Categories
Marketing

The Future is Listening – Voice Recordings

Have you ever wondered if your phone or electronics are listening to your conversations? You talk about something new, for the first time, and then suddenly the ads on Facebook mobile are for what you just talked about? Maybe you plan an event and without scheduling it your phone already knows about it?

Voice Recordings and Software Listen to your Conversations

The digital age has introduced a new world of personal voice listening devices currently ranging from ones Xbox, Amazon Echo, smartphone, and even your Samsung smart TV. Most recently, in November of 2015, police began investigating a death where incriminating evidence was possible to be found near the crime via an Amazon Echo located inside the house. The Echo could have possibly picked up key information as it recorded. The police filed a warrant, but Amazon fired back with a motion which stopped them from using Amazon recordings on the ground that is going agents the first amendment and broke privacy laws.

The Amazon Echo is like a personal assistant and is constantly tuning into surrounding conversations which can spark the question of where all that personal information is stored. With this information, if you are in the privacy of your own home, is your voice recordings on the Echo protected by the first amendment? Could the device be impacting free expression and what ones says out loud in private? These are the kinds of questions that are coming up more frequently as listening devices enter in as evidence in a courtroom.

While it’s very possible that our devices are listening into conversations and making advertisements on the web related to those subjects, companies such as Google and Facebook deny giving information out to third parties. It could be from other methods such as when you download a new app and it asks for microphone privileges or the idea that we are searching for connections when we see advertisements. Looking for connections in everyday life is a human trait that could be making the digital generation more paranoid of possible coincidences.

Categories
Marketing

5 Tips for Better Marketing on Social Media

If you’re looking to try and boost your social media platforms and gain more attention, consider these 5 tips.

 

1. Create a voice for the company
Social media is similar to an employee, their role being the brand ambassador for your business via the web. With that in mind, they should have a consistent speech pattern for all post, responding to comments, answering messages, and visual presence. This brings consistency on your social media pages and also makes it feel more personable for customers. All around less like they are talking to an automation.

2. Post regularly
Stay up to date with all the latest happenings within your business on social media so people can learn about what you do. This is another way of letting people know that there is a group of hard working individuals behind your business. Regular content also helps by giving you frequent chances to appear in customers news feed. Don’t be afraid to talk about things your community is interested in that are not specifically about your business. While you should post about yourself, you also need to engage in the scenes that your customers are there gain respect in the community.

3. Find times of day that promise most engagement for posts
Check your social media analytics page/records to see what time of day people most often engage with your social media pages. Use this data to start posting at high traffic times to get more results. You can also look into what types of post do best over others and consider regularly posting more like-minded statuses to the ones that do well.

4. Talk to your customers
When people comment, comment back. Engage with customers and let them know that they are heard. Even on the little things. If someone leaves a bad review or comment, take a moment and evaluate how best to handle the situation without escalating the problem or speaking as the company in a manner you could later regret. Rember that there are people on the internet who cannot be pleased and you may run into them. Evaluate the situation and execute with the utmost care.

5. Use graphics designed specifically for each platform
Don’t post the same images and words to every social media platform. There are ways to make content more appealing specifically to each platform. For example, a generic candy ad will not do well on Instagram, people will scroll right past it. But a picture of a hand with bright colored candies taken by a camera phone will look more spontaneous and do well on Instagram. If you don’t know if your image is good for a platform, check out your competitors and see what they do with like-minded content.

Categories
Marketing

Medical Companies Joining Social Media

Social media helps people connect over the web, and over time businesses have been using social media to also connect with their clients. With many ways to connect to clients, and with many different platforms, medical companies are reaching out through Facebook and Instagram as new ways to connect.

Bloggers sharing their stories

People on social media already love to share their experiences online. Be it by blogging or photo journalism, we love to tell others what we’re up to. Many people have started sharing their experiences while in hospitals, battling medical struggles, and how to deal with challenges from similar issues to try and help others going through the same predicament.

