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.
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.
Email is not dead. It will also most likely never be replaced, no matter how many new social media platforms come out or how the online trends change. It is usually the first place everyone checks at the start of the day, and particularly a working day. Most people can access their emails from their phones as well, so they are literally checking their email all day, intermittently, on the go.
We know this because we are one of those: compulsively checking our inboxes, and still subscribing to our favourite websites or brands. Emails are not dead, so neither then are email subscriptions. They are perhaps one of the oldest online methods to get people to connect to your brand, and they are not outdated yet. Email subscriptions are vital in connecting with your audience, and work as an effective marketing technique that should not be overlooked.
Check your inbox, if you like, and count: how many email subscriptions do you receive? Whether they’re from your favourite online clothing retailers, or just Tesco emailing about your Clubcard points, most people are subscribed to at least one email list.
An email list is therefore an undeniably vital asset for any business, although acquiring one can be the difficult part. It is one thing asking and prompting your users to subscribe, and another actually acquiring an efficient email list.
The majority of email lists people join inevitably come from online shopping, as this is definitely one of the easiest ways for brands to access your email address. Most online retailers require your email address, in order to keep you updated with your order, and then afterwards you find yourself receiving regular email updates as well as short email articles.
This is definitely the best way to access your consumers’ email inboxes, and get them subscribed to your list. Also, in a few physical retail stores, most notably Apple, they have started giving “online receipts”, as opposed to paper ones. The way they do this is by asking for your email address, and emailing you the receipt for your in-store purchase. So, miraculously, you have found yourself subscribed to their email list.
How To Create an Email List
However, what if you aren’t directly selling a product for your online users’ to purchase? This does make it more difficult to create a successful email list, although there are ways around. The crucial part of an email subscription list is simply offering them something in return. In this retail case, they are providing a purchase and service in return for the email address. And, whether you are an online retailer or not, you can also easily offer a service in return for their email.
Examples of a service can be: a discount code or free offer, a newsletter, information about your particular brand or upcoming events, or anything relating to your business and brand. If your online user feels like they will benefit from signing up to your email subscription list in some way, then they are far more likely to sign up. This is a good incentive, plus they won’t feel like they have been deceitfully bribed into giving you access to their email inbox.
Make Your Sign Up Form Stand Out
One of the most important ways to get them to subscribe, asides from offering an incentive, is to make signing up a clear part of your website. You need to make your sign up form stand out, and feature as something for your consumers to complete easily. Acquiring emails for your email list is far more important than getting them to follow you on Facebook or Twitter, so it should be made more obvious on your site.
Many businesses create landing pages simply for this purpose – a landing page is one page, either on its own or as a part of your website, that is intended for people to subscribe to an email list. The landing page is typically designed with only one place for online users to go: the sign up form. This is definitely one effective way that businesses get their audience to subscribe.
However, why not treat every page of your website as a landing page? Link your sign up box to the top or bottom (or both!) of each page, and keep prompting. Many websites put their email subscribe box at the bottom of each page and blog post, prompting their consumers that they will gain more benefits and content from entering their email. Make the sign up form stand out; make it easy to access; you should be sorted.
One of the main points of a sign up box is not to make it too complicated. If you’re asking for too many details, and making them jump through too many hoops, they simply won’t go through the effort to sign up. All you really need for email subscriptions is their email address, and a click button to subscribe. If you want their name as well (to make the emails more personal, perhaps), then that’s up to you. Although, we really recommend asking for the least information you possibly can.
Most email subscription services are double opting in, additionally. This means that each user will automatically receive an email asking them to click on a link to confirm that they really do want to subscribe, even after they’ve entered their details onto your website. Try to personalise this email as much as you can, in order to give them more incentive to click through and finalise their subscription. For example, only offer them their free incentive if they click through.
So, there you go! If you follow these tips, you are well on your way to acquiring a successful, and effective, business email list.
Well, as previously mentioned, your successful email list is one of the strongest assets for your business. It adds weight to your business, and counts far more than any connections on social media, RSS subscriptions and certainly more than website page views. It’s the best way to create a responsive consumer base, in order to build your brand and connect with a wider audience. You can sell your latest product, promote upcoming events, and more: simply through your email subscriptions. You can also use emails to provide your consumers with more content, as it often generates more response than online articles or blog posts.
You can also use your email list as a business asset in another way. An email list adds far more value to your business, and you can use it to create trades with other businesses. There are even ways to buy and sell useful email lists! Use it to build your network connections, and draw more success for your business all round.
If you want to find out more about how to successfully create your own thriving business email subscription list, contact Bright Yellow Creative today!
