How to Consistently Curate Quality Content for Your Feed

Publishing content consistently across your social media channels is important, but so is the quality of content you put out to the infinite space that is the Internet. Your ability to create high-quality, engaging material has never been more important – your social media accounts are the world’s first impression of your brand. Do you want to look put together and professional, or like you rolled out of bed, smelled the first shirt you saw on your floor to see if it’s clean, and ran out the door?

Here are some tips to make sure you’re always armed with great content.

 

Develop a Strategy

The first thing you need to do is decide your posting strategy – including frequency, ratio of unique content versus shared content, and platforms you want to use. All of these factors will vary depending on your business, budget, and what you are trying to accomplish.

As a general rule, the more often you post, the higher your engagement will be and the faster you will gain followers. It seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised. Make sure you find a balance between oversaturating your followers’ timelines and staying top-of-mind, though this will vary between platforms. On Twitter, for example, you can get away with posting much more frequently than you can on Instagram. Think about these nuances when developing your strategy. How often do you like to see posts from your favourite brands on Instagram: once a day, or eight times a day?

Just like you need to find the perfect balance of posting too much versus posting too little, you also need to decide how much original content to create for your social media accounts (photos, graphics, videos, blog articles) and how much you are going to share from other sources. Again, this ratio will change with each platform you use. On Twitter or Facebook, it is much more common to share other people’s content – the platforms are designed for it. On Instagram, not so much. This will influence the frequency of your posting as well: don’t post on Instagram every day if you don’t have good content to post.

 

Find Sources for Shared Content

Don’t scour Google every time you’re trying to come up with a new post. When we’re looking to post shared content on social media, like articles from other sources, we keep a list of relevant websites to check first for each of our clients. There’s no point in walking around the entire grocery store when all you need is milk.

You also need to make sure you are pulling pieces from reliable sources. Remember in school when Wikipedia didn’t ever count as a source you could use for your essay? The same rules apply in the real world too. Make sure you share information that is accurate, on brand, and not offensive. Read over every article before you post it, and read through an overly critical lens.

This is also where user-generated content comes in handy. Do you have an engaged audience? Show off their work! Not only does it take the pressure off of you to constantly create, but it also encourages others to create work as well.

 

Create High-Quality Content

Here’s the hard part. To have a quality feed, you need to create quality posts – whether that’s blog entries, photos, videos, graphics, or ideally, all of the above. To keep your audience engaged and interested, you need to create a variety of content. How fast did you unfollow that girl you went to high school with who only posts selfies of herself? Probably the second you got your diploma. Once your followers realize your posts are all the same, they’ll get bored and hit unfollow.

A tip to ensure you always have content is to always keep creating as a priority. Take lots of photos, jot down ideas for blog entries when you think of them in the middle of the night, create another video when you find yourself with time to kill. Prioritizing content creation will help make sure your reserve of posts never runs dry.

 

Learn How to Repurpose Content

Do you get the impression that major brands like Sephora hold an expensive photoshoot every day so that they have material to post? No chance. Brands plan regular shoots throughout the year and keep the resulting content in their back pockets, doling it out post by post until the next shoot. Take some detail shots, some wide shots, some shots with a human presence – mix it up!

You can also repurpose your blog posts by sharing them on multiple accounts (with different captions to keep your audience interested), creating graphics with key quotes, and making infographics. And, you can turn your videos into blog posts, GIFs, and photos. Content creation may seem like a pricey, time-consuming endeavour, but you can stretch the material super far if you learn how to reuse it. Plus, it gets your work seen by more people. On average, 50% of articles get shared eight times or less on social media – that cuts pretty deep after you spent hours writing, editing, and producing visuals. Squeeze every last drop of creative juice out of your big creative projects, and you’ll have content to spare.

 

Looking to take your unique content to the next level? Check out our post on how to take better photos.


