Blog Post #2 – Strong and Weak Organizations

In this post I will discuss social media strategy for a strong organization which is Emirates Airline and an organization that needs to adopt a social media strategy which is Farley Mowat Public School (FMPS).

Emirates Airline on social media

Emirates airline knows how to make social media work for its benefits. They have an impressive social media plan within their marketing strategy. Some of the marketing campaigns that had high echo across all social media: #BeingThere campaign which was transmitted on different social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Below I will explain how Emirates Airline was able to grow awareness about their network, inspire travellers, and engage people with their social media channels.

#BeingThere campaign

Emirates Airline had chosen 7 Globalista (travel is their passion) to travel to different cities, capturing shots & videos and post it on the social media platforms. I will highlight 2 social media tools that have been used successfully in promoting for the campaign.

Facebook:

  • Facebook was powerful at this campaign as it helped to reach higher targeted people and video view volumes and greater interaction.
  • 120 Million people reached on Facebook
  • Over 60 Million Video views on Facebook and YouTube

Twitter:

  • Emirates partnered up with many traveller bloggers, who shared Emirates content with their followers allowing Emirates airline message to reach out for more people on Twitter.
  • High amount of positive tweets on #beingthere @Emirates
  • Globalistas posted daily tweets about their trip and engaged people by asking them where do you think our next trip will be?
  • Varieties of contents were posted on twitter to encourage people who are passionate about travelling to like, comment and share.
  • Over 50 Million impressions on Twitter

In my opinion Emirates #BeThere campaign was victorious in all standards, their Goals & visions were clear, the media efforts was appropriate to the targeted audience, and they have chosen multiple social media channels that go well with their campaign.

Farley Mowat Public School (FMPS)

I believe Farley Mowat Public School can establish a professional presence that allows them to capitalize on this social space in many important ways. Facebook Page is an excellent opportunity for schools to supplement their web presence, although FMPS has a Facebook page but it’s not active.

If FMPS is consistent in keeping the information updated and accurate, students and families will likely come to rely on the Facebook Page as a resource to find information about what’s going on at the school.

Successful presence on social media provides an opportunity to showcase the unique culture of the school and promote the academic development of the students.

Also if the school is active on social media, it will be easier for community members to get involved and share their opinions on a variety of fronts.

First steps into the world of social media

  • Understand the audience, where they are? What platform they use? What they like to read about. Most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
  • How often to post and when
    • Facebook: school can post once or twice every weekday
    • Twitter: 2- 3 times a day
    • Instagram: 1 photo per day or many photos if there is an event or school trip.
  • Timing: it is important to determine the best time to post. Most people are consistently checking in before they begin their day or after school/work.
  • Well-constructed posts are essential to attract the audience’s attention and make them engaged.

References:

COM00014 Blog 7 – Personal Reflection

We’ve learned in this course that storytelling is a great tool to capture audience’s attention and make them engaged if done accurately. Carolanne Mangles in her post Storytelling is the future of Content Marketing strategy in 2018

Wrote The power of telling your audience a story is a technique that must not be overlooked, because when done correctly with strategic planning – knowing who your audience is, where they are and what story they want to know – will provide great engagement with your content and brand.

Also we’ve learned how to create messages that are appropriate to the brand of an organization or individual and this is explained perfectly in Carolanne Mangles’ post, she gave an example about National Geographic while they are masters at engaging their followers on social media platforms following great techniques such as posting high quality, colourful and unique visual content, using interesting, unusual, shocking, or emotional engaging first sentence to grip the audience, and writing texts that are full of detail and rich with every description of the subject of the image, their reason for being there / why they are important and descriptions of their surroundings.

images

retrieved from:http://yoursmallbusinessgrowth.com

The story that I would share with others about the challenges that I had faced when I decided to move away from family, friends & places where I grew up and came to live in Ottawa, new city, new people, new environment, how I had to start to learn new language, and earn a new certificate to work and blend into society.

 References:

https://www.smartinsights.com/content-management/content-marketing-strategy/storytelling-content-marketing-strategy/

image :http://yoursmallbusinessgrowth.com/3-ways-personal-reflection-can-help-you-grow-your-business/

Personal Brand

I was born and raised in Dubai, an advanced, luxurious, and the multicultural city that shaped my feelings and personality. Living in Dubai made me proud of my Identity as a Muslim woman who is wearing veil, speaks Arabic and English fluently, and believes in diversity and multiculturalism.

It gave me the skills and the strength to move and live in another city that shares almost the same values which is Ottawa Ontario in Canada.

In Ottawa, I easily built relationships with many people who speak different languages, have different backgrounds, religions, and skin colors. Living in two different cities: one in the east and another in the west played a critical role in defining my values and who I am. This is one of my characteristic that sets me apart from others

Another characteristic is, I like to be perceived by others as highly educated person who is always learning something new. I have finished my Master degree in Human Resources Management, studied French language and now I’m pursuing a social media certificate. I’m also a reader interested in reading books about human development and emotional intelligence.

 

I am an athlete, which is my third characteristic that makes me different from others. I enjoy different type of sports and every year I add a new sport to my list. When I was younger, I‘ve been always one of the top 3 winners in Bing Bong (Table Tennis), swimming and running races. I played Karate for 10 years and I have the brown belt. Since two years I’ve started learning Back horse riding and my next sport is learning kickboxing.

Voluntarism is my last characteristic. I learned voluntarism here in Ottawa. I found joyfulness in engaging with people from different places and contributing to the community I Live in. Right now I’m volunteering with Blood Canada and in the future I would like to volunteer with Food Bank here in Ottawa.

 

Reference:

http://www.mongolia-travel-and-tours.com/horseback-horse-riding-tours-mongolia.html

B2C-Emirates Airline

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retrieved from Emirates.com

Emirates Airlines

Emirates Airlines are one of the leading airlines in the world. Its a brand to youth, innovation and adventures. In order to reinforce this image, the airlines are engaging proactively with its customers 24/7 by developing a high quality campaigns resulting in a strong presence on social media platforms.

Emirates Airline on social media

Emirates airlines know how to make social media work for its benefits. Some of the marketing campaigns that had high echo across all social media: #BeingThere campaign which was transmitted on different social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Below I will explain how Emirates Airlines were able to grow awareness about their network, inspire travellers, and engage people with their social media channels.

#BeingThere campaign

Emirates Airlines had chosen 7 Globalista (travel is their passion) to travel to different cities, capturing shots & videos and post it on the social media platforms.

I will highlight 2 social media tools that have been used successfully in promoting for the campaign.

Facebook:

  • Facebook was powerful at this campaign as it helped to reach higher targeted people and video view volumes and greater interaction.
  • 120 Million people reached on Facebook
  • Over 60 Million Video views on Facebook and YouTube

Twitter:

  • Emirates partnered up with many traveller bloggers, who shared Emirates content with their followers allowing Emirates airline message to reach out for more people on Twitter.
  • High amount of positive tweets on #beingthere @Emirates
  • Globalista posted daily tweets about their trip and engaged people by asking them where do you think our next trip will be?
  • Varieties of contents were posted on twitter to encourage people who are passionate about travelling to like, comment and share.
  • Over 50 Million impressions on Twitter

 

In my opinion Emirates #BeThere campaign was victorious in all standards, their Goals & visions were clear, the media efforts was appropriate to the targeted audience, and they have chosen multiple social media channels that go well with their campaign.

