Out Of The Box.

Everyone who has a social media profile has seen a celebrity selling something and, of course, a following of people saying, “well, if Kim Kardashian uses it, it must work! I’m going to buy some”. And just like that, the company has got you right where they want you, buying their product based on someone famous. But in reality, you could buy a cheaper version that works just the same, but with no flashy sales pitch.

Before this course, I hadn’t thought too much of it because I’ve never been one to fall for the flashy, whereas I prefer word of mouth for a product. But with all the research in this course, I was surprised just how many influencers there are and, truthfully, how many of the same people for numerous products. As a business, it’s an excellent and straightforward way, in my opinion, to make a sale. Get the big names involved, and your in. Now for the influencers, it’s a payday for them, especially on Instagram with almost one billion active monthly users; it’s great publicity. But it brings me to the question, “do these influencers use the product they are promoting?”.

But then you get another side of it where a company tries to promote their product with celebrities, and they want no part of it. A perfect example of this is when Coca-Cola had products at a press conference with Cristiano Ronaldo, but instead of just leaving it, he pushed it off-screen, entirely telling people to drink water. So, in this case, to say he was NOT a fan of the product is an understatement.

So with that I ask, have you bought something based only on a celebrity selling or promoting it?

Assignment #5. An Event.

For this, I chose to watch a video on YouTube from LYFE Marketing and I will certainly be watching more of their videos as I move forward with the social media content for my mom’s company and in the future whether it be my own social media platforms, or if I choose to start my own company one day. The specific video I watched for this assignment was The Best Social Media Platforms for Business in 2021. While the videos aren’t that long, the information is incredible. He talked about micro and macro content, what was involved and where the best place to post that content was.

This particular guy was Jerome, and I found him easy to listen to and follow along with. At the same time, I wrote notes that would benefit our company, especially as we’re in a small town with an elderly audience, so we’ve certainly had our challenges. We’re mainly on Facebook, with an Instagram account that I’m working on, but I had thought about adding a Twitter account. Still, after this video, I won’t even bother as they showed a chart with the age groups and their percentages of users and needless to say, when the age group of 65+ is only 75%, it isn’t worth the time.

I would love to do in-person events where you can sit and learn right there, having them show you all the little tricks. Still, with COVID, it’s been tricky, so I find these videos useful because in my case, living with a toddler who is a tiny tornado allows me to pause and go back if I’ve missed something once or 37 times if need be, whereas in person that doesn’t happen as there is a flow.

For the younger audiences, it has been said Instagram is by far the best platform. Still, people tend to mindlessly scroll through Instagram as so much content is similar, so they mentioned that to gain attention, you have to make eye-catching posts to bring in that audience, and while we’re indeed working on our content, it isn’t our priority at this time.

Facebook is always there, even though so many say it’s old and outdated, it still brings in 7 billion monthly ACTIVE users so really it’s still the most popular platform for all audiences. It’s simple to use. Now the issue with Facebook and Instagram is there is so much content on a daily basis that in order to stand out, there is an algorithum to make sure your posts are seen by those who follow you, but to really make an impact you have to spend money on their aFacebook is always there; even though so many say it’s old and outdated, it still brings in 7 billion monthly ACTIVE users, so really, it’s still the most popular platform for all audiences. It’s simple to use. Now the issue with Facebook and Instagram is there is so much content daily that to stand out, there is an algorithm to make sure your posts are seen by those who follow you but to make an impact, you have to spend money on their ads so that it floods your audience’s feeds. As a small business, I feel that Facebook is our best bet at this time.

I had wanted to have all sorts of platforms at one time, but after watching this video, they mentioned that as a small business, it’s better to have all your eggs in one or two baskets posting quality content. We were on the fence about starting a blog to match articles my mom posts in the local paper and having seen how popular blogs are and the views they can generate, we will be starting those shortly.

If you are looking for shorter “how-to” videos on social media and marketing, I highly suggest checking out this page!

Looking To The Future

My mom has certainly come along with Maximum Hearing. From joining the industry over 30 years ago to owning two clinics with plans of another, to say I’m proud of all she has accomplished is an understatement. Her main office has these incredible duck wing back chairs, and initially, I said, “are you going to recover those?” She proudly said, “I don’t think so; they just work here,” and boy do they ever. Once I saw them in the office, I knew right away that she needed to get out there about these chairs; make them our drawing point to start as they were unique. When I brought up the idea, she said, “you should start a Facebook page, use your photography skills and get them out there,” so that’s just what I did. Now being active military, I use social media for my own use, so this was certainly a different mindset because I now needed to think of what content to post that was appropriate for anyone, what would get attention and what wasn’t working. To start, I posted our duck chairs saying how comfy they were, that we always had coffee on and invited people to simply come to say hi in the beginning. It worked. People were coming in from the town to test out the chairs, and soon people were saying that they were like the TD Bank green chair, iconic.

