Archive for the ‘Development’ Category

Digital Marketing Institute Launches in South Africa

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

The Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) officially launched in South Africa yesterday. The opening address was made by Mr. Ian Dodson, the CEO, in which he promised to ’build the digital economy one person at a time’

Present at the launch which was held at the Balalaika Hotel in Sandton, was a delegation of the Irish Trade Commission, and a number of South Africa’s top Digital Agencies. Also present was Blue Magnet, the 1st of 5 accredited training institutions that the Digital Marketing Institute has partnered with to roll out its wide variety of course material to the local market. With its flagship course being the Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing, they offer theoretical training with practical outcomes.

The DMI promises to introduce a number of standards over the next few months. These are set around the standards in the industry and training of Digital Marketing, through the planned advisory council.

Globally, the DMI spends considerable time working with its partners around the globe to maintain these standards, formalise, and rollout education.

The DMI promises that through its dedication to educating professionals in the field of Digital Marketing, career growth and competitiveness in a global jobs market will increase.

“The Digital Marketing Institute spends considerable time working with our various partners at the Advisory Council.  This ensures that the syllabuses for our various courses are exactly what is required in order for you to further develop your career.  We get input from organisations such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Universities and other Educational Institutions as well as some of the world’s leading Advertising and Marketing Agencies” says Ian Dodson.

With online marketing being the core focus for businesses across the globe, DMI hopes to improve the current standard of quality within South Africa and worldwide. The focus on education and training means that we will be able to develop the digital industry in South Africa and through that, reach and target foreign investors.

CEO, Ian Dodson introducing the Digital Marketing Institute

How does Google+ affect SEO?

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

When Google launched Google+ everyone rolled their eyes at Google’s attempt to try and dominate not only search but Social Networks too.  At the time however there was talk of what Google+ would mean for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and how would it affect search results and website visibility in the long run.

Many SEO’s know that a link from a Social Media site has value when it comes to ranking, more so of late with Google adding social results to Search Engine result Pages (SERP’S).  There are many things to consider when we talk about how pages are ranked but Social Media and SEO should definitely be working together to affect page ranks.  Social Media is related to search results as Social Networking sites and the activity on them shows what content is favoured by people, it also drives queries and it is those very queries that influence ranking.  For that reason alone it has become increasingly important for companies to have a presence on social networks.

As we know a large part SEO is all about links, the better the links the better your content will rank in SERP’s.   Links from Social sites like Google+, Twitter and Facebook will help you get to the top of Google quicker as they carry authority.   Placing social sharing icons such as “+1’s” and “Likes” on content is important as social sharing affects SEO in that sharing carries weight when it comes to the Google Algorithm.  Sharing is important because it encourages interaction and the more interaction there is the more traffic the content will receive. This hopefully will result in an increase in direct relevant links.

Any inbound links to your website count as a vote, the same applies to social shares. The more people who like and share your content the more likely it is that Google will return it to the SERP’s.  Makes sense doesn’t it?

Google+ should not be ignored by companies just because it is not as popular as Facebook and Twitter.  Google Plus carries weight because Google owns it, obviously, which makes it very easy for them to track and measure social signals unlike on Twitter and Facebook.   Google has given their +1 a big advantage, if you are not adding +1’s to your content you will me missing out on a very precious ranking factor.  Google Plus certainly does affect your rankings. You need to be utilising it as part of your SEO in order to rank better.

 

Verify Your Pinterest Account

Monday, November 5th, 2012

On the 25th of October 2012 Pinterest announced the launch of a new feature that allows users to verify their accounts, and the good news is that it’s really easy to do too.

How to verify your Pinterest account

  1. Visit “Settings”
  2. Click on the “Verify Website”

You will then be directed to the following page: (This is what I saw while verifying Talooma)

If 1 and 2 in the above picture are too tricky for you to do, get hold of  your company computer go-to guy to assist you.

Currently Pinterest only supports top-level domains but they are working on supporting more options in the future.

When your website is verified ,  people will see a checkmark next to your registered domain (e.g. next to www.talooma.com) in search results.

Pinterest has always been open to asking for help from the community and even have a “Top Ideas and Featured Requests” option on their support site, where users can provide suggestions and improvements they would like to see on the site. This is a feature that neither Facebook nor Twitter can say they have – Pinterest has asked fellow pinners for any suggestions for different way to verify accounts.  This definitely means that the process will become more user friendly in the future. It’s great to see a social network making use of crowd sourcing to improve their service and their offering for the long run.  Nice one, Pinterest!

Social Media for Businesses

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

What is Social Media?

The term Social Media is being thrown around a lot lately and it is sometimes tricky to actually define what it exactly is.  To keep it simple, Social Media is people having conversations online and generating content through interacting with one another and with brands.

There are many ways that users of Social Media can interact with one another ranging from easy, such as commenting on blogs, allowing voting on articles, liking a status update and replying to a tweet to the more complex Social Media platforms such as recommending movies on Flixster.

