DigitalNews Today: January 2016

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Digital Corruption; Between the Holy Thieves, The Smart Lying Corporates and The Unrepentant Demonic Politicians

Posted on Saturday, January 30, 2016 No comments

Saturday, January 30, 2016

The title “Digital Corruption: Between the Holy Thieves, The Smart Lying Corporates and The Unrepentant Demonic Politicians” evinces a fundamental paradox. Corruption has emerged as a disturbing aspect of the public life evident in the church, systematically embedded in the corporate world and accepted as a norm in governance. 

The hilarious skit on corruption in the church - “God Told Me To Fight Corruption” by the Winlos (so far the only true and authentic vloggers we have currently in Nigeria) gives credence to the words of Marcus Aurelius when he said “Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.

Power, we have heard time and time again does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.

This digital representation of Corruption comes at a very critical moment in our lives when as a people; we are struggling to get the dividing lines between the role of the Church, the corporate world and the government in fighting against the monster called corruption. 

Tales of corruption within and outside the church institutions abound. In the corporate world, the monster called corruption has become part of corporate governance. In public governance, corruption has become part of the politicians DNA. The paradoxical relationship between the three (The Holy Thieves, The Smart Lying Corporates and The Unrepentant Demonic Politicians) evokes ‘a cause-effect’ relationship. 

Chinua Achebe, the renowned Nigeria writer, once said: “Nigerians are corrupt because the system under which they live today makes corruption easy and profitable.” This observation is largely true of the rest of the sub-Saharan Africa. 

In putting this right, let us remember once again the wise words of Marcus Aurelius -“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.

8 Essential Facebook Tips for Businesses

Posted on Friday, January 29, 2016 1 comment

Friday, January 29, 2016

You probably already know that not being on Facebook isn’t an option for businesses anymore. If you don’t, take my word for it. If you don’t want to take my word for it, let me give you a little nudge via some quick data.

Millennials, the age group in their twenties and early thirties, now outnumber the baby-boomer generation. In a nutshell, that means a huge population of purchasing power. Ignoring this group is, at the very least, not a wise idea if you want to stay in business.

Looking only at the dining-out habits of millennials, we find the following:

– 65% consider social media discussions about restaurants before deciding where to go.

– 32% check the menu online from their smartphone.

– They trust word-of-mouth recommendations and online reviews from social media and review sites like Yelp over advertising.

We know right away, without any further data, that this is mobile and social crowd. Facebook is the largest social site on the web, let alone the site with the most users period. It only makes sense to take full advantage it, so we have 8 great tips to help you out, which will be spread out over 4 posts. Ready?

1. Never Ignore Your Audience

Reply to every single comment on your Facebook Page. You wouldn’t let a customer walk through your door without being acknowledged, would you? (if the answer isn’t no, you need some extra guidance I can’t provide here) Yet unbelievably, only around 30% of all brands on Facebook respond to their comments according to

This statistic is the epitome of bad business. Every single interaction is an opportunity to grow your business and your revenue, and if you don’t view them that way then you are either not the owner of the business or you need some serious sales training. Don’t be in that 30% statistic. Respond to every comment. Every time.

Sendible’s social media management software can lend a helping hand, unifying your social media profiles into one priority inbox so you can see the messages you need to reply back too across all of your social media platforms.

2. Give Them Value

Sure, cat memes are funny, but do they have anything to do with your business? Here is the great conundrum of posting, that of balancing self-promotion with keeping the interest of your fans. Fortunately, there’s a rule that holds true the majority of the time called the 80/20 value rule. It says that (blatant) self-promotion should never exceed 20% of your social posts. That includes sales, discounts, and even general information about your company specifically.

The other 80% is the tricky part, but it doesn’t have to be. Learn to curate articles and other posts from around the web that are related to your business and that are interesting. Just make sure that you’re not promoting a competitor when you do. Create original posts as well, just keep in mind that they should be interesting, related to your business somehow, and non-promotional. For those who may be mathematically challenged, this rule means that 1 out of every 5 posts should be about you, and the other 4 should be super-interesting (not to imply that your business isn’t super interesting, of course).

For many these two tips may be self-evident, but’s 30% statistic lets me know that there are way too many businesses that can’t see the forest for the trees. Take these first two tips to heart and apply them every day.

