Spodek & Co https://spodekandco.com Digital Communications Fri, 15 Feb 2019 14:45:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.3 The Weekly Download – February 15, 2019 https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/02/the-weekly-download-february-15-2019.html https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/02/the-weekly-download-february-15-2019.html#respond Fri, 15 Feb 2019 14:45:00 +0000 https://spodekandco.com/?p=7308 Hooray for Friday! Here’s what you might have missed this week: Toronto’s infamous #ChairGirl and unprecedented social media shaming, the launch of LinkedIn Live, Calgary Police’s funny Valentines and Facebook’s possible multibillion-dollar fine. Plus, could an “edit” feature of sorts be coming for Twitter?  LinkedIn Introduces LinkedIn Live This week, LinkedIn launched LinkedIn Live, a […]

The post The Weekly Download – February 15, 2019 appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
The Weekly Download - February 15thHooray for Friday! Here’s what you might have missed this week: Toronto’s infamous #ChairGirl and unprecedented social media shaming, the launch of LinkedIn Live, Calgary Police’s funny Valentines and Facebook’s possible multibillion-dollar fine. Plus, could an “edit” feature of sorts be coming for Twitter? 

LinkedIn Introduces LinkedIn Live

This week, LinkedIn launched LinkedIn Live, a medium allowing people and organizations to broadcast real-time video to select groups, or to the platform at large.

According to LinkedIn, video content is growing faster than ever on the platform, so it’s no surprise that they’re taking the next step when it comes to video content. The opportunities are endless: think conferences, Q&As, product announcements, award ceremonies and so much more.

LinkedIn Live is invite-only and being beta tested in the U.S. market only for now. It’s not clear when the ability to stream on LinkedIn Live will be available to everyone, but a contact form will be coming in the next few weeks so users can request access to the new feature.

LinkedIn hopes that partnerships with Wirecast, Switcher Studio, Wowza Media Systems, Socialive and Brandlive will help users create video content that aligns with their brand.

Toronto’s #ChairGirl and Lasting Social Media Shaming Consequences

If you were on social media at all this week, you probably saw that video of Toronto’s #ChairGirl — and it went viral for all the wrong reasons.

Nineteen year-old Marcella Zoia is out on bail and facing three criminal charges of mischief. But she’s already been convicted in the eyes of the thousands who viewed the disturbing video of her throwing a chair from a Toronto high-rise balcony. On top of the charges, Zoia has been publicly blasted for a stunt that at best could have caused a serious accident and at worst could have killed someone! And her bad choice will last forever online.

The incident is an example of the new level of reach and power social media has given shaming. According to Toronto criminal defence lawyer Daniel Brown, judges can actually take into account “public notoriety” as a “mitigating factor” when sentencing cases that have garnered extreme negative attention.

The #ChairGirl video is also an example of the false sense of security apps like Snapchat and Instagram provide; but the truth is that videos, pictures and text content are available for all to see, including friends, family, potential employers, lawyers and police.

The FTC Might Be Hitting Facebook With a “Multibillion-Dollar” Fine

The Cambridge Analytica scandal is still causing big trouble for Facebook.

The Federal Trade Commission is negotiating with the social network to settle the issue of potential privacy violations with a fine. While no exact figure has been released, talks of a “multibillion-dollar’ fine would be the FTC’s largest fine ever against a tech company.

The FTC has been investigating Facebook’s privacy practices since March 2018, following the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal. To recap, the scandal called Facebook’s data collection practices into question and raised some serious concerns about user privacy.

While a fine set in the billions seems steep, for a company that brought in almost $56 billion in revenue in 2018, we’re pretty sure Facebook can afford it.

Twitter is Considering a “Clarification” Feature

We’ve all been wishing Twitter would get with the program and add an “edit’ feature already! Well, the wait is over! Maybe. Sort of.

CEO Jack Dorsey said the company is thinking about a “clarification” feature to include additional context for tweets as a way to help people feel more comfortable about what they broadcast to the world.

Dorsey says the feature would function similarly to a retweet with comment. If the user had opted to “clarify” a tweet, that original tweet would always been displayed with the subsequent clarification. Which would you prefer? An option to clarify? Or a simple edit function?

Friday Fun 

Calgary Police’s Funny Twist on Valentine’s Day

Calgary Police won at social media and Valentine’s Day yesterday.

To celebrate the special day of love and togetherness, they shared some special messages for a few people they’ve been wanting to spend a little time with… Check out some of our favourites below.

 

 

 

The post The Weekly Download – February 15, 2019 appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/02/the-weekly-download-february-15-2019.html/feed 0
Three Common eCommerce Pain Points https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/02/ecommerce-pain-points.html https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/02/ecommerce-pain-points.html#respond Mon, 11 Feb 2019 14:00:56 +0000 https://spodekandco.com/?p=7302 You’ve put a lot of hard work into growing your eCommerce business. And your goal is to convert browsers – digital window shoppers – into purchasers. But sales aren’t where you would like them to be. So, what’s up? Let’s have a look at three common eCommerce pain points that result in abandoned shopping carts. […]

The post Three Common eCommerce Pain Points appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
eCommerce Pain PointsYou’ve put a lot of hard work into growing your eCommerce business. And your goal is to convert browsers – digital window shoppers – into purchasers. But sales aren’t where you would like them to be. So, what’s up? Let’s have a look at three common eCommerce pain points that result in abandoned shopping carts.

eCommerce is a Crowded Field

We all know that consumers today are pretty savvy. And digital consumers are no different. They’ve done their research, comparison shopped, and have no time for pages that load slowly complicated purchase processes that take forever to complete.

