Of course the week was not going to end without a post in here. We are all about being disciplined and whatnot. This was going to be another girly post. But one of my Google+ peeps requested me to do a review of my Samsung Galaxy S II Plus. Yes. I know. People are getting Galaxy 5 handsets and I am here with another generation of Galaxy from back in the day. (S II Plus if from January 2013 but you get my drift.) And I love it! The reason the title reads happier is because I wrote a sad Samsung story before and I claimed I’d never buy another Samsung phone in my life. Continue reading
Have you ever been so tired you get mad at anyone and anything on your way? So tired you wonder if you are sick? So tired you want to sleep and sleep on till all sleep is gone from your system? We both know that will never happen.
This has been one of those weeks. My level of tiredness is increasing as we advance into the week. It started on Monday. I wake up full of psyche for the bright new day. I will go to work because Saba Saba Day is a ghost from the past. If you are like me you know ghosts are not real. So I walk up Ring Road confident in my belief. The road is strangely calm. I walk into the Office Park compound. The car park is not as full as usual. Continue reading
I subscribe to a lot of superfluous newsletters and blogs, just because I can. If you are like me, you probably do too. Plus Gmail really came through for us and threw in those updates and promotions tabs. I ignore 90% of mail from them. Every once in a while though, a subject line will catch my eye and I will click. If the content therein delivers even more I will click through to the site. And that is what happened with this HubSpot post. I ignored it for days. (We all do that when we have no time. Okay. Lie. We always have time. We just have time to do something else.) It was what I needed. “11 Twitter “Tips” and “Tricks” That Don’t Actually Work” it read. I had to read this and it was very timely.
This is for you brands on Twitter. In Kenya and everywhere else. You should read the HubSpot post too.
1. Follow, breathe, unfollow
Whoever told you that gaining lots of followers entails following loads of folk then unfollowing them after they follow was either stupid or malicious. Brands have done that to me on Twitter. And somehow, they do not think it is odd to do that. They somehow assume you will never know. How in the world is getting followers who don’t care about you and losing some potential ones in the process helping your brand exactly? That is not what being on social is about. Ask Safaricom. They followed us, even if just for DMs and never ever unfollowed. Because we tight like that. And you wonder why we never hama. Also, sue that agency doing that for you. Probably why you should be keener about what’s happening on your accounts instead of leaving everything to an intern in another company that knows nothing about your inner workings, what you are trying to preach on Twitter. I will not even mention names.
2. Jump on the trending hashtag
Like seriously? Someone actually thinks that is a strategy that works? Why would you use a random hashtag to say something just so that it can appear to many more people who couldn’t care less about who you are? The only time jumping on a trend works is when it is relevant to your audience. Otherwise it makes you look vain and cheap. Even worse is jumping on one, then filling the #entire #tweet #with #nothing #but #hashtags. Does that even look legible to you? Did you know that you do not even have to hashtag a tweet for it to show up in that search you want to appear in? The recommended maximum number of hashtags is two. Yes. Two. It is not that hard. Try it and see people engage with you.
3. Sell products wherever someone mentions a keyword
Do you know what that looks like on first glance? Bot alert! You are a bot dear brand! Especially if I have never heard of you. Interjecting into a conversation only works if you are just talking and asking for opinion and whatnot, not selling your virgin human hair at me because I said my hair was bad. Jeez. What is virgin human hair? I thought we were still on weaves? Monitor relevant keywords alright, but don’t be a pain.
All you do is talk about yourself. Me this, me that. You don’t even retweet anyone or talk about anything else. Yawn. I will not even push this any further. I am bored.
5. Not responding to tweets
Okay, fine. You may be getting a lot of mentions that make no sense. I am not saying you should reply to everything. That would be weird. But why not reply to a genuine question? You might as well not be on Twitter then. In fact, the only reason I will walk into your store is because you are still awesome, social or not. You might not even need to be on Twitter anyway. We are not at that point in the country where your supermarket audience is majorly on Twitter. Yeah, being out of Twitter is an option. It’s better than having an account that tweeted in 2009 when Jack Dorsey was still trying to figure out whether Twitter was a messaging app or social network.
Do your thing
You know what, don’t listen to experts all the time. In fact, don’t even pay attention to me. You know why? Because you will Google and because Google is not human and whatnot, it will give you the most visited page from maybe back in 2010, when Twitter looked completely different and advice was completely different too. Like the customizable background picture that was a selling point with the old profiles. I am sure you know those are gone now with the new Facebook-like profile design. Recognize.
Do what you would like done to you and see how it works. If you wouldn’t like some other account doing that to you on a personal level, then don’t do it on a company account to another innocent citizen. Period. We will love you a little more and maybe even get interested in your product the day we need it. Think Durex. Some of us couldn’t care less about it because, you know, we don’t need it. But you know what, if I was ever to run into a situation where condoms were needed, like I don’t know, when I am married and don’t want kids or some other sane reason, I won’t go for a condom I have never heard of because hey, Durex popped into my Timeline all the time with its very interesting quips.