Making Better Instagram Stories

The verdict is in: Instagram Stories is here to stay. 300 million people actively use Instagram Stories everyday (take that, Snapchat). And since the addition of Instagram Stories, users under 25 are spending upwards of 32 minutes a day on Instagram – and people say we don’t have hobbies.

Instagram Stories is a great way to share more content and engage more with your audience. Especially with the recent Instagram algorithm shift (just let the players play, Instagram), it’s more difficult to reach your target audience – only about 10 percent of your followers actually see your posts. The algorithm pushes down posts with low engagement, and rewards posts with lots of engagement so more people will see it. In theory, this is to give users a more intuitive experience – they are supposed to be more likely to see something they’re interested in, from an account they care about. But in practice, it drops your reach and impressions like nobody’s business. Instagram Stories helps combat this – your followers will see your story at the top of their feed, keeping your brand top-of-mind. The algorithm also takes engagement with your Instagram Stories  into account – ultimately rewarding you with a higher-up slot on the feed if your Story gets views.

After all that, what we’re trying to say is that Instagram Stories is important. With that in mind, here are some tips for making the most of the new(ish) medium.

 

Stay on Brand

Your Instagram Stories feed isn’t just a throwaway place for pictures that are ok, but not good enough for your feed. Everything you post – yes, everything – contributes to your audience’s understanding of your brand. So while a more behind-the-scenes approach can really excel on Stories, posting a video of one of your co-workers sleeping at their desk probably isn’t the best choice. Showing client work, new products you have in store, or a company lunch, for example, helps your audience connect with your brand on a more personal level. It’s like watching a DVD (remember those?) with the commentary on – you learn more about the people behind the movie and by the end, you feel like you’re best friends with Tom Hanks.

 

Tell a Story

It’s called Instagram Stories for a reason. Make sure you have a beginning, middle, and end, as well as a purpose to your Story. Each post should add value or context. Have a new blog post out? Use your Story to drive people to your blog by including a call to action. Are you on location? Give your followers a behind-the-scenes shot. And if you’re feeling really bold, try your hand at Instagram Live.

 

Use Location and Hashtag Stickers

Just like with regular posts, you can include geotags and hashtags to increase your discoverability in Instagram Stories. Obviously, don’t go overboard – the inclusion of location and hashtag stickers shouldn’t be at the cost of good design. You can also change the colour of a sticker by tapping it – the default sticker has a white background and bold purple text, but you can change it to a more subtle transparent gray background with white text.

 

Make it Look Good

Pay attention to detail – your Instagram Story is a little piece of art. Make sure the colours match and are consistent with your branding, don’t block important details with your text or stickers, and pay attention to the balance and composition – basic elements of design matter. Even though your story will only be available for 24 hours (unless you save it as a highlight), lots of people will see it.

Take advantage of the new fonts Instagram added (there’s FIVE!), play around with the colour of the text to make it stand out, use the custom colour selector feature, add stickers and GIFs! Instagram users expect you to use the new features to improve the quality of your Story, so make something exciting and engaging. Bonus: Instagram lets you pull from your camera roll to post in your Story, so you can create Stories ahead of time –  which means you really have no excuse for an ugly layout or illegible text.

 

Need some inspiration? Here are some accounts crushing the Instagram Stories game.

Air BnB

NASA

Thom Bargen

Coal and Canary

Margot and Maude


Taking Better Photos for Social Media

Long gone are the days of posting any photos you like on your Instagram account – sorry to be the bearer of bad news. To stand out among the other 800 million active users, you need to try a little harder. Photos need to be crisper and more professional looking, your feed needs to be cohesive, and to top it off, you need consistent engagement to make sure your posts are seen by your followers.

Keep reading for a crash course in photography from someone who spends way too much time taking and editing photos for social media.

 

Lighting

The difference lighting makes in a photo is huge.  A photo taken in a dimly lit restaurant where you can barely see the food doesn’t have the same effect as a vibrant, bright photo showing how fresh the produce is. Some lighting issues can be fixed with editing, but it’s much easier to get it right the first time. The best lighting for photos is natural light, but not direct sunlight, which will overexpose your photo. Dimly lit photos will also lose some of their quality, especially if the photo was shot on a phone. Brightening a dark iPhone photo can result in grainy, low-quality shots that look (and probably are) over-edited. Haphazardly throwing Reyes on your photo right before posting won’t help your cause, either.