Now finding content while working full time, going through some personal stuff, and being on the other side of the country was tricky (still is to a point), but we’ve been making it work the best we can! The other challenge we faced is that most of her clients are senior and not on social media, so how would we share this info with them? I created a slide show for her to take to the senior’s lodge because they always do well with visuals, but we couldn’t keep going back with promotions etc., so in that sense, it became very much word of mouth. We put in ads in the newspapers, and I mirrored the articles for our younger audience for everyone to get the same information. Then my mom remembered that my grandparents always listened to the a.m country station ( I come from a family of cowboys and farmers) so, we reached out to the local station and just like that, we had that much more attention?

Now when the Hanna office opened, the interactions on social media were much higher than we expected because, like Three Hills, it’s a small town, but what we didn’t realize is the town itself is active on Facebook, using it as their primary source of getting information out, so when we started to post content, they would share information about our opening, promotions etc., so we had a large following right out of the gate. We’re still testing the waters with Instagram and then plan on Twitter in the future. My plan for the next 6-12 months is to keep on keeping on like we are because it seems to be working right now, and once we see different interactions, we can gauge where to go from there. I’m excited to see where this dream of hers will go, and I’m so grateful I get to be a part of it.

Our duck chairs

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

We’ve all seen those commercials on social media and tv that makes you go, “aw, that’s so great,” but we’ve also seen ones that make you say, “you can’t be serious?” so that’s what we’ll dive into in this blog.

Some of my favourite content is always at Christmas. While that time of year can certainly be challenging, some companies try to push the true meaning of the holidays and that it isn’t always about buying stuff, but being with those you love or helping those who may be alone. WestJet is one of those companies.

Each year, they come out with a different “WestJet Christmas Miracle” from spur of the moment to giving to Fort MacMurray Strong when they were affected by the fires. The goal of this is to provide to those who need it most. From items they have on hand, airline tickets, donations and sponsors, they help families in need and various charities. 2020 was a horrendous year for so many, so while Christmas was different, they still gave. They posted on their social media platforms posting that this was indeed happening, and in came the donations. Aside from their Christmas content, they are incredibly active on their social media, even with the pandemic. They’re posting content from current deals, safety protocols and information about their travel insurance policies. While it may not seem like much, it’s getting people interacting with them, providing feedback.

Sticking with the Canadian theme, my next favourite company is Molson Canadian, and I don’t even drink beer!! I’ve always been a very proud and patriotic Canadian, so when I see their ads or posts on social media that are “Canadian-isms,” I almost get excited. They are big supporters of Canadian hockey and the Canadian Olympic team and will post numerous times a day that coordinates with whatever is going on at the time. They always seem to have the most incredible vintage pictures. For example, on their Facebook page, they posted a photo of Guy Carbonneau drinking beer out of the Stanley Cup after his team’s win in 1986, and while I’m a big hockey fan (just not his team at the time), that is something I did not know about! They also advertise their limited edition beers through their social media platforms as it gets more attention and is easier maintained. But without a doubt, I think my favourite thing they’ve done is their beer fridge campaigns. What started as a prank boosted their sales, completely changing their direction in marketing and even won them an award for outstanding effectiveness in business marketing.

If you haven’t heard of the beer fridge campaign, let me fill you in. In their original campaign, Molson brought a bright red beer fridge with a giant maple leaf on it and put it in various locations around Europe. Seems simple right? To open the refrigerator, you had to use a Canadian passport! The goal behind it is to make you proud of where you are from.

