COM0015 – Assignment 5 – Webinar Participation

I recently attended a webinar called The Influencer Marketing Landscape. It was presented by PSFK, an organization that researches consumer, brand and retail innovation trends related to artificial intelligence, delivery services, digital transformation, online shopping, retail technologies and social commerce (PSFK, 2022). The reason I chose to attend this webinar was because throughout this social media certificate, the concepts of ‘influencers’ and ‘branding’ have been brought up many times. I was interested in learning what recent research had to say about such concepts, especially in the context of modern technology. The webinar was presented live on YouTube, but if you’re interested in watching the recording, you can click here!

One of the presenters in the webinar was Dr. Jessica Quillin, a content and retail strategist, author, and fashion editor. Dr. Quillin talked about her perspective on being an influencer and how to decide whether to engage with a brand or not. Her biggest advice was to do your homework. If you are interested in collaborating with brands to build your own, her suggestion is to do research about all kinds of brands, and weed out the ones that don’t share your values. She made a good point that even when you present another brand on your social channels, you are still representing yourself, and have to stay true to your brand. 

Aside from what Dr. Quillin shared, one piece of information that I found really interesting from the webinar was how key performance indicators (KPIs) are changing in the world of social media influence. In other words, KPIs are no longer simply based on followers, likes, comments, or shares. The biggest KPI in today’s influencer environment is pure engagement. This refers to the depth of the connections created through our social media, and the longevity and growth that those connections experience. While such KPIs may take longer to observe, they are what show us the long term success or failure of our online branding. 

After attending this webinar, I definitely think it would be cool to attend others. I think life-long learning is important, and given that social media is a field I am interested in, it’s important to stay on top of current trends, practices and research like those presented in this webinar. 

COM0014 – Blog 7 – Personal Reflection

The biggest lesson I have learned in this course is that storytelling isn’t just an important component of great digital content, it’s the framework for great digital content. In other words, the key to having successful digital content isn’t to incorporate elements of storytelling, it’s to embrace your story and use your digital content to tell your story throughout. 

The way I see storytelling in the context of social media is that your social media is like your book, and the posts you publish are the pages in your book that tell your story to your audience. Studies show that people often read the first few pages of a book to decide if they want to keep reading or not, and social media is the same. If you are able to capture your audience’s attention with one great social post, they will likely want to see more, thus following your story. 

I think it’s simple to guide your social media content with your story. The way I see it, things happen in an order, just like your story. If you post outside of that order, or there’s a post in your collection that doesn’t fit with the others, your story loses its flow. As an example, consider a student blogger. Imagine the vlogger participates in Vlogmas, but on Day 3 of Vlogmas decides to post about their recent Thanksgiving trip. It just wouldn’t make sense and it would disrupt the audience’s understanding of the blogger’s story. Using your own story’s chronology is important. 

Besides chronology, I also think it’s important to let your story guide your content in terms of authenticity. There’s something so frustrating about social media accounts that portray a persona that you know is far from their reality. I think if your social content is genuine to your true story, the audience will feel the authenticity and will relate to it and you more deeply.

In terms of what stories I would want to tell, I think it really comes down to authenticity and personality. Social media is about connection, interaction, engagement, and exploration. If your stories are authentic and reflect your personal brand, there are going to be people who relate, and want to engage with that. For me, I like to be silly and have lots of fun, but I am also not afraid to show emotion.  The stories I like to tell are those that make people feel who I am, while being relatable, or even just entertaining. 

COM0015 – Blog 4 – Out of the Box

Two applications that I have found while exploring the world of social media and online marketing are Hootsuite and Canva. I know these aren’t super secret tools, but they have some amazing capabilities if you look beyond the surface uses. 

Starting with Hootsuite, besides the super helpful ability to schedule posts as well as simultaneously post on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, I love how useful Hootsuite is for monitoring. Using the ‘streams’ function, you can actually view mentions of your accounts as well as posts from other accounts that you engage with most often. I think this function is really helpful because media monitoring can be tricky, as it often requires multiple applications to cover all of the data. With Hootsuite though, you get a nice comprehensive report that updates frequently, without requiring much effort on your part. As such, if you have limited time, but you want a solid understanding of your social media status, Hootsuite will give you what you need in a matter of one click. 

Now for Canva. Canva is a tool that allows you to create graphics for any situation, whether a social media post, poster, wedding invitation, or more. What I think people don’t always realize is how much flexibility the application has, even with the free version. I have used both the free and paid versions, and while it’s true that the paid version has some amazing options in terms of frames, stickers, and templates, the free version has more capabilities than any other free application in the graphic creation category than I have ever seen. 

