Branding, Marketing, Social Media, Strategy

Things I Learned from “Creating Winning Social Media Strategies”, Day 2

635987909554348478191657497_social-media-illoDay 2 had a much more in depth breakdown of creating winning social media strategies and there are several things I can share about what I learned but for me the mainstays were the following:

Create a compelling story: When thinking about your content strategy bear in mind that people appeal to positive, compelling stories. Make sure to think of the post as a conversation between the brand the customer. Speak in the voice of the brand– a voice that speaks to its personality and in the way that they can understand. This sets you apart from the noise and helps to build the brand’s story.

Best Times to Post: Now depending on the content you can determine what the best time to post for each platform. However, the times that people are most likely to see your posts are:

Twitter 12-3 pm Monday-Friday, 5-6 pm Wednesday

Facebook: 12-1pm Saturday-Sunday, 3-4pm Wednesday, 1-4pm Thursday-Friday

Instagram: Anytime Monday-Thursday, except between 3-4pm

What works in Jamaica: Jamaica is a special place with its own culture and sayings. With that said be sure to play on the few things that appeal to the Jamaican audience, which are  are culturally relevant like for example, sports–which is very important to the average Jamaican.

If you want to learn more about social media and how to create a winning strategy, I highly recommend this course. It goes into detail which is quite helpful.

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Marketing, Social Media, Strategy

Things I learned from “Creating Winning SM Strategies” Seminar, Day 1

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The world of social media is constantly changing and if you don’t try to keep up, you will get lost in the dust. To keep abreast of the latest technologies and also learn more about how we do social media in the Caribbean, I decided to take Carimac’s “Creating Winning Social Media Strategies” by Ross Sheil.

Ross Sheil, former Digital Manager at Digicel Group, has years of experience in the field of social media marketing as it relates to the Caribbean and is very influential on twitter, with some of his work trending on the social network. He even won a Caribbean Addy award for best social media campaign in 2015.

With that being said, I made sure to take a front seat of his class to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I went in of course expecting to know most of the stuff but surprisingly, I learned a few things!

Here is what I learned Day One of the seminar:

Boost Posts a Must for Facebook: With Facebook changing its algorithm and Instagram and Twitter following suit, to to get fans to see your posts you have to boost them. Now I thought that this was an “urban legend” but it is in fact now a mainstay for getting social media engagement on all platforms.

WhatsApp is Big: Mark Zuckerberg said, “Messaging is one of the few things people do more of than social Networking”. Now marketers don’t use it because it is not easy to track, but customers value it because its convenient to use. When we think of social media, WhatsApp doesn’t always come to mind but it is a great tool to get the message out there as people use it more often than other social platforms.

Mobile is a Dominant channel: Now I had forecasted mobile as being a trend from 2015 (Check out my post, 5 Trends Destined to Shape the Media this Year in 2015) but didn’t have the stats to back up  my claims. Based on statistics offered from Digicel, smartphone users spend on average 3.8 hours a day in Jamaica. According to Ross, that’s one day a week! Ross also mentioned that 50% of Digicel’s mobile users in Jamaica are using data plans.

Brand Advocates are Your Marketing Team: Your most passionate fans can become the best brand advocates one can have. By tapping into them as a resource it will make them feel like members of the team. More people respect and respond to tweets about brands from their friends than tweets from the actual brand itself.

Use Active Voice vs. Passive Voice: Acting voice is where subject does something and the passive voice is when the subject is acted upon by the verb. This one resonated with me as I’ve been accused of writing in the passive voice before so it’s something I can definitely learn from. Using the active voice is just a simpler, more direct way of communicating. Which works best for social.

More about Giving with a Touch of Buy our Stuff: Creating a winning content strategy you can’t just focus on getting customers to buy your product, you have to share tips on how to make people’s lives better from the brands area of expertise coupled with topics that both the brand and customer would be interested in reading.

There are a lot more tips I learned but can’t share everything. If you want to learn more, take the course. Will share Day 2 tomorrow!