The lighting in your photo will also affect the colour and the mood. Photos with less light will feel moodier and be more monochromatic, while brighter photos will be more vibrant. Colour and lighting is super important, not only when it comes to the quality of your photography, but also when it comes to branding and consistency in your Instagram feed. Ideally, you want your feed to be uniform – think of it as one large picture rather than separate pieces. By keeping the lighting and colour similar or complementary in your photos, you can make sure your feed is consistent with your branding.

 

Balance

Creating a balanced photograph begins by arranging both positive and negative aspects within your frame, and by making sure one element doesn’t outpower the others. There are four main types of balance to consider when composing a photo: symmetrical, asymmetrical, radial, and crystallographic. Symmetrical balance creates a sense of harmony and emphasizes sameness, though it can also feel boring and static. In a symmetrical photo, both sides are evenly weighted on an axis in the centre.

Asymmetrical balance is created by having unequal weight on each side of your composition. Typically, asymmetrical balance is more dynamic and interesting, but it can be more difficult to achieve because the visual elements are more complex. A good rule of thumb is to balance a dominant visual element on one side of your frame with a handful of lighter elements on the other side.

Radial balance occurs when all the elements of your photo radiate (get it?) from a common centre. The easiest way to think about radial balance is to picture looking down a spiral staircase. Maintaining a focal point is easy because the element you are trying to emphasize will be in the middle of your photo.

Crystallographic balance is balanced chaos. Think about the perfect Instagram flatlay: everything in the photo is in the exact right spot, but it is not super clean. There is no clear element being emphasized – each element shares a uniform emphasis.

Remember, balance doesn’t always have to be split down the middle. Vary the angles and composition of your photos to avoid a boring Instagram feed.

 

Contrast

Creating contrast within a photo makes sure that your elements aren’t blending together. You can create contrast with colour, with shapes, and with sizes. Contrasting colours is the easiest to imagine – put light colours beside dark colours to make both colours stand out, for example. Colour contrast becomes especially important when shooting on a set background because you don’t want to lose elements of your foreground to your background. Have you ever seen those hilariously tragic school photos where the subject is wearing the same colour shirt as the background so they look like a floating head? Yeah, contrast is important.

Contrasting shapes creates interest within a photo. Especially within a crystallographically balanced photo (this is a test to make sure you were paying attention – did you pass?), varying the shapes you use creates a more dynamic photo. A great example of this is taking a photo of a table with lots of food on it – using some circular plates with some rectangular platters gives the eye more to look at.

Contrasting sizes helps draw attention to your focal point – the bigger the element, the more important it seems within the frame. In general, contrast makes your photos more interesting and gives the viewer more to explore while helping get your message across more effectively.

 

Space and Framing

The way you frame your subject also says a lot – sometimes, the elements you leave out of a photo say just as much as the elements you leave in a photo. Negative space is a beautiful thing – the absence draws attention to the important elements of your photo and keeps your frame from becoming too busy.

This brings us nicely to framing. The framing of your photo can make your composition more dynamic or create a sense of unity and harmony. If you want your photo to look orderly, frame your subject so that the lines in the photo are parallel with the edge of the photo. If you want to add interest to your flatlay, create interesting angles between the edge of the photo and the subjects in your frame – seeing space is important. You can also create interest by framing your photo in an unusual way – like by having the background take up the bulk of the frame while keeping your subject small.

 

Lastly, one of the best photography tips is to take lots of photos. Don’t snap your shutter once and call it quits – play with your framing, your angles, the lighting, and the composition to make sure you capture something that works. How many selfies do you take before finally posting one? Probably a lot more than one (your camera roll doesn’t lie).