Medicine/healing treatments looking for recognition

Companies who have treatments or services to help those in need are looking for people who could use their services in exchange for publicity if that person has a large push the community. Some business have put out ads for such people or search on social media channels to find the biggest influencers and offer them sponsorships.

Sponsorships

Before you can be sponsored by a medical company, you must first be evaluated. The evaluation is less on the status of your sickness or issue, and more on your ability to influence people on social media who will be looking at relative content. For example, companies will want to see how many people follow you and interact with your post. If you have a strong following, their more likely to get more recognition then from an Instagram with fewer followers, but a stronger story. Lots of clothing and makeup companies do this already by sending influential people their products in exchange for photos and high praise on products if they honestly feel like they enjoy the products.

Company awareness on social media

Through connecting with patients, clients, and former/current users, medical companies are hoping to use social media as a new way to better talk about their services. New marketing tactics are likely to hit the next generation of clients and must be explored to see if they produce any results for said companies. Who will be the next to hit social media, or will marketing start on even newer platforms like video games and other smart electronics.

Categories
Marketing

8 Tips for Better Business Branding Online

Check out some helpful tips for better business branding online. While some may seem more intuitive than others, remembering and refreshing on helpful tips could spark a new idea!

Create a Visual

People like to look at visuals over long bodies of text. Create visuals for your business to get people attention online with eye-catching colors, a logo, interesting photography, etc. When on social media platforms, pictures carry much farther than text and can get to a wider reach of people. Make sure to not only set up pictures for your business but to regularly update them with new visuals to keep people interested. As time goes on, people may get concerned if the visual content has not been updated over time and wonder if you’re still open.

Be on Social Media

Why for some people social media is second nature, for others it is not. If you haven’t joined a few social media channels for your business, consider starting that today! Social media is a great way to let people know about your business without even asking you any questions over the phone or stepping into your store/office. The top platforms to start on are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Consistency

If you decided to start sending out weekly emails, monthly parties, daily blogs, etc., keep it consistent. Try your best to keep up a maintainable schedule of consistency in what you do. While this can be helpful for yourself, in that it keeps new content and events coming regularly, it can also keep others thinking about your business. If they come to expect to see new content from you every week, they are thinking about you every week.

Don’t Please Everyone

It can be extremely tough to please everyone online. Some people are unpleasable. This is something you must remember. With social media being a way that people can voice their opinion without showing their face, this has led some people to be completely unpleasable. Handel situations calmly if there is a problem. Remember the type of voice you want your company to have and use it. If a comment or rating is upsetting, see if there is a way to resolve it without changing a positive persona.

Reach out to your Community

Consider ways you can stand out in your community. Join in local events in your city or post regular helpful tips on the web, there are many ways to get involved. Look for ways for people to keep you in their thoughts. When you reach out to your community, your reach out to all their friends and family who could also be potential customers in the future.

Be Trendy

Consider if your company actions are too dated for the present face of your brand. Is it time to switch to email questions over phone calls? Could people get digital, paperless coupons over physical ones? While every company is different, it might be time to look at what the kids are doing these days and see if you can jump into some of the latest trends.

Know who your Selling To

If your customer base is mainly people in their 50’s and 60’s, you may not be needing to create content for teenagers and young adults. Find out who your target audience is and what their trends are. While teens might be more likely to get online at noon during school lunch, an adult may not be online to see your new content till 6:30 after a long work day.

Share Information and Knowledge

Keeping the business secret recipe can keep you above your competition, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help with some of the small things. Use your knowledge and share tips and advice among the community to show just how much you know and why people should be interested. This can help make you look more reputable and knowledgeable.

Categories
Marketing

What Can Website Maintenance Do For You?

The Importance of Regularly Scheduled Website Maintenance and How It Can Boost Your Business

 

Quarterly maintenance and updates are important, that much we know- or have been told. But why is keeping your online presence clean and optimized important? In a growing digital world it is not enough to “just have an online presence” anymore. Having an optimized site that is accessible across multiple platforms, user-friendly, and overall nice to look at, will help you achieve your business goals and customer satisfaction by:

-Boosting SEO rankings and overall driving more traffic to your site.

