Archive for the ‘lifestyle’ Category

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?

Nandos vs. Santam

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

As we all know when it comes to advertising nobody plays the ‘parody card’ quite as well as Nandos does. From the “Mugabe Last Dictator Standing” to “Julius Malema Demanding Change”, Nandos has always been at the forefront (some may say abreast) of political satire and satire in general.

Well, Nandos has done it again with the Santam ad with Ben Kingsley at the bar. If you haven’t seen Nandos’s latest parody commercial, you can see it here, it is well worth watching. It came as no surprise though.

The Nandos ad is funny and clever as are all of their parody ads only that this time the “victim”, Santam has played them at their own game with something that is equally witty and even, some may say, honourable. You can view Santam’s response ad to Nandos dubbed “Back at ya” hereif you haven’t already seen it.

Santam’s response has most of us really curious to see what Nandos will come back with, because thus far its 1-0 to Santam. Whether or not this is a planned stunt by both Nandos and Santam, we think it is absolutely brilliant advertising!

The big question is will Nandos deliver Santam’s order to the Johannesburg Children’s Home at 4pm on Thursday as requested in the “Back at ya” response. Well, we’ll wait and see!

Microsoft starts the countdown to the end of Windows XP

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

If you are still using Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system perhaps it’s time to let go because Microsoft has announced that it will no longer continue supporting the beloved programme by 2014. The announcement was made by the company in a post on Monday on the Windows Team Blog reminding it’s users of the two-year countdown until it will terminate all support for Windows XP. In fact the countdown actually began on Saturday, April 7.

What does this mean for those using Windows XP?

The announcement is not going to be a trainsmash for the 144 million users of Windows XP. “If you still have some PC’s running Windows XP and Office 2003 in your organisation, now would be a good time to start migrating them to Windows 7 and Office 2010”, Microsoft said in a statement on their blog.

Marketing director of the US software titan, Stella Chernyak says the end-of-life means Microsoft will kill off all security updates, non-security hot-fixes and technical support after the due date, April 7th 2014 to be exact.

Microsoft has always supported a policy of a minimum of 10 years support and has given Windows XP extra time despite the release of Vista, Windows 7 and soon, Windows 8.

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

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.

Ignition Marketing Goes Live

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Talooma has launched yet another successful website to a very satisfied client.  Our broad range of clients from of various industries, offer us the opportunities to break boundaries and provide a unique look, feel and user experience for their websites. Every client is equally important to us and we strive to ensure that each one is given the attention and care that they deserve.

Working with the Ignition Marketing team (www.ignitionmarketing.co.za ) was an immensely rewarding experience and we are looking forward to working closely with them in the future. We would like to thank each and every person who was involved in this project and for adding to the overall success that we have achieved together.

What do Ignition Marketing think of their new website?

“Ignition Marketing is proud to launch our new website. www.ignitionmarketing.co.za

The time had come for us to upgrade our websites and to merge all our marketing offerings into one website platform. We were very excited for our web company Talooma to execute the project as they have been our preferred website company from the inception of our Ignition business, 6 years ago. We believe that they have provided us with the perfect solution for the vision we have for the future of our business.

We believe creating the website in a WordPress format will give us a much better grading with Google ranking. We have introduced a more functional, user- friendly website and we look forward to getting positive feedback from our current and potential customers.”

As our client relationships continue, Talooma is responsible for keeping our clients’ website’s content current, as well as optimised to a variety of search engines.

For more information on how Talooma can assist your business in extracting maximum value out of your web solution, contact us on (011) 807 6149 or email business@talooma.co.za

View us online @ www.talooma.co.za.

 

Website design: is it really that important?

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Nowadays a website is an essential part of every profession. Whether you are the owner of small or big company, you need to have your own website for many reasons. However, a dull looking and uninteresting website is as good as no website at all. Having a website is one thing but having a well designed one is another. Through website design you can give your business an online identity and global presence. Through web marketing  your business will enjoy a good online business channel once you make entry in the World Wide Web.

Your website and its design represent your company and its image. Think of it as someone that represents your brand to your valued customers on your behalf. Surely you would want this person to represent you in the best way possible. So why would you settle for a less than perfect website design?

What is website design?

Website design is not about making your website look pretty and colourful. It is creating an effective interface between technology and people which allows them to present their information and use it for a meaningful purpose.

Why is website design important?

The design of a website should be appealing to the visitor. In order to achieve, website designers pay close attention to the following on each web page:

  • Colour selection
  • Layout
  • Font style
  • Overall shapes and forms used

Website design holds much importance when it comes to online reputation. A good website design can drag maximum flow of web traffic to your site. More traffic means more business and more business means more potential for growth and earning.

Where to find good web designers?

