COM0015 – Blog post #4 – Time to get out of the Box

After all the valuable information, conclusions, discussions and readings we have gathered throughout this course regarding the best practices for social media communication in the areas of social media strategy, monitoring and measurement, and digital communication….it’s time to get out of the box and shine- time to put into practice everything that was learned. But how can you put into practice social media business?

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We have seen the importance of networking, and how networking can lead you to new opportunities. The many ways you can do business networking through social media: participating in groups and discussions involving others you want to connect with, reaching out to specific people in your niche; having something to offer to your contacts, fostering relationships with influencers, leaders and prominent people in your area that lead to press mentions, likes, shares, traffic, etc. All of these actions have to be part of your networking plan. And the more people you know, the more important it becomes to have a plan. Having a plan that helps you focus on your networking activities will help you get what you need from the experience as you carry out your networking plan and will also leverage purpose for results.

You will plant the seeds of connection and reap the harvest of success later.

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So, it is really time to get out of your box, get noticed with all your knowledge and shine into networking be it online, or in-person.

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COM0015 – Blog #3 Networking online

Networking is an essential part of advancing any business. Efficient networking can help you make new contacts and create exciting business opportunities. For example, someone who is looking for a job is more likely to get it through someone else he knows, rather than through education or work experience. So, it’s not enough to produce outstanding work. You need to connect with people, show your interests and goals, and build relationships with different people. These relationships become crucially important for your business.

Online networking is really powerful and can allow you to make the same number of connections that traditional networking would take years to create. But online networking is not about liking and sharing posts on LinkedIn…it’s about applying a targeted, thoughtful and authentic approach.

But how can you network effectively online?

First you need to list your objectives. Take notes of the names of the people and companies you want to connect and use the list of objectives as a guide to start a conversation online. Start conversations and engage in those people’s discussions. Additionally, share posts and ideas that are related to your and their interests. These are great ways to network with people online. And please, when you add someone online, don’t forget to send a message introducing yourself and always follow through.

Online networking will become more prominent in the future. It will continue to shape and influence how people live, work and socialize within the world. What do you think of the future of social media networking?

COM0015 – Assignment 5 – Event

The Canadian Fashion Weekend in Ottawa seemed to be one of the best events I could possibly go to network with fashion-related professionals.

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The event was a very well organized fashion show that gave the opportunity for many professionals in the area of fashion business to interact and exchange ideas. I had the chance to meet many local fashion bloggers, Canadian designers, reporters, and business people. One of the most interesting people I met at the Canadian Fashion Weekend was the prominent fashion designer Antoinette Di Carlo from Di Carlo Couture in Montreal and who was one of the guest speakers of the night. She was very attentive and was sharing all her experience and story with the public. I also met some Ottawa-based fashion and lifestyle bloggers like Dominique Baker from Style Domination, Katie Hession from YOW City Style, Alyssa Beltempo from Ms. Beltempo, among others.  It was a great opportunity to discuss about the fashion market in Canada and all the trends shaping the fashion landscape.

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With Montreal designer Antoinette Di Carlo

One of the things that I learned attending this event was that I need to get out of my comfort zone and attend these events by myself. When I have friends or people I know around, I miss the chance to make new connections. So, I have to be a little brave, show interest in others, keep in touch after the connection, and have in mind that a networking event can move my business or career in the right direction.

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With Dominique Baker & Naira Fragoso

During the event I had in mind that I had to add some value to the people around there, so I decided to contribute offering some promotional posts to the bloggers I met. That actually brought not only nice and rewarding “thank you” messages from them, but also a lot of promotion to my page since most of them reposted my posts to their audience tagging FashionCanadians.

Canada is in huge need of a fashion council to save its fashion industry. Naira Fragoso, the CEO of The Exclusives PR and organizer of the event said; “We need Panel discussions, social media posts, petitions and spreading awareness is what we need to do and most importantly uniting as one is the only way we can rebuild our industry and start off on a clean slate”. She also said about the networking side of the event: “It’s great to spend time at a networking event with someone you know and like. But that’s not what you’re there for. Your goal is to expand your network by meeting new people”.

