Applied Social Media for Business – Blog Post #4 – Out of the Box – Stacey Ingrey

get-out-of-the-boxWith the social media marketing world literally changing every second, there are tons of new applications that can help manage your existing social media accounts. There also tons of new apps to launch new accounts from. I have written before on the topic of SnapChat and my belief in its importance in connecting with the 15-25 year old crowd. Reaching to this group via this app as news sources, advertisement, and product launches is so incredibly important. These groups are NOT using Facebook in the way thirty and forty year olds are. So, as an application with a future, I think SnapChat is the way to go.

But what about managing your social media accounts? These accounts are meant to expand your business. What happens when you simply don’t have the time to manage them as quickly and seamlessly as you would like? The following are some awesome applications that can help you manage your social media accounts.

1.Buffer: Buffer has the ability to schedule your social media posts or even better, update for you! What a great idea for your booming business!

2.Nutshell Mail: Nutshell Mail sends you a daily list of the social media activity important to your business that is going on around you in real time!

3.Prezly: Prezly helps you distribute your press releases!

4.Social Engage: This one is awesome! You can use this application to find out your viewers demographics! This makes creating a target audience strategy a little less difficult!

These are only a few of the great new applications available to help with your social media marketing needs. It seems overwhelming as there are so many to choose from, so baby steps and research are the way to go before diving into something so expansive! That is why #4, Social Engage is my favourite as one of the first steps after creating your site! I am excited to try it myself in the next few months! I’ll touch base and let you know how it worked out for me!

https://buffer.com

https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/nutshellmail#/entity

http://socialengage.io/jv/

https://www.prezly.com

Photo Credit:http://annroth.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/get-out-of-the-box.jpeg

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Applied Social Media for Business – COM0015 – Blog Post #3 – Stacey Ingrey

It seems completely unrealistic to even graspNetworking the concept of networking in the future. I can’t even begin to imagine what channels and platforms we will have to do so. Social media has drastically changed the way we communicate in the last decade and with it being so young and grown so quickly, who knows where it will end up.

As an individual and privately employed music teacher, personal connections play a very large role in my networking and the growth of my business. However, I don’t have forty hours to my day and these connections can take time! I remember when, I used to rush home from one job to teach a student, only to find out they had cancelled via land line voicemail. It made for a waste of so much time. Now, I can receive and respond to texts and emails at any point throughout my day. This makes scheduling that much easier.

It is also a huge help in supporting colleagues I cannot make it out to cheer in person. I can share their events on Facebook and Twitter as well as contact information. As an avid social media user I am ready to take it to the next step.

I am hoping to develop a website and Facebook page, including testimonials from former and current students, fees, my education and background and why I am the right fit for the client. My hopes are to have this completed by mid-August, in order to launch before the new school season but not too early as people are in holiday mode most of the summer. I am hoping to double my studio size by January. This was not possible before as my son was young and needed my availability.

I am excited to expand and welcome this “new” venture! What about you? What are your goals for over the next six to twelve months?

Photo Credit:https://www.brella.io/app/uploads/2016/05/Networking.jpg

 

COM0014 Blog Post #7 Personal Reflection – Stacey Ingrey

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The channels we use for storytelling have changed over the centuries especially with the introduction of social media. A story can be heard around the world in a matter of seconds but the need for it  remains very much the same. The desire to hear about another’s experience, the need to tell our own story, these are part of the organic human experience. We are curious animals. We want to know the person telling the story is someone we can relate to or is so fantastical it seems completely unbelievable. This is the beauty of it all. With billions of people on this planet, it seems unimaginable that we have and will all live a unique story. This is why story telling is so important when it comes to introducing out personal brand to the world. Our unique story is one in a billion and will no doubt have something to offer at the very least, one person.

The importance of storytelling when developing our personal brand means we are showing the world what we do best and how we got here. Why our love and passion or knowledge and abilities have helped develop us into who we are today. Our story is what we know best. Sometimes, it seems difficult at first to look back on ourselves and think of our story as part of our brand. It takes some deep analysis of us and this isn’t always easy. But, each step we took in the past is a view into how we got here and where we are headed. Our personal stories are our movie, they are our mark on this world. Everyone has a story and telling it, in whatever capacity, has the ability to create something even more beautiful in the future.

