Spodek & Co https://spodekandco.com Digital Communications Mon, 17 Dec 2018 14:00:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Facebook Marketing Done Right Can Help Your Business Grow https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/12/facebook-marketing.html https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/12/facebook-marketing.html#respond Mon, 17 Dec 2018 14:00:40 +0000 https://spodekandco.com/?p=7164 Facebook’s taken a few lumps lately, and rightly so. However, Facebook marketing remains an effective tool for businesses looking to expand their reach, without spending a ton of cash. How effective, you might be asking? Take a look at these statistics: Facebook Marketing Reaches the Masses Nearly one and a half billion people check Facebook every […]

The post Facebook Marketing Done Right Can Help Your Business Grow appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
Facebook marketingFacebook’s taken a few lumps lately, and rightly so. However, Facebook marketing remains an effective tool for businesses looking to expand their reach, without spending a ton of cash.

How effective, you might be asking? Take a look at these statistics:

Facebook Marketing Reaches the Masses

  • Nearly one and a half billion people check Facebook every day, and Facebook remains the most popular social network in Canada.
  • Three-quarters of all Canadians are online every day.
  • And of those online Canadians? Close to 90 percent of them check into Facebook at least once a week.
  • Seventy percent of them are there every day.
  • And 56 percent of those consumers surveyed said they follow companies, products or brands.

Naturally, when you look at the numbers in the United States and around the world, the number of Facebook enthusiasts skyrockets! Clearly, there’s an audience for Facebook marketing. If you do it right.

How to Use Facebook Marketing to Help Your Business

I write a lot about Facebook marketing, as well as social media marketing and digital marketing in general—because that’s what we do! But, I also firmly believe it’s important to help people cut through the overwhelming amount of information out there, and realize social media can be a powerful tool for marketing your business.

And there are myriad ways you can incorporate Facebook marketing into your business strategies! You won’t go broke, you won’t have to spend hours and hours of your time and effort before you start to see real results. Let’s get started!

Have a Facebook Business Page

Effective Facebook marketing requires a separate page (from your personal one) that is 100 percent about your company. This is an opportunity to really showcase who you are, where you’re located, and what you do.

Include hours of business, contact information, what products you carry, and keep it visual! And be sure to add photos or other graphics, logos, etc. – keep it visual with your brand front and centre.

Don’t Set it and Forget it

Regular posting and engagement is key to growing your Facebook business page community. But share a mixture of interesting content, and change it up on a fairly regular schedule, so people will check back often.

Use Facebook Polls to tease information from your members, in order to tailor your posts and drill-down on their pain-points.

Don’t Fear Video

Facebook Live is a fantastic free way to add more value to your community. Consider doing a Facebook Live for your public business page, giving folks a back-room peak into the day-to-day of your organization.

Or, use some polling data and use live video to answer questions and provide guidance. This works particularly well if you also have a private Facebook Group (see below!). It’s really easy to create a Facebook Live video. Trust me. I’ve done a couple!

Create a Private Facebook Group 

If you’re a service company, or selling B2B, consider creating a private group where vetted members and business peers can chat privately. It’s a great way to generate word of mouth marketing, grow your customer base, and network.

And, a thriving Facebook Group helps you build a reputation as an industry thought leader. If you would like to learn more, click here for tips and tricks and more about my experience building our Facebook group.

Last But Not Least: Ads Work Too

Facebook advertising can be an effective way to target page members with content or information tailored directly to them. Say, “Women under 40.” instead of “Men over 50.” You get the picture.

There are many different types of Facebook advertising available, so you’ll need to do some research to determine what would work best for you, depending on what you want to achieve. Or, reach out to us at Spodek & Co.! It’s what we do!

What has your experience been using Facebook marketing? Have you shied away thinking it would be expensive? Are you curious, but not sure where to start? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

The post Facebook Marketing Done Right Can Help Your Business Grow appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/12/facebook-marketing.html/feed 0
The Weekly Download – December 14, 2018 https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/12/the-weekly-download-december-14-2018.html https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/12/the-weekly-download-december-14-2018.html#respond Fri, 14 Dec 2018 15:37:34 +0000 https://spodekandco.com/?p=7173 Is it Friday already? Whew, the days are flying by! Another successful week calls for the next installment of The Weekly Download. There’s lots to chat about today, including Google’s mock ad fiasco, Amazon’s plans to open a cashier’less Amazon Go store, and TIME Magazine’s “people” of the Year. And, as if we needed reminding, […]

The post The Weekly Download – December 14, 2018 appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
Spodek & Co Weekly DownloadIs it Friday already? Whew, the days are flying by! Another successful week calls for the next installment of The Weekly Download.

There’s lots to chat about today, including Google’s mock ad fiasco, Amazon’s plans to open a cashier’less Amazon Go store, and TIME Magazine’s “people” of the Year. And, as if we needed reminding, we look at some of the most noteworthy data breaches of 2018, Instagram’s new ‘countdown’ sticker and of course, Friday Fun!

You better get comfortable, this one’s a doozey!

Google’s Dummy Ad Goes Live

Human error? At a technology company? Say it ain’t so! (sarcasm font)

On December 4th, a Google employee made the old “hit send before proofreading” mistake. Except in this case, it could end up costing the tech giant millions of dollars!

In a training session gone terribly wrong, the rather unlucky staffer accidentally published a mock ad to a large number of both webpages and apps. The ad was live for about 45 minutes in the U.S. and Australia before anyone noticed the mistake.

Of course, ads cost money. But in this case, Google is going to honor any financial hits taken due to this error.

