I used to own a small online business with my sister, approximately two years ago. It was doing well, considering we had just been open for a little over a year. We sold purses, jewelry, makeup, scarves, beach apparel and many more products. Also, at Christmas time we would curate a box that customers could purchase for family, friends, or themselves. It included one item from each group. Each box would have a piece of jewelry, a purse or wallet, make up, a scarf, comfy socks and so on. The box would contain seven full sized items and we would add an extra free gift. We sold the boxes at $50 with a guaranteed value of $100 and we did the wrapping as well. I didn’t realize how much everyone would love them because they sold out in a week. We also got to interact with our customers face to face. We would deliver to your home, work and we also gave the option for pick up. Unfortunately, I had to shut it down for a few years due to medical reasons, but I do plan to reopen in the next year.
When we started this business, our target audience was for anyone who wanted to purchase our products within our area. In some cases that I have read for target audiences for a business like mine. Their demographic would be more specific, for example women from the ages of twenty to forty years of age. We discussed it and we didn’t want to put that on our mission post. We felt it should not be specific. Anyone at any age was our demographic audience. Sometimes there would be people from out of town who wanted to purchase our products, so we would mail it to them with a flat rate of $8. We turned no one away.
Here is a list of some incentives we used to capture our audience.
Giveaways once a month and on holidays.
Free gift with purchases over $50.
If you wanted to join our emailing list for updates and special offers, we would offer 10% of first order.
With makeup bundles, we would add an lipstick or gloss of their choosing.
How we used social media for our business. We had our official business website, a Facebook business page and Instagram. We also handed out business cards and did face to face networking. We would also ask our customers if there were some other products they would like to see in our store. We wanted their input, which only seemed fair because they were the ones buying the product. Its getting to know your audience, everyone has different tastes.
Question, If you were a customer of mine, would you like the idea of having an opinion on what products we bring in? Keep in mind we were a small local business, and we could easily communicate with our customers and knew many of them.
In the organization I am part of, students are our main audience. More specifically, undergraduate students who are about 18-23 years old. Our students are a diverse population with a ratio of about 60% female identifying to 40% male identifying. While communication is two-ways, we mainly give information to our students though we try to balance that out with efforts to get them to engage with us. We also regularly ask for feedback and ways we can improve to ensure that we’re meeting their needs.
Some ways that are effective in communicating to this audience is through quick, digestible content. This means Instagram stories, Instagram Reels, TikTok and anything else they can get the information from quickly and effectively. While our students do read their emails, those tend to be longer and they don’t always pick out what information is the most important. In our social media, we’re able to summarize those emails into quick information. This is all part of a larger strategy. You communicate with them in multiple ways, ensuring they have opportunities to get the information they need.
To us, it’s important that our target audience is also part of our team and building the strategy. This means that we have a team of students on our social media team that help us execute all our plans. They attend our meetings regularly, they help us build content and they help ensure that our goals are being met when it comes to communicating to our students. This is a key feature that I believe goes a long way and has allowed us to grow from 800 to 9,000 followers on Instagram in just a few short years.
An ongoing joke in my social circle is that I am the plug for any type of product.
I work for a marketing company that specializes in branded merchandise, so I am always bringing stuff home. Some of our clients have sizeable merchandise stores with us, and one that I work with is the Volkswagen Collection.
When we first built the online store, it was primarily for dealerships across the country to have an easy way to purchase items. We created an Instagram account as a tool to reach the dealerships in unique ways, all at the same time, while also displaying our products. They were my target audience at the beginning.
Connecting with them on social media lead me to accounts for sales reps and marketers, and I got to know them as individuals. Most of them were interested in the Collection for merch they could wear at work and give to customers. When social media showed me that a dealership employee had a baby, I immediately sent them a Volkswagen onesie at no charge. I try to make touch points in the most relatable way possible and remind them that the Volkswagen Collection is their friend.
Over the last year, the page has grown in following and the audience has shifted. It is still an awesome resource to connect with dealers, but now Volkswagen lovers who want branded swag follow me too. Tons of folks have accounts dedicated to their Volkswagens, and post photos from different angles in different locations every day. Some of these accounts have thousands of followers, and they are the accounts I want to target now. They love the brand, they want to show it off, and now I have shown them where to find the goods.
With this new audience, I hold giveaways that require a follow to enter. I often send free merchandise to people with high follower counts and engage with me frequently and hope they will show it to their Volkswagen-loving friends, or post about it on their own page. Our retail sales have increased, and I have formed real relationships with some of those customers.
If you had to choose between the 2 scenarios, which position would you pick and why?
