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Top social media trends for brands and small businesses in 2022 

Social media is constantly changing. How we use it and the features available are continuously evolving. Every year social media platforms roll out new features, update layouts, and reshape how we use their platforms. Businesses benefit greatly from the digital age with the opportunity to connect and market their brands to global consumers right at their fingertips. However, to make the most of social media and utilize all its features, it’s important to keep up with the latest social media trends. 

Today we’ve compiled a breakdown of popular social media trends and features by platform that you can use to better market your brand and small business in 2022.

social media, facebook

Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

Facebook 

Facebook is a huge platform for brands and small businesses with tons of opportunities for customer engagement, brand promotion, and advertising. Four top Facebook trends brands and businesses should be sure to utilize and incorporate into their marketing strategies are: User-generated Content, Longform Posts, Facebook Stories, and Facebook Groups. 

User-generated Content (UGC) is content created by customers that (with permission) you may re-share on your own feed. This type of content is fun for your audience to see their videos, photos, reviews and comments shared by the brands they love. By incorporating UGC into your marketing you’re showing your customers that you value their brand-loyalty and engagement and it creates a greater bond between brand and consumer while bolstering the community. Additionally, UGC is authentic content that is mutually beneficial for both the user and the brand. 

Longform Posts are usually used to promote long ad copies. Typically accompanied by a visual such as an image, banner, or video, longform posts have been shown to perform well. According to research conducted on this topic, long ad copies tend to see “a lower cost per action (CPA)” and provide audiences with more information before they click, leading to a higher chance of engagement. 

To utilize longform posts in your branding use some eye-catching emojis as bullet-points, include a visual and testimonials, and use the longform format to give your audience the full scope of your offerings. 

Facebook Stories are a great way to share quick, short-form content and share videos, images, or links to other content. With Facebook Stories you can easily cross-post your stories to Instagram as well and vice-versa. Facebook Stories also has tools to create unique, eye-catching designs and visual content. To utilize stories in your branding, upload videos, photos, boomerangs and more to create story-specific content for your brand’s Facebook marketing. 

Facebook Groups are a great way to build your brand’s community and promote engagement. Groups can be invite-only or available for anyone to join and use. Brands and small businesses can use Facebook Groups to share tips and tricks for using products or services, generate brand awareness and become a thought leader in your industry, and build a community of loyal customers and followers. 

social media, instagram

Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

Instagram 

Like Facebook, Instagram is another top social media platform for brands and small businesses. However, unlike Facebook, where text posts and longform content is more prevalent, Instagram is largely dominated by visual media. More focused is placed on eye-catching photos and enticing videos. Three top Instagram trends to take advantage of in 2022 are Story Links, Social Justice, and Collaborative Albums. 

Story Links are a big new feature in 2022 for small businesses. In the past, swipe-up story links were only available to accounts with 10,000 followers or more. However, Instagram has recently lifted this restriction, allowing anyone to include links to content in Instagram Stories. This gives smaller brands the opportunity to direct traffic to other sites and platforms, increasing engagement and sales! 

To utilize Story Links,  just tap on the “add sticker” icon in create mode and select the “link” sticker. You’ll then be prompted to add the redirecting URL and have the option to customize the sticker text.

Social Justice is a hot-topic on social media right now. In 2022, the interest in activism, especially with Gen Z users is high, and social justice advocates are some of the most active users on Instagram. If your brand is connected or aligned with a social cause, charity, or non-profit, this is the perfect time to use your social media presence on Instagram to promote those causes. 

Collaborative Albums are a new interactive feature introduced to Instagram in the Fall of 2021. This feature asks users to share their own Story based on a specific theme. Anyone can create a new theme with “Add Yours” stickers. Brands can use this feature to create challenges or calls to action. Followers can then add their content to the collaborative album. Like User-generated Content on Facebook, Collaborative Albums allows consumers to be involved in the branding and promotion of the businesses they love.  

You might be interested: How Instagram is helping Latina entrepreneurs survive the pandemic

social media, twitter

Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

Twitter 

Twitter is a platform best known for its short-form content and opportunities for engagement. On twitter, fans are able to interact with celebrities, and content is spread rapidly through re-tweets and hashtags. Brands and small businesses can make the most of Twitter’s features by incorporating the platform into their marketing strategy. Some latest Twitter trends to try out include: Livestream Announcements, Asking Questions, and Relevant Hashtags. 

Livestream Announcements help direct traffic to your latest stream. For brands with many followers this is a great way to get the word out about live virtual events. Brands can also use Twitter to Live Tweet during the streams, so viewers can interact with brands live as they watch. 

Asking Questions is another great strategy to implement on Twitter. Since Twitter is known for it’s quick, short content and “retweets” and “replies”, asking questions on Twitter is a great way to engage in conversation with customers. Ask relevant questions, use questions as an ice-breaker to get larger conversations started, or utilize poll features to better gauge the opinions of your followers. 