Now the one that made me swear someone was cutting onions nearby was the beer fridge that only opened when multiple languages were detected saying “I Am Canadian,” showing just how multicultural we are as a nation. As someone who is currently serving in the Canadian Armed Forces, I have served with people who have come from all over the world, but we all wear the same flag on our shoulders. It truly makes me proud to be Canadian. Check out the video here, and if your eyes start to sweat, I won’t judge you!`

Now that we’ve shown the good, sadly, we have to highlight the bad. It was a lot harder trying to find an organization that doesn’t have some social media presence, as it’s just the thing to have now. But I did ultimately find one; Marlboro Cigarettes. While I’m not a smoker, I didn’t think anything of it; however, they have chosen to avoid social media altogether. In 2014, the company was criticized for launching a campaign directed towards a younger audience and seeing how smoking isn’t the “cool” thing to do anymore, and people were displeased. Afterwards, they decided that there wasn’t enough of an upside to maintain social media. But, their parent company Philip Morris does have social media accounts that they use mainly to promote openings in the company or promote their charities.

So, with that I have to ask; if marketing in your industry is so regulated, is it worth having a social media prescense?

Blog #1. Tools & Sources

In the previous courses, I’ve learned that there is so much more in this world than just Facebook, Instagram, and Google. But, if I’m completely honest, I haven’t done much monitoring and listening outside of the lessons. However, I’ve spent a little time with it as my mom owns a small business in a small rural Alberta town, and since I manage her social media, I figure I should know what’s going outside of the likes on the content I create.

So with that, here are my go-to’s:

Google Trends:

My mom is in the hearing aid industry, usually directed at a more senior audience, but she has said that slowly but surely, her clients are getting younger. Whether it be military, law enforcement, or just someone who likes to listen to their music wango tango, everyone is looking for something different. With Google Trends, it allows me to see what people are searching for the most with hearing devices; Bluetooth capabilities, ear protection, cost etc. I can then take that information to my mom, and we can advertise as needed towards a new audience to meet the needs of a younger crowd.

While I haven’t had the chance to use this very much as you have to pay for it, I love the ease of managing multiple accounts at once and scheduling different posts. As a mom to a nearly two-year-old version of me (send help), I don’t have a lot of free time, and the time I do have, truthfully, I don’t want to be posting things. I want to play around with this tool a bit more and pitch it to my mom for full access!!

Photo by Scott Webb on Pexels.com

Now for the juicy stuff. Where do I get the info?

I personally love msn.com. It has all the stuff I’m curious about, from the essential things like the news to the most haunted spot in Canada or the top-rated flavour of cupcake. I love it all, and I find that MSN is like a one-stop-shop.

Next would have to Google News. I use Google for everything, from Chrome to Gmail, so the ability to open my internet and have access is super handy. I also like that it gives me various sources of news, easy to follow and read. It’s simple, no bells and whistles!!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

I’m a girl who likes to keep things simple, and I find that with all the tools and sources I’ve mentioned.

Personal Reflection & The Next Chapter

We learned that communication is vital through this course, whether it be digital through a social media platform, a blog or just by speaking. Are you trying to reach one person or many? What I didn’t realize is how storytelling has become somewhat of a lost art. We’ve become used to sharing things we see on Facebook, following influencers on Instagram, but not knowing who the person truly is.

My grandpa loved to tell stories around a fire, and it wasn’t until he died that I realized how special they were and what I wouldn’t give for one more day of his stories. Although it is a lost art to many, I think that it could make a comeback with what I’ve learned on this course! I didn’t understand how much of an impact a blog could be until having to write 7 of them throughout this course. Until this course, I never really paid attention to blogs, but anything with a bold title and, truthfully, a picture or two will keep my attention. However, if it seems to go on forever, I have difficulty staying focused and will lose interest. So we have to find that happy medium.

With what I’ve learned on this course, my mom and I are talking about starting a blog for her business with information on how to change a hearing aid battery yourself (many come in from a fair distance for help), to articles she posts in the local paper, we can mirror them on a digital platform. The options are endless, and now I have a better idea of reaching a larger audience while catering to the various ages of my mom’s clients.

I am certainly looking forward to the next course, to expand that knowledge and see where it take us!

What is your favourite customer story?

I have been in the military for 11.5 years. I have had some pretty remarkable experiences, joined the Naval Boarding Party, became a medical first responder and meeting the Queen while being a member of her Guard of Honour in 2010 for the Navy’s 100th centennial. And while that was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, there is one that trumps that.

I’m the last one in focus at the end

I grew up in Alberta, where there’s no ocean, so many people are unaware that Canada has a Navy, when in face we have a West Coast and East Coast fleet. While there is a Naval reserve unit (part-time), most Albertans are used to seeing members of the Army and Air Force. I’ve been asked on numerous occasions, “why did you join the Navy when Alberta has no oceans?” To answer this question is quite simple, I was in Sea Cadets, and truthfully it made the most sense at the time!

