COM0015 Blog #4: Out of the box

The question for this blog was what unexpected applications did we find in the field of online marketing? Thanks to this course I found exactly what I wanted for my accounting business, its clients and our bowling centre. My favourites are Inoreader, Social Buzz, Bitly, and WordPress.  

            Coming into this course I always wondered what companies use to easily track all posts for one company across every social media platform. This is when I found out about dashboards and learned of Inoreader. I used Inoreader to create a dashboard and successfully track all the information concerning a bowling ball company on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Web. I was very impressed at how easy it was to use and how organized the information came through.

            Bitly was a small tool I found that I love. I create many posts on Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms and hate how messy a long link looks. I know there are rules as to when I am supposed to shorten the link but if I am posting for people to see I am going to Bitly and convert the link to a hyperlink, it just makes the post look much cleaner. For those who do not know if you have a long link to anything, all you do is copy the link, go to and paste it, click convert, and bam you have a clean short link that looks much more professional.

            Social Buzz is the application I use to see what is going on with a company before I create a dashboard and start to track it myself. Social Buzz will tell you how many posts have recently been posted about the company. The percentage of those posts that are negative, positive, and neutral. It will tell you what keywords are used that hit that company. And many other very useful features that make it worth a subscription.

            Out of all the new tools that I have found the only name I had heard of before this course but didn’t know what it was, was WordPress. In this course, we used WordPress to create and post our blogs. It is easy to use and edit even after publishing the blog. The look after you publish has the feel of a professional article written by someone that has been doing it for years. But WordPress is well known for its website creation. Since the start of this course, our bowling centre has needed a new website. So, we contacted someone to create one for us and our only request was that it was easy to update as we need to update quite often. The site turned out great and the interface to update is very easy to use. I am including the site if anyone is interested in seeing it firsthand

            As this is my last blog for this course. I will conclude by saying how much I enjoyed everything I learned from blogging to the new tools and applications I am excited to use. Learning how to network and promote my brand is a practice I can’t wait to work on. And when I started this course, my age thought immediately the second blogging was mentioned I think I signed up for the wrong thing. I was wrong, I love blogging and with all the things I have experienced in life, I can’t wait to start my own blog.  

Blog #3 COM0015: Professional Networking Now and in the Future

Professional networking is a weird one for me as I never thought it was a super important factor in social media and a necessity until I read the last module. I underestimated it because I have always been very good at networking and talking to the right people. I am very sociable and have a personality that blends with most people, so networking always came naturally to me. But then the pandemic, a career life change, a change in the way people interact, and a change in what people determined was important to one another changed all that. I came to do this certificate because I wanted to know how I could use social media to help market my accounting company and bowling centre. But as my favourite phrase goes ” You don’t know what you don’t know”. Now I realize I can use social media for so much more. When the pandemic ended, we needed to re-staff the bowling centre and with businesses getting back to business the demand for our accounting company is more work than we and the other accounting companies around can handle. So, the struggle for staff was real. The bowling centre figured it out as those jobs require less knowledge. But to this day we cannot find people that understand bookkeeping and accounting at the level required to help us. The job we are offering starts at a salary which is a lot higher than the position pays in most companies but the people applying are saying they understand and have been trained and worked with the software for years and then when its time to prove it have no idea. Leaving us to ask, “What is going on”. And the answer to that during this business process is we never understood the importance of Networking.

               Thanks to this course I will be creating a LinkedIn account. And a professional Facebook account that I do business with. I will be looking into webinars in order to get in contact with like-minded people. I hear LinkedIn is made for this problem. And I think that the key to solving this issue is to deal with more people on a regular basis to get to know them more. I will join some small business and accounting Facebook groups and general entrepreneurial groups focused on the Durham region. Because we are not looking to underpay or take advantage of anyone, we are looking for a motivated hard worker that wants to learn from us and help build a big business. With the ability to move up if they can learn to handle the responsibility. But those people are hard to find, and everyone thinks they can do that until they have to prove it.

               In the bowling industry, I did this all 15 years ago and it was very successful before social media became the main way to network. I went to every meet-up, product drop, rules meeting, etc. Because that is where the people who had been doing my job were and it made sense to learn from them and it helped me greatly on my way to running multiple businesses. I never had an issue finding qualified staff because of my reputation, people wanted to work with me. So, I think my best option is to not join these groups and meetings looking for staff but to meet people get to know people and if the right person comes along great, don’t force it because that usually ends up with finding the wrong person but let the process happen naturally. I plan to push my research far beyond the recommendations of this course because now I understand that some of the struggles I was having are a result of not planting the networking seeds for success. But hoping to just walk in and find everything I was looking for.

