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Boosting social chatter with photos

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Are people sharing photos and talking about your business? Do you need to breathe new life into your word-of-mouth tactics? You don’t have to create elaborate campaigns to drive visibility for your business.

Why photos work for social chatter

No one leaves the house without their smartphone. Documenting our every action is woven into our daily routines and photos are the easiest way to do that.

And yet I’m constantly surprised that most businesses don’t take advantage of this marketing opportunity.

It only takes a simple request and most people are happy to take and share pictures while in your store or at your event—especially if you give them a fun way to do it.

You can increase your return on these social shares by highlighting your social profile URLs, handle and hashtag in high-traffic areas and asking people to tag you in their updates

Give customers props

If you have space at your business or are exhibiting at a conference, use art installations, themed cardboard cutouts or decorated spaces with props (e.g., hats, mustaches, capes and other accessories) and encourage people to take pictures.

Depending on your product, it may be a fit to include it in your photo ops as well. However, be aware of over-branding the experience. Too much obvious selling turns people off and ruins the fun vibe.

It’s OK to subtly include your brand name, hashtag and handle in your backdrops (and remind customers to use them in their updates).

You don’t need to spend a lot of money on photo props (maybe none at all)—simple ideas often work best. The main thing is to focus on making the space fun so people want to take photos and share them.

If you’re hosting a live event, give attendees the chance to come and take photos with the stars of the show. These meet-and-greets sometimes create more social chatter than the event itself!

Use Fads in Your Favor

Photo fads (and memes) come and go. We’ve seen planking, owling, photobombing, and of course, selfies.

Why not take advantage of the latest hot meme for your business? With a little creativity, just about anything can be incorporated into your brand’s next campaign.

Taking advantage of the latest trends is sure to bring a smile and people will want to share the fun moment with their friends.

Highlight customers’ best photos

Customer-generated content makes a big difference in your social presence. When others share your business with their friends and followers, your reach can expand exponentially.

To be sure you don’t miss the buzz, set up alerts for your company name, product or hashtag so you know who’s mentioning you and where.

Acknowledge people who share great content about you by resharing their content on your own social channels, thanking them and tagging them (and use your hashtag).

In many cases, you may even want to cross-post user-generated content to your own blog or website. Before you do, ask for permission and include a link to the fan’s handle or account where they originally shared the photo. That kind of respect and acknowledgement is an important way of creating a stronger connection with fans.

I have just one word of caution: Be sure to check the user’s prior posts and the comments on the photo. You don’t want to drive traffic to a post with derogatory or unsavory comments.

Wrapping up

People love to take pictures, especially of themselves doing unexpected activities. And since images are the best way to catch people’s attention, it makes sense to incorporate them into your marketing tactics, both online and in-store.

When you ask people to share pictures, give them a fun way to do it and encourage them to tag you, and they’re very likely to do it. It’s amazing how simple ideas can have a big impact on the social reach of your brand or brand experience.

—socialmediaexaminer.com

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Business

Court battles, a trade war and no 5G phones: How 2019 could get even worse for Apple

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Apple chief executive Tim Cook has his work cut out in China this year: the iPhone maker faces the looming threat of a court-ordered sales ban, the uncertain outcome of trade war talks and the roll-out of a new 5G network, where it finds itself behind rivals like Huawei and Samsung.

The complex outlook raises a challenge for Apple as it looks to revive its China fortunes after weakness there sparked a rare drop in its global sales forecast, knocked $75 billion from its market valuation and roiled global markets.

Cook told investors that the main drag on the firm’s performance in China had been a sharper-than-expected slowdown in the country’s economy, exacerbated by the impact of trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.

“We did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration, particularly in Greater China,” he said.

Chinese shoppers told Reuters another element had been key: the high price-tag on Apple’s flagship phones.

Analysts said the firm faced a brewing storm of challenges: an economic slowdown, stronger rivals like Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] bringing out a comparable tech at lower prices and bubbling patriotic sentiment amid the trade war.

A Chinese court has also issued a preliminary injunction banning some Apple phones, part of a legal battle with chip maker Qualcomm Inc. This ban, potentially hitting iPhone models from the 6S through the X, has yet to be enforced.

On Thursday a local industry body, the China Anti-Infringement, and Anti-Counterfeit Innovation Strategic Alliance, called on Apple to heed the court order and not “trample the Chinese law by leveraging its super economic power and clout.”

Apple shares plunged over 9 percent earlier this week as Wall Street was rattled by the Silicon Valley giant’s shock revenue warning. The firm said it now anticipates lower revenues of $84 billion

Apple declined to comment on the group’s statement but has previously said it believes its current phones comply with the Chinese court’s order.

“These are tough times for Apple in China,” said Neil Shah, research director at Counterpoint, adding the iPhone could see its market share slip to 7 percent this year in the face of stronger local rivals and worry about the sales ban.

Apple’s market share in the third-quarter of 2018 was around 9 percent, and has dipped from above 14 percent in 2015, overtaken by local rivals like Huawei, Oppo and Vivo.

A woman in Beijing uses her iPhone today where sales are falling behind rivals Huawei and market leader Samsung

5G STRATEGY

Another question mark for Apple is its 5G strategy in China, where the U.S. firm is not expected to have a 5G-enabled phone until 2020, behind rivals like Huawei, Xiaomi Corp and Samsung Electronics.

China is looking to push ahead with its rollout of a faster 5G network, with a pre-commercial phase this year and a commercial network in 2020.