The Best Plants for Your Office

We’re no strangers to office plants. In fact, we’re unofficial experts at keeping our space full of happy and healthy greenery. If you find yourself killing more plants than you’re keeping, check out our list of low-maintenance options to bring a little green to your office.

 

Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Snake plants are almost impossible to kill and are known for their ability to survive in unsuitable growing conditions (hello, fluorescent lights). They can grow anywhere from 8 inches to 12 feet high, but they grow very slowly. Indirect sunlight is the best option for this hardy plant, but it’ll survive in full sunlight and low light as well. The biggest killer of snake plants is overwatering  – you want the soil to completely dry between waterings so that the roots don’t rot.

There are around 70 different species of snake plant, which all look slightly different. “Mother-in-law’s tongue” (aptly named because of its sharp, pointed leaves – genius) is most common for gardening, but we recommend the robusta species for offices. Its leaves are shorter and wider than other species of the snake plant, making it ideal for compact spaces. It is also lovingly dubbed the “bulletproof plant,” so that should be an indication of how impossible this plant is to kill.

 

Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Pothos, also known as Devil’s Ivy, is a really hardy vine that quickly grows green, glossy leaves. It is one of the easiest houseplants to grow, as it doesn’t need much sunlight or water – making it perfect for the neglectful plant-lover. The biggest chore with Devil’s Ivy is that it just keeps growing and growing.

If you find the vines of your plant getting too long, trim them, place the trimmed vines in water for a couple weeks until they grow roots, and then repot them. Endless plants for you and all your friends (or for yourself, we don’t judge).

 

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Peace lilies are favourite house plants. They are ridiculously easy to care for and, get this, flower in the springtime. They thrive in the shade, though some varieties can stand more light than others. In the summer, make sure you water peace lilies frequently. If you want extra happy plant babies, mist the leaves too. Slow down on your watering in the winter, but don’t let the soil dry out. You probably won’t underwater a peace lily; they are more prone to dying from overwatering.

The flowers on this plant last for a long time, and you can actually force your plant to bloom twice a year. Keep your plant fertilized and in the shade, and you could have flowers on your desk for several months of the year, and the peace lily will never whine about you not texting them back.

 

Air Plants (tillandsias)

Air plants are the most low maintenance plant – they don’t even need soil. How, you ask? Magic. They do best in areas with indirect sunlight, but really can survive anywhere. While air plants don’t need soil, you still need to water them. Depending on the type of plant you have, the watering methods will vary. A safe bet is soaking the plant in a glass of water around once a week. This will let the plant absorb water, or relax after a long stressful week. After you’re done soaking the plant, gently shake off the extra water, dry it off, and you’re good to go.

 

Plastic Plants from IKEA (fejka)

Did you kill even the most hardy of plants on our list? You must have a talent. May we make a suggestion? Maybe plants aren’t for you. Keep your space green without the hassle of ever needing to water a plant, ever. Bonus: avoid the humiliation of sneaking another dead plant out of your cubicle.   

 


Social Media Apps to Watch

The world of social media is constantly changing and social media management is becoming an increasingly specialized field. Social media managers have to be effective at copywriting, photo and video editing, and graphic design. Luckily, more technology has come to the rescue – all on your smartphone. Now, you can retouch photos, plan content, edit videos, and analyze performance all in the palm of your hand.

 

ColorStory

ColorStory is great for editing photos on your phone. It’s perfect for intensifying or fixing colour on photos, adjusting lighting and exposure, and cropping and straightening – not to mention the filters available. What is really great about ColorStory is you can save your editing steps as a custom filter, which makes creating cohesion in your Instagram feed much easier. No more run-of-the-mill Clarendon, Gingham, or Sierra for you.

 

Price: Free with in-app purchases available.

 

Boomerang

Hopefully you’ve heard of this one. Boomerang is an offspring of Instagram allowing you to create mini looped videos by taking 10 quick photos and threading them together. Boomerang is also a feature in the Instagram app when you switch to camera. Warning: using Boomerang may lead to a sharp increase in the number of mimosas you drink with your friends due to the unstoppable urge to Boomerang your group cheers.

