COM0015-Blog#2: Strong and Weak Organizations

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When it comes to social media marketing, you have to mention Starbucks. Facebook, Twitter, Google and Instagram, Starbucks have not been absent. Starbuck is quite keen on the use of hashtags. In addition to using the #TreatReceipt hashtag on Facebook to promote “buy coffee in the morning and enjoy special offers in the afternoon”, Starbucks also makes good use of other tags to deepen its tentacles into consumer discussion threads. For example, Unicorn Frappuccino, Unicorn Frappuccino and its tags generated nearly 155,000 posts on Instagram during the promotion period.

Starbucks also makes good use of social media to strengthen its corporate social responsibility image. Starbucks cooperates with Foursquare to promote anti-AIDS charity activities. As long as consumers go to any Starbucks in the United States and Canada and check in on Foursquare, Starbucks will donate $ 1 until they donate 250,000.


The famous Self-Esteem Campaign is undoubtedly the representative of Dove’s successful social media marketing strategy.In this more than 10-year-old marketing campaign, the advertising industry has been changed. Dove diverts consumers to e-commerce platforms through viral video transmission and the linkage of various digital media platforms to drive overall brand sales. Second, the brand and the target audience In-depth communication, conveying the emotional core of the product in the event touched the consumer, while promoting product sales, conveying the core concept of the brand.

Better Living Products

This is a brand that was founded in 1991 to produce bathroom products. Although they also have social media accounts, they have very few followers. They have almost no interaction with consumers on social media, and this needs to be improved. I think their problem is that they are blindly committed to putting product links on the homepage. They just want to promote the product, but they don’t introduce the product. And when followers give comments, they don’t even reply. I think the brand should be like Starbucks, send more Instagram Stories, or interact with everyone through Facebook Communities.

B2C Case Study: Spotify

Spotify Logo –

I love Spotify. I was hesitant about a subscription service for my music back when it was first coming into the picture, but about four years ago my sister-in-law turned me onto them. How did she sell me? They had Eddy Arnold’s Cattle Call on there. I have obscure tastes in music ranging anywhere from old country western to eighties synth with space vibes. Spotify has it all, and it recommends new stuff based on your tastes! I have discovered a lot of new music this way and have easily recommended it to all friends and family. 

Despite being a great service with a lot of word-of-mouth and recommendation style marketing going on, Spotify is also very active on social media. Spotify has a strong following on social media, which is partly due to its star power. The popular app has teamed up with many musicians to create content that encourages consumers to stay engaged and intrigued. Faces like Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, and Justin Timberlake fill its feed their faces and voices. It has no trouble catching followers’ attention and engage with them by responding to its tweets or comments. 

Spotify itself is also considered a social media network. The service has 217 million users on it as of April 2019 (1) and is growing as a popular place for advertisers to take their campaigns. Company’s want to connect with consumers in places where they already spend a lot of their time; Instagram, Facebook and now, Spotify. The app also offers a community for people. The ability to create playlists and share them with others (and yes, unless you’ve specifically identified them as private, people can see your embarrassing playlist names), the ability to create, share and enjoy podcasts, and of course, it can be used to flesh out your personal brand. For example, a company can make its own account, create a bunch of playlists that create the feeling and vibe of your company, then encourage consumers to come and listen to them. 

Spotify is a great app and a great business. It sells a subscription directly to the consumer that removes the need for hoarding and buying individual songs or CDs. It is the next level of the music industry and has successfully made it to the top of the competition. The move to include paid advertisements was an excellent decision and helps them to stay on top and change with the times. Becoming its on social media network may be the most genius move of all. 


Pusztai, H. (2019). Why brands are turning to Spotify as the next big social platform.

Spotify. (2020).

Spotify on Instagram. (2020).

Spotify on Twitter. (2020).

My Target Audience

Before I get into who my target audience is, I should first explain what it is I’m trying to get out to them. I am a comic artist and I post daily strips that give vignettes of the life of a modern farmer or rural person. Every day I try to post something I’ve experienced that was humorous in the hopes that it will bring other people joy too. Strips about doing chores, working with family, strips about the culture, about my childhood and strips about city life compared directly to country life. 

The immediate audience that comes to mind for such content is automatically farmers. My strips are relatable for them so it must be for them. I came to the conclusion early on that due to many factors that might not be the case. 

