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Social Media

Why Are Snapchat Geofilters so Addictive?

By | Blogging, Learning, Life, Marketing, Social Media, Strategy

Chances are if you’ve been on Snapchat in the past year, that you might have noticed the opportunity to scroll (left or right) on your ‘snap’ and add filters — images which lay atop of the image you’ve just taken, often designating where you are, events in your area, or general advertisements.

What are geofilters?

Snapchat geofilters were originally released in July 2014, and since then they have gained a significant amount of popularity. Snapchat actually crowdsources the submissions for prospective geofilters, allowing users the opportunity to ‘rep’ their neck of the woods. This approach emphasizes the ability to design, contribute, and witness your work in action (should it receive approval). 

Why use geofilters?

First and foremost, geofilters are a great marketing strategy for companies. Millennials are flocking to

photo cred: therelacape.com

photo cred: therelacape.com

Snapchat in droves, and they represent an attractive demographic for marketers and companies alike. Simply put, it pays to be where the young people are most active. In addition to this, there are multiple locations which provide geofilters — with more being added every day. Miami, Oakville, and even Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood have their own unique geofilters. Geofilters are popular because they are unique to specific locations, that they are “exclusive” to certain areas makes them attractive to users. 

Why are geofilters so popular?

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From a big-picture perspective, geofilters allows users to identify with their current location. Users have the opportunity to share with their family and friends where they are, what they are doing, and what is going on in the world. Consider it one large social experiment in the ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO), where people share what they are doing so that everyone they know can acknowledge it and share back what they are doing. Companies are even able to create time-sensitive geofilters to market events, holidays, or social events. 

The next time you’re on Snapchat, no matter where you are in the world, swipe right or left to find out if your location has a geofilter. Soon enough you might be embarking on your own personal scavenger hunt to discover as many unique filters as possible. Happy hunting! 

Influencer Marketing and Your Brand On Vine

By | Learning, Marketing, News, Social Media, Uncategorized

The concept of influencer marketing isn’t necessarily new; brands have been using celebrity endorsements for years to convince people to buy their products (think Stephen Curry on a box of Wheaties, or Matthew McConaughey driving a Lincoln). The recent twist in this landscape is the rise of various social media channels, and the influence they have on a company’s brand strategy. Sites like Facebook, Instagram, and recently Vine are being used to target consumers and promote products and services through more nuanced influencers.

photo cred: mashable.com

photo cred: mashable.com

A site like Vine is the perfect example for a more complex influencer landscape. The nature of the medium (looped six-second video clips) and its rising popularity — specifically with millennials, is attractive for brands and consumers alike. Taking advantage of Vine is understanding the unique relationship between influencers and consumers, based on the following:

Seamless Integration

photo cred: scribblelive.com

photo cred: scribblelive.com

Consumers are often frustrated when being “forced” to sit through advertisements to get to the content they desire (it’s often painful that a 30 second YouTube commercial can feel like an eternity). Vine’s strategy is developing content involving the product itself, and recruiting influencers to develop and brand that content as their own. The influencer and the product are often one and the same.

The “Average Joe” Advantage

Vine is often seen as an equal opportunity app, where anyone can become popular and influential online. Seeing everyday people using products, and promoting their advantages, is extremely attractive to the average user. Not only do they relate to the “regular” people on the screen, but they trust them more than a “paid” advertisement.

Co-Creation

Creativity is at a premium on Vine, where there is only a short amount of time to communicate an idea. When companies are able to partner with influential users, they are also gaining advantage of those users’ unique perspective and ideas. It’s a win-win for interesting concepts, and for product placement.

Based on these ideas, Vine is being used more and more as a tool for company’s in their marketing strategies. Vine is implementing a strategy based on trust and relation — seeing yourself with and relating to the people you see on your screen. This form of trust is priceless for many companies.

How to Market Your Brand on Instagram

By | Social Media, Strategy

Most brands make the mistake of adding too many pictures focusing on their products or business, instead of concentrating on the lifestyle of the brand. Instagram is meant to draw consumers in with luxurious photos and a, mostly, unattainable, but drool-worthy life.

These are a few tips on how to promote your business on Instagram—without driving your followers away by indulging in self-promotion.

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Like Photos

Look for Instagram “famous” people who fit your brand. Now like their content! Yes—it’s that easy. By liking photos that speak to your brand, you are more likely to get a like back on one of your own photos. Likes also lead to more followers, and followers really legitimize a business on Twitter.