 

References:

  1. “Emirates Be There Campaign.” Shorty Awards, http://shortyawards.com/8th/emirates-be-there-campaign
  2. Hersh, Fadi. “Emirates Airlines And Social Media Marketing.”Waterloo,19,June.2017, https://smbp.uwaterloo.ca/2017/06/emirates-case-study/
  3. “Be There with Emirates.” CREAM Inspiring Innovation , Havas Media, http://www.creamglobal.com/case-studies/latest/17798/37670/be-there-with-emirates/
  4. picture: https://binged.it/2yjRUKD

Analyzing your Audience

There are different methods to analyzing our audience on social media as mentioned in lesson #4; below are guidelines that I have used to analyze the audience for motherhood and parenting blog.

Analyzing the audience:

  • Identify the target audience: Who the audience are? Where are they communicating? What are they discussing? For example, my blog is about motherhood and parenting, my targeted audience are parents, psychologist and educators. After identifying my audience, I have set a Google alert to notify me when articles are being posted that contain keywords such as: children and parenting, raising children, how to be a great mom. On twitter I followed influencers in my area of interest, these influencers post on regular basis. On Facebook I have chosen to join Facebook pages that has a high number of members to learn what type of topics that engage them and who are the active members on these pages. On Instagram i have kept my eye on the most active hashtags that discusses childhood & family topics. Implanting this detailed research guided me to have a great understanding what are the topics that interest people to talk about it in my blog.
  • Understanding the industry: using specific keywords search related to childhood & family in Twitter search, Google alert, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram helped me to understand clearly my industry, how tough it is? What topics engaged followers more than others? This understanding played a great role in the way I choose my contents.
  • Learn about my competitor: by doing quick search on the same social media tools mentioned above, I was able to identify my competitors, how they are perceived by their audience and what tools they are using. This step was very beneficial as I was able to determine my competitor’s weaknesses in order to use it for my advantage.

Successful online campaign:

#worldstoughestjob: A campaign that went viral in 2014, when a American Greetings Card store and Mullen made an uplifting video ad for Mother’s Day that offered a fake job. They posted it online, printed it in newspapers, and then held real interviews with a dozen unsuspecting people looking to take the position of Director of Operations. What made this job so interesting? Unlimited hours, no breaks, no time off, and no pay were just a few of the crazy requirements for the job. By the end of the video, the interviewees realize the job they are applying for is what many people feel is the most important job – being a Mom. In the last few seconds of the video, it reaches out to the audience saying, “This Mother’s Day, you might want to make her a card.” Steps For Viral Campaign Success: #WorldsToughestJob Videos (2014, June 12). Retrieved from http://www.pagemodo.com/blog/3-steps-viral-campaign-success-worldstoughestjob-videos/

 toughest job

References:

https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-create-a-social-media-marketing-plan/

http://ccol.algonquincollege.com/com0014/lesson-3/lesson-content/\

http://www.pagemodo.com/blog/3-steps-viral-campaign-success-worldstoughestjob-videos/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_3941651401&feature=iv&src_vid=MWcJZ210AaM&v=NDmHcTLdKGk

Blog 2: How to stand out

write

(Image via Bronco Round Up)

 

This week, I learned that writing is a great way to express feelings and in order to engage people with our stories, our writing style should hook the reader and make them excited to come back to the blog and even leave a comment or a like.

In the past, I used to think that I’m not a good writer and that’s why making a phone call has been easier for me than sending an E-mail. However, since I have written many blogs I feel more confident and I realized that being a good writer is not as difficult as I thought as long as I follow the right steps to reach out. The first step is to define my gaol, which means I should understand what I need the the reader to do; for example if I’m writing in my blog, my expected action from thereader could be to click “like”, leave a comment, or even share my blog. Second step, I need to understand clearly who my audience are and how to interest them to stick around. Third step is my writing should be clear and concise and this comes only if I have a clear understanding for the topic and I have the ability to simplify my thoughts, discuss, and engage with my audience. Fourth step is using active voice instead of passive voice. There are different points of view about writing in passive or active voice. Some advice that writing in a passive voice is more professional , While others advice writing in active tone is clearer and make readers more interacted. Personally, I’m interested in reading topics written in active voice and this is what I prefer while writing my blogs. Finally, Checking spelling and grammar is very important while writing an article or a blog. Reading a piece with many spelling and grammar mistakes show lack of credibility and professionalism.

 

Referances:

https://inspiredm.com/persuasive-writing/

 

Darwin-et awards

 

In 1985, the Darwin awards were created to honour those whose moronic behavior got themselves killed. Named after Charles Darwin and his theory of natural selection, the award is given, posthumously, to an individual who ends his or her life in dramatic, idiotic fashion.
Past winners include: Karmic Valentine Schadenfreude, who pushed his girlfriend into an icy river, then jumped in to kill her. Problem was she could swim and he could not. She swam to shore while Valentine drowned. A man named Anthony G died while driving around safety cones, placed around downed hydro wires, ignoring screams from passing pedestrian.

And then we have the story of Nguyen of Vietnam. While drinking with his friends, he got into a heated argument over whether the old detonator he found could explode or not. Nguyen assured his friends that it was too old and rusty to work. They disagreed. To prove to them that he was right, he put the detonator in his mouth and told his pals to connect the wires. He died on the way to hospital.

See the source image

 

It’s not a stretch to suggest a Darwin award, which I like to call the Darwin-et award, to someone who is moronic, idiotic, whose ill advised tweets or posts gets them in hot genepool water. ( click )Twitter has become the go-to media for anyone who wants to chime in on the topic of the day.  To vent their displeasure on the goings on is society, it has become the soap box, on which anyone can impart their, sometimes ridiculous, dogma.

Now not everyone who joins Twitter does so with the sole purpose of espousing their misguided lunacy on the rest of us. According to the (Click) Huffpost, there are 10 types of twitter users: the egg, the lurker, the contester, the retwitter, the Bot, the #Teamfolloback, the Celebrity, the Guru, Business, and a whole bunch of normal people that don’t fit into the above categories. But for the purpose of blog, let’s focus on the moron. The celebrity moron.

There have been alot of celebrity mistweets in the past.(Click) Buzzfeed has a list of their top twenty five mistweets. And they are funny. But the best, and this year’s winner of the Darwin-et awards goes to: Roseanne.  Roseanne, an actress with a hit sitcom, flamed out in the most moronic, the Donald Trump of moronic, way with her tweet about Valarie Jarret, a black woman and  former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, looking like a monkey. Within hours of the tweet, ABC, the network that carried the program, cancelled her show. Thus ended her career.

 

C’mon down Roseanne Barr — you’re this year’s winner of the Darwin-et award!

If anyone wants to nominate next years winner, feel free. (Donald Trump is too obvious.)

