Last week, I had the distinct pleasure of talking social media, branding and the business of making money online on ESSENCE Live. Joined by Crissle West of The Read, Whitney White of Naptural 85, we talked about the life of social media entrepreneurs, common misconceptions and how we built wealth online.
Making money online isn’t child’s play. Nowadays, there’s serious corporate budgets behind social media campaigns, social media influencers as brand ambassadors and more readily available now more than ever before. Within my first year of blogging, I’ve made money as an ambassador of Samsung, worked with Verizon, Ford and Toyota. Check out some of my thoughts on monetizing influence with ESSENCE Live host Dana Blair (and a few bonus thoughts / and video) below.
“Are you making money online?”
Yes. While I’m not (yet) making millions, I make a very comfortable living because of my social media brand online. While I’m not making it rain anywhere, I’ve been taught that it’s better to be humble and unassuming about how much you make (like Steve Jobs and Oprah) rather than boasting and (probably lying) about your net worth.
“What’s the good/bad of monetizing social media?”
The good part about being your own boss is the freedom you have to do what you love, and you get paid while doing it. The downside that I didn’t anticipate just how much of that freedom is sucked dry by obsessing over scheduled posts, speaking engagement details and other revenue producing components.
People often have the misconception that you have to be a huge social media superstar to make money online. That’s simply not true. There are plenty of social media influencers with hundreds of thousands of fans and followers and they’re trying to figure out how to make money, just like the blogger that just began branding online. The difference between the ones that succeed and the ones that fail is the perception. If you have a strategic goal of who you want to speak to, what you want to accomplish, when you want to make money and why brands should want to work with you – you’ve catapulted your brand far ahead beyond anyone else. Social media size doesn’t always matter.
Check out the abbreviated version of last week’s ESSENCE Live segment and let me know what you think below!
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If you knew that social media could affect your credit score, you might not post that next super-filtered selfie or 3-hour vent on Facebook. Social media and credit scores? Yes, there’s a connection that you need to see to believe. Discover how credit bureaus could be judging your social media behavior and how it could affect your credit worthiness below.
According to Forbes, FICO, one of the nation’s largest credit rating companies, recently expanded the ways it tests a consumer’s creditworthiness, including looking at information posted on social media sites such as Facebook.
The company, creator of the FICO credit scoring system, is also looking at sifting through smartphone records, according to various media reports. “If you look at how many times a person says ‘wasted’ in their (Facebook) profile, it has some value in predicting whether they’re going to repay their debt,” FICO chief executive Will Lansing told the Financial Times newspaper.
Creepy? Indeed. But hardly surprising when you take a step back and consider all the ways big data searches have been creeping into our daily lives and seemingly invading our privacy. Tapping Facebook to determine the credit quality of young borrowers — or anyone for that matter — is just another step in this nothing-is-private-anymore process.
Now, with so much more personal data out there, companies have come up with the software to capture it. Generally, the technology allows a credit rating company to search for certain key words, phrases and slang terms for drinking and partying — like getting smashed, trashed and wasted.
FICO has noted that the new credit assessment tests are not fully intended to negatively impact a person’s credit score. A clean image on Facebook, for example, might actually help a person get credit.
Do you think social media affects the way you work, do business and play? If you could share just one social media tip with your younger self, what would it be? Sound off in the comments below!
Ever found yourself snooping on an old flame’s Instagram page, only to make the mistake and double-tap a picture from 129 weeks ago? Oh rookie, there’s an app to make sure you never make that lurking and liking mistake again. What about stepping up your cuffing season strategy with little help from tech? Just in time for Fall, there’s a new prototype that’ll create the perfect Netflix and chill setting for anyone. Not quite ready for hibernation, Netflix is looking for you! Grammasters is back. If you want to get paid to travel and take pictures of amazing film and TV locations, discover how to work with Netflix and more InstaHacks below!
Bye Bye Lurking Mistakes
Instasnoop is an app that allows you to check out anyone’s profile (as long as it’s public) and snoop to your heart’s content by disabling likes, tagging and commenting. You don’t need to be afraid of accidentally double-tapping on a photo and liking it — whew. No more embarrassing encounters with your frenemy from college.
Also, Instasnoop has the added capability of being able to ZOOM IN to a photo, so you can check out exactly who that girl is in the back who looks like your old neighbor from childhood. All you need is an Instagram account that you’ve authorized Instasnoop to access. Plus! If you have people you check on the reg — maybe your work crush or your brother’s new gf — you can add them to a SnoopList that you can easily access with the tap of an icon. (free on iOS)
“Netflix and chill” button
Remember the first time you heard the phrase “Netflix and Chill”? There’s now an official “Netflix and chill” button that you can hack together to bring your binge watching/couch potato activities to the next level. Not currently available for purchase, this maker-made button is an all-in-one: it can turn on your smart TV, open up the Netflix app, dim your Phillips Hue lights, silence your phone, order you food, etc all with the push of one button. Yes. It is very DIYable (head to The Switch website for instructions).