Relevant Hashtags are super important on a platform like Twitter where hashtags are used as doorways to new audiences. Users searching specific hashtags will come across your content and this can be a great way to draw in new followers. To best utilize hashtags on your content, be sure to use simple hashtags that aren’t generic and don’t overdo it. Using too many hashtags, especially ones that are not relevant to your content will annoy users and decrease your credibility.

You might be interested: Lights, camera, action! Key strategies every Youtube newbie needs to know

youtube

Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

Other Useful Tips

Live Streaming – People enjoy engaging in live interactions, especially since the pandemic livestreaming has become a way for people to connect and socialize. Use your livestreams as an opportunity to build your community. Be consistent with your streams. Go live on social media at the same times each week or whenever you schedule your streams and be sure to include engaging calls to action for your audiences.

Free Giveaways – People love free stuff! And most will usually exchange contact information for a freebie such as their email. Building up your mailing list is important for any brand or small business, so consider offering something for free on social media to build up that list and potentially obtain some new customers too.

Popular Video Platforms to utilize – Visual media is becoming increasingly important in our lives since the pandemic. As we mentioned, livestreams have become more popular in the past few years, but stories and other short-form video content are also on the rise as social media trends in 2022. Be sure to incorporate some of these video platforms in your branding and marketing strategies this year.

  • IGTV
  • Instagram Reels
  • Twitter Fleets
  • Facebook
  • TikTok
  • Snapchat

Be sure to keep these social media trends in mind as you plan your marketing and branding strategies in 2022!

Franca NYC co-founder, Jazmin de la Guardia on how art connects us through common language

Jazmin de la Guardia is the co-founder of Franca NYC, a small Brooklyn based design studio that focuses on handmade ceramics. 

 Franca NYC was born from an idea: There are common threads that bind us. No matter where you come from or where you are going, there is a commonality to be discovered. This common language, or lingua franca, is what we strive to achieve.  Craftsmanship, design, and artistry make up the foundation of our work, and we continue to seek out ways to bring the soul of lingua franca to each piece.

Born in Paraguay, with a mother from Uruguay and a father from Cuba, Jazmin grew up with a passion for travel and art. That passion eventually led her to Pratt Institute in NYC where she received her Bachelor’s in Printmaking. Following her education at Pratt, Jazmin took her skills and passion for art to co-found Franca NYC with her business partner, Sierra Yip-Bannicq. 

The idea for their ceramics design studio came about in 2016, after both women expressed an interest in owning a business. 

“We were both working in small design studios at that time and as much as we loved our jobs, we were both really excited about the idea of starting our own business,” said Jazmin. “We decided to launch our brand at NY NOW, where we got a lot of exposure all at once and thankfully started getting orders to get us through those first months.” 

The women chose the medium of ceramics to be the focus of their business because it was something they both loved and had been drawn to back during their college days. Focusing on ceramics also had the benefit of being low-cost. Starting out, Jazmin and Sierra had a very limited budget, like many new entrepreneurs, so making their products in-house from start to finish without having to make a huge investment in machinery and production equipment was a big advantage. 

Jazmin working in studio. (Photo courtesy Jazmin de la Guardia)

Jazmin recalls one of her fondest memories of these early days, while she and Sierra worked in their first studio making their products. 

“Sierra and I are working long hours in our first studio, just the two of us, making what felt like a million cups and mugs. We felt like we were melting, we had no AC and the studio was so hot the tar from the rooftop—we were on the top floor, walk-up—was literally melting into our space. The kiln was firing and it just seemed like we were inside a giant oven. Even though the situation seemed less than desirable to most people, we were thrilled to be there and would not have wanted it any other way. For us it was all worth it because we were working towards building something of our own and being independent.”

The threads that bind: Leveraging social media and community 

As they developed their business, they learned to navigate challenges and obstacles and leverage their strengths. 

One of the biggest challenges they faced as their business grew was learning to be flexible with their production volume. Jazmin shared that there were many times when they had more orders than they could accept, while other times when the flow of orders was much slower. 

“It was important for us to try and keep our staff throughout the year so we decided to try and ride the slower times as best we could,” said Jazmin. “During the slower moments, we relied on social media to keep up with brand awareness. Thankfully things seem to be more stable now and we feel we can plan our production accordingly, but I would say trying to be as flexible as possible was key to us growing as a business.”

Franca NYC leveraged social media to stay connected with customers and build their network. (Photo Source)

Through the use of social media such as Facebook and Instagram, Jazmin and Sierra were able to stay connected with customers and gauge what products they were interested in. It’s this connection, both online and in their local community in NYC that has been their strength and helped Jazmin and Sierra drive their business forward. 

“Thanks to our community we were able to ask for advice when we needed it and learn from our peers. We’ve been very lucky in this sense,” said Jazmin. 

You might be interested: Argentinian artist Lucia Maman explores feminine themes

Jazmin admits that at the beginning, she never would have even thought to reach out to other people, or even strangers, to ask for advice or just chat about their experiences as a business owner. 

