COM0014 Blog #7: Personal Reflection

Out of everything I’ve learned in this course, and by extension previous courses I’ve done since high school, it’s mostly been absorbing what other people say saying, what they like, and what they do. Nothing else comes even close. As an aspiring journalist, writer, and truth seeker, what others say really matters to me.

I feel like this doesn’t just apply to me. More than ever before, we as a species have to listen and learn from each other. In these dark times, a little learning won’t hurt anyone. Even though my naivety is still present due to my age, I’m getting much better at having an open mind.

Blog Post #4: B2C Case Study

Burger King is one of the largest fast food chains in the world, operating in every single continent aside from Antarctica. The multinational company has seen a ton of success through selling people fast food such as burgers, fries, chicken, with drinks on the side. Recently, however, they’ve undergone a strategy that has heavily crippled their standing on the internet.

Back in August, Burger King decided to do something quite shady, but clever. They went to Twitch, a highly popular streaming site, and did $5 to multiple high profile streamers’ channels. Now, how donations work on Twitch is that you pay money, and in exchange you get to type out a message that will show and be spoken out on stream. Burger King typed out advertisement messages. Yes, a multi-billion dollar corporation thought it would be a good idea to do $5 advertisement donations on livestreams viewed by tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people daily. To say the least, people weren’t happy. Not just the people watching, but the streamers too. Sure, they were getting $5, but it wasn’t a wholesome, genuine donation. It was Burger King cheaply getting free publicity.

To say that this was a PR disaster would be a huge understatement. Burger King’s reputation in the online world was nearly eviscerated after this fiasco. As far as I’m aware, Burger King was just fine in the online world up until this scandal, which makes this failure all the more tragic. They had something, and now they barely have anything. All they can hope for are customers that don’t pay attention online still eat at their restaurants.

Sources:

1. Burger King’s international locations: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_with_Burger_King_franchises

2. Burger King’s Twitch Donation Scandal: https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-53862091

COM0014 – Blog #1: A Vacation of Self Improvement

Before my vacation during the last few months, I wasn’t in the greatest place. I wasn’t doing anything, had no productive hobbies, and didn’t have the motivation needed to seek out new frontiers. However, this all changed slowly over the course of late spring to summer, and peaked as of last week. This is how my vacation went.

As far back as October of last year, my life was in shambles. Whether it was unemployment, a lack of friends, and barely any motivation to do anything, needless to say my life was in a pit, and wasn’t coming out on its own. I needed to do something. Over the course of this year, during the tense times of the outbreak, I’ve resorted to making new friends both online and in person, to great success. This came from both having an internal want and need, like all people, to want and need others in their lives. Once achieving that, I looked towards solid employment. Something I could sustain, perhaps permanently.

It was a rocky road. I live in a small town, meaning every establishment here is very cliquey, and since I’m not a well known person, nor is my family, nabbing a job has never been a cake walk for me here. However, the tables turned when I least expected them to. I got an offer from my mother’s eye doctor office a little over a week ago, asking if I was interested in being a room sanitizer, as well as guiding patients to the testing rooms when the doctors are ready for them. Jumping for joy, I said I was, and after going in for a brief interview, I was informed that I was hired the next day. This was a long time coming. A decent job for me.

I know. I didn’t really have a vacation in the traditional sense. I didn’t fly to Hawaii, or go on a road trip down to Las Vegas for some gambling, but I did take a mental vacation. One that made me relaxed, gave me perspective, and stabilized both the social and internal parts of my life. In a sense, the peak of the vacation took place last week, when I was hired, and when I told my friends that I might be able to save up for a true vacation. One that, like many other people’s ideas of one, would take me to an exotic location, or perhaps some populated city like London, England.

Life always has something strange, or at other times, wonderful around the corner. 2020 has been a really strange year for everyone, but for me, it’s been more positive than negative since I picked up the pace, and got ahead of the curb. Now, I’m looking towards the stars, and plotting a course for endless achievement.

