Category: The Voice of Social Media

Instagram Tests More BeReal-Like Elements as it Looks to Lean Into the Authentic Social Shift

Will the more authentic social approach of BeReal actually lead to a shift in user behavior and interest?

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/Instagram-Tests-More-BeReal-Like-Elements/637916/

Reddit Adds Images in Comments for Selected Communities

Another way to interact and engage within Reddit communities.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/reddit-adds-images-in-comments-for-selected-communities/637910/

TikTok Announces Updated CAP University Marketing Education Course

The course aims to help agency staff learn more about TikTok’s various marketing tools and approaches.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/tiktok-announces-updated-cap-university-marketing-education-course/637907/

YouTube Announces Updated Monetization Guidelines, New Analytics Tools in the Mobile App

Worth noting for creators and YouTube advertisers.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/YouTube-Updates-Monetization-Guidelines-Adds-Mobile-Analytics/637902/

Parler Announces That it’s Terminated its Acquisition Deal with Kanye West

Kanye had sought to buy Parler in order to share his unfiltered opinions.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/Parler-Terminates-Kanye-West-Acquisition/637806/

Meta Launches Two New Art Projects to Highlight the Creative Opportunities of the Metaverse

Meta’s looking to establish stronger connections with artistic communities as part of its metaverse push.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/Meta-Art-Projects-Highlight-Creative-Opportunities-of-the-Metaverse/637803/

Twitter Will Start Displaying Tweet Reach Metrics Up-Front on Tweets

Twitter chief Elon Musk is exploring new ways to incentivize engagement.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/Twitter-Will-Start-Displaying-Tweet-Reach-Metrics-Up-Front-on-Tweets/637800/

LinkedIn Announces Expanded Roll-Out of New ‘Focused Inbox’ Format for InMail

LinkedIn’s ‘Focused Inbox’ essentially adds a new spam filter to your LI messages.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/LinkedIn-Announces-Expanded-Roll-Out-of-Focused-Inbox/637781/

TikTok Announces the Top European TikTok Ads of 2022

TikTok has also shared the top performing TikTok ad campaigns from across the EU.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/tiktok-announces-the-top-european-tiktok-ads-of-2022/637779/

YouTube Shares the Top Creators, Clips and Ads of 2022

YouTube’s top trends overview provides an interesting perspective on the year that was.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/youtube-shares-the-top-creators-clips-and-ads-of-2022/637772/

Reddit Announces ‘Future Tellers’ Marketing Insights Event for CES 2023

Reddit’s looking to highlight its value as a market research and audience insights tool.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/reddit-announces-future-tellers-marketing-insights-event-for-ces-2023/637768/

How This Peruvian Small Business Creates Ethical Dog Apparel

How This Peruvian Small Business Creates Ethical Dog Apparel

Seventeen years ago, Patricia Queirolo was driving through the Andes with her family on their way to the Colca Canyon. A college student at the time, she was trying to come up with a business idea for her thesis project. Peering through her window at the beautiful Peruvian landscapes and the various animals grazing, including alpacas and llamas, it hit her: A dog apparel brand.

At the time, Patricia had two Westies and was struggling to find good-quality dog sweaters for them. She eventually turned her class project into a reality and opened up Alqo Wasi, or “dog home,” in Quechua, in 2005. Her small business's purpose would be so much more than just creating chic dog wear, it was also a way for the entrepreneur to spotlight both the Peruvian culture and its people.

Sweaters made with the Peruvian culture in mind

When it came down to actually creating the sweaters, Patricia knew that she wanted to use quality materials that represented Peruvian culture. The Alqo Wasi team ran through a ton of fabric options until they finally reached a consensus to use a luxury blend of organic Pima cotton and alpaca fibers.

For Patricia, this specific mixture fulfilled two main purposes. For one, the blend is comfortable for dogs to wear, but can also be easily laundered. But, more importantly, the alpaca fibers were emblematic of Peru’s history, culture, and traditions, something that was important to the entrepreneur.