“Now I can say it’s one of the things I recommend most people do, especially women. A quick Instagram or Messenger DM can go a long way,” Jazmin said. “Always reach out to other women. Creating that network and community will be not only great for your business but will also help you get through some of the overwhelming times you’ll inevitably go through as a business owner.” 

As Franca NYC’s message states: There are common threads that bind us. No matter where you come from or where you are going, there is a commonality to be discovered.

YouTube, visual branding

Lights, camera, action! Key strategies every Youtube newbie needs to know

In 2021, more than 2.3 billion unique users go to YouTube‘s site each month, consuming more than 1 billion hours of video each day. Additionally, 90 percent of people say they discover new brands or products via YouTube. For businesses, this means YouTube is a prime advertising arena and a crucial platform to utilize for branding. 

In our visually driven digital age, video and images are what sells. Potential customers are drawn in by enticing and eye-catching visuals. With the widespread use of smartphones, online videos are easily available at the swipe of a finger.

Society is “moving towards images and video; this is how we want to digest information,” said Toronto coach Matthew Hunt of Small Business Online Coach.

Online videos can also be a more economical form of advertising, giving businesses a great alternative to expensive television commercials. “Web videos reduce the amount of capital that a business needs so that they can create their own commercials, infomercials and other such videos,” Garret Silva wrote in Web Video Mastery.

As a global platform, YouTube draws in audiences from over 100 countries and is available in 80 languages. Currently, 62% of businesses are already using YouTube to post video content. Video content is a great way to increase engagement and develop a relationship with your company’s target audience. Web videos grant companies the opportunity to form an emotional connection with their audience and further encourage brand loyalty as well. 

Entrepreneurs who wish to do more than just keep up with the competition should begin to incorporate online video as part of their marketing strategy. YouTube content can take a variety of forms, from short, information based videos, to advertisements, or longer lectures, web seminars, and series. 

3 Key strategies to get started on YouTube

  1. Have a niche.

“To achieve success on YouTube you must have a niche,” media entrepreneur Jamal Edwards wrote in the Telegraph. The young entrepreneur, who grew up in London and now heads SBTV, is multimillionaire.

Regardless of the product or service being sold, the content should target a specific segment of the online universe.

Latina in Business’s YouTube channel is an extension of our editorial platform. Our niche is minority women entrepreneurs and business owners. We post content such as webcast interviews with Latinx leaders, virtual workshops, and conversations with industry professionals on various topics surrounding business, diversity and inclusion, and entrepreneurship. 

 Instead of trying to reach all audiences, focus your content on one audience. By focusing on a niche, you can target its marketing, maximize brand awareness and achieve more success.

  1. Be memorable.

Entrepreneurs should create video content that is memorable and distinctive as compared with the millions of other clips uploaded daily. Consider that 400 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube every minute, according to YouTube. With that volume being shared on the Internet, an entrepreneur must figure out how to best resonate with the online community.

Attractive thumbnails are another component that will draw viewers in and keep coming back. Be consistent with your visual brand so that viewers will be able to recognize your content from the rest.

You might be interested: 3 Latest video trends successful businesses use to engage their audiences

  1. Don’t bet the farm on one platform.

It is no secret that YouTube is the most popular name in the world of video platforms. But along with YouTube, other platforms carry video, including Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and Vimeo as well as Facebook.

Entrepreneurs should avoid shaping a video strategy focused solely on one platform. Failing to develop a plan involving other platforms puts the entrepreneur at risk if the primary platform fails or changes its business model to the entrepreneurs’ detriment. Consider utilizing other platforms to post varied video content.

Sites like Instagram and Twitter are great for posting shorter clips. Instagram also offers the option of livestreaming, which is great for longer content and engaging in the moment with your audience. Facebook is a good place to reach older audiences and share longer videos, such as reposting past livestreams or information based videos. Vimeo’s user-base is known for its more creative-driven content. Many students and filmmakers utilize this platform to share their short films and creative projects. If your brand is focused on producing creative and experimental visual content or you aim to reach these audiences, this might be a good platform to use. 

Finally, TikTok is the newest and most popular among young, Gen Z audiences. Teens use the platform to create short-form, entertaining content, similar to what Vine used to be before the app shut down. It may be harder to reach audiences on TikTok, but if your brand is young, fresh and targets this demographic, TikTok could be the perfect platform for your brand.

A picture is worth 1000 words when branding your business

We’ve all heard the phrase before: A picture is worth a thousand words. This couldn’t be more true in our current digital age where visual media has become a key component to how businesses advertise and communicate with clients. As any business owner knows, promoting your company is an integral part of ensuring an organization’s success in a commercial environment. Positive branding allows companies to not only expand, but also attract new clients. While there are a variety of ways to market and advertise a company, one key avenue is visual branding.

4 Interesting ways to promote your business through visual branding

Create a catchy and visually appealing logo or brand image

Many business owners forget that having an attractive logo is one of the first ways to catch a potential client’s eye. There are a variety of free resources online that can help you create a logo for your company, such as Canva. Canva offers a variety of tools and templates that will allow you to create your own personal logo. This is a great option for new, small businesses that may not have the funds to spend on a custom logo. However, if you’re not too artistic and do have the money to spend, enlisting a graphic designer will ensure that you have a one-of-a-kind logo designed that truly conveys your brand messaging.