Blog Post #6 COM0014 – Do people know your story? – Stacey Ingrey

Most of my clients know my story. I spend a significant amount of time being open and honest and communicating back and forth during my time with them each week. I hope that I am able to offer not only my guidance but my support during their time with me. I think the greatest part about my job is watching kids grow into successful and happy adults. I consider myself lucky to be able to watch this growth over time.

Parents, especially at this time of year, often wonder what to “buy” for their kids’ teachers. I mean it from the bottom of my heart when I say, we really don’t want you to buy us anything, we truly do love homemade cards. In fact, after many studio purges, I have yet to let go of a heart felt card! I keep them all and re-read them once in a while. It reminds me of all of the wonderful moments, their accomplishments and struggles, things they have overcome. Reading these memories, allows you to bury any minor regret you may have and remember, you, I, did a good job. These are my customer stories, I keep them to myself.

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Saying goodbye to two of my girls many moons ago! We are still in touch!

I think my greatest fear would be for the love of music study to become obsolete, however, I can’t ever imagine that happening. When I wave goodbye to graduates at the beginning of each summer, I always feel a little nauseous. I wonder, will I ever see a talent like that again? How will I ever fill those time slots? Will anyone want to study with me? But, it always works out and I am reminded of my philosophy. Every human has a gift. We have gifts within gifts. Strengths and weaknesses. It will all work out in the wash!

COM0014 Blog Post #5 Personal Brand Stacey Ingrey

S639_Treble_Clef_low__91705.1435715401.1280.1280I teach voice and theory to some pretty awesome people and I’m good at it. Teaching is an interesting thing. There are always the critics who say “those who don’t do, teach.”. This may be true for many but not for me. When I was younger, I loved everything that was performance. My first big musical was The Sound of Music. I was so incredibly devastated when it ended, that my parents purchased all of my costumes. My mom, still has them today. I knew I wanted to keep singing. I loved all of it, pop, musical theatre and jazz. After performing and winning in quite a few competitions, the adjudicators approached my parents and mentioned, it may be time for me to be classically and properly trained. And so, began my love of classical music. I continued to perform in musicals and pop performances but I was beginning to adore classical and what my voice could do when used in a safe an healthy way.

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My dad and I both adored opera singer Maria Callas

Classical is much like sport, in that you compete at regional, provincial, national and then international competitions. It can be lonely and gruelling and by the age of twenty two after many successes, I decided my true love was teaching the kids I had been working with for last four years. My dad passed away when I was that age. It was an odd time, I noticed I wasn’t happy with the way I was being taught. It felt detached, as though the need to win everything was more important than taking time to recover and figure things out without my dad, my rock and my biggest fan. I decided, right then and there, that my teaching style would be different (I think it already was). I decided the student’s health would always come first. Both mentally and physically. I understood, they needed me as I had so needed my teachers when they weren’t there for me.

This is why I’m great at what I do. At the end of the day, I want my students to have long lasting success in whatever field they may choose. I have high standards but I’m also very understanding of the outside pressures they face everyday. That’s what I’m most proud of. My ability to not make it about me but to really care for their all around success.

Because I am a good listener, I have mastered the art of hearing adjudicators and opinions of others. I listen to the voice, often without looking at the singer and can tell what their body is doing without needing a visual. This is a great trick. I “catch” them all the time. Ha! It doesn’t take long for me to find some little thing to help them improve immediately. Once you have trust, you can do so many wonderful things! My greatest joy, is watching my students’ eyes light up when something spectacular comes out their mouth! It’s really something!

I make sure I am never too tired to make their lesson fun! I care enough to ask questions about their day, this gives me a good gage on how far we can push during a particular lesson. My results show this! My students have had tons of success despite keeping my studio on the smaller side.

My colleagues know me as a fair person. One that has some super talented students but is kind to all of the teachers. My students are nice to one another as I have a zero gossip policy! There are some awesome teachers out there and we support each other all of the time.

I consider myself so, so lucky to spend time watching people grow each day. It’s the best “job” in the world. One I’m great at!