Price: Free.

 

Canva

Canva is created to be easy to use for both designers and non-designers, with customizable templates, fonts, filters, photos, and graphics – making it a great tool for quickly creating a graphic to post on social media. It is available as a website to use on your desktop computer, or as an app on your phone for when you wake up in the middle of the night panicking about the graphic you forgot to make.

Price: Free with in-app purchases available.

 

Adobe Spark Video

Spark Video helps you create videos quickly on your phone by giving you access to stock photos and graphics, and royalty-free music. You also have the option of applying a theme to your video, which will prompt Spark to add in camera movement and change the shot to add interest. Like Canva, Adobe Spark Video is also available on your desktop – look out, Spielberg.

Price: Free with in-app purchases available.

 

Lisa

By analyzing your Instagram feed, Lisa will help you answer that age-old question: which picture should I post? The algorithm will compare your photos to photos that typically do well on Instagram, helping to increase your engagement on posts – which in turn moves your post up in Instagram’s algorithm. And you’ll stop clogging up your group chats with 10 versions of the same photo taken at slightly different angles.

Price: Free.

 

Planoly

Planoly lets you schedule your Instagram posts and Instagram stories, like many other existing apps. What sets Planoly apart is its ability to let you visually plan your Instagram feed. You can upload up to nine photos at once to see how they will look as part of your grid, helping you maintain consistent branding (or helping you see that you may have posted too many pictures of your dog lately). The app also lets you view your engagement on each post and will auto-populate hashtags.

Price: Free with in-app upgrades available.


Winnipeg Coffee Shops

Staying Caffeinated in Downtown Winnipeg

A collection of Winnipeg Coffee Shops

Anyone who has ever got me a present has ever bought me a coffee mug or travel mug at some point; my Instagram feed is overwrought with pictures of lattes and coffee shops; my natural smell is coffee, and I think my blood is more coffee than actual blood.

What I’m trying to say is that I know coffee, and I know who makes the best coffee.

Please enjoy my list of Winnipeg coffee shops responsibly and know your caffeine limits; the coffee shakes aren’t good for anybody.

 

Thom Bargen - 250 Kennedy

The second incarnation of the Sherbrooke location has a more extensive kitchen, and they take advantage of it. They have lots of made-in-house pastries available, as well as delicious pieces of artisanal toast available. The coffee shop is also really big, with a mural painted by Gabrielle Funk, a plant wall created by Verde, and white marble tabletops – its practically begging to be in all of your Instagram pictures. And, most importantly, they make a mean latte.

 

Fools & Horses - 379 Broadway

The space of Fools & Horses is fantastic. The Broadway location has floor-to-ceiling windows facing Broadway, which provides beautiful natural light, and also ample opportunity for people watching. They also work hard to source as much of their food as possible locally to reduce their carbon footprint, often act as a venue for social and cultural events, and work to build a more prosperous community. Bonus: they also have beer and wine (!) on tap.

 

Parlour Coffee - 468 Main

Parlour Coffee arguably serve the best coffee in the city (unless you ask Dave) and are also about a five-minute walk from our office. They brew ethically sourced coffee from North America, including Dogwood Coffee, which is roasted just a block or so away, and serves baked goods made by Oh Doughnuts, Tall Grass Prairie Company, and Beet Happening.

 

Forth 171 McDermot

Probably one of the physically largest coffee shops in Winnipeg - if you can reduce it to just a coffee shop. While they make great coffee, they have a lot more to offer. They are outfitted with a café, an art gallery, a bar, and for the two months of bearable weather we get, in Winnipeg, a rooftop bar. To boot, they host about a billion events a month.

 

Clementine - 123 Princess

Although they are primarily known for their food (which is amazing, by the way), Clementine also serves up great coffee and espresso, which are available to go, but I recommend that you stay and eat their Brussels Style Waffle or Braised Bacon Benedict while you get your daily dose of caffeine.


