Archive for the ‘local’ 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.

Cotlands: A day to play – World Play Day 2013

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

As one of Cotlands benefactors, I was invited to attend their Experiential visit which formed part of their #WorldPlayDay initiatives. Cotlands World Play Day - Handing Talooma donations over to LoisThe day included a tour of their head office as well as a practical demonstration of their transition from health focused initiatives to education.

Our tour began with visiting the current group of babies that are awaiting adoption, witnessing feeding time and some even getting bathed. At first, we felt a small reservation to go into the rooms but the sight of the smiles on their faces was enough to melt your heart! Following that we were taken on a tour of what used to be orphan rooms and are now the sensory rooms – sight, sound and touch. Viewing the tools used in each room really made me feel like I took nursery school for granted. I remember dressing up at school and fighting over who played what, yet there are so many lessons to be taught that many children don’t have the opportunity to experience.

We were also shown the hub of the Johannesburg Toy Library, a room where all the toys are grouped by the lesson it teaches, some brand new, some donated. This is where the ladies that travel to the different schools collect their packs from each week, depending on the lessons to be taught. I really felt special to have been able to have played with some of these toys as a child!

After having our faces painted, Europcar Vans were on hand to take us into Soweto. Our first stop was the Faba household in a more informal area, where Cotlands have been providing support and education to the 2 disabled grandparents of a small child. She is HIV positive and Cotlands have educated her grandparents on how she should take her ARV’s, as well as how to provide basic child learning. Cotlands also provide seedlings to help generate an income for families as these and some of the funds raised will be used to send the child to Grade R which, in addition to her health and extra education, will give her a better grounding for success in Grade 1.

 

Our next stop was to a little playschool at the Dube Hostel. We had to receive permission from the Chiefs to be able come in as visitors

to the hostel. Here people live without electricity and under political divisions. The residents have generously donated what was their Community Hall so that the children from the two opposing political parties can have a place to play, learn, develop and be looked after during the day. Some of their parents work, others do not and these children would normally not have done anything constructive. Now Cotlands sends a teacher with the latest Toy Library box and lessons for the week, to see them and help advance their development.

After playing with the kids at Dube, our day was completed by having lunch with Sakhumzi at his restaurant in the famous Vilakazi Street where he gave us a very inspirational talk!

He explained how a speech made by Nelson Mandela inspired him to lift himself out of unemployment and to help those around him. Focussing on something he loves he was already providing full bellies to his friends and family. He then opened a restaurant at his house. He now employs 70 people from Soweto at his restaurant, where he serves a buffet of traditional South African cuisine to locals and foreigners alike.

I felt so humbled to be spending the day with people trying to make a difference in our country – I even got to meet Miss South Africa, Marilyn Ramos, who is a Cotlands Ambassador.

Lois Moodley, National Marketing and PR Manager, was on hand to take receipt of donations from our staff members. Thank you to Kerry, Charlene, Bonita and Aimee for your kind donation!

Graph Search: Providing greater access to your Facebook network

Monday, January 21st, 2013

There have been rumors flying around for a while now that Mark Zuckerberg and his very own “team awesome” have been working on a Facebook “search engine”. Well, it is here and its name is Graph Search: certainly an interesting utilisation of the social media platform.

Available, at the moment, only to English (US) audiences, this social search engine was not developed to index the web. Instead, Facebook is indexing their map which is growing by close on 1Million new profiles daily. Data such as images, videos and connections are used in searches to provide an accurate result. This offers Facebook users the chance to dive deeper into their network.

How do I use Graph Search?

The search may be done in the search bar at the top of your Facebook window. Facebook users will be able to search for anything from photos to people and even interests. For example: if you are interested in forming a running group in your area, you would search, “People interested in jogging in Rivonia”. Graph Search will then pull all related profiles from within your profile that match your search request. The search result will provide results in order of “friends” closest to you, right down to mutual friends and connections.
Having been built up as a “database of people’s lives” Facebook allows lives to cross and the world to become more open. Graph Search has been designed to provide users the tools they need to make the most of their close and extended network.

Why is it useful?

Facebook predicts that this search platform will become a useful tool. From recruiting right through to forming niche groups, doing market research and even dating, Graph Search has allowed us access to valuable information, at our fingertips.