-Preventing hackers that look for outdated software and plugins from gaining access to your site.

-Ensuring brand consistency and awareness to customers and prospects with a site that expresses your business’s brand, mission, and vision.

-Improving user experience and return rate to your site by providing customers  and prospects current and informative content and user friendly experience.

 

The Importance of Website Maintenance and Your Consumer

 

A study by Adobe, The State of Content: Expectations on the Rise, links why optimizing your online presence is important to your consumer and how damaging a lack of maintenance to your website can be to your business.

     – 39% will stop engaging with your content if images won’t load

     – 39% will stop engaging if content takes too long to load

     – 38% will stop engaging if content is unattractive in its layout or imagery

     – 66% of consumers would prefer to view something beautifully designed

     – More than 7 in 10 consumers (73%) say content “must display well” in order for them to continue engagement

To learn more, check out the rest of the adobe report by clicking here.

 

So, Why Is Website Maintenance Important?

 

In a nutshell, regularly scheduled maintenance and updates prevents major maintenance issues that can be damaging to your business, brand, and customer experience. A well maintained website gives your business and brand credibility and your consumers confidence in your products and services. 

 

Categories
Marketing

Importance of User-Generated Content

Getting a consumer excited enough about your product or service to spark them to talk more about it to others- it’s the most important and promising challenge in marketing. Just a casual conversation, while engaging, doesn’t necessarily generate on-going engagement. The challenge for brands is to organize user-generated content that actually accomplishes valuable goals for a brand. It’s not starting a conversation- it’s framing it.

User-generated content allows the consumer to become more involved in the marketing and sales process for a product or service. Starbucks started utilizing user-generated content early in the game through their “My Starbucks Idea,” which allowed customers to send their best coffee or tea idea to Starbucks because they recognized the disconnect with their current offering. Also, in 2014, Starbucks launched a contest featuring their signature white cup where they asked consumers to decorate and submit a picture of their artwork on the cup by posting a picture on social media with the hashtag #WhiteCupContest. In just a few weeks, thousands of customers submitted their artwork to Starbucks. This initiative engaged customers, gained Starbucks publicity, and showed that Starbucks once again was listening closely to the opinions and ideas of their consumer.

Simply putting a contest on your Facebook page isn’t going to generate on-going engagement. So what should companies do to turn a promotion or contest into consumer engagement?

First, reward consumers with recognition when they positively promote or advocate for your brand. These folks don’t “owe it to you” to be engaged with your brand. Earn their business! As you monitor your social channels and you see someone post a picture or content saying how great your company did— engage! Reach out to them and thank them for their feedback, ask to use their content on your page, and encourage them to complete reviews or rankings to have their voice heard by more people.

When running a promotion, don’t just think that once the award is given, the marketing benefit stops. Ask consumers who submitted entries if you can use their content in an on-going manner. Utilizing videos and photos generated by consumers engages new customers and encourages repeat customers by endearing the brand to the public.

Finally, harness user-generated content to create advocates for your brand. “There are stories about your brand that are being shared every day. Harnessing UGC enables you to engage and share the narratives through the voices of your most passionate brand advocates” (Wright, 2017). By engaging with consumers about the content that they create, you can generate more passion and excitement for your brand from them, their friends, and your general consumer audience.

Next time you see someone post an Instagram selfie with your product or see someone post a picture of a great job your company did, don’t simply settle for the double tap to show your appreciation. Engage with your audience, earn their continued business, and utilize their content to reach new audiences.

Sources:
https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/examples-of-user-generated-content
http://marketingland.com/ugc-brands-new-years-content-resolution-2017-206106

Categories
Events

Spectruss Presents: Sound To Table Experience

St. John’s Restaurant, Tim Hinck and Spectruss presents a SOUND TO TABLE experience.

 

Sunday, September 24, beginning at 6:00 PM at St. John’s Restaurant.

