“But how will you know?”

It pays to know what something is for. It helps us figure out how to do it better, how to allocate resources and how to know when we’re done.

Much of what we build or invest in is complicated. It serves multiple purposes, has to please many constituents and has competing priorities.

So the question: “How will we know if it’s working?” is a powerful one.

It opens the door to a useful conversation about what it’s for.

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The Chris Voss Show Podcast – Bending Reality: How to Make the Impossible Probable by Victoria Song

Bending Reality: How to Make the Impossible Probable by Victoria Song

Bending Reality is the innovative process used by billionaires, tech leaders, and the world’s most successful people to make the impossible . . . probable.

Victoria Song teaches readers how to unlock the hidden power within their bodies to get what they want. After achieving success but lacking fulfillment as a student at Yale University and Harvard Business School, and then as a Forbes 30 Under 30 Venture Capitalist, Victoria set off on an unusual quest to study, train, and work with more than 24 of the best coaches, therapists, and healers in the world. She then deployed the skills and tools she’d learned with a diverse group of the world’s highest performers. Through it all, she’s discovered the codes that enable her clients to bend reality toward the directions they want.

By accessing this extraordinary ability, Victoria’s clients have sold a company for 4 billion dollars, grown revenue 1,000% during a pandemic, and pivoted to design a more effective COVID-19 vaccine. Victoria reveals the meta-framework behind peak performance, self-development, therapy, and meditation that is accessible for all. Whether you’ve studied these areas closely or this is the first book you’ve read on this topic, you’ll have a front row seat to how the world’s elite use this knowledge to achieve more while doing less.

In this fast-paced guide to success, you will learn how to:
Bend reality by mastering two states of being that most people aren’t even aware of.
Navigate change and face the unknown like the greatest leaders.
Access creative downloads that artists, musicians, and geniuses receive.
Make your own luck—there’s literally a recipe!
Find your unique “zone of genius” and live from it every day.

Packed with powerful tools and exercises, Bending Reality will move you beyond intellectual understanding to embodiment. This is not another mindset book. You’re ready for Bending Reality if you realize it’s time to go beyond the mind and harness the full capacity of your consciousness to make quantum leaps in every area of your life.

After learning how to bend reality, you will no longer need to memorize rules, tips, or tricks, but you will embody the essence of a remarkable leader who can make the impossible—probable.

2020 – Victoria Song

The post The Chris Voss Show Podcast – Bending Reality: How to Make the Impossible Probable by Victoria Song appeared first on The Chris Voss Show.

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Accessibility on Social Media; Tips for Ensuring Your Social Content is Accessible

Quick question – is your social media team taking the necessary steps to ensure your social content is accessible to all audiences, including those with sensory disabilities?

Today, there are 466 million persons in the world with disabling hearing loss and 2.2 billion people that have a vision impairment or experience blindness. If your social teams aren’t taking the extra steps to create an accessible experience for everyone on social media, you’re excluding billions of people from being able to experience your content.

While there are laws and infrastructures in place that require brands and retailers to ensure digital experiences are accessible to all, it boils down to a more important factor – caring about your audience.

Our team at Ignite Social Media recently met with Alexa Heinrich, Social Media Manager for St. Petersburg College and Expert on Digital Accessibility, who helped educate our teams on various ways to ensure social media content is accessible to all. Below, we’re sharing these tips with you today to help spread the importance of accessible social media content.

Accessibility on Social Media; Tips for Ensuring Your Social Content is Accessible

Tips for Developing Accessible Social Media Content

Accessible Copywriting Tips


Depending on how old you are, the # symbol means something different to everyone. That said, it’s now universally associated with social media hashtags, which are used on the majority of major social networks. However, most people aren’t using compound hashtags in an accessible manner. To ensure your compound hashtags are accessible, use the title case method (also known as camel case), capitalizing the first letter in each word of your hashtag.


  • Instead of this: #socialmediaagency
  • Do this: #SocialMediaAgency

By capitalizing your hashtags, screen readers can more easily read the different words and it’s just easier for the general audience to read altogether.

BONUS – You can also apply title case to your Twitter handle to make it more accessible.