And I totally agree with her, we were there to meet new people, with similar interests, and maybe work together towards a shared goal.

With all that being said, I must conclude that the more people we meet and the more people we offer help, work in team towards a goal, the better is for our brand and businesses. This is probably the most valuable lesson I learned from this event.

I can’t wait to attend the next big fashion event in Ottawa to meet new people and, as a result, bring more opportunities to my business and help others grow as well, like a circle of growth in the Canadian fashion industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COM0015 – blog #2 – Strong & Weak Organizations

When it comes to good social media strategy, it is obvious that  the shoe company Aldo has planned and used several tactics to engage the public and promote their brand. Their Facebook page was designed to interact with its consumers, and it includes polls, shoe trends, style experts and influencers interviews, product information, as well as information about in-store events. Aldo has engaged in a two-way conversation with its clients, creating posts that allow followers to post questions to the experts to answer.

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Fashion influencers at in-store event. Photo by Aldo Vietnam Facebook page.

In a recent interview, the CEO of Aldo stated: “For us to be able to communicate and to translate our core values of love, integrity, and respect with the end consumer, we really need to have a capability to do that across not just channels, but also all forms of communication whether it’s social media, online, or in a person-to-person relationship”, which means that Aldo is not only using effective strategies, and listening to its public, but also bringing a humane side to its connection with consumers. I believe that’s one of the things that make their strategy strong. They currently have a community of over 4,2 million followers that keeps growing as a result of their great social media plan.

On the other hand, it’s fair to say that any company without a plan, surely has a poor strategy. Organizations without social media goals, rules and tactics have a weak strategy, or no strategy at all. Posting random content, no understanding of the tools, failing to respond and support customers, deleting negative reviews and comments to suppress problems or treating social media as channel for sales offers only, are indicators of a weak strategy. Many small companies display these characteristics, so  if you are looking for company names to poke, you can easily find them.

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COM 0015 – blog 1 – How to plan your Social Media strategy

As with everything in life, planning is essential and social media is no exception.  A good social media marketing plan sums everything you plan to do and achieve for your company using social networks. This plan should include an assessment of where your accounts are now, your goals for the future, and all the tools that will be used to get there.

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The first thing you need to do is to establish the goals and objectives you are willing to achieve, which must be aligned with the broader marketing strategy of the company. When setting the goals, make sure that each goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and has a deadline.

After defining the goals, you need to analyse your current social media use. Go to all the platforms and evaluate which accounts need to be updated, revamped and which need to be discarded. Take the time to define the purpose of every social profile you have and determine the tone and style of language you are going to use with your audience there.

Once you have the definition of the goals and the platforms to be used, you will need to find good and relevant content to inspire and engage the audience. Some examples of ingredients you can use to create interesting and engaging content:

  • Good photos
  • Stories
  • Humour
  • Informative components
  • Relevant news

Interesting content is crucial to succeeding at social media. It is also important that you create a calendar to help in the delivery of all the content.

The next step is to MEASURE the progress of the implementation of your strategies. There are plenty of tools out there to capture these metrics, but the best ones are:

  • Google Analytics
  • Hootsuite
  • Buffer
  • BuzzSumo

And last…but not least, evaluate, adjust your marketing plan and start over!

COM0014 – Blog 7- One more good reason to tell stories…

Storytelling is one of the most important traditions humans have. The reason for this is that every story has a lesson to instruct people. Storytelling is the art of giving form, meaning and excitement to a piece of information that is uninteresting and boring. Without storytelling our society would not be what it is today.

But what is the importance of storytelling in social media and today’s world?

Storytelling humanises your brand allowing it to be more captivating. If you know how to tell a good story, you easily engage and persuade people. When you deliver an idea in the right way, it evokes an emotional response, brings life to your brand and it also helps build a relationship with your audience. Choose a relatable message to deliver to your target public and be creative in how this message is conveyed.