The eCommerce industry is estimated to reach almost 5 trillion dollars in sales by 2021. TRILLION!! And in Canada, ten percent of all retail sales will be made online. And this isn’t just business to consumer selling.

B2B online sales are climbing as well, with 50 per cent of Canadian B2B sellers generating more than a quarter of their sales online. Estimates see B2B ecommerce alone reaching $1.2-trillion by 2021, or 13 percent – more than double that country’s business-to-consumer ecommerce market.

And with eCommerce giants like Amazon and Wayfair making shopping almost insanely simple, you have to be vigilant about your site, and ensure you’ve crossed every T and dotted every I.

Pain Points that Annoy Shoppers

Here are three common eCommerce pain points that will drive a wedge into your conversion rates and result in lost sales for your business.

Pricey shipping costs and/or hidden fees. One of the biggest causes of abandoned shopping carts is unexpected additional costs. Final checkout should mean final checkout – not “Final checkout where you find out what you REALLY owe!” Make sure your prices are upfront and obvious and try to implement a policy of free shipping at certain price points if possible.

Having to register or create an account to order. Many people keep their personal information close to their chests these days, especially in light of recent data hacks. They don’t want to create an account with you in order to buy a $20.00 widget. And they shouldn’t have to. Always have a “guest check out” area for one-off purchasers and make it quick and easy to fill out. The fewer fields the better!

Dated (or too many!) payment options. Only one credit card option? I’m out of there. Today, people expect to be able to choose from an array of credit/payment options, and also avail themselves of PayPal. PayPal has more than 250 million active accounts – that’s a lot of potential customers!

That said, I’ve also been to sites where the number of payment options is absolutely eye-crossing. And while it’s great to provide options, you have to ensure that your checkout page layout and functionality is simple and easy to use, and doesn’t overwhelm people.

To End…

Did you know that almost half of all Canadian small businesses still don’t have an eCommerce option. And that’s really too bad. The big boys of online retailing aren’t going away any time soon. And you have to be able to compete with them.

I hope if you haven’t ventured into eCommerce yet that I’ve piqued your interest. And if you have an eCommerce site up and running, you’ll do some A/B testing on it to ensure these three common eCommerce pain points aren’t resulting in missed sales.

I’d love to know what you think! And also hear which eCommerce pain points drive you crazy when digital shopping!

 

The post Three Common eCommerce Pain Points appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/02/ecommerce-pain-points.html/feed 0
The Weekly Download – February 8, 2019 https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/02/the-weekly-download-february-8-2019.html https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/02/the-weekly-download-february-8-2019.html#respond Fri, 08 Feb 2019 13:24:58 +0000 https://spodekandco.com/?p=7298 Happy Friday, everyone! Let’s kick off your weekend with a digital marketing and tech roundup, shall we? Today we’re talking about some seriously intrusive iOS apps that could be recording your every move, Facebook’s 15th anniversary, a disheartening social media photo project and of course, Friday Fun. Plus, did you hear? The world’s most famous […]

The post The Weekly Download – February 8, 2019 appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
Spodek & Co. Weekly Download February 8Happy Friday, everyone! Let’s kick off your weekend with a digital marketing and tech roundup, shall we?

Today we’re talking about some seriously intrusive iOS apps that could be recording your every move, Facebook’s 15th anniversary, a disheartening social media photo project and of course, Friday Fun.

Plus, did you hear? The world’s most famous egg finally cracked! Read on to find out what it has to say.

Apple Issues Warning to Apps That Record User Screens

Earlier this week, news broke that some apps have been recording user screens while in use on the iOS platform. Apps from companies like Air Canada, Expedia, and Hollister are just a few that are capable of recording your every move during use – without asking for your permission.

These apps create “session replays” which allow companies to see exactly how users are interacting with their apps, thanks to technology from a company called Glassbox Digital. While it might be great from a business perspective, it’s definitely bad news for user privacy.

After word broke (and people were understandably upset), Apple issued a warning to app developers to remove the capability to record user screens from their code or risk being banned from the iOS app store.

Tell us – do you have any of the offending apps installed? How do you feel about your information potentially being accessed in this way?

It’s Official: The World’s Most Famous Egg Has Cracked (For a Good Reason)

That’s right, folks – @world_record_egg has finally cracked… in support of mental health.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtdYQwincYv/?utm_source=ig_embed

The little egg (also known as Eugene), found all the social media attention and resultant pressures to be perfect a little much. And he is encouraging others who might be feeling the same way to check out talkingegg.info for a list of mental health resources worldwide.

While we’re surprised we didn’t see a big brand try to harness the power of the infamous egg, we’re happy to see the social notoriety he’s gained being used to support a very important cause.

Eugene, after all, is a good egg.

The New York Times Takes an Honest Look at Facebook’s 15 Years

Facebook turned 15 this week – can you believe it?

In honor of the occasion, and in an example of expert-level trolling, The New York Times created a very Facebook-esque video to look back at the social network’s beginnings…and a lot of the rocky moments it has encountered (especially recently).

The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica data disgrace and Russian interference via Facebook ads during the last US presidential election were just two of the scandals highlighted in the NYT’s anniversary greeting.

We want to know – what are your thoughts on the video?

Teenagers Edit Images of Themselves to be “Social Media Ready”… The Results Are Sad

A new photo series by renowned British photographer Rankin entitled “Selfie Harm” is showing how social media is warping young minds.

The project asked 15 teens between the ages of 13-19 to spend up to five minutes editing a photo of themselves. The goal? Make it what theysaw as “social-media ready.” The before and after comparisons are shocking, and quite sad. Not only do the results show how easy it is to alter the images we see online, it reveals the pressure teens are under to look a certain way.

