Facebook Sound Collection | New Facebook Feature

Listen Up!

Facebook’s got a new featiure and not everyone has it yet – so I’m going to show it to you. Have you heard of Facebook Sound Collection? Neither had I, but I was doing to scheduling this morning and I stumbled across it in my page menu and decided to take a look.

It’s a library of sounds – both track and souns effects and you can download them to add to your content. Awesome!

I wondered if I was the first to discover it – so a quick Google search said that I was about a day behind – but none of the articles I read on Facebook Sound Collections had any screenshots of what it actually looked like.

Welcome to Facebook Sound Collection

Facebook Sound Collection

 

Thanks Facebook! So polite, happy to be here 🙂

How do you get there?

Facebook Sound Collection

In my page it’s under Publishing Tools, but there could be other ways to navigate straight there.

Then What?

You’ll notice it in the menu:

Facebook Sound Collection

 

So what’s it got?

Facebook Sound Collection

Sound Collection is literally a collection of sounds. It’s got 1,00 Tracks (I expect they’ll keep adding to it) in 24 Generes and 21 Moods. Then there’s also Sound Effects broken up into 17 Categories and lengths of between 2sec to 30sec+.

For some reason there’s more different zipper noises than you’d think were required…

Anyway as you can see above you can play the track or download it to your device.

But how is this useful?

Well if you’ve ever uploaded video and had it rejected by Facebook for the audio breaching copyright then Facebook Sound Collection is a good way to get around that as the tracks have been pre-approved.

Although many of us use Facebook with the sound off, anyone who’s ever consumed content knows that the right sound track can make all the difference. I’m seeing this new feature as another commitment by Facebook to removing the barriers of users to create high quality original video content.

Or is this just a play for Spotify’s business?

I guess we’ll see…

have you got Facebook Sound Collection yet? What do you think? Will you use it?

 


Want to read more?

Read Facebook’s announcement.
Endgadget’s post
Techcrunch’s post

People Doing Cool Stuff – Ritu From Logojoy

I’m lucky enough to meet a lot of people from all over the world who are doing cool stuff!

I’m going to share some of their stories with you – and here we’re going to chat with Ritu from Logojoy!

 

So What is Logojoy?

Logojoy is a tech startup from Toronto that uses AI to provide personalized design services.

 

Why do we need it?

Logojoy is trying to revolutionize the way small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs approach their graphic design visions and challenges by guiding them through the development of their logos.

 

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and your journey, how did you get to this point?

One of my first jobs was at a health startup in Brooklyn, which was more advertising focused. After six years of various roles in digital advertising, I felt like I hit a ceiling and wanted to start helping people through communications.

This lead me to taking marketing and communications roles at startups because in this environment, I could have a lot more impact than at bigger corporate organizations.

RituYou can tell a LOT about someone by their taste in music. What type of music or song have you got on high rotation?

I’m currently obsessed with Camilla Cabello. I love her soulful voice and catchy rhythms.

I also love listening to mantras when I work because of their meditative quality. My favorite mantra song is Narayana by Chakrini; I’ll never get tired of it.

 

How do you stay motivated?

This is a difficult one because I’m a highly emotive person and am also affected by the different seasons. The one thing that always gets my motivation back up when it I’m running low is exercise and reading.

Feeding my body with high energy and activity and feeding my mind with stories gets my motivation levels up.

 

What/who inspires you?

I’m inspired by people who live outside of their comfort zone.

Whether it is a founder who is constantly doing this for the survival of her business or a runner who always pushes himself to run that extra 500 meters. I’m inspired by these people because the biggest growth happens when you are willing to be uncomfortable and try something new or go further than you ever thought you could – the impossible starts to become possible.

 

This is a big one. How do you deal with impostor syndrome?

Imposter syndrome affects most people whether they realize it or not, or rather whether they realize it earlier or later.

For example, for me, it hit be when my performance in my work was low and I had to ask myself why that was. Faking it until you make it is an easy way to make yourself vulnerable to imposter syndrome.

For me, the best way to deal with it is to humble myself, admit that I was wrong and ask for help. No one will judge you for reaching out to them. You will be surprised by how much your self-worth increases when you are willing to humble yourself and ask for help.

 

What’s your favorite place/way to relax?

It is so important to give yourself a day once in awhile to do anything you want, even if that’s doing nothing.

I tend to push myself beyond normal work-life balance during the week, so one day per week, I shut down, cozy in at home and spend the day in my sweatpants. The Mondays after such a weekend are usually the most productive ones!

 

If you hadn’t made Logojoy – what do you think you’d be doing right now?

As the Director of Customer Marketing at Logojoy, storytelling is what I like best about my role at Logojoy, and gathering data and information from our customers.

There are amazing stories in the data, and I love sharing those stories. If I wasn’t doing this job, you’d find me traveling in Europe with a camera attached to my hand taking portraits of the locals.

 

How have you incorporated Social Media into the promotion of the site, and do you think it’s been successful?

At Logojoy, Social Media is a huge priority.

We use it to build community and also to provide customer support. We get dozens of urgent customer support requests on social and we’re committed to helping our customers no matter what channel they choose to ask for help.

 

Did you hit any huge problems that made you re-think the whole project? How did you get around it? What was your approach to solving the issue?

Our biggest priority at Logojoy is growth and a part of that means constantly experimenting and trying different strategies out. Some are successful and some are not.

The biggest challenge is monitoring the results accurately and having the courage to end an experiment when it fails, and then, start the next experiment. Being comfortable to constant change is important here.

 

What was the hardest piece of the site to put together technically?

Our founders, Dawson Whitfield and Rares Crisan designed the website using an approach called “microservices architecture,” or simply, microservices.

This is an increasingly popular method for developing software; rather than building a huge, complicated site that does everything at once, it puts together small, independently deployable, modular tasks that can communicate with each other and be combined toward a bigger goal.

 

I’ve noticed (and received) very attentive and personalised support from you in using your services, is this something that’s important for you to be directly involved in?

Customer service and more importantly the success of our customers is very important to us.

We pride ourselves on our mission of helping entrepreneurs start new businesses and making a logo is a crucial part of that.

Personally, I answer every single message that comes to me directly or via our support team. So much can be learnt from listening to your customers, so they should be prioritized in you any business.

 

How do you manage it all with your busy schedule?

I’m a huge fan of meditation and it is as essential to my daily routine as brushing my teeth. It’s the only thing that keeps me sane. I also teach meditation in my spare time. I highly recommend Atma Kriya Yoga style of meditation. If you are looking to integrate meditation into your daily life and if you’re not afraid of positive change and personal growth, then you should definitely try this out.

 

What’s next for Logojoy?

We are constantly trying to improve our product at Logojoy and we are working hard to make our artificial design engine smarter and smarter. We have some incredible technological innovations on the way.

Stay tuned to hear more!

logojoy

What’s next for Ritu?

Even though I admire those who live their lives outside of the comfort zone, I don’t think I practice this enough. I’m in the process of setting some time bound and actionable goals that will help me to do this more at work and also in my personal life.

 

Anything to add?

I’d love to connect with you. Let’s hang out on social media:

Logojoy: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Ritu: Instagram | Twitter | Linkedin

 

So there you have it guys, my first People Doing Cool Stuff post! What do you think? Feel free to leave me (or Ritu) a comment.

I’ve got some more awesome folks in the pipeline – and if you are Doing Cool Stuff I’d LOVE to hear from you too!

TL;DR | 2017 Sensis Social Media Report

It’s that time again!

