Video Killed The Literary Star

The Rise Of Instagram Reels Video & TikTok over static images. The new 2021 Instagram Algortihm.

Earlier today on Clubhouse Social Audio during the 4:13 Leadership forum I was asked to compare marketing online now versus twenty years ago. Categorically I would say it’s far more sophisticated, much lower cost, far more effective and offers high quality metrics to measure your efforts and spend. As they say, you cannot manage what you cannot measure. But as far as some platforms are concerned the writing associated with posts is becoming redundant in favour of video for a generation with very short attention spans.

Where platform leaders go, others follow. So with this in mind we are all going to have to consider how we can promote our businesses within the realms of 30 second short video and longer forms of 5 to 15 minutes of content. Influenced by the success of TikTok amongst it’s key demographic, Instagram are moving towards being more of a video than photography platform and ranking Reels use far greater in the algorithm. Post Likes are being dropped in favour of Saves and Shares so it’s vital you encourage followers to support your efforts by doing this with your posts.

I don’t believe the original developers of Instagram ever envisaged that it would be so heavily used by business marketers and like everything in business we should all have a Plan B ready should Plan A be lost to us. Thus we need to develop our use of video in a market sympathetic way, and find alternatives to support the graphics and photography we use as a lead magnet presently. With this in mind, Pinterest looks like a safe harbour and I’ll be looking into this platform next.
 
Instagram is still a heavily used platform so I would continue to post as you are until your analysis shows a diminished return on your time.

The Rise Of Instagram Video Reels and TikTok

Black Tie / White Noise

Noisy neighbours.

There are various types of learning styles. Visual, Auditory (hearing), Reading, Kinesthetic (touch, or tactile learners). What’s your preference? Over the years I’m aware my own is a combination of reading and listening. Then particularly with quotes or important dates, writing out passages and even associating dates by breaking them down and attaching to words cognitively.

Auditory learners are able to ascertain the true meaning of spoken words by listening to changes in tone and build trust from tempo, tone and timbre. They are also good at writing responses to lectures (hand up here). It’s claimed that auditory learners prefer background sound and work better while learning. I’m listening to an album on the HiFi – and louder than you might imagine with no loss of concentration. Auditory learners are great storytellers, solve problems by talking them through and respond well to sound or voice oriented information.

It’s no surprise then that I have taken to Social Audio aka Interactive Podcasting. The pioneer app in this space Clubhouse, is now a year old and new entrants, Twitter Spaces and Spotify Greenroom (aka ‘Greenhouse’​ to hardcore Clubhouse users) are capitalising on the popularity.

If so many learn by listening and a combination of the above, then it’s not that Social Audio should be a surprise but that it’s taken over a decade to arrive. Like all disruptors, why didn’t we all see it coming?

Over the past few days so much debate and comparison between Clubhouse and Greenroom. To paraphrase the great Sir Alex Ferguson, Greenroom is the ‘Noisy neighbour’​ there is nothing to be done by any platform in relation to competition except remain on the planned course and introduce upgrades to ensure an excellent and stable experience for the user. A point that I keep coming back to though is that all professionals will choose whichever app suits them and offers the greatest Return On TIME Invested, and that all competition only breeds improvement in performance and service. In other words, choose your weapon and let the provider make your experience as enjoyable as possible. I have no doubt though that people who arrive at the Greenroom app via the Spotify homepage/podcast section will learn of Clubhouse, perhaps pay a visit and stay if they prefer the greater visual appeal of white space, are an older demographic and a more sophisticated user. The more frantic, with smaller icons, reversed out (dark mode background) Greenhouse will thrive on younger, music and creative themed topics (& hopefully for them) along with the predominantly sports user base they inherited when they purchased the Locker Room app to modify and relaunch.

For me, I have invested four months on and off with Clubhouse and have 600 organic followers who have either appreciated my commentary or profile. I see no point in trying to establish myself on alt.voice platforms and will enjoy the development of the app’s features and the arrival of more like minded, creative thinkers, the like I have come to make the acquaintance of since March.

Come and find me to say hello, I am @ thestevecee on the app.