3. Always Be Learning

In the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, Alec Baldwin’s hard-nosed character tells his audience of half-hearted salesmen the key to selling real estate: Always Be Closing. In the realm of social media, this is a bad idea.

While always be engaging is a mantra you should definitely embrace, it applies to last week’s post. This week’s first tip (tip 3 for those keeping score at home) has to do more with the ever-changing landscape of social media.

Do you know what Panda or Penguin means when it comes to search? Did you know that Pinterest just changed their layout and added business pages? Or that Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ have pages just for businesses? Do you know what a promoted tweet is?

These questions aren’t rhetorical, they’re essential. Social media sites are constantly vying to develop the next big change that will draw more users (and keep current users), and the changes are coming at dizzying speeds recently. It may seem like a hassle to keep up with, but it’s absolutely necessary if you want to stay at the top of your social game.

4. Timing is Everything

Guilty. I have violated this rule too many times, and I’ve lost connections because of it. I would get online and start reading posts, tweets, blogs, and articles – and every one of them was so interesting and great that I had to share them. Right Now!

The result was that when others opened their page they were flooded with information that I had shared. That can get annoying, fast. You know that friend that will never shut up long enough for you to share in the conversation? That was me.

The solution to this problem? Spread…it…out.

That sounds easy, but for many of you it’s just not very feasible. After all, you have other things that need to be done with your business too. Additionally,when should you post?

This article from last year gives some insight with data collected by the URL shortening service It’s not comprehensive, but it’s a start. Common sense plays a part – a post around lunch time is probably going to be seen by more people than a post at midnight. This is business, though. Guessing doesn’t cut it.

The best solution for this conundrum is to use social media scheduling tools. With these nifty pieces of software you can write your posts for the week, pop them into the scheduler, and be done with it. They will usually tell you what the optimal times are as well. Ain’t technology grand?

Don’t get the wrong idea though. Automation, while immensely useful (and necessary, IMHO), does not a social media strategy make. But more on that in tip 8. (I know, the suspense is killing you)

5. Optimize For Mobile

The desktop interface is all but dead. Well, maybe I shouldn’t go quite that far, but the fact is that with the growing mobile space eating away at desktop and laptop use, the third screen of mobile is very quickly replacing the second screen of computers.

Making sure that your page is easy to read and navigate from a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet is no longer a secondary consideration for your online strategy. The viewership of social sites and the web in general, is quickly moving to mobile for the majority of people. 

Once your Page is setup and optimized for viewing from a computer, you need to then check it from a mobile device. Make sure that your cover image is easily discernible on a smaller screen and that your layout is adjusted so that anyone viewing from their phone or tablet has as good an experience (or better) than those viewing from their desktop or laptop.

You should also make sure that you can be found through a mobile search. 91% of people who search locally say that they use Facebook to find local businesses online. That’s another statistic you can’t ignore.

6. Use Check-ins

Check-ins all started with the rise of the Foursquare app, but they have been adopted since by most other widespread social sites and apps, including Google and Facebook. Twitter just bought a Foursquare competitor as well, so don’t think that check-ins are a fad that has passed. In fact, they may only be getting started as newer strategies are employed for their use.

Facebook check-ins are already popular, and they are used more with every passing month. Just like mobile optimization, this is something you would be remiss to jump on now. Even though check-ins are several years old, at this point in the evolution of social media using them still puts you pretty much in the category of early adopters. Yet they are do have some time and experience behind them that proves that they are effective as marketing tools.

Encourage your fans and customers to check in at your business, if it’s applicable. Word of mouth advertising is the kind of recommendation that millennials trust above all others, and, as mentioned in the beginning of this series. They are the largest group of consumers now and will be for years to come.

Put these two practices into play right away. Go forth and conquer the social space before your competitor does. Track your progress, grow your fans and monitor you competition using a comprehensive social media management tool.

7. Measure Your ROI

In addition to all of the previous tips, there is a plethora of other things you need to remember and handle on a daily basis when it comes to social media in general. It can be a lot to handle for one person or even a small team, even if they hold full time positions as social media managers. Facebook can’t be your only outlet online if you really want to be competitive. Using other networks like Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest and managing a website, blog, maybe a Tumblr account, or any other number of possible options is the best way to make sure that you reach every demographic you are after.

