Month: June 2016

The Future of Social Media

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 9.10.25 AM.pngThe future of social media is a topic of endless conversation with many differing opinions. The truth is that no one knows what the future will bring, but that doesn’t stop anyone from putting in their two cents. One thing I can tell you for sure is that things will continue to change and evolve.

Social networks have been in existence for quite some time and contrary to popular belief, Facebook was not one of the first. A social networking site called Six Degrees was founded in 1997. It allowed users to create a profile and then friend other users. After that ICQ, my Space, LinkedIn (still in existence) and others came along. Facebook didn’t exist until 2004 when Mark Zuckerberg registered thefacebook.com domain and Twitter didn’t arrive on the scene until 2006. As you can see it’s really in the last 10 years that social media has exploded on the landscape and become a worldwide phenomenon.

How are we using social networks?

  1. News/current affairs
  2. Staying in touch with friends and family
  3. Reconnecting with old friends
  4. Sharing photos/videos
  5. Dating
  6. Business networking
  7. Connecting with people who share a hobby/interest
  8. Promoting products/services
  9. Filling spare time
  10. Connecting with political/public figures

Who’s using social networks?

Women and men use social media at similar rates. Young adults aged 18 – 29 are the most likely to use social media. The biggest increase in usage is among adults aged 65+. (Pew Research Center)

What will the future of social media look like?

A few trends in the future of social media are beginning to emerge.

  • Instead of enormous catch-all sites like Facebook, social media sites that are vertical specific – music, cars, films, sports (or sport specific) – have huge potential.
  • All social media sites will be responsive to mobile.
  • Shopping on social media sites will be common.
  • Businesses will encourage employees to share content.
  • Targeted social media advertising will increase.
  • Social video is the way of the future.

Social media is here to stay. As smoke signals eventually evolved into the mobile phone, I know social media will continue to evolve and to me, the future looks exciting.

 

 

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Have a Brand Story? Share it!

Brand-StoryYour brand story is more than the story of your company. The narrative is more than what’s written on a website, the words in a brochure or the presentation used to secure new clients. Your brand story is the reason your business came to be. The brand story is a complete representation made up of facts, thoughts and explanations, which means this part of your story isn’t even told by you.

There are many ways to share your brand story. One way is to ensure that your brand exists in all parts of your business. Make sure your brand is entrenched in all marketing materials such as brochures, business cards and voicemail to name a few. The more a brand is shown, the easier it will be to remember. If customers land on your homepage or social media, what type of feel do they get? This is part of your company’s brand story. I’ve outlined a few key areas you’ll want to focus on to share your brand story:

Website
Your brand story, unique selling feature, needs to be front and foremost on the homepage of your site. Regardless if it is through customer testimonials, reviews, home page content, sliders, videos, or your company blog, when a potential customer lands on your homepage, they need to understand who you are, and what value you bring to them and their business/life.

Blog
A great way to share your brand story with the world is through blog writing. This gives you more control over how the brand story is told. A series of blogs can show the history of your brand and how much your business has grown over time. A great amount of detail or just a brief history can go into these blogs, this depends on how in-depth you would like your brand story to be.

Video
Use video to showcase your company’s history and how your business came to be can be. You could include customer testimonials as part of this video. After all, your brand story is as much about your customers as it is your company. This video should be displayed on your website and all social media platforms that your business uses.

Over 70% of consumers prefer to learn about a company through content (like a blog) instead of advertisements, so make sure your brand story is prominent in everything you do.