ALG-COM0014 Digital Communication, Post 5 – Personal Brand by Karen Cooper

ALG-COM0014 Digital Communication
Post 5 – Personal Brand by Karen Cooper
Instructor: Nelly Leonidis

For my fifth blog post in the online course, “Digital Communication,”  in Algonquin College’s Social Media Certificate part-time online program the assigned topic centers around describing my personal brand by answering the following questions:

What are the personal qualities and characteristics that set me apart from my design and photography competitors?

My artistic ability and talent are applied through a plethora of software skills and techniques in print, web design, and multimedia projects that evoke emotion with powerful imagery. What I do that is remarkable, measurable, distinguished, and distinctive in value, is that I pass along my knowledge to inspire students through software training to create their own projects, in addition, to designing, developing, and delivering creative projects for my clients.

What have I done lately to make myself stand out?

I’ve enrolled in social media courses at Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology to learn how to enhance my online presence through the art of social media and to understand how best to stay up to date with technology.

What would your colleagues say is my best trait?

Listening skills: I listen well so I can fully grasp what clients want to see, being open to change, hearing all criticism with an open mind, willing to change designs or photographs based on the needs or wants of a client.

Technologically apt: I’m enthusiastic and quick to learn new software programs, to incorporate them into my work. One of my favourite things to do is to learn new software techniques on Adobe TV, my favourite channels are; Photoshop, LightRoom, InDesign, Premiere, Fireworks, and Illustrator.

What do I do that I’m most proud of?

I’m most proud of my ability to relay what I see in my mind’s eye into digital imagery, thanks to my education in photography, journalism, multimedia design, and social media at Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology.


B2C Case Study, ALG-COM0014 Digital Communication

ALG-COM0014 Digital Communication
Post 4 – B2C Case Study by Karen Cooper
Instructor: Nelly Leonidis

For my fourth blog post in the online course, “Digital Communication,” in Algonquin College’s Social Media Certificate part-time online program the assigned topic centers around observing an example of my choice of a B2C business who is engaging with its audience online, how the company is using social media – the quality of their online interactions and whether or not their approach is working.

What is B2C?

“B2C, or business-to-consumer, is the type of commerce transaction in which businesses sell products or services to consumers.”

What is a B2C transaction?

“The nature of the B2C transaction revolves around the need to provide easy access to online accounts. With online retailing, a client will create a customer account with an online store or service, then be free to browse through the product and service offerings, selecting desirable items.”

I chose Skinny Bee Tea as my choice of a B2C business.

Skinny Bee Tea is a top quality detox tea B2C Californian based company that was started in 2014 by a husband and wife team, Matt and Kristin, whose mission is to sell organic tea and to deliver results for customers by promoting educational information for healthy and happy living.

Skinny Bee Tea engages with its audience online through its shop, blog, and website where they provide information on exercise and nutrition plans.

How is Skinny Bee Tea using social media?

Skinny Bee Tea‘s online social media presence includes:

The quality of Skinny Bee Tea‘s online interactions are engaging with their audience and informative about how their detox tea helps the body’s detoxifying organs naturally.

Whether or not Skinny Bee Tea‘s approach is working?

In just under one year, Skinny Bee Tea has grown in volumes that I have no doubt will continue to thrive. Its product and company value their consumer’s health and well-being – it’s a tasty tea!


What is B2C by Elaine J. Hom, Business News Daily Contributor

What is a B2C Transaction?

Marketing for B2B vs. B2C – Similar but Different, Posted in Social Media Marketing by Debra Murphy

Skinny Bee Tea

Target Audiences, ALG-COM0014 Digital Communication

ALG-COM0014 Digital Communication
Post 3 – Target Audiences by Karen Cooper
Instructor: Nelly Leonidis

For my third blog post in the online course, “Digital Communication,” of Algonquin College’s  Social Media Certificate part-time online program the assigned topic centers around researching the target audience for Cooper Photography & Design to reflect on the characteristics of its audience and to describe some of the ways that could be effective in communicating with this audience via tools and social media strategies.

To understand Cooper Photography & Design‘s audience from an analytical perspective, I logged into Google Analytics; to see the number of its active users through analysis to appreciate what the user retention rate was; its demographics related to the age, gender, language, and the location of its users; the behaviour of new versus returning users: viewing their frequency, recency, and engagement on the site; and also viewing what technology accessed the site from which Internet browsers were used most often to what service providers were the most popular to access the site.

A great training tool for Google Analytics is the Google Analytics Academy to improve analytics skills with free online courses from Google.