Use visually-based social networks

Now more than ever, visual branding is a crucial component to a business’ social media presence. Perhaps in the past, social networks were driven more by written content, but in recent years visual media has become the center focus of most social media platforms. From Instagram to Facebook and Pinterest, images are now doing a lot of the talking for business promotion. As customers, we are drawn to eye-catching photos and while we’re told not to judge a book by it’s cover, it’s hard not to make judgement based on visuals.  The truth of the matter is, the better visuals you have as a company, the better you will look to potential customers.
Pinterest

You can easily use Canva to create no-hassle, eye-catching social media posts. Canvas templates are specifically designed to fit each platform’s proportions.

Utilizing visual branding for your business’ social networks is a great way to draw in new customers. On networks such as Pinterest and Instagram, you have the ability to not only share pictures that are informational sources for your company, but also promote and share other resources you may have, such as pictures of your staff, infographics, company events and the like.  And always keep in mind that your prospects and clients enjoy seeing what goes on behind that scenes at your business—it adds an extra layer of personality and uniqueness to your company and what you deliver!

Turn your client testimonials into images

Yes, clients will usually convey their feedback of your company verbally—not visually.  However, this doesn’t mean you can’t get creative!  Take a quote from a client and using basic tools in Photoshop, Canva, or another image-creating program and devise a simple background and use the quote.  Then brand the image with your logo.  You can then share this simple graphic on your social networks, place it on your website for added “testimonial flair”, or even include it in a brochure.
Enlist the help of stock photos

Stock photos are a great resource that every business can utilize. As a business you do not need to break the bank on professional, high quality photos for your business. May stock photo sites, such as iStockPhoto, allow you to purchase a subscription to access thousands of quality images to compliment blog posts or social media posts. Additionally, there are many free stock photo sites that also provide high-res images for use with attribution, such as Unsplash, Pexels, and Freepik.

By using a stock image you ensure that the file’s resolution will be perfect and you also avoid facing any issues for using a copyrighted image that you find via a Google search. Remember, there are image companies out there that have a staff that simply polices the Internet, looking for any abuse of their owned images.  If you happen to pull one of their images off the Internet and use it without permission and without purchasing the file, you can face stiff fines and even legal action for copyright infringement.
Aside from the benefits of avoiding legal issues, stock photos also allow you to create interesting visual landscapes. Many stock photos are taken by professional photographers who create interesting and creative layouts, such as in the image above. These creative images are eye-catching and exactly the sort of photo that would captivate a potential client scrolling through social media. Many stock photo licenses also allow you to remix and edit their content, meaning you can personalize a stock photo to better fit your company’s brand image.
In closing, always remember that consumers, in general, are visual creatures and they respond better to advertisements, online content, and other materials that have stunning, eye-catching images.  Get creative in how you communicate visually with your clients and prospects and you will be remembered!
This article was originally written by the Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce’s Editorial Team and published in 2014. It has been updated for relevancy. 

hiscec_aboutsmallThe Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce is a business to business membership-based business association focused on providing tools and solutions to members to increase their presence online. The Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce offers Internet marketing services that help you to promote your products/services; to build business relationships and to collaborate with potential clients via an exclusive social network and it helps you to increase your sales using the e-commerce and marketing tools that are available for premium members.

Change is HER: Inspire women to run for public office 

Currently, women are underrepresented at all levels in the 500,000+ elected offices across the U.S. In fact, women make up 51% of the U.S population, yet less than a third of elected positions. Change is HER is working to change this by inviting and encouraging women to run for public office. 

change is HER

Change is HER campaign is inspiring women to run for public office. (Graphic courtesy She Should Run).

The Problem

One of the factors that prevents women from running for public office is that they simply do not consider themselves qualified. Additionally, women are less likely to be invited and recruited to run for office than men. 

“Being invited or encouraged to run for office leads many individuals who otherwise might never consider the option to suddenly throw their hat in the ring. And women are just as likely as men to respond positively to recruitment as men, but they are asked much less often.” 

Percentage of women and men who are recruited to run for office. (Graphic source: 10 Things to Know about Women’s Representation in the United States)

The Solution

To combat these setbacks, She Should Run, in partnership with award-winning advertising agency BBDO Worldwide, have launched a nationwide public awareness and action campaign to reach 5000 diverse, change-making women who are not yet thinking about running for office but should be. The “Change is HER” campaign targets women who already contribute, every day, to the wellness of their communities, through action, support and care. 

By highlighting their accomplishments, the campaign aims to inspire them to run for public office. Change is HER believes that if a woman has changed someone’s life, they could be one run away from changing many others. If they care, they are already qualified.

The campaign is running across social media using hashtags #changeisher and #sheshouldrun on Instagram and Twitter

People are encouraged to the stories of the influential women in their lives and invite them to run for public office. 

