iPHONE 8, X & SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING by Sophie Amono

With Apple taking to the global tech stage last week to reveal its latest innovations we were treated to two new iPhones (three if you include the 8s), all in the week which saw Social Media Week take the global marketing stage in London, Jakarta, Miami and São Paulo.

So of course my first thought (after Google searching every article out there to see if the face recognition Passcode feature could be disabled in the iPhone X), was 'what does this mean for a Social Media Specialists like myself?'. Well there are quite a few features that make the digital marketeer in me go "ooh" and here are exactly a few:

1. The Animoji (that's animated emoji) is probably the most exciting of all the new features for the marketeers out there. Using the iPhone X's new 3D face scanning technology, emojis just got taken up a gear as Apple users will be able to create video loop GIFs of emojis using their face.  With emojis appearing everywhere from clothing to mega buck campaigns it definitely needed a facelift to re-assert its relevance and this new addition from Apple gives just that. If you listen closely you can 👂 (hear) Brand & Social Media Managers alike thinking of all the ways they can use these new emojis in their marketing campaigns (my list already features everything from SMS CRM campaigns to live event Twitter coverage). And it's not all poop emojis and social media chat either. According to Mailchimp the most popular email marketing subject line emoji is the ® graphic, highlighting the emojis business communication power.

1. The Animoji (that's animated emoji) is probably the most exciting of all the new features for the marketeers out there. Using the iPhone X's new 3D face scanning technology, emojis just got taken up a gear as Apple users will be able to create video loop GIFs of emojis using their face. 

With emojis appearing everywhere from clothing to mega buck campaigns it definitely needed a facelift to re-assert its relevance and this new addition from Apple gives just that. If you listen closely you can 👂 (hear) Brand & Social Media Managers alike thinking of all the ways they can use these new emojis in their marketing campaigns (my list already features everything from SMS CRM campaigns to live event Twitter coverage).

And it's not all poop emojis and social media chat either. According to Mailchimp the most popular email marketing subject line emoji is the ® graphic, highlighting the emojis business communication power.

2. As Social Media Managers become mini production power houses of their own the need for stellar smartphone photography has become one of the deciding factors in mobile purchase and Apple's new dual portrait lighting provides much in the way of ace photography lighting. Add to this the fact that you can shoot 4K video in take pictures in greater depth it makes for a pretty decent mobile photography choice. According to Apple by using "ARKit, iOS developers can take advantage of the TrueDepth camera and the rear cameras to create games and apps offering fantastically immersive and fluid experiences that go far beyond the screen" all helping to expand the immersive marketing experience in 2017 and beyond.

2. As Social Media Managers become mini production power houses of their own the need for stellar smartphone photography has become one of the deciding factors in mobile purchase and Apple's new dual portrait lighting provides much in the way of ace photography lighting. Add to this the fact that you can shoot 4K video in take pictures in greater depth it makes for a pretty decent mobile photography choice. According to Apple by using "ARKit, iOS developers can take advantage of the TrueDepth camera and the rear cameras to create games and apps offering fantastically immersive and fluid experiences that go far beyond the screen" all helping to expand the immersive marketing experience in 2017 and beyond.

3. Finally in this trio is Apple's clear step towards partaking in the market share of the €27 billion social media industry's global revenue. By partnering with Snapchat to develop the Animoji and releasing it's own Clips earlier this year Apple is staging the iPhone as the mobile device of choice for social media use. It's probably therefore a pretty wise choice for brands to adopt these new features earlier rather than later to gain the most from the day Apple inevitably go full social.

3. Finally in this trio is Apple's clear step towards partaking in the market share of the €27 billion social media industry's global revenue. By partnering with Snapchat to develop the Animoji and releasing it's own Clips earlier this year Apple is staging the iPhone as the mobile device of choice for social media use. It's probably therefore a pretty wise choice for brands to adopt these new features earlier rather than later to gain the most from the day Apple inevitably go full social.

For free 1:1 social media advice sessions in Scotland head to Cultural Enterprise Office.

CHANNELING SOCIAL CHANGE by Sophie Amono

"Google Analytics is perhaps one of the most useful tools a Social Media whizz can be armed with. Channels give you proof of the power of your campaigns in driving actions based on website goals."

THE BREAK by Sophie Amono

When social media takes up about 70% of what you call your day job it can be rather difficult to separate oneself from this medium of self expression. In reality though doing social media as a job will lead to total digital burnout and the inability to really filter information (slash decipher between important and irrelevant emotion online), leading to a state of constant panic where all views disappear into a smorgasbord of sTUFFs that really doesn't hold any real value at all.

So at the end of July I decided it was time to go offline on all of my social media accounts. No more daily updates. No more expressing emotion in a 140 character tweet. No more Instagram stalking or comparisons but rather just straight up social media for work and nothing else.

Yes, it took some getting used to but do you know what the result was? I felt less stressed and more able to acknowledge and interpret the situations happening around me for what they really were. From grief to elation back down to disappointment without the digital culture of iPower my mind was able to experience the situation without the constant pressure of voyeuristic documentation. I didn't have an audience so therefore it was just me, myself and I to delve into the here & now.

The world we live in is unravelling before our very eyes and unless we reconnect with bigger powers than ourselves we will only continue to grown in our sense of self importance and iPower warped philosophy - making us inevitably one of the most stagnant human civilisations in the past 6,000 years of human existence.

