Meeting perfect strangers
Having a platform to share
The spirit of collaboration it drives
Its ability to amplify social issues
Memes & GIFs make the world go round
Democratised business sales & marketing
Gives a voice to the underrepresented
Changed the face of marketing
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.
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.
Everyone that does sTUFFs
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.
Colours mean sTUFFs and there's a reason why the colours chosen for sTUFFs are primary. For they are the building blocks of life, vibrant yet safe, common yet emotive.
As a tech company you'd think Facebook (Instagram's parent company) would be driving innovation on all levels but as the latest Instagram updates show imitation is the best form of flattery apparently (or robbery depending on how you look at it).
While Instagram Stories has allowed those of us without Snapchat to enjoy the joy of vanishing video content Instagram's recent update highlights a worrying trend, in Facebook's global domination of the social media market, of just stealing what you can't buy.
It's problematic and a slap in the face for those of us who value creative newness not to mention the developers who work at these tech giants but does this mean the end of Snapchat?
Well no. Snapchat is the cooler younger sister that has the millennial market firmly on side, a market Facebook knows are leaving its parent platform in droves and less millennials means less brands spending advertising budget which is less money for Facebook.
And while the copy & paste approach to platform updates isn't innovation at its finest there is method behind their madness. You see advertising on Snapchat costs a lot, a hell of a lot and Facebook knows small to mid sized brands don't have the budget for branded Snapchat filters etc which can cost anywhere upwards of £90k so by providing the same features on Instagram they can undercut pricing and lure in the small to mid sized brands. Although Geofilters are a pretty great way for smaller brands to get in on the Snapchat advertising party.
With Facebook Advertising kind of taking a hit last year - read this great article by Smoolis on tackling any Facebook Ad click farm campaign issues - Instagram is now its main focus for making that cash money.
Le sigh ay! We loved the old Instagram with its organic audience growing tendencies and ability to allow even the smallest of brands to create a global following & customer base all for free so while the powers that be at Facebook get ready to pile on the algorithm pressure get to growing your Instagram base peeps!
IN AN OVERCROWDED, CONSUMER GOODS SPACE WHERE THERE IS A LOT OF STUFF AVAILABLE IT IS ABOUT MAKING THE RIGHT DECISION /
- Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne Customer & Marketing Executive Director at M&S.com laying down some major wisdom in speaking to The Drum.
But the real knowledge nugget came in the quote “the call to action I want this to have is ‘don’t miss out on the things that really matter in life today, don’t be on autopilot.’"
Everything is connected and that's before we've even got to social media and the world wideweb.
Life and humans are connected by many a thread; the space we share, the desire for love, the pursuit of happiness it all bonds us deeper than we can imagine.
So of course with social media that is the case too. The sTUFFs that connect us are infinite and that means the sources of inspiration for your content should be too.
On a recent jaunt to Nice a stop off at Musèe Matisse to indulge in the work of this childhood fave reminded me of two things that pertain rather brilliantly to social media:
1, The joy we felt as children and the pure creative sTUFFs we loved to explore should be revisited frequently and with gusto. In them inspiration for the create side of 'The Science' of social media can be found aplenty.
2, .Mistakes can end up being art works of brilliance and a pair of scissors & papier ended up being the ultimate inspiration. In the gallery were discarded cut out shapes Henri didn't use in his final masterpieces being enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year. Donated by his family flicking through each frame felt like a secret discovery of his creative process (now that's another post entirely) but for this point why not grab some materials - paper, card, magazines, silk, foil, leaves & cut them out to make shapes, words, signs whatever you feel like really - then scan or photograph them to post onto Instagram. Sure it may not work out first time or the fifth cutout but hey those are the masterpieces before your 'La Gerbe'.