Learn about what’s happening inside LA76 headquarters, see sneak peeks of our new work, get latest social media tips, and follow our adventures in Baja, Mexico, and around the world! Read our Design & Travel Blog here.
Our social media strategies are constantly evolving, adapting and changing. And while you probably map out your social media strategy each year, and have is as a part of general marketing strategy of your brand or company, we all know that adaptation and flexibility is key, and that the only constant thing is change.
And while it’s hard to predict what the future holds for social media, there are certain trends that can be pinpointed. Below are 10 social media trends for the next decade, as predicted by Peter Kim from Cheil.
10 Social Media Trends for the Next 10 Years:
The way consumers use sites and the way brands participate and engage have changed fundamentally over the past 10 years. Brands must adopt customer relationship and engagement strategies that harness data for long-term growth.
Social media has long escaped the scrutiny of the chief financial officer and it’s time for brands to monetise social media efforts. Fashion brands, such as Burberry and Ralph Lauren, understand this and have made their runway videos shoppable. Now, every brand should incorporate financial calls to action in social media content.
** Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram have or are in the process of introducing Buy buttons already.
Consumers are finding it increasingly difficult to digest long-form content. When browsing, users want to get to the heart of the message as quickly as possible. The more snackable a brand makes its content, the more social it will be. Easy to understand means easy to share, which translates into better results for content and campaigns.
Currently, ad placement and publishing in social is a manual process. This will evolve to better utilise data and computers. Most advertisers are already shifting display and video budgets into this type of media buying, and social media will follow suit. Why? All consumers hate ads because of interruption, irrelevance and clutter. Programmatic placement (the insertion of ads and native content into social media sites) can help drive context, relevance and efficiency of messaging.
The power of our increasingly powerful mobile devices as social utilities are where great potential lies. The ability to develop transformative applications that connect individuals to individuals but also societies to societies holds great potential.
Increasingly powerful and affordable technology allows people to create more content than ever before. In fact, 90% of the world’s data has been created over the past two years. Because of this information overload, people will filter out messages to hear only what they want to hear, creating segmented and sheltered media channels.
Social media sites act as brand graveyards, filled with the tombstones of dead campaigns that were only meant to survive a single campaign. From TV commercials and billboards to microsites and social media accounts, brands must focus on using platforms for long-term relationship building.
China currently contributes the greatest percentage to global GDP growth. However, many Chinese social media sites remain focused on the local market. Over the next 10 years, these sites will shift their focus beyond the “great firewall” and enter overseas markets.
With all the excitement about wearables, it’s easy to forget about the internet of things. More importantly, it’s the concept of addressability – the ability for a device to receive a message or signal – that brands need to figure out. The natural evolution of consumer devices is into implantables, which are the ultimate personal technology.
Some brands, such as Dove and Nike, have discovered that supporting social good can have a greater impact than feeding individual egos. Other brands will follow suit and use social media efforts to look at the long tail, identifying opportunities to foster empowerment and equality aligned with brand values.
Brands must change their mindset to engage successfully in the future. Marketers must embrace their inner digital geek and learn to love technology. To harness trends, they must look beyond their borders, specifically to the east where Asia leads the way. Realising that their current techniques are outdated will lead brands to new strategies for success in the next decade.
What do you think are the social media trends for the next decade? Leave a comment below. It will be interesting to see in a couple of years how these predictions stand in that time’s reality.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. – Robert A. Heinlein
Plenty has been said already on the topic of “generalists” vs. “specialists”, with influencers and scholars defending one view or the other. At LA76 we do think being ‘Jack of many’ trades is useful, existential and exciting.
Tim Ferriss shares his top 5 reasons to be a Jack of All Trades here.
Instagram has quickly grown from a fun and trendy mobile phone app to a massive and influential social network, which is now even bigger than Twitter. Last December Instagram shared their latest statistics; there are 300 million active monthly Instagram users, and 75 million daily Instagram users.