Thankfully there are tools which make the social media management process easier, and do far more than that. Measuring your ROI is a business necessity in any venture, unless you just want to waste time and money. Good social media management software gives you an edge over those companies who either don’t use one or who limit themselves in the name of saving time and/or money. The right dashboard will save you more time and increase your chances to expand revenue far more than any shortcuts could ever hope to.

While a good social dashboard will allow your manager or team to effectively schedule posts and track engagement, it also does a lot more than that. Reports and analytics are absolutely necessary in measuring your ROI. They will do all of the tracking for you, leaving you only having to act on the data rather than collect it first as well. Two beautiful features they offer are letting you know when exactly is the optimal time to schedule your posts for based on reader engagement, and which posts your readers are actually paying attention to and sharing. You have to know these two things to ensure that your efforts are translating into business.

8. Turn Fans Into Cash

A “Like” is not necessarily a sale, but it can be if it’s managed correctly. This is really a recap of the first two tips, but they bear emphasizing because it is your part of the interaction that determines whether or not your social media presence is something that brings you more business or just something fun that you do online (translation: a waste of time and money).

Using the 80/20 rule is important because it is what draws your audience in and captures their attention. Responding to your audience is important because, according to, over 80% of social customers will abandon a purchase because of poor customer service. Make no mistake, every comment you reply to is a form of customer service, and conversely so is every comment you don’t reply to. According to Bluewolf, the use of social media as a customer service channel by companies will increase by 53% in 2013 alone. That is a direct reflection of the demand for such interaction by social customers.

I hope that these tips gave you some great insight and practical knowledge that you can put to use in your online strategy. Social media may eventually be replaced by a newer and better platform for marketing and sales, but until that day comes it is the reigning king and you would do well to make the most of the current opportunity.

***This article was written by Dan Brody who is the Chief Information and Technology Officer CITO to our partner, Sendible - a platform for engaging with customers, measuring results and monitoring your reputation across multiple social media channels at once.

The New Social Content Platform – Medium Becoming the Default Place For Story Telling

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In one of my social research, I came across a new platform - Medium which interestingly is becoming the default place for story telling on the internet. According to my findings, Medium is to be a place for people to share stories and ideas with one another. An online community where people can find an audience for their thoughts, and engage in meaningful dialogue with one another.

Medium seems to be awakening the curiosity of digital minds, like it did mine, and indeed content creators as it is fast becoming an ideas exchange social content platform, where content developers, curators, creative minds and about anyone with a compelling story to tell connects with the appropriate audience. 

For content creators and marketers in Nigeria, medium is a platform to watch closely as it has the potential of attracting the right kind of audience for thought leadership initiatives taking into consideration that medium has become a place where quality wins and creative thoughts and ideas become richer through the participation of the audience. 

In designing how Medium works, Ev Williams and his team had a few goals: help good stuff get the attention it deserves, no matter who the author is. Keep it simple; put words first. Enable meaningful feedback. Optimize for substance.

It’s said to be a place where Bono lays out a Marshall Plan for Africa and Melinda Gates responds. It’s where a gay Catholic discovers his voice, which leads to meeting the pope. Where members of the trans community talk about what they wished they could wear in public. It’s where former Amazon employees give Jeff Bezos feedback. It’s where best-selling author John Green discusses the absurd nature of press tours. And it’s where Michael Pollan lays out a food policy for the country, calling on Washington to respond.

Increasingly, people come to Medium to find the most diverse thinking on issues they care about. And they don’t just find it, they read it. And they don’t just read it, they respond, they share, they highlight the best parts. When you read on Medium, you’re reading and thinking with others — others who share your views, as well as those who don’t (which makes you smarter).

Face of Nigeria: Uyo to host Nigeria's 1st Orange Pageant

Posted on Monday, January 25, 2016 No comments

Monday, January 25, 2016

The city of Uyo in Akwa Ibom State is set to play host to Nigeria’s first ever Orange beauty pageant ‘Face of Nigeria’. According to the orga­nizers of the pageant, All Times Nigeria promotions Limited, the theme of the 2016 edition of the Orange beauty festival is celebrating the bests of Nigeria, while the charity work centers on promoting the rights of the Nigerian girl-child to educa­tion.

Consistent with our mis­sion of celebrating one state per edition of The Face of Nigeria, Akwa Ibom State has been cho­sen by the Management of the Orange pageant, for promotion and celebration.