Plain Language

Writing in plain language is a best practice you should already be using in social media (considering character limits and cutoffs), but this tactic helps audiences understand content more quickly and assists those readers who may have a cognitive disability. The Plain Writing Act, established in 2010, states eight essential guidelines for writing plain language. Here are five that most importantly apply to social media copywriting.

  • Write for your audience
  • Organize your information
  • Choose your words carefully
  • Be clear and concise
  • Keep it conversational

Accessible Emoji & Icon Usage Tips


Each individual emoji icon has a unique description associated with it, which a screen reader will use to read the emoji aloud to the user. Here are a few insights about emoji descriptions and why you need to thoroughly research which emojis you plan to utilize with your copy.

  • Some emojis are very specific and thus their description is specific (for example, there are 8 different tree emojis) so use the one thats description most closely relates to your message/intent.
  • Some emoji descriptions vary depending on the device you’re using so make sure you know all the possible translations before implementing.
  • Emojis with skin tones get custom descriptions and there are five different descriptions available. If you don’t want a specific skin tone associated with your emoji, use the yellow version.
  • If utilizing the same emoji multiple times in a row, screen readers will truncate the interpretation instead of listing the description multiple times.
    • For example, if your copy includes “❤❤❤” a screen reader will say “Three Red Hearts” instead of “Red Heart, Red Heart, Red Heart”.)
  • Place emojis at the end of your content for easier translation from screen readers versus using an emoji to substitute a word (since the description of the emoji you’re using might not directly match the word you’re substituting).

Set yourself up for success by using a resource such as Emojipedia to ensure you’re properly utilizing emojis.

emojipedia visualization of the Red Heart emoji on Apple, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft devices.

Unicode Characters

Related to emoji and icon usage is the usage of Unicode characters. Primarily used by influencers, but some brands as well, users are utilizing external websites to change the font and formatting of their text (captions) on social media. While this may look visually pleasing to some, most screen readers cannot interpret the code and will skip over the copy or will awkwardly interpret the code into gibberish that the user isn’t able to understand. Because of this, it’s best to use the default text for your social media copy needs.

unicode character examples


Finally, ASCII art is another popular trend on social media where you utilize various characters to create an image in your social post. This tactic isn’t accessible to screen readers and when read aloud will translate the individual characters. Also, similar to emojis, ASCII art can appear differently on different devices. This is another tactic that we recommend brands avoid using to keep their content accessible.

Accessible Image Tips

Alt Text

Images are a huge part of social media and including alt text on your images is the best way to ensure they’re accessible to all. Some platforms will auto-generate alt text for your images, but Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter all allow you to manually input alt text (which is preferred).

When writing your alt text copy, it’s important to leverage plain language as we previously discussed, and exclude using words such as “picture of” or “image of” (the screen reader will likely already say this, unless you’re publishing a screenshot or infographic for example). Additionally, if you’re going to include copy within your visual, make sure that copy is included in your alt text, otherwise, the screen reader will not be able to translate the flattened text within the image.

BONUS – Alt text can help improve your SEO, so include keywords when necessary.

Accessible Video Tips

Audio Descriptions

While most videos today utilize captions, which capture and display what’s being said within the video, audio descriptions are underutilized. An audio description is a form of narration used to provide information surrounding key visual elements in videos, aka narrating what’s happening when someone isn’t speaking. Having an audio description included in your content adds an additional audio track that users may toggle on or off at their leisure depending on the platform.

Unfortunately, and surprisingly, audio descriptions are not supported by YouTube or Vimeo, two of the most popular channels for video content. As a workaround, you can upload two versions of your video, one with an audio description and one without. Alternatively (and a more time-sensitive method) you could also write a thorough written description of your video in the caption area.

Video Captions

Circling back to video captions, which are more commonly used today, you have the option to leverage closed captions (a user can toggle captions on or off) or open captions (captions are burned onto a video). Either method is effective. Additionally, many platforms allow you to upload custom .SRT files with for captions, but both YouTube and Vimeo have tools that can auto-generate captions for you. That said always review your captions as it’s unlikely that any auto-translation feature is 100% accurate.

