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Social Media and the Fitness Industry

Social Media and the Fitness Industry

Social media and the fitness industry have created a relationship with each other that seems to have taken over social sites such as Instagram. Before social media, fitness was a thing considered solely for the gym, that people could choose to ignore if they wanted to.

However, the fitness industry has become one of the most flourishing areas on social media with photos and videos of people working out and drinking protein smoothies uploaded daily on at least one of the social platforms users interact with. There are many accounts dedicated to the following of fitness, some are solely focused on diets and others post homemade ab exercise content.

Insta-fit

It’s almost impossible to scroll down your Facebook news feed and not see a video of someone working out. It's become the norm to open Facebook or Instagram and see videos of mothers working out with their children, couples leaping in the gym together and fruits being blended together to make healthy smoothies. Fitness videos really took off on Youtube with users posting exercise regimes and yoga workouts every week. However, it is Instagram that has really pushed these working out posts.

With many Instagram hashtags dedicated to the theme of fitness, such as ‘#TransformationTuesday’ you can click through and see people’s progress in their journey to getting fit. It's a big push for users to show their commitment to being healthy and how successful they’ve been so far.

Alongside pictures of bulging biceps and sculptured quadriceps, are also motivational quotes that receive a lot of engagement due to their inspiring words. You can also read and share recipes that are healthy, meaning there's a lot of content that can be conjured up from the the theme of fitness too!

Influence and Conquer

Instagram has somewhat created a community for people who are struggling to work out and gym users who find it hard to stay motivated. On social media you can see the meals people have prepped, see beadles of sweat on gym-goers’ foreheads and watch individuals squat with huge weights. With the more publicity a user gets on their fitness posts, the more likely a brand will pick them up through social media. It’s a great way to market to people, as a company can use everyday individuals who have achieved their goals and make the whole 'getting fit' process more realistic to those wanting to try an exercise regime.

Brands are promoting their services and products through Instagram influencers – a market that was born through social media. It is difficult to keep track of fitness companies selling gym wear, protein shakes, nutrient bars and personal training as more and more surface daily. However, these kinds of posts are hard to ignore if at least one of the people you follow on Instagram has engaged with the content.

With influencer marketing, the worry of the buyer not knowing what the product does or how it will look is emitted as a potential customer can see how gym equipment works.

Apps for Abs

There are also a lot of apps that help you train and keep track of your progress. Apps like Nike+ Training even have their own feed and an inbox, meaning networks are created that allow friends to share their progress so far.

Engaging with social media is as part of routine as going to the gym is, so the two work well in complimenting each other’s habit and with a study in 2016 showing 57.25 million people with gym memberships in the U.S. alone, there's a lot of individuals to engage with globally.

Social Media News Roundup: January ’18 Week 3

Social Media News

In social media news this week, a new app changes the way we could read the news, Facebook opens its Messenger app to children and Sony/ATV Music makes a deal with Facebook.
Hear all about it…well some of it!

New app Zig, which launched this week, hopes to change the way people read news on social media. The app, which focuses on popular culture, takes the interests and habits of a user and creates a personal rendition of the news. The CEO compared the app to Instagram as the feed is all images that link through to different articles. It’s a big step in the news industry and will alter the way social media users get information. Zig aligns itself with current social media trends as it favours images over text and simplifies the amount of news we get from lots of different platforms.  The app collates all the news in one place and provides a lighter entry to what’s going on in the world.

Messenger for Kids

As each generation is born, their relationship with social media grows stronger. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Facebook have released a Messenger app for children, appropriately named Messenger Kids. The app allows young kids to text and video chat with friends and family. However, the parents of the user are in control of what contacts their children have and who can contact them.

Messenger Kids was an idea set up to make conversing through Facebook safer, as the messages can be seen by parents too and either user or parent can block and report any suspicious or unwanted behaviour. A user cannot set up an account unless authorised through the parent’s Facebook profile or connect with another until the request has been approved by the guardian. The app has now become available on iOS and can be downloaded onto Amazon’s Fire tablets.