Roseanne Barr

 

 

#celebrity tweets

 

 

Social Media- A Modern Addiction

How many “likes” are you earning a day? How many “followers” do you have? A race to be famous…

My friend…he was having an accident before an hour, broken his legs and had numerous fractures; seems not concerned about his health but his cell phone. He hungrily wants his phone back. Busy in watching the posts on Instagram and emerging into such fantasies. He now feels his existence as he was online. He might not believe but he was addicted to social media.

Never before have had the habits penetrated the unprecedented speed of the proliferation of social media around the world. Using the social media has been an inseparable part of our lives. Years ago, there were cigarettes, now it’s the fame on social media by getting “likes”. As the people are engaged with such stuff, much the data is uploaded and leaked, more the time is wasted. Same like in the gambling business, social media companies use intermittent variable compensation to hook their users.

I completely agree that social media has several benefits and advantages: from skill learning to skill showing, making contacts to making big companies and enterprises; only by using certain functionalities of social media and modern technology. But according to various experts, there is a major impact of social media on our mental health. “Everyone who has scrolled through Facebook knows how, instead of imparting wisdom, the system dishes out compulsive stuff that tends to reinforce people’s biases” has been stated in The Economist with their issue “Social media’s threat to democracy”.

One does not exist until it is recognized in social networks. The evidence is clearly in front of our eyes – like not leaving a phone while doing any damn easy thing. People are now decreasing the use of their minds and are moving further to be dependent on machines; which are remarkably increased after the introduction to the field of Artificial Intelligence. Although every technology has its pros and cons, one is here to use it in some better deeds. Nowadays, it is acting least as media for news but has more dumps of images and information that is not much relevant and reflects the stupidity of one’s thought.

I just wonder; would there be special seats for social media addicts in a movie theater or on the bus? Does large consumption of social media cause social cancer?ph.jpgph2.jpg

Twitter: Social Media … A Modern Addiction

Facebook: Social Media … A Modern Addiction

3 Reasons: Facebook should be integrated into High School Classrooms

High school students procrastinate more than six hours a day on Facebook (Tsukayama, 2015). For some students, it ends up costly toward their final grades. Facebook has become part of their daily life. It is almost impossible to stop them from using it. High schools can change the use of Facebook for these students by making it part of the curriculum- make it more positive. Therefore, Facebook should be integrated into the high school classroom because of following reasonable reasons; first, it is an effective way to connect students around the world. Second, students can use it for educational purposes.Third, it is a tool to engage students in the learning process.

Mind Map Mind map.jpg

1. Facebook is a great way to connect students around the world.

Facebook creates an effective platform for students to build International communication between each other. Students in a various way can share their ideas by posting on their Facebook wall and comment on each other’s posts. For example, they can create a short survey research with five to ten questions. They can collect data from all over the world, by sharing it in their Facebook walls. Moreover, Facebook makes Group collaboration easily accessible for students internationally. They can work in a singular assignment or a group project by connecting and collaborating with each other through Facebook. Recently, in 2016, Finland ranked as a top education system in the world by the world economic Forum. Let’s say students are assigned to do a group project about “high school education system in Finland”. They can create a Facebook group chat and add students from Finland for collecting raw data from students. Most important of all, Facebook is a free online social network. Usually, other websites need a bank account or other information to have access to their data. Facebook is a network that most of the students are already a member of it, so they do not need to start everything all over again.

2. Students will learn to use facebook for educational purposes.

Since most of the high school students are already a member of Facebook and they know how to use it. They only thing can be school’s responsibility is to teach them how to use it for education purposes. In Facebook, students can create groups for each of their classes. For example; They can have a separate Facebook group pages for mathematics. They can share all of the related documents and discusses the related topic in separated pages so that they don’t get messed up with their school work. Another interesting way to use Facebook for education purpose is to follow academically informative pages on Facebook. For example, I am following a Facebook page that regularly posts mathematics formula including funny memes about math. All of the posts of these page appears first in my newsfeed. To be honest, I have learned and have always been refreshed about mathematics topic by following these particulate academically informative pages. Students can easily find related pages to their own subjects of interest in Facebook and follow them for gaining further information. Once of my favorite way of using Facebook for education, the purpose is to post school related blog on Facebook with my friends. I took social media for entrepreneur online class this semester. Most of our Assignments was to post blogs in word press. And most of our grades were based on those blogs. If students get used to posting blogs on Facebook with their friends by using Facebook, they basically learn new skills.

3. Facebook is a tool to engage students in the learning process.

 

Facebook encourages students to improve their writing skills. For example, Facebook has improved my writing skills. Every time I want to post something on Facebook –I want it to be grammatically correct –Because my friends are going to see it. Same with other students, they can express their ideas in Facebook. It might not be as academic as school teachers, but at least they get motivated to write and get creative with it. This leads to another crucial point, Facebook makes learning more fun. For example, students can make memes about what they learn in class and share it with friends on Facebook. Memes make learning more fun. Most important of all, students who use Facebook regularly, they have a great knowledge of computer. They get to explore computers themselves. Then there will be no need for computer class.

All in All, Facebook provides the opportunity for students to connect with other students globally. Students will learn that what they are using for procrastinating can be used for learning too. In addition to that Facebook is an exciting tool that can encourage students in learning process. With considering the above reasons Facebook should become part of high school classroom curriculum. Integration of Facebook in High school classrooms will bring a massive change in the traditional learning system. The high school will become a fun learning institution.

 

References

 

Obrien, A. (2014, September 23). Edutopia. Creating a Dynamic Facebook Page for Your School. Retrieved March 20, 2017.

Schelten, K. (2009, December 21). Do You Spend Too Much Time on Facebook. Retrieved March 20, 2017.

Tsukayama, H. (2015, November 3). Teens spend nearly nine hours every day consuming media. The Washington Post. Retrieved March 16, 2017.

My Personal Brand – Art Meets Agriculture

My personal brand is best described as light-hearted, a little geeky, and farm fresh. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I make comics about farming and rural life and I share them via social media. For me, it is important that people are receptive to my personal brand because I want them to support and appreciate my work. When someone reads through my social media feeds, I want them to be able to see me as someone they can relate to and want to be friends with. 

What I do is a combination of things that couldn’t be more different, and my competition reflects that. I see myself competing with other slice-of-life comic creators, but I also see myself competing with agriculture personalities who are using social media to promote their farms or educate on farming. When I stack my personal brand against someone like ‘WhatsupBeanie’, it’s easy to see that we do the same thing, but with very different themes. Compared to her brand, mine stands out as one that is very country, very rural and maybe a little redneck in some opinions. On the other hand, compare my personal brand to that of ‘Farmer Tim’. We both have farm themed content, but we talk about it in very different ways. His brand is typical farmer, sweet and hardworking, simple content with a lot of story telling. Compared to him my brand comes off as silly, cutesy, and maybe like a little awkward and geeky. I speak more to the younger generation with my kind of brand, to both the weird art kids and the red necks.

