Tick Yes Blog

Tag - social media

I Post Therefore I Am

I didn’t post on Facebook today. I didn’t upload a photo to Instagram or a video to YouTube. Today, I didn’t exist.
That’s what it seems like for those of us who ‘must’ regularly post, tweet, upload, like or comment. One of our 20 something client service staff had her mobile phone stolen and was without it for three weeks. It was purgatory for her – and for us. Being off the social grid is like being off life support.
In the old days people kept diaries. Every night they confided their deepest and most personal dreams, fears and aspirations to a book meant only for themselves. It was part confessional, part friend. There was never any judgement or comments from others. Your diary was sacrosanct; it was for you and no-one else.
How quaint. How boring.
Now if what we do and feel is not there for the world to see and judge, we’re somehow diminished. There’s only one thing that’s worse: if one of our posts gets no likes or comments.
It’s ridiculous isn’t it. Call it an addiction to social validation or to our mobile phones; either way, it has to have an impact on how we interact with the world.

Try walking down a busy street and see how often you’re almost bowled over by someone walking the other way engrossed in their mobile phone. As for the impact on car accidents, the numbers – according to a US National Safety Council study – are terrifying with 1 in 4 accidents caused by ‘cell phone distraction’.
Is there a solution? I can’t think of one. As technology permeates every corner of our lives and increases our slavish consumption of social media, our values are changing. We seem to care less about what we personally see, touch or smell and more about what we read, watch or listen to.
The sad twist in the tail is that so much of what is posted and consumed on social media is trivial beyond belief. Photos of daily cups of coffee, pets, inspirational quotes, selfies at the beach, child standing/walking/swimming etc. This is the content that’s so vital eye contact can’t be established or the road watched.
If this is a younger generational thing, what will the next generation cling to? Or given that everyone under 35 seems so obsessed with their digital world, perhaps there won’t be another generation.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
Image Courtesy: twoinklingsintheshire.blogspot.com.au, prezi.com, broku.ca

I Was a Male Stripper; Now I’m Not

This is your life today. Yesterday it wasn’t. You may have been a male stripper like Channing Tatum, or an illegal base jumper, or a painter in Tahiti. We all have a lot of yesterdays. That’s what memories are for.

Getting it Wrong Goes Viral

According to Dale Carnegie, author of the classic book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ a person’s name is the sweetest sound in any language.
It goes a long way to explaining why this video about a so-called Starbucks barista writing customers’ names incorrectly on their cups has gone viral. Over 8,000,000 views and counting reinforce the old (well internet old) maxim, that to go viral online you need to be very funny, rude or quirky. Or a combination of all three.
Add in a dash of social media and BOOM: a viral sensation!
Now if only we could do the same with our latest 30 second TVC on spark plugs! My wife thinks it’s really entertaining……

The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Rewards or Relationships

You have thousands of customers. They spend millions of dollars on your goods/services.
Collectively, these people add up to the financial and market share reports you pore over every day.
Individually, however, they’re a pain in the neck.
Whenever they write, ring or, heaven forbid, visit you, it’s invariably to complain about something.
You then have to deal with the fall-out when one of your 18 year old customer ‘service’ representatives was rude to them.
Social media has allowed individual customers to pass judgement on what you sell and how you sell it. Unless those customers post something funny, clever or outrageous however, it’s a faint cry in the wilderness.
In the early days, you were worried about social media disasters but time has shown that the chances of something going wrong are pretty slim.
Of course you value your customers. That’s why you created your Fly / Rewards / Advantage / Club loyalty program. Throw them a few points with a little bit of perceived value every time they buy something and bingo! Loyalty!
Your clever program does the heavy lifting of keeping your customers happy, leaving you free to focus on the big picture i.e. the fun stuff.
Don’t you think there’s something a little soulless about this scenario?
Giving customers small ethical bribes to keep them using your product/service may work in the short-term but it does nothing to emotionally bind customers to your brand.
We don’t buy Nike running shoes because of the extra pair of laces they throw in for free. We buy Nike because of how they make us feel and how they can help us to become the athlete we emotionally want to be. Logically, we know this is nonsense but it’s Nike for goodness sake! When I pull on my pair of Nikes, I CAN do it.
No matter what you sell, being trapped in a purely transactional vortex with your customers is not where you want to be.
Loyalty programs may keep the cash registers ringing but there’s a problem with that strategy: if that’s your main customer relationship play you will always be vulnerable to someone who comes along with a bigger, better or shinier ethical bribe.
Invest in unique and unforgettable experiences. What’s your brand’s equivalent of a book-reading with tea and scones at your local bookshop?
Create authentic and engaging content that customers can relate to. Done well, content can be a key asset and competitive advantage.
We’re not saying that you should discard the idea of launching a loyalty program; for some customers, companies and markets they can work incredibly well.
What we are saying is that we marketers need to engage the heart of our customers before moving on to the head.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
Image Courtesy of Shutterstock

