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From Amateur to Professional - How social media helped me feel  at home in Canada
From Amateur to Professional - How social media helped me feel  at home in Canada
From Amateur to Professional - How social media helped me feel  at home in Canada
From Amateur to Professional - How social media helped me feel  at home in Canada
From Amateur to Professional - How social media helped me feel  at home in Canada
From Amateur to Professional - How social media helped me feel  at home in Canada
From Amateur to Professional - How social media helped me feel  at home in Canada
From Amateur to Professional - How social media helped me feel  at home in Canada
From Amateur to Professional - How social media helped me feel  at home in Canada
From Amateur to Professional - How social media helped me feel  at home in Canada
From Amateur to Professional - How social media helped me feel  at home in Canada
From Amateur to Professional - How social media helped me feel  at home in Canada
From Amateur to Professional - How social media helped me feel  at home in Canada
From Amateur to Professional - How social media helped me feel  at home in Canada
From Amateur to Professional - How social media helped me feel  at home in Canada
From Amateur to Professional - How social media helped me feel  at home in Canada
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From Amateur to Professional - How social media helped me feel at home in Canada

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In the mist of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Veronica Heringer learned that social media was more than a tool to promote her employer, but also an effective way to find new friends, create powerful …

In the mist of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Veronica Heringer learned that social media was more than a tool to promote her employer, but also an effective way to find new friends, create powerful professional connections and instigate multicultural discussions. Veronica will be sharing her findings and some valuable lessons learnt along the way.

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  • I first arrived in Vancouver in October 2006, but I consider February 25th, 2007 my second date of arrival in Canada. It was the day that my husband and I got married and we decided to start a life together in here. With this decision, I had to reassess all my expectations. From international student to full time immigrant, my priorities also changed. To feel that I could stay in Canada, I felt that had to achieve three goals: to have a career, to feel that I was part of a community, and to feel that I actually had a future here, that I could plan my life in the long-term.
  • Immigrant Services Society of BC, ISSofBC for short, was the first employer that gave me a real shot in Canada. I was the first employee of the Mentoring Connections program. For those of you who are not familiar with Mentoring Connections work, the program is responsible for matching skilled immigrants with experienced Vancouver-based professionals in a career-focused mentorship. I was as new to the city as the program’s clients, I had no professional network and I didn’t know where to start. At that time, social media seemed to me as the easiest way to reach out to the volunteers that I intent to attract to the program in a very tight deadline.
  • ISSofBC was also reinventing itself when I first started with the agency. Mentoring Connections was the first program to develop a digital strategy. As part of the Mentoring team, I had the opportunity to start a blog, expand our presence on Linkedin and maintain a strong presence on Twitter. The program allowed me to polish my skills in the digital space and gave to our clients and volunteers a platform to broadcast their experience and achievements with the program. At that point, I felt that I had built a strong presence as a professional for myself, because I didn’t feel that I was part of a community. So I decided to invest more in being active in the space myself.
  • Often people ask me if I had a plan. My answer is yes and no. At the beginning, after reading a bunch of articles about self-promotion through social media, my tweets were mostly related to marketing and social media. Lots of studies, info graphics and reports.
  • But then, we had the Olympics and everything changed for me. I was completely absorbed by the party and started to weigh into the discussions giving my point of view. And because I am not from Canada, I often compared what was happening here to what I knew from Brazil.
  • It was during the Olympics that I also decided to write my blog primarily in English. It happened because my thoughts didn’t fit in 140 characters anymore. My first blog post was published on February 12th, after walking around here in Downtown. It was the first time that I’ve seen Canadians so excited about something in Vancouver. During the Olympics, I blogged, I filmed things that were happening around me, volunteered, and of course, tweeted about it.
  • Once the Olympics were over, I realized that I had found something too exciting to let slide.
  • I started looking around to find a place where I could apply my skills and the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival seemed to be the best place for me to experiment. I worked for the festival in 2009 as a Media Relations coordinator and last year I assumed the coordination of the festival’s social media channels. The 2010 VLAFF was the my first social media campaign that I led and by making the festival more sharable and accessible we were able to more than double the number of Facebook fans without spending any money on advertising.
  • One simple thing that we brought to the festival last year was the VLAFF red carpet, where we took pictures of our audience and made them available on Facebook and Flickr. Not only did we attract over 500 new fans to our page, but we were also able to reach out to our community, attracting the real fans, people who are still interested in the festival even during the off-season.
  • So, if you are looking for a way to build your online presence. Here are my three takeaways:
  • Start with “something”My start point was Linkedin, then I moved to twitter, and then I started blogging in English. Linkedin and Twitter helped me to learn more about my profession, and allowed people know more about me.
  • Be There!Once you start interacting in the space, be there for us! Don’t start, forget about it and then say that you’re unable to establish connections online. Be yourself and be persistent! It will take time, but it will pay off!
  • Give them a hug!It’s important to come to events like this one and talk with the people that you’ve met online. If I hadn’t gone to Northern Voice last year, I wouldn’t be here today. If I hadn’t made an effort to meet the people that I was a fan of online, I wouldn’t have landed my dream job at DDB Canada. I know these steps sound simple, but that’s the way that I found to establish a career, be part not only of the Latin American and Brazilian communities, but also the digital scene. I not only feel that I have a future in my new country, but I am also excited about making the biggest multicultural country in the world my new home.
  • Transcript

