To Pivot or Persevere – Personal Development in life and business

To Pivot or Persevere – Personal Development in life and business

The terms “Flogging a dead horse” and “Success is only just around the corner” spring to mind when talking about this concept, articulated by Eric Ries in his New York bestseller “The Lean Startup”.

In your business as well as your everyday life, how do you know when to “give up”? Or, if you do change direction or quit, were you JUST about to make that breakthrough or success you worked so hard for? What if you are achieving moderate success and therefore if you quit it would prove embarrassing or would lose you the moderate income you are used to. What if, on the surface, you are highly successful, but actually you are unhappy, stressed and working 60 hours per week just to keep the ‘success’ going.

When do you Pivot? And when do you Persevere?

What does it mean to pivot? To pivot is to change direction, drop something that isn’t working, and take one area or your whole business in a different direction. Most of the time you would take some of the past version with you. Sometimes you lose the past version altogether.

A great example is a tech company started by Dan Carroll, a well-known name in silicon valley, in 2007. In it’s original form it was called “kaChing” and was a online “fantasy league” for amateur investors, designed to spot good investors. They built a sophisticated system, but customers found the concept confusing and didn’t buy in. The team decided they couldn’t persevere as it existed and decided to celebrate what had been achieved up to this date, but make a pivot. They abandoned the gaming concept and instead focused on creating a platform for amateur investors. On the surface, the pivot seemed quite dramatic, a new company name, new branding and discarding a lot of the system that they had built, but underneath a surprising amount stayed the same. What worked in the system became the core that everything new was built around. The company (now called Wealthfront) is now a leader in the field.

If the team hadn’t had started in the first place they would never have had the knowledge and core system that they then built upon.

Another example in The Lean Startup is the online Voters platform Votizen. It took 4 huge pivots to drag it to the success that founder and CEO David Binetti had visioned, each pivot building on the previous versions successes.

The interesting fact is that, every time he decided to pivot, it took less time than his last pivot. Of the 4 major pivots, the first took 12 months, the second six months, the third took four months and the last pivot took only a month to put into place.

This can be attributed to 2 things. Firstly, the structure and business allowed for a pivot and adapted easier each time. Each change built upon the things that were great about the business and discarded the things that didn’t work. With each pivot there was less to discard and more opportunity to build on what worked.

The second observation is that, the decisions became easier to make, as the decision to pivot had been made previously. The team even brought the ‘pivot or persevere’ concept into their strategic meetings, something that Eric Reis recommends that every business do.

To persevere?
The dictionary’s definition of perseverance is “doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success”.

A client of mine regularly pivots in her business and on reflection feels that she may have recently made too many. She feels compelled to pivot as she is haunted by the alternative of persevering.

Her dad had a 30-year career working for the same company, with the promise of becoming the first person ever to go from being the apprentice to a director in the 100 year history of the company. After years of blood sweat and tears his final promotion was due. He prepared to become director and enjoy has last years with the company before retiring. The board of directors then decided to promote the boss’s son instead. His hopes, as well as his pride was completely crushed and my client is haunted by the memory of the only time she’d ever seen him break down in tears.

Years of persevering did not bring him to where he wanted to be and the worst thing was that he had no control over the future he’d planned for himself.

What happened to him didn’t have to force him to make a pivot in his life; he could have continued to work for that company. Maybe he might have eventually got the directors role that he was promised. But the pivot he made took his life in a better direction than he could ever have imagined.

An entrepreneur approached him to work as partners. With his engineering background and keen project management skills they start a competing firm. I’m sure you will agree that someone that has been an employee for 30 years starting a business of his own is completely daunting, but he partnered up with the right person. He pivoted at completely the right time, not through choice but nevertheless formed part of the team that, after a couple of pivots of their own, built a company that now turns over in excess of £2million per year. He now has the directorship that he wanted and even better, is working hard for his own company, not someone else’s.

The unplanned pivot was the best thing that could have happened to him. How did this happen? Because his new partner heard that he hadn’t got a promotion and saw it as a perfect time to approach him. This is a perfect example of taking what is good from the previous version and leaving behind what didn’t work, which in his case was the company itself!