Winnipeg in the Summer

Fusion Summer Lovin'

It’s officially summer in Winnipeg – the time of year when the city becomes festival central and we all remember why we brave those frigid Winnipeg winters for six months of the year. It’s seriously worth it to see how this city transforms into a hub of music, theatre, patios, and everything in-between during the summer months. All of us, at Fusion, are ready to take it all in and in case you’re wondering how to make the most of a glorious Manitoba summer, we’ve got you covered.

Here’s a list of the top summer activities that we recommend you add to your warm-weather calendar this year:

Our Favorite Summer Activities

Haley

Favourite thing:
“Being on the lake (kayak, paddle board, windsurf, ski, etc.) at the cabin!”

Why it’s her favorite:
“I’m surrounded by nature AND when I get tired I can float and enjoy a beer… it's all about balance. :)”

 

Dolores

Favourite thing:
“I don't know if it's my favorite, but I cherish it. I get up and walk the dog at about 6:00 am almost every morning.”

Why it’s her favorite:
“I am usually the only person out and it's peaceful; the wind is calm and the smell is so amazingly fresh. Like I said, it may not be my favorite, but every morning I am so grateful to have nature all around me and total peace. And my dog of course.”

 

Morris

Favourite thing:
“Hit the links.”

Why it’s his favorite:
“I don’t look very good in yoga pants but I still seek out tranquil, healthy activities in the summer months. The many great golf courses scattered throughout the province gives me that.”

 

Hannah

Favourite thing:
“I love packing a picnic lunch with gourmet cheeses, baguette and fruit, then loading the dog into the car and finding a nice spot in the sun at the dog park.”

Why it’s her favorite:
"It’s an easy, inexpensive and delicious way to spend time together, and our dog absolutely loves playing with new friends!"

 

Kathryn

Favourite thing:
“I love hiking in the Whiteshell region.”

Why it’s her favorite:
“The terrain is a little more challenging than the flat prairies, and the smell of spruce trees is pure therapy. Plus you can usually forage for wild raspberries or blueberries along the way. :)”

 

Kaitlyn

Favourite thing:
“It’s so hard to pick a favorite! I love heading out to Folk Fest every summer – it’s always a highlight.”

Why it’s her favorite:
“Finding a new band that you’ve never heard before and listening to music under the trees at the smaller stages in the forest is pure relaxation.”

 

Kara

Favourite thing:
“Warm summer evenings.”

Why it’s her favorite:
“Some of my favorite memories with my friends are low-key, almost accidental long summer nights hanging out in one of our backyards. I love it when the sun goes down but the temperature stays up – it feels a little magical. Or maybe that’s the wine. ;)”

 

Dave

Favourite thing:
“My favorite summer thing to do is arrive at our cottage.”

Why it’s his favorite:
“A switch goes off in my head as soon as I get near and I feel totally relaxed.”

 

Rob

Favourite thing:
“Obviously racing my car. But also driving my Honda to somewhere new to explore lake/small town. Basically getting out and away to find nature and spend time outside.”

Why it’s his favorite:
“There are lots of nice escapes to find that aren't too far. It removes you from life's routines and responsibilities – allows me to enjoy just being alive.”

 

So there you have it! In case your summer wasn’t already jam-packed with amazing ways to take advantage of the weather and subsequent activities, we hope these suggestions give you some great ideas to explore your city (and province) during these fleeting months of nice weather! Hit us up on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and let us know what you’d add to the list!


Snapchat vs Instagram Stories

Snapchat Vs. Instagram Stories

Who wins the award for most popular and effective platform?

We know, we know. Snapchat Vs. Instagram Stories...

The debate is seemingly endless. Below, we weigh in on the two platforms and where they stand on stories.