The Store with No Queues

According to “sources,” retail giant Amazon is set to expand their Amazon Go stores outside of the U.S.

Where? In the busiest shopping area of London: Oxford Circus. The shop will be anywhere between 3,000 and 5,000 square feet and will feature some of the most sophisticated shopping technology in the world.

Not familiar with Amazon Go? Check out this wildly futuristic operation!

TIME Magazine Names “People” of the Year

For the second year in a row, TIME Magazine has chosen a group rather than an individual for their iconic “Person of the Year” edition. The 2018 honour goes to “The Guardians and the War on Truth” – a group of journalists representative of the many journalists worldwide who have lost their freedom, even their lives, while speaking truth to power.

Time’s editor-in-chief, Edward Felsenthal, wrote: “They are representative of a broader fight by countless others around the world — as of Dec. 10, at least 52 journalists have been murdered in 2018 — who risk all to tell the story of our time.”

Included in a series of four covers are murdered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi; Maria Ressa, the arrested editor of a Philippine news website critical of President Rodrigo Duterte; Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, two Reuters journalists imprisoned in Myanmar for nearly a year for investigating the massacre of Rohingya Muslims; and the staff at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Md. where four journalists and a sales assistant were killed by a gunman in June.

Well done, Time. Well done.

What Is Personal Privacy Anyways?

It feels lately like “hacking is the new black.” And no industry in any country is safe from a potential loss of personal data, whether due to an actual data theft, a bug in the website’s security system, or the mishandling (even selling) of people’s data by big corporations.

Business Insider created a handy list of the most significant data breaches of the year. And while it felt, with all the attention and reporting, that the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica data scandals must have been the worst of the year, guess what? They didn’t even break the top five!

What I also find interesting about this list is that it includes data breaches that I hadn’t even heard about! I’m sure you’ll find a few surprises as well. We’ll leave you with a teaser, the number one hack of 2018:

Aadhar, a 12-digit security code issued by the Indian government which collects information on the citizens’ identity and biometric info, leaked the highly private information of 1.1 billion individuals.

Let’s hope for a safer year for data in 2019.

Instagram’s New Count Down Feature

You know it’s the holiday season when the Advent calendars come out. First used by German Lutherans in the 19th and 20th centuries, they’re basically a fun way for families to countdown the days ‘til Christmas. You’ll find them on your fireplace mantle, the checkout counter at every retail store, and of course, on social media.

Instagram has just added a new ‘countdown’ sticker to their repertoire, making it easy to send exciting (or annoying) reminders to your following about special, upcoming events! Definitely annoying if they’re going to Mexico in the dead of winter and you’re not! LOL

This is an excellent tool for brands and businesses to use to remind followers about product launches, store openings, Facebook Lives and more. This feature is a definite must add to your 2019 Instagram strategy.

Friday Fun

Alright, let’s wind things down with some Friday Fun. Do we have any Stranger Things fans out there? Well, here’s Netflix’s first teaser release for the third season. We want more!

Avengers fans, it’s likely you’ve already seen this as it’s trending on YouTube with over 68 million views in less than a week – but let’s watch it again!

 

The post The Weekly Download – December 14, 2018 appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/12/the-weekly-download-december-14-2018.html/feed 0
Why Hiring a Business Coach is a Smart Thing To Do https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/12/hiring-a-business-coach.html https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/12/hiring-a-business-coach.html#respond Mon, 10 Dec 2018 14:00:55 +0000 https://spodekandco.com/?p=7147 In a recent Spodek & Co. post, I wrote about my experiences with business coaching, and outlined a few of the benefits of hiring a good coach (or three!). So the other day, on a lark, I keyed “Do I need a business coach?” into Google, and pressed enter. And in less than a blink […]

The post Why Hiring a Business Coach is a Smart Thing To Do appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
business coachIn a recent Spodek & Co. post, I wrote about my experiences with business coaching, and outlined a few of the benefits of hiring a good coach (or three!). So the other day, on a lark, I keyed “Do I need a business coach?” into Google, and pressed enter.

And in less than a blink of an eye (0.60 seconds) 884,000,000 results appeared! Are you shocked? You shouldn’t be. In fact, hiring a business coach might be the most important gift you give your business and yourself this year.

The Benefits of Hiring a Business Coach

Let’s face it, we’re all heads down running our businesses, right? We’re all busy. But a good business coach will force you to stop, take a breath, and make the changes you need.

He or she will hold you accountable, and also be able to give you tips and advice on what’s best for your business. Whether an increase in productivity, clearer goals, different investments for growth, or a 360 degree pivot—your coach can help you map out your future.

I have three coaches, and they each contribute to the running of Spodek & Co in unique but extremely valuable ways:

  1. I’ve worked with a business coach for the past three years, who holds my feet to the fire (see above re: accountability) and helps me see the forest for the trees.
  2. My financial coach (CPA) helps me keep track of Spodek & Co.’s finances.
  3. And my Pilates coach helps me unwind, de-stress, clear my head, and most importantly – STAY HEALTHY!

In fact, my Pilates coach she might be the most important coach I have. Heck, if I’m not of sound mind and body, who is going to run this show?

If you’re interested in exploring the world of business coaching, here are a few things you should think about before you commit.

What to Look for In a Business Coach

As I mentioned above, if you’re looking for growth and personal empowerment, nothing beats coaching. Eighty percent of business professionals who received coaching reported an improvement in their self-esteem, and 63 percent saw a positive change in their overall wellness. And the ROI on investing in coaching is impressive, almost six times that of the cost of the actual coaching.

