Grow your brand on these 5 trending social media platforms

Trending social media platforms offer a unique opportunity for brands to reach new audiences. Facebook, Instagram, and other major platforms are often key marketing channels, but experimenting with new and upcoming social networks on the side can provide huge benefits. As social media platforms gain traction, your brand can benefit from previously unreachable audiences, more attention, and the opportunity to establish early relationships with influencers. However, some novel platforms may decline and offer little value in the long run, whilst others simply lack a significant user base. Here we review 5 particularly promising social media networks that can help your business grow its brand awareness.

1. Vero

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Vero labels itself as the ‘True’ social media network - free from algorithms, ads, data mining, and privacy-breaches.  Creators don’t have to worry about tailoring their content to ever-changing algorithms, an issue that is present on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and most other social networks. Vero also offers greater control of who can see your posts, among other user-focused features. Endorsed by celebrities such as Rita Ora, Selena Gomez, and Kim Kardashian, it’s proving to be a small but promising competitor to Instagram. And if you do rely on Instagram as a significant marketing channel, try out Pukket (Launch22 alumnus) - a platform that rewards Instagram users for sharing your brand.

With no business pages, ads or analytics, building awareness of your brand on Vero is based on releasing great content. Need high quality visual content for your brand? Get started with these easy-to-use design tools. Vero’s lack of advertising means that start-ups and small businesses aren’t out-competed by companies with large marketing budgets. However, Vero’s user base is smaller and potentially limited by the yearly subscription fee that it levies on users.

2. TikTok

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With over a billion downloads, TikTok has been continuously topping app store charts since the beginning of 2019. The short-form video sharing platform primarily appeals to teens and young people in their 20s. TikTok allows users to add music, augmented reality filters, and stickers to 15 second videos.

Establishing your brand presence on TikTok offers the potential to reach a younger demographic of users (generation Z). Hashtags are central to TikTok, with big names such as Taylor Swift and Jimmy Fallon running hashtag video challenges to encourage fan participation.  Support for a variety of ads formats, including hashtag challenge ads, augmented reality stickers, and branded launch screens, is set to arrive in the near future. For now, creating fun videos that promote your brand and demonstrate your product is the best way of capturing attention on TikTok.

3. Viber

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Viber is a free messaging platform with over 260 million monthly active users. As a rapidly-growing competitor to WhatsApp, it’s especially popular in Russia and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia.

Viber offers powerful features for businesses. It’s easy to set up a Viber community for your brand, allowing up to 1 billion users with a shared interest to interact in a group chat. Conversational commerce is emerging as a trend for many brands, as shown by the rise of chatbots on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Alexa, and other platforms. Using personalized business messages on Viber, you can promote sales, offers, coupon codes and more. For businesses with larger budgets, Viber offers paid advertising and promotional branded stickers for use in-chat.

Unnon, previously based at Launch22, is another platform that offers public chat spaces for your audience to interact on. Connections with other Unnon users are temporary, lasting only a month before getting refreshed, making for an ever-changing experience. Unnon supports a range of media in chat, including user stories (like Instagram stories). It’s also packed with useful features such as real-time language translation and safety filters.

4. LinkedIn

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LinkedIn is by no means a new platform, but it has evolved into something much more than a recruiter’s tool. Its strong user growth in recent years makes it a useful channel for your brand. With over 630 million members and 30 million listed companies, it’s the most effective medium for reaching working professionals, executives, and CEOs at scale.

Producing valuable content for LinkedIn allows B2B brands particularly to build awareness. Long-form articles and video content covering practical advice, tips, and personal & professional experiences are often popular. Speaking to a mentor in digital marketing can be useful in finding how to best use LinkedIn to grow your brand.

5. Byte

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Byte is an up-and-coming platform set to become the new Vine. Created by Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann, the looped video sharing platform is currently in closed beta, set to launch later this year.

Byte will face competition from Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and TikTok among others. However, the simplicity and focus of a platform designed solely for sharing short and creative looping videos will likely appeal to the same audience that used Vine. Capitalizing on Byte’s release may well allow brands to draw interest from excited new users.


Interested in growing your own startup and brand? Check out these start-up tech tools to make your life easier.

