Month: December 2015

Times Square Led Facebook Check-Ins Last New Year’s Eve

New York’s Times Square is the unofficial epicenter of New Year’s Eve celebrations, so it comes as no surprise that it led Facebook in check-ins last New Year’s Eve.

Facebook said in an email to SocialTimes that more than 40 million users indicated that they were traveling to or checked in to destinations outside of their home cities, and the top six were:

  1. Times Square, New York
  2. Central World, Bangkok
  3. London
  4. Kaohsiung World Games Main Stadium, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  5. Paris
  6. Dream Mall, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

The social network offered details on the top five spots from the more than 440,000 check-ins at Carnival in Brazil in 2015, adding that the 2016 edition is set for Feb. 5 through 10:

  1. Rio de Janeiro
  2. São Paulo
  3. Salvador
  4. Recife
  5. Praia do Forte, Cabo FrÍo

Finally, Facebook provided a list of the top six destinations checked into by European users traveling within Europe this past summer:

  1. London
  2. Paris
  3. Istanbul
  4. Barcelona, Spain
  5. Berlin
  6. Amsterdam

And the social network offered tips of how Facebook can be a valuable resource for users planning their next vacation:

Use Facebook Search to tap your network for destination ideas: You can use Facebook’s search functionality to browse posts from friends and pages you follow. Looking for a specific kind of vacation? Try phrases like “ski” or “beach” to see posts from friends of recent trips they’ve taken, or try something more specific—like “Hawaii”—to get ideas for specific attractions and travel guides from your favorite pages.

Get friend-fueled context on your next destination using City Guides: If you’ve already decided on a place to go, use Facebook’s City Guides to get ideas about what to do and see there. For each city, you’ll be able to see a list of popular attractions, recommended places to eat, upcoming local events, information about nearby cities and a list of friends who have been there, making it easy to instantly message them and pick their brain about their favorite spots.

Browse lists of local restaurants bars and hotels, organized by reviews from friends and others: Get ready to eat your way around your chosen destination by reading reviews and ratings of restaurants in the area. Each restaurant page on Facebook includes a reviews section at the top. There, you can browse star ratings and reviews from friends who have been there and glean some inside intel about what to order when you go (don’t forget to try the foie gras!). You can simply search with a phrase like, “Restaurants in San Francisco” or access a list of a city’s restaurants on its City Guides page.

Readers: Where will you be for New Year’s Eve?

Photo via

SocialTimes | RSS Feed

Health, Travel, Money Lead New Year’s Resolutions on Social Media

Digimind, a social media monitoring and analytics company, has monitored social media activity throughout the month of December to determine the most popular New Year’s resolution topics in the U.S. and around the world.

Digimind found the top three New Year’s resolution topics were health, travel and money, respectively. Breaking the data down by region, health was found to be the most popular New Year’s resolution topic in the U.S and Canada, as well as in Europe and the Middle East, while saving money was the most popular topic in the Asia Pacific, and travel was the No. 1 topic in Latin America.

Other popular New Year’s resolution topics included exercising more and eating healthier, quitting smoking or drinking and spending time with family, among others. This is in keeping with recent data from Sprinkr, which found Twitter and Instagram users also expressed an interest in quitting smoking and working out more often (among other goals).

Check out Digimind’s infographic below for more.

Readers: Do you have any New Year’s resolutions for 2016?

Digimind New Year's Resolutions

Top image courtesy of Visual hunt.

SocialTimes | RSS Feed

How to Effectively Use Remarketing (Infographic)

It seems that each year that passes brings some new forms of advertising that marketers can add as another tool in their arsenal.

These past few years have brought native advertising to the mainstream, which comedian John Oliver analyzed this past August:

Native advertising has taken hold online. Here’s an example from Buzzfeed:


This native advertising happens offline as well. You’ll find it in newspapers, magazines and hear it on the radio (it’s sneaky).

The web has also exploded with the growth of exit intent popups. Hover your mouse near the top of the browser to close or switch a tab and out of nowhere comes a near full page ad asking the visitor for something before they leave – typically an email address. Here’s an example, courtesy of


In recent years we have also seen the growth of retargeting. This purpose of this is to advertise to people who have previously visited a specific site.