Accordingly, Akwa Ibom State would have a special sta­tus and enjoy massive attention in our communication cover­age. This involves celebrating the beauties of Akwa Ibom State as the fastest growing des­tination, South-South Nigeria.

The screenings scheduled to take place in six zones of the country starts in February 2016 and the screening centers are Uyo, Enugu, Asaba, Ibadan, Lagos and Abuja. These were contained in a press release by the pageant director, Mr Ayo Ayelade.

FG endorses PRCAN advocacy campaign

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From left: Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity; Muyiwa Akintunde, Vice President, Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN); Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity; John Ehiguese, President PRCAN; and Mike Nzeagwu, Assistant General Secretary PRCAN

The media and publicity team of President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged support for the advocacy campaign of the Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN), which is aimed at ensuring that the laws governing PR practice in Nigeria are complied with.

Receiving the PRCAN delegation, led by its President, Mr John Ehiguese, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said the government would ensure that PRCAN member-agencies became significant players in its communications drive.

He said that the Buhari administration was willing to seek and secure support from all stakeholders in the quest to rescue the country from national and economic decline occasioned by past errors.

Adesina recalled the significant strides of PRCAN, particularly its thought leadership and capacity development programmes, as well as its determination to sanitise PR practice in Nigeria.

He promised that the administration would lend support to the initiatives of the association, which he believed would promote the goals of bridging the gap between the government and the populace. 

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu commended PRCAN for finding time to rub minds with the team, and pledged support for the association.

Earlier, PRCAN President, Mr John Ehiguese had condoled with Adesina on the recent passage of his sister, Professor (Mrs)FolukeOgunleye and prayed that God would forever stand by the family.

He expressed gratitude to Adesina for his past association with PRCAN, recalling that he was among the panellists during the inaugural PRCAN Gold Medal Lecture in 2013 and also a resource person at one of the PRCAN Masterclass workshops.

Ehiguese assured the government of the support of the association and its members in achieving its set objectives, while also urging that government should lead the crusade for the promotion of PR practice in Nigeria. “It is about time the public sector ensured compliance with the laws enacted by government which are at the moment observed in the breach even by public institutions,” he further said.

Others in the PRCAN delegation are the Vice President, Mr Muyiwa Akintunde and the Assistant General Secretary, Mr Mike Nzeagwu.

PRCAN, the umbrella body of Public Relations consultancy firms operating in Nigeria, has as its primary objective the promotion of professional reputation management in Nigeria, in both the public and private sectors. It is also committed to maintaining professional standards and discipline among members and providing the right environment for the public and private sectors to thrive and meet their PR consultancy needs.

PRCAN is chartered by NIPR Bye Law No 3 of 1993, to cater to the interests of the consultancy side of PR practice in Nigeria. It currently has a membership of 51 PR firms providing services across at least 21 PR practice areas.

Is The Internet Putting Up A Barrier Between Couples and Friends, Even In The Most Intimate Moments?.. Consider a Digital Detox

Posted on Sunday, January 24, 2016 1 comment

Sunday, January 24, 2016

"I guess our parents stayed together simply because they didn't have 1000 other people following them or liking their pictures at their disposal when their marriage or relationship got hard. Nowadays when our relationship hits the rocks we can just log in and get high off this false sense of security and appreciation. We value our worth based on comments and inbox messages filled with colourful words that have no depth. Meanwhile, the person who loves you when there is no filter on your face becomes an option and the rest of the world who just sees your representative becomes priority. Dont loose what is real chasing behind what only appears to be." - Tyrese Gibson

In today’s society, people live for their electronic devices and social media platforms. Most people can’t go more than a few hours without picking up their smartphone and checking up on their Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. It’s a crazy sort of addiction when we put it into perspective, and it’s slowly becoming problematic when trying to foster relationships with other people. It’s becoming a lot harder to keep a relationship going and keep ourselves content with what we have.

Our obsession with social media and our smartphones has not only changed the way we spend time, but the way we feel, think and communicate with our partners or loved ones.

Sure, social media makes connecting with new and old friends around the world easier than ever -- but it also makes it easier to disconnect from the person that matters most: your spouse. 

Even with the most devoted couples, it seems that once-common conversations at home and even in bed have been replaced with endless scrolling through social media apps or funny image-based sites – individually.