You are a social media manager for a mid-sized brand with a unique, niche following. Your audience is particular and relatively small, but you have potential to connect deeply. Your posts don’t go far enough to stir up conversation in either a positive or negative light.
You are a social media manager for a large, well-known brand that has a large following. Your audience ranges in demographic and interest, but your content might not resonate with all of them. Your posts go very far with potential to stir up positive conversations, though the virality could also foster negative buzz around the brand.
I think you make some great points about the positive and negative impacts of social media that people don’t often think of. And although we may often look past the negatives and think “That’s not me”, we often don’t see it coming.
It can sneak up so quickly in our lives and we really need to actively think about ways to avoid letting social media run our lives.
Social media platforms are evolving on adailybasis. Have you ever thought howitaffectsyour mental health?
Below I will discuss the good,andbadimpact thatsocial mediacan haveon our mental health.
Social media has many positive benefits on our mental health. Today, many people rely on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram to connect with people.Connecting with people has proven tohelp reducestress andanxiety among our population.
Here are some great points from an article byHelpGuideto show how social media helpsourwell-being.
Communicate with friends and family around the world
Make new connections
Raise awareness on important issues
Seek guidance or offer emotional support
An outlet for expressing your creativity and identity
Who Uses Social Media?
The chart below published by H. Tankovska on Statista “shows the number of social network users in Canada from 2017 to 2025. In 2019, there were approximately 25.35 million social network users in…
I think this is a great point. Seeing politicians online helps us to feel more relatable as opposed to getting the message on our answering machine. I feel this also relates to our discussion post, where we discussed the separation of our professional and personal personas.
I had a bit of a chuckle when reading the course content about governments and social media. We’ve come such a long way with technology in a short length of time, and the pandemic has made everything virtual, so there were a few examples that the government is now doing in the present.
We also read about Obama’s election and how social media played a role. It reminds me of a Canadian politician who has a unique approach to social media. Jagmeet Singh, leader of the NDP party, has a TikTok account where he piggybacks onto social media trends with a spin towards his cause and he and does it well. This is something that is very new in politics and there are many political figures who are thriving on social media – AOC, Obama, and previously Trump are a few examples.
We’ve all seen those commercials on social media and tv that makes you go, “aw, that’s so great,” but we’ve also seen ones that make you say, “you can’t be serious?” so that’s what we’ll dive into in this blog.
Some of my favourite content is always at Christmas. While that time of year can certainly be challenging, some companies try to push the true meaning of the holidays and that it isn’t always about buying stuff, but being with those you love or helping those who may be alone. WestJet is one of those companies.
Each year, they come out with a different “WestJet Christmas Miracle” from spur of the moment to giving to Fort MacMurray Strong when they were affected by the fires. The goal of this is to provide to those who need it most. From items they have on hand, airline tickets, donations and sponsors, they help families in need and various charities. 2020 was a horrendous year for so many, so while Christmas was different, they still gave. They posted on their social media platforms posting that this was indeed happening, and in came the donations. Aside from their Christmas content, they are incredibly active on their social media, even with the pandemic. They’re posting content from current deals, safety protocols and information about their travel insurance policies. While it may not seem like much, it’s getting people interacting with them, providing feedback.
Sticking with the Canadian theme, my next favourite company is Molson Canadian, and I don’t even drink beer!! I’ve always been a very proud and patriotic Canadian, so when I see their ads or posts on social media that are “Canadian-isms,” I almost get excited. They are big supporters of Canadian hockey and the Canadian Olympic team and will post numerous times a day that coordinates with whatever is going on at the time. They always seem to have the most incredible vintage pictures. For example, on their Facebook page, they posted a photo of Guy Carbonneau drinking beer out of the Stanley Cup after his team’s win in 1986, and while I’m a big hockey fan (just not his team at the time), that is something I did not know about! They also advertise their limited edition beers through their social media platforms as it gets more attention and is easier maintained. But without a doubt, I think my favourite thing they’ve done is their beer fridge campaigns. What started as a prank boosted their sales, completely changing their direction in marketing and even won them an award for outstanding effectiveness in business marketing.
If you haven’t heard of the beer fridge campaign, let me fill you in. In their original campaign, Molson brought a bright red beer fridge with a giant maple leaf on it and put it in various locations around Europe. Seems simple right? To open the refrigerator, you had to use a Canadian passport! The goal behind it is to make you proud of where you are from.
