Social Media Wednesday: Lupita

Lupita-WikipediaShe has, at this point in her career, received over 30 awards from almost every prestigious award giving entity in Hollywood. Her name is currently being mentioned more times than seasoned Hollywood actresses, many of whom are singing her praises. Not unless you have been living in the earth’s core for the past three months, Lupita Nyong’o is showing the world that Kenya has more to offer than long distant runners, the Maasai, wildlife and being the homeland of the first black president of the U. S of A.

With an average of 18, 000 Google searches per month (Google Adwords), information of this multi-award winning actress is very much sought after. Note that this number is not inclusive of searches made on online entertainment sites and other mediums that share information about this rising celebrity. This is attributed to her performance in 12 Years a Slave by Director Steve McQueen.

instagramSocial media is an important tool in that it allows users access to information in real time.  If any given person wants to know what Lupita is wearing to award ceremonies, who she has being hanging out with or what nail polish colour she fancies, a quick look at her Instagram account will answer your questions. A great deal of the information shared on social media about the star, text or visual, is not available on other sites.

It is worthy to note that Lupita does not always run her Twitter or Facebook accounts since most tweets and posts are in third person. Her certified Twitter account has only been active since early January 2014 but currently has more than 33, 300 followers. Lupita has been on Instagram since December 2013 and currently has over 125, 000 followers while  her Facebook fan page that has been running since December 2012 recently reached over 112,000 likes.

In Lupita’s case, Facebook is the preferred social media tool not only because of how long it has been running but also because Facebook allows integration with other social media sites especially Twitter and Instagram. Facebook pages also allow for more information to be share than is possible on Twitter and users can interact freely with the information shared.

However, given the numbers, Instagram is the most used social media site that fans use to gain information about the star. It could be that a picture is indeed worth a thousand words, wouldn’t you agree?

Uhuru-lupitaIn the new media age, many feel that if an event was not documented on social media then it never really happened. This could have prompted Lupita to join both Instagram and Twitter in order to remain relevant in today’s fast paced society. Fans can now reach her on the three popular sites whenever they want a piece of her.

 

Art of Presentation Making

Presentations are an effective way of relaying information to your audience as compared to speeches. There are certain elements in presentations that allow for audience engagement and the retaining of information long after the presentation is over. Here are eight things to keep in mind while creating your next corporate presentation.

1) Use Key Phrases

On your PowerPoint, Flash or Keynote presentation, use key phrases and add only essential information on the slides. Choose three or four important points regarding your topic and emphasize on them throughout the delivery. Limit the words on each slide and reduce the bullet points to three per slide; the surrounding ‘white’ space will make reading easier. Use simple language for quick reading.

2) Slide Layout

Slides need to be easy to follow. Put a title page where it should be and the remaining slides should have a coherent flow. Important information should be put near the top of a slide especially if you have a large audience. Those on the back rows are usually not able to see the bottom portions of slides. Pick slide designs that appeal to your target audience.

3) The writing

Punctuation clutters the slide while using all caps makes statements harder to read. It also causes you to lose the audience attention as they will feel they are being shouted at. Use simple and easy fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial or Verdana. Calligraphy will make statements almost impossible to read. Use a maximum of two different fonts; one for headings and the other for content. Fonts need to be large (24-30 pt) so that those at the back of the room can read easily.

4) Colours

Avoid white backgrounds and use lighter colours like beige because they are easier on the eyes. You can use a dark background if your main corporate colour is dark but remember to use a light text colour.  Experimenting with patterned or textured backgrounds is not advisable as it reduces readability. Also, keep the colour scheme consistent in all slides.

thevarguy.com

thevarguy.com

5) Slide Number

On average, a slide should be change every minute. Keep your slides to a minimum to avoid distracting your audience with constant changing of slides.

6) Visuals

Break up your presentation every ten minutes with demonstrations to re-engage the audience. Relevant photos, graphs and charts keep audiences interested in your presentation and provide another way for them to process information and keep them actively engaged. Use more pictures as they increase the retention of the message being conveyed. However, adding too many transitions and animations can be distracting.

