Are Push Notifications Pushing You Away?

FSP Push Notifications

Ding, ding, ding went the bell…but it’s more likely your smartphone. Judy Garland was talking about your heart in the Trolley Song, but today’s phones are clanging, dinging and zinging and nobody’s actually talking. So what’s all the noise about? Push notifications.

 

I wanted to talk about the pros and cons of push notifications as it relates to financial service professionals. Should I have them turned on? Should I have them go away? And a few things in between. Let’s first start with…

What is a Push Notification?

Those are the little messages you receive from your smartphone applications. The apps are monitoring incoming data and when it arrives, the provider sends you a push notification to make you aware of something you should see.

That doesn’t sound too bad, right? I mean,  you download applications so you can work more efficiently, but what happens when a good thing is overused and abused? I also know peanut butter is a healthy fat, but if I eat a jar of it, it’s not really great for me anymore.

The Pros of Push Notifications

The obvious answer is you learn about something more immediately. The application is doing the work for you to tap you on the arm and say, “Hey, pay attention to this!” My personal examples include:

  • I want to know about a text message coming through.
  • I want to know when my best clients are emailing me.
  • I want to know if my bank account was accessed.

These push notifications help me work efficiently throughout the day. I can put my energy and brain power into things which are important and matter. I can then react on items of importance. This is a good form of disruption.

The Cons of Push Notifications

I know this is going to sound completely crazy as a social media strategist, but I took a one-month hiatus from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest push notifications. Yep, I went to my phone and turned all my push notifications off for these platforms (as well as all other ancillary applications I have such as games, note taking, etc.) All of those notifications were no longer clanging, dinging and zinging at me throughout the days. Guess what I learned?

  • I turned LinkedIn back on immediately – I needed those notifications.
  • I’ve left all the other social media notifications turned off permanently.
  • I reclaimed my day without chronic disruption of the notifications.

There was no need for 98% of my phone applications to interrupt my day and rob me of valuable focus time. I understand developers are trying to use these notifications for marketing too, but it was a real pain in the ass to keep my attention focused on a money-making activity.

There is a myriad of other ways push notifications can really suck too. I’ve seen every one of these examples below. When developers of the applications do not take into account:

  • Is the information being shared an ad, irrelevant, trivial or downright spam?
  • Is the push coming at an inappropriate time of day (or night – I hate those!)?
  • Is the messaging appropriate to the audience?

For these reasons alone, I’ve become a huge believer now in turning all your notifications off, except for the ones which make/break your business, of course.

How have push notifications helped or hindered you? Inquiring minds would like to know! Any tricks you’ve found to help tame the notification beast? Let’s hear about them!

Be bigger, better and more BIONIC today!

Sheryl Brown | @BIONICsocialite

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Hey Financial Advisors, do you have any #graduates in the family? Then listen up!

graduating classMy youngest child will turn 17 next week. She is ready to be a senior and even more ready for college. She wants to go to a private university and we had a conversation about the angst she was experiencing regarding the admission process. One of the questions she posed was, “Will my social media accounts help me or hurt me when I apply, Mom?” Talk about long-term planning!

The question is not only extremely relevant with the college application process going on all over the United States, but truly long term as children think about getting “real” jobs after they graduate. Can they clean up their profiles? Is it simply a process of improving privacy parameters? What about deleting unsavory photos? Let’s discuss.

Cleaning Up Your Profile

According to the Kaplan Test Prep Survey (Nov 2014) over a third (35%) of college admissions officers have visited an applicant’s social media page to learn more about them. This is higher than I thought it would be and lends one to heavily consider cleaning up their profile. Many colleges today want a more well-rounded culture of students and that means stalking students’ profiles to make sure they fit the “feel” of the school not only when on campus, but especially when off.

One’s character may be in question when looking at comments and photos. This is why it’s important to think about what you do reply to…and maybe reply a lot less publicly on things. Especially when there are heated discussions, name calling or fighting; they can be seen as an aggressive behavior and a school may think – yeah, this one’s gonna cause a raucous at school, no thanks.

Something else you may not be considering is grammar and spelling. Jobvite held a survey and 66% of hiring managers said they held this against candidates looking for a job. Imagine a teen headed to school for journalism or video production. Spelling matters!

I’m not one who believes in censoring others. If you’ve got something to say, feel free to say it. Just understand owning those words, pictures, etc. may come with consequences. I’m also not saying it’s right to judge someone by certain comments possibly taken out of context, but know the practice of profile reviews exists and make an educated decision as a family on what these admissions officers will see and the impact it could have on a pending application.