Inspire the women in your life, or take the leap yourself 

Change is HER highlights three incredible women in their campaign video; Alexis Sanchez, Olympia Auset and Ebony N.Mayo, who have dedicated themselves and their time to help others, as they are celebrated and encouraged to run for office by those who have witnessed their actions. 

Olympia Auset, Ebony N. Mayo, and Alexis Sanchez are three incredible change-makers in their communities who have been encouraged to run for public office. (Image courtesy Change is HER campaign). 

Olympia Auset dedicates her time to the health of her community, in South central LA, through a low-cost organic grocery program. 

Ebony N. Mayo is an actress and founder of a cigar company who volunteers every weekend with the Brown Bag Lady organization, to help the homeless people of their communities.

Alexis Sanchez is a trans activist who is dedicated to empower transgender youth among other fights.

Their stories are inspiring and uplifting reminders that women have and deserve a place in leadership. Women already occupy workplaces and professions that have the most direct consequence for our daily lives, such as healthcare and education, yet they still are underrepresented in elected positions.

If you know a woman who would be great in elected office, invite her to consider the possibility. It could make all the difference! 

You might be interested: 12 Latina leaders honored in 2020

She Should Run is a nonpartisan nonprofit working to increase the number of women considering running for public office, by identifying and tackling the barriers to elected leadership.

Their programs unveil the many pathways to leadership, guide women toward discovering their “why,” and connect them with a supportive Community who are in varying stages of their own journeys, ultimately building their confidence toward a future run for office.

Venezuelan tech entrepreneur revolutionizes social storytelling with video-sharing app FlickPlay

Pierina Merino is the 29 year old Venezuelan tech entrepreneur behind FlickPlay, a new revolutionary platform changing the world of social storytelling through innovative use of augmented reality (AR). At its core, FlickPlay is a gamified video-sharing social app that combines interactive game elements with social media. The app creates immersive and gamified experiences that offer a new canvas for social storytelling, allowing users to create their own content to share in and out of the app. 

Pierina Merino, CEO and Founder of FlickPlay (Photo courtesy Pierina Merino)

The first sparks of creativity

Pierina has worked across different creative industries over the past 8 years. From designing large scale architectural projects for Frank Gehry, to leading creative and design strategy for premium VR experiences for luxury fashion brands, her career has revolved around innovation and pushing the boundaries of technology to bring the physical and digital world closer together.

Her creative passion first sparked at a young age. Growing up in Venezuela Pierina was always known as the “creative one” in school. 

“I was the one that designed the cheerleaders’ outfits, painted murals, and was the perfect partner to successfully achieve any creative assignment,” she says. “Most students in Venezuela pursue traditional fields, such as law or medicine. However, I decided to choose architecture when I was a little girl. Back then, I did not know where it would take me. Entrepreneurship runs in the family; it is in my DNA.” 

At the age of 16, Pierina left her home country for Canada to study English and urbanism and further pursue her creative drive for architecture. From there she eventually found herself in Miami where she enrolled in Miami Dade Community College to get her start in the field of design. She worked diligently to earn a scholarship at one of the top worldwide schools:  SCI-ARC Southern California Institute of Architecture, where she graduated with honors and earned a recognition as the best thesis. Pierina then went on to work for renowned Canadian architect, Frank Gehry where she gained invaluable experience and worked alongside distinguished professionals.  

Starting out with her first start-up

Before founding FlickPlay, Pierina launched and led PIEMER–the first 3D-printed product line to be sold at Nordstrom, nationally. The line included jewelry pieces such as rings and bracelets and was a complete success gaining nomination for the Fashion Rising Brand Award by the renowned Los Angeles Business Journal in November 2017. PIEMER also received an invitation to exhibit in the Los Angeles Architecture and Design Museum.

While traveling nationally to Nordstrom stores for her start-up, Pierina became aware of the huge social disruption that has taken place in offline social life since the introduction of social media. 

“At Nordstrom, I came across grandmas and mothers that chose my products in the department store to get sent to their granddaughters and daughters. In turn, young women seemed less interested in stopping by at the traditional point of sale and preferred to visit creative sites where they could create content for social networks. Retail stores have suffered a huge social disruption in the past 10 years. Our daily online and offline experiences are more disconnected than they should. As digital images (through our phones) feel more and more real and tangible, I became obsessed with the possibility of generating creative experiences that could help users communicate fun and interactive moments in their favorite locations. Therefore, I pursued this until I discovered its full potential and came up with FlickPlay.”

From “mall culture” to social media

In the 80s and 90s “mall culture” was at the center of social life for young people. People would go to malls to spend one-on-one time with their friends. This also greatly benefited retailers as their physical locations were the site for gathering and socializing. However, in recent years with the introduction of social networks in our everyday lives, retailers have suffered. Pierina describes that now more than ever the locations where millennials and Gen Z-ers decide to visit is primarily determined by their experiential value. The cooler and more “share-worthy” the place, the more likely they will frequent that location. 