I learned a lot about storytelling in this course. I have to admit that it makes me a little uncomfortable sometimes to open up and share too much, but this course has really helped me and convinced me to write more genuinely. And guess what I discovered? Storytelling is such an amazing therapy and it is actually good for your health! I googled about it and I found out that in health care, storytelling may have an impact on patients who have difficulty understanding or acting on health information because they may find personal narratives easier to digest. One more good reason to tell stories…

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/10/health/views/10chen.html

COM-0014 – blog #6 Circle of life

Today is my birthday. It’s been a one of a kind day. My only daughter has been accepted at the University of Toronto and I am writing on my way back to Ottawa after dropping her off at the university residence.

It is really hard to describe what I am feeling now. It is a mix. I am sad but at the same time so proud of her. She is starting a new phase in her life and I know it is going to be good for her. But at the same time, I have to admit I have an emptiness inside of me right now. All the memories of her childhood keep coming to my head and I just can’t help with them.

I know there are many parents who would be relieved to have their kids leaving home for college or University, but not me. I actually have been suffering from this in advance a while ago and hope to get better soon. I appreciate if there is anyone reading this who have gone through something similar and has a word for me.

 

 

 

COM0014 – blog 5 – Personal brand – A bit of me

It’s always easier analysing other people than analysing yourself. But what I am most definitely proud of myself is my positivity. Many people say I am always smiling and that I am very open minded and easygoing.

I know a few people might think it’s fake, but it’s not. I have problems in my life like everyone else, however, what makes me different from many other people, or my competitors, is that I always choose to look on the bright side of things; even the darkest things. It’s a matter of choice. Everyone will get something bad at least once in their lives, and it’s your choice to learn from it and be resilient, or to rant about it and take revenge. And my choice is to keep always smiling, because in the end, if you like to lift the spirits of everyone you see, just smile.

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Another important part of my personality is my willingness to share what I know with other people. Maybe that’s why I worked as a teacher for so many years, and when I am not teaching, I feel I am not finding meaning in life. My students used to say they loved my classes because they could feel how passionate I was while I was teaching, and how they would feel more engaged and motivated to learn. They also told me many times they loved the way I explained things in many details, very eager to transmit my skills and knowledge to them and, above all, with a lot of patience.

COM0014 – Blog 4 – Aldo’s solid social media presence

The Canadian shoe and accessory brand Aldo, has created strong and solid social media marketing. No stat better illustrates Aldo’s success than its growing number of stores around the world: approaching 100 countries.

 

 

Its social media strategy revolves around a presence on Facebook; Aldo has collaborated with celebrities and “not so famous” bloggers to engage with the audience of those influencers. Aldo’s latest campaign taps creative influencers from different fields out of the fashion industry who share how their creative endeavors affect their fashion choices. The company’s strategy is much more effective and complete than many others. It also encourages social sharing and user interaction on its web pages by way of product ratings and reviews. The company is not only on Facebook, website and blog, but also on Twitter, You Tube, and it has a huge presence on Instagram.

In order to create synergy, Aldo displays connected activities and images across the different platforms and it also includes links to all of those different platforms. Another strategy the company uses to engage their audience, is by encouraging clients in physical stores to subscribe to their email lists.

Aldo has been building this huge online presence the right way. It uses social media as a direct response vehicle, it invests time and effort to build relationships, it listens and interacts with the audience, creates online synergy and monitors all its platforms well. The result could not be different than success.

 

 

COM0014 blog # 3 – It’s not About Conversation, It’s About Empathy

It seems to be easy to open an account in a social media platform or create a blog and then suddenly have thousands of followers. Lots of big companies and popular brands fail in the strategy of targeting their audience properly. Why? The base coin of success in social media is empathy. It’s not about conversation, it’s about the experience of understanding people from their perspective.

Think like that: The audience always comes first. You or your brand, are not the main character in the story. The audience is the main character. The content you produce has to focus on the problems that your target public would want to solve. You need to have empathy for your public, listen to them, understand their necessities and try to be helpful.

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Remember, meaningful connections come from attachment. People are still humans, they crave for attachment, beliefs and emotions. And that’s what you have to keep in mind.

 Reference:

https://www.fastcompany.com/3039565/for-success-in-social-media-conversation-is-not-enough-you-need-narrative