Blog post 2 – Strong & Weak Organizations

COM0015 – Applied Social Media in Business

Johanne Albert-Cardinal

  1. Organization: Mental Health Commission of Canada – Impressive social media strategy

Mental Health Commission of Canada :

Twitter: @MHCC

Instagram: themhcc

Facebook: Mental Health Commission of Canada , Commission de la santé mentale du Canada (@the MHCC)

LinkedIn : Mental Health Commission of Canada

I’ve been working for this organization in the past 4 months, and was very impressed by the work of the Digital Specialist. The social media presence is consistent on a daily basis on all social media accounts. Furthermore, with the amount of programs and information produced by the MHCC, the platforms used vary in the information that is shared, to account for the various stakeholders that are interested in the MHCC’s work. Obviously, compared to the organization mentioned below, the MHCC has resources for a full time employee who’s work consist of preparing messages, monitoring , and providing analysis of social media metrics. This is proof that investing in an employee (or at least in a part -time employee) can help immensely in bringing a social media strategy to the next level.

  1. Organization: Ancoura – organization that needs to adopt a social media strategy

Ancoura: http://www.ancoura.ca

Twitter: @ancoura_ottawa

Facebook page: Ancoura (@ancoura.community)

As  Ancoura is a very small organization run mostly by volunteers, they do not have an employee that takes care of marketing and communications. Ancoura’s Facebook and Twitter profiles are not updated on a current basis. Because of the very small impact its social media presence currently has (mainly because of lack of resources). I beleive Ancoura’s objectives to implement first steps in good practices would be:

  • Implementing a social media strategy with prepared messages for Facebook and Twitter to have a current, up to date and a constant presence on social media.
  • Improving its branding (for example, currently Ancoura’s Twitter background does not reflect the mission of this organization).
  • Engaging stakeholders on social media
  • Considering starting an Instagram account (only once Facebook and Twitter profile have engaged more followers)
  • Investing in certain paid advertising on social media to gain more followers
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COM0015- Blog post 1 – Tools and Sources

Blog Post 1 – Tools and Sources

There are so many tools and resources that can be used for listening, scheduling and monitoring social media. Seems that almost every week, I read about a new app, a new online resource, or a colleague mentions one that I never heard of before. Needless to say that social media is evergreen and it’s hard to keep up sometimes. For example, since this course content was prepared, stumbleupon.com mentions on its website, it will be changing its name to Mix since the time this course content was prepared.

It can feel overwhelming at first, but the best way to find what can work best for you or your organisation is to try out a few to really see how user-friendly they are .

My favorite tools for listening, monitoring and scheduling:

Listening & Monitoring : Hootsuite

I find Hootsuite the best, since it allows multiple channels to be monitored at the same time. For example, the organisation I work with has a presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We keep track of these on Hootsuite as well as monitor different profiles/pages that could impact our work.

While reading the other blogs posted in regards to this subject, I discovered Social Aider (thanks Ruth!). It is very affordable, and I will most likely use for the volunteer work I do for a non for profit that has very little budget for social media.

Scheduling: Buffer

Although Hootsuite allows scheduling, I prefer using Buffer which is super user-friendly and also better visually (for me) to use it for scheduling.

My favorite sources to keep up to date:

I much prefer Huffpost over Mashable or Gizmodo. Mainly because I find Huffpost is best organized visually (I am a very visual person!) and its articles just seem much more trustworthy. Huffpost has established itself and is a credible news source.

I also like to use Google Alerts to keep track of news that could be of use or interest for my organisation. It’s a quick way to take a look at what news good be shared on social media for my organisation or my volunteer work.

In reading the course content, I discovered Diigo.com. I do find it interesting and really like how you can organize your resources – look forward to using this tool.

COM0014 Blog 7 – Personal Reflection

Johanne Albert-Cardinal – Digital Communications

 

Why is storytelling important to creating great digital content?

