What’s hot in social-digital for 2016?

What’s hot and what’s not in 2016? Leading social media and digital marketing specialists weigh in with their predictions.

Sean Smith, That Social Media Guy: “Video, Video, Video. 2015 saw the arrival of platforms like Periscope, Facebook Live and Blab, but I think it is only the tip of the iceberg, when it comes to personal or mobile video broadcasting. Wide scale adoption will lead to even more innovation in the delivery methods, technology and platforms. Can you say ‘Live Streaming Drones’?

Did he say video?

Christina - The Motherpreneur

Christina Waschko of Motherpreneur Productions

Sue B Zimmerman is a kind of a social media “It” girl. Where Sue goes, others follow. Sue taught the world to use Instagram. She offers specific tips on how to get the most out of moving pictures. Sue recommends real, authentic videos, 15-seconds on Instagram in a direct message to welcome new followers and give strong calls to action, and 10-second videos on Snapchat that tell an entertaining and educational daily story.

Rebecca Coleman, of the Art of the Business, agrees. Three picks from her blog:

Short video: Snapchat (10 seconds), Vine (6 seconds), Instagram (15 seconds). Snapchat is already at 200 million active monthly users, and Instagram at 300. Both are growing, and so are their demographics. No longer just for millenials, Snapchat and Instagram are now being used much more by 25-40 year olds.

Live streaming video: 2015 was the year Periscope, Meercat and Blab came online, and they aren’t going anywhere. Periscope can now stream live right inside your Twitter timeline.

Delivering longer-form content through social media: LinkedIn Publisher and Medium started it, now Facebook has a built-in blogging platform as well. The advantage of using something like this is that it often gives the reader a better experience.

Steve Robinson of Sociovisual points in a similar direction. Says Steve, “The biggest trend is ‘meaningful content’. That would include all formats.” He adds, “… nailing the video storytelling stuff. The best way to sum it up would be that success will come to those who master the ‘2 minute long TED talk’.”

Digital strategist Bosco Anthony supports this view setting his sights on the future of adaptive content and predicting a migration from informative content to interactive content. Says Bosco “Storytelling frontiers will affect the future of social advertising”.

Darian Kovacs of JellyMarketing predicts brands will work more strategically and with more accountability and measurable metrics with influencers to target their audiences, and Anthony points out the that the rise of ‘dark social’, engagement that occurs off of trackable social media and web sites, will pose a significant challenge in measurement and demonstrating ROI (return on investment).

We’ll leave the final word to Paul Holmes, co-founder of Social Media Camp, Canada’s largest social media event, who says, “I’m predicting that Twitter will recover its lost ground, and once again become a driving force in social.  Although it may look a whole lot different when all is said and done.”

Long-form Twitter perhaps? You heard it here first.




Mike Vardy

The Best of 2015: A Round Up of Social Media Resources

With the holidays just around the corner it’s time to contemplate some downtime to dream up the upcoming year and reflect on the year that is drawing to a close. I don’t know about you, but I love to snuggle down this time of year in my flannel pajamas with a mug of something hot and delicious and surf the web, read, and catch up on new ideas.

To get you started, this month’s column offers a round up of 2015’s best resources in the wonderful world of social media and digital marketing.

Two platforms that grabbed headlines this year are Blab and Periscope. Both are live streaming platforms and both create very engaging in-the-moment video broadcasts. Highly interactive, we’re seeing users from around the world engage in topics ranging from industry conversations and how-to’s to political debates. You can log in to both via your Twitter accounts.

For the goods on ‘scoping (short form for broadcasting via Periscope), one of the best resources in North America is Sue B Zimmerman. She’s also known as the Instagram Gal, so adding her to your list of top resources gives you double the insight, plus double the fun. Sue is well-known for her energetic, outgoing personality and high-quality detailed information on using both Periscope and Instagram to grow your business and your brand.

If you are looking to jump onto the Blab-wagon, the absolute best resource is Canada’s favourite geek, Steve Dotto of Dottotech. For that matter, Steve is your go-to guy for expertise on Youtube, Evernote, Slack, and a plethora of other tech tools, apps and platforms. Steve’s star is rising and he is rapidly becoming known internationally as a tech guru. He recently teamed up with the folks at Social Media Examiner, the world’s largest online social media magazine, to offer video tutorials. Find and follow social Media Examiner to get the most current news in the social-digital marketplace.