This one’s for all the music fans out there…

Facebook and Sony/ATV Music Publishing concluded a deal that now allows the social media site’s users to upload and add a choice of three million songs to their posts, without any copyright issues. The deal also extends to Instagram and means that artists earn royalties from any music shared on to the platforms. As video content is only increasing on Facebook, musicians are likely to profit from the agreement. This is the second deal Facebook have closed with a record group, as they recently created a partnership with Universal Music Group for the same reasons – so Facebook users can continue to upload to the site without any external concerns.

Social Media and the Festival Season

Social Media and the Festival Season

It’s the time of year when festival ticket releases flood the land, with more and more new events being announced each time. However, it wasn’t always this way and the number of attendees grows each year thanks to the relationship between social media and the festival season.

30.9 million people attended festivals in 2016 compared to 27.7 million the year before. It’s a business that keeps on growing because of its collaboration with social media.

Music Industry V Social Media

The music business has integrated with social media and technology and has benefited vastly from it. Anyone can upload a video of them singing for the world to see and people can stream music seamlessly for a set price a month. Originally, the music industry was fighting a battle with social media that they were losing – people were taking artists’ music and posting it for themselves, which meant a great loss in profits. However, the festival industry seems to be the music business’s fight back against social platforms. They’ve manipulated social media for their benefit – targeting people as soon as they’ve bought a festival tickets with advertisements tailored to their interests.

The Journey of Live Music to the Stage

Live music was transported and visualised. With footage of festivals being shared and used in artists’ actual music videos, the world of laser shows, pushy crowds and overpriced beer entered our screens. Such a variety of acts, meant a bigger crowd was drawn in, and more specific groups were targeted.

Social media means we can relive not only our own experiences at a music festival, but also our friends’ and other attendees’ weekends at the event. We can get an idea of what the festival will be like, before we even go. A lot of buzz is created around a festival, before the tickets even go on sale. Social profiles will often release the line-up week by week, with the promise of more acts to be announced.

Serious FOMO

Festivals have pushed this FOMO disorder upon all social media users – the new found fear of missing out. When we see videos of everyone having a great time and jumping up and down to a rhythmic beat, we feel like we’ve missed out on a good time. Festival ideology plays upon this idea of being in the ‘in’ crowd and if you aren’t there, then you’ve missed a whole weekend of fun and frolics. It’s the same reason why people revisit festivals every year – they couldn’t bear to see a phenomenal video from the event, the one summer they choose not to go.

This sense of community created on social media has really made a cult-like group that oozes ‘if you weren’t there, then you won’t understand it’. Pictures celebrities post of themselves at festivals also push this socialite group, with the promise you may bump into a famous face when you’re there. Coachella is one of the most aesthetically pleasing festivals with its beautiful setting and Instagram-friendly backgrounds. It promotes a lifestyle through its presence on social media, that makes it more of a brand than a festival.

Summer of The 'Gram

Instagram becomes the hotspot for the weekend, with users posting pictures of their new outfits, glamped out tents or videos of the acts performing. It’s such a trend, that often artists will ask people to simply enjoy the music and put their phones away, instead of watching them perfrom through their screen. Some festivals promote hashtags with the promise of appearing on a stage’s big screen if they hashtag the event’s name. Thus the Summer not only becomes months of festivals and music, but also creates a spike in denim shorts sales, glitter and selfies with blurred singers on stages.

Social media and the festival season have created a romance that just keeps going from strength to strength and it is certainly a relationship that will only grow and expand over the next few years.

Content Marketing for Social Media

Content Marketing for Social Media
As social media evolves, so must your content marketing. It's easy to get left behind in such a vast, expanding market, but creating your content marketing for social media platforms will help your brand be consistent and relevant.
Create a Strategy for the New Age

Draft a strategy for your content for the month, or even six months, to make sure you’re not rushing for ideas every week. Keep an eye on campaigns and events that content can be based on. Make a calendar and identify key holidays, marketing opportunities and industry days. It’s also beneficial to brainstorm potential themes and ideas that will make your content consistent and interlinking.

