You’ve got 8 seconds….Go!

An article in The Marketer magazine reported that a study has been conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, which showed that the average human attention span has rapidly declined over the past decade to now just 8 seconds.

Think about all of the advertising you see daily for brands, companies or products – which ones stand out in that brief time you pay any attention to them? You’d only notice the generic or boring ones if they were for something you were actually looking to purchase or use, so what can you do to make your small company stand out in all of the noise?

The article mentioned above suggests (mostly) new technologies which can make you stand out – have you tried using Snapchat to sell something delicious or telling a story on Twitter using a series of photos within one tweet?

Providing you carefully plan your campaign and don’t damage your brand by being rude or offensive, trying out these platforms could make you appear different and appeal to your target market above your competitors – I haven’t seen much evidence of small businesses using things such as Snapchat for example to engage with audiences and tempt them visually with a quick ‘snap’ which intrigues and entertains.

Don’t be afraid of trying something different – use your 8 seconds wisely!


Today’s News – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

A quick scan of today’s news tells of three stories showing both the good and bad uses of social media.

The Good:

Stephen’s Story – members of the public have been rallied by famous people, including comedian Jason Manford, to help dying teen Stephen Sutton to raise £1million for the Teenage Cancer Trust. The target was part of the ‘bucket list’ created by Stephen as his cancer became inoperable, and currently stands at £1,128,608.29 (as of 1.15pm on Wednesday 23rd April). This show of support presents the good that social media can do in communities and in response to an eloquent and worthy appeal.

To support Stephen:

The Bad:

NYPD Hashtag Disaster – BBC News reported this morning that the New York Police Department encouraged followers to post photos of themselves with local police officers with the hashtag #myNYPD, which was quickly overtaken by users posting photos showing possible police aggression by the force. The NYPD responded with a statement saying “Twitter provides an open forum for an uncensored exchange and this is an open dialogue good for our city.”

The Ugly:

Let’s not get started on the tweet sent to a customer from US Airways recently, which is still being investigated…

All of this shows that all social media campaigns should be carefully thought through prior to going live. You should try and consider all possible reactions to the campaign, and even though you can never please everyone, try not to walk into a situation where your brand or company is exposed.

The Marketing Marathon

In the spirit of the London Marathon, which took place yesterday, it seems as good a time as any to reflect on the ongoing nature of your marketing needs for your business.

You will have heard many people say “it’s a marathon, not a sprint!” This is certainly true of the long-term promotion of your business. Your aim should be to achieve a smooth and consistent approach to marketing, so that your company name and profile remains at a regular level, rather than blasting information every now and again which will not be as effective in the long run.

Nowadays, there are lots of channels which can help you to achieve a consistent marketing approach, with social media being right up there as one of the main opportunities for your business to be seen by and engage with potential and current customers. You might also want to look for other regular opportunities which promote your company to customers, such as a magazine or newspaper column or blog, or sponsorship of a local sports team. Whatever you do, just remember to keep it regular and that measured and targeted activities will always be more effective than putting everything into one single promotion.