I took a walk in the beach today (as much as I hate the sea breeze and the sticky feeling afterwards) hoping to catch the sunset. 

Maybe see something beautiful and get some perspective. In a way it was soul searching exercise, as I I was searching for my soul. Lately I’ve begun feel like I might have lost it along the way…. anyhow the point of this is that looking at the sun changes nothing, maybe just maybe a momentary escape but never a permanent solution. 

This picture however gave me a thought: you maybe standing on shaky ground and the sand under your feet is shifting with every incoming wave BUT stand your ground and stand firm. 

The What’s and How’s of Social Media #SAQ

FAQ-plugins

Image source: elegantthemes.comow.

Social media has been around for a while now. While some of us have mastered it, we still have some questions that we should know the answer to by now but are afraid to ask at this point. Do not fear, with this post I hope to answer some of these questions so you don’t even have to ask.

What is a hashtag?

A hashtag is a link that is instantly created when the prefix # is added to a word or sentence (withNoSpaces). Its purpose is to aggregate all conversations which mention that word on that social network in real time. It’s important to use hashtags sensibly; overusing them can be annoying and distracting.

Pro tip: Use relevant tags with maybe a location tag depending on the post and the audience you want to reach.

If you want to read more, here is a good article: How To Use Hashtags Effectively Without Being Annoying

Why don’t all my posts go viral?

You can’t “make” something viral. Instead of beginning with this question, you should be thinking about how to build a community around your topic or brand. Put out messages that resonate with them, inspire them, inform them, and help build a long-lasting relationship between your page and the community. Posts that do “break the internet”, however, generally have a few major features: they contain a powerful message, tie-in with a strong cause, touch viewers emotionally, are usually easy to understand, and often have huge budgets backing them up. 😉

How can I activate the blue verified tick on my page?

You actually can’t, it’s not something we have control over. The verified badge is awarded by Facebook brand pages (and Twitter) once they authenticate the page from their end. The whole purpose of verifying an account or page is to identify the official representation in a sea of fake accounts.

Why shouldn’t my brand be on every social media platform?

Each network caters to a difference audience with different interests, and how they express these interests can vary from platform to platform. So choose wisely.

Jumping aboard all possible SM platforms can do more harm than good. It’s much better to have a consistent, reliable, and engaging presence on a few key social media networks rather than trying to do the same thing on too many and failing. When choosing which networks to maintain your brand presence on, keep in mind what each one is best for.

Facebook is a staple. Most users spend at least 18 minutes actively logged in, and it’s a great place to put out content, connect with new and existing fans, and create an enjoyable brand experience for users. Twitter isn’t as much a lead generation platform as much as it is a brand loyalty platform, so it’s a good place to go to communicate with fans one-on-one. LinkedIn is mainly for B2B, not B2C marketing, and  both Instagram and Pinterest are image-centric – so only go there if you’re dedicated to providing quality, high-resolution images and videos.

Do my regular (engagement) posts clash with or clutter my campaign posts when they are running side by side?

No, it doesn’t matter. In fact the reach generated from the engagement posts will help your campaign post to get more organic reach. There is a misconception that the Facebook page timeline needs to kept clean and in chronological order. While this is true, we sometimes do this for the wrong reasons. See, your fans aren’t going to come to your page often to view your content – it’s important to remember that your post’s first contact point with them is on their newsfeed. So whether or not your engagement posts are on while your campaign is running is irrelevant to your fans.

Where on earth has my Ticker gone?

In the last few months, a lot of people have mentioned that their Ticker (the little bar that keeps you updated on what is happening on Facebook in real time) has disappeared. Well, all you have to do is click on the little cog at the bottom of your chat bar and select “Show Ticker” from the menu that appears. You should now be able to see it again!

I hope this has been a useful post and answered at least some of your questions. If you have more questions you would like answers to, do drop a comment. I will try my best to ask them so you don’t have to! 😉

Co-authored by Havish Sivananthan.

 

 

 

The Rise of the Geekdom in the Sri Lankan Social Media Sphere

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Image source: bridalmusing.com

If you have been on the internet within the last couple of years, then you have probably noticed that your news feeds and twitter feed are becoming more and more populated with  superhero movie related posts and tweets or Game of Thrones references. Even brands are getting in on the action.