An unbiased set of eyeballs on you and your company helps you define strengths and weaknesses, drill down on gaps, and see opportunities you might not otherwise have noticed.

Here are a few things you should look for:

  • Make sure you click with your business coach. Having a personal connection with your coach is really important, as trust is a HUGE part of coaching. You will hear things that are hard to hear. And you have to be able to trust your coach has your best interests at heart, and understand that it’s not personal.
  • Find someone with personal business experience. Not every coach is a former business owner, but if you CAN find a coach who has experience running a business, who really gets what you’re going through, you will have hit the jackpot.
  • Try and source a business coach who brings strengths to the table that you specifically lack. Otherwise, what’s the point? You want them to be able to teach you a new way of looking at your business. And that won’t happen if you pair up with your twin.
  • Make sure the coach you choose provides you with an actionable plan. They should be brutally honest about what you need to change when it comes to running your business. The last thing you need is someone who sugar-coats what you’re doing wrong or where you’re losing ground. Basically, you want a person who will rip that band-aid right off, even if it hurts a bit at first!

Invest In You – Hire a Business Coach

If you’re able to find the right connection with a business coach, you’ll discover that relationships with clients AND colleagues will solidify, profitability will increase, and overall teamwork and employee retention improves.

It’s hard work. And you have to have somewhat of a thick skin. But I can personally attest that investing in coaching is the best move I’ve made in years.

What do you think? Have you used a business coach in the past? How did that work for you? Are you thinking of investing in some business coaching? I would love to hear about your experiences!

***One step in the right direction would be to join The Game Plan for Small Business Growth, our Facebook Group for business owners! It’s a closed group, so we really respect each other, and we have a lot of fun while sharing business tips and tricks. Swing by and check it out!

The post Why Hiring a Business Coach is a Smart Thing To Do appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/12/hiring-a-business-coach.html/feed 0
The Weekly Download – December 7, 2018 https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/12/the-weekly-download-december-7-2018.html https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/12/the-weekly-download-december-7-2018.html#respond Fri, 07 Dec 2018 15:12:16 +0000 https://spodekandco.com/?p=7159 It’s Friday! You know what that means – another installment of The Weekly Download. What’s new in the digital world this week? Instagram focusses on Close Friends—while Netflix focusses  on Friends of another kind! Burger King’s launched a Whopper of a campaign (expertly trolling McDonald’s, if I dare say so myself!), Quora’s been hacked, Amazon […]

The post The Weekly Download – December 7, 2018 appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
Spodek & Co. Weekly Download - December 7, 2018It’s Friday! You know what that means – another installment of The Weekly Download. What’s new in the digital world this week? Instagram focusses on Close Friends—while Netflix focusses  on Friends of another kind! Burger King’s launched a Whopper of a campaign (expertly trolling McDonald’s, if I dare say so myself!), Quora’s been hacked, Amazon brings back Billy Bass and some Friday Fun.

Buckle up!

Instagram Introduces Close Friends Feature

Last Friday, Instagram introduced their newest feature targeted towards exclusivity. “Close Friends” allows users to select a private group of individuals to view stories.

“Instagram Stories has become the place to express yourself and share everyday moments, but our community has grown and sometimes what you want to share isn’t for everyone. With Close Friends, you have the flexibility to share more personal moments with a smaller group that you choose.”

Followers cannot request to be part of your close friends group – who you choose is totally up to you. We hope you’re ready for your Instagram inner circle to get a lot more personal!

N.E.T.F.L.I.X. Was There For You

This week, Netflix announced that they would be removing one of North America’s favourite 90’s sitcom series from their 2019 roaster. The internet on the other hand, decided they wouldn’t allow it.

Online petitions, twitter battles, subscription cancellation threats and Instagram outcries broke out across the web.

An angry group of Friends aficionados and *cough*$100 million dollars, is all it took to keep the beloved show around for another year! Yes, you’re reading that dollar amount right.

It’s Reigning Whoppers!

Attention foodies! Ok, maybe not foodies. Foodies probably don’t eat at BK, but anyhow, we’ve some juicy news for you! For a limited time, Burger King is offering their signature Whooper for ONE PENNY in the U.S. Of course, there’s a catch, and it’s pretty hilarious. You have to order it at McDonald’s.

Not IN McDonald’s. AT McDonald’s. In an epic brand to brand troll, Burger King has married mobile marketing with a little competitive jabbing. Using the BK app on your mobile device, place your order within 600 feet of some golden arches. Once your order is placed, the app will then direct you to your closest Burger King where you can pick up your one cent Whopper.

Talk about a campaign worth every penny!

Alexa Drops a New Line

Remember that rubber fish eyesore that hung on the wall of seemingly every rec room, den or cottage? That would sing “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” every time you passed it? Well, Big Mouth Billy Bass has made his return…but this time he’s your voice assistant!

For only $40.00 on Amazon.com, you can have Alexa dish you the deets on weather, news or sing your favourite songs through Billy’s fishy lip-synched lips. We’re not really sure who came up with this so-fish-ticated idea, but it’s Amazon certified, and I bet it’s pretty funny – “Billy Bass, what’s the weather like outside…?” LOL

Quora Suffers Data Breach 

“Quora, what do I do if my private information gets hacked…?” That was the question for the popular Q&A platform recently, after they announced that at least 100 million users had their data hacked by a third party back in November.

This was no minor hack, in fact the hacker stole a wealth of information: names, email addresses, passwords, data from other linked social networks, content (questions, answers, comments), and direct messages. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the kind of information leaked.

