COM0015 – Out of the Box

Social media starts out scary, but once you “grab the bull by the horns” you can make it work the way you want it too.

People try everything to make something happen on various platforms. From like bartering, pushing for followers, or even offering a special surprise to get comments on a blog post. All of these are the cheap ways of getting the social beast to work for you, but the wrong ways. Although even we, who are learning to know better, still don’t know any better.

ImageThe future application I see for it is just to be honest and yourself. It sounds old fashion, but it is what works. There are a few billion people in the world and no matter what you want to write, post or talk about, there will always be someone interested to read or view, and even like or follow.

It sounds trailing saying all of this when I am trying to be on the topic of what other applications do I see for social media, but I think what I am trying to point out is there are an infinite amount of applications for it. We just have to dream, try and succeed at different methods of our online marketing attempts.

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COM0015 – Professional Networking, Now and in the future….

imagesOne of the main concentrations I have always had with my networking plan is to try to stick to same-minded people in my network. With my engaged interest in Social Media, I try to keep myself linked up with other Social Media Experts.

This has always been a challenge because of my pre-existing use for my social media mediums. Do I want to migrate my personal network and professional network? I have always made it a point to keep professional connections away from my Facebook. I am a sucker for it and love sharing my deep idiotic thoughts and pictures of my kids with family, something I am sure that my professional network does not really care for.

However on the flip side, my LinekdIn network sees the boring business side of me, sharing my current career standings and accomplishments. Something that I’m sure my old drinking buddies don’t really care to have on their feeds.
Where I have found some middle ground is on Twitter. I feel anonymous even though I am not. But I have built my best network there, and my thoughts can be of any kind. It’s strange how it works but I treat it the same as my Facebook and LinkedIn in combination for no reason at all, except I am okay with sharing anything on it. And people find anything I put there interesting and keep following me with no negative response.

My future plan is to figure out how to make this balance work in my other networks and see how I can gain the trust of adding my professional network into my personal network and vice versa. I have a feeling that once I do that I could potentially meet new people through my current network and grow more.

COM0015 – Blog Post #2 – Good and Bad Org’s

untitledI have the privilege of being involved in social media and sports right now at a high level, with a governing body of a sport. I have been looking into two major sports where I have seen social media done right.

Both of these are pure Canadian and they are Swimming Canada and Gymnastics Canada. Although different sports, the goal is the same for both of these organizations. Their goal is to be the rule makers and record keepers for these sports for Canada. They are both non-profit so they have no financial gain from their social media efforts, but they seek to have a larger public view to create interest in the sports. The more interest, the more they are funded.

Both make excellent use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs. Having a high share in media and cross posting news and events over all these platforms. They have a great number of followers and keep the conversation going when their audience speaks to them.

The best examples is all over their Facebook and Twitter accounts, wisely using this media to keep their followers informed with a couple of posts a day, plenty to keep their audience interested and keep reading.

Finding a bad example for sports in Canada is difficult to do, they all seem to have an excellent grasp of it, even para-sports do very well with their social media plans. The only one I could find that is lacking is Football Canada. With them it seems to be an in-balance of posting. Most organizations have it down to a science cross-posting, where as football Canada seems to be all over the place. The twitter account is getting the most attention, where their Facebook account get some attention in spurts. Being ignored for weeks and then coming back to it for a plethora of posts, just to be ignored again after. I could not find any YouTube account in existence either. Their website is well built with news postings, but should have more blog type coverage on it to bring the viewers in.

COM0015 – Assignment #1 – Tools!

Like most people, I am a fan of the combination social media dashboards. My personal favorite has always been using SocialSprout, but it does come with a hefty pricetag although worth every penny. But this is the easy route and doesn’t always give you the 100% snapshot of what is going on because it can be the “lazy” route to go.tools

First, I like to use my RSS reads to keep updated on the news. Since we live in a post-GoogleReader-apocalyptic world now, I am an avid Feedly user now. News feeds can be an amazing way to keep track of what is not only trending visually, but can keep you in the “know” so you can act quickly on popular stories and get your bit of SEO in.

Next, I make sure I am following the popular areas on Twitter. The microblogging can be beautiful and is usually the second source of news. Of course, this all depends on the type of topics you are planning on following. Action news that common people can report might show up here first, but if it is all blogs you follow, then obviously the RSS feeds will have the lead.

