Month: February 2016

How the Evolution of Technology and the Growth of the Internet have changed the world

how the evolution in technology and the growth of the internet have changed the worldThe digital age we currently live in is ever changing – where will it go from here…???

TECHNOLOGY
– Smart Phones and Tablets were made specifically for the use of internet on your phone – and especially Social Media! When smartphones started to become really popular with Apple’s release of the first iPhone in 2007, social media wasn’t really that huge. Obviously, it was a thing, Myspace was pretty big and so was Friends Reunited, and Facebook was starting it’s real breakthrough – but think of how big it’s become now since smartphones, and how many more platforms have been invented since.

– As well as smart phones we have to think of another device that was made just for the internet — tablets. I remember in the early noughties watching a film on Disney channel and this girl had a laptop that the screen would flip around when the laptop closed so she could use a stylus to draw on there. I thought it was absolutely fascinating, and just a couple years later Apple released their first iPad, which then led to many other brands releasing a similar product, but it was technically made for the same thing. Internet browsing.

– In the last couple years there’s been a massive uprising of these touch-screen PC’s – whether it be in a laptop or a 2-in-1 (monitor and PC in one unit). Though on the desktops it could just be classed as a bit of a fad, it’s clear that these were invented because of the rise of internet usage.

– My last point in terms of technology is ‘Smart Tech’. It’s quite a broad term, starting off with Smart TVs, where your TV could connect to the internet so that you could stream TV shows and movies, access a web browser and YouTube, as well as the new “Catch Up Services” for TV channels (i.e. BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, 4 on Demand etc).
All our normal household items seem to have “smart” versions being released, from smartwatches like the Apple Watch and fitness bands (like the Jawbone and FitBits) that have apps that connect to your smartphones, an app to control your heating, lightbulbs and even scales! What’s going to be next???


The way we find new relationships and friendships

Because of this digital age that we live in, most people own a smartphone or tablet, and let’s be honest, you can’t walk down a street anymore without seeing most people with a smartphone glued to their hand. I’m guilty of it, there’s a certain addiction to our phones! And because of that, it’s transferred to the way that we find relationships. Whether it be on a dating website or just social media, it’s a proven fact that people are more likely meeting new people online compared to in a pub or at work etc.
For example, the dating site eHarmony has around 33 million members, and after finding a match on there, it has been said that an average of 542 eHarmony members in the USA marry everyday after meeting on the site. That’s pretty crazy when you think about it.

The way we connect with friends and family
I know so many people that have family that live abroad — and let’s be honest, it’s not always that easy for people to get a flight to go and see their loved ones. Skype, Facetime (on Apple devices) and Social Media have grown because of this, and I still find it amazing that you can video call someone who is on the other side of the world.

The creation of jobs
If it wasn’t for the growth of the internet, then I wouldn’t be doing the job that I’m doing now! Social Media Management was a job that didn’t exist until a few years back, as well as many other web-based jobs, plus the creation of teaching jobs because of new courses that have arisen because of the popularity. Think of it this way; the Digital Marketing industry is worth $62 billion just in the US alone — and that was an estimate from 4 years ago! It’s pretty amazing really…

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Snapchat for Business?

snapchat for business
Snapchat for Business. Two words I never thought would come into the same sentence.

Over two years ago, I read an interesting blog post on how social media would evolve for businesses. Snapchat was mentioned saying that in 2014, it was set to grow in terms of businesses using it. Seems rather crazy if I’m honest when it started off as an app that you could send funny pictures and videos adding text and having the ability to draw on.

Last year saw a rise in businesses signing up to the social network along with the other big platforms, with many large companies sending out ‘stories’ (where you can put multiple ‘snaps’ that can be replayed an unlimited amount of times over a period of 24 hours), though they cannot see anything that you are posting, and you can’t send anything directly to them.

So why has it become to attractive for businesses using Snapchat?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ruling it out completely for business use, but I think there’s certain industries that will benefit from it more than others. For example, the most popular industry for using Snapchat is the fashion industry, for behind the scenes at Fashion Shows, to show releases of new season items and to show different aspects of their shows. But when it comes to most other businesses I just don’t really see how it can be of huge benefit, because I think it’s way too informal for businesses to be using.

What are your thoughts on Snapchat being used as a social network for businesses?