Back To The Futurism 3

Futurist Preamble Ramble Pt.3:

The Clubhouse app analogy. Like attracts like, people follow those they respect and meet more like minded, all these people invite their friends to join the app and a ripple effect of like minded & a virtuous circle. An app that existed before the pandemic but floundering, came alive when we were stuck at home and realised that interactive podcasting meant you could contribute to the discourse of your pet subjects and interests. Typically, the larger platforms are now on the bandwagon with their own offerings. Speaking and sound was the last of the senses to be properly catered for by Social Media, the effect of hearing tone in someone’s voice is more personal than text creating an unexpected hit. Unexpected seems to be a thread.

At the creator level, ideas from people across the world are disseminated and applied to individual markets. Collaboration is a natural effect.

On a buyer level, obviously influencers are embedded, but micro influencers are targeting a smaller niche audience from subsets of interests. It’s simpler to market a niche product or service than larger.

How many have dyed their own hair during the pandemic and how many have sought reviews online? Some ultra agile smaller brands have capitalised mightily in the last twelve months by creating simple to use products and receiving rave reviews. The rise of the #RavingFan !

Social Media Groups are simple to create and market to. Brands who interact at a quantum level in these forums build trust in a subscriber that they are the most qualified supplier of goods and services (Social Listening). Backed up by encouraging great feedback within these forums and the Internet in general. Your brand’s clean fingerprints have never been more vital in a world where you simply cannot erase a poor review.

Back To The Futurism 2

 

Futurist Preamble Ramble Pt.2

Creatives can use Blockchain as a method of dating and copyrighting their output – Intellectual Property is becoming critical when nation states are prepared to steal copy ideas and products. Leading creatives will create a Cryptocoin that reflects any rise in their stock. Imagine investing in designers Johnny Ive, Dieter Rams or architect Frank Lloyd Wright stock at the beginning of their careers.

The development of creator to brand exchanges where creatives will bid for work and brands can pick from the most competitive and creative talent to bring new messages to their customers.

We have only scratched the surface of the effect of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency. There is nothing to prevent well known brands jumping this bandwagon, encouraging investment in their coin generating interest bearing tokens that can be exchanged for limited edition products, uniquely offered sale goods and media launches and cross brand endorsements. Brands expanding outside of the regular economy into the decentralised economy that even countries like the newly independent Great Britain*, a G7 economy are considering entering – maybe tied into Free Port policies.
*I am Remainer lol but we are stuck with Brexit so we have to make it work.

In summary, a new breed of independently funded creators will provide infinite new competitively priced content to brands wishing to personalise their offerings to a savvy consumer.

Convenience
Consumers want Ease, Speed, Reliability & Consistency.

The rise of apps. Expedited delivery. Free Returns

Tribes & Influences
People want advice from like-minded people or people they admire & respect. We all want to belong.

They want to support brands they relate to and admire too. Cont.

 

Back To The Futurism

More of the brainstorming from last week’s futurist marketing think tank.

Futurist Preamble Ramble Pt.1

The pandemic has enabled work from home and freelance culture. #WFH This was coming down the tracks with inevitable automation of industries but accelerated due to national lockdown policies. Home schooling (Child & Adult) and public service broadcasting was simply enabled to accommodate this. Surely a key to future economic prosperity would be a permanent extension of learning via television and Internet resources.

Millions of people around the world may become or are already unemployed or soon to be laid off when stimulus and furlough ends. Disruptors will radically alter industries like banking and law one by one as the dots are joined between industries to create recombination businesses like Air BnB and Uber. These were unthinkable a decade ago, but technology and the acceptance to use apps on smart phones by the general public plus price competition is fuelling this rise. The more sophisticated the apps become the more personalised and effective the offering will be to sectors of the demographic.

Already AI embedded plug-ins will track your e-commerce website journey and pigeon hole your behaviour then tailor a specific discount or offering to your buyer type. Rather like the person in a store who makes a purchase when an assistant only has to say “Have you tried the orange top with the blue skirt?” Until now sites like Etsy could only offer you a blanket discount across your range, added to their commission this was prohibitive. Imagine how profit can be increased when on an individual basis you offer only what you need to give to gain a sale? Or recognise a re-visitor who wants something no longer in a sale but would buy with a small incentive.

