COM0014 Blog 3 Target Audiences

Communicating effectively with your audience/customers is the cornerstone of any social media strategy; and working with diverse groups adds an additional layer of challenges to it. My company’s largest product line is Personality Dimensions – a personally assessment tool.  It is available in four languages, and is sold widely in international markets outside of Canada including: Hong Kong, Australia, and the USA.  When my company began development with the product, extensive cultural research was undertaken to make it as universally appealing as possible.  Having access to this research has made it easier for me understand our target demographics.

While there are geographic and cultural differences amongst our target demographics, there are a number of similarities between them.  Clients mostly work in social and human services, i.e. career development, HR management, family services, etc.  There is a fairly even split in age demographics, a little under half are baby-boomers, also a little under half are generation X.  This group is increasing in size, and moving into higher positions as the former are retiring.  There is also a growing trend of millennials entering as front-line workers.  About 85% of these groups combined are female, which does pose some challenges for me.  The group as a whole is widely educated, having at least a two-year college degree, and many have bachelor’s degrees as well. In Canada, Australia, and the USA, English is the most widely spoken, however other languages have a significant presence. In Hong Kong, Cantonese is most widely spoken, however most of our clients also speak English.

Maintaining a blog on Personality Dimensions has been instrumental in reaching out to the younger demographics in our client group.  I am able to reach out to different communities by posting on a variety of topics, feature guest bloggers, and get feedback through surveys.

In many communities, the advice of leaders and respected influencers does more than any kind of advertising can.  My biggest challenge now is how to reach out to these individuals to get an “endorsement.” Please comment below if you have gone down this road, and share how well it worked for you.

COM0014- Blog #3: Knitters Unite or Unwind (Whichever Suits)

Upon initially looking at my target audience, Instagram had seemed like it was a good place to start. After all, this is where I’ve found inspiration and a few other knitters but with some more in depth digging and careful unravelling I found that Instagram wasn’t even listed as a popular place to find other knitters. According to the Craft and Yarn Council website, many prefer other social media sites like Facebook and Ravelry to look up inspiration for projects, find patterns and purchase yarn over it. This is not to say that there’s not a social media community on Instagram but perhaps that most knitters are drawn to other social media sharing sites like Facebook in connecting with others and Ravelry for inspiration.


A original knitted project of mine: set to be a cellphone purse

The reason for this interesting rav-elation is because there’s a good percentage of young people ,between the ages of 18-34, that enjoy knitting as a creative outlet and not only that but do it because they enjoy making things for others; along with the sense of accomplishment it provides. Having experienced the pride of carefully picking the right yarn and needles for each hand knit project myself, it makes sense that my fellow knitters (target audience) would be more inclined to share their successful projects online with family and friends or perhaps even seek advice on how to improve the less successful ones.

So in the era of sharing updates, accomplishments and one of creative endeavours galore perhaps it is time to get even more creative and social with how I post by reaching out onto Facebook and becoming familiar with Ravelry in order to find my knitting peeps.

Happy Knitting,


Source: The Craft and Yarn Council website

COM0014 – Target Audiences – Blog #3

Understanding how to communicate with your audience is key to any social media strategy; when your audience is made up of diverse groups, it makes for an interesting challenge. My company’s main product, Personality Dimensions is available in four different languages, and is sold widely in three international markets outside of Canada – Hong Kong, Australia, and the USA. Extensive research went in to the development of the product to make it as culturally universal as possible. Having this cultural research on hand means that the first step of understanding the target audience has already been completed.

Despite cultural and geographical differences, there are a lot of demographics in common amongst the target audience. Customers predominately work in the social service field – career development, family services, etc. Approximately 85% is female, which can be a bit of a challenge for me. There is currently a nearly even split in age demographics; half are baby-boomers, which is decreasing in size as they retire, and the other have are generation X, which is increasing in size, with more moving into leadership roles. Individuals who work in this field have at minimum a 2-year college degree in disciplines like career counselling, and social work; many also have bachelor’s degrees in a variety of liberal arts disciplines. In Canada, and the USA English the language predominately spoken, however it may not be an individual’s first language. In Hong Kong the language most spoken in this demographic is Cantonese, however English is almost as widely spoken.

The Personality Dimensions blog has been key in reaching out to this demographic. This allows me to reach out to the different communities individually by doing things like theming posts on relevant topics, inviting guest bloggers from their respective communities, and seeking feedback via survey to help better understand their needs and wants.