Launch22 offers co-working space, experienced mentors, a community of entrepreneurs, as well as events & resources to support your entrepreneurial journey.

To keep up to date with startup news and events going on at Launch22, subscribe to our newsletter at https://www.launch22.co.uk/

5 TOOLS FOR NON-DESIGNERS

Nowadays, if you’re a marketer, you generally need to be a designer. But the truth is, some of us don’t have the skills needed nor the confidence to go through Photoshop! If that’s you, don’t worry. We gathered the best non-designer tools that will make you look like a pro!



1. Canva


Canva is always the first option when it comes to graphic design tools for non-designers. The programme is free of use and it’s a great entry point for beginners. By combining easy to create designs with professional level editing, your creations will definitely look high quality. Furthermore, Canva contains hundreds of document templates, images and fonts to choose from as well as a design school so you can learn all the tips and tricks. Most features are free, however, there are also premium offers. If you want to create flyers, graphics for your blog, header images or more, Canva is your go to.



2. Bazaart


Bazaart is an award-winning photo editor and design app for iPhone and iPad that allows you to make great edits, amazing photo manipulations and collages. It is “the most beautiful way to mix your photos into mind-blowing images”. You can effortlessly import photos from your photo library and start from there! Bazaart allows you to powerfully express your creativity and imagination by cutting the background (automatically or manually), copy, flip, scale, rotate and position images, add inspiring text and captions or control the opacity of the photos and text.



3. Tailor Brands


Tailor Brands is easy and fast. If you’re not a total perfectionist you can design anything in less than 30 seconds. Unbelievable right? Well, we gave it a try and it’s true. With their logo creator - that has no hidden tricks or pre-made logos - you can design a logo on the spot. They give you a logo with the options you chose and you can even edit it afterwards. Even though this service isn’t free, it is definitely worth mentioning. From logo designs to presentations and even entire brands, they’ve got you covered!



4. Stencil


Stencil works as a proper marketing toolkit. If your goal is to increase engagement on your social media platforms, Stencil is the way to go. It was built especially to help non-designers create visual content such as marketing images, graphics and social media posts to boost engagement. Stencil has a collection of more than 1.4 million background photos, various font styling options and weekly additions of templates ready to be customized. The platform comes with a free version - where you can work on 10 images per month - and a paid version, where your creativity has no limits!



5. Picmonkey


If Photoshop is too pricey and complicated for you, Picmonkey will be a lifesaver. You can edit photos, create collages and even design graphics from scratch. The programme is simple to use and very complete. From editing your photos through layers, eliminating red eyes, to colour retouching, everything is possible. You have the selection of many fonts, filters, overlays and text tools in your hands to make it possible to better communicate your message. Start with a free trial and figure out if it’s the option for you!



Use any of these programmes and nobody can tell you’re not a designer ;)


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Do you know of any other tools for non-designer you would like to share? Tell us here: info@launch22.co.uk


If you would like to know more about startups and what is happening at Launch22 subscribe to our newsletter: https://www.launch22.co.uk/

THE IMPORTANCE OF TRUSTING YOUR TEAM

We had a chat with Sam (the founder) and Adam (the App Developer) at Log my Care about what is really important when working in a startup and came to the topic of believing in what you’re working on and the importance of trusting your team.

 

Sam sees it as something simple: You should “believe in what you’re building. The excitement of being in a startup is in what you, as a team, are creating and if you don’t care about it you might as well be in a business that pays you!”

 

It’s very important to be excited by the vision. Especially when working in a startup, when you’re dealing with a lot of responsibility, pressure and stress. If you aren’t really interested in what you’re creating, it’s difficult to stay organised and focused, and it just feels like a burden.

 

When talking about challenges, Adam thinks that “there are so many things to focus on and so many issues that are urgent and it’s difficult to know how to prioritise and which ones to work on each day. You don’t have enough time to do all, hence, you need to choose and that’s hard.”

 

Thankfully, you’re never on your own. Having a team that you can rely on can simplify your decision making and relieve your stress.

