COM0015 – Blog 3: Planning for the Future

I want my professional network to consist of what I am currently doing now, and what I have accomplished in the past. I want to use my network to connect with potential employers or even those who share similar interests as me. My main strategy is to expand my network across multiple channels and continue to set up a strong professional identity online and in person. I also want to establish a consistent way of introducing myself to possible new connections.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

In person:

  • Make an impactful first impression
  • Seek out networking opportunities
  • Make time in my schedule and plan ahead
  • Practice my “elevator pitch”
  • Make sure I save contact details

Online:

  • Update my job description
  • Make my contact information easily accessible
  • Update and Improve my LinkedIn presence
  • Read more blogs, articles and attend more virtual events in order to stay on top of current trends

In the next 6- 12 months, I plan to reach out to the connections that I currently have, and those that I had previously, and make a conscious effort to revitalize those relationships. I want to get into the habit of keeping in touch with people on a regular basis, or at least connect with them a few times a year to touch base and network. It would be easier if I could meet up with them in person, but because of Covid-19, I will need to reconnect with them online or by Zoom calls.

“Hands down LinkedIn is one of the most important social media platforms for business professionals, and if you’re not active, you’re most likely missing opportunities to be connected to people who could help you (or whom you could help) this year, next year, or ten years from now.”

Brownlee, 2020, p.8

I am an introvert by nature, and I can struggle a bit in social and business situations when I am dealing with even small groups of people. My plan is to fully utilize Facebook and LinkedIn. This would allow me to take advantage of the fact that they give you the chance to connect with others without having to pick up the phone or go to events. I have found these networks useful in the past and will continue to rely on them going forward. I want to step outside of my comfort zone and widen my skill sets. By dealing with other professional outlets that I am not overly familiar with, I am opening doors to new opportunities and contacts. I plan to attend some virtual events that I have little to no knowledge about, including Indeed training events and other training courses that are available through Instagram, You Tube and various web based companies.

References

Brownlee. D. (January 2, 2020). 6 Ways To Boost Your Professional Network In The New Year. Retrieved from 6 Ways To Boost Your Professional Network In The New Year (forbes.com)

McKay. D. (May 30, 2019). How to Build and Maintain a Professional Network. Retrieved from How to Build and Maintain a Professional Network (thebalancecareers.com)

Reed. A. (n.d.). Protecting and building your Business Analyst Career. Retrieved from Protecting and building your BA career (bridging-the-gap.com)

Reed. A. (n.d). 6 Simple Tips for Building a Professional Network. Retrieved from 6 Simple Tips for Building a Professional Network (bridging-the-gap.com)

COM0015 – Blog #2: How pizza slays the social media game and how having a strategy can help spread awareness

Organization #1 Domino’s Pizza

Photo by Maksim Goncharenok from Pexels



Aside from really enjoying pizza and food of all kinds, I have been seeing a lot of Domino’s pizza being promoted online. It could be because I follow numerous food related blogs or the fact that I watch food related content on YouTube. I see people either really loving Domino’s, hating it, or preferring other pizza brands like Papa Johns or Pizza Hut. However, their sales currently surpass that of any other pizza chain.

Domino’s already have a massive following on social media and that is a direct result of the social media strategies they have implemented over the years. These strategies include:

  • Include the word “pizza” in film quotes to make the quote relatable to the business.
  • Constantly communicating with customers on their Twitter page.
  • Use humour and quality imagery that will leave people wanting more.
  • They have made it easy to order food through Facebook; by using messenger you can communicate with a bot.

As social media became increasingly popular for businesses, Domino’s created the “think oven”. This is an effort to brainstorm, gather insight, opinions, and information from their customers. People who participated would often share their ideas with the company on Facebook.

