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  • Six attitude deal-breakers for social media success

    If you’re panicking about not being onboard the social media marketing train, the bad news is that it’s unlikely to slow down anytime soon. There are good reasons why social media is so popular as a business tool. When executed correctly, it can affect your business hugely, whether that means improved online brand sentiment, website visits or product sales. The best part is that compared to big above-the-line ad spend, social media can be very affordable and budget-friendly. It is also a level playing field –- in other words, your business doesn’t have to be of a certain size or...

  • Manifesto for web startup entrepreneurs

    I’m going to apologise up front. These aren’t all original thoughts - are original thoughts still possible? I read voraciously online and I am pretty convinced that all that reading has helped inform this list. And no, I’m not going to get into the semantics about exactly what a “startup” is right now. 1. Think global You are not going to become rich building an online business solely focused on the South African market. Read that again. You will not become rich. Despite what you think now, in order to become wildly successful, you have to build an online business that...

  • Round-up: Facebook privacy reversal receives mixed reaction

    With the official Quit Facebook Day only three days away, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg launched a media blitz to introduce a simplified set of privacy settings that the social networking site hopes will appease their many disgruntled users. The official Facebook blog has laid out a complete overview of the changes. Reaction has been guardedly optimistic, but by no means universally acclaimed. The changes break down into three simple categories. In a nutshell, there is to be a simple master control to set who can see the various types of content users share. Secondly, there is a...

  • Google battles Apple for worldwide OS dominance

    The New York Times reported yesterday that Apple has overtaken Microsoft as the world's most valuable technology company. According to the report, "as of Wednesday, Wall Street valued Apple at $222.12 billion and Microsoft at $219.18 billion". This represents an incredible turnaround for Apple, a company that was floundering a decade ago. But, in the wake of recent well-publicised reports about the speed with which the Android OS is catching on, it would seem that Apple needs to worry more about Google than they do about Microsoft. Leading mobile advertising company, AdMob, indicated that in April Google was...

  • A basic guide to AdWords and search

    The highest proportion of a marketing budget is typically spent on offline media advertising, the interruptions during your favourite TV show, or the print ads in magazines. Most companies still spend up to 98% on advertising that doesn't show them a direct return on investment (ROI). And by that, I mean a direct correlation between marketing budget spent and actual consumers purchasing the specifically advertised product. Offline advertising is a dinosaur in an age driven by analytics and people buying what they are looking for. In South Africa, the amount of people using the internet grew by 15% last year...

  • Mobile apps far outpace mobile browsing, reveals study

    When it comes to internet useage via mobile devices, applications far outpace browsing, even though both types of activity are available on almost two-thirds of the phones used by urban cellular users, reveals a new study. The study, "Mobile Internet in South Africa 2010" by respected research firm World Wide Worx, shows that usage of specific applications like Facebook Mobile and mobile instant messaging (IM) client MXit are used more than accessing the web via the phone's browser, also known as WAP browsing. The study was conducted via face-to-face interviews among South African urban cellphone users aged 16 and older,...

  • Social media: The ultimate tool for democracy

    While the “Everybody Draw Mohammad Day” page has been put back up on Facebook, it still remains blocked to users in India, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. In South Africa, the Mail & Guardian won a court case that allowed the small Johannesburg-based newspaper to publish its celebrated cartoonist Zapiro and his contribution to this raging debate. In case you missed it, 20 May was designated by a Facebook group as the day when artists, illustrators and cartoonists around the world should defy Islamic law and use their creativity to depict the prophet. Millions of Muslims were outraged and death...

  • User-generated content: Myths and lessons learnt

    Demotix is a London-based, award-winning "citizen journalism" website and photo agency. The site has around 15 000 members in 190 countries who contribute content on a daily basis. More than 200 media outlets around the world receive their daily feed. One of the founders, Turi Munthe, writes for Memeburn about how the site approaches, manages and makes a business out of user generated content: Most people are passive observers and readers, and most people don't like creating content. Creating content is difficult. There is nothing wrong with that, but that is the way the world works. People who do create...