 

The best solution, as Adam was telling us, is to “try splitting roles as clearly as we can and own problems ourselves. We help each other out with decision making but we don’t both need to get drawn into the details of everything. The point of having a good team is to trust each other and that person will go and fix the problem so you can just focus on yours.”

 

Everyone has different skills and strengths, and if in your team you can fill in each other’s gaps, that can definitely reduce stress and help in increasing productivity. It’s all linked and it can be very transparent. If you trust your team, it will show in your work and in the growth of your business.

 

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Read the rest of our interview with Sam and Adam here.

 

If you’re interested and want to know more about our space, drop us an email at info@launch22.co.uk or simply stop by our space to say hello!


A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO STARTUPS


Working at a startup can be very challenging, a ride of ups and downs, a constant exercise of combining perseverance, hard work and faith in what you are building.


We talked to Abe, the Content Curator at QDOOZ, and she told us that “[When working at a startup,] sometimes you get too much work and you have to do too many things at once” (...). “You have to be organised and get things out of the way. I’d say that’s kind of the biggest challenge that I have faced.”


That sounds demanding and very hardworking. But Abe also gets to know the best of working at a startup:


“When it comes to positives, there’s a lot of them. Definitely the experience from having so many responsibilities and a variety of work. You meet a lot of new people and there’s always the feeling that you have actually accomplished something when you get a lot of things done in a day.”

 

If you were wondering what the day-to-day in a startup looks like, that’s it. If you unsure about working in a startup, just know that “it looks amazing on your CV”, which is always a good thing, and maybe a good way to start!

 

“Moreover, you really have a chance to voice your opinions and ideas, which is different than working for a company that has got hundreds of employees, where you just do the work and your opinion has no value. So, if you really want to have your say in a company and you want to see it flourish, work for a startup.”

 

What do you say? Are you ready to give startups a chance?

 

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Read the rest of our interview with Abe here.

 

If you’re interested and want to know more about our space, drop us an email at info@launch22.co.uk or simply stop by our space to say hello!


HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF YOUR JOB

Whilst talking to Isy, the Press and Communications Manager at Sepsis Trust we came to understand that working at a small, relatively new company like Sepsis has a lot of the same challenges and thrills of a startup.


Isy told us that, within a small company, there’s the opportunity and a chance “to shape what we are doing and the way we do it too, and it is quite exciting to come to an organisation where you can be a part of the shaping and decision making of how things work rather than following the plan that has been going for ten years.”


You can take the best or the worse of each opportunity that comes your way and you shouldn’t  “be afraid of rolling up your sleeves and getting involved with things that aren’t necessarily your job.”


Plus, if you know what you like to do at your job, make it clear to others that you enjoy that and “ask to do more of it. In startups and young companies the roles aren’t set in stone, so don’t be afraid to try and make your job something that involves things that you really enjoy doing and that you are really good at.”

 

I would say that that’s a good step to make the best of your job, right?

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To read the rest of our interview with Isy click here.

If you’re interested and want to know more about our space, drop us an email at info@launch22.co.uk or simply stop by our space to say hello!


IS USING COWORKING FOR NETWORKING A REAL THING?

Networking is a great part of what makes coworking so engaging, fun and a great place to learn from other people. We talked to Aaron, the founder of Clubhouse Property Guardians, and he told us about his experience at Launch22:

 

“I’ve been part of the space for the past year and it has been amazing. It has genuinely been a life changer. I wouldn’t have made the connection with so many important people that have helped me launch Clubhouse Property Guardians. Everyone is so supportive.

Any time I’ve needed help or a connection for anything in particular, everyone [at Launch22 has] always been available to help. It has been a really fun and great place to be, and it’s been good for me to get out of the house and see people on a day to day basis and not be on my own all the time.” (…)

“I have been to a few events, and there’s always new things going. Even if something is not quite your cup of tea or you don’t particularly love it, there’s always something different next week. There’s lots of diversity and choice which I think is fun.” (…) “Plus, you end up meeting other people who are on a similar journey on their own business, you make good friendships and you help each other improve and bring new ideas to the table.”

 

Networking in a coworking space is definitely real. It’s a way of easily meeting other people who come from other skill-sets and backgrounds that can help your business, so why not give it a try?

 

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To read the rest of our interview with Aaron click here.