Many companies are sceptical about using Social Media but the reality of the situation is companies need to embrace Social Media.  Customers are adapting and using Social Media to look for information about products and services in the form of recommendations and first hand feedback from other uses instead of using traditional media

How can Social Media help your business?

Gone are the days when having a website was considered good enough as an online presence.  As a generation we thrive on instant gratification, which is why Social Media is so important to stay ahead of the game.

There is good news though especially for smaller companies trying to compete in the market; Social Media is relatively cost effective and allows large and small companies to compete on a level playing field.

Social Media also allows a company to find out what consumers think of your product or service, which at times can be a scary, but when issues are dealt with efficiently and effectively, can help improve the way companies are viewed by consumers. This also assists in increasing brand equity.  Interacting with your customers, finding out about their wants and needs as well as how you can cater to them, is critical to Social Media. More so, it allows companies to improve their service and better satisfy customer needs.  Interaction is key to Social Media and companies can make use of it on different platforms to improve their business and its offerings to better satisfy needs.

What Social Media Sites should you consider and why?

There are new Social Media sites popping up every day, and although having a presence on every single one would be ideal it’s just not realistic in terms of management.  Companies should have their company profile on the major Social networking sites namely Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Wikipedia.

Social Media sites especially Facebook allow you to position your advertising efforts directly at your target market to attract customers, and they allow you to do this at a significantly cheaper price than traditional media.

With Facebook recently reaching 1 Billion users, and a 106% increase in users following brands that they like, the question that companies need to ask themselves is, can they afford to not be a part of the Social Media pie?

Is Apple and iPhone playing around with the idea of using glass?

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Apple, known for its cutting edge and innovative styling has taken its design to the next level with its next iPhone. What comes to mind when you hear of a phone made entirely from glass? Is it even possible? What’s it going to look like? Insane right!? Well, that’s exactly what the future iPhone might be made of. In fact, Apple has already applied for a patent for this design.

The see through iPhone could potentially be fashioned from two pieces of glass bonded together, or from a single hollow glass tube.

Advantages of a glass iPhone

The advantage of an all-glass iPhone would be the fact that it’s hermetically sealed and therefore water resistant, more so than being treated with Liquipel, the water repellent coating which has been rumoured for the iPhone 5. Glass is radio transparent so hopefully that would mean improved reception.

Naturally, an all-glass iPhone would look sleek and sexy. There’s no underestimating the extra zing it would give to an already much-admired gadget.

Disadvantages of a glass iPhone

The major worry would be how tough a glass iPhone would be, but Apple is certainly talking tough enough in the patent application. The company notes: “Some of the reasons for using glass over other materials are that glass is strong, stiff, and radio transparent.”

Many critics argue that even if potential breakage and strength isn’t an issue, there’s also the danger of scratches to contend with. Another point is if the device is hermetically sealed and waterproof, what about the port openings?

The question is: is your glass half full or half empty? Whatever it is Apple still has plenty of research and work to do to pull this one off. We have all limbs crossed as we wait in anticipation.

Flipboard Pages: A fresh way of browsing social online content

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

What is Flipboard Pages?

Publishers can now offer select content to iPad users in a new and engaging layout via Flipboard Pages. For example, when an article is shared on Twitter or Facebook, a Flipboard Pages user can simply press “Read Article” to read that article laid out in easy to print read magazine-style. Flipboard Pages preserve that pleasant traditional print magazine reading experience online. Many publishers are already offering their content via Flipboard Pages including:

  • ABC News
  • All Things Digital
  • Bon Appetit
  • Lonely Planet
  • SB Nation
  • SF Gate
  • Uncrate
  • The Washington Post Magazine

How do I benefit from Flipboard Pages?

As a publisher or writer you will be glad to know that Flipboard Pages has attracted a valuable and high-growth audience of social influencers and enthusiastic readers. The more appealing and reader friendly the layout , the more viewership will result and as a result of this, information will be retweeted, shared and “liked” more so than it otherwise would. Flipboard Pages will ultimately offer you the opportunity to cash in on your content by providing better layout.

How do I adjust how my article’s look on Flipboard Pages?

You can contact Flipboard Pages and they will be happy to work with you to show the level of text and images that you are comfortable with.

Get in touch at publishers@flipboard.com

Remember Flipboard Pages is absolutely free. All that is required is about 10 minutes, to design and construct the templates.

Home Publishers Press Contact Help Blog@flipboard.com

Start tracking Social Media ROI on Google Analytics

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

One of the most common questions any digital marketing agency may be asked is “Is Social Media Optimisation really necessary for my business”, or “What is the ROI on Social Media?” With Social Media increasing in importance when it comes to an internet marketing strategy, Google Analytics has now incorporated social- focused reports to the mix.

Although there are various other Social Media analytics products out there, they are highly focused on tracking mentions, retweets, sentiment etc. Despite these offering extremely valuable bits of information, Google Analytics will allow companies to tell Google their goals (purchasing, etc). Users will be able to monitor how many website viewers have come from which specific Social Media platforms. However and more importantly, Google Analytics will be able to report how many of those visits that came from the Social Media platform, have converted to the goal. Impressively we will also be able to track indirect conversions; someone visiting your site through a link you posted in Facebook and Twitter returns to your website one week later to purchase something.