Many of the girls narrowed their noses, slimmed their faces, plumped up their lips and edited out freckles…all for social media “likes”.

Rankin hopes the project will help bring attention to real societal issues like FOMO (fear of missing out), increased anxiety and what he calls “Snapchat dysmorphia”, all thanks to the hyper-consumption of digital content.

Friday Fun

New Year, New Emoji

Feel like your most-used emoji list could use some revamping? You’re in luck!

A whopping 230 new emoji are on their way, set to launch sometime this year. If you ever wanted to send a digital waffle, sloth, or pair of underwear via emoji, the time has come. Even better — the new edition is chock full of more inclusive icons, including skin tone variety, men and women with wheelchairs and sign-language emoji.

And speaking of emoji, here’s some more Friday Fun in the form of a handy guide to help you make the most of society’s most neglected icons.

A Painting of a Painting of a Painting…

When a boy loves his mom, there’s nothing he won’t do for her. Did you see this awesomeness unfold on Reddit? Check out the Twitter thread below for some feel-good vibes before you head into the weekend.

 

The post The Weekly Download – February 8, 2019 appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/02/the-weekly-download-february-8-2019.html/feed 0
How a Brand Refresh Can Help Grow Your Company https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/02/brand-refresh-grow-your-company.html https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/02/brand-refresh-grow-your-company.html#respond Mon, 04 Feb 2019 14:00:27 +0000 https://spodekandco.com/?p=7287 A few years back, I realized Spodek & Co. was in need of a brand refresh. And I promise you, it wasn’t easy to come to that realization. I almost felt like I was doing something wrong! When I would see other brand ideas that I really loved, it was a bit like cheating (LOL), […]

The post How a Brand Refresh Can Help Grow Your Company appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
Brand RefreshA few years back, I realized Spodek & Co. was in need of a brand refresh. And I promise you, it wasn’t easy to come to that realization.

I almost felt like I was doing something wrong! When I would see other brand ideas that I really loved, it was a bit like cheating (LOL), or admitting I loved one child more than the other!

Your Brand is Your Baby

Because let’s face it, if you’re a business owner, your brand is your baby

Especially if you’ve boot-strapped your way from the ground up.

From the moment you conceived of the idea for your company – back when it was just a tiny sparkle of “what if” in the back of your mind to where you are today – you’ve nurtured it. You’ve probably poured endless hours of your blood sweat and tears into it.

Starting a business from scratch is a difficult task, and that brand has been with you through the entire journey!

But…and yes, there’s always a but.

How Our Brand Refresh Helped Us

In my case, I had to sit back and take a hard look at my business. And things had really changed! The kicker? No one saw the business the way I saw the business!

We had grown a lot. Our product offerings had matured. Our team had changed. And the types of clients we engaged had obviously evolved.

But the company brand hadn’t grown or evolved alongside. 

I’ve written about my brand shift before, but these were the key things I adjusted to better reflect who were were as a company: 

Digital Marketing Branding: The branding on the site now reflects the company as a whole—from the name itself, to the images and the content.

Clear Concise Company Messaging: Our “who we are” and “what we do” pages were more clearly described and prominently featured.

Experts Featured and Roles Defined: Our team of talented subject matter experts, which had grown in leaps and bounds since I had launched my company, are now clearly featured on the website, with bios and pictures attached.

Increased Website and Content Offerings: We set about publishing more content, more frequently. We didn’t focus solely on the blog, but also created ebooks for the website, added a monthly newsletter (shameless plug – sign up here if you haven’t already!) and we increased social media sharing on more platforms.

How to Know if You Need a Brand Refresh 

Here are a few things to ask yourself if you think your company might need a brand refresh. 

Does my brand still stand out from the crowd? If you’re not entirely sure, it might be time to do another SWOT analysis – but this time on your brand. Take an honest look at what your competitors are doing, and how you stack up to them, creatively?

Does your brand still tell the right “story”? Your brand identity is your story – how your audience perceives who you are and what you do. Consider your company’s current visual brand, as well as your brand voice, values and personality. Do these elements still represent and accurately reflect who you are today?  

Has your customer or client base shifted? Generally speaking, businesses are organic. They grow and shift over time, and hopefully become more successful, right? If you’re a B2C company, maybe trends have changed and your audience base has branched off in different direction? If you’re a B2B organization, perhaps you’ve added new staff with different skill-sets, and in do doing have attracted a new arm when it comes to your client base?

Don’t Be Afraid of Change

The bottom line is this: change can be uncomfortable, but change is also often really good. It forces you to take a critical look at who you are and who you want to become in the next ten years! It proved you can adapt and scale to accommodate new societal shifts or changes in technology. And it’s a clear visual sign that you’re a company that keeps its finger on the pulse internally as well as externally.

You’ve worked hard growing your business, and watched it grow into a successful representation of who you are. Don’t be afraid to change things up now and then!

I would love to hear your thoughts! Have you been through a brand refresh? What inspired you to make changes? Please leave your comments below!

The post How a Brand Refresh Can Help Grow Your Company appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/02/brand-refresh-grow-your-company.html/feed 0
The Weekly Download – February 1, 2019 https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/02/the-weekly-download-february-1-2019.html https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/02/the-weekly-download-february-1-2019.html#respond Fri, 01 Feb 2019 14:29:43 +0000 https://spodekandco.com/?p=7279 After what felt like the longest month ever… February is here! Time to kick off a new month with a new edition of The Weekly Download. Today we’re discussing Facebook’s messaging app merge and spying software, Apple’s major privacy fail, Canada’s costly mobile phone plans, and the return of the World Record Egg. Plus, we’ve […]

The post The Weekly Download – February 1, 2019 appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
Spodek & Co. Weekly Download February 1After what felt like the longest month ever… February is here! Time to kick off a new month with a new edition of The Weekly Download.