The next challenge is successfully reaching out to individuals who do not speak or read English. Translation of existing work is an option, but it is expensive and may not be relevant content. I plan on reaching out to leaders in the community who can write effectively in French, Spanish, and Traditional Chinese, but I would like to hear from others who have had success with this. Please comment below with your strategies and success stories.

COM0015 – Assignment 1 -Blog 4 – Out of the Box

Combining everything that we already knew about SOCIAL MEDIA with all the cases we’ve studied and all the best tools that are to be had: it feels like I’m only ever getting half-way to a solution.  Before starting this program, I thought I had a hunch about a few tools and programs out there in the real world of business meets social media… but.. wait a minute: ‘Things are changing… how will I ever keep up?’

LISTENING + LEARNING + STAYING IN ACTION  = keep to keeping up with trends and generating new ways of looking at the world through the lens of #SocialMediaMeetsBusiness.


So what do I hope to accomplish with social media?  Is it working? Well, I’m constantly learning new tricks.

From what I gather, I’m using platforms that are suited to my particular field and/or project(s.)  I’m learning from others about the varied style of communication using social media = the ins and outs of sharing your message.  What works for some people is worth a try but it might not quite work for me.  I guess it’s all a question of finding a style and sticking to it..

GOING MOBILE?  Here are a few tools that might come in handy…

I’m always looking for social media inspiration: taking free webinars and online courses.  I have found a whole bunch of useful information about how mobile apps come into play

Instagram can house short videos… Hilary Rushford, of Dean Street Society, hosted a webinar called: ‘Doubling Your Instagram Following.’

Distributing a free workbook, her program talked about free tools for editing and posting images on Instagram.

VSCO CAM = where you add a photo to your library and she talked us through using the editing tools.

@HilaryRushford also talked about the PERISCOPE App = live mobile video streaming; which works really well when you’re sharing content on a road trip, from various locations.

Another useful tool that I’ve grown to love is HOOTSUITE Suggestions...

Right from my iPhone, I am able to call up HOT TOPICS that I can easily share on my Twitter and Facebook accounts.

FYI>> It gives you THREE topics to search for and you can assign unlimited accounts… so make sure that you tweak the settings before posting on multiple accounts.  Be #strategic in what you post and where.  Double check your postings on each platform to catch anything that goes wrong.  If in doubt, delete and give it another try.  Skill takes practice.

Puzzled by PINNING?

PINTEREST is a social media platform that would appear to have limited application to business… but Melanie Duncan’s webinar gave me a whole bunch of information about optimizing this platform to steer traffic from PINS back to your company site.

> The type of material you PIN is part of the formula.  Inforgraphics are the most popular format (they spread like wild fire.)

Melanie also suggest the following tools:

PICMonkey =  Protecting your content with a watermark

Easily creating infographics =

Getting a Pinterest tab for your Facebook Page =

Pinterest stuff = Courtesy of Melanie Duncan (

> The BLOGEME poster thingy I built (featured image)  still lives on which I’ve embedded on my personal blog (backdoor access = click expand button on bottom corner)

Hello Millennials!

Hi, this is a 1960 Baby Boomer reaching out.

I know we’re different, really different, in a lot of ways.  Age is definitely part of it, after all I am 56, and at the young spectrum of my cohort known as the Baby Boomers–people who are between 52 t0 70 years old.

You, on the other hand, have a cohort of 19 to 35 year olds, and are referred to often as Generation Y or  Millennials.

One thing we both share is that we are large populations, and therefore we influence a lot of key societal values from politics, to consumerism, to religious beliefs.  This year, however, your numbers overtook ours—meaning your influence in society is beginning to ascend and ours is beginning to wane.

So how will that change things? If I want to communicate with you and understand you what do I need to know?

It’s a question that isn’t just one I’m asking a lot of people are asking it.  In particular advertisers and institutions want answers.

After all, you are heading into the years where what you buy, how you vote, and how you behave generally will have a lot of impact on all of us.

Our differences some say may lead to age warfare, but I don’t believe that.   Although commercials like this Toyota one do seek to emphasize our differences.

I don’t believe that our differences are going to separate us, instead all the research I’m finding on you says we may be the first inter-generational group that can really talk to one another, and that is because of who you are and what you value.

