Highlights from Mobile World Congress 2015

Ikea furniture with wireless charging
Ikea furniture with wireless charging

The first few months of the year are always abuzz with tech news coming out of CES and Mobile World Congress, and 2015 has been the year of the connected everything. If you didn’t have the pleasure of traveling to Barcelona last week, we have you covered. Here is our take on the most interesting news that came out of MWC.

Ikea is making wireless charging furniture and Samsung is getting in on it

I know, more connected things. I was skeptical at first too. But then I realized this means I could ditch that extension cord that runs from the opposite side of my bedroom, under my bed, up my nightstand and under my pillow to get a charge. The idea is that you could place your smartphone on a piece of furniture embedded with the charging technology and it would then power up wirelessly. The new furniture will be compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge and covers will be available for incompatible iPhone and Samsung models. So it’s not perfect yet but a cool concept and something I may be first in line for.

The FCC defends its Net Neutrality policy

Quick catch up: Last week the FCC announced it would regulate broadband Internet as a public utility. The new net neutrality policy is meant to ensure that broadband providers / Internet and media companies / the ones with all the money are not making all the rules for wee consumers. That means, no content can be blocked based on what we pay for Internet service and we can continue to watch cute cat videos all day long.

Naturally, the powers that be are none too pleased about the FCC getting involved. So at a conference that’s historically attended by the carriers, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler wasn’t making too many friends. The net-net of his talk? Wheeler says broadband providers will be unaffected by the policy and that the new regulations “will not dictate carriers’ rates, impose tariffs or meddle with their business.” That’s democracy in action, people.

5G is the future

We’re adding more and more things to the Internet everyday – from cars to liquor bottles – so we’re going to need a faster, stronger infrastructure that offers more mobile data volume to support more connected devices. Much of the 5G conversation right now is about establishing a common set of standards including figuring out a way to efficiently power the network, which doesn’t exist yet.

Facebook is taking over the world

Zuck shared an update on Facebook’s Internet.org project, which aims to bring Internet access to “over 90% of the global offline population who live in developing countries.” Facebook has been working with mobile operators to get the job done and so far the success rate is pretty impressive – more than 500 million people in six countries can now access the Internet through the Internet.org app.

Clearly the major theme out of Mobile World Congress this year is building a connected world, with discussion focused on how exactly we will achieve it. Over the next year, businesses and media will continue to zero in on this broader trend – making it a top priority for PR and influencer programs looking to provide relevant content and expert POVs.

We’re excited to see how these conversations unfold and which companies emerge as the major players. Until next year, Barcelona.

Wait! What? 1/16: Mobile Mean Girls and glitter for all our enemies

Mean Girls. They're mobile now. (Thinkstock)
Mean Girls. They’re mobile now. (Thinkstock)

CES was last week, meaning we’ve seen a lot of listicles about the best and worst gadgets and software released, including a multitude of robots and a 3D printer that prints chocolate. Here’s what’s been hiding behind the lists:

  • The Lego Movie didn’t receive an Oscar nomination this year, but director Philip Lord wasn’t fazed – he made his own, which we think is cooler than the real thing.
  • Glassholes rejoice! You may just own the worst tech gadget ever created, but don’t fret. Now that Google has shuttered the program you can still act like you’re cooler than everyone else who doesn’t have one and never will.
  • Where are all my early 2000’s girls at? Get out your iPhones because Mean Girls the Mobile Game is coming to iOS.
  • Sneakerheads are in luck, Nike’s Power Laces look like a reality for 2015. Marty McFly would be proud.
  • You might have heard something about a little site called ‘Ship Your Enemies Glitter.’ Unfortunately for the man behind this genius idea, so did 1 million other people, which he was not prepared for. The site is now up for sale, who wants to go halfsies?

Those were our favorite tidbits from this week – what were yours? Send us a tweet @BlancandOtus!