For example, let’s say you visit today, place a few items in your cart, and leave. A few days later you’re browsing and see an Amazon advertisement with the products you put in your cart. You can then click the ad and are directed back to Amazon, and complete your purchase.

Sound like a new channel you’d like to test? Neil Patel of Quick Sprout has created an infographic to help you out. Whether you’re just diving into retargeting or have been around the block a few times and want a refresher on some of the principles.

How to Effectively Use Remarketing to Increase Your Revenue
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

Resources for Learning More

We’ve covered retargeting in the past, including a couple webinars:

You’ll also find some great content around the web:

If you’re going to dabble in retargeting, it’s important to measure the results. You can use Kissmetrics to measure and optimize all your marketing campaigns. I’ve written some articles about how to do this:

You can also request a personal demo of Kissmetrics to learn more.

About the Author: Zach Bulygo (Twitter) is the Blog Manager for Kissmetrics.

The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog

Snapchat for Business: A Guide for Marketers


Have you heard of Snapchat? Want to use it to connect with your customers? Snapchat is a mobile app that lets you send public or private snaps of images and video to people from your smartphone. In this article, you’ll discover how to use Snapchat‘s features to connect with your customers. The Snapchat Demographic Before […]

This post Snapchat for Business: A Guide for Marketers first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

#BeatlesOnSpotify: 442 Million Social Impressions and a Happy Social Reception

One of the biggest announcements for streaming music in 2015 came recently as The Beatles’ catalog became available to stream.

Spotify is one of the most popular places now hosting Beatles tunes, and social media users are very happy about this. Brandwatch tracked conversation and sentiment around The Beatles’ debut on Spotify, finding that (as of Monday afternoon), it had accumulated more than 95,000 mentions in the past week.

Aaron Goldman, CMO at 4C, told parent publication Adweek:

Putting aside the issues of monetization and intellectual property, streaming is the best way to reach a new young audience and ensure the Beatles music endures for future generations.

Brandwatch said that social sentiment is overwhelmingly happy, with 88 percent of sentiment-categorized tweets being positive. The hashtag #BeatlesOnSpotify, as of Monday afternoon, had generated more than 442 million impressions.

Here’s a closer look at the data around The Beatles’ launch on Spotify:

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 3.15.59 PM_BWThe official Twitter handles of Spotify and Google Play Music, another streaming host of The Beatles, generated the most impressions on Twitter.

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 3.18.35 PM_BWReaders: Have you listened to The Beatles on a streaming service?



SocialTimes | RSS Feed

Are You Creating Meaningful Content?

how to deliver beneficial results

Everyone’s creating all this online content, but does it matter?

More importantly, are you accomplishing your goals with the content you deliver, or are you simply spinning your wheels?

Well, if you’re doing it right, your content is highly effective and tightly tied to your ultimate business objectives. Otherwise, you’re just filling up space on an ignored web page.

Content marketing is the most effective and lucrative form of online marketing, because it not only works, it also builds a media asset at the same time. So it makes sense to understand exactly what makes content effective, right?

The key is meaning.

Effective content is meaningful

The simple definition of content marketing is giving away valuable information in order to sell something related.

Value is a function of perception. You want the people you’re trying to reach to perceive your content as valuable, even if people you’re not trying to reach perceive it as worthless.

This is an important point, even though it seems simplistic.

The snarling enemy of meaningful content is the urge to water it down for the lowest common denominator, in hope to either:

  • (A) Reach an unreasonably mass audience, or
  • (B) Not offend anyone

The result of that approach is content that means very little to anyone.

Meaningful content is an experience

As Sonia Simone has discussed over the years:

Content (what you say) without copywriting (how you say it) can be a complete waste of otherwise valuable information. But no matter how you say it, what you say has to have meaning to the right people.

Meaning is a function of what people believe before you find them. What people believe is how they view the world, and your content has to frame that view appropriately to be effective.

As a function of belief, meaning is derived from the context in which your desired audience views your content. From there, your content has to provoke a desirable reaction.

