lessons learned part 2

This blog will be dedicated to reflecting on what I liked, didnt like about the course and my expectations going in.

What I wished I came out with:

Going In I had expectations of learning about research techniques on social media.This included how to increase and measure activity on your social media platforms.I was thirsty for tactics on how to use social media and learning about a social media strategy which I am disappointed that I didnt. I also had expectations of learning more than blogging and Twitter, which I  got alot out of,not to mention it gave me the push that I needed. I still  leave not knowing much more about Linkedin, Facebook and how you can use them to benefit your personal or business brand.

What I didnt like:

I  would have liked more clarity as to what and how I was getting marked on my assignments. With a fail on my assignment 2, even though I put a valiant effort into creating it ,I can’t help but to think that I missed the mark(obviously) on what the instructor was looking for. I Attribute that to not really knowing and having a discussion of what was needed. This could aslo be a result of the course content being new to the instructor and not having the chance to update the rubric to match  his style of teaching and marking,Something that should be updated for the future to give the next batch of students more direction.

I  dont mind talking about the news especially when it is relevant to course content (which it was) however I felt at times too much time was dedicated to the news and not to the social media reasearch and techniques tactics and strategy that I was looking for. But that’s just a personal thought.

What I liked

I really enjoyed Jared as an instructor. He really knew his stuff. He was casual,approachable and down to earth which made it easier to participate in a subject I knew little about.

I enjoyed the discussions that we did have in class overall and the content presented. I really liked the “field trip” for the Mac Pirate and encourage more opportunities like that for the next group of students.

I appreciated that there was group work as I gave me opportunity to learn from others in my group.

I loved the flexibility we got to write about subjects we knew and interested us in our blogs.

 

All in all, it was a good class. Even though I leave not knowing all of what I had hoped to learn I leave knowing waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy more than what I came in with and consider the class a success.

My Two Cents!

Hello again to my thousands of readers,followers and supporters……….what,its good to aim high!.

If you looking for real estate info today, tseethat little read box at the top of your tab with a ‘X’ in it. well you can go ahead and hit that cause we ‘re not talking reaL esate today. Instaedi a doing yet another assignment for my class that has to do with my thoughts on mac presentation and event last week.. so go ahead hit that red box i’ll wait.

ahhh hello smrtcce.  am going to start with the bad and work up to the good with a little bit of ugly inbetween if thats okay.

first things first i thought it would have been helpful to have some signage guiding us into the parking lot and than from parking lot into the proper door. i was okay but i am just thinking about out of town visitors that may have never visited the ron joyve centre/degroote schools of business before.(i am a stickler i know) next. it was nice to be greeted at the door but that was about the extent of it,as i was left in no mans land to fend for myself. however i did get”the event is over there and coat check is over here as the greeters pointed aimlessly  in the air. good thing i was early and noted the coffee satation, so i took it upon myself to grab a coffee at the refreshment counter as i waited for fellow atendee and students. when we finally all got together we checked in our coats at the coat check(where else) which was nice and made our way into the venue.this is the ugly part and where i thought mac could have really improved. though tthe seats that we were sitting in where quite comfy do you know how boring it is to sit and wait for an event to start???? VERY no matter how comfortable the seats are. some thing like music would have been could,maybe some video on the gigantic screens some thing to enlighten the senses a opening act if you will.. bring some energy make it a big deal afterall this is a monumental donation/gift macs archives. make the donors feel special. so in that rtespect i thought there was a lack of energy and creativity especially for a room full of  a creative marketing,advertising,brand building bunch. speaking of brand where as macs brand?hhhmmmm something to think about. anyway moving right along, when the event did finally startt it started formerly which i can take or leave considering the spirit of the donation(75000 creative media). it did eventually loosen up as the founders and partners of pirate group tiik the stage (it what set up in what you would expect in an oprah show.) and casually shared war stories of their past and present experiences and success. which was more my syle and which i really enjoyed. the tweet screen was incredible and my hat goes off to who ever included that as part of this event i thought it was quite fitting and the very next best highlight aside from the presentation itself. i felt like it mended the audience and atttendees together for those who contributed to the tweet feed and gave the balance of the room a sneak peak of what was actually running through the tweeters head. very gool. the usual mac gifty bag that the guests received was kind of cheesball but expected and i understand why it needs to be done. overall i wish i had experienced some more creativirty and hype throughout the event. afterall the donora are amoung the most respected creative minds of their industry. but thats just a though also. to top it all off the evening wrapped up with complimentary appetizers tea coffee and deserts, although you needed bucks for booze i thought it was a very nice touch and added a bit of class to the event as a whole.way to go mac. finally i really enjoyed that i could purchase  Terry Oreilly’s latest book interacrt with him one on one and have hime sign it.

