Evaluating some latest trends in social media and online technology – tips and tools for how to determine if it’s a help for your business – and some ways to use technology to escape from technology.
Welcome to Technology Roadmapping, episode number five. We are going to be talking about some emerging changes in social technologies, and how they might work in your business.
Are you an entrepreneur looking to take your skills to the next level, maybe start an online division of your business? You’ve come to the right place. Welcome to Technology Roadmapping, connecting the pieces of online and automation technologies for your business success, with your host, the business technology implementer, tech-to-entrepreneur translator, online sales and marketing strategist herself, Jennifer Neal.
Welcome to Technology Roadmapping, episode number five. Today, we’re going to be talking about some emerging technologies and things like that that are coming out in new social media trends. Now, right now, they’re new, when I’m shooting this and filming all of this, but, you know, if you’re listening to it down the road, it may be completely old hat. So here’s … Also, I wanted to talk about the approach to watching new changes and new things as they’re coming out, and kind of ways to look at these emerging trends, so that even if what you’re listening to right now is old hat, guarantee there’s going to be something else new coming out, and hopefully give you some tips and ideas on how to be able to look at these new things and think about these new things in ways that could help to benefit your business and your customers.
So, let’s dig in. One of the first new things — well, this is relatively new — that has come out is being able to do Facebook Live from your desktop. Now, previously, those of us doing Facebook Live are doing the old-fashioned selfie stick, or just taking your cellphone, and you’re holding it up and trying not to bounce around too much as you’re walking around, talking, doing a live video. So now, they have made it available to be able to actually go live from your desktop.
Now, some things that I can see pros and cons. Pros are, obviously, you can get rid of the shaky screen, all of the distractions that may be going on from carrying around your mobile. You can also have a more solid Internet connection, and don’t have to deal with, maybe, your cellphone kind of coming in and out of reception. So those are some benefits. Downsides are, you know, a lot of times with Facebook Live, the thing that really catches people’s eyes are kind of that movement, that background scenery changing while you’re walking around, the wind blowing your hair, people walking around in the background. It’s those movement things, right, that kind of catch people’s eyes as they’re scrolling through Facebook, and so sometimes those things are beneficial.
Now, upsides I can see are … Those of us doing webinars, or any kind of a live presentation, now you can actually do that on your desktop. With a video of you, you can also share your desktop, and you get the benefit of sharing that with your Facebook audience, and sharing that to your groups that you’re on, and your friends that are on Facebook, so you can get a much larger spread, even, of your webinars that you may be doing. So instead of having to host them on a traditional platform, and going through kind of the traditional opt-in, you can actually just kind of impromptu host a live one, or even schedule it ahead of time, and say, “I’m going to be doing this,” basically a Facebook Live, but it’s basically going to be a half-an-hour live Ask Me Anything, or you’re going to be demonstrating how to use your product, or whatever you may want to do. It kind of gives you a little bit more flexibility to reach a different audience, perhaps even a broader audience, and be able to do it from the comfort of your desktop, so that you can share screens and things, so you’re not sitting here trying to hold up little images, or anything else, or trying to edit videos in later, and so it kind of gives it more flexibility in that way.
So I think there’s pros and cons to both, and, you know, if you haven’t done it, if you haven’t done Facebook Live from your cellphone, then try it from your desktop, if you’re more comfortable that way. And vice-versa, like if you haven’t done … Or if you have done Facebook Live on your cellphone, step out of your box and try it on your desktop, and see how you like it there, see what people think. It’s a good way to kind of take something that you’re already comfortable with and take it just that next step further. So this is one of those things that I think is definitely worth looking at, because probably 90% of you out there are already using Facebook in some way, shape, or form to advertise and promote your business, so this is one more step that you can take to make it just that much easier to reach more audience. So that one, I say, is definitely worth a shot.
Okay, next up, Instagram is letting you book appointments on Instagram now. It’s designed to really … Specifically for salon style, like massage parlors, hair parlors, those kinds of things, to be able to reach people and let them book some time online. Now, very cool feature is … So here’s kind of my approach in technology. So it’s a pretty cool feature. If you are not necessarily in a service business or not where it directly relates, here’s how you can look at how this might help your business, is that, one, are you already using that service in some way, or is taking advantage of that going to be something that takes an extra hurdle, and then you have to build another audience, and those kinds of things?
So take a look at, are you already using it? If you are, how can you leverage it? Just because it’s sort of built and designed to go after those service appointment type deals, which, I mean, honestly, it’s designed specifically for salons and stuff, but if you own, like, an HVAC company, or something where you’re going out and you’re scheduling service appointments on site with clients at all, that’s a perfect place to do it. I mean, it’s even better because you still have the Instagram visual, and you can also do video with it. So I think it’s fantastic.