Organization #2 Bear With Us Centre for Bears

Bear With Us is a wildlife rehabilitation organization for bears. It is home to ex-circus bears, bears from zoos and bears that were kept illegally as “pets”. However, their primary focus is on the rehabilitation of wild black bears who have been orphaned, injured, or abandoned. Their purpose is to provide a safe and natural environment for the bears that are brought in so that they may be returned to the wild in due course. Bear With Us also educate the public on the species and provide an understanding of black bears on an evolutionary scale. They also provide information and insight on bear behavior and how to handle yourself in bear country.

What can be improved and what they can do

  • More awareness brought to their social media accounts. They list Facebook and Twitter on their website, but I have not seen their Instagram account listed which they are very active on.
  • Promote their other social media accounts in their Twitter bio.
  • Get their audience talking and interacting with one another and asking them questions. Perhaps they could create a Q&A section on their website so their audience can ask them questions and their answers can be posted for all to see.
  • Use more hashtags (#bears #cubs #wildlife #protect  #BearWithUs  #Orphaned #Support)

Promote! Promote! Promote!

Photo by Janko Ferlic from Pexels

They are great at posting regularly on Twitter, but the organization itself could be interacting more with their audience directly rather than just retweeting them and stopping there. They could reply to them more to establish some kind of relationship that would assist with fundraising efforts. That way they are letting you know that your voice is being heard and your thoughts and opinions have merit. The same applies for their Instagram page where they could reply to a comment or two every now and then.

They do have a social media strategy and overall I think Bear With Us is on the right track! However, I think there is more they could do to really draw people in and spread awareness about the plight of black bears in Ontario. With the spring bear hunt re-instated by the Ford government, more and more orphaned bear cubs are being cared for by Bear With Us. Sows with cubs are not supposed to be targeted by hunters and yet, they are. These are the types of issues that Bear With Us need to be more vocal about on social media.

References

Newman. O. (October 31, 2017). Social media case study: How does Domino’s use it? Retrieved from Social Media Case Study: How Does Domino’s Use It? – Giraffe Social Media

(May 22, 2018). How digital marketing crowned Domino’s the king of pizza. Retrieved from How Digital Marketing Crowned Domino’s the King of Pizza | by OMI | Online Marketing Institute | Medium

COM0015 – Blog 1: Favorite Monitoring Tools and News Sources

Favourite social media monitoring tools

Google alerts – This tool allows you to monitor search results for a specific topic or keyword. You can choose the type of sources you want your results to come from, including articles, blogs, videos, news, and online books. You decide how often you wish to receive updates, and decide which email address you want these alerts sent to.

Hootsuite – This tool is free to use and allows you to track multiple social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and WordPress. You can schedule posts that keep your presence on social media active whenever you want.

I prefer these social media monitoring tools because they are free to use. I do not like having to give any of my personal information online if I can avoid it. Google alerts is most helpful when I need to research a topic, which is something I do on a daily basis. It is certainly a tool that I will be using in the future, whether for school, work or for just feeding my curiosity. From what I have seen of using Hootsuite, it is extremely helpful with blogging, and that is something I am considering continuing in the future. This tool is great if you are short on ideas for social media content. It will suggest a wide range of relevant topics for you and that can certainly help with kick starting ideas of your own.

News sources

Twitter – Twitter has a whole trending section where you can see what issues are currently trending across the globe. Whatever is currently going on in the world you can find it being discussed on Twitter using hashtags. I do not have a Twitter account, but I do enjoy going on it to see what is trending. It gives me a good idea of what people are discussing and potential ideas for social media content.

Instagram – Similar to Twitter, I enjoy scrolling through my Instagram feed and seeing all the new posts regarding the things that interest me like food, movies, certain news stories and all the drama! I use Instagram the most out of all the other social media networks I am on, and therefore have it set to notify me of any notifications or updates. One day I hope to use my Instagram account to promote my blogs and website. 

COM0014 – Blog 7: Telling a Story

I never gave much thought to storytelling, but I now understand the tremendous difference that storytelling can make when you are trying to engage with readers.