 

Throwback: Today’s Group Annual Conference, Monte Carlo

A couple weeks I ago I posted about an event that we covered for Bullhorn (check it out HERE) with some great images, so I’ve got another post today about an event held by Today’s Group in non other than the beautiful Monte Carlo.

The annual conference was attended by around 500 people, from brands, including Coca Cola, P&G and Cadbury, and wholesaler suppliers who are part of the Today’s Group.

During the five day event, we were joined by a host of industry experts, familiar faces and well known brands for what was truly an event not to be missed. A number of member speakers including Simon Hannah (JW Filshill), Jim Cumminskey (Falite Foods Group), Sanjay Wadhwani (Wanis International Foods) and Michael Skelton (Savage and Whitten) took to the stage as well as a host of high profile supplier speakers, including Jill Livesey and James Bielby from the FWD and Kate Salmon from the SWA.

IMA were fully responsible for the print and production of the event collateral. This included introduction brochures and luggage tags, to on-site material like banners, pop ups, flags, menus and name tags, as well as dressing and branding the presentation space with large format 4m hanging banners.

We liased with the client to ensure that from brief to delivery everything was done on time, on point and on budget.

Take a look at some of the photos taken from the conference held in this beautiful city.

The Rise of Social Media (and how that affects you and your business)

the rise of social mediaSocial Media. It’s a phrase that didn’t exist until a few years ago. You look back 20 years (the year I was born, lol), and mobile phones were like bricks that had a battery pack with them. Now just two decades on, we are at the current height of the digital age, and it seems to be growing year in year out.

My first encounter with social media was with a site called Stardoll. It was like a children’s almost social network where you would have a virtual doll who you could buy clothes for and decorate an apartment and it was so good. You could also connect with other people but it was frowned upon really, mainly because I was only about 8. I remember around the same time my dad always used to use Myspace – it was Facebook’s predecessor where people would connect and friends would compete to get to the top of your friends list. Bebo, MSN messenger, online dating, who knows what else, but there were loads of sites like this, but Facebook’s big breakout in 2007 was what I think was the turning point for social networking. After Facebook, Twitter had it’s breakout, then Instagram, Tumblr, even Snapchat is classed as a social network and is in fact being used by businesses.

Social networking has grown so significantly in the past few years – near everyone that I know has a profile on some sort of social network, whether it be YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat. It’s so popular and the fact that it is FREE is possibly the reason why it has become so popular with businesses as well as people.

Facebook: I’ve found in my personal experience that Facebook is great for connecting B2C, not so great B2B. As a B2B business, it’s not as much of a focus for us, but should still be used. One thing that you certainly need to know if you are using Facebook for business is that you must use the “group” option and NOT a standard profile like you would have for personal use. It’s against Facebook’s policies to do this and you can get your account closed down. The good thing about this is that when you’re using a page for your business, you can actually pay to promote your page or a certain post. It doesn’t cost too much but it can boost your views on your page considerably. You can even pay for likes, but come on, what even is the point.

Twitter: Twitter, I think, is a great all rounder; I’ve found in the past that it is great for interaction with other businesses (certainly much better than Facebook is) as well as regular people. Alike Facebook, you can pay to promote a certain tweet or your account – it’s not as well advertised as it is on Facebook because on Twitter there is no difference between business accounts and personal.

YouTube: I wrote a post last week on the huge growth of YouTube. It’s considerable. You can make money from putting your videos online, that could be promotional or showcases your work.

Instagram: I think Instagram is a great one for any business – the app looks great and honestly I think it’s lot more interesting to look down my Insta feed in comparison to Twitter and Facebook considering the fact that it’s only image based on Instagram. The only issue with this one is that it’s so hard to build a decent following, compared to other platforms. However, you can link your account to Facebook and Twitter so they will automatically post your images to there, which will certainly help.

Snapchat: I remember back in late 2013 reading that Snapchat would be the next big thing in social media, and honestly I couldn’t grasp how in anyway this could be used by businesses. There was this small peak where everyone was advertising that they were on snapchat, to show almost behind the scenes things (like the event stories that come up on your stories page, if you’re familiar with SC) but recently I haven’t seen anything. Maybe 2016 will be the revival of it, but it’s not a bad idea.

What social media platforms have you found to be helpful and worth-while for your business?