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?
I’m going to come right out and admit it; my web browser tabs are always a disaster. Between client accounts, Blab stuff, research, tools, software, google drive documents and social platforms, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that I overload my web browser on a daily basis and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t affect my productivity.
Searching through tabs with multiple windows open, trying to move information from one place to another and keeping it all organized was starting to feel like a full time job. What’s worse is that I rarely shut my computer down so I’ve always got that plethora of tabs and windows staring back at me when I open Google Chrome or Safari or both at the same time. It’s a never ending battle to have everything accessible at all times while still maintaining my productivity (and sanity).
Luckily, I discovered a new tool this week that has made a drastic difference in my productivity level and the clustered disaster that is my web browser. It’s called Station and I think I’m in love! A desktop based software that allows you to choose from a huge app library so you can add all your software, platforms and tools into one easy to navigate window. At first I was skeptics about what it supported and how it would all work but after just one work day, I already felt like I was on the right track.
I’ve been able to add social platforms like twitter and Facebook Ads manager, I’ve got my slack hooked up, Trello, Gmail, my google drive, google calendars and multiple social management softwares. Now when I open my laptop in the morning, everything is organized and I’m kept away from my web browser unless I need to look up some information online so my focus is on the daily tasks that matter most and not elsewhere. The best part? It’s FREE and it works with Windows and iOS.
What’s your personal favourite productivity tool?
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!
There’s no doubt that social media is an incredible marketing tool! It gives businesses a place to tell their story and engage with their customers on a level that no other medium can compete with. Whether you’re a small home-based business or a multi-million dollar corporation, social media provides a level playing field and new opportunities that continue to grow and develop as the years pass….but all this potential can be overwhelming! As a small business owner, where do you start? If you need to make a big impact with a small budget, you should consider custom social media training sessions. Here are five reasons why you should elevate your knowledge while investing in yourself and your business this year:
1. Training can help you reach your goals faster
Some goals can be easily attained based on your current skill set and connections but others can take a lot more time to conquer due to lack of time, resources or knowledge. Social media training sessions can help you reach those seemingly unattainable and frustrating social media goals faster by empowering you with the knowledge, confidence and skills necessary to get the job done on your own time!
2. Training doesn’t require a massive budget or a long-term commitment
Unlike the cost associated with traditional marketing campaigns or long-term agency contracts, social media training can be booked and paid for on an as-needed basis. No contract is required and you can book as few or as many sessions as you want. Whether you’re looking to invest in training every month to keep your knowledge current, or you’d prefer to invest in one session to help you solve a specific problem you’re currently facing, training gives you that freedom.
3. Training is the first stepping stone into a world full of opportunities
Often times the one thing that holds most businesses back from truly exploring and leveraging social media, is their lack of confidence. Training sessions don’t just provide extensive insight and knowledge, they also empower business owners to make decisions, set goals and accomplish tasks they once felt too uncomfortable facing themselves. Training is the first step towards being able to fully leverage social media to accomplish your goals, whatever they may be.
4. Training allows you to prioritize your time
It’s no secret that social media can be incredibly time consuming. One thing leads to another and before you know it, your 30 minutes of time of the platform has turned into 3 hours and you feel like you’ve accomplished nothing in the process. The great thing about training is that knowledge truly is power, especially when it comes to efficiency. Sometimes it can be a time consuming task just to find a simple button or feature so the better you understand the platforms you’re working with, and the more comfortable you feel navigating them, the more likely you are to accomplish your tasks on these platforms quickly. Time is money am I right?
5. Training keeps you in control
Many businesses are worried about investing in social media because they don’t like the thought of someone else being in control. Social media training does the exact opposite; it keeps you in the driver’s seat the entire time. You’re in control of the topic, you get to ask all the questions and you guide the session entirely from start to finish.
Are you ready to invest in the power of knowledge this year? Contact Blab to learn more about customized training sessions and how they can help you achieve your business goals!
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!
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!
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!