2015 also brought some nifty changes to Linked In, including a new app and a friendlier, more Facebook-like interface. Viveka von Rosen is the author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day and LinkedIn Security: Who’s Watching You? She is a contributing expert to LinkedIn’s official Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide, among others. Known internationally as the LinkedIn Expert, she’s your number one Linked In resource.

Finally, in the interest of ensuring a healthy balance between your online and offline activities during the holidays, spend some of your jammie time holding an actual book. My best pick for 2015 is The Joy of Missing Out, Finding Balance in a Wired World by Christina Crook. It is both inspiring and thought-provoking, and a much-needed reminder to maintain mindfulness in a sometimes overwhelming world.

Wishing you comfy PJs, a hot bevvie, and some helpful resources for the happiest of holidays to you and yours.

Vicki McLeod is a Maple Ridge Social Chick and is a business and personal coach and consultant. She will join Christina Crook as a speaker at the Canadian Internet Marketing Conference in 2016, and is happy to answer your social media or business questions. Find her at http://www.mainstreetcommunications.ca.

Social Media Tips from the Pro’s #CIMC2015


Photo: Braden Paul Photography

I know, I know, nobody likes to be called a “pro” when it comes to social media as it’s always changing but I think we can all agree that the cream of the crop showed up to the Canadian Internet Marketing Conference and gave some great tips on creating, managing, and growing our social media marketing.

“Get disoriented – get out of your comfort zone” –
Jordan Eshpeter

  • Get creative with your story-telling. People remember stories much more than being told or lectured to.  Everybody has a story to share.  Get creative, find a way to tell a story to invoke that chemical response within people.
  • Story-making.  It’s not just about story-telling but more so now than ever, story-making.  Find your champions who love what they do and empower them to tell stories about what you do.  Create opportunities through social to get people talking about you.
  • Have a strategy. If you’re going to blog – schedule it and be consistent.  If you have a newsletter (and, chances are, you probably should), stick to a schedule and again, be consistent with your brand and the needs of your audience.  If you are posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, stick with a schedule to keep you accountable.  If you need some help managing your time, here are some suggestions from the pro’s:
    1.) Hootsuite – Manage your social media channels in one place. Schedule posts, etc.
    2.) Contactually – Nurture key relationships all at the tips of your fingertips.
    3.) HubSpot – Ties together all key aspects of your online marketing in one location.
    4.) Buffer – Schedule posts on all of your social media networks.
    5.) Radian6 – Track and react to comments, questions, and complaints as they happen.
    6.) Lithium – Robust tool to build community, manage relationships, and respond quickly.
    7.) Mailchimp – Newsletter & E-mail campaigns.
    8.) Constant Contact – Newsletter & E-mail campaigns.
    9.) Google Analytics – Stats on the full customer picture across ads, videos, websites, and social tools.

Today’s Tips Brought to You by:

Tom Gierasimczuk
Randall Peters
Bosco Anthony
Kemp Edmonds
Michael Zipursky
Joshua Ludgate
Rebecca Coleman
Katt Stearns
Vicki McLeod

social media predictions 2014

VickiChick’s Top 5 Social Media Predictions for 2014

BY VICKI MCLEOD – THE TIMES January 16 – 2014 Having spent a goodly part of the recent holiday season ensconced in my pajamas, mouse and mincemeat in hand, cruising the Internet, here are my top predictions for social media trends in the upcoming year.

 1. Getting Social

If you aren’t already using social media for your business or brand, 2014 is the year you’ll jump in. Pundits are predicting that reluctant adapters will have no choice but to get social. Period. Social is here to stay and large brands already dominate the social landscape.  Businesses can no longer afford to avoid using social media as a significant part of their marketing mix. In 2014 small, home-based and micro-businesses will make the leap in big numbers. If you’re jumping into social, make room in your budget for it, whether it’s upgrading your hardware and software, hiring a consultant or allocating staff you’ll need some resources.

