With every new year, comes new trends and opportunities for businesses. Surely we can all appreciate how far technology has come in such a short period of time and this year’s social media trends are no exception. If you’re looking to invest in social, reset your goals, overtake your competition or stand out in a crowded market, these are the five trends you’ll want to consider as we move into 2018:
- Augmented Reality Makes A Comeback
Hard to believe that it’s already been five years since Google came out with a pair of glasses—Google Glass—that promised to bring augmented reality (AR) to the mainstream and change how we live and interact with each other. As you could have guessed by now, it was a flop. But now, multiple companies (Facebook, Google and Snap) are competing to enter or re-enter the market. After a handful of highly successful augmented reality apps, sales of VR headsets on the rise, and greater technological sophistication (faster internet speeds and better visual rendering), 2018 could very well be the year that AR takes off. If it does, and stays in the mainstream, you can bet that social media will be one of the most popular applications for the technology, bringing people together over vast distances and providing an entirely new user interface for social interactions.
- The Continued Rise Of Live Streaming
Some businesses may argue that live streaming already dominated in 2017. About 80% of consumers would rather watch a live video from a brand than read a blog and 82% would prefer live video to written social media updates. Now that social platforms and users have settled into the concept, 2018 is bound to bring with it not only a cool new way to interact with audiences online, but an expectation for your brand to keep up.
- A Change To The Standard Social Formula
Last year there were more than 50 million small businesses using social media to market their businesses. There’s no doubt that social media is popular for a reason, but the increased presence of brand-written content is leading to fatigue among users which makes them less likely to respond or engage. This shift in consumer behaviour is going to force brands to re-think their approach and consider a more unique approach to content and messaging.
- Gamification Extends Into Social
There’s no doubt that users love interacting with each other, even with complete strangers! There’s also no doubt that people love playing games so why not bring those two together to create a better overall experience? Since 2017 saw the rise of gamification and immersive gaming experiences, it’s only a matter of time before we see an app that blends social media and gaming more naturally. There’s no way to know what will come from merging these two interests but it’ll definitely be something worth exploring when it does!
- Social Ad Adoption
Now that brands are more established on social media, their focus is shifting to generating revenue and investing in ads. While most brands have already begun exploring ad potential across multiple platforms, this trend is going to grow even further as more small businesses catch up and work to compete with larger competitors.
While none of these trends are going to completely change the way brands and users interact with social media, they’ll definitely make for an interesting year. If your business is going to remain competitive moving forward, you’ll want to consider adopting and exploring these trends. Learn more about what they are, what value they present and how your business can leverage them for success.
Unsure how to move forward with your 2018 business goals? Consider scheduling a customized training session with Blab and start 2018 off with the knowledge you need to make things happen!
Super excited to announce that Blab is partnering with Imaginative Group to offer a workshop for small businesses at the Walkerville Brewery on Wednesday November 29th. Want to explore social media but aren’t sure which platforms are most valuable for your business? Looking to incorporate social media into your current strategy but aren’t sure how it’ll work with other elements? Let us help you take the first step towards better understanding the value of social media as part of an overall marketing strategy. We’ll be talking about the most popular platforms and the value they offer businesses, going over case studies to emphasize learning objectives, explaining the value of SEO and understanding the important role that your website plays as part of the bigger picture.
1. Learn why investing in social media and digital marketing leads to success
2. See the cost and benefits of integrating social into their current marketing plan
3. Understand how social media can help businesses of all sizes grow and thrive
Join us to discover the value of social media marketing and learn more about how it integrates into a multi-channel strategy. Snacks, coffee and water will be provided free of charge and wine/beer will be available for purchase from the bar. Click here to purchase your ticket!
Another year, another Summit event! In 2016 Blab attended Digital Summit Detroit for the first time and had a blast. There was so much information to be absorbed, so many networking opportunities and an awesome lineup of talented guests speaking on a variety of digital/tech topics. I even got to meet Ann Handley from Marketing Profs and listen to the real life Siri chat with the crowd on stage. This year may not have had me feeling as star struck, but it was just as valuable in terms of content and experiences.
The event was two full days of learning from 7:30am to 5:30pm at Cobo Centre downtown. Sharing my referral link online got me a free book, t-shirt and even VIP lounge access so I was looking forward to experiencing the event in style. Day one started with a four hour pre-conference workshop where I learned everything there is to know about email marketing. What a valuable workshop! It was packed with internet research, industry knowledge and even actionable takeaways. The rest of the day was spent attending a 6 other sessions covering topics such finding success with Facebook Live posts, creating shareable content, marketing to millennials and how artificial intelligence can help your business. We even got to hear from Jonah Peretti, co-founder of Buzzfeed and Huffpost. What an awesome experience!