Recently, I have been trying to expand my brand into different mediums. Dipping my toes into alternative ways to bring more attention to my comic strips. I want to show more of my personal brand so that people are not just following my social media because they like my work but because they want to see me succeed. To do this, I’m experimenting with recording myself drawing, and posting more Instagram Stories from around the farm or my house that give a better glimpse at who I am. I’ve been attempting to respond to other people’s postings more and to make myself a little more visible than that one tweet or instagram post a day. 

I have a great support network so far, and my work is constantly receiving praise for being cute, funny and relatable. Something that I had not intentionally associated with my brand but has been tied to it regardless was a positive voice for mental health in the agriculture community and an advocate of women in agriculture. Both of these topics are of great importance to me, but I never set out to be a mental health brand or a feminism brand. 

I happen to be a woman in agriculture, who lives and works with other women in agriculture. I have received praise for showing a feminine heavy cast, and in a radio interview I did last November with Valley Heritage Radio, I was asked if this was intentional and I had to confess it wasn’t. I also inadvertently became connected to the mental health movement in agriculture after an interview I did with Better Farming on how my comics help me relieve stress for myself and others. Ever since then I have been asked to speak on the topic more and more which is wonderful, but never my original intention. 

I think that there could be a really a strong chance of success for my brand if I were to lean more into one of these subjects to further my brand recognition, but it is not something I am yet comfortable doing as I never intended to be that voice in the first place. My brand is supposed to inspire a care-free, fun and innocent love for farming and rural life and I’m not sure I want to move into a space where I am actively advocating for something more than that. I don’t want my audience to ever feel that they are being preached to by me, but in that, I feel that I have stunted the growth of my personal brand. 

Going forward, if my efforts to diversify my presence online do not increase brand awareness I may end up exploring these avenues… but until then, I will continue with the personal brand I have now. 

Zoom will change Our Loneliness!

Last week I had heard of Zoom in passing, as a way for my son to go to school during the pandemic. One week later and I am so impressed with this “new to me” platform. After 3 weeks of social and physical distancing it was time to reconnect with friends and family.

Zoom was the answer to my loneliness, over the weekend. It started with an idea on Friday night with my University girlfriends. It turned into a 90 minute video call with 6 of us on Saturday morning. We all live in different parts of Ontario and would normally see each other twice per year. I can not believe how much happier I felt after that call.

How to throw a perfect Zoom party with your friends and family ...
businessinsider.com

In keeping with the Zoom idea, I got in touch with my sister and parents. We attempted to organize a Zoom call with the 3 families for 6:30pm Saturday evening. My parents are in their 70’s and not overly computer savvy. The meeting time came and everybody logged in. Unbelievable. I was so impressed with my parents for figuring this out. We chatted for about 40 minutes and everybody was genuinely happy to see each other. It is very comforting that this platform is so user friendly that 70 year old Grandma could download the app and log into the meeting all by herself. The Grandchildren and Grandparents are now planning Easter dinner next weekend on Zoom.

Happy Hour Goes Online as Coronavirus Forces Everyone Inside - WSJ
wsj.com

I am a believer. This platform is the answer to the missing connections that we are all feeling during this pandemic. I am singing my new revelation, about Zoom, to anyone that will listen. I challenge everyone reading this blog to reach out to a group of people in their lives, that they have not seen in person for quite awhile. Organize a video call/meeting. It will make you feel kind of “normal” again. You can even have a beverage and pretend you are all together.

Zoom CEO Eric Yuan addresses 'Zoombombing:' We had some missteps ...
Zoom CEO Eric Yuan on CNN

I have been researching the Zoom platform and I understand that there are risks involved with its use. We will be using the free version and most likely stick to the 40 minute time limit. We won’t be discussing sensitive topics so I feel like our risk is low.

Back to my son that goes to school in the US, his whole second semester is now dependent on the Zoom platform. I have now paid a little more attention to the good things that the school has going on in order to allow the students to save their year and stay in touch.

facebook: Zoom will Change our Loneliness

twitter: #Zoom #COVID19 #loneliness

Grocery shopping amid the Pandemic

 

Today I ventured out of the house for the first time in 2 weeks. I feel like I won the “get-out-of-jail-free” card (Monopoly), even if the only place I could go was to the grocery store.  If you read my blog last week you’ll remember that we have been self-isolating since our return from Florida and while we have been fortunate to have family and friends drop off the essentials we needed to re-stock the freezer and pantry.

Hunger or Boredom?

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Photo Courtesy of makeameme.org 

I’m not sure if it’s boredom, hunger or if now that I am working from home that I notice, but WOW can my kids eat, alot! This week alone they have polished off a 30 pack of eggs, 5 bags of milk and 4 loaves of bread. This was almost enough for me to consider getting some backyard chickens, a cow and making my own bread….almost! One thing I will say about being cooped up at home with limited food – it’s amazing what you find at the bottom of your deep freeze. For example, my husband told me we have enough frozen fruit to make smoothies everyday for a month, however, that butter supply he made fun of me for – well it turns out that we were on our last one.

 

To market, to market 

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Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

This past week has been filled with me asking friends and family what it was really like out there in the grocery stores. I felt like I needed to be prepared for what to expect going in so that I could ease my anxiety a little. I got some great advice and as it turns out, for once social media has also been pretty accurate on what to expect at certain stores, for example – leave your reusable bags at home or in your trunk, line ups, etc. So this morning my husband and I left the house early to head out to Costco before they opened and get enough food to hopefully last our family more than a week. We got there early as I had been warned about the long lineup to get into the store, we got in line, respected the 6-foot rule, had our hand sanitizer, etc. and soon enough we made our way into the store. I must say I was impressed at how well Costco has looked after keeping its staff and customers safe. I think my worry about going to get groceries amid the Pandemic stems from the fact that my daughter returns to work tomorrow at a supermarket. Having a large family (including a wee babe in the house), I worry about what she may be exposed to and bring back into the house. I worry that there are people out there who have also returned recently from travel and ignored the 14-day mandatory self -isolation rule. I am still hearing every day that people are ignoring the social distancing measures that have been put in place by our government and are risking the health of themselves and others.

Home Again, Home Again

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Photo by Bruno Cervera from Pexels

We left Costco with a cart full to the the brim and now it was time to head home and unpack our groceries. How many of you you have seen the video about washing your groceries when you get home, everything from your fruit and vegetables to pizza boxes? To be honest, up until now I had only watched a few minutes as all the information seemed overwhelming. Have you also had a chance to read this article disputing some of the original “tips”? I read the article before finishing watching the whole video and quite honestly a lot of his fact-finding made a whole lot of sense. 

I already remove the packaging from my fruit and vegetables and put them into Tupperware, the same with the Club size packs of meat. I am not a fan of Lysol, I find the smell overwhelming and nauseating and did you know when using Lysol wipes to disinfect that the surface must remain wet for 10 minutes? (Lysol.com)  I prefer to wash my hands regularly, especially when handling food and use soap and water to clean the outside of any plastic or cardboard surfaces. I realize this is a hot topic right now and one with varied opinions, how are you shopping amid the Pandemic? Are you sanitizing your groceries when you get them home? 