BONUS – You can download the .SRT file from YouTube for free and use it to create captions on other platforms.

Stories Captions

Open captions on Stories content is also very popular today, and while Instagram has been slowly rolling out an auto-caption sticker for Stories this year, you can also leverage tools such as MixCaptions, Clipomatic, AutoCap, and Kapwing for other stories formats on additional channels.

Live Video Captions

Finally, live videos should also include a captioned component. To accomplish this, you could consider using a video service (such as Zoom or Google Meet) that has a live-captioning feature built-in, hire an on-camera interpreter, or be prepared to provide a full video transcript immediately at the conclusion of your event.

Download the Ignite Social Media Capabilities Deck

There’s certainly a lot to consider when it comes to developing accessible social media content, so feel free to download this accessibility checklist created by Alexa Heinrich.

One Final Tip Before You Go – If you don’t already have dummy accounts for testing your social media content, set those up! These are extremely helpful when it comes to testing out accessibility features and making sure your content’s displaying and being interpreted properly.

For any additional questions or help with your social media marketing, contact our team today. Alternatively, feel free to subscribe to our bi-weekly e-newsletter to keep up with the latest and greatest in the social media industry.  

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Channeling the Chaos of Social Media via Tools

Social Media Management Tools for Brands

Social media is chaos. Whether you’re the casual user arguing with somebody’s uncle about politics or you’re a social media manager dealing with customer service complaints. Chaos. 

Businesses working to drive online sales or increase their brand awareness have no choice but to wade in these stormy waters. There are a wide variety of strategies behind success in social media marketing. “Community and social media are powerful tools when paired together” and social media management tools make that possible. 

We here at Ignite Social Media are strictly tool-agnostic. That means we’re experienced and ready to work with our clients on any tools already in use or ones that we believe best fit their needs. Basically, we’ve gotten our hands dirty with a lot of different tools. 

After more than 10 years of that, we’ve learned through trial and error that not all social media management tools are created equal. So, we’re thinning the herd and giving you some suggestions on where to start in your journey of managing your online presence. 

Choosing the right social media management tool for your online needs is no easy decision. How should you choose between dozens of companies? The best first step is to decide what your biggest needs are. We can’t cover them all but we’ve broken down a handful of the primary goals in social management and which tools are best equipped to get you there.

Social Media Management Tools for Brands

1. Be a Listener, Not a Speaker

Before you can start engaging with your followers, gaining new audiences, or dealing with a PR crisis online you have to be aware of where the conversations are happening. Social listening tools are the most efficient way to gather data and insights on what people are saying about your brand without saying it to your “face”.

If you only pay attention to brand mentions then you’re going to miss out on a lot.

Brandwatch is a killer social media management tool if social listening is your biggest need.

2. Going with the Old Reliable

If you’ve spent any time at all in the business of social media then you’ve heard of Hootsuite. This social management tool is tried-and-tested. It’s a fantastic choice for any brand getting their feet wet in managing their online persona and customer engagement.

It’s an inexpensive service, especially if you’re a team of one, and has great reporting capabilities. It also comes with other handy features such as integration with your cloud-based document or content services like Google Drive or Box.

3. Getting a Bit More Organized

Maybe you have tons of content and a great audience ready to engage but need a tool to make scheduling less of a headache. Buffer could be the perfect solution for you.

Buffer’s primary focus is scheduling and even automates a lot of that process. It’s intuitive, scalable, easy to use, and has a great mobile app so you can drop in, shift, or draft content on the go.  

This tool also offers a browser extension that enables you to share content from across the web with a click of a button and automatically drop it into your queue.

The downside of their scheduling focus is that other capabilities aren’t as strong. Entry level agreements come with basic analytics functions, but if you’re looking for in-depth analytics reporting you’ll need to cough up some cash to access a premium account.

If you want to give Buffer a test run, try out their free version before signing on for full service.

4. Easy, Breezy

Are you looking for a social media management tool that will check all the boxes and look good while doing it? You may want to check out Sprout Social.

This tool is sleek, intuitive, great for customer engagement, scheduling, and basic reporting. You can even get your feet wet with social listening by using their keywords monitoring.