    • 1. From Amateur to Professional<br />How social media helped me feel <br />at home in Canada<br />
    • 2. I first arrived in Vancouver in October 2006, but I consider February 25th, 2007 my second date of arrival in Canada. It was the day that my husband and I got married and we decided to start a life together here. With this decision, I had to reassess all my expectations. From international student to full time immigrant, my priorities also changed. To feel that I could stay in Canada, I felt that had to achieve three goals: to have a career, to feel that I was part of a community, and to feel that I actually had a future here.<br />
    • 3. Immigrant Services Society of BC, ISSofBC for short, was my first employer in Canada. I was the first employee of the Mentoring Connections program. For those of you who are not familiar with Mentoring Connections work, the program is responsible for matching skilled immigrants with experienced Vancouver-based professionals in a career-focused mentorship. I was as new to the city as the program’s clients, I had no professional network and I didn’t know where to start. At that time, social media seemed to me as the easiest way to reach out to the volunteers that I needed to attract to the program.<br />July 2008<br />Helping immigrants settle<br />in Canada<br />Network and start a new program in an immigrant-servicing agency<br />
    • 4. ISSofBC was also reinventing itself when I first started with the agency. Mentoring Connections was the first program to develop a digital strategy during the re-branding period. As part of the Mentoring team, I had the opportunity to start a blog, expand the program’s reach on Linkedin and maintain a strong presence on Twitter. Mentoring Connections allowed me to polish my skills in the digital space and also gave to our clients and volunteers a platform to broadcast their experience with the program. <br />At that point, I felt that I had built a strong online presence for my employer, but no one knew Veronica Heringer in the digital space. <br />
    • 5. Did I have a plan?<br />Often people ask me if I had a plan. My answer is yes and no. At the beginning, after reading a bunch of articles about self-promotion through social media, my twitter feed looked very career-focused and professional.<br />
    • 6. But then, we had the Olympics and everything changed for me. I was completely absorbed by the party and started to weigh into the discussions giving my point of view. And because I am not from Canada, I often compared what was happening here to what I knew from Brazil. <br />
    • 7. It was during the Olympics that I also decided to write my blog primarily in English. My first blog post was published on February 12th, after walking around here in Downtown. It was the first time that I’ve seen Canadians so excited about something in Vancouver. During the Olympics, I blogged, I filmed things that were happening around me, volunteered, and of course, tweeted about it.<br />
    • 8. But then, I had to start to manage my previous audience expectations. In attempt to make everybody happy I wrote bilingual posts for a while. Today, I keep the section “Fridays in Portuguese” as a way to acknowledge the readers that come to my blog looking for content in Portuguese.<br />
    • 9. But what happens when the circus leaves town?<br />I started to look around to find a place where I could apply my skills and the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival seemed to be the best place for me to experiment. I worked for the festival in 2009 as a Media Relations coordinator and last year I assumed the coordination of the festival’s social media channels. <br />
    • 10. The 2010 VLAFF was the first social media campaign that I’veled. By making the festival more sharable and accessible to the festival’s audience, we were able to more than double the number of Facebook fans without spending any money on advertising. <br />
    • 11. One simple initiative that we brought to the festival last year was the VLAFF red carpet, where we took pictures of our audience and made them available on Facebook and Flickr. Not only did we attract over 500 new fans to our page, but we were also able to reach out to our community, attracting the real fans, people who are interested in the festival even during the off-season.<br />
    • 12. Where should you start?<br />So, if you are looking for a way to build your online presence. Here are my three takeaways:<br />
    • 13. Just start with _______<br />Start with “something”<br />My starting point was Linkedin, then I moved to twitter, and then I started blogging in English. Just start.<br />
    • 14. Be there!<br />Once you start interacting in the space, be there for us! Don’t start, forget about it and then say that you’re unable to establish connections online. Be yourself and be persistent! It will take time, but it will pay off!<br />
    • 15. It’s important to come to events like this one and talk with the people that you’ve met online. If I hadn’t gone to Northern Voice last year, I wouldn’t be here today. If I hadn’t made an effort to meet the people that I was a fan of online, I wouldn’t have landed my dream job at DDB Canada. <br />Give them a hug!<br />I know these steps sound simple, but that’s my way to establish a career, be part not only of the Latin American and Brazilian communities, but also the local digital scene. I not only feel that I have a future in my new country, but I am also excited about making it my new home.<br />
    • 16. Thank You!<br />@vheringer<br />veronica@madameheringer.com<br />

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