The following excerpt, from the article Twitter opens up its analytics platform, lets everyone review the performance of their tweets for free, was written by Nick Summers, journalist and blogger, and published on TheNextWeb.com. To learn more about why Twitter made this move, view his full article.
Twitter has quietly opened up its various analytics tools to the public, giving everyone access to in-depth data about the people and brands who follow them, as well as the performance of their most recent tweets.
The change was spotted by Christopher Penn, vice president of marketing technology at SHIFT Communications earlier this week, as well as Danny Olson, a digital strategist at Weber Shandwick. Users simply need to head to the Twitter Ads dashboard and click on the ‘Analytics’ tab at the top of the page to access the new features.
The Timeline activity displays a graph for the user based on the number of mentions, follows and unfollows that they’ve received over the last month. A detailed list underneath shows all of the user’s most recent tweets, including the number of times someone has favorited, retweeted or replied to it.
All of the information is shown in a clear and accessible format so that every user, regardless of whether they’re the marketing manager of an international conglomerate or an emerging blogger with just a handful of followers, can analyze and take action based on the data.
Most notably, this list also shows the number of times that someone has clicked on the link contained in a tweet – an easy way to gauge referrals from one of the largest and most influential social networks on the Web. There’s even the ability to download a CSV file of the data for the user’s own personal records.
Until now, the advertising dashboard for Twitter has been aimed primarily at businesses who want to pay to display their tweets in front of a specific audience. Coupled with the ability to promote the user’s account, it’s an obvious and lucrative way for Twitter to monetize its service.
The following article was written by David Mielach, BusinessNewsDaily Staff Writer, for BusinessNewsDaily.com. He offers excellent advice on the next big trend in retail and why stores need to take notice now. View his full article here.
Small business owners looking for an opportunity to distinguish their business from larger competitors may want to start thinking about creating an in-store experience.
Consumers are utilizing multiple channels and resources to accommodate their shopping needs, yet 80 percent of retailers surveyed in new study said they are not training their staff to accommodate those needs. Those companies admitted their staff lacks training on how to handle showrooming, price matching and in-store requests for pickups. Additionally, those retailers said they have not prepared their workers to deal with customers who are highly educated about the products they are purchasing.
The survey polled 35 leading retailers, half of which were publicly traded companies. Companies that fail to take advantage of omnichannel opportunities — which blend smartphones, tablets, computers and other technologies into the shopping experience — are losing out to other retailers.
Just 18 percent of retailers in the United States said they have implemented a mobile point-of-sale system across their stores. Additionally, just 29 percent of retailers said they already have an in-store pickup system, but an additional 24 percent are planning to unveil a pickup program by the end of the year. Moreover, just 10 percent of respondents said they compensate their workers for their efforts with cross-channel sales.
“The seamless customer experience and speed of change, led by pure-play e-retailers such as Amazon, is setting a high bar for retailers operating both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce channels,” said Antony Karabus, president of SD Retail Consulting, which conducted the research. “The pace of change to meet this high bar needs to accelerate as the pressure from these new competitors continues to grow.”
“The largest retailers must examine every customer touch point and how they play their part in creating that seamless customer experience,” he added. “For the minority of retailers who are successfully transforming their store environments, the rewards will be substantial.”
Omni-channel is future of retail and it’s time for your store to get started. MBS can help. From mobile POS devices to an e-commerce solution that allows for in-store pickup, our products and services are designed to be cross-channel. Talk with your MBS Representative to learn how we can help you stay ahead of the industry curve.
Every college campus has something that sets it apart, and integrating those unique elements into your store can be a very successful strategy; just ask The WKU Store at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. The campus is known for white squirrels (not albino, either!) that roam the area and, two years ago, their assistant director of Retail Operations, Jim Sears, had the idea to incorporate them into the store’s merchandise offerings.
“You’ll spot one or two around town, but the white squirrels really seem to flock toward campus,” explained Sarah Sears, e-commerce supervisor. “No one knows exactly why they’re here, but everyone loves to come up with their own theories!”