My Two Cents!!!

Hello again to my thousands of readers, followers and supporters…what, it’s good to aim high!

If you’re looking for real estate info today, see that little red box at the top of your tab with the ‘x’ in it? Well, you can go ahead and hit that because we’re not talking real estate today! Instead, I am doing yet another assignment for my class that has to do with my thoughts on Mac’s presentation and event last week. So, go ahead and hit that red box…I’ll wait.
Ahhh hello smrtcce. I’m going to start with the bad, work up to the good with a little bit of ugly in between if that’s okay.
First things first. I thought it would have been helpful to have some signage-guiding guests into the parking lot and then from the parking lot into the proper door. I was all right but I’m just thinking about out-of-town visitors that may have never before visited the Ron Joyce Centre/Degroote School of Business (I’m a stickler I know). Next, it was nice to be greeted at the door but that was about the extent of it as I was left in ‘no–man’sland’ to fend for myself. I did, however, get ‘the event is over there and the coat check is over there’ as the greeters pointed aimlessly in the air. Good thing I was early and noted the coffee station so I took it upon myself to grab a java as I waited for fellow attendees and students.
When we finally assembled, we checked in our coats (at the coat check,,,where else?) and entered the venue. This is where it gets ugly and where I though Mac could have really improved. Although the seats in which we sat were comfy, do you know how boring it is to sit and wait for an event to start? Very! No matter how comfortable the seats are. Something like music would have been good or…video on the gigantic screens…something to enlighten the senses…an opening act if you will.  Bring some energy! Make it a BIG deal! After all, this is a monumental donation/gift to Mac’s archives which will be utilized by generations to come. Make the donors feel appreciated! So in that respect, I thought there was a lack of energy and creativity, especially for a room full of creative marketing, advertising and brand-building bunch.
Speaking of brand, where was Mac’s brand? Hmmm, something to think about for next time.  Anyway, moving right along, when the event did finally start, it was stuffy, considering the spirit of the donation (75 000 creative media). It did eventually loosen up as the founders and partners of Pirate Group took the stage (in what one might expect of an Oprah show) casually sharing was stories of their past and present experiences and success which was more my style and which I enjoyed.
The Tweet screen was incredible and my hat goes off to whomever included it as part of this event. I thought it was quite fitting and the very best next highlight aside from the presentation itself.  I felt like it melded the audience and attendees for those who chose to contribute to the Tweet feed and gave the balance of the room a sneak peak of what was actually running through the tweeter’s head. Very cool!
The Mac gift bag given to the guests seemed cheesy but expected and I understand why it has to be done. Overall, I wish I had experienced more creativity and hype throughout the event. After all, the donors are among the most respected and creative minds in the industry. But that’s just a thought!
To top it all off, the evening wrapped up with complimentary appetizers, tea, coffee and dessert (although you needed bucks for booze). I thought it was a nice touch and added class to event as a whole. Way to go Mac!
Finally, I really enjoyed that I could purchase Terry O’Rielly’s latest book, interact with him one-on-one and have him autograph it. Too bad he had been allocated to a tiny area of a make-shift table and chair. The lines at this table blocked the entrance and exit of the ‘free food trough’ which really made more difficult to digest. I am surprised that Mac didn’t do more to get info from attendees like myself to follow up with a ‘thanks for coming’ or ‘how did we do’ survey. Again, just a thought to heighten the standard.
All in all, parking was free, venue easy to access, room was spacious and comfortable, it was a short-and-sweet presentation but very same-old-same old. Having munchies and an opportunity to interact with the guests was a nice touch. I enjoyed this event as my first and look forward to more of the same….hopefully, with my ‘two-cents’ included.