Today we’re discussing Facebook’s messaging app merge and spying software, Apple’s major privacy fail, Canada’s costly mobile phone plans, and the return of the World Record Egg. Plus, we’ve got Friday Fun on the docket too: we’re chatting about Super Bowl ads! And a Toronto Transit Commission bus driver has gone viral for a fabulously colourful and bold reason.

Facebook to Reportedly Merge Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp Chats

This is possibly one of the biggest pieces of digital marketing news we’ve seen floating around the Internet this week — and for good reason. In a major shuffle that breaks down barriers between three giant messaging apps, Facebook will reportedly merge Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp chats.

While the apps themselves will remain separate on your home screen, common messaging features would be unified. For some users the merge is a welcome change, making it easy to jump between conversations and across platforms. Others aren’t so happy: privacy and encryption are key to WhatsApp, and a platform merge might put these at risk.

Sources say the merge won’t happen until 2020. Tell us — are you looking forward to the merge or would you rather keep these essential messaging apps separate?

A FaceTime Bug Allows You to Spy on the Person You’re Calling

Bad news for Apple this week. A major bug was discovered in iOS that allowed callers to hear and see the person on the other end before the call has been answered.

Yikes.

Here’s how it works: first, you call someone on FaceTime. Next, before they answer, swipe up and add yourself to the call. You can now hear through the person’s phone, all without them answering the call.

After many, many media reports about the bug, Apple disabled group FaceTime. An iOS update will be released to take care of the issue, but no firm news on when yet.

Controversial Paid “Facebook Research” VPN Helps the Company Gather Data

Word dropped this week that Facebook has been paying users to install a VPN called “Facebook Research” to help gather user data on phone and web activity. The VPN is a way for Facebook to sidestep the iOS App Store — Apple banned Facebook’s Onavo Protect app last June when it was found to be in violation of Apple policy.

According to TechCrunch, since 2016, Facebook has been paying users between the ages of 13 and 35 up to $20 per month (plus referral fees) to install the app for user research. Allowing access provides a peek at extensive personal data, including private messages in social media apps, instant messaging chats, emails, web searches, web browsing activity, and even ongoing location information. Facebook has even gone so far as to ask participants to screenshot their recent Amazon order history.

Further research by TechCrunch showed that Facebook used beta testing services to mask their involvement and also used social advertising on platforms like Instagram to entice teens to participate in the study with the promise of payment.

Although Facebook maintains that data was only collected when users opted in (and provided parental consent, in the case of those underage), the “spying” has left a bad taste in the mouths of many. The Facebook Research program has since been ceased on the iOS network. No word on Android yet.

Sorry, Canada: Our Mobile Phone Plans Are Among the Worst in the World

A new study of 39 countries shows that Canadians are getting the least amount of data for the most amount of money when it comes to mobile phone plans.

The study showed revenue per GB is approximately 70 times higher for telecoms in Canada than in India and 23 times higher than in Finland.

Another interesting finding? Mobile usage in Canada is lower than average, possibly due to the high costs.

Who Will Be the First Brand to Partner with the World Record Instagram Egg?

Word has it that viral marketing agency Jerry Media is working on a potential multi-million brand deal with an extremely famous client… The World Record Instagram Egg. Yup, you read that right.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtPBdoGg5EI/

If you happen to follow the World Record Egg, you may have noticed that something is about to bust out of its speckled shell. The race to monetize the egg is on, and ad strategists predict the deal will be huge. How’s that for strange news you never thought you’d be hearing in 2019?

The egg is a good egg, though, and is donating 10 percent of its merchandising (yes, merchandising) proceeds to YoungMinds, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the Campaign Against Living Miserably.

Friday Fun

Happy Super Bowl Weekend! Catch All the Ads Here

Whether you’re watching for the game or the half time show, an undeniably fun part of Super Bowl weekend is the commercials. Here are a couple favourites so far:

Check out EW’s running list of ads (plus teasers) as we count down to kickoff.

TTC Driver Goes Viral on Twitter for His Amazing Nails

Twitter user @kittybiddy shared a heartwarming story this week about a TTC driver with a super cool passion. Check out the story for yourself below, and follow @TTCNails for more amazingness on Instagram.

 

The post The Weekly Download – February 1, 2019 appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/02/the-weekly-download-february-1-2019.html/feed 0
The Intersection Between Social Media and Mental Health Issues https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/01/social-media-and-mental-health-issues.html https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/01/social-media-and-mental-health-issues.html#respond Wed, 30 Jan 2019 14:00:48 +0000 https://spodekandco.com/?p=7270 Social media and mental health issues intersect more often than you might think. For example, there’s the old line: “Don’t believe everything you see on Facebook!” And it’s usually used in reference to how AMAZING and PERFECT everyone else’s digitally curated life appears to be. You know, one of the best compliments I ever received […]

The post The Intersection Between Social Media and Mental Health Issues appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
social media and mental health Social media and mental health issues intersect more often than you might think. For example, there’s the old line: “Don’t believe everything you see on Facebook!” And it’s usually used in reference to how AMAZING and PERFECT everyone else’s digitally curated life appears to be.

You know, one of the best compliments I ever received was that I’m exactly the same online as I am offline! But many people aren’t. And no matter how much you know these perfectly presented realities aren’t accurate, it’s often hard to not look at your own life (or your own self) through overly critical eyes in comparison.