What Time Works for You? Social Media Posting Guidelines

Thinkstock
Thinkstock

While we all know there is no such thing as a one size fits all approach to social media, there is now a lot of data available that can help us determine what, when and where to post different types of content. For now let’s focus on when, as the time you chose to post directly influences who will see your content. Below, we’ve shared some guidelines to posting on you blog, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

A note regarding timing suggestions below: All suggestions are based on EST. Although 80 percent of the population is located in the eastern and central time zones, we advise using Google Analytics to locate where a majority of your audience is located to identify the best posting time for you. And yes, this is our version of a disclaimer.

Blog Posts

Blogging is a tricky business; it’s harder to gain visibility for longer-form content in the age of short attention spans. However, as is the case with every social platform, posting can be a calculated science.

Facebook

Research on Facebook’s optimal post timing is more concrete. Engagement is the highest towards the end of the workweek. Thursday and Friday engagement is at about 18 percent, up from about 15 percent through the rest of the week.

  • Audience: A study done by KISSmetrics states Facebook sees its largest audience at noon and again at 7 p.m.
  • Engagement: The best times to post is before work, during the morning commute between 6 and 8 a.m., and again later in the afternoon between 2 and 5 p.m. (it’s ok to admit you check Facebook then as well). Posting towards the end of the week also encourages consumers to interact with your posts on weekends, when engagement is 32 percent higher.

Google+

Don’t underestimate the power of morning people; they may not be fully awake, but they are sharing on social media. Google+ is another network where early-in-the-workday posts do best. Like with Twitter, individual brands can use analytics to see what posting times resonate with their audience – a good resource for this is Timing+.

  • Audience: Google+ sees the largest audience between 10 and 11 a.m. according to data compiled by Fannit.
  • Engagement: As a general guideline, posting between 9 and 11 a.m. while avoiding posts after 6 p.m. will garner the most engagement. Peak time for click-throughs and shares is Wednesdays at 9 a.m.

It’s not just about kids: Be mindful that Google+’s fastest-growing demographic is adults between the ages of 45-54 and adjust your content accordingly.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a strictly weekday social network. While we might all be guilty of occasionally checking over the weekend, that is probably a good thing.

  • Audience: LinkedIn’s audience is engaged periodically throughout the day, however the largest audience is reachable during lunch hours, 12-1 p.m. and at the end of the workday, 5-6 p.m.
  • Engagement: According to research from SurePayroll, optimal LinkedIn posting times are before the workday begins and right after it ends, with peak days being Tuesday and Thursday. Beware though, Entrepreneur reported that between the hours of 9 and 5 p.m., LinkedIn is an engagement “dead zone.”
  • Keep in mind: LinkedIn sends 4 times as much traffic to your business’ website as Facebook and Twitter, so make sure to be consistent about publishing content.

Twitter

Twitter has a fast and high volume feed, so picking your time carefully is crucial. Research pertaining to the optimal time for brands to post on Twitter varies; some studies state that brands get more engagement on weekdays while others say you should be more of a weekend person, so it’s important to experiment with posting times to see what resonates best with your specific audience. However, there are some guidelines to follow:

As you can see, finding the best times to post content will require a bit of trial and error. Continue to tweak posting times until you find what works best. And remember there are a multitude of resources that provide analytics on what posts are getting the best engagement including HootSuite and Google Analytics. Now it’s time to get your message out – post away!

Wait! What? 7/3: 80’s TV and cinema technology, coming to a real life near you

Admit it. The 80's were tooootally cool. (Thinkstock)
Admit it. The 80’s were tooootally cool. (Thinkstock)

Talking cars, Jedi mind tricks, household robots…these are just a few of the futuristic capabilities and technologies that captivated us children of the 80s. Well, brush off your Members Only jacket and parachute pants ‘cause 80s film and cinema technology is about to “like totally” make its grand debut in the real world:

  • Talking cars (The “Hoff” not included). Hard to imagine a car as cool as KITT, but yours may soon be telling you to “fill up” and other tasks, thanks to a partnership with SAP, Toyota and VeriFone.
  • Humanoid Robots. Ever wish you had a robot like Rosie on the Jetsons? Google will soon sell robots that can walk, drive a car and more.
  • Jedi Mind Tricks (don’t say you haven’t tried it!). A company named Emotiv has created headpiece that allows people to move objects by scanning their brain signals.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty. According to a fellow at Stanford University, much of the technology we have seen in Star Trek, from the 60’s through the 80’s, has materialized – from sharing holographic messages, to real life “tricorders” and “replicators.” Next up… quantum teleportation.
  • Americans can’t live without their cell phones. Good thing we aren’t still carrying around those five-pound, early prototype cell phones from the late 80’s, as a Bank of America survey found that nearly half of Americans wouldn’t last one day without their phone. 91 percent said their cell phone was just important as their car or using deodorant (yikes!).

Hope this post put a big hyper color smile on your face. If not, maybe you’re just still bummed out from Facebook manipulating your emotions.

What were your favorite 80’s movie and TV technologies that you would like to see come to life? Share your thoughts @Blancandotus.

The Golden Ticket: How to Land a Speaker Slot at Mobile World Congress 2015

Credit: Joseph Francis
Credit: Joseph Francis

Mobile World Congress: It’s the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry, which we all know now covers everything from wearable technologies to cars and the future of computing. In fact, the event draws more than 85,000 visitors from 201 countries to Barcelona for four days of flashy product launches, executive presentations and networking after parties. Or put another way, it’s up there with CES as the kind of event that almost every technology company in the world wants to present at.

To help you land a much coveted speaking role at Mobile World Congress 2015 (March 2-5, 2015), we wanted to share the really helpful guidance that the content team at GSMA (the group that puts on MWC) has put together:

1.    Think Bigger than a Speaker Abstract

What: The MWC team doesn’t just rely on speaker abstracts and instead is hosting a series of Research Open DaysThis allows the content team to meet one-on-one with industry executives to get a sense of what is happening, changing, exciting, or scary in the market that will drive the mobile industry over the next year.

Why: If your company has never participated at MWC, this is your chance to get on the content team’s radar and get feedback on your MWC speaking submission (call for papers is June 26 – September 12). They will also gauge what the executive would be like on stage, so consider this a rehearsal for American Idol and you are going in the right direction.

How: They schedule a total of 60 briefings on Tuesdays and Thursdays in July and August, with three slots per day – 10:00 – 11:00, 2:00 – 3:00 & 4:00 – 5:00 [London time]. Register your interest here and you’ll be notified between May 22 and June 5 if you’re selected for a Research Open Day.

2.    Take 360 Degree Approach

What: A regional conference series that takes place in six countries between September and December. It’s highly focused on thought leadership and networking and does not include exhibitions like MWC. The North American event will take place September 22-23 in Atlanta and will focus on connected living and mobile commerce.

Why: Participate in this event to improve your chances of being selected for MWC 2015 and to give the content team a sneak peek at what your exec is like on stage.

How: Submit an idea during call for papers, June 9 – July 25.

3.    Think Beyond the Smartphone

What: There have been two major audience shifts at Mobile World Congress:

  1. As “digital” seeps well beyond telecom into industries like media, advertising, automotive and many others, thought leaders from these industries are increasingly attending MWC.
  2. The conference is attracting a more senior audience (50% C-level) who already know how mobile technology works, but want to know how to integrate it with their business.

Why: To cater for this expanding audience, GSMA is now including more cross-ecosystem participants in the speaking circuit.

How: There’s no one way to skin a cat here and instead, the key thing is to think creatively about how you can tell the most compelling story:

–       Offer a fresh format. One year someone brought robotic dancing bears – they want more of this. Suggest an on stage interview, fireside chat, panel discussion or demonstration.

–       Include an operator as co-speaker if your client is a software, hardware or IT company. This helps the content team better fit you in the program.

–       Focus on answering questions like:

  • How do you build X into financing?
  • How do you integrate X with legacy?
  • What are product strategies going forward for big vendors?

–      Submit multiple executives and multiple ideas. This is encouraged. But cap it at 3.

Want help building your story or securing coveted speaker slots at events like Mobile World Congress? Let us know and we’d be happy to discuss how we can help.