“My first initiative was to find a connection between my Peruvian culture with a good product that could be offered at a wholesale available price … with the best blend of materials,” she said.

Alpacas have been very useful to the Peruvian people throughout generations as they’ve relied on them as both transportation and food historically. The animal’s fur, however, has always been regarded for its high quality.

“[Alpaca] fiber has been used since the Incas, our ancient culture and our ancestors,” Patricia said. “The highest nobility would use clothes knitted from alpaca.”

Initially, all of the designs and styles of the dog sweaters were very much Peruvian, as Patricia wanted her products to represent her heritage. But as the business expanded, they realized that they needed to also expand their style range to cater to a more global audience. Even then, Patricia made sure to instill the Peruvian culture in every product they made.

“So we decided to change the designs and try to have a more global taste, but at the same time, accent some of the things that we have here [in Peru]: the manufacturer, the people here that do different roles like dying [the fabric], or knitting the looms,” she said.

That’s why Alqo Wasi labels their designs as “glocal” – as their dog sweaters are characterized by both local and global qualities, something that makes their signature product so special.

Creating close ties with local artisans

Each and every sweater produced by the small business is handmade by Peruvian artisans who dye and knit the fabric themselves. Patricia quickly realized that a major priority of hers was creating new job opportunities for her community.

“The purpose [of the business] kind of changed from just making a good product to committing to working with [Peruvian] people and trying to make their future better,” she said.

By employing artisans in nearby regions, including Lima, Ayacucho, Puno, and Huancavelica, Patricia can give them stable employment while also ensuring every sweater is made authentically. Over the years, Patricia has become closely involved with these individuals. She’s even been able to support multiple generations of families.

“Right now, I'm working with one family,” Patricia said. “And we work with the grandmother, father, mother, their two sons, their cousin, and mother-in-law.”

While the artisans' main job is to weave, knit, and dye the fabrics, Patricia makes sure to bring them in on all design decisions as she’s cultivated a very collaborative environment at Alqo Wasi. While Patricia usually comes up with the initial styles, everyone – including team members in marketing and accounting – has a say as the group works through swatches.

Patricia greatly values the artisans' input here, especially since they’re the ones who ultimately create the sweaters. She sees their relationship as more than just transactional, but like each artisan is a part of her family.

“As the owner of the company, I have a lot of pressure — but good pressure. The sense that [my employees] are relying on the sales that our company gives them or the work that we give them. So I think there's a lot of respect between us, and friendship, and a lot of responsibility that comes with time.”

Keeping Alqo Wasi small, ethical, and local

While becoming certified as a fair trade apparel company is difficult in Peru, Patricia operates Alqo Wasi as such and considers her business, “slow fashion.” Which is why she’s deliberate behind every decision she makes for the brand.

For example, not only is their sweater blend representative of Peru, but it’s good for the planet, too. Organic Pima cotton is made without any GMOs in Peru and is harvested on land free of chemical fertilizers. Similarly, the alpacas in the Andes are typically never raised or harmed for their fur. The animals get sheared once a year for health reasons, where the fiber is collected. Their fur causes less pollution to the environment compared to other materials, and Alpacas themselves have a light carbon footprint.

“The alpaca is a very kind animal for the planet,” Patricia said. “They say [their fiber] is more sustainable than cashmere.”

Patricia is also not interested in expanding the business if it means harming the quality of the product, or her employees. While Alqo Wasi has been offered to create white-label clothing for other brands, they’ve ultimately realized that kind of work doesn’t connect back to their mission.

“I think we always consider [white label work] and think, ‘oh, maybe we need this.’ You know, to sell more [products]. But in the end, I came to the conclusion that I prefer to grow slowly… I just don't want to put more pressure on me and my employees and I don't want to give them more work than what they can do.”

Rather than growing the business exponentially, Patricia is happy with where Alqo Wasi is now and believes there is immeasurable value to keeping things as they are. It’s not that she doesn’t want her business to grow, but that she prefers a slower, more steady growth. She sees that each year the brand is gaining more and more recognition, while still maintaining the quality of the product and the happiness of their employees.

