Social Media’s Positive and Negative Potential for Your Business

We are living in a social media generation. Think about it. How many of your friends and family members have social media pages? Probably the majority, right? We are spending increasing amounts of time checking our Facebook feeds, looking at others’ lives on Instagram and laughing at one another’s jokes on Twitter. This is all productive. However, social media is no longer confined to the realms of the personal. An increasing number of businesses are creating feeds for their brand. But should you jump on the social media bandwagon?

Image Credit: Pexels

Remember, social media is relatively personal but you want to maintain as professional an image as possible to maintain the reputation of your brand. Apps and sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter could potentially prove to be your business’ making or its downfall. The way that things fall lies entirely down to your social media management. Here’s everything that you need to understand the positive and negative potential of these pages for your business’ success.

Customer Service

In a consumer market where more and more business is done online, social media is one of the areas that allow your brand to offer brilliant customer service.

Remember, good customer service relies on effective communication and what better way to communicate with your audience than the immediate form of online chat?

Facebook offers message options, where customers can ask further questions about a product, chase up deliveries and file their complaints.

Twitter also allows this in short form text, with a maximum of 140 characters.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Improving Brand Image

Nowadays, popularity is often measured by the number of social media followers an individual or a business has. If you manage to garner more followers, people will tend to automatically recognise you as a leader in your field. If everyone else wants to know what you’re doing then they’ll assume that they should too.

Your feeds are also a great place to express your company’s values and beliefs. You can publicly show support to charitable organisations or causes. However, at the same time, posting the wrong thing at the wrong time can cause mayhem. Certain types of posts will reflect badly on your brand and will be widely available for anyone to see.

To avoid causing upset, make sure that you have good social media management. Check out this website for further guidance.

Showcasing Your Products

A large follower base results in any social media account becoming a platform where you can showcase your products and services to a huge number of people.

It’s the ultimate platform for exposure. People will like your posts too, which means that they will become recommended to others with similar interests to them, encouraging more people to check out what you’re providing. What’s more? You can sponsor posts, infiltrating the newsfeeds of people who don’t already follow your brand.

In short, social media holds great potential for your brand’s exposure and expansion. Everything comes down to managing it responsibly and appropriately. So, start setting up your pages and capitalising on the pros that come hand in hand with well-managed business social media feeds.

Instagram Unveiled a Redesigned Logo That’s Just Horrible

So Instagram decided to change its logo. I can tell you this much, I am not a fan. It’s not as bad as the time ‪Uber‬ did a redesign, but its not that good either. ‪

Here’s what Instagram had to say for itself:

“Today we’re introducing a new look. You’ll see an updated icon and app design for Instagram. Inspired by the previous app icon, the new one represents a simpler camera and the rainbow lives on in gradient form. You’ll also see updated icons for our other creative apps: Layout, Boomerang and Hyperlapse.

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The updated icons for all of Instagram’s photo + video sharing and other creative apps

We’ve made improvements to how the Instagram app looks on the inside as well. The simpler design puts more focus on your photos and videos without changing how you navigate the app.

The Instagram community has evolved over the past five years from a place to share filtered photos to so much more — a global community of interests sharing more than 80 million photos and videos every day. Our updated look reflects how vibrant and diverse your storytelling has become…”

Insta pic

Okay, now let me jump in right here. While I agree that with the exceptional growth of any company (especially one that’s a social media and tech platform), your branding should also evolve to reflect said growth; but for all that is good in the world, do it RIGHT!

Here’s Instagram’s promotional video giving you a little feel for what went into the logo design process. It reminded me of Yahoo’s rebranding effort in 2013, which did not go so well either.

Looking at the new logo (icon) compared to the old classic design, you almost feel as though the design team got ridiculously frustrated and just hit the gradient tool and went with the first mix they could come up with. The design has been flattened and that’s okay, but at the very least, Instagram could have kept some of the personality and subtlety of the old logo.

The only upside to a flat design, is that it makes for better UI and UX. It’s also far easier to apply across various branding medium – smartphones, computers, merchandising, stationery, and so on.

Instagram
The previous logo (icon) had depth and dimension

Over to you, Instagram!

“…Thank you for giving this community its life and color. You make Instagram a place to discover the wonder in the world. Every photo and video — from the littlest things to the most epic — opens a window for people to broaden their experiences and connect in new ways.”

What do you think of Instagram’s new designs? Leave a comment below.

The New Video-sharing App “Beme” by Casey Neistat Is out

There’s a new video-sharing app on the block and it’s called “Beme” conceptualised by Casey Neistat, New York-based Filmmaker and YouTube Vlogging star.

I wrote a blog about him a few months back [April], which you can read here by clicking this. Yes, literally click the word “this”. Casey’s managed to craft a total of 114 daily vlogs since then via YouTube, growing the amount of subscribers by a few hundred thousand. Pretty impressive. Somewhere around vlog #029 he introduced a segment called “Let’s Talk Business” that gave him an opportunity to both talk about and show us the new space for his ten top secret new company. Fast-forward to around vlog #105 we’re finally introduced to Beme.