Many companies have added Instagram to their list of primary social media channels, and if you are managing social media for you personally, for your company, and even more so if you are managing Instagram for more companies, you know that juggling with different Instagram accounts can be hard sometimes. Especially so, because Instagram app doesn’t allow you to manage multiple accounts and schedule posts, which requires logging out and back in when posting between accounts. While we don’t approve of scheduling posts for the sake of spamming your followers, we do think scheduling Instagram posts can be of great help so you can plan your posts accordingly when you are pressed with time, and prepare high-quality images to share with your followers.
While there are several scheduling only tools for Instagram – they don’t enable you to publish posts on Instagram, but allow scheduling, and when it’s time for publishing, they will send you a reminder, so you can go to the app and do it yourself (this is not convenient when you have no access to your phone or if your phone battery dies). Among these scheduling only Instagram tools are Latergramme and TakeOff.
If you are looking for a tool that will help you schedule AND post on Instagram, then I recommend you to try these two:
ScheduGram is for social media managers who need an easier way to manage Instagram for their clients and brands. Schedugram features web uploading, scheduling, and supports multiple accounts. I have been testing Schedugram in early 2014, when they were just starting out, and gave them a second try this spring as well. What I love about ScheduGram is the ability to upload, schedule and post Instagram posts for multiple accounts – after you schedule your post, the tool will publish it as scheduled, you won’t need to approve or push the post to go out. Their photo editing tool is fantastic, you’ll be able to crop your photo, fix colors or add filters. You can also do bulk uploads and add multiple users for the account, so your team members can help you with scheduling. Schedugram also allows unlimited uploads of both photos and videos, and unlimited invited users. Schedugram lets you see scheduled posts, but you can’t see the previously published posts. Scheduled posts are lined up in your Scheduled Posts page.
The pricing of Schedugram is set of $20 USD for an Instagram account with less than 10,000 followers. ScheduGram offers 7 day free trial.
I’ve learned about Onlypult Instagram scheduling and posting tool about 10 days ago. I decided to test it out, and 7 days into using the service, I really like it and have decided to stay with this tool instead of Schedugram. OnlyPult also allows you to manage multiple accounts, upload your photos through the web, schedule them, and add multiple users (there are different pricing plans that allow you different types of usage).
Onlypult has a very user friendly dashboard. Each connected account has it’s own tab where you can see scheduled posts, review the page with already published posts (even the posts you published before joining Onlypult), you can see your scheduled posts in a calendar view, which I find a neat feature, so you can plan your campaigns or posts accordingly. In the future, Onlypult is promising to add analytics as well, and they have a Planner feature, which is similar to Buffer Schedule, where you can set up posting times, and when adding new posts, Planner can add them up and publish as you scheduled. While I think Onlypult tool is more user friendly than Schedugram, I prefer Schedugram’s photo editing tool, which is more advanced and useful as in Onlypult.
Onlypult pricing is more accessible than with SheduGram; START plan with 3 Instagram accounts and 1 man management costs $12 USD/month, SMM plan with 7 Instagram accounts and 2 man management costs $20 USD/month, AGENCY plan with 20 Instagram accounts and 3 man in management costs $39 USD/month. Onlypult also offers 7 day free trial.
Are you using an Instagram scheduling and/or posting tool, or have any questions regarding Instagram? Share your favorites, comments and questions with us in the comments below.
There is no such thing as time management, only self management, says Rory Vaden during his Social Media Marketing podcast with Michael Stelzner, and I couldn’t agree more with him. I often find that the abundance of apps and tools that are designed to help you “manage time”, ultimately take more time from you – nobody can manage time, but you can manage how you spend it.
Rory Vaden, the New York Times bestselling author of Take the Stairs—a bold new way to get things done, has his new book out, titled Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time, and I encourage you to listen to the podcast (here), and read the book. As Rory explains during the interview “In the world we live in today, time management isn’t just logical, it’s emotional. Our feelings of guilt, fear, worry and anxiety, as well as our desire for success and our need to feel valued dictate how we spend our time—as much as our inbox, our to-do list and our calendar do. There’s also a new type of thinker that has emerged: the multiplier.”