What do you do for a living? Do you have job that suits you to a tee? Love to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Post #2 COM0015 Strong and Weak Organizations

91c5b5_f4e8df360807459ab7d083b75ce198e5Have you heard of TedTalks? If not, you are alone! TedTalks is a nonprofit organization. Talks are presented on any subject, from science and technology, religion, race and global issues. The talks are typically under twenty minutes and are available in over one hundred languages! A few years ago, I hadn’t even heard of them and now, one of my friends has one (click here)! TedTalks are part of every dinner party and water cooler conversation. Here’s why. Ted understood that global interest was key. The web is the place to accomplish that. All Ted talks are easy to share and have been over 800,000,000 times! They realized very quickly that smart phones played a huge role in their sharing so they kept the videos powerful, quick and easy to view on a telephone screen. TedTalks has 7.5 million Twitter followers and 9,269,053 Facebook followers. It has the unique ability to stay fresh as there is ALWAYS something to talk about! TedTalks are great listeners, whatever is abuzz around the world, Ted will develop said topic and produce interesting content viewers are keen to watch. As mentioned Ted is a non-profit and makes most of its revenue from conferences held around the world with excitement kept alive by their online presence and easy share policy.

Although I was not a fan of the Ice Bucket Challenge, I would be lying if I said I didn’t admire its social media campaign. I’m sure everyone has heard about it but here’s a link if you haven’t (Ice Bucket Challenge). The challenge blew up across social media, with celebrities like Oprah Winfrey (watch video here), Adam Levine and Justin Timberlake taking part. In fact I think everyone and their dog posted at least one Ice Bucket Challenge video. Videos were shared across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and made the old school news hundreds if not thousands of times. The Ice Bucket challenge was quick and easy to do, had shock value, was “fun” and despite a few critics, succeeded in raising $100 million towards ALS research. A 3,500% increase from the year before! That my friends, is a successful campaign resulting in a successful organization with the possibility of changing many lives for the better.

Apple, I’m sad to say is a company that is not taking advantage of a social media campaign for their products. I cannot remember the last time I saw anything Apple related on Instagram, Facebook, SnapChat or Twitter. I am a huge Apple fan. I own an iPhone, my son has an iPhone and I am typing this blog from my beautiful MacBook Pro.Apple-iphone However, Apple has remained quiet over social media platforms. It seems to have worked in the past but sales are down for the first time in 2016 making it the first of its kind since 2003. There are many contributing factors such as slower products and the inability to game or modify, however, perhaps their lack of social media listening has a part to play. What harm could a more active presence on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter do? This is the way of marketing for 2016 and beyond. An engaged audience has a massive influence on your organization’s sales and as an Apple fan, I would hope to see the company flourish.

What social media campaigns are you most inspired by? Which ones need a helping hand? Would love to hear you thoughts!

http://mashable.com/2016/04/26/apple-earnings-quarter-two/#GqwvZ4PBqgq3

Elia Saikaly Ted Talks

https://www.socialfresh.com/ted-social-media/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_Bucket_Challenge

 

B2B Case Study ONYA BABY COM0014 Blog Post #4 Stacey Ingrey

fSxmi3OEONYA baby is a B2C company who seems to be doing everything right (check out their website, it’s beautiful). I’m lucky to know the creator and designer well. She also happens to be in charge of their social media platforms and is doing an incredible job. A great product is the first step to success but there are many ways to use social media in the hopes of highlighting how great your product is and that is where ONYA delivers. Their hashtag #wearthemonya is simple, has the company name in the title and its purpose. The ONYA Baby Facebook page includes tips and tricks (my personal favourite), testimonials, pictures of real people wearing their ONYAs, activity ideas to do with your ONYA and even style advice for you and your ONYA. keep-cool-in-baby-carrier67fe5ecdc9585500360d4028502e6b05 They share blogs and ask the reader what their opinion is on the subject without imposing their ideas or beliefs. ONYA baby is an environmentally conscious and family owned business, titles they are proud to wear. I would like to point out, when you make a comment on the page, the owner responds to you personally, both  directly and publicly. That type of engagement does not happen often and really makes ONYA stand out. ONYA baby has 32, 726 Facebook followers and 8, 660 Twitter followers. Their Facebook and Twitter pages are updated daily. They aren’t slowing down and even though my ten year old is way past the baby wearing stage, I am always excited to see what they post.

Have you used an ONYA? Are there any family owned businesses you can think of with fantastic websites or social media presence? Let me know!

http://onyababy.com

COM0014 Blog #3 Stacey Ingrey – My Target Audience

93bebc86b1a363aaae22a4df149015a9I have been teaching singing lessons for what seems like forever. A private voice teacher is typically a coach of some sort. We build a solid relationship with our students that can last from the age of ten to when they leave for university. Some students stay forever. Our relationship is built on trust. I know all about what is going on in their lives, how they feel on a particular topic, who their crush is, who isn’t being super nice at school, performance anxieties etc. Most of the time, long after lessons have ended we continue to stay in touch via social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram. These relationships are important for both of us. They need and should know I truly care about them and it isn’t about the dollar. My business has been built from word of mouth, former or current students recommend my services to friends, family and colleagues.