In fact more than anything this return to personal digital communication is to remind me that I survived existing without the need of social media and that in the grand scheme of things social media really means nothing unless we are really in tune with the reality of our fellow humans.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA DAY | 9 REASONS SOCIAL ROCKS by Sophie Amono

  1. Meeting perfect strangers

  2. Having a platform to share

  3. The spirit of collaboration it drives

  4. Its ability to amplify social issues

  5. Memes & GIFs make the world go round

  6. Conversation starter

  7. Democratised business sales & marketing

  8. Gives a voice to the underrepresented

  9. Changed the face of marketing

PRESS PAUSE by Sophie Amono

The demands of the modern world are taxing enough without considering the digital pressures working long hours and 24hr connectivity can have on us..

As we use social media daily and our digital consumption grows we're bound to reach time for time out.

According to WIRED, "The average adult in the UK spends nearly nine hours of each day on media and communication, outstripping even the amount of time spent sleeping or doing other vital tasks, according to the latest figures from Ofcom."

Isn't that a bit scary? Our time spent online at work on stressful emails, commuting looking at sad news then lying in bed pressing refresh as the brain is too engaged to go to sleep is more than vital tasks needed for human survival.

Here are five quick fire tips to help if you're suffering from burnout.

DETOX | Every once in a while go on a digital detox for three days or more where you consume no digital media. If you can add an actual detox to it too, extra brownie points.

NATURE | Turn off your phone and go for a walk in nature as often as you can. If you can get into the habit of walking in a park before work, at lunchtime and just before you get home it can really help you recharge.

ACCEPT | It's ok to have down days so don't beat yourself up if you feel burnt out.

SCHEDULE | Content in weekly blocks if you're job is digital communications so that you can avoid the daily content scramble.

FORGET | Things go wrong and that's fine. Easier said than done but if things go wrong acknowledge them, jot down three things you've learnt from them and why you're grateful for the lessons.

iPOWER & INFLUENCERS by Sophie Amono

Dear blogger who shan't be named but represents an epidemic of iPower values,

Your recent article in Cosmopolitan is but a symptom of a deeper rooted issue in society which is a lack of true love.

Love for others & love for sTUFFs. While of course no one can claim love for those around you isn't apparent how about for those not? Those who also love fashion, beauty and whichever beautiful field they are passionate about just as much as you love yours. Those who want to get their voice out there but were studying, raising families or working full time so blogging never seemed like something that could involve them all those years ago. Those who were bullied and through blogging found a community of support and empowerment.

iPower philosophy is oh so rife and a poison that creeps silently into society lying dormant until its infectious sting rears its ugly head in say a magazine article or ill timed YouTube video. It tells us we are the most important thing and how dare others want to do what i am doing - oh what a liar this disease is.

People are starting to kick back from mega influencers because they don't represent the real world. Unfortunately they are beginning to represent the dark overly curated breeding ground of iPower. Where's the blogs on dealing with doing your make up on the bus because you're juggling two jobs while trying to talk about your passions through your blog? Where's the blogs on dealing with period pain in a workplace full of men? You see like it or lump it the smaller bloggers haven't been contaminated with theinfluencer strain of iPower, making them actually a lot of influential because they haven't got a huge brand to honour before integrity. I'll trust someone with 100 followers telling me a product works over an 100k account that's clearly being read from a PR note any day of the week and micro influencers believe it or not will hold most sway with consumers as time goes on. Pools of community champions & us the common people when aligned to a brand speak much louder than a few social media stars as I'm sure yourself, Pepsi and others have experienced.

We hustle, we help but above all we're all humans so feel & hurt just like you so hey next time let's all just remember we're in this thing called life together.

Yours,

Everyone that does sTUFFs

GO BIG OR GO HOME | WORKING WITH BLOGGERS by Sophie Amono

The pleasure of doing sTUFFs with blogger and influencer sensation Freddie Harrel was a highlight of 2016/17 and of course with platforms such as VOGUE, Stylist & Marks & Spencer's all vying for a piece of Freddie's infectiously brilliant style there were was a lot to be learnt. So grab a notebook & pen as here are five things to bare in mind with working with blogggers.

1. Bloggers are busy people, often running multi brand empires on their own so while daily contact isn't likely to happen try and send weekly status updates regardless of whether a catch up appens or not so that they can catch up in their own time.

2. Collaboration is the name of the creative project game so don't shy away from suggesting artists, photographers, stylists, copywriters & web developers who may be able to help them out - you never know it could be the thing that makes a project go big. In fact that's exactly what happened as fave print maker Jamilla Okubo was a natural fit for Freddie's brand. Asking Jamilla to get involved in designing a logo &  print was a no brainer considering her equally infectious bold, uplifting and celebratory work. And naturally this international collaboration led to an entire brand direction for BHNC including packaging and a roll out across social media.

3. Influencers are fast moving people who juggle multiple brand projects so remember to keep cool and calm. WhatsApp is great for firing over any project questions that just can't wait.

4. It pays to keep a log of everything you're doing so that all your hard work can be turned into an awesome case study for your portfolio and website (keep your own record of stats if it's a digital and ecommerce project).

5. Bitly is a great way to track social media performance for blogger projects as it allows you to prove ROI when access to Google Analytics isn't available or a sie isn't live.

Over three months the Bitly link to the newsletter sign-up on the holding page received over 1,500 clicks with over 97% coming from Instagram - the brand's strongest platform + resulting 600 sign-ups.

Now that's BIG.