COM0015 – Blog Post #4 – Out of the Box

One application that I found when researching social media applications that I wasn’t super familiar with is Tumblr. I never really thought that Tumblr was used as much as it actually is in the world of online marketing and social media. But after doing some more research, I found that a lot of companies also use Tumblr to boost brand awareness. For example, IBM has invested big in this platform, producing and re-sharing small amounts of content that are entertaining and interesting. Although I don’t think that Tumblr will help boost sales specifically, but rather help build your brand reputation and help more people find out about you for free! I would have never chose Tumblr to help build my brand, but it must work for some companies. What are your thoughts on Tumblr? Do you see this as more of a personal application, or do you think it can work from a business marketing perspective? I’d be interested to learn more about this application and will continue to research and find out more about this social media platform.

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COM0015 – Blog Post #3 – Professional Networking now and in the future

Currently, my strategy for developing my professional network online and in person is to really get involved and stay current. To me, that means joining committees at work, such as the Social Committee, Joint Health and Safety Committee, and offering to help and assist with all events such as fundraisers, social events, corporate meetings, etc. I always make sure that I try to volunteer and help out whenever I can. This gives me the opportunity to network and meet new people that work at OLG, and in turn I can make great connections that could help me out in the future. It has always been important for me to get involved and get my name out there, you never know who can help you down the road and who might remember you for volunteering or assisting with a special project. Volunteering for various fundraising agencies such as the Canadian Cancer Foundation have also helped me to grow my professional network as I have met so many people while volunteering and helping for a great cause, plus it looks great on a resume to show that you have donated your time for the betterment of others!

LinkedIn and Facebook are also very important to me in developing my professional network. I try to ensure my LinkedIn and Facebook profiles are always updated, look professional, and that I am connecting and getting in touch with people who have similar career interests as mine. I do visit LinkedIn at least twice a day – I like to keep up with what is trending on there and ensure that I am following and connecting with new people each and every day. LinkedIn can be very helpful as it acts like an online resume, and job prospects may even seek you out via LinkedIn!

Having a professional look on social media is also a priority to me, as many of my colleagues and prospective employers can search my name online and all of my social media accounts will come up. I think it is important to maintain a professional image even though these accounts are for my personal use.

Taking this social media course, and other courses similar to this one, also will help me develop my professional network. Learning a new skill set while meeting and learning with new people at the same time can only help your network grow, and it’s something else to add to your resume. A win-win situation!

What are other ways you can grow your professional network?

COM0015 – Blog Post #2 – Strong & Weak Organizations

In this digital age, it is odd to find a company or organization that is not using social media. Nearly every single organization or company needs to have some type of online presence – whether that be a blog, Facebook Page, Twitter account or simply a website, you really can’t compete in today’s marketplace without being online and easily accessible for your consumers. Gone are the days of looking through a phone book and picking up the phone to find out information on something. Now, you can simply go to Google and type in whatever you are looking for. From there, pages and pages of information will come up. This is why if you want to be successful and compete in the industry you are in, you need to be online in some capacity.

Two organizations I feel have impressive social media strategies are:

1)        Lululemon – I am following Lululemon on every social media platform they have; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Now, maybe I am biased because I am a huge fan of their products, but I do find their social media strategy to be very impressive. It is relevant and matches their brand and image they are trying to sell. For example, they often tweet and post to Instagram very inspirational quotes and photos which in turn motivate their consumers and make them feel good. I actually enjoy reading their tweets because I know I can always relate to what they post. They are very much in tune with their target market and can definitely appeal to their followers. I find they do not bombard us with promotions and product placements, but rather with advertisements of their products in use.

2)        Cosmopolitan – Similar to Lululemon, I find that Cosmopolitan Magazine has a very impressive social media strategy that appeals to their demographic and consumers like me. They tweet out links to articles, funny and comical quotes and pictures, and stay up to date with the latest celebrity news and gossip. They are also on SnapChat, and post many interesting articles to their snap story each day. Cosmopolitan is also on Instagram, keeping up with their theme of posting cute and funny pictures and quotes.

I struggled to find an organization/company that I feel could benefit from a social media strategy, as I feel like there are more companies doing it right these days rather than doing it wrong. However, I work with a lot of non-profit companies that host events that we sponsor, and I find that a lot of these organizations just do not have the resources, funds and staffing to implement and maintain a social media strategy. These organizations don’t realize they can really benefit from utilizing social media as it is free and easy to use and can get your message out instantly to thousands of people, if you play your cards right! For first steps, I would suggest that they delegate one staff member to enroll in a social media course either online or in person to enhance their knowledge on the subject, and from there, had it to their job duties to develop and maintain a social media strategy for the organization. It is very important that they first become educated on how to effectively use the social media tools available to them and from there; they can cater and monitor their social media strategy to hopefully achieve their goals. Doing research online is also helpful because then they can see what other successful companies have done with regards to their social media efforts.