The New Creator Economy means self employed freelance creators will need to be ultra creative and competitive to create content and bandwidth to make an income. I’ve started using the hashtag #ultracreatives

These will be prolific, high quality content creators.

Cont.

Brainstorming The Future

Apologies for neglecting my weblog posts, reality keeps me from what I love to do. Some unfinished brainstorming for a Clubhouse friend prior to her Digital (Auto) Dealer Conference presentation ‘Digital Dopamine’ in Florida last week. Broken down into four Instagram posts there’s content in here to apply to your overall thinking. I enjoy applying my experience in retailing and retail advertising / marketing and adding in current shifts in buying trends and expectation. Of course also what is state of the art coming down the tracks at us all. If you’d like to add commentary and your own ideas as a collaborator please feel free to do so in the comments. As ever, please Like, Comment, Share & Save especially the latter which are vital to being on the correct side of the altered Instagram Algorithm. Are you aware of this? The brief was to think tank external influence on selling mid pandemic, post pandemic and through the era of disruptive businesses. Feel free to contact me if you would like to add to the discourse, it’s an ongoing project.

1.Path to sale

Tribes & Influences, Restrictions, Budget, World View, Brand Values (fairness, Green, ethical investors etc.) The Big Picture, Media, Contemporaries, Dominating Values, Funding, Research

2.Inspiration & Decision

Brand attitude to staff and customers, Socially Aware, Reaction to newly taboo methods like fast fashion, plastics etc. Personalisation, Greater Purpose, Entertainment, Engagement, Trust,

3.Buying Experience

Convenience, Feeling Appreciated & Valued.

4.The Sale & Follow Up = Path To Next Sale

Serving (Explaining & serving not selling) Simplicity, Speed, Courtesy.

5.The Future

The End Of Pandemic (Withdrawal of stimulus, furlough), The Creator Economy, Blockchain uses. More recombination industry disruptors. Social Funding / Universal Basic Income – impossible to avoid?Security & Intellectual Property, Artificial Intelligence, 5G / Internet of Things, Sensitive to Sustainability, Protection of Employment, Reduce Consumption, Re-Use & Repair, Alt. Energy & Products Yet Unknown, Gamification, Transhumanism.

Clubhouse – Hashtag Mastermind 10/05/2021

Dan Martinez  / Briley Jo Curbey #hashitout #helpmehashtag / Social Media Hashtag Mastermind – Sunday 9th May 2.30pm EDT on Clubhouse App.

I was grateful to be asked to be Lead Educator / Social Media & Hashtag Best Practices expert on this subject. The room arranged by two of the most progressive young Car Sales Marketers in the United States, both successfully self branding on Instagram and other Social Media platforms. #DealinWithDan & #BuyFromBriley

Conversation around hashtag best practices, predominantly Instagram and Twitter and we touched upon Facebook & Tik Tok which demand a whole new forum.

There are proven strategies discussed, so if you are not applying them you could immediately increase your reach / engagement / profit even make new friends!

Apologies if I attribute a strategy to the incorrect contributor, from memory!

Hashtags are broadly the indexing equivalent of SEO and keywords on websites page name / title / subtitle / body copy / tags / categories  / alt. tags behind photographs and photo descriptions.

Instagram allow 30 hashtags

Of which 10-15 should be post relevant

Think, who is your target audience.

The remaining 15 you may be creative with local towns? Similar brands. Check out the hashtags of popular posts and ‘Social Listen’ to your ideal clients. I have a post on Social Listening on my IG and Google Gary Vee on the same subject.

Try using hashtags with 10K and 500K posts.

Go Local! Look at local hashtags with lower total posts e.g. Not (say) #hairdressers (5M posts! no chance of dominating) instead try #[insertyourtown]hairdressers which may have 100 or 500 or 10000 posts, you still have greater chance of engagement.

Use all hashtags you can, if you think it’s spoiling the aesthetic, or not compatible with your age group, use dots as line breaks and list your hashtags at bottom of page.

Banned hashtags – Google this and keep a not of the list. Better still check the hashtags by searching and see if they’re noted as banned ‘May contravene the Terms of Service of the platform’.