For example:

  1. Content: 10 Tips for More Productive Writing
  2. Context: Your ideal prospect believes productive writing is important
  3. Reaction: Your ideal prospect believes he can now write more efficiently

While everything we perceive is technically an experience, experiences begin to become meaningful at the reaction stage. It’s at that point that your content is good.

But is it great (meaning highly effective)?


Meaningful experiences involve action

A higher grade of experience involves active participation from that ideal prospect. So, beyond the belief that your advice is beneficial, your ideal prospect actually acts on your advice.

  1. Content: 10 Tips for More Productive Writing
  2. Context: Your ideal prospect believes productive writing is important
  3. Reaction: Your ideal prospect believes he can now write more efficiently
  4. Action: Your ideal prospect implements your productivity tips

The action taken can vary. It can be acting directly on your advice, sharing your content, buying your software that helps implement the advice, buying your book for more details, or hiring you as a personal productivity coach.

At this point, your content is truly meaningful and truly aligned with your objectives. There’s only one level that’s better.

The content holy grail: results

What’s better than action? It’s action that leads to beneficial results.

Now, this won’t happen with every piece of content. In fact, it’s safer to say that reader (or viewer or listener) results happen thanks to the totality of the story you tell over time.

But let’s look at it in its simplest form:

  1. Content: 10 Tips for More Productive Writing
  2. Context: Your ideal prospect believes productive writing is important
  3. Reaction: Your ideal prospect believes he can now write more efficiently
  4. Action: Your ideal prospect implements your productivity tips
  5. Result: Your ideal prospect is a more productive writer

It doesn’t matter whether or not you know about these results — you’ve now earned a true fan. Odds are, a true fan is going to tell someone.

That’s the fantastic last part of a cycle that repeats itself over and over in social media, all thanks to content marketing.

And all the while, you’re building a media asset on your own domain that has independent value beyond the cash flow you pull in every month.

You are building that asset, right?

Editor’s note: The original version of this post was published on January 12, 2011.

About the author

Brian Clark

Brian Clark is CEO of Rainmaker Digital, founder of Copyblogger, host of Unemployable, and evangelist for the Rainmaker Platform.

The post Are You Creating Meaningful Content? appeared first on Copyblogger.


The Miss Universe Design Fail and the Importance of Design


A short story on the importance of design.

Following the Miss Universe debacle, conversations continue to focus on Steve Harvey and his incredible mistake announcing “Miss Colombia” as the winner, then correcting himself two minutes later, saying Miss Philippines was the rightful winner. Aside from whether or not beauty pageants should still be a thing and why was it that Steve Harvey missed a good portion of the rehearsal, I wanted to turn the spotlight over to the importance of design.

Shortly after the incident, I published my thoughts on the UI of the cue card with an alternative proposed by Steve Garfield. Interestingly, it lead to an interesting series of news articles. I’m sharing here to document the event and also open up the conversations to your thoughts on design in our work, business, etc.

The Miss Universe Design Fail

This isn’t Steve Harvey ’s fault alone. Design is often underestimated and underappreciated. I think about how design in everything we do can change the future of everything.

It just starts with a shift in perspective and the courage to stand up and exclaim that yesterday’s standards hold us back from imagining or re-imagining tomorrow’s possibilities. Just think about parking signs, airline tickets, and ketchup bottles!

Everything and everyone can benefit from experience design

Connect with Brian on Social Media

Twitter: @briansolis
Facebook: BrianSolis
Facebook: TheBrianSolis
LinkedIn: BrianSolis
Youtube: BrianSolisTV

Experience is everything…my new book is finally available!


Brian Solis

15 interesting startups to watch in 2016


As we usher in another year, we brace for the next wave of innovation, disruption, consolidation, and dissolution. What will be the next big thing that everyone talks about? I’ve been asking around and looking at companies, trends, and what else is going on to put together the following list of startups worth watching in 2016.

As I’ve said in previous lists that I’ve done for 2013, 2014, and 2015, the selected companies were chosen because there’s a sense that something interesting, possibly even major, will happen to them sometime in 2016 — whether good or bad. Here they are in no particular order.