Is the internet putting up a barrier between people, even in the most intimate moments?

We compulsively carry our smartphones with us wherever we go. The classroom, the bathroom, the bedroom, the outdoors — our phone is always in hand as if it were some magic self-defense tool capable of protecting us from all that is evil in the world.

It all happened so fast. We didn’t have the time to set any boundaries for smartphone usage, and now we find ourselves unable to save our relationships and form meaningful interactions with those dear to us.

Smartphones are very useful in many circumstances. However, although not ruining your relationships per se, they can harm it in devious ways.

Below are the different ways Facebook and smartphones drives a wedge between couples -- and how to avoid the issues in your own relationship:

- Loss of Communication - Smartphones can be the culprit of communication breakdown among couples. Intimacy is hard to achieve or maintain when your phone keeps beeping with alerts, notifications and email reminders. A constant, merciless distraction, our smartphones have come to replace deep-felt, long conversations in view of non-urgent, shallow tasks; retweeting a fun tweet, updating your Facebook status for the 136th time.

- Lack of Mindfulness and Care - Couples check Facebook instead of checking in on each other. One of the issues I see come up most often is when one partner feels neglected because the other partner is on their phone checking out Facebook whenever they’re together. A smartphone is a modern day distraction that is so common, it’s hardly noticed any more. It accompanies us wherever we go, demanding our attention multiple times a day. A phone call, a Facebook notification etc. 

- Destabilization of Relationships - To sustain a relationship it needs to be based on constant give and take, where we think about someone else at least as much as we think about ourselves. Smartphones upset this balance. They can turn us into selfish, non-empathetic individuals who are only worried how many likes their Instagram photo received, or how many times their meme got re-pinned. We place too much emphasis on our digital lives, and we lose sight of the urgency and beauty of the everyday. This leads to a vicious circle, where the more we interact with the digital world, the more we become indifferent to the real world and people;

- Watching other couples' PDA on Facebook makes some feel inadequate about their own relationships. 

- Oversharing on Facebook can cause major arguments. 

- Family and friends who continue to interact with exes can drive a wedge between couples. While friend requests from old flames can lead to affairs. 

- We become irrevocably immersed in our digital lives, prioritizing the virtual world over anything else. Is it really that important to Instagram your dinner, rather than actually savoring it and sharing your impressions – with the person next to you.

Smartphones get in the way of our relationships, making it impossible for us to wholeheartedly devote our attention to the present moment. As a result, we lose many moments of wonder that are unique and never to be lived again.

Inevitably, excessive smartphone use drives us away from each other, and we only choose to communicate impersonally and for superficial matters. Somehow, bonding and intimacy no longer appeal to us, making it impossible for us to build any new, sincere relationships.

Can you dare do a ‘digital detox? 
How difficult will it be to abstain from all social media and tech for a week?

How exactly will you feel when you’re on your phone thousands of times a day and then decide to go to zero usage for a while? Can you try imagine the experience?

Social Selling: A step-by-step Process for Winning Sales

Posted on Saturday, January 23, 2016 No comments

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Social selling is becoming one of the buzzwords to watch in the 2016 digital space as businesses of all size and structure struggles to jump on the social selling bandwagon in fear of missing out. Today, Social Media is no longer about being social, No. It has evolved and it's now also about social selling. 

Social selling is not just about pitching people on social media. It requires a comprehensive plan and deliberate strategies and tactics to deliver successful results. Potential investors, employees, partners, and customers are literally at your fingertips and it is up to you to build relationships and establish trust. And that is what social selling is all about.

Social selling is no longer optional for your business. It’s a powerful strategy that can help sell your ideas, establish credibility, secure funding, attract talent and win customers. 

Social selling is the process of developing relationships as part of the sales process. Today this often takes place via social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, but can take place either online or offline. 

Social selling is more about the audience than the product. It is a process that is time-consuming and based on looking at your leads as people first, and then as potential customers 

One of the great things about social selling is that it has become a good option for companies that are ready to take advantage of its ability to bridge the gap between sales and marketing departments. Since it’s an area where marketing will be active, if sales teams are open to the idea of selling on social media, they’ll also become more aligned with marketing’s overall strategy. 

With the increasing importance of content marketing in sales, those who neglect to implement their own social selling process will find themselves closing fewer deals than their more social-minded competitors. Social Selling in essence is a nurturing strategy with the great potential to yield impactful results and promising return on investments (ROI). 