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Focus on the Lifestyle of Your Brand

As mentioned, Instagram is not about posting pictures of products or office outings. It’s about giving people a lifestyle that they want. Think bigger.

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Add Video Content

Instagram is not solely based around images anymore! Video content is becoming more and more popular on Instagram, with those few seconds of attention-grabbing content. Vine-like videos do well on Instagram, with humour being a common thread in videos that are attaining an innumerable amount of likes. By uploading a few videos, you diversify your content and attract more viewers and followers.

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Host Contests

By hosting contests on Instagram you are engaging with your followers in a unique way. Your followers will be more likely to check-up on your brand more often to see what other great giveaways you’re offering. Make sure that the prizes you are giving away are relevant to your brand and encourage the winners to post a picture with their prizes.

The Rise of the GIF

By | Social Media

On Twitter you need to constantly find ways to make your posts stand out. Think of your Twitter feed for a moment, and it will become clear why. The constant stream of content is often overwhelming, and there is no chance that every tweet can be read in any individual’s feed. What you need is something to catch the eye of this scroll-addict. Images are good. The right picture will catch the attention of a user. Couple this with some good copy, and you might just have an engagement on your hands.

Photo cred: https://www.google.ca/search?q=gif&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAWoVChMIncaw-778yAIVwxseCh2xUgTh&biw=1005&bih=488#imgrc=E4gTgr5CP5OA2M%3A

 

So what is better than a photo? Many photos strung together and played in quick succession, it’s so obvious! Incase my overly wordy description confused you, what I’m talking about is video. And what is better than a full-length video? A gif. Gif’s have become a cultural touchstone. They have become a way of communication that requires no words. If an image is worth 1000 words, one could say a gif is worth at least 10000; it’s simple math. Gifs are often a byproduct of popular culture and represent a sort of social currency. Using the right gif at the right moment demonstrates a cultural literacy that is important to establishing a relatable brand, and lets be honest, when it comes down to it, they are enjoyable. They can provide a quick laugh and the auto-play function on Twitter makes them stand out of a busy feed. So next time you are about to compose a tweet and are considering which image to use, maybe consider the alternative, gif it a little thought (alright, I apologize for that)–it could just be the thing you need to stand out.

Kick-Starting Your Following on Instagram

By | Social Media, Strategy

Organic growth is great. It can take time but if feels good. You can see easily how your hard work is translating into results, even if it is just a new follower or two a day. The likes pile up, and each feels like an accomplishment. Wow! People really like my photo, but your voice only reaches so many people. But how would you kick start things? On Instagram, the importance of influencers can’t be undersold. You may have 1000 followers, but there are people out there who may have 14,000 or anywhere above or below. The point is you can expand your reach by utilizing these influencers.

Photo cred: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.instagram.android

First, find somebody in your industry who you think exemplifies your brand, has a following you would like to target, or simply has a voice people listen to. Take a look at their engagement rate, how many likes is each photo getting–do they have an active comment section? Next you will want to send them a message, be polite, express your interest in their account, and maybe even compliment them. You’re trying to convince them to share your content, or potentially shout-out to your account. You’re creating a partnership so you may need to offer them something in return. For example, maybe you are selling t-shirts. You recently started a clothing line and you would like to get the word out. There are a number of prominent fashion bloggers on Instagram that you know would be perfect for your brand, if they were to be seen wearing your clothing. Send one of these people a message; offer to send them a shirt if they will post it to their account, something along these lines. Remember, your followers already like your brand, you want to convince new followers that they should, utilizing influencers is the perfect way to do this.

Author: Connor Titmarsh

Twitter Has a Change of Heart

By | Social Media

You may have noticed something different about Twitter. The once shining star, used to favourite tweets, has been replaced with a red heart. It is no secret Twitter has struggled to gain new users over the past couple of months, and, as other social networks continue to see growth, things needed to change. The recent hiring of Jack Dorsey as CEO signaled that change was coming. First, he introduced ‘moments’, Twitter’s attempt to amplify their role as a location for breaking news. This recent shift from ‘favourites’ to ‘likes’ is less dramatic and aims at changing the user experience in subtle ways. The Internet’s reaction to the change was, well, what you would expect from the Internet. There was outrage, many angry tweets proclaiming the death of Twitter, and the occasional piece of quiet support. So let’s take a minute to examine what exactly the heart represents:

Photo cred: http://genekellyfans.com/series/twitter-love/

Photo cred: http://genekellyfans.com/series/twitter-love/

First off, the change to the heart unifies many of Twitter’s platforms (think Periscope which uses hearts to display engagement), creating a single way for any user in their ecosystem to express their interest. The hope is that it will also spur greater engagement. The favourite was a relic of the early Internet, a way to bookmark pages for later viewing. It could easily be misunderstood, and often was left unused, not everything can be your ‘favourite’ after all. The heart is a universally recognized symbol, and the meaning is easy to comprehend whether you speak English, Spanish, French, or Japanese. Twitter hopes that this simple change will convince more people to click on the heart and share the love. So put away the pitchforks, they haven’t given up on the 140 character limit…yet.