How does this translate into our personal success? I’d like you to take these 2 steps, in your personal or business life if you like. Take 10 minutes to think about your answers, write them down and build your findings into your plan for success. Just by being aware, will set your subconscious mind the task of resolving any issues holding you back.

1. Are you a pivot-er or a persevere-er?
Take a moment to think about some pivots and perseverance’s that have led you closer to success, or away from success. Think about how you could have changes your thinking to get a better outcome.

[A classic perseverance is staying in a marriage for too long, out of fear that you will be more unhappy out of it that you are miserable in it!]

I’d like you to think about your life or business, what’s holding you back from that next step of success. What is stopping you? Is it your thinking? What’s the ‘barrier’? Did something spring into your mind while reading this article? That’s probably what your unconscious mind needs to be analysed further.

2. Write down 2 things that are holding you back you right now and then ask yourself the question – Pivot or Persevere?

What we can take from this silicon valley concept:

1. If we want to do something, we need to make a start. Imperfect action will teach you more than no action ever will.

2. It’s not a failure if we have strategically decided to pivot! Start making the changes needed and each time it will be less painful and achieve more in less time.

3. Its ok to pivot and its equally ok to persevere, we just need to know our reasons for doing so.

The New Vehicle Tax Disc Changes & Our Top 10 Digital Replacements

The New Vehicle Tax Disc Changes & Our Top 10 Digital Replacements

As of today (1st October 2014), the paper vehicle tax disc no longer needs to be displayed on your vehicle. If you have a paper disc with months left, you can remove it from your car’s front screen, and destroy it. However, this doesn’t mean that you don’t still have that tax on your car, and that you won’t need to keep taxing it.

Rather, instead of needing to display a physical tax disc, and needing to send away for your disc, everything is now officially online and digital. As with most modern things, the physical has been replaced with new digital technology.

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You have been able to apply online for your new tax, as well as many other vehicle related commodities, for a while now. Although, what you didn’t know, is that the DVLA have been testing out a way for police and road monitors to know whether your car is taxed without having to check the disc, for a while also, and it’s finally in place.

Another way that digital technology has improved the way you can tax your vehicle is that they also now allow you to pay for your tax through a direct debit. This means that you won’t even have to think about renewing your tax, as you can set up a system where it just renews automatically.

 

The new vehicle tax changes are just another example of how digital technology continues to make improvements, and changes in our lives. Digital technology has been constantly expanding over the years, and has therefore made way for many digital replacements for physical things.

We have compiled a list of the most considerable changes, to show how digital technology has replaced many physical commodities that are no longer around or even necessary. And, for some of these replacements, it does seem a little sad!

 

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1 – Vinyl Records / Cassette Tapes / CDs

The way we listen to music has changed so rapidly, in what is actually only a short length of time. Nowadays, basically every physical way has been replaced by digital formats. Almost all music is digitally acquired in MP3 formats, and people simply keep their music stored mainly on their laptops and/or phones.

Our phones have improved so much to allow for more space, meaning people are using their phones to store and listen to their music on the go. We will even go so far to say that MP3 players or iPods will soon be made pretty obsolete, just like basically every other physical music player has.

 

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2 – Phoneboxes

Phoneboxes are definitely a thing of the past. Whereas they used to be on every street corner, and one of the main ways of direct speaking contact, they are difficult to be found recently. One of the main places you find phoneboxes nowadays, in the whole of the UK, is in London, and this is mainly for novelty purposes with their iconic, bright red design.

However, even trying to recall where to find your nearest phonebox is difficult – think about it, when was the last time you ever needed it? With most people owning phones, and mobiles being so easily available at very cheap prices, it is uncommon for someone to be in a situation to require a phonebox now.

 

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3 – Chalkboards and Overhead Projectors

There are so many things that we all remember from our schools growing up, that are now almost entirely obsolete. The main two are undoubtedly chalkboards and overhead projectors. Chalkboards started being replaced first, making way for the whiteboards and marker pens. Then, overhead projectors soon followed, with most whiteboards being replaced by smart boards, and boards where you can easily connect up a laptop and show your PowerPoint presentation instead.