Nextbit Systems' Robin preorder

Though not yet available to the public, Nextbit is taking an interesting approach with its cloud-based smartphone, supposedly scheduled for release around the first quarter. The company has created an Android smartphone like those from Huawei, HTC, LG, and Samsung but with one big difference: It offers unlimited cloud storage. The idea seems to be that your data is always available, regardless of what device you’re on.

Right now, when you uninstall an app, all of that data is gone forever. But Nextbit’s syncing technology will let you “pause” the app so that the data is no longer transmitted but can easily be reinstalled. Nextbit has started accepting preorders for its inaugural mobile device, called Robin. It’s available for $ 400 and comes with a Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB of memory, a 5.2” 1080p IPS, a fingerprint scanner, a 13-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel front camera, and amplified dual speakers.

From VentureBeat

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Earlier this year, the company also debuted a product called Baton, aimed at helping developers explore the possibilities of this new cloud-syncing world.


2016 is an election year in the U.S., and there’s no shortage of issues on the table. For those interested in doing more for the democratic process than simply casting a vote, Brigade wants to help.

Started by Napster cofounder Sean Parker, Brigade has a platform that encourages civic action and empowers users to seek reform. In October, the company unveiled interactive ballot guides in San Francisco and in Manchester, N.H. to educate voters about ballot initiatives and candidates and to show users which of their friends had similar views or were supporting a particular cause, issue, or person.

As we approach the general election in November, it will be interesting to see how Brigade can mobilize armies of citizens to get out to vote.


YPlan homepage

Need to figure out what you want to do today or later this week? Have you given YPlan a try? This London startup launched in 2012 and has since expanded to New York (in 2013) and San Francisco (in 2014). Its event discovery service, which competes with WillCall, Sosh, and others, is hoping to build a $ 1 billion business that aggregates happenings from Eventbrite, Ticketmaster, Google, Timeout, and others.

Company cofounder Rytis Vitkauskas told VentureBeat’s Paul Sawers that YPlan is planning to launch “in bunches of cities at the same time, and it will be in partnership with other brands and large distribution partners that will help us get up to speed in terms of visibility.”

Vitkauskas suggested that YPlan may be looking at other verticals, including perhaps meals. Whatever its next move, the company is focused on areas that can help it reach that billion-dollar mark.


Fuse is promising to make collaboration between designers and developers easier. The company offers a tool, which recently became available to the public, that lets developers build apps similar to the way designers work in Photoshop, Sketch, or After Effects. It provides a “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG)-like editor that’ll work across various platforms. Fuse also offers real-time updating so developers don’t need to constantly output versions of their app to see how it runs — just one version will do for testing.


Operator homepage screenshot

Behold the proliferation of virtual personal assistants. Joining Siri, Google Now, Cortana, and Facebook’s M is Operator. Started by Uber cofounder Garrett Camp and former Zynga executive Robin Chan, the app launched in November but is not widely available.

Chan told Tech Insider that Operator is centered around three tenets: using messaging for purchases, managing a logistics layer for moving goods, and capitalizing on the ubiquity of smartphones. Type what you’re looking for in a text message — restaurant reservations, tickets to a show, a gift — and a human being will respond to help find what you’re looking for.

Operator will have to deal with scaling its business, as it relies on human beings to process requests instead of using artificial intelligence. In addition, the marketplace is filled with on-demand user services — even Facebook’s M is a mixture of AI and human work. Right now Operator, is only available on the iPhone, but once it becomes more widely accessible, we could see an Android version, and more.


One of two music services on this year’s list, DistroKid is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur Philip Kaplan. It’s a music-distribution service that helps musicians get their work on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon, and more than 150 other stores. Over 25,000 artists use DistroKid today, paying $ 19.99 a year.

After Pandora’s recent purchase of Rdio’s technology (for $ 75 million) and incorporation of some of its staff, the digital-music space could enter a transitional period that causes independent artists concern. It’s already difficult to get distribution without a major record label, and DistroKid wants to eliminate that frustration and help promote artists.

In 2016, we could start seeing major record labels paying more attention to DistroKid and other emerging music startups, perhaps through acquisitions.


