Why you need to be on Snapchat

Have you been on either of these channels lately? They’re booming. It seems a lot of people think Snapchat is in trouble now that Instagram has introduced a face filter feature to Instagram stories. However, I beg to differ. And here’s why…

  1. The face feature on Instagram are limited, and they’re much less jazzy than Snapchat.
  2. Instagram’s facial recognition within this feature is slower and less accurate than Snapchat when it comes to the application of said filters.

Perhaps, the most important reason to note is that Snapchat is actually in a strong position within the market. It’s innovative idea to spearhead intimate photo sharing, and creating the original my stories platform, allowing creators to share content in chronological order for 24hrs has been so popular it’s been copied by Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp amongst others. It seems everyone wants to “own” the camera -as Silicon Valley tip computer vision and augmented reality to be the next big thing.

My final thought

If you are a business Snapchat is not a channel to ignore or underestimate. If you aren’t already on it, you should be. The platform is now focused on growing their partnerships with brands, to create tailored branded content that when gets into the hands of its users, allows people to press and share with their friends or as part of their daily story. And if you didn’t already know – consumers are 7x more likely to buy or engage with a brand that shares video content.

Now think about what I just said, and remember they can share it with their sphere of influence instantly and direct.

4 trends you need to know about driving growth in 2017

writing and email

As companies begin to think more like their customers, and ideas spread across industries faster, it’s important to be aware that consumers are actively comparing and contrasting business performance when making a decision on where to spend their money. With today’s consumer now looking for control and convenience over their time, money and space companies will be challenged to react to market trends quickly and effectively. In this post, I’ve identified 4 areas that we see playing an important role in defining company strategy in 2017. This is based on findings of a white paper produced by White Space agency.

  1. New pricing and ownership models

 

Thanks to Spotify, Netflix and Zipcar who took this ownership model mainstream we are now able to purchase products that were expensive, or used infrequently on a need to want basis. Research has also shown that this of particular attraction to millennial consumers who have less space and money and can see the benefits to removing the burden of ownership. There is also a growing trend in subscription services that provide us with the basics, including; coffee, razor blades and underwear, which saves the consumer time and offers that all important convenience factor. Where it is possible to offer this kind of service companies will be able to maintain value to the customer, and nurture long-term relationships with individuals. Despite the expense of changing pricing models for an established company, I believe it’s worthwhile for companies looking to determine whether products should be marketed and sold as a service, or promote the value of ownership as identify.

 

  1. Energy Storage

 

Fully expect to see lots of changes in the area of renewable and energy storage this year. This shift comes as policy changes to the feed-in-tariff and a fall in the price of renewable energy below the level of oil and gas, contributing to the reduction in the installation of renewables throughout the UK. This being the case you may see those type of companies switch sales strategies and seek alternative revenue streams once Ofgem sets clear guidelines for ‘energy generation’ going forward. The reduction in price to energy storage has opened doors for businesses operating in this space to tackle the issue of whether energy storage units are appropriate for them, or if there is an opportunity to lease additional storage space to the National Grid to enable them to reduce peak demand.

 

  1. Customer Service Automation

 

The power of good customer service will give businesses the power to increase acquisition, retention and encourage brand loyalty. As mentioned earlier the high expectations of today’s consumer now demands an easy, effective and emotive service at their convenience. And with companies like Amazon and Uber leading the way on change, it’s not how well established you are, but how well you adopt new technologies that allow for easy and effective customer service. This means stripping back those long and complicated menu systems and replacing it with voice recognition software that can help people get where they need to go quicker.

Companies who can capitalise on this trend and look for data and ways to problem-solve in real-time, linking up different channels, through one seamless approach will reap great rewards.

 

  1. New Payment Methods

 

Don’t expect to see new technology go viral, but there is good reason to believe there will be improvements in the way payments are currently taken, and opportunities for gathering additional consumer rich data that will provide useful insight to companies looking to strengthen internal analytics functions, and be better prepared. It’s thought that this year will be one of rapid innovation, marked by increasingly sophisticated payment-based data and biometric payments.  For example, you can now confirm your identity by looking at your eyes through a camera on a mobile phone – a technology developed by ‘EyeVerify’ and already being used by early adopters such as Mastercard and Atom Bank. With these targeted payment technology options available, suppliers and retailers can now plan on how they will use the data collected from these streams to improve and add value to the customer experience and be different.