It’s not about drowning your audience in content anymore. A steady flow of content is still beneficial, but a more journalistic approach to article-writing is essential to getting readers interested and returning to read more.

Always have an end goal to your article with a lesson you wanted to teach or information you wanted people to know. The current generation in this digital age want information fast and new ways to receive it are constantly coming to light. For example, the introduction of artificial intelligent technology such as Amazon’s Alexa, means content is heard instead of seen and read. This is also evident as Facebook develops features that help blind users hear descriptions of posts. The delivery of content is changing, and different aspects of writing must now be considered if a brand wants to stay relevant.

Transparency

Be authentic and transparent. This generation value honesty and openness more than a brand trying to push their product or service at them. With Twitter’s new policies on transparency, it seems social media and, consequently, the content shared on the platforms are looking at new ways to build relationships with consumers. It’s no longer about a one-hit wonder or a quick sell, it’s about creating a trust between the business and a customer that lasts. Be transparent about your product and service and the same transparency will come across when writing your content.

Consider Social Platforms

Although your content is on your website, it’s time to start thinking about how the content will be represented on social media. Blog posts are always shared onto Facebook and Twitter with captions that’ll entice a reader to click through to the rest of the article. Include a snappy and intriguing introduction to your content that can be copy and pasted when the link to it is shared on social platforms.

Always consider how your content will look in terms of quality when shared on Facebook. With Facebook cracking down on ‘Fake News’ and clickbait, the post must look authentic and professional. It’s good to look at posts shared by major news companies to get an idea of how articles should look when presented on social sites.

It’s easy to get left behind on the ever-growing and ever-changing digital train and although content marketing for social media is a great way to keep current, it's important to see what others are doing on their sites too. To stay relevant, you have to know what others are talking about in your industry. Identify key players in the game and keep an eye on their relationship between content and social media.

Analyse This, Analyse That

However, some things never change and identifying what works well by analysing your data is one of them. Although shifting content marketing for social media platforms may change the way you write, it shouldn't change the way you see results. If you’re digging deep into statistics yourself, make time to create performance reports as regularly as you can. See how many social shares an article received and what generated a lot of interest. If a certain theme or category worked better than others, make sure you focus on articles similar to this. Look back at past content and do not repeat models and themes of articles that didn’t work so well.

Social Media News Roundup: January ’18 Week 2

Social Media News
In social media news this week, we say goodbye to Facebook’s M, Instagram creates an app that separates its direct messaging feature and Twitter updates its policies on transparency.
Goodbye Mr. M

Facebook is ditching its beta virtual assistant this week and moving the human staff who worked on it to other positions in the company. M, which first came to social existence in August 2015, was Facebook’s attempt at a personal assistant, but the bot never reached worldwide distribution. M, unlike assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, mixed artificial intelligence with real human operators. Through the assistant, people could make dinner reservations or receive gift recommendations for friends or family. However, only around 2,000 people in California were fortunate enough to experience the A.I. and human worker hybrid.

Although it wasn’t rolled out officially and chatbots are considered a thing of the past, it was a project that Facebook regarded as a success. Facebook claimed it was an experiment and stated “We launched this project to learn what people needed and expected of an assistant, and we learned a lot”. This was Facebook’s early steps into artificial intelligence and is a venture that will definitely help them work A.I. into its social site more.

The service will be shut down on the 19th of January for good.

Instagram Goes Direct

Instagram has rolled out an app to limited countries that is similar to the concept of Facebook’s Messenger. With the success of its direct messaging feature, Instagram believes the tool will work much better as a stand-alone app called Direct. The app opens up to a camera, with the option to swipe left to edit your profile, right to view your messages and down to send a message. Direct will be easy to access through Instagram and vice versa, making messaging accessible but also a more tempting app that could offer new and improving features.

