Sunday, April 30, 2017

Ice Cream What?

While testing out all the new features I discovered in my Snapchat search section (which I previously talked about in my post "Updates Worth Paying Attention to") I stumbled across the most fantastic place I didn't know existed. Before I reveal this magical place I want to talk about this potentially new update. 

Snapchat has been testing this update in different cities. When you click on the search bar in Snapchat you are now shown (with this update) top stories, stories "around me",highlights, (stories relating to) cochella, music, sports, fashion, bars, nightclubs, food, animals and attractions. The last feature is that you can search words or phrases to show you stories relating to what you searched. From what I can tell is that Snapchat shows you these stories (the ones you search for) from using the text users type on their stories. This makes sense but not all of the stories pertain to what I search; I searched for puppies and yes I was seeing tons of adorable puppies but I was also seeing selfies with the puppy filter and then I saw a very sad video of a puppy that was frozen in snow. I still think this is a great new update but with the search feature, I now know I'm not always getting exactly what I'm wanting to see. The top stories and other categories are awesome and that's exactly where I found the most magical place!

The Museum of Ice Cream

Have you ever heard of The Museum of Ice Cream? Have you ever been there? (if you have I am extremely jealous) Thanks to Snapchat's new (potential) update I was able to watch stories of people at The Museum of Ice Cream (a place I had no idea existed!) I don't know too much about what is inside the museum but I do know theres a pool full of sprinkles you can play in, a room full of bananas hanging from the ceiling and a swing (thats great for Insta pics), a gummy bear room, a room with black ice cream cones stuck on the walls, and lots of free samples. 





















What do you think of the potential update on Snapchat? Would you go to The Museum of Ice Cream? What part of the museum seems most fun to you (from what I mentioned)? This place is definitely on my bucket list now. I linked their website on the very first picture so check out their site if you want some more information! I also highly recommend following their Instagram, it rocks.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

What Are Instagram Pods?

If you aren't aware already, the past year people have been complaining about Instagram's new timeline algorithm. (some people might love it, but I've only heard complaints from people around me) I've read tiny bits of content about Instagram pods, but never really looked into them. While scrolling through Mashable I stumbled upon not one, but two articles about these Insta pods. If you are completely lost and have no idea what I am talking about keep reading:

What are Instagram pods?
  • secret communities that try to find a way around Instagram's new algorithm.
What exactly do they do?
  • Members of the pods constantly like and comment on each others' posts to keep their members' posts showing up on their followers' timelines.
Why do they exist?
  • First you need to understand the new algorithm. Since 2016 Instagram has been using an algorithm that shows you popular posts instead of a chronological order of posts from people you follow. The new algorithm shows you the posts with the biggest amount of engagement. 
  • This has made it extremely difficult to gain organic followers.
Who has been creating or joining pods?
  • Anyone can join or create a pod (but from one of the articles I read, the groups seem pretty elite and secretive.)
  • Bloggers are mainly the ones creating or joining pods right now. (they were impacted pretty heavily by this new algorithm)
  • There is typically 10-20 members per pod.
  • Each pod has a different set of rules and expectations. Some are very strict and expect you to be very active daily and others are more laid back. 
  • Most pods are invite only by the creator or members and then your content needs to be approved. (some pods have content themes like baking, makeup, travel, etc.)

Please let me know your thoughts on pods! Are you a fan of Instagram's timeline algorithm? 

How Sam And I Spent Our Anniversary

I bet by looking at the title of this post you are expecting to read that we spent our anniversary doing some cute, sappy couples stuff like a huge romantic dinner, but that is far from how it actually went. Last Wednesday Sam was taken to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo. That night around eight there was a grease explosion from a fryer and he was completely doused in 450 degree oil. He is still admitted in the burn unit and 15 percent of his body is covered in first and second degree burns. Luckily he did not develop any third degree burns, but an infection has started on his leg (but that was expected). There is no timeline for exactly how long he will be in the hospital or a recovery time. Since Thursday I have been driving back and forth from Ada to Toledo to be there for him. Saturday, April 22 was our one year anniversary (which I know isn't a HUGE deal, but it is my first serious relationship). Instead of having a comfortable dinner at home to introduce our parents we got to eat hospital stir-fry (I ate his vegetables for him) and play Cards Against Humanity with his dad and my mom. I wish our original plans would have happened, but I am grateful that I was able to spend majority of the day with him and this has made us even closer. 

He is going day by day with his recovery. It'll be a long process, but he is handling his situation so well. He's always been naturally funny, but since he's been in the hospital his jokes have gotten way better. (Ex: when he was told to ask the plastic surgeon to fix his face he responded, "why would I downgrade?") I might write a couple more updates or posts about his recovery and how it is impacting his family, friends, and myself. Give the people you love an extra "I love you" and hug because you never know what could happen during their day. 