I have compiled below from different sources, seven strategic social selling process that can be customized according to your sales objectives. 

Find and Identify Your Market - Develop personas because all your customers are different. 

No two customers are identical, even ones who buy the same product. Every customer will have a different motivation for making a purchase. They’ll also conduct their searches in varying manners and have differing price expectations. If you’re selling to companies, each one will have a different decision-maker and a distinct process for finalizing a sale. 

Find out where your customers are active. 

The key to fishing is following the fish. By the same token, in order to sell you need a customer, so your first social selling task is to discover where your potential customers are most active on social media. For many B2B products and services, LinkedIn is often the most active corner of the Internet because it’s viewed as the most “professional” social network. Contrary to popular belief, however, 90% of B2B companies are actively using Facebook. 

It can’t be stressed enough how important it is for you to be present where your customers are having conversations. Sometimes, the conversations are about you and if you aren’t active, not only will you be unaware of what’s being said, you’ll also be unable to respond! The customer is now in complete control of the conversation because they don’t need a company or its salespeople in order to gather information or even make a purchase. 

Getting a handle on where your customers might be having social conversations is actually fairly easy. Every major social media network has an advanced search feature that allows you to enter specific details about the kinds of people you’re looking for. From there, you can view profiles and discussions to determine whether you’re on the right track. There are also a variety of both paid and free discovery tools for each social platform, such as Followerwonk for Twitter. 

Gather Information A little listening goes a long way. 

The reasons why listening is a positive, respected practice are plenty. Getting a feel for a new group of people instead of trying to be the centre of attention is often more successful. A rookie athlete silently learning from veteran peers is a right of passage. And even the traditional sales tactic of letting the customer do the majority of the talking rings true in this case. 

Well, the same goes for social selling, especially in the beginning. Your customers are already having conversations so don’t interrupt them. Even if they’re talking about buying from your competitors, do you really think jumping in with, “HEY, BUY FROM US INSTEAD” is going to have the desired result? Most of the time, it’s just going to turn people off. Why not wait and observe. Maybe that particular customer will have a problem with your competitor's product, at which point you can join the conversation more subtlety and offer a solution instead of making a desperate last-ditch effort. 

The most important thing that listening to your potential customers accomplishes is the business intelligence you can gather. Whether it’s information on your competitors, the challenges and requirements of your customers or more details you can add to your personas, there’s a goldmine of intelligence floating around on social media. 

Make connections. 

The beauty of social media is that as far as topics are concerned, anything goes. Why not try to connect with people who you know are your potential customers on some other common ground? It’s not always going to work, but joining a conversation about a movie, a sport or a current event may very well lead to a sale down the road. And if not, it could lead to a cultivated relationship that ends up being a great source of referrals. Just like in life, the more people you know, the better. At the very least, social media provides an opportunity to move away from the hard sell, if that’s what you’re used to. 

Create the Content Your Audience Is Looking For - Where sales and marketing intersect. 

If you’re a bigger company, this is an area where it’d be a significant help if your sales and marketing teams could work together. Essentially, if these two departments are already aligned and integrated, this step will most likely already be complete! If your marketing team is on the ball, they’ll have fully developed personas and thus, content targeted at advancing each of these types of people along the buying funnel. By the same token, if the sales force is following along with the marketing process, they’ll have a full understanding of the various customer types and their challenges, requirements and questions. 

A small business is probably going to have its hands full creating a full slate of targeted content for customers, but we can’t stress enough how important it is to publish material. Companies with a blog generate 67% more leads per month so if you need help to get it done, it’s going to be worth your while. 

Two perspectives are better than one. 

It goes without saying that if sales and marketing teams can truly work together in complete harmony, your company is going to achieve a very high level of success. Instead of the buying funnel being broken down into two areas of responsibility - sales does this and marketing does that – the whole team can work together at every step. This process is ideal in every way, not the least of which is the two-way street of information that can help each group function at a higher level. For example, the sales team can inform the marketing department that a certain issue is often cropping up just before purchase, which can then be addressed in the content that marketing produces. Alternatively, marketing can alert the socially active sales team to extremely hot leads that pop up in response to content and social media marketing. It’s a win for both teams and, ultimately, your company. 