Each semester, the store features a new, free giveaway T-shirt at their Textbook Sellback and the staff members work together to come up with a catchy and quirky item to feature on it. To achieve that goal with the white squirrel, they got creative.
“Because a white squirrel is unique, we wanted to give him a unique name, so we called him Colonel Blanco,” she explained. “We chose Colonel to pretend he’s been in Bowling Green since the Civil War – plus it makes him sound more official – and Blanco because it means white in Spanish.”
Keeping with the Spanish influence, the shirt simply read: “¿Dónde está la ardilla blanca?” or “Where is the white squirrel?” As in previous years, students had to bring their textbook reservation box to Textbook Sellback in order to receive the free shirt.
“After having a few really good free t-shirts, the promotion became very popular. We had students pulling reservation boxes out of dumpsters in order to get a shirt!” she described. “That definitely didn’t change with the white squirrel shirt; everyone loved it!”
After Sellback, community members began coming into the store, asking if they could buy one of the exclusive shirts. The store quickly realized they had a winning design on their hands and, over time, has made the animal their unofficial mascot.
“Now, we have Colonel Blanco on everything from baseball caps to hoodies,” Sears explained. “Everyone just loves him!”
The logo has also offered the store a unique opportunity to provide lower-cost merchandise to their customers.
“As long as we keep the official school logo off the item, we don’t have to pay royalties, so we can sell it for a lower price,” she added.
As the mascot grew in popularity, it started cropping up in other areas of town as well. Local businesses and even an alumni-run organization have adopted the white squirrel in their own promotions.
“It’s been so cool to see the idea spread throughout the community,” she described. “It’s brought our store a lot of traffic and recognition, which has been great!”
And, the white squirrel has the potential to go beyond the Bowling Green area. Sears hopes that other stores will use the idea as a springboard to help them launch their own creative campaign.
“Every campus has something that makes it unique,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be an animal, either. For example, another popular T-shirt featured our University President and read Gary Ransdell is my Homeboy. There are all kind of opportunities out there; you just have to find them. This was something we stumbled upon, and it’s been so successful. It’s all about being creative and going for it!”
The following article was written by Barbara Ortutay, AP Technology Writer, for the Associated Press. Read more on the announcement here.
Facebook is introducing hashtags, the number signs used on Twitter, Instagram and other services to identify topics being discussed and allow users to search for them.
Facebook Inc. said in a blog post Wednesday that users will be able to click a hashtag to see a feed of discussions about a particular topic. For example, typing a number sign in front of ‘‘ladygaga’’ or ‘‘sunset’’ will turn the words into a link that users can click on to find posts about Lady Gaga or sunsets.
Facebook said hashtags are a first step toward making it easier for users to find out what others are discussing. The company is not giving exact details about other tools it might introduce. If Twitter’s use of hashtags is any indication, Facebook will likely incorporate them into its advertising business.
‘‘We’ll continue to roll out more features in the coming weeks and months, including trending hashtags and deeper insights, that help people discover more of the world’s conversations,’’ wrote Greg Lindley, product manager for hashtags, in the post.
The hashtags will conform to users’ privacy settings — so putting a hashtag in a post that’s only visible to your friends won’t make it show up for anyone other than your friends.
Facebook said it will make the clickable hashtags available to users in the coming weeks, beginning on Wednesday. Though hashtags haven’t worked on Facebook until now, many people were using them anyway, having grown accustomed to them on Twitter, Instagram and elsewhere.
Using hashtags will help users gain a larger view of what others are talking about, Lindley said.
The following excerpt, from the article 5 Ways to Know What Your Customers Want Before They Do, was written by Paul J. H. Schoemaker, founder and chairman at Decision Strategies International, and published on Inc.com. We’ve selected some of Schoemaker’s points that we find most applicable to the college store industry and added our own spin on how you can translate his advice into action on your campus. View his full article for even more insight on understanding your customer.
To get close to your client, you really need to get inside his or her head. Here are five ways to do that:
Stand in your customer’s shoes.
