Chasing The “Cool” (And Why It May Not Be Your Best Strategy)

Living in an ever-changing digital age has created a desire to capitalize on the next biggest and coolest thing. It is the objective of many brands to stay ahead of the curve and to consistently participate in the newest social media trend. In the race to “chase the cool,” people often ask themselves, "How do I accomplish the next big thing?" Perhaps the more appropriate question is: “Should I participate in the next big thing?”

Know Your Audience

When considering utilizing a specific social media platform it’s important to understand the demographic you are trying to target. Take Snapchat for example. I often have clients and brands inquire about using Snapchat due to its increasing level of popularity. Instead of asking “How can my brand use Snapchat?,” ask yourself “Why should my brand use Snapchat?” Let’s take a look at a few stats:

  • 71% of Snapchat users are under 34 years old
  • 45% of Snapchat users are between the ages of 18-24
  • 30% of US Millennial Internet Users use Snapchat regularly
  • 11% Reach of Total US Digital Population comes from Snapchat

From a quick glance it’s easy to ascertain that Snapchat caters to a younger audience. If you’re a company selling sit down showers for example, Snapchat is probably not the best way to advertise your product.

Establish Clear Goals

It’s important to first understand what you’re trying to accomplish with your brand as each social media platform will help you excel in different ways.

  • Are you a new company who’s trying to establish an online presence?
  • Are you a large corporation who needs to put an emphasis on customer care and relations?
  • Are you selling something?
  • What is the primary information you are trying relay to your fan base or customers?

Asking yourself these questions will help guide you towards the right social channel to ensure you are utilizing your time, money, and resources effectively. For example, if you’re a gourmet restaurant who frequently features unique dishes, Instagram may be the best platform for you. Or, maybe you’re a food truck always on the go, and a quick location update via Twitter is the best way to reach people.

Technological advances are a wonderful thing and while companies should certainly embrace new trends, they should be utilized for the right reasons.

Is Your Brand Cool or Warm?

Most social media platforms give users the options to apply filters to their photos upon uploading, but with so many filters now, it can be hard to decide which to use, if any.

Each photo can have a different feeling that you want to capture, and that affects how to treat the photo. There are aspects of a brand that should also influence the decision, especially when it comes to the temperature of a photo. The temperature refers to how much yellow (warmth) or blue (coolness) is present in a photo, and is a part of what is called white balance, which controls which colors are present in white areas. The temperature of a photo has one of the greatest impacts on an image and can greatly affect someone's impression of the picture. Warmer photos generally feel more inviting, cozy, and happy, while cooler photos feel clean and moody. When combined with other factors of white balance, photographers can create a lot of different effects, but for non-photographers experimenting, warmth and coolness is the best place to start.

Here is the same photo with different color temperature white balance. The circles below the photo shows what "white" actually is within the photo. You can see that small changes in the temperature can affect the photo's impression while still looking great.

Here is the same photo with different color temperature white balance. The circles below the photo shows what "white" actually is within the photo. You can see that small changes in the temperature can affect the photo's impression while still looking great.

The best way to work with photos is to start with a color corrected photo and then adjust the temperature or apply filters afterward. The reason for that is because a lot of digital cameras, phones included, don't necessarily adapt well to various lighting situations, so the out-of-camera photo might be too yellow or blue. If you apply a filter to a photo that hasn't been corrected, the effect might be too strong and over-do the color. You don't necessarily have to align every photo filter applied to your brand voice, but it is certainly something to keep in mind if your social channel uses a lot of photos. This thought process can also be applied to any photos on your website or in any marketing channel.

If you want your brand to be inviting, friendly, or anything in that vein, then using warmer photo filters is a good choice. If your brand is more emotional or modern, using cooler photos might be for you. For brands that are described as straight forward, honest, or clean, color accurate photos would be your best bet. As I mentioned before, when you utilize other colors you can get other feels such as vintage or fun. Read our previous post on some other filter styles and how to achieve them in the VSCO app! 5 VSCO Presets To Up Your Social Style 

Here is an even wider range of color temperature than the previous set. They all look great but all have a different vibe associated with each ranging from wintery all the way to opulent golden.

Here is an even wider range of color temperature than the previous set. They all look great but all have a different vibe associated with each ranging from wintery all the way to opulent golden.

If a photo is good, it doesn't always need a filter, but having a good photo also means that you can play with it more without worrying about going too far. Go have fun with your photos!

Getting Back to the Basics

I was recently asked, "What is Social Media Marketing? How do I get started?"

Social Media can be a scary term for many business owners, but it doesn’t need to be. At its core, the term refers to something business owners have been doing forever – building relationships to expand their client base. With all the sophisticated advice out there, these days everyone is a social media ‘expert.’