Throughout this course I have learned that everyone has a different style of reading. What is of interest to one person may not be of interest to another and it shows in the way people respond to an article, blog, post, or book. The idea is to try and create content that intrigues your audience enough to continue reading what you have written right to the end. This is done by writing in a story format.

When you are telling a story it is important to have structure, regardless of the nature of the content. Without it, you are more likely to attract “scanner” readers, who are ultimately missing important information. I know because I have been guilty of doing this many times. You want to have a strong opening that immediately draws people in, showcasing the most important information so the audience knows what they are in for.  

Photo by Ann Nekr from Pexels

Goals for my content

  • Strong/exciting opening
  • Less formal more personable tone
  • Think carefully about the important issues
  • Never ever “bury the lead”
  • Give people a chance to share their opinion, comments and questions

In the future, I will write with the intent of telling a story instead of just blindly writing whatever I think makes me sound more interesting to the reader. I want to write the kind of stories that give the reader a glimpse into my personality, while also maintaining a high level of professionalism. What I have learned about storytelling in this course will help me do just that, and I feel more confident that my writing will continue to improve.

COM0014 – Blog 6: Past Regret, Hopeful Future

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

More than anything else in my life, I love animals and travelling. They are my true passions. All throughout my childhood and into my teens, I wanted to spend my life working with animals. I never wanted to be a veterinarian or a veterinary technician; I was always more interested in animal behavior and rehabilitation after injury or abandonment. When I got to high school, the last thing on my mind was college or university. I loved music and going to concerts and hanging out with my friends. I never even saw a guidance counselor (their lack of interest in average students was disturbing), so I never actually spoke to anyone about my post-secondary options. As a result, I did not end up taking the necessary courses required for a science based post-secondary program. When I was looking at college programs during the fall of my last year of high school, I realized that I would have to push my passion for animals aside and settle for a program that would hopefully help me build on my interest in fashion and enhance my creative side.

I spent two years earning a diploma in Visual Merchandising and another two years earning a diploma in Fashion – Business. I have never been able to find a full-time job in those fields. I have been working several part-time retail jobs while taking continuing education courses in social media related disciplines, given my interest and knowledge in online marketing. Lately, I have been considering what else I can do to bring my passion for animals into my life in a more formal way. In the past I volunteered at an animal shelter and it was extremely rewarding, but I am giving some thought to what other options I can pursue. Not pursuing Animal Sciences was a mistake and my greatest regret but I am still young enough to do something about it and I am going to do just that. However I want to keep my options open depending on where my career path takes me.

As for my love of travelling, thanks to Covid-19, I missed out on a trip to Ireland, Iceland, and Scotland during the summer of 2020. I am absolutely ready to start travelling again as soon as it is safe to do so!

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok from Pexels

COM0014 – Blog #5: Me, Myself, and I

I like to think I am really in-tune with myself and my emotions. I am good at recognizing what I am feeling in the moment. Sometimes I crave silence; I am surrounded by noise every day and occasionally I will take a couple of minutes to turn off the noise, and quietly meditate.

I have created these morning rituals for myself that I repeat every day. I wake up at a certain time, eat at a certain time and exercise at a certain time. After I get used to the same routine, I will switch it up and repeat the same process over and over. Social media has never really been a part of any routine that I have created for myself. It is always available to me wherever I am, so I have never felt the need to have to make time for it.  

What have I done to stand out……..Over the years, I have experimented with so many things including makeup, food, exercise, fashion, fashion styling and art I am very open minded and I will try anything if it is of interest to me. It definitely shows in my style and how I talk, and I do not stick my nose up at anything.

What would my colleagues say……..They would say that I am easy to get along with and that I am not judgmental. Which is true I’ve heard many things over the years and have learned so many things about myself and others that it is hard to judge anybody. I have been told that I am very punctual, always on time or early no matter where I am going. It could be work, school, an event, or an appointment but I am always on time. If I was ever late for anything it was for a very good reason.

