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Facebook removes ads from controversial pages to avoid boycott

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

Facebook has announced a major revamp on their advertising systems to assist with the prevention of offensive content. There will now be new restrictions on where the dedicated advert will appear on the social media network.

Companies like Marks and Spencer and BSkyB suspended their advertising after complaints about their adverts being placed on pages with offensive material. As a result, Facebook are planning to remove any advertising from many of its pages.

Facebook-Advertising

Facebook said, “We recognize we need to do more to prevent situations where ads are displayed alongside controversial Pages and Groups. So we are taking action.”

The social network has decided to implement new processes to determine which pages should feature adverts alongside the content. Adverts will not have any violent, graphic or sexual content, even if this content is not in violation of the specified company’s rules.

It is said that Facebook will create a “gold standard” of approximately 10,000 pages that are suitable for adverts, and then inspect other pages to be added to this list. For now, all adverts will be removed from other pages.

Companies that have been victims to offensive advertising have said that they would be glad to use Facebook again, provided that their advertising would not appear alongside offensive content, or material that would potentially harm their brand.

Image Reference:

Wikimotive, Blog Article, viewed 4 July 2013 <http://blog.wikimotive.com/new-facebook-advertising-brilliant-and-unexpected/>

How to React and Market to 7 Popular Types of Facebook Fans

Monday, July 1st, 2013

The famous and most popular medium of engaging with consumers is via Facebook. When using this platform to market your business online, as well as connect with current and prospective customers, your fans become critical to your success.

But not all Facebook fans are the same. Understanding the different types of fans is vital in order to engage with them on the right level.

Take a look at seven common types of Facebook fans, how and why they connect with businesses and what they mean to you.

fb fans

#1: The Quiet Follower

This fan likes your page to see updates on your brand, but doesn’t actively engage in posts and rarely comments on your content. It is a good idea to try and generate engagement from these fans by testing what, when and how you post content. Ask fans to “like” a status update or a photo and experiment with contests. Getting silent fans to engage with your posts will show up in their News Feeds, exposing your brand to a new bunch of potential fans.

#2: The Casual Liker

This fan liked your business on Facebook because they enjoy the content that you share. Get more out of the “liker” by adding strong calls to action on your posts and getting them to share your content as much as possible. With a bit of luck, these “likers” might just end up being your Facebook brand ambassadors.

#3: The Deal Seeker

Everyone loves free stuff, but this fan takes deals to the next level. Access to exclusive deals, coupons, incentives and events draw this fan to your page. Weekly or monthly deals work fabulously with these fans, as it gives them an interest in actively following your brand. This will increase the engagement from fans on your page and increase your following drastically.

#4: The Unhappy Customer

More and more people are using Facebook to communicate complaints about a brand and share it with others. They are often looking for a timely response and better customer service. The key is to get a reputation management process in place to track down these complaints and respond quickly. This shows that you are listening to your fans and you care, as well as put them first.

#5: The Ranter

Chances are, this fan only likes your page to have an opinion on a controversial topic from a status update. Most of the time, the ranting has nothing to do with your brand. Political, ideological, culture or personal issues are what trigger threads that can cast your business in a negative light. To help protect your brand from critics, avoid making controversial public statements unless you’re prepared for the backlash.

#6: The Cheerleader

This is possibly the ultimate fan to have. They love engaging with your brand, from liking posts to commenting and sharing them, they spread the word about your business to their networks, and add personality to your page. So, the idea is to do the same for them. Add campaigns like “Fan of the Week” to your page, and share their user-generated content. Ask them to participate in promotions and campaigns for your business.

#7: The Loyal Fan

If this fan had to walk into your business today, you would know them by name. They have been a loyal fan way before Facebook and have generated word-of-mouth marketing and sent referrals to your business. Include them in your Facebook engagement by asking them to be in a video testimonial. Share your appreciation for their long-term business through a loyalty program.

Image Reference:

Entrepreneur, Business Article, viewed 28 June 2013 <http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/224146>

Flash vs JQuery: A quick explanation

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Often while brainstorming design briefs with new clients, the client will ask the question:

“What is the difference between Flash and JQuery, and which one should I be using on my website?”.

Below follows a brief explanation of this.

Flash has more animation capabilities than JQuery. For example, various items in a Flash presentation can be animated separately and to full effect. However, Flash files can at times take longer to load, and are not supported across some devices (eg. iPads, some mobile devices).

Flash is mainly used for complex animations, video/audio players, or complex multimedia.

JQuery is slightly more limited in animation capabilities, but often loads faster than Flash files. JQuery animations are largely used for image slideshow effects where less extensive animation is required.

JQuery can successfully be used on websites for image slide shows, popup windows, animated effects on buttons and menus, and to animate the display of sections of content.

How Google Will Use High-Flying Balloons to Deliver Internet to the Hinterlands

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Google has launched Project Loon, an innovation that is said to, if it works, set hundreds, even thousands of high pressure balloons circling the earth to provide Internet to the world’s 5 billion unconnected souls.