The digital world is consistently evolving. In the field of marketing and communications, it is important for organisations be able to create great digital content to interest its target audience. This is where storytelling comes into play. They need to tell their story in a way that will engage their audience, whatever the end goal is. Whether it be gaining more followers on social media or creating an inspiring story on a blog or website, or selling a new product:  the content needs to be interesting enough to gain the attention of the audience. We are bombarded by digital information on a daily basis and it is becoming harder to have full attention of our audience, unless our storytelling is to the point.

 

onespot

How will your content be guided by story?

In order to gain interest in its content, an organization must research its audience with attention. It is  important to understanding audience diversity and its impact on communication style. That is why audience analysis is very important. Before starting any campaign, social media strategy, or a blog, it is important to put time in understanding your target audience. From demographics, psychographics, gender, income, personal interest, cultural background – all of these are key elements to analyze in order to best manage your content and create a good story. It’s also important to look at your marketing and communications styles and tools match the type of business transactions you are trying to perform:  Business to Business , Business to Consumer or Business to Government.

What kind of stories do you want to tell?

Whichever storytelling the organisation chooses to tell, it needs to be unique and have its own identity. Content needs to be concise, and the most important information should be presented first (as the inverted pyramid we learned about in this course). Steve Clayton, Chief Storyteller at Microsoft, also shares that a good story involves the four elements:

1- People

2- Places

3- Process

4- Products

Finally, it is important to stay authentic and it is crucial to have a synergy between all the tools you will use and your personal brand/story.

 

References: 

https://www.dynamicyield.com/2015/06/6-powerful-infographics-for-publishers/

https://www.cision.com/us/2016/03/the-power-of-storytelling-in-pr/

 

COM0014 – Blog 6 : Do people know your story

Blog 6 – Do people know your story?

What is the greatest challenge your business must overcome?

I work in a very young non for profit organization which just celebrated its 10th year anniversary. In any young organisation or business, the structure can change many times as well as the employee turnover rate. As my boss would say, until now they had often operated just as a start-up: in a fast pace, without much organization or structure around what they did. Within that structure  often lies the marketing/communications team, which often takes the toll of this disorganization, because it is the one team responsible of many important aspects of the business: web, social media, communications, public affairs and marketing.

At my place of work, they have just implemented a service request form to minimize the several last minute request the marketing and communications group receives for help with communications, collateral, social media and events. Like any new implementation, it takes time to get colleagues used to new protocol. Teams must now prepare this service request form which contains key information about their project in order to give the marketing and communications team a better idea of what kind of support they will need, the deadlines, etc. Slowly but surely, this new process will help the communications and marketing team be more organized, but in return, also help the organisation run more smoothly , as opposed to work reactively.

 

Blog #5 – Personal Brand

What are some personal qualities or characteristics that set you apart from your competitors?

I do not have a company or personal business I need to market for, however, in the recent months I’ve tried to create a synergy in between my personal social media profiles (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn). I found this allows anyone that is screening my profiles to have a first good virtual impression of me.

I think your personal brand is very important , especially on LinkedIn, which I use to expand my professional network. Whether it is to network virtually, apply to jobs, and connect with colleagues, friends and people I would like to eventually meet for coffee to expand my network here in Ottawa.

What have you done lately to make yourself stand out?

I recently had a professional headshot taken to use on my LinkedIn and Twitter profiles. I use these two channels on a daily basis to keep up with what is going on in the world and in my field of work. Therefore, I found it was important to have a professional picture on these accounts. I use Facebook and Instagram more for my personal life and to keep contact with family.

What would your colleagues say is your best trait?

My colleagues would say that I am extremely organized and that I strive to bring my projects to the next level, always.

Blog #4 B2C Case Study : Dove Baby Real Moms campaign

Oh Baby!

I am currently pregnant (for the first time – yikes!), therefore I decided to find a B2C campaign which involves baby merchandise/needs. As I am fast approaching my third trimester and starting to shop around for everything we need, it’s become quite overwhelming! Cloth diapers or not? Buy eco-friendly for everything , or not? Will I really need this   ̎amazing bassinet that rocks the baby to sleep  ̎ ?