Now we also live in a time where hashtag is king. With Facebook and Linkedin on board we are seeing it more and more, even when some people over do it! I use hashtagify.me, it gives some great insight to twitter at least, for free. Even tonight reading it I can see that people are happy about Taylor Swift and Katy Perry at the Grammies!

COM0014 – Blog Post #7 – The Personal Reflection

untitledIt has been quite a journey so far. I was already into mainstream social media when I first considered taking a certification in the field, and I received interesting feedback from peers who are professionals in the field. It seems that they feel either you have it or you don’t, and that there is noting a book can teach you about posting tweets or updates.

One big thing I have learned so far, is they were wrong. I have taken so much out of not only this course, but everything I have taken so far in my path to being an officially certified SME. Many of these things I plan to turn around and “school” many of them on. As much as I though I knew about storytelling, I never knew about the factors that go with it. One of them being knowing my audience and target audience.

I’m a “nice-guy” type of person. I felt bad about the idea of going as deep as judging my readers by their education level, it feels like I am rating them by intelligence level by writing for them. After going through this course, this feeling is no longer. I am *not* judging people, I am tailoring writing, blog posts and social media content to them, by creating content they will enjoy and read. Not only am I creating such content, I am learning on how to deal with them as well. You never know if something that is posted will offended somebody. What is funny to you, smart to you or interesting to you may not be the same to all others. Learning how to research off the mistakes of other companies was a golden lesson as well.

COM0014 – Blog #6 – Do People Know My Story?

Where do I come from and who am I now from it?

I have been an internet junkie ever since I convinced my parents to jump on-board and use our modem for good back in the early 90’s. After spending previous time chatting away on places like BBS’s, AOL and CompuServe, it was time to spread my wings and find new ground to chat on.mirc

Over the years I found many areas and stuck with them (some even to this day) of ways of networking over internet protocols. IRC, Usenet, Yahoo Groups, and eventually found my way in to various web forums. All of these were primitive forms of social media before I got to the blogosphere.

I did enjoy my time over these previous mediums, IRC being one of my favourite. I made connections on there that I have kept until this date. The crazy part is some of use never even saw each other faces until we eventually found each other on places like Twitter and Facebook where we could get an deeper insight into each other’s lives.

Thinking about it, back in the day you could have your internet mask on. You didn’t need to have a personal brand because you could pretend to be whoever you wanted and nobody would ever know otherwise. I was never like this but others were, and I think this helped shape me into the brave, edgy social-media-ite that I am today.

 

COM0014 – Blog Post #5 – The Personal Brand I Call Me

Social media is a pretty easy thing to understand, manage and learn. But the one topic that keeps coming up is “Personal Brand”. Something, for some reason, I could not wrap my head around no matter how many times I read or write about it.

pointing1Now, given the task at hand where I have to write this blog post about me and my personal branding, I am again stuck in this “writers-block” where I am unable to put my own persona down on paper. So for inspiration I turned to the posts that my classmates wrote. This was a smart move as after reading a good portion of the posts, I found the inspiration for what I need to write.

I started out on the internet a long (long) time ago using all the areas of social chatting. BBS to Online Forums and then made my way into the blogosphere. Becoming avid in all areas of social sites like Facebook and Twitter, finding that I had a natural knack of storytelling and fact sharing that created a following. I took this skill to the marketing team of my job  and offered to help boost their social media. I found ways to take the idea of boring law and make it exciting for the readers. Helping bring their blogs to be one of the most respected IP Law sources in Canada, gaining followers by the hundreds on Twitter and LinkedIn, and even using Facebook to reach out to a younger crowd interested in a law for their future.

I am now moving on to do this for companies on my own, showing them how to use social media to improve their business and online presence. It’s a passion of mine to use my skills to help others succeed, which is what I consider my own success.

COM0014 (Blog Post #4) – Nokia Scores off Samsung!

businessman-sitting-in-corner-with-dunce-hatRecently, there was a consumer who had their cell phone catch on fire, a Samsung Galaxy S4 to be exact. He then took it to social media as most people would now a days, and posted a video about it on YouTube.