Facebook: Grocery shopping amid the Pandemic. Should you really wash your fruit with soap? https://bit.ly/34ffOpp

Twitter:  Grocery shopping amid the Pandemic. What it’s really like? https://bit.ly/34ffOpp

Limitless Opportunity – How Will You Use Your Time?

What if I told you there is a way you could be quit your job at FreshCo?

What if I told you that you didn’t need to go to University?

What if I told you all you needed to live independent and happy was a cell-phone, laptop or iPad?

You would most likely give me a side-eyed look and tell me what I was going on about.

The old days are gone

It’s true though. The days spent conventionally chasing success are long behind us. Don’t get me wrong, the process is still grueling and nerve-wracking, but the outlets have grown and so have the chances of becoming successful. Aside from a piece of technology, you need to have a stone-will and an intrepid nature. So many individuals find themselves at a loss in their careers, lacking opportunity and not enough resources to climb as high as they would like to. With social media, a ceiling only exists where we set it.

We can reach more people

Never before have we been able to network with as many people in one day as we can today. In the past, you could only meet with as many people as you had time to travel to in one day. Let’s set the average at 2-3 people per day. Today, you can send 20 personalized E-mails in 60 minutes. You can mass message your entire contact list the same message in a matter of seconds. This advantage saves time, money and the principles of this tool floods into the social-media revolution.

giphy

Our voices matter

On social media platforms, we can reach whomever we need to speak with in a matter of seconds. It has also hosted the birth of opinions that have changed world-views. We no longer have to be subjugated to the views of our communities. We are free to make an impact on the lives of millions of people throughout the world. This comes with its own list of risks, but for the most part, we are all influencers in our own right.

Uncle ben

However you choose to use your influence, there will be a cause and effect. If people enjoy your effect on them, then this can be monetized. That’s right, people are willing to pay for a product or service that you post online. You no longer need to leave the house, work your life away in a factory or travel across the country to produce income! As I stated above, all that is required is perseverance and imagination.

The hard truth

What follows next is where I lose the attention of my audience, but it is vitally important. Anyone can be a self-proclaimed entrepreneur these days. Everyone and their uncle believes they can be the next upcoming sensational superstar. This inherently comes with long days and late nights. This means loneliness and aggravation for many years. Gary Vaynerchuk has an iconic saying: “Get used to eating dirt and be willing to do that for the next 10 years”. People aren’t ready for this. The average person does not want to lose sacrifice comfort and quality of life for the long-term goal.

20989288_10155597319193350_4870999994249867169_o

Use This Time to Your Advantage

Now I get it, not everyone wants to be an internet sensation. In reality, this is a massive weight if not fully desired. I just wanted to illustrate my point, which is that the limitations have been diminished. Anything is possible in the age we live in. You are free to claim whichever lane you wish to drive in. you can forge your own path and this is becoming increasingly evident. The knowledge to learn anything you want is at your fingertips with a wifi connection. If you have been feeling suffocated or restless during this pandemic, you may be surprised to discover the air you need could be breathed in through your online learning. You can relieve the restlessness through a finite transition of finger movements. I firmly believe the best use of this isolation period can be spent online learning, understanding new concepts, discovering possible new hobbies and ultimately setting yourself up for success when this pandemic becomes history.

Where do you stand? Will you use this time to become a better painter? Will you learn strategies to rewire your business model? Are you going to learn how to invest in the stock market? Maybe you’re a starving musician and need the push of a more attentive audience. Now is the time to restrategize and take advantage of the opportunity presented to you. What will you do?

As always, I hope my readers are staying inside and are all doing well. We’ll be through this soon.

 

facebook-png-icon-follow-us-facebook-1  We live in the greatest time, How will you use your limitless possibility? https://bit.ly/2ULwpOl
twitter-round-logo-png-transparent-background-7 How are you using your time? #Ageofopportunity https://bit.ly/2ULwpOl

 

 

 

 

 

The Importance of Excellent Customer Service

Photo by Quintin Gellar from Pexels.com

Do you ever recall a time where you were so pleased at the service that was provided to you? That left you with a lasting impression? Or that you felt compelled to leave a comment, commendation for an employee, or you completed a survey because someone went above and beyond for you?

Let me take you back to 2015, when I decided to try a free 30 day trial for Amazon Prime as it was fairly new to me. Not that I was a fan of online shopping at the time, or had anything specific in mind to buy,  but hey it’s free I had nothing to lose.  As time went on I forgot about my Prime membership, and did not use it within the 30 days. I received an email from my financial institution about  a strange $80 charge from Amazon and if this was something I should be suspicious about as it did appear very randomly. I immediately called my credit card company to ensure  this was a legitimate charge. I then contacted Amazon who were very empathetic, patient & understanding and ensured they were going to help me. I expressed my frustration that I did not sign up for Prime and I was only on a trial, I felt that this was not authorized. After a very minimal hold, the representative acknowledged my concerns and informed that I contacted Amazon USA instead of Amazon Canada. Before getting more frustrated they went on to advise that they would contact Amazon Canada on my behalf and initiate a refund request with them so I would not have to repeat myself. I was transferred to Amazon Canada and my request was completed all within 5 minutes. They verified my information and informed that it would take a few business days to appear on my credit card. My story alone shows why Amazon is such a reputable company today, and I am proud to say I am now an active prime member.

What is Excellent Customer Service?

In my opinion excellent customer service is the heart of any business and it’s about meeting and exceeding customers expectations. Its about  how you make the overall customer experience, leaving them feeling valued and respected.

Why is Excellent Customer Service important?

It is important because it can:

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio at Pexels.com
  • Increase customer loyalty
  • Increase your profits (how much each customer spends with your business)
  • Increase how often a customer buys from you
  • Generate more business by word of mouth

How do we deliver Excellent Customer Service?

There are many ways and strategies to deliver the best customer service. I have broken down a few with the 5 P’s:

  1. Prompt: quick response and speed is essential for great customer service. Especially when dealing with a time sensitive request.   Example: You wake up one morning with a flat tire and take it to the mechanic or local auto body shop to get it patched. 30 minutes later your tire is patched and you still made it to work on time.
  2. Personal: Knowing and understanding your customers wants and needs is also the best interaction with customers. Example: Starbucks writing your name on your cup while it’s being made.
  3. Perfect Problems: Even though there is no such thing as perfection, fixing your mistakes, taking full responsibility and transparency are essential. Example: When handling problems, complaints, issues or returns and ensuring the unsatisfied customer becomes satisfied.
  4. Pass/ Exceed Expectations: Going the extra mile will always leave a lasting impression. Example: Amazon USA contacted Amazon Canada on my behalf explained the situation and ensured I was refunded .
  5. Positive Experience/ Brand Promise: A customer is for life or long term. Example: I chose to continue using Amazon now in my future since I had such a  wonderful experience in my past with them. I am also a proud user of another Amazon product, Audible

Did you know?

As per Superoffice, Customer service has an impact on both existing customers and potential customers. A recent survey found that 68% of consumers would react by telling family and friends about a bad experience by posting it on a social network. It is also six times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing customer!

