I was between meetings in New York last week when I walked past an old record store. It got me thinking of “old content” and how to recycle content that is somehow timeless.
In Norway there’s a tradition of big artists releasing their new album and then touring the country, going from shopping mall to shopping mall. Big lines pile up with screaming kids and parents waiting to be entertained.
Security would have to escort the artists backstage, on to the stage and keep the crowd under control while the artists signed their albums after the show.
I see the same thing these days, only the artists have almost disappeared. Now it’s popular gamers or bloggers from YouTube that are creating big lines of screaming fans. Security is even tighter than when a best-selling artist is visiting and the lines are even longer to get an autograph.
Interesting how things change, yet so much stays the same.
I attend to many meetings these days, I’m trying to prioritize as much as possible – but still too many meetings to have time to work and think. In these meetings interesting people from different places in life often share ideas, or try to inspire us to work with them.
Last Tuesday I had 13 half hour meetings in one day, and on my way home I realized I’ve started to make a big mistake in most meetings. To push things forward and to be as efficient as possible I say “I get it” to much.
“Yeah I get it, next slide”, “Yes read that book, I get what you mean”, “Yeah I met that person before, I get it”. I stopped going deep and did not invest enough focus on what the person actually tried to communicate to me.
To get a persons point is not the same as understand someones point or thought.
When you get it you just find a category to place it. Based on something you have seen or heard before. But as Seth Godin have said.
“The best experiences and the biggest ideas don’t fit into a category. They change it. They don’t get filed away, they transform us.”
So the last few days I’ve focused on not getting things right away, not rushing. But investing time and focus to actually understand what this person are trying to communicate to me – and to find out if that is something that would add value to both parties.
When the Twitter community started using hashtags in 2007, it was to enhance the experience of the service. Using a tag to track a conversation or a topic across the whole platform made it a lot easier to follow – and to be heard. Instagram was introduced 3 years later and used hashtags as well. The big difference was how the Instagram community chose to use it.
On Instagram, it’s not uncommon for someone to throw in 5-6 hashtags on every post. Of course, this is done as a vague attempt to have someone – anyone – from across the network to notice their hashtag and pick up on it. The truth is, it ruins the user experience and doesn’t bring enough traffic to make it worth it.
Also read: You don’t want traffic, you want an audience
I’ve written about this many times, but I can’t say it enough. The most valuable thing you, as a brand or as an influencer, can have is your core audience – the people who engage with your content and add value to the conversation. It’s about them. It’s not about you.
Going all crazy with your hashtags gets very little results in terms of attention, but creates plenty of frustration for your core audience.
Stop doing that.
Hashtags were created for tagging a piece of content to one topic or one conversation, not six. Focus on things that add value for your audience, not that create confusion.
I had a conversation with a friend today. We discussed traffic and content. We remembered that last year a lot of marketers started to talk about traffic as a commodity.
Everyone can generate traffic these days, it’s like fuel.. How far do you want to go?
The funny thing is how fast everything is moving. I often say you don’t want traffic, you want an audience – meaning that you want people that actually care about you to be the ones who consume your content.
The amount of content being produced everyday is now overwhelming, so I would argue that it’s not just traffic that is a commodity now – content is a commodity as well.
Creating content is easy. Creating great content that your audience will love is hard.
So in the same way marketers should stop and think about how they can generate traffic, they should also stop and think about how they can create more content.
They should focus on building an audience and creating amazing content.
I’ve been surprised over how many influencers and brands I’ve met over the years who actually spent money on buying likes and followers. I was so naive that I thought nobody would do such a thing, but how wrong I was! It’s a billion dollar industry. Crazy.
And the fake likes and followers have been hard to spot and have therefore helped both brands and influencers to buy credibility – sometimes even pushing the prices of collaborations and valuation up.
This is about to change. For quite a long time now, Facebook has punished content that did not receive enough engagement – meaning content that was not good enough for their audience.
This week Instagram is starting to do the same thing. They are switching from a chronological feed to an algorithmical feed. The content Instagram thinks you’ll like the most (based on your engagement) will be shown first. Drowning all the people who bought fake friends, with no engagement.
This is a great step in the right direction for social. Great content and real engagement should always win. After all, that’s the only thing that creates real value.
I’m so exited about SnapChat these days. I see all our influencers starting to really “get” how they want to create content there for their audience. A lot of our bloggers are starting to get bigger and bigger audiences and more engagement there then through their blogs – very interesting.
One thing that people and brands should do more, though, is to tell their audience on their other channels WHY they should follow them on SnapChat. Since SnapChat is a closed community, it’s only your content and people’s recommendations that actually grow your audience, unless you use your other channels in a more efficient way.
I’m not talking about “Follow me on SnapChat” all the time and everywhere, but simply dropping a hint of what is to come on SnapChat on relevant channels. Here’s an example: ‘going on a trip this weekend’, let your blog audience know that you’re going to share the whole trip via SnapChat and you would love to interact with them there. Or tell your audience on Facebook that you will have a Q&A session on SnapChat in the next few hours and that people can snap you questions.
