COMM0015 – Blog Post #4 – Out of the Box

Photo by Giphy.com

Wow, it is hard to believe that this is my last blog post. I’m at the end of this final course and now it’s time to reflect back on what I have learned. What surprised me the most?

I guess when I think about it, my understanding of social media was narrow and small. I mean, I used social media. I read about it every day. I pride myself on having multiple social media accounts and can keep up with my teenage kids. Of course that is also why I had all those social media accounts…lol. To keep up with my kids. I wanted to know what they were doing on line. I needed to know if they were being safe and responsible. They could definitely teach me a thing or two! What I didn’t know, or fully realize is how much social media influences our lives. The sheer volume of stuff out there is tantalizing.

My 13 year old daughter is always on YouTube and is always rattling on about this blogger or that blogger. My 16 year old daughter is stuck on the Snapchat craze. Her cell phone bill was a whopping $184.00 this month because she exceeded her 4GB data limit! Who needs more than 4GB of data? I near died! Apparently she can’t live without her Snapchat streaks!

photo by giphy.com

This brings me back to the point! Social media is everywhere. As a marketer, either you move with the times, or it passes you by and leaves you in the dust. Social media desert, is not where you want to be. Not if you want to stay current in the market and make an impact with your customers.

photo by gfycat.com

It is all about the customer. You need to listen. You need to engage. You need to build your reputation. You need a plan, and you need to Network. No one does this alone. There are so many social media sites available to anyone willing to turn on the computer. There is also a lot of helpful sites to get you started. Social media is huge. It is unlimited. It can be scary. But if you take it one piece at a time and learn to listen to your audience, it can be an interesting place to spend some time. Who knows, you might just enjoy blogging!

What about you? What social media applications do you use?

COM0015 – Blog 5: Out of the Box

Wow, I can’t believe it… my last blog post and assignment for the Algonquin Social Media program!  Now I only need to be concerned about keeping up my own blogging content, and social media accounts, and of course their monitoring and measurement.  When I started to program a seemingly long time ago, there were lots of things I didn’t know about online marketing and social media… mainly to do with metrics, measurement, and blogging.  But these have all become common place for me, and are all widely used and embraced by social media experts alike.  There are however, a couple of things that have come up in the past few weeks that I didn’t really expect to have applications in for online marketing.

The first one is Eventbrite (https://www.eventbrite.ca/).  I’ve used it multiple times in the past to register for conferences and other events, but had no idea that you could use it to search for events in a specific area.  Any time I have used it for registration, I’ve always gone directly to the registration page via a link from the hosting organization’s website. I plan on using the search function in the future to check out local events for both personal and professional interest, as well as using it to list the paid events offered by my company.

The other unexpected application I have found is Meetup (https://www.meetup.com).  I had first heard about Meetup a number of years ago, but it never really stayed on my radar.  I was always under the impression that it was geared towards leisure activities, and really had no applications in the business world… was I ever wrong!  This is a great platform for finding other like-minded professional, or ones that are in the same field.  Looking at it recently I found a number of events for individuals who are in the social media marketing field, as well as Career Development, and small business.  I’m excited to see what events I can be part of in the future, and convincing my company to host some free events to get out name better known.

This is the beauty of the social web, there are always new technologies presenting themselves.  Maybe they aren’t always used for their original intention, but web-based technologies are dynamic by nature.  I’m looking forward to seeing what is on the horizon, and how I will be able to integrate them with my social media marketing plans.

COM0015, Blog 4: Out of the Box

From Social Media to Stock Image Storefront

I find it interesting that social media not only helps market products and services and even serve ads, but it can also be the storefront. For example, some photo-sharing social media sites, like ViewBug and 500px, allow photographers to charge royalty fees for their images through a stock-image system.

While Instagram and Flickr may be the best-known photo-sharing social media platforms, I love ViewBug. The community is much more active. Not only does ViewBug have 20 or so free contests going on at any one time (plus contests for premium and pro members), but anybody can set up a photo challenge, asking users to submit images on the most eclectic ideas imaginable. This really boosts creativity and inspiration.

I have Curator status, which means I’m one of the volunteers who greets new members and offers pointers to budding photographers. ViewbBug recently invited me to become a Collaborator, which means they would like my input on new contests and promotions. Because of my status and the 138 awards I’ve won so far, I’m confident that I should be able to sell a few of my images.

viewbug-page

While I have to do more research before turning on any revenue-generating feature, 500px’s Marketplace seems to be the most complicated. Not only does it require model-release forms (which is common practice for taking, let alone selling, images of people), but it also requires property-release forms. As an architectural photographer, I need to see if I can legally sell any of my existing images. I also need to determine whether I need to ask property owners to sign a form for any photographers I want to take.

