Final Reflections of Past Posts… New Direction?

Hello everyone I’m back again, I would like to apologize for the long wait between my last post and today’s post I will be back to my regular posting schedule starting this week.  In this final assignment I reflected upon all of my thoughts this semester and what I have personally learned about social media and its power to influence both business and social life alike. Personally I would like to think my perception of social media has changed.  I now use Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google ++, Skype and of course WordPress.  Each tool I have listed contributes to increasing my digital footprint.  As usual you can find the criteria for this assignment at the SMET loyalist website here is a link http://smetloyalist.wordpress.com/.

Social media has become a great part of how society communicates today.  Using the proper combination of tools could make or break you both as a  business, and as an individual if  some degree of discretion isn’t followed when posting content.  During this semester in the  SMET course our class has been given examples of how social media has been used poorly, and how social media has been used correctly.  Examples of poor usage manly consisted of how Twitter and Facebook can quickly backfire if you are not careful about what is posted, and or know about all the rules/ guidelines of your workplace regarding social media.  With Twitter I have discovered just how fast things can go south during Obama’s campaign in 2008 a member of Kitchen aid’s Twitter team posted “Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! ‘She died 3 days b4 he became president’. #nbcpolitics,” @KitchenAidUSA posted to 24,000 followers before quickly deleting the tweet you can find out more about this here http://mashable.com/2012/10/03/kitchen-aid-obama-dead-grandma/.  Some of you may think how could Facebook go south especially if you lock it down right? well although you can lock Facebook you are not entirely safe recently we have learned about a teacher from Barrow County Georgia who has lost her job over some pictures she posted on her Facebook taken while she was on her vacation in Europe with beer in her hand another co-worker found these pictures and took them to the principle needless to say she lost her job over the simple issue of what was done during her spare time.  This teacher argued she had no idea what the guidelines were and feels cheated and is currently attempting to get her job back,  check this story out here http://www.alan.com/2011/02/08/high-school-teacher-loses-job-because-of-facebook-picture-holding-beer-and-wine/.

Social media is not all doom and gloom.  If used properly social media could become free Public relations, add space, and customer interactions.  Over the course of our time in SMET our professor has been in the process of teaching us the do’s and do not’s, and the steps necessary to become more professional with our social media outreach.  The first step taken was starting this blog.  At first writing this blog was difficult but as we progressed throughout the semester it became easier to speak my mind via the internet without worry.  Each classmate has a blog of their own and each classmate went into this course with a different level of knowledge.  I would like to think after this semester we have gained a fresh perspective of social media and will take things more serious, I hope the others will continue to blog it has been enjoyable ready their posts.  Step two in our professors plan was for each of us to make a twitter account if we did not already have an existing account.  I think this was a great plan because Twitter has become a quick and easy way to organize group meetings and check up on friends when time is pressed.  Twitter game in three steps for us over the course of the semester the first was just to create a twitter account and participate in weekly SMET chats giving feedback on what we have learned and sometimes how it was applied depending on the questions she would ask.  Step two for Twitter was very simple but still just as important we were asked to add a professional bio for our followers.  Finally the third step was simple link Twitter to our WordPress blogs this three part step process allows for the potential of more interaction over time.  Twitter has been a great tool for connecting with fellow classmates, as well as the professor, when ever we had quick questions to ask she would get back to us within a couple hours of the initial tweet which was great.  I have enjoyed writing this blog and will continue to do so into the future.

A tool I have not posted about to date and is equally as important is Skype.  Skype is a free internet based calling service that allows you to get in touch with anyone you may be interested in talking with all over the world, provided they also use Skype.  Skype is no longer a free service if the person you call is using a cell number.  With Skype there are endless possibilities for business potential using the internet, especially for the small fish in the sea.  Your probably wondering how Skype applies to anything I have been saying thus far, well here’s how Skype allows the user to take pictures of the contact they are conversing with  and even goes as far as shared screens should both users mutually agree and accept the invite. So even something like Skype you still have to remain cautious because there is still the potential for others to do you harm not to mention everything you do on the internet stays on the internet for someone else to view elsewhere.

Since starting this course my prospective of social media has changed for the better.  When posting my content I have become more professional and have locked down my Facebook page to show other users only what I want them to see not embarrassing party pictures.  Before learning about the controversial topic of social media to the degree we have in class my view of it all was  limited and all of my profiles on the various platforms I used were completely open to the public for the most part.

With all of that said I would like to thank every0ne for following my class blog.  In the future I will continue to post on my blog page and I look forward to seeing what social media has to offer me with this new found respect and prospective I have gained.  I will be posting next week with a newer style/ format I encourage everyone to check it out and let me know what your thoughts are.  It was a pleasure to be a part of this class and I have no doubts in my mind that the information gained here will be used in a positive way to impact the future.

I look forward to keeping you all posted hope you have a great weekend!

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Week 10 Social Media Plan

Hello fellow readers,  I’m back again and as usual we were given an assignment for this weeks class.  The task has a similar feel to the Petpawsitive assignment.  Our professor assigned a fictitious business called  Extreme Promotional Materials which in the scenario given is a service based business providing specialization in personalized logos and knickknacks, team jerseys, pens, and lettering’s.  EPM has been in business for 15 years and employs 20 people serving the small to medium sized businesses across south eastern Ontario. Keep in mind they are always looking to expand into bigger and better markets.