Moms are household managers. I love dads but in my business, moms are typically the chauffeur, in charge of payment, the ones who book accompanist times, organize the schedule, email about updates and deal with all of the little things their child needs for success. M758It’s just the way it has been. Most of my students have been girls or women. I have taught many boys but there is still a stigma around boys and singing (ugh!). I am a member of a few local Facebook mom groups. I have yet to post my services but have commented on posts where moms have been asking about voice lessons. Without plugging myself, I typically inform them, the importance of finding a coach with experience, one who is registered and has a degree. Vocal health is my number one priority. You wouldn’t go to a doctor who had zero training, you wouldn’t even go to a yoga instructor who had never learned what it takes to be one. Singing seems to be different, many uninformed parents send their children to people without any training what so ever. Often, once I have mentioned the importance of choosing a registered teacher I am asked questions and this has led to new students. When moms become empty nesters, they are so used to having been a chauffeur, a cook, a cleaner, a support person and they find themselves a little lost. I’m pleased to say some of my very best students have been moms of former students. How much fun is it to watch someone grow as a musician and find a passion later on in life?

I would have to say my target audience are girls aged ten to eighteen. Singing lessons are not cheap. It is crucial to let parents know about the potential costs up front. Exams, rehearsals with accompanists and competitions add to those costs. Typically the parents of my students are educated and studied music as a child themselves. They understand the importance of music study. They are middle to upper class. On that note, I think it is sad that only a specific demographic can afford to enjoy high end music lessons or competitive sport. (A topic for another post but I have included an interesting article here on the subject.)

As teaching lessons typically take place in the evening, I have reduced my studio in order to work around my son’s busy swim and homework schedule. I am looking forward to building it back up as he gets older. Here are some of the tools I will be using to do so. Creating a Facebook business profile page, offering Skype lessons (enabling me to teach outside of my time zone), building a website and distributing business cards. That is my summer project, once I complete this program.

What about you? What do you look for when looking for a private music teacher? What amount of time do you think is appropriate for your child to commit to weekly study? What is your experience with music lessons?

I have attached some links to help you find the perfect teacher for your child (in case you’re interested)!

ORMTA  Ontario Registered Music Teachers’ Association

CFMTA Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association

http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/may/17/cuts-to-music-education-funding-classical

COM0014 Blog #2 Grieving Online – Stacey Ingrey

673d02bf4315a8e2729cb0c5d86b89ffMy friend lost her baby. He was born very ill. They did not know he was going to be so sick. For months, she posted pictures of her beautiful, pregnant, happy, smiling self. She is a step mom to two beautiful children. She is a great mother. Her baby died quickly. She mourns publicly and I can’t thank her enough.

It’s so sad really. In the “olden” days (like yesterday), this would be a private matter but it isn’t. I first heard of the news when her husband tagged her in a post of them and their son on the day he died. I cried and cried even though I haven’t seen her in years. For days, I couldn’t stop thinking about her. Since that day, she has openly posted her feelings. Moments of happiness, torture, pictures of her beautiful son, her step children, her husband and her reality. She decided to start a blog. I read all of her posts. The most heartbreaking was this weekend when she posted a picture of herself crying, saying she would be laughing in two minutes and she was okay.

In a world where storytelling needs an audience, requires deep thought into each sentence and the ability to sell your story, I couldn’t help (while reading the course content) but think that a really good captivating story, is one that is organic. One that is real, honest and isn’t searching for anything other than self healing of some sort.

My friend lost her baby and I follow all of her blogs. I am not the only one. I follow, not because she is trying to be witty or smart, or “sell” her story. I follow them because she is real and I love that. Maybe if writers were a little more like my friend, our blogs would reach the audience that needs us, just like her blog and posts have helped me and many others.

I think of her everyday and I’m glad I do. I cherish every second with my son even more because for some reason, I am lucky. I think of the child I lost even more and know it’s okay to feel, it’s okay to mourn and it’s okay to love a person that isn’t here today because for some reason, I was unlucky. All thanks to my friend, I haven’t seen in years, who, everyday, tells her story honestly. Gimmick free.