The truth is, there really is no one-size-fits-all social media strategy. It’s about time to stop this hype and get back to basics!

The 101

  • Know Yourself. Know your strengths, weaknesses, and what differentiates you from your competitors. Create a tone that is true to your brand identity. People want to know what you’re all about.
  • Give the People What They Want. Consumers turn to your brand for a reason. Always keep your audience in mind. Deliver what your audience wants from your content, whether they’re looking to get informed about your business, use your services, or are just seeking a quick bit of entertainment.
  • Be Open to Change. Social media is ever changing. What’s new tomorrow may be different from what you’re comfortable with today, but it might also be more effective. Updates are constantly being introduced to each social media platform and that means you can learn something new almost every day! Attend free seminars, read books, speak to your colleagues – after all, knowledge is power.
  • Show Your Fun Side. A sense of humor works better than a formal and conventional approach. What’s the last thing you clicked on or remember reading online? Whatever it was, I’m sure it was funny or original… that’s what works.
  • Keep it SIMPLE, Friends!

Social media has come a long way in the last 10 or so years, however, it is important not to lose sight of the basics. A clear understanding of the basic concepts of social media should always be kept in mind. Social media benefits people on a universal level. Part of its tremendous appeal is the fact that a person can establish a relationship with anyone they want, in any place around the world.

Bottom line, people want to feel appreciated, educated, and inspired. So get out there and start connecting!


 

Clips: Apple's Answer to Snapchat and Instagram?

With rising competition between Instagram and Snapchat, Apple has entered this space with an innovative creative camera app that goes about it in a different way. Apple's Clips app lets users film social videos and edit them by combining clips, adding photos and videos, and sharing on any social network. The end result is similar to Instagram and Snapchat videos with filters, titles, and emoji stickers but its key differentiator and perhaps where it will truly shine is that it is social media network agnostic. Whereas a video created in Snapchat can only be shared on that platform, videos created by Clips can be shared on any network including via text messages and iMessages.

Another innovative feature of Clips iOS the ability to record subtitles by speaking into your device. The app will even time the appearance of words on-screen to match the cadence with which you speak including emphasis and speed.

Clips also hopes to succeed by implementing a more traditional user experience design. We have all heard the cliche that nobody over the age of 30 understands how to use Snapchat and Apple is responding by what some people are calling Dadcore UX. As explained by Mark Wilson from Co.Design: "It’s not beautiful UI. It’s by no means subtle. And frankly, there are so many buttons on the Clips screen–with upper and lower menu bars!–that it’s hard to imagine anyone not being a little bit overwhelmed compared to alternatives like Instagram, or even Snapchat. But it is designed with a very specific purpose that plays to Apple’s strengths–a massive user base that, with the right instruction, could learn to use the internet in new ways, too."

Similiar to last year's release of iMessage Stickers, it will be fascinating to see how brands will take this new tool to create engaging marketing for their audiences.

 

Becoming a Commercial Drone Pilot: More Than Just Practicing in Your Backyard

I'm excited to announce that we’ve added a new tool to our already awesome repertoire at Thin Pig Media – a drone! The DJI Phantom 3 Professional to be exact. Equipped with a 4k camera and loads of cool features, the Phantom 3 will allow us to explore new ways of showcasing our clients and their products. Not to mention, it’s going to make my job way more fun than it already is!

But as I’m starting to dive further into this new venture I’m learning there is a lot more to becoming a “legal” drone pilot than just practice flights in my backyard.

The Regulations

As of June 1, 2016, the FAA finalized their regulations for the commercial flight of Small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS). The regulations were implemented on August 29, 2016, and brought with them a list of tasks that must be completed in order to obtain your commercial pilot's license.

According to the FAA first time pilots must:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test (Part 107) at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center
  • Be vetted by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA)

The Test

So what does the Part 107 test consist of? According to UAVCoach.com, the test includes questions about the following areas of flight:

  • Drone Flight Operations
  • National Airspace Systems (NAS)
  • Small UAS Loading and Performance
  • Drone Laws and FAA Regulations
  • Weather and Micrometeorology

There are 60 multiple choice questions which may require visual references, like airspace maps or charts. In order to pass, you must get at least 70% of the questions correct.

Drone Registration

Last but not least, you must also register your drone (if it weighs between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds). Registration details can be found here https://registermyuas.faa.gov.

Although this all may seem like a bit much for flying around a small drone to capture some video, these regulations and tests bring a bit of a legitimacy to a still young industry. Better training will also hopefully mean fewer accidents and fewer drones ending up in places where they shouldn’t be.

Now, it’s time to start studying!

Are you interested in doing a video at your company? Send us a message or give us a call and let us know how we can help!