Personally, my favourite two aspects of Canva with regards to its flexibility are its downloading features and template features. Canva allows you to decide what kind of format in which you download your creation. Moreover, it tells you what each format is best for, so if you have a specific purpose for your graphic, it will tell you which format you should download. As for templates, Canva has an incredible array of template options as you can see in the picture below. Additionally, if you aren’t sure what template you want to use, you can look at them based on sizes (e.g. 8.5 x 11) and go from there. As always, if you change your mind, Canva is great because it autosaves your progress if you go back to the main page, so you can decide later to abandon that piece or continue. 

Overall, I think the common reason I love these two applications is that they make the job easy, whether by offering flexibility, or by doing the work for you. 

COM0015 – Blog 3 – Networking

My current parent strategy for developing my professional network online is to build my LinkedIn profile. I downloaded LinkedIn a few years ago and then forgot about it. Recently, I realized that, especially considering how close I am to graduating and entering the professional world, it’s really important to have a space where anyone from around Ottawa, Canada, or even the world, can see what experience I have and where my professional strengths lie. As part of my strategy, I have been connecting with many more people that I either know, or share common interests with me to build my network. I have also been adding way more information and detail to my profile to not only update my information, but also to make my profile less generic and more personal to me. Finally, I have been adding lots of links to my published/posted works so that if anyone wants to see my work, especially in digital marketing, they can!

Honestly, the in person part of networking has been a bit of a struggle recently given rises in COVID-19 cases, so while I haven’t participated in any face-to-face networking, I plan to do so when it is once again safe. In the next 6-12 months, I plan to continue developing my networks by returning to school full-time in person to engage with my professors and classmates as we all share some interests and experiences. I also hope to attend some workshops offered by the University of Ottawa on topics including networking, so that I may learn new strategies as well as meet new people that I can add to m network. Another plan I have for the next 6-12 months is to reach out to some contacts I have in the communications/marketing/media world and ask their advice for future career and educational moves to get insight into how I can best set myself up for a prosperous future. This will also add to my network, and possibly even introduce me to people whose contacts I don’t yet know. The cool thing about networking is that once you start, the web of contacts just multiplies and multiplies! 

COM0014 – Blog 6 – My Story

Who am I and what do I do? Well first off, I am a 22-year-old student from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, now living in Ottawa. This fall, I am entering my last semester in the Joint Honors Political Science and Communications program at the University of Ottawa; and next week I will be finishing up this social media certificate at Algonquin College. As a student, I’m very Type A and always strive to do my best and achieve high grades. As I’m sure other Type A-ers can relate to, I sometimes struggle to balance school and life because I aspire to excel in everything. 

Outside of school, I am a Brownie Guider (Brownies is the younger version of Girl Guides). I love working with young girls each week, teaching them life skills, playing games, and seeing them grow and mature each year. Each Brownie Guider has an owl name, so my girls call me Campfire Owl. I love camping and sitting around the campfire, especially when it’s quiet enough to hear the crackles of the wood burning. 

Besides Brownies, I am also an avid athlete, and play soccer each week, and curling during the winter. Sports have always been part of my life, and I don’t know where I’d be without them. I love being around others, getting exercise, and feeling the adrenaline of a breakaway or big strategic play. 

When I’m not in school or at one of my extra-curriculars, I am usually working at a CO-OP job, since it’s part of my program at UOttawa. I am currently working in the Office of the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces Ombudsman, creating educational products for social media. I really like my job, but I like the people I work with even more. I feel like working with people you like makes every job that much better. 

Given that in just five months, I’ll have a break from school for the first time in 18 years, I guess the question of “what I do” will soon be changed. To be honest, I’m just trying to take each day as it comes and remain open to any opportunities that come my way. That said, I do hope to do some travelling next year to check some places off my bucketlist, explore the world, and experience a different reality than what I’ve had before. I don’t know what to expect, but I’m excited for whatever is to come! 

COM0014 – Blog 5 – Personal Branding

Starting off, I think my biggest quality is my work ethic. No matter what I do, whether it’s a major essay, a work report, or even just cooking a meal, I always put my all into it and try my best. Adding to that, I love to take initiative and surprise people, either by doing things they wouldn’t expect me to do, by trying new things, or even just by going the extra mile in the things I do.