7) Compatibility

You may not always have your machine with you so ensure your presentation can be viewed from any computer before you copy your presentation onto a flash disk or a CD.

8) Audience interaction

Ask for questions or feedback at the end of your presentation.

Office etiquette

Today’s cultural diversity in all business environments increasingly calls for good etiquette to all involved. There are rules and guidelines when it comes to dealing with people in an office context that should be observed in order to create a good first impression and maintain it. Notably, it is not easy to get along with all individuals in the workplace. Learning how to deal with difficult personalities is one of the crucial elements of work etiquette. No one likes an office showdown. It puts those involved and around in a potent atmosphere that is not conducive for work. Here are a few guidelines that you should observe as a professional.

Speaking

Whether speaking to a colleague or on the phone, always use a calm and clear tone. Raising your voice in anger or frustration is unprofessional and inappropriate. Such outbursts interfere with the work being done. Always be clear in your communication. Yelling is not the only way to get a message across no matter how difficult the other party is.

jobs.lovetoknow.com

jobs.lovetoknow.com

Another habit to avoid in the workplace is constant complaining or bad moods. Bring a positive attitude to the work environment and do not subject others to your rude or sarcastic remarks. Learn to say ‘no’ politely. Gossip is a fostered culture in many businesses and in itself is distasteful and equally unprofessional. Do not discuss an employee’s personal or professional life in their absence. The correct thing to do is speak to the person involved in private, and that is if you absolutely must give them your opinion/observation.

Interacting with co-workers

Treat everyone with respect at all times and in any exchange. Do not interrupt your workmates constantly and ruin their schedule and concentration. Though an occasional quick question is acceptable, schedule meeting times wherever possible. In an open cubicle set-up, respect your co-workers (reduced) privacy and quiet and avoid roaming around looking for chit-chat when you have less work. If a co-worker is constantly interrupting you or making too much noise, politely inform them, calmly and respectfully, the need to keep quiet. Never use a speakerphone in an open area or without shutting your door.

Personal grooming/space

Always be clean and neat and dressed according to what you profession demands. Though some places casual wear is acceptable, this does not equate to poor grooming. Do not do any grooming i.e. cutting your nails or painting them in your work area. Do so in the washrooms or at home. Keep your personal work areas neat and with professional decorum.

You are allowed to bring personal items into your space but remember anything displayed is a reflection of who you are. Also, do not take anything from other people’s work area without permission, and return everything borrowed with haste. In spaces shared (for example the kitchen or the conference room), be sure to clean up after yourself. Be mindful of others; if you have bad habits such as tapping your pen or fidgeting, do your best to stop. If you will eat in your cubical, fish or any foods with strong aroma would not be the polite dish choice to bring along with you. Observe table manners and eat in moderation in the office or during luncheons.

Friendships at work

Though making friends in the office is quite alright, be certain not to cross a fine line that leads to unprofessionalism. Your exchanges should be moderate and, if you have to, conduct personal issues or businesses in a brief and discreet manner. Above all, remember that your employer is paying you for your time, focus and work done with excellence.

This goes without saying; leave your personal life at the door. Don’t let personal problems between you and a colleague affect the work environment.

 

If you want to make your way up the corporate ladder, emulate the dressing and the mannerisms of those in positions you wish to occupy.

 

2013 Social Media Stats

If you are not getting desired results from your engagement on social media, it may be that you are using the wrong medium to communicate to your audience. Below is an infograph courtesy of Digital Buzz  to enable you to create more effective social media strategies or campaigns this year. Once you know the facts and figures the rest should come easily.

Image

What does your website say about you?