I have not been able to find a similar feature on Instagram. I’m not surprised by this as:

“Instagram is a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. Snap a photo with your mobile phone, then choose a filter to transform the image into a memory to keep around forever.”

Even if your mobile phone boasts 20 megapixels, in most (but not all) cases, the quality of those pixels and of the jpgs they create are not of high enough quality to allow for professional purposes and printing. Instagram does not allow people to upload photos directly from a desktop or laptop computer, so it becomes more difficult to post pictures taken from a DSLR (although Hootsuite sends push notifications to my cell phone to post images and captions I’ve uploaded from my computer).

I find it disappointing that Flickr does not offer a marketplace. My hopes were raised when I saw that it allows photographers to choose which licence they want for their images. These range from public domain or government work to all rights reserved, with variations of attribution in between. While public domain and government work are free for anybody to use, all rights reserved protects photographers’ copyrighted material from being reproduced without written permission, which is the licence professional photographers would choose.

Whether the social media account is for FlashDesignsStudio.com, my husband or me, we already have accounts set up on each of these sites, have joined conversations with groups and have gathered a following. For 2017, we will take our photography hobby to the next step toward a retirement business by starting to sell our images. Wish us luck!

COM0015 – Blog #4: Out of the Box

As we have learned throughout this course, and in fact throughout this social media program, social media has so many different uses, for so many different people. While it is important that we are all using best practices for social media, it is of the utmost importance that businesses fully understand what they are using social media for.

Using social media “out of the box” is becoming more popular for businesses, and even people who are trying to increase their brand awareness. Instead of using social media “traditionally” to engage with their customers, social media is allowing these businesses and people to have a number of applications, that they probably never saw coming.

One unexpected application for the field of online marketing and social media is advertising. I don’t think businesses realized the free advertising that they would get with social media. I’m not just talking about the fact that they can post information for free online and have all their followers see the information, I mean the free advertising they get when people praise their business online and encourage others to use the business as well.

tangerine-social-media

While researching “out of the box” social media uses, I stumbled across the following article. Although it doesn’t specifically relate to traditional online marketing, it is interesting just how far social media has come and how practical its uses are. Who knew that by browsing on Facebook you could potentially save someone’s life!

Post 4 – Out of the Box – COM0015

Assignment1 – Post 4-2106

Iliana Auverana

We have focused primarily on best practices in a very new and evolving field, what unexpected applications have you found in the field of online marketing and social media?

The digital world is rich in information and knowledge; what have become a huge challenge is how to keep up with news in your field, and how to organize information. There are amazing tools out there, but which ones serve better our needs? It depends on what we want and how open we are to new ideas. Socialcast seems to be the perfect tool for the “flow of knowledge” among workers and experts no matter their location; it allows the exchange of ideas in real time. A group of people belonging to a Socialcast community, working in a particular project, receive ideas or information and can respond in real time. A wiki and a database-store information are used to allow easy accessibility to information and data to all people involved in a project.

out-of-the-box2

This platform also provides analytic tools and dashboards to keep everybody on the loop. I read a case study about it, but I couldn’t try the tool because I couldn’t provide a company name.

I found this tool extremely interesting because I see a similar trend in the government with the implementation of GCConnex. This platform allows employees to have virtual meetings in real time through a chat function, people can share files, have group discussions about a topic of interest to them, and a lot of more. The culture is slowly changing. Governments are becoming digital. There is a global movement towards digital to communicate with citizens and get them engaged. This policy called “Digital First” is changing the way governments around the world are making decisions. If you are interested in learning more about trends in this field, you can read the article written by PwC http://www.pwc.com/ca/en/industries/public-sector-government/unlock-the-power-of-digital/digital-government-trends.html

 

https://spark.adobe.com/post/l89hKFSC3sT8  (Picture created with Adobe Spark)

 

 

COM0015: Blog post #4 – Out of the box

The fast paced world of the Web2.0 and all of its dynamic changes as it continues to evolve will certainly keep social media managers and businesses hopping through bytes and hoops. Having already learned so much about various applications and websites geared to assisting in that electronic, social journey, there have been a couple of surprising additions to my ever-evolving social media repertoire.

Lastpass

Old-school habits welcome new applications…

One of the very first things I had struggle with, especially with the addition of new opportunities to try suggested media and applications, was having to remember an entire stockpile of passwords. So much so, I’d had to post in the course discussion board for suggestions. Having a made-for-tv-movie kind of life, remembering to make dinner trumps eleventy-billion passwords on any given Sunday.

