can create a social media account, which is easier said than done, but I wanted to understand the actual fundamentals and concepts of how it works and be able to implement and apply this towards my own success.
From the very beginning I had to develop my own social media strategy, which I was not even aware of. I was also not familiar with social media listening or monitoring tools. I found everything I learned very unexpected as I did have a lack of knowledge and experience in this field. I feel that once I create my online presence, everything will fall into place. Practice makes perfect and I feel more confident starting in the new year as opposed to starting in 2020.
My main takeaways and what I have learned are the following;
Knowing your audience. No business can be successful without potential customers or followers. Knowing and engaging your audience is key. Social monitoring tools can help with this but doing your own homework and research would be the best practice.
Remaining Authentic and the power of story telling. Everyone has a story. The way you express and convey this is what makes each and everyone of us of unique. Your voice, tone and passion can be expressed authentically resulting in you standing out over your competition.
Staying up to date, keeping up with current trends and niches is crucial for any business. If you fall behind and this is visible to your customers, this may impact your business in a negative way.
Utilizing social media monitoring tools may cost you but save you at the same time. Monitoring all social platforms from one dashboard will help you achieve your goals and find areas of improvement. Monitoring tools can also help you stay organized. Scheduling your posts and content is a good practice.
I would like to thank all my facilitators and fellow classmates who have helped me through this year. I would not have been able to complete this without any of you. I am looking forward to applying this new knowledge in both my professional and personal life! Good luck to each and everyone of you!
We are currently living through a global pandemic which has affected and altered each and everyone of us. Who would have thought wearing a mask would be the new norm in 2020? From grocery shopping, dining out, or attending a social event, our lives are being affected drastically which also affects businesses and the way that they network. Following up on our discussion, people can network in person or online. Due to the pandemic, online networking has and will become the new future. Social networks and platforms now allow us to connect virtually from anywhere and at anytime.
I plan to create, implement, and introduce my online business in 2021. This is the very beginning for me, baby steps, but this will be my starting point. I have already created content and made some rough drafts but never officially put myself or my business out there. I would like to share my knowledge with others and create an authentic culture for like minded individuals like me. I am also very open to other opinions, suggestions, and feedback to always improve. I would like to inspire, express, and educate my potential followers and customers. I am open to affiliate marketing and influencers. I am willing to help those who are willing to help me! Connecting with such people will help us learn from one another. The key to a successful business is networking. Since my brand and business are not yet on the market, I will need to focus on putting myself out there and customer engagement. Ensuring I work with those within the same niche markets is a plus and an advantage. I plan to focus on the following in the new year;
Being Authentic: starting something new can be very overwhelming and may cause anxiety. Since this will all be new for me, I will try my best to be myself and refrain from feeling shy or awkward.
Utilize, test, stay up to date: With the help from this course, I will utilize all monitoring tools that will best suit my business needs. I will ensure I test out any technology I am unfamiliar with. I will also continue to take other courses and ensure I am always learning and staying up to date.
Staying connected: It is important to always engage with your followers and customers. I am committing to staying focused and up to date with my content and posts.
Remain Optimistic: Regardless of how many times I fail, or something doesn’t go my way I will ensure this is not displayed or portrayed on social media. Staying positive and thinking optimistically attracts great things!
Since I only have Facebook, I did spend some extra time online trying to make the best decision regarding an impressive social media presence. The two organizations I have chosen are Sephora and Lush. To be honest Sephora has never been my go-to place. I am not the typical girly girl who wears a lot of makeup, and I am also not keen on unnatural beauty products. There was also never a Sephora close to home, so it was a bit of an inconvenience. I have done some shopping online as I did receive a gift card in the past. There mission statement alone speaks volumes to me. “Sephora believes in championing all beauty, living with courage, and standing fearlessly together to celebrate our differences. We will never stop building a community where diversity is expected, self- expression is honored, all are welcomed, and you are included. We belong to something beautiful”. This is truly inspiring and authentic, very pure, and genuine. Diversity, self expression, and beauty are all elements of expressing your purest self. Sephora has a high standard for their social media presence. They are fun, educational and are very involved with their community and audience. They currently use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Snapchat. They have the correct intent regarding their social platforms. They utilize each one of them differently, resulting in their online success. They are up to date with the latest trends, and always have a way of engaging their audience on any occasion. They are not only a worldwide makeup company, but they offer high quality beauty tutorials, mind blowing content, and share a genuine connection with their audience.