🖊️
Patricia’s mentality surrounding small businesses is shared by other entrepreneurs, as well. Check out our Small Business, Big Lessons podcast episode on why some businesses intentionally choose to stay small.

“We're a small business, and we've been a small business from the day we started,” Patricia said. “We want to keep it small.”

By limiting the size of the business, Patricia can ensure that she's never compromising Alqo Wasi’s core goal –  to uplift the Peruvian people, while also creating products that illustrate the country’s culture and traditions. In this way, Patricia ensures that she has the best interest of her employees and hometown at heart.

Interested in how other entrepreneurs run their businesses on their own terms? Check out our podcast Small Business, Big Lessons where we highlight successful small businesses that carved their unique path.

https://buffer.com/resources/how-this-peruvian-business-creates-ethical-dog-apparel/

Twitter Expands Content Recommendations, Showing Users More Tweets from Profiles They Don’t Follow

Seeing a lot more tweets from people you don’t follow in your feed?

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/Twitter-Expands-Content-Recommendations/637697/

15 Ways the B2B Influencer Marketing Industry is Changing [Infographic]

B2B brands are increasingly looking to influencer marketing to boost campaign performance.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/15-ways-the-b2b-influencer-marketing-industry-is-changing-infographic/637668/

5 Habits and Behaviors of the Best Social Media Managers [Infographic]

What are the key traits of the most effective social media managers?

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/5-habits-and-behaviors-of-the-best-social-media-managers-infographic/637664/

Twitter Says That its Moderation Policies Have Not Changed in Light of Musk Takeover

Elon Musk has committed to adhering to updated EU rules around user safety and moderation.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/twitter-says-that-its-moderation-policies-have-not-changed-in-light-of-musk/637662/

Snapchat Launches New, Voice-Powered AR Experience with New Balance

The activations highlights another consideration for AR campaigns.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/Snapchat-Launches-New-Voice-Powered-AR-Experience/637651/

LinkedIn Adds New Tools for Company Pages, Including Updated Competitor Analytics

LinkedIn’s latest Company Page feature update includes some handy additions.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/LinkedIn-Adds-New-Tools-for-Company-Pages/637650/

Buffer turned 12 today! Here are some of our favorite stories, memories, and lessons

Buffer turned 12 today! Here are some of our favorite stories, memories, and lessons

Today marks Buffer’s 12th anniversary. For the occasion, I thought it would be fun to ask my teammates about their favorite memories, stories, and lessons from working at Buffer over the last twelve years. I had them share one favorite story or memory and answer one question about Buffer's impact on their lives and how they work.

Here’s what they had to say.

Joel started Buffer in October 2010

Buffer turned 12 today! Here are some of our favorite stories, memories, and lessons

Name: Joel Gascoigne

Role: CEO, Founder

Bufferversary: October 2010

Joel’s favorite memory(ies)

It’s been a long journey, so there are far too many favorite moments. Here are three:

  • The moment I first got a payment from someone I did not already know. This happened a few days after I launched in November 2010. It was the first time I had been paid for a product I created rather than for my time as a contractor. It was such a different feeling, I remember jumping around the room with joy. This was the moment I knew that Buffer could become something really significant.
  • Turning down a significant acquisition offer in 2014. This is a favorite moment due to the reasons we turned it down. Not only did we know Buffer could be much bigger than it was at the time, we felt a deep connection and commitment to our values and the movements we had become part of (remote work and increased transparency). We knew our efforts and progress here would end if we sold, as no acquirer at the time was operating or interested in remote, and no acquirer would continue to operate with the level of transparency we had. It felt powerful and special to make a clear choice to continue on our path due to the impact we were having.
  • The first time we did profit sharing as a company. This isn’t something we’ll always have, as we have natural ups and downs as a company where we may not be profitable. However, in 2017 we did our first profit share bonus, distributing $300k (12% of profit) across the 68-person team. The gratitude from the team for Buffer was incredible to see, as was the level of transparent sharing around uses of the bonus, some of which were incredibly heartwarming. This was also the moment I felt clearly that I wanted the success of this company to be of benefit to everyone involved, not just myself as the founder and key shareholders.