Photo by Clem Odenjehino at Pexels.com

Now that we know the importance of customer service lets look at the flip side. Do you ever recall a time that you experienced bad customer service or a generally horrible experience where it turned you off. How did this make you feel? Did it change your perspective on the business or company?  I am also not referring to ordering your regular coffee at Tim Horton’s and its not consistent everyday. I have 2 different experiences to share:

Photo by Oliver Sjostrom at Pexles.com

One Saturday evening back in December 2018 my friend and I decided to grab Harvey’s before going home. We decided to order through the drive through as we had a long evening of Christmas shopping.  We ordered our meals separately in 2 bags,  2 original burgers for her and her husband and 2 original burgers for my mother and I.  After leaving the drive through I ensured my friend checked to make sure both orders were correct, as a customer it is very frustrating to find surprises after the fact.  I dropped my friend home and arrived home 15 minutes after purchasing the food. My mother opened her burger and I opened my mine, only to discover 2 dressed buns with no burger meat! I was in shock. Humiliated and disappointed as my mom was hungry. Her exact words ” didn’t you check the bag”. Of course I checked the bag, there were 2 burgers or at least wrapped buns which I assumed had burgers in them. In that moment I didn’t know how to feel. I was more than angry, frustrated and highly annoyed. I called Harvey’s and tried my best to bite my tongue and  control my temper in the most cool and collective way. Just like Amazon, they listened and understood and asked me to come back. Harvey’s did not refund my whole meal, but they did give me brand new buns and toppings, refunded me for half of my meal and gave me a free order of frings. Despite this being a fair offer, I still think I deserved a full refund. Coincidentally Harvey’s was the sponsor of my first soccer team I ever played for here in my home town Pickering Ontario.

Now lets look at experience # 2

Photo by Daria Shevtsova at Pexels.com

If you have ever worked in the corporate world, Christmas time is always favored by employees. When being an employee that’s part of a team, Secret Santa or Chris Kringle is usually favored. Since I was fairly new to my company I decided to participate as it was a $25 limit. I ended up picking a colleague who I knew better than others as we ate lunch together. I purchased her a Spa Gift Card from Shoppers Drug Mart. Something to keep in my of, is that I have been purchasing gift cards from shoppers drug for many years now. I attached the receipt in the card that was given to my colleague. Since we celebrated this early, my colleague informed that the gift card did not work. I immediately felt embarrassed and upset. How could that be possible? The receipt was attached. I felt that I needed to take full responsibility, and told my colleague I would handle this. I contacted Shoppers Drug Mart, made a trip back to the location I purchased the gift card from, only to be sent in  a loop of circles. An investigation had to be initiated with their head office who then contacts the supplier of the gift card merchant. The head office informed me this would take 10-15 business days which was well after Christmas and also would affect me as I was going on a cruise at the beginning of January. To make a long story short, after sending them pictures of the front and back of the gift card and receipts, they were unable to resolve the actual issue and offered to send me a $25 shoppers drug mart gift card almost a month after I brought this to their attention. Meanwhile my internet connection was not the best on my cruise so they did not receive my responses in a timely matter and closed the case. I did try to respond but never received a response back. Now even though I was out $25, Shoppers Drug Mart did not care to follow up with me. They now lost me as a loyal customer

Let’s relate both experiences to the 5 P’s,

StrategyHarvey’sShopper’s Drug Mart
PromptYes Harvey’s was very prompt in this matter once I contacted themNo not at all, I was sent in circles and then the wait time was after the fact
Personal They were not aware that they were my first sponsor or that they were my preferred burger spotI expressed to the representative on the phone and in person that I have been purchasing gift cards from them for years and on every occasion
Perfect ProblemsA partial refund and new food were both givenThey tried to offer me an insulting offer after an entire month of investigating
Pass/ Exceed ExpectationsDespite my expectations were all not exceeded, the customer service was still acceptableThey did not exceed any of my expectations
Positive Experience/ Brand PromiseIt was an overall positive experience and I have recently ordered from them againThis is overall one of my worst experiences as a customer

As you can see there are many different experiences when it comes to customer service. Customer service is a competitive advantage. Standing out and always striving to be the best is the key to keep your customer’s loyal and them to continuously interact with your brand. If you provide excellent customer service, you will not only retain your customers, but you will acquire your competitors’ as well.

Facebook: Customer service goes a long way. Click here to find out why!

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Twitter: Is customer service important?#ExcellentCustomerService#Deliveringcustomerservice

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References:

Superoffice.com. April 2020. Retrieved from https://www.superoffice.com/blog/five-ways-to-deliver-excellent-customer-service/

Some Interesting Projects from Kaggle

Source

If you are feeling frustrated during the self quarantine, why not try to do something you never done before? Here I would like to recommed you some interesting projects from kaggle which are for beginner level and very easy to finish. It’s not like the jigsaw puzzle or lego which requires you to wait until it’s delivered and any money to spend on them. As long as you have a laptop you can start it right way.

  1. Hotel booking demand

https://www.kaggle.com/jessemostipak/hotel-booking-demand

This dataset gives you information for reservation, length of stay, number of people to check in and so on for you to dig about. Inaddition, this data set doesn’t contain any obvious industry backgrounds. It is good for you to perform analyzing on users’ routine behavior or comparing the reservation needs and occupancy rate between city hotels and holiday hotels, the best time to book a hotel in a year or even using the Logistic regression to make a prediction on hotel reservations. The data has 32 colums in total and 120k rows so it is not so big which would require the machine to run the script the whole day

2. US Accidents

https://www.kaggle.com/sobhanmoosavi/us-accidents

This data set contains all the traffic accident over 49 states in the U.S. including the features such as the loaction of the accident, weather, temperature and so on. Similar as mentioned above, this data set also does not require obvious industry background so anyone can perform analyzing on it such as finding the factor driving to the accident result, making predictions on where the accident would happen. In addition, as this data set collected the data from 2016 to last December, so it is also highly recommend to do the data visulization to state the summary of the accidents over these 4 years.

The whole point of this artical is trying to find something for you to try if you are feeling frustrated instead of hanging outside. Anyway, stay home, stay safe.

Social Media in the Classroom? Sure! Why Not?

When I decided to take an introduction to social media class, it was with the specific goal of learning more about the basics of social media. When signing up I wasn’t too sure what I should be expecting. However I wasn’t expecting to having to practise blogging throughout the length of the course. Blogging as an assignment has forced me to think of my audience when writing. I have experience writing academic papers for past classes, where the target audience for those texts were very small and very niche: my professor and other classmates. (Image from giphy.com)

The language I used was common in my field of study within the academic world. Having four blogs to write for my social media class (even though it is a small number) has made me have to rethink my writing style to appeal to a wider audience. In retrospect, I would have loved to learn more about social media in the classroom, at the high school level. This is what prompted the research I have done for this week when I asked myself: Can social media be used in the classroom for subjects such as French or History?  Moreover, is this a good way to teach students and is it beneficial for the students?

