5 Trends Destined to Shape the Media this Year

Last month, myself and a few other marketers came together at a #MarketersMeetUp to discuss our forecasts for 2015. It was an interesting conversation that lead to predictions far beyond this year. These are a few that really stuck:

1. The use of Social Media Influencers.

While Facebook campaigns and viral videos are interesting and can garner likes and shares, they don’t always produce engagement that is long-lasting. With endorsements from social media influencers such as tv personalities, athletes, musicians, etc., brands can not only reach target audiences but can create long-lasting advocates who will willingly share their love for the brand.

Chris Gayle at the 2014 Miss Jamaica Universe Pageant http://instagram.com/p/sWUQplIeeN/?modal=true

See the list below of top influencers in Jamaica by category by Twitter followers:

Sports-related: Usain Bolt (< 3.6mil), Chris Gayle (<1.9 mil), Lennox Lewis (<375,000), Yohan Blake (<300,000).

Music: Sean Paul (<1.2 mil), Tessanne Chin (<250,000), Mavado (< 200,000), Jah Cure (<190,000), Taurrus Riley (<160,000), Wayne Marshall (<100,000), Chronixx (<82,000), Protoje (<32,000)

TV Personalities: Miss Kitty (<100,000), Yendi Phillips (<60,000).

An endorsement in a tweet, Facebook post or Instagram post by these top accounts could create an impact.

2. Mobile Integration

With the invent of LoopJamaica.com and its seamless integration onto every new Digicel smartphone, having the latest news at your fingertips will allow brands to target audiences even when they are away from their computers. As mobile use continues to grow, brands will have another channel to tap into. Communication is now a two-pronged approach: stories about the brands and offerings tied into ads with the links to more information about products.

Gleaner and Observer are right behind. Both have apps available for download. Most recently, TeenAge Observer discontinued its printed publication and will now be exclusively online allowing for brands to tap into the Jamaican youth market. With the high cost of print media, the possibilities of curating content that will engage preteens and teens online is limitless.

3. Online influencing offline

With the success of Dutty Berry, a vlogger who inspired Jamaica to support Tessanne on her road to winning “The Voice” and more recently Bella Blair, brands will feel compelled to utilize these personalities to become ambassadors. The real value in their presence is that they are already engaging online, have a strong fan base and are reaching the audience in a way that traditional media sometimes doesn’t. Bella Blair for example, has a YouTube channel with over 35,000 subscribers and within the past year, received her own show called, “Bella’s Bizarre World” on RETV. Bella is creating content that is fresh, young and different but still appealing to a wide audience. Check out Bella in the new 2015 Cran Wata Ad:

Cran Wata Bella TV Ad

Check out the video that inspired the TV Ad 

4. Mobile Dominance

Its been in discussion for years and now it seems to be on the “tips of the tongues” of many folks, particularly as the rise of mobile usage and telecoms are determined to sell phones and data plans. Websites will have to be designed for mobile as you will lose the interest of readers in a second. Mobile e-commerce is also a forecast for 2015.

5. Blogger Nation

With the success of the Caribbean Blog and Social Media Awards late last year, brands witnessed the possibilities of using bloggers to create content around their messages and offerings. As bloggers continue to grow their audiences and create content that is personal and inspiring–brands will want to get on board.

Here’s Irie Dawta’s Orange Chicken recipe featuring Tru-Juice

How do You Do Social? Lauren O Lauren

http://instagram.com/p/nMCYTNTHDe/?modal=true

Lauren Dunn: Social Media Darling, owner of blog & YouTube channel Lauren O Lauren.com

With over 5,000 subscribers on YouTube and 8,000 Facebook friends, Lauren has been able to build a loyal fan base with whom she interacts with daily. Lauren not yet thirty, has been working in the media industry since she was 17 years old. With the success of her televion show on Jamaica’s cable tv station Flow 100, Lauren has been able to continue her connection with her audience even after moving to the US with the help of social media. She’s charismatic, bold and fashion forward. What makes Lauren unique is her ability to not just do a fashion feature but encourage her viewers to read books like “Damn Good Advice” by George Lois and find their life’s purpose. She tweets her  random thoughts, world views and quirky ideas to her 6,200 twitter followers and she’s not afraid of being vulnerable, daring  and at times — downright funny.

