Posted on Leave a comment

2021 Social Media Trend Forecast

As we enter a new year, there is much anticipation about the upcoming trends for Social Media + Marketing. From Planoly announcing new updates, Pinterest launching exciting new features + every expert sharing their predictions. Whilst our thoughts won’t cover everything (the Marketing world is endless, as many of us know!) we have compiled our top five trends which we think will be at the forefront of Social this year.

5. Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing has secured its place in the business models of household brands and this is only set to increase in 2021. However, to our delight, this trends has developed to include ‘nano-influencers’. For reference: nano-influencers have from 1,000-10,000 followers. Brands that take the time to focus on influencers with a smaller audience are getting it right! Food for thought: often nano-influencers have a tight-knit relationship with their audience, a higher engagement rate and are more likely to work with brands they genuinely have a passion for and they are incredible for cost-efficiency.

If you are a Content Creator or an Influencer and you are looking to spend more time developing your Influencer Marketing strategy, we would recommend placing a real focus this year into creating high quality. This stems from an interesting and aesthetically pleasing grid + consistent posts. Brands ultimately look for Content Creators who have an ethos, or an authentic tone of voice – being real is the near filter. 

Accounts we love to follow are @megankatemarchant, @househomo {who we had the absolute pleasure of interviewing}, @dralexgeorge and so many other fabulous individuals.

4. In-App Shopping

Falcon described it as ‘the rising-tide of social eCommerce’ as we are seeing an acceleration of eCommerce by 5 years since lockdown began. The rise of eCommerce is forcing brands to take to Social Media as a must when selling their products. 

A majority of us already find online shopping incredibly easy… yet with Facebook and Instagram introducing Native Checkout, there will no longer be a need to leave the app + shop via the brand’s website. With a combination of Apple Pay, we will be able to place orders + finish checkout right on our social channels – a feature predicts to challenge Amazon!

As well as ensuring your Social Shops are set up + working well, Hyper-Personalisation has come key. Reading your insights + understanding what you audience wants is crucial – using the data you collect to target your audiences more efficiently. 

3. Educational Content

Become the expert in your field. It’s no longer enough to simply provide a product or service in 2021. To stand out, consumers need to think of you as an expert in your field; they need to be able to come to you for advice, teachings and incredible excellent customer service. 

But, how do you achieve this? By creating online content tailored to your consumer audience  – this may include top tips, trends, techniques and everything in between. 

Example: the beauty industry is setting an example; with brands collaborating with popular Content Creators, celebrities and experts to create online masterclasses, mini-tutorials and top tips Reels. By doing so, elite beauty brands who have often lacked a personal touch, have now been able to gather engagement from an involved audience and personalise the band experience for the first time. 

2. Micro-Blogging

Micro-Blogging has risen in popularity since the creation of TikTok and shows no signs of slowing down. For reference: Micro-Blogging refers to the act of creating concise posts with the main aim of interacting with an audience. They are often short, targeted and fast-to-read. Great to read whilst in the queue, on-the-move or as part of your lunch break.

Content ideas include behind the scenes footage {gold dust for authenticity!}, ‘a day in the life of’, and consequently achieving a personalised approach to social media – we have waved goodbye to the filter perfect photos + brands, relying now on a true reflection of the team behind the brand. As a result, we begin to see thriving engagement rates which is the end goal after all!

1. Reels

We’ve said it before and we will say it again, Reels!

Social Media experts have expressed that Instagram Reels are currently the most efficient way to boost your page, increase your page visibility and avoid the algorithm punishing you.

It is important to note however, that this is due to the fact that Reels are Instagram’s latest posting feature. Ideally, Instagram would have you posting a Reel daily but for those with other priorities this can be excessive and unmanageable; we would recommend trying one or two a week just to help give yourself that well-needed boost.

Top tip: stay creative, authentic + showcase exactly how your products can help others.

— — 

We would love to know how you get on whilst trialling our top tips, we would love to hear about your successes. As always, if you do want to try out these trends but don’t have the capacity or vision, we would love to help. Get in touch.

Posted on Leave a comment

Shake off the Lockdown funk | Y&M Productivity Hacks

In a time where the world is upside down and we all have a need to look at our businesses in a new way, evaluating the way we work can help us be more effective and our days more efficient.

We are all working in new ways and harder than ever before to ensure our business is successful during such a difficult time – but are we productive? How many of us can spend a full day being busy, but get to the end of the day and wonder…. what we have actually achieved?

