The Mark Namakando Experience!

We were happy to introduce a young Zambian musician to our audience when Mark Namakando (above) was our Guest on the most recent edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring Jay-Hillz. Our show airs every Sunday evening at 20.30 hrs for an hour on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station. The show is a lively mixture of music and chat, hosted by one of Livingstone’s best loved DJ’s – Milli Jam, ably assisted by up and coming Jay Hillz, co-host of 107.7 fm’s popular Breakfast Show.

Mark told listeners that he is a rap artist and that he mostly performs with another young artist known as PMT – they perform under the name of ‘3 Lettered Kings’. The boys have so far recorded about seven tracks. Mark explained that he raps mostly in English but sometimes in his native Lozi language ‘about how I look at life and society, as well as how I feel’. “Do you rap about relationships?” Milli Jam wondered. “Not yet” came the reply. “Are you in a relationship?” MJ persevered with this line of questions and shyly Mark admitted that yes he was. He revealed his age as 20 and told us that he had completed Grade 12 at Hillcrest Technical Secondary School in Livingstone. (One of Livingstone’s best secondary schools). After Grade 12 Mark had studied for a certificate in marketing from a Livingstone college.

As Mark had revealed to listeners that one of his Zambian musical influences was CRISIS, the guys dropped his latest ‘That’s The Way It Is’ on the show. We also played tracks from Davido, Chris Brown ft Aliyah, General Ozzy, Sam Smith, Martin Garrix, 5 Seconds of Summer and Faul ft Wa Dad vs Pneu.

Mark revealed that he, like Jay Hillz, is a big fan of Liverpool FC in UK and both were delighted that their team had that evening risen to the top of the EPL. They were totally convinced that the team could stay there until the end of the season and become champions. Mark and Jay Hillz revealed they had met as co-members of Zambezi 107.7 fm’s ‘Fan Club’, when they had auditioned for the station on the same day. They had remained firm friends ever since. Mark told us that after his marketing course he had spent some time on attachment with Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation in sales, but had found it tough selling advertising on the national broadcaster to small Livingstone companies. Although they had wanted him to continue after his attachment he had decided to stop and help run the family business.

Still single and the youngest of nine siblings, Mark said that in ten years’ time he hoped to be his own boss, to have started his own business and to have finished his marketing studies, as well as being a big success in music. We wished this personable, likeable, hard working young man all the best in the future and thanked him for appearing on our show.


The Chris Tours Experience

It was a pleasure to welcome back Chris Mweetwa (above), director of Chris Tours, as our Guest on the latest edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild. The Experience is our weekly Sunday night radio show airing at 20.30 hrs CAT on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station. The show is a lively mixture of latest Zambian and international music as well as chat with our Guest of the week. If one of our listeners can quickly text us the name of the artist singing on our ‘oldie of the week’ there’s also the chance to win dinner for two with drinks at the lodge – and a swim if the weather’s up for it and the water’s warm!

Chris told listeners that when he’d last appeared on our show, some three years ago, he was a taxi driver on the verge of completing a contract with the vehicle’s owner which would then give him ownership of that car. He revealed that in the three intervening years he had completed that contract and had then successfully established a tours and taxi company, Chris Tours. He was now the proud owner of a fleet of six vehicles, three mini-buses and three taxis. He had managed to get a loan to start off the expansion and had progressed from there. As well as the regular taxi business, the company offers airport transfers, transfers to any point in Zambia and surrounding countries, as well as vehicle hire and safaris, especially to Chobe NP in Botswana. Chris gave listeners details of his website and Facebook page and mentioned that his company handles all Chanters Lodge Clients to Botswana, as well as staff transport for the lodge.

The music on the show was great. We opened with latest tracks from Avicii and Leona Lewis. George dropped Zambian tracks from Macky 2 and Tyce. Milli Jam chose numbers from Ellie Goulding and One Direction. The prize of a dinner for two with drinks at the lodge to the first person to text us telling us who’s the artist on our oldie of the week, mentioned above, was not won on this show – George chose The Specials with a topical ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ a rather obscure if trendy single.

Chris revealed to listeners that he is married with 5 children, his eldest daughter is 15 and the youngest child just one year and 5 months old. Originally from Kalomo, north of Livingstone though still in Southern Province, Chris said he had been in Livingstone since he was 10 years old and had completed his education at Linda Secondary school in the city. He claimed he supported Arsenal FC in England while others present suggested he might have been forced to say this! He told listeners that he had recently returned from his first visit to Johannesburg and had been impressed with the multi lane highways as well as the Gauteng train in that city.

