My Personal View: Three Mistakes Malahoo Made

A couple of weeks ago, Marlene Malahoo Forte, current Attorney General of Jamaica and Member of Parliament for  St. James, West Central posted on Twitter that she considered the Embassy flying the rainbow flag at half mast, disrespectful to Jamaica. See the original tweet below:

malahoo-tweet-loopNow this tweet leaves much to interpretation but what we can take from it is that because there is an archaic law against buggery, the U.S. Embassy should not in any way promote the LGBT community, which the rainbow flag represents. For the record, the U.S. Embassy was flying this flag to show solidarity for the people who lost their lives in the Orlando shooting where 49 people died and 53 injured.

We can argue if this argument is valid or not depending on where you stand with gay rights, etc. but that’s not the point of this post.

She went further to post this tweet on June 19th after the backlash she received for the first tweet:

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Here’s what we can learn from Malahoo’s mistakes:

  1. Be aware of online reputation management: As a dignitary or person in a high-profile position, its important to recognise a thing called online reputation management. This is where you monitor and manage you reputation in the online space. It’s fine to have a personal opinion but to broadcast that opinion to your 1,600 followers is not necessarily the way to go.
  2. Have one account: Malahoo currently has two social media accounts. One that is for her “personal views” and one that seems to represent her professional. However, she’s using both in the same way so its not really clear which is which. Doesn’t matter which account you tweet from Malahoo, you will still be judged accordingly.
  3. Have a crisis communication plan: If you do mess up, make sure to have a plan in place. The best way to handle it is to respond to each comment with an explanation and apology.
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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!

 

 

Interview with Dean Morris: The Vinelist

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What is the Vinelist?
The Vinelist is a unique way to find the stores who have what you want to buy without the hassle of leaving home or doing an extensive search yourself.
How does it work?
Currently by visiting the site www.thevinelist.com and clicking “Sign in/Signup” you’ll be lead to a sign p form where you can sign to the vinelist. You can then upload a picture, link or search for an image that matches what you’re looking for. Then you enter the description of a product you’re interested in.
 The system then searches through known merchants who would best meet those wants, and notifies the customer with their stocks and promotions. Hundreds of users have already signed up and requests are submitted daily, evidence to the fact that a demand for the service is existent.
As a consumer how can I benefit from the Vinelist?
 We’re making life easier for our users. The convenience of not having to search for items, to spend possible hours on the road looking for that phone case or even that dress for that event. We’re allowing our users to never settle for anything less than they want, while making their lives easier.
As a business owner how can listing with the Vinelist improve business?
 The Lifeblood of any business is sales. We enable businesses to make sales by informing users of your product offering when the business reply to a want.
 
We’re fundamentally aimed at solving problems that merchants face every day; a depletion in foot traffic and sales. As websites like Amazon continue to grow and local couriers make it easier for consumers to purchase and ship products online, merchants who sell the same products locally are losing business simply because not enough people know they exist.
Merchants seeking to establish an online presence and securing the fraction of the market that is tech based can utilize the portal to meet their own target market, and execute marketing and promotional strategies. The first official release of the product aims to host several value added features such as a social interface that allows consumers to share, interact and exchange wants, a smart keyword library to notify merchants of new demands, as well as key data points used to understand the demands of the market; valuable data for the growing business.
 For now the team is using its beta to learn what values are important to both consumers and merchants so that they can keep building the right product for the current market.
How many businesses have signed on so far? How many are you projecting will sign on in the future?
 So far 15 businesses  have signed up, and based of the projections that we have made,in  2016 this number will increase to about 50 as our capacity increases.
Is it mostly clothing apparel and shoes? What other items are you looking to include?
For now, Fashion and Technology has been our major focus. But we sometimes get some want that are outside which we fulfill happily because  it helps to validate our business model. As the wants for an industry become more focused and if the data we have gathered points to a particular industry or sector we will invite the player of that industry on to our platform.

Are Mobile Wallets and Internet Banking Safe?

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Source: Shutterstock

With the immersion of cyber attacks wreaking havoc on the world, especially in the US lately, (The U.S. personnel chief just resigned after a data breach, causing personal information of employees and family members to be disclosed) are mobile wallets or the future of online banking truly safe?

Mobile Internet Usage Growing

I’m not a techie, but try to keep abreast of the varying technologies, particularly as it relates to Jamaica’s advancements. According to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica Population Census (published in 2011) and the World Economic Forum: The Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015, 75.50% of Jamaica’s population have a mobile phone but have never used mobile internet. However, 14% of those people are accessing the internet using their mobile phone and this is increasing as more wi-fi hotspots become available and people are catching on to the convenience of it.

Once they start to come to depend on their mobile as we know many of us have, it may be safe to say that mobile wallet will be more convenient for most than even internet banking. With varying threats on our cyber security in Jamaica (a few weeks ago JIS and some other government agencies were hacked) how can we know for sure mobile wallet will be considered safe?

Right now the latest mobile wallet on the market is Connec, which allows you to pay for bills, send money to other people, even top up your phone! No bank account needed. However, with 8.4% of Jamaica’s population using internet banking, what motive would a Jamaican have to use the services of a mobile wallet?

Majority of Jamaicans still Trust Traditional Banking Methods over Internet Banking

As much as Jamaicans will say that they don’t trust that our banking services have the safety measures required to prevent hacking, and still prefer the old methodology of going to the bank and standing in the line to do their banking, some would argue, that’s really not a bad thing after all.

YouTube Show called Bredin Code Makes Waves

Have you ever heard of the MTV show, “Guy Code”? It’s a basically a show that discusses things that appeal to men, everything from, “how to break up with a girl” to hygiene tips and the list goes on.

Online Influencing Offline

A few Jamaican friends decided to come together to start their own online tv show, called “Bredrin Code”. What makes this even more interesting is that it’s not just for laughs. These kids are using the show to promote their party on July 30th at the Quad. This shows the ingenious way online can influence offline. Watch one of the episodes below:

Bikram Yoga Challenges you to Mek a Muscle

CI2DAUaW8AQ-J_9Everybody’s wondering about this #EveryMickleMekaMuscle Challenge. What is it about really? Well it’s pretty simple, each day this month Bikram Yoga is challenging you to “strike a pose”! A yoga pose that is. Very similar to the days of planking, this challenge also invites you to take the time to practice your yoga poses.

Strike a Pose

It’s a great initiative to get people active as well as, great exposure for Bikram Yoga. Take a picture every day this month of your pose using the hashtag #EveryMickleMekAMuscle.

The Way to Measure Social Media

Source: Social Media Today

Measurement of Social Media 

When we look at all the stuff brands are doing online to get attention above all the noise, we need to look at innovative ways to stand out in a crowd. However at the end of the day, it comes down to the ROI (Return On Investment).

As we look at the ROI of social media to dictate how a campaign is successful or not, we must also look at the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) :

Is the campaign successful in terms of getting the traction it should?

Are we getting a “buzz”?

Are people sharing organically?

Are people talking about it online as well as offline?

Brand Loyalty & Sales Spike

Surely, the impact of a campaign is no longer in just how much likes it receives. We also need to look beyond, not just if it is resonating with the target but if there is an increase in brand loyalty and ultimately, sales.