Then, we all went to university, and could even skip attending physical lectures for watching online, interactive, lectures instead. Whoa.

 

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4 – Maps

Remember the time when you needed to keep the A-Z Great Britain Road Map in your car at all times? And, for road trips, the front seat passenger had the great map responsibility to at least know which way round to hold the map? Though ever since the first car GPS system came along, traditional maps and road maps have become a thing of the past.

Technology has only improved since then – and now you can get your TomTom with a USB connection to your computer, allowing you to recharge and update the maps on your GPS constantly. Also, a few (expensive) cars can now even come with the GPS already inputted. Not to mention the fact that you can simply use your Google Maps phone App to find your way around, however you’re travelling.

 

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5 – Analogue Terrestrial TV

Previously, every TV worked on an analogue transmission. This simply meant that you didn’t need a digital transmission or connection in order to watch TV. Then everything went digital, and with most people using Sky or Freeview already, they switched off analogue transmission. The digital switchover actually started in some parts of the UK in 2007, and ended in October 2012, after switching analogue off for the entire country. Nowadays, new TVs all come with a way of watching the main channels through digital transmission, and there have even been wide improvements for digital TV viewing and functions.

 

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6 – VHS / DVDs / Blu-Rays

Over the years, the way people watch and own films and series have changed just as drastically as with music. Every physical method has been slowly replaced by solely digital formats. It is possible for people to purchase and store films or TV series as digital files on their laptops or even phones.

However, even this has evolved. Many people now own subscriptions to various digital streaming platforms, over owning traditional films or TV series. For example, subscribing to Netflix is a cost-effective way of having many films and series available to watch online, through any Smart TV or through a games console that has online capabilities.

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7 – Paper Bills

This is quite similar to the new vehicle tax changes, as there is no denying that receiving physical, paper bills through the post has become a thing of the past. Now, everything is online, and it is possible to send you important documents via your email address.

Also, it is easier than ever to apply for things online, through a digital application system. This is mainly because digital applications and bills save a considerably large amount of money, and reduces the waste of unnecessary paper.

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8 – Floppy Disks

Remember floppy disks?! They were the ultimate way to store your important computer files, and transfer them from computer to computer! They weren’t actually that capable as far as space, however, and they weren’t exactly the most durable of items. So maybe it was about time for them to become phased out by external hard drives and USB sticks.

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9 – Cameras

We aren’t claiming that all cameras are a thing of the past, although we are firm believers in our iPhone camera quality (except perhaps the front facing one), but certainly cameras with film are sadly no more. Gone are the days of having to travel to Boots to get your camera film processed, and having to wait actual days to see the results. Now, if you own a camera, they are probably digital with a great memory storage capability, amongst other pros.

Also, if you want to see your pictures, you literally can see them straight after you’ve taken the image. Most people don’t even bother printing the images out to make physical copies anymore, and simply use their laptops, phones, online storage systems or social media platforms as a safe storage system.

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10 – Phonebooks / Yellow Pages / Encyclopedias

Yes, we’re talking about those great big books that sometimes used to get reluctantly shoved through your mailbox. If you needed to find a business, or someone’s number or address, you had to scroll through a few hefty pages. Also, if you ever needed to know something, it required a search through an encyclopedia, meaning the search was often never truly worth it.

Nowadays, of course, all of those giant books are available in online varieties. Google searches have replaced the phonebook, the Yellow Pages has gone online, and Wikipedia was invented so that you can now find out any (even pointless!) information you want at the easy click of a few buttons.

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So, how do you feel about our top 10 most significant digital changes?

Are there any more you can think of that have considerably impacted us?

Reading that list, we can definitely say one thing: the increase and expansion of digital technology and online methods has certainly saved a lot of trees. And chalkboard scratching.

 

Don’t forget – here at Bright Yellow Creative, we are down with all things digital! Check out how we can impact your business’ online and digital presence through our services here.