If we continue to work in the same way – can we expect to see different results? Here’s our top productivity hacks to help ensure your working time is productive.

1 ~ Stop Multitasking

Whilst it may seem more efficient to do multiple things at once, are you really making progress with the task you are attempting to do? Or are you even doing them well?

Studies have shown that multitasking can actually decrease your productivity by up to 40%. So although it may feel you are ticking off some of your to-do list, none of it was given 100% of your focus and expertise – which may actually cost you more time in the future if you have to go back and redo some of this work. Research has also shown that when those who multitask try to focus on one thing – they are actually work less efficiently than those who rarely attempt to multitask.

This is one of the best, yet most difficult, habits to break. As soon as it feels that time is short – the habit of multi tasking is so easy to slip back into. But having the right tools and a team around you who understand the false-efficiency of this habit, you will be able to focus on individual tasks and ticking off your to do list with confidence.

2 ~ Set a goal each day 

To forget about multitasking, you have to retrain your mind to concentrate on single tasks.

This goes against everything our busy, digital lives encourages us to do but the solution to this problem also lies in the same digital tech that exacerbates it. There are a variety of  productivity apps to help organise your workflow and keep focused on the task at hand. These tools encourage you to set a single goal for each working day, which constantly reinforces the idea of focusing on individual tasks. You can break daily goals into multiple tasks or work sessions, where you’ll only work on that specific task {and nothing else} for the allocated time.

That way … there’s no time left for multitasking!

3 ~ Identify your most important tasks and set a schedule

Before your day starts, whether it’s the first thing in the morning or the night before, create a plan of attack for the day. Start by writing down your tasks that are already scheduled for a specific time, such as your working hours, meetings, doctors’ appointments, etc. Take the time to prioritise the top three tasks for the day. Be clear with what you write and use more than a three-word description.

For example, ‘research Social trends’ is bad. Instead, use  ‘Research the new Instagram algorithm to boost our organic engagement’. This will prevent you from drifting to semi-related tasks that don’t actually accomplish anything.

Then see how you can effectively fill in the rest of the time. Write each task that you want to get completed into your schedule so there is no question what you’re doing next once something has been completed. This will take out any of the guesswork as you move through your day and prevent you from accidentally wasting time because it hadn’t been assigned to anything.

4 ~ Take regular breaks

Building regular, short breaks into working time increases focus and productivity. Studies have shown this gives your mind a chance to recover from intense focus but you have to be smart about how you spend your downtime. Your instinct might be to open Facebook or Instagram but this digital onslaught of content doesn’t allow your mind to truly switch off.

To maximise the benefit of each break, it helps to avoid anything that’s mentally taxing in any kind of way. This is especially true for short breaks where you’re going to have to get back to work in a matter of minutes. For a five-minute break to actually count, you’re going to want to avoid anything that divides your attention, involves any decision-making or requires concentration.

Your mind is hard at work during each session and now you want to focus as little as possible. The best thing you could do is zone out completely and think of nothing or meditate to relax your mind and body. Another good option is to do some yoga or stretches while keeping your mind clear, giving yourself a cognitive break but also an important physical break from sitting down.

While regular, short breaks are important to keep you fresh and focused, don’t skimp on taking a longer break during the day – typically the lunch hour. A longer break allows you to fully unwind and to take a 30 minute walk around outside, or a 20-minute nap, and sit down and eat a proper meal away from your desk. These are all essential activities for overall health and wellbeing, which will spill over positively into your work.

5 ~ Block distracting apps and websites

Research has shown that the average digital worker can’t go more than 6 minutes without checking their email or instant messaging. The digital nature of our work and social lives leaves us constantly checking for notifications and this constant distraction hampers our ability to focus on tasks for even short periods of time.

There are a number of website and app blocker tools on the market. You can create a list of apps and websites which will automatically be blocked during working sessions. You can even prevent notifications coming through during work hours and they’ll automatically come in once the session has finished. Don’t be afraid to use that ‘do not disturb’ function on both your phone and your email.

6  ~ Create a dedicated workspace

This one has never been more relevant than in recent times if you are working from home or remotely. Don’t just sit on the couch or at the dinner table – create a dedicated workspace where you can go to work and then leave it once you’re done.

If you’re working from home, take advantage of the space you have to create a home office dedicated for work and nothing else. You are creating a productive environment to have a productive day and keep it organised. Keeping an orderly work space will make you more efficient and calm. A self-imposed clean desk policy is a good place to start!