A good website design requires a good website designer. Where do find good designers? Since website designing and hosting have become every business’s immediate need, many digital marketing agencies have emerged to meet this demand. A digital marketing agency will not simply design your website but also offer other services including:

  • SEO – Search Engine Optimisation
  • PPC – Pay Per Click Advertising
  • SMO – Social Media Optimisation

It is important to understand that, from an overall point of view, there are many key elements that make up a successful website. The look and feel of the website is the first approach in determining how your website visitors will see you and your company. However, the content needs to be taken into consideration before the design process begins.

With that in mind, it is important for a web designer to not only design for aesthetic value, but to also understand how the different areas of the layout will affect the visitor’s actions.

Layout is one of the most important elements in a website design. A site that lacks structure can leave visitors feeling frustrated. This usually results in them exiting your website site without looking any further. Visitors need to feel guided when viewing a site and not be left questioning where your details are.

A great website design is more important the website itself. It’s the design, look and feel of your site that will convert regular visitors into potential customers.

 

 

iPad3 release date and what to expect

Friday, February 24th, 2012

 

The Apple iPad 2 has been out for nearly a year now, so it’s time to say hello to the highly anticipated and most talked about tablet device, the Apple iPad 3. The web is teeming with rumors about specs and the release date. The official launch date for the iPad 3 in South Africa is yet to be announced. However, it will be released in April to other parts of the word including:

    • USA

 

    • France

 

    • Germany

 

    • Japan

 

    • Italy

 

    • Switzerland

 

    • Australia

 

    • Canada

 

    • UK

So what can we expect from the iPad 3?

The iPad 3 is obviously expected to be a better tablet in one or more ways than its predecessor. However, the specs that are currently available on the internet are merely estimations thus far.

Here are the new specs. Keep in mind these are estimated specs as the “official” specs are not released and may change at any time.

    • 1.2GHz dual-core A57CPU

 

    • 512 MB RAM

 

    • 16GB, 32GB, 64GB storage options

 

    • Front, Rear, and Side Cameras, front is 1080p, rear is 1080p, side is VGA

 

    • 9.7″ LED display with 1024×768 screen resolution at 132ppi

 

    • GPU said to be 21x faster

 

    • Video output supports up to 1080p

 

    • Runs iOS 6

 

    • 12 hour battery life

In a nutshell, the Apple iPad3 will feature a new, thinner and sleeker design, down nearly 20% in size compared to the iPad 2. It will also support full touchscreen HD display with a screen resolution of 2048 x 1536. Apart from that, the iPad 3 will have a lighter battery, reducing the weight of the tablet and will also have a longer life.

It is also expected that the iPad 3 will have a wireless charging technology, also supporting wireless data transfer.

You can follow Apple South Africa on Twitter for updates regarding the I Pad 3

Pinterest and the business marketing opportunities it offers

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Pinterest

Joining the likes of Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest certainly brings numerous marketing opportunities to the table. But what exactly is Pinterest and how will it benefit your business in 2012?

The same way your business shares, comments and interacts with its social media audience on your existing platforms, Pinterest allows brands to share information or images that are found on the web. For example: if you are a clothing designer, Pinterest is the perfect social media platform to share new fashion trends, your favourite designer’s new Spring collection etc. For IT companies, sharing information around new technology is a great way to get extra traffic to your site as well as create interest around your brand whilst sharing industry relevant information.

The benefit of this however lies in the great business marketing opportunities that Pinterest offers. Ensuring that the items you share are balanced out between your own brand and the industry as a whole is however, the trick.

How do I join Pinterest?

Don’t be scared off by the fact that you need to be invited to Pinterest. It’s a simple process and within a couple hours of requesting an invite, you should have one sitting in your inbox. Once the Pinterest account/ bored has been created, it’s A for away.

Pinterest has been referred to as online “window shopping” but  it is the marketing benefits of Pinterest that really get us excited!

Pinterest Marketing

There are numerous SEO benefits to Pinterest. This is one of the reasons why it has become such a popular marketing tool for many businesses around the world.

Analytics Reporting: find out exactly which content resulted in the referral click. This allows you to promote certain content.

Pinterest widget buttons on your site: Add a “Follow Me on Pinterest” button to your website. This will direct traffic to your Pinboards, allowing for interaction with your brand on a different level.

Backlinking: Pinterest is indexed by search engines on a regular basis. The more people that post on their Pinboards and the more boards that link to your website, the more traffic you will get to your site.

Use relevant search terms: people will use specific words and phrases to search for a topic. It is extremely beneficial to use search terms when pinning to your board.

Choose an appealing image: no matter what content you are pinning up onto your board, using images that will capture the attention of your followers will ensure that they are lured into the content you have provided.

Pinterest is a great way to do market research. Keeping tabs on which images people are sharing, re- pining etc, is a great way to find out more about your target audience. Once your board is created, you have free reign to pin and re- pin as much as you desire. It is however important to keep the marketing benefits in mind to ensure that Pinterest becomes an integrated part of your business’s marketing plan.