Author Archive

15 Must-Have Business Apps

Friday, November 29th, 2013
  1.  Focus@willapps1

Focus@will uses a specially formulated music system for you to listen to. This increases productivity by increasing your focus levels.

2.  Wunderlist

Whether it be for your SmartPhone, iPad or PC, this app is a great tool. Primarily used as a ideas and memo tool, keep your lists handy too.

3.    Box

This app allows users to edit files and securely send them to customers or colleagues effortlessly. View the progress of company projects and give feedback all in one easy application.

4.    Refresh

For HR folk, this app is great. Refresh crawls all social media networks and tells you everything you want to know on the person within 30 seconds!

5.    Audible

If you find yourself constantly on-the-go, and don’t have time to keep up with the latest books and news, this is the app for you. Listen to text on-the-go with this handy little application, straight from your phone.

6.    Flowdock

Collaborate instantly on projects with your colleagues through Flowdock. Think of this app as a chat-meets-inbox tool. Whether you use it on your SmartPhone, tablet or PC, it’s great for staying organised. With inbox features, drag and drop, file uploads and activity streams, you can stay up to date with what each department is doing, Flowdeck is for you.

7.    Gliph

Send private messages across a variety of platforms with one application. Gliph comes along with document storage and encryption features to ensure your safety and security of contents.

8.    Fleksy

Type without looking at your SmartPhone screen! Interested in finding out more? Go on, download it now.

9.    Triplt

For those travel bugs, keep your life organised with this app. Log your flight bookings into the application by emailing it to a certain address.

10.  Full

Set your goals, whether it is for business or personal. Monitor your progress with Full.

11.  Brook

This is an application that focuses on certain update from different social platforms that is relevant to you. Brook is still in Beta mode, so be sure to keep an eye out.

12.  CloudMagic

Search through all your servers: Gmail, Yahoo, Dropbox etc with one simple search.

13.  Venmo

This app acts as a peer-to-peer payment service system. Free and easy to use, Venmo offers users friction-free transactions.

14.  Lift

Lift is like a Twitter for tracking habits. Support your friends and monitor each other progress reports.

15.  WinStreak

Make three daily goals you want to achieve per day. WinStreak helps and reminds you to focus on what’s important and the steps you need to take to accomplish what you set out to do.

Virtualized Travels: Google’s Tour Builder

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Google Earth allows internet users to virtually travel the world with the simple click of a mouse. However, a new feature will now change tour-builder_fethe way people document their real-life travels forever.

Have a look at Google’s new Tour Builder. Although still in its beta phase, this application allows users to create a narrative through photos, videos, text and Google Earth itself. This was originally created as a way for US Marine Veterans to tell their stories. But now, it’s open to all. By simply installing a Google Earth desktop plug-in and make sure you have a Google account.

How Does it Work?

Think of it as a slideshow presentation. Start off with a title and an introductory paragraph. Viewers are able to see all frames at the same time.

Opt for something a little more exciting than a scrapbook for your holiday ventures. Try out Google’s Tour Builder now.

Volvo Trucks and The Viral Van Damme Spectacular

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Volvo has taken their brand image to the next level. Their latest video has seen viral results in the past five days. With over 30 million views on YouTube and over 1.6 million shares on social media, Volvo has struck viral gold. Uploaded to YouTube on the 15th of November 2013, the collaboration between Van Damme and Volvo is simply genius.

Barbara Lippert, an advertising columnist from mediapost.com com says, “This is completely unique. It’s an incredible human way to show the equilibrium of the steering of the truck,” she says, adding that “anyone who knows anyone who drives a truck or owns a truck will mention it to them. People love this stuff.”

By using social media as the basis of their campaign, Volvo used this strategically to target not only their existing target market, but they’ve begun targeting future truck drivers in the younger generation too. Smart move, Volvo. Smart move.

The video depicts the legendary action movie star demonstrating the stable and secure steering of Volvo trucks by balancing between them, one leg on each. As the truck moves back, Van Damme does the splits and holds it with a triumphant music score in the background.

Whether or not this video spectacular improves brand image or increases sales is one thing. But what’s for sure, is that this is one video that will be spoken about for a long, long time.

Check out the video here: Volvo Trucks – The Epic Split feat. Van Damme

Twitter Execs Rake in the Cash Money

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

The first 2 weeks of a new month is a depressing time for most. Debit orders have come off and payments have gone out, not leaving you with much to play with. However… Twitter executives and investors have found themselves rolling in the dough after Twitter shares recently hit the open Market on Thursday.

Twitter Shares

On Thursday Twitter shares hit the open market. The original target price was sitting at $26 per share (announced the Wednesday before). At the opening bell, shares hit up to $45.10 per share!

It’s all About the Money

Naturally, this price increase made Twitter executives very happy. Their wallets certainly thickened by a substantial amount.

  • Evan Williams- Co-Founder: $2.56 Billion

Having provided the capital need to operate Twitter from the very beginning, Evan certainly got back and then some. Having once been the CEO, he has definitely walked away with the biggest piece of pie.