What your website says about you is not limited to the content but rather the impression it gives your users. There are a lot of articles regarding this topic and after research, this article will reveal some of the most important aspects that companies should consider when creating a website. This may also serve as an evaluation sheet to better your company’s image.

melanieclarkcommunications.com

melanieclarkcommunications.com

Illustration

If you show up to a board meeting in jeans and a t-shirt while your colleagues are in business suits, the attitude that you convey (intentional or not) is that you do not care how those in the room perceive you. They in turn will be less inclined to have you participate in the meeting as they will deem you unprofessional and not trustworthy.

The design

Before a user reads your content, no matter how life changing it may be, they first notice the design then place a judgement on your company. If your presentation is simple and crisp (like Apple.com) then they will know your company is professional and high-end. If your information is cramped (little white space) then a user will assume your company unprofessional or inexperienced.

When choosing a look for your company, keep two things in mind: the essence of your business and your audience. The site of a company that offers services and that of a company that sells products will not have the same design. Once you have the design, be consistent. Also, value user satisfaction above all else; if your users need brain power when accessing your site then you have it all wrong. Lastly, do not forget to add your company logo to the design.

Visuals are also important but be mindful of how you arrange them on the page.

The content

However, do not focus too much on your design and forget the content. People do come to your website looking for content, not admire the design.

promobubble.com

promobubble.com

Content should be simple, clear and precise. Use headings and bullet lists to make your site more user-friendly. If you have bad grammar or are not confident in your ability to write good content, consider hiring a professional. That way they can use SEO (search engine optimization) to increase visibility on search engines. After all, you have to send money to make money.

The website and its accessibility

Invest in a good website. If your website looks cheap then people will view you as cheap and prone to shortcuts. If your content is out of date, people will wonder if you are still in business. Get someone with knowledge and skill in web design; people can tell when a site is not professionally done.

Make sure that the visitor can access information within the first few seconds: elements like introduction, products or services and contact details should be clearly indicated. If not, the visitor will go to other pages or links.

Some websites are accustomed to having pop-ups advertising a product or asking the user to sign up for newsletters. As a company you should avoid such as it tells the user that you are more inclined toward sales and traffic rather than user experience. This interruption or delay will put off a user and have them looking for another site that contains similar content. Also, websites that force you to log in using an app such as Facebook or Gmail should be reconsidered. Though a user may choose to do as asked, any design that obscures information or delays a users access to information takes away from the experience. Not unless your content is one of a kind, visitors will not be quick to return to your website.

Web designers should also consider web accessibility when designing a page. Many times we have to access a website through our phones. That said designers need to work to enable all users to access a website, not just those with expensive smartphones.

If your website resembles this site in any way, it is time for an upgrade.

world's worst website

http://www.theworldsworstwebsiteever.com/

New Year’s Strategy

glasshousej

wallives.com

Mwaka mpya mambo mapya (new year, new things)- is that not how the saying goes?

The Kenyan business landscape is becoming increasingly competitive especially so with many start-ups, and success stories, emerging in the past year. For both the veteran and the start-up, evolving and adapting to the times is essential or face the possibility of being phased out in 2014.

Visibility is important and any PR practitioner can tell you that. How many people clicked on the link? How much traffic did the website/blog get? How many people saw the post? When trying to promote a brand, many people think in terms of social media vs. traditional media. One should consider all available channels and platforms including online communities, specific media, forums and offline events. The channel or platform used will be dependent on your target audience.

Also before embarking on a launch or campaign, list all the possible ways you can reach any given member of the demographic and use a combination of listed methods to inform and eventually motivate said member to take action. You can also consider more subtle techniques of propagating a message other than traditional media purchases and ads. Social media now offers paid content promotion. These techniques should be coupled with traditional PR tactics.

Distribution of any given message through digital channels using photos, infographs and videos should not only be creative but also digital-friendly. Being a source of insightful, informative and high-quality content attracts potential users and makes you a source of authority in your niche.

If you are a start-up and have funding from one or more investors/donors, be sure to let them share their view on the product/ service you want to introduce to the market. This will earn you a community of supporters who will be particularly important during a launch. Be sure to remain accountable not only to the investors/donors but to your company as well.