In his new book Rory Vaden explains his strategy on how to procrastinate on purpose and multiply your time.
You multiply time by giving yourself the emotional permission to invest time in the things today that create more time or results tomorrow.
Today we’d like to share with you a fantastic project created by our friends at CAPALab – we believe that this project will have a great effect on our community in Los Cabos. You have probably heard about the devastation that hurricane Odile left in Los Cabos and Baja in September 2014. The damage was catastrophic, and many people were left without homes and without everything.
CAPALab, formed by Mariano Arias-Diez from a10 studio, and Gonzalo Elizarraras from fabriKG, created a social housing project that seeks to benefit and help in a sustainable and smart way the most affected families by hurricane Odile. The fist house, “Casa 0” broke ground last week, and we’re excited to follow the progress in the following months. Casa 0 is just the first of many homes within this sustainable housing project created by CAPALab. Mariano and Gonzalo with their team developed this project by the invitation of Cabo Hurricane Fund.
Last week, the local press, neighbors, Cabo Hurricane Fund and CAPALab team, as well as the owners of the first home, Juan and his wife, were present at the construction site, where the works for Casa 0 broke ground.
Casa O aims to be a sustainable home, and encourages a smart growth, housing prototype. A project designed with rammed earth and for self-construction, with a construction cost of under $10,000 USD, is open and welcoming of the free interpretation and adaptation of its inhabitants, creating a flexible housing model that fits both the lifestyle of its owners as to the territory and climate where it is located.
Hola, we hope you had a fabulous Easter! We’re back on our blog after a short break, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy! We spent the month of February renovating our office, which got devastated during hurricane Odile, and we’re quite pleased how the works are turning out. Our thinking hammocks are back, and we now have two new cool spaces for brainstormings and gatherings, which is super nice. I’m sure we’ll be using them with pleasure and create some fantastic ideas around them. There are some details still missing, but I think that design is a never-ending process in general; there is just always something that you can still improve on, add on. Then March was marked with this happy event, and gatherings with family and friends which visited us all the way from Slovenia, Serbia, Australia, Canada, US, mainland Mexico and Baja.
We have a couple of very exciting projects at the LA76 office currently, about which I will write more once they are launched, but here I will mention a re-branding of a hair & make up company, with new corporate visual identity and a responsive website, a communications strategy for a financial consulting company, exciting new marketing strategy for a book launch, social media contest for a restaurant, vacation / real estate photography of a stunning beachfront home, a collaboration with a new Slovenian magazine, and more.
We’ve also decided to explore more of our beautiful Baja. This Easter we hiked one of the hills near Todos Santos, only to discover a location of the antique port, a home of sea lions and a new favorite picnic spot. It was spectacular, and we’re already planning new adventures.
What are you up to lately? Share with us in the comments below.
If picture says more than a thousand words, than video says even more. It’s no secret that photos, video and any visual content is very important for your social media strategy; not only do images get more social shares, but they also compel fans, viewers, and website visitors to stick around longer.
While we only remember about 20% of what we read, we retain as much as 80% of what we see. (tweet)
But visual content for the sake of visual content isn’t good enough. If you want your images to engage your fans, followers, and prospects, they have to be good.
But what exactly does “good” mean when it comes to visual content? There’s a lot to it: great topic, proper dimensions adjusted for publishing in each social media channel, effective design, attractive colors, promotional strategy … and a game plan to maximize your ROI.
To help you create that game plan and boost engagement with your visual content, HubSpot teamed up with Market Domination Media to create the infographic below. It’s really useful and I hope it’ll help you in planning your upcoming social media strategy and next social media activities.
If you have questions about visual content, content marketing, social media strategy, infographics or anything else related to promoting your brand online and engaging in the social media world, send us an email here.
It’s that time of year when Trip Advisor announces their Traveler’s Choice Awards, and I am so happy (and not surprised at all), that our client, a luxury boutique hotel Capella Ixtapa, in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Mexico, has been recognized not just with one, but with 4 Traveler’s Choice 2015 awards!