Look beyond your core business and understand your customer’s full range of choices, as well as his or her ecosystem of suppliers, partners etc.–of which you may be part. This exercise will also deepen your understanding of competitors and help you better anticipate their moves.
College Stores Could Try: Shop around at other local competitors or visit online retail websites to see what students experience when they visit. Use that insight to improve your own process.
Staple yourself to a customer’s order.
Track key customers’ experiences as they traverse your company’s pathways and note where the experience breaks down. Some hospitals ask interns to experience the check-in process as fake patients. One client asked managers to listen in on its call center. If you can’t exactly put yourself through a customer experience, try role-playing exercises at all points of the customer’s experience with your company.
College Stores Could Try: Have a student employee shop your store as if they were strictly a customer and rate each step of their experience. Or, hire a student for a day to do the same, without any other employees knowing, for even more honest input.
Field diverse customer teams.
One bank added members of the back-office support group to its customer team, supplementing the usual customer-facing roles. IBM sends senior teams from different disciplines into the field to meet customers and develop a deep understanding of how to serve them better.
College Stores Could Try: Create a committee for store improvement, complete with members of your target audience – students! Discuss what areas your store is lacking in, what new promotions or strategies they’d like to see in place, and how you can ultimately attract continued business.
Learn together with customers.
GE invited its top customers in China, along with local executives and account managers, to a seminar on leadership and innovation. Doing so not only helped GE executives better understand the mindset of Chinese counterparts; it also helped them to influence that mindset.
College Stores Could Try: Talk with your school’s Business or Marketing department and see if you or members of yoru staff could sit in on a class or two. This will allow you to soak up the knowledge that your target audience, who are likely headed into a field similar to retail are learning, and potentially even gain their ideas on how store’s can improve service to their peers.
Lean forward and anticipate.
Focus on what customers will want tomorrow, as Steve Jobs and Richard Branson did so exquisitely. Try to envision different futures and then explore how underlying market shifts may affect your customers.
College Stores Could Try: Read and research upcoming retail trends on Foreword Online and other similar industry resources to stay ahead of the curve.
The following excerpt, from the article 5 Reasons Your Website Visitors Aren’t Buying, was written by Angela Stringfellow Consultant for SeniorHomes.com, and published on AMEX’s Open Forum. Below, you’ll find a few of Stringfellow’s suggestions that we found most relevant to college stores. Check out her full article for even more tips!
If you’re getting traffic but sales are still suffering, take a close look at these factors. The good news is that the reason your visitors aren’t converting is almost always fixable with some modifications.
Your landing page isn’t congruent with your inbound marketing efforts.
When your visitors reach your website, what are they looking for? Can they find it right away? “If visitors click on your ads, social media posts or blog links expecting to find one thing—but instead are led to a seemingly irrelevant page, they end up confused and frustrated,” says Ken Lyons of the search-engine marketing company MeasuredSEM. “You might even lose their trust in the process.”
The fix: Lyons says it’s critical to employ a cohesive strategy across all your marketing initiatives. That means making sure your keywords and landing page content are relevant and targeted to the ads and other sources that are driving visitors to your website in the first place
Your landing page has no focal point.
Landing page design is one of the most essential elements of conversion rate optimization. Your visitors need to be directed in a clear and concise manner through the necessary steps. When your landing page seems scattered, visitors are left bouncing around the page without a clear idea of what to do next.
The fix: Make use of tools such as heat maps to refine your landing page design. Users’ natural eye path tends to follow an “F” pattern, so you want to place important elements, such as your call to action, in prominent locations.
Your pages are loading too slowly.
With all the fancy scripting languages and graphics available today, it’s tempting to invest in a flashy website design to impress potential customers. But those same complex elements often take longer to load, especially in older browser versions. When you leave your visitors staring at the ever-swiveling hourglass icon, they’re going to hit the road in search of a quicker solution.
The fix: Keep it simple. Test your page load times and eliminate the elements that are bogging down your speeds without providing any major benefit.