Lush has always been a luxury natural beauty store in my opinion. Before I acknowledge their social media presence, I would like to share a personal experience I had with them. Back in 2018, I came across an ad for Lush’s body butter. I had never physically visited a store, so I thought I would give it a try. After work one evening, I went in with the intent to check out the body butter. I met a young representative who happened to be very professional friendly and personable. We chatted for a while, she offered me testers and I was basically sold immediately. I appreciated the knowledge she had shared with me about the company, how they invest in their employees and community, which charities they are involved with and the various products. She had shared a personal story of visiting Africa on behalf of Lush, which had me moved as I had just applied for a trip to Kenya with my company at the time. I am a strong believer in things happening for a reason. A week later I received great news that I was chosen to go to Kenya. I immediately thought back to that moment in Lush and the conversation I had with her. I believe everything happens for a reason. Lush’s creativity, authenticity, choice of colours and essentially the art that they exude and express is beautiful. Have you ever walked by? Their bright, vibrant, and florescent colours stand right out! Having high quality content, images, videos is one of their strengths. Building personal relationships with their customers is a strong advantage that they have which is why they are successful. I also appreciate Lush for their diversity, authenticity, and love for the planet. There mission statement: “Creating cosmetics to save the planets” truly makes my heart smile as I am a strong believer in nature.
Today almost, every organization has a social media presence, one organization that could use a more solid social media strategy is Whiffcraft Naturals. This is a local Canadian business located in British Columbia. I happened to click on an ad a couple of years ago where I discovered an amazing natural deodorant. I suffer from hyperhidrosis and very sensitive skin. I discovered their “Stink Pretty Natural Deodorant”. Throughout the years I have tried their amazing mint lip balm and Foxy Face oils. There website is up to date with blogs, new products, and trends. Their social media presence is not as impressive as it can be! With only 625 followers they certainly need to engage more audiences within the country or even globally. I believe a solid social media strategy should be in their best interest starting out in the new year. I believe once they create the correct objectives, social platforms they intend to use, and the content they want to post and ways to engage/interact with customers and or influencers, they will be closer to achieving successful results through their social presence. Check out their website if your interested in Canadian natural beauty products!
In the beginning of 2020, I made the decision to go back to school and take a course that I was interested in while working full-time. I wanted this to be something that I had limited knowledge about but that I could apply to my future dreams, ambitions, and business goals. Social media is essentially the new way of communicating. Aside from small children, almost everyone has an electronic device and Wi-Fi is basically “free” everywhere. Technology is our new future, it will only become more developed, enhanced and advanced. I currently only have Facebook and Snapchat and I find myself more as a lurker, however I do aspire to become a creator and connector! The decision to take these courses prior to knowing we were going to be living through a pandemic, has given me the opportunity to try various social listening and monitoring tools. It has also helped me gain more understanding and knowledge regarding a social media strategy, storytelling, and social analytics.
While completing the previous assignments, I signed up for many free trials for various social media monitoring tools. The customer service was amazing. They offered extensions to my trials, free demos, and exceptional support. Based on me experimenting, I found the following free and paid tools the most beneficial.
Social Monitoring/Listening Tools
Google Alerts (free): I found Google Alerts very helpful and very simple to use. Once the alert is set up it basically works for you. I appreciated the fact that it links to your Gmail account. Whenever a keyword is used online, I would receive an email notification. This ultimately helps keep up to date and stay on top of the newest trends and interests.
Mentionlytics: (free Trial). It gives you insights just by entering your brand or company name. This also has a quick setup, is very straightforward and easy to use. For someone with no knowledge or previous experience with social tools, I felt very comfortable and confident. You can analyze mentions right away and it gives you a very clear perspective of your business efforts. The search, alert and reports options are major bonuses within this tool.
Hootsuite: Although Hootsuite is a paid monitoring/listening tool, I would strongly recommend this based on the feedback and reviews I have read. This social media management platform allows you to manage different social networks in one place (single dashboard). Some features include scheduling posts, reviewing responses, interacting with customers, and measuring ROI.
News & Sources
CP24 is the main channel that is on in my house. Regarding local news they are my go-to whether its their website or their social media platforms.