Twitter Transparency

Twitter has recently released a statement on its commitment to transparency. The company relayed its Country Withheld Content tool, which deals with legal requests to remove content and withhold profiles. Back in 2012, Twitter revealed it could selectively stop tweets from being seen in a particular country, but the same post could be viewed by others around the world. The social site has now updated its policies and can show why an account was withheld or why a was tweet blocked. For instance, a message shows whether the profile or tweet must be withheld because of a legal demand or a reason based on local law. This is an even bigger step into showing the public how Twitter handles legal matters and its willingness to tell its users what is going on.

Social Media Trends set for 2018

Social Media Trends

2017 was a year of great change in social media, and this year will be no different in terms of social media trends. The digital world is constantly improving and evolving, and every day an improvement is made to a social site to propel it above its competition and into the future.

With great change, comes great responsibility, so users and businesses must prepare themselves for another year of transformation among the social media giants. Brands are battling it out for their posts to be seen and engaged with by their audience and one of the best ways to do this is by jumping on the 'trend train' and identifying what will be big this year.

Augmented Reality

Last year we saw virtual reality introduced into social media more, with social sites like Facebook working on Spaces and Snapchat creating filters which showed dancing hotdogs and cartoon versions of users doing laundry or eating a burrito on a bench. Also, an app plunged into the realm of virtual reality, as it combined Twitter with an iPhone's front camera, so a user could send tweets and communicate with friends, while having their surroundings visible to their followers. However, this year we should expect to see a lot more of VR in social media.

As Instagram takes it first steps into augmented reality with its introduction to filters, that are similar to Snapchat’s selfie lenses, and users are likely to see an increase in this direction too. We’ve already seen some brands have their own filters on Snapchat and this is a social media trend likely to be more common in 2018. This year will be the era that business truly becomes linked with technology.

Advertising and User-Generated Content

Social advertisers are most likely to boost their services and products on different social media sites this year, such as Instagram and Snapchat, which have both been improving and adding to their advertising tools.

There is also going to be a much bigger push towards user-generated content. In terms of marketing, brands are likely to turn their attention to pictures of their products or services posted via a consumer’s social media. For example, a salon is much more likely to gain engagement by reposting a customer’s new hair, than simply posting products that they sell. Reposting makes the account seem more realistic and personal. It’s also a great way to get others to send and tag the business in photos too. For example, if a jewellery shop asks, “Who got one of our necklaces for Christmas? Send us your photos,” the business is likely to pick up way more engagement as customers may send photos to get them liked or retweeted by the company.

Live Streaming

One of the biggest social media trends set to change the year is live content. In the transition to the New Year, over 10 million people around the world live streamed their celebrations to their Facebook friends – a massive increase from last year’s count.

Live content is engaging and in real-time, meaning an audience can see how a product is used or what a company is doing. It’s an easier way to get people to see your video and can be saved as a recording to be posted afterwards. It is also a more personal way to connect with customers and appropriate for the current generation who are used to ephemeral content – it bridges the gap between short-term, twenty-four hour posts and videos that can be reviewed at a later date.

Social Media News Roundup: January ’18 Week 1

January '18 Week 1
In social media news this week, Germany begins the war on hate speech online, Instagram adds a new feature that recommends posts on a user’s news feed, Facebook expands its Live users on New Year's Eve and WhatsApp gets an Instagram Stories makeover.
Germany V Hate Speech

Germany has enforced a law that means a social media site can be fined £60 million if a post is flagged as inappropriate and not removed from the site within a twenty-four hour period.

The new law will affect sites that have more than two million users, so Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr are all subject to the potential fine. The sites are under oath to monitor any posts that could be considered offensive to others or reported as ‘fake news’. Facebook itself has been working on combating spam posts, fake news and abuse. It looks like 2018 is the year for a clean-up of social media sites.

Instagram Recommends…

Instagram has added a new feature that shows a user an image from an account that they aren’t following, but might be interested in. The ‘Recommended for You’ feature identifies pictures that it thinks you’ll like, from all your previous searches and interests. The algorithm carefully chooses posts that will push a user to follow the profile the photo has been posted on. Instagram began testing the feature last year and is finally rolling it out to all users. It seems the social media site is adopting a style that promotes engagement and reach, in a move that benefits business accounts.