Who You Are:

  • The most educated of any generation that’s gone before.
  •  The most culturally diverse.of any generation that’s gone before.
  • If a woman,  considerably more educated than your male counterparts, and more likely to be a professional.
  • A digital first native. A plugged in and cross platform generation that seeks out and embraces on-line communities and all the latest trends in technology. laptop-958239_1280
  • All that digital means your brain is rewired to multi-task and to expect quick results, making you a little bit impatient when things don’t happen fast or provide the intrinsic rewards you want.
  • You equate self-fulfillment with self-acceptance, creativity, and self-expression
  • You are happiest when you’re being positive and having fun.
  • You aren’t necessarily getting the same fast ride to wealth and prosperity your parents had. You live at home longer, marry later, and worry more about your financial future.
  • That said, Canadian millennials actually are economically better off than their American counterparts due to our public university education system, our maternity and paternity leave, and the fact that your parents did not go through the housing market meltdown which triggered the financial crises of 2008 in the USA.

What You Value

people-23733_1280   gay-couple-1192249_1280

  • You are liberal and Inclusive. You’re supportive of diversity and equality in race, gender, and sexual
  • You don’t put much store in traditional hierarchies, and see other age groups as more your equals then your betters. That results in you viewing your parents often as friends and support.
  • You think family is important.
  • You don’t put much store in religion.
  • You value authenticity, transparency, and sincerity in institutions and individuals.
  • You also value information which you consume more of than any generation before.
  • You value work and want status and good jobs, but you don’t want to sacrifice your personal life to get those things, which actually leads to quite a bit of stress. Once working, you are busier than your baby boomer parents were!
  • You lean toward supporting local initiatives in community and consider communities important whether on-line or off.


What’s interesting is that age isn’t likely to divide us in terms of your willingness to engage with me.   So what do I have to do to catch your attention?

How to Communicate With You

First I need to find you on-line where you do the majority of your interacting. That doesn’t just mean finding you on Facebook or YouTube, although your still there, despite the gurus who claimed that you would abandon these channels to your parents.  What I need to understand though, is that you are going to be on-line on cross platform channels.  Mobile is really big so any message I want to reach you better be mobile responsive.    I need to keep trolling for the latest apps and trends on-line because you are doing that and are constantly updating to thinks like Kik or Snapchat.

When I do find you on-line most likely I’ll find you gathered around a like-minded communities.  I can talk to you as long as I get that whatever content I deliver has to:

  • Be authentic not deceptive
  • Be entertaining and emotionally rewarding
  • Be funny when appropriate
  • Be relevant and evolving
  • Be inclusive of others and open minded—no judgement
  • Be Local as in leverage all the tools (video, giffs, text) to reach you
  • Help you discover new things
  • Inform you
  • Inspire you and help you be creative

Did I miss anything?  Let me know.

COM0014 — Blog # 3: TARGET = Practice

Speak Beautiful, Be Beautiful

Dove has been very active across social media over the past few years.

It launched the Campaign for Real Beauty in 2004 to help “make women feel comfortable in the skin they are in, to create a world where beauty is a source of confidence and not anxiety.” Initially, billboards featuring images of regular women instead of models were used to market their message. After the campaign received a significant amount of attention and positive feedback, it moved into other areas like magazines and television.

Two years later, the campaign kicked off a series of viral videos like Legacy, Evolution, Love Your Curls, Little Girls, and Real Beauty Sketches. The videos all received a huge response, both negative and positive.

In early 2014, Dove launched the #speakbeautiful campaign in partnership with Twitter in response to the barrage of negative comments women were making about their looks on the social media site. Dove encourages women and girls to tweet positive things about themselves and the way they look.


Dove’s Instagram account does not have many followers (only about 75,000), but the company does respond personally to what their followers comment about. They do the same on Twitter, replying to their followers and thanking them for being part of the community that they are trying to build with their customers.

Dove has taken some flack for their campaigns. But that is to be expected, especially with a huge company that makes huge waves in marketing. There will always be some level of criticism.

But, overall, I think the campaigns are very positive. I’m the mom of a toddler girl and I really have some concerns about how she will be affected by the media’s portrayal of women and girls. I respect the Dove campaigns because I think they are powerful and honest. And I’m not gonna lie – they make me tear up a bit.

Click on some of the links above and check out Dove’s video campaigns. What do you think?


COM0014 Blog #3- Target Audiences

In establishing an online presence, one of the most important factors to consider is who your target audience is going to be. Are they young? Are they old? Do they have a family? Where are they from? There’s a ton of different questions to answer when it comes to who’s listening in to your content.

