How Transparency Could Help Your Business

October. 14, 2019 – Matthew Toner

“Business transparency is the process of being open, honest, and straightforward about various company operations.”

Source: Forbes
Photo by Benjamin Child on Unsplash

In the shadows lie businesses who prefer to work in the dark, away from prying eyes. Odds are, though, that you’re not running a mafia and therefore your business would actually benefit from avoiding a ‘shady’ appearance.

First things first; it’s important to get off on the right foot with your customers. A brand or product is only as relevant as their reputation, with some exceptions of course (looking at you Nike).

“When brands are transparent and develop a history of transparency, nearly nine in 10 people are more likely to give them second chances after bad experiences and 85% are more likely to stick with them during crises.”

Source: Sprout Social Blog

Social media can be a fantastic outlet to keep your customers involved and updated. Giving regular updates doesn’t mean you have to post every hour on the hour, but even small updates can be better than radio silence. Considering studies show millennials hold brands to a much higher standard on social media than other outlets, this holds doubly true (Mike Kappel, Forbes, 2019).

Unfortunately for consumers, but fortunately for you, most brands aren’t yet considered to be adequately transparent. This is an opportunity for brands or companies who embrace transparency to a higher degree to stand out and show prospect customers they’re different.

Source: Sprout Social Blog

In conclusion, transparency is more important than ever before. As a business trying to stand out the use of openness and honesty can go a long way in securing long term customers, who may even forgive you if you make mistakes along the way.

So try it out for yourself. Start sending out little updates on what the business is up to, or even big updates if you want to be totally transparent. The choice is yours, but do yourself a favour and boost the credibility of your business today!

Use the hashtag #Stay_in_the_loop to share your progress with the world!

Freedom is Our Right, Censorship is Our Reality.

From Hong Kong to Iraq, Governments have taken away the voices of their people

October. 14, 2019 – Matthew Toner

Photo by Joseph Chan on Unsplash

“The right to express yourself and form your own opinions is an essential feature of a democracy. […] In Canada, section 2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication.”

Source: CCLA

Who does a population turn to when it’s own government, the institution in place to serve and protect, has repeatedly gone against the interest of it’s people? Around the world everyday citizens, just like you, have risen up to speak out against their governments.

Garnering the support of external forces is essential for protesters to achieve their goals, regardless of the cause or reason. For example, on the subject of the ongoing Hong Kong protests, Grace Shao of CNBC wrote: “Media experts say social media has played a significant role in the documentation, organization, and assembly of the large-scale protests”. The fight for Hong Kong is reaching critical levels as the situation drags on, and social media is becoming a huge asset for the protesters, as they use social media to rally much of the West on their side. That being said, social media is also being used, and abused, by the authorities wrestling for control.

“Social media has been used by both demonstrators and authorities “as a tool in the battle for public opinion,” says Tracy Loh, senior lecturer of communication management at Singapore Management University.

Source: Grace Shao for CNBC

Governments have always attempted to control media to varying degrees, a process known as ‘gate-keeping’, whereas content runs through a filter designed and maintained by authorities in order to influence the opinions and beliefs of their populations. Unfortunately, some governments also censor the opinions of those who disagree. The following video depicts a protest in Iraq, where the government has attempted to limit the amount of coverage being shared on social media with the rest of the world on the current state of affairs.

Source: Guardian News on YouTube

Now is not the time to turn a blind eye on those who need our help. Freedom is a right that shouldn’t stop mattering due to borders on a map. It’s time to get involved, and help change the world into a better place.

Show your support today:

Tweet using the hashtags #FightForHongKong #Save_the_Iraqi-People

We Live in a Mean World, Should you be Afraid?

September. 30, 2019 – Matthew Toner

Photo by Verne Ho on Unsplash
Is Social Media Affecting your Perception of the World?

The world can be a scary place. When you scroll down your feed whether you’re using Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc. you’ve doubtlessly come across reports of terrorism, accidents, scandals along with innumerable other horrifying events taking place around the world, or even in your own area. It may feel overwhelming at times, but should you be scared?

With the rise of social media came a new wave of mediums to share and spread the many notable events taking place as they happen. As such, news sources have changed dramatically in the past 30 years. News used to be primarily consumed in the form of news papers, and eventually news channels, which were (and still are) the subject of heavy gate-keeping. Nowadays with online forums and individual run pages it’s becoming harder for institutions and corporations to choose what gets shown to the general public. Pages such as r/watchpeopledie (since quarantined) allowed users to upload video of, you guessed it, people dying. Larger news channels tend to have regulation preventing such types of footage from being aired.

Source: Forbes

As such, this type of content has led to a rise in the ‘Mean World Syndrome’, a concept introduced in the Cultivation Theory by G. Gerbner:

“Cultivation theory states that high frequency viewers of television are more susceptible to media messages and the belief that they are real and valid. Heavy viewers are exposed to more violence and therefore are affected by the Mean World Syndrome, the belief that the world is a far worse and dangerous place then it actually is.”

Source: MassCommTheory

In reality, despite what social media may lead you to believe, it is EXTREMELY unlikely you are going to be injured or killed by a terrorist attack. As proven in this article by Andrew Shaver for the Washington Post (2015):

You’re more likely to be fatally crushed by furniture than killed by a terrorist

Source: Andrew Shaver – Washington Post
November 23, 2015

So what should you take away from this? The world is a big, scary, unpredictable place… But you shouldn’t be afraid. Instead of filling other’s feeds with the negative events of today, I invite you to share something positive that happened in your world today with #PositiveWorld, and help bring awareness of the wonderful aspects of our shared world.

Wading Through a Saturated Industry: A Producer’s Perspective

September. 23, 2019 – Matthew Toner

Photo by Tanner Boriack on Unsplash

Piercing hi-hats, hard hitting kicks, and sharp snares; today’s music culture is brimming with new producers, or beat makers, seeking to be the next Metro Boomin. Unfortunately the harsh reality of the modern music industry for these non-established producers is the vast majority will never get more than a few hundred plays, let alone sales.

The barrier to entry is lower than ever before as equipment such as mics and audio interfaces get cheaper, along with software becoming more accessible and powerful. Combined with a plethora of free educational resources online such as YouTube, it’s becoming harder and harder to stand out among the ever growing sea of bedroom producers.

“Nowadays the internet and computer-assisted music offer everything you need to make music and to share it. But on the other hand the music industry is so saturated that you barely have a chance to carve a space for yourself.”

Dead Sea – LANDR blog – 09/01/15

So how does one succeed in an over saturated market? “No matter how crowded your industry, even if it’s full of major brands, you can achieve success by setting yourself apart,” says Angela Stringfellow, Chief Ideation Officer for Coda Concepts in the American Express article. Angela also mentions the importance of change. In the same article Seena Sharp, founder and managing director of Sharp Market Intelligence, states that “[c]hange is a synonym for opportunity. If you don’t know what’s changing—with your customers, competitors, distribution channels, alternative uses, features and more, your customers will buy from those who do.”

It’s safe to say innovators who go above and beyond the call of duty, trying new things to move the industry forward are the producers which succeed, not those who follow in the footsteps of others. Such as how the revered Kanye West changed hip-hop; not by releasing cookie-cutter beats, but by making them his own and through reading his audience and exceeding expectations.

So get back in the studio and innovate.

Share what you make with the #prodinnovation hashtag for a chance to win a copy of Ableton Live 10!

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