Asked where he would like to be and what he would like to be doing in ten years’ time, Chris said that he wanted to be in Livingstone having grown and expanded his excellent tour company. We had no doubt at all that he would succeed.


Marketing For Small Business

Seth Godin’s advice is always good. Here’s a piece from Inc Magazine to make you stop and think!

Seth Godin on the subject of marketing inside small businesses.

What marketing mistake do most small businesses make
They believe in the mass market instead of obsessing about a micro market. They seek the mass market because it feels harder to fail–there’s always one more stranger left to bother. It’s the small, the weird, and the eager that will make or break you.

What’s the right mix for social networking?
Comment less, contribute more, retweet none. We need you to be generous, not Dan Rather.

Why are most marketing messages so dreadful
Because marketing is an artifact of the industrial age, and the industrial age is about mass and volume and average stuff for average people, produced in bulk. Of course, once you have an assembly line in the works, you’re going to play it safe…

How can marketing and sales work more effectively together
The Gordian knot disappears the moment marketing commits to making remarkable products that sales finds easy to sell.

Why are your responses so brief
If I had worked less diligently on them, they would have been longer.

Note: Seth’s final response actually contains (in a hidden form) some of the best business advice on the planet: that it takes time and effort to create a pithy message.


Eazy Tee Rocks!

Despite our proximity to Zimbabwe we have had few, if any, Guests on the ‘Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George Kaufela Soulchild’ from our neighbouring country, so it was a pleasure to welcome ‘Eazy Tee’ (above, filming) aka Taurai Matsokotere on to the most recent edition of the show. The programme, sponsored by Chanters Lodge, airs on Zambezi 107.7 fm from 20.30 hrs CAT for an hour each and every Sunday night. Taurai is a highly rated DJ in the area with a wealth of international experience – on the side he’s also a graduate of Cape Town University and an entrepreneur in the world of graphic design.

Taurai told listeners that his company, based in Victoria Falls, Marvelworx Media, is involved in web hosting, print design, website design and television advertising. The company had initially been started up in Cape Town, but due to circumstances beyond his control he had been forced to return home to Zimbabwe and re-establish his business in his homeland. Milli Jam wanted to know how Eazy Tee had first become involved in the world of music, clubs and DJ’s and Taurai explained that he has many sisters and he had first begun playing tracks for parties at home. Impressively he also told us that he had paid his own way through University by playing at clubs in Cape Town. He told us of ‘Long Street’ in that city which has more than 60 clubs! He would play four clubs in one night in order to raise funds!

The music on our show was good, we opened with tracks from The Vamps and Fuse OMG. George played numbers from Zambian artists Chisamo and B’Flow. Milli Jam dropped tracks from Chris Brown and Naughty Boy. Our oldie of the week was the Dixie Chicks with ‘Travellin’ Soldier’ but it was a tough one, and no-one picked up the prize we give each week to the first person to text us with the name of the performing artist on the track. My pick of the week was Cher’s ‘I Hope You Find It’. We closed with Rihanna’s ‘What Now’ – amidst some studio amusement.

Milli Jam wanted to know what advice Taurai would give to aspiring, upcoming DJ’s (also telling us that he rated Eazy Tee in his top three all time DJ’s in the region – Milli Jam should know he’s been around the circuit and is highly rated himself). Eazy Tee told them to be careful with ‘Virtual DJ’ and that they should first learn the art of mixing with vinyl and CD’s before travelling the virtual route. He also told listeners that he is still single although ‘spoken for’ and that he has a 10 year old daughter Natasha Precious back in his home town Bulawayo. He had played clubs in more than 7 countries in the region and rated Circles in Ndola very highly in terms of audience reaction.

Eazy Tee told us that his own favourite music is soul and r and b and that he loves Mary J Blige and Tony Braxton. He had done the bungee jump and he had walked with lions. He liked cricket more than football. Asked where he would like to be and what he would like to be doing in ten years’ time, Taurai told listeners that he had a newly established advertising company called Tradeazy and he hoped in ten years’ time the company would be hugely successful.


Connect Africa

Thanks to Gill Langmead from Langmead and Baker for this good article!

