Month: January, 2017
Snapchat is one of the most popular apps among teens and young adults. Their most recent update, with the addition of a new search bar, aims to help Snapchat be more accessible to all.
Katie Marshall, a Smirk strategist, has her own opinions about the Snapchat update.
“With Facebook testing stories, in addition to Instagram Stories, Snapchat is struggling to hang on to its users. Recent studies show Instagram Stories have as many viewers as Snapchat. I expect for Instagram and Facebook numbers to rise while Snapchat’s start to fall.”
The search bar gives users the accessibility to search any of their followers’ stories, any of Snapchat’s stories or to quickly send a private message to a friend.
“The new features, like the search bar, were introduced as an effort to make Snapchat more accessible to a wider range of users, but I think there is still confusion on what certain features, like Quick Chat, mean and how to use them,” said Marshall. “I do think the new update is more visually appealing, which is a bonus.”
Avid Snapchat users seem to love the new Bitmoji editing capability within the app. Some edits might include facial features and outfits.
A Bitmoji is a cartoon you can design to look, dress and talk like you. Bitmojis can say anything from ‘hello’ to ‘nope’ to ‘are you there?’
Below is an example of a Bitmoji. They are supposed to look similar to the person they emulate, but you can be the judge of that.
These new features come at a time when Instagram Stories, the mirror image of Snapchat Stories, are now reaching 150 million views. Snapchat has been the social leader for story type video — until now. Snapchat has yet to introduce live video streaming to the app, while Instagram already has live video and Facebook is testing out live video right now.
What does this update mean for Smirk?
“For businesses and brands, Snapchat still doesn’t make much sense because there is no analytics to ensure you’re actually reaching potential customers,” said Marshall. “For many, it’s still seen as a waste of time.”
The millennial generation is the largest in U.S. history, even bigger than baby boomers. For that reason, many of our new clients believe their brand should market to millennials.
Every client’s social media presence should be as unique as the products or services they provide. The answer to solving the millennial debate is knowing who you should reach.
“Some clients come to us wanting to appeal everyone, but I advise that their target audience should be much narrower,” said Allie Carrick, Smirk’s Managing Director. “Targeting the decision makers for your products or services impacts the bottom line.”
Your decision maker shouldn’t completely define your digital presence, but speaking their language will help you resonate. When speaking to older generations, avoid slang phrases (ex: FB/LB, respek, TD) and other passing trends (Pokémon GO, anyone?). Reduce your target audience down from generalizations to who they are, their decision-making process and what information is valuable to them.
If millennials are your decision makers, the perfect way to reach them — right from the source — is authenticity.
According to Forbes.com, millennials: value authenticity more than content, would rather buy a car and lease a house and read blogs before making purchases. This generation turns to their handheld devices to meet their needs. They value the convenience of asking a question via Facebook message to a brand’s page rather than making a call.
Millennials expect flexible technology and an easy customer experience as the norm. Brands must be able to maintain an active and authentic presence online to retain the millennial.
As a business owner, you may want more millennials to shop at your personalized paper store, but does this generation of shoppers see the value in your paper? Smirk has helped so many brands answer this fundamental question and many more like it. Starting the conversation is the first step to building an effective social media presence for your brand.
470 million people have profiles on LinkedIn. LinkedIn was founded 15 years ago and has transformed as a company and platform through updates, CEO changes, Microsoft’s acquisition and transitioning from an all online website to an application.
Lennon Patton, Smirk’s director of sales, is an active LinkedIn user.
“As a digital marketer, I am excited about having a platform with a business focus that will be able to deliver better metrics. Some of the industries that Smirk creates strategies for are better served by the business focus that LinkedIn brings to the social media world,” said Patton. “Creating a better user experience should result in much better and more sophisticated ad delivery. This is a smart move by LinkedIn.”
LinkedIn introduced a new update for the desktop version of their site today. It will be more accessible with a straightforward layout. The features you know and love won’t change, but LinkedIn is adding some new user-friendly components to simplify their experience.
One of the more exciting new features is pop-up messaging boxes. Chatbots have been introduced, almost like a wingman, they will help you break the ice with whomever you are private messaging. When you receive a message, on Facebook for example, the message sender and the message will show at the bottom of your screen and you can respond straight from the messaging box.