Social media and social storytelling has evolved tremendously over the past decade alone. From the 1-dimensional world of Facebook and Twitter that launched as platforms for text and images, to the 2D era of Instagram and SnapChat that focused on images and video, we are now entering a new era of 3D platforms that incorporate innovative technologies like virtual and augmented reality, immersive content tools, and even gaming elements as FlickPlay delivers. This new era of social storytelling is weaving a web between our physical and digital worlds, bringing them closer than ever before. 

How FlickPlay is revolutionizing social storytelling

Layering gaming and immersive content tools, FlickPlay is leveling up the way we tell and share stories. Described as a combination of Pokémon Go, TikTok and Snapchat FlickPlay uses gaming and augmented reality (AR) content tools to power a new canvas for social storytelling. At FlickPlay, users can access creative AR experiences through their interactive map game and camera. Once videos are shared, they get gamified for the community to unlock points, and engage in content and leaderboard challenges with their friends and FlickPlay community.

“From Pokémon Go, we have all the gaming interactions and we capture the city spaces. In terms of content distribution, we resemble TikTok in how repetition is used to boost vitality. In terms of creative inclination and technology, we are like Snap,” says Pierina. 

FlickPlay

The FlickPlay app combines gaming elements with immersive content creation tools and augmented reality features to level-up your social stories (Photo courtesy Pierina Merino)

FlickPlay App is the first digital platform that allows users to get into a content game in the city. Users gain relevance through these experiences because they are based on two pillars:

  1. Scores, rewards, and goals that allow to reinforce the interaction of content with the user
  2. Brand interaction in relevant locations and highly creative content that drives the users to share it

Fans of experiences and creative content can gain access to the creation of and participation in interactions with game dynamics that enable them to access creative experiences that are not open to everyone. Augmented reality videos generate a cerebral impulse that enhances the retention of the shared visual content. Any event, object or person that goes through the camera in this app becomes memorable. 

Facing obstacles as a female tech entrepreneur

Venezuelan tech entrepreneur, Pierina Merino (Photo courtesy Pierina Merino)

Despite the success of FlickPlay, Pierina still faced obstacles throughout her journey with the project. One of her biggest obstacles was acquiring funds and investors to back her venture. As a woman entrepreneur in the tech field, Pierina was part of the 2% of women founders and CEOs of technology companies in the U.S. This meant she had to prove herself. 

To pass the test with Venture Capital, I had to face more than 100 meetings and screenings with my project pitch in my portfolio. I made a lot of pitches and can barely remember how many industry events I have attended to introduce myself and to try to raise funds,” she says. 

However, eventually she gained her first investors, Muse Capital, led by two women. This drew the attention of other executives in the technology industry and Pierina was able to finally secure the rest of her investors to bring her project to life. 

You might be interested: Ivana De Maria presents her storytelling app at 2019 Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch

To other minority women who are thinking of starting their own business Pierina says, “It’s time to take space. We cannot change the past or what leaders used to look like, but it is our responsibility to break the biases for us and future generations. Building a tech  company from scratch is not easy for anyone no matter gender or ethnicity, it requires a lot of mental and emotional strength. The moment you let biases crush your goals you are proving them right. Find your true believers and have enough drive and determination to get what you want when you want it. You will probably have to prove more along the way but that will only make you stronger and a better leader.

The future of social storytelling

Augmented Reality (AR) is transforming not only the way we communicate and tell stories, but also the way in which brands interact with their consumers. It is projected that by 2022 AR advertisements will lead 15% of brand publicity strategies. Therefore, it is key that leading brands include AR as soon as possible to secure a competitive advantage over the others.

FlickPlay is already taking that step forward with its innovative technology. 

New and old activities find the way toward reformulation. Political campaigns, daily life stories, interactions with distant worlds, brand content creation, treasure hunts in the city, challenges among friends, virtual competitions and much more is in store

“This is a novel platform in the app market. Our focus is not on ‘selfie mode’ -as Instagram- but on the physical space and relevant locations for users,” says Pierina. “Our strength lies in the introduction of game mechanics so that content creation and consumption become more entertaining.  Rewards get users excited about getting benefits. Some users engage in the competitive aspect and want to make it to the top of the list, while others only seek to produce high-level creative videos remaining outside of the game dynamics. We want to reach one billion users and still focus on the consumer. We want to be fun and interactive. FlickPlay is making room for a new social segment to tell the best stories in their favorite places.”

On the subject of Covid-19 and how it has impacted our perceptions of our physical world and our relationship with social media, Pierina says: 

“After the shock associated with cultural and social changes in the world due to the pandemic, I’ve noticed that everything we can touch is getting closer to everything we cannot see in the real world. Therefore, while virtual reality becomes the only tangible way to view the world, what we cannot attain in a real way will become part of the digital world. No matter where you are, two realities coexist across the globe, the one you reach through your senses and the one that defies them, that you can find looking through FlickPlay. The magic of this app makes this happen.” 

Get FlickPlay using the QR Code above!