Zambia’s pioneering rural telecommunications equipment and solutions company, Connect Africa, officially opened its Lusaka office on July 26th paving the way for a roll-out of services across the region. The company has chosen Zambia as its hub, which it plans to use as the springboard from which to launch its low cost, entrepreneur driven, information and communications technology (ICT) services to rural communities across southern Africa.

“Connect Africa is pioneering a new model of service delivery that puts rural people in control of their communications needs,” explained Connect Africa Special Projects Director Dion Jerling. “We see Zambia as the leading example of how state-of-the art technology can be harnessed to connect remote communities to the mobile phone network, empowering them to develop their livelihoods as a result.”

Mr Jerling was speaking at the formal opening ceremony for the company’s new office in Leopard’s Hill, Lusaka attended by senior government officials, industry executives and other dignitaries. The company is aiming to connect rural communities to existing mobile networks through the deployment of innovative low cost base stations that enable rural communities to share in the mobile boom sweeping through Africa.

Connect Africa harnesses Africa’s entrepreneurial spirit and recent technology innovations and infrastructure to enable rural people and rural communities across Africa to improve their quality of life and economic well-being. Delivery of education, agriculture and health services, along with other public and private sector services to rural communities, will be enhanced by the new connectivity, which uses pioneering “low tower, low power” technology. This, combined with the Connect Africa Service Centre concept, will create jobs and enhance rural communities, as well as providing a tool for government to gather feedback on the effectiveness of its services.

The strategy is part of Connect Africa’s “impact enterprise” model that aims to leverage innovative communication technologies for socio-economic development across Africa and beyond. Key to the model are service centres at each base station, run by local entrepreneurs who are able to provide services such as internet access, phone charging and business services to the community.

The low-cost base stations also keep capital costs to a minimum, enabling construction to be funded through a revenue-sharing model based on income generation.


Brilliant Marketing!

From Inc’s Steve Tobak – says it all as Inc usually does!

If you think marketing is all about B2B email, lead generation, social media, and advertising campaigns, then I seriously doubt if you’ll make it in the business world. Savvy executives and business leaders get marketing. They know it’s the key to business success. Steve Jobs (above) certainly did. Sure, he was Apple’s CEO, but more than anything, he was a consummate marketer. He understood that, more than anything, his job was to come up with products that people really wanted to use, even if they didn’t know it themselves. He also knew that product developers live for that sort of thing.

Indeed, Bill Davidow, a legendary Silicon Valley venture capitalist and former Intel executive said, “Marketing must invent complete products and drive them to commanding positions in defensible market segments.” He should know. He wrote the seminal book on high-tech marketing. David Packard, the iconic co-founder of Hewlett Packard, took an even broader view of the significance of marketing when he famously said, “Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.”

Marketing and business are synonymous. Some of the most powerful business strategies and concepts come from marketing. And they can be applied to any individual, product, or company. Here are seven from my experience in the high-tech industry.

You only need a focus group of one.
If it’s the right one. Crowd sourcing and collectivism may be popular these days, but business success is almost always the result of a simple idea by an individual or relatively small team. Apple’s executives never used focus groups. They had themselves.

The power of positioning.
In a competitive market, you either differentiate or die. Of the relatively few things you can actually control, positioning strategy comes second only to the product itself. How you position yourself, your products, your company, is perhaps the most powerful and underutilized tool for differentiating anything.

Control the message.

In a world of information and communication overload, controlling the message what you say and how you say it is a lost art. If you can boil complex concepts down to simple messages and stories people can connect with, that makes all the difference. Not only does every word count, but so does how and when you say it.

The customer is and has always been king.

That doesn’t mean you just do what they want. It means that you need to understand your audience, your customer base, and focus on giving them an experience with your company, its products and services, and its people, that will delight them and keep them coming back for more. In a world where just about everyone is focused on themselves, that’s how you stand apart.

You can’t win without a defensible value proposition.

If you can’t articulate what you bring to the market that nobody else has or does better than you, you won’t beat the competition. And that doesn’t mean you can just BS. If it doesn’t pass the smell test, if you can’t say it with a straight face, if customers don’t wholeheartedly agree that it’s true, forget it.

Brands still win.

Bob Pittman has run everything from MTV and Nickelodeon to Century 21 and Six Flags. While he was president and COO of AOL – back when that meant something – he said this: “Coca Cola does not win the taste test. Microsoft does not have the best operating system. Brands win.” Microsoft may not have the cache it did back then, but you know what he meant. Some say branding is dead. Don’t believe it. Nothing’s changed.

