Blog : Social Media

Elon Musk takes over  Twitter

Elon Musk takes over Twitter

Can you believe it? It worked. But what does it mean for the media? What does it mean for “free speech” and the market of opinions? Elon Musk has finally bought Twitter — and tanked his own stock doing it. What does that mean for digital disruption?

A Hostile Takeover

Earlier in the month, Elon Musk started a hostile takeover of Twitter by purchasing an immense number of shares. Twitter reacted by enacting a poison pill measure; a poison pill is something a company does specifically to avoid a hostile takeover, making it effectively impossible for a company to be taken over through stock purchases alone.

But despite the board initially saying that Musk would have no control over the company, they quickly introduced him to the board. And when he offered $44 billion for Twitter itself, they rather quickly folded. Musk is known for his capricious but often visionary purchases; he did not build Tesla but rather purchased it.

Interestingly, until the very end, Reddit posts were saying Musk could never take over. But Redditors have a long history of skepticism, going back to the Robinhood App.

Why Does Musk Want Twitter?

Musk has a weird relationship with Twitter. He doesn’t like being censored. So much so that he’s been fined repeatedly by the SEC for saying things that manipulated Tesla’s stock prices. Musk says that he wants transparency on the platform but it’s also likely he wants the freedom to do what he wants.

Whether he’s the proper steward for a channel that has become a leading resource for news and even political change remains to be seen. Musk cut his teeth in digital disruption with PayPal and his forays into Tesla and SpaceX have both been markedly successful. But they are very different technologies.

The Consequences for Tesla

Tesla stock, meanwhile, has been absolutely slaughtered. In part, this is due to the perception that Musk is acting irrationally or emotionally, which he has historically been prone to do. If he’s purchasing Twitter as a means of radically decentralized discourse, that’s one thing. If he’s purchasing it because he wants people to stop saying mean things about him on the internet, that’s a vastly different situation. Regardless, Tesla stockholders got to see the stock plummet.

The Consequences for Twitter

While many users have abandoned Twitter, the reality is that people are mostly meh. As one user stated, “if you’re upset over a billionaire buying Twitter, wait until you find out who owns everything else.” So, a billionaire bought an online platform/mobile app. What else is new?

For many, the reality of the situation is that Twitter is just a social media venue that they can take or leave, and most appear to be waiting to see what happens.

Entrepreneurs, though, will face broader implications. One thing Musk does have a stance on is algorithm transparency.

Algorithm Transparency and Business

No one knows what special sauce Google uses to make sure that results surface. That’s the point. Billions are spent every year trying to figure it out in the form of search engine optimization.

Musk wants to make visible the mechanisms that promote posts on Twitter. And that could be both a problem and an opportunity. It will either radically change the way people are using Twitter or (more likely) destroy it as spam becomes even more aggressive and prevalent.

Companies that lean firmly on Twitter for their advertising campaigns are currently right to be wary.

Note that the Musk deal with Twitter could still fall through. It’s not finalized. He may discover that he didn’t want to buy Twitter after all. He may get butthurt that Bill Gates’ short position against Tesla paid off big. And Twitter itself may decide not to capitulate.  

Still, this gives rise to many thoughts as to how the wealthy can control discourse, how vulnerable the entrepreneurial disruption community is to its tools, and how the internet is evolving today. The Twitter purchase will undoubtedly disrupt business on the platform and mobile app; the question is how much?

Geotargeting & Geofence Marketing: How a small company can disrupt a big market

Geotargeting & Geofence Marketing: How a small company can disrupt a big market

If you feel like social media and online marketing is shouting into the void, you’re really not alone. Many small, local businesses are told to invest in online advertising and mobile marketing only to discover that it’s really not effective for them.

Imagine if you advertised your company to every 10,000th person on earth. How many of those people would actually be able to use your products or services? Probably none of them. There are a lot of people on earth and there are a lot of people online.

Geotargeting and geofence marketing focus on hyper-local leads — so you can stop shouting and start earning.

Connect to the Customers Closest to You

It’s the customers that are closest to you that you want to connect with. It’s better to connect with 50 people in your neighborhood than 5,000 people across the world. And it’s cheaper, too. When you connect with customers close to you, you greatly enhance the viability and effectiveness of your advertising campaigns. 

How Does Geotargeting/Geofencing Work?

