Archive for the ‘entertainment’ Category

Website Tips: Working Smart and Growing Fast

Friday, November 29th, 2013

web-tipsAt WordCamp Cape Town, Rob Hope, a WordPress fan and web developer, spoke on strategies behind his successful site. With 6000 daily visitors and 30 submissions a day from designers wanting to get features on his site, Hope knows his stuff. Here’s what we can take from his strategy.

Users and Community

As obvious as it might sound, ultimately, you’re building a site for an audience. So, why wouldn’t you consider your markets experience and ways to communicate with them? Rob Hope explained that he personally contacted people of sites he would be featuring on his website, and asked them if their work had been presented in the best possible way. This allowed him to create a relationship with them directly, also making them feel honoured in having a chance/a say in how their work is going to represented.

There on, the featured designers visited Hope’s site and shared their work on his platform through social media. This gave him immediate exposure from a range of different clientele. This gave Hope’s site immediate traffic.

4 Simple and Effective Rules:

  • Easy navigation
  • No clutter
  • Visible content
  • Make it easy for visitors to subscribe

Change + Improvements = Boosted Audience

The worst thing a website can be is static. Change it up for your users and reap the traffic benefits. Tweak and improve your site on a regular basis and monitor what changes work for your specific audience. This allows your site to be customised to the needs and wants of your direct target market.

It’s (not) All About The Money

Before zooping your website up with ads, first concentrate on putting together the best possible site for your market niche. Once you have regular, returning followers, you can proceed with monetising your website.

All in all, website development is a fluid business. Keep improving, know your audience and keep improving and keep going.

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.

 

 

 

Teenagers and Facebook

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Facebook has made some recent changes as of late. One of which now allows kids from the ages of 13 to 17, to publicly gain followers. Before this change, users of this age group were only able to share their personal content with friends and custom groups. Now, they too, have the freedom to be able to gain followers and spread their posts to a wider audience.

Techno-Born

As we find ourselves amidst the age of all things digital, the impact has been immense. Children born from the 90’s onward fell straight into a life that’s all things digital. From playing “pick-up-sticks” to rocking GTA on a portable Playstation, technology has dramatically impacted the concept of childhood. More importantly, the way we socialise has also been impacted.

On many nodes, online platforms such as Facebook or Myspace, make life easier. You are able to access details about others lives which you wouldn’t know. And in this hectic life, between work, school or college, there isn’t always time to be actively socially engaged.

A Thought to Ponder…

Although, how many would agree that this is a good idea? Do children between that age group have the knowledge, wisdom and responsibility to utilise an online platform? Do they understand the repercussions to which their say could inflict?

Technology Tragedy

On 15 October 2013, a report from America shocked the world. A young teen, 12 year old Rebecca Sedwick committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. What is the connection you ask? She was a victim of online bullying. Online bullying is real and its consequences are dire.  14 and 12 year old girls were arrested and charged with felonies of aggravated stalking.

After bullying Rebecca and telling her to “drink bleach and die”, the victim of this online bullying succumbed and committed suicide. Once the bullies found out of her untimely death, they posted “I know Rebecca killed herself but I don’t give a f___.”

So… With Facebook’s recent allowance changes, how many teens are going to be able to use this online media profile responsibly? Would it just be more of a platform for online bullying? We’ll have to wait and see…

Welcome All, Windows 8.1…

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Windows_8.1For those of you who have installed Microsoft’s latest offering, the Windows 8 software package, you would be interested to know Windows 8.1 is now available. The switch from Windows 7 to Windows 8 was quite radical. Having made changes to the layout, the entire operating system indeed takes some time to get used to. One thing Windows 8 users were frazzled with was the disappearance of the infamous “start” button.

What’s New?

Windows 8.1 offers users several new and enhanced features, along with the return of the “start” button. This makes it easier to navigate and find your programs without having to hover around looking for your desktop.

Why The Change?

Windows 8 reinvented Windows operating system for all touch devices. Organisational tools enabled users to have access to an enhanced global search, as well as better overall multi-monitor support.

New Features of Windows 8.1

Enjoy the convenience of the Start button, which now acts as a global search button, powered by Bing. For example, type into your start menu a specific topic, Mariah Carey, and get her Wikipedia page along with music videos and latest news from the songstress.

No more do users need to manually update their apps. Windows 8 automatically downloads updates when they’re available, always ensuring you have the latest of everything.