Competitive markets are a zero sum game.
It’s a competitive world. It takes a lot to win. The equation that determines the success of your product, your company, even your career, has many variables. Business is all about how effectively you use and control those variables, many of which are described above. I guess there are other ways to win, but then, you’re just making already tough odds a whole lot tougher.


Hotel Brands

Loved this from Mr. Larry Mogelonsky – CHA on HotelInteractive

When it comes to the hotel landscape, how people feel is far more important than what they think – by a factor of two. And that’s not all. Turns out that a hotel room purchase decision is more emotionally charged than when it comes to selecting an airline, choosing a brand of beer or buying a smartphone. Moreover, the three most powerful hidden drivers of these emotional choices were excitement, surprise and acceptance, of which hotels have plenty of room to improve.

That’s according to a study conducted by Protean Strategies, which shows some very fascinating results as to how consumers are engaging major hotel brands as well as a fresh perspective on where to take your brand in the near future. A further derivation of the analysis distinguished eight major hotel chains by class with premium ‘inspiring’ brands (Hilton, Hyatt and Westin), middle tier ‘competent’ brands (Marriot, Sheraton and Wyndham) and discount ‘familiar’ brands (Best Western and Holiday Inn). The study identified what each class was doing right and where they can develop relative to the three chief drivers of emotional decision making.

With the inspiring brands that is, ones which already excites and amazes akin to a rousing leader – gaining acceptance is the biggest challenge. For luxury hotels, there’s not enough balance between the exhilarating aspects and the personal connection. As such, many brands come off as pretentious and arrogant. If your property falls into this category, think about how you can bridge the gap between guests and your services, and ease people into your hotel experience.

For the competent brands, the problem appears to be a dominance of rationality. These middle-of-the-road hotels are perceived as hardworking, discerning and trustworthy. However, while the expectation holds these brands are of quality value, they are coming off as unpleasant. There’s a definite lack of emotional connectivity. More should be done to instill a sense of warmth to foster personal relationships to each hotel.

Familiar brands are almost a mirror image of the dilemmas faced by inspiring brands. Discount hotels relish in acceptance but lack excitement and consumer boredom sets in. The study finds that these brands need to add some flair and rethink how they deliver modern thrills. Such hotels need to be more active and bold in their presentation.

Hotel brands are about feelings no matter which way you try and sell people on benefits and otherwise logical choices. Aim to make your décor, staff attitudes, amenities, features, website and advertising copy all congruent around one dominant and emotionally charged theme.

The survey was done using Hotspex’s proprietary MarketSpex™ methodology and a sample survey of 800 North American travelers, the researchers have found that choosing a hotel is dominated by emotional drivers (67% of the decision process) – such as connection, warmth, excitement and pleasure – over rational features and benefits (33%).


Facebook For Business

Facebook has become an indispensable tool for business. Why? Because there are a billion people interacting there. Also because your friends, relatives, and most importantly, your competition, are interacting, creating great relationships and building trust, in this global community. Did you know that Facebook is primarily a consumer-driven community? And most of them are savvy enough to smell (and block) a disingenuous marketer a mile away. We asked author and speaker Brian Basilico for his top five Facebook “dont’s” for your business. What are your pet peeves? Go ahead, add to our list!

1. Don’t Post and Run

People talk. A lot. Either you are part of the conversation, or you’re going to be the topic of conversation (that’s not always a good thing!). You can’t get away with simply posting information that is only about you. Be part of the conversation by liking and commenting on everyone’s responses to your posts, and to other relevant posts. If others’ comments are negative, try having a direct-message chat to smooth out any questions or problems that people may have with you and your business.

2. Don’t Only Be a Business

If you own a small business, people expect you to communicate in person. They want to know that you are real and have a life, with passions and struggles, just like they do. Having a personal profile is key to being successful on Facebook. If you have only a business page, people will feel like you are just there to make noise. Worse yet, treating a personal profile as a business profile is not only against Facebook user agreements, but also the fastest way to get hidden or un-friended!  Be real on your page and personal profile. Make occasional mention of your pets, hobbies, and other things that create human connections. When it’s all about business, it just gets boring!

3. Don’t Post About Politics or Religion

If you want to alienate about 50 percent of your audience, then creating posts about your political and religious views is the fastest way to do it. In business, you need to stay neutral – at least fairly neutral. Nobody is telling you not to have beliefs, values, or opinions, but you run a risk when sharing them openly on social media. Whether you are conservative or liberal, pro- or anti-anything, keep that limited to personal and off-line conversations.