Farmers make a very small portion of the online community, most opting not to use it at all. It is a niche, but it’s almost too much of a niche to become anything profitable. When they are on social media, farmers are inclined to use Twitter or Facebook and use those platforms to get the news or stay updated with friends. They don’t tend to use Instagram because that doesn’t serve either of those purposes, and Instagram happens to be the best platform for my type of content.

Farmers are very supportive, friendly, and want members of the community to succeed. They can appreciate what I do and offer words of support but, that is essentially where it ends. These are people who have all their finances tied up in the work and don’t have a penny to stretch for something that isn’t practical. Supporting an artist via Patreon or KoFi would be something completely foreign to them and not justifiable in their minds. 

My actual target audience is young and mostly urban audience. My brand of humour speaks more to the younger generations who just want to be entertained and experience things. I create the strips so that any young person could find something to relate to in it, but it’s still highly farm or country focused. This way, my audience can see that we are all the same in the end, despite backgrounds being so different. For example, my country versus city strips call out in particular are differences and makes a joke of it, but in the end those two people are best friends. 

country vs city strip

The goal of my business is to highlight farming and farm culture through my visual storytelling. I believe the best way to do that in a successful way is to tell the stories to people who don’t already know it. I want to connect with those people and share with them the story of agriculture in a language they are familiar and comfortable with, that doesn’t teach at them but rather laughs with them. Millennials and Generation Z’s also seem to be more open to supporting artists than other generations. If they like your work and your personality they are more likely to subscribe to a Patreon or buy a piece of your work. I’m not necessarily saying farmers wouldn’t do that, but from a business perspective I have to go with the more likely bet.

Long story short, my audience is the young, urban, Canadians of today. The people living through their social media platforms and giving what they can to support people they appreciate. In doing so, I give back to the farming community in a more meaningful way. Even with my strips focused on pleasing a very different audience, they are still relatable to those farmers out there who need a good chuckle too. 

What Truly Matters?

I spoke with my grandmother the other day. We had been talking about “The Good Ol’ Days”. She told me tales of her childhood. She described the days spent scraping her knees in the dirt, riding horses in the small field her family groomed, a garden in which she picked only the richest tomatoes. She spoke of running without shoes, she told me about harsh winters by the wood-stove and long trips across the lake on her father’s 1968 Yamaha Snowmobile. She stated it was a simpler time full of happiness. My grandmother was not born into wealth. Her father and mother built their home on a small plot of land and raised a family on the dirt. She states to have gone without shoes most summers and they never had money to do luxurious things, but she said it was a happy home and the hard times made her a strong person.

She then tells me how her life has seemingly become more complicated with the advancement of technology. She spends most days working and irrationally fearing being replaced by a machine. Her friends are always at her finger-tips but seldom share the same space. Her youngest grandchildren are unable to focus long enough to complete a puzzle or share a movie. She has no idea how to access her online passwords if forgotten and she always feels like she is stuck online during her spare time. She tells me that nobody sits down to share a meal anymore without their phones, the only time she can truly get recognition is by learning what a “selfie” is and asking someone to take one with her. She feels that Social Media has stolen the things she loved about life and doesn’t understand the benefits.

I took a moment to pause and reflect. I see so much positivity in social media that I had a hard time understanding at first. I told my grandmother that there were so many benefits to having this new-age technology. I live three hours from her and do not yet possess a car through which I can just drive over. Due to social media and technology, she can check-in on me at any moment throughout the day no matter where I am. I can set up video-chat and see her face whenever I choose to. Long gone are the days that you had to wait for a loved one to be in front of you to see their face. I set up DUO video chat on her phone and laptop and showed her how to contact me through Facebook if she so chooses. My grandmother has had her hip and knee replaced and struggles to walk most days. With today’s advancements, she can order groceries online via multiple different apps or on Facebook. I promptly set this up in the case she may ever need it.

My Gram is very skeptical of what dangers could arise in the world and always wants to be prepared. I taught her about Twitter. She tried to shut me down here. She told me her FOX news and Chex television were good enough for her. To which I responded, “Gram, what is something you’ve always wanted to know about right that second” Interestingly enough she says “I’m very overwhelmed with all of this COVID-19 stuff, It scares me. Is there any good news?”. I then proceeded to follow The World Health Organization on Twitter and she was delighted to find that her anxiety was comforted knowing that steps were being taken and one day, this would all come to pass if she just followed the recommendations.