Sensis has brought us their much anticipated annual Social Media report! If you’re into Social Media, or data about the way businesses are using it, this report is an exciting announcement!

Last year I brought you a TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read) summary of the report, and it was one of my most-read posts! This year I’m doing the same – I’ll highlight my main takeaways of the report from my opinion as a Social Media practitioner in regard to the way Western Australian’s and WA businesses are using Social Media.

Why the Sensis Social Media Report?

But firstly – why is the 2017 Sensis Social Media Report so highly anticipated?  The main reason the Australian Social Media community gets excited about this particular report is because even though there’s a LOT of data out there, it can be tough to find anything that reflects an Australian audience. We’re a big country with a small population and we just aren’t like anyone else.

Another reason is it’s incredibly important to stay up to date in this fast-moving realm. Trends shift in the blink of an eye, and as a Social Media professional (or a small business owner looking after your own businesses Socials) you need to stay abreast of changes and react to get the best from your efforts.

Is it a fad?

With 84% of Australians accessing the internet daily, Social Media is here to stay. 85% of West Aussies have a smartphone, and 67% of people with a smartphone in Australia use it to access the internet more than 5 times a day.

If you’re not concentrating your marketing and indeed, your sales process and customer service online (and in fact mobile-first) you’re getting left behind. Like, already. Not you will get left behind. You are behind.

Facebook – Still not dead.

94% of Western Australians surveyed use Facebook. Way out in front of second place YouTube at 63%. That’s massive – and it’s only dropped 1% since last year, despite people saying they’re not using it anymore.

I hear often that Facebook is dying, Facebook is irrelevant, “my customers aren’t on Facebook” and so on. Well, it’s still our biggest Social Media platform.

sensis social media report

Message Me

It’s the same when we move to private messaging services, with Facebook Messenger coming out way in front in WA, coming out with 89%, in front of it’s next rival, Viber on 41%.

WA People are a funny lot:

  • We’re more likely than any other state to use Social Media at the gym.
  • We’re the equal highest (with Queensland) to publish a live video.
  • We’re more likely to leave an online rating, more likely than any other state to read blogs or online reviews, and we’re more likely to post an online review or blog.
  • And we don’t put up with any shit from our friends! In WA 50% of us have delete friends.

 

2017 Sensis Social Media Report

Down to Business…

Why do we need to know all this stuff about how people use the platforms? Because it’ll help us as brands get our messages seen and acted on most effectively.

“The survey discovered that the main driver behind social media uptake from businesses is to aid marketing and sales. Providing a line of contact is the next biggest influence.”

You can help your marketing & sales if you aren’t on the right platforms, at the right time, using the right methods to reach the right people. A LOT has to go right, so the more you know the better chance you have of cutting through the noise.

What did we learn?

Not all businesses are on board with Social Media 😮

2017 Sensis Social Media Report

Many of them are not taking advantage of the targeting and availability of paid Social Media

2017 Sensis Social Media Report

In FACT – Social media presence in the business sector in Australia has not grown this year. Just under half the small and medium businesses have a presence. But before we get too excited about this Sensis provide a possible explanation.

in 2016, 17% of the large business sample consisted of businesses with over 1,000 employees, whereas this year only 2% of the businesses have over 1,000 staff and we have seen consistently that businesses with over 1,000 staff almost universally have a social media presence.

Although the report does indicate that 40% of Large Businesses had removed their Social Media profiles. Wow!

In Western Australia SMBs Social Media use has increased against the trend.

2017 sensis social media report

Pay to Play

Social Media advertising is still growing among small and medium businesses and remaining steady in large business if you take into account the data suggests 40% of them deleted their profiles.

2017 Sensis Social Media Report

 

And it seems much of this budget is used to drive website visits.

The majority of SMBs with a social media presence now have a strategy in place to drive people to their sites – 82% for small, 95% for medium and 97% for large sized businesses.

2017 Sensis Social Media ReportBut aren’t very successful at measuring it. In fact we’re getting worse…

2017 Sensis Social Media Report

2017 Sensis Social Media Report

 

But we’re getting better at being strategic!

2017 Sensis Social Media Report

 

Which is great news! We focus our messaging, have an easier time measuring, and become more efficient when we have articulated goals for our Socials.

Did you want to check out the full 81 page report? You can see it here.

So what do you think? Do these results follow your experience in your business?

I’d love to hear about it, so feel free to leave me a comment!

My Digital Marketing ABCs

Digital Marketing Tips

I’ve been posting some alphabetised Digital Marketing tips on my Social Media channels, and I thought I should share them here too! If you’re learning how to better harness the power of Digital Marketing for your business you might find some info here that’ll help you.

 

As promised I'm going to be posting a daily alphabetised Digital Marketing tip. Stay tuned and let me know any feedback in the comments 🙂

Gepostet von Carma The Social Chameleon am Montag, 29. Mai 2017

My Digital Marketing ABCs

I wanted the main takeaway from this series of posts to be that your marketing benefits from being connected. Social Media is extremely effective, but it can’t do all the heavy lifting alone.

Use Social Media to grow your email database, use SEO to get your website found, and Remarketing to increase conversions. Leverage reviews, implement quizzes, and make sure to entertain and educate your audience so they connect with you. Customer loyalty is very important, especially in competitive niches, and you want to give people a reason to stick with you.

If you keep your customer avatar in mind with everything you do you’re bound to see results! Make your focus how you can help your audience. What do they need, how can you make their life better?

There’s really no stopping you if you get all your Digital Marketing singing the same tune! And remember if you need any help you can take a look at my services on this page.

I hope you enjoy the series – and as usual I’d love your feedback!

Hiding, Pushing & Growing

Hiding, Pushing & Growing

My blog is normally about Social Media or Digital Marketing – but I wanted to share something a bit different today. I want to talk about evolution. Not the “we walked out of a swamp” sciency stuff. The personal kind.

I hope you indulge me a personal piece that I was prompted to write after hearing business owners complain about their business progress.

Most businesses don’t start and then get overwhelmed with orders. That’s just not the way the real world works.

Hiding

You might not know this about me but I’m a hider. I sometimes wish I actually was a chameleon…because when I get scared I like to hide and pretend that everything’s fine, and working for yourself you have to get used to a certain level of scared.

Scary Stuff

This type of fear can be hard to get used to, but in reality I don‘t see freelancing, consulting, or working in your own business to be essentially any more ‘risky’ than having a full time job.

People who’ve recently been made redundant can probably feel me. Tradesmen who have their own businesses would get it, and anyone from the mining sector would definitely understand. Being employed is not a static state like it may have once been.

So if it’s no more risky then what’s the scary part?

Relying on yourself alone to collect a steady income.

It’s not because the work isn’t there – it’s that it’s YOU, and often only you as an entrepreneur, micro-business or whatever you call yourself that has to drive everything. From the strategy, to the implementation, to the admin…it’s all you.

Eeek!

I’ll be the first to admit this lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but with the future of work facing new challenges from technology and automation every day one can’t hide from the fact that this model will be more and more common.

So why am I sharing these thoughts with you here?

Because I get it. It’s a challenge. And if you’re running a small business or your out on your own it’s a constant juggle – it’s not without its perks. But I also wanted to highlight that if you’ve started this journey that you might have to hang on to see results.

You need to push yourself (because no-one else’s going to!)

My Story

If I reflect on my own journey over the past (almost) two years I’ve been through many phases. I had plenty of my own clients and some agency contracts. My client load fluctuated (for many reasons) and at the moment it’s the contracts that have kept me going.