Internationally, this has been a trend since the first Marvel movies debuted and movies in general have dominated the social media platforms. However here in Sri Lanka as always, the trends have taken their time to catch up… but at last they seem to have arrived! Or have they?

I can assume two reasons for the rise of branded superhero and geek related posts:

  1. Agencies are hiring millennials who would naturally be more inclined to get excited about superhero movies because they are geeks themselves?
  2. Brand managers are seeing the shift in the digital media environment and are asking their agencies to act on it.

Whatever the reason may be, the rise of the social media geekdom is imminent.

For instance, the latest release by Marvel, Captain America: Civil War, saw a number of related posts, and the global hype around Batman vs. Superman saw brands in Sri Lanka on tying in with it on social media in order to capitalize on it. Whether it was by awarding fans movie tickets in exchange for engagement or creatively placing their products to try and relate to the fandom, it was hard to miss.

As an example, Clogard:

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I feel like it’s accurate that Cap would be a mouthwash because you know… “Language!” He’s going to clean your dirty mouth with Clogard mouthwash.

What does the future of the social media landscape in Sri Lanka look like? Is it ready to let out its inner geek?

More importantly, what are we as marketers going to do?

Let me know what you think.

 

 

 

 

 

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Facebook Live API: What does this mean to Marketers?

thecountrycaller.com

Image source: thecountrycaller.com 

Facebook live was first introduces the public first via only iOS, then gradually to Android and eventually to Pages. We saw various individuals, celebrities and brand getting on board the bandwagon and trying out the new feature that Facebook introduced.

Cleary Facebook Inc. has big plans for this new feature, which I should probably refer to as a platform since that is where this is eventually heading. This was further proven at this year’s Facebook F8 conference with the introduction of the Facebook Live API.

With the Facebook Live API publishers can get started with the Live API by contacting one of their Media Solutions partners. These partners have built video production, editing, and streaming products that publish directly to Facebook Live and bring live video to life with features like camera switching,

What can we do with the Facebook Live API?

1) Stream video from more than just your smartphone
The Live API lets you build video streams that mix multiple video and audio sources and introduce special effects. These can also include programmatic sources like games or screencasts.

2) Create new ways to interact with viewers
When you combine the Live API with Facebook’s Graph API, you gain access to your live video’s comments, reactions, and mentions. You can use this information to reflect viewer engagement in real time and create on-screen graphics that show live poll results, analyze comments, and enable comment moderation.

3) Go live from a standalone camera, or even a drone
The Live API can enable spectacular live videos through seamless hardware integrations. Hardware manufacturers can integrate with the Live API to let people go live directly from their devices.

A few  specs:

  • Video in maximum 720p (1280 x 720) resolution, at 30 frames per second.
  • You must send an I-frame (keyframe) at least once every two seconds throughout the stream.
  • Recommended max bit rate is 2500Kbps.
  • Video Length is 90 minute maximum length.

What is your opinion about Facebook Live? Is it the future of live streaming or is it just a farce that will fade away?

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OPPO Camera Phone introduces F1, “The Selfie Expert” to Sri Lanka

Colombo, Sri Lanka:  The 18th of February 2016 saw OPPO Camera Phone hosting a press conference at the hotel, Galadari, with the sole purpose of announcing the arrival of the brand new F1, the first of OPPO’s latest F Series. The launch was formerly announced on the 15th of January 2016 in Shenzhen, with online preorder facilities on OPPOStyle.com and Amazon opening to the public that same day.

Dubbed the “Selfie Expert,” the F1 features a standout 8 MP front-facing camera, a sophisticated photography platform, and powerful software specially designed to make capturing stunning selfies a breeze, all backed by OPPO’s spectacular build quality and design.

In addition to the outstanding selfie features, which include Beautify 3.0, Screen Flash as well as a Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 series Octa-core processor with 3GB RAM and 16GB ROM, which can be expanded by 128GB, the F1 also offers a great overall photography experience. The F1 sports a 13 MP rear camera with an ISOCELL sensor for reducing pixel noise. The camera also features phase detection autofocus (PDAF), delivering a focus time of just 0.1 seconds, equivalent to the performance of an SLR camera.

