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Snapchat. Yay or Nay?

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Surprise surprise. Another social media platform is gaining steam. But can you really call Snapchat a platform? I suppose you can but, for those looking to grow their own platform, can it really be of any use? In a recent Six Pixels of Separation podcast (which I highly recommend you check out), Mitch Joel discusses the permanent internet vs. the impermanent internet. Snapchat falls under the category of impermanence.

Here’s a quick rundown for those unfamiliar with Snapchat:
1. A user takes a picture (or short video) using the app (the user can’t use pictures that already exist in your camera roll as you can with Instagram).
2.  They can then add rough animated sketches or text to the pictures.
3. A time limit/expiry time is set for the picture – making it only available to be seen for that length of time while the viewer holds a finger on the screen.
4. If a viewer decides to take a screenshot of the picture, they can do so successfully but the viewer will be notified.
5. The picture is then deleted forever.

In a world where many of us work hard to create content that will help us find our voice online and give us permanent credibility, Snapchat seems to be much too fleeting to be instrumental. This skepticism is met with even more pessimism from those who scoff at the app, calling it “sleazy”, “controversial”, and “obviously only for racy photos”.

Let’s consider the good, the bad, and some possible uses.

The Good: Snapchat has continued to bring enjoyment (on somewhat of a surface level) to its users who enjoy giving people a glimpse into their daily lives without worrying as much about how they look or how the Toaster filter affects their like count. And of course, fuelling our dopamine-driven social media world, is the busy nature of a person’s Snapchat inbox due to the ability to mass send pictures. The fact that Snapchat connects people can’t be disputed. It can brighten a boring workday, enhance an event, and give you a laugh you otherwise wouldn’t have had (and who can put a value on that?). My initial concerns were that Snapchat would become everyone’s default photo app – limiting Instagram use and hindering the spread of video apps like Vine. I’m starting to become more optimistic about its effect on apps like Instagram which, in my opinion, are bombarded with those low-quality-look-at-me-now pictures. Now these pictures can be shot out into the Snapchat world and expire like they should – increasing the overall quality of pictures posted to the ‘Gram.

The Bad: As you’d expect, and as the naysayers will attest to, Snapchat does get used for pictures that would otherwise not be taken or sent. It’s almost like “don’t worry, i’ll just snapchat it” will begin justifying things that shouldn’t be justified. Also, the “humour” sometimes goes a bit too far and “fun” is had at the expense of a person being photographed by adding cartoon drawings of things I’m sure you’ve seen or could imagine before the picture’s sent. Here’s a controversy resulting from inappropriate use of the app: Teens’ Nude Photos From Snapchat Lead to Investigation Also in the category of “bad” falls the fact that Snapchat’s impermanence makes it more easily classified as a time-wasting app – increasing doubt as to whether a business could use it in a positive, meaningful way.

Possible Usefulness: On that note, here’s where I’ll make a quick argument regarding its usefulness for a business. I ran into the organizer for the Regina Folk Festival the other day. She was carrying a roll of posters of the 2013 summer festival’s lineup on them. The lineup was to be announced the following day and the group of us sitting near her did all we could to convince her to give us even a one second glimpse. And now I’m sure you can see where this is going. How easy is it for a major festival to encourage people to add them on Snapchat with the incentive of advanced lineup “glimpsing”? I’ve spent minutes looking at full lineups for festivals and failed to notice a band that later sparks conversation with a friend. The amount of conversation resulting from a multitude of people each getting a one second glance at a small picture of the lineup would be an interesting thing to attempt to measure. Even if someone manages to take a screenshot, the idea of a “leaked” schedule can create even more conversation. It’s these kinds of things, that actually add some value for viewers who give companies the permission to speak to them, that will endure as we become more selective about who we follow, like, and listen to.

Conclusion: Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think. Would love to hear your thoughts!

 

What’s better Website Traffic, Search Engine Traffic or Social Media Traffic?

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Hands down I think Search Engine traffic is better, below are 3 reason why.

I’d love to hear why you think social media traffic is better in the comments below. Read more

5 Tips for Effective LinkedIn Advertising

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1. Bid at the high end of the suggested bid range.
2. Continuously review and adjust your daily budget.
Make sure your daily budget supports your click goals.
ie) $10 per day at $2 per click = 5 clicks. $10 a day at $4 per click = 2 clicks.
Note: Wednesday is the highest traffic day on LinkedIn so adjust your budget and optimization accordingly.
3. Be leery of granular targeting.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, adding more criteria to a campaign severely limits your audience. Shoot for an audience size of 200,000 to 400,000.
a) Determine criteria
b) Create several campaigns with only one or two criteria
c) Carefully watch estimated audience numbers to see if they fall in the 200,000 to 400,000 range.
4. Pay attention to creative best practices.
a) Calls to action
b) Mention value-adds like white papers and free trials
c) Use legible images (50×50 is very small). If using words, make sure they can be read easily
5. Optimize
Shoot for CTR (click-through rates) of above .025%. LinkedIn rewards ads of this nature while a poor track record is difficult to bounce back from. If you develop a poor track record, start a brand new campaign. In order to hedge against the poor track record, create three or more ads, put two live, then swap the third one in for the poorest performing one at the end of the first week.
 