lessons learned

So here we are! The end of smrtcce and I can’t help but to reflect on the lessons I have learned throughout the semester. If I am being 100% honest I was, as I expressed in class on the first day, intimidated about the world of social media. I  still am; however not to the degree that I once was. For me, the progress has probably not been like some of my other classmates whom I consider experts in comparison, but nonetheless. I felt like I have learned a great deal and have taken the steps to plung into the social media world which was my objective from the get go. So looking back, here is whatI I have accomplished really from the first day.

Lesson 1. WordPress.

I finally signed up to WordPress (which was a giant step for me) and have used it many times both to express my thoughts, but mainly to submit assignments. I look forward to using it more in my business,  getting more creative with my posts as some of my classmates have, adding pictures,video and many more links. speaking of which:

lesson 2 Blog.

I learned how to create links in my blog. I wish however there had been one class dedicated to the basics, a tutorial if you wil,l showing me how to add links, pictures and video. I would, as a beginner have found that very useful. Perhaps I would have done alot better on my assignments as a result of making it more appealing and interactive for my instructior and my readers.

lesson 3. Twitter.

Like signing up for WordPress and starting my blog, I have also taking a leap  and joined millions of other tweeters accross the world, creating my very own Twitter account. I enjoyed tweeting during the MacPirate and throughout the class. I, like my blog, look forward to using it more, as I get more comfortable with the platform. Again I think it would have been useful for me to have a class or partial class dedicated to terminology,protocols, and the inner rules of the do’s and dont’s on Twitter. I have learned from the class about tweetups,hashtags but would of liked to know more about code of conduct on Twitter. etc.

lesson 4. Hootsuite.

Although I had heard about Hootsuite, I was unsure of its purose and function.  I  have learned that it is a social media manager.  You can post and broadcast simotaneously using this tool and even pre program items to be released on what is similar to a drip campaign on email. very useful to me, Since I dont have much time daily to dedicate to all the platforms, I can take a day to program and have Hootsuite work for me.

lesson 5. Google Docs.

I have to thank my awesome teammates that made up the L and A in L.A.M Consulting for their support and patience while I oriented myself with this new tool. It was a result of the social media project that we all jumped on this tool as an effective means of editing,posting and contributing to one assignment from various locations, at various times to come up with an awesome assignmnet 3. I  have sinced used it for other projects and I have Lindsay and Annmarie to thank for that.

lesson 6.  Pitchengine..

I also have learned of the social media press release and how it is a convienient place to house all the articles,videos, multi media and social platforms in one nice and easy place. More specifically pitchengine. It was the tactic which our group L.A.M used to get the word out for Tourism Hamilton. take a look here

lesson. 7 Survey Monkey.

Although I never used surveymonkey myself I will in the very near future and that came as a result of the class discussions that we had in class.

lesson 8. Pintrest.

I have been exposed to yet another social media platform known as Pintrest, which I had not heard about, until taking this course. I have since applied that platform as a recommendation to a small business project I am working on in my integrated  margeting and communication class at Mcmaster.

lesson 9. Dont Play Houdini.

Things on, in, and around the social media and online world are unpredictable. They can go great when you think they might just go average,they can fall flat on their faces when you prepared for a spectacular launch. The most important thing is to not disapear and play Houdini, Converse, apologize,smooth things out, try to make it better and make it right.

lesson 10. Dont Put The Cart Before The Horse

I probably was to ambitious in taking the social media research and techniques class before taking the social media introductory. I would reccomend if you are a beginner to complete that one first before venturing out into this one.

My Two Cents!!!

Hello again to my thousands of readers, followers and supporters…what, it’s good to aim high!