How to Pick an Excellent Digital Agency

Previously, we discussed which agencies to avoid in the jungle of digital marketing. As there are quite a lot of digital marketing success stories out there, one has to come to the conclusion that not all agencies are bad. That’s why we’re now going to give you a four-step method to assess whether your digital agency is a keeper:
They listen
Regardless of how many companies they’ve worked with, how many success stories they have under their belt or how shiny their awards are – a good agency knows that every business is different, as is every target audience. Nor does a good agency try and take things over, after all you are the one with all the facts and inside information and expertise within your field. A good agency knows that it can only offer a good solution if it gets a clear enough view of the problem. Collaboration is key.
They know what they’re doing
The most successful digital marketing campaigns tend to be fun, smart and sometimes outright crazy. How about a twitter fueled race for instance, or a casual jump from space. We’d all like to think that success is a result of a deus ex machina, that sudden stroke of creative genius. History does however tell us about a number of failed (and plain stupid) campaigns out there, those that weren’t saved by the god of creativity (and discretion). What a good marketer knows and a bad one doesn’t – is that they are the ones we can really learn from and it takes a lot of knowledge and planning not to step into those traps. A good agency knows that digital marketing can be associated with great risk to your brand’s reputation – and sales – and takes that into consideration. A good agency has learned from its mistakes – an agency that hasn’t had its fair share of mistakes has just been plain lucky.
They get results
Ok, this one’s a no-brainer. You wouldn’t hire a digital agency if you didn’t expect that they will help you to achieve good results. Often the results that matter are the concrete ones, those that make sure that you will be able to grow your business. If your agency can help you extend market share, increase sales or improve ROI in some way, then they’re probably well worth the money. Just remember that abstract results like an increased social media following, open rates and clicks have some value, but they’re just the means to an end. The end, and the main game, is your growth.
They’ll have you coming back for more
There is something special about some agencies. It’s their way of professionally running a business and treating its clients with respect and their brands with dignity. A really good agency will not just do a job, they will live for it.  They’re passionate about working with you to make you – and them – look like stars. That’s the agency you want.
Have you ever experienced when a good agency works its magic? Or when a bad one tries to get away with cheap tricks? Please tell us about it.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
Image courtesy: foodvacuumsealers.com.au, www.prepare1.com