All users who have been affected have been logged out of their accounts, and will be officially notified by Quora via email.

Friday Fun

Check out this clever holiday spoof of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” performed by the Jewish acapella group Six13. With over a million views, “Bohemian Chanukah” will definitely make your day!

 

The post The Weekly Download – December 7, 2018 appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/12/the-weekly-download-december-7-2018.html/feed 0
It’s Gift Giving Season! Support Women in Business https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/12/support-women-in-business.html https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/12/support-women-in-business.html#respond Mon, 03 Dec 2018 14:00:31 +0000 https://spodekandco.com/?p=7115 Call me crazy, but I think “ally” could end up as the word of the year for 2018. We’ve seen the rise of the protest movement and increased demands for equal pay for equal work. “MeToo” became a global rallying cry for women AND men. And the number of women in business has continued to […]

The post It’s Gift Giving Season! Support Women in Business appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
Women In BusinessCall me crazy, but I think “ally” could end up as the word of the year for 2018. We’ve seen the rise of the protest movement and increased demands for equal pay for equal work. “MeToo” became a global rallying cry for women AND men. And the number of women in business has continued to grow, both here at home and around the world.

Here are a few interesting stats about Canadian women in business.

  • On average, women business owners are younger and have fewer years of management or ownership experience compared with male business owners.
  • Are much more likely to choose to start and run small businesses in the retail and service sectors.
  • Women entrepreneurs do not make as much money as male entrepreneurs although the gap appears to be closing.

Women in Business and Being an Ally

So, with the holiday season in full gear (Happy Hanukkah for those of you celebrating), and Christmas around the corner, we wanted to throw our weight behind women in business, and become their allies. And also help promote them and tell their stories.

Since many of us already actively support women-owned businesses or female crafts people, we asked around the office to gather a few of our team’s faves!

Pen Jar Productions

Pen Jar Productions was my suggestion, and just one of many things on artist Alison Garwood-Jones’ plate! She’s worked in the magazine industry for years, as a writer and an editor, and teaches Digital Communications Strategy and Social Media at the University of Toronto. So, it’s no surprise that iPads and drawing apps inspired this tech native to get back to drawing.

Her designs caught the eye of her friends and others on Instagram, and the rest, as they say, is history! She now has a colourful line of pillows, scarves, bags, and laptop skins (by GelaSkins!). I love them and I hope you will too!

Pillows

 

Donna Papacosta in Pen Jar Scarf
Model: Donna Papacosta
Scarf (and background) by: Alison Garwood-Jones, Pen Jar Productions

Kyra Kendall: Artist  

If you’re looking for a unique present for that special someone, our account coordinator Erica Quattrin suggests a one of a kind piece of art!

Kyra Kendall is a Toronto based artist who graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in visual studies.

Kendall’s paintings are incredible, with a slight ’60’s pop-art vibe to them. And you can buy completed works, or commission an original. Plus, you don’t have to be in Toronto to do either. Thank you, internet!

Her art is also really competitively priced, because for her, “…the joy of my painting going to someone who loves it is the best feeling. I love knowing that my originals are hanging in first apartments and dorm rooms as well as swish Calabasas mansions.” And THAT, my friends, is the make of a true artist.

You can see her work on her website (linked above), or on Instagram.

Kyra Kendall

Knix

Knix is an awesome undergarments brand. Started back in 2013 by Joanna Griffiths—who had invented a line of underwear designed to help women deal with “little leaks”—Griffiths went on to broaden her offerings and grow her business. Content director Lindsay Bell chose Knix not only because the products are great, but because the company is insanely pro-women, and use real sized and shaped ladies to model their products. They also support kicking the stigma around infertility, Free the Girls (an organization which helps survivors of sex trafficking) and health and wellness.

Products range from stretchy, seamless, moisture wicking underwire-free bras to undies, tees, tanks, bodysuits, sports apparel and more, including a line for teens.

As they say: “… women shouldn’t be confined to what’s conventional. We should be free to be comfortable and confident, and free to be ourselves.” Amen to that.

KNIX

Love Good Fats

Lindsay also suggested Love Good Fats, because heck, who doesn’t love good fats! Well, as it turns out, a lot of us are still stuck on the old school ideas of avoiding fat. The truth is, healthy, natural fats are very good for us. And CEO Suzie Yorke has built a business around providing those healthy fats in snack bar size.

Love Good Fats are high protein, VERY low-sugar (1 – 2 g/bar) bars that are chock full of “good for you” fats.

Fans of the healthy treats run the gamut from sports fanatics to busy moms, and they’re a favourite for those on low carb diets. There are vegan and gluten-free varieties – and flavours like peanut butter and jelly, mint chocolate chip, coconut chocolate, and more!

Love Good Fats

Good Gifts

Our email & digital strategist Melissa Sellner brought Good Gifts to our attention, and it’s very cool! Good Gifts is an online marketplace born of six perfect words: do good, gift good, and feel good. Founder  and owner Christine Lelacheur and her team scour the globe looking for well-made, eco-friendly gifts. Good Gifts helps artisans living in marginalized areas of the world earn a living wage while building their businesses and preserving their craft.

Everything from jewelry to housewares to clothing and accessories to baby and kids’ gifts can be sourced at Good Gifts. And just think, you’ll be supporting a whole bunch of women in business in one go by checking them out!

And it appears we’re not the only ones who want to support women in business. Boing Boing just released a great article, and an accompanying spreadsheet, listing loads of female led companies you can support. You’ll find the list here!