COM0014 – Blog #4: Your Favorite Fast Food Chain is Listening

I think the food industry is one that has become almost completely involved online. Especially fast food chains, such as McDonalds. They use social media as a tool to build a loyal following of fast food lovers and fans of their product. I think McDonalds is a business that has been quite successful at this.

Aside from promoting new products, McDonalds will frequently update their social feeds while keeping up with current events and social media listening. An example of this would be how the popular show Rick and Morty promoted Szechuan sauce in one of their episodes. Fans then went on social media to ask McDonalds to bring back the sauce which had been a limited-edition item back in the 90’s. They responded by bringing the sauce back, but only for one day and only at certain locations. The product sold out so fast that they could not keep up with the demand and McDonalds later apologized for this on their Twitter page. They later promised to produce more sauce and to distribute it to more locations.

Image from Twitter

What they do online:

  • Stay on-top of customer service problems
  • Consistently answering questions related to their business and products
  • Switch up their menu depending on the needs and wants of their consumer
  • Pay close attention to social media content and collect data on current trends

McDonalds once held a Q & A campaign that would encourage their customers to ask questions regarding food quality and preparation. These questions were answered online and with videos that put their business operations on display for anyone to see. They are constantly responding to concerns over the quality of their products.

You could argue that their social media strategy is a little on the plain side. However they are such a huge brand all around the world. Their two-way engagement between Facebook and Twitter users is so strong that the company really values the interactions.

Resources

Comcowich. W. (June 29, 2018). How McDonald’s Uses Social Media Listening. Retrieved from How McDonald’s Uses Social Media Listening (glean.info)

Rose. D. (October 29, 2013). Social Media Case Study: How do McDonald’s use it? Retrieved from Social Media Case Study: How Do McDonald’s use it? – Giraffe Social Media

Walter. E. (November 25, 2014). How McDonald’s Wins in Social: Ranking at Number One. Retrieved from How McDonald’s Wins in Social: Ranking at Number One | Social Media Today

COM0014 – Blog #3 One Person’s Trash

What is Thrifting?

The idea of “thrifting” means to shop at thrift stores, also known as second-hand stores, consignment shops, flea markets or garage sales. Basically, any place where you will find items that have been discarded by retailers, donated by individuals or households, or other types of discounted or used merchandise that can come from many different sources. Thrifted items have usually belonged to someone at one point and are often found in good condition with enough potential to be resold.

Audience:

  • Anyone who enjoys filling their home with one of a kind, or unique items.
  • People who enjoy the vintage or old-fashioned look and feel (clothing).
  • Shoppers who know how to find quality items for a considerable price.
  • People who are looking to make an extra income by reselling.
Photo by: Burst
from: Pexels

Perhaps you are a thrift store shopper who enjoys giving back. There are some thrift stores that cater to charitable causes, such as Goodwill, who often employ or support people with physical and mental disabilities. Organizations such as the Canadian Kidney Foundation and the Canadian Diabetes Foundation collect clothing and household items directly from individuals and sell them to thrift stores like Value Village, who pays the charity for the goods.

Communicating with the audience:

There are many YouTube channels today dedicated to thrifting. The creators will often show and discuss what they bought for a deal and where, often at places such as Goodwill, antique markets, Value Village, consignment stores or other small businesses. This gives their audience a sense of what unique and one of a kind items are out there and in some cases you will come across the occasional “how to thrift like a pro” video. I enjoy thrifting, and will often sit down and watch fellow thrifters share their experiences.

There is an app called Flyp that was created in San Francisco that allows you to take a picture of whatever it is you are trying to sell. Then people whose primary job is to sell/re-sell apply to sell your stuff, and you choose who it is you want to sell your stuff. They then post your item/items on various thrift networks, after they sell, you will be sent the earnings. The app was created with the intention of making the practice of reselling much easier.