4 Ways Your Digital Agency Could Mislead you

When venturing into the exciting world of the internet, every day could become April Fool’s Day – and you have to be on our toes or else you might come out looking like the fool. As a serious marketer though, staying on your guard is nothing new.
The digital age has really provided businesses of all sizes with great marketing opportunities. However, with great functionality comes great complexity, making the totality of digital marketing’s opportunities somewhat hard to grasp.
That’s why there are agencies out there ready to help out in times of need (as long as you have a budget, of course). The trouble is with so many agencies claiming to be digital experts, hiring the right one becomes another problem altogether. How can you tell if they know their stuff?
When you hear one or more of the following statements you may be talking to a bad one:
Social media is the answer to everything
No it’s not. Social media isn’t some magical wand that will make everything right. It could however be a great way of increasing brand awareness, publishing educational content and it’s a great channel for customer service. It all depends on your company’s needs. Sometimes starting a Instagram or Facebook account simply doesn’t make sense for some companies and brands. Lazy digital agencies play the social media card since it’s an easy way for them to make it look like they’re actually doing something.
Focus on the numbers
Don’t fall in love with hundreds of thousands of likes on Facebook, millions of views on YouTube and countless followers on Twitter. The numbers don’t matter unless the likers, viewers and followers actually visit your website, buy your product or contact you directly in order to get more information. Analysing numbers is of course useful, but putting too much value in sudden peaks or troughs can be dangerous. A sudden peak could mean that your social media campaign works – it could also be luck or chance.
Digital efforts will cover up for your flaws
In his book The Social Media Manifesto, the author Jed Hallam compares social technology to make-up removal. Social media will put your company out there; it will make it more transparent and open to attacks. A Google search could give a potential customer access to that piece of information that you’ve been trying to hide. Meanwhile your social media channels could provide a dent in your armour and if you are unlucky, spin user interaction out of control. So you should focus on your business first, making sure that your brand is spotless and ready for thorough inspection.
Everyone else does it
This is true to some extent. More and more companies have started to see the value of digital marketing and social media in particular. The successful companies are however those who can identify their needs while putting down enough time to actually have their digital marketing make a difference.
There is of course more to it than these four aspects. Digital marketing is as much of a science as regular marketing, and an agency claiming something else just isn’t worth your time. So we hope that you enjoyed April Fool’s Day, hopefully without any digital marketing related worries.
OK, so maybe your current digital marketing agency don’t know their stuff – but we’ll help you out! Stay tuned for an upcoming post on how to spot a great agency for all your digital marketing needs.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
Image courtesy: artofmadmen.wordpress.com, tech2date.com

Tweet Tweet Hurrah!

Twitter is eight today. Even though it doesn’t sound like much, the microblogging platform is only two years younger than Facebook – a veteran among social networks.
The people at Twitter HQ see it as their mission to “give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers”. Most would however probably agree that Twitter presents its users with one of the most well known social media related barriers of them all; the 140 character limit.
It’s an interesting thing, the 140 character limit. As a Twitter user you may have wondered why there’s a limit to start with. It keeps people from going on and on about stuff no one cares about, forcing users to keep information short and concise. The most plausible reason, however is that a 140 character limit prevents tweets sent to a cell phone to be split into two SMS. The limit was quickly accepted by millions and nowadays about a quarter of a million monthly active users send half a billion tweets each day.
Maybe the limit makes things more challenging and fun, or perhaps it makes the medium more quick and easy-going. Twitter’s role as a broadcasting platform has become apparent for a number of its users; businesses and individuals alike. As it often doubles as an RSS feed, it provides a golden opportunity for users to share content design of their own or others.
So now the little blue bird is an adult and is expected to keep tweeting for many years to come. If you can remember your first tweet, then please share it with us. If you can’t however, then Twitter can help you find it, or anyone’s first tweet for that matter, right here.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
Image courtesy: salon.com, creativefolks.sitemaker.com.au

The Anti-Texting Bear

What does it take to get people to forget about their smartphone for a moment? Mashable’s Sam Laird thought long and hard about this while visiting “South by Southwest Music Conference and Festival” (SXSW) and came to an interesting conclusion; it involves hugs and a man in a bear suit.
You’re not alone if you ever shook your head at all those souls slowly being consumed by the online world. Maybe you blogged about it, maybe you tweeted or posted a snide comment on Facebook via your smartphone, unaware that you’re in fact one of those lost souls. Nowadays it’s a natural motion – walking, eyes down and smartphone in hand – as if part of evolution. We’re not even aware that we’re doing it.