So there are a few of our favorites. We would love you to add your own women in business that you love and support, from your neck of the woods! Happy shopping!

The post It’s Gift Giving Season! Support Women in Business appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/12/support-women-in-business.html/feed 0
The Weekly Download – November 30, 2018 https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/11/the-weekly-download-november-30-2018.html https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/11/the-weekly-download-november-30-2018.html#respond Fri, 30 Nov 2018 15:14:32 +0000 https://spodekandco.com/?p=7133 Happy Friday, everyone! Can you believe we’re already entering the final month of 2018? Time is flying by and before we know it the new year will be here. What’s on the agenda for this final November Weekly Download? Well, first, for those of you who celebrate, Hanukkah starts Sunday – so Happy Hanukkah! Also, […]

The post The Weekly Download – November 30, 2018 appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
Spodek & Co Weekly Download - Nov 30Happy Friday, everyone! Can you believe we’re already entering the final month of 2018? Time is flying by and before we know it the new year will be here.

What’s on the agenda for this final November Weekly Download? Well, first, for those of you who celebrate, Hanukkah starts Sunday – so Happy Hanukkah! Also, Instagram redesigns your profile page, and adds new accessibility tools, LinkedIn has a new location feature, there’s a new short-form video app creating a lot of buzz, and Google games got buggy! Plus, we just had to share a beautiful Christmas-themed viral video (it’s a weeper!), BUT we countered the tears with some Friday Fu

Let’s dig in.

Instagram Redesigns Profiles

Instagram is rolling out improvements to both personal and business profiles over the coming weeks.

Worry not, the photos on your profile’s grid are staying put! But tools, features, profile information and more will be subject to a tune-up.

“…you may see features re-arranged at the top of your profile including changes to icons, buttons and the way you navigate between tabs, which we hope will make profiles easier and cleaner to use.”

We’re looking forward to seeing and experimenting with these updates. Has your account already updated? Let us know in the comments below!

Instagram Inclusiveness

In other Instagram news – wow! We have to admit, this is incredibly cool andthe first of its kind.

On Wednesday, Instagram announced not one, but two new ways they’re making their social media platform more accessible to the visually impaired. That’s more than 285 million people worldwide!

“First, we’re introducing automatic alternative text so you can hear descriptions of photos through your screen reader when you use Feed, Explore and Profile. This feature uses object recognition technology to generate a description of photos for screen readers so you can hear a list of items that photos may contain as you browse the app.

Next, we’re introducing customer alternative text so you can add a richer description of your photos when you upload a photo. People using screen readers will be able to hear this description.”

Excellent work, Instagram!

Instagram

LinkedIn Locations

LinkedIn released a new update this week, allowing users communicating on their messenger to share where they’re located. LinkedIn’s goal? To make it easier for folks to actually meet face to face—which is so important when trying to develop relationships with colleagues or clients.

The feature encourages users to develop professional relationships outside of their online community, and provides the potential to open up many new doors – both literally and figuratively.

“We’ve heard from many of you that this feature would make it easier to coordinate meetings – now you no longer need to switch around to multiple apps just to send a proposed spot to meet. To send a location to a connection, simply tap on the map pin icon in the message compose box in out iOS or Android app, search for a meeting place, and tap send.”

TikTok, Short-form Video Is Back

Many tears were shed when short-form video platform Vine died almost two years ago. Launched in 2013, Vine helped cement our love for short, snappy bits of video content, and it was too bad when it folded. But, as is often the case in the world of tech, sometimes, you just have to wait.

TikTok is a short-form video sharing app based in China. Launched in 2016, its popularity soared, and so did its international marketing efforts! TikTok is looking to break BIG into the North American market, and has teamed up with fashion brand Guess on a denim campaign to target Millennials and Generation Z.

CNN Business reports that “…TikTok’s revenue has more than tripled in the past year. The app (is now) canvassing Instagram and Snapchat with TikTok ads. Social media influencers and celebrities are starting to join. YouTube star Jake Paul, comedian Jimmy Fallon and skateboarding legend Tony Hawk all have accounts.”

And the big boys of social media, like Facebook, are taking note. So watch this space – TikTok just might be around for a while.

Not “Okay, Google”

There’s been some trouble in paradise at Google this week. Google Play Store had to remove 13 games from their downloadable game content as they contained malware – all from the same developer, Luiz O Pinto.

If an Android user downloaded any of these simulated driving games, they would then be asked to install ‘Game Center’ as an extra. Game Center would not only cause the original game app to crash continually, but it also allowed the software to gain access to a user’s device and display ads.

If you’ve downloaded one of the games, Business Insider has some advice for you, “…your best bet is to factory reset your device after backing up your photos, text messages, and anything else you want to keep. If that’s too drastic, you could try uninstalling the offending app and downloading an anti-malware app, like Malwarebytes, to get rid of the malware.”

Love Is A Gift

If you want proof that a huge ad budget isn’t needed to produce high quality content – look no further than this British ad. Produced for a mere 50 GBPs (about $85 CAD), it has gone viral, and it really tugs at the heartstrings, especially if you’re missing a loved one over the holiday season.

It’s not often we’re able to get such a meaningful point across in so few words. And watcher beware! Get out the tissues… seriously!

https://www.thedrum.com/news/2018/11/26/budget-love-gift-christmas-ad-goes-viral

Friday Fun

Ok, put the tissues away and prepare for a laugh! Celebs often post hilarious moments spent with Ellen on their social channels, and this 2018 compilation is just too good not to share!