  • Rizvi Traverse Management- Private Equity Firm: $3.82 Billion

This private equity firm holds about 9% of Twitter and thus rightfully walks away with quite a hefty sum.

  • Spark Capital- Investor: $1.46 Billion

Back in 2008, Spark Capital invested in the Tweeting business.

  • Peter Fenton- Investor: $1.42 Billion

This Benchmark Capital partner invested in Twitter 4 years ago in 2009,

  • Jack  Dorsey- Former CEO: $1.05 Billion

Twitter’s well-known former CEO and now Chairman.

  • Dick Costolo- CEO: $345 Million

With a mere 1.4% in the company, $345 Million ain’t bad.

  • Adam Bain- President of Global Revenue: $80 Million

Bain oversees Twitters overall ad strategy.

 

Not bad eh? Perhaps next time you’re looking to invest, try a a little dabbling in the social media realm.

The Link Between Bigger Brains and Video Games

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Yes, it has been scientifically proven! Many avid gamers have had the reputation of being recluses, boring and socially awkward… But how about this? They might actually be smarter, and all with due thanks noted to their 3D world habit.

Molecular Psychiatry Study Says…

So here’s the down low. A new study has taken place that investigates the effect of video games on the volume of the brains gray matter. This is the tissue that controls your muscles, memory, language as well as sensory perception.

What, Who, How?

Berlin’s Max Planck Institute for Human Development along with St. Hedwig-Hospital have researchers, who used adult subjects to play “Mario 64” on a portable Nintendo for 30 minutes a day, for two consecutive months. The outcome? There was “significant gray matter increase” in both bilateral hippocampus and portions of the right prefrontal cortex.

Say Whaaat?

Let’s break it down this way. The hippocampus is the part of our brains which is responsible for memory formation, and connects all sensory information to memories. (Think here to those feelings that arise when one smells a certain scent and it brings back memories.) These “brain gains” were shown to have occurred due to the fact that when playing the game, players need to switch between first person and map views. And how’s this to make things more interesting? Research also showed that players who enjoyed the game and looked forward to playing it had more of an increased volume of gray matter than those who just played it because they had to.

Interesting stuff! So next time you’re about to moan to your boyfriend about those games he plays, think twice, it could be making him smarter.

Facebook’s 5 Star Ratings: Good or Bad?

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

How Will your Brand be Affected?

Hello Social Media folk… Facebook is bringing out a new application just for you. How do you feel about star ratings?

Well, say hello to Facebook’s new app. This brand feature displays a 5 star rating underneath the company’s name on business pages. These ratings are nothing new; however, the new placement could be an entirely new feature. Rest easy, this is still just in prototype mode. So why is a this big deal you may ask? Well, people are more likely to see it now with the new acquired visibility, and this will impact your strategy on a major level.  Here’s why:

The Good Side:

The stars are highly visible and very prominent. People used to look at the “talking about this” metric in order to judge how popular the brand was. But now, the star ratings put things into a new perspective. So instead of competing against other companies for more likes, your brand will now be aiming for positive star reviews. Here is where the quality VS quantity strategy comes into play once again. See another article reference here.

As opposed to competing for quantity of “likes” social media strategists are now able to focus on rather the business, and the quality thereof. By focusing more on the quality of your brand and engaging with the followers you already have, this enables more focus to be put on effective customer relations and content provided for your current followers.

The Bad Side:

As mentioned before, these 5 star ratings are prominent. And there’s no way to tell whether they will be displayed when suggested your page to other Facebook users. At the end of the day, not all businesses are going to have high ratings.

This could be affected by customer relationships, unethical ratings or bad reviews. This will all affect your ratings and your brands image.

The Launch of Virgin StartUp

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

virgin-logoOn the 24th of October 2013, Sir Richard Branson announced the latest division of his Virgin Empire, the Virgin StartUp. This not-for-profit company serves to empower young entrepreneurs across the UK by providing financial support, mentoring and business advice across all sectors.

I started my first business with a handful of coins out of a phone-box at school, but it was the £300 from my mum that really kick-started our Student magazine and sparked the Virgin adventure 40 years ago. Today, young people need that same help and I believe Virgin StartUp will provide it – with access to early capital, strong mentorship, advice and promotion. We look forward to helping launch thousands of new businesses as a delivery partner of The Start-Up Loan Company across the UK in years to come.” –Sir Richard Branson

Virgin StartUp is working in conjunction with The Start Up Loans Company in order to provide financial support to entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 – 30.

Virgin is going to be investing in a central team to manage the new company. Drawing from resources provided by the empire, Virgin StartUp is the collaboration between Virgin, Cavendish Consortium and the National Enterprise Network. Virgin StartUp is well-equipped with support from Virgin’s UK companies, some of which include:

  • Virgin Trains
  • Virgin Media
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Active
  • Virgin Care
  • Virgin Unite.