We know exactly how to connect to your audience, and utilise an effective email list service. Email marketing is a vital part of digital marketing, and you need to make sure that you are making the most of it for your business.
Check out more about the services we offer for email marketing, and creating successful email lists, here. Also, for a breakdown of our services and prices, take a look here!
Allow Bright Yellow Creative to benefit your business – Contact us today!
When it comes to social media marketing, LinkedIn is often overlooked by many individuals and companies. They are already on Twitter and they have a Facebook Company Page, so why bother with LinkedIn as well? After all, isn’t it just used by people who are looking for a new job?
In fact, LinkedIn is just as useful as both Twitter and Facebook if you know how to use it correctly. Indeed, in some cases, certain businesses and business people would be better off focusing their social media efforts than they would on other social networks.
Here are just 7 of the many reasons why you should be on LinkedIn and be proactively using it.
1. It Clearly Establishes Who You Are
Unlike other social networks, LinkedIn clearly establishes who you are. Not only does your LinkedIn profile prompt you to give as much professional information about yourself as possible, but other people can vouch for the claims that you are making.
On your LinkedIn profile, you can ask others to write you a LinkedIn Recommendations (a written testimonial for your work in a particular role) or award you a LinkedIn Endorsement (where other LinkedIn users can publicly endorse you for a particular skill you have listed on your profile). These are an important selling point of LinkedIn, as only other users themselves can post LinkedIn Recommendations and award LinkedIn Endorsements, and both link back to the referee’s own LinkedIn profile (thereby enhancing the authenticity of the reference).
Profiles on other social networks are populated solely by the individual in question, and it is therefore comparatively easy to make outlandish claims about your skills and successes to date. LinkedIn encourages you to put yourself in a good light and then get others to confirm your claims, which in itself is a powerful selling tool.
As we shall see below, all your interactions on the LinkedIn network link back to your LinkedIn profile, so it is important that your LinkedIn profile is properly populated and accessible to all.
2. It Is An Effective, Non-intrusive Way Of Keeping In Touch With Your Address Book
LinkedIn in many ways is the modern equivalent of the Rolodex; instead of filing away a business card when you get back from a meeting or network event, the modern equivalent is sending a request to connect on LinkedIn.
While it would be foolish to be overly reliant on LinkedIn as a form of CRM (Customer Record Management System), LinkedIn is an alive, dynamic online version of your address book. Depending on how LinkedIn settings have be adjusted by others and yourself, you will get notifications of when others change jobs, are approaching work anniversaries or have been recommended/ endorsed by others. You can also see who others are connecting to as well (again, depending on the settings).
Not only that, but Linkedin, like Facebook, has a central news feed which you immediately see when logging into the social network. As with Facebook, you and others can post status updates, links and photos to this feed, which will be visible to all your LinkedIn contacts.
It is therefore sensible to view LinkedIn as a professional equivalent of Facebook through which you can cultivate your B2B relationships, and this should be a consideration when selecting what material or information you want to share via the network.
3. LinkedIn Groups Are A Great Way Of Networking Online
Away from your LinkedIn profile and the news feed, LinkedIn hosts thousands of web forums (exclusive to the social network) known as LinkedIn Groups. LinkedIn Groups are set up by LinkedIn users themselves and can be in relations to any professional sector, geographical region, interest or hobby you can think of.
The diversity of LinkedIn Groups is a great boon when it comes to meeting new people with whom you could have a professional relationships, while offering the user to establish their own credentials and online persona by contributing to the debates taking place within the groups.
Just as I have added to people to my LinkedIn network who I have met ‘offline’, I have also added people who I have only interacted with via the LinkedIn network itself. On the back of my posts in LinkedIn Groups, I have had enquiries about my services and requests for collaboration.
Even though some LinkedIn Groups have a particular regional focus, most of the sector-orientated LinkedIn Groups have an international scope, making LinkedIn great if you are looking to establish connections or a professional reputation overseas.
4. A Good LinkedIn Profile & Persona Is A Great Way Of Attracting New Clients
As has already been alluded to, proactive use of LinkedIn can lead to new clients or customers and this is why it is crucial that you have a professional demeanour on the network and a fully populated LinkedIn Profile. All your interactions on LinkedIn can lead back to your profile, so ensure that it is of the highest standard and fully reflects all of your abilities and accomplishments.
LinkedIn is also increasingly being used by employers and companies as a vetting reference when it comes to either recruitment or sourcing new suppliers. I for one always check out the LinkedIn profiles of individuals I am about to do business with, and I know that I am not alone in doing so.