At this point, all I wanted to do was to help her feel more positively about her relationship with social media as it pertained to her quality of life. At this moment, I saw her eyes become young and mischievous. This amazing tribute to women everywhere upheld the legacy by instigating a challenge for me. She tells me that she’s impressed. Then followed up with, “If this stuff is so great, show me where I can learn something new”, followed up with a checkered grin and an eyebrow raise. Unfortunately, she underestimated me. I opened youtube and found three videos on the skills she was looking for.

I felt satisfied with my efforts. I felt I had changed her perspective and gave her a clear understanding of how these new social entities could improve her life. I gave her a hug and kissed her on the cheek. But before I left, I noticed the dullness was still there. She was well-informed but it didn’t change her perspective. On her side, family and simplicity is everything. On my (generational) side, I (we) are content with the direction the world is moving in. This begs the question, what truly matters?


Austin Foster

Storytelling & Communication

This week we learned about communicating through the art of storytelling. Social media has given us the biggest stage for which to tell our stories. It has lead to many successful careers for people who know how to do it right. They found their authentic voice, chose their subject carefully and made sure to use proper communication techniques (for example: Spelling and grammar in a blog).  

 I have always loved to spin yarn to any captive audience. My mission is to make people laugh, and I do that through being as animated and expressive as possible. I think all humans have that desire to truly connect and share with each other in that way and that is what lead to the rise of the social network. Anyone can tell their stories in any format they choose. This leads to a lot of crummy content, or a lot of really great content, but either way it is an overwhelming amount of content that one could sift through for all eternity. 

Storytelling is important. It is something we have been doing since the dawn of time. It keeps us social, it keeps us grounded and it helps us relate to the other people in our lives. Spending time with a friend often involves rounds of storytelling, back and forth. I go out for coffee with a friend of mine regularly, last time I was telling her about a racoon issue I experienced, she responded with a squirrel issue she experienced, I retorted with a squirrel experience I had as a kid, she came back with a story about growing up in a city apartment so she couldn’t relate to a childhood where a squirrel lived under her bed and chewed up her action figures. We moved on to discuss our childhood differences. Our entire basis for communication is storytelling. 

In a digital space, that back and forth still exists. When someone makes a post on instagram or a blog post, or a tweet, a simple invitation for someone to weigh in with their own experience ignites the same interaction. A picture of a meal with the caption ‘what are you eating?’ Tells a story about what the person is eating and invites a response story from someone else. This engagement often drives the success of a person’s online presence, and if they are so inclined, could lead to a career- all from doing what comes natural to us!

Long story short, I learned that storytelling can be the key to successful career online. Storytelling should be authentic, not forced, and it should always feel like you are starting a conversation with whoever you are telling the story to. Much like telling spooky stories around a campfire, we take our turns and weigh in when we can relate. 

I feel as though I already know what my appropriate storytelling vehicle is, but sometimes I wonder if I’m missing an opportunity. Making comics is my jam, but given my love for verbally entertaining my friends with stories that will make them laugh, I wonder if I might be more successful in a video sharing experience? Would I still be authentic? This is a question I hope to uncover through this course. 

COM0011- Blog #1 -Society’s Best Friend

COM0011- Blog #1 -Society’s Best Friend

Let me take you back before the late 90’s where flipping a newspaper, listening to the radio, watching television and visiting a library were the main sources of gaining knowledge and  finding out general information. When taking a road trip and getting lost, we would pull over and reach for the map from our glove compartments and check a legend or compass to ensure we were travelling in the right direction. How about turning on 680 news or the weather network to check the daily forecast to ensure we were well prepared for what mother nature had in store for us each day. Let’s also not forget those big bulky timers we had set to ensure our Christmas trees and outdoor lights shut off on time. Who would have thought all of these things would become second nature and life would only get easier as technology advanced? In 1998 our best friend was founded and a more convenient life was established .

Photo by Photomix Ltd from

Introducing society’s best friend better known as Google . Google’s mission  is to “organize the worlds information and make it universally accessible and useful”. Can we all agree that we use google at least once a day? Aside from Google being the # 1 search engine ( Google Chrome) it constantly benefits us in our everyday lives through our mobile devices, smartphones, tablets and laptops.