Introduction to EPM social media plan:

A social media plan could be beneficial for Extreme Promotional Materials to expand our network. Essentially a social media plan could help provide the necessary details to effectively determine the proper means or right tools for use. A social media plan could also be used as a road map or a guide for anyone to read and accomplish what it is you wish to get done. Below are more specific details of our social media plan.  This social media plan will take our company to the next level and it will certainly increase supply and demand, customer base, and sales.  Listed below are more specific details on how we wish to accomplish this.

Mission, Vision, and Goals for the Future:

Extreme Promotional Materials  will accept nothing less than to provide excellence for our customers. We will continue to strive to provide the best possible products across a social network of potential customers. Social media will connect us to many more customers resulting in an increase of sales and a larger client base thus leading to future growth.

–          Social media will serve as a connector to Global markets and assist in our future expansions.

–          More sports teams and businesses will know of us and what we do.

–          Social media will help the company to reach a new level of customer satisfaction and competition with our competitors.

Key Messages Sent Across:

We are a company that provides quality promotional uniforms and knickknacks for sports teams and small to medium sized businesses.  We specialize in team uniforms, lettering’s and logos.

–          At Extreme Promotional Materials the customer’s needs always come first.

–          Our uniform designs are unique and specific to the customers needs who ordered them.

–          Every product produced is one hundred percent custom made and tailored to the customers needs.

Target Audiences:

With social media the target we wish to acquire is much larger.  We hope to stretch our reach to larger businesses world wide and quite possibly to the major sports teams and networks.  Social media will help achieve this relatively quickly while still maintaining our current customer base.  Social media could very well assist in providing more convenient services to our existing customers.
Social Media Tools Used:

There are three tools I can see our business using clearly and effectively to accomplish our goal of expansion and they are as follows: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  Below is a list of how each will benefit our company both in the long run and short term.  For each tool provided we would need to have a minimum team of two or three to oversee its day to day operations while staying on top of what the customers needs.

Facebook could be used as a communication portal between our customers directly to our company.  Facebook is known for commenting and posting new content but also has a feature known as timeline that could be handy for our future customers looking to do a little research into the products and services we provide, they would be able to look right back to the first day we owned the page.

Twitter would be our tool to get quick updates to any followers and potential customers keeping in mind customers like interactions not just broadcasting updates.  Our twitter page could link into the proposed Facebook page thus increasing the traffic back and forth between customers getting in the loop and customers already there that wish to provide us with feedback.

Instagram- Instagram could become very useful to draw new customers in while still having the ability to link to both Facebook and Twitter feeds as an ideal tool to complete the package. Instagram would be used solely as a showcase too and with the customers permission we could use our favorite or best quality products as an example by taking pictures of what we are doing with them and posting them there.  Customers would then be able to see an extensive view of what we are and what we stand for by example.

Social Media Engagement Strategy:

As stated above the three tools chosen for our business are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and each tool serves a unique purpose towards realizing our company’s long term goals.  Combined each of the three tools chosen would represent a powerhouse team for EPM.

Facebook is the ground zero that would bind our social media presence.  Its role is simple  as Facebook will be the communication hub between our company and its customers allowing them to post comments about what they think and any suggestions they may have for improvements.  Facebook and its timeline feature would prove especially useful when future customers want  more information about us and how others have thought about the quality of work we provide.  With timeline they can go back right to the very start and view our first post right up to the most recent one.  Facebook posts would be a daily monitoring of  any comments our customers may have.  Our target audience would be the older generation, and business owners.

Twitter is stage two for our social media plan. With Twitter our company will be able to broadcast company updates instantly and stay on top of what customers have to say good and bad in real time.  Keeping in mind customers love communication and although Facebook is our communication hub we will have to leave that line of communication open as well.  The way we accommodate this is simple we add our Facebook page as the website in our twitter account bio.  Twitter is a little different then Facebook to accommodate we will need to post almost hourly in order to keep up with users tweeting on twitter.  Twitter will become our own mini broadcast essentially sending out the necessary posts or tweets to generate interest, posting things such as events within the community, new product lines, company news in general, and re tweets of information supporting our company or what customers have said about it.  Target audience for Twitter is the younger generation and sports teams.

Thirdly Instagram completes the super team.  Instagram would become the primary showcase part of our products. Customers using this tool would gain access to all pictures we have taken to support our product.  Focusing only on visual our customers would gain insight to our day to day operations.  Instagram’s target audience is a bit of everyone and we will be looking into younger and older generations, the small, medium and large businesses, local, provincial and national sports teams and schools.  Instagram requires time and effort and  it cannot be just a once a week deal post for this tool to work.  We will have to post daily with newer and more exciting content.

In order for these tools to work for us they demand time and effort.  Once committed we will be setting a precedence and an expectation from our customers that we cannot ignore.  Consistency through these platforms is essential for the benefits to be enormous.