What's something that surprised you when you started Buffer?

Something that surprised me as we grew in the early months was how often scaling challenges and downtime could paradoxically be a good thing for us, so long as we reacted to the situation in the right way.

During periods of downtime, we would actually gain many loyal Buffer supporters. What happened was, as soon as we ran into issues, we’d divide up as a small team and have half of us focused on resolving the issue as rapidly as possible, and the other half focused entirely on being very responsive and transparent with customers. These became moments of clear community building, where we gained lifelong advocates.

The lesson for me in this was, ship earlier and more often, be ready to switch gears to crisis mode and do the best possible job of that too.

What have you learned from the way Buffer approaches work?

I’ve learned the power and effectiveness of genuinely trusting a team. When you create a strong culture that attracts people to it and you have a worthwhile mission that people feel motivated by, it’s wise to give the team freedom and trust.

We’ve made a number of choices that have been focused on trust and freedom for team members. The top example of this is choosing to be a distributed team in 2012. As a remote team, we do not track hours or even where someone is working from. We simply have a clear mission and goals we all align around as a team, and we get to work. The other more recent example is adjusting to a 4-day workweek in 2020. We believe that we can all achieve more in less time, with increased focus. In this way, through trust and freedom, we all get more time back for ourselves and our loved ones.

Adam joined Buffer in November 2013

Buffer turned 12 today! Here are some of our favorite stories, memories, and lessons

Name: Adam Farmer

Role: Senior Escalations Manager

Team: Customer Advocacy

Adam’s favorite memory

One [memory] that sticks out to me at this moment is when I first met the entire team (at the time) in South Africa. There was such a flood of different emotions. I was struck by the fact that, yes, Buffer was a real company (I think everyone struggles with that a bit until they meet someone from the team in person). I was also struck by how kind and genuine the team was and how connected to them I felt even though I had only ever interacted with them online. In all honesty, it is pretty difficult to put into words – which probably makes this a pretty terrible memory to share – but that trip, those people, and so many memories of that time are special.

What have you learned from the way Buffer approaches work?

That it is okay to rethink and approach work differently. There are things that we've come to accept as being the "norm" when it comes to work. These things may have held value in the past, they may be the way that "everyone does it," and they may even be viewed as required to find success – but that doesn't mean they are good or even the way we should approach work now. There is room to reflect on these and curiously challenge the status quo.

Dave joined Buffer in March 2014

Buffer turned 12 today! Here are some of our favorite stories, memories, and lessons

Name: Dave Chapman

Role: Senior Customer Advocate

Team: Customer Advocacy

Dave’s favorite memory

I'll never forget my first retreat and meeting everyone for the first time in New York.

What have you learned from Buffer’s values?

Transparency builds trust – and that can never be underestimated!

Danny joined Buffer in May 2015

Buffer turned 12 today! Here are some of our favorite stories, memories, and lessons

Name: Danny Mulcahy

Role: Technical Advocate

Team: Customer Advocacy

Danny’s favorite memory

My absolute all-time favorite Buffer memory came from the 2017 retreat to Madrid. We'd had the team meal the night before, which is always epic, and the next day we all had a day off and got to choose which group activity we wanted to do.

Several of us chose to visit a sports pitch for a bubble football experience, and it was the funniest day I've had with Buffer. I don't think I've ever laughed so much as that day; it was an all-time classic and such a wonderful team-bonding experience.

Buffer turned 12 today! Here are some of our favorite stories, memories, and lessons
2017 Madrid meetup – Advocacy team

The team retreats and meet-ups that we go on are always special, but this particular memory stands out as one we often reminisce fondly upon.

What have you learned from the way Buffer approaches work?

After being at Buffer for over seven years, it's really been a rollercoaster journey through that time.