Many can relate to this. It’s frustrating, it’s often daunting. It’s definitely the cause of some financial insecurity, but it’s certainly shaping and teaching me along the way.

I’ve recently done some things that scared me – and I want to encourage you to hang in there and do the same; to just keep on pushing, the next phase of your businesses is just around the corner.

Pushing

I took a gig delivering Social Media workshops. I have done loads of this type of training before, but not in a formal setting with attendees I didn’t know. I was nervous as to how I would be received. After the first session and some tweaking of the content to better fit the audience I had great success with these projects. I got more confident in what I knew and my ability to communicate my knowledge to a varied and inexperienced room increased dramatically.

I learned to better explain how what I do grows a business, to people who don’t usually talk my lingo. I learned a LOT about the challenges business owners face when trying to do their own marketing.

One of the reason my first session was not as successful as it could have been was that I pitched my ‘beginner’ course too advanced. I had forgotten just where the beginning was. I was worried that my audience would see me as a fraud, so I concentrated too heavily on “adding value” rather than keeping it simple enough for non-industry, non-tech savvy people to get the most out of it. It was my insecurity that they wouldn’t learn enough from me that saw me endeavour to teach them too much.

The reality was – they weren’t ready for so much so fast.

Once I refined the course the next time I delivered it, it was a smash hit (if I do say so myself!).

Qualified?

Another project I tackled recently was to talk to some uni students about Social Media as a career and how I got started. My presentation involved an overview of useful industry skills that they need to expand on before they’re ready to join the workforce. I took an experiential learning approach and gave them a practical activity to start – followed by plenty of Q&A.

I was really nervous about this too, I mean these guys were studying marketing. I didn’t study marketing. I barely got through 8 months of an Arts degree! Would I have anything useful to share with them? Or would they find out I was a fraud! But I went along, and I had a blast! I even did it again with another student group a couple of weeks later.

Same theme. Same result. Same self-doubt. How crazy! I DO know what I’m doing. I live off my skills, it earns me a great living. It’s funny how our internal dialogue always want to self-sabotage. But I pushed on.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Get

I sent an email to a connection who was looking for a full time employee, essentially doing what I do and asked them if they’d consider taking me on until they found the right person to join their team full time.

I met with them and I got some contract work, causing them to re-evaluate their need for a full time position in that role. Excellent for me and a smarter outcome for the business, they recognised the role they needed to recruit for was a different one.

Never be scared to ask; we are all in sales. Don’t ask, don’t get.

Video – oh no!

I was contacted by Al Jazeera (not a terrorist organisation) to contribute a 1 minute video about a current issue around Social Media Marketing that had hit the mainstream media.

WHAT? A video? Ew.

I want to be confident enough to do more video content and live video, “but I’m not ready!” I told myself. (There’s that self-doubt again!).

I said yes. I had to webcam myself talking for one minute. Doesn’t sounds like a long time; 60 seconds is hardly an epic. Most people would have shot it, sent it, and moved on pretty quickly.

Not me. I took 40 takes (give or take, lol), then I sent it. And my doubt convinced me that they probably wouldn’t use it – because what after all did I have to offer?

They used it!

Growing

Now I have to stop worrying about whether I have something to offer or not. It’s time to get on with it. There’ll always be something to worry about, but I think I’m done with this self-doubt. At least for now.

And the result?

There’s been bigger meetings, with more lined up, meetings old me would have been scared to take.

I’ve expanded services without having to haggle over small fees I may have charged in the past.

But the most exciting lesson I want to share with you is that if I can do it in my business – you can in yours too! We all go through professional ups and downs, that’s life – but if you have skill, passion, integrity, experience, and be authentic to you, you’ve got the recipe to succeed.

You just have to push through the scary barrier and keep going. What’s just round the corner is up to you!
While there’ll always be an ebb and flow – you can swim, so the tide needn’t be scary.

Gifs That Keep Giffing | Show Personality with GIFs

Gifs are more than just cute cats…

Gifs are a whole new way (I say new but they have been around since the late 80’s) for brands to express themselves. They’re easy to consume, and a great way to convey tone, humour and personality!

After you’ve finished arguing over whether I’m saying gif with a hard G or a soft one (hard btw) we’ll get into how they can make your content stand out in the newsfeed.

If you don’t want to write a paragraph to describe what you mean, a gif is the perfect tool. But it all comes down to context. When brands use gifs literally, that’s when they tend to fail. For example, let’s say your brand talks about sleeping through your alarm.

You could post a gif like this:

But that doesn’t say anything about you, your brand or anything that your copy doesn’t.

In fact, something like this isn’t as literal, shows a whole lot more personality and emotion – and in this context makes perfect sense.

Once you’ve understood the type of content to post, it’s only a matter of posting!

Posting Gifs on Facebook

So you have your gif ready to go on your desktop, you’ve been trying to upload it like a photo or video, because hey, a gif is just a short looping video, and… no dice 🙁

That’s because Facebook doesn’t allow you to upload gifs directly so you might find your gifs posting as a still photo with this method. Think of it more like posting a link instead.

All you need to do is copy the link of the gif and paste it in, just like you were posting an article.

In the same way, you would for an article, simply delete the link once it’s loaded and write in your caption.

It’s that easy!

If you’ve created your own gif, you need to find somewhere to host it online to create a link for it. I use Giphy, it has a great library to choose from and uploading your own is super easy.

Now adding gifs to comments on Facebook will be even easier. In the same way that you can add a gif to your messenger conversation, comments will have a gif button with all the gifs you could desire right at your fingertips! If you don’t have this feature yet it’s coming!

Posting Gifs on Instagram

This is where you’ll see why Giphy works so well. There is an app for iOS and Android so you can search and post gifs straight to Instagram.

Once you’ve found a gif you love, tap it and expand your sharing options. Hit the Instagram icon to download it to your app, You will then be prompted to open Instagram and finish your post as per normal.

Alternatively, if you want to make gifs on the fly, you can use Boomerang within Instagram. Boomerang takes 10 quick snaps and stitches them together into a 1 second video loop that you can post then and there!

Posting Gifs on Twitter

What do you do when you only have 140 characters but a lot more to say? Add a gif!

Twitter is the most advanced gif posting platform around all things to the addition of one little thing… a gif button!

Powered by Riffsy and Giphy, you are provided with a library of gifs to search through to spice up your tweets.

Whether you’re on your phone or desktop, it’s exactly the same process. Compose your tweet and hit the gif button right next to the image button and search for the perfect gif!

twitter gif

Gif it your all!

Used thoughtfully, gifs can provide brands with a new way to show personality and relate to their audience so don’t hesitate to incorporate them into your social strategy! It’s about being social after all.

Do you have a favourite gif? Let us know how you use them.

[Algo]Rhythm & Blues | A Guide to the Facebook Algorithm

[Algo]Rhythm & Blues – A Guide to the Facebook Algorithm

The Almighty Facebook Algorithm dictates what you see and what you don’t in your Facebook newsfeed. As a user this is a blessing. The content served to you is most likely what provides you with value and entertainment, keeping you on the platform for longer.

It’s another story if you’re managing a Facebook page.

“I don’t get it, this post only reached 100 people but 1000 like my page?”

Sound familiar?

Facebook has recently said that on average every time a user logs into Facebook, they could potentially be exposed to over 1,500 pieces of content from friends and pages.

That’s a lot of content!

