Out Of The Box

This Social Media course I did through Algonquin College has really taught me to think out of the box and that it is ok to be different. I think the best social media bloggers and influencers are the ones that do original and new things. If you take chances, you are going to go further in your career. Social media over the last 15 years has changed so much and there are constantly new apps, trends and different ways of communicating.

My favourite thing to follow and look for on social media are Ottawa food bloggers. First of all, so delicious to look at, but it’s also great if you’re trying to figure out where to go based on an occasion or if you are new to a part of town. I follow this food account on Instagram called @consumedbycarlo and he does partnerships with different restaurants around Ottawa and does giveaways. There are not that many food bloggers out there, especially in Ottawa and he has done a really good job. The different thing he does compared to other food bloggers is he does a lot of Reels, so it’s fun for viewers to watch. If you aren’t following him, I highly suggest you do!

The Importance of Professional Networking

Professional networking is so important for personal growth, career growth, and just general success. However, it has changed so much throughout the last 30 years. I think in the 90’s professional networking was in person at parties, conventions and business cards. Then in the early 2000’s it was a mix of definitely in person networking but also people’s Facebook and MySpace pages. You wanted those connections in person and online. Now, especially with COVID-19, everything is virtual.

I personally think the importance of professional networking is very high. I am using real estate as an example. Real estate agents literally make money by people knowing who they are, and they know who they are by networking. It used to be word of mouth and business cards for them, but now its Instagram followers and hashtags, TikTok reels about houses they showed that way and a Facebook page.

Strong and Weak Organizations

A strong organization on social media is so important, especially if you are a local, or new smaller business. It is how businesses survive, they post their events, customer pictures, merchandise, promotions, etc all on social media. Obviously McDonalds does not need to post their promotions on Instagram to get customers, but a local restaurant down the street definitely does. The local restaurant needs those tags and reposts to survive. A strong organization on social media is one of my favourite local restaurants, Fratelli. They have two locations, one in Kanata and one in Westboro. They have been so active on Instagram, particularly, during the lockdown and it has worked! They promote, promote, promote! They do polls on their different pizzas, trivia on their cocktails, lots of stories, etc. I will be for sure visiting them as soon as patios open.

A weak organization on social media is Apple. It probably sounds super weird to you that I just said that, but they barely use their Instagram or Twitter. They only use it when they launch a new product. Now, that said, Apple is the biggest tech company in the world, so they don’t need use social media to gain new customers, but it is still great to engage with your current customers and the public. I’m scrolling through their Instagram right now and it’s random photography pictures of birds and mountains…I get that they’re promoting their cameras but it’s just weird and no one would enjoy scrolling through their page.

My main focus of this blog, is that social media is very important to use when you are a smaller, local business but also very important if you’re world wide known. It is just nice to take the time to interact with your customers and be involved, no matter if you are Olive Garden, or your local Italian restaurants down the street.

Tools and Sources in 2021

I think blog posting and being an influencer is much more important than people used to think it was. 5 years ago people thought bloggers and influencers were just a quick way to make a dollar, but now, so many brands rely on these people to promote their product. I literally bought a mascara last week that I have never heard of, but a girl I follow on Instagram ‘swears by it’, so its coming this week.

When I think of social media tools and sources I think of applications like Instagram, TikTok, even Facebook. The number of social media apps and peoples accessibility to them definitely makes being a blogger or influencer easier than it was in 2016, but they also have triple the amount of people and brands watching their content. This is positive, but also means more likely some nasty comments from trolls…ugh sigh…some people are so bored with their own lives.

Your age and motivation also decides what app you want to use. If you’re 21 and trying to become famous by being attractive and talking about your lifestyle, Instagram and TikTok are what you are going to use. If you are a young professional wanting to start your own business, Facebook and Instagram are great options!

With a new, super popular social media application coming out at least once a year, by the time another 5 years goes by there will be so many more to choose from. I don’t think Instagram and Facebook are going away anytime soon, but there will be so many more ways to choose from in promoting yourself, your brand and your business.

Sarah Johnson- Personal Reflection

Algonquin College’s Social Media program has taught me so much. I have loved going back to school and learning something completely new and can apply it to my day to day life and it also got me a side job as a social media promoter! This course in particular has really shown me the importance of different audiences and what communication styles you use in order to get those audiences attention.

I can’t wait to finish this whole program, I will be enrolling in the last course this week. This social media program is such an asset to add to your resume. With the world as it is right now, and more people working from home, social media is so much more important. It can literally be done from your finger tips, but has such an impact on someone’s day. All because of social media you can promote, post and advertise, while someone can purchase, find a new restaurant and support a local business, or find a new job posting.

I have really developed a new love for social media and all that it has to offer. It is way more than just posting a selfie on Instagram.

Do People Know My Story?

Having a personal story is so important and you need it to draw people into your life. You need to draw people in right from the start.

I like to think of my story as captivating and entertaining, but it also shows how hard work and determination pays off. In the last year the world has been rocked and changed due to the pandemic, and it has definitely effected the 20-30 year olds who are starting out in their career (or trying to).