Shadowbans – If you inadvertently use banned hashtags in your posts too many times you could find your posts receiving low engagement because you are Shadowbanned, this is when the post will only appear with a specific hashtag search or a user seeing posts on your evergreen grid.

Set your account to Pro on Instagram to analyse your posts and ROI.

William – The William J Way #thewilliamjway (my old school Jim Alexander Ad Guru analogy Trust Cuff Miller would now be #trustcuffmiller and also sign write company vehicle rear screens with the branding hashtag.

Briley – We live checked some local Jackson, Tn hashtags and found #jacksoncarsales is dominated by one local dealer!

Kim – Reels engagement many times improved by optimising hashtags

Kim – Followers App gives you intel on who follows you and who leaves.

Steve – Hashtag Expert

Steve – Cleanse followers of those who do not contribute to Likes / Shares / Saves / Comments. Go organic, do not chase the follower count for so called Social Proof.

Carson – Save hashtags to Notes to cut and paste in future.

William – * Go Hyper Local * * Ultra Niches * check out hashtags of significant local businesses either Bricks or Clicks and piggy back them. E.g. a local holiday complex or A. N . Other Industry may have hundreds of thousands of searches, check out the hashtags they use and see if some are compatible.

Thank-you for your contributions. Anything I’ve missed please reply.
Hashtag Best Practices

The Dream Operators

My Instagram account is new, it’s business development focussed and not a home for photographs of my stable of little used Hypercars (I wish!). Yesterday’s Insta blog post, which employed a great deal of what I’ve learned over the last few years about social media barely scratched the social surface and today is likely forgotten by ‘The Algorithm’. But it’s evergreen content and could be of use to readers of the future.

On the other hand, there are posts from similar accounts with thousands of likes, they’re longer established and selling a dream.

Selling dreams is big business, achievable with vision, discipline and a little luck. But from a low baseline perspective further off than they would suggest.

On the other hand, if you employed the content of my post, I guarantee an uplift in your sales and focus in the next quarter, with ongoing increases if incorporated into your future business reviews. Incremental improvements add up!

If you continue to follow my posts you’ll find more reality. Perhaps employing Fergie Time mentality & a sale on the final day of the month that avoided a loss. How to cope with unexpectedly losing two thirds of your business funding. Or how I successfully negotiated a year long HMRC Tax Audit while remaining focussed on business objectives at virtually zero cost and compliment from lead inspector. There are many cases of resolve in over three decades.

On the upside, elite results with 6 and 7 figure business turnarounds that have resulted in an income not dissimilar to that suggested by the Dream Operators.

It can be done, and I’ll describe in my posts, but our feet need to remain on the ground. Remember, work to SMART objectives

 

If Not Me, Who? If Not Now, When?

I had in mind a different post this morning but inspired to publish this great quote after listening to a number of contributors in a superbly managed Clubhouse* club ‘Breakfast With Winners’ the room entitled ‘Winners Mindset vs Self Doubt’.

At some time or another, everybody suffers from self doubt or ‘Imposter Syndrome’, I learned that this is a precursor to the fight or flight reflex for when we feel threatened. Our inner voice is sending a warning and triggers the nerves and doubts that hold us back – ‘saving’ us from the scenario our brain wishes to remove us from. The key seems to be to recode our mind so that the scenario is no longer threatening, and affirmations and training are perfect for this.

A number of highly successful people running the club expressed examples when self doubt appeared and the tactics they employed to overcome. One admitted it was rare but went back to basics and read the numerous self-help and business books they have collected then RESET. But that takes time. Another quoted the Louise Hay book ‘Feel The Fear & Do It Anyway’ which mentioned that 90% of the time, the fear that is holding us back usually turns out to be only 10% of what we feared in reality. My own I learned from my daughter’s first employer a decade ago. If not me, Who? If not now, When? Think about that, take a deep breath or two and Just Do It! Okay, I lifted the last slogan!

Let me know of any strategies you use when self doubt holds you back.

* I have a number of Clubhouse invites if you would like to join, iPhone is required presently. Please DM

Clubhouse Crack

If Sting were writing lyrics for The Police today instead of 1980 and coming up with ‘When the world is running down, you make the best of what’s still around’ he’d probably write ‘While the world is speeding up, you have to keep your feet on the ground’. OK that’s doesn’t quite scan, but you get my drift?