Some are looking to make an early bet on the technology. Huawei is planning a 5G phone mid-year, while Xiaomi is aiming for the third quarter. Samsung is expected to unveil a 5G phone in the first half of the year.

Industry insiders, however, said Apple would likely hold off until the fall of 2020 to have its own 5G-enabled phone, a strategy that would bypass the untested early period of the technology, but which could mean Chinese shoppers delay iPhone purchases or buy another brand that switched to 5G earlier.

“I’ll definitely be paying attention to 5G functionality when I buy my next phone,” said Wu Chengjun, a graduate student in Beijing who currently uses an iPhone X.

With the exception of Huawei, which makes it own 5G chips, Qualcomm is providing the technology to many of the major phone makers releasing 5G handsets this year.

“If you’re a [phone maker] looking for a ‘super cycle’ [of sales], if you don’t have 5G, your situation won’t get any better,” Cristiano Amon, Qualcomm’s president, told Reuters in an interview. “The carrier channel is going to be incentivized to start selling 5G phones in the second half” of 2019, he said.

But there are risks integrating 5G too early into high-end smart phones because the technology requires deeply re-designing the devices with multiple new antennas. Given spotty coverage in 2019, gambling on a new design before networks are mature could be more risk than reward, said Darryn Lowe, a Bain & Co partner who works with the wireless industry.

“When you think about 5G, it’s a heck of a lot more complicated than an aluminum strip running around the phone,” he said.

And other shoppers and analysts said Apple’s more cautious approach to 5G made sense and that the firm would not likely lose out too much to rivals by delaying its launch.

Apple’s decision to wait to adopt 4G until after other makers didn’t hurt it. But that was when consumers commonly purchased a phone every two years, a cycle that has elongated and might prompt buyers to want a more “future proof” device, said Glenn Lurie, CEO of Synchronoss Technologies and the former head of AT&T’s wireless unit.

“If you’re going to walk in to make a 30-month decision, the concept that I’ve already got 5G built in, it feels pretty good,” Lurie said.

But buyers such as Li Hongzhuo, 22, a student in Beijing, said he was interested in 5G, but it wouldn’t be the deciding factor and he preferred to wait until the technology was tried and tested.

“Typically my needs for my phone are high speeds for downloading videos or transferring files from chat apps. This will get faster (with 5G), but 4G already satisfies my needs,” said Li.

“I won’t really consider switching my phone until 5G has been operating stably on the market for some time without any bugs – or unless they stop offering 4G.”

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Apple’s App Store record $1.22B over the holidays plus a record $322M on New Year’s Day

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Apple’s App Store pulled in $1.22B over the holidays plus a record $322M on New Year’s day

Apple’s app store had a record-breaking holiday week and New Year’s Day,  according to a report by Apple. The company says its holiday week was our biggest week ever, as customers spent $1.22 billion during the 2018 holiday season and $322 million on New Year’s Day 2019, which set a new record for single-day spend.

Apple also used the opportunity to thank talented developers and customers around the world, as the App Store finished off an outstanding 2018 and kicked off 2019 with a bang.

Apple’s App Store pulled in $1.22B over the holidays plus a record $322M on New Year’s day

Customers spent over $322 million in the App Store on New Year’s Day 2019 alone, setting a new single-day record.

Gaming and self-care were the most popular categories of app downloads and subscriptions during the holidays. Globally, multiplayer games including Fortnite and PUBG were among the top downloaded games over the holidays, along with Brawl Stars, Asphalt 9 and Monster Strike. Productivity, Health & Fitness and Education apps are already capturing the attention of customers in the first few days of the year with 1Password, Sweat and Lumosity charting in their respective categories, according to the statement released by Apple.

Last year, Apple also announced a record-breaking holiday season, with $890 million spent during the week of Christmas Eve and $300 million on New Year’s Day 2018.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, in his letter yesterday, signaled that the App Store remains one of the bright spots in the company’s “Services” category, even as he delivered the crushing news of a slowdown in iPhone sales.

Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Apple’s four software platforms — iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS — provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud. Apple’s more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it.

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Global food and beverage giant, Nestlé launches Workplace by Facebook

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Workplace by Facebook, the social network’s enterprise solution is now the official global internal communication tool at Nestlé which major aim is to connect its workforce, help the organization to create its own internal social networks and better serve consumers.

Nestlé said in a statement to the media that some 210,000 of its employees worldwide are now using the platform, adding that among those who were part of the initial deployment, engagement per post was 25 times higher than it had been on other platforms.

Nestle began implementing Workplace by Facebook nine months ago, with the first wave including employees in Mexico, Brazil, the Middle East, and South Africa.

Most features on Workplace is quite similar to the general Facebook features such as News Feed, Groups, Chat, events and live streams, as well as seamless mobile integration. Because Workplace is easy to use, it can connect everyone and reach employees where they are.

This move by the global food and beverage giant is parts of its commitment to empower people and sustain a high-performance culture. The company is moving more and more to offer open office configurations and more flexible working environments.

Meanwhile, the Chief Information Officer at Nestlé, Filippo Catalano while commenting on this great development said: “Today, using Workplace by Facebook we are able to give our employees across the
globe a platform to build connections, enabling faster and more engaging sharing of information.” Also, Julien Codorniou, vice president of Workplace by Facebook said, “As the global work landscape continues to change and
the demand for better collaboration, best-of-breed IT and mobile-first work increases, we are honored to partner with a company like Nestlé to help employees work together to allow for limitless innovation.”

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