The thing that has stuck out to me has always been the fact that we stayed true to our values, even when our chips were down, and it's bad news.

In 2016, we went through the painful experience of having to lay off 10% of our workforce, which was a scary and tricky time, but even then, we stuck to our transparency value and shared this news more widely to our community about why it happened and how we got in that position. In doing that, we showed a lot of vulnerability and courage so that other start-ups could learn from our mistakes.

Later on, in 2020, I think we perfectly practiced our value of "Act Beyond Yourself. When the world was amid the global pandemic, we wanted to put others first, and we quickly worked together to develop a COVID-19 initiative. This allowed customers who were hit by COVID closures to continue using their Buffer accounts without paying for three months. This was something that was a benefit to our customers but clearly came at a cost to us, yet we wanted to do the right thing and go through with it.

That was something I was so proud to be a part of; we were helping others when they truly needed it. This proves that you can run a business on a different journey, and by following your beliefs, you can still do the right thing to help others, too.

Hailley joined Buffer in February 2016

Buffer turned 12 today! Here are some of our favorite stories, memories, and lessons

Name: Hailley Griffis

Role: Head of Communications & Content

Team: Marketing

Hailley’s favorite memory

Once on April Fool's day, two of us from the Marketing team sent out a team-wide note that Marketing was now operating by lunar cycles, complete with instructions on how to add the phases of the moon to your Google Calendar. My favorite quote was, "We will be kicking off all of our new projects under the New Moon. During the New Moon stage, which is a time of recharging, all Marketing teammates will be asked to spend some time in the woods. We’ll be reimbursing all transportation and tent rentals for this stage." I still laugh when re-reading that thread!


What have you learned from the way Buffer approaches work?

I've learned a lot about staying true to your values from Buffer. It's easy to say that you are transparent, and a lot more difficult to hold yourself to that transparency when times are difficult. I've been with Buffer through several difficult seasons where we have still defaulted to transparency, and I'm proud to see us stay true to our values. One example is when Buffer was going through a cash flow crisis. Many non-public companies would keep that quiet and never share details, but we leaned into transparency and shared the whole story on our blog, and we had the most supportive response from our community and customers.

Amanda joined Buffer in February 2020

Buffer turned 12 today! Here are some of our favorite stories, memories, and lessons

Name: Amanda Marochko

Role: Senior Product Manager

Team: Product

Amanda’s favorite story

I was originally hired at Buffer to manage our relationships with our channel partners and third-party integrations. My role was embedded within the product team, so I used this as an opportunity to learn directly from the product managers at Buffer. Eventually, I was able to advocate for myself to transition into a full-time product manager, and I owe a lot of gratitude to the many folks at Buffer who mentored and supported me throughout my journey. I've never been happier in my career, and I am incredibly fortunate that Buffer gave me the space to grow in my career and take on new challenges. I reflect on this a lot, and although it's not one specific story or lesson, my favorite memory was the moment I was told that I would become a full-time product manager. It's changed the course of my career, and I've loved being able to work more closely with our engineers, designers, marketing folks, and product managers to build valuable features for our customers.

What was something that surprised you when you first joined Buffer?

Is it cliché to say how nice and supportive everyone on the team has been? I truly feel like everyone wants each other to succeed, and even though many of us haven't met in person, we have a level of trust and respect for one another. We show gratitude for one another daily, and it's deeply embedded in our culture – I haven't experienced anything like it, but it's certainly one of the things that make me value working at Buffer.

Arek joined Buffer in June 2021

Buffer turned 12 today! Here are some of our favorite stories, memories, and lessons

Name: Arek Panek

Role: Senior Engineer

Team: Engineering

Arek’s favorite story

I'm a digital nomad, and my favorite part of working at Buffer is meeting other Bufferoos all over the world – it's amazing that wherever in the world you go, there's a high chance some Bufferoo will be nearby. And if not, someone was probably there and can share lots of recommendations!