Think about how many pages you liked back in the day that are in no way relevant to you now, or people from high school that you’re friends with, do you really want to see all of their baby photos? This is where the Facebook algorithm jumps in. It will only serve you around 300 content pieces of the 1,500 based on factors that Facebook determines are most important to you.

Facebook’s algorithm is constantly tweaked and updated but you won’t be left in the dark. Big changes are announced on the Newsroom blog and small tweaks are said to be made 2 to 3 times a week. Some changes are made based on Qualitative Feedback.

Facebook extensively surveys thousands of people to gain information on your everyday experience on the platform. You may have even seen this survey pop up in your newsfeed. It consists of rating different types of content from 1-5 based on how much you want to see them in your newsfeed. So next time Facebook asks if you want to give feedback, don’t ignore it – you can help shape a newsfeed you want to see!

So what can brands do?

If you’re scratching your head thinking how you’re going to ever get seen the ever-crowded newsfeed, you don’t have to leave it to chance, there are things you can do when to maximise your organic reach.

Engagement – Likes, comments, shares, reactions!

In 2014, TechCrunch interviewed Facebook News Feed Director of Product Management, Will Cathcart, who outlined a list of the most important factors determining newsfeed order:

-How popular (Liked, commented on, shared, etc.) are the post creator’s past posts

-How popular is this post with the people who have already seen it

-How popular have the post creator’s past posts been with this viewer

-Does the type of post (status update, photo, video, link) match what’s been popular with the viewer in the past

-How recently was the post published

Everything in this list has to do with quality content. In essence, the more engaging your content is for your desired audience, the more organic reach you will see.  There are a few ways that Facebook measures your content in terms of engagement and value.

Content that produces likes, comments, shares, @ tagging friends will help improve reach. This also includes conversation between the page and user within the comments, which is why community management is such an important aspect of your social media strategy.

The introduction of reactions is another aspect in newsfeed ranking as Facebook now has a new way of categorising the content that you digest. Insights show you what type of reaction your content is inspiring and a user’s newsfeed will reflect the weighting of their reactions in their newsfeed. Reactions other than likes will carry more weight than simple likes alone.

via GIPHY

It’s not just about what you’re posting – but how you’re posting. The post type you use is just as important as the content itself.

For example, video posts featuring a video that has been directly uploaded to Facebook (not a YouTube link) with a great deal of views, a long average viewing duration, or if lots of users have unmuted, will be rewarded with higher organic reach.

With 360° video and Facebook Live, the video options are endless.

You’ll NEVER Believe What Facebook Post Will Get You No Engagement….number 7 will shock you.

While we’re talking about post types, clickbait is just about the worst thing you can do to your page. You may think a headline like the one above is eye catching, but Facebook knows it’s not genuine, and above all else will rank authentic stories higher in newsfeeds. Don’t do your brand a disservice, if you’re relying on these types of stories to get clicks you will see a big drop in your reach.

Facebook first and foremost is a platform for social networking; people want to see posts from friends and family over a promotional post from a business. Pages that focus content on promotional posts, be it for a sale, a product with no context or even if you’re reusing content from an ad, will be punished by the Facebook algorithm.

Think of your own newsfeed and how many times you have scrolled past a big SALE image because at the time you just don’t care about it? Conversation is key, so skip the sale and give your audience what they want – VALUE; to be entertained or educated.

Test and Refine

Facebook’s algorithm is constantly in flux, so what was working for you 3 months ago might not pull the same results for you today. This means you’ll need to test and refine what works with your page’s audience, and need to be on top of the changes that Facebook releases.

If you want more detail to leverage the best results for your page you can always get in touch with me here, or if you’ve had your own experience battling the Facebook algorithm, drop us a comment below!

2017 Digital Marketing Predictions | Part Two | The Interviews

Digital Marketing Predictions…

They’re everywhere! I published mine, and then I thought – one person’s predictions are not enough! We need more data! Let’s ask some people I know who work in Digital Marketing and see if they’d like to share their 2017 Digital Marketing predictions with me (so that I could share them with you)

So I did. And they did! I sent some questions as prompts and this post is a collection of the responses I received.

I hope you gain some insight into the direction/s Digital Marketing is heading!

Digital Marketing Clayton Smith

Clayton Smith – Social Media Manager

Founder of Smith Social, Clayton offers an end to end Digital solution to small businesses in Perth.

Fun fact – him and Carma are birthday twins!

Me: What were the main platforms you concentrated on in 2016 as a Digital Marketer?

Clayton: Facebook, Instagram & Email Marketing

Me: Will this change in 2017?

Clayton:

No. In the world of small business, using social media as a marketing tool is still a developing idea, especially in Perth, WA. When you have a very limited marketing budget, very little time and little knowledge of digital platforms, investing in social and digital can seem daunting. So, the two main platforms of Facebook & Instagram get all the focus, where small business owners know the vast majority of their customers will definitely be.

Me: What are some emerging trends you noticed in Digital Marketing in 2016?

Clayton: Live Video arrived and it’s kind of a big deal. Email Marketing keeps on keeping on. 

Me: Do you think these will continue?

Clayton: Absolutely!

Live video, as well as semi permanent video (snapchat style where content disappears after a set amount of time) has arrived and it is kind of a big deal.

The ability to live broadcast from anywhere in the palm of your hand is as amazing as it sounds. So amazing in fact, everyone is still trying to figure out what’s happening, and like any goldrush, the miners who made it to the goldfields first had a much better chance of finding gold. Every social platform is flying headfirst into video and the businesses and brands who took advantage are reaping huge benefits. I just listened to an international digital marketing podcast with a massive listenership where they interviewed a Sydney chocolatier who has built a following. Some guy from Sydney with one little chocolate shop! WHAT? That’s amazing. Once again, those who get their pickaxes in the video dirt first have the best chance to strike follower gold. Get live people!

Email Marketing – If live video is the wild west of digital marketing, email marketing is the well trodden, boring city road. It isn’t anywhere near as exciting, BUT, email subscription is still the most direct digital marketing channel we have, and although people’s inboxes are crowded, if you have done the work and developed a good relationship with your subscriber by providing them quality content that they want to see, you will still convert and convert well.

Me: Do you use video content in your Digital Marketing?

Clayton: Minimal

Me: Will this increase in 2017?

Clayton:

Yes. Getting a small business to start doing video is turning out to be tricky, just starting a regular consistent blog is a tough challenge for most. Let alone video content, and don’t even think about live video.

Unless of course the business owner themselves is already doing it, that’s a different story. It’s power cannot be ignored though, and I will be pushing clients to get started with video content.

Me: Did you use bots in your Digital Marketing in 2016?

Clayton: No.

Me: Will you be using them in 2017?

Clayton:  

Not likely. Small businesses do not have the enquiry traffic that would warrant investing in bots, especially when a selling point of most small businesses is the one on one, bespoke personal service they can provide.

Me: Do you have any predictions on the overall state of Digital Marketing for 2017?

Clayton:

Live Video, 360 live video especially, will continue to lead the way on social platforms, with the platforms themselves looking to better monetise video content.

The Snapchat Vs Facebook/Instagram Battle will be the best and biggest show in town, and it will be fascinating to see who makes what move next. Mr Zuckerberg has shown he is not scared to rip off Snapchat ideas and incorporate into his own platforms, making it an interesting challenge for Snapchat to continue it’s incredible growth rates. I think Snapchat will need to evolve to differentiate itself from the Big Blue Book, both to draw new users in and keep their young follower base interested at the same time.

I will put my money where my mouth is and have a guess at a much better “Discover” experience and some sort of ability to post a link in a video as well.