The following excerpt, from the article The Store of the Future Has Arrived (and No, It’s not Apple), was written by Christopher Heine for Adweek. The store offers an interesting look at the evolving digital experience necessary to succeed in retail and how major brands are integrating it both into brick-and-mortar and online shopping. To see more innovative examples, read Heine’s full article.
Eighty-five-year-old Chicagoan Martin Shafron, a self-described “computer illiterate,” steps into the rotunda-like entrance of AT&T’s flagship store in the city’s high-end retail district known as the Magnificent Mile. Though Shafron doesn’t realize it, he is also smack in the middle of a retail revolution showing off its gadgetry and pageantry from here to Beijing.
As he waits for one of the iPad-wielding sales associates to assist him with his first iPhone, which he’d bought there the day before, Shafron is sprinkled with what AT&T calls “innovation sounds”—perhaps best described as raindrops going pitter-patter on a digital rooftop interspersed with wind chimes producing cyber inharmonic spectra.
The highly stylized space, which opened last fall, looks more like an art museum than a store, but it’s hardly a bore—there’s plenty of digital eye candy competing for Shafron’s attention as he waits, including an 18-foot video wall equipped with motion-sensory software on which a couple of kids are playing a game.
He, like most who walk through these doors, is seriously wowed by the space, but, he says, “More than anything, I appreciate the hands-on help.”
Call it the Appleization of brick and mortar, where retailers from Michael Kors to Staples to Pep Boys are dazzling consumers with the futuristic in-store shopping experience the House That Jobs Built gave rise to. In fact, a decade ago and just a few blocks from the AT&T flagship, Apple opened its own gleaming, digitized space on the Magnificent Mile—but Apple is no longer the coolest kid on the block. Today, that distinction belongs to AT&T—though there’s plenty of competition from the likes of Nike and Burberry, which have unveiled souped-up stores here in recent months, as well as Apple, which, buzz has it, is prepping its own overhaul.
Employing the latest technology at point of sale is nothing new—for years businesses from car rental companies to Nordstrom department stores have unhooked from the wires. But the trend has gone from merely ringing up sales via mobile devices to a deeply immersive in-store experience—fully digitized but crucially featuring that face-to-face element customers like Shafron demand.
“We want to transform the traditional website experience into the physical experience,” explains Paul Roth, president, retail at AT&T. “It’s all about creating interactions rather than just transactions.”
And interacting they are. The AT&T flagship attracts an estimated 30,000 customers per month, many drawn in by bells and whistles like that giant interactive screen, which lights up the cityscape as it also manages to circumvent a zoning restriction banning exterior signage on the Magnificent Mile. The store has only one traditional retail counter, and the cash registers are tucked away in stylish wood cabinets. Sales associates access the registers not with a key but via biometric fingerprinting software and not while standing behind the tills but, rather, while sitting on a couch face to face with the customer.
The space also features a section devoted to using music apps not only for listening to but also writing tunes. To show how Square, an AT&T partner, can be used by small businesses, there’s a display with real cupcakes and a handmade sign reading “Bake Sale.”
As if that weren’t enough to command one’s notice, a Nissan Leaf is parked in front of a huge picture window, set up to interactively demonstrate how assorted auto-based apps can be used to monitor how fast their teenagers are driving. A few feet away, another area features apps that let users track who comes and goes from their homes.
The store hosts cool events with partners as well. Chicago Blackhawks legends Bobby Hull and Eddie Olczyk showed up to take a whack—with a hockey stick, duh—at Otter’s new smartphone cases to demonstrate their durability.
“Humans remember stories,” says Christina Cheng, area manager of the AT&T store. “So explaining things with stories instead of specs is a much easier way for people to understand how technology can help them.”
The space and its collection of shiny things serve as a lab for what might be deployed elsewhere at AT&T’s 2,300 locations. “You will see six or seven elements of the Michigan Avenue design incorporated to scale with the rest of our portfolio,” says Roth.
More than merely influencing what’s to come at AT&T, the store has become an incubator for what consumers will come to expect from retailers across the board—and it’s not just tech companies that are dotting their blueprints with digital tools.
