Boasting that your business is pet friendly has become very trendy these day. After all, the pet industry is worth more than $60 billion, and as more people choose to travel with their pets, everyone wants to cash in.
However, what does it really mean to be pet friendly?
I was recently looking for a place to take my two dogs for a weekend, and came across a nice-looking hotel/resort along the coast in the northeast. It sounded beautiful.
Until, I read their pet page.
The first time I heard someone in a hiring position ask the question, “where do you see yourself in 5 years,” I was sitting around a large conference table at The Star-Ledger’s Newark, N.J. headquarters with about a dozen other summer interns.
“The Daily News.”
“The New York Times”
Not one of us said, “The Star-Ledger.”
Glenn Proctor, then a high-on-the-totem-poll editor, was the keeper of us interns and had a large say in careers at the top 20 newspaper, listened to each of our answers. When we finished, he gave a slight laugh and tilt of his head before calling each of us out for not saying we wanted to be working there.
While I can’t speak for everyone else that day, I can tell you my stomach dropped and I thought, “critical error.”
From that point forward whenever anyone asked me that same question, I always included the company I was talking with in my answer. But, about 5 years ago my answer when asked that question started to change, and I don’t apologize for the way I now respond.
Neither does Marissa Mayer.
Just went you thought you pretty much mastered a social media channel, they go and change something. It might sound like a bad thing, or that I am complaining, but it’s not, and I’m not.
In fact, it’s a good sign, and what every business should do – continuously evolve, and create new experiences, and products, for their customers.
Instagram Stories seems to be a direct competitor to Snapchat, which I actually just started using about a month ago. I played around with it last night and immediately had questions and thoughts about how brands and businesses could use it, as well as some likes and dislikes.
First, the positives.
- I think the strongest argument for Instagram Stories, and the attribute I like the most is that you already have a dedicated group of followers who are interested in seeing your work. Now, you are just enhancing their relationship with you. You don’t have to ask them to download a new app or follow you in yet another place. You’re bringing additional content and ways to connect at an already familiar location without the end user having to do extra work.
- The way Instagram Stories are distributed in a dedicated area separate from the “regular” Instagram feed is genius for several reasons. First, they didn’t mess around with the original product that people love. You’re not forced into using the new feature. However, it gives you the flexibility that if you do want to use it, it’s accessible and easily sharable with the original product.