Me: Are there any trends you feel have been exhausted and will drop off in 2017?

Clayton: Hopefully dabbing?

Digital Marketer Lloyd Birch

Lloyd Birch – Digital Development Specialist

I was given my first computer at a very young age, the first thing I did was take it to pieces. I’ve always been enthused by computers and technology. At school I loved business and marketing, most intrigued by consumer behaviours. My goals have always been a mixture of these elements, creating digital marketing with the consumer in mind.

Growing up in the era of mobile internet and the boom of internet on the go, devices are a huge part of my life. Utilising this, I always aim to create content that looks beautiful and is easy to consume no matter what device is being used, as I’d expect this myself.

With my experiences in website development, promotional email creation, search engine marketing, social media marketing and everything else digital that you can imagine, I aim to produce usable design that is consistent across all platforms.

Me: What were the main platforms you concentrated on in 2016 as a Digital Marketer?

Lloyd: Web, Email, LinkedIn, a little facebook and twitter.

Me: Why LinkedIn?

Lloyd:

I Moved into a B2B market. LinkedIn seems to be making strides to better market itself as a selling tool, it’s still full of recruiters that hound people like a plague which is it’s major downfall as a professional social media space but there are much better tools to gain information and target advertising which is an improvement.

Me: Do you use video content in your Digital Marketing?

Lloyd:

Not currently. I don’t personally like video advertising but can see it’s merit in certain marketing platforms.

Video advertising is shifting from being a marketing led sales pitch to being a more adhoc story based approach. People don’t seek out advertising and feel invaded when marketing is thrust upon them, so a more story based approach works well. The best use of video advertising I’ve seen recently was a cleaning product called Vanish (UK) that asked people to record their own tips and tricks for using their product. This community and story based approach advertises the key USPs of their product without being a corporate sales message and created a community of interest. Also, bonus, it was probably really cheap to do!

Me: Did you include Facebook LIVE (or live on other platforms) in your Digital Marketing in 2016?

Lloyd: No

Me: Will you be adding it to your content types in 2017?

Lloyd:

Facebook isn’t on my radar in the B2B industry, but I also think Facebook Live as an advertising tool is a lot of investment for potentially very little gain if the video isn’t backed up by a larger viral campaign. I personally believe the novelty of Facebook Live will fade away.

Me: Did you use bots in your Digital Marketing in 2016?

Lloyd: 

Due to the nature of B2B marketing, there is much more emphasis of knowledge rather than data, therefore bots don’t have a huge part to play as it requires a human touch to understand and act upon the information gathered. B2B is very granular but very small marketing pools can produce large yields, so it makes sense to have a much more human approach to marketing.

That being said, I am in the process of producing automated email sign up campaigns to automate the release of information initially as repetitive human content distribution isn’t time effective.

Me: Do you have any predictions on the overall state of Digital Marketing for 2017?

Lloyd:

I think 2017 is going to be the year marketing gets quicker, shorter, and more regular. With the increasing use of multiple channel advertising and more targeted campaigns people are becoming more consumed, therefore less responsive, and it seems to be a trend that right place right time marketing is more persuasive than loyalty or brand retention due to the huge amount of competition and consumers are becoming more likely to try new products or services they’d never considered before, a lot of this is driven by big data from grassroots such as reviews ratings etc as people see other people as more trustworthy than brand marketing, which has always been the case but it’s becoming more readily accessible every day.
There’s also lot of distrust going around lately! Especially social media, it seems to be more and more of an avenue to air grievances. People like to hurt a brands appearance publicly when they feel the services aren’t up to scratch. Maybe because having a one to one discussion with the company in private doesn’t satisfy consumer grievance.

All this is good for small business, the barriers to entry are becoming more and more relaxed every day. Big businesses are seeing their brand recognition doesn’t mean as much as it used to, in some cases the bigger the brand is the more the diseconomies of scale are hurting their public perception as a faceless entity focused on profit rather than satisfying consumer need.

Me: Are there any trends you feel have been exhausted and will drop off in 2017?

Lloyd: 

I think one trend that will drop off in 2017 is brands attempts to hijack new and upcoming social media tools, as the rate at which these tools crop up and brands are trying to encompass all forms of media, usually with little success as they are not prepared to adapt their marketing strategies to cope with the different approach each platform makes. An example of this would be snapchat and boomerang for Instagram.

As companies jump on the bandwagon and try to ride the wave of the latest craze, few companies stop to think whether the platform is appropriate for their target audience or communication style and this leads to wasted investment. Many companies are now not as willing to jump on the hype train as they weigh up the return on investment of new and upcoming media channels.

Many businesses are now creating marketing plans that focus on a select few modes of communication based on whether they reflect the communication style of the business and target audience so that they can effectively manage their resources rather than try and be across all platforms.

Alana Christidis – Digital Marketing Specialist

Alana is a Social Media enthusiast from way back. She enjoys creating Facebook advertising strategies just as much as lurking through memes.
As an avid consumer of content, she loves finding new, exciting ways to share a brand’s story.

Me: What were the main platforms you concentrated on in 2016 as a Digital Marketer?

Alana: 

Facebook and Instagram with a heavy emphasis on advertising – and I can’t imagine that changing too drastically in 2017. 

With the introduction of awesome features like Stories, Instagram was a really fun, engaging platform that did really well in telling a story for brands.  Facebook was my predominate focus, especially in advertising. I really focused on generating ROI with killer ad strategies. 

Me: What are some emerging trends you noticed in Digital Marketing in 2016?

Alana:

Augmented Reality was a big emerging trend in my opinion. As someone who opens Snapchat every day just to check what new filters I can use and celebrated like a crazy person when I caught a Dragonite in Kings Park playing Pokemon Go, I think that we’re going to see more and more opportunity with it in 2017.

Me: Do you use video content in your Digital Marketing?

Alana:

Video was a big player in my content strategies. In a sea of articles and photos, video stood out and got a lot of engagement as a result.

Super short, bite sized videos quickly grab attention when no one has time to read your 5,000 world article. This year, my focus will be on quality over quantity when it comes to my content – rather than smashing the posts, create quality pieces.

Me: Did you include Facebook LIVE (or live on other platforms) in your Digital Marketing in 2016?

Alana:

While I didn’t personally use Facebook Live in my Digital Marketing, I think it’s a fantastic method of communication for brands to tell a story and get real time engagement – if it’s done right! Brands need to be aware that swapping to the front camera on their phone and um-ing through a script isn’t amazing content just because it’s live. It’s just awkward to watch.

Be authentic in your storytelling and in my eyes, you have a winning piece of content.

Me: Did you use bots in your Digital Marketing in 2016?

Alana:

I haven’t used them but I sure love talking to them. The use of bots is only going to grow this year. It’s such a smart way to improve customer interactions and increase conversions in the process. Since messaging apps have surpassed social media platforms in terms of users, it’s natural that people are looking to messages to communicate with their brands.

Me: Do you have any predictions on the overall state of Digital Marketing for 2017?

Alana:

The decrease in social media automation and the growth of storytelling. People are looking for authenticity when it comes to the brands that they follow and humanistic exchanges.

With the exception of bots, I think digital marketers will move away from automated, robotic feeling responses to their consumers and the inevitable blunders that come along with it and move to more personalised exchanges.

Me: Are there any trends you feel have been exhausted and will drop off in 2017?

Alana: 

I think Twitter’s struggle to remain relevant is going to become even bigger this year. With the continued popularity of visual content, it’s hard to see how they will keep up.