If you know someone that is grieving or are grieving yourself, here is a link to a support group.

http://pailnetwork.ca/about-us/

COM0014 Blog Post #1 Our Family Vacation (Stacey Ingrey)

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Like many of us working, raising kids and going to school, vacation is a blissful break in what seems like the madness of our daily lives. We carefully plan so that everything from the flight, to the rooms, the beach, the activities and the food are as perfect as possible (whatever perfect means to us). Let’s be honest, taking a vacation can be a massive expenditure and we want to get our dollar’s worth. We cross our fingers and toes hoping the weather is at least mostly fantastic.

 

My dream had always been to take my son to the ocean and so, we took him to the Bahamas for the first time last year. It was incredible but the ocean was a little chilly. We made sure to find some warm ocean water for this year’s winter vacation.  We chose to go to Cuba, I know, I know but honestly, I had been a ton when I was younger and remembered the beaches as some of the most beautiful I had ever seen and swam in. Our priority was “BEACH”!! I wasn’t too worried about the food or the softness of the mattress, I wanted to spend every day diving in that ocean with my boy.

 

I searched and searched, and found, that despite some awful reviews, I was most attracted to an easy to use and consistent website. For an all inclusive search I can honestly say, the Sunwing website was hands down the easiest to navigate and the most consumer friendly. It was simple to compare rates from one resort to another and easy to check the least expensive time to travel to specific resorts. It turned out the cheapest time to travel was anywhere between February 4th and 8th. Right before American reading week (as a family we weren’t interested in a drunken extravaganza) and the busyness of March break. The only potential glitch, according to my calculations (Ha!), would be the possibility of some chilly days. It was time to pray to the first world heavens for some sunny, clear sky days.

 

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Honeymoon!!!

I should also add, my husband and I are newly weds. Since we funded our entire wedding and really didn’t need or ask for any gifts, our wedding costs left us with a very small honeymoon/family vacation budget. We settled on Santa Maria, Cuba, a small island off of Cuba. I searched reviews on Trip Advisor. The reviews are updated daily, a great way for the customer to listen and check up on situations currently being dealt with! I navigate the mid range comments. Some are so extreme one way or the other. The beach was consistently raved about even amongst the shady reviews. It did not disappoint! The ocean was warm and the weather was mostly gorgeous, despite an intense rain day we welcomed for some relief to our sunburns! It seems a little odd we would bring our son on our honeymoon but he is our heart and soul and we couldn’t imagine not sharing in all the fun with him.

I thought I would let you in a few of my trusty tips and tricks to a budget friendly all inclusive family vacation.

  1. Prioritize your must haves: When booking a cost effective trip, it is important to decide what you cannot go without. For me, it is always the beach. I spend all of my time there. Others may be foodies, so read up on reviews, if the food reviews are awful, keep searching. We are also fans of ocean views, we spend a little extra to make sure our mornings are as sunny as our afternoons. This is important, if you are trying to be cost effective, you’ll have to make some sacrifices.
  2. Check departure dates and arrival times before booking!: This can make or break your vacation. Many of the flights leaving Canada, leave at standard daily times that are consistent each week. Who wants to end an amazing vacation by checking out at 11am, spending the day on the beach and then sitting in the lobby until midnight? Not a great way to end your week! We always book early flights. We like to arrive early enough in the day to enjoy it and fly home first thing in the morning. Showered, organized, awake and ready to go. We get home with enough time to do our laundry and get back into our routine!
  3. Take everything with a grain of salt: Remember, this is your hard earned money but we aren’t millionaires. Enjoy everything for what it is. The resort may not be Trump Tower but if it is clean and the staff is friendly, sit back, relax and remember, you make your vacation. Breathe, sit by the pool, grab a cold drink, read a book and watch your kids have a beautiful experience.
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A treasured moment!

My son made tons of new friends, some actually live in our home town! We had plenty of time on the beautiful beach. We swam together every day and it was an absolute dream come true. It wasn’t a fancy vacation but it was perfect for us. It was a beautiful break from the cold, the busy work day, school and that same old daily grind. Although avid skiers, a warm break in the middle of a cold winter is totally what this “doctor” ordered for her family. We started a new family tradition last year and can’t wait to plan next year’s.

What was your favourite/budget friendly vacation spot? Do you have any suggestions you may want to share wth me? Would love to hear some new tips in the comments below!

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My baby’s first foam party!

 

https://www.tripadvisor.ca

http://www.cayosantamaria.info/index.html

http://www.sunwing.ca