4 Ways to Get Facebook Shares (Part 2 of 2)

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As an add-on to my last post entitled “Time to Reconsider What You’re Sharing on Facebook” , here are the four reasons people share Facebook content:

1. To Make Their Life Easier
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Here are two great examples of people posting with the intent of making some aspect of their life easier. Taron needs music for a soundtrack and Laura needs a goalie to play for her team. Each post also has an element of helping others *foreshadowing*…

2. To Build Relationships
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If a nice pic of three great friends doesn’t strengthen their relationship, I don’t know what does. Seriously, though.

3. To Help Others
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A nice music suggestion makes me happy. Thanks Danny.

4. To Craft Their Identity
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We’re constantly posting pictures of things we like (maybe more so on Pinterest and Instagram these days), talking about issues that concern us, and stating our opinions on the absurd amount of people complaining about the weather these days. Originally, Facebook was all about crafting your identity when it was focused around actually listing your favourite bands and movies. Now, the ability to craft your identity lies in individual posts and the pages you like.

Now these are examples of people posting content that achieves these goals. For a business, create and post content that makes people’s lives easier, helps people forge relationships with you and others, is extremely helpful, and helps people craft their identity while identifying with you. And, of course, as illustrated below, make sure these posts fall in line with what people love about you. Discover this and get posting 2-5 times a week!

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Back to Part 1 (Time to consider what you’re sharing on Facebook)…

 

Time to Reconsider What You’re Sharing on Facebook (Part 1 of 2)

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Sssshhhh! It’s time to acknowledge that the days of simply asking questions, sharing quips, and doing giveaways on your business’s Facebook page are over.

If you’ve continued to rely on these tactics, I’m sure you’ve noticed plateaus or stagnant engagement.
If you haven’t and things are still rolling smoothly, think of just how much more effective you could be with some smarter posting.
We all know it was Steve Jobs who said, “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”
This is a case of staying hungry and looking for ways to constantly improve but staying intelligent while doing so.
Here’s how:

Screen Shot 2013-02-19 at 12.39.06 PM1. Discover what people love about you: Perhaps you already know exactly what people love about you. Perhaps you THINK you know what people love about you but it’s time to find out again. Even still, what people love about you in real life might not directly translate to what they like about you on Facebook. If there’s a disconnect, reel them back in to what’s truly great about your product or service by offering this info up in a way that adds value to them.

2. Recognize what people are likely to share: The average post is seen by 16% of those connected to your page. In order to increase this, you’re going to want to focus on the virality of your posts (shoot for 1-2% for post). Virality depends on people sharing your content. Pay close attention to what people have shared from your page in the past and focus on how your posts appear on the News Feed NOT on your own page. The News Feed is where people are most likely to see your post.

Part 2: The Four Main Reasons People Share and Like Facebook Content (via HooteSuite)

CBC Interview

Listen to Jeph Maystruck on CBC Radio in Regina

Thanks to @sheilacolescbc for having Jeff on CBC’s The Morning Edition! Would love to hear your feedback on the interview. You can listen to it here or stream it above.

 

katewillselfiebest

The Trouble With Social Media

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We all enjoy seeing people like our Instagram pictures, like our Facebook pictures and posts, and favourite our tweets. The problem with these tokens of affirmation is that often, whether we’ve acknowledged it or not, we base our self esteem on these “vanity metrics”.  Once we’ve achieved that “100 like picture” or hit 10 favourites on a tweet, we don’t walk away with confidence and look for different ways of getting better that are actually productive. We look for new ways to do the same thing because, as far as we’re concerned, we’re only as good as our last post. We don’t get better; we simply work to improve the way others see us for the sake of our ego.

This phenomenon of improper focus can be extremely damaging for businesses. Those who pour their energy into stacking up Facebook likes  and Twitter followers are often missing the point. Time spent acquiring these things which, more often than not, have little to no bearing on overall health of an organization, takes away from measuring appropriately.

Did taking five different pictures of the same thing before spending 15 minutes editing and choosing the right filter in hopes of 50+ likes take away from quality time spent building relationships with the people around you? And did celebrating your company page’s 500th Facebook like take time that could have been better spent following up with a recent customer or measuring actual conversions?

Social media can enhance your life and business relationships if used properly and with a purpose. Don’t get caught spinning your wheels.

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