Blonde Sense

Organic Reach Is Dying But Your Efforts to Produce Quality Content Shouldn’t

Social media marketing is harder than it looks. Why, there’s more to it than finding the best GIF to use in a post (which itself can be a rather challenging task—I mean, there are only so many GIF-able moments from Keeping Up With the Kardashians).

It took me 10 minutes to find this GIF that’s only somewhat related to my point, thus proving my point.

 

Perhaps the biggest challenge we face is generating traffic. Indeed, 63% of marketers asked in a HubSpot-sponsored survey think as much. How we get people to take notice of our content is always on our mind. And since at least 2014, it’s been increasingly difficult to get our content in front of people—for free, that is.

The best things in life are suggested donation.

The best things in life are suggested donation.

 

The thing is: the number of people that would see a Facebook business page’s regular, non-promoted posts (the amount is what marketers call “organic reach) has been shrinking. According to one report, organic reach fell from 16.5% in February of 2012 to 6.5% by March of 2014, & the ebb hasn’t stopped. Another analysis concluded that organic reach dropped by 42% in the first half of 2016 alone. Marketers have not taken the news well.

[screams internally]

 

But that’s not even the worst of it. The number crunchers at Social@Ogilvy for one suspect that the trend will continue until organic reach eventually goes the way of Tyrannosaurus. Indeed, as marketer Joey Hodges puts it: “Organic reach on Facebook is a thing of the past, practically extinct.” Yikes. But marketers need not despair. They just need to return to (or keep on) practicing a few principles, including creating quality content. That means producing material that resonates with the beliefs & interests of your target audiences. But over and above that, marketers need to produce content that is so eye-catchingly original as to be impossible to forget.

“They said WHAT now?”

 

Of course, a marketer can always just pay for a promoted post (assuming their budget allows for it). This is & (presumable) will always be the sure-fire way to ensure that your content gets noticed. But the question of whether your content will get engagement is a different question entirely. Don’t waste your dollars on content that is anything but smart & imaginative. Really, it doesn’t matter how many people see your post if your post is so uninspired as to inspire no one to engage with it.

Shania is having none of your content

 

Ultimately, the only way to guarantee that your posts get the kind of engagement you want from them before they are overtaken by the 293,000+ new statuses that are updated every 60 seconds is if they stop people dead in their thumb-scrolling. So, before you click “Post” again on what was originally Zuck’s way of finding a girlfriend, think to yourself: will people remember this, & if not, is it time I set up a meeting with Krissi? Asking such questions, you may very well find yourself in the near future at the Blonde office.

Impossible to forget,
KM

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The Spookiest Films to Stream This Halloweekend

If you’ve been religiously reading my posts (because why wouldn’t you be?), then you know that I love sharing with y’all 1) things I’m eating & 2) things I’m streaming because yes, I am a BuzzFeed cliché. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not only ever in bed with a remote in one hand & a burrito in the other. I do enjoy going out with friends on the weekend as much as the next social media specialist. But sometimes, I eschew the nightlife because I’d much rather a date with a blanket & “My List”.

And if you’re feeling remotely similarly anytime during this holiest of holiday weekends, then enjoy the following list of creepy, frightening, and & all around blood-curdling movies that are sure to get you in the spooky frame of mind for the season. (Feel free to invite friends over & make a night of it—that is, if you dare…let them drink all of your wine.)

Donnie Darko (Available on Netflix)

Before Jake Gyllenhaal was an Oscar-nominated actor, he was Donnie Darko—a uniquely troubled high schooler whose visits from a disturbing “rabbit” named Frank lead him to explore the “philosophy” & realities of time travel in his suffocating suburban idyll. Whatever “Horror Film About An Angsty Teen” you’re thinking of, Donnie Darko is not that, nor is it a film about time travel per se. This “cult classic” spans & even transcends several film genres in a way that excites, confuses, & terrifies you all at once. Donnie Darko will definitely delight anyone who was entertained by Stranger Things but thought it was neither dark nor deep enough. Indeed: “Every living creature on Earth dies alone.”

Hellraiser (Available on Netflix)

The threshold between desire & obsession isn’t necessarily narrow but crossing it can prove deadly, so Hellraiser suggests. The film, which spawned one of the most eldritch of villains in all of horror (the guy has pins “driven through to the bone” on his FACE), is more than just a gory love triangle set in a haunted house of sorts; it’s a nightmarish jaunt toward the bloody extremes our unchecked impulses will lead us to reach for. But of course, there’s plenty of death to entertain (read: drown out any of the more metaphysical questions the film raises), which should be good enough for anyone just looking for a proper fright.