This is said to give the population an enriched life with vital news, educational materials, lifesaving health information and fantastic global visuals on the world-wide-web.

As Google holds a press conference in Christchurch, New Zealand, they will also stage Project Loon’s biggest trial yet – 50 testers in Christchurch within the 12 mile range of the balloons will see if they can get connected from the sky.

Project Loon began 2 years ago, with the goal being to provide reliable Internet access using balloons. This idea was said to be crazy at first, with a number of obvious problems, many of them involving the limitations of ballooning itself.

googleballoonThe idea of “variable buoyancy” had come to pass by Rich DeVaul, an expert in wearable technology, with altitude allowed to be tweaked to find wind currents travelling in the right direction. This would accurately simulate wind currents in the stratosphere.

Finally, the project was pitched. DeVaul began a series of trial runs in California, and setup of a team of experts in energy, technology and engineering to name a few. With the help of Raven Aerostar, the company that makes weather balloons for NASA, Project Loon started to take shape.

When the balloon is launched, it is not fully inflated. As it rises, the air pressure difference expands the balloon at its float altitude is around 20km, twice the altitude of commercial airlines. At this height, the balloon will soar over the weather.

“Two years ago, this idea was just scribbles on a whiteboard,” DeVaul says. “The next part is seeing how the world reacts to this.”

Project Loon still has plenty hurdles to overcome. But for now, DeVaul is out of reasons to kill his project.

 

Image Reference:

Wired, Business Article, viewed 14 June 2013, <http://www.wired.com/business/2013/06/google_internet_balloons/all/>

Facebook launches photo comments

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Don’t have the words? You don’t need them. Facebook is now offering its 1.1 billion users the chance to comment on a friend’s photo using an image.

FB PhotoComments_610x1305This feature was released yesterday, and allows users to add photos to comment threads using a new “Attach a Photo” button.

Facebook has announced that to start off, uploads of photo comments will be restricted to the Facebook website and mobile site, but viewing photo comments will be available via Facebook’s mobile applications.

Photo comments are a feature that was released because “sometimes showing a photo helps [users] tell a story much better than words alone”, said Bob Baldwin, one of the developers behind the release of this feature. Photo comments are a product of one of Facebook’s famous hackathons as users respond better to images than text on this massively successful social media platform.

This new addition to the Facebook platform could well transform the social network into a more meme and teen-friendly zone, adding a more playful side to comments. It’s important to note that there is also potential for spam, abuse and ugly comment threads – but Baldwin is wishing for the best. “I hope this will make threads with friends more expressive and engaging,” he said.

Image Reference:

Source: CNet, viewed 19 June 2013, <http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57590094-93/facebook-launches-photo-comments/>

The Importance of SEO Copywriting

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

typing

The new Google algorithm clearly shows that content is king. However keyword-stuffing days are over. Natural content written for humans is one of the numerous ways in which Google will consider your website relevant. Unique and quality information that serves a purpose is the number one factor taken into consideration.

The Functions of SEO Copywriting

SEO copywriting serves two functions. The first one being, relevant keywords that allow search engines to index the website. It must also contain content that encourages users to read the copy.

Websites must have value to offer visitors. Content needs to interest the user enough to read through what your website has to offer so that they enquire or buy something on it, improving your website conversion rate. Not to forget – this also increases repeat visits. Users who find relevant information on your site are sure to return to it as long as you keep your information fresh and provide value to them.

How SEO Copywriting Benefits Websites

  • It places keywords correctly so that the search engine ranks your website.The key is to get your website to the first page of Google as statistics show that very few users click to the second page of a search engine.
  • It offers valuable content to website visitors. Google loves websites that encourage a lengthily time on site. The theory links back to good content keeping visitors interested in your website now, and in the long term.  Remember bad content encourages visitors to leave, hence a high bounce rate.
  • Good content makes people want to share it. Having social signals on your blog or articles page, gives browsers the opportunity to share content to their social media platforms. When this content is shared, not only does it increase traffic to your site, Google also considers you to be relevant, hence improving your organic ranking.

SEO Copywriting and Social Media

Remember that SEO Copywriting is not confined to article writing. It also includes blogs and social media. There is no reason to miss opportunities to drive traffic to your website, so make sure you make use of social media platforms to increase visits to your site. Users spend a significant time on social media sites – so take advantage of this.

Be sure to have content written the correct way from an SEO perspective. Keep an eye on algorithms that are constantly changing and take advantage of any opportunity that’s out there to increase traffic to your site.

Talooma spreads its digital wings

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”

~Anatole France (more…)

Apple unveils music streaming service

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

itunes

Apple unveiled its music streaming service, iTunes Radio, at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, this week.

Apple says iTunes Radio will personalise users’ music based on what they’ve listened to and what they have purchased on iTunes.

Built directly into both iTunes on OS X and into the music app on iOS 7, the service will be ad-supported and allow users to buy songs directly from the app.

iTunes Radio features more than 200 radio stations, and subscribers to Apple’s iTunes Match, which costs $25 per year, will be able to use the service ad-free.