  • Nokahoo! and Yahokia join forces for emerging market focus

    Users in emerging markets look set to benefit from the brand new alliance between global Internet powerhouse, Yahoo and mobile heavyweight Nokia. After five years of collaboration, the two companies say they are now “leveraging each others' strengths in e-mail, instant messaging and maps and navigation services”, with the goal of trying to provide world-class services on both mobile and PC devices. Each of the partners will be focussing on their core strengths. Nokia has invested heavily in digital mapping, and has developed comprehensive navigation services that currently map 77 countries in 46 languages. Yahoo will be integrating Ovi...

  • The entrepreneurial illusion explained

    Entrepreneur, entrepreneur, entrepreneur… You hear this word over and over again, yet few bother to look it up in the dictionary. Go on, prove me wrong, what is an entrepreneur? Your definition should include both of these components: Matters pertaining to business/profit A risk taker So, are you a risk taker in matters pertaining to business? If you are, then you are an entrepreneur. Now, go and ask this question to all the multi-millionaires you know: Is it better to maximise or minimise your risk in business? You’ll soon discover that the richer they are, the less risk they take. In...

  • Why companies are failing at social media

    Social media in the corporate environment, both from an internal and external perspective is taking on greater importance in the South African market. Some are doing it well and others, well let us just say that they have tried, or are trying in some form or another, with limited success. Social media needs to be positioned across all functional departments and business units within a company to truly achieve long-term success and customer engagement. Whether you are a clothing brand or an airline - once you delve into the world of social media, it is crucial that the synergy within your...

  • Google ad share disclosure is as clear as mud

    Google has made a big deal out of disclosing how much money it shares with website publishers hosting its AdSense advertisements. "In the spirit of greater transparency," wrote Neal Mohan, Vice President, Product Management, he revealed that the search giant pays publishers 68% of advertising revenues around content, and 51% for ads related to search. However, some large publishers, such as the New York Times receive a larger share -- some have received 100%. So what does this revenue share percentage represent? As one commenter on the official Adsense blog wrote: I didn't get from the article how they came to that 68%...

  • The importance of being seamless: From ‘marketing’ to ‘website’ in 3 easy steps

    Much has been written about online marketing, whether it is search engine marketing, social media or viral videos. Much of it is also written about on-site factors -- design, usability, conversion optimisation and so on. But, maybe more should be written about the journey that a user must make from the marketing they interact with to the final destination: the conversion page on the website. This journey must be as seamless as possible, lubricated with carefully strategised copy and design. The more seamless the journey, the higher the conversion rates. Step 1: The Arena Marketing materials have to exist somewhere. When...

  • How I use Twitter: Q&A with Gareth Cliff

    According to a recent report, 5fm radio DJ Gareth Cliff is one of the most-talked about personalities in the South African Twittersphere. With the “shock-jock” also ranking among the top three Twitter users with the most followers in the country, Memeburn.com put a few questions to the often-controversial Cliff to get his take on Twitter, Helen Keller and getting in trouble. Memeburn: You have been identified as one of the biggest Tweeters in South Africa. What does that mean to you? Gareth Cliff: I think it is great that so many people want to hear my thoughts and jokes, see my...

  • Comrades Marathon gets a social media boost

    The world’s oldest and largest ultra-marathon, the Comrades, is getting social media-savvy in the form of an official Twitter stream that will be live tweeting the race. There will also be updates via SMS and live streaming video on the marathon's official website www.comrades.com this year. The 89km-long race, which takes place on the 31st of May, will host some new, interactive features "designed to enrich the experience for the viewing public". After downloading Microsoft’s Silverlight plugin, viewers are able to watch streaming video, which has also been integrated with the marathon's official tweet stream, comradesm2010. Silverlight is a free,...