And that’s why, today, in honour of Bell’s Let’s Talk Day 2019, we wanted to write a bit about social media as it relates to mental health.

Social Media Has Changed the World

Of course, it’s important to remember that social media has brought positivity to many people. It’s opened the world up for people who find it difficult to leave the house. It’s allowed marginalized groups to find friendship, knowledge and acceptance. And it provides support through subject-focused support and/or business groups.

And yes, it’s dramatically changed the political landscape. Disenfranchised or politically subjugated people now have the opportunity for anonymous protest. Social media provides a window into their worlds, and even brought them to safety.

The Intersection Between Social Media and Mental Health Issues

With all its positivity, however, we would be remiss to not keep a close eye on what can sometimes be the very negative effects of non-stop social media consumption. Cyberbullying, for example, is a very real and very serious occurrence.

For teens, being bombarded by constant images of the beautiful, rich and famous – the Kardashian Effect, you could say – can have a huge impact on their self-esteem and sense of self-worth. Not to mention the surge of viral video trends that involve the very real danger of possible physical harm. Who can forget the Tide Pod Challenge, or the more recent “Bird Box Challenge?

Adults Are Not Immune to Social Media and Mental Health Concerns

Adults are definitely not immune when it comes to social media and mental health issues. In fact, a recent York University study found women’s sense of self, how they compared to their peers in the looks department, is heavily influenced (usually negatively) by social media interactions.

Other studies found the overuse of social media can lead to increased feelings of depression and loneliness. FOMO, or “fear of missing out,” while a cute catchphrase, can have a huge impact on a person’s wellbeing. A Carleton and McGill study found FOMO – driven through social media usage – was associated with fatigue, stress, and trouble sleeping. All things that have a huge impact on a person’s overall mental health.

Bell Let’s Talk Day 2019

Look, it’s ok to take a break from social media now and again. Or, at the very least, be aware of its potential impact on how you feel from day to day.

It’s time to break the stigma that still exists around mental health issues, a stigma that has an impact on people of ALL generations. Social media gives people a platform to openly share their mental health related stories and/or ask for help when needed.

And that’s why Bell’s annual Let’s Talk Day is so important. Today, Bell is raising awareness, and raising money for mental health initiatives in Canada. They’re contributing 5¢ for every applicable text, call, tweet, social media video view and use of their Facebook frames or Snapchat filters.

So, today, get out there and enjoy social media! Share your story and share others’ stories as well. Use social media for GOOD! And I bet you’ll feel pretty darn good doing so.

Note from Eden: In the spirit of disclosure, although my husband works for Bell Media, the initiative for this blog post and its message are my own.

The post The Intersection Between Social Media and Mental Health Issues appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/01/social-media-and-mental-health-issues.html/feed 0
The Weekly Download – January 25, 2019 https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/01/the-weekly-download.html https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/01/the-weekly-download.html#respond Fri, 25 Jan 2019 14:00:33 +0000 https://spodekandco.com/?p=7253 It’s Friday — you know what that means! On the docket: how AI could change influencer marketing, Facebook’s new LOL meme hub, the world’s #10YearChallenge, and how Netflix’s new Fyre Festival doc is making a difference. Plus, some Friday Fun involving a Gen X snub and a famous Halloween costume that just keeps on winning. […]

The post The Weekly Download – January 25, 2019 appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
Spodek & Co Weekly Download - Jan 25It’s Friday — you know what that means!

On the docket: how AI could change influencer marketing, Facebook’s new LOL meme hub, the world’s #10YearChallenge, and how Netflix’s new Fyre Festival doc is making a difference. Plus, some Friday Fun involving a Gen X snub and a famous Halloween costume that just keeps on winning.

A New AI Project Matches Brands with Relevant Instagram Influencers

Yup, more news about influencers this week…with good reason! According to recent research by Tomoson, the average business makes $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing. The trick, of course, is finding the right influencer for your brand.

Enter: AI.

University of British Columbia researchers have recently released a preprint paper that describes an AI system that can predict the “most fruitful” partnerships between top social media users and companies.

While the tool isn’t quite complete, it’s certainly a step in the right direction to help brands identify beneficial relationships with influencers, hopefully saving time — and money.

Facebook is Developing a Meme Hub Called LOL

After several Facebook projects failed to become popular with teens (Facebook Watch, IGTV, Lasso), the social network is back to the drawing board.

This time, sources tell us Facebook’s been hard at work on LOL: a feed of GIF-like clips and videos divided into categories like “Animals,” “Fails” and “Pranks.” Below each meme or clip, users can select whether the content is “Funny,” “Alright” or “Not Funny.” The app allows users to share the content they like and also upload their own.

It’s no secret that over the years Facebook has lost teen market share to apps like Snapchat (where the parents aren’t), resulting in increased concern around revenue and growth.

The project is currently in beta being tested by a group of 100 U.S. high schoolers who will have the final say. Is LOL cute, or just cringe’y? Maybe we’re too old to have a say! 😉

The World’s #10YearChallenge Looks at the Bigger Picture 

Last week, we chatted about the #10YearChallenge and the “holy cow, have we ever aged!” fun it brought to our social media feeds. But it wasn’t just our friends and family taking the challenge — some saw an opportunity to bring attention to how much the world has changed:

From climate change to pollution, these are powerful messages, and an important gut-check for us to keep an eye on how much our world is changing. Check out some of the biggest changes our world has seen here.