How else could you take advantage of that if you’re not necessarily doing service appointments? I think that you could look at … Possibly, if you’re willing to kind of approach this as a new step in your technology that you want to learn and take that step, you could look at integrating that and set up consultations with you, or set up appointments for to review somebody’s … Like, if you’re doing some sort of coaching, right, set up that time to do like a 15-minute consult. A lot of you are already doing sort of a free consult offer in some way, shape, or form. This is another way that you might be able to — if you’re already using Instagram and you kind of have an audience there — use that, combined with some great visuals and advertising, to see if you can reach a different audience and offer some of those consultations. I think that one’s kind of a no-brainer to be able to look at, but it could be frustrating if you’re not already doing Instagram, so that’s one of those things. Are you, are you not? What are the benefits?
And here’s one of those … Like, it is also brand new, and I’m not going to be the only one that has this idea, guaranteed, so see what some of the big players out there are doing, and how they’re going to take advantage of this and leverage it. I mean, GaryVee is a great one to watch, because he stays totally on top of these trends, and if you see, lately he has dropped out of Snapchat and really started doing a lot more Instagram. Again, that’s “lately” as of when I’m shooting this, but he may end up … Not him personally, but there may be people on his staff or in his business that find a way to kind of take advantage of and leverage this appointment-scheduling thing. So I think it’s something to watch, and I think it’s something that you might be able to integrate into your business pretty easily, and kind of a cool, cutting-edge way to stay socially engaged.
Okay, I just mentioned Snapchat, and just because of that, I kind of want to drop, just in doing some reading and research and things like that, I did find this new app called … Well, it’s not really new, but kind of emerging, called CloudApp, and it’s sort of being hailed as, like, “the Snapchat for enterprise.” Now, I did download this one, and played with it just to kind of see. It seems kind of like an Evernote on crack that you can use to share with clients, so it’s sort of like a Slack and Evernote combined, and I think for the right kinds of teams, for the right size of teams, that it could be a pretty cool new app, or a new way to use social media to stay connected, and stay in communications with people. You can do, like, little video … Record part of your screen, save something that you’re looking at, send an instant message.
It is pretty cool. For me, for my business, it was … We’re just really kind of not big enough, and it seemed like yet another tool, that it didn’t really fit for us, but that’s … You know, that’s another kind of tip, is that sometimes it’s fun to take these things, check out the free trial, and see how you like how it works, how is their service and support, what kinds of communications are they sending, and is it going to be worth it for you and your team to learn and use? And sometimes it is, and sometimes it’s not going to work. For me, this one didn’t work for that; for you, it may. It is a pretty cool tool. If you’re at all interested, they do have a free trial. I would hop on and check it out.
Started. Technology changing networking.
So, another thing that is really kind of … If you’re reading any business articles, and all about technology and social, and all these things, you’re going to see a lot of talk about how technology is changing networking, and it’s really true. I mean, if you go back, gosh, even 10 years ago, when you used to go to even local networking groups. Everybody’s walking around, and they all have their little business cards, and, you know, if you’re not a great networker, you’re going around shoving business cards in people’s faces. And there are still some of those people with just plain old business cards that you’re getting handing out, but you’re probably seeing the same trend that I have, is that the younger the networking audience seems to get, the more digital they’re going.
A lot of people are moving to just being able to share a vCard right from their phone, and so, like, with iPhone users, it’s easy, Android users, you can do the same thing, there’s a couple apps that’ll let you do sort of cross-platform, but being able to just send a card to somebody. So it kind of starts bringing a whole new interest into the way that you’re networking. This is one of those things that you can think, “Okay, how … How could I use this in everyday networking situations?”
Now, if you’re going to a trade show, and you may run into some potential clientele, and maybe you work with an older group, an older demographic, then you’re probably going to still want to stick with the printed material, right? If you’re kind of on a cusp, or you want to have alternatives, there are some cool things, like MOO Card does a great business card that has a chip embedded, and you can program that chip to do some sort of an action, like send people to a website. So maybe if you’re going to a specific trade show, and you want to print up some specific business cards that have this chip in it, that take people to some sort of an opt-in offer that you’re doing, that’s a pretty cool way of integrating both old-school and new-school technology. Now, not everybody’s going to use it, granted, but it also gives you a talking point, and another way to kind of show, “Oh yeah, I’m up on this whole technology thing, right?”
Another thing that you can do is if your CRM app that you’re using has a mobile version. Most of them do now, so you could, if you were on top of it, take your cellphone and put in somebody’s name, and tag them, add them to a list, move them, whatever, that says, “You know what, I … I want to send you … I want to make sure that I get your information, I’m going to put you into my system here, and you’re going to get an email tonight from me, and it is automated, but I want to make sure that you get my information, and I just wanted to share this, as I’ve promised.”