Millennial  parents, especially mothers to be have become a huge target market. To top it off, there is everything other than traditional media that now exists out there: blogs, websites, social media etc.  The collection of online resources – parenting websites, online forums, parenting blogs and social networks – collectively gather 71% of first and second place rankings when it comes to top parental influencers. In total, 85% of millennial parents use social media from their smartphones to help them shop in-store.

Dove’s Real Mom Campaign

In March 2017, Dove launched its new product line, Dove Baby, a skincare for babies. I think they did an amazing job in the way they marketed this new line. Rather than talking directly about the product, they really keyed in to understand and empathize with mothers around the world. This is called Emotional Marketing. I love this campaign because it speaks directly to every mother, regardless of their generation and cultural background. I also really enjoy the diversity of the campaign including all types of families such as same sex couples, single mothers, etc.

Campaign video:

Emotional marketing

Emotional marketing is very often used in brands who target mothers and parents. In this three-minute emotional marketing lesson video, Graeme Newell reveals the emotional marketing hot buttons that are most appealing to mothers.

Social Media presence

This new line launched just about a year ago and has gained a substantive amount of likes and followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all while using the #RealMoms hashtag. However, I beleive they could of done a better job in promoting the hashtag as well as making sure there is a nice synergy in between these three channels. Their Instagram account (BabyDoveCare) does not seem to have many posts and the hashtag use on all three accounts could of been maximized.

What they did very well is engaging in conversations on social media. They make their clients feel heard, and as a result have modified the campaign that will come out next fall:

 

Sources

https://www.dove.com/us/en/baby.html

http://www.scarymommy.com/baby-dove-realmoms-campaign/

http://602communications.com/marketing-to-mothers-best-branding-strategies-to-win-her-heart

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefffromm/2016/09/21/when-marketing-to-millennial-parents-authenticity-is-required/#f2c01624d85a

https://www.ketchum.com/marketing-moms-study

https://kidsbusiness.com.au/case-study-marketing-to-mums-research-2018/

https://www.refinery29.com/2017/04/148778/dove-baby-real-moms-campaign?bucketed=true&bucketing_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.ca%2F

COM 0014 – Target Audience (Johanne Albert)

COM 0014 – Blog Post 3 – Target Audiences (Johanne Albert)

As we learned in lesson 3, knowing and understanding our target audience is crucial. Most importantly, the lack of time invested in researching your audience will most likely lead to a mediocre social media strategy. Knowing who is interested in your content and why, as well as establishing the demographics and psychographics of the audience will help in knowing how to best engage with them and how to gain more followers and influencers on social media.

I’ve recently started to volunteer with Ancoura, a non -for profit charity in Ottawa.  Ancoura provides a nurturing and fulfilling environment for adults living with a mental illness, through stable, affordable housing and a supportive community. I’ve chosen to assess their target audience in efforts to help them leverage their social media outreach.

The target audience for Ancoura is mainly potential donors, local organizations and government influencers. Because they are a charity that does not don’t fit into a set government fundraising system, they fundraise every year to cover major expenses, reach out to individuals, churches, organizations, and businesses trying to set some types of relationships that can give them the funding to continue its work. I believe if we have a better understanding of the audience, and work on growing their social media, eventually Ancoura will be more known to the local public and therefore more potential donors and influencers will be interested in the cause.

The issue right now is that Ancoura’s social media account followers are low, mainly because of the nature of a charity (no funding to pay a communications staff, so it is run on ad-hoc basis by volunteers). There are very few followers on their Twitter (74) and their Facebook page has 109 likes.  This makes it harder to assess their audience, however in knowing what they need (more donations, and more knowledge about them in the area); I was still able to identify the key target audience.

Target audience:  

1 – potential donors

2 –  local organizations

3 –  government influencers

For each of the above, the demographics and psychographics are different:

1) Potential donors:

Demographics: mid to high level disposable income, 25 – 40 years old, active on social media with a university or college degree.