If you’re looking for real estate info today, see that little red box at the top of your tab with the ‘x’ in it? Well, you can go ahead and hit that because we’re not talking real estate today! Instead, I am doing yet another assignment for my class that has to do with my thoughts on Mac’s presentation and event last week. So, go ahead and hit that red box…I’ll wait.
Ahhh hello smrtcce. I’m going to start with the bad, work up to the good with a little bit of ugly in between if that’s okay.
First things first. I thought it would have been helpful to have some signage-guiding guests into the parking lot and then from the parking lot into the proper door. I was all right but I’m just thinking about out-of-town visitors that may have never before visited the Ron Joyce Centre/Degroote School of Business (I’m a stickler I know). Next, it was nice to be greeted at the door but that was about the extent of it as I was left in ‘no–man’sland’ to fend for myself. I did, however, get ‘the event is over there and the coat check is over there’ as the greeters pointed aimlessly in the air. Good thing I was early and noted the coffee station so I took it upon myself to grab a java as I waited for fellow attendees and students.
When we finally assembled, we checked in our coats (at the coat check,,,where else?) and entered the venue. This is where it gets ugly and where I though Mac could have really improved. Although the seats in which we sat were comfy, do you know how boring it is to sit and wait for an event to start? Very! No matter how comfortable the seats are. Something like music would have been good or…video on the gigantic screens…something to enlighten the senses…an opening act if you will.  Bring some energy! Make it a BIG deal! After all, this is a monumental donation/gift to Mac’s archives which will be utilized by generations to come. Make the donors feel appreciated! So in that respect, I thought there was a lack of energy and creativity, especially for a room full of creative marketing, advertising and brand-building bunch.
Speaking of brand, where was Mac’s brand? Hmmm, something to think about for next time.  Anyway, moving right along, when the event did finally start, it was stuffy, considering the spirit of the donation (75 000 creative media). It did eventually loosen up as the founders and partners of Pirate Group took the stage (in what one might expect of an Oprah show) casually sharing was stories of their past and present experiences and success which was more my style and which I enjoyed.
The Tweet screen was incredible and my hat goes off to whomever included it as part of this event. I thought it was quite fitting and the very best next highlight aside from the presentation itself.  I felt like it melded the audience and attendees for those who chose to contribute to the Tweet feed and gave the balance of the room a sneak peak of what was actually running through the tweeter’s head. Very cool!
The Mac gift bag given to the guests seemed cheesy but expected and I understand why it has to be done. Overall, I wish I had experienced more creativity and hype throughout the event. After all, the donors are among the most respected and creative minds in the industry. But that’s just a thought!
To top it all off, the evening wrapped up with complimentary appetizers, tea, coffee and dessert (although you needed bucks for booze). I thought it was a nice touch and added class to event as a whole. Way to go Mac!
Finally, I really enjoyed that I could purchase Terry O’Rielly’s latest book, interact with him one-on-one and have him autograph it. Too bad he had been allocated to a tiny area of a make-shift table and chair. The lines at this table blocked the entrance and exit of the ‘free food trough’ which really made more difficult to digest. I am surprised that Mac didn’t do more to get info from attendees like myself to follow up with a ‘thanks for coming’ or ‘how did we do’ survey. Again, just a thought to heighten the standard.
All in all, parking was free, venue easy to access, room was spacious and comfortable, it was a short-and-sweet presentation but very same-old-same old. Having munchies and an opportunity to interact with the guests was a nice touch. I enjoyed this event as my first and look forward to more of the same….hopefully, with my ‘two-cents’ included.

Closing the Deal

There is no doubt after all the research that has been conducted on social media platforms and its many uses and benefits within the business world, that if CREA effectively used these outlets, there would be great awareness brought to the Realtor brand.

Social media gives the advantage of highlighting authenticity, transparency, immediacy, participation, connectivity and accountability.  If CREA can illustrate all these things through social media, the Realtor brand will be even stronger than it is now.  CREA should illustrate that a Realtor is among the likes of Tide, Bounty, Lamborghini, Godiva, Starbucks, etc.  The cream of the crop.  As the Realtor brand continues to strengthen and build relationships with consumers, it will elevate the Realtor as the premiere source in trading Real Estate, to which there is no commonsense alternative.

