social media algorithms

The Brain Behind Social Media

The Brain Behind Social Media

As marketers, we can all agree that this fact is true: social media is a crucial part of any marketing strategy. A digital presence is important for your brand because it gives a sense of brand awareness as well as helps build your audience reach. But did you know that social media is more than just slapping a cool picture and description on your timeline? Algorithms are at the root of all social media outlets and therefore play the “brain” behind any social media strategy.

First Things First: What Are Social Media Algorithms? 

To put it simple, an algorithm on social media is a set of “rules” that are used to determine what and when something is being shown within a user’s social media timeline. Social media algorithms were developed by channels as a way of controlling what and when a post is shown. The main reasons for the development of these algorithms was to improve the user’s experience and to encourage brands to buy more ads. Seems reasonable right?

Well, when there were no algorithms, social media was a level playing field where the only thing that really mattered was the time that you posted. A timeline/feed used to be chronological which meant that posts were shown in reverse order (the most recent at the top) so if you posted an update close to a time when a user was online, it would be seen, making it easier for your post to get noticed. With new algorithms in place, there are many more factors that are taken into consideration than just time; from both user behavior and how a user might interact with a specific status, through to how other users have reacted to this status and what is trending at that particular moment in time. Due to this, there has to be a more detailed social media strategy set in place to get the attention that your business craves.

Overwhelming right? How could you possibly know how each platform algorithm works? Let me help you out. The following are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram’s most current algorithms explained. You're welcome.

Facebook

Facebook brought its latest algorithm update on August 2013. The overall aim of the new algorithm was for posts that people most likely wanted to see, to be in the order they want to read them in. The algorithm responds to your activity and generates your News Feed into an order by the following criteria:

  • How frequently you interact with the friend, page, or public figure
  • The amount of activity the post generates; number of likes, shares and comments from your friends in particular
  • The number of times you have interacted with this type of post previously
  • The type of post (i.e. video, image, status, text, link) – video posts are said to still rank more highly than other types of statuses.

Twitter

Twitter’s new algorithm went live in February 2016 which made the tweets you most likely want to see show up first in your timeline. The algorithm responds to your activity and generates your News Feed into an order by the following criteria:

  • Tweets are chosen based off the accounts that you interact with quite often
  • How often you engage with the tweets that these users share
  • Note: This is a default setting but Twitter provides their users with the option to “turn-off” these settings and return to the original algorithm

Instagram

In March 2016, Instagram announced their new algorithm in order to show their 600 million monthly active users the posts that they are more likely to care about higher up in their feed (much like Twitter). The logic behind this algorithm was due to the fact that Instagram users missed around 70% of their feed, so the fast-growing social media platform believed that this algorithm would improve user experience. Instagram’s latest algorithm responds to your activity and generates your News Feed into an order by the following criteria:

  • How interested you are supposed to be in the content of the post
  • The relationship you have with the person posting and the time of the post.

Algorithms Are Important

It is important to be aware that social media algorithms differ by platform and are adapting all of the time. As user numbers grow, big fish like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram’s algorithms will grow and update with them. If you are looking to achieve results in social media marketing, there is no doubt that you have to stay alert and on top of the algorithm game.


Color Psychology for Retail

Understanding How Color Psychology Sells

Understanding How Color Psychology Sells

Retailers, this one’s for you:

If there’s one thing that grammar school taught us, it’s that colors play an important role in everyday life and as we have grown up, this still remains true. Whether it’s walking outside to see your neighborhood, going shopping for a new wardrobe or simply hanging out on the couch watching Netflix, colors stand out to us and give us meaning and emotion. We are talking about Color Psychology - or the study of hues as a determinant of human behavior.

Ok, colors are cool, so what?

Well, lets say you’re a shop owner. When prospective clients first walk into your store what do you think is the first thing they noticed? If you didn’t guess colors, did you even read the title of this blog? No, but in all seriousness, your prospective customers make a subconscious judgment about their current retail environment and products within 90 seconds. Yes, you read that right, 90 seconds. And how much of that impression do you think is based on color alone? Let me give you a hint, it’s the same number (90%). If that’s not scary enough, half of shoppers say they won’t even return to a store if they don’t like its aesthetics. Furthermore, a 90% of purchasing decisions are based on visual appearance, with 85% of consumers saying that color was a primary reason of purchasing a product. So yeah, colors are cool but they’re also important, and understanding color psychology can have a major impression on your sales.

What colors are best for your business?

Start by considering your brand goals and targets. For example, research from Shopify reports that women respond more favorably to blue, green and purple and dislike brown, grey and orange. On the other hand, men tend to gear more towards blue, green and black, while responding negatively to brown, orange and purple. Once you establish who your target audience is, it is easier to choose colors that will appeal to them.