” Hey Google, can you turn off the lights?”: Google Home

” Hey Google, please translate this from French to English”: Google Translate

” Hey Google, I need to get to the airport for 10:00, what’s the best route?” :Google maps

Google is not just our best friend but is also our Personal Assistant. Our personal time has increased along with our knowledge because of the unlimited access to Google and the information it provides us.” Lets google it” has become the catch phrase to life’s daily questions and answers.

Photo by John Tekeredis from

For the future I envision Google becoming an actual AI robot that can physically reside with us as human beings. As creepy as it may sound, this seems to be where the next phase of technology is heading. We can either choose to embrace it or run from it. The choice is ours. As an Android user I have strong faith in google products  and applications and only see it growing and benefiting us even more than it does today. We are all fortunate enough to live in this generation and have access to our best friend Google.

Reference:  Larry Page, Google’s Founder, 2004

Facebook: Society’s Best Friend #Googleit #Googlemaps #Googletranslate

Twitter: Society’s Best Friend #Googleit #Googlemaps #Googletranslate

COM0011 – Blog#1 – Social Media Confuses Me

Okay, I’ll admit it, social media confuses me!

There I said it, I can’t be the only one right? As a mom to four kids ranging from 11 to 19 I have had to learn my share of social media sites, or are they called apps – these days I’m not really sure? I have mastered (or so I think) Facebook and Twitter and I am pretty well versed in Instagram but TikTok or Snapchat are beyond my understanding. However I believe that I have a moral responsibility as a parent (who has kids on social media) to know what they are posting and sharing with friends. My kids have been the target of online bullying, they have had “finsta” accounts and yes we have had to have conversations about what is appropriate to share on social media. Heck, they are still naive to think that just because it’s on Facebook it must be real. No kids (and adults alike) not everything you read is real. How many of you are old enough to to remember the National Inquirer at the grocery store check out?

Maybe I’m old but I don’t understand the need to document everything you did all day in pictures. Is it because you’ll forget? Is there an instant satisfaction that comes with getting an abundance of “likes”? If so what about if you don’t get enough “likes”, is that somehow equated to popularity? As a society are we more concerned with “likes” than connecting with friends through shared experiences? I worry how social media has changed society, how we perceive things, how we interact IRL (in real life) and what effects this has on our mental health. I am perhaps envious of those who can walk away from their social media and take a break, or for those who don’t have it all. Are they missing out or are we the ones missing out on what is happening because we are so focused in documenting our lives for all to see?

Bullying on Social Media: Where to Draw the Lines

Image source:

The advent of social media platforms has resulted in profound changes in how people express themselves, find leisure, interact with each other, and contribute to global and local socio-political issues. According to Esteban Ortiz from Our World in Data, 3.5 billion people have access to social media globally, which implies that one out of every three people has a social media account. Facebook, for example, had 2.5 billion monthly users by the end of 2019. Social media enables users to share photos, ideas, chat, and connect with friends. However, disgruntled individuals have misused it to bully, body shame, or cause fear. A recent estimate suggests that while 47% of the youths have been victims of social media bullying, 71% of them feel concerned about it. Suicide cases among teenagers have also increased by 56% from 2007 to 2017. All stakeholders must, therefore, step up and address the issue to prevent premature deaths and psychological problems

Teenage bullying on smart phone
Image source:

How the Bullying Happens

Social media bullying takes many forms depending on the platform used. For example, on Twitter, an individual might write mean, hurtful, and emotionally draining comments about a fellow student or workmate. On Instagram and Facebook, bullies post malicious or demeaning words in the comment section mainly about the victim’s physical appearance (fat, thin, or malnourished), social status, and economic and ethnic background. Some may use the platforms to hurl insults, blackmail, or shame victims. A case in point is Mallory, a 12-year-old girl from New Jersey who committed suicide after being bullied by her classmates. Her mother reported, “For months there were texts, Snapchat and Instagram — she was told she was a loser, she had no friends. She was even told, ‘why don’t you kill yourself.’” Though some people may glorify it as ‘banter,’ it is wrong, unethical, and unacceptable

Mitigation and Coping Strategies

In the 21st century, we cannot do away with social media, but there should be measures to make it a safe place. Studies suggest that promoting an individual’s self-esteem and empathy, nurturing warm-cordial relationships with parents/guardians, and limiting the time spent on social media will go a long way in addressing the problem, especially among teenagers. Moreover, there is a need for strict legislation to deal with this digital menace since, currently, online platforms operate is a system of self-regulation.