The important thing here is to give them an incentive to follow you. The stupidest things I see are banners of brands that just show their Facebook URL or the Instagram logo in their marketing. Why should I care? Tell me WHY I should follow. Give me a good reason.
And btw, next week I will be snapping from my travels in Norway and Sweden. So follow me by adding “tornsuits” to your friends or scan the snapcode below. I will be sharing thoughts about marketing and new things I’m learning from building a company with my amazing team.
Early in 2007 the live stream services became so good that most people could easily share events via live video and let the audience comment in realtime. I was really excited back then to see how the influencers and brands would embrace this, but it turned out that I had to wait 9 years. Now, House of Cards is using Periscope as a marketing tactic and the famous actor Mikael Persbrandt uses it to communicate with his fans.
Facebook also has its own service now called Facebook Live. Today I want to share what the difference between the biggest players, Periscope and Facebook, really is – not from a technical point, but from an audience and engagement point.
It has to do with the community you’ve built around you. Just as YouTube is a superior place to build an audience around your video content, Periscope is in a superior spot when it comes to building an audience around your live video content.
Why? Well, the people that are active on a niche platform are there because they feel they belong to a community. That naturally makes them engage more with content posted in their community.
Facebook has gone from a niche community to a metropolis where almost every person online has an account. We like brands and influencers there so we get notified when they do every little thing – even outside Facebook. It’s where you have access to almost everyone and find out almost everything – like a shopping mall.
Periscope, on the other hand, is like a flagship store. People have an account to watch and create live video. That’s the big difference.
Niche communities are always more engaged and more loyal. They feel they are a part of something special. But, if the community get’s too big, people lose interest fast.
This has been due for a while, but I’ve been so preoccupied with work and our new apartment that I’ve not been able to prioritize this until now. Every year for the last few years, I write down 3 words that I will use as my guide through the year.
Last year my words were health, hustle and balance. Let’s first look back on how I’ve done so far, before we look into the future.
Health. Well, not very proud of how my health went last year. I gained weight. I ate less healthy. I didn’t work out as much as I did in 2014. It’s safe to say, I failed there.
Hustle. For me, hustle was meant to remind me to work hard, take chances and believe in myself. And I can – with full confidence – say yes, I was hustling in 2015. I took on the role of CEO of United Influencers and at the same time closed down all my other projects just to focus on UI. We built the company from 8 to around 20. And we keep on growing. I also took on creating content again with my daily vlogs.
Balance. Reminding me to work hard while finding time to relax, reflect and spend time with my loved ones. This is also something I got better at last year. Something I’m really proud of. It’s so important to find time to do stuff other than work from time to time.
Now, for my 2016 focus.
Less. I’m a big fan of minimalism. I’ve tried over the years to reduce the number of things and the noise in my life. This year I want to make an even bigger commitment to this. I want to reduce the number of clothes I have, the gadgets I’ve accumulated and reduce the number of apps I use and websites I read regularly. Basically, less of all the things that don’t really matter.
Focus. As both my personal and work side of life are things I’m happy about right now, my main goal is to focus on not changing many things. I want to simply keep focused on all the things that are going well and avoid getting distracted. This also means that I’m going to focus on working smarter. Inbox zero, getting things done and horizon of focus are all things that will be part of how I work.
Health. As I failed this last year, I’m keeping it this year. I will eat healthier. I will eat less meat. I’ll move more and work out more. I’ll keep on meditating and focusing on a healthier body and mind.
I’m going to print out a poster this year of my words that will hang on my office wall so I’ll see it every day. It feels good – both looking back and looking forward. 2015 was a good year for me – and 2016, I’m going to focus on making even better.
You probably know the feeling. Stress – the sense that you are behind, the fear of not delivering and that you are not totally in control of all the things you need to get done. I have that feeling all the time, but I have a secret weapon.
A few years ago I decided to try meditation. At first I was almost a bit ashamed and didn’t share what I was testing with any of my friends. Meditation is just monks sitting on a stone floor humming, right? Wrong.
I soon realized how amazing this was both on my mind and body. I also started to read more about it. It turns out that a lot of my heroes also meditate daily.
Why would I recommend trying meditation?
- I get this amazing sense of presence
- I maintain focus longer
- I work more effectively
- I make better decisions
How do I get started?
- Set small goals. I only meditate 10 minutes daily – start with 5
- I use the app Headspace, that works for me
- Set a fixed time every day. I meditate every morning.
- Don’t try too hard, it’s a bit difficult in the beginning – just stick with it
- It’s not so much about not thinking, but about acknowledging your thoughts
So I challenge you to try today. Let me know how it feels in the comments below. Keeping focus through the day is essential for me to be the best version of myself – which is good for me, and the ones around me.