Claire Huang, CMO of JPMorgan Chase, says many more tech features are in the offing. “We’ve developed a new branch concept with an open format that gives customers options. From the traditional teller window to the advice zone and tablets to self-serve kiosks and the instant-issue credit card machines, our approach is centered around choice and making the experience better for the customer,” she says.
Some may be surprised to learn that another emerging player in this space could be e-tailing monster Amazon. Even as the company has strained the bottom line for brick-and-mortar stores, reports have Amazon now eyeing a presence on the street. Amazon already has experimented with pick-up sites in markets including New York, and one can only imagine what a full-fledged Amazon store might look like.
“Retail is under siege,” D’Arcangelo points out. “The online retailers want some kind of physical presence, and all the brick and mortars are trying to catch up with the online space. What’s going to happen is a hybrid.” That could mean a deluge of business for agencies like six-year-old Web design company Gin Lane Media, which has done innovative in-store work for the likes of J. Crew and Michael Kors. The latter erected an LED display at Macy’s Herald Square in New York that has the customer walking through a constantly changing video arch. An accompanying 32-inch touchscreen display gets some 1,000 engagements per day, says Emmett Shine, Gin Lane’s founder.
There’s more innovation on the way. In-store marketing firm Synqera is piloting a program for a major Russian retailer starting this month involving facial-recognition software that can determine a customer’s age, gender and mood. Heat-map and dwell-time analytics—longtime darling stats for Web marketers—are also coming to stores.
D’Arcangelo advises that as retailers collect still more data on consumers, “everyone is going to have to think smart, transparent, opt-in, shared ownership of the data. Retailers must be clear communicating what value customers get from sharing that data. Case in point, people love when they get a great recommendation from Amazon.”
Digitization. Appleization. What about Amazonization?
“One of my favorite comments from a recent patron to our flagship store was that it was like walking into a website,” says AT&T’s Roth.
But at what cost to the retailers? While agreeing that brick and mortar is entering a new era,Sucharita Mulpuru, retail analyst at Forrester Research, wonders about the return on investment for all these digital playthings. “It’s still too early to tell,” she says.
Roth’s big digital experiment on the Magnificent Mile will ultimately succeed not on the technology alone but also on the human touch that brings in the likes of octogenarian Martin Shafron. AT&T is well aware of that fact, having enlisted some of its best and brightest from around the country to be the face of the Chicago outpost.
“There are 17 different states represented in that store,” says Roth. “Retail always depends on how good your people are.”
And increasingly, on how good they are at ringing up sales on the iPad.
Promotional items can be a very effective way to get your customers excited about an event or offering. But, in order to have an impact, you need to take a few things into consideration. The key, according to Dave McKenna, director of Holy Cross Bookstore, is finding out what products your audience really wants.
For his store, the epiphany came after an on-campus event. The college had recently elected a new President and their goal was to have students lining the road, cheering, as he passed by on the way to his inauguration ceremony. McKenna consulted with a group of students who often help him determine new strategies for his store and they all agreed; t-shirts were the best way to get students to attend an event.
The inauguration committee thought along the same lines and provided free t-shirts to the first 800 who attended. As a result, over 1000 showed up!
“Several people said that the most memorable part of the ceremony was the students cheering and they probably would not have come in those numbers without being offered a free t-shirt,” he explained. “Our store has also given out free shirts in the past and had success, so it was clear that they were the way to go with our group of students.” (Read more about their previous t-shirt promotion here)
During buyback, the store gave out 300 free shirts with the words “Keep Calm and Go Holy Cross” emblazoned across the front. Because the “Keep Calm” phrase has been so popular, McKenna had high hopes that it would be well received.
“A kid said ‘that’s sick,’ as I handed him a t-shirt, and I turned to our buyer and said ‘I think that’s good!’” he joked. “At that point, I knew we had a winner on our hands.”
To advertise the initiative, the store took a unique approach; rather than integrating the giveaway into all of their buyback marketing efforts, they waited until the last minute to make the announcement. McKenna simply sent out an email the day before the buy with the subject line “Free t-shirts at buyback while supplies last.”