Want to get paid to travel and take pictures of amazing film and TV locations?! Duh, you do! Netflix also has a super cool program for Instagrammers called Grammasters. Netflix is on the hunt for three accomplished Instagrammers – or what it calls “Grammasters” – to explore the US (and other locations throughout the American continent, possibly) while taking “beautiful pictures for Netflix Instagram channels.” All travel arrangements will be taken care of by Netflix, with the job involving shooting content at “iconic film and television locations.” You might even find yourself on the sets of Netflix originals or other “awesome shows and films.” So, how to apply. First, you’ll have to join the thousands of others and become a follower of Netflix’s Instagram account. After that, then you’ll have to add the hashtag #Grammasters to your best three Instagram shots so the judges can see if your work is likely to be worth the $4,000 paycheck.
These are just a few of the latest trending InstaHacks going on, what are some of your favs? Let us know in the comment section below and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram too @DivasandDorks!
Is it us or is Instagram and snapchat starting to look a lot alike these days? Starting today on Instagram you do a whole lot of sharing like SnapChat and more!
Starting today on Instagram you can reply with photos in a thread and start a convo with just text. Plus, rather than tag friends in the comments of public feed posts you want them to see, Instagram now has a new Direct share button that lets you send other peoples photos or videos in a private chat.
The changes could prime Instagram Direct for the rapid-fire back-and-forth photo messaging popular amongst teens that fueled Snapchat’s ascent. It could also give people a way to talks with friend about interesting public posts without their conversation getting lost in the endless reels of comments spurred by celebs and popular users.
“I definitely think it’s an evolution” an Instagram spokesperson says regarding how Direct threads work. Previously, one person would send a photo or video, and recipients could send hearts or leave comments. But if they wanted to send a reaction photo or another image to further the discussion, they had to start a whole new thread. “Now they’re conversations whereas before they were just a moment” she said.
To power quick-draw convos, Direct now features an in-line camera. A quick tap adds a photo to the chat, while a tap-and-hold shoots a video. The design of the button, complete with a red line creeping around the button as you use up seconds of video, is almost identical to Snapchat’s trigger.
Direct messages can also include special hearts and big emoji. You could imagine teens sending a funny photo and then all their friends replying with selfies of them laughing or related emoji.
And if you don’t have an image to share you can now start threads with a text message. You can message anyone. If they follow you, the thread goes right into their inbox, and if they don’t, it stays hidden in a pending cue unless the recipient approves.
Now, the Direct button beside ones for likes and comments will pull up a friend selector showing the people and groups you’ve recently Direct messaged. Tap a few and you can quickly send them the post privately. Similar to Twitter’s recently added feature that lets you DM tweets, allows you to backchannel in secret. That way you can snark about your frenemies or elaborate without your convo being fragmented amongst other comments.
People can also share hashtag pages, location pages, and user profiles via Direct. With about 25% of its 300 million-plus user base on its messaging feature, it needs more ways for people to pull content from outside their network into chat threads. Now when you discover something awesome on Instagram, it could entertain your friends too.
If you’re new to Periscope you’ve probably noticed that there are some great Periscope users that share great content, and then there are some users that overshare way too much for your liking. Twitter added a much-needed feature to its Periscope live-streaming app: The ability to cut back on notifications from those who stream way too much.
Included in an iOS app update on Monday, the company rolled out a mute button that prevents users from receiving a push notification when certain users they follow go live. You may want to get a notification when your favorite band or celebrity live streams something, but the feature lets you quiet alerts from power users you don’t want to hear from multiple times a day.
The feature can be accessed on each person’s Periscope profile page. By tapping the small bell icon next to the “Following” feature, you’ll be able to mute notifications for that user. Their broadcast updates will still appear in your feed via the app, but it’ll prevent those live moments from interrupting dinner with a push notification.
The ability to choose language preferences via profile settings also comes in the app update. This means users will be able to see broadcasts in their native language, rather than clicking through live streams they don’t understand. Although Periscope is still rather new, this small addition is a big step toward making the app even more user friendly — quieting those who make a little too much noise one mute button at a time. BOOM.
Are you on Periscope? Check out the Divas And Dorks’ #TechTuesdayTalks every Tuesday at 2pm on Periscope.
Make sure you follow @DivasandDorks on Periscope for all things stylish, sassy and fun in technology.
Instagram is rolling out Layout, a free, standalone app that merges multiple images into one. It’s available on iOS now (on the App Store), and an Android version is expected in the next few months.
Users pick up to nine photos from their phone’s Camera Roll — whether they were snapped via Instagram doesn’t matter. The app organizes them in three sections: recent photos snapped, photos with people’s faces in them, and an area with all your shots. There’s also a “Photo Booth” feature, which employs the smartphone’s front-facing camera to snap four shots in quick succession.
Layout suggests up to 10 collage templates to choose from, depending on the number of selected photos, and lets folks tweak their work any number of ways, like dragging and dropping photos in the collage, pinch-to-zoom, and a sci-fi-like “mirror” effect that duplicates part of a shot. Afterwards, they can share their creations from inside the app to platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Flipboard, Slack and others. (Twitter integration is noticeably absent.)
