COM0015 Blog #2 – The Good & The Bad

Two companies that have great social media presences that stand out to me are Dove and Airbnb. These two companies both have generated a lot of followers on their social media accounts by using custom hashtags for their customers/followers to use.

Dove uses the hashtags #mybeautymyway and #realbeauty for their posts and encourages users to use them in their pictures or posts as well. Dove has run a lot of successful campaigns through social media by using their custom hashtags and encouraging their followers to post photos that fit the campaign and use the hashtag along with it.

Airbnb has done similar social media marketing by using the custom hashtag #livethere in their posts to promote living like a local which is the purpose and meaning of the company. Airbnb is especially known for their Instagram page because aside from posting food images travel images are the second use of Instagram. Airbnb posts incredible photos from all over the world to draw attention to the importance of living like a local as opposed to staying in a hotel.

One company that might surprise you with their lack of social media marketing use is Apple. Despite not having a Facebook page or Twitter account Apple is one of the most successful companies out there. But how much more successful could they be with social media marketing? I think Apple could really benefit from social media marketing and could really help boost their already sky-rocketing sales. Some first steps I think Apple should take is creating an Instagram page where they can post images of their products and new upcoming products. Another great use of social media for Apple would be a Twitter account where they could respond to customer tweets about their products whether that be what’s the upcoming launch date or helping users with issues they may be having.

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COM0015 Blog #1 – These are a few of my favourite things

My two favourite social media listening/monitoring tools are Google Analytics and Hootsuite. The reason I love and use Google Analytics is because it is a free online tool that is great for tracking analytics for your personal website. I myself have a personal website I use for business and I love being able to see how many people visit my website daily and what content they are looking at. I like being able to know how they got to my website and what type of device they are viewing it off of. Google Analytics is also very useful for SEO optimization. The second online tool I use is Hootsuite, this website is great because it covers lots of different social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and WordPress. You can collaborate with other team members and delegate tasks to others. This is a great site for someone like me because as a graphic designer we are always outsourcing or collaborating with others so having one platform to work under is beneficial.

My two favourite news sources online are Twitter and Facebook. I read through my Twitter feed every morning as soon as I wake up like the newspaper. For me the best thing about Twitter is I am able to follow specific accounts that I care about receiving updates from, such as the local news station for my town so I can get current and relative news updates to my location. I follow accounts based off my location so I am up to date with latest trends in my area. I also use Facebook as a source of news and updates because I enjoy reading articles about things that are happening in my area and other places. One thing I like about Facebook as a news source is you can check the trending topics and receive all kinds of updates around the world. I find I see more of a broader news source from Facebook because your friends share articles that you might not see otherwise.

COM0014 Blog #7 – What I Learned

Over the last couple week this course has taught me a lot about creating digital content and storytelling. I have learned a great deal about storytelling online; learning about clarity and conciseness, the importance of grammar, spelling and punctuation, using a passive vs. active voice in your writing. You should always begin writing with the end in mind, never bury the lead of your story and when writing use the inverted pyramid approach.

Target audience is another important piece of the puzzle that I learned a lot about. When assessing your target audience, the first step is to research the demographic and psychographic. You need to listen to clues about your audience and you need to get to know the community. After learning everything you can about your target audience, then you can assess how to properly write your content best for that audience.

A few other things I am taking away from this course is the difference between writing content for Business to Consumer (B2C) versus Business to Business (B2B) or Business to Government (B2G). I also learned which social media tools to use for each, for example the best tools for B2C are blogging, email marketing, Twitter, Facebook, and audio/video podcasting. The best tools for B2B are blogging, email marketing, Twitter, LinkedIn, Webinars and e-books and whitepapers.

I think the most important thing I learned from this course about creating digital content is the five steps to help you find stories inside your business. The five steps are Stop Editing, Get Out More, Just Tell It, Read Your Story and Sleep On It. These five steps will help you write the best stories you can for online.

COM0014 Blog #6 – Secret Wish

What is your secret wish for your business?

I currently work as a freelance graphic designer, with just a website and word of mouth to promote myself. I have received a few jobs here and there that have kept me busy but nothing steady so far. My wish for my business in the future would be to run and own an actual graphic design studio somewhere local that has steady business. I would love to be my own boss and have employees to help me with design projects. The design studio would be small, somewhere around 5-7 employees that are all close and young like me. Ideally our clients would be small to medium local business in which we could help grow and expand with our design services.