COM0015: Blog Post #1 – Tools and Sources

 

social media

photo by Imgur.com

Social media can be a wonderful. It opens a world full of opportunities to connect and share with the people around us. For many people it can be daunting. There are so many sights out there now, that it is difficult to choose in which ones to subscribe. This can be extra scary to someone looking to connect his or her small business to the big world. If you are going to connect with the world of social media, it is important to know the impact you are having. A couple tools that I find easy to navigate and give a lot of feedback are Hootsuite and Keyhole.

Hootsuite

I like Hootsuite because it tracks activity across the platforms that I use. The ones I am most comfortable with. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Fourquare and WordPress. With Hootsuite, you can schedule posts across many platforms. It also lets you delegate tasks when that is an option. Hootsuite is well known for its social media management functions. Scheduling, content curation, social analytics and monitoring are all available in one single application. For more information on Hootsuite check out their site.

Keyhole

I am a big fan of twitter and Instagram, so Keyhole is great for monitoring these. You can see keywords, hashtags, URL’s and usernames. You can view data in real time as well as historical data. You can even view world maps tracking activity in other parts of the world. According to the Keyhole website, their main points of interest are #hashtag analytics, real time data, fast reports and influencer marketing. Influencer marking is important to me. with any campaign, it is important to know who the influencers are. It is also necessary to know exactly how much influence they have.

News and Updates

I don’t have a lot of time to read the news but I do like to keep up on global events. I rely on social media to give me the high lights and keep informed. My favorite sights for this are Facebook and Twitter. I know. I know. How can FB and Twitter keep me up on the news? Well they are actually both informative news sights. I get a swatch of the news real through my feeds and tweets. I ‘like’ certain news pages that are noteworthy. As I scroll through my newsfeed, I can catch the highlights. Local, national and international news at my fingertips. If I want more information, I click on the links. I can then read until my heart is content, or depressed depending on what I am reading.

What about you? Which sites do you use to keep up with the world?

 

 

How uncooperative concierges can cost you money when selling your condo

The real estate market in Toronto is already tough to navigate and you want to protect every dollar. You’ve staged, you’ve got great photos, you have an amazing agent who is going to get you the best price possible for your move. And THEN… you come up against your concierge desk.

This is a topic that has been driving me INSANE for several years, and I’ve hesitated making waves because… well… making waves doesn’t make friends.
 
But today, I’ve decided that enough is enough. I am a professional who works hard and wants to do the best job I can for my clients. So why does it seem like condo buildings all over the city are trying their hardest to screw their own owners when they are trying to sell? The first rule in real estate is “Location Location Location”. The second rule is “if people can’t see it, they won’t buy it!”
 
With condo and management fees constantly on the rise, and ownership in Toronto becoming more and more expensive, you’d think your service would be constantly improving, but that fact is that it’s often the complete opposite. Condo management companies and their policies seem, instead, to be doing everything they can to complicate and frustrate listings and not for any particular reason that I can see. The end result is that YOU, the owners, are losing money when you sell.
 
Here’s how your condo is buggering up your listing and costing you BIG bucks.
 
To put it plainly, they are totally turning buyers off from your building. Think that it’s a hot market and you don’t have to worry? Whether it’s $1000 or $100,000, money is money. And you could have gotten more if your concierge desk wasn’t so committed to being difficult, and that’s the plain truth. Think it doesn’t matter? Take $100 out of your wallet right now, light it on fire, and throw it into the street. No? Because that’s crazy? That’s a measly hundred bucks and we’re talking about hundreds of thousands here.
 
Buyers go out on their home search excited, happy and hopeful. They are literally ASKING for the right place to come up so that they can throw their money at it. Talk about the fish jumping right into your boat and hitting themselves over the head. The faster you get an offer, the more money you will get for your home.
 
And then they come to your building and everything turns sour.
 