4. Don’t Expect Anything in Return

If you want to have an impact in social media you’ll want to find or create content that creates responses, likes, shares, and comments. You need to work hard at it and monitor your content well. Don’t be offended if your posts get little to no response, just learn from that what didn’t work for your audience. You may post a lot of duds before gaining meaningful traction.

5. Don’t Anticipate Immediate Success

Most people don’t ask their first date to marry them, but that’s how some people treat social media.  They don’t take time to focus on the relationship and think that simply posting messages should yield results.  Most relationships take time to nurture.  It’s taken years for some to see predictable and measurable results.  Be patient and continue to learn what enhances your relationship with your fans and followers. Do more of what works, less of what does not, and learn to know the difference. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and colleagues what they like and what they don’t; and don’t take their responses personally!


Generation Y

Ignore ‘Generation Y’ at your peril, says a recent piece in HotelInteractive. Here’s some of the piece.
Generation ‘Y’ is celebrated for its youth, momentum, propensity for bold statements and for always going to new places. That’s how Starwood describes Aloft, a relatively new generation of its hotels being welcomed into the hospitality world. A baby born in June 2008, Aloft Hotels could well be called the ‘Millennials’ of the marketplace. This upstart is defined by loft-like interiors, dynamic public spaces for socializing without a loss of privacy, a bar scene showcasing up and coming music talent and guest rooms offering easy hookup to personal media.

So it comes as no surprise that Aloft Hotels are, in fact, something of an architectural counterpart to the very generation of guests they target: travelers born sometime in the early 1980s and beyond, now ripening into successful and peripatetic young adulthood. These Millennial Generation guests are gaining recognition as an enviable catch for anyone, and Aloft in particular. The brand recognizes that youthful thinking isn’t just found in the very young. “Who is actually coming to our door?” “As you know, this model appeals to a larger variety of the population, depending on their mindset. The self-driven early adopter, tech-savvy social person isn’t just limited to an actual age segment.” Say Aloft.

Indeed, as Millennials come of age, suitcases in hand, they become a force the greater industry cannot ignore. Even the most traditional bed and breakfast segment has had to come to grips with the question of whether to shake the dust off its doilies, and strip its floral wallpaper, judiciously, to attract them.

“It’s not that baby boomers are exiting, they are still going to travel,” said Milton Pedraza, chief executive officer of the Luxury Institute, a ratings and research company that focuses on high-end branding. “But the emerging Gen X and Gen Y, the Millennials, are traveling too. Their world is so interconnected, they learn about new destinations and want to go sooner than we ever did as baby boomers. Global travel today is second nature, especially to these American consumers.”

“And unlike the backpack-toting, hostel-focused youngsters of their predecessor generations”, said Pedraza, “they are not into roughing it. They want to experience luxury and at least a minimum level of quality in the premises and amenities. They are not willing to compromise on that and they shouldn’t. The world has much higher standards now for travel and hospitality and a lot of options.” The rapid expansion of Aloft bears this out. Some 63 hotels have been launched so far, with another five to open this month.
Generation Y is poised to become the largest consumer buying group. They are a very quickly growing group defining the present and will continue to define our future. But inns and bed and breakfast establishments, which grew popular by serving up tidy slices of the past, have been rethinking their Millennial strategies too. The inn and B&B segment is the market’s most Millennial friendly because of its easy flexibility. You always have to be conscious of who is the next traveler, and how do we maintain the balance of appealing to our current guests while appealing to our future guests. Finding something that appeals to everyone. B&Bs can do that. You are not coming to a hotel where the whole hotel appeals to one type of traveler.

But whether the property is an inn, a major hotel or even a cruise line or tour, the ingredients for appeal are the same. “You need to have a bold customer culture, something that differentiates you and the way you deliver your experience,” said Pedraza. “The way people greet you, check you in – the people you interact with have to create a fabulous human experience.”

In the end, he said, it comes down to living up to the Millennials’ own expectations. “They think: ‘You have collected data on me, you know my needs and my desires and you had better deliver them, or I will consider your kind a dinosaur in the digital age.’

So don’t neglect the Millennials, they are the future.”


Social Media – Do You Need It?

Another interesting piece from HotelInteractive, this time from Megan Sterritt. I’ve shortened it to bring out the highlights.