See more of Capella Ixtapa’s awards and accolades here.
Capella Ixtapa is a cliffside luxury boutique hotel with 59 luxury suites – each with its own private terrace and pool – that cascade down towards the Pacific, three magnificent on-site restaurants and an awarded El Capricho spa.
Check out Capella Ixtapa’s website here, or read their blog here.
Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, and it is equally important for large or small businesses, retail or B2B. In addition to branding, an effective brand strategy will give you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets.
And while branding is an immense topic we certainly can’t explain in just one blog post, it is important for your small business to have a brand. If you don’t know where to start or what to do, start from the beginning. Here is what we recommend.
Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand stands for who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.
3 Foundations of Brand Building for Your Small Business:
1. Get a great logo
The foundation of your brand is your logo. They’re the shorthand — the visual cue — used to communicate a brand’s culture, behavior, and values. Logos are instantly recognizable, and can provide the base upon which a brand can be built. Place your logo everywhere. Your website, business cards, email signature, packaging, company car, newsletters and other promotional materials should integrate your logo and communicate your brand.
2. Get a website
About 48 percent of people have cited a website’s design as being the number one factor when judging whether a site is credible or not, and an overwhelming 94 percent of people have cited a website’s design as being the reason they mistrusted or rejected a site. If you don’t nail this most basic form of design and aesthetics, you’re not going to communicate efficiently. More importantly, you won’t be trusted.
If you are just starting out and thinking whether you should even have a website, the answer is yes, absolutely! Today a website is like an ID of a business, and not having a website can cause a mistrust of your prospect customers or clients. Your website can be simple, but make sure it is nicely designed, functional, effective in what you want to achieve, and that is promotes your brand.
3. Have an engaging social media presence
Today, brand presence on social media has become a marketing imperative. It allows brands to showcase their expertise, cement their place in communities as industry experts, do valuable market research, network with others, and show off what the brand is about. If a logo can be considered a brand’s face, social media is its voice. It allows brands to engage with followers and supporters, and personify the business.
And while the abundance of social media channels might feel overwhelming for a small business, especially when starting up, it is important to define at least one social media channel most used by your target audience, and engage there.
A strong social media presence has tangible results, too. In fact, it has a 100 percent higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing tactics. About 72 percent of marketers have also said that social media has helped them close deals, and another 45 percent of people have reported making new partnerships through social media.
Another benefit of using social media is that if you do decide to do any marketing there, it will be much less expensive than traditional print, radio or TV ads.
“If a logo can be considered a brand’s face, social media is its voice.”
Other branding tips for your small business:
Write down your brand messaging. What are the key messages you want to communicate about your brand? If you have employees, they should be aware of your brand attributes.
Integrate your brand. Branding extends to every aspect of your business – how you answer your phones, what you or your salespeople wear on sales calls, your e-mail signature, everything.
Create a “voice” for your company that reflects your brand. This voice should be applied to all written communication and incorporated in the visual imagery of all materials, online and off. Is your brand friendly? Be conversational. Is it ritzy? Be more formal.
Develop a tagline. Write a memorable, meaningful and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand.
Design templates and create brand standards for your marketing materials. Use the same color scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout.
Be true to your brand. Customers won’t return to you, or refer you to someone else, if you don’t deliver on your brand promise.
Be consistent. Consistency involves all of the above and is the most important thing for your brand and your business. If you can’t do this, your attempts at establishing a brand will fail.
Brand building takes time, work and dedication. But, if you want to build your brand, and be successful at it, you need to take action. You need to make sure your company is always in sight, and interact with people once it catches their eye. Though it can take time to build up a small business’s brand, it’s something that has to be done.
Brand Building for Small Business, Case Study: Acapulco Chairs Baja
LA76 Strategic Design team has been approached by Acapulco Chairs Baja, a small business based in Los Cabos, a start-up who had the desire and vision of creating a brand, which would help promote the icon of Mexican design, Acapulco chair, and deliver it to its customers worldwide. As a start-up they didn’t have a large budget to begin with, but they knew that having a brand presence was crucial to developing their business. We developed a logo for them and a simple website with the main feature: online store.