More showings equals more possibilities for a good solid sale, not to mention multiple offers in this city. If you restrict showings, you will get less traffic and therefor less offers, which results in less money. It’s kind of elementary. And making buyers and their agents feel welcome makes buyers feel like they are “home” and we all know that emotional attachment and a feeling of belonging is key when deciding where to live. There’s no faster way to tell a buyer to get stuffed than to have the concierge desk show you how much they don’t care if you live there.
1) The parking struggle: Time and again I see buyers and their agents getting frustrated when they can’t easily find access to some parking for their visit to the building. Showings in condos are usually quick. Each unit will get about 10 minutes of the buyer’s time, and they typically schedule several in the same location all at once, as long as they are similar in price point and size. I myself have just given up and driven away from properties because we just couldn’t manage to get in the parking lot! Most of the time I find that I drive away from properties that offer no parking at all for guests/realtors or there’s just no one managing that little damned buzzer and we have been idling at the underground door like morons for 10 minutes before we give up and move on. REALITY CHECK : This immediately tells buyers that they will have difficulty having guests. You want to make someone NOT want to live in your building? Tell them they won’t be having anyone over… EVER, because the concierge desk won’t let them in to park.
 
2) Deliveries are not welcome : With the rise of the mother-of-all delivery companies, Amazon, and other popular home delivery options like grocery and laundry service, the concierge is often expected to accept packages and deliveries on the behalf of the residents. More and more I am seeing concierge desks informing people that they will no longer be accepting packages for owners. It’s not that their reasoning isn’t sound. The boxes are big and bulky. They pile up. The concierge isn’t there to be a mail man. I get it. BUT… It’s a reality of our time that many of us, and more every day, are looking to convenience services to help make hectic urban lifestyles a little easier, and we NEED to be able to get deliveries to our homes! Full stop. I need to be able to order a pizza and have it be decently hot when it comes to me. I need to be able to get my urgently needed phone cords because my dog chewed up my last one and now my cell is dead. I want to be able to send a gift to my sister for my niece’s birthday because we live too far away to get together.
REALITY CHECK : When concierge desks refuse packages, or make a policy against receiving them for residents, you are negating a lot of the convenience that is the main impetus for buying a condo in the first place! With a purchase price of $600,000, I could live a worry free lifestyle in a condo and take advantage of all the convenient opportunities available in Toronto, OR I could buy myself a house in the burbs. Ok, so I might have to commute to work, but to be honest, going 5km in the city by car is like going 35km in the suburbs. Either way, you’re spending an hour behind the wheel or on the streetcar. If you can’t simplify the rest, then you might as well get a place with a yard, a grocery store around the corner, a pharmacy in the plaza by your drycleaner, and be able to get your goddamned Amazon packages without getting any shit about it from some snarky desk clerk who acts like your mail is an inconvenience in your own home. When I encounter buildings that are difficult with packages, I automatically know that it will be a completely unsuitable place for anyone under the age of 50, which is the largest buyer demographic in Toronto. Congratulations, you’ve just given a kiss off to 70% of the people who would consider buying your home.
 
3) No Open Houses – Seriously? Come on. The entire purpose of the concierge desk is to sign in all guests. Whether they are at the building for an open house from 2-4 on a Sunday or visiting Mom for Sunday dinner, is it really that hard or that much of an inconvenience to sign them in? Or ask them to leave their ID with you at the desk until they return? Obviously we take security seriously, but in my 13 years as a realtor I’ve never had ANYTHING go missing at an open house, nor any kind of security issue. Not only does the concierge sign people in, but agents also do so within the unit. It would be easy enough for the concierge desk to request that realtors keep a list of their visitors from open house and turn over a copy when the event is over for their files. Anything goes missing or gets set on fire? Easy. You look at the lists, and find that one dude that checked in to the desk, but didn’t register at the open house. That’s your guy. A little bit of common sense please. Still feel like it’s not enough? Ask sellers and their realtors to have a second person on hand for open houses to greet visitors in the lobby and escort them to the unit personally. I highly doubt that lady with the baby strapped to the front of her is going to ninja kick you and run screaming down the hall to use the indoor pool instead of poking her head in to the open house she came to see.
 
REALITY CHECK : Open Houses bring traffic. They not only help that listing, but the other listings in the building. It’s not often that a buyer walks into an open house, declares it PERFECT and throws cash in the realtor’s face right away, but it DOES mean that they are interested in the building and the price point and again… more showings = more offers = more money. This is literally the simplest mathematical equation since 2 + 4 = 4.
 