Resources

WHAT DOEST IT MEAN TO GO THRIFTING? (n.d.) Retrieved from What Does it Mean to Go Thrifting? | Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona (goodwillaz.org)

5 Reasons Thrifting is Awesome. (2017). Retrieved from 5 Reasons Thrifting is Awesome — Vagabondary

15 Online Thrift Stores for the Best Second Hand and Vintage Clothing. (n.d.) Retrieved from 15 Online Thrift Stores for the Best Secondhand & Vintage Clothing (sustainablejungle.com)

COM0014 – Blog #2 The Wrong Kind of Approach

I never thought about approaching content in the circumstances of telling a story. I always tried to sound formal and mature in my writing to the point that I was not thinking about whether a story was being told or not. Looking back, I see why that may have not been the best approach. I did not realize the importance of storytelling until now, and how it can contribute to how you are perceived by your audience. Storytelling is definitely something to keep in mind when writing in the future.

For years now my communication style has varied depending on what I was communicating and who my target audience was. I am slowly learning how to refine my communication style so that I can communicate with my audience regardless of who they may be. How you choose to communicate can make or break an experience.

Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels

Know your readers:

  1. Syntopical reading
  2. Analytical reading (my preferred style of reading)
  3. Superficial reading
  4. Skimming
  5. Inspectional reading
  6. Elementary reading

My approach to reading has always depended on what I was reading. When I was younger I would often skim through novels or papers that were assigned to me in school, which never really did me any favors when it came to my grades. Sometimes I would just superficially read what was given to me without retaining any information from it. Now that I am older and care more about what I am learning I read things very differently. I will often read a sentence over and over again until I understand it’s message and intent.

After you have created your content you do not want any skimmers. You want to move people away from skimming and into the other phases, including analytical and inspectional reading. Syntopical reading is where your audience should be discovering new ideas out of your content, and building on those ideas to create content of their own.

Set yourself up for success:

Before typing anything, you want to know who you are speaking to, who your audience is and how you want them to feel.

  1. Encourage your audience to take action! Do you want them to leave comments, share your message with others or ask questions. Make sure your content reflects that action.
  2. When blogging it is good to ask questions, which allow your audience to share their stories and experiences.
  3. Make it easy for people to like and share your content. You can do this by adding share buttons on your page.

I do not think my approach to writing has always been the best, I have been more concerned about getting my point across rather than telling a story that people are interested in and would want to read. However, now that I know the positive impact storytelling can have on a blog, I will certainly apply it to my content in the future.

References:

Clark. B. (September 21, 2020). How to Read. How to Read – Copyblogger

COM0014 – Blog #1: Birthday at Sea

The most recent vacation I had was back in November of 2019. Looking back I am extremely grateful for this trip given the circumstances of 2020, I did not know it at the time but this would be the last proper vacation I would take for a while. It all started in Fort Lauderdale, Fl and as pretty as Florida is me and my mom were anxious to leave. The fun did not start until we boarded our 8 day cruise that would take us to 4 destinations from Florida to the Caribbean.

First stop: Key West, FL

Activities include: Jet skiing and parasailing.

Second stop: Costa Maya

Activities Include: Browsing markets and checking out the local artists.

Third stop: Cozumel

Activities Include: Exploring the beaches and participating in a wine and chocolate tasting.

Fourth stop: Grand Cayman

Activities include: Exploring the Cayman turtle Centre and snorkeling.

Last night on the ship: My birthday at sea

On the 8th day of our cruise we spent the day wandering the ship and looking at all the fine dining restaurants the ship had to offer. We have never been to a fancy restaurant before so no matter where we ended up we were excited either way. I must say the restaurant we chose did not disappoint, the three course meal was the best I could have ever asked for and the setting only made it that much better. I never new food on a ship could be so good!

I am gonna miss cruising and I have a feeling I’ll have to wait a bit longer before my next vacation. Has anyone ever gone on a cruise? and if so how was it? 10/10 would recommend.