Because of the complexity of shipping items from Baja California Sur across the borders of Mexico (because we are a border state with US, we have different rules and laws that concern shipping items across the border, which involve dealing with customs for each single shipping), we decided to use a young Mexico based shopping platform Kichink, which enables secure shopping and payments, and shipping with DHL, and takes much of the company’s burden of dealing with shipping and customs.
The website also features a blog, where they feature homes and decor ideas with Acapuco chairs.
Because of the size of the business, the owners didn’t want to heavily engage in many social media platforms, but have chosen to be present on Facebook and Instagram, which allows them to share photographs and engage with their public.
Phase 1 of this project is now completed, and we have begun planning Phase 2, which will involve a newsletter, packaging and some other items.
If you have any question about building a brand or regarding promoting your small business, please send us an email to info@LA76.com. We’d be glad to help!
John Steinbeck, Graham Mackintosh, Bruce Berger, and many other writers were inspired by Baja’s arid desert, lush nature, two bodies of ocean and rich underwater life. Meet writer Jane Mellor who gets inspired by Baja as well, and who just finished writing her newest romantica book while visiting Baja for her writing retreat.
Just like Jane Mellor has Baja under her skin, that’s how her books and writing are under ours! Published and awarded author, Jane is one of the lucky ones, who was able to bring to life both of her personalities and passions in writing: poetry and romantica novels. While she has been writing and publishing for more than two decades, Jane has been writing poetry since 2007, and she just recently ‘stepped out of the closet’ with her romantica novels under her pen name Madison Lake right here in Baja. I have spoken to Jane just after her book launch to discover more about her writing, Madison Lake and why she loves Baja.
Dear Jane, welcome to Baja and your sunny writing retreat! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your work?
Well, I began writing professionally in the early 1990’s for US and Canadian travel and lifestyle magazines. I really enjoyed the work and learned so much about being a freelance writer and working on my own. I began writing poetry in 2007, although I used to study and write poetry in high school. It has since become a real passion. Madison Lake came about quite out of the blue. My colleagues thought I should find a niche in the erotica genre since poetry may only make me rich and famous many years after I die! For some reason I thought it would be fun to create a persona and pen name and I just started writing romance novels – with an edge. It really just evolved from there.
What was the reason you choose Baja for your writing retreat?
I know people in the Baja and it’s an easy flight away. I’ve also always been drawn to nature when I write so I can’t think of a better place to be – desert and ocean. Perfect.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently tweaking my fifth Madison Lake novel – the third and last in A Cloud of Hawthorne series. I finished it down in the Baja but now comes weeks (or months) of editing. I’m also in the final stages of editing my second book of poetry. I know they are two completely different styles and genres but I like having a choice when I write. It’s a mood thing.
Give us an interesting fun fact about your book (or series).
This Madison Lake series is different than other series because although each book carries on (loosely) with the story, each book focuses on a different main character, so although it does evolve with familiar characters and a familiar theme, each book is really about a different character – life through their eyes.
Can you give us an insight into your main character?
I can’t say too much because it will give away the end of the second book. But all my Madison Lake books have strong female leads so let’s just say she’s another one. She’s very young, very smart, and of course beautiful. Haha.
What is more important for you? The character, or the plot? How do you develop your novels?
I’d say they are both equally important. I love playing with character development and when my characters come into their own they create themselves and grow as individuals like a person would or should. The plot is similar. I get an idea of what I see happening, but sometimes the plot has a mind of its own and I have to follow. I often change direction unexpectedly while I write and I have to go with it because the story or plot is leading me. It’s really very fun.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your writing? Do you set up the storyline from the beginning, or are you just writing as the story takes you?
Both. I scratch out a loose outline but very loose. I usually just start writing and it begins to open up and take shape shortly after. That’s why it’s easy to let things change. I don’t get attached to any one thing happening even if I have that in mind to develop. Things can change – and do.