The concept has led to a conflict of interest as the companies strive to be flexible to evolve and keep their subscribers. Though there are links for reporting abusive, malicious, and inappropriate content, the corporations have been reluctant to act, and when they do, the response has been inconsistent. Social Support is also a critical factor in preventing the adverse effects of social media bullying.

Victims need continuous reassurance that they are beautiful, charming, loveable, and so forth. However, most sufferers are silent about their predicaments. Creating a friendly environment with children is a sure way of building a caring and trusting relationship that would allow them to speak up. It is also essential to study your kid’s behavior. Besides, all users should feel obligated to report instances of social media bullying to the relevant authorities.

Social media bullying is a menace that requires a concerted effort from all actors to mitigate. Many have committed suicide because of it, and therefore the government should put in place stricter measures to regulate such activities. Parents also have a role to play in protecting and empowering their teenagers against social media bullying. Every subscriber has a moral duty to report any demeaning, malicious, or inappropriate content. Lastly, do you think there is a difference between banter and bullying?

COM0011- Blog 1 – Can I Take Control of my Facebook News Feed Content?

I love sitting around, drinking my coffee and catching up with my Facebook friends and family. Lately, I have been wondering if I need to see all those adds and suggested content that I don’t really care about! I was wondering – can I change the content of my news feed?

Photo by bongkarn thanyakij from Pexels

Facebook has been developing their algorithm since it was born in 2004. Over the years, they invented news feeds, likes, newsfeed sorting, prioritization and last year, in 2019, they introduced the ‘Why am I seeing this post’ tool.

Created by HootSuite – Article: How the Facebook Algorithm Works in 2020 and How to Make it Work for You

Let’s focus in on the News Feed.   Do you ever wonder why you are getting certain content or adds on your feed?    It’s important to understand that Facebook has over 1.6 Billion users visit Facebook daily and over 300 million actives users. Facebook had to develop an algorithm to manage and sift through this content to display it on your feed.  It does this by analyzing your likes and reactions to posts and serves up more of what you like.   It also serves up adds that have certain advertising requests that matches your profile (e.g. age or gender or location).

How do I find out more about these preferences?  Go to a post in Facebook and click on the … (three dots), top right corner.  A menu will pop up with the question ‘Why am I seeing this Add?’. 

Screen Shot taken from my Facebook page after clicking the …. (top right)

I can click ‘Hide all adds from this advertiser’ or I can click on ‘Make Changes to your Add preferences’.

Screen Shot taken from my Facebook page after clicking the Why am I seeing this add link

You can look through the About Facebook Adds to get more in depth information about these settings.

Who knew?  As of 2019, Facebook has now given users the ability to hide adds that they don’t want to see or to modify your Add Preferences and change your interests, your information, Ad settings etc… 

In conclusion, yes I now configured my Facebook add preferences but have yet to see how it will truly affect the adds and content that pop on my feed.  Stay tuned!    I would love to hear if you have had any success with this approach!


FACEBOOK: How can I take control over my @Facebook News Feed content? #WhyamIseeingthisadd #Facebook Check this post:

TWITTER: Controlling my @Facebook News Feed content? This is 4 u. #WhyamIseeingthisadd #Facebook

What’s your story?

When you reflect upon times spent with people whether it is a sales presentation or a mug of tea with a favorite aunt – you remember the story they told you.

My key learning is that you need to wrap facts in a narrative.

As was the case of an impactful business presentation. The story of a day in the life was used to tell me how a particular technology could be linked together with the customer experience. The end to end story resonated with me and I left the meeting with a vision of how this strategy could change the business.

I learned over the mug of tea from my aunt that my dad used to ride their horse to a local bakery to pick up stale bread for free. One day the horse took a shortcut through an empty clothesline — my dad was literally clothes lined. My aunt said the result was ” that there was bread and Edgar all over the place”. Despite the humor in the story, I reflected, my dad, the oldest in his family, had started early in his life caring for family and that they had been quite poor – without it ever being said.

Our lives – work life and home life – are overflowing with communication fed via a plethora of communication channels. There are a lot of stories out there … so how do you get people to hear your story? Find the right channel for the narrative by getting to know your audience.

Each one of the photos at the top of this story represents a story or 4 from a day out of my life. This learning experience has also taught me that this is a good time to have alot of stories to tell and perhaps I should get on that.