Netflix’s Fyre Festival Documentary Makes a Difference for Bahamian Couple

Have you seen Netflix’s new documentary on Fyre Festival, the most epic party that never happened? It’s definitely worth a watch.

Many viewers shared their heartbreak for a Bahamian couple that lost over $100,000 after being contracted to cater the festival. Following the airing of the documentary, a GoFundMe campaign was started in honour of Maryann Rolle and her husband, Elvis, in hopes of raising enough money to help them get back on their feet.

Some good news: at the time this blog post was written, the campaign had raised over $235,000 for the Rolles. Yay, internet!

Friday Fun – Rita Ora’s Epic Post Malone Halloween Costume Wins Again

Remember Rita Ora’s epic Post Malone costume that won Halloween 2018? Apparently it’s the costume that keeps on winning.

In a tweet highlighting some of this year’s Grammy performers, The Hollywood Reporter shared a picture of Ora in her Halloween getup instead of a picture of the real Post Malone.

The Hollywood Reporter has since been edited to show the real Posty, but the original tweet lives on (much to the amusement of many Twitter users).

Gen X: The Forgotten Generation?

A report on generations recently shared by CBS left a whole generation checking themselves to see if they were really here!

Naturally, Gen Xers had some feelings:

https://twitter.com/jamieboylan/status/1086882945367986177?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1086882945367986177&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.com%2Fentry%2Fgeneration-x-forgotten-again_us_5c4539d5e4b027c3bbc2fc87

 

The post The Weekly Download – January 25, 2019 appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/01/the-weekly-download.html/feed 0
The Power of a Vision Board for Business https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/01/vision-board-for-business.html https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/01/vision-board-for-business.html#respond Mon, 21 Jan 2019 14:00:31 +0000 https://spodekandco.com/?p=7246 A new year tends to bring new resolutions. Although I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, in the spirit of change I decided to try something new. Last weekend a colleague invited me to a workshop where I spent the afternoon creating a vision board for business. Naturally, any vision board for business will include […]

The post The Power of a Vision Board for Business appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
vision board for businessA new year tends to bring new resolutions. Although I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, in the spirit of change I decided to try something new. Last weekend a colleague invited me to a workshop where I spent the afternoon creating a vision board for business.

Naturally, any vision board for business will include personal goals as well – because if I’m not healthy my business most certainly isn’t.

And, overall, I found it to be an engaging exercise!

The Power of a Vision Board for Business

Most successful people have one thing in common – an unshakable vision for their future. And whether you achieve that vision through mindfulness, meditation, or mind-body connection exercises – and we did a bit of all of those approaches during the workshop, there’s growing evidence that the brain is more malleable and open to change than we ever thought. And that you really can influence your life – and your health – using your brain.

I was concerned it might be a little hokey, but I arrived with an open mind and gave it my all. I focused on my goals for 2019 and the future in general: what I wanted to achieve, and where I wanted to see change happen.

A Letter to My Future Self

You might have noticed the recent trend of people writing a “Letter to My Future/Younger Self.” It’s basically the same idea. But where a letter to your younger self is more an exercise in forgiveness, a letter to your future self is visualization and goal setting. Picturing yourself a year from now. And writing it down to make it concrete.

A vision board for business is exactly the same thing. It’s a way to map out objectives and strengths, and explore weaknesses and areas you want to change. It’s fascinating to analyze your finished product, and explore what images or themes you were drawn to – especially why you opted to edit out this or that pathway.

How to Create a Vision Board for Business

If you’re considering trying out vision boards as a team building exercise, remember the larger the group, the bigger the chance that chaos can ensue! So, while it’s a pretty simple exercise, I thought I would map out a few steps for you:

Gather magazines and other images: The woman who ran my workshop does a neighbourhood magazine drive, which is a great way to put old mags to good use. Have your team bring copies from home, BUT, put them in a big pile and then dole them out yourself! The goal here is to get people outside their comfort zones. Popular Mechanics in addition to Fast Company or Vogue, if you know what I mean. This tends to spark more creative thinking.

Free your mind from deep thought: Do your thinking before you begin the creative part of the exercise. Get out a pen and paper. Spend 20-30 minutes thinking about the previous year and the year ahead. Write down what you want to achieve or leave behind this year on a personal, professional and business level. Bullet points are fine. You don’t need to be fancy or succinct, no one else is going to read it but you.

Focus on images not words: Flip through the mags one, but focus on the visual. NO READING! Then flip through a second time and note which images have caught your eye…which ones really draw you in. Cut those images out and arrange them roughly in a pattern or in a less structured manner if you prefer. If you’re captivated by inspiring words or phrases along the way, you can include them too.

Clear your mind and focus: Now, get into a “bubble” with your images. Walk around the table or lay them out in a quiet corner on the floor. Look at them from different angles, rearrange them if the impulse hits. Shake off stress, clear your mind, and let the images guide you.

Make notes: Make mental notes about what each image means to you. Why you chose it. What emotions it triggered. There might be more than one reason per picture – that’s ok! Consider the potential goals, actions, or changes that the image represents or inspires in you. If you don’t know right then and there, don’t worry about it! Just continue working on your vision board and you can do the additional thinking afterwards whenever the mood strikes.

Create a Vision Board But Save the Planet

If you’re interested in exploring this fun, creative way to explore mind-body connectedness but are concerned about using hard-copy magazines, there are lots of ways to adapt this exercise.

  • Use digital imaging to build your board or insert yourself into your ideal life
  • Get creative with paints, markers, or chalk
  • Pick up “word magnets” and explore using text

This is a great resource with more ideas for taking the “arts and crafts” out of the equation.

What Does it All Mean?