I also really hope people stop screenshotting their Snapchat filtered photos and posting them to Instagram.

Kelly Nelson Digital Marketer

Kelly Nelson – Marketing Consultant

A marketing professional with over 13 years experience having worked in a number of different industries including state & local government, mining, construction, IT and not-for-profit.

Kelly has worked in Scotland, Canada and Australia and specialises in online marketing and social media.

Me: What were the main platforms you concentrated on in 2016 as a Digital Marketer?

Kelly: Social Media, Email marketing & Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Me: Will this change in 2017?

Kelly:

No. I think these are the big players in digital marketing – these platforms have been around for a while and businesses continue to see results when using them.

Social Media is continually evolving and changing and it’s a really exciting platform to work with. Businesses know that they need to be on social media to gain exposure, they’re just uncertain on where or how to start.

Email Marketing is still a great platform to use. It’s free, personable and is delivered straight to a captured audience (depending on how you created your database!). You’d be surprised how many people still sign up for newsletters while visiting an organisation’s website or place of business.

I think SEO is still an underused, unknown (but very valuable) digital marketing tool. Clients often don’t understand the importance of having an optimised website until it’s mentioned that it’s an easy way to get your website found by your target audience. Additionally, many digital marketing platforms direct online traffic to an organisation’s website. Once your potential customer is there, you want them to stay! It’s so important to understand what they want and how they may navigate your website.

Me: What are some emerging trends you noticed in Digital Marketing in 2016?

Kelly:

The increased use of video and imagery (including GIF and memes) in social media.  The increased use of a marketing strategy and well defined target audiences.

Me: Do you think these will continue?

Kelly:

Yes. Many people use social media on a mobile device, in short amounts of time, such as sitting on the train or over a quick coffee.  Digital marketing content that is relatable, quick to skim and arouses emotion (whether it be laugh out loud or pull at the heart strings) is more likely to be engaged with and go viral. Video and imagery do just that.

It’s refreshing to see more organisations having a defined marketing strategy, campaign and target audience/s. There used to be a time where digital marketing was a ‘free-for-all’, whereby content was wishy-washy and an organisation’s brand had to be everywhere, all the time. Perhaps the slower economic climate has allowed management and marketers to take a step back and analyse their business objectives and how this ties in with digital marketing.

Me: Do you use video content in your Digital Marketing?

Kelly: Yes

Me: Will this increase 2017?

Kelly:

Yes. As I mentioned earlier, people are more engaged with content that is quick to look at and watch. With the increasing use of mobile devices (and wearable devices such as GoPro), more videos are also being created and shared by users. There’s been numerous additions to Social Media platforms to enable the use of video content, including Facebook advertising, Facebook LIVE, Instagram and the phenomenal growth of Snapchat. Plus YouTube is still HUGE. Video is only going to be used more in 2017.

Me: Did you include Facebook LIVE (or live on other platforms) in your Digital Marketing in 2016?

Kelly: No

Me: Will you be adding it to your content types in 2017?

Kelly:

Yes. The digital world is forever changing, therefore Digital Marketing has to evolve with it. However it’s still important to reassess each digital media platform to see if it would suit your businesses needs and if it captures your target audience.

Me: Do you have any predictions on the overall state of Digital Marketing for 2017?

Kelly:

I think wearables (e.g. Apple Watch, activity trackers) will start to emerge more in Australia in 2017. Wearables are one of the hottest consumer commodities in the US. People already track their physical activity (eg 5km run) and share on Social Media. It will be interesting to see what companies do with this data, and how they can use it to market their product and target potential customers.

Virtual Reality (VR) will also be making its appearance soon! Mark Zuckerberg has already demonstrated using Messenger in VR, so it won’t be far from Facebook

Me: Are there any trends you feel have been exhausted and will drop off in 2017?

Kelly:

Display advertising including banners, ads and pop-ups. I feel that these are really annoying and wonder if people really actually read what’s there? I tend to ignore them. I hope they will drop off but I doubt it. Wishful thinking.

Businesses thinking that they don’t need to spend money on social media because it’s free. Well it isn’t anymore! The social media arena is busy, busy, busy and the majority of businesses will need to add social media advertising into their marketing budget in order to gain targeted exposure.

Paul Ramondo – CEO Ramondo Media

Paul Ramondo teaches entrepreneurs how to use Facebook Ads and Digital Marketing Funnels to generate qualified leads and sales from their websites.

Me: What were the main platforms you concentrated on in 2016 as a Digital Marketer?

Paul: Facebook, Instagram & Snapchat

Me: Will this change in 2017?

Paul:

I plan to go all in on Facebook as a paid media platform and will scale back the time and effort I invest into Instagram. I also plan to keep my marketing and personal branding efforts on Snapchat consistent (just got the new Spectacles… they’re super fun and present awesome new opportunities for unique first person storytelling – come give me a creep if you’re curious – U/N = paulramondo)

Me: Why?

Paul: 

In a nutshell … Facebook Ads’ ability to provide concrete ROI is unparalleled by other platforms, and I only see it improving from here.

I’m also really excited to see how much Facebook expands its product offering this year as it continues to swallow the internet as a whole…

Happy days though… More platforms owned by Facebook + more Facebook product offerings = increased average time on site per user + more data about those user’s behaviours.

This means the total supply of media for ads will increase (driving costs down for advertisers – ceteris paribus). It also means advertiser’s ability to pinpoint and target desired audiences will increase simultaneously

Me: What are some emerging trends you noticed in Digital Marketing in 2016?

Paul: 

The lines separating our digital and “real” lives continued to blur as disruptive tech (like Snap Inc’s “Spectacles”) have started to become ubiquitous.

Me: Do you think these will continue?

Paul: Yes, exponentially.

Me: Why is that?

Paul:

I think we’ll continue to society’s obsession with on-demand, document everything, eyes glued to smartphones increase as these trends become more habitual and second nature than ever before.

This of course will be met with increased advertising as brands both big and small scramble to capture people’s attention long enough for them to hear their story.

Me: Do you use video content in your Digital Marketing?

Paul: Yes – (mainly) Facebook Ads, YouTube and Snapchat

Me: Will this increase or decrease in 2017?

Paul: 

Increase. I’ll be investing a lot more time into creating immersive content experiences for my audience through video as it is by far the best way for me to generate a return on my time and ad spend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Casey Bryan – Search Specialist & Blogger

Casey Bryan by day is an SEO geek at White Chalk Road in her role as a Senior Online Marketing Account Manager looking after a portfolio of local and national clients.

By night she is a wine blogger for travellingcorkscrew.com.au, making sure no wine goes un-tasted

At White Chalk Road where I work as a Senior Account Manager our speciality is Search Engine Marketing (SEM), we are one of very few boutique agencies in Perth who focus solely on SEO and Google AdWords. We understand how vital these online strategies are for businesses small and large and there’s no doubt in 2017 many more websites will put more time, money and emphasis on these channels as they provide positive ROI.

We all know how quickly the digital landscape changes. With more and more businesses actively doing SEM it means competition is ramping up so being on top of your game is a must in 2017. What you were doing for SEM 2 years ago simply won’t cut it today.

In 2016 there were countless changes, from penguin 4.0 (focus on toxic links) to the possum update (local search) and of course there was the big Mobile-Friendly ‘Mobilegeddon’ update in May which caused everyone to rush out and make sure Google deemed their websites as user-friendly for visitors on mobile devices. That’s just a handful of the SEO changes and then there’s the Google AdWords updates; from the new extended text ads to no right-hand side ads in the SERP’s to paid local search ads. There’s no denying you have to constantly be on your toes and ready to adapt your strategy when working in SEM.