 

Conclusion
As the boundaries between different types of companies become blurred, and the consumer draws comparison from companies across sectors with keywords such as speed and convenience drawing their attention. It’s vital for the established companies including supermarkets, utilities providers and those in the financial sector to identify the trends and take action on market demands to avoid the risk of being left behind.

7 tips on creating a social media campaign

 

  1. Set your goals – what’s the purpose of this campaign? Think about the gains you would like to see from running it. Is it to engage your audience, drive traffic to a particular place, or action? Is it to increase sales revenue? Be specific as you can.
  2. Choose your channels – Don’t just choose a channel like Facebook because it’s the biggest social networking platform. Think about who you’re reaching, and where they may be. Marketing to everyone will get you nowhere.
  3. Create your content – value matters so make it count. Get creative and depending on your audience and goals you might want to consider the style of your content. Make sure it adds value to your target consumer in some way.
  4. Amplify – consider if this is right for your brand, but make the most of your campaign by using social media influencers on the platforms you decide to target. Of course, make sure they are a good fit with your brand, but if your budget allows for this, then this is a powerful tip to heed.
  5. Paid social – there is no getting away from this if you want serious results on social media, but there are great affordable opportunities to play around with if you don’t have much of a budget for this. A small investment can boost your traffic, leads and with your campaign make it scalable.
  6. Collect analytics – here want to look at the numbers, but also the quality of the campaign performance. How did your users interact with your content, and did they take the action? Have you reached those all important goals you set at the beginning?
  7. Follow-up – What will you do to follow up on the success? Don’t let this be a one hit wonder, but look for lessons you can learn from the campaign and ways you can capitalise or reward those who took the action you wanted in some way. Social media marketing is a moving target so have fun, be authentic and always look for ways to add value to your end consumer.

 

Snapchat 101

  
Have you heard of Snapchat? Do you know what it is? Need a reason to download it? Let me help you.

The increase of people asking me about the mobile platform has rocketed in the last few weeks, so I decided it was time to blog about it and hopefully shed some light on what this mobile app does, and why it’s so cool right now.

As  one of the fastest-growing social media platforms, Snapchat has taken the market by storm in just a few short years. Overtaking Instagram, and potentially threatening to knock the social media king, Facebook down a few pegs or two, with the migration of young adults and teenagers moving to sites such as Snapchat, Whatsapp and even Periscope to some degree. The social landscape is constantly changing, but there’s a very good case for businesses looking to reach a younger audience to at least consider entering the world of Snapchat and instant stories. However, as a disclaimer, I’d like to add this post is aimed at the individual that it is to business, although I will add some comments around this, and post specifically about business use at a later date.

So here’s what you need to know

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is an real-time video and image sharing platform that you can instantly share with a specific friend, or to all of your friends, or even your entire city – providing they are on Snapchat, of course.

Why should I be on it?

You don’t. It’s a choice. If you are an individual wondering what all the fuss is about, then it’s just a cool way to send a message to one of your friends, in a similar way to Whatsapp, however, Snapchat let’s you send video and text together, and allow you to draw, message, or use one of their wacky but outrageously fun filters. At first this seemed to strike me as a great way to send an image to someone with a timer on it, so you don’t need to worry about sending a picture of yourself in your PJ’s and the receiver doing something dodgy with your image. We liked this very much, and reports have shown that in January 2016 around 9000 images are posted to Snapchat every second. We clearly like this a lot.

What can you do with it?

You can take a picture, or a video, add text to it, and select a filter before sending it to one or more of your contacts. You just need touch the lined square at the bottom right of your screen, to then select from your list of contacts who you want to share with. Now it’s not the easiest of apps to explain, but I just want to highlight the cool things you can do, so any specific questions that you have please do get in touch with me.

What else you need to know?

You can send it to a specific person, or group of friends by selecting their names in the list I mentioned, or you can check the My Stories box, and it will automatically save your snap to your ‘timeline’ if you will. This is a cool feature because it lets you go back and download your snap, if it’s something you want to keep. Remember when I talked about the images/video having a timer? When you send your Snap to a friend, you can’t undo or see that image again, but when you send it to My Stories, you can – at least for another 24hours. If you take several photos in one day, then it will string them together making one story for you to share with all your followers. You can also download that story if it’s something you would like to keep on your phone.  Just make sure you do it before the 24hours is up.