What was once an online platform to interact with friends and family, Facebook is now an empire that in many ways has become an integrated part of both our personal and business lives.
When to expect Graph Search…

Facebook has announced that they will slowly roll Graph Search out and as it becomes a more commonly used tool, they will certainly expand on its functionalities.
Once again we are left with the question, “What is next, Facebook?”.

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

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!

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.

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.

 

iPad2 vs. the original iPad: what’s changed?

Friday, December 9th, 2011

The iPad 2 embraces the vision, innovation and forward thinking of the company’s late founder and CEO, Steve Jobs. The first iPad introduced the world to the future of the computer and how it will operate. With the iPad2 already on our shelves that future we have all been eagerly anticipating for is indeed already here.

Just under one year ago, Apple shocked the computing world with a 9.7-inch touch-screen tablet that few truly expected. Some called the original Apple iPad a large-format iPhone. Now at only just 0.34 inch thin and weighing as little as 1.33 kilograms with over 55 000 applications at your finger tips, the iPad 2 has rendered all its critics speechless.
The iPad 2 feels completely comfortable in your hands sporting an extra slim design. In fact, the designers say the iPad 2 is an extension of you, the user.

What is the difference between the new ipad2 and the original iPad

If you purchased an iPad, should you be regretting it today? Short answer- yes. Long answer- let’s look at the specs on both tablets. Without paying too much attention, it may appear that these devices look basically the same but there are a number additions to the iPad 2.

First of all, there are a bunch of things that essentially haven’t changed at all between iPad and iPad 2:

  • The display is exactly the same as before, as is the resolution: 9.7-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD with 1024 x 768 pixel resolution.
  • The storage options, 16, 32, and 64GB have not changed
  • Wifi will still be 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth will still be 2.1 + EDR
  • Accelerometer stays the same at 3-axis

So what’s really improved?

  • You’ll be able to get your iPad 2 in black, but you’ll also have the option of a white bezel
  • iPad 2’s processor has been improved from a 1GHz Apple A4 to a 1GHz dual-core Apple A5
  • The original iPad was either 680g or 730g; the iPad 2 is 613g
  • iPad 2 offers a gyroscope where the original iPad did not include one
  • The thickness of the entire unit has been reduced by 33% from 13.4mm to 8.8mm
  • iPad 2 offers not one but two new cameras. The front camera being a VGA webcam and the back being capable of recording videos (this is a significant step up from having no camera at all)
  • iPad 2 also comes with cellular radio

Overall, the iPad2 is a better tablet and the design is an absolute stunner. There have been no drastic complaints from users of the original iPad, however the iPad 2 offers the advancements that we have come to expect from the Apple brand.

Social Screening: the online FBI

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Gone are the days when a great CV and interview were enough to get a job. Most companies are taking advantage of social networking platforms to screen (social screening) potential employees and to get a deeper understanding of who they are.

There are over 535 million social networking users across the world. These users have one or multiple accounts across LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Any company looking at hiring new staff, looks for the most qualified and talented people as possible candidates. This is where social screening is an effective method.

Facebook is the ideal platform to investigate further into a person’s character and personality, whilst Twitter identifies a person’s interestsetc. LinkedIn offers a more professional insight into who the person is, as well as their working history.

With companies using social screening to find out more about the people they consider hiring, potential employees should consider “cleaning up” their social media accounts. According to mindflash.com there are 5 ways of ensuring you never get hired, based on social screening:

  • Digital dirt (inappropriate images)
  • Terrible Troll (swearing and adding annoying commentary to blogs posts etc)
  • Big Mouth (negative comments about previous employers etc)
  • Numerous contacts and comments (having inappropriate contacts and participating in inappropriate conversation with them)
  • Being constantly negative (never posting positive comments etc)

Although there are ways to limit the amount of information people are able to view on a personal account, being cautious about what content appears on the social media platform is the safer bet.

Numerous recruitment agencies and companies use social screening to head hunt a potential employee. However social screening is also used to dismiss staff. Although using social screening may take time and possibly cost money (Facebook Ad’s, etc) many companies find it to be the better long term option when trying to find the ideal employee to fill a position. Using social screening also increases the candidate pool.

With social media becoming more and more useful to businesses, it is important to ensure that the content that is visible to the public, compliments who you have said that you are in your CV, etc. Especially if you are looking for a new job.