Bright Yellow Creative Group’s Brand New Monthly Priced Packages

Bright Yellow Creative Group’s Brand New Monthly Priced Packages

We have recently introduced our monthly priced packages for our Social Media Management, Content Marketing and WordPress Blog / Website Design Packages, which can be found here.

We have designed these packages to be as flexible as possible, and clearly show exactly what we do, and how we can benefit you and your business!

The packages are created for you to pick and choose the services you would like to receive, and at what quantity. For example, if you were to pick one of our Social Media Management packages, it is easy for you to add Content Marketing to the package at any time, simply at a small extra cost.

The packages are all priced monthly, with our Social Media Management and Content Marketing additionally separated into Bronze, Silver or Gold Packages. The Bronze Package would give you the minimum amount of management, leading up to the Gold Package, which would give you the maximum amount of complete management for either your Social Media or Content Marketing.

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Platinum Package

There is also our additional package, which is the Platinum Package. Our Platinum Package differs slightly because it covers all three of the ways we can help you Digitally Market your business: Social Media Management, Content Marketing and WordPress Blog / Website Design.

We strongly suggest our Platinum Package if you are a business starting out, as we can really boost your online presence and consumer base, as well as creating a Blog and Website for your new business.

Also, the Platinum Package would include every Social Media Channel you would like to be managed, as well as our maximum Content Marketing and Blog Creation every month. It is an absolute value for money, as it provides you with everything you could possibly need to enhance your business.

We can make our Platinum Package bespoke to you, suiting all of your business’ needs and brand values.

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However, if you would like to purchase the packages separately, here is a breakdown of the three different packages and how we will benefit you and your business!

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Social Media Management Packages

Our Social Media Management Packages are separated into our Bronze, Silver or Gold Packages, as well as being included in the overall Platinum Package. However, we also include our Starter Package for Social Media Management, which acts as an introduction to the Social Media Management we offer.

So, from as little as £49 a month, you can receive our Starter Social Media Management Package, and witness how we can improve your business’ online presence initially. Our Starter Package only covers Facebook and Twitter, as we would consider these the two predominant Social Media Channels. It will give you a taster about how we can boost your business’ Facebook and Twitter usage.

After our Starter Package, we can then expand into our Bronze, Silver and Gold Packages. Our Bronze and Silver Packages allow you to choose 3 Social Media Channels for us to manage, although the Bronze would give you minimum coverage and the Silver would give you extra. Then, our Gold Package allows you to choose 4 Social Media Channels, and we will manage them all fully and maintain a constant presence for your business, expanding your consumer base thoroughly.

These packages are priced monthly, although in this price you will receive weekly attention to your Social Media. This is why we have broken down our Social Media Management services into weekly tables, so you can easily see exactly what we will do for your business week-to-week. For example, if you were interested in Facebook Management, we have broken down exactly how many updates you will achieve per week through the separate monthly packages, depending on whether you choose this channel via our Starter, Bronze, Silver or Gold Package.

We are highly experienced in Social Media Management, and know how to expand your brand, consumer base, and make your business succeed online. We offer a wide variety of Social Media Channels that you may be interested in, from the obvious Facebook to the more unique Vine. We can handle any Social Media Channel of your choice, and we have broken down each Channel into tables so you can witness how we can use them to enhance your business.

Check out our Social Media Services here for a fully comprehensive breakdown of what each Social Media Channel offers your business.

Additionally, if you were wondering about the exact benefits of Social Media Marketing, check out our article here.

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Content Marketing

Our Content Marketing Packages are also separated into Bronze, Silver and Gold Package options. We outline exactly what we will do for your business monthly, including Targeted Marketing Campaigns and monthly SEO for your online presence, as well as blog creation and written blog articles relating to your business.

It is also possible for us to maintain and manage your website and WordPress blog, if you were to acquire our Gold Package. However, for all three packages we offer written blog articles, however we can offer you a greater quantity of material in our larger packages.

For all three Bronze, Silver and Gold Packages, we will handle your SEO and Online PR to a varied extent. We also offer monthly reports from Google Analytics statistics. This will reveal how well your website is doing and how much traffic your business is generating, as well as showing how your consumers and website visitors are acting on your site, including the pages and features that resonate with your audience.