Become An Authoritative Thought Leader Be as helpful and insightful as you can. 

The goal of social media, whether it’s from a marketing or sales perspective, is to become a trusted authority. That means answering questions and providing information on as many topics related to your industry as possible. Put simply, if you’re more helpful on noticeably more occasions than other experts, your stock will begin to rise. Sometimes, it’s to your benefit to share content other than your own - in some cases even that of your competitors - if it’s the best way to provide value to a potential customer. Remember, social selling is about being active where your customers are most comfortable, not about pitching products and services at all costs. 

Once you become a trusted authority, you’ll start successfully entering a number of your potential clients’ spheres of influence, which is exactly where you want to be. You’ll have access to other likeminded people within more networks and be well on your way to establishing yourself as a thought leader and a go-to source of information. Over time, this enhanced status and the increased social reach that comes with it will undoubtedly help you generate more leads and close more sales. 

Keep creating great content. 

After establishing yourself as an industry expert, the key to maintaining that image is continuing to create great content. Whether you’re creating the content or depending on your marketing department to deliver the goods, it’s important that you have a steady stream of interesting and relevant content. Not only will consistent publication keep you top-of-mind for interested potential customers, it’ll also ensure that they always have fresh resources to depend on. 

Measure and Analyze Track engagement to gauge success. 

With social media, it’s pretty easy to get a sense of how you’re doing just by the number of responses and “engagements” you get (likes, retweets, followers, profile views). It won’t happen overnight (especially if you were paying attention since, for the first little while, you’re just supposed to listen) but eventually, if you’re interesting and helpful, you’ll start to get noticed. From there, you can track and measure how successful certain kinds of posts are, figure out what time of day generates the most engagement and all sorts of other little details that can help optimize your strategy. 

You should also be analyzing which content is proving most useful to buyers who are close to a purchase. That way you - or the marketing team - can put more time and energy toward creating the most relevant and effective content for this very important stage in the buying funnel. 

Measure results and assess quality of leads. 

Another aspect of your social selling process you should measure is the quality of the leads you’re getting. You can do this by keeping track of how many leads you generate from the social media pipeline and comparing it with how many of them ultimately become customers. However, you should also keep in mind that part of social selling is becoming an authority and making connections, which is a practice that can boost referrals. This means that you should be monitoring any positive outcome generated by your social presence, even if it’s just extra press or a shout-out from a noted influencer. 


Finally, always remember most importantly that this is a lead nurturing process that ultimately yields return and results as you progress.

4 Content Marketing Goals That Need To Be In Your Next Campaign

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One of the main challenges of every online business is to face the heavy competition when attracting people’s attention. With so much online traffic and free information from everywhere, it’s getting harder and harder to stand out.

If your main goal in the next campaign is to increase the number of leads, then it’s worth quickly reading through this article. Gavin Hammar, the founder of Sendible, a social media management software, and one of our global digital partners at the Cihan Group previously shared his thoughts on this topic.

Gavin explains the main idea behind content marketing is to accumulate a large audience that will increase your chances of having potential customers roaming your website. Here are 4 goals he believes are the essential ingredients of content marketing, regardless the type of industry or business you’re in.

1. Adding Value

When you’re drafting content you should have the audience in mind. Ask yourself why your piece is valuable, if you don’t have an answer then it’s probably not worth publishing until you do. Don’t forget people are browsing online not shopping. After reading your post, the reader should end up in either one of two states:

- S/he has learnt something that can influence their work or their life

- S/he is left in a better mood, whether it’s because they were entertained or motivated

Make sure you are aware of your audiences’ background such as their profession and the market updates they might be finding useful. Try out different news and entertainment posts to observe what gets the most engagement.

2. Posting Useful Content

The best way to guarantee useful content is to find out what questions people are asking online. Learn about their challenges and aim to generate content around different solutions that might be ideal.

Following trends is also useful, there is a reason why it’s trending, it’s because the majority is wondering about the topic. It’s worth being part of the noise.

3. Engaging Conversation

A conversation starts when two speakers are interested in the same topic. Listen to what others are saying online and try to engage on a deeper level with what they’re talking about.

Research the relevant topics and become interested yourself to start engaging genuinely. Track certain keywords to find out what others are thinking and try to merge ideas together to increase traffic from those who want to find out more.