Day two started with networking over coffee and was followed by 12 other informative sessions on social ads, online reviews, storytelling, going mobile, UX design, harnessing the power of content and more. I learned about new software, gadgets and best practices that will ultimately make Blab a stronger and smarter local competitor. Another successful year and I haven’t even had time to go through all my notes yet!
Super excited to be a sponsor for WEtech Alliance’s 2nd annual Nerd Olympics. The event brings together the Windsor-Essex tech community in a fun, team-building competition to challenge the mind & body. It kicks off with the official Opening Ceremonies and Nerd Torch lighting ceremony before the first event on Tuesday September 5th.
Sixteen Tech Company teams will compete in a series of events spread out over the course of three months and just like the real Olympics, they’ll be able to win Gold, Silver & Bronze 3D printed “medals” for each event. The whole event will culminate with the Closing Ceremonies happening at the Tech Awards on Friday November 17th with a presentation of the coveted Nerd Cup.
As a social media challenge sponsor, Blab will be providing all teams with a unique social media challenge that they’ll need to complete for points. The best part? Blab will be at the closing ceremonies to present the challenge award to the team who did the best job. Stay tuned to Blab and WEtech Alliance’s social channels for updates and announcements as the event progresses and don’t forget to follow along during Blab’s challenge week from September 25 – October 1st to see the entries submitted in real time online. Let’s go nerds, you got this!
Entrepreneurship can be incredibly difficult. It can be stressful, tiring, exhausting, scary and often times, it can isolate you from friends and family who just don’t understand what you’re going through. It’s for this reason that I decided to start a small Facebook community where female entrepreneurs in the Windsor area can connect, network, educate and inspire each other on a regular basis. Members can share their entrepreneurship story, reach out for insight, promote events/promotions, ask questions, share inspiration, motivate others and just enjoy connecting with other women who understand their mindset and goals.
Business Babes Windsor is in its infancy right now, but it would be great to see more female entrepreneurs join up. Being a mentor is such a valuable experience and I’m a big advocate of helping others succeed. In my opinion, we rise by lifting others and this group makes that possible. Whether you’ve been an entrepreneur for years, you just started a business or you’re curious about what it all entails, this group offers the perfect casual backdrop for conversation and education at any level.
Supporting local is incredibly important to me so encouraging others to explore entrepreneurship by providing them with the tools, network and support they need is the best way to give back to Windsor. Small, independent businesses are what make every city unique and vibrant. Plus, at the end of the day, the world could use more dreamers and doers!
Super excited to be part of the More Windsor campaign launch today at Imaginative Group in Pillette Village. The campaign has multiple neighbourhoods collaborating in order to entice Americans to explore all that Windsor-Essex has to offer. The Downtown Windsor BIA, Wyandotte Town Centre BIA, Via Italia, Walkerville, Olde Riverside BIA, Pillette Village BIA, Belle River On The Lake BIA, Harrow BIA, Essex BIA and Tourism Windsor-Essex Pelee Island are all on board to spread the Windsor love.
More Windsor will be rolling out a multi-medium marketing campaign including magazine ads, newspaper ads and social media marketing that will have these BIAs working together to promote everything they offer to our friends across the border. From incredible restaurants to award-winning events, there is so much to see and do in Windsor so why not share that with Detroit? Organizers are excited to have BIA’s and tourism organizations collaborating and working towards a unified goal that helps the whole community.
Big news from Facebook this week but it seems like we’ve heard it all before. Surprise! Yet another Snapchat clone has entered the social realm and so far, it’s exactly what I expected. While it offers stickers, the ability to doodle and other similar Snapchat features, the prospect of opening the “dark social” door and inviting in the Facebook world is not something I’m ready to do and I think many other people agree. Not only that, but it’s no secret that each platform has its own function/value so adding these Snapchat copycat features comes across as slightly desperate. There’s nothing wrong with trying to attract a valuable digital audience but loosing sight of your brand identity and straying away from your core offerings for the sake of keeping up with competitors is a whole other story.
Have you used Facebook’s Messenger Day yet?
Do you plan on incorporating it into your daily social itinerary?
During one week each November, thousands of events and competitions in 160 countries inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors. Global Entrepreneurship Week is about celebrating the entrepreneurs who make our economy and our cities better. It’s about encouraging everyone to explore the opportunities entrepreneurship presents while connecting people with success stories and peers from around the world who share a similar mindset.
