As the first month of the year comes to a close, Valentine’s Day is creeping up on us. I heart Valentine’s Day, and not in the tacky, gushy kind of way. More like in a nostalgic, wholesome kind of way.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved giving out valentines to friends. Although the style has somewhat changed over the course of time (has it really though? lol), there’s no doubt that I’m still a child-at-heart. Cinnamon hearts are my jam and I love all the cute cards with silly puns!
While I don’t have to go around a classroom and drop my valentines into decorated paper bags anymore, I do have a blog on the internet and that’s almost the same thing haha! In the spirit of Valentine’s Day and my love for social media marketing, I’ve put together a few social media valentines you can share on Snapchat, Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories or all of the above if you’re a serious social media aficionado!
This Valentine’s Day, even if you skip the heart shaped chocolates and complicated dinner reservations, you can still send some love to friends, family and complete strangers on the internet.
We embrace spring cleaning for our homes and our lives with open arms but what about our digital lives? Aren’t our social media accounts just as in need as our closets when it comes to purging and organizing? If your digital life could really use a good cleanse, consider these simple tips that will have you feeling better in no time:
Clean up the Clutter
We’re all guilty of using social sign ins across the internet because let’s be real, creating a new account login every single time we want to use an app or service, is way too time consuming. The problem is that many of us have been using social media for a decade so every time we use Facebook to authenticate a login through another app or service, we can end up with hundreds of apps that have access to our information on a regular basis, even if you haven’t accessed them for years. While we’re not asking you to stop using social sign in, it’s important to keep an eye on which apps have access so you can purge unnecessary connections. To do this, head to your Facebook page and click the arrow in the blue bar at the top of the screen. Select settings and then choose “Apps and Websites” along the left hand side. You’ll see a list of active apps that you have given access to and you can remove items right from that screen by selecting them and choosing Remove.
Polish Your Reputation
It’s no secret that your online reputation matters and employers are searching candidates on a regular basis. How would you fare if your employer looked you up today? While we all do what we can to protect our privacy and ensure we’re sharing and engaging appropriately, it can be hard to track down all the not-so-great decisions we made prior to caring about the workforce. Use a service like Scrubber Social to clean up embarrassing posts all the way back to the creation of your account so you can stop wondering what people are unearthing from the past when they look you up on social media platforms.
Give Your Accounts A Purge
It’s not hard to accumulate hundreds (or thousands) of followers over the course of time on each social media platform and while it’s always nice to have reassurance that you’re worthy of a follow, who you follow back mindlessly is half of the problem. Go through your social media accounts, specifically the accounts that you follow, and don’t be afraid to purge accounts that just aren’t serving you any more. Whether they were accounts you followed to enter contests or businesses you connected with years ago that you just don’t like anymore, removing them will lighten the load in your newsfeed and help you better curate the information you see and interact with on a regular basis. Tread lightly though, the last thing you want is to upset an old friend and cause an argument over an “unfriend” scenario. If you’re on the fence about removing someone on Facebook specifically, try the unsubscribe button instead so you can avoid their updates and all the drama of fully removing them from your circle of friends.
Create New Habits
Moving forward, the best way to stay on top of your social media accounts is to create new habits so you’re always conscious of the decisions you make. Get into the habit of daily maintenance that can make things easier for you in the long run and help you stay on top of things with minimal effort.
We use social media in just about every stage of travel. We discover where we want to go while scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram. We’ve ditched guidebooks and translation guides in favour of apps like Lonely Planet and Google Translate. We’re avoiding travel agents and instead, are using Expedia, Kayak and other travel hacking websites to get us the best deal. Then once we’re off on our adventure, we use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & Snapchat to keep our family and friends updated with our epic moments as we go.
I recently arrived home from an epic vacation in Costa Rica and while I turned off my notifications and took a hiatus from managing accounts, I did sign into my personal profiles to keep my family and friends in the loop with all my adventures. I recorded videos, posted boomerangs and filled my Instagram feed with photos as I made my way through my ten day adventure. As I develop into a more avid traveller, I’m discovering that social media plays a large role in how I research, plan and share my travel experiences.
Technology has done more than make travel convenient, it’s also made the process a lot more eco-friendly with advance digital checkins for hotels, e-tickets for events and boarding passes that can be scanned on our phones. It’s also helped simplify our packing routines by squeezing multiple functions into singular devices like smartphones.
It’s even helped us surpass one of the biggest previous barriers known to travellers; understanding and using foreign languages. It’s eliminated the need for phrase books by giving us the insight we need in the palm of our hands through apps like Google Translate and Duolingo. Technology has also made the entire process easier and safer when it comes to electronic payments.
Aside from technology impacting travellers individual experiences, businesses and tourism boards are also getting in on the action with branded and location-based hashtags promoting certain regions or activities. Businesses are also using chat bots on social media to answer questions, deliver tailored customer service solutions and provide added value to travellers. No matter how you spin it, technology has drastically changed the travel industry and will continue to impact it as more advancements are made. No one knows for sure what the future will hold for travellers, but you can bet it’ll be pretty cool!