The camera is backed by OPPO’s own Pure Image 2.0+ camera platform, offering a huge range of filters and plug-ins for everyone from the aspiring photographer to the meme-making savant. Users can also experiment with Ultra-HD, which creates 50 MP photos composed of four consecutive photos, or other eye-popping features like Super Macro, HDR, Double Exposure, Slow Shutter, Super GIF and more.

OPPO believes beautiful photos need a beautiful phone to match. The 60-degree angles of the F1’s two eye-catching chamfered edges are the result of precise calculations and numerous rounds of testing to ensure an unbeatable hand feel without skimping on any of the visual impact. Meanwhile, the OPPO’s designers scoured three countries in search of the finest aluminum alloy for the back panel. After putting the Japanese material they chose through close to 40 polishing procedures, the designers were able to make good on their vision of giving the F1 a texture like “metal silk”.

On January 26th 2016, it was reported that OPPO sold 50 million units in 2015, representing a year-on-year growth of 67 percent. Propelled by this success, OPPO has broken into the top ten smartphone brands worldwide, ranking eighth in global market share, according to a recent report by TrendForce.

OPPO soared in 2015 on its “simple, focused” strategy, which prioritized product quality and user experience above all. Meanwhile, a host of innovative signature technologies, such as the VOOC Flash Charge quick-charging solution and a versatile, feature-packed camera platform, won the favor of consumers around the world.

Strategic brand partnerships have also been a contributor to OPPO’s rise in 2015, and are continuing to have a huge impact on the company’s global brand awareness. Among the most high profile of these is, OPPO’s ongoing three-year partnership with FC Barcelona, which has afforded opportunities to connect with the fans and followers of one of the most popular football clubs in the world. Meanwhile, a recently announced partnership with the International Cricket Council (ICC), which will serve to allow OPPO to play an influential role in the upcoming Twenty 20 World Cup 2016, is set to open up a host of exciting opportunities in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and a range of OPPO’s other cricket-loving markets.

“We are very excited about the introduction of the new F1 to Sri Lanka. We have had phenomenal response to the announcement of the launch on an international level and we expect to see a similar response here in Sri Lanka as well” stated Kevin Law the Brand Manager of OPPO in Sri Lanka. The F1 will be available on the Sri Lankan Market around the 25th of February 2016, at the price of only Rs. 36,990.00.

What Your School Didn’t Teach You & Response TL;DR version

During the weekend there was social media uproar regarding an article that was featured in the Colombo Telegraph by Thisuri Wanniarachchi titled: What Your Schools Didn’t Teach You

Unfortunately even though Thisuri had some valid pointers, her article was written in a way that depicted a level of prejudice and hurt, which lead most of the reader to quickly disown her views because it makes them feel victimized. Many felt the article generalizing certain aspects of the big match/Colombo boy’s school culture and responded in vague and butt-hurt manner. Others accepted it wholeheartedly.

Of the many responders that were voiced one very eloquently written post ( A Letter to Thisuri Wanniarachchi) by Kithmina Hewage articulated and pointed out why the article offends and at certain points:

An inability to justify your claims simply proves that you are as prejudicial as those you accuse of prejudice.

“An absence of a university degree does not imply that an individual is “socially and intellectually backward”. It, however, demonstrates that those who judge the worth of an individual based on their degree is socially and intellectually backward.”

And other times not but admitted that as a society we have an inherent problem and needs to be addressed:

“We should all draw more attention to this deficit and constructively contribute to this discourse in order to find suitable solutions.”

Celebrate Women

I want to wish you a happy Women’s Day today.
This doesn’t mean I don’t admire you each and every day.
Doesn’t mean that you matter less on other days.
It doesn’t mean that your rights matter less the rest of the year.

It’s just that
I don’t say these things out loud often enough but I should.
You matter to me each and every day;
You make my world brighter with your presence,
You surprise me each time you help me realize who I am!
I want to wish you a happy Women’s Day because;
You’re a woman in my life and you make life worth living.

NOTE: I know #IWD2016 was yesterday but who says we can’t celebrate women on any other day?

 

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