Inspired by four-legged Instagrammers

Today’s post was barked to us by our lovely ladies Sophie + Trixie.

Hello human friends! This week’s inspiration comes to us from fellow animals of Instagram, way better at social media than most mere humans. How much better you ask? “Some tens of thousands of followers better” we reply!

We begin the list with our absolute favorite, Nutello the pug. To put this in terms you’ll surely understand, Nutello is the Ryan Gosling of dog kind. We’re not kidding, we day dream about him at least 5 times a day.

NutellaPug

Now, the greatest thing about Nutello is that while we all know he’s just your ordinary everyday down to Earth pug, he can still surprise you by being a hot & trendy jet setter on his way to a business meeting in Beijing regarding the import of some hundreds of pairs of shoes to chew on. Woof!

Unfortunately this has never happened to us, but we’ve heard that when Nutello romances a female dog, Nutello conquers her heart by being a combination of dorky, gangsta’, artistic, adventurous and romantic. When he isn’t dressing up like his favorite characters or drowning his sorrow in his bodyweight’s equivalent of beer, Nutello loves conquering the slopes on snowboarding escapades and working out and does it with stylishness that leaves us wondering: “Huh! Why didn’t we think of that?”

You know we love ALL animals, but there’s a special place in the Instagram Hall of Fame strictly reserved for hedgehogs. These cute goldmines are literally walking/crawling photo-opportunities, and we have been studying your behavior for long enough to know that humans are simply not programmed to ignore tiny baby animals.

Hedgehog

Turbo the African pygmy hedgehog, not only an accomplished guitar player slash avid reader and drinker of Chinese tea while watching TV, owns so much awesome tiny furniture that it almost makes us want to call Lego and ask if those come in doggy sizes. Even if he’s clearly a perfect being and accomplished Gourmet chef, Turbo is only hedgehog after all, so he sometimes screws up by eating at McDonalds.

If you thought it couldn’t possibly get any cuter, we give you Darcy.

DarcyHedgehog

Just as his British name suggests, Darcy possesses a certain je ne sais qui that makes him do to our sensitive puppy hearts what global warming does to glaciers.

We couldn’t possibly bark about the hedgehogs of Instagram without mentioning Mr. Expressivity himself, his hedgy shortness Marutaro, the hog with a thousand faces.

MarutoNot having to compete with others of his kind because he has created a category for himself, Marutaro sometimes lets humans hold him and fancies lounging in very snuggly positions, so much so that he make us both kind of want to spoon him, possibly at the same time.

There’s a special place in our hearts for Maru the Shiba.

Maru.ShibaAlthough with his appealing athletic doggie-build he is clearly not what you would call a tiny animal, he manages to be irresistibly cute with his sometimes awkward positions and Napoleon Dynamite-esque vibes. His owners must be very happy to have him and of course those 1.4m followers help. How do you do it, Maru, how DO you do it?!!

Everybody knows we’re not the greatest cat fans, but lastly, we were also just-a-bit inspired by Tard the grumpy cat, who does hit a few spots quite close to our home.

GrumpyCatHis witty captions make him sound like one of our human owners, sometimes, like when they’re having a really bad day and then accidentally kick a door with their pinky toe.

That’s all from us Trixie and Sophie for this week, you folks take care and have a great weekend, we know we will!

If you enjoyed this post, follow Sophie on FB and Trixie on Instagram.

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Socializing for Business

After years of chasing Facebook fans and Twitter followers, many companies now stress quality over quantity. They are tracking mentions of their brand, then using the information to help the business.

SocialHere’s a little thought experiment for you. Imagine you have a friend who is a sales rep for cosmetics or vitamins or jewelry. Now imagine that every time this friend calls you, they start the conversation by telling you about their latest great offer. How long would it be before you stopped answering their calls? If they left a voicemail that talks about their latest great offer, would you return their call or even listen to the whole message?

The point is, your company’s Facebook page and Twitter profile are that friend. If all they do is shout sales messages, how long before your followers completely tune out?

“Fans and follower counts are over. Now it’s about what is social doing for you and real business objectives,” says Jan Rezab, chief executive of Socialbakers AS, a social-media metrics company based in Prague.

U.S. companies spent $5.1 billion on social-media advertising in 2013, but a Gallup poll shows “consumers are highly adept at tuning out brand-related Facebook and Twitter content. Brands assumed incorrectly that consumers would welcome them into their social lives. Then they delivered a hard sell that turned off many people.”

The purpose of your Social Network (try to stop thinking of it as Media) is to engage and interact with your followers – who are hopefully also your customers. Inform and entertain them. Pay attention to what people are posting about you. Respond to their questions and comments. And occasionally, let them know about a sale or special offer.

At House of Current, we would love to help you reshape your Social content and truly engage your audience. But instead of Tweeting to us or commenting on our Facebook page, maybe you should just contact Lisa Maloof at lmaloof@houseofcurrent.com or 404.478.4162.

Do-it-your-selfie Marketing

In the time it takes to read this sentence, 87,000 selfies* will be taken in America alone. (*We totally made that number up, but it’s probably a good guess.) After all, there are currently over 125 million images on Instagram tagged with the word ‘selfie’ –  according to WGSN.  Selfies now make up almost a third of all shots taken by people aged 18-24.

HOC-SelfieThere is a lot more to those numbers than mere popularity, according to Sarah Gervais, assistant professor of social-law psychology at the University of Nebraska.  “Rather than being bombarded with images in popular magazines, television and web pages that feed our discontent, we can look through our Instagram feed and see images of real people,” she wrote for Psychology Today.

The selfie, as a part of the visual-based social media world in which consumers now live, centers around the idea of being able to regulate what we’re exposed to and how we expose ourselves to others.

And wherever there’s exposure to be gained, marketers can’t be far behind. By October 2013, 884 brands were running selfie contests over Twitter, according to social media benchmarking company, Unmetric. Retailers in particular have seen the benefit in a tool that enables consumer interaction, all the while subtly encouraging the most organic of social sharing.
French Connection launched a campaign called #canthelpmyselfie, which invited shoppers in five of its UK stores to snap shots of themselves in the new collection – those images then appeared on large screens in the windows where people walking by (as well as those online) could vote for their favorite ‘model’ by placing their hand in front of sensors in the windows. Zappos encouraged Instagram users to use the word ‘next’ in front of their usual ‘outfit of the day’ hashtag to invite the Zappos stylist into their virtual closet. The Zappos stylist will then scroll through all public images on that account to make personalized shopping suggestions for the user.

As the numbers mentioned in the beginning of this post show, people don’t need much motivation to snap a selfie. That means you don’t need to offer a huge prize to make your selfie promo a success. Focus on interaction, fun and the gratification that comes from being part of something cool.

If you’re ready to launch your own Selfie Promo, HOC can help you create a truly engaging campaign that is sure to leave you smiling. Or if you just want tips on how to take a great selfie, we can help with that too. Simply e-mail Lisa at lmaloof@houseofcurrent.com.