Social Recruitment- How You Can Use It to Your Advantage

By | Job Advice, Learning, Social Media

The Social Job Search

The market is saturated and the competition is tough. If you are a job-seeker in this day and age, social media has most likely become a central part of your search. Whether it’s tapping into LinkedIn, following job prospect accounts on Twitter or watching for great company shout outs on your Instagram feed, the best way to stay connected with who is hiring is through social. According to a recent Glassdoor survey, 79% of candidates are likely to use social media to find jobs. Among younger workers the number is even higher: 86% of people in the first 10 years of their career said they are likely to use social media in their job search (via Hootsuite).

Recruiters Are On Social

Coming from personal experience in my early job hunting days especially looking to find a career in social media, LinkedIn and Twitter I found to be the most useful platforms to find new opportunities. Increasingly recruiters are looking to LinkedIn to search specific keywords and use geo targeting filters to find potential candidate for jobs. Even if you aren’t necessarily looking, LinkedIn is a great tool to showcase your career accomplishments and increase the strength of your profile so that you may be found and offered opportunities you didn’t even know existed.

Social media not only allows you to showcase your experience and skills, but allows employers to gain a better glimpse into your lifestyle and values. Fitting into company culture is a crucial component for many companies and often trumps experience in some cases.

So how can you use social media to find your dream job?

  1. Clean up your online persona– think like a recruiter, the first thing they are going to do is Google you, what are they likely to find? If it’s something you wouldn’t want your mom to see, chances are a recruiter wouldn’t either. That being said be sure to update all of your social profiles regularly, especially if you claim to be the next social media guru. Keep your resume up to date on LinkedIn and use an appropriate headshot across all platforms, at least while you’re in the job hunting phase.
  2. What are the current employees saying about the company– there are great websites like Glassdoor where former employees give feedback on their experiences with the company. Instagram is also a great view into a company’s corporate culture and the people you might be working with. If employees are happy about where they are you will often find them posting photos of office potlucks, outings and company happenings.
  3. Soak it all in- if you’ve found the place you know you defiantly want to be, follow that company on all their social feeds to stay updated with what’s going on. Following companies you love and would want to work for on social media will keep you motivated and in the loop of the kind of people they are looking for.

The social sphere is a big, wide open space that offers endless possibilities and connections. So flex your social muscles, create meaningful conversations and connect with companies that will challenge and inspire you.

Should Your Boss Be on Twitter?

By | Organization, Social Media, Strategy

There is no doubting it that the most influential and effective leaders throughout history have been great communicators. Often the way they speak with humbling yet powerful tones is what captivates the people they lead and inspires us to build for a better tomorrow.

Communicating on Twitter

In the digital world however, the traditional rules of communication don’t necessarily apply. Great leaders are forced to condense their thoughts into 140 characters or less and the luxury of Teleprompters and hours of practice are absent.

The question that social media marketing departments often have to answer is “Will having our boss on Twitter add value to the brand or will one comment cause us to crash and burn”. Twitter as we know is a great tool to add a face or humanize a brand and allow brand advocates to feel personally connected to the decision makers. On the other hand if your boss is not well trained on proper social etiquette, a PR disaster may be on the horizon.

According to a survey conducted by Weber Shandwick, only 10% of the chief executives running the world’s 50 largest companies regularly tweet. This may also have to do with the fact that the majority of today’s business leaders are aged 50-60 and are perhaps too old to understand social media fully.

Twitter for the Leaders of Tomorrow

Personally I believe that depending on your company and organizational goals, having a strong Twitter presence isn’t necessary. But, it will however become essential for the future business leaders of tomorrow to maintain a well-kept social media presence. It will almost be expected of them having grown up in the digital age.

A strong Twitter presence for leaders can definitely enhance their brand even when they aren’t talking about things related to the business. People are interested in who the leaders of their favourite brands are and their values and opinions. Users on social media expect full transparency from companies and look to social media to gain insights. It is important for brands to open up a two-way dialogue with their customers and fans and provide them with benefits and incentives to remain loyal.