Facebook Goes Live…10 Million Times

More than 10 million people went live on Facebook in the lead up to midnight on New Year’s Eve! It seems Facebook’s determination to push its new feature throughout the year worked as the number of users of the Live tool increased by forty-seven percent from last December. Las Vegas was the top city for live-streaming the transition into the New Year.

Insta Cross-Posting

Facebook is trying to expand its consistency and unity between its networks and social media sites. Instagram confirmed that it was working on a feature that allows users to cross post stories as a WhatsApp status. The tool will make uploading content to all three platforms easier.

WhatsApp statuses have similar aspects to Facebook and Instagram stories as they disappear after twenty-four hours too. Facebook has been adding more and more features that mean users are less likely to leave the social media site and network from the one platform.

2017: It’s Not All Doom and Gloom

It's Not All Doom and Gloom
This year was plagued with doom and gloom and many horrific events, most of which were viewed through social media.

However, it’s important to remember how social media has helped people this year! Here’s a few stories about social media from 2017, that will brighten your day…and your year!

Child Regains Christmas Presents

In Australia, a child’s presents were stolen right before Christmas – one was a gaming keyboard by Razer. After hearing about the robbery through an online article, the CEO of Razer – Tan Min-Liang - reached out on social media, asking if anyone could get him in contact with the family. After the search was successful, Min-Liang provided the child with a new keyboard, plus other computer and gaming accessories, so the family’s Christmas wasn’t ruined after all!

Going Viral

Out of all the videos this year – there’s been some great ones – some inspirational and others downright hilarious. We’ve seen soldiers return to their families for Christmas, deaf babies hearing their mothers for the first time and cats behaving…oddly. Social media has provided many of us the chance to outlet our stress and see the positive things that are happening in the world, that are often forgotten or lost to the terrible events we read on the news. One heart-warming video comes from a man who proposes to his ex-wife three years after they had divorced. His son videoed the whole thing as his dad re-proposed to his mum with a poem he had written. Such a touching, personal moment resonated with many as the video represented real love and received over ten million views! Social media often helps us remember that we aren’t truly alone in our struggles.

This is also evident in the case of a young girl who helped her school gain blankets through her Christmas list that went viral after breaking the hearts of everyone that read it.

It’s created careers!

Cardi B, now a famous rap artist, rose to fame through her Instagram account. Her increasing social media following meant she was eventually noticed. She was a regular person that expressed her views and voice on social media, which resulted in a successful, musical career. The power of social media should never be underestimated!

Social Media Has Started Thinking About Everyone

As Facebook and Twitter looked more at the well-being of their users this year, Facebook also started making changes on its site for blind users. It’s turned its attention to its facial recognition feature and is currently updating it to identify people in photos for people with screen readers that have low vision. The aim is to make a blind user’s news feed easier for them. By using the recognition feature and artificial intelligence, a person can hover over a photo and hear the caption, a visual detail of the picture and who is in the image. This is a great step towards the future and shows how sites like Facebook are giving back to its users. It’s also made fantastic improvement to its harassment and privacy policies.

Facebook also bought an app called TBH that asks positive questions like ‘Who makes you laugh the most?’ A user can simply select one of their Facebook friends, but the person remains anonymous. It’s an uplifting app that undermines all others like it because of its positive aspects.

It’s important to see the positive side of social media – the side helping people to find their missing relatives, making modern life more accessible to those who struggle to see or hear and for those that deserve recognition in their lives! Also, social media has provided us with videos of normal people that have kept us laughing and entertained throughout the year! It’s an ever-growing force to be reckoned with...especially in times of doom and gloom.