Facebook is also great for news and updates. Someone always shares posts and updates from other platforms. The content is always current.
RT YouTube is a global news channel broadcasting from Moscow, London, Paris, and Washington studios to over 100 countries. This is great for worldwide news.
I have a strong passion for health, fitness and well- being and another outlet I visit regularly is https://www.strongfitnessmag.com/. From training, nutrition, health, and motivation I am always learning or trying something new! There are also many videos and posts by inspirational women. Ladies I highly recommend this!
Why is storytelling important to creating great digital content?
People connect and communicate through stories and digital content helps paint the actual picture. They both go hand in hand. It helps their audience feel the emotions that are being expressed. The story telling aspect is all about making it feel real on deeper levels. Expressing your actions, desires, and experiences are all ways to captivate your audience through story telling. Essentially, when you entice and engage your audience you know you are on the right track.
How will your content be guided by story?
My content will be guided with great communication and interesting stories that will never leave my audience hanging. I plan to engage, entice, and express myself through sharing personal stories. Sharing my true authenticity and my real self is something that I truly think is missing. The online world is made up of filters and programs which alter the actual appearance verses the reality. I live by the saying ” beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. You don’t’ need to have money, name brands or live materialistically to be beautiful or stand out. We are all unique in our own individual ways, and it is our choice in which we express this.
What kind of stories do you want to tell?
I want to tell and share the most personalized stories. I feel like this will help me connect deeply with my audience and help me form personal bonds and connections. Audience diversity and knowing your audience is key to a successful business. This is one of my main takeaways in this course. I want to be able to inspire my audience through story telling and share my knowledge in hopes that people can learn from my experiences. I want to be able to move people and touch them emotionally. My stories will always have an impact on my audience leaving them with a taste in their heart, affecting them emotionally. In Essence they will not be able to forget me but rather remember me. I also would like my stories to help people in anyway they can. Whether its adding value, solving a problem, giving a suggestion or tips. My intentions, my heart and my true authenticity is the ultimate story I want to share. If I can do it, you can do it! We are all human beings and when we come together, we can share, inspire, and motivate each other.
Are you a procrastinator? Are you one of those types of people that has a bad habit of leaving things until the last minute? If so, we both have something in common. I am not sure if the feeling of pressure, discomfort and challenge secretly motivate me, but I find myself always procrastinating regarding my biggest fears also known as the things that need to be done. At some point in one’s life they often decide their future regarding career, goals, ambitions and what they plan to accomplish and achieve in life. For me, that is creating my own digital marketing business. There is no better time to jump into this, as we are in the world of digital technology. People are on their phones more than they speak to each other. Kids these days are more tech savvy than some adults!
After attending university for one year, I left, as it was not for me. I decided to work instead of waste money in the wrong profession. Eight years after climbing the corporate ladder in the logistics industry I am sitting here exploring my many different options in creating my successful online business. The key word above was ” exploring”. This relates back to the very beginning where I mentioned procrastination. My biggest fear for my business is starting! Now this may sound far-fetched but starting is always the hardest part. Maybe not for just me but in general. If you want to start eating healthy or working out or creating daily change or routine, starting, and initializing is always the hardest part. They say to form a habit takes twenty-one days.
I have spent hours, days, weeks, and months writing down my ideas, ambitions, and goals. I have a great imagination and try my best to gain knowledge in my spare time. Have you ever heard that saying ” formal education will make you a living; self- education will make you a fortune”. This is truly what I live by and this inspires me to continue bettering myself each day no matter how many challenges I face.
Since I am so far behind in the online world, I signed up for this program in social media to gain insight, knowledge and understanding before diving into something deep that I am unaware of. I am currently in the process in completing this certificate to get my online business running. I have created an action plan with dates and plan to execute them in the coming new year. Execution, action, determination, and discipline are my focus to creating and starting my online business. This has helped me overcome my fears and make me one step closer to knowing my true potential and worth.
Even though I currently do not have my own personal brand yet, I am in the process of creating my online business. I do not use any social media platforms aside from Facebook mainly for networking with family and friends. I intend on expressing and sharing my true authentic self with the world. I aim to reveal this as a moving digital story displaying my uniqueness and originality. Something that no one has ever seen before. I wish for it to go viral to help gain the followers and audience needed to expand and grow successfully. I have made baby steps to get the ball rolling. I will be investing in a ring light, new phone, and drone for marketing purposes. The Samsung S20 Ultra has three cameras and is known for its vlog capabilities. These are all in my best interest sooner rather than later.