Psychographics:  They use social media actively and are interested in the mental health cause. Hobbies include volunteering,

They are mostly women and followers (they will most likely share and read our social media but are not key influencers).

2) Local organizations

Demographics: local NCR organizations and charities, mid to high level disposable income, ages vary between 18 – 55.

Psychographics:  They use social media actively, have a good number of followers themselves and are interested in the mental health cause.

They are mostly medium level influencers (can help in spreading the news).

3)Government influencers

Demographics : local MPs, City Councillors and individuals involved in high level policy (local, municipal, procincial and national). High level disposable income,  35 – 65 years old, active on social media with a university or college degree.

Psychographics:  They use social media actively and are interested in the mental health cause.

They are mostly high level influencers (can help share the news to more VIP individuals).

Getting to know the community

  • What are the main issues the different groups are dealing with?

– One of the bigger issues is that influencers are busy, and its hard to get their attention on social media if we do not have a set social media plan/strategy. Furthermore, the knowledge of the charity itself is still not that popular therefore working on a communications plan and strategy to disseminate in the NCR region will be key prior to even starting any relations with influencers.

  • Who are your potential partners and competitors within these groups?

Partners: current donors – individuals and organizations  (United Way,Ontario Trillium Foundation, Saint Patrick Basilica, etc.)

Competitors : charities and organizations that have a similar mission to Ancoura’s (Salus Ottawa)

 Tools and strategies

The most important thing first of all is to have a set calendar for social messages to have a better presence online. Then, it is to search for the target audience mentioned above who are already present on social media and target them individually to help us gain more followers. Only once our work to get more followers (Twitter) and likes (Facebook page) will we be better able to analyze our audience and start thinking of a strategy for the key influencers.

Blog post 2 (COM0014) – Storytelling and Communications Styles (Johanne Albert)

Analyzing blogs

In this post, I decided to search for various local Ottawa bloggers and identify where they (according to me), missed the boat in terms of what we learned from lesson 2 of this course content.

Social media tools and platforms change very rapidly and it is hard to keep up. Everything is going at a faster pace these days due to technology, and it seems that everything we do as well. For instance, reading articles online. Weather it is on a blog, on CBC’s website or while online shopping, it is scientifically proven that your audience will only spend an average of 8 seconds reading your content.

Clarity and Conciseness: Begin with the End in Mind

First, let’s analyze Twenty York Street’s latest blog post. This blog is, in my opinion a great example of the inverted triangle being used upright. Meaning that the fluffy information we don’t need is at the beginning, and the very important stuff is at the middle and end of her post.

Here are a few other things I’ve noticed in this blog post:

  •  The title leads to confusion (who knows what an ergocentric hybrid is?)
  •  The blog is very long, in the very first paragraph (over 8 seconds,,, I timed myself), there is no mention about the article being about an ergonomic chair and how posture can make a whole difference in your daily energy.
  •  It’s too late for the reader to get to the Syntopical level as it is too long and too vague to grab the reader’s attention from the get go.
  •  The blog could have easily started at about the paragraph (WHY THE WRONG CHAIR IS HARMFUL FOR YOUR WORKPLACE ) which I think would have been a better title for this post.

Entice your audience to take action

Now, as we learned, it is important to entice your audience to take action. Let’s analyze LinkedIn blogger Michaela Alexis’ post.

  • Her blog is clear and well separated in short and concise paragraphs
  • We have a feel for what she will be writing about by the title alone
  • However, the way she chooses to engage her audience at the end of her post seems like the easy way out. Why simply ask them to share her posts and comment below, she could have asked the audience more specific question to engage the conversation in more depth, such as:
  1. How about you, what helped you get out of the haze?
  2. Have you ever felt like you were not living your passion and if so, how did it affect your life?

Grammar, spelling, punctuation – your voice

Typos happen, but they are a huge eyesore!

For instance, take this example, where the accent on the word Soirée was added on the wrong one e (as a Francophone, this drives me nuts). It’s easy to find the right spelling for the event the blogger is writing about, the organizers advertised it on the event’s website!

