Digital Trends 2017: Hot or Not Rundown 

As the first quarter of the year comes to an end, there’s tons of buzz about which digital trends are hot and which are not!

Google is returning 78k results already for the search phrase “digital trends 2017”. Tens of thousands of people want to know what’s buzzing in the digital world. More importantly, entrepreneurs want to know which way to take their digital strategies in the second quarter of 2017 to achieve business success and reach new consumers.


Trending digital topics in 2017, thus far, waver between:

  1. Augmented Reality: “A technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.” –
  2. Virtual Reality: “the computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors.”
  3. Chat Bots: “a computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users, especially over the Internet.”
  4. Mobile Payments: “Money rendered for a product or service through a portable electronic device such as a cell phone, smartphone or PDA. Mobile payment technology can also be used to send money to friends or family members.”
  5. Voice Assistants: An intelligent personal assistant (or simply IPA) is a software agent that can perform tasks or services for an individual.

With all the trends circulating, the question remains, what’s hot and what’s not?

In the second quarter of 2017 it is definitely worth while to understand which technologies are useful to propel your business’ brand.


Code Computerlove surveyed 1,000 adult Brits on their thoughts about these digital trends. Code Computerlove then pulled data from Google’s News index and Keyword Planner to better understand the meaning of their findings.

The below infographic provides the analytic results of the study. This infographic ultimately sheds more light on which trends consumers want to see more or less of in 2017.

Per Adweek, people consume 285 pieces of content every single day.

Knowing this critical information will help guide your digital strategy and make each and every digital interaction count.


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Creative Storytelling Through Twitter

“A story doesn’t have to be simple, it doesn’t have to be one-dimensional but … you need to find the clearest, most engaging way of telling it.”

~ Salman Rushdie, Nobel Prize-Winning Novelist


Storytelling is crucial to marketing your business. It always has been and always will be critical. Stories set the stage for businesses to become more appealing to their audience. Once an audience thinks a business is appealing or interesting, they then want to engage and spark more business centric or industry related conversations with your business. The way in which you get your business’ message to the masses is where the real fun happens.


Twitter is a great social media tool to use to innovatively tell a story. In this post, I’ll highlight four actionable ways to use Twitter to weave a captivating story.


1.Trending Hashtags

When searching on Twitter the trending hashtags at that particular moment pop up. There is an option to see about five to twenty different trending hashtags/ topics. If you can find one relevant to your business and use it to share business or brand related thoughts it can serve as an excellent way to start a conversation with thousands to millons of others buzzing about the same subject.

Below are trending hashtags that were active the evening of Wednesday, March 8, 2017 on #InternationalWomensDay. There are tons of hashtags shown below that are unrelated to one another however thousands to millions of individuals and businesses are all using these hashtags to hold virtual conversations or share thoughts related to the same topic at once.

Trending Hashtags Trending

Time and time again, Rosetta stone, a language learning and immersion company has comically used trending hashtags to propel their company’s agenda. Back in 2015, when the infamous and hilarious rap beef transpired between rapper Meek Mill and Drake, #MeekMill and #Drake were trending topics on Twitter.

After Meek Mill dropped a long awaited  yet convoluted diss track to Drake’s numerous diss tracks, Rosetta chimed in with this hilarious tweet:

Rosetta Stone

Above is an example of how Rosetta Stone successfully played on the rap drama and got in on the action by using the trending hashtag #MeekMill while still staying true to their brand and the service they offer the world.

2. Share Multiple Pictures

Research shows that Tweets with photos get 313% more engagement. You can add up to four photos/ images to a tweet. By adding photos/ images to a tweet you can exceed the 140 character limitation by adding more text to the images or showing a progression of a story without using text.

Below is an image from the 2017 Super Bowl LI that was posted by the New York Times twitter account.  They’ve masterfully used images to highlight some of the exciting moments of the Super Bowl without having to use even 100 characters.

To take it a step further they then provide a link to an article on the website to really unfold the entire story. This tweet serves as a small yet captivating storytelling methodology.

NYT pic

3. Create Your Own Hashtag

Create your own hashtag to really curate your business’ story. Your business’ hashtag may not go viral but it can be used to drive home a social media strategy, further explain a consumer product or help reveal a new business initiative.

Target created the hashtag #TargetLittles to identify the children of Target adult shoppers. Thousands of Target shoppers now use the hashtag to give kudos on how their children love Target products or enjoyed an experience at Target.