Although I may not be attending any big events or competitions this week, I’m happy to be reflecting on my decisions and my personal entrepreneurial journey. When I first dove into the world of entrepreneurship six years ago and began jotting down name ideas for what would become Blab Media, I had no idea what the future would hold. I started my business as a way to find a job within a market that didn’t offer me enough options. At the time, it was a difficult decision and I was honestly quite scared. Fast forward to 2016 and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. Ironically enough, I still have my ups and downs but that’s just how entrepreneurship works. Some days you celebrate and others you struggle but when you close your laptop at the end of the day, when you walk away from your desk and turn off the lights in your office, there’s this sense of accomplishment thats beyond compare. It’s knowing that even if you do fail, you’ve done something that most wouldn’t dare try. You’ve survived without a steady/constant income, you’ve worked ridiculous hours, you’ve sacrificed and you’ve had to pave the way for your own success. There is truly nothing comparable to the feelings that entrepreneurship evokes. It’s a fire in your soul that can’t be put out and I’d have it no other way.
Happy Global Entrepreneurship Week to my fellow entrepreneurs and to all the inspired minds of the future #GEW2016
Last week Blab was out and about around Windsor with Rose City Sport & Social Club giving out lots of free goodies and smiles to complete strangers. We’d been working together on this campaign for over a month and from May 2nd-6th we were finally ready to hit the streets! Myself and two RCSSC team members set out to a variety of locations each day to surprise an unsuspecting individual with a Play Pack full of Windsor goodies that were provided by generous local businesses. The Play Packs included coffee from March 21st Bean & Leaf Cafe downtown, tickets to the Windsor Spits home opener game, passes for Urban Surf, a fresh rose from The Bourbon Rose Florist, tickets to see a MasterWorks performance from The Capitol Theatre, a John Max gift card, a cupcake from Sweet Revenge Bake Shop, EPIC Winery Passes from Tourism Windsor-Essex, Steam Whistle swag and a voucher for a free sign-up with Rose City Sport & Social Club all stuffed into a branded bag and tied up with balloons. How amazing is that?!
We called ourselves the Day Makers and I can honestly say, we did a fantastic job of making people’s days a little brighter. Seeing people surprised, smiling and happy made all the hard work worth while. CBC even joined us to surprise a teacher who was nominated at Sandwich West Public School! Although the whole experience was amazing, the highlight for me was when the team and I were walking down the street and spotted a young girl giving her Subway lunch to a homeless man. We just had to pass on the kindness so we caught her at the street light and made sure she knew that what she did for that man did not go unnoticed. She was on top of the world!
In a city that can be so full of uncertainty and negativity, it was nice to go out and spread some happiness. After five full days of adventure, photos, smiles, excitement and genuine happiness, I can honestly say the campaign was a success but we couldn’t have done it without all the donations from our amazing business sponsors so thank you very much for your kindness. A big thank you also goes out to Rose City Sport & Social Club for spreading the love. I’m a firm believer that together we can lift up this city one surprise/smile/good deed at a time!
This morning as I scrolled through my seemingly endless Facebook News Feed, I had a chance to check out the new Reactions feature that is now available when you hover over the “Like” button anywhere on the website. Reminiscent of Buzz Feed’s Reactions, the new option lets you express how you feel about a friend’s update with a pre-selected emoji that is assigned to a specific response (Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry). While the selection is small to start, I’m sure the options will continue to grow once Facebook has a chance to test it out and see how users respond.
I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan. I find that real, genuine interaction on Facebook is already so difficult to come by and that giving people another way to opt out of actual conversation isn’t exactly a step in the right direction. There seems to be a delicate balance between simply “Liking” a status and becoming a legit internet troll these days and I don’t think these reactions are going to help. You know when you post something and in your mind it’s the funniest, smartest, happiest, most insightful thing you’ve ever said? You start imagining all the interaction, engagement and conversation it’s going to generate and in the end it falls flat with 25 “likes” and one comment from your Grandma that consists of three poorly selected emojis. That entire situation seems all too common these days, especially on Facebook where people confuse interaction/engagement with a hollow “like” on your status or photo. It seems that as time passes, these networks are becoming less about genuine action and more about social image. Or maybe I’m just too much of an emoji-snob? Who knows!
What do you think of this new feature? Do you think it will add value to your every day interactions on Facebook or will it only make communication on the platform worse?