The following is an interesting summary of a report done by Marketo, in which they have researched how brand colors can affect your business. Based on the business brand you want to uphold, this color reports can help you successfully execute your brand identity.

Color Psychology Outline

1| BLACK

Black is used by those who wish to communicate “classic sophistication” and is often associated with expensive or upscale brands.

2 | BLUE

Blue is likely the most popular choice for colors. It is considered dependable, trustworthy, secure and responsible.

| BROWN

Brown is thought to be “earth-like”, natural and durable. The color speaks simplicity and strength and that’s why you see it more on environment-like business logos.

| GREEN

Green is synonymous with calm, freshness and health. Lighter shades of green communicate serenity and darker shades are associated with affluence.

5 | ORANGE

Orange is full of life and excitement! It communicates fun, vibrancy and playfulness.

6 | RED

Red is the most passionate of all the colors. It is attention grabbing, energetic, provocative and even aggressive.

7 | PURPLE

Purple is elegant, rich and sophisticated. It is associated with royalty, nostalgia, spirituality and even mystery.

8 | WHITE

White represents the cleanliness and “purity” of all the colors. Because of this, white is a popular color among healthcare business and organizations.

9 | YELLOW

Yellow invokes lively feelings of hope and optimism. It’s brightness stimulates creativity and energy!

Color. Color. Color.

Whichever color you favor, or which ever color better fits your brand, remember it is important to implement it. You want your customers to be satisfied and feel like they can drop some money at your shop so don’t be afraid to work with a color scheme that will deliver all your brand has to offer!

So I’ll leave you with this: to all current business owners, have you looked at how your colors are affecting your business? To new business owners, don’t overlook it, colors are important!

Work cited:

Academia.edu, Colour, Colour Everywhere…In Marketing Too, Rohit Vishal Kumar and Radhika Joshi


8 Ways Your Brand Is More Than You Might Think

8 Ways Your Brand Is More Than You Might Think

A lot of people use the term “branding” as synonymous with “brand identity”. They think it’s referring to the logo.  Or maybe the logo, colors, and typography.  Some know that it goes beyond that to include the entire story, all imagery, the tone, the look.  In other words, everything that grows to represent the product or business verbally and visually in advertising and marketing.  The Voice.

But branding goes even further beyond that.  A lot further.  Your brand is made up of every interaction the customer has with your product, business or service.

Every. Single. Interaction.

Think about what that means.  It means that EVERY touchpoint a customer has with your brand is what creates—or destroys—your brand.  This applies to any and every product or business, no matter how big or small, local, regional, national or international.

So go ahead, test your Brand. Ask yourself:

  1. Is every marketing tactic consistent in voice, tone and overall message? That “Voice” can be playful, edgy, sweet, sophisticated, friendly, serious…it doesn’t matter what it is.  But everything needs to be consistent.
  2. Is every media choice consistent with what your brand stands for?
  3. Is the customer’s experience of your website easy, enjoyable, pleasurable, interesting, gratifying…and reflective of that verbal and visual Voice?
  4. Is your Facebook page and all social media speaking to the customer in a way that fully supports and reflects your brand? (I won’t mention a certain president here.)
  5. What about your customer service? Are your people trained to speak in a way that reflects everything your brand stands for—whether that’s in person, on the phone or via email?  I remember the first time I flew Southwest a few years ago.  The flight attendants were light-hearted, upbeat, a tad irreverent and even entertaining and funny. What?? On an airplane??
  6. If your brand is a retail establishment, does the environment—the look, sounds, scents, music, organization, space flow, product displays, menu, signage, seating, entrance, window treatments, checkout area—reflect your brand?
  7. Have you trained your employees to create an experience that reflects the character of your brand? My local Ace Hardware just oozes customer service—there is ALWAYS someone close by (or approaching me) to provide friendly, patient help.  The checkout person greets me every single time I walk in and at checkout they are efficient and appreciative. I come back time and again.
  8. Do your employees manner of dress, persona and attitude reflect your brand? I went shopping for cars a couple years ago;  Subaru had down-to-earth, outdoorsy looking representatives. The Mini Coop booth had fun, affable, with-it, twenty-somethings helping me.

I could keep going. On and on.  Seriously. This may seem exhaustive (or maybe even exhausting), but it’s worth examining every aspect of your brand and every interaction your customers have with it.  Because one bad experience can lose a customer. Unfortunately it’s common human behavior that people like to complain about a bad experience to others more than they like to talk about a good experience.

So think BIG and BROAD about your brand.  Because bit by bit these poor representations of and interactions with your “brand” destroy your brand (sometimes before it even gets off the ground.)  It’s so much easier to train people up front than to correct them and a situation after the fact.  So much easier to pay attention to these qualities as you’re creating the brand than fix them after the fact.

So much better than having to say “Bye bye Brand!”  Right?