Just Peachy Occasions Intern by Jillian Sales

Did you know that the average American social media user spends 2.7 hours per day on social media? Obviously this statistic does not need much of an explanation, however, it is a solid reminder of the constant presence social media has in our lives. Therefore, social media is one of the most powerful tools a business can use in order to connect with their customers, provide them with information, generate brand awareness, etc. As a Social Media/Marketing Manager, I have especially seen Instagram grow from a place to share life’s most precious moments to businesses marketing their products/services through the different tools the app now has to offer. I work for Just Peachy Occasions– a small, up and coming event planning company based in the Chicagoland area- where I generate creative content in order to reach our targeted demographic to boost sales. I stay informed of the latest trends in digital marketing and emerging platforms in order to build, monitor, and optimize- campaign delivery, cost efficiencies, and performance.

My position as a Social/Media Marketing Manager is fully remote, therefore, my day-to-day activities consist of writing, editing, and managing all social media content in the comfort of my own home. Due to Covid- 19, the event coordinator has been sending me all the content since I have been unable to attend the events to capture my own pictures and videos for our accounts. The main app I manage is Instagram, so the first thing I do every morning is engage with our followers by liking and commenting on their pictures. The more active you are online, the more visible you are to your audience so it is essential for me to get at least 3 hours of scrolling in per day. Then, I study our numbers by checking our insights to see how many accounts we have reached within the past week and what the most active times are in order to get a post uploaded. Next, I upload all of the content to my editing soft wares, Canva and Splice, in order to create the graphics for the posts that day. Editing usually takes a couple hours because I have to post on both our story and actual feed, ensuring that everything flows together perfectly in our grid. I then have to curate a list of 30 hashtags that relate to our post to categorize our content and make it more discoverable. Hashtags are important because they help you reach a targeted audience, and more importantly, help your targeted audience find you. Finally, before posting I write a caption that is catchy and lures the audience in to visit our profile. After it is posted, I make sure to engage with any followers who have given us feedback through comments and direct messages. By doing so, it can drive brand awareness which can translate into algorithm recognition.

Included below is an example of content I have created for our Instagram story and highlights reel:

Although I received this internship opportunity during Covid-19, I have enjoyed working remotely for Just Peachy Occasions. The event planning industry has been negatively affected by the pandemic since we are required to follow social distancing guidelines, so work has been fairly slow. I am excited that things are now starting to open up, and I will be able to go in person to capture content during these events. I have learned about the different social media marketing strategies that have been effective for our company in particular. I have researched our targeted audience in order to curate content that lures them in to get more impressions, profile visits and website taps. One of the main things I had to learn how to read is our insights, which helps me establish our most important metrics and KPI’s. No matter what your marketing, your social media strategy should be data driven. Due to the passion I have found for social media/marketing, I have taken other businesses aside from Just Peachy Occasions and have successfully boosted their sales and leads. This has inspired me to create my own marketing agency, JASS MKT, which will hopefully be up and coming within the next year. My mission is to work with businesses on their marketing strategy and social media platforms in order to create brand awareness through content creation. Overall, social media continues to evolve in terms of marketing tools and businesses should use Instagram in particular to attract their targeted markets, since the average American social media user spends 2.7 hours a day on social media

Maci Moo Intern by Nicole Salemme

My experience with Maci Moo Treats so far has been a wonderful learning opportunity for the field I want to work in, which is e-commerce marketing. Maci Moo Treats is a small, family-owned startup, so its been exciting to work with the owners and hear of their experience in creating this company.

I am a marketing strategy intern for Maci Moo Treats and am currently working on website optimization for macimootreats.com. This has required me to do a lot of benchmarking of other pet company websites. I have been trying to examine which logistics successful e-commerce companies commonly use, such as Chewy. These logistics I am referring to are small details on a website, but they can truly attract or retract any potential customer. For example, color schemes, pictures, text size, and even where certain site buttons are located can have a big impact on conversion rate. With this in mind, I would take note of similarities on competitor websites, such as promotional website banners at the top of a homepage. These similarities indicated a pattern in conversion success rates, given how big the company was that I was benchmarking, so I recommended them to my supervisor.

Once I have received her approval on how I want to optimize their company website, I would create a number of layout previews, each including different features. One important detail that I keep in mind while optimizing the website is the fact that Maci Moo Treats currently wants to promote their home delivery service. For this promotion, I recommended adding a website banner with an enticing headline that included, “FREE shipping” which leads to a page that further explains their home delivery service. Their current customer base’s acknowledgement of this is crucial since this is the only way they have been able to attain revenue since the start of the pandemic.