 

If you’re interested and want to know more about our space, drop us an email at info@launch22.co.uk or simply stop by our space to say hello!


Thrills of being the Boss

Today’s thoughts are around the joy of being entrepreneur. To be fair, we always hear about people telling you to follow your dreams and how exciting it will be (we do it too :( ).

Is this the reading you really need? We can personally tell you that it is exciting but surely there are different things you can enjoy that not a motivator but a person who just does it can tell you.

Adam is the Managing Director of Junxion, and when asked him what he likes the most he actually gave a good view of entrepreneurship that we can share.

“[What I like about doing business is definitely] unforeseen opportunities. You can plan but then plans change and only thing you can do is to roll with it. For us that could be a having a new associate, a new relationship or a new exciting project that we can say no to.


The thing I love most is helping people develop the careers that they want. With my business I create employment and i nurture them as they develop individually and professionally in their career. Running my business is realizing my ambition as well as others’ and this is the most rewarding aspect of it.”

What most people talk about is realising your dream and it is true you are, but this is not the point. Starting a business is not selfish, it is responsibility.

You lead people who decided to follow you and they rely on your decisions and the salary you give them every month.

Aim at growing the business for people, as it is people who make it.

If you need some advice about your business feel free to have a chat with us HERE and

If you’d like to know more about Adam, read this!

Challenges

Sharing personal challenges is what ‘s most enjoyable about coworking.

At Launch I met Sammy, Managing Director of UKPA, who made me feel as though I’m not the only one :).

In fact, she said: “[Fede], the number one challenge is learning to do more with less.”

 

As I’m working solo on this, I know I can’t do everything, so I need to be selective and choose what adds value to our members. This allows me to avoid pouring energy into what doesn’t grow the business.

Organic growth is critical to UKPA and I’m focusing on it.

 

This is the typical chicken and egg scenario where we have to grow our membership in order to add more value to our members.

Btw We’re hiring so, if you know anyone let me know (chuckles).”

 

When you're alone running a business, you'll need to work smart. Many things might seem important but at the end of the day there are some metrics that count more than others, and for UKPA it's memberships.

 

What’s yours?

 

Understand your own and start working on it and the rest will come along with interns and then employees.

If you are interested in Sammy’s UKPA, take a look at this blog piece or if you need any advice from the Launch22 crew about your biz, feel free to get in touch HERE!


5 steps to fail fast and re-start

Let’s say you have spotted a problem and think you have the best idea in the world to fix it

Well… this could be true, but you know what, as brutal as this may sound, you might not be the first to have thought of it.

Here are some steps you can follow to test your idea in less than a week soo… BUCKLE UP!

 

1.    DEFINE THE PROBLEM

You’ve identified a problem and feel as though you're onto something, but let’s talk about it… are you really?

This is what we call an “Assumption”, because you are assuming that you have a solution, but truth is you have nothing for now.

You need to research, understand your target customer and how crowded the market is.

This information will be extremely valuable and will give you a basic (but ever important) understanding of your idea’s potential impact.

 

2.    DRAFT UP A LEAN CANVAS

Now, get yourself a lean canvas (Ash Muraya, 2010) and jot down all the main points of your business. This tool is 10x faster than a boring and backwards business plan and will help you visualise a model of your “company to be”, which is the perfect tool for the early stages.

3.    TEST YOUR ASSUMPTION

Now, let’s say that your idea is viable… How do you test it? You might say:
“I'll secure investment to create the app (or whatever), a marketing agency to advertise and by then… I’m Jeff Bezos!“.

This would be a dream… Reality is a bit different.

In fact, you need to to learn to achieve the highest results with the least effort/resources. A start could be a simple mock-up of a page advertising the service you created, with a “hook”/prompt for new customers such as “Signup for more info”.

This hands-on approach will give you an understanding of the number of potential customers. Way more motivating than just finding out on Google stats.

Is this enough? Nope…

 

4.    CREATE A PROTOTYPE

This is the second iteration of your development process but you are stronger, considering people have shown interest in your first iteration. This phase is more challenging as you'll be creating something which won’t just represent your “core” service but will simulate its functioning. Most of the time it will be you doing everything, but it'll be fun! You can call yourself Name“Bot”Surname after that. After development comes testing. You should behave like a scientist at this point and the test results will present you with different options, which will lead you to the final stage.