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Please check out our Digital Marketing Services here! We fully explain how SEO and Content will enhance your business, boosting your online presence and brand identity.

If you were wondering how Content Marketing works and how it will benefit your business, take a look at our article here for more information.

 
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WordPress Blog and Website Design Services

The services we can offer you towards your blog and website design vary slightly to the monthly packages of the other two, mainly because we don’t offer separate Bronze, Silver or Gold options.

However, this is mainly due to the fact that many of these services come as one-off costs. For example, we can create a WordPress blog or Landing Page for your business, which would start at a one-off guideline cost. We can also offer services such as banner or header designs, either for your WordPress Blog, Website, or any Social Media Channel.

As part of these services, we also offer you the opportunity to manage your WordPress Blog or Website, separately from our Content Marketing. These prices would start at approximately £49 per month, although would vary depending on the amount of management required. Also, we offer our blog article and content creation at a separate cost, at the guideline price of £28 per 1000 words. Additionally, we can also offer proofreading and editing services, if you would like us to check your blog article content, for only £16 per 1000 words.

We would like our services to be as flexible as you would like, and if you would like to receive an individual service outside of the entire package, that is fully available.

Check out our WordPress Blog Creation and Management page here, explaining exactly how this will help and boost your business.

Also, if you were wondering how blogging helps your business, and truly boosts your Search Engine Optimisation, then take a read of our article here.

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Pricing

Our prices for each package are additional to our other packages, however if you would like to combine any of our three Digital Marketing Services, we can offer you discounted prices. For example, if you would like to combine our Social Media Management and Content Marketing services, then we can offer you a combined price point, depending on the quantity of services you would like.

Also, if you would like to receive individual services outside of the full packages, then that is available. We would be able to agree on a bespoke quantity and level of services for your business, and quote you a guideline price for these services. Please don’t hesitate to contact us directly about any prices or options for tailoring our Digital Marketing Services.

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The full breakdown of our services can be found in our Price Packages here. Also, take a look at our comprehensive breakdown of our services and how each channel and option can benefit your business here.

Please contact us today to speak to us and arrange any of the packages. We look forward to hearing from you!

How Often Should You Tweet?

How Often Should You Tweet?

Twitter is quite a unique social media platform, as the whole concept was initiated around written posts and updates. And, despite the fact that Tweets can include images and embedded videos, this is still the mainly used form of communication on Twitter. When it was first created, more than a few users suggested it was basically the Facebook Status Update tool in one social media channel.

Basically, this means that being a frequent user of Twitter relies on reading a lot of Tweets, and it simply isn’t possible to read it all. Therefore, some users have latched onto this idea and decided that the more you Tweet, the better, as there is more of a chance that your Followers will catch at least one Tweet.

This theory seems logical, but is it too risky? As we have learnt about Facebook lately (read it here), too many updates can start to annoy the users who follow you, and will in fact cause less engagement. So, how similar are the two platforms? Are more Tweets beneficial or just counterproductive?

To Tweet or Not to Tweet?

The first thing to do when it comes to your own Twitter presence is work out how many times you are Tweeting currently. Also, as a business, are you solely Tweeting through a business Twitter account, or through a personal account, or both?

One of the main things when trying to boost a business through Twitter is to work out how best to promote yourself. We suggest that it is beneficial to have both a business and personal presence on Twitter, although it is important to attempt to separate your business and personal accounts. Stick to the business-related and relevant updates on your business Twitter, and use your own account more personally. Although, don’t forget that your personal account is linked to your business as well.

The second part is trickier, as it is difficult to know how much to Tweet, and how often would be considered as too often. Twitter users seem to use the platform quite differently, with a few users using it to Tweet many times a day, and others selectively Tweeting. The surprising answer to how many Tweets is too many is actually more than you would think.

 

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You Are What You Tweet!

Surprisingly, Twitter and Facebook seem to be completely opposite about how much to update and post to your Followers. For Facebook, the general response is that updating too many times a day will cause users to tune out and become less engaged with your business. However, on Twitter there isn’t really a point where you can be considered to be Tweeting too much.