By 7am GMT today I’d been in Clubhouse an hour – the new currently ‘Invite Only’ to add an air of exclusivity Social Media In-Thing App. With thanks to an Instagram friend for the invite. Already I’d listened to a debate on the proliferation and development of Artificial Intelligence (AI), dropped into a Q&A with internationally famous artist and brand collaborator Takashi Murakami, then when he closed the room I was into Art Provocateur Kenny Schachter’s Instagram linked article on NFT (nifty) Art (non-fungible tokens, believe me, it’s B-I-G) and Nifty Gateway which, also being in the realm of data mining and Crypto Currency, is a parallel world. Art, Music & Tech, that’s all right up my street.

Taking all this detail onboard is what I’ve been doing ever since the Internet became the font of all knowledge and the proliferation of Apps like Clubhouse are supercharging our learning, particularly in the field of business and marketing. Yes, by all means continue to read self-help books, but in less than five hours listening in on my iPhone (iPhone only right now) to what may be described as 6x NY Times Best Selling International Marketing Rock Stars and many other mere mortals from the University of Life I’ve gleaned an immense amount of useful information around Social Marketing and Personal Branding for free. With the kind of people involved in some ways it’s a little like a live and interactive Linked-in but without the political sycophancy in replies that often annoys me.

Think back to the Industrial Revolution, most people were so poor they kept their worldly possessions in a purse tied to their belt and paid a penny to stand against a rope most nights to sleep undercover in a ‘Doss House’, the endeavours of Victorian Superstars such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel (what a name!) were a world away. It took a week to cross the Atlantic. The way steam engines work and smelting iron are also fairly easy to understand. Yesterday, I was in the comfort of my own home sharing an interactive electronic ‘stage’ using super-fast WiFi chatting tips and traps on a ‘telephone’ about how to work the platform with likeminded people of all ages from Atlanta, Los Angeles, Dublin, Manila, Melbourne and Delhi. And we don’t even think about that anymore!

Clubhouse or CH as it’s known shorthand, is best described as Interactive Podcasting. It’s an online space where ‘Clubs’ are created and ‘Rooms’ are opened within each club. So, for example you could have a Club titled Running a $10M Dollar Business and a Room in that club scheduled at 3pm EST could be about Personal Brand Building on Instagram created and run by a couple of industry expert moderators who share a ‘Stage’ with erudite speakers. If you’re in the room and raise your hand you may be invited to the stage to ask a question and enter the debate. It’s addictive. The upside, you can be anywhere, in any environment work, home, gym. You could be painting your lounge with it running alongside and ‘Chime In’ to comment at will, nobody will see the paint brush! The downside, since it’s all spoken word it’s invasive and if you really get into it, and you will, because you love learning stuff and can put up with some people ‘going on a bit’, it could begin to replace your time watching TV or listening to music. That’s a big thing for someone who plays vinyl records to listen to his HiFi 😉

It’s amusing that many of the moderators and recognisable ‘super-users’ appear to be around much of the time to the exclusion of everything else. Of course, they’re really working and have CH ‘on the side’ and can interact at will. But it reminded me that as a kid I never thought about the Sixties and Seventies pop and rock bands you saw on TV doing anything else than living together 24-7 in a big country house, in stage wear, makeup, and being chauffeured to Top Of The Pops or Juke Box Jury / Superstore etc. Now picture Kiss, Roxy Music or The Sweet in their Glam Rock pomp…..

Anyway, CH is here to stay and bar one or two obvious improvements (it’s in Beta at the moment) good to go. Quite what it will be like as v4.1 once the developers have tinkered too much with the algorithm and altered the functionality, like Twitter or Instagram for example, remains to be seen.

My point in flagging up our over-speeding world is a reminder for my fellow creatives and a mental health one. Take a step back, go walking, get some fresh air, read books, listen to music, chat to loved ones, because knowledge and it’s availability is high frequency and it’ll suck you in and spit you out if you don’t take care.  It will be there tomorrow.

As is custom to sign off in CH. “I’m Steve and I’m done talking”.

Bye for now.

Clubhouse @thestevecee