The Witch (Available on Amazon Prime)

If you didn’t like the length, mood, or overall “feel” of Blade Runner 2049, then you might want to shrug off my suggestion that you check out the brooding “modern” horror gem that is The Witch. But if you’re willing to put your phone aside for an hour & a half (it’s tough, I know, but by no means impossible), & open to experiencing another world on its own strange & haunting terms, then get to watching The Witch immediately. The film takes place in colonial America, tracing the lives of a family after their expulsion from a Puritan community. Forced to live on the marge of the wilderness because of differences over scriptural interpretation, the family soon loses its youngest member (a baby, to rip the wound wider open) to forces that—given the era & family’s beliefs—could only be attributed to (no less in antiquated language) a witch in the woods whose “spirit slips away from [her] body and dances naked with The Devil” when asleep. “Clickety-clackety-clickety-clackety!” Trust me when I say that you haven’t seen a wicked broomstick-rider like the one director Robert Eggers depicts, so hold on to your children & get to watching, my pretties! *cackles*

The Thing (Available on Showtime)

Even if you haven’t seen John Carpenter’s Halloween, you can’t escape its legacy: killer Michael Myers’ iconic white mask. Be that as it may, there is a far more vicious monster in another film of his—one that may at first look like a man but is decidedly nothing like Man. That film is The Thing, & it follows a team of scientists in Antarctica as they unearth from the ice some “thing” decidedly, terrifyingly unearthly. The Thing is what Alien would be if the latter took place on Earth & if its stakes—for the characters & for us as a species—were MUCH higher. The ending might have you looking very differently (i.e., suspiciously) of everyone around you.

The Brood (Available on Filmstruck)

We can all agree that there’s nothing scarier than a child, right? Right. I can hear your ringing agreement over the Internet. As kids are indeed objectively terrifying (again, that’s a scientific FACT), imagine a whole swarm of them bent on killing you for reasons seemingly inexplicable. Well, said “reasons” get explained eventually in the movie, but only in a finale that is as grotesque and horrifying as anything David Cronenberg (a director famous among horror buffs for his “exploding head” scene, for one) could ever dream up. If the above GIF doesn’t make you hurl a little, then either you’re a psychopath or you live for horror. Either way, you should probably check out the movie.

Well, babes, at least for this weekend, don’t say you don’t know what to watch. And remember: doot doot!

Stay spooky,
KM

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What Twitter’s New Character Limit Means For Marketers

For everyone who has ever felt as if Twitter’s character limit is too limiting, rejoice! The platform is planning to double the number of characters you can tweet to 240. For some (particularly the verbose), this is a welcome change. For others, well…not so much.

Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 5.07.21 PM

But why the change & what does it mean for marketers?

Twitter’s Product Manager & Senior Software Engineer answer the former question on the company’s blog, writing that raising the character ceiling is an attempt to alleviate the “pain” you experience when “[t]rying to cram your thoughts into a Tweet”. Fair enough. Waiting in line at my local cafe for my daily IV of espresso, I every so often think of a bon mot that, because of the 140 character limit, I end up having to chisel at to avoid exceeding said ceiling. It’s annoying if not time-consuming, yet it’s exactly the kind of D-R-A-M-A I signed up for when I became a digital marketer.

But this “isn’t a problem everywhere people Tweet”. BuzzFeed Japan editor Daisuke Furuta points out that a 280 character limit is already more or less “how Twitter is in Japan,” considering that the Japanese language can pack more information into a single character qua “logogram” than English (among other languages). Furuta likens the efficiency of using logograms to that of emojis, which allow one to communicate “eggplant” or “balloon” in a single character. (Unfortunately, there’s no emoji yet that comes close to conveying to a friend from high school with whom I haven’t talked in years that I have no interest whatsoever in attending her bachelorette party, let alone in carrying on any conversation with her.)

Despite Twitter’s official explanation, there is speculation that the decision stems from a motive other than generosity or fairness, namely, that of a financial nature. Really, the change is probably a strategic attempt at attracting new users to a platform investors have not been kind to given that its user growth has more or less stalled out. But whatever Twitter’s “real” motivations may be, change is coming, & marketers like myself need to start thinking about & preparing for what it will mean to live in a world with a 280 character limit.

Some in the industry have expressed concern that the move could yield “a ‘use it because we have it’ mentality,” which could lead to more diluted brand messages. (To say more than one needs to is just a waste of time for both content creators & the readers of their work.) Barring an increase in the time an “average” user spends on the platform (or in her reading speed), an uptick in wordier tweets means that less tweets will cross the eyeballs of such a user. A more cynical (if not fantastical) imagination can easily dream up a “race to the bottom” of verbosity in which brands defer to bloat by default so as to crowd out the competition in a person’s feed. It would be the digital form of the “gift” from hell that is manspreading, in other words. And absolutely nobody worth knowing wants that.