My dream business is to become a natural fitness enthusiast/ specialist who will help share and spread knowledge to others. Based on my life experiences I will inspire and encourage others to be their most authentic selves and live life the natural way. I believe that there is always a natural route that people can take in any aspect of life. I will align my personal interests and passions and collaborate/network with influencers who share the same goals, interests, and passions.
I am proud of my current content that I have not yet shared. This ranges from personal workouts in the gym to soccer drills in my backyard. The focus is on calisthenics and plyometrics with minimal equipment. Sharing my Kenya experience with the world is also in my best interest. This was a life changing experience for me as it helped me appreciate my life here in Canada. I have recorded positive affirmations, quotes, and plan to create inspirational podcasts. I also prepared video clips of my meal prep and pictures of my delicious meals.
My future content includes educational videos regarding natural supplements/herbs that I personally researched during my spare time. I will educate and inspire those who may benefit from such plants/herbs. I will recommend meals and meal prep that incorporate these herbs/supplements. I will continue to create workout videos specifically at home due to the changes in the world today. I will continue to create positive affirmations and help motivate and inspire myself. I will also create my own products down the line and brand them.
Leaving the corporate world helped me find my true self. Taking that leap of faith has brought me one step closer to pursuing my dreams and aspirations. I will be working for myself, doing what I love which is helping people improve their lives, well being and lifestyle. This course is a steppingstone in accomplishing my true-life purpose and potential.
In 1994 Amazon Inc was created. The company originally started out as an online bookstore. Today Amazon is one the of largest e-commerce companies in the world even surpassing Walmart. Amazon is the market leader with a wide range of products including, technology, software, music, film, apparel, and homeware which has created such a strong customer base. Amazon clearly understands the affect of a social media strategy and I strongly believe they have mastered their target audiences. When people want to search for something they think of Google. When it comes to buying something the number one vendor is Amazon.
Amazon has made strong efforts regarding social media. They have separate products and are not only B2C but B2B and C2C. They offer Amazon, video, music, prime, web services. There diverse variety of products is one of the main reasons why they have been such a success. Aside from their main accounts, Amazon plays a significant role in social media. I have listed a few platforms they are currently using and brief explanation on the impact.
Social media platform
Amazon.com & Amazon.ca
Amazon’s main web domain for either US or Canada is their main source of traffic. This is where everything is linked to.
Providing enticing and valuable content to their customers. Used to market their own products, highlight deals, competitions and offers to consumers Specific Facebook accounts such a Prime Video. This is used to draw attention to relevant products/offers to intrigue, drive engagement and gain sales.
Instagram feeds are shoppable making it easier for customers. Instagram is used to focus on visually appealing content and products. This is to increase overall brand reach.
This is not only used as a marketing tool but to improve integrated e-commerce. Users can send items to their shopping cart directly from Twitter by using #AmazonCart.
This is used for network specific content. Snap deal or deal codes are exclusive, one-off style offers that lend themselves perfectly to the network.
I would like to share my first experience with Amazon. In 2015 I decided to try a free 30-day trial for Amazon Prime as it was new to me. Not that I was a fan of online shopping at the time, or had anything specific in mind to buy, but hey it was free, and I had nothing to lose. As time went on, I forgot about my Prime membership, and did not use it within the thirty days. I received an email from my financial institution about a strange $80 charge from Amazon and if this was something, I should be suspicious about as it did appear very randomly. I immediately called my credit card company to ensure this was a legitimate charge. I then contacted Amazon who were very empathetic, patient and understanding and ensured they were going to help me. I expressed my frustration that I did not sign up for Prime and I was only on a trial, I felt that this was not authorized with my consent. After a very minimal hold, the representative acknowledged my concerns and informed that I contacted Amazon USA instead of Amazon Canada. Before getting more frustrated they went on to advise that they would contact Amazon Canada on my behalf and initiate a refund request with them so I would not have to repeat myself. After being transferred to Amazon Canada, my request was completed all within five minutes. They verified my information and informed that it would take a few business days to appear on my credit card. This experience is why I am now a true Prime customer. Online shopping has now become a norm for me. I am also an Audible member which is another Amazon product. Listening to audio books while I go on nature walks helps me relax and stay focused. As a proud Prime and Audible member, I also benefit from the perks that are offered.