FlickPlay is currently available in the Apple Store in the U.S. and Canada, and will be launching soon in Spain as the first European release. 

Pinterest

5 Steps to increase your blog traffic through Pinterest

If you’re a business owner with a blog or website, chances are you’re familiar with the struggle of increasing blog traffic to your site. SEO optimization, keywords, and targeted ads can only go so far when you’re competing with tons of bigger sites in the Google search results. However, Pinterest might be the perfect place to market your content to users who share your blog’s niche interests. Worldwide, over 2 billion searches occur on Pinterest each month and Pinterest boasts nearly 90 million active monthly users in the United States alone. That’s a huge potential audience and when utilized correctly, Pinterest can be a massively effective marketing tool. 

Below are 5 easy steps on how to use Pinterest to increase blog traffic to your site and gain thousands of new readers. 

5 Steps to increase blog traffic through Pinterest  

  1. Create a new Pinterest business account for your blog 

First thing’s first, you need to create a new business account for your blog. You may already have a personal account on Pinterest, but creating a separate account specifically for your blog will help you target your account to reach the niche areas your blog covers. 

Setting up your new account is super easy! Simply navigate to Pinterest Business, click “Get Started” and fill out your information. Once you complete your sign up info, Pinterest will walk you through a few questions for your settings and preferences and help you get started.  

Once your account is set, you can edit your profile and bio to attract users whose interests are relevant to your blog. In your bio, add a keyword-rich description of your blog to help users find you in Pinterest’s search engine. 

  1. Set up your own Pinterest boards and join group boards

Now that your account is set up, it’s time to create your “boards” and start pinning! If you’re not familiar with Pinterest’s terminology, a “board” is essentially a collection of pins, or posts. Boards are usually grouped by categories. So for instance you may have a board for “Healthy Recipes” and another for “Journal Prompts” or “Marketing Strategies.” Creating boards centered around topics you cover on your blog or site will help you draw in users who are searching for those topics. 

You can also join relevant group boards to increase blog traffic to your site. Group boards are community boards where people with shared interests contribute their own pins to the group. Joining boards that focus on your blog’s topics is a great way to get your content out to a larger audience. Not only will your pins reach more people who are actually interested in your content in a group board, but those in the group are more likely to save or share the pin on their own boards. This chain of shares is what you’re aiming for, the more shares you get on an original pin, the more potential traffic you drive toward your blog. 

  1.  Create and post shareworthy Pinterest Pins 

Now, the pins are really the most important thing. Your original pins, or posts, are what ultimately will be shared around and draw users toward your blog. Creating eye-catching, shareworthy pins is key to standing out in the search. Your goal with each pin is to hopefully draw people toward your site by having them click the pin and follow the URL to your blog. Though getting them to save and re-share your pin is also great as it creates more exposure for your content. So you may be wondering, how do you create a shareworthy pin? 

Shareworthy pins usually have an eye-catching picture and an intriguing title. Vertical images also do better than smaller square images. Another plus is if your pin has a “call to action” such as “Click on the blog link below for more.” Tell users where to go next and direct them toward your blog. Also pay close attention to keywords and tag all your pins with relevant keywords. Just like with any search, keywords are, well, key! Before you make a pin, do a little bit of keyword research. Search up some of the keywords associated with your content. Pinterest will show you related keywords under the search bar when you search a term, so take a look at those suggestions too to get a better idea of which keywords are popular. 

Pinterest

Canva is a free site that provides easy-to-use templates to make eye-catching pin images

For creating an eye-catching image you can use tools like Canva or PicMonkey which let you create infographics, headers, and visual aids to go along with your content. I personally use Canva, which is completely free to use, with the option to go premium to access bonus content. However the free version gives you plenty of free content to make eye-catching graphics and headers for your social media posts and pins. Canva also provides users with templates specifically designed for a certain social media platform, so you can easily make images for your pins with little hassle

Pinterest

No hassle. Canvas templates are specifically designed to fit Pinterest image dimensions

  1. Develop an active Pinterest following 

An active following in not completely necessary on a search-based platform like Pinterest, since your content will still reach people who are not following you and simply find you in keywords searches. However, an active following can definitely help increase blog traffic since loyal followers will be more likely to re-pin your posts and spread them around. 

One way to increase your following is to follow others who post similar content. Many users are likely to follow back other users in their niche. 

Another strategy is to plug your Pinterest on your other social media sites and blog. Add a button or widget that will link to your Pinterest or display your recent pins and boards. Your current readers are already loyal followers of your content, so by promoting your Pinterest to them, they will in turn be able to help spread your pins and reach new readers. 

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  1. Pin frequently!

Lastly, pin frequently and consistently! Pinterest values consistency and is more likely to promote content from frequent pinners. Try to get into a routine of pinning at least once a day, and slowly increase from there. You don’t want to overwhelm your followers by dumping a ton of pins on them at once. It’s better to spread out your pins to a few each day and frequently post instead of just posting a ton at once and being inactive afterward. 