Conducting a Naval Boarding while at Sea

Flash forward to November 2016, and my husband and I are both posted from Victoria, BC, to Ottawa, ON. Home of the West Coast Fleet to home of National Defence Headquarters. It was a big move followed by a big year as we celebrated Canada turning 150 years old, so people from all over flooded to Ottawa to celebrate in our nation’s capital. While grabbing a coffee one day at work, in my uniform, I noticed an elderly man watching me, and I could tell he was trying to figure out what my uniform was. It happens all the time, so it was nothing new, but when he saw that I noticed him, he came over and asked and was surprised when I said Navy as he was used to seeing “the green” being near an army base. He mentioned that I was young to have joined and when we got talking, I mentioned being from Alberta, and he was thrilled.

It turns out he was from Edmonton, which is where I was born and that he was in town with his family, including his young granddaughter, for the celebrations. What happened next will forever be a cherished memory. He asked if his family could meet me, especially his granddaughter, who was no older than 4. I could tell she wasn’t sure what to think, so I figured I would get down to her level and to my surprise, she wanted to sit on my knee. We talked for a few minutes; I put my bowler (my hat) on her head and posed for a photo for her Granddad. When it was time to leave, I gave her the Navy lanyard off of my building pass and, of course, asked when she was older if she was going to join. But just as she was leaving, she turned around, thanked me and gave me the biggest hug, which meant more to me than she will ever know. Needless to say, my bosses had no issues giving me a new lanyard for my pass and a few Navy pins and coins for any tiny potential sailors in the future.

My last ship – HMCS Calgary

Small town size, big city knowledge.

At Maximum Hearing, we are that small-town clinic with big city quality service. Through decades of experience in the hearing field, we have created an environment that allows for dedicated and intimate service to our clients. Our team strives to make the client’s experience memorable and welcoming from the minute they walk in the door. You will walk through our doors and be greeted with a friendly greeting from a local member of the community. Community members are welcomed in our clinics at any time to ask their questions. One perk of visiting our clinics before receiving excellent service is the coffee is always hot.

When we moved away from working at large city clinics, one of our goals was to integrate and contribute to our new community. We did that by getting involved in the community board, provide donations to the local golf course, which was recovering from the loss of their clubhouse and sponsored a member of the RCMP musical ride. Before we arrived in the county, the service that was provided by a large competitor was few and far between, and sometimes the county would go months without a practitioner in the area. When we arrived, we gave the county an immediate response to a much-needed service. The demographic of the areas we provided service are wide-ranging from young families to multi-generational farms to retirees. Being independently owned and operated, the most significant review that we get is our ability to provide personalized care for every single one of our client’s needs.

B2C Case Study: LUSH Cosmetics

Lush Cosmetics is well known for its colourful bath bombs, shampoo bars, and yummy-smelling soaps. They are also known for being environmentally friendly with reusable pots, which you can return five and receive a free face mask, while they then send the pots back to their recycler to make new ones! They are incredibly passionate about fighting against animal testing and ensuring everything is 100% vegetarian. While I am not a vegetarian, I love their products for the scents and the all-natural products they use as I have sensitive skin, and I’ve never had an issue. I also now use their “Dream Cream” on my daughter, who is 17 months and suffers from mild eczema, and it leaves her skin so soft.

They have a significant following on social media, with their North American Instagram having 4.1 million followers and their Facebook page with 1.2 million likes. However, their U.K social media has diminished as they were quoted as saying, “We are tired of fighting with algorithms, and we do not want to pay to appear in your newsfeed.” Still, their North American channels will not be going anywhere. Their Instagram community is active not only from the company itself but with the hashtag #LushCosmetics.

They use their social media as a colourful way to promote their products by using fun images, writing facts about the company and their approach to improving the environment. They also advocate for numerous movements worldwide, such as #WorldWaterDay, which took place on March 22nd. They publically called out the current Federal Government for not upholding their promise to end all drinking water advisories for First Nations communities.

As someone who uses their products, I think they are doing what they set out to do by standing by their products and beliefs, and while I don’t get behind the political side of it as it isn’t my style, many do, and I can appreciate what they are trying to achieve. They are certainly active on their social media channels with at least one post a day, and after looking at multiple posts of theirs, they are being shared from their followers, which of course broadens their reach that much more.

Have you ever used Lush products? If so, did you like it?