I strongly believe Amazon’s social media marketing approach is one of the best considering they are the number one online retailer in the world. Since inception, Amazon’s vision is to be the most customer centric establishment on earth. Amazon has been more willing to go above and beyond for their customers than any other business. They clearly understand how social media aids in excellent customer service. They listen, respond, and offer value to their consumers. I look forward to see what they have in store for the future!
There has been many misconceptions regarding cannabis also known as marijuana or weed. These have circulated in our society and made it out to be the worst ” drug” out there. In 2018, marijuana became legalized in Canada and in a few US states. Since legalization, this industry is highly competitive and growing very fast. Cannabis brands must strongly differentiate themselves to different consumers (audience) to stand out and become successful. I smoked my first joint at 14. It was an experience I will never forget. I am now 29 years old and based on my own self-taught knowledge and research I am proud to share that smoking marijuana does not make me a bad person. I feel that these misconceptions are based on stereotypical beliefs since it was not always legalized. The perception of cannabis has significantly changed which is why this industry is growing. This is also due to lack of education, which is what I am strongly passionate about it. I may not be a marijuana advocate, but I certainly would like to educate those who do use it for recreational purposes.
Like many young people when I first tried weed it was for the experience and the feeling. I had no idea what I was smoking, what THC or CBD was and how it even worked. Educating myself about Cannabis has truly helped me recognize the anatomy of the plant itself and helped understand the perspective of why people smoke. It is not about just “getting high or stoned”. I have broken down some of the main components that I was once oblivious to.
THC: Tetrahydrocannabinol – this is the component in cannabis that makes you feel ” high”. This can vary in % based on the type of strain.
CBD: Cannabidiol – this is the medicinal component in cannabis that promotes overall healing. This also varies in %.
Cannabis also comes in different strains. The most common three are: Indicia, Sativa, and Hybrid.
Indica: More relaxing affects.
Sativa: More energizing effects.
Hybrid: Combination of the two.
Consumers also have many options such as dry flower, concentrate, oil, tinctures, edibles, or hash.
The cannabis market has many different types of consumers. As stated previously, brands and companies must differentiate themselves to capture their target customers. How do you choose your strain? This really does depend on what effect you desire. Cannabis has a range of medical uses, side effects and can be better for certain conditions. It can also interact with other medications so it always best to do your own research before trying something new. I have broken down the following based on my own personal research. I have provided a brief explanation for the below potential audiences regarding cannabis use.
Medicinal users (Patients): these are often people who have been referred by a medical professional and use various strains to treat chronic pain, or disorders.
Parents: since legalization, many parents tend to smoke once the kids are in bed. Some may enjoy this with a beer or wine. This also affects the demographics. Older parents may be accustomed to their traditional ways whereas younger parents are more open to trying new options.
Professionals: most people are employed full time. We all have responsibilities and priorities, which can lead to mental exhaustion and fatigue. Brands that focus on mental health and overall wellness will generally capture such audience.
Creatives: artists or people who like to use their imagination tend to use cannabis to enhance their creativity. Sativa dominant strands are known to increase productivity, energy and enhance creative focus.
Experts (Connoisseurs): the name says it all. These are the types of people who will spend the extra dollar on the top-quality herb. They are highly passionate and appreciate power and information.
Stoners: millennials can fall in this category but lets just classify this as todays youth. These are the young people who hang out with friends that want to “get high”. They lack education and smoke mainly for the feeling.
There clearly is not one type of cannabis consumer. Those who make up the cannabis culture are educated, diverse and cultured. Gaining and learning what drives customers to make purchases helps improve and enhance the current business. Using digital marketing tools through social media platforms will overall improve communication with your audience. Optimizing social media, targeting real-time campaigns and incentive driven perks can also entice customers. Analyzing the data collected, allows you to create experiences that are customized to your customers preferences. This can influence how you are perceived online via web, content, display etc. By using measurable data, companies can develop products and align them with the customers future needs and interests as this often changes. Overall building a strong voice and being present where your audience is spending time online is crucial.