Here’s Lauren’s take on her social media success:

“Social Media has not only helped my career but in a large respect is responsible for the continuation of it. I started out on television but because of social media I was able to reach a broader audience and maintain the ones I had reached on television. TV shows don’t run forever,so during off season or when I’m not filming I can still keep my fan base close and keep them thoroughly entertained.”

What advice would you give others on using  social media to build their careers?

“If you’re trying to make a name for yourself the best way to do that is by NOT trying to make a name for yourself. Just do what it is that you do and do it better than anyone else can, even if it means spending more time getting it done than others in your field or doing over and over again. Let your work speak for you before you know it your name will build on its own. Be different than mainstream, mainstream is great but it’s easy to fall in line. I don’t go out of my way to stand out but I have realized that regardless of what I do or say I do stand out, my views and opinions have never been inline with the general public and that has been my claim to fame. Being yourself and being able to stand your ground is very important there will be days when you are the only person in the world who believes in your dreams.”

Go check out Lauren’s blog . She showcases fashionistas every Tuesday. Follow her on twitter @LaurenoLauren and Instagram @LaurenoLauren. Send your Fashionable pictures to show@laurenolauren.com

Promoting Events on Social Media

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of covering an event for the organization I work for. It was remarkably organized and all of Washington’s elite were in attendance.

Now you may ask if the event was so well attended, what would be the benefit of social media? The great thing about social media, particularly twitter is that allows a conversation between people who may or may not know each other or have the opportunity to talk to each other at an event.

Here’s the best way to promote your event on social media:

Pre event: Be sure to create an event page on Facebook and invite every member of the group. Ask the event planners and other stakeholders to invite guests as well. Facebook has a new feature in which you can actually add a link to the where the tickets are being sold.

Be sure to ask guests to check in on Four Square. Four Square is a tool in which when used correctly can create a great buzz around your event.

Use a hashtag: By creating a hashtag it helps people follow the story and contribute to conversation by commenting on the event. The event I worked on had a great conversation going on about issues affecting Africa and the world economy. Former Presidents, Prime ministers, ambassadors, even Grammy Award winners were in attendance.

Showtime:

Promote the use of social media. Ask the audience to engage and if possible publicize for people to see. People like to feel as if they their experience is interactive.

Post Event: Make sure to post pictures on social media with captions of attendees. The quicker you do this, the quicker the buzz around the event will continue. The people who did attend will be anxious to see the pictures of themselves and their friends, as well as the other attendees and the people who were not able to attend will want to see pictures of people who did.

Storify: Make sure you storify it and share it with your audience, this is just another way to keep people talking and perhaps read some of the comments they may have missed from the event.

How to Reinvent Yourself

After struggling as a graphic designer in a third world country, where design skills were not appreciated, I decided to move to the U.S. to re-invent myself.

Here’s how I did it:

HOW TO REINVENT YOURSELF

These tips can help anyone else who is also struggling with changing their career or wanting to expand their capacity within their current field.

1. Determine where you want to go. When I started out, I wanted to remain in Advertising, but to switch roles to  Account Management, working on Strategy and dealing with clients’ needs, determining the best approach to expressing their key messages – my role is constantly evolving and as social media becomes a driving force in PR, I will stay in it.

2. Develop a Narrative. Explain your past and find a way to bring the story to the present. In my situation, Communications and Graphic Design are in a way still very much related, so bridging the gap was a very easy transition – my interest came from wanting to offer more services to my clients.

3. Reintroduce Yourself. My colleagues know me as a Graphic Designer because I have spent most of my working life as one. Even when I apply for jobs people still want to put me in the Design role because that is where I have the most experience.

Emailing everyone you know individually of your new path will help to redirect your goal. People will then remember your new title and recommend and refer you to new jobs and potential business ventures.

4. Show what you are made of. If you don’t show people what the new direction of your career is they will never know, which is why I started this blog.

5. Go to events and show them your business card . Become more acquainted with people in the industry. Make sure you introduce yourself with your new title. If no name cards are provided at the event, make sure to make one of your own and wear it. This will help people to see you and remember the title you have decided to acquire.

If you need any advice, tweet me @KesiAGardner