Monday, April 24, 2017

Measure What Matters Part Five

Chapter seven of Katie Paine's "Measure What Matters" is mainly focused on events and sponsorships. So why choose an event or sponsorship for your brand? Here's the top three reasons why:

1. Launch new products

  • Your brand can drive a new product by exposing it directly to an audience at an event. This engages people who could become potential buyers or influencers for you product and brand.
2. Drive affinity between customers and the brand 

  • Showing support or sponsorship for something your customer's are passionate about will build up the brands reputation and customers will support, choose and market the brand more. 
3. Reach new markets and customers
  • By showing up to events, you are establishing the brand. It hurts the brand more when you don't show up to an event.
  • Accpting an invitation to an event will create new customer relationships and raise brand awareness.
How do you decide if accepting an invitation to an event is the right move? Here's some data to look at when making a decision:
  • Total views: how many people are going to your speech page from the event's page
  • Total leads: the number of business cards you bring home
  • Site visits: how many people visit your actual site, not only your speech's site
  • Total contacts = leads + visits + views
  • Costs: unreimbursed, time, fees, reimbersed, etc.
Make a decision making spreadsheet with this data to help determine if your brand will attend an event quickly!

Work Rant

Have you ever had a seriously frustrating job? I'm living that presently; my manager is also my dad's girlfriend and that is what takes an already frustrating work environment to a whole new level. My work life is intertwined with my personal life and there's absolutely nothing I can do to change that without quitting my job. But that isn't the only frustrating part. Being a full time student while carrying on a job is difficult, but when that job is an hour away that also increases the stress accompanied with balancing school and work. Lately I have been completely left in the dark about policy and procedures changes and then blindsided when opening the store. My availability has been changed without any confirmation on my part. My manager cannot take any sorts of criticism or conversations about any employee frustrations or concerns without immediately becoming defensive or blowing off the conversation completely. I normally would never post my work frustrations anywhere on the web, but this situation has every employee, other than our manager, wanting to quit. (and one already did) All of us are applying elsewhere simply because a store manager takes things too personally, doesn't fulfill her role, and has an attitude. (I could go on forever about frustrations and issues occurring at work...)

Sorry for the rant! Have any of you had any frustrating work situations? Ever been seriously frustrated by management? Have you ever worked with family and how did that impact your personal life? Feel free to rant in the comments!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Measure What Matters Part Four

In chapter five of Katie Paine's "Measure What Matters" she talks about the three-part social media
revolution. Two out of the three parts I completely agree with and one that surprised me. I thought these revolutions were interesting enough to share!

1. Timelessness has been redefined: Redefine "Now"

  • In the past responding to a customer (more than likely an angry one) in two to three days was accepted, but not anymore.
  • Timely today means dealing with a problem or situation before it goes viral.
  • Not being "timely" can destroy a company's reputation.
  • Brand monitoring is a must to be timely.
  • You need a rapid response plan set up in advance.
    • My thoughts: I still think that two to three days is acceptable even if I am furious with a company. I guess response time could depend on the platform used to reach out to the company, but they receive comments, questions and complaints at a large scale daily, so to me, an instant response or anything quicker than 2 days isn't something I should expect. (unless what I said went viral within those first 24 hours)
2. The role of marketing and communication has been redefined: Redefine PR, advertising, marketing and corporation communication
  • online access allows consumers to make decisions based on brands reputation and search results. 
    • Decision Making Process 
      • Find-->Observe/Lurk-->Participate-->Engagement-->Purchase/Act/Link/WOM
  • People look at reviews before acting or asking family and friends. 
  • Google searches: searches rarely start with the brand's name, instead they start with a category or problem.  (Ex: cheapest flights to Mexico)
  • Organic beats paid: people are more likely to click on organic search results compared to paid links at the top
  • Value of advertisement is declining and the value of friendships, contacts and engagement is increasing
    • My thoughts: 
      • Engagement is KEY
      • Build a good reputation 
      • It's key to pop up on the google searches that don't include your brands name
      • REVIEWS ARE IMPORTANT
3. Most definitions of success are irrelevant: Change how we quantify success
  • Marketers thought success was equal to large amounts of impressions on eyeballs. 
    • It was based on the thought if the product is exposed to enough eyeballs it would convince people to buy it. 
  • In social media it is impossible to track or count the number of people that have seen the content
  • It's better now to measure success based on relationships and the amount of engagement with consumers or audience. 
    • My thoughts: Customer relationships and engagement is the key to success. 

Have You Noticed Twitter's Dislike Button?

You can now dislike individual Tweets; this option isn't exactly new either, it's been around for around a year now! Before this option was available when you didn't like a Tweet your options were to mute or unfollow the person. Now in the top right drop down menu on an individual Tweet may give you the option "I don't like this Tweet".

Twitter very quietly released this feature and when they've been questioned about an exact date of the release they remain silent. Not all Tweets have this option and the writer of this Mashable article said that the option is not consistent on his timeline. I went through Tweets on my timeline to test out the consistency and I found that I was seeing the dislike option more often than not. It could be different for every person and depend on the Tweets on your timeline. Another cool feature is that you can undo your dislike if you change your mind! By disliking Tweets it helps Twitter show you more or less of what you would like to see pop up on your timeline. 

What are your thoughts on the dislike option? Thoughts on how Twitter hid the feature? Have you seen or used it before? Do you think other social platforms should have a dislike option?