What I do enjoy about this post is that it is super short, I read it through quickly and had all the important information I needed (who what where when) very quickly.

It takes practice

In the end, it is safe to say that practice makes perfect! Although I analyzed the above blogs, I am far from being perfect good at it myself and they obviously have more experience in this subject than I do. Writing is an art form, and writing for this digital/fast pace world is a species of its own kind! If we take in consideration what we learned in lesson 2, becoming a storyteller might be a little easier with practice.

What are your thoughts on blogs? I feel everyone is starting one these days!  Do you have a favorite blog you read on a weekly/monthly basis? There are so many of them now, how do you keep up? Do you have a specific website you visit to know about the best blogs in Canada?

 

 

COM0014 – Blog 1 – What I Did on My Vacation (Johanne Albert)

I love traveling, and have to say that I am fortunate to have traveled quite a bit for my young age. I enjoy the adventurous, cultural types of trips rather than all-inclusive ones. I like to go off the beaten track, where I can meet more locals than tourists, and try to learn about the culture as much as I can while I am there. I’ve had quite a few of those trips in my early 20’s and I vowed I would never do the typical “touristy” type, you know, ..the one where you find tourists that look like this:

 

My last vacation was my honeymoon in October 2016. I was excited to plan our honeymoon. Although we could have opted for the “off the beaten track- let’s back pack and discover the culture – mingle with locals” type of trip, we decided to forgo the idea. I was not too sure how I would enjoy an all-inclusive trip, and was apprehensive about it from the get-go when we booked an 11 day cruise.

I have to say that this was one instance in my life where I was so thankful I made a decision that was naturally against what I usually lean towards. I was so overtired (that is what happens when you are your own wedding planner for the big day!). Planning my own trip was the last thing I had energy to do as we got closer to the big day. I am glad I kicked some good sense into me and decided to “go to the dark side” to do the “touristy thing” like most people.

We visited 6 countries in 11 days on the Norwegian Spirit Mediterranean cruise. It was amazing, relaxing and worth every penny! I needed to be somewhere where everything was catered and planned, and all I needed to do was follow. We were both so very tired from the previous few weeks, we both enjoyed the stress –free trip a cruise allowed us to have.

 

Dubrovnik, Croatia

You should be on LinkedIn !

COM0011 – Johanne Albert – Blog post #6 

I’ve been using LinkedIn mainly to create contacts within my industry here in Ottawa and for job search. I have to say this is the social media tools I use the less and just visit it from time to time to see what interesting jobs might be out there…Other than that I do not adventure in all the possibilities this tool has to offer.

LinkedIn has been most helpful in 2013 for enabling people to

  • Research people and companies (75.8 percent)
  • Reconnect with past business associates/colleagues (70.6 percent)
  • Build new relationships with people who may influence potential customers (45 percent)
  • Increase face-to-face networking effectiveness (41.2 percent)

(Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/cherylsnappconner/2013/10/27/five-linkedin-strategies-you-havent-thought-of-before)

Tips for LinkedIn:

1) It is not just to network in your field, you can market your business here too (check the video below –  5 marketing tips for LinkedIn)

2) Enable people to contact you: List an email address, or links to your Facebook or Twitter profiles.

3) Employ visuals: Feature examples of your work on your profile, including videos, presentations or Word documents.

4) Show off additional qualifications: Add volunteer experience, certifications, projects, test scores and anything else that may set you apart from others.

5) List all of your past jobs: The more jobs you list, the better you will be able to connect with people from those organizations.

(Read more tips here: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231750)

 

 

I’ve learn so much in this class, and searching for online marketing tips, working in the field of communications, I knew that social media was important, however, this class has made me have realized just HOW MUCH impact is has on our society. From marketing our business, to staying connected with family and friends who are far away, to making connections in your field and create job opportunities for  yourself, social media is amazing and brings so much advantages to our lives, if we use it well and in moderation 🙂