Beefing Up Privacy Parameters

There’s a lot to be said for the “world wide web” and any button that says “publish” or “post”. Once you do, imagine whatever you just shared on a highway billboard for Grandma Mary to see. If you feel good about her seeing it and reading it, then you probably have a good thing there. If you would rather die than have her see something, then there’s your sign that you shouldn’t. Too easy, right?

Can you really expect anything you post on the internet to be “private”? I say absolutely not. If you put it out there, it’s a free for all. Snapchat is an easy target where people think something they published will disappear in 15 seconds. Are your crazy? Just screenshot that snap and it’s marked in history forever.

I strongly suggest setting personal profiles such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat to the highest privacy parameters. It’s just a safe thing to do for a child anyway, but this will make it a little more difficult to permeate their accounts. Someone may be deterred in trying to get around the privacy settings. Every graduating teen should have a LinkedIn profile with a strong profile picture and filled out reasonably well and heavily edited.

But First, Let Me Take a Selfie

Photos in and of themselves are not the issue. Teens can take selfies with their friends, post about a great football game and share pics of their meals. It’s when the pictures and videos show risque behavior, violent tendencies and shaming others that schools begin to think twice about entry to their campus.

Colleges want to avoid potential problems and lawsuits. Taking a quick peek at an applicant’s YouTube channel, Snapchat account and Twitter feed may tell a lot about someone. I recently visited a friend’s child’s Twitter profile that had a reference to marijuana in it. The parents had no idea it was there and when brought to their attention were mortified.

Be gentle with the kids when you have these conversations too. The pressure to be cool, fashionable and carefree is extremely high for them. Children’s lives are on display for the whole world to see and pass judgment. Helping them understand you have their best interest at heart and their long-term plans in mind may help them realize how important our social presence is in important decisions like a college acceptance.

Be Bigger, Better and more BIONIC!

Sheryl Brown – @BIONICsocialite

Have you ever wanted to know what it’s like to be Harry Potter? H/T to @RebekahRadice

magicVernon Dursley was the Muggle uncle of Harry Potter.  In the Sorcerer’s Stone, Uncle Vernon emphatically yells at Harry Potter, “There’s no such thing as magic!” yet we know he’s wrong…he’s so wrong.  Magic can exist!

Have you ever wanted to know what it’s like to be Harry Potter?  I think we might be able to help you get pretty close to experiencing that with some social media trickery.

Rebekah Radice has an older blog article from November 2013 titled, “52 Unique Ways to Create Social Media Magic”.  I almost completely dismissed it because of the title.  I’m human and I’m picky about titles.  I’m turned off when I see two things in article titles:

  • Buzzfeed methods of grabbing attention (13 ways to do this, 17 ways to do that…ugh)
  • Sensationalizing words (magical, powerful, ridiculously…double ugh)

But…I also admit when I’m wrong!  Although the list might be old, much of what she is sharing is very helpful.  I encourage you to read the full article but I want to zero in on her first point as it has a lot to do with financial advisors and optimizing your social media bio’s and using keywords.

Please, please please!   Make the very best use of your social media bio on each platform.  For example:

  • LinkedIn:  The four areas that absolutely are critical to be completed are the Professional Headline (that area under your name), a Summary written in first person,  your Experience written in first person and How to Contact You.  I see many errors being made in these spaces and they are keeping you from getting the best return.  If you want to look at my profile, feel free to see how I’ve set mine up.  You can also come out to AshBrokerage.com and watch playbacks of webinars where we’ve talked about filling out your profile completely.  This was solid advice Rebekah provides in her blog.

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  • Twitter:  The enter platform is built on brevity – so get to the point!  Use your bio in a way that allows you to have fun, yet tells the story of who you are.  I’m in financial services, but I’m also really into writing, speaking and dogs.  It’s ok to tell that part of the story too!

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  • Instagram:  You’ve got a little more space to tell your story, but make the story interesting and fun!  Use the space – that’s what it’s there for!

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  • Facebook:  It’s another place for you to tell people what you do!  Pull all your positions in because you never know who you’re going to connect with that might want your services.  Use your profiles!

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  • Pinterest:  You want to connect all your social media profiles and tell some fun stuff about yourself, while using all of the space. Pinterest has been a remarkable way for me to meet others, yes – even in the financial services area, through pictures!  Try it out!

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You’re given ample space in each platform – use it!  Find the words that best describe what you do and make those keywords part of your content, littering your profiles with them every where you go.

If you have questions, let me know.  I want to see you be successful with this very important part of your social media marketing though.  Optimize!!  And a round of applause for Rebekah’s great blog!

Be bigger, better and more BIONIC today!

Sheryl Brown / @BIONICsocialite