 

The post The Weekly Download – November 30, 2018 appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/11/the-weekly-download-november-30-2018.html/feed 0
Work-Life Balance: Five Ways You Can Live to Work, Not Work to Live https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/11/work-life-balance.html https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/11/work-life-balance.html#respond Mon, 26 Nov 2018 14:00:17 +0000 https://spodekandco.com/?p=7099 Let’s set this up: it’s the end of a long year. The holiday season (and related stress) is upon us. And you’re juggling a million things as you run your company or agency. And if you haven’t achieved work-life balance, you’re probably running out of steam right now, right? How do I know that? Because […]

The post Work-Life Balance: Five Ways You Can Live to Work, Not Work to Live appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
Work-Life BalanceLet’s set this up: it’s the end of a long year. The holiday season (and related stress) is upon us. And you’re juggling a million things as you run your company or agency. And if you haven’t achieved work-life balance, you’re probably running out of steam right now, right?

How do I know that? Because I’m in the middle of all of the above (and then some). AND I make a point to include work-life balance in my daily (or weekly) routines.

And even I’m starting to run out of steam!

The Importance of Work-Life Balance

Here’s a number that might shock you. The average person, working 40 hour per week, will clock roughly 90,000 hours by age sixty. Ninety thousand hours! And that’s with a 40 hour work week! I know, we’re all laughing right now, right? Most business owners and entrepreneurs can’t remember the last time they worked a 40 hour week.

If you’re teetering toward burnout territory, it’s affecting your personal relationships, ability to sleep, and stress levels. And of course, we all know, stress kills.

In today’s “always on,” hyperconnected world, some people say work-life balance is an impossible to achieve, archaic term. But I’m not talking about some zen-like altered state where everything is rainbows and unicorns. I’m simply talking about—at a base level—self care. Because if you aren’t taking care of yourself, everything around you can, and ultimately will, suffer.

And when thinking about work-life balance, don’t forget your employees. You really are their model. If they see you working yourself to death, they will feel that’s expected of them as well.

So, set a good example and make sure they know work-life balance is important to you, and to the overall success of your business. Here’s how:

Five Ways to Achieve Work-Life Balance

1. JUST DO IT!! Get started. Try making small changes to your routines, and stick with them. You’re not looking for perfection, and you have to be realistic about what you can and can’t take on. The most important thing is to switch your mindset. And value work-life balance the same as you would a business commitment.

2. Get healthy! I’m pretty vocal about how I keep myself sane during the work week, and one of the most important things I do is exercise. I take Pilates classes a few times a week, and will often combine phone calls with a walk in the fresh air. I also try not to stress eat. And yes, that’s a tough one! 🙂 Bottom line, make some time for yourself daily to clear your head.

3. Prioritize your day. First thing in the morning, have a look at what’s on your plate. Then rank everything on an importance scale. This helps reduce stress and helps you feel less overwhelmed with the day ahead. And include exercise on that list!

4. Consider hiring a business coach. Hiring a coach is a great way to force yourself to make changes.  A business coach will hold you accountable, and also give you tips and advice on making your business more efficient. An unbiased look at you and your company helps define strengths and weaknesses, and drill down on gaps and opportunities.

5. Use technology. There are myriad applications and platforms out there to help your work life run smoother. We use Slack for internal messaging and document sharing, and for staff meetings. Consider video-calling instead of wasting hours commuting to client meetings, or use a time-tracking program to help determine where you can be more efficient.

Work-Life Balance IS Possible

There are a million things you can do to achieve better work-life balance. Which ones you choose will depend on personal AND business considerations. The goal is to dive in, and get started. And start slow if you need to, but start. You’ll be surprised at how much better you and your team will feel in the long run.

Have you made changes in your day to day life in order to have more work-life balance? What were they?  And how do you feel? I would love to hear your thoughts below!

The post Work-Life Balance: Five Ways You Can Live to Work, Not Work to Live appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/11/work-life-balance.html/feed 0
The Weekly Download – November 23, 2018 https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/11/the-weekly-download-november-23-2018.html https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/11/the-weekly-download-november-23-2018.html#respond Fri, 23 Nov 2018 14:37:31 +0000 https://spodekandco.com/?p=7109 Happy Black Friday, everyone! It’s been a busy week of hustling and some of us on staff here at Spodek & Co. are ready to buckle down and do some shopping! Deals aren’t the only the only red hot things on the web today. Check out this week’s digital world updates: Loblaws tests a new “shop […]

The post The Weekly Download – November 23, 2018 appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
The Weekly Download - November 23Happy Black Friday, everyone! It’s been a busy week of hustling and some of us on staff here at Spodek & Co. are ready to buckle down and do some shopping!

Deals aren’t the only the only red hot things on the web today. Check out this week’s digital world updates: Loblaws tests a new “shop and scan” system, Instagram has a password uh-oh, Snapchat’s making shopping easier, Facebook’s embroiled in yet another business scandal, Twitter stereotypes, and some Friday Fun!

Let’s dive in!

Shop and Scan

Yesterday, Loblaws tested their newest initiative in five Toronto area stores. In efforts to make your grocery shopping trip faster than ever, shoppers can connect to free in-store Wi-Fi, then scan their items using the PC Express app on their phone!

Wondering how to price out your produce? The chosen locations will provide shoppers with digital scales to weight items before they scan.

The app then creates a barcode for all the items in the cart which then gives shoppers three choices for a scanned checkout: cashier, self-checkout or a dedicated “shop and scan” kiosk.

You can expect to see the system’s expansion in three more GTA locations in the coming weeks. Keep your eyes peeled. And if you’ve tested it out yourself, tell us about your experience in the comments!