To be more specific, you need to establish your audience’s demographic and psychographic. Finding out this information can be a challenge. It takes a lot of research into who your current consumers are, and who your competitors’ consumers are. This information can be gathered by using a variety of different tools, starting with implementing surveys to your audience to learn what kind of demographic is tuning in to your content. By which we mean, how old they are, where they are in life, what nationality they are, where they come from, etc. You can use this information, and place it into a demographic profile, which will be a helpful reminder for future use. After finding out your demographic, it’s time to find out your audience’s psychographic, which establishes what type of lifestyle your audience leads. Are they upper, middle, or lower class? Are they trendy? Or do they live more on the simpler side of things? Once you get a more clear picture of what they’re interested in, you’re ready to begin strategizing a communication plan.

This information you’ve gathered should now be put to use. For example, say your company is a business that markets luxury products to children. Your target audience is most likely going to be mainly made up of parental figures in families, probably in the 25-40 age range. However, you won’t be marketing to just anyone. It’s unlikely that lower class families with lower incomes will have the spare money to dish out on your products. With that in mind, it would be wise to market your social media accounts to people within the upper class, and somewhat to those in the middle class. The upper class will have the money to spend on your products, and the middle class consumers may decide to splurge on a product from you when they have some spare money to spend. You would also use your social media presence to speak to your audience in a more formal tone, perhaps, rather than talking to your audience using trendy language or “memes”, for example, like accounts targeting younger audiences would.

There’s many factors to consider when it comes to implementing a social media presence and campaign for yourself, and your company. The best thing you can do is to do your research, think and listen. Research who your people are. Think about what type of content they’d like to see or read. And listen to the feedback they give you.

Thanks for reading.

COMM 0014 – Blog 2 – The Heart of Good Communication – Telling a Story That Matters

I have learned that good communication is based on developing a compelling story using a straight-forward style that reaches out to the audience. The movie Up Close & Personal with Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeifer brings these tenets to life. It is a great movie!

Robert Redford plays the role of a producer for a small Miami-based news program, although once he was at the top of the heap as a famous correspondent. He mentors Michele Pfeiffer as a budding reporter, resulting in her eventual rise to the position of news anchor for a major broadcaster.

Redford’s main message is that news is about telling stories about real people that will stir emotions and create impact on the listener.  It goes way beyond facts and simple ideas. “What we in the news business can never forget is we’re only good as the stories we tell.”

In the early part of the movie, during her first live on-air opportunity, she tries to tell the story of two Cubans who have jumped ship of the coast of Miami Beach and drowned 25’ feet from “making it”. Redford keeps bringing her back to the two Cubans, to their circumstances, hopes and dreams of reaching America for a better life – Why did they do this? What did they die for? She finally gets it and covers the human angle of the story using everyday language in a clear and concise way in the short time she is given. The impact is powerful!

They both understand that audiences are people and the best way to connect with them is to create new, compelling stories that convey people’s feelings. It is the kind of experience people want and the kind of experience you want your audience to have.

For some reason, this movie line “What is the story?” has stayed with me and invariably comes to mind when I gather ideas for content, whether it be a blog, a video script or any other pertinent communication material.  It also helps me come up with the most important part of the story which eventually becomes the lead.

Do you have other examples you could share with me?




COM0014 – Target Audiences

One of our goals at Inn From The Cold in Newmarket, Ontario, is to increase the number of volunteers and donors supporting the organization. The Board Chair and I have been providing a PowerPoint presentation to community service groups over the last few months and have been well-received.



Hopefully these presentations will translate into the support we need. However, it’s hard to find groups that will have us. I’d like to know more about how to approach similar groups in a way that will make them welcome us as presenters.


So my target audience is charitable community service groups in York Region, Ontario, usually consisting of tight knit groups of people. People in these groups are individuals with an interest in:

  • giving back
  • community development
  • social activism

Reflecting on this group and incorporating what I know about our existing volunteer and donor base, as well as the attendees at previous presentations, I expect this group to have the following demographic characteristics:

  • married
  • middle class
  • even split of male/female
  • 40 to 70 years old, may be retired and have grandchildren
  • member of a Christian faith

In researching the target audience, I checked a few platforms. A search for homelessness on WordPress reveals that there is a huge interest in the topic. I had my eyes opened while searching because of this blog, which provides some insight about a specific audience I hadn’t previously thought of – the LGBT community.

Further insights came from Facebook pages: The Homeless Hub (an Education Website) and Raising the Roof (a non-profit organization). Either of these sites could be a good place to become engaged to increase our presence on social media and reach the target audience.

Homeless for 10 yrs

Raising the Roof has conducted a successful online campaign to create an awareness about homelessness. One of their YouTube videos, in which homeless people read mean tweets, currently has over 1.3 million views. There is a great deal of engagement in the comments, so this may be a good place to begin an effective conversation as well.