The Story Behind “Stories”

In the span of two years, social media “stories” have sashayed into the spotlight as the it-feature on major platforms. If you’re still not clear on the difference between a “story” and a post, a story is a temporary post (still photo or video) that is intended to casually update friends and followers on the last 24 hours of your life. As competition between social media platforms has grown fiercer, user traffic has ricocheted between the two apps that have most fully embraced the story: Snapchat and Instagram. Despite the different experiences they offer users, these two heavy-hitters are in the middle of a long war to dominate our free time, and the stakes are high – the loser of the Battle of the Story risks joining networks like Myspace and Vine in the footnotes of the social media history books. To better examine the clash between the apps, let’s take a brief look at how far they’ve come.

The Facebook Exodus

Instagram, which gained popularity as users started to tire of bloated Facebook newsfeeds, started out as a concept that was strong by virtue of its simplicity. An easy-to-use, simple-to-navigate platform for sharing photos, Instagram’s creators hoped users would use their day-to-day moments to spark conversations. And for some time, they did just that – as grandparents grew steadily more interested in commenting on those Saturday pre-game photos, younger audiences fled Facebook’s ranks to join Instagram, a community still veiled in perceived exclusivity.

The Flatlining of Flat Lays

As the number of Instagram users rose, so did the standards for a “worthy” post. The average user, dejected by the impossibly crisp, curated content flooding their feeds, began to post less and less frequently. The closing demographic gap between Facebook and Instagram, mixed with content saturation at the expense of engagement, was creating a vacuum for something new. Something more casual. Something, perhaps, TOO casual. Something like Snapchat.

Snapchat Snaps Into Place

Prior to becoming a craze, Snapchat had a pretty shady reputation for being a hookup tool for young millennials, offering a space to exchange “private” photos with the peace-of-mind that came with self-destructing content. The app weathered on through the day of the 16GB base-model smartphone, as the only photo-sharing app that wouldn’t eat up precious storage space. It was perhaps a stroke of pure luck that Snapchat had the opportunity to shed its former skin – as a place to show your nudes to people you didn’t trust very much – and become an absolute obsession for the under-25 crowd. With a clear line between sponsored content and user content, and by giving users closed-loop control of who could see their Snaps, Snapchat was in a prime position to annex the casual appeal Instagram was founded on.

Killing the Ghost

Almost as if on cue, Instagram had a breakthrough: if the newsfeed concept had managed to shapeshift successfully to work for so many platforms, why couldn’t the concept of stories? The instant-sharing, low-key feel of stories could co-exist alongside the carefully-built photo grids attracting droves of followers on Instagram. The inception of Instagram Stories didn’t take more than 24 hours to start catching the attention of Snapchat devotees, and with the recent introduction of filters, the crux of Snapchat’s model, reasons for users to stay on Snapchat have dwindled to pure force of habit.

Snapchat Steps Up

Now, Snapchat is trying to carve out a new angle by offering Our Story, a collaborative tool that lets users contribute to a master Story from several users at once. Snapchat loyalists are already lauding the potential of the new feature, which may buy Snapchat much-needed time as it plans its next competitive edge.  It’s a smart move on Snapchat’s part, removing the pressure on users to assert their individuality and focusing on creating shared memories– albeit, memories that disappear after 24 hours.

Topping the Charts

So, who will prevail? Snapchat or Instagram?

On the great stage of social media stories, Snapchat is like Rihanna: a good girl gone bad, gone good again – emerging from a scandalous background to offer a carefree experience strengthened by great collabs.

By contrast, Instagram is like Beyoncé: a strong starter who, after a brief lull of career vertigo, came back stronger than ever and ready to mow down the competition.


Fusion Archives

Fusion Throwbacks: A Peek into the Archives

Fusion Throwbacks: Logos, Letterhead, and Graphic Design in the ‘90s

Before the days when a logo update was a few clicks away or layout edits could be done in a mere half hour, the process of design was very, very different. Fusion originated back in 1992, and although our original logo and letterhead were created using some of the more “old-fashioned” methods, it’s interesting to consider how they’ve stood the test of time. We’re four weeks into our Fusion Throwbacks project and today we’re digging a little deeper into some of the work we’ve featured recently on social media.