“I’ve realized you can’t tell students anything too early; making it unexpected seems to increase the value,” he said. “They all read email on their smart phones, too, so you have to be brief and make the subject line catch their attention.”
McKenna and his staff chose to order the shirt in a non-traditional color; another lesson they learned from the success of the inauguration event. The shirts distributed at the ceremony were red, and students loved the change. Based on that popularity, the store selected a light blue for their buyback shirts.
“The majority of our merchandise has always been in our school colors,” he said. “Now, we’re starting to carry items in different colors. This experience has really taught us what our students like.”
The store gave away the first t-shirt at around 9:00 AM and there was a lull until about 9:35. But, from that point on, buyback was booming. The store conducted what would have typically been two days worth of buyback in just four hours.
“All it takes is about 10 students to like what you’re giving away, and then they do the work for you. They get on Twitter or Facebook and tell their friends, so soon the whole group is at the store,” he emphasized.
The heavy traffic early in the week helped to enhance the outcome of the buy. Their retail buy was up, One Planet Book collections doubled to over 40 cartons and, most importantly, they drew so much student business that an off-campus buyer packed up and moved on, eliminating a significant source of competition.
“It was a huge win, because we were able to buy retail books before students went off campus,” McKenna explained. “Because students were in the store to get their free t-shirt, they sold all of their books early and didn’t need to shop around. After two days on campus, the off-campus buyer must not have been getting any business, and he moved on. It was really great!”
The fact that McKenna sent out a blunt, yet truthful, email about rogue buyers didn’t hurt either. His message was simply “Stranger Danger! Don’t trust a guy buying things out of a van – your mother raised you better than that. He’s not giving you free t-shirts, either. Shop with us first!”
“It actually worked! I think students took a second to think about it and realized it was true,” he said. “Having a rogue buyer leave campus doesn’t solve all of our problems, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction!”
Even better, students seemed to enjoy the experience of buyback. Holy Cross Bookstore was in the process of participating in a Student Satisfaction Survey conducted by NACS, and the ratings increased from last year. That fact was also evidenced by increased merchandise sales. According to McKenna, many students were turning around and spending the cash they received from buyback in the store.
“We give out lots of coupons throughout the year, so it’s hard for us to attribute which are having an impact on sales,” he explained. “But during buyback, you can always tell by the amount of cash in the drawer. We had an enormous amount of cash sales this time, which was great!”
Not only did buyback have a positive impact on sales and customer experience, but McKenna says he also learned several lessons that will help his store improve throughout the year.
“This experience was a win on so many levels,” he described. “It really helped us understand the nature of our customers – what they like and how they communicate with each other. It’s something we can apply far beyond buyback, and we’re eager to see where we can go from here!”
The following excerpt, from the article Take the Initiative to Give Positive Feedback, was written by Don Peppers, Founding Partner of Peppers & Rogers Group at TeleTech, and published on LinkedIn. View the full article for additional information, then follow Peppers on LinkedIn for similar leadership advice.
One of my neighbors is a recently retired surgeon and one day not long ago when I happened to see him he was in a terrific mood. He told me he’d just received a phone call out of the blue, from someone he didn’t initially remember.
“Hello, is this Dr. ____?”
“Yes, this is he,” he said, “and to whom am I speaking, please?”
“My name is William _____, but I doubt you remember me.”
“No sir, I’m sorry, can’t say I do. Should I?”
“Well, Doctor, a little more than 22 years ago I nearly died from a terrible heart problem. You and your team operated on me and saved my life. Today is my 80th birthday, so I thought I ought to look you up and say ‘thanks!’”
No wonder my neighbor was in such a great mood! Wouldn’t you be?
When is the last time you took the time and trouble to give some delayed, positive feedback to someone in your organization? It doesn’t have to be as dramatic as this. (How could it be, unless you work as a medical professional, or maybe a first responder?) But even small compliments are capable of sustaining large relationships. “Hey, that was a really insightful comment you made at the meeting yesterday.” Or “I really liked the way you handled that personnel issue last week!” Or how about just “Great idea!”
