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.

Being a light

Being a light to the world requires action, requires energy, requires substance.

I could go on, and probably will in posts to come; however, today I thought I’d like this cool little fella share a word that if you press play will surely speak to you. Now it’s great to be inspired and encouraged, but go do something with it.

‘Create something that will make the world awesome!’ Are you doing so already? Well what can you change, what can you do to make your team, company, life, relationship better? Remember what is great today, will be good tomorrow if you let things go and don’t continue to invest in staying fresh.


Three useful apps that every business should have

I’ve recently been spending a lot of time on my iPhone, and today I thought I’d share with you a rundown of my top three useful apps at the moment.

1. Instagram – This is the app that most of us may have heard of, and is also a personal favourite of ours. The photo sharing network allows you to take your favourite snaps, and apply them against a range of digital filters, to give them a different look; and make them look extra pretty. The app, originally released on Apple’s App store, has recently expanded into the Android market, where it hit over a 1 million Android users within 24 hours! The app does more than make your pictures look pretty too. With Instagram you can connect, and share with your friends from Facebook, Twitter, Email and Phone contacts, and basically anyone with an Instagram account. There is room to like, comment on each photo, and share with the rest of your friends on other networks.

2. Evernote – This takes notepad to a whole new level. I find Evernote is great for capturing those random pieces of information. When all I need is to record a phone number, the URL of a website, a photo, or a quote from a very long article; Evernote is a great way to capture, store and organise those random pieces of paper you have dotted around your desk, home, or car. And the best part of all is, you can access them from any smart phone, or computer.

3. Flipboard – Is an aggregation service that serves up current, and relevant information from across several social networking platforms, and websites. This is a sleek, and effective way to view social content from various places, and condense them into one. The magazine format adds to this streamline interface, which allows you to flick through your social content at your own pace. I particularly love the ability it has to re-tweet, respond and share directly to my linked profile. Although the choice of platforms are currently limited, all the main ones are there (including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr, Google reader). It is limited to download on Apple devices only, at the moment, however; I imagine this is something they will be expanding on in the near future.

The great thing about all three apps, is that they can help your business run smoother, and more effective regardless of the industry, or background you find yourself in. They are free, user-friendly, and most of all a great way to stay organised, relevant, and up-to-date with what’s going on in the sphere of social, and beyond.



The power of sharing

Sharing is an often used word, idea used by many in the online world as an attractive, link baiting word used with the sphere of online media.

However: sharing is so much more than a retweet, or passing on information of value to someone else. Sharing has far more power, and yet in a world that says we understand the value of social media, many of us just don’t.

When we embrace the idea of sharing and all that that implies, and we count the cost, we will find that sharing doesn’t come cheap. To the outside world it may seem like we are throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars/pounds down the drain, but I am 100% convinced that the company who chooses to participate in the act of sharing will reap a bountiful harvest in the months, and years to come.

Sharing is caring, and today Starbucks UK have opened themselves up to our social world, providing a personalised Starbucks experience that puts the value back on the customer, rather than the product.

How did they do this? Two ways:
1. Listening to the customer
For years now I have listened to the complaints of coffee drinkers who loved the brand, but felt their coffee was too weak in comparison to the independent barista.

2. They did something about it
OK it took some time, but given the sharp shifts into a digital driven world, some would say their timing is perfect. On the day of introducing more coffee in each drink, (which was today) they took their brand to a whole new level. Unlimited free tall lattes for all until noon may seem like a mindless campaign, but in actual fact they have revolutionised the coffee shop experience. Taking it one step further, they didn’t just improve their product, the became friends, introduced themselves and engaged in a relationship with everyone who participated in today’s campaign. They got personal.

What Starbucks have done is drive an online media campaign, off-line. They have speculated to accumulate, understanding that the ROI of this campaign many not be seen in today’s profits, but spread across a longer period of time.

What’s the take-away lesson here?

Build relationship first, and brand loyalty will come second. No matter how big you grow in business, never get complacent to change.

Separating the wheat from the chaff

To achieve anything in life; a dream, a successful marriage, career, whatever that may be for you. There will be moments where you are tested beyond the limits of what you thought you could handle.