In the last year I have had three different jobs, not because I wanted to or got fired…because things kept closing and reopening due to the pandemic and it was so hard! I went from being an events planner and loving that career path to becoming a server because the only thing that was open in Ottawa were patios. With living in the Ottawa climate, patios were not going to be open for long, so in the fall had to change my career path again. To real estate! I don’t have a background in it, but the housing market was the only thing that was doing well in 2020. 5 months later I am still in real estate and just accepted a raise. Goes to show that hard work and determination really do pay off!

Sarah Johnson’s Personal Brand

Now a days, having your own personal brand and distinguishing yourself from others is so important, and social media has a lot to do with it. In a social media world with filters, real life botox and fillers, and copy cats, standing out is hard to do!

I definitely am a wanna be Ottawa Influencer. #guilty. But I think I am quite good with knowing how often to post and when to post. There are certain times of the day where it is the prime time to post to get the most likes and comments and get noticed. Those times are usually lunch, after work so 5-7pm and later in the evening around 9-10pm. In the mornings people are too busy with work and home life to have the time to scroll through their phones. I am also very good at promoting and selling products on Instagram. I know exactly what gets people to notice these products. For example, showing off the product on your story and doing polls, or ‘this or that’ editions. Tagging clothing brands and restaurants is also important to you and them. It gets you noticed by the company so you could be used on their page and gain more followers, and it also gets them noticed by your followers so they gain more customers.

Being good at social media is just as good as being good with people, and I happen to be great at both.

COM0014 Blog #4- Napolis Cafe

I have really admired this local Italian restaurant in Stittsville, ON during this whole pandemic. As a restaurant that has been around since the 90’s and has so much community involvement (including hosting Carrie Underwood’s birthday when she was dating Mike Fisher while he was in Ottawa) they have really struggled during this pandemic! This restaurant for the last 25+ years has thrived off of word of mouth and community involvement.

So….what have they been doing since March 2020? Promoting themselves like crazy on social media! Their primary social media source has been Instagram but they also cover Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. One of my favourite things that Napolis have been doing is a Valentines Day contest. They are giving away one of their charcuterie boards #yummm but how they are doing this is through an Instagram contest. So basically you have to like their post of the charcuterie board, tag your friends and then post it to your story. So in turn, they are getting noticed by the people you tagged (who may not have followed them before) and everyone that follows you because they have watched your personal story. Everyone wants to enter this contest because 1) it is easy to do, 2) you get amazing food.

Lots of other local businesses are making it work during the COVID-19 pandemic but I always admire what Napolis is doing because I have been going there for the last 18 years and want them to survive. But, I do think this pandemic has shown the importance of social media with small businesses and that you need to have that community connect and involvement.

COMM0014- Blog #3- Target Audiences

This blog post actually came at an interesting time for me, I am looking for some jobs in this field (social media), and got approached on Instagram to be a Brand Ambassador for an Ottawa event company. So I immediately said yes, (extra cash and some extra followers), but it made me really think about who my target audience would be. The event that I am promoting is a ‘Virtual Caesar Crawl’. (If anyone wants to buy tickets let me know! It’s Saturday Feb 27 at 8:30pm) So basically you order a kit and that kit includes all of your ingredients, recipe cards for the drinks, the zoom link to the event and samples of different local restaurants. Super great! But…who the heck is my target audience? I started reaching out to my friends and family and I had everyone from my 20 year old cousin who’s in university wanting to go, to my mom and her friends.

I know I bring up COVID a lot but it is a very hot topic right now. However, it is interesting because it has changed my perspective on target audiences. If this was an in person bar crawl the people involved would be very different. It would be university students, young adults living downtown, people in that industry, etc. but because it is VIRTUAL it expands to so many more people. Also, because of COVID and lockdowns, people are bored! People of every age are bored! So all of the suburban moms want to hop on a zoom party and have some cocktails, which in turn is great for the local businesses.

It is important to have a positive outlook in the darker times. 🙂

COM0014 Blog #2- Storytelling and Communication Styles

As an English Literature major, I personally love the concept of storytelling. You can fully engage somebody in an instant with a good story. I also love that storytelling doesn’t have to always be fictional, you can ‘storytell’ about yourself. Think of being in an interview, you are basically telling a great story about who you are and why you’re amazing. You are engaging your could-be boss. Also, storytelling does not have to be verbal or written anymore. What is your Instagram feed? That tells a story about who you are, by just looking at pictures. 2020 Storytelling is very different than 1950’s storytelling, it is continuously evolving.

Speaking about the ‘inverted triangle approach’ that we learnt about this week, I fully agree in order to get someone engaged you need to hook them with important information first. Then, once they like what you are saying, ease into next steps, extra tidbits and ‘have a good day’. I like to relate this concept to being a salesperson with your pitch. You only have limited time to get the customer to buy what you’re selling, so you need to get the most important information in within about 90 seconds. #GetThatMoney