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Greg Swan WCCO space150

We all have friends who have announced, unceremoniously and often emotionally, that they are taking a break from or quitting social media.

Especially in this post-election spin cycle, more people than ever before are considering taking a break from the always-on newsfeed.

Why is it hard to let go? 

For starters, it’s important to remember that modern social media is more than 10 years old. It’s no longer a nice-to-have distraction, and instead it’s often our 1) primary connection to others, primary source of news and entertainment, and 3) our opportunity to have our voice heard. And thanks to the anytime mobile web and our smart phones, we have 24/7 access.

But the truth is that we share less personal information on surface (public) social than ever before. Personal social sharing on Facebook is down 15% this year over last year, which means a lot of the content you’re seeing in social media isn’t about your friends. It’s more often comfort content click-bait or political-fueled news.Much like how we used to get our news primarily from late night shows or The Daily Show, now it’s more from social media headlines that inform our notion of what’s happening in the world. And of course, fake news sites have contributed to the burnout, especially if the people in your network aren’t thinking critically about what they’re sharing.

So what should we do about social media fatigue?

For starters, please don’t declare you’re taking time away from social media like you’re going to be missed. Just do it.

Greg Swan space150 WCCO tv

Here are three ideas:

  1. Turn off notifications on your phone — lesson the constant reminders and distractions
  2. Delete social networking apps on your phone — check via desktop only
  3. Take a digital detox. I personally take an unplugged week every single year. You should, too.

I was interviewed by our local CBS affiliate this week on the topic. Here’s the story…

FROM WCCO-CBS-TV:

Over the past few months, you may have heard friends declare, “I’m done with social media.”

Then they post again the following day.

So, why is it so hard to quit?

Our feelings about social media can span a range of emotions. Some may feel it is too political, too negative or too polarizing — while at the same time see how well it allows for connection and access to information.

“First, we have to think about the benefits of social media,” says Greg Swan, a vice president of public relations and brand Innovation at Minneapolis advertising agency space150. “Why do we want to be on social media?”

He points out three major benefits: connections with other people, a way to share your voice and a popular vehicle for getting the news.

We are sharing fewer cute kid photos every year. Personal social sharing is down 15 percent year over year, making way for more news and commentary online.

Sixty-two percent of people now say they get their news from social media.

“You think about why you can’t quit social media? That’s where you get your news in 2016,” Swan said.

Cornell researchers looked at some of the reasons people who quit Facebook were drawn back in. They studied surveys of people who chose to take in the “99 Days of Freedom” Facebook challenge by stepping away from the social media site. Not everyone could stay off Facebook the entire 99 days.

They found four major reasons for returning back to the site. First, people who think it is addictive are more likely to fall back into the habit.

Second, people who use Facebook to influence how other people think of them had a better chance of not completing the challenge.

Third, good moods kept people off the site for longer compared to bad moods.

And fourth, people were more likely to stay away if they still took part in other social media platforms.

Swan says the ubiquity of our smartphones also plays a role.

“There’s more technology in this phone than what sent the first person to space. It’s no wonder we can’t put it down,” Swan said. “That said, it doesn’t take a lot to set them down and walk away.”

He suggests taking a social media break if you think you need it by unfollowing people or groups you believe to be toxic, deleting the apps from your phone or stopping for a short period of time.

He locks his phone in a safe for one week every year.

Watch the segment here:
WCCO Why Is it So Hard to Quit Social Media?

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Greg Swan, vice president of social engagement at the Space150 advertising agency, said he was recently, giddily, dropping Lures at his Minneapolis offices, with good results.

One day, “we averaged people walking by to play every two minutes,” he said. “Two minutes!”

Along these lines, the agency has been advising its clients about Pokemon Go best practices.

“For our clients with a physical footprint (stores, restaurants, entertainment destinations), we are focused on how to use Lures and Pokestops to bring players in,” Swan said.

“Consumers are looking at social brands to be culturally aware and active, so it’s been fun to see companies experiment with joining in the fun.”

Source: Pokemon craze ropes in Twin Cities businesses

Greg Swan Snapchat space150

Just over three years ago I was on WCCO explaining that Snapchat was the next big thing. Fast forward to 2016, and it’s been pretty fantastic experimenting with how brands interact with consumers in the popular chat app.

Specifically, at space150 this year we ran our summer internship program through Snapchat. We were the first company to advertise jobs exclusively through Snapchat geofilters, and the results have been extremely successful.

Here are a few of the filters we blanketed 29 colleges campuses from LA to NY with…

space150 Snapchat Tinder

space150 Snapchat SuhDude

space150 Snapchat Work Work

And here’s some of the media buzz about the program…

The Next Web: Your Snapchat story could soon land you a job:

How a person comes across on paper and in person or on film can be very different so combining a social element with someone’s academic and professional record is a much better approach to getting a full picture of the individual. Here’s to hoping more companies adopt this application process in the future and ditch the age-old application forms.