Being here in Baja and writing, do you think the environment you are in has influenced in any way the course of your story?
With my poetry, absolutely. The desert, the ocean, everything is inspiring for poetry. For my Madison Lake books it provides me a lot of time and space to focus and get work done in a more than pleasant atmosphere. That’s about it. My books are already fictional and unless the story takes place in the desert, which these don’t, then there’s not a lot of inspiration other than the quiet peacefulness.
How does your writing day in Baja look like?
It looks like my writing days at home only a little more casual and relaxed I suppose. I always take my dog for a good long walk before starting my day. Believe it or not I save my cup of coffee for after the walk, when I’m writing. After checking emails etc., I get to my writing for the day. It is usually the piece that I feel is either most important or that I am on a roll with. Once I get going on one of my (ML) stories it’s just like reading a good book, I can’t wait to get back to it and ideas for plot and character swirl around in my head all day long.
Since you arrived, were you able to make progress on your book?
Oh yes, but I was already on a roll. Having the peace and quiet and lots of time to produce was great.
I know you held a book launch party here in Baja. How did it go, how did the audience accept you?
It was a ton of fun. Zac’s Bar and Grill support and the community was hands down. For me it was fun to ‘come out’ as Madison Lake. Many people knew I was a writer but didn’t know I was Madison Lake. It was kind of scary at first but very freeing in the end. I also enjoyed the casual atmosphere of Zac’s and all the Baja folks. It was all around a great afternoon, and to my complete surprise, I sold all the books I’d brought with me. Totally unexpected. Such great support.
When will we be able to read the book you are currently working on?
Sadly I didn’t time things for a holiday release, but publishers are very busy in the fall so I would have had to finish it a long time ago to get it in for December 2014. I’d say after edits and final layout decisions it might be in the late spring of 2015. Maybe early summer.
Will you be back to Baja?
Of course! It sort of gets under your skin, you know?
Do you already have plans for a novel #6? Could we hope of a book inspired by Baja in a near future?
Haha. Maybe. Someone asked me that at the launch. I blurted out that I was toying with the idea of writing a western and as soon as the worlds left my mouth I realized everyone was hoping to hear that it would take place in the Baja. I’ll have to rethink that one!
Before you go, can you share with us a snippet from your upcoming book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us?
Okay, here’s a short excerpt from the book – still untitled.
“Proberta and Brawn didn’t find their aging affected their sexual appetites. If anything, things between the sheets (or other places) got better as time passed. They grew to know each other’s bodies well and rather than getting bored with each other, they discovered new sweet spots and found different ways to pleasure one another. Just as they had done in the early days when Proberta stayed as a guest in Brawn’s hand-hewn hut after they had met, they’d sneak off to the woods to make soft, sensual love among the mossy beds of the forest floor. Other times, when they knew no one was around, Brawn would press his wife up against the kitchen counter, his burly arms holding her fast. He’d lift her skirts, lower her pantaloons and eagerly thrust inside her warm and waiting opening. Both enjoyed gentle lovemaking as much as the arousal from rough and tumble sex, and knew they would till their dying days.
It was one of these balmy afternoons when, after an intensely passionate roll in the hay, a knock came at the door. Brawn, hoping to get rid of whoever was there so he and his wife could continue with their lusty frolicking, went to answer. There stood a tall, handsome young man with a muscular jawline, large blue eyes and a tousle of very blond hair upon is head. He was dressed like a gentleman; tweed jacket and neckerchief, tall brown leather boots, woollen knickers, but his handshake was strong and firm, his palms and knuckles calloused from heavy work. It left Brawn wondering who this fellow was.
“Hello good chap. What are you doing in these parts, and what is it I can do for you?”
Where can people find out more about you?
My website www.madisonlakepages.com or Facebook, Twitter, and the rest. All the information you need is on my website. You can subscribe for the bi-monthly newsletters or to the daily blogs (which are really fun and interesting, I’m not kidding), or you can just bookmark me and check in every now and again.
Thank you Jane, we look forward to your next return to Baja, and to read your new book!
It is always my pleasure!