How has technology made your personal travel experience better?
No matter how you pronounce it, the GIF is making a huge comeback! The glitter text and silly pixelated graphics that once graced our personal MySpace pages have returned and they are way cooler than they used to be. Whether it’s a dancing cat, silly character, popular saying or a ridiculous floating food item, there’s something for everyone. As GIFs continue to grow in popularity, more platforms and apps are adding them to our lineup of cool “stickers”.
Earlier this year, Snapchat started releasing moving filters and stickers and had since launched a full GIF library users can slap on their snaps for fun. Even Instagram recently released a GIF database that users can access when they post stories.
As a big lover of emojis and the personality they add to a standard message/response, it’s exciting to see the rise of GIFs since they open up a whole new door when it comes to having fun with content and creative. Almost every Instagram story Blab has posted since the launch of the GIF feature has included at east 1 GIF and I’m not ashamed to admit that! As a funky, eclectic brand, GIFs are a great way to add some personality and movement to every day messages. If you’re noticing the new found popularity GIFs but aren’t sure how to incorporate them, consider these simple tips:
1. Stay True To Your Brand
Regardless of your brand personality, there’s a GIF that’ll work for you. Don’t shy away from them entirely just because you have a more refined or professional reputation. Take the time to look through the databases and search specific words or objects that you could incorporate without the risk of abandoning the brand you’ve worked so hard to build.
2. Know When Enough Is Enough
Unfortunately, there is such a thing as overkill when it comes to GIFs. Does your post really need fireworks, two dancing cats, a winking pizza slice and glitter text? Know when to use GIFs to enhance your message and when to opt out or pair down to keep things simple.
3. Understand Your Audience
The type of content you share depends entirely on the type of people you’re speaking to and GIFs should follow the same principle. Know your audience inside and out and use that knowledge to determine if certain platforms or messages are better suited for GIFs.
In the last few years, as social media has become even further entwined in our lives, the way we celebrate and express love on Valentine’s Day has shifted. We share Valentine’s wishes, showcase our gifts, express our feelings and put it all out there for the world to see on the social network(s) of our choosing. Expressing love and sharing kindness amongst friends and family is never a bad thing but isn’t it about time that our valentines wishes were updated from the classic “I ch-ch-choose you”? To help get the ball rolling, Blab put together some fun, social-media inspired Valentine’s messages that are sure to make you swoon. Feel free to share, text, save, gram, tweet, like, or snapchat them, just promise us that you’ll put down your phone and spend some quality time with your Valentine today!
Snapchat can be a safe haven and a platform where people can capture and share memories. Although, some might argue that it’s the most confusing and useless platform they’ve ever experienced. Needless to say, you either love it or you hate it. While there isn’t really a wrong way to use Snapchat, there are definitely ways you can ease into it like a professional if you’re interested in trying it out. Whether you’re a born millennial or an old, cranky, retired person trapped inside a 20 year old’s body, you can use these tips to get started:
Adjust Your Mindset
While many have copied the concept, none have succeeding in removing Snapchat from its pedestal. The beauty of Snapchat is also its biggest strength, all content shared on the platform disappears in 24 hours. Snapchat’s core principle is simple: Send that awkward, unfiltered selfie, snap a quick pic of the sky, record yourself lip-syncing to an embarrassing song. It’s not going to stay in your digital archive forever so why not just live in the moment? It’s all about instant gratification, for yourself and for the people you send content to.
Keep Up With Changing Lenses
With all the lenses available within the app, it’s nearly impossible to take a bad snap! Be prepared to laugh at yourself as you play with the voice changes and silly effects. The best part is that they change all the time so there’s always something new to play with. Plus, if you create a bitmoji character and link it with the app, you’ll unlock even more ever-changing lenses.
Have Fun With Filters
While lenses add a really cool augmented reality vibe to the app, filters are another great way to some fun to your snaps. They let you add text, locations, branded messages, time stamps, the current temperature and even the current speed at which you’re travelling. The best part about them is that you don’t have to choose just one! You can layer multiple filters on screen at the same time to add multiple effects.
Create A Snapcode
Are you really using Snapchat if you aren’t promoting your Snapcode? Your Snapcode is basically a personal barcode on Snapchat. You can post it anywhere online and anyone can add you on Snapchat by opening the app and pointing the camera at your code. You can keep it as the basic ghost illustration or you can add a series of 5 quick selfies to jazz it up a bit.
Design A Geofilter
If you’re looking to add something fun and unique to your next event, why not design a custom geofilter? They’re called geofilters because they’re restricted to a certain area so you can create one that customers can use when shopping at your business, dancing the night away at your wedding, or visiting a certain area. While they aren’t free, they also don’t cost a fortune and increase in price based on the area you want to cover.
What’s your best tip/trick for new Snapchat users?
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!
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!
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?
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.