All these companies will come together to  provide access to staff mentors, marketing and media support, business advice as well as providing space to host networking or promotional events.

This new Virgin initiative plans to develop a mentoring programme along with a series of regional events to promote new businesses and showcase their established entrepreneurial expertise.

Social Media 101: Quality Not Quantity

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

All Social Media Strategists attention! Are you implementing the quality vs. quantity approach in your campaigns? In case you didn’t quality_not_quantityknow how important it is, in the world of social media, it is just as important to create a good first impression as it is in real life. You only get one chance. For digital marketers that already have a few pages, it is highly likely you’ve already seen Spammers at work. Those profiles that comment on your updates with links to their websites? Yeah, those are spammers. And that is the biggest no-no to online marketing in the social media world.

It’s important to remember that the social web is a way into which you can create online communities. Your goal should always be to build and make friendships online, and NOT push out your service/product on others profiles.  This is where the notion of quality vs. quantity comes in.

Campaigns for the People

Your main role is to get conversation going. Keep your posts interesting, stimulating and interesting. A mix of both personal and professional posts should be part of your monthly strategy. It’s important not to push advertising of your product/service all the time. It’s imperative to mix it up with what your clientele is interested in.

SEO SMO

Keyword research is not just for copywriters! Use keywords in your status updates and content that you share is so important for SEO and how people will find your media channels.

Sharing is Caring

Remember to share content that is all industry related. By sharing content or links from other sites you are more likely to create relationships where people will post your content, and thus increasing your reach.

Upkeep of Updates

Keeping your presence consistent is the number one rule of SMO. Do not become dormant, this could kill your campaign and people will move away from your page if they see nothing’s happening. With that said, whether you post 1 or 5 updates a day, remember it’s the quality not the quantity that matters.

BBM For Andriod and iOS is here!

Friday, October 25th, 2013

The BlackBerry enterprise has counted its losses and sold its infamous app. BBM was enjoyed by many, being the first free chatting service popular to the public since the days of Mxit. Not only was BBM a huge feature of BlackBerry cellphones, but the BIS service, with its unlimited internet surely did count for more.

Now that the BBM service has been sold and is available to all other smart phones, will it be enough to salvage the BlackBerry image that was once so popular?

Should I download BBM?

Did you own a BlackBerry prior to your new, (probably touch screen) mobile phone? Do you miss the simplicity and emoticons and infamous “r” sign, knowing your friend has read your message and isn’t responding? Then yes. Download it to your new phone and enjoy the free service once again.

If you’ve never owned a BlackBerry or used BBM, and are more familiar with its counterpart, Whatsapp, then there’s no real reason to have it installed.

Having said that, over 10 million downloads have already occurred since the release, so maybe it’s more popular than we think.

How Do I Download It?

If you are an iPhone fundie, head to BlackBerry’s official site, (www.blackberry.com) and proceed  to your download on Google Play Store.

Samsung settlers, get onto Samsung Apps and proceed your download there. Most likely you won’t have to search, as it will be on the home page under “Editor’s Picks”. Thereafter, proceed with the installation and enter your email address to be placed in-line. Yes, there is a line. Wait for the email to be sent (I still am), and from there on get back to BBM basics!

Have You Heard? ORM is the Word

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

What is ORM?

ORM stands for Online Reputation Management. It is the process of monitoring your online presence. Whether for business purposes or personal, the World Wide Web offers the globe a glimpse into your personal or professional life. For all intents and purposes, you want to be portrayed in a positive light and either eliminate or deal with negative publicity in a proactive manner. That is what ORM is all about.

Negative Online Presence Affects:

  • Sales
  • Reputation
  • Brand
  • Customer Relationships
  • Employees
  • Family

Did You Know?

ORM is not just for businesses. You as an individual can benefit from it too. How so? Well, think of it this way. It is now standard practise for businesses to go online and search for information regarding possible new employees. Personal online reputation management is imperative to ensure you have a positive and impressive profile for prospective hiring. Have you Googled yourself lately? Ensure you know what the internet says about you before your possible future boss does.

Three Levels of ORM:

1.       Monitor Your Mentions

Think of keywords related to your business. Brand names, key employees, products, services etc. From there on, set up a tracking process which notifies you as soon as these keywords are mentioned on the spectrum of the social web world. Google Alerts is a free tool perfect for this purpose.

2.       Respond To Feedback

Once Google Alerts have notified you of any positive or negative feedback online, it is your job to get on and mention and respond to these comments. It is especially important to NEVER leave negative comments without a response. By responding you are showing prospective clients that you are proactive in dealing with any issues and thus protecting your business

3.       Repair Your Reputation

If your business already has a negative online reputation, don’t fret. ORM can aid you in restoring your this.

Online Reputation Management is increasingly becoming a service companies cannot do without. If you do not have some form of ORM, how will you know what people are saying about your business? How would you ensure new clientele will choose you? Invest in ORM for the future success of your company.