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4. Tweetstorm

Don’t let Twitter’s pesky 140 character limitation confine your ability to convey your story or message. A tweetstorm is a series of tweets that pick up where the last one left off and often look like a mini-essay if all complied together.

To string your tweets together, reply to your previous tweet and viola!

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There are tons of ways to creatively tell a story. Give these four options a try and if you are up to it, try combining some of the options to really get innovative.

How to Use Instagram’s New Slideshow Feature to a Business’ Benefit

What is an Instagram Slideshow and How Can It Benefit a Business?

On February 22, 2017, Instagram launched a new slideshow feature that allows account users to post up to ten photos and videos in a single slideshow option at once. Users will no longer have to chose which picture or video is the best from their experience.


Similar to Snapchat’s storytelling feature, users can slide through each of the pieces of content.

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This feature is great for personal account users but even better if you have a business.

The storytelling feature offers a platform to walk a prospective customer through a creative process with both pictures and videos.


Your audience wants to see more content from your business and more specifically, wants to see more video content. People prefer to watch video content, in fact, 4x as many people would rather watch a video about a company than read an article the business or product.

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Here are 3 Ways to Use the Instagram Story Successfully:


1. Tell a Story

Tell a story by breaking it into up to 10 parts. Most times there are two or three pictures that are post worthy and paint a picture of the adventure or process, now there is no need to choose. Highlight amazing moments from a successful event or awesome experience. Use all your best pictures and/ or videos and paint a vivid picture.

2. Explain a Process

Use the slideshow to breakdown the process of how to do something. Show the key steps of a recipe to one of your most popular dishes or the creative process you use to write a song or even how you’d advise viewers to replicate a glam makeup look.

3.  Highlight a Product

Share the best features of a product in a snapshot. Now there’s an option to brag about a product without being braggadocios or spammy. Exhibit and sale all the product has to offer in a more visually appealing way.


Using photos and videos will offer a way to showcase an experience, tell a story, market a product or connect with an audience that wants to recreate a recipe or a process just like your business offers.

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3 Tips on How to Use #Hashtags

What are hashtags and how should they be used?

Hashtags are incredibly important on social media posts because they are tags or labels applied to keywords that make it easier to find specific content. Hashtags are used on social media platforms, in media and often times in casual conversation with friends. They have transcended the boundaries of the virtual world which speaks volumes to their influence.


Back in 2007, Twitter began using the # symbol in front of words or phrases to connect groups. Present day when you click on a hyperlinked hashtag, it will take you to a different page that shows all other content from yourself or others that have used the same hashtags.


When using a hashtag for your business accounts, you’re opening the door to a broader audience. If you use the hashtag #foodie on a picture of one of your food creations, you’re then sharing your creation with a group of other individuals who have used the same hashtag and may want to see other food related posts, get an idea for a dinner recipe, or want to discover a new restaurant for their next meal.

The challenge lies in how to successfully and effectively use hashtags.


Here are 3 tips on how to use hashtags on social media:


1. Use relevant keywords

When posting a picture or writing a post create hashtags based on the relevant key words for the post. The hashtag can be included in the description of the picture/ content or the status itself or they can be added at the end.

For example:

cupcake

“Just tried a chocolate #bacon #maple #cupcake and while it sounds like it would be weird combo, it was actually amazing!”

#cupcakelover #bakedgoods #chocolate #cocoa #baconmaplecupcake

2. Don’t use too many hashtags

When using hashtags, err on the side of caution and stick to using 5-8 at most. There are of course photos or content that can use 20 hashtags and be justified but in most cases that isn’t necessary and some may view it as distracting or annoying.

Remember no one likes seeing 15 irrelevant hashtags per content item.

For example: if you post a picture of a bacon maple cupcake on the Tuesday after Super Bowl 51 there is no need to add irrelevant hashtags like #SuperBowl #LadyGaga or #SB51. Realistically, there is likely no relation between your cupcake and those hashtags.

Too many hashtags can hurt your engagement and can get you blocked by your ideal audience. According to Buffer Social, “In fact, when you use more than two hashtags, your engagement actually drops by an average of 17 percent.

3. Use Hashtags to Brand Your Business

Most importantly remember to use hashtags to brand your business. Creating a business related hashtag to brand your business can be a powerful and cost effective marketing technique. If your audience begins using your custom hashtag in relation to your business, then you’re off to a great start for your business to get more exposure via the Internet or to potentially go viral if massive amounts of people use the hashtag at once.