Layer homepage screenshot

Layer brought forth its communication platform at an interesting time — just as messaging is growing in popularity, people want their real-time conversations to take place wherever they are. With Layer, developers can give their apps capabilities to let users talk with one another or incorporate a customer-service layer. And with its user interface kit, SDK, and API, there are many tools developers can choose from.

In 2015, the company launched to the public and created a fund aimed at investing in app businesses that build on top of its platform. It also rolled out a turnkey messaging platform and a user interface tool called Atlas.

We typically take photos through our smartphones, and the picture quality increases with each new model. Apple has been upping its camera technology with each release of the iPhone. But they still lack some features you get with a dSLR camera, particularly the quality of the different lenses. Yes, you can zoom with a smartphone camera, but the picture just doesn’t come out right. And what about arranging different compositions?

Light wants to take the joys you get from a dSLR camera and put them into a device the size of a smartphone. Last fall, the company announced its L16 product, priced at $ 1,699. It’ll start shipping sometime next summer. The camera will capture a moment in time by taking multiple focal lengths simultaneously and then fusing them together to create a single high quality image up to 52 megapixels in size.


Viv homepage screenshot

Started by some of Siri’s founders, Viv unveiled its artificial-intelligence ambitions in 2014, but its product has yet to appear. Viv is looking to take on Apple, Google, and Microsoft with an AI service it describes as “a global platform that enables developers to plug into and create an intelligent, conversational interface to anything.”

When Viv does emerge out of stealth, it will be interesting to see how developers receive the product. Most users already have a digital personal assistant built into their smartphones, whether it’s Google Now, Siri, or Cortana. Can Viv’s AI be opened more widely to businesses to harness greater AI powers than what’s currently on the market? And if Viv fulfills its promise, could it become a prime target for an acquisition by a tech giant? 2016 may answer these questions.


Burner provides disposable phone numbers, but the company is making the mobile app do more than send and receive calls and texts. In 2015, the company began giving developers more tools for its platform, starting with native integrations with Evernote, Slack, Dropbox, and SoundCloud. Soon after, it released a new option for developers to build their own custom integrations, in a step toward really opening up an ecosystem.

Burner aims to make your phone number a conduit for data so you can do much more with that unique identifier. How it will continue to fare against traditional telecommunication companies will be interesting to watch, especially as Burner is building up an assortment of custom, automatic integrations with other apps for users and developers to take advantage of.

Magic Leap

Magic Leap homepage screenshot

Augmented reality was a hot topic in 2015, with many speculating about the potential of Microsoft’s HoloLens, Atheer’s glasses for the workplace, and many others. One promising company, Magic Leap, recently announced it had raised $ 827 million for its unreleased product. Whether they’re used for games, industrial hands-free work, or personal enjoyment, Magic Leap’s devices will likely offer a whole new perspective on the world. The thing is, no products have really been made available for public consumption so far. That could change with Magic Leap next year.


LiveList functions as the equivalent of the TV Guide for livestreamed events, allowing fans to follow their favorite artists online. Launched in late 2015, the service focuses more on professional livestreams, but perhaps the company will start adding in user-generated content like that found on Meerkat, Periscope, or Facebook Live.

In chatting with the company, one of the things that came across was this notion of changing the music experience. Livestreaming will likely become a popular distribution tool for artists, whether they have a record label or not. Events like Coachella are already doing professional streaming, but what about individual artists such as Adele, Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Roem Baur, or independent artists that want to offer fans a continued experience well after they leave a concert?

At first glance, a listing service for livestreaming may seem like the equivalent of Yahoo’s Video Guide app, but there’s additional potential for the service, such as offering fans various vantage points when they stream concerts in their living rooms or making merchandise and music tracks sales directly from the livestream. The question for 2016 is: Can LiveList realize that potential?


DroneDeploy homepage screenshot

Drones have become so commonplace that the Federal Aviation Administration recently enacted regulations requiring these unmanned aerial devices be registered. But that hasn’t stopped companies from exploring the potential of commercial usage — just look at Amazon. DroneDeploy creates software for these vehicles, providing aerial mapping. Users can get data outputs without having to wait for hours.