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Let’s Talk About Pillars baby, Let’s Talk About Realtors and Me (You)

If you google CREA Facebook, you may stumble upon one of three pages – CREA the Interest page, CREA the Open Members page, or CREA the nonprofit page, all of which have less than 1500 followers.  I ask myself why so few when there are 100,000 Realtors and millions of home owners and buyers.  I attribute this to CREA’s shortcomings in the social media world.  So, which one is the official fan page for CREA?  Which one is responsible for creating the brand awareness that we talked about earlier?

I think within their new initiative of building brand awareness, CREA needs to build an official Realtor/fan page and have the communication department nurture this as if it were its firstborn.  Facebook should act as an outlet for them to disperse market conditions and trends, new and exciting listings, industry information, “how to” guides, changing laws, consumer testimonials and concerns, their charity work, scholarship funds, and all the good, bad, and ugly in the industry.

Currently, CREA does not offer a one-stop shop for all of this information, which is paramount to building Realtor relationships and promoting services, while reinforcing the importance of a Realtor.  Facebook should be welcomed as a sound board to the public, and a source to gather their needs, wants, and desires so that the organization can effectively deliver consumer satisfaction.  

YouTube could be utilized as a broadcasting channel to highlight consumer experiences, educate consumers with instructional videos (for examples on how to stage their home, pitfalls of home inspections, etc.) and to provide insight on the day to day life and duties of a Realtor and the many benefits to working with a skilled professional.  YouTube could be instrumental in profiling local Realtors with videos, photos, and success stories.  

Blogs can be very informative and provide information via a light, easy read.  

Twitter can give consumers a rapid response and a peak into how fast the Real Estate market moves.  For example, CREA could post their thousands of listings and solds that are coming on and off the market daily, industry interest rates, specials with regards to home inspection discounts, paint sales, carpet sales, etc., while at the same time building partnerships with bigger brands like Home Depot, Rona, Chartered banks and accountants, insurance companies, mortgage specialists, and trades people.  

The same strategy would be used in a LinkedIn approach, where they could build strong partnerships between highly skilled and trusted professionals and local businesses.

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Bridging The Gap

As described earlier, CREA needs to narrow the gap between consumers and the Realtor brand.  But how do we do this?  Ding Dong: the bridge!  What is the bridge you ask?  It is the act of leveraging the power of social media platforms to communicate, interact, and engage with consumers online, while continuing to build the brand, bring awareness, and develop a relationship with consumers.

Since 2008, CREA has implemented a public awareness campaign through traditional forms of marketing: television, print, and radio ads.  And while I am proud of these efforts and strides that they have made in bridging the gap, much more than this must be done in today’s business environment.  The business arena has changed in leaps and bounds (Real Estate pun intended.) 

More than the traditional forms of marketing and social media need to be employed to engage with consumers.  Though they are present in the social media stratosphere, they are dormant.  Just because you’re at a party doesn’t mean you’re partying.  Socializing = socializing.  Who knew?  While still using our traditional forms of push marketing, we must exercise and construct a pull strategy, and take advantage of the pillars: social media outlets.

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Group Sessions

Homeowners and first time buyers often are the people who use Realtors.  There are many other groups, like appraisers, bankers, mortgage brokers, and lawyers, but the majority group that Realtors serve are homeowners wishing to trade in Real Estate, and first time buyers wanting to take that plunge, which we spoke about much earlier.  The dilemma is that although many savvy first time buyers take full advantage of the benefits of using a Realtor, many sellers are now starting to consider alternatives, selling their properties alone, and are not aware of the pitfalls of doing so, and the many benefits, values, and convenience Realtors bring when selling a property.  CREA, through fulfilling their goal of building brand value, hopes to narrow the gap.

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The Goal

I have talked a lot about brand, brand awareness, brand experience, and brand delivery.  So why am I doing so much brand talk, and how does it relate to CREA and their Realtor brand?  Simple.  Brands are important.  And as we discovered before, everyone has one, including CREA.  It is so important that I believe that it is one of the key strategies, and should be CREA’s main focus and goal of continuing to build its brand, bring awareness, manage, nurture, protect, develop, and ensure that the promise of the Realtor brand is delivered.  The goal is to ensure that consumers come to expect and rely upon the Realtor brand as the premiere of trading Real Estate in Canada.  That is the goal.  But how can we do it, and with whom?  Stay tuned for the group session…

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