Although there have been many train wrecks on Twitter from some of business’s top leaders, when trained and executed properly your bosses words of wisdom could translate into valuable earned media your the brand.

Career Tips from the Social Sphere

By | Job Advice, Marketing, Social Media

The Young and Aspiring

Career advice for young aspiring digital marketers is like a gourmet block of fine cheese imported from France for mice. As more graduates enter the work force each year and digital marketing is moving at the speed of light, often the roles that new graduates are applying for are redefining their qualifications and needs every day.

As a young digital marketer myself, working in the industry has really made me appreciate those who are always challenging the landscape and coming up with new and inventive ways to make our industry even cooler. Lately I have been scanning through LinkedIn like I would have with Facebook 5 years ago, I’ve found that becoming a young professional has changed my interests from “what you did on vacation” to “what is Twitter, Airbnb, and Snapchat doing now?” Lately I have been making some great connections over LinkedIn and Twitter with like-minded individuals who love to share content about up-and-coming trends in social and where mobile is heading next.

Career Tips for the Socially Connected

Connecting and communicating with all of these great contacts has lead me to some amazing career tips from seasoned pros in the field that have truly inspired me. So to all those entry-level, digital savvy warriors out there thinking where do I start and is it just me- take it from me everyone has struggled and there is no defined path to success. But with the Internet, proper hashtags and a lot of hard work and determination, you can reach your goals.

Here is some great advice that I have found online lately through my personal social sphere:

  • “If you want something then do it. Everything you have learnt through your education will play its part. Nothing is wasted, just a part of the journey”.- Vanessa Harvey @VYogaLife
  • “BE PERSISTENT! It took me 9 months of interviews with 3 different resumes and 4 different managers, a presentation and multiple phone calls to land only a 3 month contract. But I was doing work I was passionate about so it was worth it”. –Trevor Ellestad @trevorellestad
  • “Life isn’t a dress rehearsal; you have to go for it. But it takes hard work and dedication and you might not always get what you think you deserve. It doesn’t matter. Handle yourself with professionalism and remember that in business, your personal brand is your greatest asset. Mind your reputation and the rest will come.”  Aliza Licht @AlizaLicht  from Leave Your Mark
  • “The straight and narrow is not the only path to success”.- Sophia Amoruso @Sophia_Amoruso  from #Girlboss
  • “A day off, doesn’t have to be an off day”- Kendall Cramm @kcramm93

The Rise of the Emoji

By | Blogging, culture, Marketing, Social Media

Do You Emoji?

Emojis- you either love them or you hate them. You either use the fiesta dancing girl every chance you get or you are still stuck in the early 2000’s and send  :-(. Whether you are pro evil monkey face or against it there is no denying that emojis have become an integral part of the internet culture and an important way for people and brands to express themselves.

The marketing industry is calling this “The Emojification of Brand Advertising” where pictures speak a thousand words and the best way to connect with the highly sought after millennial niche is through fun graphic emojis. Brands are using emojis to communicate with Millennials and more recently Generation Z, a market that has grown up in the social, mobile and digital world.

Brands on Emojis

I have noticed the biggest using of emojis in company e-mail marketing campaigns. With more email clients accessing their email from their phones, emojis in the subject line is an easy and smart way to attract a reader’s attention. According to data from Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud, 2% of B2C emails now contain emojis in the subject line, and email delivery vendor MailChimp says that 214,000 campaigns have been sent with emojis.

I have also noticed an increase of large emoji cut outs showing up at concerts and Halloween parties but more recently they have appeared on the side of Pepsi cans. Pepsi has now added emojis to the side of its cans in order to celebrate 40 years of the Pepsi Challenge and are hoping to sell you on a feeling, such as “grinning face with smiley eyes” emoji instead of the sugary beverage inside the can.

Emojis have become so popular with brands that a sub industry has been created that includes a plethora of platforms that create personalized branded emojis, stickers and GIFs for brands. Brands like Ikea, Coca-Cola, Burger King and even Snapchat have created their own custom emojis in order to resonate better with their audiences.

A professor at NYU’s school of journalism put the using of the emoji the best when he said, “Emojis are doing what the tone of voice did on the telephone and what gestures, tones and facial expressions did in interpersonal communication”.

Emoji Global Communication

Emojis have the potential to cross borders and break through language barriers. Thanks to smartphones, the entire keyboard of emojis have become a universal form of communication and gained acceptance worldwide. Brands now have the capability to communication with the world with a simple smiley face, and it has become crucial for marketers in the digital space to learn how to speak emoji.