The most simple example of this would be taken from the local gym. When a new member begins to train, they may find their capacity in the first few weeks will be significantly less, to someone who has been following a work out programme for the last six months. The new member would typically start to work with smaller weights, and run for shorter periods of time than the more experienced member.

Of course, with;

  • persistence
  • consistency
  • time

Anyone can improve their stamina, providing they hold on to those three key ingredients and push through the pain of exhausted muscles, fatigue and all the other temporary symptoms our bodies produce in reaction to the resistance.

What we must understand is that the resistance is needed to achieve the desired result. In the same way, perseverance, patience and counting the cost is required of us, when we embark on business, marriage and almost any area of life.

Counting the cost, preparing the ground work, and gathering the research is not a season to be rushed, for if we are prepared for all eventualities at the start. We will be ready, and increase our chances of survival when the stormy weather hits unannounced up ahead.




Online spend continues to out grow traditional print advertising

If you weren’t already convinced before, then be convinced now as one of the latest reports released by eMarketer has confirmed a significant growth in online advertising in the US, by as much as 23% up from last year.

The marketing research group forecast online advertising spend this year will bring a noteworthy £25.5 million, in comparison to the traditional print industry, expected to haul in £21.8 million. This shows a remarkable growth in the online spend. The new trend is expected to continue to grow steadily over the next 10 years.

In the UK, spend on the Internet and Search Internet went up by 14.9%, according to reports from IPA Bellwether Report.

In comparison, there was also a measured decline of around 1.2% in marketing budgets spent on traditional media. The drop may seem small, but author of the report commented;

“There are signs that companies have become increasingly reluctant to invest in traditional media campaigns, instead diverting money towards the internet.”

The report, which concluded its survey from 300 UK media and marketing executives suggested after further study, the increase in spend was a move to protect their market share, and nothing to do with consumer confidence.

When the IBA, (Internet Advertising Bureau) highlights that British consumers are spending 25% of their time on social media; it’s hard not to believe that this is real reason media companies are increasing their online advertising spend. We don’t just ‘hang out’ online, we buy online.

Lets not forget the digital driven world we now live in, where almost every face you pass in the street is glued their smart phone. Econsultancy announced in their blog today that mobile accounted for 12% paid search clicks in the UK during the month of December. Spend share of mobile and table devices for that month  rose by 29% claiming a 7.5% share of total search spend.

I don’t believe this is decreasing any time soon, so if you’re in business and you’ve not invested in some kind of online advertising yet. I hope this is convincing enough to encourage you that you must, and soon.

Feel the fear, and do it anyway.

Whether you’re attempting to start a business, or own a multi-million business everyone has experienced moments of fear on some level.

Fear of the unknown, fear of risk, afraid of doing it wrong or failing. Like I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, we shouldn’t be scared of failing. We should learn to love it.

Whatever stage your business is at, don’t be scared of social media, or blogging. You need to embrace it because it’s not going away. Take the plunge, and give it ago. You won’t know until you try. Of course these are just the lessons I am learning, and gaining through my own experiences.

The best way to know if something works or not, it’s to try it. Think of it like dipping your toe in the water, before you dive into the pool.

Although I am talking to start-ups, or businesses that have yet to make the switch to Social Media; this post is applicable for everyone, from every background.

Oh, and one last thing. When it comes to blogging for business;

  1. Get one – Last year was the year to get one, so get one fast, and start sharing. This year it’s all about context.
  2. Be as consistent as you can – Choose a timeframe, daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly and stick too it.
  3. Be as relevant as you can to your industry. No sales talk. Think about what your consumers would be interested in.
  4. Have fun, and be creative. Video is huge, and QR codes are going to be huge. Sorry to all designers out there. They may not be pretty, but they’re already on the increase in the US. If you haven’t already seen them on a billboard or magazine, they look like this:20120118-000211.jpg

You can check out YouTube, and WordPress for tutorials on how to do that. (Note to self you must switch domains asap).

If you like this blog. Please don’t forget to leave a comment, or share your thoughts, (even if you don’t like it. I’d love to hear what, and why). You can also subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the top right hand side, (so you wont miss out).

I’ve got some really exciting news about to break blog readers. All will be revealed within the next two weeks!! Look forward to sharing with you soon.