4. Building a Relationship

A big factor that determines whether relationships are built or broken is loyalty. It’s the core ingredient for building trust with your audience. If you consistently listen to their needs and answer their questions, they will keep coming back to your blog for more support they can’t find as readily elsewhere. Follow their updates and give a shout-out to whoever re-tweets you, that’s how a relationship starts.

So these are the 4 tips from Gavin on content marketing, it’s mainly about paying attention to your audience and carefully curating content to meet the needs of others. Do you think there’s more to it? What factors do you consider when posting content?

If you’d like to know more about how Sendible helps increase traffic and leads to your website, please get in touch with us either through the comments below, social media or

Sponsored: Akwa Ibom State Govt endorses The Face of Nigeria, 2016

Posted on Friday, January 22, 2016 No comments

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Akwa Ibom State government has endorsed the staging of The Face of Nigeria Beauty and Style pageant in its state capital, Uyo. 

The grand finale of the show is scheduled to take place on September 23, 2016, at the prestigious Le’Meridien Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort, Uyo.

In the endorsement letter issued to All Times Promotions Ltd, organisers of the pageant, dated December 15, 2015, by the Akwa Ibom State Tourism Board, the state government recommended the pageant to Nigerians for identification and support. 

According to the letter signed by the Board’s Head of Administration, Mrs. Boma Edyang,” Further to your application on the above subject and in line with the Board’s mandate of developing the state’s abundant tourism potentials, I wish to convey the Board’s endorsement on your organisation to organise the proposed Face of Nigeria Beauty Pageant 2016/2017 

“The Board recommends All Times promotions Ltd, to any individual or organisation for support in respect of the above named project only”

The Face of Nigeria also known as Nigeria’s Orange Beauty Pageant is the world’s first Orange beauty festival. The 2016 edition of the festival is designed to promote the Rights of the Nigerian Girl-Child to education as well as celebrate Akwa Ibom State as the fastest growing destination, South-South Nigeria. The theme of The Face of Nigeria, 2016 is “…celebrating the bests of Nigeria”

While celebrating the beauties of Nigeria, the pageant seeks to lamppost the beauties of the people of Akwa Ibom state, the tourism potentials as well as the glitz and glamour that the state resonates. 

The grand finale of The Face of Nigeria is being proposed to be one of the major sideline events for the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the creation of Akwa Ibom State. Meanwhile, All Times Promotions Ltd has intensified its preparations to kick--off the campaign for the sales of entry forms as well as the commencement of the screening segment, which starts in Uyo this quarter. Other screening centres are Enugu, Asaba, Ibadan, Lagos and Abuja.

Visa, UBA Target Millennials ‎With SmartMoney Solution‎

Posted on Friday, January 15, 2016 No comments

Friday, January 15, 2016

Visa, a‎ global electronic payments company, in partnership with United Bank of Africa Plc (UBA), announced on Thursday, the launch of “SmartMoney”.

SmartMoney is a 21st century banking solution comprising a prepaid card and a mobile app for the African market. 
The partnership brings together Visa’s trusted payments technology and SmartMoney’s mobile app experience to establish a millennial centric product platform for consumers who want to be in control of their money.
Speaking about the launch, Kennedy Uzoka, ‎DMD & CEO UBA Africa, said: “Modern, young Africans are constantly seeking and devising new ways to be banked. It is with this realisation that the SmartMoney prepaid card was first developed and introduced into the market in partnership with Visa. ‎The SmartMoney prepaid card allows young people to enjoy all the features of a bank account and the minimal costs associated with the prepaid card are a massive plus. “
“Now that the SmartMoney app has been conceptualized and launched, the SmartMoney card has evolved to support greater utility. Once you download the app and link it to your card, you enter into a whole new world of controlling your money,“ added Ade Ashaye, Country Manager for Visa in West Africa.
SmartMoney provides convenience to make purchases, perform online transactions and access to cash from ATMs.

The app users also have the ability to check card balances; track and budget spend, or send and receive funds between SmartMoney cardholders.
The SmartMoney Visa Prepaid card can be obtained and reloaded at UBA business offices. All that is required is a valid means of identification and a photo.

The SmartMoney app can be downloaded from Google Play or Apple iOS Store, and gives you even further control of your money.
Visa and UBA have launched SmartMoney in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya and will roll out to other African markets in 2016
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