Campaign/PR Week: Agency uses Snapchat geofilters to hunt for interns:

This is the first time the agency has dedicated the entire recruitment process to Snapchat. Greg Swan, vice president of social, public relations and emerging media, says the social-media platform is already a place where students connect with friends and influencers. For an agency that receives 100 applications for every open intern position, Snapchat makes it easier to find what Swan calls “thinkers, disrupters and visionaries.”

“Whereas using Twitter to recruit was a story in 2009,” he says, “today’s recruiting medium of choice for top social-minded candidates is Snapchat.”

Candidates are expected to create a “snap story” to promote one of space150’s clients, a list that includes Nike, Buffalo Wild Wings and American Express. But there’s a twist: the story should be targeted at audiences in the year 2020. The agency will review the stories after an April 10 deadline and top candidates will be interviewed for an annual program that begins in June.

Swan says, “We wanted to cut through the traditional intern outreach and make something that captured attention and catalyzed candidates to spread the word for us.”

DigiDay: An agency is using Snapchat geofilters to find interns:

Instead of relying on standard resumes and interviews, the agency is challenging candidates to create a Snapchat story for the Space150 client of their choice — for the year 2020.

And for our local CBS-affiliate story, we even geofilter bombed their office. Because that’s a thing you can do now…

WCCO: Local company seeks interns through Snapchat:

“We are always looking for the next big thing, and to think about how we can connect with consumers in a channel that matters to them,” said Swan.

Snapchat space150 Greg Swan Jason DeRusha

To-date we’ve received more than 115 Snapchat applications. More #’s soon.

And here’s a look at the intern program:

“With the legacy social networks crossing the decade mark and prioritizing monetization over organic reach, it’s time for brands to reevaluate their approach to Always-On content.

For example, “National Doughnut Day” shouldn’t be part of your content strategy this summer, unless your company sells donuts.

Instead, audience insights, corporate priorities, time of year and publisher format should all inform your editorial calendar and your paid promotion plan to ensure the right consumers will see your content.

Every action should generate measurable awareness or drive conversions beyond the vanity metrics on the mainstream social media channels.” —Greg Swan, space150

via 5 online best practices for businesses | Minnesota Business Magazine.

greg swan throwback thursday verizon

I was interviewed by the Verizon Wireless (client) team about my personal listening through technology habits this week

“Spotify has changed my lifestyle,” he says. “I can see what my friends are listening to, the service will recommend albums and most importantly, I can access almost any album I want and stream it in its entirety with no ads onto my phone.”

Read the whole thing here:
#ThrowbackThursday: Evolution of Personal Music Tech.

This morning I caught a tweet from Steve Neuman asking news anchor Jason DeRusha about customizing WCCO’s popular “4 Things to Know” segment specifically for his life. The 4 Things segment has run for years and is a quick-hits snapshot of the news of the day.

I jumped into the fray listing my errands for the day: post office, city hall, bank and parent teacher conferences.

An hour later, Jason posted personalized videos shot from the actual anchor desk at WCCO, with customized content and title cards for both Steve and me.

How would you feel to see your daily list of errands queued up with a professional broadcast news approach? Here’s the result:

WCCO 4 Things to Know Greg Swan

Greg Swan on WCCO 4 Things You Need to Know

Bob Collins at MPR almost immediately picked this up, citing Jason’s adorableness in turning around such witty and custom content so quickly.

What I think is most impressive is the fact these are posted on WCCO.com itself, with videos hosted on their video server, and all the standard advertising surround you would get with a “normal” story. These weren’t filmed with an iPhone or posted surreptitiously on YouTube. They were professional produced, titled and shared. This wasn’t an influencer campaign designed to draw clicks. But I’m driving clicks to it for the pure fact it’s so well done. Serendipity + quality content = attention.

This is just Jason doing what he does best: 1) Understand consumer culture and how social media works; 2) Understand how TV works; 3) Be clever; and 4) Knit those three together.

PS: I already hit the post office, bank and city hall. Parent teacher conferences aren’t until later tonight. I’ll let you know how that goes on the News at 10.

I did this interview ages ago, talking about the concept of “success theater,” what passes for an “influencer” these days, and some of the stand-outs I’ve been most impressed with from Minnesota — namely Abraham Piper and Nick Massahos.

Here’s what made it into the Social Status: Influential Minnesotans on Social Media piece

Through the lens of social media, there are no dirty dishes.

“Whether or not we realized it, from the beginning, social media has been about online reputation management,” says Greg Swan, senior vice president of brand innovation and digital at Weber Shandwick. “Social media is an extension of your personality—but only the best parts.”

“Our parents might have been greatly influenced by Don Shelby or a Minnesota Viking endorsing a car dealership,” says Weber Shandwick’s Swan, who has nearly 9,000 Twitter followers of his own. “Young people today are more moved by an endorsement from people their age, in their interest group.”

I have to say this is one of the best social media influencer round-ups I’ve read from the Twin Cities media community. The subject of who is popular on Twitter was played out years ago, but the individuals they’re highlighting here truly are niche influencers — tastemakers — who are impacting their respective communities.

Nice work by Allison Kaplan at MSP Mag pulling all of this together. It’s really great.

Full article: Social Status: Influential Minnesotans on Social Media.