My design approach is always modern and fresh, I would love to have clients who are on board for a modern approach for their business as well. Being mainly a graphic design studio, I would love to take my knowledge of social media marketing and also provide those services as well for our clients. I would love to be in charge (who wouldn’t), but I would also like to be heavily involved in the projects as well and not just direct them.

This is a large wish that will take a lot of time and effort to achieve so in the meantime my wish for business is to increase the number of freelance jobs I am receiving and to better promote myself through social media and word of mouth!

COM0014 Blog #5 – Personal Brand

In my industry, personal brand is everything and you need a personal brand that sets you apart from everyone else because essentially you are all providing the same services. My personal brand is modern and clean and shows what I can offer clients which is a fresh modern twist to their own brand. I approach my brand and my clients the same way which is just being real and personable. I think remembering we are all people and treating everyone that way and just being open and real with people goes a long way. While still remaining semi-professional, I treat all my clients the way I would treat friends, skipping the formal greetings in emails and just replying normally is what I do. Not everyone will agree with my approach to running my personal brand but I know if I am requiring a service from someone I want them to be real with me and skip all this formal professional garbage.

My colleagues and clients would say my best traits are my organization and timely fashion. I am incredibly organized and always have been which is a great skill to have in any situation but especially when it comes to being a freelance designer with multiple clients and projects on the go… talk about files everywhere!! I pride myself in always responding to clients quickly and efficiently, I always complete my work on time and usually even before the due date which makes clients very happy. I tend to go above and beyond when it comes to working on a project for a client, I just want them to be happy with what they are getting from me. Personal brands and company brands are a big deal and can either make or break your company so I want to make sure I am providing my clients with something that will only further their business and make them happy.

COM0014 Blog #4 – Battle of the Scrubs

Frank Body is an online store that sells a range of coffee-based skincare products. They are heavily involved on social media and have a great online presence that helped them turn into a multi-million-dollar venue just after a few years. Frank Body has a blog called “The Daily Grind” that has interviews with inspirational women and tips on how to keep your skin in good shape.

One thing Frank Body did through social media to really captivate their clients was start a “battle of the scrubs” competition which took all four of their scrubs and use hashtags for each to encourage clients to create their own content to show support for which scrub they liked best. To boost encouragement and engagement even more they offered a years supply of their products to the winner which helped get people from all over the world involved.

Something that stands out to me about this campaign is all the content and posts are from the users, they weren’t the company putting out these posts as advertisements so you know the products are good because it is not a forced post, it is natural and relatable. This campaign adds in a fun twist by making it a competition, it gets people involved more than just asking them to post what they think just because.

COM0014 Blog #3 – Who Are They?

As a freelance graphic designer knowing my target audience is essential to gain new clients and to get the type of jobs I want. Although my target audience is somewhat broad it does target a certain crowd. The target audience for my graphic design business is both females and males, with a higher level of education, potentially business owners or entrepreneurs, single or married individuals that may not have a family due to a busy life of business.

My target audience are creative individuals that own their own business or have a side hustle/hobbies they want to promote such as a YouTube channel, online blog or make/sell their own products. My target audience is highly active on social media, they use it as a promotional space and a way to stay connected with their friends, family and their own target audience. They are middle to upper class and can afford to spend a little extra money on a designer to help further their business. These people are leaders and are business driven individuals that aspire to be on top.

Some way I can reach out and meet my target audience is by promoting my services on social media platforms, my target audience is trendy and up to date on social media, they are creative and reaching out and promoting myself on social media would be the best way to reach them. These are busy people who do not have a lot of time to search for a service they need, they want something fast and easy to find.

COM0014 Blog #2 – What’s Really Important

This week I read and learned a lot about communication styles and how to properly write for the web. Some of the most important information I took away from this lesson was that when creating content for the web you want to create content that takes people from an inspectional phase; which is when the reader is skimming your words and not absorbing any of the content, to an analytical phase; which is when the reader is engaged with your content and is absorbing what you have to say. Another important thing to remember when writing content for the web is to not bury the lead, try writing with the inverted pyramid approach which is starting with the most important information and ending with content that is relevant but not critical.

Some other things to know when creating content for the web is before writing make sure you have a clear end in mind, and make sure when writing the beginning, middle and end are clear and distinguished. A common mistake people make when writing is writing in a passive voice when they should be writing in an active voice; which is putting the subject in an active role.

A few more things to keep in mind when writing content for the web is as important as tone and clarity are when writing, remember that grammar, spelling and punctuation are equally important and should not be over looked. As almost everything else practice makes perfect!