Ultimately, you end up with an “end result” – where you see 2019 heading. It’s a bit like having an image of 2019 done, dusted and wrapped up in a nice bow – where you want to be, what you want to achieve, where you see yourself or your business in 12 months. That sort of thing.

Think of it like planning a trip. You’re driving the car, you know where you’re going, you’ve mapped out routes you will take, and where you want to stay along the way. But the bottom line is YOU are the one who has to get yourself there.

Make sure you use your board. Look at it regularly. Make adjustments to it if you like. There really aren’t any hard-fast rules.

Your vision board for business (and for YOU) is a map, with directions and goal-posts, locations and pit-stops, and a great reminder that, whatever path you take, your goal is to arrive at your destination. And everyone’s destination will be different.

The post The Power of a Vision Board for Business appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/01/vision-board-for-business.html/feed 0
The Weekly Download – January 18, 2019 https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/01/the-weekly-download-january-18-2019.html https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/01/the-weekly-download-january-18-2019.html#respond Fri, 18 Jan 2019 01:57:13 +0000 https://spodekandco.com/?p=7233 Fri-YAY! It’s time to kick off your favourite day of the week with another edition of our weekly digital marketing roundup. Here’s what we’re chatting about today: the #10YearChallenge meme, Glossier’s everyday influencer strategy, Gillette’s new short film, Slack’s redesign, Justin Trudeau’s Kentucky billboard, and of course… how could we forget about that little egg? […]

The post The Weekly Download – January 18, 2019 appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
The Weekly Download - Jan 18 2019 - then and now photos of Eden SpodekFri-YAY! It’s time to kick off your favourite day of the week with another edition of our weekly digital marketing roundup.

Here’s what we’re chatting about today: the #10YearChallenge meme, Glossier’s everyday influencer strategy, Gillette’s new short film, Slack’s redesign, Justin Trudeau’s Kentucky billboard, and of course… how could we forget about that little egg?

Let’s jump in!

The #10YearChallenge – Just For Fun or Something More?

Chances are you’ve seen a whole lot of these “10 year challenge” posts if you’ve been browsing Facebook and other social media channels this week. From brands to celebrities and friends and family, it seems like everyone is getting in on the comparison fun.

While the meme seems harmless enough, some were skeptical about the intent behind the challenge and shared concerns about the push for personal data. Could it be a way for Facebook and other social applications to collect facial recognition data and train age progression algorithms?

Facebook has denied having any hand in the viral photo challenge at all, noting that “this is a user-generated meme that went viral on its own…Facebook did not start this trend, and the meme uses photos that already exist on Facebook. Facebook gains nothing from this meme…Facebook users can choose to turn facial recognition on or off at any time.”

Even if the intent behind the challenge is indeed harmless, those speaking out against it certainly bring up a good point – we must be careful with personal data online and also demand it be respected by brands and apps with access.

Everyone is an Influencer Now, According to Glossier

Glossier is a direct-to-consumer beauty startup that you’ve probably seen on social media. Beautifully packaged and affordably priced, it’s no wonder Glossier has a cult following. According to CEO Emily Weiss, the brand can also attribute success to the fact that it regards every consumer (regardless of their follower count) as an influencer.

How many times have you seen a close friend or acquaintance share their love for a product or service online and had it pique your interest? How many times has that interest resulted in a purchase?

With over 500 brand ambassadors and social feeds that place emphasis on user-generated content, Glossier has achieved a low-key strategy that’s barely there – much like their products.

Have you turned to your consumers for user-generated content? Don’t know how to get started with a marketing strategy that highlights your everyday influencers? We can help.

An Egg Holds the World Record for Most Instagram Likes

In bizarre internet news, a picture of an egg has surpassed Kylie Jenner’s previous record for most likes on Instagram. No, we’re not yolking (see what we did there?).

With 46.5 million likes (and counting), a picture of an egg on a plain white background absolutely smashed Kylie’s previous Instagram record of 18.1 million likes. Also funny: Kylie’s response. Sergey Platonov, the stock photographer behind the image, thinks the hype is totally overrated.

Did you help the little egg achieve the new world record? What about the post made it “like-worthy” for you? Let us know in the comments below.

Gillette’s New Short Film Asks, “Is this the best a man can get?”

Gillette’s controversial new ad is challenging men to push themselves and do more to get closer to their best. Referencing harassment and toxic masculinity, the short film also mentions the #MeToo movement and insists, “When you respect women, you respect your nation.”

While some have applauded Gillette for joining the conversation, many called out the brand for attempting to “do good” in an effort to sell more. At the time this post was written, the video had 483k thumbs up on YouTube and 919k thumbs down.

What do you think? Is the ad a true attempt to do some social good or a thinly veiled tool to push a corporate agenda? Watch the video below.

Slack’s Got a New Logo, and Not Everyone is Excited

On Wednesday, Slack unveiled a new logo in an attempt to refresh their look. According to Slack, the new logo is more consistent, recognizable, and refined.

As with most change, people had opinions – some positive, some confused, and some that swore they’d seen it before:

What are your thoughts about the refresh? It might take us a little getting used to…

Friday Fun – Trudeau’s Kentucky Billboard

Our nation’s leader got some laughs on Reddit this week when a user shared a picture of the Trudeau family canoeing on a Kentucky billboard.

Says u/NevinWebster, “we haven’t quite learned not to steal pictures from the Internet yet.”

Check out the ad and thread for a giggle.