Blog #2 COM0015 : Strength and Weaknesses

In this assignment, we are asked to provide two examples of organizations that are doing social media right and 1 that is not. I will explain my opinion on all organizations but the two organizations that I believe are doing well are Motiv Bowling a bowling ball manufacturer and Hush a company that started making weighted blankets and has turned them into all kinds of bedding. And for the company not doing a great job this one was tough, do you go big bold, and controversial with the hot topic Bud Light, Do you go Canadian with the previous king of pizza, Pizza Pizza, or go with the quickest expanding franchise in the world 10 years ago, that is now up for sale and on the decline Subway. And are these companies declining because of social media, overall marketing, or something else? That is a tough question. In these assignments. I prefer to use companies that I have experience with because “seeing is believing” as they say.

               Motiv Bowling is a bowling ball manufacturer that was created in 2008. When Brunswick Bowling the big dog in the industry at the time moved to Mexico and left their factory in Muskegon, Michigan to go out of business and have hundreds of people became unemployed. So, a few investors come along and combined the factory with a company that made bowling ball materials and gave everyone their jobs back and Motiv was born. Thanks to a few previous assignments in other courses, I have followed Motiv on a dashboard I created, and my last look have Storm the #1 ball company with 89 posts, Brunswick brands with 79 post, and Motiv with 129 posts/mentions in a 2-week span. The companies they rivaled have been around since the early 90s or later. And Motive has emerged as a top 3 company in the game. They have the number player in the world and 2 of the top 5 balls on the market belong to them. And what impressed me the most is that they had a Facebook post about a new ball being released and I replied that sounds amazing unfortunately due to the way they distribute balls in Canada many people won’t get these great pieces because they are way expensive and not well distributed here. Now most of these companies are huge on social media. Their staff members demo the product and that is the info people use to decide if they want to buy them. Well, Motiv actually replied to me and asked for more details and we went back and forth and they actually seemed to care about where my opinion was coming from and that is why they are rivaling companies much older than them.

               Hush started as a weighted blanket company that got its big bang from the show Shark Tank. This company has no physical locations and solely operates through its website. And focused all of their marketing dollars on social media. So now I will talk from experience. Over the course of the pandemic when everyone was over stressed the concept of weighted blankets and the fact, they help you sleep better blew up. So, I ordered one for my wife. They are roughly at the time $300, and the wait was 3 months but no problem it was for her birthday in July plenty of time. She could not believe how well it worked. In August she ordered one for me and one each for the twins. Plus, for some of the pillowcases and cooling sheets, the bill was huge. But thanks to their social media efforts there was a 6-month wait on the blankets and a 3-month wait on the rest.  Well, it was late for Christmas but turned out to be a great purchase. One of our kids and I always struggled to sleep but not anymore. And all of this was done through social media.

               With so many options of companies that I feel are failing on social media, I choose to take the bull by the horns and tackle Bud Light. An update on why they are taking so much heat is basically the marketing team hired an online influencer to promote their beer who was transgender in an attempt to gain the trans community. And as of my last report Bud Light sales in the US have declined 60%. This was a social media campaign that the US had found out about, and the worst-case scenario had happened. They alienated their main demographic, and this happened because of one main lack of understanding. Bud Light may have believed that because the AD was not on mainstream TV many of their key sales would not have even known about the AD. And maybe they didn’t realize that so much of their sales came from such a how do I put it, the republican, religious, fragile, southern group of people. Now I have no issue with what did. Maybe they said if you are not OK with this, we don’t want your sales, but I doubt it. So, if I had to give a recommendation, I would release a redneck light beer that attacks Bud Light on social media. And it is literally Bud Light with a different label under a new company. People will embrace it and it will rise incredibly fast. Every social media campaign will have everyone that is part of the hate involved and their sales will come back full steam. If that is what the company wants to do. But I hope they don’t.

COM0015 Blog #2: Strong and Weak Social Media Organizations

For my choice of a strong social media company, I would like to choose a brand. That brand is Elon Musk.  I say brand over company because what he did or is doing is remarkable as someone who considers himself an efficiency expert, I have to appreciate his purchase of Twitter. Social media marketing on an international level is expensive. His purchase of Twitter a company that was treading water and one of the only social media companies that hadn’t exploded profit-wise since being listed on the stock exchange was at minimum a win for his other massive companies. Since his purchase, I have joined Twitter and in the last few months, I have seen ads for companies I hadn’t seen before. SpaceX and the quest for public travel to space. Tesla, “Ya we have seen those ads”. But I am talking about their roofing shingles that I had heard of but was unaware that they were in use. A division of the company I only heard about through his marketing on Twitter. The Boring Company and Hyper Loop concept that I didn’t realize was in use already. He is also a huge influence on cryptocurrencies. And owns several of them. So, any mention of excepting them as a payment for any of his companies shoots that currency to the moon as they say. Did he pay to much for Twitter maybe, in the long run is that going to matter, probably not. He now has full unbiased statistics of the responses to his marketing campaigns for his various ventures. His is no longer at the mercy of other companies marketing strategies and the statistics they inflate to show him how successful they are. His is stating that with the removal of bots Twitter is at an all time high for active users. And with an accounting background he gets the advantage of writing off millions in expenses as he utilizes all the various tools, he has in all his companies. His purchase of Twitter is an amazing marriage that connects all his companies to the outside world. And allows him to keep track of public input and perception without any interference skewing the data. I do understand he says he bought Twitter to protect free speech and I am not getting into the political side of all of that. But he is a genius and even if the government gets in the way of his plans for that he has a top 5 marketing company with an incredible reach for all his companies now, and any future companies that fit into mold.