The most important thing on Twitter isn’t how often you Tweet; it is how valuable and varied the content you Tweet is. If you are making sure to send out a mixture of interesting links, relevant updates, and a balance of ReTweets and conversations with other users, then there isn’t a time when you can Tweet too often in one day. Alternately, if you are solely Tweeting links to your site, and plugging yourself too much, then this can come across as spammy and uninteresting for your Followers.

Simply, your content is paramount on Twitter. Also, people who use Twitter often use the platform to update themselves on current news and trends. So, it can be beneficial to keep up to date with what’s current and offer your opinion on a wider scale, while still keeping your Tweets relevant to your business and brand values.

Twitter Engagement

Traditionally, Twitter has been thought of as a way to reach your Followers much more organically than Facebook. Facebook has received a lot of flack for limiting the amount of exposure each Page update garners. There have been comparisons to Twitter, with users demanding that Facebook should just show everything, in a similar way to Twitter.

However, Twitter has recently been gaining attention over its true engagement rates. As recently as last month (July 2014), Twitter revealed their true engagement statistics and analytics results, and users were quite surprised. In fact, Twitter’s engagement is not much higher than Facebook’s, despite the fact that Twitter claims not to filter their feeds in any way. Twitter simply shows their users a time-based feed, where users see what comes up in their feed at whatever time they happen to be using the platform. And, logically, this means that your Followers would not be able to engage with every Tweet from your account.

Their engagement statistics, and explanations of why this would occur, do reflect back on the general Twitter theory: the more you Tweet, the more you will gain engagement from your Followers.

 

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Tweet for Success

So, the ultimate question here is: how often should you actually Tweet?

If there is no cap on how many times is appropriate, then don’t feel like you’re left without any real Twitter guidelines. There are a few studies that reveal approximately 5 Tweets a day is a good average, and we particularly feel like between 3-5 a day is a good start for a business beginning to Tweet.

Also, despite the fact that many users Tweet more often, we would advise that it is probably best for a business to always stay under 10 Tweets a day. Mainly because more than 10 Tweets a day, could simply seem like spamming and over-promoting your business.

We have already discussed the fact that content is the most important factor behind your Twitter success, however another important factor is to space out your Tweets over the day. If you think that you can spend approximately an hour a day, firing out Tweets and ReTweets, then you are not making the most of this platform. Tweets should be spaced out and scheduled over the course of the day, in order to attempt to reach the most engagement and not clog up your Followers’ feeds.

Break down your number of Tweets over the day like so: the first in the morning, making sure to reach your Followers going to work. Then, the second should be around lunchtime to reach people during their lunch break. The third should be in the early afternoon, approximately 4pm or just before people generally finish work. We would also advise the last fourth or fifth Tweet to go out in the evening period. The evening is one of the most frequented Twitter times of the day, and so putting out 2 Tweets in the evening would be quite effective and beneficial.

 

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Ultimately, we hope we have cleared up a few myths and beliefs about Tweeting, and how often you should Tweet daily.

If you are interested in finding more about how often your business should Tweet, and how you can best optimise your audience and potential consumers to gain desired brand engagement through Twitter, then Bright Yellow Creative can help!

We will sort out your Twitter account, and create and share interesting content to Tweet to your Followers. We will spend quality time on the platform, ensuring that your business is Tweeting often, and throughout the day, for optimal engagement.

Contact us for more information about our social media packages here, and take a look at our social media services here (the specific Twitter services we offer can be found here).

See how we can benefit your business through Twitter, and other social media, starting today!

Introducing Bolt – Your New Picture Messaging App

Introducing Bolt – Your New Picture Messaging App

Messaging apps have been having a moment recently. From picture messaging to unusual messaging you never thought you needed, such as Yo and Meow Chat, there seems to be an endless supply of message apps with new ways to chat and connect with your friends. So, it’s not surprising to be introduced to a new image based messaging app, to rival Snapchat, Mirage, Slingshot and more, created by Instagram.