Prior to the pandemic, they would promote themselves at farmer’s markets, but that has not happened for over a year. Since Maci Moo Treats is only composed of two owners, they have had a hard time figuring out how to promote themselves solely through e-commerce. So, my position is preparing me to attract and maintain customers in a way that drives in more revenue without the physical promotion of the company at a farmer’s market.

Aside from adding a new page for their home delivery promotion, I have also suggested adding an ‘About Us’ page, that includes pictures of my supervisor, her sister (the other owner), and their dog Maci, the company’s namesake. This page would include all necessary information and fun facts of the company. I will eventually add onto this page by disclosing ingredients in our dog and cat treats, which will further ensure how organic and healthy the products are for pets. Without disclosing this sort of important information, I have found pet owners may find Maci Moo Treats to be a dealbreaker when it comes to buying treats.

I also work with another intern who is in charge of setting up and monitoring the website analytics. During our weekly Zoom meetings, she presents her ideas and recent findings after I do. Our supervisor has stayed very open-minded and has allowed us to express ourselves in a way that makes me confident for future positions that require presentation.

As of our most recent meeting, my supervisor has approved my most-preferred website layout for the company. However, I asked if she was going to change the pictures of the products that are sold since they look like they were taken on a bed. Fortunately, she has mentioned that she knows a photographer that will take more appealing photos of the products, so I am currently waiting on those before I publish the new and improved website layout.

From what I have learned so far, I understand the difficulty of maintaining a business, even a small local one like Maci Moo Treats. I also realize the significance of keeping a target persona in mind with every action you consider. These are some specific questions I remember when creating content: How will the customer view this? Could this possibly be misinterpreted by the customer? Will this intrigue the customer to read more into this or convert?

After this internship has concluded, I plan to keep in touch with my supervisor so I can hear customer feedback on the features I have added to their website. I have enjoyed getting to know my supervisor and appreciate her honest critique of my ideas.

Passageways Intern by Silvia Anton Rodriguez

Hi everyone! This is Silvia an International student from Spain and a Marketing Intern at Passageways. To better understand what I do, let me tell you a little bit about the company. Passageways is a B2B company with around 200 employees in the US, United Kingdom, and Australia. Because of Covid-19 I am working from home and that allows me more flexibility on how to manage classes and duties as an intern throughout the week, but that means that I need to work autonomously. I don’t have to follow a daily schedule, and I can choose how many hours a day and which days I work. Thus far, I have been assigned and worked on three different projects that were assigned to me by various members of the marketing department.

Some of the projects I worked on focused on the rebranding of Passageways. I helped with the social media strategy by doing research on primary, secondary, and tertiary competitors that we have. I need to look at which platforms they are using, how frequently they are posting, what is working for them, and what is not. This entails gaining insight on the type of content they are posting, the person that is behind the post, the voice(s) of the company they are trying to convey and calculating the percentage of engagement they receive. Excel has been an amazing tool that I utilize for the organization of all projects and data. After conducting that thorough research, I gather my information in a structured and detailed manner. I then inform my supervisor of my findings. There are also meetings with the marketing team, other departments, and other firms that we use such as PR agencies. When my classes allow me, I attend the live meetings, and if I am busy, I watch the recorded session to be up to date on what is going on in the process.

In addition, I’m helping with the content of a Search Engine Marketing campaign. To be able to contribute to this campaign, I had to learn how to use Octoparse which is a program that allows you to turn websites into structured spreadsheets. From there, I collect and organize data. After analyzing the data, I need to summarize it so that it can be featured in the campaign.

I have seen immense growth regarding my skill set. I was able to improve my research skills by researching competitors. Through attending weekly meetings and maintaining communication with my team members, I have seen the value of communicating clearly and effectively. I have refined my writing skills by constructing emails and cultivating summarizations of my work. In addition, when working on my projects I exhibit critical thinking skills and creativity in order to come up and produce accurate content. This internship has also provided the opportunity for me to showcase entrepreneurship. I have taken the initiative to create a plan on acquiring new clients which I will present at the end of my internship.

I have found the experience of working at Passageways to be rewarding. I have enjoyed implementing some of the knowledge and skills I have learned at DePaul from all my years in the marketing program.