Karen Cooper

Why is the above analytical information of any importance to your business online or social media strategy?

Researching information about your target audience answers the question of who is already using your products and services and how this information gives you an idea of who the potential people are that you’d like to bring to your site.

Outside of Google Analytics, to research what people who are interested in photography and design want to see, I also use tools like:

  • Twitter to research target communities
  • Hootsuite to measure my impact with social media analytics
  • TweetDeck to track build and organize custom timelines
  • Google Trends to identify the kinds of things people in my target audience are searching for
  • Google Alerts to receive emails or notifications when specific keywords come up in new web content
  • Feedly to subscribe to RSS feeds based on keywords
  • Facebook to research groups and pages to keep track of news and trends

Wikipedia also offers up a complete list of Twitter services and applications.

And, to document the findings of my research, I use Evernote because it works on all devices.

ALG-COM0014 Digital Communication, Post 2 – Storytelling and Communication Styles by Karen Cooper

ALG-COM0014 Digital Communication
Post 2 – Storytelling and Communication Styles by Karen Cooper
Instructor: Nelly Leonidis

Digital Communication

For my second blog post in the online course, “Digital Communication,” in Algonquin College’s Social Media Certificate part-time online program, the assigned topic is to describe what I’ve learned this week about storytelling, communication styles, and encouraging interaction with my audience as a digital storyteller.

What have I learned about digital storytelling this week?

#1: One of the most effective ways of retaining an online audience is through the clarity and conciseness of Web style writing.  As defined by Wikipedia, a description of the difference between writing for online and print content:

“Writing online is very different from composing and constructing content for printed materials. Web users tend to scan text instead of reading it closely, skipping what they perceive to be unnecessary information, and hunting for what they regard as most relevant. It is estimated that seventy-nine percent of users scan web content. It is also reported that it takes twenty-five percent more time to scan content online compared to print content. Web content writers must have the skills to insert paragraphs and headlines containing keywords for search engine optimization, as well as to make sure their composition is clear, so that they will be able to reach their target market.”

#2: Grammar, spelling, and punctuation affect credibility and professionalism. There are a number of great resources available online to assist grammar and punctuation issues, my favourite is Grammarly because the standard version is free, accurate, and it works well inside of Microsoft Word®, Outlook™, WordPress, and online via an Internet browser extension.

Web Style Writing

What have I learned about communication styles and encouraging interaction with my audience?

#1: An active voice in web style writing is more effective than a passive voice because the writing is easier to understand, the detail keeps the reader absorbed, and the content is more precise.

For example,

Passive Voice: “We were invited by the Photographer to attend her art exhibition.”

Active Voice: “The Photographer invited us to attend her art exhibition.”

Art Exhibition

#2: Practice makes perfect. As Winston Churchill said, “Never, never, never give up.”

#3: Consider the experience you’d like to project to your audience. Are you entertaining readers? Inspiring? Educating? What action do you want readers to take? Is there an opportunity for a two way social media conversation by asking readers a question?

#4: “Don’t Bury the Lead!” Hook your readers with the most important information first. Follow tips from the Canadian Press Style Guide online – it provides effective solutions for web style writing.

In conclusion, what I’ve learned this week about storytelling, communication styles, and encouraging interaction with my audience as a digital storyteller is to continue to read as much as possible online, to learn from the experts in the field.


ALG-COM0014-842-S15: JUL – Digital Communication – What I Did On My Staycation By Karen Cooper

What I Did On My Staycation By Karen Cooper
Instructor: Nelly Leonidis

Relax. Rejuvenate. Refresh.

For my first blog post in Digital Communication (ALG-COM0014) my Instructor Nelly Leonidis assigned a 300 to 500 word blog post on, “What I Did on My Vacation,” to share where I went, what I did, and any interesting experiences I may have had along the way on my last vacation. I chose to share where I went, what I did on, and some of the interesting experiences from my last ‘staycation.’

A staycation as defined by Google is, “a vacation spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.” The ‘staycation’ is a good solution for people on a tight budget because it allows you the freedom to enjoy your time without the concern of out of town travel costs.

Where does one begin researching things to do for a summer staycation in Ottawa?