Now the one that made me swear someone was cutting onions nearby was the beer fridge that only opened when multiple languages were detected saying “I Am Canadian,” showing just how multicultural we are as a nation. As someone who is currently serving in the Canadian Armed Forces, I have served with people who have come from all over the world, but we all wear the same flag on our shoulders. It truly makes me proud to be Canadian. Check out the video here, and if your eyes start to sweat, I won’t judge you!`
Now that we’ve shown the good, sadly, we have to highlight the bad. It was a lot harder trying to find an organization that doesn’t have some social media presence, as it’s just the thing to have now. But I did ultimately find one; Marlboro Cigarettes. While I’m not a smoker, I didn’t think anything of it; however, they have chosen to avoid social media altogether. In 2014, the company was criticized for launching a campaign directed towards a younger audience and seeing how smoking isn’t the “cool” thing to do anymore, and people were displeased. Afterwards, they decided that there wasn’t enough of an upside to maintain social media. But, their parent company Philip Morris does have social media accounts that they use mainly to promote openings in the company or promote their charities.
So, with that I have to ask; if marketing in your industry is so regulated, is it worth having a social media prescense?
In this day and age social media is a very important tool for organizations of all types. Some are doing it well and others are not. One organization that I believe has always had a strong social media strategy is Starbucks. They have had an impressive social media presence for years, some of their most memorable are Pumpkin Spiced Latte, Unicorn Frappuccino, Red Cup Art, Starbucks Stories: To Be Human, Upstanders and Extra Shot of Pride (Gilliland, 2020). Starbucks have taken a social justice approach to some of their social media campaigns and in turn have raised a lot of money for organizations such as ‘Born This Way Foundation’, an organization who support mental health initiatives for transgendered and LGBTQ+ communities with their #Extrashotofpride campaign (Gilliland, 2020). They have also donated over $500 000 in grants to small non-profits with their ‘Upstanders campaign’ (Gilliland, 2020). It is important to be honest and genuine when creating cause-related social media campaigns and Starbucks has done this successfully by raising money for organizations who directly support each cause.
Starbucks’ most recent social justice campaign is the ‘What’s Your Name’ campaign. A campaign that addresses the issue of birth name for many transgendered people (Markairn, 2020). This campaign highlights the stigma surrounding birth name, that transgendered people often face as they transition and the importance of a name in one’s identity (Markairn, 2020). Starbucks has a tradition of writing people’s names on takeout cups in their establishments and this was used as a way of supporting people who have changed their names to better suit their true identities (Markairn, 2020). Starbucks genuinely supports the LGBTQ+ community and have showed their support in this campaign as well by partnering with Mermaids, a charity that ‘supports young transgender and gender diverse groups’ (Markairn, 2020, para 15), and raising over $100 000 for them in a short time (Markairn, 2020). They did so by selling Mermaid cookies and user generated content to get the word out with the hashtag #what’syourname (Cyca, 2020). Here is the original video from the ‘What’s My Name?’ campaign:
Another organization that has a strong social media strategy is GoPro. They have successfully harnessed user generated content in a new and extreme fashion (Kannenberg, 2020). GoPro are a camera company who’s target market are people who love extreme sports and adventure, and the GoPro is the perfect camera to capture this, whether you are a surfer, snowboarder, hiker or some other sport enthusiast (Ideagoras, n.d.). What sets the GoPro apart from other cameras is its ability to be worn on the body, this allows the viewer to get a true sense of the experience and doesn’t require a second person to film (Ideagoras, n.d.). The GoPro easily uploads the footage directly to social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube (Ideagoras, n.d.). People then share their extreme videos with the hashtag #GoPro and the perfect user generated content strategy is created, encouraging others to buy the camera and capture their own adventure (Ideagoras, n.d.). User generated content is a brilliant social media strategy for a product such as this because it is not only genuine, but it is also basically free (Ideagoras, n.d.). The GoPro user becomes a brand ambassador, especially with YouTube, and this has helped them to grow their social media following and thus increase their revenue (Krows Team, 2020). This form of social media strategy has been very successful because it creates a strong bond with the brand and encourages people to share their experiences which establishes a deeper connection with the company and creates a sense of community and loyalty (Krows Team, 2020).