To be sure, Twitter isn’t forcing anyone to to hit the character limit whenever they tweet. But some marketers worry that brand managers (for one) will pressure them to reach the new limit (“Umm can we get some more hashtags & emojis in there? K thanks!”), & that such a push might dampen a marketer’s average output. It will take more energy, time, &, of course, money to produce just as many tweets if one deems reaching the character limit the goal. There are always limits to our resources, & a more long-winded Twitter could mean a serious shift in the way businesses divvy up marketing budgets (which on average dedicate about 20% to social media). However marketers end up adjusting financially, some have deduced from current planetary alignments that a weightier work burden is almost definitely on the way.

But to all those who worry—be they marketers or not—that lengthier tweets will lead to the death of Twitter culture as many know it, Furuta replies that in Japan, there are “just as many hilarious memes, weird Twitter subcultures, and massive cultural moments based on tweets as” there are in America. Things are A-OK “in the long-tweet future,” Furuta writes. “You’ll love it, or at least you’ll only hate it as much as you hate Twitter already.”

Indeed, regardless of how much you can say in a single tweet, it’s what you say & how you say it that is still of the utmost importance. To put it another way, quality still outshines quantity. As copywriter Chris Sugrue writes, “A lesson here is that whether users are writing in bursts of 140, 280 or 10,000 characters, it will still take fresh ideas and compelling links and CTAs to get people clicking.” It’s a lesson we should all consider as a new frontier of tweeting lies just ahead.

@ me,
Krissi

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Kill the Millennial—The Term, That Is

Despite the many “think-pieces” you may have read that suppose as much, millennials are not homogenous. We don’t obsess en masse over houseplants & nostalgia (though I think it’s safe to assume that we all hate student loan debt). In fact, we’re actually rather diverse, each one of us with our own beliefs, demands, & tastes that only sometimes overlap, which, yes, is the case for, like, everyone.

 

But I belabor the obvious because many in my profession still don’t get it . From what I’ve seen, a lot of marketers continue to treat millennials as if we’re a monolith. They pander to our assumed interest in memes, social justice advocacy, the 90s, & …”chillin,” I guess, hoping that with the right emoji, we’ll flock to their brand.

 

The reality is: many millennials are too smart to fall for such ploys. A lot care less about your brand per se & more about its design, for instance, or its story; really, they care about your brand’s personality. And some personalities aren’t for everyone.

 

If marketers want to reach millennials, they should drop the term “millennial” altogether. (If we’re being consistent, the same goes for “Baby Boomers” & “Gen Xers.”) Its meaning is vague, its scope – too inclusive. It’s an unacceptable answer to the question of who your target audience is—that is, the people who, when they come across your brand, might “like” its personality.

 

Recent college graduates probably don’t care about the same things as 30-something parents do, yet members of both groups are technically “millennials”; avid Game of Thrones fans aren’t necessarily going to get along with enthusiastic gym goers even if 1) they all happened to be “millennials” & 2) they all agreed that Tyrion is hands down the best character.

 

To summarize: Not all millennials are the same. Repeat that to yourself. Make it your mantra. Write it down & put it somewhere prominent. Tattoo it on your forehead. Spray paint it on your garage. Name your dog after it. I don’t care how you need to go about committing it to memory. Just don’t forget to remember it. (#notallmillennials)

 

So, the next time you feel like generalizing about 75 million people, stop yourself & instead, try to get more specific with whom you want to target. Are they career-oriented women in their early 30s who don’t know how to cook? Or are they amateaur yogis & earnest environmentalists who frequent Whole Foods? You need to be explicit if you want to craft a creative campaign that appeals to whom you want it to. If you try catering to everyone, you’ll end up interesting no one. But if you put in the work to tailor your messaging, then you may very well reach your next customer, millennial or not.

Thanks So Much,
Krissi Madison | Director of Likes

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Sweeten Up Your Life!

Being on social media constantly allows me to stumble upon the coolest and weirdest gadgets. Honestly, sometimes it’s very 0-100.

 

I happened to come across this sweet (pun intended) product by Xochico and I regret nothing!

Sweeten up your life a little… or at least your car game and check out these deliciously awesome Pan Dulce fuzzy mirror hangers!!

CH-VA_1024x1024 Pig_Concha_V_1024x1024
^JUST LOOK AT THEM!!

Xochico is a small, growing business located in California and they take pride in creating products that reflect the Hispanic culture. Here at Blonde we’re trying to figure out ways to maintain (or start) our diet, and since real Pan Dulce isn’t quite listed on the “Healthy List” then we can settle for these mirror hangers to at least admire on a daily basis.

 

So do yourself a favor, sweeten up your car and buy yourself some Concha mirror hangers then immediately head down to the Panaderia to get you some real ones! YOU. ARE. WELCOME.

Time to get back to work!

Krissi Madison | Director of Likes

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