An Internet search provided many ideas for what to do on my staycation which led to my enjoyment of the following activities:

  • My favourite summer festivals were listed on the Ottawa Festivals website calendar
  • Facebook advertised an event to see a free Craig Cardiff show at Westfest
  • Through Frugal Fun Ottawa, I learned that every Thursday evening, a large majority of the museums in the National Capital Region offer free admission to the public (minus the special exhibits) from 5pm to 8pm which enabled a visit to the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of Nature
  • Britannia Beach, located in the west end of Ottawa, offered a good walk out onto its piers where a friend and I found the perfect place to blow bubbles that drifted beautifully across the beach on a windy day. $3 for a bubble blowing sword kit from Dollarama provided over an hour of entertainment as we watched bubbles hover around the sky and then crash down to the sandy beach
  • Not far off from Britannia Beach is a bird sanctuary in the Britannia Conservation Area that surrounds Mud Lake. As a nature and wildlife Photographer, I visited Mud Lake as often as possible to enjoy a good trek on its nature trail and to take photos
  • A tour around the Rideau Hall grounds (open from 8:00 a.m. to one hour before sunset) offered a great location for a picnic lunch
  • And lastly, a visit to Maplelawn Garden located just off of Richmond Road in the heart of Westboro to take macrophotography shots of the flowers couldn’t be resisted now that all the flowers are in bloom…

Karen Cooper

In conclusion, if asked, would I repeat my summer staycation next year? The answer would be yes! Ottawa provides such beauty with its natural surroundings, events, and culture that it would be impossible for me not to want to enjoy another staycation in the National Capital Region of Canada again.

Have a great day,

COM0015 – Blog #1: Listening Tools & News Sources

For my first blog post in the online course, “Applied Social Media in Business,”  in Algonquin College’s  Social Media Certificate part-time online program the assigned topic centers around the question of what my two favourite social media trending listening and monitoring tools are, and where I find my sources of news and updates online of interest to me, as assigned by my Instructor Leanna Labelle.

My favourite social media trends listening and monitoring tools are Google Analytics and Klout.

I use Google Analytics software to monitor my portfolio website and my Facebook Artist Page for Cooper Photography & Design Services. The advantages of using Google Analytics to utilize social media trend listening and to monitor data online for business describe some of the many reasons I find this resource of good use:

The access to website and social media analytical data from Google Analytics is incredible. For example, you’re able to find out how your visitors locate your website, with what the type of device they’re using do so, or just to find out information in general about visitor segmentation, and many, more important details related to growth of a website or a social media page.

Google Analytics educates its users with the data required to fine tune the marketing of their website or social media page(s) based on the information it provides which enables a Google Analytics user to attract a specific audience and to enhance their online presence.

My second favourite tool is Klout to monitor and to listen to social media trends. One of Klout’s purposes is to show an influence score of a user based on their activities connected to their social media profile(s).

Klout’s social media monitoring information provides great insight into what works and what doesn’t work online in social media marketing campaigns. These are some of the advantages of using Klout for social media trend listening and as a monitoring tool:

  • Klout is completely free of charge, this is how you register online 
  • Klout is available in an app software version for Android and Apple as well as Klout’s regular website
  • Klout finds the influencers in your audience who advocate for your brand, who in effect enable you to further customize your online presence to share more relevant information within your online community

For example, Klout measures my Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instragram, Google +, and YouTube, to calculate my Klout score to make me aware of the effect of my social media presence, and to enable others interested in following my digital path to view my social media standings. I would recommend Klout to users interested in learning more about their social media influence, to fully see the effect their social media marketing has on their business.

My choice of sources for news and updates that are of interest to me are Alltop and Hongkiat.

Alltop features all the top headlines from popular topics around the web. It classes itself as the “online magazine rack” of the web.

Hong Kiat is a design weblog for designers, bloggers, and tech users that covers; useful tools, tutorials, tips, and inspirational artworks. All I can say in regard to Hongkiat’s posts are that I’ve never been disappointed! I subscribe via email so I never miss a post.

Images of Cooper

What have social media trending listening and monitoring tools taught me?

As a Photo Contributor for iStock by Getty Images and also a Stock Photographer for Adobe iStock, I recently learned through the analytical reports within each stock photography company’s analytics software that the photo sales from my nature and wildlife photography aren’t as high as the profits from the sales of my architectural photography.

For years, I’d assumed that uploading images of my nature treks in and around the National Capital Region of Canada was best because these images seem to gain the most attention from my social media audience but the numbers from the analytical reports don’t lie. I was wrong to assume that just because nature and wildlife photography is popular with my social media audience that it would hold the same truth to my iStock and Adobe Stock subscribers.


Photography by Karen Cooper
All Rights Reserved.

What I learned from the results of analytical reports is it’s time for me to change my focus to photograph more architectural elements rather than nature and wildlife to increase photography sales online. At the end of the day, the moral of my story is that information is powerful and to never underestimate the strength of analytical software.

Office Building

Photography by Karen Cooper
All right reserved.