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Today, Beme Inc. launched their “authentic” video-sharing app, Beme and after seeing what the app does, my first thought was, “Well that was a complete letdown.” Kiddin’! It’s actually quite clever and Casey Neistat may just have figured out how to get people back to having real conversations and real moments without your smartphone getting in the way. Beme, as Casey puts it “wants you to maintain eye contact” (Who does that these days?!) and enjoy whatever you’re doing without looking through your smartphone’s lens.

Anyway, to get back to my story. They’ve used the “proximity sensor” on the iPhone as a record button. Have no fear, your Android device ought to have it as well (I think). So now you can pretty much shoot a video clip [only four seconds long] or take a selfie just by placing your phone screen against your person or a wall. Or at least that’s how he sells it and you can watch the video below.

Someone asked me, “Why not just use ‘Snapchat’ and not look at the phone?” It’s a very good question and I see where they were going with that and I’d agree on some levels. But I think with trendy apps like Snapchat and Instagram for instance, there’s still a certain level of self-consciousness involved. One where our and relatives friends only present the “best versions” of themselves to the public. It’s like taking a selfie, but you only select maybe the one that to you looked the best after the 20th photograph.

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On the flip-side though, I’d have been more interested in seeing the global reaction to the app if the beta testers weren’t predominantly fans, friends, and family of Casey. The reviews are always going to be skewed to be more positive than negative ones. I’d have rather seen random beta testers who were prepared to tell it like it really is. I will say this; Beme has been very strategic with the app release using Casey’s ever-growing channel as a platform to advertise, as well as his newfound celebrity to hold meetups with fans turned potential users. I have to give them that from a marketing standpoint. There’s however, not enough marketing gimmicks in the world to escape the obvious comparisons that will come back to “haunt” them, i.e. Snapchat.

beme-logo

But the other reality too is that you sometimes start on a journey of developing an idea and out of nowhere comes competition. You’re millions of dollars in and all your investors are waiting for the product release. All you can do is hope for a successful release. In this instance though, seeing Snapchat was already in existence, I think there’s a shot it could have a similar success like Twitter and Vine.

That’s what competition is all about. Constantly aiming to build a better mousetrap than what’s out there. I could see why Casey feels there’s a space for Beme in the app marketplace. After all, there’s always room for one more. I’m sure Casey and his team are all “bemeing” with pride.

So far it’s only available to iOS users, so if you have an Android then you’re going to have to wait. No word yet if it’ll be made available in the Google Play store, but here’s to hoping. If you’re interested and you have an iPhone, you can download the first version of the app here http://apple.co/1OjdMFR

Updated: December 05, 2016
Casey recently sold Beme Inc. to CNN for $25 million. The app will be shutdown in all app stores.

Content Marketing Is No Buzzkill, but the New Buzzword!

Buzzzz....

It’s so weird how we see buzzwords floating in cyberspace all the time, but you never stop to really understand some of them until you come across just the right article.

The new buzzword for me (and I’m certain some of you reading this) is ‘content marketing’. Simply put, and this is a definition of my own, “content marketing is giving useful information to your customers that can add value to their lives and businesses.”

Perhaps one of the most important lessons I’ve learned since starting and running a business has been that you have to give to get. We owe it to our customers to not only offer them a premium product and service, but to help them outside of the sphere of a business transaction. Ironically, adding value to your customers’ lives can translate into further business opportunities for you.

Right now the concept of content marketing is fashionable. Tomorrow it still will be, but perhaps we’ll be calling it something else. In any instance continue finding an outlet to help your customers like giving tips over social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Better yet, add visual tips too via Instagram and Pinterest. Blogging is phenomenal as a foundation for content marketing and I would encourage you to start your own blog whether you’re a business owner or freelancer. A useful tip is to try and write on topics you’re familiar with (tips, advice, lessons learned, etc.); tell your own story too and try to do so on a daily or monthly basis.

Or perhaps micro-blogging is ideal for you and this will allow you to post bit size pieces of digital content that varies — text, pictures, links, short videos, or other media via the Internet. Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Mogul) does it well and his blog site is a great example of mixing blogging and micro-blogging to create great content. I try to give useful information to both entrepreneurs and freelancers that include topics and tips around graphic design, trademarks, branding, and marketing.

Content marketing is not just for BIG brands or marketers. Research shows that 82% of the people who blog on a daily basis, see a return of investment (ROI) when compared to the 57% who blog monthly (see infographic, via Entrepreneur Magazine). That data just inspired me to make the effort to blog daily and I hope it does the same for you.

Whatever the medium, make it interesting and valuable. I’m sure your existing customers and prospective ones will be grateful. Ultimately, all your efforts will end up becoming a win-win for the both of you.

What kind of value are you adding to your customers’ lives? I’d appreciate you leaving a comment below.