1) How can Social Media help me? Do I need it?
Whether it’s for branding, to reach media for coverage or directly get in front of eligible consumers, social media marketing is an effective strategy for companies/brands to capture users in all phases of the shopping process. In today’s world, consumers demand honest, accurate, timely and engaging information.

Branding: You control your message. Social channels take you direct to your consumer so you can control 100% of what you say to them. But, as Evision stated in a recent report, “sell yourself (softly).” Meaning, talk about your features and benefits briefly and selectively. Your social content should not be all about you, all the time. You also control how you look to consumers. Make sure your brand personality is consistent across all channels.

Brand Awareness
: You control how many people see your message and hear about your brand. By tagging and other methods for extending reach, it’s really up to you the number of times your potential consumer hears and learns about you and what you have to offer. With one billion monthly active users on Facebook and over 300 million on Twitter, a brand is not limited to the average 30K magazine circulation.

Reach Influencers: Social media influencers do just that – influence consumers to act (e.g. discussion, purchase, recommend, etc). They could be print journalists, broadcasters, bloggers or anyone that others see as a point of reference. And while traditional PR is responsible for reaching out to influencers on their home court (at the magazine, TV station, on the blog, etc.), these same influencers usually congregate together on social media during Tweetchats. A tweetchat is a discussion between a group of people about a certain topic on Twitter, normally following a specific hashtag during a set time.

Example: the #TNI (Travelers’ Night In) tweetchat at 3:30 pm every Thursday gathers many travel writers and travel influencers together to discuss a specific travel topic – this is perfect for hotels or travel companies looking for publicity. #Foodchat is another, perfect for restaurants or food brands. (also #TTOT Travel Talk On Tuesday – ed)

Build Brand Ambassadors: Social Media can help brands personalize a customer’s experience – in a unique and immediate way – like no traditional platform. The Four Seasons Lanai crafts a unique turndown amenity telling guests to tweet them during their stay. When on property, if a guest posts that they’re interested in dining or going to the spa at the resort, the resort can send them directly to the reservations page. Not only does it make the experience easier for the guest, it gets them to purchase at the hotel instead of next door. The more you engage with a person, the more likely they are to be happy with their experience and SHARE the experience with others.

Reputation Management: Social channels are a convenient way for your customers to give feedback. They also allow you to more easily monitor and respond. If a person goes out of their way to say something about you on social media, they want you to know. In his book The New Influencers, author Paul Gillin said, “Conventional marketing wisdom long held that a dissatisfied customer tells ten people. But…in the new age of social media, he or she has the tools to tell ten million.”

Don’t give a negative reviewer additional ammunition to continue talking badly about you because you don’t respond. Always respond, and do it honestly. If it’s a review on Tripadvisor or Yelp, positive and negative reviews should be addressed ASAP. Approach negative reviews with a solution, and positive with appreciation. There is nothing like saying Thank You to someone that likes you. That will make them ten times more your brand advocate.

SEO & Increased Traffic to Website
: One of the three core elements of Search Engine Optimization is popularity, which is the sheer number of inbound links to a website. Using a shortened URL (that’s relevant) at the end of your tweets or posts will drive visitors to your website. In addition, producing good content naturally attracts back links and social signals (such as Tweets and Likes) that tell search engines that your content is popular with actual beings, further building up your site’s credibility for the crawlers.

2. How often do I need to be on social media
Simple answer: every day. Every day you should be monitoring discussion on your channels. See you later snail mail. Customer service is 24/7. If someone poses a question, they expect an answer almost immediately. And, going back to reputation management, reviews need to be replied to ASAP.

When it comes to disseminating new content, it depends on the channel. One should not post on Facebook every day. The #1 reason for un-liking on Facebook is “cluttering the newsfeed.” Carefully craft your posts, and space them out, to engage your consumer without annoying them. On the other hand, Twitter is a channel you should be publishing from at least several times a day.

3. How long does it take to show results?

WOW images can create overwhelming responses immediately, but to create true brand advocates a good six months should be expected.

4. What is included in a typical social media campaign?
There is no cookie cutter campaign model for companies or brands looking to embark on social media. The components of a social media strategy should be reflective of the type of company and its business objective. Whether its brand awareness, website traffic, sales or strictly reputation management, the social media channels used will be different.

Social Media can yield many valuable rewards, including increased sales, but always remember the true nature of social media is engagement and creating brand advocates.

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