One thing I learned here is it is guaranteed that people working at Buffer are genuinely lovely, interesting, and just great people in general. Everyone is usually surprised I'm pretty tall, and there were some good jokes about it – you can't really tell a lot about your coworkers' height if you work remotely 🙂

What have you learned from Buffer’s values?

I learned how to be a better person, literally! I noticed how my personal life changed as time passed when I started living Buffer values. I'm more transparent with everything I do and don't have any problems sharing that, I'm much better at showing gratitude – it feels so nice to be grateful for what other people do and share it with them! Since joining Buffer, I've also started reflecting on my work, career, and life a lot more. If you live these values, you are guaranteed to be a better person, and I love that.

Jacob joined Buffer in June 2022

Buffer turned 12 today! Here are some of our favorite stories, memories, and lessons

Name: Jacob Chadwell

Role: Software Engineer

Team: Engineering

Jacob’s favorite memory

Getting to meet my team in Banff, Canada!

What have you learned about the way Buffer approaches work?

There’s a big difference between “working from home” and flexible remote work. Buffer approaches remote work in such a thoughtful way. Instead of trying to replicate an in-office experience as many companies have done post-pandemic, we embrace both the challenges and benefits of being a fully distributed, global team.

We strike a great balance of synchronous and asynchronous work and ensure everything we’re working on is transparent so that our teams never lack context. I feel like, for the first time, I don’t feel guilty when I want to go on a long walk with my dog or take a workout class in the middle of the day. We get to structure our day and work environment around what’s best for us, and that is priceless – something you really don’t find at other companies. The flexibility we have is worth every bit of flexibility we give up when we may have an early morning meeting for time zones or need to work a bit more for a week or two.

Tamilore joined Buffer in February 2022

Buffer turned 12 today! Here are some of our favorite stories, memories, and lessons

Name: Tamilore Oladipo

Role: Content Writer

Team: Marketing

Tami’s favorite memory

Surprise, it’s me! This is super meta, but I wanted to jump in here and add my perspective at the risk of coming off like a self-insert fanfiction writer. My favorite memory that’s tied to Buffer is very recent and has a ton of backstory that I won’t get into. Short version: I couldn’t make the Marketing team meetup in Vancouver, and while the team did their best to make me feel included, I was bummed I didn’t get to really meet and connect with anyone.

But two weeks after the meetup, I received a package containing Canadian snacks, a cute t-shirt, and even the gratitude pen we passed around at the end, among other items. That act of inclusion was the kindest thing any team I’ve ever worked with has done for me.

What have you learned about the way Buffer approaches work?

That people are the backbone of every business. Without our customers, readers, and followers, Buffer wouldn’t be where it is. And the company’s approach to ensuring that people are at the forefront of every decision shines through in what we prioritize, our values, and how we treat each other.

Celebrate Buffer’s birthday with us

In addition to all the great reminiscing we’ve done about the past, join us on Twitter for the first Bufferchat in a long while (OGs know) to discuss where we are now and our future!

https://buffer.com/resources/buffer-turns-12/

Twitter’s Rules Around Speech are Focused on Avoiding Harm, Not Maintaining Control

As Elon Musk looks to stoke the fires of cultural division, it’s important that the key elements of online regulations are not overlooked. 

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/twitters-rules-around-speech-are-focused-on-avoiding-harm-not-maintaining/637576/

Report Looks at the Most Commonly Shared Life Events on Instagram and TikTok

What life events are people more likely to post about on IG and TikTok?

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/The-Most-Shared-Life-Events-on-Instagram-and-TikTok-Report/637543/

How Accurate is Mental Health Advice on TikTok? [Infographic]

TikTok is increasingly being used as a search engine for all kinds of advice – including mental health.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/how-accurate-is-mental-health-advice-on-tiktok-infographic/637540/

Google Launches Legal Proceedings Against Scammers Seeking to Sell Google Business Profiles

Cases like these help to establish new legal precedents for evolving scam activity.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/Google-Launches-Legal-Proceedings-to-Combat-Online-Scammers/637536/