COM0015 – Blog Post #1 – Tools and Sources

My two favorite social media trend listening/monitoring tools are RSS feeds, such as Google Alerts, and Twitter. I like to use RSS feeds because then you can monitor any and all posts relating to specific keywords and topics you are interested in. Google Alerts provide us with the ability to know what’s being said about certain topics or products instantly. The same goes for Twitter – by searching specific hashtags or keywords, you can see what other people are tweeting about with regards to certain topics you might be interested in. I also use Twitter quite a bit for news and updates because I find that Twitter has the most current, timely and up to date information on various stories and subjects. I prefer these tools over any others because I feel that you can narrow down your key words and searches and can then sift through to only read the stores you are interested in, they are fast and easy to use, and always have the latest info posted. I find that almost everyone is on Twitter these days and blogs, websites and products that I am interested in almost all have a corresponding Twitter account. I find that I can always look at Twitter to get the latest news and updates, especially about things I am interested in. For example, SooToday.com, a local news website for Sault Ste. Marie, uses Twitter to post links to all of their stories so you always have access to the latest news and updates. I find this very useful and it keeps me up to date on anything going on in my city. I also follow various companies on Twitter such as Sephora, LuluLemon and Victoria’s Secret – I never miss out on sales, promotions, discount codes, or new products because I can see all of this posted on their Twitter accounts!

COM0014 – Blog Post #7 – Personal Reflection

I have learned a lot of valuable lessons about digital communication and how important it is when designing a social media strategy. All topics touched on in this course, especially storytelling, understanding your target audience and choosing the appropriate communication styles for your audience had a lot of relevant information and very important in the social media world. Storytelling, specifically, is very important when creating digital content because you need to establish a consistent and unique voice that will carry on throughout all of your posts and social media strategy. How you tell your story also gives your followers a way to connect with you and relate either more or less to your brand. To me, content and story go hand in hand. Your story is your content and your content is your story. The way you tell your story, however, is how your content will flow.

Understanding your target audience and how to communicate with them is also extremely important because different audiences will want to be communicated with differently. You can customize and cater your communication style to the audience you are targeting. In social media, it is very important that this concept is understood and that you are producing relevant content that will appeal to your target market and audience.

I strongly feel that digital communication is an extremely big piece of the social media puzzle. Without successful digital communication, your social media strategy may not succeed as well as it could have. Social media is a huge form of communication and the digital component is what really makes up social media.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed this course and look forward to applying concepts learned to my current and future social media projects!

COM0014 – Blog Post #6 – Do People Know Your Story?

“What about your childhood shaped you for this moment?”

Recently, I was offered a new position as an Associate Manager of Corporate Events at OLG where I work. After College, I always had a goal of becoming a manager and expanding my career at OLG. Growing up, I was always very close with family and I was involved in a lot of extracurricular activities and teams such as dance, swimming lessons, soccer, gymnastics, and figure skating. The experience of being part of a team shaped me into the person I am today. I learned that you need to share the spotlight and help out when it is needed – a lot of valuable life lessons that I still use today. Teamwork is very important when in the workplace. Although I do work independently a lot, I also count on my team members and co workers for a lot of things. Learning about team work at such a young age really helped me to understand just how important it is in all areas of life. A lot of times in life you will need to work as a team – whether that be your family team, friends, sports teams, colleagues, etc., teamwork is a valuable life lesson.

I believe that my experience working in a team as a child shaped me to be a manager today. From a young age, I learned how to be reliable, loyal, responsible, and most importantly to not let my team down. I feel that when you are a manager, teamwork is very important. Not only because you are in charge, but you do not want to let your colleagues down. In addition to teamwork in sports teams, my family has always been super close and they have helped and supported me and shaped me into the person I am today. My dad always said “there’s no I in team” and that quote has really stuck with me my entire life.

COM0014 – Blog Post #5 – Personal Brand

In today’s oh-so-competitive job world, it is becoming more and more difficult to obtain employment in your field of choice. In Sault Ste. Marie, where I live, the jobs are few and far between – reputable, well-paying jobs, that is. I have learned that you definitely need to develop qualities and skills that will separate you from the rest.

Some of my personal qualities and characteristics that set me apart from the rest are that I am reliable, a self-starter, and can work independently or as part of a team. I have proved this through my various work experience and five years working in event planning. I have high attention to detail, and experience working in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment.

My educational background in Public Relations, Event Management and Business, combined with the part-time online certificate in Social Media marketing I am currently working towards, also separates me from the rest. I have a very unique background and feel comfortable working in all of these areas and I am eager to grow and expand my career and skill set. Enrolling in this Social Media course has allowed me to stand out from the rest.