AND THIS IS THE BIG ONE
 
4) They refuse to allow lockboxes or to handle keys for showings. This is almost completely common place right now and there’s really no better way to throw a buyer the middle finger than to refuse to even provide assistance when they are looking at a unit as a potential home.
 
Ideally, concierges holding keys and keeping a log of who picks it up and when they put it back is the most efficient, safest and most pleasant way to show a condo. I love it when I go to a building and there is a friendly concierge behind the counter. I provide them with my business card, licence and ID and the suite numbers I am scheduled to see, and they have me sign for said keys. I show units, and then return said keys to the desk. I can show 10 units in an hour like this, and keeps stress to a minimum. These showings are inevitably the most successful ones and leave the best impressions with buyers. Alternately, a great arrangement is to allow lockboxes to be placed in the stairwell closest to the unit where a key can easily be accessed by the agent and efficiently returned before moving on to their next showing.
 
Hell, I’ll also take a nice little lockbox room where there are rows of lockboxes, preferably arranged numerically, and with suite numbers on the back. (I’ve only seen one building do this in all my years in the industry. I wanted to write them love letters and sing them songs) But a building like that is like a freaking unicorn in Toronto right now. Instead, we find ourselves lurking around behind a building in the dark and the snow trying to find some lockbox on a railing somewhere that’s inevitably frozen shut because it’s too damned cold in the city in the winter. And here’s the thing. We’re seeing several units IN A CONDO so I assure you both myself and my buyer are wearing comfortable, easy to remove shoes, and are not prepared in any way to scale snow mountains or wade through 2 feet of slush and salt. Now we all just have two soakers and we’re in a bad mood before we even walk in the door. Once, I stepped up onto a snowbank to reach a lockbox and one of my legs sunk right through to the top of my thigh. Just one, mind you. The other was out of the snow with no way of giving me any leverage at all. It took my client and both his young sons to literally haul me out of the hole by my arms. Don’t worry though. I DID eventually manage to get that shoe back.
 
I also hate being directed to a lockbox room by a surly concierge that’s conveniently located right next to the garbage room so that I can enjoy the stench of refuse while I hold my breath and desperately try to find the right lockbox in the jumble before I black out.
 
And my personal favourite… I call this the “Underground Lockbox Adventure”, where the building will only allow lockboxes to be affixed to a rail or a fence deep in the bowels of the underground parking garage, as far as possible away from any sort of civilization or decent lighting. Here is where we can find literally HUNDREDS of lockboxes. Random. Unlabelled. Indistinguishable from the others and then proceed to spend upwards of AN HOUR just finding one box that works for the code you have. I wish I were exaggerating.
 
The one I hate the WORST is a complex at Yonge & Eglinton that shares 3 buildings in one underground parking garage. There is literally no organization to this mess at all. The last time I showed a unit in this building, my clients killed one phone battery and half of another holding the light for me while I tried codes, in the unheated garage on the 3rd level for over an hour, where hundreds of lockboxes are attached to a fence in no order at all. Bonus points because when we finally found the key we were looking for and went back to the door from whence we had come, we found it locked tight behind us! And of course, there’s no cell service when you’re 18 feet x 3 floors underground. Alas, there was also no button to buzz the concierge to beg admittance, and we were forced to walk the length of the parking garage to the other end, where we then jumped up and down in front of the electric door in an attempt to activate the sensor for 10 minutes or so before a resident opened it from the outside on their way home, and we bolted like scared rabbits out on to the street a block away and then hauled ass back to the main entrance in the rain for our showing. My buyers were appalled. They were grossed out. They were adamant that they couldn’t possibly invest their money in a building that made selling so deliberately difficult. That was a year an a half ago and I have patently refused to show units in that complex ever since and made sure to let my buyers know what a complete clusterf*&k that place is. Without fail, I’ve shown this picture and every one of them has been in immediate agreement that this wasn’t the place for them.
 