The Council of Ministry of Education of Canada (CMEC) is currently emphasizing the need to use global competencies in the classroom to “promote deeper learning by equipping students with the necessary tools to adapt to diverse situations and become lifelong learners” (cmec.ca). These global competencies are:

  1. critical thinking
  2. creativity
  3. self-awareness/learning to learn
  4. collaboration
  5. communication
  6. global citizenship and sustainability

So how does adding social media projects in the classroom achieve these global competencies? “The Impact of Blog Style Writing on Student Learning Outcomes, A Pilot Study,” by Holly E. Hansen and “Harnessing the Power of Social Media in the Classroom: Challenging Students to Create Content to Share on Social Media Sites to Improve Learning Outcomes” by Tracy Sohoni are both great articles which demonstrate the effectiveness of social media projects in learning environments through studies with students. While both of these studies have been conducted at the university level, I’ve chosen them as examples because they demonstrate the students development of all six global competencies, and I believe that these projects could also be done at the high school level. 

First, critical thinking. Both in Hansen’s and Sohoni’s studies having the students create a social media project instead of a traditional academic research paper has improved the students’ relationship with reference materials (Hanson, 2016, p. 87; Sohoni, 2019, p. 391). Sohoni mentions that her students have gained the ability to assess the credibility of information sources (2019, p. 391). She says “When professors actively engage with students with new media, it gives them the opportunity to teach critical thinking in terms of assessing how arguments are made, as well as the credibility of the sources” (2019, p. 391). She has done this by asking her students to present their social media project to the class, then having the class answer these questions: 

  1. What is the argument that is being made? Who is the intended audience?
  2. What is the evidence being used to support the argument? What is the quality/strength of the evidence?
  3. What relevant information or evidence might be missing?
  4. What strategies of persuasion are being used? How does the author attempt to establish credibility, and do you find the author to be credible? (2019, p. 393)

This type of critical thinking allows the students to engage with and questions the sources they read on social media, something which is also useful outside of the classroom.

Image from nytimes.com

Secondly, projects which involve social media allows the students to develop creativity. In Hansen’s study, she specifically asked students to blog, which allowed them to experiment and be creative with their writing style. On the other hand, Sohoni left it up to the students to decide what medium they preferred using to convey the information they’ve learned during the course. Some students have decided on creating videos, others have created websites, Facebook Stories, and Wikipedia pages, etc. In each case the students were able to develop their creativity as they made choices on how to best present their information.

Third, self-awareness, according to Sohoni, asking her students to use social media for their final project instead of a traditional academic research paper has “Empower (ed) students to see themselves as effective conveyors of information” (2019, p. 392). When students gain the confidence to share information and feel as they can contribute to topics and discussions it encourages them to keep learning, and sharing their knowledge. The medium of social media allows them to do this on a global scale and interact with others outside of their community, thus also accomplishing the sixth global competency, global citizenship. 

Fourth, Hansen has found that social media allows students to collaborate together effectively. For group projects, such has a blog with multiple authors, a wiki page and even a forum, it allows the students to problem solve as a team (2016, p. 87). I think that this can be seen in the content they decide to post, and in the technical aspects of using social media as well. Furthermore, it was found that other students were supportive in the comment section, offering advice, and help to add to the original poster’s entry and a gain in confidence and feelings of camaraderie from the students who felt that they were getting help with a problem through the comments (2016, p. 87).

Last, but not least, communication. In both studies, students have learned to communicate with not only their peers, but also their audience. As their social media projects were available to the public, the students had to consider their audience … everyone. In consequence they had to develop the skills to effectively communicate their information to anyone who would read, or view their social media projects (Sohoni, 2019, p. 392). 

(Image from pinterest.com)

To answer my original question, can social media be used in the classroom and is it beneficial for the students? The short answer is … Yes! However it is important to take note that in this entry I have specifically contracted on the positive aspects of using social media in a learning environment, and have linked those to the goals set by CMEC. This is not to say that social media projects should completely replace traditional academic writing, I think that there should be a balance between the two. After all, learning to write formal academic texts is also important and beneficial for students, they just develop different skills than with writing for social media. Additionally, Henson mentions that writing for social media highlights a writing style which is shorter, more conversational and more informal than formal academic papers. This style of writing can “appeal to students as it represents a form they are comfortable engaging” (2016, p. 86). Moreover, I think that teachers should have proper training to learn how to effectively use social media as an educational tool. As said by deNoyelles, another scholar who has explored the use of social media in the classroom: “Although popular among learners’ lives, personal use does not automatically guarantee being prepared to use them for educational purposes (deNoyelles, 2012, p. 3). In fact, Thierry Karsenti, who holds the Canada Research Chair on Technologies in Education, and is a professor at the University of Montreal holds an international conference each year dedicated to the training and use of technology in the classroom! Just as Hansen and Sohoni say, Karsenti also agrees that technology and social media in the classroom is only useful when it elevates and is beneficial to the learning experience of students.    

I’ve mentioned in my introduction that I’ve felt the need to adjust my writing style for blogging purposes, has anyone else had the same experience? Do you feel as though writing for social media has made you develop different skills (such as critical thinking, creativity, and communication) and how? I look forward to reading your answers in the comments below! 

References

Council of Ministers of Education. (n.d.). Global Competencies. Retrieved April 4th, 2020, from https://www.cmec.ca/682/Global_Competencies.html

deNoyelles, A. (2012). Analysis in Virtual Worlds. In K. Seo (Ed.), Using Social Media Effectively In the Classroom: Blogs, Wikis, Twitter, and More (pp. 3–44). Routledge.

Hansen, H. E. (2016). The Impact of Blog-Style Writing on Student Learning Outcomes: A Pilot Study. Journal of Political Science Education, 12(1), 85–101. doi: 10.1080/15512169.2015.1060887

Karsenti, T. (n.d.). Conférences et nouvelles. Retrieved April 4, 2020, from http:// http://www.karsenti.ca/p/conferences

Sohoni, T. (2019). Harnessing the Power of Social Media in the Classroom: Challenging Students to Create Content to Share on Social Media Sites to Improve Learning Outcomes. Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 30(3), 389–406. doi: 10.1080/10511253.2018.1538420

Facebook Promotional Post

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What are the benefits of using social media as an educational tool? https://bit.ly/2XfO7vj #socialmediainclass #learning

Offering Online Fitness During COVID-19? Free Advice!

According to The British Journal Of Sports Medicine  we need to maintain our physical activities in order to boost our immune system that will help with the fight of any viral or bacterial infections. Personally, I truly believe that keeping physically fit reduces the number of illnesses that I have had in the last few years.  This, I attribute to the 5 fitness classes that I regularly teach and the other sports that I play.        

In this new COVID-19 paradigm I can’t play my sports, or physically teach in the gym or the studio but I still have people that want to keep up their fitness regime and boost their immune system, and so do I.  My only option is to learn how to teach online classes while maintaining my own daily fitness workouts.  Here are three main points that need to be considered before jumping to online classes:

  1.  Become Highly Proficient on the Technology side or ask Advice

I recently joined a Facebook Fitness group where I posted some questions on what technology should be used to start my online workout classes.   I also ended up learning a lot through trial and error.  Here are some insights.