Unlike a lot of other tools, they use a single, tailored feed system to display incoming activity. This makes it easy to go through all your engagements in one space.

Reporting on Sprout is also super simple. Choose a predetermined template and automatically generate a report or tailor the report to fit your needs. They’re sharp-looking and easy to understand, even for those less familiar with social media.

Just like you can with Buffer, take advantage of Sprout’s free trial and give it a test run before you sign on the dotted line.

Download the Ignite Social Media Capabilities Deck

5. The Customer is Always Right

If customer care is your #1 need…. well, we know exactly what that’s like. Responding to huge amounts of incoming complaints or needs is a huge undertaking. 

We currently use Social Studio for a client that sees a large volume of customer comments every single day. It’s not enough to simply respond to them all. It also requires a complicated care workflow to make sure each response is correctly routed.

Social Studio makes that possible. 

6. Going Native

Our last suggestion is one that may surprise you: native publishing. Sounds unsexy. We know. Sometimes, the best social media management tool isn’t a separate tool at all. Perhaps, using each platform’s built-in capabilities is your best bet.

Managing your social media within each platform often has the monitoring, scheduling, and basic analytics needed to cover your bases. It’s also a great testing ground to learn which aspects of management you need to be more robust.

If you’re looking to get started in managing your social media, are only beginning to dive into reporting, and want to save money, this could be the choice for you. 

Most Importantly

It’s crucial to remember that having every tool in the shed won’t do your social media manager’s job for them. You not only need to have great talent on your social team, but you also need to support them in their work. Our CEO, Jim Tobin, wrote a great post about supporting your social team.  

To get expert assistance choosing tools for your brand or any other part of your social media marketing, contact our team today. Or keep yourself updated on the latest trends and news across the industry by subscribing to our bi-weekly newsletter below.

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Backward about coming forward

If your comment is helpful to anyone else, then it’s generous indeed.

Holding back is selfish, because it deprives the group of your insight at the same time that it normalizes non-participation.

If you’re wondering, so is someone else.

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When we do our work without regard for a third party, simply to serve the reader, the customer or the story, we’re creating something that’s unsponsored.

The third party shows up when we’re encouraged (by payment or other means) to have multiple objectives. And those usually bring compromise.

When our goals are aligned with those that we serve, we have a rare chance to maximize both. It’s worth seeking out. We’re not unsponsored. We’re sponsored by the very people we’re engaging with.

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Competition vs. activation

Innovators rarely have a competition problem. The challenge isn’t that your market is buying from an alternative provider–the challenge is that they’re buying from no one.

The work we do and the stories we tell when we seek to create activation are dramatically different from the mindset of competition, and yet the lessons from our culture (sports, mass merchants, politics) are all about competition.

“We’re better than them,” is a competition slogan.

That’s very different from, “things could be better,” or “you’re missing this new thing,” or, “people you admire are already using this.”

If you want to grow, you’ll need to get someone to not only decide that you’re worth their time and money, you’ll need to motivate them to act now instead of later.

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The map is not the territory

And that’s a feature, the reason the map exists.

The phrase reminds us not confuse the diagram or model or overview of the situation with the situation itself. Because they’re not the same.

We make a map so we can leave things out.

By leaving things out, we can help people focus on the core concepts we’re trying to get across. And so, the map of the London subway is not actually the London subway. In fact, it’s not even geographically accurate. That’s okay. The job of the map isn’t to show us precisely where each station is, the job is to make it easier to get around London by showing us a theory of the subway.

And the words someone uses don’t accurately convey everything they’re feeling and thinking. They simply stake out some of that in a way that the speaker hopes will express the point they’re trying to make.

When we decide what to leave out, we’ve made a series of decisions about the story we’re trying to tell with the parts we leave in.

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The host’s rules

The language we use, the standards we adhere to, the kind of interactions that are permitted–this is up to the host.

You’re at a dinner party, and if you want to be welcomed back, you’ll need to be aware of the way things are around here.

On the other hand, if you insist on rules that are out of sync with the sensibilities and standards of those you invite, don’t be surprised if they choose not to return.

It all begins by understanding who is acting as host. It might be you.

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