Me: So what do I think we should be aware of in 2017 with regards to SEM?

Casey:

1. Secure Websites

By this I mean, shifting to HTTPS and making sure when you make the move, you don’t loose any of the hard work you’ve put into improving your organic search results. In terms of a ranking factor, if you have an HTTPS website rather than HTTP you will have a very small advantage however there’s no doubt this ranking factor is going to get stronger whether that’s in 2017 or 2018. My advice is to move sooner than later as it’ll be less pages to redirect, thus making your job easier. There are risks with moving to HTTPS so make sure you know what you’re doing.

2. Mobile Website Optimisation

We live in a mobile-first world and this is not going to change in 2017. In 2016 we finally saw mobile overtake desktop as the primary device users are on when accessing websites and that teamed with Google’s plan to move to mobile-first indexing means you NEED to be all over your mobile marketing.

3. Website Page Speed

Ain’t nobody got time for that! Both your desktop and mobile versions of your website must be as quick as possible in 2017. This has not changed since 2016 however with mobile becoming even more important this year, then the need to keep things as quick as possible is a strategy we should all live by moving forward.

4. Website Content

Again this shouldn’t be news to anyone online – good quality, unique content is what the web is all about. The more of this type of content you can put up on your website the better, if you don’t have a blog/news section then add one now! This content is not only good for your readers/customers but it can skyrocket your SEO results. All websites should aim for at least 1 piece of new content a month, minimum 600 words – the more the better really but it needs to be useful and interesting content. Make the content as shareworthy as possible so readers want to share it on social media and link to it. Natural link-building doesn’t come easy but by gosh it’s worth it!

2017 is going to be a big year for search. I am excited to be a part of it with the White Chalk Road team alongside building up my blog, Travelling Corkscrew, which welcomed over 75,000 organic visitors in 2016!

So there you have it folks!

A broad range of backgrounds, experience and niches produced different views of where Digital Marketing is heading in 2017! A big thanks to Clayton, Lloyd, Kelly, Alana, Casey and Paul for taking the time to share their thoughts with me (and you guys!)

If you have your own predictions and would like to be featured I’d love to hear from you, or if you just have a comment or question use the comment section below, I’m always welcome for feedback 🙂

Time will only tell what 2017 holds for us in the Digital Marketing world, but it never hurts to have professional insight into future trends to help you target your marketing efforts!

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My 2017 Digital Marketing Predictions

Everyone’s doing a 2017 Digital Marketing Prediction post!

Which is fine because none of us can see into the future, we can only make guesses as to where Digital Marketing will grow (and where it won’t) so we can try to focus our attention in the right places to maximise returns.

Here’s my big three Digital Marketing predictions:

BOTS

Bots are only going to get bigger. More and more businesses will engage bots to take some of the heavy lifting from their digital customer service. If you’re not sure what a bot is you can check out this article from CNET. Chances are you’ve spoken to a bot before, you might have known it wasn’t a human, or you may not have. Bots will continue to improve and will be used by more companies world-wide.

LIVE

People love live. I think partly because we’re so sick of the falseness of Social Media, lies of politicians, and stagedness of infomercials – and partly our FOMO and our desire to be the first to know. We want to see something NOW and we want to see it how it REALLY IS. Live video gives us both of these. The way people used to flock to their Twitter feed when a news story broke, will now be the way people rush to find someone live on Facebook or Instagram (or perhaps Twitter – who knows, they did announce a new live feature)

VIDEO

Video and live go together, but there’s also another aspect I wanted to touch on. Explainer video is going to get bigger. Businesses that couldn’t afford video production will bite the bullet and get animated or stop motion videos on their websites and social channels. I must say I’m not the hugest fan of my Facebook newsfeed being full of video. But I have a weakness for those stop motion recipe videos. You know the ones…you see them on pages like Thrillist, Tasty etc. like this handy cocktail recipe below.

You can see by the views I’m not the only one who loves these. As well as my top three Digital Marketing Predictions, here’s some other aspects of Digital Marketing that will stand the test of time:

Customer Journey Mapping

Basically this just means tracking your customers through their buying journey with you. Which pages of your website did they land on first? Next? How many visits before a purchase?  What prompted them to buy that final time? The more of this type of data you have the more streamlined you can make this buyer journey, essentially increasing your conversions.

Email Marketing

I sometimes cop shit about my views on Email Marketing – but it works and I stand by that. There’s a reason it’s the only service I offer outside Social, and not only is it effective, but it’s Social’s best friend. Businesses would be smart to continue to capture emails, and to improve their automation and segmentation to make sure the right people are seeing the right messages at the right times.

Authenticity

As mentioned above, people are a bit sick of “fakeness” and want to see the ‘real you’ of your business. You’ll stand out of you embrace what makes you different, rather than try to be like the others. Go live, post behind the scenes, people will appreciate the glimpse into your real world.[/fusion_text][fusion_text]

Platforms I think worth the investment in 2017:

LINKEDIN

I think LinkedIn is getting better. The app works better, and although there’s some glaringly obvious problems with LinkedIn I do think it’s a worthwhile use of your Social Media time allowance.

INSTAGRAM

Instagram will go from strength to strength, regardless of what people think about its copycatting of Snap. It’s easy to use, it’s growing it’s user base rapidly and for the most part it’s a very positive platform in terms of overall sentiment. In short people just enjoy being on Instagram, so it will develop in 2017, and it completely worth your time invested.

FACEBOOK

Facebook cops a lot of flack, but when you think about where it came from, and how it found an untapped need and embedded itself into our lives it’s actually quite remarkable. Facebook is not going anywhere in 2017. Sure, it’ll make some moves to clean up the “fake news” stories (or at least appear to) and hopefully there won’t be anymore ‘metrics fails’ we have to endure, but in general we’ll get more and more features trying to keep us happily spending time on the platform so they can sell more ads. And the ads will get better too.

Instagram and Facebook appear to be moving together – great news for marketers, and I think this will continue. With the combined inbox feature now rolling out, the upkeep on two platforms gets easier removing the need for people to choose between them.

SNAP (But only if your target market are under 30)

Snap (formerly Snapchat) is already a HUGE platform and I think it’s a great place to showcase your products on the following 2 conditions.

1 – You GET it:

Don’t think that any normal ads you’ve done anywhere else are going to work here. They wont. Understand the platform and how it’s used. Make something that suits it, that speaks the language and it could be a great success.

2 – Your target demo are young people:

Don’t get me wrong, I know people who are older than the main Snap demo who use and love it, but they are an exception. If your brand is not appealing to young users don’t even bother.

Things I think (hope) will decrease in popularity:

Vanity Metrics

Seriously, stop it. Your likes don’t mean anything (past a certain couple of set-up stages) A post that gets a lot of comments but contradicts what your brand is about is still a shitpost. So stop shitposting!

Marketing like it’s 2012

See above and add in all the tricks used to make people interact with content. They don’t work anymore. The only thing that works is knowing your market, having a strategy, and working on it consistently.

Booma-bounce

I don’t know what you call these so I gave them a name that’s as stupid as they are. Please stop doing a bounce on Boomerang! Fine if it’s your personal account (not really – but you do you) but I personally can’t stand them. Boomerang is awesome for certain things, jumping into a pool for example, anything that flows one way can look cool in reverse, but your cutesy bounce does not look cool. Sorry – it just doesn’t, and I like to think I’m that type of friend who tells you if there’s something in your teeth.