So, what you do from there is beyond … You know, up to you. Give them the option to say, “Yeah, I want to join your newsletter,” or “Just send me your information.” So you could build a pretty simple opt-in that you could trigger right from your cellphone. You can also use social media, use any kind of leveraging, so, I mean, even as old-school as if somebody hands you a business card, you can take a picture of their business card, and then do a photo edit and write notes right onto their card, and then you can save that, you have that for reference to follow up afterwards.
There’s all sorts of ways that you can start integrating that technology, and it’s probably a good idea to set up a vCard on your phone that you can share with somebody, so when they’re like, “Hey, I want your information,” and you’re like, “Cool, I don’t have any business cards on me,” because I do that all the time, I go out and don’t even take cards with me, and so I either end up connecting up on Facebook, and then I said, “Let’s send a message back and forth just so that I can send notes and I know who you are,” and/or I’ll take a picture of them, and write some notes right in my phone with their business card, or just a picture of them, and put some notes down, and then I tag them into my CRM system so that I know I need to follow up with them when I get back from the trip.
So that’s some ways that you can integrate digital technology into networking, and kind of the face of the way things are changing, and it is pretty cool. Totally think outside the box. I just hit some high-level ideas there. Let me know if you have some other ones that are working really great. I’d love to hear them.
Okay, finally, let’s talk about the technology overwhelm. There’s a lot of talk about how technology is sort of, like, ruining the interpersonal, or even the self-awareness, and everything that’s happening, and ironically, there are some ways to use technology to avoid technology. Sounds kind of ridiculous, but there’s kind of that whole … You know, when you go to bed and you put your phone right next to your bed, and then there’s all these studies and research like, “You shouldn’t be within 20 feet of an electronic device,” and, you know, how do we stop that? Because most of us wake up in the morning, and the first thing we’re doing is like, “Oh, what’s going on on Facebook,” right? We’re checking this out. We’re always on our phones, it’s right next to our bed. For most of us, it’s also our alarm clock, right? So you’re not going to put it in the other room, because you need it to wake up in the morning. Totally fair.
There are a lot of kind of emerging trends on how to actually use technology to avoid technology, or to take technology breaks, and I think some of these are really, really awesome, and definitely something that you should look at working into your normal everyday routine. So, for instance, on both Android and iPhone, there are some great nighttime apps that will dim your phone down so that you’re not getting that constant barrage of that light all the way through. Even when new notifications come in and things like that, most of us put our phones in Do Not Disturb mode so you don’t get that, but the lights and screen will wake up with some notifications, and so these apps will actually dim those down so that you don’t have to be assaulted in the middle of the night with new notifications.
There’s also some great focus apps that you can put in “focusing” and say, “Okay, I want to focus here,” and it’ll actually set an alarm, like set a timer, and give you time to be able to focus on what it is that you want to focus on, and kind of lock you out of the rest of your apps. You don’t want to be distracted, and when you get that “Oh yeah, I’ve got to check this,” it’ll kind of give you a notice of “Do you really want to open up Instagram again? Is Pinterest really where you want to be, or do you still want to keep focusing on what you’re supposed to be focusing on?” So, ways to kind of keep you in check, like an accountability partner, pretty cool.
And then there’s also … You know, it’s important, I know a lot of people are understanding the importance of meditation, and how important it is just to kind of self-focus, right? So even though that, a lot of times, requires an avoidance of technology, there are some great things that you can do. One, I mean, even just listening to podcasts, you can download a bunch of podcast episodes, just kind of listen to those when you’re exercising, when you’re out for a run, just sitting at your desk, take a 15-minute break, and just listen.
And even beyond that, there’s some great meditation apps that you can listen to music, guided meditation, even just still white noise, and because they’re set with timers, you can really use those to say, “I’m going to give myself two 20-minute breaks during the day, and I’m using my technology to help me avoid technology, to focus, and walk away from my computer,” and just pay attention to yourself, right? So there are some fun ways to not have to be completely chained to your phone, and be able to walk away, even though you’re not truly 100% walking away. So check out some of those apps that are designed to help you focus and be self-aware, and kind of build in some breaks from technology from your life.
And that is it. I hope that you picked up a couple of tips on how to look at new emerging trends that are coming out, new technology tips, and make the decision of “How would that work for me? Who can I learn from? Is that going to be worth an investment, or a time investment?” And then also, taking that next step and saying, “Okay, how can I use technology to better my business in networking and in my self-development?” So that’s it until next week. You keep on teching, and I hope that you enjoy your technology.
Thanks so much for listening to Technology Roadmapping with your host, Jennifer Neal. For more great content and to stay up to date, visit formuladone.com, formuladone.com/roadmap, and on Twitter and Facebook at formuladone. We’ll catch you next time.
FB Live from desktop
using technology to disconnect
Instagram book appointments
Like Snapchat for Enterprise
Technology changing networking