Geotargeting/geo fencing works by identifying where customers are inside of a broader, third-party advertising network. For instance, Google Ads shows throughout the world but can show your ads only to those who are in your vicinity. Geotargeting is broad; it just means that you’re sending your ads to those who are in your country, state, city, or even zip code.

Geo-fencing is a little different. Geo-fencing specifically defines an area, such as an area that is located in a highly-trafficked region around your business. Once individuals are inside this area, they are targeted. Geo-fencing can be used to deliver ads through PoS systems within your neighborhood, for instance, or to send ads to phones and other devices detected in your region.

The Advantages of Geotargeting

Really, the advantages of geotargeting are clear. You can spend $100 to connect with 5,000 people in the world or $10 to connect with 50 people in your area. It’s cost-effective and far more useful.

But it also enhances public perception of your brand, as you’re no longer trying to reach out to individuals who wouldn’t be interested in your advertising to begin with. Geofence marketing creates more relevant, useful advertising, as well as more profitable strategies.

Implementing a Geotargeting Campaign Strategy

To implement a geotargeting campaign strategy, you (obviously) need to know where your customers are. There are third-party ad platforms like Google and Bing, but their usefulness will actually be vanishing shortly; action is being taken to reduce third-party tracking cookies.

There are two better options: social media marketing and third-party behavioral targeting databases. Social media marketing works because individuals already provide where they live to the social media platform. Even better, they provide information such as whether they’re married, whether they have children, and even where they work and where they went to school.

Third-party databases seek to identify consumers based on their behavior and contextual information without the help of cookies or files stored on the user’s device. These third-party geotargeted databases are likely to grow dramatically once cookies become ineffective for geofence marketing.

Summary

With the right geofence marketing, your company can focus all its efforts on advertising directly to the people who are closest to you. When they look at their phone or check their email in your location, they’ll get information that relates to your business. If they’re halfway across the world, they won’t.

But this type of advertising and mobile marketing really does require that you use the right technology. Social media marketing provides some of this targeting, but mobile marketing is about to get a lot more challenging.

Corporate transparency vs. sharing too much information

Corporate transparency vs. sharing too much information

Consumer access to information has placed the discussion of corporate transparency clearly before our eyes. This debate is about a company’s ability to be as forthcoming about their brand as possible, in order to gain their customers’ trust. An increasing number of companies are adopting a ‘full truth’ method for a few reasons.

In an effort to increase their public persona, several corporations have made efforts to improve their relationship with their customers. Patagonia, a popular outdoor apparel and equipment brand shows how it provides transparency for its customers.

Patagonia provides its customers with its Footprint Chronicles. This feature allows customers to track the environmental impact of each item sold by Patagonia. The brand offers interviews, PowerPoints, and more, which details the people and history behind the products. For those who are consumers of the brand and advocates for the earth, this feature allows them to be conscious about what affects their purchase will have on the planet. However, this is just one such brand going the distance to provide as much information about the product to the people who consume them. Other brands such as Chipotle and BMW also show a level of transparency with their customers.

 “How much information is too much information? At which point is transparency no longer a viable trait?”

How do you differentiate between transparent communications and tossing out a ‘wall of data’ to justify the request for openness? At what point do you defend your ‘corporate life experiences’ to justify the cost of proactive communication? Every person and corporation have a base of life experiences from which each has grown and learned.

If we were to expose all of our past ‘learning steps’ it could be easily argued that no one may find any one person or corporation attractive. Where do you draw the line between protecting critical competitive data and damage control?

With that said, how we communicate as we move forward is critical. This is an ethical question that every person and corporation must address as move forward. How will they communicate with others? It’s a huge “grey zone” with no defined answers.

Several large corporations are making the shift to transparency. As is so often found in communications, differing perspectives may help to provide a broader insight. Articles from Inc. and Forbes provide an interesting perspective that should be explored.

At the end of the day, how you address this quandary may be defined by a balance you discover between objectives. How do you open your business to your consumer, yet protect the company secrets and interests? Where and how do you draw the line?

Forbes writer, Daniel Newman put it this way “Your consumers will find this honesty so much more appealing than the smokescreen you try to hang over your shortcoming. They will not flinch from giving exactly what you are looking for: their trust and loyalty.”

The cost of running your own social media

The cost of running your own social media

Running your own business is more than a full-time job. If you are like most entrepreneurs, you’re probably already working between 40 to 60+ hours per week handling the day-to-day operations of your company. A huge question that frequently hits the corporate boardroom is “in addition to running my own company, should I also handle my company’s social media?”