Oh, Facebook (face palm)

Yes, it appears Facebook has been caught out AGAIN engaging in what you could say is rather nefarious business practices. Huffington Post reports that “…Facebook hired a D.C. opposition research firm called Definers Public Affairs which proceeded to undertake all manner of ethically fraught actions on its behalf.” Ethically fraught is a not a good look, Facebook.

The activities Definers Public Affairs performed on Facebook’s behalf are ugly, to say the least, and some lean closely to well know far-right defamatory tactics. It’s a complicated story, but we think it’s important to stay in the know, especially when it comes social media platforms and the spreading of disinformation. You can read more about it here.

Instagram Accidently Exposed User Passwords

Last week, a small number of Instagram users had their passwords leaked. The exposure was activated by a feature that was released in April following the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, which allowed users to download their app information. The problem was, in come case, passwords were downloaded as well (and stored on parent company Facebook’s servers!).

The bug has since been repaired, and not many users were affected, but Instagram is encouraging those who used their ‘Download Your Data’ tool to change their password as a precaution.

Shop and Cop 

Just in time for Black Friday, Snapchat has launched their newest channel! Shop and Cop, allows users to browse products and make in-app purchases. Partnering with e-commerce shopping platform Shopify, the channel features deep discounts for a limited time only.

You can expect to see brands like Gymshark, Kylie Cosmetics, Coco Breezy and more promoting their Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals!

Facebook’s Secret Sisters

Scam alert! With the holidays around the corner, you may have seen a cutesy gift exchange floating around on your Facebook feed recently. “Secret Sisters” has been circulating on the social media giant’s platform since 2015.

What is the ‘secret sister’ gift exchange? This too-good-to-be-true opportunity promises you 36 “secret sister” gifts by only sending one. Let’s be real here. It’s a pyramid scheme. And pyramid schemes are illegal.

Per Business Insider, “It spreads via a Facebook post advertising the exchange (36 gifts in exchange for one!) and asking six people to join in. When they do, they are sent a message asking them to: 1) Send a gift worth $10 to the “secret sister #1,” the first name on a list they are given, 2) Move the person currently in second place on that list — the person who made the post they responded to — into first place, 3) Put their own name in second place. 4) Repost the public Facebook post to their profile and recruit six more people to do the same thing they just did.”

Keep an eye out for these invitations, ladies! And don’t be afraid to report status’ and inform your friends.

Twitter Stereotypes: Canadians vs. Americans

Are Canadians nicer than Americans? Well, we might be a bit biased, but the numbers don’t lie! After analyzing 37 million tweets from both countries, linguistic experts from McMaster University found Canadians use more positive words when engaging on Twitter. Tweets from Americans, however, were heavily made up of slang, swear words and other words that held negative connotations.

Turns out, the stereotype of the nice, polite Canadian might just be true! At least on Twitter, anyhow.

Friday Fun

This one’s for the Hot Cheetos fans! Did any of our American friends serve up this new tradition yesterday? Also, check out the hilarious tweets about this new flaming hot recipe.

The post The Weekly Download – November 23, 2018 appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/11/the-weekly-download-november-23-2018.html/feed 0
Micro-Influencers: What Are They and Can They Help Your Business https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/11/micro-influencers-help-business.html https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/11/micro-influencers-help-business.html#respond Mon, 19 Nov 2018 14:00:44 +0000 https://spodekandco.com/?p=7082 Think you don’t have the budget to add an influencer element to your marketing in 2019? What if I was to tell you you do! Micro-influencers are a smart and highly effective way to open doors to new audiences for your brand. What the Heck are Micro Influencers? Micro-influencers are just what they sound like: […]

The post Micro-Influencers: What Are They and Can They Help Your Business appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
Micro-influencersThink you don’t have the budget to add an influencer element to your marketing in 2019? What if I was to tell you you do! Micro-influencers are a smart and highly effective way to open doors to new audiences for your brand.

What the Heck are Micro Influencers?

Micro-influencers are just what they sound like: highly engaged, subject-specific social media users who regularly share social content about their interests. And one of the biggest differences between micro and macro influencers is that micro influencers are the real deal. They are dedicated to their craft, and aren’t looking for prestige or fame (generally speaking!).

While they may have much lower follower numbers than your Kardashians or other celebrity-influencer types the followers they do have are hyper-focused and highly dedicated to their craft. And they’re often geographically concentrated. Think extreme sports enthusiasts, hobbyists, health and wellness fans, foodies, artists, etc.

How Many Followers Should a Micro-Influencer Have?

The answer here is, it depends. Some folks put “micro-influencers” in the 10,000 or above follower count range. But in my opinion, it’s not really the number that counts. What really counts is the quality—to YOU—of their community.

Six-figure contracts aside, super-star follower counts don’t necessarily equal high numbers of eyeballs seeing your product or content. In fact, the opposite is often the case. As I mentioned above, the key is the quality of engagement, and the faith and trust a community has in whoever they follow. Does your company sit comfortably in a niche market? Then there is great value in connecting with fans with fewer follower counts.

How Can Micro-Influencers Help Me?

Micro-influencers are valuable because of what they bring to the table. What they lack in global star power, they make up for in the quality of their communities and their reach. They have built their audiences organically over time. And they consistently deliver value to their followers. In other words, they are highly respected and trusted by their communities. And this is every marketer’s dream when it comes to influence, is it not?

They also have higher social engagement. First, in how their community interacts with them. And secondly, in how they interact with their community. They’re more like friends, rather than unreachable superstars. And they are regarded as thought leaders in their field.