After he did this, it sparked some interest about having the video online with the company itself. Instead of using social media the right way and communicating directly to the consumer, they went the legal route and requested that the individual remove the video.

Appropriately, the user, Richard Wygand, did the right thing and posted this letter all over the web and made another video about getting this letter (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QHd-_qncEU&feature=youtu.be).

Before I go on to the end of the story I want to discuss the first interesting part. Which is how the postings actually didn’t have any impact until they hit popular news media. The original Twitter post only has 14 retweets (https://Twitter.com/ghostlyrich/status/407775880467845120), although the video on YouTube is over a million views.

What happened next is amazing, Samsung never used social media to smooth the situation over directly with a consumer, but Nokia swooped in and took advantage. By tweeting back to the user saying “we want to help you out. Let me send you a Nokia Lumina so you can experience how customer service should ‘really’ work”. (https://twitter.com/NokiaUS/status/410186378337452033) And yes, he got the new Nokia phone and has posted his appreciation on both YouTube and Twitter.

The best part of all of this is that Nokia used social media to its advantage to make a B2C connection and make publicity in the news both positive for itself and negative for its consumer. Has Samsung responded in a modern, appropriate manner, then they would have eaten the same 15 minutes of fame that Nokia scored off their mistake not talking to their consumers.

Original Story: http://mashable.com/2013/12/10/samsung-s4-burns-up-user-posts-video-samsung-ask-him-to-remove-it/

 

COM0014 – (Blog Post #3) Target Audience

COM0014 – (Blog Post #3) Target Audience

The Odd Audience.

Mind.. Blown..

Mind.. Blown..

I’ve recently lost my job, but while I was working there I was responsible for social media. Something a lot of people thought as an easy, laid back job. This is where they are wrong, all of them. The hard part of it all was that I was doing it for an Intellectual Property Law firm.

I was fortunate enough to be taking the social media courses at Algonquin while working on this career, and I am glad I was because it was a big help.

In this specific topic, we talk about the target audience. When we are dealing with Lawyers and Patent Agents, this is a very difficult thing to figure out. Sure, if you selling a sports drink, your audience is obvious. Or even in a prior post by one of my fellow classmates, if you are selling LEGO, you really know where to go for your audience but it still can be tricky how to reach out to them.

I’m a fun person. I’m a funny person. Lawyers are not.

This was a conundrum. I looked at who was being successful and found that it was the usual opinions that won the hearts of their readers. But why be like everybody else? I wanted us to stick out somehow.

The other thing I found out, part of our target audience is not only students in universities, but the universities as well. Not only that, I found that many of our associates at other law firms are part of this audience, all of the university graduates.

As much as I disagree with the fact that education level should be a factor of your content target, in this case, it really was. So I had to find a way to implement my fun attitude with their serious, educational attitude.

I test and found that my audience thrived on facts. And not only that, they really enjoyed the “I didn’t know that” factor. So I started sharing Patent and Trademark material that would wow them, and make it so they wanted to share it so they sounded smarter to their social groups. It worked well and this method created a month over month positive gain of followers and views.

COM0014 – Communication Styles & My Modern Opinion

959135_99180047Communication style is a little overrated now. If you go through and read blogs of the same variety, they all seem different. That is because in today modern media we all can have our voice in the way we want to express it. For example, if I was to do this exact same topic 10 years ago while taking some type of class in journalism, I would have to follow some set of strict common rules. Today is different, although we still have rules we need to follow, we can express ourselves how we want. However these rules are just more of an etiquette now.

I appreciate the way modern media is written now because it has feeling to it. Some of my favorite is when the author takes the time to add their own side comments or even a witty ending to their post. This way when you are reading what is written you get a better picture of the type of impact the author was trying to put out, like a well written book. These feelings also create that well needed engagement for an article.

So, that brings us to the social media side of things. If you write to engage, then engagement will happen. Huffington Post does a wonderful job of this. Not only are they first sometimes to break on a highly discussed topic, they also create some of the golden nuggets of viral discussion we see out there. The ones all your friends are sharing on Facebook, or the “Your doing this wrong” type of articles. Although sometimes it feels like these articles are “lame” or “pointless”, they are serving their purpose, creating a heap of engagement and sharing.