Like other streaming services, iTunes Radio will offer users a personalised listening experience, with recommendations based on the music you have listened to in the past. Users will be able to create their own radio stations based on songs, genres and artists.

The app will allow you to see which songs are trending on Twitter. It will also be used to provide live-streaming of Apple’s live events, like the iTunes festival in London. iTunes Radio is also built into Apple TV.

The service enters a competitive field with Google All Access, Spotify, Rhapsody and others. This new Apple addition will arrive in the next few months for US users initially. The release is said to coincide with iOS 7.

Mercedes Benz to stick QR codes to cars to help save car crash victims

Monday, June 10th, 2013

benzdialqrcode

Luxury car maker Daimler has found a valuable use for QR codes. The black and white square barcodes are seen as yesterday’s technology to many, however they are being used effectively by Mercedes Benz.

This code is linked to a rescue sheet, giving emergency services responding to an accident, access to detailed maps to show the layout of the vehicle, allowing for trapped victims to be found quickly and safely.

“[It] informs about the location of the airbags, the battery, the tanks, electric cables, high-pressure cylinders and other components – in the case of hybrid models the location of the additional batteries and high-voltage cables, too,” a press release said.

“This information can save lives, because in an emergency every action counts and every second is precious,” the German car maker said.

Mercedes is said to stick one QR code onto the inside of each vehicle’s petrol tank flap and another on the B-pillar on the opposite side. This is due to these areas being rarely damaged in the event of an accident.

Daimler has waived the right to a patent registration on the system, allowing all car manufacturers to make use of it.

Another innovative safety feature is introduced by the European Commission – eCall. This is an initiative where the car carried a device which calls an emergency number with details of the car including accident location, design and driver information.

It is said that testing of this innovative safety feature will commence in 2015.

5 Digital Marketing Tactics for the Travel & Hospitality Industry

Monday, June 10th, 2013

hospitalityindustry3

Reaching Today’s Digital Traveller

The following 5 powerful tips assist you with optimising your digital marketing efforts and connect with your customers where they spend most of their time online.

1.    Grow your Subscriber Lists

If you are looking to engage with consumers the key is to create a social buzz around your promotions and attract repeat customers. Broaden your reach by acquiring more subscribers who have a keen interest in your travel brand’s offerings.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you promote digital engagement on your website with high visibility email opt-ins, social sharing buttons and real-time promotions?
  • Are you asking for travellers’ email addresses at the point of sale?
  • Are your contact details easy to find on all your online platforms?

2.    Deliver Relevant and Timely Messages

Travellers are on-the-go types by nature, so relevance and timeliness is key. Some customers travel often, as often as several times a month, while others plan one large scale holiday a year. This makes it crucial to connect with them on the right channel at the right time.

To avoid annoying your subscribers, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you see customers unsubscribing often?
  • Has your deliverability rate been falling?
  • Are your social media messages being heard?

3.    Personalise your Interactions

Cross- channel marketing assists with reaching an individual at the perfect time. This is imperative in the travel industry as booking holidays can be planned or extremely spontaneous, such as a last minute business trip.

“25% of people unsubscribe from permission based emails because the content hasn’t been relevant to them from the start.”

The key is to be more than just relevant, you need to be personal. Have a look at these questions to optimise engagement with your subscribers personally:

  • Does your social media manager have regular, personal interactions with your fans and followers?
  • Does each customer that asks questions receive a personal reply? (This is either via email or social media in most cases.) This includes compliments, enquiries and complaints…
  • Are you constantly collecting new data about your customers?

4.    Automate the Travel Customer Life Cycle

You have the mighty task of reaching the digital traveller who is already on-the-go and constantly multi- tasking. Bring effective messaging to travellers at every stage in the customer lifecycle and support them along the way.

Ask yourself:

  • Do travellers receive automated communications according to their travel preferences at every stage of their buying cycle?
  • Do you have a shopping cart abandonment strategy?
  • Would a prospective customer receive any re- targeted messages about hotel packages or travel destinations they were browsing?

5.    Increase Customer Loyalty

Frequent flyers is a buzz term at the moment. Travellers are one of the best audiences to retain as loyal customers as they are highly likely to rebook with your brand if they have had an incredible experience there.

Evaluate your current customer loyalty status with these questions:

  • Are you rewarding return customers with points or discounted stays?
  • If so, are you giving these perks away often?
  • Are you giving freebies to keep subscribers excited about your brand?

hospitalityindustry1

This user experience ensures that there are no risks of missing that narrow window of time when travellers are ready to convert their tentative travel plans into a purchase.

Image References:

ExactTarget, Downloadable Resource, viewed 7 June 2013, <http://pages.exacttarget.com/EN-5MarketingTravelTips/?ls=Blog&lssm=Corporate>.

Groupon, Travel Advertisment, viewed 10 June 2013, <http://www.groupon.co.za/deals/johannesburg/anytime-holidays/3065894>.