Obviously, such feedback must be sincere and not just an idle compliment. But giving positive feedback can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Research has shown, for instance, that students randomly selected for positive feedback from their teachers are much more likely to excel in their studies.
In addition, positive feedback delivered the right way can dramatically boost your own spirits in addition to giving a lift to the person you’re complimenting.
More than ten years ago we hired a new manager to open one of our non-US offices at Peppers & Rogers Group. When he came on board, for all his youthful enthusiasm, I worried that he might be too brash and aggressive to be successful as a senior manager. But over the last decade I’ve watched him blossom from a shoot-first salesman into a thoughtful, caring, and wise steward of our own consultants’ talents and of our client relationships. It has been amazing to see, and the office he started up has grown into one of our best and most well-run operations.
So the other day, I did one of the most personally satisfying things I’ve done in a long time. I called him just to say “thanks.”
Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool you can use to promote your store. Based on an article by LifeHacker, we’ve created a way you can connect with students and encourage them to do your advertising for you! Using the following strategy, you can easily filter pictures with a certain hashtag on Instagram, so that they appear as a slideshow or rotating wallpaper on in-store computers, your POS or even a plasma screen TV.
For instance, ask your students to take a picture wearing a piece of branded merchandise during football season or a specific giveaway item from buyback. Then, have them Instagram it with a specific hashtag such as #UBSSchoolSpirit. With the help of this simple program, you’ll be able to showcase their pictures to all of their peers in your store! Students love seeing themselves on screen and this will give them the perfect excuse to stop in.
So, go ahead, try it! We promise, it’s much simpler than it seems. If you have any questions or need help getting started, feel free to contact us or comment below. We’re happy to help!
How to build an Instagram-powered Slideshow Screen Saver for Windows/Mac:
- Create a free Dropbox and IFTTT account if you do not already have one.
- Download/install Dropbox on the computer you plan to display your images on.
- Sign in to your IFTTT account. Note: IFTTT is a service that lets you connect web accounts (“channels”) based on some specific event (“trigger”) to create a new type of interaction (known as “recipes”). You may learn more about the service here.
- Connect your Instagram and Dropbox accounts:
- Once you’re signed in to IFTTT, activate your Instagram and Dropbox channels. The activation process will require you to sign in to each individual channel and “grant permission” to IFTTT to access that channel.
- Follow this recipe link and click the “Use Recipe” button.
- Fill out the following information, then click “Use Recipe”
- Tag: the Instagram hashtag you want to use to source images.
- File URL: Defaults to “SourceURL”. Use this.
- File Name: Optional extension to append to the filename. OK to leave blank.
- Dropbox folder path: Defaults to “IFTTT”. If you plan on managing multiple/future campaigns that you would like to keep separate, we suggest changing the path to ifttt/instagram/YOUR-HASHTAG/ where YOUR-HASHTAG is the same as you entered in the “Tag” field above.
- Once the recipe has been created, IFTTT will direct you to your “Personal Recipe” page and automatically activate that recipe. You can come to this page at any time to deactivate it if you no longer wish to collect photos.
- The next step is to connect your Dropbox to the computer you want to display the images on:
- Make sure you have at least one photo in the Dropbox location you plan to use (this is the same folder as what you designated in “Dropbox folder path” above.)
- Directions for Windows:
- Right-click on your desktop and select “Personalize”
- Select “Screen Saver”
- In the drop-down menu, select “Photos”
- Click on “Settings…” Under the “Use pictures from:” heading, click the “Browse…” button and navigate to the Dropbox folder you want to use. Select how often you want the slide show to change images and if you want the images to “shuffle” order then click “Save”.
- Make sure to specify when you want your screensaver to turn on (e.g. after 1 minute)
- Click “OK” on the Screen Saver Settings menu.
- Directions for OSX:
- Right-click/CMD-click the desktop and select “Screen Saver”
- Select the style of photo screensaver you prefer from the left sidebar
- In the drop-down menu next to “Source” select “Choose folder” and navigate to the Dropbox folder you want to use (from step 3iv)
- Select if you want the images to shuffle order.