At the start of every year I always end up running around in a frantic whirlwind trying to catch up (and clean up) after a month of hectic holiday plans. At some point, when everything starts to calm down, I take it upon myself to organize my work space and freshen everything up for the months to come. There’s something to be said about starting fresh in January. It seems entirely possible to focus on goals and motivation comes easily with a blank slate laid out in front of you. The possibilities are endless and things seem so much less overwhelming when you have full control of the direction you’re going to take moving forward.
Usually after the holidays I have some new knick knacks to add, books to make space for, and a new calendar to put out. It gives me an excuse to tidy up, organize paperwork and purge/donate some unused items from the previous year. God knows I have way too many notebooks and pens for the average human so this step is essential to ensuring I don’t end up buried in unnecessary supplies. It’s also a wonderful reminder to kick it old school from time to time and take notes on paper instead of digitally. Never underestimate how inspiring a cute notebook can be! This year I was gifted quite a few new items for my office and was excited to make space for them. I added a cute desk calendar, a gratitude journal from local maker Pocket Squares, a beautiful gold notebook, a really fun #girlboss desk sign and an awesome Ambassador Bridge print from local agency Dark Roast Digital.
Do you refresh your work space every January?
What are your organizational tips/tricks for your home office?
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!
Last night was a blast! Shoutout to The Windsor-Essex Small Business Centre for putting on an awesome event. Over 70 exhibitors set up shop at The Caboto Club to sell food, alcohol, beauty products, apparel, giftware and more. Blab had a cocktail table in the B2B lounge and had a chance to chat with so many awesome individuals and entrepreneurs about social media marketing. Got to catch up with some good friends and even made some valuable new connections. Blab shared the lounge area with friendly neighbour Biz X Magazine and a handful of other local service based businesses.
The event was the perfect excuse to show off Blab’s new popup banner and print material (sell booklets and social postcards) courtesy of Imaginative Group. It was really great to see how consistently the brand was communicated across all pieces. There’s still something to be said about a nice and functional print piece. Definitely a solid investment!
While fitting everything on a small cocktail table was a challenge, it ended up being the perfect amount of space to showcase my print and add some personality to my display. It’s really important to stay true to your brand, no matter which customer touchpoint you’re exploring.
After a few hours of mingling in the lounge, I managed to escape and grab some food! I picked up some dinner from Cedar Valley Selections (seriously their fattoush salad is amazing) and I couldn’t leave without a few delicious treats from Licia Ruby, Ani & Fabi and Sweet Revenge Bakeshop. By the end of the night, over 500 attendees passed through the doors to shop, eat, drink and mingle. What a great way to support local!
Super excited to be featured in an article recently published by the St Clair College Media Plex highlighting Blab’s Business Babe Spotlights on social media! A few months ago I decided to start using my audience on social media to help promote women who are running their own businesses in Windsor-Essex. I’m a big supporter of all things local and often find myself out and about exploring our wonderful city and making new connections with business owners. In my travels I’ve learned about countless incredible businesses that are run by women. Being a female entrepreneur myself, I knew all too well that it can be a struggle to build up a support network so I thought, why not have Blab step in to help these women promote their businesses while offering encouragement and positive reinforcement in an often stressful career path? I got lucky in the friends and family department. I’ve always been surrounded by support in all forms but not every woman has the same opportunities I did. Since I’m a firm believer that we rise by lifting others, that became my inspiration for the campaign which is still running today. Each week Blab features a new women-owned business in Windsor-Essex by showcasing what they do and how they make our community a better place. If you’d like to get involved, please feel free to reach out via email or social media to nominate a woman-owned business that you think deserves a feature! Better yet, go out and support these women. Whether it’s purchasing something from them, promoting them to your networks or offering support as a mentor, it’s amazing what a big difference you can make with such a little gesture of faith.
Big thanks to Ryan Jones for the kind words and the opportunity to chat about woman-owned small businesses in Windsor. You can check out the full article here: http://themediaplex.com/put-your-money-where-your-heart-is/
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!
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?
A lot of things have changed in the past two years but Blab’s business cards haven’t so it was about time for a refresh. I wanted to upgrade the design a bit and add more modern finishings for a sleeker, more sophisticated look. A big thank you to Imaginative Group for helping me bring my vision to life. I decided to hide a blab logo on the front with a white-on-white Spot UV and was very happy to see that it turned out perfectly. It feels good to have new cards and I’d be lying if I told you I haven’t been flashing them around constantly. Next time, embossing!
Where do you get your business cards designed/printed locally?
It’s that time of the year again and I’m super excited to be checking out Neilson’s 2016 Social Media Report! If you’ve never read it before, the document highlights the social landscape of the past year, looks at trends and outlines interesting facts/stats. It’s a goldmine for presentation content and also makes for an interesting read, especially when you compare it to reports from years prior. There’s something exciting about watching your industry thrive, grow and develop over time!
Just a few pages in and the stats speak for themselves. Computer usage/accessibility has dropped while smartphone and tablet usage grows. Additional stats further strengthening the notion that mobile is here to stay and smartphone usage is taking over. The bottom line and underlying message of this year’s report: if your content isn’t mobile friendly, you’re in for a rude awakening.
Every single demographic has shown significant growth when it comes to time spent using social media and that’s all contained within the first 6 pages! The document outlines internet purchases, content ratings, engagement, simultaneous usage, TV versus social and so much more. Dedicate some time this week to go through the document and pick out some key facts that pertain to your business or how you use social media. To view or download the full 2016 report, click here.
It’s no secret that winter can be pretty dreary and painfully long but it does offer up a lot of joy during the holidays. As a brand, there are plenty of opportunities to sell, engage and inspire your audiences online but with so many family gatherings, parties and the desire to hibernate, when is best? As with any other time of the year, there are certain days of the week and certain times of the day that are best when it comes to gaining the attention of your followers. It’s also important to remember that every platform is different, not only in regards to what they offer but also how users engage with brands on those platforms.
Do you have any tips for businesses that want to engage audiences online during the winter?
Do you find you engage more or less with brands on social during the colder months?