In other words, a decent LinkedIn profile can seal the deal with any companies or other individuals who are looking to hire your services. All LinkedIn profiles are indexed in LinkedIn’s internal search engine, so also think about keywords that you should be using in your profile to attract the attention of potential clients or customers.
In addition, you can also have a special LinkedIn profile for your company, known as a LinkedIn Company Page. Given the focus on the individual elsewhere on the network, LinkedIn Company Pages are a bit of an awkward feature on LinkedIn in my opinion. However, I would argue a LinkedIn Company Page needs to be set up for an organisation or company for general external reference, although I personally would advise not spending too much time and effort in supporting it on an ongoing basis.
5. It Is Not Just About New Customers; LinkedIn Can Help You Source New Suppliers Too
LinkedIn is not all about finding new clients or customers, nor is just an exercise in personal branding; LinkedIn is an excellent source of finding new suppliers as well.
In many ways you can invert the advice given above; if someone has gone to the effort to fully populate their LinkedIn profile and have received many LinkedIn Recommendations and LinkedIn Endorsements from others, you are more likely to use their services than someone in an equivalent role in an equivalent sector. You can quantify a lot more about someone if they have provided you with the necessary information you need to make a choice about whether to use their services or not.
Again, one cannot emphasise enough that LinkedIn is not just about LinkedIn profiles. I have asked many times in LinkedIn Groups for suggestions of suppliers for particular jobs and services, and I have received recommendations and direct approaches in return. If a supplier is alert and proactive enough on LinkedIn, it can win them additional work.
6. LinkedIn Can Help You Find A New Job
Even though it does play into the predominant yet false cliché that LinkedIn is only for people looking for new jobs, there is no getting away from the fact LinkedIn is a brilliant tool for looking for new career opportunities.
You adjust your LinkedIn settings so that you get notified when businesses or sectors you are interested in are advertising for new staff, and many companies proactively push job opportunities in the LinkedIn news feed and within LinkedIn Groups.
Not only that, but you can even apply online via LinkedIn for certain roles, using your LinkedIn Profile as your CV submission. This only highlights the importance of having a decent and full LinkedIn profile, regardless of how you plan to utilise the social network.
7. LinkedIn Can Help You Find New Staff For Your Business
The obvious flipside of the above is that LinkedIn is great if you are looking to recruit additional staff for your own business. LinkedIn behaviour and a LinkedIn profile can tell you a lot more about a potential candidate than a static, traditional CV.
As a potential employer, you can even message those who have provided LinkedIn Recommendations via the network itself if you require further information or clarity about a candidate, and the LinkedIn search function allows you to headhunt without the need of a traditional recruitment agency.
The only caveat to this is that should involve your Human Resources department in all of this, to ensure that you are abiding by your organisation’s recruitment process and recruitment law in general. This is especially true given that many recruitment processes ensure that recruitment decisions are not made on the basis of ethnicity, gender, sexuality or age, some of which can be inadvertently discerned by looking at potential candidates’ LinkedIn profiles.
In conclusion, I think a LinkedIn presence is essential for almost all professionals, and is an absolute necessity if your focus, products or services are B2B. Like the other social networks, LinkedIn is far from perfect and it has its issues (the User Interface is at times woeful, for example), but I think having a LinkedIn profile will soon become an expect norm for the modern worker.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When posting to Facebook, on either your business or personal account, it can be tempting to post continuous updates as well as all of the interesting/funny news stories you find online. Facebook is designed for sharing content and connecting with people, so theoretically there is nothing wrong with constant updates and links.
However, you will run the risk of being considered a News Feed ‘spammer’, and other Facebook users (either in your Friends list or who Like your page) will most likely get irritated by you. This will obviously lead to the opposite desired effect of making a connection and informing fellow users, and may result in your Friends and Like connections possibly removing you from their News Feed somehow.
So, this is the main question when it comes to Facebook: how often should you post? Also, how often is too often?
The first thing to do when it comes to your Facebook posting is check how much you are posting every day. For a business page, you can run a higher risk of coming across as ‘spamming’ if you post too often, and too often is definitely less than for a personal profile page.
As a business page on Facebook, you will find that at first it is difficult to find a brand personality, and the type of content you want to link to your followers and potential consumers. However, once you have found your brand niche, and the content that relates to and connects with your consumers, you will often find that there are so many things you want to share with your audience. This is great, but this is also when you will find it difficult to control how often you are posting.
