Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJune 3, 2019
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2min838

Brands have been urged to pay attention to the rise in popularity of Instagram among consumers noted for being ahead of the curve when it comes to tastes in technology.

A survey was carried out at the recent MCM London Comic Con and the recently published results show that 43 percent of attendees said they would choose Instagram over other social media platforms. This was up from 28 percent who selected the photo-sharing platform as their first pick at the previous MCM London Comic Con last October.

Pop culture fans, such as these MCM London Comic Con attendees, are cited as early adopters of popular tech habits.

Facebook, meanwhile, is now the first choice for 33 percent of attendees, with twitter (16 percent) and Snapchat (just four percent) trailing behind, according to the poll of 1,167 fans carried out by marketing agency Experience12.

Chris Whittle, Founder and Managing Director at Experience12, said: “Fans who attend Comic Con are by and large early adopters when it comes their content consumption habits, which is why speaking with them on the ground at the show is always a really interesting litmus test for upcoming trends.”

The 2019 UK Digital Experience Awards will take place in London this July. Click here to book your table.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthApril 16, 2019
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3min1030

The number of customers who place high importance on the ability to discover and purchase directly through social media platforms has risen by 38 percent in a year, new figures reveal.

The annual Shopper Experience Index, published by Bazaarvoice, involved a survey of more than 2,000 consumers across the UK, US, France and Germany. One-third of UK customers now believe the ability to discover and buy products is of critical importance to their experience of social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

This comes in the wake of Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement of a shift in focus for Facebook, moving from the News Feed to encrypted, ephemeral messaging – or as he put it, “from the town square to the living room”. Meanwhile, the data has emerged as cosmetics retailer Lush announced it was to close its UK social media accounts to instead focus on channels including live chat

The new report also gathers insights from 500 of Bazaarvoice’s clients globally. Of the UK brands and retailers surveyed, 91 percent agreed that visual content makes for a more engaging shopping experience. Moreover, respondents also referenced additional benefits, such as enhanced discoverability (86 percent), deepened brand trust (77 percent), and increased conversion (73 percent).

Another recent evolution in Mark Zuckerberg’s conglomerate saw Instagram add in-app checkout as part of its big push into shopping, offering brands a huge opportunity to release a visually rich customer journey entirely based in the app.

Importantly, visual content created and shared through social platforms carries huge value to brands in the wider ecosystem. Twenty-seven percent of UK-based clients reported featuring visual content from social media on product pages, and more than half (53 percent) say they plan to in the near future.

Discussing the findings, Joe Rohrlich, CRO of Bazaarvoice, said: “The retail landscape has continued to shift over the last year, as modern consumers seek unique shopping experiences, new engagement and purchase channels, and an increased level of brand and product transparency and authenticity. Brands and retailers that recognise these evolving preferences and deliver informative, interactive experiences online and offline can both retain their existing customers and attract new ones.”


David WhiteDavid WhiteApril 16, 2019
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4min894

High street cosmetics mainstay Lush recently raised eyebrows by announcing it was quitting its social media channels in the UK.

According to the firm, 16 percent of its social media mentions were negative, a number sure to increase now that the company is no longer operating its Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.

“Increasingly, social media is making it harder and harder for us to talk to each other directly. We are tired of fighting with algorithms, and we do not want to pay to appear in your newsfeed,” a Lush spokesperson said.

“So we’ve decided it’s time to bid farewell to some of our social channels and open up the conversation between you and us instead.”

The world of social media can be a harsh, competitive, dog-eat-dog environment for brands and publishers. New algorithms implemented by social media platforms now mean that posts from friends and families are prioritised on your newsfeed, leaving brands and publishers in the dark and left with no option but to pay to get their content seen.

So why have brands started to see less social organic reach? This all started in the January 2018 when Mark Zukerberg changed Facebook’s algorithm, stating: “With this update, we will also prioritise posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.”

The impact this had on brands’ organic social reach was astronomical, and it was undoubtedly a smart move by Facebook (which also owns Instagram), which used its power to force businesses to pay them more.

Meanwhile, recent research from Statista revealed that social media marketing spend has increased year-on-year – a number not likely to reduce anytime soon given these changes:

So, a smart move for Facebook, but is this a smart move for Lush? The answer, in my opinion, is no.

Lush had built up a loyal following of over one million followers, a following which they could use in any upcoming marketing campaigns or for messages they want to convey. It’s important to remember that social media is as much as a customer service channel as it is a sales channel.

Customers who want to air their frustrations will do it, and they will most likely do it on social media. The fact that a brand would choose to ignore this is concerning to say the least.

It might be that 16 percent of Lush’s social mentions were negative, but if ignored this number could dramatically increase and cause serious brand reputation problems.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthApril 10, 2019
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3min791

The axing of UK social media accounts by cosmetics giant Lush could lead to more retailers turning their backs on the channels and embracing live chat, it is predicted.

The high street favourite, which has over half-a-million followers on Instagram, over 400,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook, and over 200,000 followers on Twitter, has urged customers to contact them only by email, phone, or through its website via a live chat system.

The move is the result of the firm being “tired of fighting with algorithms”, and a spokesperson said: “We don’t want to limit ourselves to holding conversations in one place, we want social to be placed back in the hands of our communities – from our founders to our friends.”

However, Lush North America has confirmed its social media channels would remain in operation, while the UK company has said it will look at a new approach to social media communication through use of hashtags and influencers.

The decision has been described as a “bold move” by Sandra Schroeter, the Senior International Product Marketing Manager at LogMeIn, who said it was in line with current consumer trends.

“It also highlights the many benefits of choosing live chat to support customer engagement,” she said.