Oh, and don’t forget to play around with it, and try out some filters. They’re a mixture of funny, scary and weird. Feel free to add me by searching for my name @leemac85 too, and send me your snaps on Twitter to let me know you got it.

One last thing that I forgot to mention – you can also send it to [insert the name of your city] story. So for me it would be London story. It’s pretty cool to watch a day in the life of your city from many different perspectives.

I hope that helped. I need to run, but here’s one I made earlier. 😉 Don’t forget to add me!

Here’s one I made earlier…

  
Also don’t forget to follow me on @leemac85 on Periscope too! I am about to start #BreakfastwithLee Saturday’s where I share, make and take you to some of my favourite spots in London for the best food. 

How to start a blog

I’ve blogged from a number of platforms. Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress and a few other CMS platforms. For me WordPress has been the best platform. It’s also one of the biggest, and it’s open source which means it’s created by the community, for the community. I was recently asked for advice on how to start a blog, and whilst there is lots I could say here. I thought I’d share with you my response with you.

1. Think of an idea or topic you’d to write about? What’s the one thing you’re most passionate about? It could be travel, beauty, food, healthy living, being a new mum?

2. When you log onto WordPress you can sign up, and create a blog for free, or upgrade to the pro account (I think it’s called) so you have a (nameofyourblog.com) it will cost about £60 for the year, but I recommend it. There are some really good free templates that you can use too.

3. What do you want to call your blog? Do you want it to be your name or something different? Check and see if your URL is available, and if you can I recommend purchasing it. There are usually not that expensive. Try 123 reg, or something like Namecheap. I’ve never had a bad experience with these ones, and you do have to choose wisely. There are a lot of cowboys in this industry. Don’t be fooled into paying more than £10 for your URL that’s my recommendation. If you are ever asked by a company to pay and then they will transfer the URL to your name… stay clear! This is actually happened to a girl I recently met.

Recap:

  • Be organised and be consistent
  • The trick is to find a niche to write about
  • Write content that is helpful, entertaining, or engaging that people will want to share

I hope you find this helpful. Let me know if you want me to talk about anything in more specific detail.

 

Happy Friday!

 

3 reasons to use Periscope

Have you tried Periscope yet? If not, why not? I love it. It’s the hottest new platform from Twitter. You don’t need to wait for that big break on TV or film any longer. Just download the app, connect it up to your Twitter account, and tell the world what you see!

I almost shrugged this channel, and snapchat off. Even though I could see it was trending, it just felt like a hassle. Generally, you create a few seconds of content that disappears within a few seconds (or 24hours if on Periscope). At first I failed to see the point of it, but actually there is… it’s about connection. Connecting with an audience on ground level, at real time. It’s an incredible opportunity for business to get personal with their customer. So why haven’t we seen more companies on Periscope and taking advantage of this fantastic opportunity?

I believe part of the problem is that people want to see BIG return, for little input. Whilst I understand that on a business level you want to see a return for the time and effort you put in, social media should be viewed as a long term strategy, with short term goals.

The other reason is that now we have other channels including Snapchat and Facebook live providing similar more convenient options accessible options. Although all three of these platforms bring something different to the table

So has Periscope missed the boat? I don’t think so, for the right company and reason there is still opportunity to be had for those not scared to venture out of their comfort zone.

It’s a great way to do a live Q & A giving brands control over questions they want to answer, and adding another dimension to the relationship or community you are trying to build.

3 ideas for using Periscope for:

  1. Live Q & A
  2. Interesting facts
  3. 5 minute couch talk
  4. Training and teaching workshops

 

 

#businesstalk #socialmedia #justathought #myopinion

 

Hello from the other side!

Since moving to London in 2013, I decided to start a fresh and that meant a new blog. A place where I could comment and document my observations on brands and social media trends or platforms that caught my attention.

After much debate I decided to condense my work into one platform, and indeed I decided The Social Exchange would be the best place to do that.

I do have some cool posts on Brand Me Social, and if you’re interested in having a peek, then please find them here: https://brandmesocial.wordpress.com/

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Going forward you’ll find me right here, at The Social Exchange, so come back soon for more social media commentary and updates right here in my newly decorated home!

Are you looking for a savvy freelance social media or content marketing?

I am now available for social media managing, or content marketing work!

Email: leanne@thesocialexchange.com