As far as what constitutes as ‘spamming’, or irritating your followers and consumers, if you find yourself posting 3 times a day or more, you are on the verge of crossing the line. Studies have shown that, in fact, after an average of 2 daily posts, your Facebook followers will tune out and find your post more annoying than interesting. Therefore, we would advise that the most optimal amount of times to post on Facebook is 2 per day, and 3 maximum, if you require.
Space It Out
The second factor is to consider the times of which you are posting in detail. If you have ever typed in anything about Facebook posting into Google, you will find at least one infographic informing you of all the best times in a day to post to various social media platforms. However, not saying to completely ignore these, but we believe that the best way to work out what times to post per day is by trial and error.
Each business page is different, relates to individual business and services, and relies on a different audience and consumer base. This all means that the times to post per day would be different for every separate business and brand, in order to get the most engagement and connect with your audience beneficially. For example, a lifestyle brand would find that the best engagement is during lunch hours, or later in the afternoon or early evening, as opposed to in the morning. Whereas, a financial type of business would find that they reach a better audience in the earlier morning, and would achieve no reach if they were to post in the evening.
The best way to go about starting your Facebook posting is to begin with the standard 2 posts a day, during morning and afternoon periods, and monitor your engagement and views with your audience over a certain timeframe. Also, consider how your target audience would use Facebook on the weekends, and whether it would change from the weekday. Then simply adjust your Facebook posting, based on the monitoring, to gain the optimal engagement with your potential consumers.
Recently, Facebook has gained a lot of media coverage with regards to the engagement that businesses and brands can reach through the platform. Many marketers have been complaining that Facebook has drastically dropped the organic reach of many business pages’ posts. For example, the engagement dropped by over half for many pages.
People are generally unhappy about this decrease in organic reach and engagement, as it appears to come from Facebook’s desire to have brands and businesses paying to advertise and reach their targeted audience through the platform. In June 2014, Facebook’s VP of Ads Product Marketing, Brian Boland, even stated as much, saying: “Facebook is far more effective when businesses use paid media to help meet their goals. Your business won’t always appear on the first page of a search result unless you’re paying to be part of that space.”
However, another reason for this drop in Facebook engagement for brands is that there are simply a lot more people and businesses on Facebook, meaning more traffic and other posts to compete with. Facebook works by generating relevant news stories in your News Feed, which they feel will be of interest to you based on your most clicked on and viewed posts. This means that not only does it affect business pages, but you will also find more stories from people you communicate with or view more than with other people in your Friends list.
The fact that Facebook curates your individual News Feed isn’t bad, as it assures that the users who are interested can view all of the content and not miss updates that could be important to them. However, their policy just makes it more awkward for businesses to try and reach their target audience if Facebook is editing the individual user engagement.
In addition to these general Facebook reach rules and News Feed curation, individual business or brand pages have their own organic reach statistics. In general, Facebook seems to make sure your posts gain more widespread reach if you post less frequently per day.
For example, if you only post the 1 link or update per day, Facebook will allow more of your consumers to view that post. Conversely, if you post 5 per day, Facebook appears to separate the organic reach out over the 5 posts, meaning less reach per post. This basically confirms the fact that not even one user who has liked your page will receive all of your updates in their News Feed, without visiting your business page directly.
This fact just adds to the fact that you should post a maximum of 3 updates per day, and preferably 2. Although, as far as individual business page engagement, if you posted just 1 update or link each day, you would technically gain more reach from that one post.
Ultimately, we advise for businesses to keep to the 2-per-day rule, in order to make sure you are reaching your business’ potential on Facebook. However, it would be interesting for you to test out your brand and business page on Facebook during different times, to find out the optimal times for your individual business.
Also, as far as Facebook engagement, their rates and organic reach have currently begun rising again. Facebook has reacted to peoples’ complaints about the lack of organic reach, and attempted to amend this for business and brand pages. As part of this, recently Facebook has created their “Save” button feature, which you may have noticed on brand pages, alongside the “Like/Unlike” button. This is an attempt to further the organic reach and traffic from Facebook, as it works as a reading list function, to save the page for later. This “Save” buton will count towards your overall business page engagement, and will be beneficial for businesses through this channel, according to Facebook. So, time to wait and see how much difference the “Save” button makes.
If you are interested in finding more about how often your business should post on Facebook, and how you can best optimise your audience and potential consumers to gain desired brand engagement, then Bright Yellow Creative can help!
We will sort out your Facebook business page, and create and share interesting content to engage with your viewers and consumers.
Contact us for more information about our social media packages here, and take a look at our social media services here (our specific Facebook services can be found here).
See how we can benefit your business through Facebook, and other social media, starting today!