Combine this with often snarky, self-important or outright rude attendants and elitist behaviour from the person that greets you, and you have a perfect recipe for a lower sale price. They might as well just put up a big sign that says “We don’t want you, so go pound sand”
 
Your concierge desk is the face of your building. Your first line of defence. Your first impression. If your condo corp doesn’t care if the impression they are making is a good one, you might be living in the wrong place. And if they are too important and busy to do something as simple as get people to sign-in, well then they clearly aren’t up to the job of managing your condo building at all, are they?

Is your name on Russia list! Regulations to social media ? YES /NO?

There are times I think and I feel that there is a law for anything … really anything but nowadays and because of the exponential rate of changes and innovations, legislators cannot keep the same speed.

The most important innovations affecting the entire world is the social media which continue to reveal more and more applications thanks also to the unprecedented computing capabilities companies can access and have today.

Marketing through social media revealed extremely efficient tool compared with older methods and marketing techniques also open the door to a different category of services and customers which first interest is access to data.

DATA is not a sub-product of social media, it is the MAIN product which social media receives free and commercializes for some money.

Photo from REUTERS – Der Tagesspiegel

Recently the big scandal about Cambridge Analytica having access to Facebook data and providing services to other parties interested with the purpose to design influencing strategies.

What I consider is really new here is that the information taking away by creating over 120 fake Facebook pages was not really stolen, and the information was not hackers as usually, but a regular company who open the fakes account to manipulate the user in Trump election to influence users. No information was stolen has credit card numbers or passwords but personal data.

What is also new and different is to understand who were the customers of Cambridge Analytica: US actual president for 2016 campaign, Russians?

All this situation is triggering a lot of questions:

– What kind of information was collected?

– Did Facebook give or sell the information or has been hack?

– Who did benefit from the information and how?

– Which reports have been generated based on the data?

Given all the above it is being proposed a Social media regulation does it make sense what do you think? What will Facebook propose to all the users

 

Mark Zuckerberg: March 21, 2018

The OCR register

 

Can we make a difference in terms of regulation between the internet and more specifically the social media? This is being debated in the US, but of course is of world-wide interest.

Should we support a regulation with the risk of killing an industry?

Should we constrain software industries to provide alternatives to the sharing of our data or only a part as excluded the medical data

What about governments accessing our personal data?

Do you LIKE?

Social Media regulation proposal

or do you DISLIKE?

 Is your name on Russia list! with Facebook

  Russia operating #Fakes #Facebook account  @https://bit.ly/2IMY20M @facebook

Share this:

 

Sources:

https://www.ft.com/content/bee3298c-e304-11e6-9645-c9357a75844a

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/03/23/john-fund-facebook-flap-dont-overreact-with-regulation-that-will-destroy-social-media-innovation.html

 

 

COM0014 – Blog No.2 – The Importance of Getting It Right

A ton of reading and digesting information has led to a more confusing mind then when I first opened this lesson on Digital Storytelling. Through all of it though there is the importance of getting it right. There are several ways to do the same thing and it has led me to believe that you can tell a story in a thousand different ways. One way has stood out for me. Through further reading and in an article on blog.bufferapp.com/storytelling-formulas “11 Storytelling Formulas to Supercharge Your Social Media Marketing” by Alfred Lua – he quoted from J.D. Schramm via Harvard Business Review:

Parachute in, don’t preamble. The best storytellers draw us immediately into the action. They capture our attention and set the tone for a unique audience experience. Avoid opening with “I’d like to tell you a story about a time when I learned . . .” Instead, drop us into the action and draw the lesson out later.1

This communication style can be used to grab your audience’s attention so that you don’t lose them or have them just skip on by your story altogether. Once you’ve determined your style and you begin to tell your story – tell it in an active voice. This style is normally more clear and inviting to your readers. Once you start to write always remember to be your own copy-editor. Diligently look for correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar all the while staying within your style. Remember practice, practice, practice . . . will make you a better writer.

Always be aware of what you are hoping your audience gets out of your story and as you go through future story ideas you should always keep your audience in mind. Writing a great article doesn’t always mean that it will be read – be mindful of how you can encourage people to read, absorb and interact with your content. You should also be considerate of the experience you want your audience to have. Social media should be a two-way conversation and if so, you will need to coax your audience to take some sort of action. Before you start to post your content know what action you want it to be. Some actions you could have your audience do is share a message, leave a comment or ask a question. Some successful content writers will end their story by asking a question.