Why collages? Look at the numbers. According to Instagram, one in five active users — at least 60 million people — already use third-party mobile apps like Diptic, Moldiv and Stitch to make collages.
Layout is the second companion app from Instagram. Last fall, the company rolled out an app called Hyperlapse that lets users create image-stabilized, time lapse videos. Are you a Hyperlapse user? Looking forward to using Layout for your next photo-sharing collage? Tell us below!
How do you comfort a Facebook friend that you fear may harm themselves? Discover the Facebook suicide prevention tools that can benefit your friends below.
Facebook has added new tools to assist users who express suicidal thoughts. In a recent blog post, Facebook announced it has worked with mental health organizations including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Now Matters Now to find the proper way to offer assistance through the social network.
If someone posts something that indicates self harm or suicidal thoughts and it is reported to Facebook, they will be encouraged to speak with a mental health expert at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and will be offered tips and support to help work through their issues. Facebook says these methods were created in “conjunction with our clinical and academic partners.”
Facebook is also offering resources to those who flag the troubling posts, giving them the option to call or message the person and giving them access to the suicide hotline for support. These updates will roll out to US users over the next couple of months, and Facebook says it’s working to improve its suicide prevention tools across the globe.
Adding tech to your holiday gatherings can help capture great memories… just try not to get too obsessed with holiday tech…
Have you ever found yourself wondering if it was appropriate to check your work email during a holiday party? Do you feel guilty about entertaining your kids with technology during the busy holiday season? Is it hard for you to live in holiday moments without over-sharing on social media? In a recent survey by Microsoft, Americans shared their anxieties and concerns about holiday technology. Luckily for you, you’re not the only one sending your thank you notes via text and even better, most people think it’s completely acceptable. Still wondering about holiday tech etiquette? Here are some tips to help guide you this season.
1. Go ahead, take a holiday selfie! You’ll be in good company. According to the survey, 75 percent of American parents are likely to post to social media during a holiday gathering, so whether it’s a video of your favorite sister unique approach to a selfie or pictures of the annual neighborhood Thanksgiving football game, share away! I set up my Cannon camera on a tripod and my entire family got in on capture their favorite Thanksgiving dinner moments.
2. Happy holidays, world! If you’re in the mood to spread holiday cheer to everyone on your contact list, pen and paper aren’t your only option. Although according to the survey, 43 percent of people still send cards via traditional mail, more than half of Americans are OK with sending mass holiday well wishes via text message. So it’s OK to forget the stamps and hit send instead to share the joy this year.
The holidays are the perfect time to set up a camera and take a good selfie!
4. Don’t stress about keeping the kids entertained. When traveling for the holidays, 72 percent of parents use technology to entertain their kids. And don’t feel guilty about letting them watch or play what they want. Only 7 percent of parents restrict kids to educational shows, movies and games compared to 40 percent who aren’t worried as much about the content, as long as it keeps kids busy in the car or on the plane.
5. Use tech to make thank you’s more personal. If you’re not into writing thank-you notes the old-fashioned way, consider sending a quick video message using Skype or Qik instead. That way the gift giver can see and hear how much you appreciate the gift. You can also share a story or two about everything the family has been doing this holiday season.
Auntie and Uncle are too busy checking social media to notice baby Abby demolishing the dinner roll…LOL
5. Don’t fret, you aren’t the only one checking your phone at the holiday table! If you find yourself sneaking a peek at your phone during the family holiday dinner – you’re not alone. Forty-one percent of Americans admit to checking their phone secretly under the holiday table, according to the survey. But phone checkers beware, while a majority of Americans feel it’s completely appropriate to check social media during holiday gatherings, only 34 percent approve of people looking at work email. If the dings of incoming emails are too enticing, use a digital personal assistant like Cortana to set quiet hours on your phone so incoming calls go straight to voicemail and all notifications are silenced.
You have enough to think about during the holidays. Don’t let technology etiquette add extra stress. So, go ahead and post a holiday selfie, overshare your favorite moments and create long-lasting holiday memories! (You won’t be the only one.) How do you stay tech savvy (without being tech obsessed) over the holidays? Share your stories and tips below.
Did you know: 40% of daily users visit the Explore page on an average day! If you’re one of the four people who live by navigating the Explore page, then this latest Instagram update is especially for you! To help us find even more accounts to follow Instagram has made the search bar more prominent and smarter with typeahead search, like predictive text but better.
Another new feature is the People tab on the Explore page. With this in mind, you’ll see that the Explore icon at the bottom of your screen has changed to a magnifying glass. When you open Explore, you’ll now see two tabs: Photos and People. The Photos tab has not changed. It contains the same scrolling grid of photos and videos you already know. The new People tab highlights interesting accounts for you to discover.
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Finding new accounts to obsess over is fun and all, but two thing that aren’t are typos and dull captions. With the intro of caption-editing, this update fixes that headache as now you can edit those captions until you (and the grammar police on your page) are satisfied. You’ll find a new “Edit” option in the menu beneath your image. Tap it to edit your caption.
Are you excited about the latest Instagram updates that enable you to discover new photos, accounts and edit dull captions? Are there any other Instagram updates you’d like to see soon? Sound off with your suggestions below!
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