Sam Laird came to another conclusion as well. The same as blogger Jamie Krug, who went on a social media free vacation with her family, realising that she started living for her loved ones rather than for the online community. You miss a lot when living through your smartphone. Krug speaks of an obsession with constant status updates – not for our own sake, but for the sake of others, your followers and friends. At the same time, we lose the moment that was subject to our attention in the first place, that sliver of beauty in our everyday, real lives.
Social media is a great invention – as a way to keep in touch, as a creative outlet, as a productivity tool. But in the end of the day, it’s just that; a tool. In the business world, social media marketing is an integral part of the marketing mix, having clearly shown that’s a great way to create brand awareness, get a product out there, it’s one of many puzzle pieces in growing a business. Social media will not solve all the problems in the world, but it’s a stepping stone towards real life solutions. Everything in moderation, as always.
So how did the visitors to SXSW react to that bear looking for human warmth? From the look of it, it was a welcome distraction and maybe they even got a glimpse of the actual event.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
Image & video courtesy: dailyscene.com, Youtube; Mashable

What’s in a Social Media Policy?

Almost everything you post online is open for public viewing. This should come as no surprise but you wouldn’t believe how often a lack of common sense is the culprit in social media mishaps. Yes, there are numerous examples we could provide: People posting (what many of us would call inappropriately) silly videos of themselves on YouTube or tweets that were meant to be funny but took to Mama Mia’s leading story within minutes. Then there’s the occasional picture meant for a partner that in some way managed to reach the entire Instagram public. What people do in their free time is their business, but what if they are doing it whilst representing your business? The obvious solution is to ban social media, but as it turns out, it’s also a very bad idea (unless you’re going for a reign of terror, and employees will just find a way anyway).
What you need is a social media policy.
Ah, yes, one of those policy thingies. If it’s well put together, it could save you a lot of embarrassment whilst getting your brand out of harm’s way. But this goes beyond risk management; there are clear benefits in allowing, and encouraging, your employees to update their social media accounts at work (in moderation of course). As experts on most things related to your business they are ideal brand advocates, and all come with their own networks of potential customers.  Your employees are your extra marketing team, customer service team and in house support team. Allow them the opportunity to communicate amongst themselves and with the rest of the world and they will help your business grow. They do however need guidelines.
A social media policy should do two things; provide guidelines to the employees, preventing them from causing or getting into trouble and inform them of the disciplinary actions that will be taken if they do. You could of course Google another company’s policy and use that as a template, but the document will be that much more effective if it’s customised to your particular field with your employee’s particular positions in mind. Ask yourself these three questions;

        What’s the worst that could happen if employees are allowed access to social media?
        How does my social media policy prevent this worst case scenario?
        How would it have employees respond to it if it happened?

Be clear and concise in your policy. “Be professional in what you say on your social media profile” is a good start, however when not put into context this alone leaves a little too much for self interpretation (note, don’t be too precise either, or you’ll risk drowning the message in definitions). It should all be based on common sense; the policy should be a supportive document, not a hindrance. It won’t do you or your company any good if it diminishes social media efficiency.
So, what can be found in a valuable social media policy?

        A paragraph on who the document applies to – are freelancers and employees working from home included?
        Guidelines on what employees shouldn’t do online (what information to disclose, what not to share, what sites not to visit etc);
        Guidelines on what employees CAN do (encourage creative behaviour that indirectly hints at your amazing corporate culture);
        Information on disciplinary measures;
        An educating section on online behaviour, just in case;

The positive effect your employees’ online presence can have on your business is too good to pass up. Make sure to educate employees in the potential dangers of online activity and about sharing information too generously. Present them with so called “Cosmic Law”, coined by Jay Shepherd; always assume that the one you least want to see your post will in fact see it. With this in mind let your people get out there and endorse your brand to help it grow.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
Image courtesy: thesocialworkplace.com, socialnewsdaily.com