In addition to the new private messaging and design layout, LinkedIn updated their search bar and navigation. You’re now able to search by people, jobs, companies, groups and schools. Also, the platform’s navigation was reduced to seven areas: Home (Your Feed), Messaging, Jobs, Notifications, Me (your old profile page), My Network, and Search.
Smirk had early access to the redesigned company page and we’re excited for the new, more accessible LinkedIn. The first image below is a preview of the updated LinkedIn company page, and the second image is the old company pages.
“I have a dream…”
Delivered by one of the greatest orators ever, Martin Luther King, Jr., this speech still echoes the fundamental beliefs of the civil rights movement decades after it was spoken. The March on Washington, where this famous moment occurred, was one of the largest public relations events of the 20th Century. 250,000 civil rights supporters attended and the speech was live on TV and radio.
There are many valuable lessons to draw from Dr. King’s work as a human rights activist, organizer and preacher. As communicators, here is some of the wisdom we found in his work.
The most effective messages are easily remembered and repeatable. Martin Luther King spoke about dreams for years, crafting his message with similar language. For example, he spoke about his dreams in Detroit in June 1963, hitting a lot of the same talking points as the famous “I Have a Dream” speech in DC. Communicators are most effective when they identify their main points, supporting facts and emphasize them consistently across platforms.
Speak To Your Audience
Dr. King, who earned his Ph.D. from Boston University, had the “ability” to speak academically about the plight of the African-American person in a segregated America. Instead, he referenced examples that his audiences could understand. For example, he said he dreamed of the day “little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.” Dr. King spoke to people on all sides of civil rights: for, against and neutral. As his audience changed, so did his messaging and references for clearer resonance. The objective doesn’t define your message — the audience does.
Make It Personal
Dr. King often spoke about his children and his vision for their future. Most parents, no matter their race or creed, can relate to the hopes a father has for his young children. Making your message relatable can transform your audience’s viewpoint, helping them see your message through a personal lens.
Be a Connector
Effective communication is generally a two-way street. Dr. King never appeared rattled by all the external forces working against the cause — even those threatening his life. While many of us don’t face the dangers Dr. King did — when things feel out of control — communicators need to take a deep breath, be steady and provide the voice of reason. We love social media because it’s accessible, but this accessibility can create difficult situations for brands. Everyone has an opportunity to be heard. Free and open digital platforms are equalizers. Good communicators are open and responsive to both positive or negative discourse.
Oklahoma City is host to the third largest MLK Day parade in the country. The parade ran through Automobile Alley today and our team attended to celebrate with hundreds of others honoring his legacy and impact.
A Boomerang. A toy we all wanted until we had it, sometimes it came back to us, but most of the time it didn’t.
The Boomerang of the digital age is an app accessible through Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. It is a one-second video clip that loops back to the beginning after it reaches the end.
Here’s an example of how we’ve utilized Boomerang for one of our clients, Automobile Alley.
The graphic below, from Social Media Today, demonstrates most consumed type of content on Facebook in 2016. Boomerang could be a very useful visual tool to get your audience’s attention.
Video is just one of the latest trends fundamental to digital marketing success that Smirk’s founder and president, Mike Koehler, is currently traveling and speaking to companies about.
“Any brand interested in making a connection with its audience in 2017 needs to make video content a priority because it takes the transparency that people love to the next level,” said Koehler. “You can show the process of what makes your business great – your expertise and your behind-the-scenes.”
Smirk published our first Boomerang on our Instagram account this morning. Follow along as we share more insight into our content strategies.
“You can only edit a tweet if you are a verified user, meaning you have a blue check mark next to your twitter handle,” said Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, in response to another Twitter user.
For avid tweeters, tweet editing capabilities could be a game changer. On other major platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, users are already able to edit a post after it goes live. Twitter hasn’t rolled out this feature for users yet.
Allowing original tweets to be altered would require a change log, so people can see all previous edits, as Dorsey would like to keep Twitter “a public record.”
“The change log is very necessary,” said Allie Carrick, Smirk’s Managing Director. “Editing would be beneficial for fixing small errors in your text, but not the entire tweet. Don’t rewrite history.”
Below are some examples why we believe tweets deserve to be edited. Enjoy.