We want to be put out of business. That sounds like a raw clickbait title, but really – we genuinely, whole-heartedly, want to be put out of business. Of course, we wouldn’t put any of this in the business plan, but that’s the end goal. So – why are we in the business, of putting ourselves out of business?
Consider for a moment what we do. We use our automatic social media community builder to help new and small businesses build their following and find success on social media – without spending time on it. If we do our job well, our clients develop a loyal and engaged following, that buy their products and services on social media. At this point, we know we’ll lose you as you invest in a social media team, and move on to bigger and better things. But, if we don’t do our job well, you’ll cancel your subscription and never reach that stage.
This presents us with a choice – either we’ll fail our users now, or we fail our users later. Isn’t that a particularly morbid reflection?
Of course, we choose failing later. We choose failing later, because this means that we’ve brought you so much success on social media that we can’t sustain our own growth. That’s a shame, but what an exciting journey that we get to be part of. And we avoid failing now, by offering a free 30 day trial, and easy cancellation. So even if you decide we’re not right yet, it leaves the door open. Why even enter this line of business? Because it boils down to a simple question of what motivates you more – How much money you make, or how you make your money?
We want to give small business the tools to compete on social media with the biggest and best brands in the world. We want to help small business find a global voice. That excites us far more than $50mil in VC funding (that said, if anyone’s out there….). Our mission is to waken the world to the power of social media, no matter how small or niche your business is. And if we succeed in doing that, everyone will invest their days into effective and targeted social media work.
When that happens, we’re going to be out of work. But hey, changing the face of social media for small business, and helping thousands of fledgling enterprises compete with the best and brightest? That isn’t a bad obituary.
SoGrow – The Social Community Builder
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In an article for Forbes, the shocking news arrived that Pokémon GO was on the brink of passing Twitter in terms of daily active users. As of time of writing, it still is. As of one week from writing, this will likely have happened. Much has been made of Twitter’s struggles, but it’s not for a lack of effort to turn it around. They’ve signed deals with the NFL, integrated Periscope, and are teasing users with a raft of possible changes. Except, it’s not just Twitter failing this time. What’s particularly curious, is that Pokémon GO hasn’t reached all regions, and even so, it’s toppled Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook to take the top spot on the Google Play store. How did it come to pass, that the enslaving of cute and friendly super-animals on our phone became the centre of our attention?
Answer #1 – Humans are boring creatures.
Thanks to the unique power that is social media algorithms, increasingly few platforms allow for anarchic chaos. Some may regard this a good thing. However, consider that your Facebook news feed will prioritise video and show friends over publishers and pages. Now consider that before showing you content from friends, it segments further into more “filter bubbles” – so that even the friends you disagree with don’t typically make it to the top. Pro – it stops you discovering a former best friend is now a racist. Con – that’s the kind of thing you probably want to know. The intrusive nature of social platforms upon users is making social media increasingly dull. Twitter is a news ticker. Facebook is an ad-spam mess. Instagram will soon lose it’s uniqueness. And Snapchat…well, OK, you’ve got us here. They’re the apple of everyone’s eye. But it’s a toy we’ve all played with. Pokémon GO offered something old – Pokémon – and something new – Mobile, Free, Social, AR, and Fun. Social media platforms need to recapture this, and entertain their fans – sometimes, that means not giving us what they think we want.
Answer #2 – The Power of Nostalgia.
As mentioned, social media is increasingly becoming a live news ticker. The prioritization of video does little to change this, if anything, it promotes it. Consider the news items we’ve had over the last few weeks. Brexit, Zika, Orlando, Dallas, ISIS, Syria, Trump/Clinton, and much more. It’s hard-hitting content that could easily shift the status-quo of all we know. Can we really be surprised then, that when presented with the opportunity to check out for a while and capture a Pikachu on the railway, people are incredibly keen? Social media has a responsibility to inform and allow the sharing of information, and as we’ve seen in the Arab Spring, it can be a tremendous force for good. However, rightly or wrongly, we now approach information overload much faster and have a much reduced attention-span. Nobody wants to tune into Chernobyl FM unless it’s for Schadenfreude, and to this end, social media needs to re-invent itself. We would never endorse the burying of difficult content. But we do endorse the ability to choose how we approach it. Social media always presents it in cold-light, before your eyes – and sometimes, all we want is a cat picture.
Answer #3 – People Like Free Stuff.
Word of mouth, and to a lesser degree, electronic Word of Mouth, remains the most powerful means of marketing. It’s therefore no surprise, that it’s incredibly hard to generate. Except, Pokémon GO got this right. Social media presents a unique opportunity to generate rapid global traction within minutes, if engaging with the right people at the right time. Trusted figures jumped on the bandwagon, and soon it was rolling with genuine pace. This highlights two things about social media in it’s current form. Firstly, that there’s no replacement for interesting content that people want to engage with. Secondly, that accessibility wins prizes. Through allowing a free and easy download, Pokémon lends itself to being approachable for all – new and old to the franchise. Social media may be free, but is it truly approachable to all? We’re inclined to say not. Not everyone likes sharing. Some can’t do it in 140 characters. Some hate photos. Social media needs to become flexible to the wants of users, and make life as easy as possible for users to share as they please. Once the penny drops, the second coming of social lies just round the corner.