Fusion’s Original Logo & Letterhead

Fusion has its origins in the early ‘90s when founders Dave Wilkie, Terry Kuzina, and Derrick Coupland teamed up to follow their mutual vision for innovative design and advertising. When the Fusion name was being created, the founders were thinking about the power of the sun; its energy and forward momentum. Our original logo was created to represent an explosion of brilliant ideas permeating from a collaborative team, with the Fusion name demonstrating these same concepts. One of our designers, Morris, remembers seeing the logo as a newbie designer working, at that time, for another company and thinking it was, as he describes it, “wicked.”

The original Fusion logo was designed long before the age of digital renderings and quick fixes in Photoshop. The designer built the logo by hand using the “old-school” method of rubbing down dots from a Letraset (press letters) sheet – a method that was time-consuming and complicated, but also tactile and creative.

FWS Construction Logo

Our identity design for FWS Construction is another example of a logo that has remained relevant since its creation in the late ‘90s. The logo that we created for them is still in use today – which speaks to the longevity and timelessness of the design. We used the plumb line imagery to represent their role in the construction industry, and reiterate their brand message of accuracy and precision in everything they do.

Looking through some of the collateral materials we created for them reminded us of days gone by, when print products used to be a major factor in design projects and branding. Although those days are long behind us and we love the digital world and creating design and campaigns for new platforms, we still have a soft spot for beautiful print design and finishes.

CanWest Global Art Collection

This book of Canadian art that we created for CanWest Global is another reminder that good design doesn’t age and can be appreciated whether it was created 10 years ago or 20. Filled with work from local Winnipeg artists as well as more famous Canadian artists such as the Group of Seven, the designing layout of this book was a lot more like creating an art gallery than it was creating a normal printed piece, and the result is timeless. All of the artwork in the book was from the CanWest collection and many pieces could be seen hanging in their corporate offices. The late Izzy Asper, the founder and CEO of CanWest Global, was a renowned art lover and wanted to share that love through the creation of this book.

We’re just getting started with our Fusion Throwbacks and we’ll keep featuring different projects every week on Instagram, with #FusionThrowbacks. Check back on the blog monthly for more details on the projects that are still dear to our hearts. If you have questions or are interested in getting your own project started with us, drop us a line at info@fusiongroup.ca!


Before You Hit Post...

Before You Post... A Checklist

A "Before You Post" Checklist

Ever find yourself hovering over the post button on Instagram or Twitter, wondering if the hilarious gif you just found is actually as funny as you think it is? Ya, us too. That’s why we thought we’d share a few of our favorite tips for keeping your posts relevant, engaging and curated for your target audience. Make sure you take note of these tips before you post.

The next time you’re wondering whether or not to hit publish on your favorite social media channel, try these three simple steps before you post:

  • Show someone. You’ve crafted the perfect caption/photo combo and you’re ready to send it out into the world, but it might be a good idea to see how your tone comes across to someone who’s not you!
  • Check for grammar. You definitely don’t want that one follower on your account to point out an embarrassing typo. (We’ve all got a grammar fanatic lurking, just waiting for us to slip up…) A great trick to try is reading your caption backward to make sure your eye doesn’t accidentally skip over something obvious or easy to miss.
  • Preview your post. Pre-schedule your posts in a scheduling app for Facebook or Twitter and use an Instagram grid planner. These are great tools that give you a chance to preview your post and see how it looks on your grid or channel. Pre-planning also gives you a chance to 'sleep on it', which can be helpful. You might have thought it was funny yesterday, but realize today that it could be even better.

Double-checking spelling and running ideas past the team is a no-brainer when we plan social media campaigns and manage accounts for our clients. Our whole team is behind the post button to avoid those awkward posts that don’t quite hit the mark. Any ideas to add to the check-list? Wondering what it would be like to have a team running YOUR social media channels? Get in touch: info@fusiongroup.ca. We’d love to hear from you!