Here is an example of a YouTube video filmed on a GoPro:
Most large companies have invested quite heavily in social media by this point in time, it seems that it’s some smaller, less corporate businesses that lack social media strategies. However, social media has become so incredibly ubiquitous that it was quite difficult to find even a local company that completely lacks a social media presence, but I did find one. The convenience store near my house, Domestic Foods on Gladstone Avenue has obviously thought about the importance of social media because they have a Facebook Page and an Instagram account, but they have yet to post anything on their Instagram despite having over 1400 followers (Domestic Foods, n.d.), and they only have two check-ins on their Facebook page and only one post (Domestic Foods, n.d.). This is a well-known independent convenience and grocery store in an area of Ottawa’s Centretown neighbourhood that could be considered a food dessert, especially for those who lack transportation, as the closest real grocery store is a fifteen minute walk from Domestic Foods. This is a great opportunity for Domestic Foods to create a social media strategy as the stop gap between grocery shopping trips for people who live nearby. Their objectives should be to increase awareness about what they offer, when they are open and who they are as a family run business. They could benefit by posting about new products and potentially introduce fresh produce and use social media to gain awareness about it. Instagram stories would be a good tool to start with because they have some many followers already and stories published by businesses get more views than personal accounts (Ganta, 2020). Instagram Stories are also great for improving brand visibility and getting feedback on new products and staying top of mind (Ganta, 2020). Centretown residents are mostly millennials and generations Z and are therefore social media savvy and because of this, a social media presence would greatly benefit Domestic Foods. They should begin their foray into social media by posting stories on their Instagram page about their staff who have been the same people for the fifteen years I have been going there as well as the products they sell, the hours they keep and the services they provide.
Cyca, M. (August, 2020) ‘Social Media Campaigns (And What You Can Learn From Them)’
When launching a new social media marketing campaign, organizations must consider some important elements that are common to every successful social media campaign like being true to their brand, using a different strategy for each platform and originality. Let me show you two successful campaigns and one that didn’t have a lot of success.
Who doesn’t want free beer? Coors Light decided to give free 6 packs to some clients who had bought one and post a Tweet saying why they needed a beer. The timing of this campaign was perfect, with the Covid-19 pandemic a lot of people needed to decompress, and their audience felt the campaign was directed to them.
Casper mattress have created a unique playlist to help its costumers sleep better. The playlist contains meditations, relaxing sounds, and bedtime stories. By doing this original campaign Casper gave value to their audience that have resulted in sales.
It’s crazy how an error as simple as not doing a google research can ruin a social media campaign. During the 2014 World Cup when team USA won against team Ghana, Delta Airline used a giraffe image to represent Ghana and the Statue of Liberty for USA. The problem is that the person in charge of social media for Delta airline didn’t knew that there are no giraffe in Ghana.
What are the best and worst social media you have seen?
For this week’s blog post, I’m going to delve into one of my more recent hobbies: diamond painting. As a result of successive lockdowns and the ongoing pandemic, I found myself in need of a new hobby. I’ve always done a lot of crafts, mostly cross stitch, ceramics painting, and other more obscure activities. However, when my mother took up this new craft and suggested I give it a go, I jumped at the chance. Now, I have been sucked into the world of social media diamond painters.
The diamond painting community is surprisingly diverse. I had expected it to be mostly middle-aged women (which it is), but there are a surprising number of men who enjoy it as well. It’s popular with children, mostly girls, and women of all ages. The men tend to be middle aged or older, though, and are in the minority. People with this hobby can be split into three distinct groups: those who prefer round drills (diamonds), those who prefer square drills, and those who like both. This hobby is popular all over the world and diamond painters flock to social media to exchange tips, ideas, and store recommendations.
The most effective tools for communicating with this audience would be blogs/vlogs and Facebook. Community members enjoy displaying and sharing their completed work and exchanging information about the best places to buy from and how best to frame or fix the images once completed. Blogs would be a useful way of sharing projects, as would sites like Pinterest. However, the biggest communities of diamond painters can be found in Facebook groups. There are many such groups, some organised by geographical location or language, while others have a global following. Getting a message out about new products, for example, would be best done in these groups.
What hobbies do you have? Do they have large followings or dedicated groups on social media?
As some of you already know, since 2018 me and my family have become nomad and since then I have learned to appreciate experiences rather than things. Being nomad doesn’t mean you have to become minimalist, but you will learn that having more material won’t make you happier.
My Target audience
The audience I would try to reach when writing about minimalist will not be gender specific or for a certain age range. I will for sure try to reach people already interested in minimalism, but also: digital nomad, travellers’ people who are looking to change their lifestyle. I also found an article from EUROMONITOR INTERNATIONAL saying that the best ways to target minimalist seekers is to: write about sustainability and community. They also wrote that minimalist is not looking for the cheapest items, but things that will last longer even if it’s more expensive. Another important thing will be to focus on building a trust relationship with the audience because they tend to think more before deciding to buy something.
The primary tool I will use is a blog and I would use other social media platform as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote the newest post. Another thing I would use is e-mail marketing to create a long-term relation with my audience.