When used correctly hashtags create a way to categorize your content and make it searchable to an audience that may not follow your business. Hashtags are an extremely low cost and effective way to market and brand your business’s content IF you create custom and relevant hashtags.

 

 

 

Three Words – Quality Content Matters

Are you putting out the very best content for your business?


There’s that old saying that less is more and that is really a golden rule to abide by when considering what content to post on your blog or social media profiles. There used to be a strategy that the more you post the better because if you’re flooding people’s timelines with content they’re bound to take interest in your business and become your newest lead… right? Makes perfect sense … or does it?


In reality, this strategy doesn’t make sense and never really did. Content overload isn’t smart for your business for a number or reasons:

1. Content Overload Comes Across as a Spam Like Tactic

If you’re posting 15 times a day for the sake of posting and wanting to ensure people see your content what really happens is you will rapidly lose followers and friends. Things will seem great because gee you’re putting out tons and tons of content, and therefore, your followers and friend’s timelines will be filled with your business related messages. Sounds great, until suddenly you realize you’re consistently losing friends and followers. Or that your business content is actually being marked as spam.

What ends up really happening is that the masses aren’t even seeing your posts because they have unfollowed your profiles or marked your emails as spam/ junk. Essentially you’re then wasting your time because in actuality you’re sending emails and projecting out information into the ether with no real audience to view the content.


2. Quality Content is Unlikely With Content Overload  

Chances are if you’re participating in content overload, your business is spewing out less and less quality content. If you’re a solo-preneur; a one man show, you know it takes time to put together creative and worthwhile content. If you find that you’re a solo-preneur and you’re managing to put out 15 posts a day, you really should ask yourself if the content you’re posting is 1. engaging, 2. informative and 3. high quality. If you’re answering “yes”, then ask yourself again and really consider the value and quality of your content. When in doubt simply ask yourself “how does this post add value to my business”


3. Content Overload Lacks Focus on Target Audience

Your target audience probably doesn’t appreciate or truthfully care to see your business pop up on their timeline or their feed 15 times a day. Again, if you’re ever in doubt, ask yourself “how does this post add value to my ideal customer’s life”. If you’re able to ask yourself the question and the answer is “no” then spare yourself the time of posting and sharing and just say “no!”. If you’re posting about politics or cats and your target audience is most likely thought to dislike cats and has zero interest in politics, then who are you even trying to reach at that point. Who is really interested in reading your posts and then wanting to visit your business landing page? Chances are no one. If the content on your social media platforms does not engage your target audience you will not see an increase in website traffic, which partly defeats the point of posting on social media. 


You’re probably wondering how posting less really benefits your business. Well the answer is simple. When taking the time to post more thoughtful and quality content your audience will engage more and algorithms on social media sites will then show your content to your target audience who will then continue to engage and boost your post reach. You’ve then entered a winner’s circle of engagement. #Congrats

 

 

Social Media … How Important Is It Really???

Social Media in the year 2017 … you are probably asking yourself why you need to use sites like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter; The Big Three or how you should use them correctly.


If either of these questions have crossed your mind, fear not, you’re not alone.

So Facebook, Twitter, Instagram; The Big Three, are all equally important in propelling your brand virally.

Everyone in 2017 is on one of these sites. Over the past decade we’ve all seen that social media has played critical parts in propelling a business’ or an individual’s brand.

It is a primary way to drive traffic and attention to your brand or to your website. When someone mentions the latest brand or wants to sell something the follow-up questions usually are “What is your twitter handle”, “What is your FB fan page name” or “I would love to follow you on Instagram”. As of 2015, nearly 1.5 billion visitors were logging into Facebook at least once a month (Statista, 2016). Additionally 1 in 7 people use FB to connect with family, friends and companies (Facebook).

Social media can create new leads for your business which in turn can lead to new sales. About 1 in 10 online purchases stemmed from a visitor coming from a social media platform globally. People hear about brands and then go and find them on social media platforms to get a better sense of the brand, company culture and customer reviews. Do you really want to exclude your business from that statistic? It’s the widest net you can cast for free promotion. At the low cost of #FREE, you have to then ask yourself why you aren’t leveraging social media platforms or The Big Three to your benefit.


If you’re not properly marketing yourself on The Big Three you are only hindering the growth of your company by missing out on the potential leads.