And finally, give your audience easy ways to share your content. Persuade your audience through great content to want to share your stuff.

 

  1. SCHRAMM, J.D., October 8, 2014. “A Refresher On Storytelling 101” Harvard Business Review  hbr.org/2014/10/a-refresh-on-storytelling-101

COM0015 Blog #1: Older Man Enjoys Easy Listening……

For the past eight months or so I have been slowly working my way through this five part Social Media series and it has been a challenge. I am older than most students and can easily see my sixtieth birthday on the horizon. Yes, I know that many people much older than me are far more internet savvy, but that is not me. Nelly is pushing me kicking and screaming into the wild wonderful world of social media, yet I still rebel. I like easy listening and for me that is Facebook. I am interested in retirement subjects and people my age are very comfortable on Facebook. Since I am required to look elsewhere I have used Twitter but it is a distant second. But listening and monitoring on Facebook works very well for me. It tells me, everything that I want to know, I think. I now understand what retirement issues are important to people my age. What worries them, what angers them and what they want to know more about.

Being a creature of habit I use Google Alerts exclusively. It seems to work well for me. I have explored Hootsuite but I don’t think that I need it. I am sure that there are others out there that can give me a multitude of reasons as to why I need to diversify but so far my limited, but effective social media plan seems to be working out. I think that this is due to the fact that I am seeking a particular niche; people of retirement age in Canada. Yes, people use different social media channels but the majority seem happy to be on Facebook. Perhaps by using other services I could get a better handle on my market but I see it as a lot of effort for limited reward. Think about it. If you were looking for people 55 to 70 years of age that wanted to talk about retirement issues where do you think that you might find them?

If I am really missing some great opportunities to learn more about my niche market feel free to tell me. But you may have to take it easy on me. Until recently I thought that Instagram was an online dating service for available women my age. 🙂

 

COM0014 Post 6 My Story

My secret wish for my business is that others will come to understand the importance of planning for retirement as much as I do. I have spent a significant amount of time doing research into this subject and I know that if I pass this information on to others then they will have a much better and happier retirement then they otherwise might. Unfortunately, my motivation came from witnessing a few very bad retirement experiences and I initially wanted to make own upcoming one successful. But it was so difficult to find all of the needed information that I now feel compelled to share these lessons with others.

I try to share my motivation with others so that they will know where I am coming from and how important it is to plan properly. I take great satisfaction from helping others and I think that that shows through. I really do have a story to tell and I think I have done a pretty good job of telling it but there is always room for improvement. The more people that I help, the more my story will become known and that is a very good thing. People can sense sincerity and they know when they are getting the straight story and I take pride in that.

I know that what I have is a business but I have been fortunate in that I have structured it in such a way that it is easy for people to support my work with a very reasonable purchase that helps them plan well. In a way, the dollars take care of themselves and all I have to do is tell my story and my business moves forward. Not a bad deal.

COMM0014 – Post 4 B2C Case Study

For this post I decided to check out a company that has a very close relationship to their customers or “members” and that is Costco. I am a member myself but I don’t recall a really robust social media presence. However, when I went on to their main website ( https://www.costco.ca/ ) I was absolutely shocked to find that they didn’t have any social media links! Near the bottom of the main web page is the Customer Service line complete with a Follow header but no links. Not impressive for a company that it is always talking about the benefits of membership.

I had to look up their Facebook account. When I got there I did see that their SM customer care team was responding to comments, particularly negative ones. However, I was not impressed by the content. It was just a bunch of product advertising. There is nothing wrong with that but as the lesson taught us to” focus on how peoples’ lives can be improved with your products and services”. Costco is missing a great opportunity to connect with their members and to build that all important relationship. I also noted that the responses to comments were highly specific to the complaint but never seemed to engage people beyond what was bothering them at the time. The Costco team had just established a direct contact with a member and should have asked if there was anything else they could do for them or to ask them about their other Costco experiences. They seem to treat social media as an online complaint department instead of the great marketing and research tool that it could be. Too bad for them.