7 ~ Know when to say no. 

For some people saying no is hard, but if you really want to elevate your productivity levels then you can’t let people dictate your day.  Often we can take on more than we are able to do – whether that’s time physically or mentally. Others people’s requests do not have to take priority over our own workload.

8 ~ Tame your email inbox

Set aside time each day to check your emails. We could spend all day responding to emails as they come in, monitoring all of the notifications and adding tasks to our day. The ‘Four Hour Working Week’ suggests only checking your email for half an hour twice a day, once in the morning and once at night.

Ask yourself – does this email need my attention or is this just for information? In the digital world we live in, most of the communication we receive is via email – but is it all necessary? How many emails do you receive a day where you are copied in to a conversation that does not need your time and energy when trying to be more productive? Ask you team to copy you into less emails, but also think… do you need to copy people into your email? Could the conversation be more effective if done over the phone.

Once you have actioned an email – move it! Whether that be to another folder if you need to refer back to it or just hit that delete button – having a clear inbox makes us feel less overwhelmed with the thought of tasks yet to be done. There is also that sense of achievement when you look at a clear inbox.

9 ~ Keep a pen and pad nearby

Memories are notoriously unreliable and distracting thoughts can ruin concentration for the task in hand.  If you try and remember everything you need to do, you’re going to end up with a lot of unfinished tasks. Don’t take the risk, write down everything you need to remember. 

Doing this will remove that thought from your mind and you can get back to what you’re doing. Keeping a pen and pad works just fine, but feel free to use an app on your smartphone to do this. It’s really your preference. At the end of the day, go through this list of thoughts or tasks and move them to the relevant place – maybe tomorrow’s to do list?

Keep focused. Have a break. Share your Productivity Hacks with us.

Written by our Guest Author, Debbie Coates.

Posted on Leave a comment

Content is King: Our 5 Best Kept Secrets

With social media taking the world by storm, I thought it was only fair that we share a few of our top tips when it comes to creating content on your favourite social platforms; ideal for those of you who are just starting out within the ever changing world of social media.

Secret One: Arguably one of the most important concepts is to keep your content at the basis of every post.

What do we mean by this? Think image resolution, feed aesthetics, use of colour and most importantly – does it fit the brand?

Secret Two: It isn’t essential for you to know everything when it comes to creative design and the confusing software which presumptively comes hand in hand.

Navigating programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator and the likes, takes a LOT of practice, can be tiresome and this method doesn’t work for everybody.

I recommend taking a look into what the AppStore can offer, in today’s day and age we have access to so many incredible creative programs – a lot of which are free (WIN!).

My top picks that we swear by at You and Me Collective have to include:

  • “Canva” – Create branded flyers, logos, images, invoices, you name it!
  • “Retouch” – Removes unwanted areas of images
  • “Unfold” or “Story Creator” – Perfect to use to create branded stories

Each of these apps have proven to be revolutionary on my journey within the social media marketing world and the fact that they are all able to be used on my iPhone makes working on the move SO much easier.

Secret Three: Numbers are not the be all and end all!

In today’s society we are led to believe that it is ALL about the amount of ‘likes’ on a post. Whilst this can indicate success, there are far more important statistics to keep an eye on to really measure your growth rate of brand awareness – i.e. reach and impressions.

  • “Reach” – Number of users that have seen your posts.
  • “Impressions” – Number of times your post has been seen

If your impressions are a higher number than your reach, this indicates that successful performance. I recommend taking note of your stats monthly to enable you to create a fair comparison each month.

Secret Four: Stories make a bigger impact than you may think!

I recommend alternating between feed posts and Instagram stories, this will help ensure that you avoid overloading your followers with post after post of hard-hitting content. Whilst you do want to get your message across to your market, too many feed posts can create the undesired effect on your audience and turn them away.

By posting stories, you continue to build your brand awareness whilst not clogging up the Instagram homepage. Equally, Instagram stories allow businesses or influencers to show their fun side – something that we celebrate at You and Me! I am seeing more and more people wanting to interact with brands that they can relate to and what better way than this (and it is free – YAY!).