The company raised $ 9 million last year and moved its platform out of beta. In doing so, it’s making drones more accessible to industrial companies that may want to legitimately use DroneDeploy’s technology to help their business with tasks like surveying land or inspecting property.


You may not have heard about 3Scan, but its market could matter to you. The company has upgraded the task of analyzing cells and tissues from analog to digital technology and is modernizing the way doctors, researchers, and biotech companies examine tissues. 3Scan provides digital renderings of biopsies and other tissue samples in 2D and 3D through the use of its Knife Edge Scanning Microscope. The company has raised more than $ 7 million in funding over the past four years from the Thiel Foundation, Data Collective, Dolby Family Ventures, SK Ventures, and others.


Little is known about Crew32, the newest startup from Jason Nazar. The company is focused on the small business service industry and has already raised $ 5.2 million. Nazar’s previous venture, DocStoc, was a document-sharing service that Intuit acquired two years ago before shuttering it in 2015. Nazar took to Facebook soon after the shutdown to explain the reasoning behind Intuit’s actions, stating that despite his best efforts, “I got hit with resistance at every turn.”

Besides Nazar, the company counts BetterWorks cofounder George Ishii and cofounder Yadid Ramot as cofounders on the team.

Not all of these companies are going to be guaranteed breakouts in 2016, but there’s something intriguing about each one. If nothing else, they are certainly worth watching, as it’s our opinion that they’ll have some major news sometime in the next 12 months.

More information:

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Happy High-Converting Holidays from Unbounce [VIDEO]

Unbounce holiday video

When you think of Unbounce, a few key things probably come to mind: landing pages, A/B testing, #CTAConf, exceptionally good looking people (okay, maybe not that one). But what about — dun, dun, dun — Canadian?

Yep, Unbounce is proudly Canadian, with headquarters in Vancouver, British Columbia and a satellite office in Montreal, Quebec. Move over, Silicon Valley, there’s a new tech hub in town… Icicle, err, Mountain Range. (Excuse the dad joke.)

In addition to wishing you a happy, high-converting holiday, we’re here to dispel and reinforce some Canadian stereotypes, including:

  • We are cold. Like, all the time.
  • We don’t live in igloos. I mean, that would be super cool, but where would we charge our smartphones?
  • We do wear an obscene amount of plaid. It is fashionable after all.
  • We don’t drink maple syrup. Because that would result in another Canadian stereotype: We all have diabetes.

But there’s more! So without further ado…

If you’re running campaigns and need to get a hold of us during the holidays; we’re offering email support during our office closure! Simply shoot an email to and the lovely peeps in Customer Success will get back to you. Check out our hours below:

December 26 – December 27

December 28 – December 31

January 2 – January 3

December 25 & January 1

And while we love delighting you all year long, we’re taking a little break from our regular publishing schedule to spend some time with our loved ones. But don’t fret, we’ll be back in action come the New Year.

So happy holidays, from the Great White North! And may you be blessed with conversions galore this holiday season!


Why Your Brand Should Invest in Blab

Humanize with Livestream Blab-01

Marketers have seriously started directing their attention to live streaming—and for good reason. According to Nielsen, in 2014, time spent consuming digital video increased by more than 50% in all age groups. Simultaneously, Nielsen saw either no change or a decrease in time spent in front of the television.


Earlier this year, Meerkat and Periscope were welcomed into the live-streaming social space with an array of media attention, while Blab was quietly and quickly shaking things up. Founded in spring 2015 by the team responsible for the relaunch of Bebo—a visual social messaging platform scheduled for re-release in early 2016—Blab has been proving itself as a valuable tool for brands interested in entering the live-streaming space.

What Is Blab?

Blab is a live-streaming app focused on facilitating group discussions. A combination of up to four hosts can be featured in Blab’s live-video chat forum, organized in “Brady Brunch” fashion, with an unlimited amount of viewers tuning in. During the broadcast, viewers are able to connect with hosts through chat and can be invited into the video broadcast as a guest if space permits.