After hitting up my BFF, Google, I found my saving grace: LastPass. While there are other various “master password” vaults, this one works really well for me. The premise is that it is an application that remembers all of the passwords stored on your device and saves them all to one location, a “vault”, if you will, which can be accessed via one main password. Like any new, fandangled looking application, it took me a couple of days to adjust to how the process worked, but I can attest that it is a huge relief in an already over-processed brain *not* to have to add handfuls of new passwords to my own cellular vault.

evernote

One-stop-shop for content management

A second welcome addition to my social media repertoire has been the use of Evernote. Oh, I’d heard of it before, downloaded it…and let it sit to collect electronic cobwebs over the past few years. I have friends who swear by it, live by it, don’t-leave-home without it. I’d never really felt I had use for the application. I had Pinterest, and I clip/bookmark a ton of stuff of various topics in that one-stop-shop. BUT, what I hadn’t considered was this:

Now that my goals for Lupus Interrupted have been redefined, new opportunities having arisen for content…my brain is on overdrive with ideas…that come when I’m out shopping, the middle of the night, and generally any time I’m *not* sitting on the couch, laptop in hand. I’ve noticed ideas for content at my doctor’s office which I can look up, and clip for later. I’ve noticed links shared via Facebook that I can quickly add an idea to a note. After an adjustment period, I feel I’ve gotten the hang of it enough that it’s becoming habitual to clip and write content ideas. Now, for the harder part…making and crafting executing the posting of those amazing ideas. 😉

It becomes clearer to see how much the social web can overlap and intertwine. What kinds of unexpected applications have YOU found in your online marketing or social media journey?

COM0015 – Assignment 1 – Blog 4 – Out of the box

bigstock-Hands-on-Whiteboard-with-Think-67538545.jpg

When I started this certificate I thought I knew a lot. I have a degree in communications and a Facebook and Twitter account, so I must know something, right? Throughout the last five courses I learnt how big social media is and how little I actually knew.

The digital media industry is one that is constantly evolving and with so many websites, tools, resources and applications it’s hard to keep pace. The traditional communications/marketing industry has a set communications formula, however social media has not settled into that status as yet. The biggest hurdle to overcome is that the communications styles are quite different to what traditional communications degrees teach you. For this old dog, it was a new trick that needed to the learnt – woof!

The most unexpected part I have discovered through this journey is the impact social media is having on every industry. Newspapers, not for profits and traditional businesses needing a social media presence and many industries don’t even know why. Social media is impacting the way we communication and has created a fundamental shift in how we do it. Many businesses are adapting and creating personal connections with their clients and the businesses that are embracing social media are seeing an impact on their bottom-line.

Oliver Blanchard describes the business return on investment for social media like this:
Investment >>Action>>Reaction>>Non-Financial Impact>>Financial Impact $$$ (ROI)

As the world of social media is so big, navigating every application would almost be impossible. Applications like Feedly.com, Social Spout, Hoot Suite and Google Alerts are streamlining information gathering and analytics. These applications are making it easier to keep abreast of information from many sources in real time.

As for business applications for marketing purposes, every business can benefit from social media strategies and platforms. Not all platforms make sense for every business, however if a business chooses the right social media platforms to engage, provide information and create top of mind awareness, they will see a return on investment as they build loyal customers.

In the simplest terms, social media is here to stay and ultimately impacts the bottom line of businesses. Social media – is your business embracing it?

COM0015 – Blog #4: Out of the Box

This is actually my last assignment over a 12 month period for this certificate program and I must admit that a lot of what was covered was new to me and might not have been considered SM in my eyes. Now I look at many different methods of communication and different platforms as SM and what I really see as trending or unexpected would be live streaming tools, webinars & employee collaboration online – See more at: http://www.socialbrite.org/2011/01/19/comparison-top-web-conferencing-services/#sthash.rm5G6B4T.dpuf .

socialmediatoday.com

socialmediatoday.com

I actually participated on webinars, Social Media Today, gained plenty of insight and realized that in the future this type of service could serve me well as golf instructor. If you are really going to make full use of SM as a tool for business you need to be a member here and just spend ten minutes a day (bet you can’t stop at ten) just reading one new article or finding an archive webinar of interest, beware those take an hour to watch and can be addictive.

It may not be out of the box thinking anymore but many of the SM focus is moving to the mobile platform and this also interest me for my future golf instructor business; I can imagine the day where a client sends me a video from the practice area or range directly to my mobile device, I analyze and send back tips and notes for the client to use during the same practice session. The possibilities, while not endless, are many; downloadable video lessons to your touch pad, possible interactive with two way live conversation.

Now is the the next trend can include the lowering of costs for all the data transfer on mobile devices it would me and many of you much happier…