Recently, I told my director that I wanted to help boost our office’s social media (even though that’s not my team’s domain), and my director liked my initiative so she opened the door for me to meet the communications team and try it out. Now I get to do our social media posts and media monitoring in addition to the work I was already doing with my main team. Even though it’s a fair amount of additional work, I enjoy what I do, and I like helping my colleagues.

I think my colleagues would say that my best trait is my imagination. I really enjoy coming up with solutions to problems or new ways to do tasks. I also organize a weekly team-bonding meeting every Friday where we all answer the same question anonymously, and try to guess who gave each answer. It’s a lot of fun getting to know my teammates on a personal level.

Overall, I think I’m most proud of who I am as a colleague. I really try to prioritize people when I’m in a work environment, and I like making people smile, giving them an ear to be heard by, or just help them with their workload. While I do ensure that all of my work gets completed at a high standard and in quick order, I love being someone that people feel they can approach, whether it’s a personal or professional environment.

COM0014 – Blog 4 – B2C Case Study

In my opinion, a great example of a B2C business is Etsy. What’s unique about Etsy is that it acts as an e-commerce headquarters for anyone with a passion for handicraft to be able to sell their work to people around the world. It brings together those with a talent for handicraft and those with a love for things that can’t be found at your everyday shopping mall or Walmart. 

Etsy has a brilliant social media strategy that focuses heavily on its audience. For instance, in addition to posting pictures and videos of product/seller promotions, they also post comments from customers to give positive feedback shoutouts, fun questions to spark engagement, as well as questions for consumers about the company to get feedback. 

In terms of the quality of Etsy’s online interactions, it is one of the best companies I know for responding to consumer feedback on social media, sending personal replies to many of the people who comment on their posts, and at minimum giving a thumbs up or like to comments to acknowledge that they’ve been read. You can tell by the level of engagement from customers that the effort Etsy puts forth on their social media is really making a positive impact on their clientele. 

I would say that Etsy’s social media approach is working, based on my personal experience. I am a new customer of Etsy and I am very impressed by the company. Their social media posts not only make me want to purchase things (that I definitely don’t need haha), but they also make me want to support smaller entrepreneurs like the ones that use Etsy to sell their products. The backgrounds, stories and passions of the sellers add so much to the buying experience that you just can’t find in mass-produced goods. 

COM0015 – Blog #2 – Strong & Weak Organizations

I think you can tell when a brand has a solid social media strategy and when one doesn’t. The look, feel and vibe of the social media is on another level when there is a strategy in place. 

World Curling Federation

The first organization that I think has an amazing social media strategy is the World Curling Federation (WCF). Now, as someone who has freelanced for the federation, I am biased, but hear me out! The WCF’s social media strategy is like a recipe, that gets repeated frequently but with slight tweaks to fit each situation. First, there is a hashtag for every competition so that every post related to an event can be found under the same tag, and so that other social media accounts can engage. Next, there is a countdown to every event, to hype the audience up. Following that, there is ample content published during each competition, including behind-the-scenes, athlete interviews, team takeovers, trivia, games, and even themed posts about things like ‘best team stuffed animal’ or ‘coolest socks worn on the ice’.

This kind of content makes people interested in not only the competitions, but also the curling community in general. During the off-season, the WCF continues to post content despite there being no playing, creating memes, relatable posts, and announcements for the upcoming season to stay relevant in their audience’s feeds. 

Canada Soccer

The second organization that I think does a great job on social media is Canada Soccer. Similar to the World Curling Federation, Canada Soccer posts countdowns, behind the scenes clips, interviews, and player features. Something that Canada Soccer does that is unique is that they feature individual players on a somewhat rotating basis, in short reels and Instagram stories. These are great, because unlike on curling teams where there are only four players, there are over twenty players on a traditional soccer team, making it harder to get to know each player. These reels show the audience the players’ personalities and keep engagement up not only on social media, but between the team and fans in general.

Another thing that Canada Soccer does that I think is genius is that they have an Instagram highlight comprised of wallpapers, so the audience can click through and pick whatever wallpapers they like, screenshot them, and save them to their phones. It’s a clever way to give fans what they like, while continuing to promote the teams. 