Video Platform

I tried two platforms, Facebook Live and Zoom.  I started off using Facebook Live to teach my classes.  Although I had some success, it was quickly noted that I couldn’t see my participants and couldn’t see the text feedback as people were sending messages.  Also the technology was causing problems for my camera setup and would flip from laptop camera to web cam.   I next tried Zoom.   I noticed that I could see all my participants on the screen working out with me and I could match my pace with my participants.  The participants could wave at me if they needed to stop or point something out to me.    I also did not have any issues with microphone or camera selections. Although there has been some recent security issues with Zoom, in this case of teaching classes, I would recommend Zoom or something similar, where you can see your participants.

Camera

I knew that my laptop camera had some limitations on quality and therefore invested into a WebCam  Logitech C930e that had an integrated microphone and could be mounted on a tripod.  I wanted to make sure my students could see as well as hear me well.  This Webcam turned out to be a great investment.  My participants do tell me that sometimes my image is a bit blurry, when I do a HIIT segment (move quickly), but it quickly refocus automatically. At this point, I truly believe it meets my needs for the next few months.

Microphone

I started using my WebCam microphone and participants indicated that while they could hear me loud and clear, they could not hear the music, or the music was distorted.  Here is where I received a recommended video to purchase a separate microphone and to change my default setting in Zoom to optimize the audio.  I purchased the Blue Snowball Microphone.

Here is the YouTube video that with the Zoom, Microphone set up Recommendation

2. Review Liability and Copyright Issues

Insurance Liability
I currently have purchased fitness insurance that covers teaching fitness classes, either at a studio or in my home studio.   My insurance stipulates that I must have my participants sign waivers to make them aware of the risks of physical activity.     After discussion with my insurance, they have recommended that I upgrade my insurance to cover online classes and have confirmed with me that I still need my participants to sign off on these waivers.     Here is a bit of a grey area.   The students that I already teach have signed a waiver, but if I open up my classes to the public, how do I get everyone to sign off on these.  I am still researching this.

Music Copyright

As a fitness instructor, I am always faced with  the issue of music copyright.   I have specifically bought music from PowerMusic which is meant for teaching fitness classes.   After reviewing Power Music policy, I can see that my music is not licensed for live-online classes.  I would need to purchase special music that has been deemed licensed for online classes.   This is an area that would need to be investigated further.

3. Communication and Social Media Platform

Facebook

I have been sending a link through email to individual people to join my classes and have been wondering how to expand to more people and how to get feedback.  I do get feedback during the class – I can see people posting comments, but when the class is over, this data is deleted.   I have decided to create a messenger group for my fitness classes and post my fitness class links through this medium so people can join the class and also post messages after the class.   This way, I can engage with the conversation. I can also advertise on my Facebook Page on the upcoming classes and then once they sign/acknowledge the waiver, I can add them to the messenger group.

I have certainly learned a lot in the last three weeks towards teaching fitness classes online. I hope this has helped some of you undertake the leap to online. Although this blog was geared towards fitness, there are many other areas that can be moved to online such as a drawing or painting classes, teaching music or dance and more. Have you been teaching online and if so, do you have any advice for me? Alternatively, will this post inspire you to try teaching online?

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Blog #2 – Strong & Weak Organizations

Coca-Cola

As social media continues to dominate the internet, Coca-Cola is one brand that continuously impresses their audience with interesting social media strategies. I believe colour has a huge impact with marketing on social platforms. Consumers can gain insight about the brand’s personality. Primary colours like red stand out, the colour is associated with urgency and power. For example, users that scroll through Coca Cola’s instagram page take notice of the same vibrant red colour adorned on their pop cans. Thus, consumers are able to connect the intended colour on Instagram posts straight back to the brand. In addition, Coca-cola released personalized Coke bottles on social media which was an immediate success. ‘Within six months of its launch, Coca-Cola reported 330 million impressions on Twitter, with nearly 170,000 tweets from 160,000 fans.’ (econsultancy.com) Also, in popular media Coke worked with Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ and many fans of the show were excited to share pictures with the ‘classic’ Coke from the show. Coca-Cola does an excellent job promoting fun ideas that interests consumers.

Coke extends names on bottles to everyone – Marketing Week
Image from https://www.marketingweek.com/coke-extends-names-on-bottles-to-everyone/

Dove

Dove is an excellent company that markets their campaigns on social media to invoke emotion in their audience. Their ‘true beauty’ and self-esteem campaigns inspired many of their female consumers. Moreover, Dove used Instagram and Twitter to share inspirational women and their success stories. This moved users on social media to share #selfesteem and #truebeauty in response to Dove’s campaigns. In addition, Dove’s ‘real beauty sketches’ on Youtube gained 9.7 million views gaining lots of exposure for consumers worldwide. Dove successfully became one of the top leading soap brands.

Dove: Self Esteem Project - WNW
Image from https://workingnotworking.com/projects/172652-dove-self-esteem-project

Prodigy

Prodigy is an online learning platform that specializes in their math games. The company has no social media accounts, which gives consumers the only option to contact representatives of the company. I believe incorporating social accounts will allow the company more exposure and popularity with new audiences. For example, if the company posted Instagram stories demonstrating one of their games. This would allow parents on social media to introduce this educational company to their younger children. There are many successful opportunities if a company promotes themselves on social platforms.

Source

Facebook. (2019, November 28). Three keys to Coca-Cola’s success on social media. Retrieved from https://econsultancy.com/coca-cola-social-media-success-case-study/

COM0015-Blog #3: Are you Successful at Networking?

Image retrieved from http://blinkevents.net/courteous-networking/

As it has been mentioned previously in one of my blogs, networking is an important tool that can bring value to your professional career.  It is crucial to remain an active member of various professional associations that are related to the translation industry.  Another way to improve our present and future network is to adhere to as many other groups as possible in the quest of acquiring numerous referrals coming from their members. 

A professional social media platform such as LinkedIn offers people the opportunity to display their content online.  Posting blogs, articles, opinions and comments related to your industry or related to a very trendy subject can potentially increase the number of connections and followers.  Whether they are coming from individuals, professional groups and associations, each connection added to your network adds value to it and might not be of any current value but may become very important in the future.

The main obstacle, in so many cases, is that you must be diligent and consistent when posting any content on social media platforms.  Even the most disciplined content creator has moments when it is hard to manage work, content creation and networking.  However, I pledge to be more active and work to solidify my networking in the next 6 to 12 months.  Here is how I plan to successfully increase the number of people within different networking platforms, solidify the existing connections as well as diversified the type of connections that will be acquired through networking in the future.

In order to be successful, I will need to:

  • Identify my influencers and my potential clients
  • Capitalize on mutual connections
  • Use a different approach if necessary
  • Step out of my comfort zone
  • Not always tell clients how I can help, but let them ask me how I can help
  • Just like any other lead, always follow up an invitation to connect or email

I will also step out of my comfort zone and explore some of the newer social media platforms and experiment with some new content as well as remind myself of the 5 rules of the courteous networker: listen, be myself, create human connections first, be considerate of time, and always follow up any interaction with a thank you.  I try my best to be as successful as I can be at networking.  Are you?

References

Nebons, Amy.  (May 5, 2015).  Courteous networking.  Retrieved from http://blinkevents.net/courteous-networking/