Google Analytics will also be able to assign a monetary value to “last interactions” and “assisted” conversions. This will give companies a good idea of whether or not their Social Media campaigns are actually working.

If you are eager to start using this, you will have to be patient just a few more weeks. The Social Media reporting will be accessible to all Google Analytics users under the “Standard Reporting” tab.

Pinterest to unveil redesigned profiles soon

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

By now most of us have heard of or are already using and enjoying the services of the social photo sharing site, Pinterest. For the benefit of those that have been living under a rock, Pinterest lets you organise and share interesting images and information you find on the internet, with other users who may share common interests with you.

The most fun comes from browsing  pinboards created by other users. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests. Like Facebook and Twitter, you also have your own profile on Pinterest.

Speaking of profiles, Pinterest will soon launch new profile pages – an important step that will make users find like-minded people more easily. According to co-founder and CEO of Pinterest, Ben Silbermann, the new profile pages will look nothing like the profiles you might have on other social networking sites. In other words, Pinterest’s avid users will soon — perhaps as early as this week — be greeted by a redesigned homepage when logging into the social photo blogging network.

Pinterest only launched in 2010, but in the past year, it has seen astronomical growth and now counts as one of the top 10 social networks. With over 10.4 million registered users in barely 2 years, decision makers at Pinterest must be making all the right moves! Perhaps introducing redesigned profiles for users is one of those moves. Additional to the new profiles, Pinterest users will be able to pin videos from Hulu, Netflix, and other sources.

In a nutshell , the primary focus of the facelift is to improve upon the community elements of Pinterest. Revised profile pages will make it easier to find other members with similar pinning habits, while also providing a method of quickly back-tracing re-pins to find the original source of a popular post. Aesthetic upgrades are en- route as well, with the company setting out to give Pinterest profiles a style of their own.

Brandometer: how influential your brand is on social media?

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Welcome onto the scene, a new South African Social Media Performance Tool Brandometer offers businesses the chance to analyse how well or how poorly their social media campaigns have been performing, across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even MXit.

What is Brandometer?

A new online service dubbed Brandometer was launched yesterday, benchmarking South Africa’s most influential and powerful brandsaccording to social media relevance. Brandometer was started by Michal Wronski, who founded and headed up Fuseware, a company which focuses on social media monitoring and analytics with clients such as Vodacom, 8ta, SAB, Nokia and Mxit.

Brandometer aims to be the official influence scorecard that brands and agencies can turn to in the future.Brandometer lists South Africa’s top social brands according to various ranking criteria on Mxit, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

“Social media has gone mainstream in South Africa. There are over one million South Africans using Twitter, many of them on a daily basis. The Brandometer is an official benchmark to gauge the crème de la crème of South African brands on social media,” the Brandometer website states.

How Brandometer works

The Brandometer tool uses “the industry standard” Klout score to gauge your Twitter influence. For Facebook meanwhile, each page’s following and engagement is reportedly analysed to calculate an influence score.  The process for LinkedIn is similar, although connections and recommendations are also scanned and benchmarked to create an influence score.

For MXit, Fuseware reportedly works with the social chat giant to retrieve anonymous statistics and demographics. It claims that no user data is collected in the process.

It seems if your brand isn’t on Brandometer in the future, then perhaps you will want to change your social media strategy.

LinkedIn launches follow button

Friday, March 9th, 2012

LinkedIn has announced the launch of a follow button that can be embedded into external websites. The follow button will enhance the ability for businesses to gather followers on their profile pages.  LinkedIn’s follow button can be compared to the “Like” and “Follow” functionality of Facebook and Twitter. Companies can add the LinkedIn follow button to their websites to make it easier for consumers to follow them without actually searching for them on LinkedIn.

The button allows you to follow a company without leaving their website, as long as you’re logged into LinkedIn at the time. If you are not logged in, a box will appear asking for your LinkedIn credentials. LinkedIn is the biggest professional networking site with over 2 million companies on its network – representing all industries, company sizes, and geographies.

Companies that have already started using the LinkedIn follow button:

  • AT&T
  • Starbucks
  • Sony Electronics
  • American Express OPEN
  • Rypple
  • DonorsChoose
  • Kiva

With this new feature, LinkedIn promises users better engagement between brands and members of the professional networking website. Whether you are looking to stay up-to-date on company news, career opportunities or industry trends, following companies on LinkedIn is a great way to gain insights and stay connected.

How the LinkedIn follow button works

Companies will engage with you from their Company Page on LinkedIn and through status updates. Their status updates will appear on your LinkedIn homepage – so check back frequently to see what’s going on.

The big questions on everyone’s lips is, can companies actually identify and/or track users who are following them? LinkedIn has not yet revealed whether this is possible or not but many experts believe this could pose many security concerns.

With over two million companies globally on its site one can only image how quickly LinkedIn’s follow button will catch on. Those who want to put a follow button on their site can go onto LinkedIn’s developer page where they will be able to acquire the HTML code needed.