Also be sure to have a good mix of your own pins and pins from others. Sharing pins from other users is a good way of including content from experts in areas that are relevant to your blog or site but in which you are not an expert. Re-pinning from others is also a way to promote your account to others in your niche. When people see someone has shared their pin, they are more likely to check out that person’s account. So by sharing other people’s pins, you’re driving traffic to your account too. 

The main thing though is to stay active and consistent, so take some time to develop a schedule so followers will know what to expect from you. Once you’ve established a routine, you can queue up pins to post on schedule or post manually each week. Whatever works best for you! 

And remember to have fun with it too. Pinterest is a great online resource with many communities centered around just about every niche and topic you can think of. Find your people, have fun sharing information on the topics you love, all while you increase blog traffic to your site and promote your content! 

8 Ways to Promote Your Blog Through Social Media

Promoting your blog is one of those subtle arts that it can be hard to get to grips with. You have plenty of amazing content ideas, the words flow effortlessly onto the page, but you haven’t got a clue how to get more people to read them. Sound familiar?

Well, not to worry, because we have 8 proven ways by which you can use the power of social media to direct more and more people to your posts. Not only are they great ways to turn all eyes in your direction, but they’re also 100% free! What could be better than that?

Don’t forget about the power of cross-posting 

Cross-posting is the first thing that we need to talk about, and with good reason. It’s no use being on half a dozen different channels if you only update them sporadically. The beauty of cross-posting is that it allows you to post the same content to multiple channels at the same time. 

Of course, you’re going to want to tweak the format to suit the individual platforms, but that’ll only take a few minutes a week on your part. This strategy is ideal if you want to be able to create a constant stream of hype that gets people excited about what you’re going to post next. 

Post your blog with an attractive image so that it catches the eye 

You can have as many powerful social media marketing tools as you like, but if you’re not posting eye-catching visual content then you’re doing your blog a disservice. The important thing to note here is that whilst it needs to catch the eye, your content also needs to relate directly to what’s written in your blog. 

You might get more traffic from amazing natural photos, but if you’re writing about recruitment or something else unrelated, people are just going to be confused and go elsewhere. 

Share your blog to relevant Facebook groups 

Facebook is still the king of social media, but the mistake so many people make is creating a page for their blog, and then only posting to it. The problem with this is, if no one is reading your blog, no one will be looking for you on Facebook. 

What you need to do instead, is to link to your blog in posts you leave in relevant groups. Plenty of people will be doing 

similar things, so you’re going to have to be creative, imaginative, and persistent if you want to stand out from the crowd. Over time you’ll start getting people to hop over to your blog, and before you know it there’ll be an avalanche of new traffic. 

Share your blog to relevant Facebook groups.

If your blog is business orientated, it needs to be posted to LinkedIn 

Ask the best online paper writing service, the best accountancy firm, or the best management consultancy where they post their blogs, and they’ll tell you they focus on LinkedIn. This is because it’s the perfect forum for blogs that are aimed at professionals and executives. The other channels may well be enticing, and you’ll still get a few hits through them, but LinkedIn is where you need to be for this kind of content. 

Tweet a question on Twitter, and link to your blog as the answer

One of the easiest ways to attract an audience is to tweet a thought-provoking question, and then immediately link to your blog as the source of the answers. This is great because it creates a real impetus to click the link, and it’s also a proven way to stand out from the thousands of other tweets people will see on any given day. 

Find 3 trending hashtags that you can jump on 

If there was one piece of advice that every blog promoter should be given before they start posting, it’s to go easy on the

 hashtags. You might think that adding a dozen of them to the bottom of every post maximizes your chances of being seen. Unfortunately, all it’s really

 doing is making your posts look like spam. Something you certainly need to avoid if you want to position yourself as a distributor of high-quality readable content. 

The secret is to find 3 trending hashtags that you can jump on that are relevant to what you have to say. This will allow you to strike the perfect balance between search, and relevance. 

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Tweet excerpts of upcoming blogs to build interest and anticipation 

Use Twitter to engage audiences and link back to your blog.

Building anticipation is a major part of holding a captive audience. The great thing about tweeting a teaser from an upcoming blog is that it allows you to get some hype behind your next post. That way you’re not just trying to get people to read what’s already out there. You’re also getting them excited about what you have in the pipeline. 

Keep the teasers short, thought-provoking, and intriguing. If you can create something that people will retweet so they can see what their friends have to say, then you’ll truly be onto something. 

Be creative, don’t just say ‘read my blog’

No list of clever ways to promote blogs would be complete without a few words on the importance of creativity. There are so many people on social media these days that you need to be able to do things differently if you want your voice to be heard. 

It’s not about being provocative or posting clickbait, but rather about framing your message in new and original ways. Once you can do that, your posts will stand out a mile when browsers are scrolling down their feeds. Over time you’ll home in on a unique style that represents you and what you have to say, and you’ll find that your readership grows exponentially as a result. 

5 Steps to build an employee branding strategy

If you want to build a remarkable employee branding strategy but don’t know where to start, here is a short guide for you.