 

5.    PIVOT

Pivot is the amazing concept of learning from what you’ve already done (mistakes, most of the time) by obtaining customer feedback and using it to create something which works better than your last prototype. With this comes the acceptance of you being human (not perfect) and the realisation that the best thing you can do is save the good parts of what you've already done, scrap the not-so-good and start over, ready to smash it on the next iteration!

This is not a guide to perfect success, but a guide to save you a lot of time and money… especially money.

 

Running a startup with a limited budget puts you in the mindset of obtaining the best result with the minimum effort.

In this way you are not even wasting your time because the energy you use will come useful to the next project you follow.

 

You’ll notice that iterations will take less, and less time and you’ll develop yourself not just your business

Always maintain good relationships with early adopters, as they are the ones who promoted your product and will be keen to take part in the development process, possibly in exchange for freebies ;)

Scared, motivated or interested about your idea? get in touch HERE.

Why Should I start?

If you are willing to do something on your own and feel like there's a mountain to climb, well, keep reading this. Jade, Head of Partnerships and Business Development at Presence Orb, knows the feeling and that’s what you need to bear in mind.

 

Just Do it , if you know that you have a valid (and validated) idea. Ask yourself if you're really solving the problem you identified and determine whether there’s a market for it. You might have had the idea of a lifetime but what if nobody wants/needs it?

 

Make sure there is a gap in the market for the product/services which you are providing (How? You need to do some research!). There aren't many over-saturated markets, some are big enough to allow more competitors and some do not.   

 

Do you have viability? If so, the only thing you need to worry about is not being invisible. Make sure you have a comprehensive strategy to let people know you exist and understand that you are the only solution to their problem!

 

If you are interested in knowing more about Jade and Presence Orb, you can read this too and, if starting up is hard and you feel like getting some advice, feel free to get in touch HERE!

Guest Post: 5 Compelling Reasons to Give Coworking a Try

Guest Post: 5 Compelling Reasons to Give Coworking a Try

Over the last few years, the popularity of coworking has skyrocketed, with freelancers, entrepreneurs, startups and contractors all around the world coming together to escape the isolation of a work-life away from the standard nine-to-five routine. The question is, what makes coworking such a great opportunity for today's non-traditional worker?

3 min read time

Hump Day Postulations

Hump Day Postulations

This year’s Mental Health Week agenda is that of creating “a less stressful workplace”, and at Launch22 we’ve hacked the balance between getting work done and having the opportunity to relax and unwind with fellow members of the coworking space, where you can just unplug and detach yourself from whatever is troubling you, even if just for 10 minutes. - Giulia Palmieri, Launch22 Events Coordinator

2min 30 sec read time

Eight ways thinking 'crazy' can kickstart your startup!

Eight ways thinking 'crazy' can kickstart your startup!

It was stressful having to think of one idea per minute but I enjoyed sketching out my 'Crazy 8s'. It really helped me generate some unique ideas that I wouldn't have thought of without the time pressure.

If you're feeling a bit stuck on your business idea, here are 8 reasons why sketching a Crazy 8 could help you too.

2 min read time

Five Design Thinking steps that saved my Beauty Startup

Five Design Thinking steps that saved my Beauty Startup

Last week, I went to Launch22's Design Thinking session on their Incubator Programme. This session came at a really good time for me and my beauty startup. At the moment, me and my cofounder are trying to figure out the business problem/question: is there even a demand for Asian beauty products in the UK? I learnt that the design thinking process can be used to solve this problem.

1 min 30 sec read time

Practical Guide to not Killing your (Business) Partner

Practical Guide to not Killing your (Business) Partner

Cain and Abel. Romulus and Remus. Itchy and Scratchy. What do all these iconic duos have in common? Not much some might say, considering the latter are no more than a TV show within a TV show (albeit a rather amusing one). But they do. Sure, they all ended up killing each other but it was only through their union that they were abel (zing) to create something much bigger which one them a place in history, may it be tangible or fictional.

3 min read time