First and foremost, we applaud the entrepreneurial spirit. It’s this drive that motivates each business owner to reach for their greatest dreams. Everyone has their own goals and abilities. The drive to “do it all” is often found at the core of success. But everyone has limits on two of their most basic resources – time and ability.

Let’s be frank – You probably would not try to fix your own transmission, perform a medical procedure on yourself or defend yourself in court. If you saw someone else trying to do this, you might be tempted to ask “Is that ego or ability?” The operations of your corporation and managing the corporation’s social media are two separate, full-time jobs. If you can honestly handle both of these corporate tasks, then we tip our hat to both you and your achievements. Not many individuals are able to muster both the time and intellectual resources needed to accomplish this set of tasks. If you cannot perform flawlessly in both arenas simultaneously, it’s only a matter of time before one or both of these two paths will become compromised.

Learning a new skill set, in order to communicate with other professionals, is critical for your growth and survival. However, there’s a huge difference between actually developing a functional skill set and “thinking” that you possess those skills. Understanding the differences between these two positions could be the line between success and failure.

Running a corporate social media mechanism requires time, industry perspective and a refined skill set. The social media manager must possess a social acuity, finesse and the undeniable ability to communicate with others. In most cases, this is NOT a part-time job. Unfortunately, these are not skills you’ll acquire ‘just because you have a Facebook account’.

Corporate owners might consider the actual cost of social media:
  • Do I actually understand what it takes to do the job? The wrong manager will kill a project. It’s that simple. Just because a manager understands some of some of the project parameters, does not guarantee that they possess a broader base of knowledge and experience required to manage the entire project. A solid project manager appreciates when they do not possess the expertise for a given objective. There is a time when knowledgeable experts are needed to facilitate a process or project. 
  • Can I do the job? You need to ask yourself – objectively – “Do I have the ability to dedicate myself full-time to my company’s social media needs?” Can an entrepreneur effectively fulfill the social media needs of their corporation and then spend an additional 60+ hours per week running their company?
  • What is your long-term objective? Do you want to be able to communicate with functioning teams or do you need to be in control of everything? There’s a huge difference between managing teams and trying to micromanage everything and everyone around you. One behavior is healthy. One is not.

A wise choice to consider is hiring a team who can objectively handle your social media needs. Whether this is an internal or an external team is the next question. That answer will be determined by your corporate needs, budget and audience. Knowing the limits of your own skill base is the first step in defining both your corporation and its social footprint.

If you are interested in exploring various social media possibilities for your corporation, contact Colure’s project managers.

Republishing content extends audience reach

Republishing content extends audience reach

Social media is arguably the most crucial outlet to market any product or service. Publishing content on the internet is only the first step to market penetration. The re-publishing or re-marketing of that original content allows for a more specific, finite placement in front of the target audience.

When a company publishes a post it might not initially receive the anticipated web traffic. The next step is to re-post that content onto another social media platform to provide exposure to a new audience. When an idea is marketed multiple times, on multiple platforms, that idea will begin to ‘grow legs’. The danger with reposting is that you do not want to earn the title of ‘spammer’ by an email system. If your reposting is qualified as spam, it will go straight into the trash. All of your republishing efforts will be lost.

Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin are all necessary platforms for a company to reach its audience. When you have successfully connected with your audience, you can begin marketing your company with a specific audience penetration. Pcdigitalmarketing.com had a few interesting words on how to republish across various social media platforms.

When republishing your content you need to keep all facets of the process in mind:

  • Understand the correlation between the frequency of your posting and platforms you are using. If you republish a post every hour on two different platforms, the audiences will probably react in different ways. A Twitter audience may not mind the hourly update. A LinkedIn audience may find that tactic annoying.
  • Develop a tactical move to advance your content. What is the specific reason for republishing? Are you going after a unique demographic which the original platform doesn’t engage? Answer the following questions in regards to your next media move – WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHY, WHEN and HOW?
  • When a company decides to republish, it should not repeat the same exact caption. The content title is used to draw in a reader. It should be written differently to keep the audience alive and excited.
  • If a company decides to repost content, they should know their audience and know how many times a day or week they should republish their post. It is important to republish to increase the audience, but also very important to be considerate of the audience.
  • Republishing is the perfect approach to spreading a message, as long as the person reposting knows when and how to proceed.
  • Most importantly, be sure that you are tracking the progress of your republishing with some format of web analytics. If you are not counting the specific hits – where and when they are falling, you are just shooting into a dark room with no idea as to any progress toward your goal.