Some interesting ways to use Instagram Stories to engage your audience:

  • Wish Lists
  • How To’s/Step By Step Videos
  • Reviews
  • Menus
  • Price Lists

*Our top tip is to create logos for your Instagram Highlights – you can do this easily on Canva! This will help you streamline your Instagram page, ensuring it looks sleek and is easy to navigate for potential clients or consumers.*

Secret Five: Take advantage of websites and software which allow you to batch post.

Using websites that are specifically designed to help you pre-plan your Instagram feed and schedule your posts provide significant benefits, especially if you are working alone.

  • Saves HUGE amounts of time.
  • Allows your to view your feed before it is posted live, which allows you to ensure you are staying on-brand.
  • Able to drag and drop posts to alternative dates, should other content be more urgent to post at short notice.
  • Clients can log in and check that they are happy with scheduled content from any device, anywhere in the world (with WIFI of course!).

And there you go, our five best kept secrets to help you on your way to becoming a social media sensation. Let us know which secret you have found most insightful. Better yet, comment below with an original secret top tip of your own, we would love to hear!

Posted on Leave a comment

Just Trying to Stay Positive: How to Overcome the Negative Effects of Social Media

By now, most of you will have watched ‘The Social Dilemma’ or atleast have heard about or seen numerous social media posts about the Netflix Original movie. For those of you that have not, ‘The Social Dilemma’ is a docudrama about the truth behind today’s social media crazed world. I think that we all know that social media can have seriously negative impacts on our mental health when used inefficiently, however the docudrama brought to life many horrific scenarios, backed with absolutely shocking statistics which meant that it was something that the team at You and Me Collective feel VERY strongly about speaking out about.

As a business based in the social media industry, we love the freedom, enjoyment and connectivity in which this industry brings to so many people all over the world. However, we also have a responsibility to our clients, followers and readers to help and give our best advice when it comes to social media usage.

So here are our top tips on keeping your social media journey as positive as possible:

Tip One: Tailor your followers list.

What do i mean by this? Well to put it simply, only follow accounts that give you positive energy. Any accounts that bring you down – GET RID! This is the time to have a spring clean of your socials, you wouldn’t continue spending time with people who make you feel rubbish, so why do you continue to do this online.

Tip Two: Limit your time.

The amount of time that we as a population are spending on the internet and inevitably social media is only going UP, UP, UP! Especially for us, and those of you whose job IS social media, try to make sure when the working day is done, screentime is a low priority. There have been many studies to indicate the negative side effects of too much screen time, including:

  • Struggle Sleeping and Fatigue
  • Eye Strain
  • Mental Health Issues i.e Body Dysmorphia and Depression
  • Decline in Relationships

Now, this isn’t to put you off social media and the internet, this is to make you aware of the right choices to make for yourself. Recently, even social media sensation Joe Wicks has taken a well-needed rest from social media, and begun to explain the benefits that it can do for us as a population.

I recommend setting yourself a time allowance for screen time and social media usages. You can do this either by using your willpower and putting your phone down, or if you are like me and have ZERO willpower, go into your iPhone ‘settings’, ‘screen time’ and from there you can limit your screen time, app usage and even restrict contact from contacts that potentially eat into your R+R time. Remember you cannot be expected to work at your best, without taking some self-care time to recuperate!

Additionally, i personally recommend the following activities if you find that you are becoming disconnected to the world around you:

  • Go for long walks or submerge yourself in nature.
  • Try a new sport.
  • Meditation or Yoga.
  • Organise yourself for the next day.
  • See friends.
  • Read a new book or listen to an audiobook.

The list is really endless but i recommend trying to find some hobbies outside of the internet which can help you relax. All of these activities have been godsends when it feels like social media is beginning to take over my life.

Tip Three: Let your clients know.

For all of you workaholics, if you are struggling to let your clients know that you are OOO, I recommend sending an expectations email/text/etc out to clients detailing working hours and mutual expectations. This should allow you to put that phone down in time to relax after work.

Tip Four: Avoid screens and socials first thing and last thing.

Finally, STOP CHECKING YOUR PHONE FIRST THING IN THE MORNING AND LAST THING AT NIGHT!

This is making your sleep worse and your waking up schedule slowed! Try doing some wake up stretches and grabbing a bite to eat or a large glass of water to really start the day right. Maybe pick up a book before bed to allow you to wind down properly. If you find your social media feed draining, why pick it up as the first and last thing in your schedule?

I really hope that this gives you all some positive steps to take for when social media becomes slightly overwhelming for you. I’d be really interested to know whether you all have any tips that you swear by, so please do share these.