 

 

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blogging, Marketing, Social Media, Strategy

Top Ten Jamaican YouTubers you Should Know

After the success of my blog post: Top Seven Bloggers to Showcase your Brand, I decided to take a more in-depth look into the YouTube industry. This is my top ten list based on subscribers and the quality of the original content:

1. Andrew Trabass is not based in Jamaica but you would never know as his accent is straight “yahdie.” His blogs are original and hilarious! Trabass’s has over 284,081 subscribers and over 49,286,894 views on his channel.

He also has a personal v-log that showcases his day-to-day life. He’s a singer/songwriter and even sells t-shirts on his website.

 

2. With boy band looks and charisma, the YaadBwoys are the hottest “yahdies” on YouTube. They over 143,844 subscribers and over 14 million views!  These guys technically don’t live in Jamaica, (they are based in Florida) but the content produced is appealing to the Jamaican teen (girls) market.

3. JamaicanMakeUpArtist offers makeup tutorials and weave reviews. She hosts over 120,000 YouTube subscribers on and 1,393,935 views. She’s ranked in the Top 100 YouTubers on Social Blade. Great for beauty products and makeup brands.

4. See2TwinTwo are Jamaican twins who basically v-log about their lives. Even though they are all grown up, these young ladies would be great for the tween market. They have over 62,000 subscribers with over 4million views! Lots of tag and challenge videos.

5. Copping the Personal Achievement Award for Excellence in Blogging at the Caribbean Blog and Social Media awards last year, Dutty Berry has been an overnight success since he started posting his reviews of Tessanne on NBC’s “The Voice.” He hosts over 60,334 subscribers and has 4,984,166 views on YouTube. He’s currently the spokesperson for #NuhDuttyUpJamaica, a Jamaica Environment Trust public education initiative geared towards keeping coastal environments clean.

He’s also been nominated for YouthView Awards’ Favourite Break Out Celebrity of 2014.

5. Award winning Jamaican Video Blog of the Year in 2012, The Duke Powell Show is funny, authentic Jamaican content with over 49,375 subscribers and over 5 198 302 views.

Popularly known for his video that went viral: “The Pum Pum Tun Up!”

6. Bella Blair is a comedic actress who writes and produces a lot of her own content. She also has a show on RETV called Bella’s Bizarre World. She was recently appointed the brand ambassador for Cran Wata. She boasts over 36,141 subscribers with over 3,690,984 views.

7. With over 15,900 subscribers, Wally British is the rawest talent on the roster. Her unorthodox preaching keeps fans engaged and screaming for more. Subject matter is very adult, so best suited for the 18 years or older crowd.

British would be a great candidate for a public awareness campaign around sex education or any subject matter centered around sex and reproductive health.

8. A modern day Louise Bennett, Carla Moore was inspired to start a channel devoted to sharing her love for her country after going away to study. Just recently, Carla presented a competition sponsored by Jamaica Jazz and Blues requesting video submissions of their best Mariah Carey impression. The winner received a 3-day pass to the event.

With over 10, 463 subscribers, she would be a great spokesperson for anything Jamaica.

9. MakeupbyPetiteSue showcases mostly makeup tutorials and weave reviews. Interesting note, she doesn’t wear foundation! She has over 5,996 subscribers and over 110,201 views on YouTube.

10. Mamachell is a well-poised, sassy media personality and lifestyle blogger who talks about everything from Teen Wolf to the Kartel Murder Trial. She would be great for partnering with brands targeting the entertainment or travel/tourism industry.

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Advertising, Marketing, Media, Social Media, Strategy

Why Traditional Media Still Matters

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Courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Traditional media is still relevant and necessary, particularly in a market where the internet usage is still dodgy. According to The World Bank, only 37.8% of the Jamaican population have access to the internet which in comparison to the U.S. (84% of the population have access to the internet) shows that we are still pretty far behind.

Mobile is steadily following suit, according to the Planning Institute of Jamaica’s Economic and Social Survey released in 2013. Mobile broadband subscribers totaled 2.8 million by June 2013. (See article reference here)

Regardless of the increase in mobile penetration, most of the content produced is customized for the users’ experience. Which basically means most of the information is in sound bite form.

So in order for the viewer to get an in-depth story, they still need to tune in to their local news. Most people also still value media entities as reputable sources of information. Not to mention the amount of hours commuters spend listening to the radio daily.