Communication is an interactive process. Take the time to map the process of moving your message from you to your audience. To help you move your company’s message, contact Colure’s Project Managers.

Social media provides an opportunity to express your thoughts

Social media provides an opportunity to express your thoughts

Due to social media, a single person’s comment, tweet or like can be amplified on a global scale. No longer are you speaking into an empty space, that voice can be heard around the world.

Since the dawn of time, the way in which people interact and communicate continues to change. For July 2015, the top three social media outlets are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. People share their thoughts in various social platforms. With each form of social media, there is a different purpose, a separation between audiences.

In the world of business, understanding your company’s audience leads toward building a better business. In 2013, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth released a study evaluating the social media activities of the Fortune 500 list members. The study found that 77% of those companies are tweeting and 70% are on Facebook. There has been a heavy increase in blogging since 2008.

“A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.” – Francis Bacon (1560-1626)

In 2013, Oreo Cookies capitalized on an unscripted moment in life. Over 111 million people were captivated, as they sat watching live TV. During Super Bowl XLVII, the stadium lights at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana went black. The power went out – the game came to a screeching halt. Within moments, a wise advertising professional sent out a tweet that captured that moment for their own corporate gain. Oreo sent out the now infamous “You can still dunk in the dark” tweet.

Social media has allowed customers and companies to communicate to each other, directly through a simple comment. Consumers demand companies be responsive to the concerns of their consumer base. Social media has made it easier for people to express what they like and what they don’t like. Being responsive to their customer base is now the expected norm for any company of any size.

Lingoji – Culturally Based Emojis

Lingoji – Culturally Based Emojis

Get ready to express yourself with Lingoji – the revolutionary new emoji app dedicated to worldwide, cultural diversity. We’re bringing a shared cultural context to the digital world. Lingoji has opened an entirely new way to communicate to those close to you.

Lingoji’s point of distinction is the engagement of local artists. The development team is integrating artists from cultures all across the globe. Here, they create culturally authentic art, specific to each country and culture. Lingoji is the first of its kind. The app provides a wide array of emoji sets, each custom-tailored to a single country and culture. Users can easily choose the artwork set that best expresses the thoughts and feelings of themselves, their friends, and their families.

Emojis have firmly established themselves in the footprint of digital communication. From quickly expressing brief feelings, to being used to form larger, more complex thoughts, emojis now saturate our media. Historically, emojis have represented a single, broad point of view.

Why settle for a form of communication that can’t adequately express your culture? There are differences between cultures regarding how an emoji may be interpreted.

Lingoji combines lingo and emojis to create culturally-specific, sticker-sized icons. These can be used to convey humor, context, tone, or even complex expressions and emotions. Available for just $1.99, each of these emojis sets can be easily accessed from the keyboard of a mobile device.

Lingoji’s development team has created accurate, culturally-based images that contain both traditional and current idioms. Lingoji currently supports a total of four Caribbean countries: Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico. From there, Lingoji will be expanding steadily into other nations. Currently, teams are currently developing artwork from the Philippines!

Lingoji gives users the opportunity to get relevant images on their phones with ease. Rather than getting a large number of emojis to choose from all at once, users can select a tailored, customized emoji set to express specific ideas and emotions.

These culture-based emoji catalogs provide a common language between individuals in distinct cultures and regions, thereby making it easier for them to communicate with their community. Widespread usage of these emojis will eventually highlight a variety of cultures around the world that are not currently represented.

As a Caribbean native, Lingoji’s co-founder Patrice Gervais developed a love of other cultures while working in New York for Colure Media. Patrice and his co-founders David-Georges Renaud, and Gerald Brun have all worked to create a highly unique tool. This visual story-telling palette is designed for our diverse, modern cultures.

First developed and popularized in Japan, emojis have designed to be fairly universal. Traditionally, this limits emojis to fairly general usage, which may not include niche cultures. Foods, animals, and expressions that exist in many cultures are often excluded from the emoji keyboard.

Lingoji is currently available at both the Google Play and Apple iTunes stores. For questions or feedback, the Lingoji team can be reached through their email address at lingojiapps@gmail.com.