“In fact our recent survey found that 71 percent of businesses believe online chat with either a human agent or a chatbot will be among the most common channels used by customers in three years’ time. Live chat enables retailers and businesses alike to respond to customer queries with speed and in real-time. Perhaps more importantly, it enables businesses to own the conversations and speak to customers directly.”

She added: “Lush’s bold move in the UK should inspire more retailers to embrace live chat to connect with customers more directly.”


Tayyab AkhlaqTayyab AkhlaqMarch 27, 2019
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19min791

When it comes to barriers to success that women face in the workplace, low confidence can be a major factor.

All too often, women can find a lack of self-belief gets in the way of them thriving in the workplace.

The employee needs to be their own cheerleader, but it helps for management to encourage their workforce to come out of their shells and drive their careers forward. Plus, people working harder or better helps your bottom line.

So, how do you do that? We at retailer Public Desire looked at social media data to help answer the question, creating a map of Instagram Capitals of Confidence. This included finding out which UK cities saw women feeling most positive and confident in the workplace, and speaking to female entrepreneurs to find out how they’ve been able to thrive. 

Where businesswomen are finding confidence

Social media hashtags like #success and #career are a good indicator of how people feel about their work. We looked at which cities see the highest use of these hashtags compared to the number of people living there, pinpointing where people are feeling the most positive about their careers.

When it comes to #success, London saw the highest use of this hashtag, followed by Bournemouth, and then Brighton.

Ranking

City

Number of posts

Number of posts as % of population

1

London

253963

0.03360677

2

Bournemouth

3300

0.020171149

3

Brighton

2188

0.015740894

4

Manchester

5104

0.012904694

5

Birmingham

4452

0.00452286

6

Leeds

1788

0.003928608

7

Bristol

1409

0.00327132

8

City of London

18997

0.002513862

9

Liverpool

655

0.001396752

Posts with #career suggest that people are so happy at work they’re willing to shout about it on their personal channels. Peterborough racked up the highest uses of this hashtag, followed by Liverpool and then Leeds.

Ranking

City

Number of posts

Number of posts as % of population

1

Peterborough

45782

0.326685267

2

Liverpool

16035

0.034193775

3

Leeds

14756

0.032422005

4

Manchester

8996

0.022745029

5

Cardiff

6201

0.020523666

6

Southampton

4027

0.016356554

7

Birmingham

4676

0.004750425

8

Glasgow

2136

0.003500102

9

London

15001

0.001985073

10

City of London

1976

0.000261483

The question is, what is it that drives this positive thinking and how can this be applied to the workforce? We spoke to several female entrepreneurs to find out.

Collaboration is key

Collaboration among women is key to female success. Erin Thomas, founder of online community Making Mumpreneurs, explains how women working together can boost confidence.

She said: “The challenges we face are often down to mindset – low confidence, being too self-critical, and a fear of failure. I think these can be overcome the more you surround yourself with like-minded female entrepreneurs.”

Similarly, Louise Deverell-Smith, founder of online platform Daisy Chain, which connects parents with childcare-friendly employers, explained how women can be good at lifting each other up. She said: “I do find that women love to help other women… there is a real sisterhood vibe in business with women.”

Meanwhile, Stud & Tassel founder Emily Straw spoke about how working alone can be a downside.

“Working independently definitely brings its own challenges and I sometimes wish I had someone to bounce ideas off and share in the success,” she said.

For business owners and managers, this means that encouraging collaboration between your female employees and creating a culture of positive reinforcement could boost confidence among your workers and bring a positive attitude to the company.

Send your workers to female-focussed events

To encourage collaboration among your female employees, consider sending them to events and groups for women, where they can meet like-minded professionals, learn from their peers, and give each other encouragement.

Certainly, the amount of events like this could be part of the reason why London ranked highly for hashtags that showed confidence among businesspeople. Emily Straw said: “There are always female-focused events to attend and I have personally found value in learning from the success of other women while making new friends.”

Similarly, Erin Thomas praises the community in Bournemouth too. “There are lots of women in business networking opportunities, which makes me feel right at home,” noted Erin.

“I find the small business community here incredibly supportive, positive and collaborative.”

Yet there is more that can be done than simply encouraging women to help each other. Changes within the way your business works can help too.

Allow flexible working

With many businesswomen juggling family commitments with full-time work, flexible working can be a huge support. Again, this is another thing that could explain the social media trend towards success in London. Louise Deverell-Smith agrees, adding: “I think having Sadiq Khan as our mayor of London is fantastic as he is often talking about flexible working and helping working parents – which is our focus at Daisy Chain.”

What this shows is that giving working mums room to manoeuvre will encourage them to stay in your company, which also nurtures a drive to thrive and a positive outlook on your business.

Create a social media buzz

The businesswomen we spoke to cited social media for the positive impact it has had on their careers, both for offering a platform for them to talk about their successes and to strike up a conversation with your customers.

Managing Director at Brighton Gin, Kathy Caton said: “Instagram has let us show the outside world the genuinely small-batch, craft nature of what we do, and with personality too. One of the things I love about social media is we can have direct conversations with our end customers and them with us without going through gatekeepers.”

Similarly, Managing Director at BC Beauty, Maria Lloyd, added: “We have our own Facebook group where women can interact, ask each other questions and so on. From looking at that, I see nothing but women supporting each other and celebrating each other’s successes. It makes me very proud to see!”

Empowering female employees is vital for utilising all the expertise and abilities available in your workforce. Making moves to inspire the women in your workplace to collaborate, getting them to network with their peers and helping them juggle their home life with their working life will give them a much more positive outlook about themselves and your company.




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