As for one of the worst companies on social media must be Fox News. And by worst they currently look horrible or genius only time will tell. I am not going to get into the politics of who they represent but will try to stick to business. Every business has a demographic. Fox News has a clear-cut demographic and over the last 8 years or so they have committed to serving that demographic and no matter how ridiculous the story is they slant it one way to cater to the people that watch them. They hire a very specific type of news anchor that also caters to their demographic. And this was all going very well for this until about a year or 2 when they went to town on the concept of voter fraud and ended up into a lawsuit from the company that made the voting machines for the last presidential election. That lawsuit and a few other lawsuits have exposed on social media, texts, emails, and interviews, that show their executives, news anchors, and other staff members completely didn’t agree with the things that they were saying on TV and social media. So, over the last bunch of years, they had a solidarity and built up and catered to this audience base, and then alienated the whole demographic and even had some of their news anchors testify that they are an entertainment company not a news company just so that they don’t get sued for misinformation. This case and the aftermath of these decisions are still happening, and their stock price is still holding. But I feel like they haven’t lost viewership yet because they are so wildly outspoken that people who hate them are still tuning in to see what idiotic thing, they do next. And the repercussions of them being completely fake on social media have not yet begun to show in their finances.                      

My fix for Fox News would be to pick a lane. Or commit to not being so bias. If they hired some more diverse group of News Anchors and really got on some of the newer platforms like Tik Tok and pander the younger generation with a more real approach I think it could go along way. But one thing is tough in America when it comes to news and media I am not sure there is a middle ground.

COM0014: Blog #7 Personal Reflection

I really enjoyed this course. The main assignment of putting together 7 blogs wasn’t something that I was super happy with as writing is not a strength of mine. But once I got going and got through the first few blogs they started to be more natural for me. Learning about the different demographics and communication styles was very valuable information. This has already allowed me to improve on my marketing style and create content that is more versatile than it was before. I really appreciated my teachers versatility in working with my schedule when it came to handing in assignments. I see now why this course was apart of the Social Media Certificate program as this course included much needed information that one will use out in the field or even their day to day lives on social media. I hope that my understanding of the name for this blog is enough as the one thing I couldn’t find was a rubric or any information on this reflection so I am hoping I included enough. I very much look forward to the final two courses in the certificate.

Com0014: Blog #6 What about your childhood shaped you for this moment?

My childhood is exactly why I wanted to create a blog/vlog called “Sh*t I should have been taught in school”. On my first credit card, I didn’t understand “interest”. I didn’t understand how not paying it would affect my credit for the next 7 years. No one tells you that one day you are 18 years old and just loving being the big dogs in your final year of high school and suddenly you are graduated an adult responsible for everything in your life. You didn’t choose college so which factory do you plan to work at? I know we did “civics” I think it was called but I have no recollection of a course where I applied for various jobs and got one for $18/hr. Then budgeted out how much money after-tax I would take home. Then calculated the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment, and understood the cost of utility, food, cell phone, Netflix, and internet. Cost of a car or some form of transportation and all the cost associated with that. As well as the fact I should save a little for an emergency. I heard someone talk of an RRSP once. I heard that my help with saving and that tax thing I keep seeing on my paystub that was also never explained. Where was all that info in my final year of high school? The average person seems like they are set up to fail almost immediately after high school which is exactly why a blog like mine is so crucially important. I will say that some things need to be taught more in poorer neighborhoods. I am around a wealthier group of people and live in a wealthier area especially compared to the ghetto I grew up in and the parents educate their kids on that stuff a lot more. And that stuff was never talked about when I was younger.

COM0014 : Blog #5 What are my best features?

I would say my greatest feature is an unbreakable “will” to follow through on a deadline, goal, or promise. In business, I have no fear of taking on missions people say are impossible, unprofitable, or insane. The satisfaction of proving them wrong drives me every step of the way and has led me to great success so far in my life and career. At one time I and my wife had sold our house, moved, bought 3 townhouse condos, renovated them, rented them out, all while she worked full time building her business, and I was 40 hours a week minimum running the bowling and we did it all within a 3-month period. Many people advised against it there were some rough patches, but we made it work. We were determined to prove them wrong. That 3 month grind set the stage for the rest of our lives.