The post The Weekly Download – January 18, 2019 appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/01/the-weekly-download-january-18-2019.html/feed 0
How to Keep a Positive Work Culture When News is Negative https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/01/positive-work-culture.html https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/01/positive-work-culture.html#respond Mon, 14 Jan 2019 14:00:52 +0000 https://spodekandco.com/?p=7212 We try hard to maintain a positive work culture here at Spodek and Co., but sometimes “life” doesn’t play along. And unfortunately, 2018 wasn’t a banner year for some people on our team. There were deaths and funerals, stressful moves and other personal upheavals. And the world news wasn’t much better, with an upside-down government […]

The post How to Keep a Positive Work Culture When News is Negative appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
positive work culture We try hard to maintain a positive work culture here at Spodek and Co., but sometimes “life” doesn’t play along.

And unfortunately, 2018 wasn’t a banner year for some people on our team. There were deaths and funerals, stressful moves and other personal upheavals.

And the world news wasn’t much better, with an upside-down government in the United States, and many domestic terrorism tragedies.

But through our positive work culture of support and understanding, we were persevering – work was getting done, clients were happy, and people were healing.

Then the Tree of Life Massacre happened – and that was the last straw.

Enough Was Enough

After what felt like one tragic news story or happening after another, I broke, and tears ran down my face during the ‘minute of silence’ tribute at that night’s Leafs’ game.

Later, several friends (and even their grown children) said they were taking social media breaks because they just couldn’t take the relentless stream of bad news any longer.

It became abundantly clear that people were exhausted, and I wanted to do something—anything—to try and soothe some of the sadness.

Regular Sanity Checks Help Ensure a Positive Work Culture

Rewind to the end of 2018. I knew that if I was feeling this bad emotionally, chances are my team was feeling the same. So, as I was planning out the agenda for Spodek & Co.’s biweekly team meeting, I wrote “BE KIND” in big block letters.

We all chatted briefly, and I did the “boss” thing of trying to boost morale, while reminding everyone to be kind to each other and mindful of each other’s stress levels, etc. It was also important to remind everyone that (believe it or not!) clients are people too, and they were probably just as emotionally exhausted as we all were at the moment.

And then something totally unexpected happened. A team member shared that her cousin was with Pittsburgh PD, and among those first on the scene at the Tree of Life Synagogue. He was physically unharmed, but witnessed the horror, and ultimately saved more lives from being lost.

Needless to say, we were all speechless. We had a team member in pain who could benefit from some human kindness. Had we not taken the time to address the recent tragedy and begin our meeting with a sanity check, none of would have known our friend had been so close to such a tragedy.

Sometimes it’s as Simple as Being Kind

Every Tuesday in my Facebook group for small business owners, I publish a “Tip Tuesday” post. I decided instead posting something about how to grow your business online, I decided to take a different approach and asked members the following question: “How do you keep morale high when there’s so much bad news?”:

Two comments stood out for me. Alison Garwood-Jones boiled it down to simple kindness. She sends out “digital notes to humanity” and makes a concerted effort to have eye contact with passersby, smiling at them wherever she goes.

Another member, Priya Bates, shared this sage advice: “Nothing beats a message from the heart from a leader or manager. Acknowledge the incident. Acknowledge feelings. Tell people it’s okay to feel the way they do. Remind them of the orgs values and how they come to life through people…authenticity is key…versus corporate rhetoric. (It’s also) a good time to ask managers to be visible and walk around to. Ask people how they feel and listen.”

Be Visible. Be Kind. And Listen.

There are many reasons why people may be feeling the blues this time of year. For some, it’s the looming “darkest days of winter.” For others, it’s the stress of running a business and meeting business goals – something familiar to all of us agency owners!

Or, it’s all of the above PLUS what sometimes feels like the never-ending bombardment of really horrible news.

Here are just a few ways you can help yourself, and your agency, through rocky times, and maintain a positive work culture.

Be Kind! Bring empathy and kindness into the workplace. It’s simple, really. Ask your team/colleagues how they’re feeling. Be mindful of clients and colleagues having bad days.

Treat those around you with some TLC. Even surprise and delight team members with notes or small gifts if you can.

Talk and Listen. When you’re actively being kind (see above!), make a point to really be present. We’re all busy. I get it. But sometimes a person just needs to connect with another human being and be listened to. Make yourself available for a check-in periodically – especially if you run a virtual company like I do. Usually a quick chat, a few face-to-face laughs, can make the news of the day easier to take—for all of us.

Recognize the Importance of Self-Care. Make this part of your agency ethos! “Me time” helps everyone refresh, rejuvenate and clear their minds. A much-needed exercise especially in times like these. In our agency, team members know they can be honest about when they need a little self-care… something that’s valued highly.

I’m the first to admit I go for manicures every two weeks – I’m still available to clients and the team by phone, email and Slack. I even take Pilates classes twice a week. Another team member goes bowling one morning a week, and a couple of others attend their children’s school events. Heck, last week I signed off for our newest team member to have a day at the spa! And I post a self-care reminder every Saturday in our Facebook group that receives a lot of positive engagement.

Positive Work Culture: Lead by Example

Unfortunately, bad news doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

If it’s getting to you and you’re feeling down, chances are your colleagues and clients are feeling the same way.

Use these tips to help keep team morale up and productivity on track. Your employees will appreciate your efforts towards maintaining a positive work culture, and the office will be a much happier place in which to work.

How do you manage so all this bad news doesn’t have a negative impact on work and productivity? How do you foster a positive work culture in your office or among your team? Please share in the comments.

A version of this post was originally published on Spin Sucks.

Photo by Shamim Nakhaei on Unsplash.

The post How to Keep a Positive Work Culture When News is Negative appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
https://spodekandco.com/blog/2019/01/positive-work-culture.html/feed 0