2. Facebook, Twitter and Linked In

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn will continue to be the three strongest platforms in 2014.  If you’re one of those businesses taking the leap, you’ll want to invest your online time and energy least one of these three. Recent changes to the Facebook algorithm mean that business page posts are not receiving the same visibility in the newsfeed as they were. Facebook ads are quickly replacing organic reach. Twitter is also increasing its paid reach options. That budget allocated for 2014? Save some for paid social.  Linked-In will remain the go-to platform for professionals and executives.

social media predictions 2014

 3. Instagram and Pinterest

In terms of what’s coming on strong in 2014, my money is on Instagram. It was the fastest-growing social media platform in 2013 and currently has more than 150 million users. Pinterest was the darling of 2013. Both of these platforms are all about the pretty pictures. Brands get to tell their stories visually, and we love it.  Instagram offers short-form video (3-15 secs), a response to the launch of  Twitter’s Vine app (6 secs) earlier in the year. Think visual, watch for more video to come, and implement an Instagram strategy.

4. Google +

Google + is two years old and has over 300 million users. This is the year that Google + is going to hit a tipping point. I don’t predict it will replace Facebook, its strongest competitor, but with features like Hangouts and Communities, it’s well worth creating a Google + profile and business page and taking it for a test drive.  Google also dominates search, which in itself is a good reason to have an active presence. Plus, you’re going to want to be there when the party starts.

5. Integration

This one might be more of a wish than a prediction, but I’m hoping that 2014 is the year that businesses really grasp the notion of social media as a way to integrate and build relationships and offer value. The power of the medium lies in its nature as an integrated ecosystem that enables us to connect to one another via numerous touchpoints. While the place we call the Internet is virtual, the relationships we create are real.  Here’s to a connected 2014!

Kids and Social Media Can Mix


Visit Rebecca and the other Social Chicks at http://www.facebook.com/ thesocialchicks

If you have been to a presentation on kids and social media, you have probably heard a lot of scary stories. Inappropriate comments, photos, revealing personal information and cyber bullying all come to mind.

Social media certainly can be used in negative ways by kids and teenagers, but it’s often their main method of communication with their friends, similar to talking on the phone when their parents were growing up. And like it or not, social media is not going away.

It’s important to remember that there are many positive ways that kids can connect and socialize online, and as parents, it’s our job to guide them to ensure this happens.

I have seen teenagers having conversations about political issues, alongside other comments like “Who wants to go to the movies?”

My son was able to quickly connect and get to know new friends at his new school last fall via Facebook, skipping the awkward getting-to-know-you phase.

When used thoughtfully, social media can be a great tool for kids to connect with others in their lives.

But, before you allow your child to open an account on a social media network, first consider if they are old enough.

Facebook’s rules technically do not allow children under the age of 13 to sign up for an account, but I challenge you to find many 11-and 12-year olds without one.

Also, decide whether your child is mature enough to understand the consequences of what they post and share online, and what some of that content might mean to them if it were made public, even years later.

If you choose to let your child join a social media network, here are a few safety tips:

1. Insist on knowing the passwords to their accounts, even if you don’t check them. No “secret accounts” allowed.

2. Open your own account and follow or friend your child, and check your account frequently.

3. Respect their space online. Don’t embarrass them by frequently commenting, tweeting, posting, or tagging them.

4. Talk about what is appropriate to post and what is not, and be sure to model this in your own Facebook posts.

5. Make sure they understand the permanence of what they post – even if they delete something, it is never gone forever, and can be resent elsewhere.

6. Talk about cyber bullying and what it means to be bullied, and what it means to be a cyber bully.

7. Clearly communicate consequences to irresponsible online behaviour.

The Social Chicks work with local agencies and businesses to teach them how to use social media and build their social media strategy.

Free monthly sessions on social media for business are held at the Chamber of Commerce serving Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. The next session will be Thursday, Aug. 30 at the chamber office, 22238 Lougheed Hwy. People can contact the chamber at 604-463-3366 for details.

– Rebecca Vaughan is a Maple Ridge communications and public relations consultant. Send questions to her and The Social Chicks at thesocialchicks.com.

© Copyright (c) Maple Ridge Times

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