A composer and a chef set out to completely reimagine the dining experience. Crafting new combinations of sound and dramatic culinary innovations, chef Rebecca Barron and composer Tim Hinck are attempting to redefine their work by uniting flavors and music seamlessly with images, lighting, and sound. Drawing inspiration from Crabtree Farms, they have created sonic and visual extensions to each course of food. Special guest, Holly Mulcahy (violinist and concertmaster of the Chattanooga Symphony) joins Tim Hinck in creating intricate layers of music that unfold around each course of food from Chef Barron’s kitchen.

 

Experience priced at $160 per person all inclusive of wine pairings, tax, and gratuity.

Limited to 80 guests.

Free Vallet Parking.

 

BUY TICKETS

 

Behind the Sound and Table

Tim Hinck is a composer and pianist who’s works have been performed around the world. A former Fulbright Fellow, Hinck studied music in the Netherlands, and now performs his own music along with a rigorous schedule appointments as a concert pianist. His innovative compositional projects often involve multimedia elements and unexpected performance spaces.

Rebecca Barron is the executive chef of Chattanooga’s renowned St. John’s Restaurant. Talented in her own right, she’s also had the opportunity to work under the well known Chef Daniel Lindley as chef de cuisine for three years before becoming executive chef two years ago.

Categories
Business

Apple Says Goodbye to Imagination Technologies’ Services

This past week Apple announced that they were creating their own in-house mobile processor for their devices. This news immediately affected Imagination Technologies’s shares, which dropped almost 70 percent. Imagination Technologies created Apple’s PowerVR graphics that supplies them with a small royalty on each transaction. Those royalties make up a large percentage of the businesses revenue.

What Happens Next?

While this news affects Imagination Technologies by worrying them on how to further float as a business without such a major client, they have been poached by more SoC vendors as of late. This this is good news for the company, they will need many new clients to make up for the loss of Apple.

This news doesn’t come without its speculations though. Last year Apple mentioned looking into buying Imagination Technologies when Imagination Technologies announced that they would be shrinking their staff count. Apple ended up not proceeding with this idea, but instead took on some of the laid of employees and recruited them for their own, similar project. Apple has stated that they are making this switch to in-house to further their goals of every aspect being created by themselves for their devices.

The Future Brings Change

The future looks interesting between the two companies as a spectator. We shall see what happens when apple officially cuts ties in one to two years. Imagination Technologies is very curious to see how they can survive without their product and not break any patents, release confidential information, or misuse intellectual property. They have multiple GPU patents that will be difficult to work around. Plus, what will Apple do in terms of backward compatibility for their pre-existing app and games?

Categories
Design

Learning to Code is the New Requirement for Jobs in Design

Designers who can create beautiful and trending concepts are in high demand. Their skills can take an amazing product and make it understandable and desirable to customers. But a new wave of designers and developers have started to change jobs in design. Designers are learning to code, and developers are learning to design.

Design + Coding

Companies have started looking for designers who can also code. They want people who can come up with a concept, and be able to execute it too. People who can fill these roles are becoming highly desirable. Learning HTML, CSS, and/or JavaScript is showing to have its advantages by giving designers a better understanding of their limitations and where you can push bolder concepts. These concepts were often needed to be relayed by developers, but if a designer is already aware, time lost on project iterations may be eradicated.

With this information, designers have begun to take charge. New workshops are opening up for designers who want to learn to code. (https://generalassemb.ly/education/coding-for-designers/san-francisco) This workshop linked takes place in San Fransisco and helps get one ready for transitioning into three types of coding. These skills can also be transferred into jobs in the web development field and UX careers.

 

Recently, at SXSW in March 2017, John Maeda delivered a “Design in Tech Report” where he explored new trends on jobs in design and coding that you can watch here, https://vimeo.com/208035080

 

Coding is something worth considering for designers in the tech field. Developers are quickly becoming more style savvy and integrated into design meetings. While technical skills are a great addition to any resume, they may just be the next thing that gets you hired in the tech designer industry.