I am a people person but that doesn’t mean pushover. When you deal with a lot of staff you need to manage when it’s good to push them, when to support them and when to determine that they just can’t handle what is required. To sum it up the phrase that makes the most sense that I and my kids use is I am great at “reading the room”.  I have always been given a lot of respect for everything that I have handled and among my friends, I am generally the guy you go to see when you have problems. I see things from a different perspective and if a traditional answer is not what you are looking for then I most likely have an out-of-the-box solution to your problem. I hate resumes and online interviews because I am a passionate quick on his feet thinker. Once I leave the room the general consensus is we want that guy on our team.

COM 0014 : Blog #4 B2C Playstation

I am by no means a gamer. But I choose PlayStation as my company of focus for this exercise due to its understanding that it is highly profitable, doesn’t charge for everything and since the release of the next gen consoles back in the day of Xbox and PlayStation, it has just smoked its competition. PlayStation is one of the top B2C businesses on Twitter with insane growth year over year.

Trying to find exact accurate data on PlayStations growth was difficult but according to this link from June 25th, 2020 PlayStation has added 12 million followers in the previous 5 years. That put them at 18.7 million followers which is a great number. But as I look at PlayStation on Twitter as we speak. 

It has a whopping 28.6 million followers. That is almost a 10 million follower gain in just over 2 years. And for perspective its biggest competitors Nintendo have 12.5 million and Xbox has 20.2 million followers. Why do you think they are winning this war so well?

There is no way to explain all they do online to gain this success in so few words so I will take one key initiative they ran during the pandemic that was a huge boost in followers. There were lockdowns many companies got greedy. But PlayStation pushed a Stay-At-Home initiative that encouraged people to stay at home by releasing the older Uncharted games for free to download. If you were bored at home and followed them, you were notified of the free offer and that kind of marketing and promotion goes a long way with consumers.

COM0014: A Family Hobby

 I picked up bowling as a hobby and have taught my wife and my kids the game it is now a hobby we do as a family. Recently with my enrollment in this course and my kids age, they are trying to follow in the footsteps of Darren Tang Professional Bowler 100K+ YouTube subscribers and 13-year-old Jr PBA representative Bella Love Castillo 100K+ Instagram followers in creating content for themselves with a few family appearances on TikTok and now YouTube Shorts. My kids are 11 years old and average over 160 a game which is very good for their age.  With TikTok being so popular that is where they started posting their videos. They got a few hundred views and dozens of likes. Then after watching Darren Tang’s videos on YouTube, they started their own channel and within days had over a thousand views. I believe that the reason that YouTube was more successful is two things. The algorithm for TikTok is more random based on what you like and how many likes a video gets. Where YouTube is less random, and you can search kids bowling and there you go. The other is demographic. Kids their age are obsessed with YouTube, with seeing what random people are doing the demographic of people that would be interested in those videos are going to go on YouTube and specifically search for bowling videos. I am excited to dive into the statistics of the key demographics for their subscribers/followers to see who is watching and liking the videos. But if I were to guess it would be people of all ages that have at some point in time bowled a league. As there is respect for what they can do already. Most of their viewers are sports people between the ages of 9 and 18. As I think that is the prime age demographic that is really hooked on YouTube.

If you are interested in seeing their content check it out here:

YouTube: @thomasbowlingvlogs

TikTok: Bradys Bowling Channel

COM0014 Blog #2 Storytelling

Hello, in this week’s blog I will share some items I learned about storytelling. Storytelling has been around for thousands of years but has evolved many times as people and technology evolve. One of the first forms was pictures in a cave, with the invention of pen and paper storytelling gained another form and then evolved into radio, TV, movies, and the invention of the printing press. With the invention of the internet, the same story can be told in every language and sent around the world very quickly  

As storytelling changed so did the process of good storytelling and the methods needed to be a good storyteller. You need to be clear and concise while trying to grab the attention of the reader very quickly. I learned that most readers are exactly like me spending very little time reading a whole page but maybe just the first line or two. If you grab their attention, you may get them to finish the article.

My grammar in school was always very bad and was easily the part of returning to school I was the most nervous about. But with the help of a few apps and some extra learning, I feel like my readers will understand what I am trying to say now. Because there is a big difference between “Tommy helped his uncle Jack, off a horse. And Tommy helped his uncle Jack off a horse. Which is a very key ability in storytelling.

Out of everything I learned this week the part of storytelling I am trying to improve on audience engagement. And getting them involved with the story I am telling. So, if you have read any of my other blogs or just this one I would love to know how am I doing with that?