What will improve:

Customer Service

Customer service on Social is going to get better. Small businesses are doing a great job these days at getting back to you with helpful information about their products and services. The big end of town also does ok, since they can afford a team to handle the bulk. But there’s a big middle here. Improved technology like bots will definitely help the customer service aspect of Digital Marketing.

Not only that, but user journeys should improve too, becoming more personalised (again due to improved technology) and therefore reduce the need for people to reach out via Social channels.

Corporates “getting it”

There’s a growing number of businesses that are getting it. They know their Digital Marketing needs a strategy, metrics, time, effort and money to achieve their business goals. The more this is understood the better the marketers servicing these needs can be at their job, as they get back to the business of doing, rather than arguing about how to make your post “go viral” or some other cool thing my cousin’s friends’ sister did that made her totally Insta-famous.

Overall?

The early adopters are going great. They may need a refresher on their strategy – but these guys knew digital was here to stay and they got to build audiences back when it was easier (and free) Businesses like this will continue to go from strength to strength whether they outsource or have in-house digital teams.

The middle gets bigger. Just like all of us, the middle is expanding! Some of the previously mentioned early adopters may have dropped behind, being hoodwinked by a smooth-talking salesman, or simply not found reward for their efforts. Similarly there’s small businesses working really hard on their digital marketing and not yet reaping the rewards. This middle level of digital success is where most businesses will find themselves.

The newbies are either new businesses competing for a share of the spoils; or businesses that thought investing in digital marketing was a fad, a waste of money, not ‘right’ for their business, or were just too risk averse to put themselves out there. I think the second group are the ones to watch. The reluctant. The begrudging. The haters of change…I think we might be in for some surprises from some of these tortoises. He did beat the hare after all!

So? What did you think of my 2017 Digital Marketing Predictions?

Do you agree? Disagree? Have your own Digital Marketing predictions I didn’t mention? I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a comment 🙂

The future of Unemployment

The future of Unemployment

As Bob Dylan attests in his infamous song ‘The Times They Are A Changin’. Globally the nature of employment is shifting. As baby-boomers retire, so does the philosophy of ‘a career for life’. Baby-boomers historically left school and entered the workforce. Few opted for career changes, with many working for just one or two employers their whole lives. Career paths were well-structured, with promotions assured and regular working hours.

With no smart phones in existence, work stayed at work. Globalisation, advances in technology and changes in economic conditions have changed this landscape irrevocably.

Our Jobs Are Not Coming Back!

Jane Gilmore, freelance writer for news.com, recently published a brilliant article titled ‘The inconceivable truth: our jobs are not coming back’. In it she refers to research from the Committee for Economic Development of Australia which report that

“40% of Australian jobs that exist today have a moderate to high likelihood of disappearing in the next 10 to 15 years”.

It is not only unskilled jobs that we will lose.

Gilmore reports:

‘Millions of jobs are about to disappear, and we have no idea how to replace them…. And not only are they not coming back, millions more are going to go in the next few years.

Why Are We Losing Jobs?

The answer to this question whilst by no means simple is certainly influenced by a number of factors. Three we perceive influential are globalisation, advances in technology and changes in economic conditions.

Globalisation

Globalisation, increased access to information and technological advancements mean that business can be conducted anywhere, anytime; not necessarily by a human. Robotic functions are fast replacing what is perceived as expensive, inefficient and error filled human labour. Drones and driverless vehicles will see people employed to drive taxis, delivery vehicles and trains, made redundant. Pharmacists have already been replaced by robots to fill prescriptions at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center.

Advances in Technology

With the robots error rate close to zero and a human error rate of 2.8 the machine proved itself as a justifiable replacement.

Whilst not all machines are designed to replace humans, there are functions that deliver service more consistently than their human counterpart. With human beings so adaptable; we are fast learning to integrate robotic functions into our everyday life: smartphones, ATM’s, paypass, and self-checkouts we now consider necessities. A well-educated consumer less willing to pay for errors or a bad experience, is driving our tolerance and acceptance of robotic technologies

Changing economic conditions

The problem becomes if machines replace humans, how do humans obtain money to live? It is this question which poses the challenge for current economists. Tim Dunlop in his book ‘Why the Future is Workless’ presented one strategy: the corporations who own the robots give the money to the governments to distribute to the population so they can pay for the goods and services produced. This transformational change in mindset will see the end of our working lives as we know it.

What Can We Do About It?

One option is to take your current skill set, add to it and refine it so you can sell your specialist capabilities to companies without the middleman (your employer). If they can charge for your time and build a business around your work – so can you! People will tell you that you’re being brave – leaving the “safety” of employment. But as we have discussed, there’s no certainty in having a regular job. Ask the miners!

There are challenges to achieving this, and the lifestyle certainly isn’t for everyone (definitely not your leave on the dot clock-watchers, who are not willing to work weekends) but for the right personality in the right set up, the world is your oyster.

Certain industries have been embracing independent workers for years. Look at the accountants, mortgage brokers, bookkeepers and real estate agents you know – a lot of them work for themselves. The same with many tradesmen!

So what are the benefits? Work/life balance features at the top. Sure, you might lose your weekends. Maybe not all of them, but it will happen. The upside, you work when it’s convenient for you (and your clients), in whichever attire you prefer, in whatever location, with the music of your choice to inspire you. Freedom and the opportunity to work at what you love, fast outweighs any inconvenience of a lazy weekend.

The future of the workforce (often termed the “Gig Economy”) is remote, contracted, and varied. You need some work done, you call contractor/consultant/freelancer/own boss and they do it for you at an agreed rate. No HR nightmares, no learning curve challenges, no personality clashes with your current team, just the job done by a professional and everybody moves on…until the next ‘Gig’. If you do great work they use you again, and tell their peers, and so the circle begins.

Your potential to earn is maximised; you’re not spending all day at a job that might only have 3 productive hours. You work those 3 hours and you have the rest of the day to do other work for other clients or lifestyle priorities.

But you need a good skill set!

To establish yourself as an independent worker you will need a good skill set; a skill set that people are willing to pay for. Soft skills become crucial; the ability to adapt, remain flexible and self-sufficient. A little business know-how (taxes and licensing regulations can get tricky) won’t hurt and you’ll need to be able to sell yourself at times. It also helps to be qualified, since the people hiring you don’t necessarily know you. Letters after your name or a formal industry certification go a long way in assuring you credibility.

You’ll need to make sure you’re abreast of trends in your industry, as being “out of the loop” happens easily when you are no longer part of a team. Regular training and adding complementary skills to your toolbox will definitely hold you in good stead.

Independent workers; the way forward

Jacques Bughin, Director of the McKinsey Global Institute, surmises that independent workers are the way forward. ‘working full-time for a single employer is no longer the norm in advanced economies.’ Employees once hired for life are now hired for their immediate capabilities; giving rise to the independent worker working in the ‘Gig Economy’. Many employers are no longer focused on hiring for the future and for many employees the days of stable employment are over.

Don’t Be A Rhinoceros, Be A Gazelle!

The key to job survival definitely lies in being adaptable and agile; you need to move like a gazelle and definitely not a rhinoceros. With a job security no longer guaranteed, you have to ensure you remain in pole position. Continuously upskilling and remaining current becomes crucial. Employers will be looking for people who are curious, bring required talents, and build on organisational capabilities.

Frankly put, there is no room for a large heavy creatures who take effort and energy to adapt.


I co-write this article with the wonderful M.J. from Scope Vision. It was originally published on her blog.