 

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About Facebook-Owned Instagram

Instagram is currently a highly popular phone app and social media service, which allows users to upload and edit their own photos or videos to share with their followers. It creates a unique profile for each user, consisting of their photos, and allows users to easily follow other users to gain their image updates in their Instagram feed. The app debuted in 2010, and amassed such a following that Facebook instantly purchased the app for $1billion in the same year. (See our Instagram social media services for what we could offer your business here.)

The main feature of the social media channel is that it allows you to filter your photos and videos, and create interesting edits. However, up till now, the channel has been rather unsocial for communicating with other users and your followers, as you are currently only able to comment on or like other peoples’ images, and respond on your own images. This seems to be all about to change with Instagram’s new app, which is designed for direct messaging with other users.

 

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Instagram’s new messaging app is called Bolt.

 

Bolt basically allows users to send self-deletable photos and videos from their mobile phones, through this messaging service. The unique selling point relies on needing just one click to select the user to send your image, and to take your photo and send it, all in one. Similarly, for videos, you just click and hold down for longer. Bolt basically shows photos of your contacts as round avatars at the bottom of the app screen, and clicking on one contact will automatically take a snapshot and send it, requiring you to hold down longer on the contact for a video. If you are worried about accidental sends through this process, then don’t worry as an extra feature includes being able to shake your phone in order to delete a photo or video that has been sent straight away.

 

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Bolt is Efficient

Instagram states that the speed of Bolt makes all the difference, and provides a much quicker and more efficient way to send images and videos. Another effective feature, they claim, is that Bolt only requires a quick registration of entering your mobile number, and you can get started. With Bolt, you are able to sync your contacts through the phone numbers you have saved in your phone, although you are strangely unable to sync contacts through either your Instagram or Facebook contacts.

However, at the moment, users are only able to access a maximum of 20 contacts through this app, with 4 favourites on the main screen, and an easy swipe through function to access the other 16. Also, the focus is very much on one-to-one communication, as users are currently restricted to sending their image or video to one person at a time. Although, Bolt has introduced some interesting features, including allowing users to edit and caption the photos sent, and an option to reply to their contacts with text overlaid over the previously sent image.

 

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Too Much Visual Messaging Competition?

Bolt seems interesting enough, but is there too much competition and similar applications already out there on the market? Is it different enough? For example, even Facebook itself, who owns Instagram and Bolt, have recently brought out Slingshot image messaging. The Slingshot app includes the unique point that users can only view a photo they have been sent after they respond with another, as well as including a send to all function. Also, the Yo chat founder has recently brought out a rival in Mirage, a picture service that has already gained widespread comparisons for being highly similar in function to Bolt.

Another critique that Instagram’s Bolt has faced so far is in the name, as it is directly the same as an Android application. This previous Bolt is a service dedicated to replacing traditional voice calling and text messaging through current phone plans. They have reached out to Instagram asking them to reconsider the Bolt name, in order to maintain their brand, but have yet to receive a response. Yet, it is highly unlikely that Instagram will change it.

 

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Bolt: Flipping the Concept

Instagram simply doesn’t seem at all put off by the competition or any critiques, including featuring as similar to any current photo and video messaging apps out there. An Instagram spokesman has already commented: “When Instagram itself launched four years ago, we weren’t the first photo filter app. Our tradition is that we look at a space and create a super simple, pretty experience to fit it.”

The Instagram app certainly gained mass popularity rapidly, and it seems that they are hoping Bolt will follow suit. Instagram claims that they are fully behind and support Bolt completely, and hope this will flip the whole concept of image based communication and photo sharing on its head.

 

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Download Bolt!

If you already can’t wait to download Bolt and send images to your 20 favourites to your heart’s content, unfortunately you will have to wait a little longer. Currently, Bolt has only been released in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa. Bolt intends on expanding into other countries soon, although a date has not been confirmed. The release has been rather quiet so far, but perhaps this is a logical approach intended to scale the experience.

As Bright Yellow Creative are an office full of current Instagram devotees, we definitely anticipate the release! We are excited to witness what Bolt really has to offer.

 

introducingbolt