Looking forward however, integration and creating valuable content that will resonate with the Jamaican consumer will become the key to success for the media industry. Awareness and presence will no longer be enough and brands will need to make interactions as personalized as possible.

You may have already noticed how many media houses and personalities heavily use social media. For example, ZJ Sparks has over 42,000 followers on Twitter (she won the 2014 Caribbean and Social Media Award for Best DJ on Social Media) and usually tweets during air time encouraging her Twitter followers to tune in.

The show NCB’s Capital Quest, is another great example of the integrative approach. NCB Capital Quest is a reality TV show about Small Medium Enterprise (SMEs) business owners competing for a chance to win an equity investment of up to 50 million dollars.

Social media icons appear on-screen throughout the show, reminding users to engage using the hashtag #NCBCapitalQuest. NBC’s Twitter account interacts with viewers as they share their views on social media during air time. Past episodes and more information about the show are posted on their website so viewers can watch again– keeping the brand “top of mind”– even after airtime.

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Branding, Marketing, Social Media

When QR Code Marketing Works

In advertising, QR codes (otherwise known as Quick Response Codes) are the last thing that marketers want to use these days. Issues like: the scanner doesn’t work or issues with downloading the code reader are usually the main reasons why marketers shy away.

With the improvement of the smart phone technology, things could be looking up for QR codes. Here are a few instances where QR code marketing could be effective:

You optimize the user experience: Make the time to scan worth their while. For their Valentine’s Day Promotion, ATL Automotive  (Jamaica’s leading automotive group dealer) posted a simple black & white full-page press ad in the Observer, with a QR code and a “call-to-action” message: Scan your code for a chance to win tickets to see “Fifty Shades of Grey” on Valentine’s Day! #FiftyShadesofAudi

 

The idea that you can win a coveted ticket to the “most talked about movie of the year” has an air of excitement to it.

It has to add value: If the code is leading to a coupon, discount, a chance to win offer or a more in-depth insight into the brand then I say by all means use it. However, if your code is just leading to the home page of a website or your Facebook page, skip it.

Did I scan the code to for a chance to win the tickets? Unfortunately, I did not. They did post the code on their Instagram page and I typed in the url. It took me to a mailing list subscription.

However, the black and white ad also offered a hashtag, #50ShadesofAudi which encourages the conversation to continue on social media.

It suits the brand:  According to Mashable, “The QR Code was invented in Japan by the Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave in 1994 to track vehicles during the manufacturing process, and was originally designed to allow components to be scanned at high-speed.”

For ATL Automotive, which is a company who sells cars, the idea of using something  that was once used to track vehicles is poetic.

Christian Grey also mentions Audi in the book. Also poetic.

Alternatives to QR codes? SMS short codes, for one can be really effective. Do you think QR codes can work in advertising? Leave me your comments.

 

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blogging, Branding, Marketing, Social Media

How Do You Do Social: Christopher Lai : “The Lai Detector”

971506_10201383913101056_1160943589_nStats on Facebook and Twitter

Facebook likes  – 6,796 at the time of writing

Blog hits – over  391,567 (began blogging December 2013)

My eBook, The Lai Detector, made the top 100 on Amazon’s bestseller list for the category Love, Sex & Marriage 

 How has social media helped your career?

“It’s hard to imagine winning Best Writing on a Blog at the Caribbean Blog Award without the use of social media. Facebook, in particular, helped to expand my readership as viewers liked, shared and commented on my articles. Additionally, social media easily facilitated communication between myself and readers… we discussed issues about relationships and learned from each other.”

And last question, what advice would you give others trying to make a name for themselves?

“As an unknown writer, you will get the run around — the opportunities won’t exactly be pouring in. But that’s okay. If it’s your passion, just keep writing. Don’t do it just for the recognition, don’t do it for the fame, don’t do it for money. If you’re consistent in what you do, in this day and age with the help of social media you will be noticed.”

Christopher Lai received an award for Best Writing on a Blog at the Caribbean Blog Awards this past December for his blog, “Living the Lai”. Be sure to follow him on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheLaiDetector and check out his ebook, “The Lai Detector” is available on amazon.com 

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