Hence, when they use a product, or share an article, their followers will likely do the same. In fact, what micro-influencers do leans more toward word-of-mouth marketing than the “pre-written, cut and paste” content of big celebrity endorsements.

Remember, you don’t have to be a huge, Fortune 500 company to invest in an influencer campaign. If you’re an entrepreneur running a small business, or still hustling your way to recognition, keep your eyes and ears open for micro-influencers invested in your brand. Comb through YOUR fans and followers, and find folks in your base with the reach and influence you are looking for.

Have you engaged with niche influencers or brand ambassadors yet? How did that work out for you? Or have you thought influencer marketing was only for the big corporations? Please add your comments or questions below!

The post Micro-Influencers: What Are They and Can They Help Your Business appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/11/micro-influencers-help-business.html/feed 0
The Weekly Download – November 16, 2018 https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/11/the-weekly-download-november-16-2018.html https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/11/the-weekly-download-november-16-2018.html#respond Fri, 16 Nov 2018 14:44:44 +0000 https://spodekandco.com/?p=7091 Phew, this week’s been a busy one for us at Spodek & Co., not even the cold, stormy weather could slow us down. And with everyone already preparing for the holiday season, we have loads to keep us occupied for the next six or so weeks, as we’re sure you do as well! So take […]

The post The Weekly Download – November 16, 2018 appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
Spodek & Co Weekly Download November 16Phew, this week’s been a busy one for us at Spodek & Co., not even the cold, stormy weather could slow us down. And with everyone already preparing for the holiday season, we have loads to keep us occupied for the next six or so weeks, as we’re sure you do as well!

So take a break, and enjoy this week’s round-up of news you might of missed in the world of digital. On the docket: the loss of comic legend Stan Lee, Snapchat’s new Friendship Profiles, and Instagram’s latest shopping features. Also, Facebook’s making changes, LinkedIn’s pages get an update, and we’ve got some Friday Fun added to the mix for good measure.

Grab a warm beverage and settle in!

The Loss of a Legend

This week the entertainment industry and fans alike mourned the loss of comic legend, Stan Lee, who died at age 95. Lee was the co-creator of Marvel Comics and is adored globally for bringing superheroes like Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk and Iron Man to life.

A community of fans, friends and comic industry peers have been sharing heartfelt messages all over social media this week, showing just how much love they had for Stan Lee.

Celebrating Friends with Snapchat

As social media develops, physical collections of ‘memories’ like photo albums and scrapbooks declines. And while our online profiles store messages and images we share online, and filter them into neatly organized digital folders, you don’t always want the whole world to see your life. It’s definitely harder these days to discriminate between with who you share data with, and who you don’t. But the photo sharing app Snapchat has this dilemma solved! This week, Snapchat released a Friendship Profiles, a new online medium for shared memories between friends.

As told by Snap Inc., “In each Friendship Profile, you’ll find images, videos, messages, links, and more that you and your friends have saved in Chat, all in one place. Friendship Profiles make it easy to find your favorite memories and the important information you’ve saved over time. It’s the fastest way to find the highlights of your friendship.”

All Friendship Profiles are private between users or groups you are “friends” with, and will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks!

Instagram Introduces Three New Shopping Features

Just in time for the holiday season, Instagram announced three new ways that users can make their holiday shopping easier than ever, with more methods for users to discover brands and products that they will love.

Now, when you see an item you like in your feed, you can easily save it to Instagram’s new Shopping, keeping all those items you love organized. “When you tap a product tag in Stories or Feed, tap the Save icon in the bottom right corner to save it to your Shopping collection,” said Instagram.

Instagram is also testing the waters with a redesign of their Shop options on business profiles, simplifying the view of every product featured in shopping postings. “When you visit a business profile, tap on the ‘Shop’ button to see their products, such as the item name, price and the post featuring the item, in one place.”

Better yet, users will finally be able to shop in videos! Just like images, all you have to do is tap the shopping bag icon in the bottom left corner and it will reveal each featured product.

Start collecting those holiday gift ideas! Cyber Monday is right around the corner.

Instagram Shopping

Facebook Will Soon Allow Users to Delete Sent Messages

It’s safe to say that most people have sent a message (or many) followed by remorse. For those individuals, we have good news! Facebook will soon allow users to delete messages up to 10 minutes after hitting send. Maybe share this post with that friend who always seems to put their foot in their mouth… Just teasing!

Facebook also recently introduced a “secret conversations” feature into Messenger. Secret conversations require a password and are only visible on the devices users use to create the conversation and where the recipient chooses to open the conversation.

LinkedIn Revamps Company Pages and Management Tools

If we have any community managers reading, you’ll be over the moon about LinkedIn’s latest announcements!

LinkedIn’s mobile functionality for admins is bottom of the barrel. Until now! Finally, admin users can monitor and post to company pages from mobile devices. This has been a feature lacking from the mobile design for far too long, making it extremely difficult for business professionals to engage while on-the-go.

They’ve also improved engagement and sharing opportunities, and with their Content Suggestions, helps admins identify trending topics and content, making it easier than ever to create and target audience specific content.

Friday Fun

This week’s Friday Fun content is extra-sweet. Check out this video of Eritrean children experiencing their first snowfall in Canada after arriving from a refugee camp in Sudan just days before. Grab some tissues for the tears followed by this cuteness!

The post The Weekly Download – November 16, 2018 appeared first on Spodek & Co.

]]>
https://spodekandco.com/blog/2018/11/the-weekly-download-november-16-2018.html/feed 0