Available to all Windows 8 users, version 8.1 is easily attainable through the Store App.

More Than Just a Watch…

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Samsung_GearTechnology never ceases to amaze. We have found ourselves smack in the middle of a time where the age of digital is upon us. Technology advances have been immense over the past few years. Most of it is technologies that we hear of, not experience. With the exception of advances such as the smartphones, tablets and such, most exceptional developments have been behind the scenes.

No longer is that the case. Now it’s brought closer to us than ever before. So close in fact, it’s made to be attached to your body. Introducing… The Samsung Gear.

 

 

 

Specs:

  • 800MHz Processor
  • 1.9mp Camera (Located on the wristband)
  • 4gb Memory
  • 1.63 Inch Touch Screen

What Does it Do?

Where to start? It’s a digital watch that acts as a smartphone. Attempt to wrap your head around that. The movies where people spoke into their watches to call the command base, has now become a reality. This Samsung Gear smartphone watch allows you to respond to text messages by simply speaking to it. This wristwatch will convert your speech into text. By saying a simple command- Your text is sent. Find yourself on the street and witnessing something extraordinary? No need to scratch around for your phone. Simply say the word “camera” to your Samsung Gear Wristwatch and snap away with your 1.9mp camera on the wristband. Ever had the feeling that you were about to do something but forgot? We’ve all been there. Now simply say what you are doing and what needs to be done and your all-powerful wristwatch will auto record for your convenience.

Featured Applications:

Samsung.com gives you a range of apps for your wristwatch that add to the attraction of this handy little contraption. Here we have a few selected apps to show you just how magnificent the Samsung Gear is:

  • eBay:

Complete all transactions on eBay through your watch, in real time.

  • MyFitnessPal:

This app tracks your nutrition and exercise.

  • Triplt:

Organise all your travel plans.

  • Vivino:

This wine scanner allows you to take a picture of any wine and get to know everything about it instantly.

Interested? Take a trip down to your nearest Samsung store and go try it out for yourself! Available in a range of colours, this functional accessory is definitely one not to be missed.

Welcome All: Augmented Reality, Say What?

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

imagesThis innovative and technologically advanced trend is set to hit the world with a force. Augmented Reality Ad Campaigns are Hot Hot Hot! Big brands such as Toyota, Samsung and Heinz have taken to this new way of advertising.

What is it?

Augmented reality allows customers to interact directly with the brand through their smartphones or tablets. Think here of a printed advertisement. Simply point your smartphone at the ad and watch it trigger through your screen into a 3D, interactive video. Talk about futuristic. This advancement has the ability to change the advertising world forever! Riveting stuff, right?

This technology started around 2008, but has only recently hit it off as nearly every person has a smartphone. This mode of advertising, gives the brand an opportunity to directly integrate themselves within the digital and real world.

How Does it Work?

By downloading an app, here I’ll use the example of Blippar, the app uses your camera on your smartphone/tablet to recognise images which have components of augmented reality. It then triggers an automatic response to which is submitted back to your phone, allowing you to interact with whatever the ad campaign is all about.

Have a look at a few examples of this revolutionary ad experience!

Heinz

Maybelline

Toyota

Instagram to Launch Paid Advertising

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Instagram.AdsMany of us are users of this unique and fun photo app. Instagram took the world by storm with their innovative use of photo social media. From filters to #hashtags, the impact Instagram has left on society is enormous. Take a snapshot of your meals, add a filter and become the next Terry Richardson.

Many businesses have made full use of this free application by incorporating marketing and advertising strategies through this fun and free app. Well, here come the conglomerates with their proverbial pin to burst your bubble.

Emily White, the Instagram head at Facebook is already looking for potential advertisers to sign on. Although Kevin Systrom, Co-Founder of Instagram has the final say, White is working with him very closely to rake in the extra dollars through advertising revenue. Instagram has an impressive growth speed. With over 150 million users, 50 million new users in the past 6 months, this growth speed and potential is the hook to which potential advertisers will be caught. White goes on to mention in her interview with the Wall Street Journal that they would like to see this development beginning within the year. Ads will be published under the “Discover/ Explore’ tabs where users see what’s currently trending. The Instagram ads will act as clickable links to the respective direct sites. This hosts a slight issue with White, as she is concerned about the quality of most mobile sites.

Nevertheless, Instagram ads are happening. Keep an eye out and watch the rich get richer.

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.

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>.