COM0014 – Blog #1: Into the Wild

Ever since watching the movie Into the Wild in high school all I’ve ever wanted was to visit the beautiful lands of Alaska. This year that dream finally came true, about two months ago I decided what the hell, packed a bag and got on a plane. This trip was very exciting for me because not only was I travelling somewhere I have always dreamed about but this was a trip I was taking all by myself. Scary right?? Not really. Everyone went on and on about how I would be lonely or it was unsafe, and okay yes the idea of a 20 year old girl travelling alone does not sound like the best idea but I loved it! I got to do whatever I wanted and was completely on my own schedule. When travelling alone you learn a lot about yourself, you learn how to problem solve in a crunch and you learn to just go with the flow (something I sometimes have a hard time with). I would highly suggest travelling alone at least once in your life, I promise you’ll love it and want to keep doing it.

I spent the first four days of my trip in Anchorage the capital of Alaska. When I landed in Anchorage I was blown away by the mountains that surrounded the town. They were huge! Everywhere you looked all you could see were mountains, and right then I knew I was going to fall even more in love with this place. I am a go go go type of person, I figured since I was only here for a short time that I wanted to see as much as possible so in my four short days I managed to accomplish a lot such as; Botanical Gardens, Anchorage Museum, Heritage Centre, Glacier Boat Cruise, Hiking Flattop Mountain and Hiking Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. Not to mention all the incredible restaurants I got to try and all the delicious craft beer to go with it.

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After my four days in Anchorage was up I boarded a quick flight up north to Fairbanks. Even though Fairbanks is a small town mainly known for gold mining and oil drilling I still managed to jam-pack my two days there. One the first day I was there I toured around the city and went hiking through the mountains with some huskies, visited the Fairbanks museum, Botanical Gardens, visited some breweries, and visited the Fairbanks Ice museum. Sounds busy right? Well it was but nothing like my next day! My second day in Fairbanks was a looooong day.. I went on a full day bus trip to the Artic Circle. In case you do not know what that is, that is basically the highest point up north in Alaska. Sitting in a small tour bus for 15 hours driving on winding bumpy un-paved roads sounds horrible and yes okay it was not the most fun ride I’ve been on but it was 100% worth it. We got to see some beautiful sceneries and I can officially say I have crossed the Artic Circle. On the way home we got to see the Northern Lights and they were so beautiful I could even begin to describe them.

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Overall my trip to Alaska was incredible for many reasons, I got to see so much and learn so much about a different way of life. I learned a lot about wildlife, especially moose (considering they are everywhere in Alaska)! The thing I learned the most about was myself, I learned how to figure out everything, how to problem solve in difficult situations and I learned my own strengths. A very successful trip in my opinion.

Personal Branding in Social Media

As a graphic designer the first thing we are taught is the importance of branding and especially the importance of personal branding. The first steps to putting yourself out there are having a well-rounded personal brand to establish yourself by. How can you expect people to want to work with you and trust you to create an ever-lasting brand identity for them if you do not even have one for yourself?

What they do not teach or really tell you is the importance of carrying out your personal brand on social media. Yes, we have personal websites that have our branding applied to them but not everyone applies that to their social media as well. What do I mean by applying your personal brand to social media? Having all your profile pictures in sync, having a well curated Instagram theme, using colours that are part of your brand and posting content relevant to your brand’s mission statement.

In a previous blog post of mine I talked about the importance of an Instagram theme. I’ll explain again what I mean by that; having all your images be similar in content and/or the use of similar colours within images. Now it might seem easy or maybe you’re thinking that that does not sound easy at all and you would be right. It is very hard to properly execute and maintain an Instagram theme. It limits what type of content you can post, which makes it difficult to post regularly and keep your audience intrigued. Now I will admit I am a bit of a hypocrite when it comes to this topic, I have a personal brand (sort of, it is in transition right now so bare with me) but it is not very well executed over my social media. Hey now before you roll your eyes like I said my brand is in transition and properly executing an Instagram theme is very difficult but can be extremely rewarding.

Here is an example of my Instagram page and branding, notice similar colour tones and themes within the images:

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Here is a great article I think you should read on the importance of personal branding and social media: The Ultimate Guide to Personal Branding

Think you’re up to the challenge of creating and running your personal brand on social media?

— Social Media Posts —

Twitter: the importance of personal branding and social media: http://bit.ly/2hWymWN

Facebook: Checkout my latest blog post to find out why carrying your personal brand onto your social media is so important!  https://algonquincollegesocialmedia.wordpress.com/2017/08/13/personal-branding-in-social-media/