Now, an organization that I think could improve their social media strategy is Barbays. Barbays is a Canadian hair accessory company, mostly specializing in luxury scrunchies. They are very popular in hair salons because of their look and durability, and as someone who has had a number of scrunchies snap on them, they are the only ones I trust these days. To me, the biggest issue with Barbays’ social media is that when you look at the content, you don’t immediately know that they are marketing scrunchies. In fact, the scrunchies aren’t even clearly visible in a number of the posts. This is a huge problem because how are people supposed to be interested in buying a product they can’t see? Another problem is with Barbays’ Instagram layout. By this I mean the first thing people see when they go to Barbays’ profile. The bio is very short which is good, but it’s not enticing. Additionally, despite having a nice aesthetic for their Instagram highlights, the colour of the highlight covers is very monotone and blends into the white of Instagram’s background, so they disappear from the page rather than capturing the audience’s attention. It’s odd that the page is so monotone, because the scrunchies come in a variety of colours, finishes, patterns and styles, which only exisiting clients would know. 

I think Barbays could quite easily improve their social media by using more colour, making the posts feature the actual product more than the surroundings, and to make the bio more exciting. Even by adding a Canadian flag emoji to the bio would be a visual cue to the audience that they are a proud Canadian brand. To push the envelope further, Barbays could create some quick hair tutorials showing different ways to use the scrunchies to show the audience why they want to become a Barbays client. 

COM0014 – Blog #3 – Money Heist

Calling all Netflix bingers, if you haven’t seen Money Heist, you are missing out! Money Heist is a Spanish show where the main character, the Professor, leads a group of people all bearing aliases of world capitals, in major heists at the Mint of Spain and the Bank of Spain. 

Target Audience

Based on research and my own analysis, I’d say that the Money Heist audience is comprised of 18-30 year-olds, both men and women, who are more trendy than conservative given the amount of coarse language, sex, nudity and violence of each episode. I think this audience likes to travel, or at least aspires to travel someday. Additionally, I would assume that the majority of the audience are in school, binging the seasons as they are released. I think the viewers fall mostly into the middle class, given that Netflix is a paid subscription service, but also given that the characters are probably more relatable to those who don’t already have an abundance of money. I’d also guess that this audience would initially be followers in their everyday lives, but with the potential to transform into leaders, being inspired by characters like the professor, as well as the characters inside the heists who eventually adopt leadership roles in their own ways. 


Netflix has done a phenomenal job at marketing Money Heist to its target audience. First, it began hosting red carpet premiers for each season, to attract media attention, as well as to make the show trend on social media with storms of images and hashtags that the 18-30 year-old demographic undoubtedly would have seen. 

Aside from those conventional marketing campaigns, Netflix took Money Heist to the next level by adding fiction to the mix. What I mean by this, is that Netflix started promoting Money Heist as if it was real. For instance, they put up a billboard in Times Square that acted as a call to action for audiences to join the heist gang. Though they weren’t actually asking people to plan their own heist, they played into the inner adrenaline junkie in young people, as well as insinuating a comraderie between themselves and their viewers. As such, those who did not understand the internal message to the billboard were likely to be enticed to start watching the show to be a part of that mutual understanding. 

My favourite technique that Netflix used to market Money Heist was they overtook the Frankfurt Airport and dropped fake luggage bearing the names of the characters onto the conveyor belts. Once again, people who watched the show were in on the play, and those who weren’t were intrigued to watch the show to understand. 

Overall, I think the best way to communicate to Money Heist’s audience is to do exactly as Netflix has done: to bombard social media, take space in major locations like Times Square and major airports, and most importantly, to use the storyline to create an insider group that those who watch Money Heist are a part of, and those who haven’t eventually join!

COM0014 – Blog #2 – Am I Reading This Right?

Have you ever read something and realized that, while you knew it subconsciously, it didn’t fully register in your mind until you read it? That happened to me this week while reading Brian Clark’s How to Read article. 

Clark describes four levels of reading: elementary, inspectional, analytical and syntopical. His argument is that reading is essentially a responsibility in which the amount of effort we choose to dedicate affects the level of understanding we achieve. 

What struck me most about his article was his description of the syntopical, or highest level of reading. He explains that in this level of reading, you not only gain an understanding of the material as the author depicted it, but you gain an understanding of the material in the context of your own environment and experiences. After reflecting on Clark’s piece, I realized that I have subconsciously experienced syntopical reading, making my own connections and meanings from readings that gave me a unique understanding of those readings that only I possess. I was fascinated to learn that there was a term for a process I had been doing unknowingly. 

Moving on, I want to highlight another point I learned this week, which is to not bury the lead. It’s so important to come strong out of the gate with the point of your writing so that people know why they came and why they want to stay to hear more. Moreover, given what we know about the levels of reading from the Clark article, we know that the less we bury the lead, the better the chance that our readers will reach the analytical and syntopical stages where our writings will be tools of enhancement to their understandings of greater issues/situations/environments, and not just temporary pieces of interest.