Blab for Brand Building & Increased Social Engagement

Blab allows companies the opportunity to have direct, face-to-face conversations with their audiences. The platform’s unique format can bring together multiple company stakeholders, organizational leaders and brand ambassadors for live, in-depth discussions. For enterprise and legacy brands in particular, this level of transparency and real-time interaction can help strengthen brand loyalty.

Engagement is also high. In fact, according to Blab’s CEO, the average time spent on the platform is 64 minutes, putting it in direct competition with TV, Netflix and other mainstream broadcast services. Heavy use presents an opportunity for enterprise brands to invest early, build trust and attract new leads within a growing, active and engaged audience.

Blab Best Practices

A brand’s business objectives and social voice should always influence how to approach Blab. Still, there are a few best practices to keep in mind.

1. Focus Your Topic

First and foremost, you want to drive value by establishing a clear topic for your series. Give your Blab series a concise name that clearly communicates your focus. Reinforce your topic with a related, custom hashtag. Promote your Blab hashtag on the channels that make sense, especially Twitter, which directly integrates with Blab.

Your angle should connect to your brand’s offerings, align with the interests of your audiences and strike the right balance between being seen as an expert and not being too exclusive. For instance, a hotel chain with a sustainability focus might launch a show entitled “Green Travel” (#GreenTravel) to discuss all things related to eco-friendly vacations.

2. Choose the Right Hosts

Leave at least one of Blab’s four host spots open so that you can cycle in guests or viewers of your show. This open space lets you to take advantage of what makes Blab unique while helping round out your brand’s expertise. One of the hosts should be an employee of your organization, to support your advocacy efforts, while the other host might be an industry partner, social influencer or media personality.

Consider who makes the most sense for your brand. But also invite interested individuals to do a test run. It might surprise you who comes to life the most when the camera is rolling—and who suddenly becomes shy. Also, avoid solo broadcasts, which can easily turn into a monologue.

3. Train Your Talent

Before a live broadcast, you want to make sure your hosts are camera ready. If you choose the right personalities, this will be much easier, but anyone can benefit from media training, and everyone should at least be apprised of your key brand messages.

That said, live streaming is at its best when it seems natural, so don’t let these brand guidelines overwhelm your talent. Simply empower your people to have a productive conversation.

4. Select a Unique Format

You want to seriously consider the structure of each show. Interviews are the default for most Blabs, which is why your team should consider some others ways of packaging your content to help stand out from the crowd.

Consider focusing the format of your Blab series around:

  • customer service hour to provide real-time feedback to your audience (Note: This idea requires extensive training and planning to avoid potential issues in communicating directly with a dissatisfied customer.)
  • A community Q+A session where viewers ask questions on air or in the comments to a particular guest or about the subject at hand
  • Company events that can add dimension by bringing in attendees and featured speakers
  • A game show setup where the discussion is turned into an audience activity with the potential to win prizes
  • An experts panel to provide varying perspectives on a particular topic, similar to a roundtable at a conference
  • Training sessions around your products or services
  • Your other content, repurposed from your blog, podcast and elsewhere, so that you’re not reinventing the wheel and instead maximizing all your marketing efforts

5. Follow a Schedule

Finally, set a schedule, and stick to it. Consistency is key when it comes to branding. In a Blab series, it establishes an ongoing cadence with your audience so that people know when to tune in and what to expect in terms of topics that might be covered.

When deciding how often to live stream your Blab series, determine what capabilities your team has to execute and maintain a daily, weekly or biweekly show. We recommend the frequency being no less than every other week to ensure you are consistently reaching your audience; otherwise, it will be easy for viewers to forget about your program.

Blab On

Now that you’re familiar with Blab and the platform’s best practices, it’s time for your brand to start engaging with its audience through live-stream video. In November, Sprout Social took the plunge and hosted its first Blab in coordination with a #SproutChat dedicated to navigating the platform.

You can follow Sprout on Blab here. Meanwhile, as your brand begins to incorporate Blab into its social strategy, share what best practices you discover in the comments below.

This post Why Your Brand Should Invest in Blab originally appeared on Sprout Social.

Sprout Social