Goodbye, Mewtwo. Hello, Peach.
SoGrow is an intelligent social media automation tool.
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Social media apps have been part of the social marketplace for long enough, yet now more than ever users are looking to get more out of them for less time spend. A study from SimilarWeb, which contrasted the app time spend of the key four social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat) between Q1 2015 and Q1 2016, showed a significant decline in the time users spend in-app. Most alarmingly, Instagram time spend decreased by over a third, and Twitter by over a quarter. With the old guard having struggles to varying degrees, let’s take a quick look at what social media apps you need to know about, that give you value without taking up your time. We’ve even gave you some handy videos!
Curiously, this is a fairly new development – Reddit apps have often been provided by third parties, and found high levels of growth. Yet, not enough as entice the owners to make one – until now. They’ve woken up, embraced what everyone has wanted, and built their own. With a glossy interface and early growth across iOS and Google Play, this could be the tool that gets Reddit out of the shade and into the spotlight. But whatever you do, don’t go in there thinking you’re going to make millions in sales without giving value.
We touched on this a short while ago, but Twitter have made a big investment into Periscope in the hope that integration with this live streaming superhero will turn around their fortunes. Despite the decline in app time on platforms like Snapchat, it’s important to consider that videos typically gain 8-10x more engagement than more traditional forms of copy. As such, this can represent a great opportunity for businesses and users alike. Need more evidence? Just ask Chewbacca Mom about the value of live video.
Ok, you caught us – we’re a little biased on this one. But with good reason. We’ve been featured in some interesting articles, and offer users and small businesses the chance to use our automation tools to manage their social media. Users can decide how active or inactive they want to be, safe in the knowledge that SoGrow is building a targeted and relevant audience. Not convinced? You can try it free for 30 days, with no obligation or contract to stay. We’re big believers that our social media app could help change the way that people spend their time on social media – more focus on creating engaging content, less time on the boring leg work. What’s not to like (other than self-promotional parts of blog posts…*ahem*)?
Modern Wall Street’s helpful video above helps explain Peach, the social media platform for iOS that’s fast becoming the hottest property in mobile circles. Essentially, Peace serves as an aggregator and provides a walled garden – everything is on the platform, and you don’t need to leave it. Get the best and most relevant content for you, your friends and your connections, across all key social platforms in one place. To put it simply, Peach pulls everything into one place. The lovechild of Twitter, Slack, Instagram, Snapchat, and Outlook – in other words, worth checking out. Looking for a more detailed insight? Influencer Carlos Gil, reviews it here.
Edinburgh Castle was built on a volcano. An inactive one. But still, quite why anyone thought this was a good idea is up for debate – one can only assume that planning permission and building control wasn’t quite as big a deal back in the Iron Age. Fortunately, given that we haven’t seen trails of molten kilts and ginger wigs flowing through the streets of the city, there’s not been an eruption. While there were of course great tactical reasons for building the castle at the top of a volcano, it’s also reflective of the inherently romantic and “live for the day” nature of Scottish innovation – if it goes wrong, we’ll fix it tomorrow.
This never say die thread of thought has found itself at the heart of Edinburgh start-ups, and nowhere more so than in the technology sector – where only the bravest dare venture against the behemoths of Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, and all other branded electronic goods. And yet, Edinburgh has become the home of our own technology giants, including some of the most disruptive, prominent and valuable companies. Booked a holiday through Skyscanner lately? Played Grand Theft Auto? Watched Sky? Maybe you did all three on a Dell computer? If you did, chances are, someone in Edinburgh played a part in your experience.
There’s a term to describe many of these companies. And somewhat aptly, considering they’re the national animal of Scotland – it’s the Unicorn (No really, it is. Pinky promise.). A Unicorn, is regarded as a private company valued at $1bn or more. In Edinburgh, there’s a number of businesses who have either achieved this status, or have the potential to join them – and the spotlight is shining brighter than ever. From companies like SoDash, providing highly advanced social media analytics, to brands like FanDuel leading the charge for Fantasy Sports, Edinburgh is the place to be. Indeed, the technological volcano hasn’t only erupted across Edinburgh – it’s booming across Scotland. Across in Glasgow, companies like Zapcoder lead the way in social games. Head further north, and healthcare technology is booming in Dundee, as VFT recently secured £10million funding for it’s medical device innovations. Indeed, Dundee University received a £2.2 million grant for it’s dialysis research. Clearly, the “City of Discovery” continues to live up to it’s name.
In many ways, we shouldn’t be surprised that the country that gave us the telephone and the TV continues to innovate. Yet, when more and more businesses head to Palo Alto instead of Peterhead, we have to wonder why? With so much technological innovation in the Scottish economy, aren’t we set to become the first future-proof economy? Given that Moore’s law is increasingly set to expire, the next set of advancements in technology are increasingly unlikely to come from power – it will come from precision. The scalpel, instead of the sledgehammer. And with the finely-tuned innovative companies that continue to blossom across our landscape, we’re excited for what comes next. Home is where the heart is, and technology’s heart is in Edinburgh.