Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Strong & Weak Organizations

The following is a post for COM0015: Assignment #1 – Post 2

Working in Social Media, it’s important to look at both success stories for inspiration and lessons learned to see what pitfalls to avoid.

Two examples of great social media strategies are:

  1. Buzzfeed’s Tasty video sharing: Buzzfeed branched off their food arm, much to my extreme happiness. They revolutionized the way recipes can be shared, and considering I am a Pinterest fiend, I think that means a lot. I lurve the food.

    Tasty videos are short and feature a quick recap of a delicious-looking recipe, making it more accessible and inspiring millions (or, at least, me) to cook. They do a great job of distilling the information into an attractive little video, and then leverages the power of social media shares and autoplay to multiply views. With over 81 M likes, they’ve found the magic formula of using short videos to share info, and other companies like Planet You, Cosmo Bites, and Delish are adopting the same format.
  2. Merriam-Webster.  Yep, the dictionary. Wait, hang on, hang on. The social media peeps at MW are amazing. Funny, engaging, and informative! Politics aside, they keep up-to-date on current events and join the conversation. That’s the dream! Plus, who doesn’t love a good grammar nerd-out?

Unfortunately, not all companies are on the social media bandwagon (WHY?), or if they are, they’re not particularly awesome.

Take a certain high-ranking politician’s personal Twitter account (is this going to be the reason I’m no longer allowed into the country?). On the one hand, he is using Twitter correctly – posting on a whim and his stream of consciousness.  Some governments may have too many layers of bureaucracy to public social media posts, but this one doesn’t seem to have that problem. 

On the other hand, as the leader of an entire country, I would suggest taking a step back and developing a social media strategy. That way, he can avoid coming across as immature or ridiculous. I recommend revamping their entire social media presence, coming up with concrete objectives (such as sharing information about policies and international visits) and producing a consistent and confident, yet humble, voice to speak to the country. Be like Tasty – be interesting. Be like Merriam-Webster – be topical. Be government – be cordial and professional. 

As David Hall from Algonquin College says (paraphrased), “It’s more than just the marketing message: it’s also customer service, engagement, awareness.”

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Social Media Listening Tools and Sources

The following is a blog post for COM0015 – Assignment #1, Blog Post #1:

There are many sources and tools to “listen” to what the social media communities are saying about your product/service/favourite celebrity/The Bachelor/American president/whatever. You’ll just need to find what works best for you. If you’re already using a specific social media listening tool, as long as its satisfying your needs, whatever works for you is great. If you’re looking for some ideas on new tools and sources, read on!

My favourite tool is the Canadian social media manager, Hootsuite.  Originally designed as a dashboard to manage several social media accounts at the same time, it can also be used to listen to popular buzz about topics based on your search criteria. As one of my favourite sources of current buzz is Twitter, I like to set up streams to monitor popular hashtags. For example, if I want to stay up-to-date on all things Bachelor, I would set up a stream to monitor “The Bachelor”.  Then, I may see through other tweets in the conversation that #TheBachelor, #Bachelor #BachelorNation and #NickViall are also popular hashtags. Creating streams ensures that I will be able to follow the buzz. By listening to the conversation, I can ensure that I’m on target when joining the conversation, and helps prevent me from looking like a fool.  Unfortunately, I can’t elaborate on this example any further because I haven’t watched last night’s episode yet. #Spoilers.

I am obsessed with The Bachelor.

The second tool I like to use for social media listening is Sysomos. Using Boolean searches, it can be tailored to search for specific tweets within determined timelines (“The Bachelor” OR #TheBachelor OR #BachelorNation AND “Corinne” from Jan 2, 2017 to present) so that I can sure I’m not wasting my time reading tweets from previous seasons. Not only is it useful for gathering entire tweets for analysis, Sysomos also provides pertinent statistics such as geographic location and gender. As an advertiser, I could use this information to determine what kinds of products to advertise on social media at what times and to which audiences (for example, a sponsored tweet about rose-scented perfume to women in Chicago on Mondays 8-11 PM EST).

Another source of news and information I like to use is Facebook. With its easy sharing feature, users can promote links and images to their friends. Since Facebook is the top source for political news among millennials, if my organization is trying to target this audience, it’s in my best interest to get onto Facebook to see what information they’re getting and what formats garner the most attention. By analyzing Facebook content, I may be interested in creating snappy content in a Buzzfeed-style listicle with a meme cover photo that is interesting for Bachelor fans.

Reason #4: Why waste your time developing normal life skills when you can pay someone else to do it for you?

Have you tried Hootsuite and Sysomos as social media listening tools? Have you considered Twitter and Facebook to be legitimate news sources? What do you use? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015


The following is a blog post for COM0014 - Blog Post 6:

The purpose of social media is to interact and have conversations with like-minded people. My travel blog has been completely one-sided. I’ve been using it as a platform to record my travels instead of using it as an opportunity to inspire or motivate my audience, though I hope they are entertained nonetheless. Content on this blog will be guided by stories instead of day-by-day accounts (I might have to create more posts in order to get all my memories on “paper”).

I didn’t really consider my audience, since I’ve always just written for myself. Is it my friends? Is it random people who search travel destinations and find that I’ve been there already? I need to pick one and write to THEM. I want my audience to be inspired to visit the places I’ve been so I’ll need to change my writing style to accommodate that. 

Going forward, it’s important to properly theme my posts so they don’t read just like chronological accounts. I should write, rest, and then edit for clarity and tone before posting. Even though I am a stickler for grammar, I also make mistakes. Poor writing style and spelling mishaps can really make or break a blog. Nobody wants to read through a blog and constantly make mental corrections to the text. It’s just aggravating! (or is that just me?) Blogs without mistakes seem more authentic. I mean, if I can’t trust you to have passed English class, how can I trust that you’re the expert in cars/parenting/cooking/travelling/etc.?

What do you think? How else should I frame this blog to be more interesting to you, the reader? 

Let me know in the comments so I can prepare my stories on my next trip!