My colleagues would say that I am responsible, reliable, detail-oriented, friendly, outgoing, and positive. I am not afraid to step in and help out and go the extra mile when the work needs to be done. I am extremely proud of myself for coming this far and achieving all that I have at such a young age of 25.

COM0014 – Blog Post #4 – B2C Case Study

I decided to write this B2C case study using the local clothing boutique “Krush” as my example. Krush is a unisex clothing store located in Sault Ste. Marie that is locally owned and operated. They bring in designer brands that are excellent quality. In the Sault, we don’t get a lot of variety with where we can shop, so Krush offers an excellent alternative to your everyday stores and franchises.

I follow Krush on all social media outlets. They are on Facebook (@KrushSaultSteMarie) and Instagram (@krushssm). Krush has been highly effective using social media to engage with their audience and also promote their products. They often post pictures of the latest pieces on Instagram and Facebook, almost daily. They also advertise any sales and promotions they are having on their social media accounts, so their followers are notified of these deals right away.

Posting the brand new pieces immediately also gives their audience the chance to view the pieces as soon as possible. People like to be “the first” to have something – so if they see it on social media and love it, they will likely go buy it right away. I strongly feel that Krush’s social media activity boosts their sales by a long shot.

Krush also advertises that you can “buy through Instagram” on their Instagram account. If you simply send them a direct message on Instagram, they will place the order for you and ship the piece right to you. This helps customers place orders right away and ensure they will get the size and piece they want almost immediately.

I have also noticed followers commenting on certain posts asking several questions; for example, if they have a certain size or if a product to be put on hold for them, the cost and quantity of sizes in certain items, etc. Krush always responds back with a quick and knowledgeable response, and will even hold items for you at your request through social media! I strongly believe this approach works and customs are getting good quality interaction with the staff at Krush. Krush also recently ran a promotion using the hashtag #KrushQueen. Customers posting a picture of them in an outfit/piece of clothing purchased from Krush with that hashtag would be entered into a contest to win a discount at the store for that whole month.

In conclusion, I strongly believe that Krush’s social media approach works and is highly effective. They are interacting with their customers on a daily basis and also promoting their products.

COM0014 – Blog Post #3 – Target Audiences

After reading about target audiences this lesson, I decided that I was going to research demographics for the new TV show “The Bachelorette Canada”. Since I am a huge Bachelor/Bachelorette fan, I am THRILLED that there is now the Canadian version of The Bachelorette (!!!). I did some research on tweetdeck.com and hootsuite.com. I found both applications to be similar, however, I found Hootsuite to be more user friendly and easier to navigate.

From there, my findings were that a lot of young girls are talking about @TheBacheloretteCA on Twitter and mentioning it. It was evident that the conversation was mainly between women. I believe that these users are also using Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat daily since most young people in today’s society are using these apps. I feel that communicating via these social media channels would be successful. If you want to market and promote something to a younger audience, you need to be on Instagram and Snapchat, more so than Twitter and Facebook. A common practice that companies seem to be incorporating into their marketing strategy lately is having some type of “selfie contest” or some type of promotion to do with taking a selfie with their brand and then sharing it on social media. I strongly believe this type of promotion would be highly successful in the young demographic. As we all now, the “selfie” is now a global phenomenon and companies need to jump on this concept if they hope to have a successful social media strategy.

COM0014 Blog Post #2 – Storytelling and Communication Styles

This week in Digital Communication, we learned about communication styles and storytelling. It is important when developing a social media strategy that you establish your voice and communication and writing style so that you can connect with and appeal to your target audience. Some basic yet important tips to remember are when writing your story:

  1. Clarity and Conciseness: Ensure that your communication piece is clear and easy to follow and understand. Stay on topic and try to not go off on tangents or provide the reader with irrelevant information they may not care about. Break your post up into sections with subheadings so the reader can skim for the information they need.
  2. Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation: Being a PR grad, this is something that hits home for me. I cannot stress enough just how important proper grammar and punctuation is. If your work is filled with spelling mistakes and incorrect grammar placements, your readers will not be able to fully understand you, and it looks very unprofessional. Proofread. Proofread. And proofread again.
  3. Passive vs Active Voice: Even I struggle with this concept as it is a bit confusing. Writing in active voice will allow your writing to come across more clearly and concisely. Your use of language can make or break your content, so be sure to be diligent and try your best to always use the active voice.
  4. Practice Makes Perfect: You aren’t going to be a New York Times Best Selling Author after your first blog post or web post, it takes time and practice! The more you do it, the better you will get.

If you practice these four steps you will be well on your way to developing your own communication style. Another popular practice in writing is the “Inverted Pyramid” concept where you start with the most important information that you want your reader to be sure they digest. This information should be very detailed and take up most of your writing. Next is to incorporate additional information that is helpful, but not critical. Lastly, add other details that are nice to know, but again, not critical and not even that important.

I hope these tips help you when establishing your own communication style!