Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Value-Added Social Media



The following is a post for COM0015: Assignment #1 – Post 4

I have a secret.. You know I work in social, but I didn’t actually start actively using Instagram until … last year

Why the hate on Insta? I just didn’t see the value added to filter photos and make them look lower quality. Why not just post photos to Twitter and Facebook? Couldn’t they just do the same thing? But Instagram is photos only, none of those pesky status updates, shared articles, or upworthy videos. It’s a creeper’s dream! What is the value of this platform?

Businesses have embraced the Instagram movement. While not necessarily “instant”, the carefully curated photos are often used to showcase the company’s products or services. Take @the.hook.nook. She calls out to all the hipster fibre enthusiasts by taking amazing pics of her yarns and crochet projects to promote her etsy shop where she sells completed goods. I love her posts (it doesn’t hurt that she is a total babe and I have major hair envy).

From time to time businesses offer giveaways that you can enter by following their Instagram account and tagging a friend (who will also, then, want to enter and follow that Instagram account). I’m tagged in giveaways weekly! What an interesting application of this social platform. As David Hall from Algonquin College says (paraphrased), “It’s more than just the marketing message: it’s also customer service, engagement, awareness. It’s about the democratization of information. It’s a fundamental shift to a many-to-many conversation.”

Businesses are speaking to many, and letting their followers do the promotion for them! All they have to do is give away a… skein of yarn? A giant crochet hook? Sign me up!

Networking



The following is a post for COM0015: Assignment #1 – Post 3

Parenting is hard. Back in the day, it took a village to raise a child, and I believe that this still rings true today. I’m not the first person to have a 6-month old with eczema, and I won’t be the last. How can I learn from others, hear their experiences, and apply their lessons-learned? By expanding my parenting network

My current networking strategy is to join several national and local parenting groups including Babycenter Communities for babies born in specific months, 2016 Ottawa Mom Village (on Facebook), and Ottawa Attachment Parents (on Facebook). I was just recently talking with a friend about social media and I said that I couldn’t remember my life before social media. How did breastfeeding women survive without smart phones and Facebook? Thank goodness for these groups and for other parents going through the same experiences I’m going through now. Another bonus is having some new material to peruse during the mid-night feedings.

I believe that there is always space in my village for another parenting voice. I still have about six months left on my maternity leave, and I plan on continuing to develop my parenting networks by participating in meet-ups and joining other activities geared towards women on maternity leave like Babytime, Stroll and Roll, and Mom and Baby fitness classes.

And.. because you can’t have too many friends.

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.”