Social Media News Roundup: December ’17 Week 4

Social Media News
In the last, festive week of social media news, Instagram surprises us all with a new feature, a company release an app that turns likes into money and Facebook tries to get rid of the catfishes that plague the social site for good.
Instagram’s Christmas Surprise

Instagram has released a commenting feature that can only be accessed after five seconds of looking at the post. The social site is renowned for testing new features on users before deciding whether to add them or not, but this one seems to have gone unnoticed and wasn’t even announced before being rolled out! An ‘Add a Comment’ box now appears at the bottom where users can leave their feedback or message on a photo. Although, it’s a minor update, this means serious business for those that want engagement on their posts. It seems Instagram is upping its game among the social marketing giants.

Likes for Crypto-Cash

In the bid to move social media away from small moments of personal gratification, Selfllery have announced their app that turns your likes into cryptocurrency. The app – Selfllery – gives you a token every time you receive a like that can be redeemed in the app’s store or donated to charity! People are rewarded for their visual content and the more active a user is, the more the likes and tokens are worth! The currency is awarded immediately through the app's involvement with the new technology blockchain and by May next year rewarded users can spend their money in the online market.

Facebook’s Facial Recognition

Have you ever seen your profile picture being used by another Facebook account? It has happened to more people than you’d think and the social media giant is finally taking action against the copycats. The same facial recognition that helps you quickly tag your friends in photos is being updated and moulded so that if your face is found in someone’s photo, you’ll get a notification about it. Therefore, if an account has your photos under their name, you will be able to see it, but only if they’ve chosen to publicly share the image. Eventually Facebook will roll out an improvement of the feature that finds your face in images that aren’t tagged and notify you. This is another serious move to the well-being of its user, with Facebook improving more of its features to help the privacy of users, including an option to ignore another person’s messages, instead of noticeably blocking the person altogether.

Twitter’s Battle with Hate Crime

Twitter's Battle with Hate Crime
Twitter has recently clamped down even further on hate crime and abuse as it removes posts with derogatory connotations and suspends people who promote negativity and abuse on individuals and groups in society.

The one site that emphasised this idea of free speech seems to have taken a step back and changed its policies, but what does this mean for social media and the future of saying ‘anything’ we want online?

Free Speech is so Last Year

Twitter has been continuously criticised for not doing anything against those who abuse other users and share posts that could negatively influence their followers. It recently doubled its tweet’s character limit too, giving people the chance to express even more in their posts.

However, tweeting freely seems to have caused people legal problems, with people being taken to court because of the posts they’ve shared on Twitter. The social site has recently suspended political people because of their negative opinions against others.

A Change of Views

Twitter has changed and updates it policies that concern nudity, unwanted sexual advances, images and symbols that promote hate and any tweets that show violence in a positive light. Twitter will create internal tools that identify anything that the site deems inappropriate.

Shared pictures that are considered ‘intrusive’, ‘creepy’ or ‘non-consensual’ with be dealt with accordingly. It seems the social media site is looking out for the well-being of its users, rather than popularity with everyone. Any posts that could inspire violence or abuse will be removed, and if a person or group continues to break the rules, their account will be suspended permanently. Any users associated with violent groups, which encourage hate crime and abuse and try to further the cause will also be monitored and removed if found to be pushing their negative views onto others.

However, this rule will not apply to military or government groups or people promoting peaceful perspectives on their accounts.

A Look to the Future

It’ll come as no surprise that other social media sites will try to promote this idea of free speech in an aid to gain some sort of popularity. Social sites that have a lot less policies concerning posts will attract users who want to express all sorts of political and personal views. Nevertheless, it won’t be long until other sites take a leaf out of Twitter’s book. Facebook is constantly changing its privacy policies and has started looking at how the popularity of its site can benefit those struggling with mental health issues and searching for help.

The future of social media looks a lot more censored as it is a great benefit to the younger generations that are connecting to sites such as Twitter. The site has really been listening to what the people want – an increased character limit and censorship. The new rules will tackle hate speech and minimise the amount of abuse carried out on the site, which means we are entering a whole new era of social media – one which will be far more beneficial to those who are subject to cyber bullying and victimisation through hate crime and abuse.

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