I am out.
First things first, if you clicked this link hoping to learn how you can quit social media altogether, kindly move along to the next link. You cannot quit social media. At least not in this day and age. Unless, of course, you have never entered the fray in the first place.
Moving on, you can take a social media break like I do every once in a while for various reasons. Mostly I just do it to look at things differently; to react to situations differently other than just tweeting about them.
Let’s get to it. This is how you can take that social media break, whether you work in the industry or not. It does not involve deactivating or deleting accounts which is pretty pointless in all fairness.
Decide you want to do it
You will have to make this decision in earnest. Resolve to go on holiday and mark the dates. Do you want to take the break for an hour, a week, a month? (Yes, there are those who are off social media only when they are asleep.)
Also, determine what exactly falls into your definition of social media. Facebook? Facebook and Twitter? Facebook, Twitter and…? Once you determine the timespan, figure out why you want to do it in the first place. Reason enough? We are good to go.
Log out of your Facebook and Twitter and whatever else you spend your time on. Log out on your favourite browser or mobile app. Alternatively, you can use Facebook as a page you manage so that you do not leave it unattended, especially if you are in the social media marketing department. That way, all your activities on Facebook will be for work and nothing else.
Also, disable all those apps you have set to launch when your computer starts up e.g. Google Talk and Facebook Messenger. Unpin that Tweetdeck tab on your Google Chrome and close it. You could unpin that Metrotwit icon and whatever else you may click on accidentally on your taskbar. And yes, you are a certified social media addict if you have all these going on on your desktop. Rejoice.
Unsubscribe from those daily bundles. Switch off packet data and Wi-Fi. If you cannot function in this proposed arrangement, probably because you need to check your mail and stuff on the Internet, you will need to do the following: Transfer your social networking apps to your memory card and… wait for it… remove it from your phone. Yes. Remove it and keep it safe because you will be needing it after the break.
Alternatively, you could simply stop reloading credit into your phone. Also, you could toss your phone out the window of a fast-moving car, provided you have a new phone planned on your budget come the end of the social media holiday. See? There is a wealth of strategies you can adopt.
Retreat to alternatives when the withdrawal symptoms start to show
You love motion pictures? Go hard on them. Watch movies and series during your free time and resist the urge to tell the whole world what you think of, say, Lupita Nyong’o’s acting and whatnot. Just watch and talk to people within inches of you about it, not strangers you’ve never met. Just this once.
Look around you when you walk or travel. I realized just the other day that I miss so much during my bus trips because I am always on my phone. If you think admiring the world around you is boring, get a book to read on your way to and from work. Lose yourself in it, just don’t miss your stop. If there is yet another unusual traffic jam on Waiyaki Way caused by a stalled vehicle near CCK, make a witty comment to the guy seated next to you. You may discover that you are not as introverted as you have always thought you were.
You can also decide to have your letting-off-steam avenue as another social networking site that your people don’t frequent. I realize that that goes against what I am trying to communicate but hear me out. Sites like Pinterest and Google+ are not your average social networking sites. They are more. And since they have the element of growing your business or helping you organize interests, they can be perfect spots for chilling out during your break.
|Yep, even Honda campaigned for social media intermission a while back.|
So you cannot talk to your best friend any more because you are so used to tweeting and chatting each other up on Facebook Messenger and Google+ Hangouts. What next? Call, call, call! You know, that thing you used to do for hours on end back in the day when you got your phone. Wipe away the cobwebs on the calling button and get talking. With your mouth. It is refreshing. You may run out of words to say because you are so used to typing and hiding behind WhatsApp smileys but it gets better eventually.
If you are not really prepared to go full throttle on an actual break, you can go on a mini-break, especially when you need to focus on a project and all you keep doing is chatting people up. Just turn off the chat features across-the-board.
There are social networking sites that make it very difficult to go on breaks; read Google+. 😀 But, you can go on a Hangouts break by signing out of it. You can also decide to ignore that notifications bell. I know someone who does it pretty well. I tried to ignore it on my break and failed miserably in a matter of hours.
There you have it. The ball is in your court. I promise you will come back feeling a lot better.
Days fly. Blink and it’s February already. I wonder what you have achieved in January, or you were so busy labelling it Njaanuary that it just passed you by. Let us hope not.
I am not one to make yearly resolutions, I make daily ones. Just last week, I made one. I decided to write on a controversial topic and not share it. I wanted to see what would happen. It was an experiment, more or less. Did I learn something? Oh yes, I did. More than something. Sharing counts for a lot in today’s online reading. (I had to make sure.) Most of the things you stumble upon on the Net are as a result of sharing from your networks and friends.
For instance, that post did not even get to 100 views. I am guessing those views are from the few who have either bookmarked the blog or keep checking every once in a while. The rest of the views are from the normal traffic from Google and links from my social profiles. If I had shared it, the story would be so different. I am still not going to share it, it is still an experiment in progress.
On the other hand, even without sharing, I got a few reactions. One from a loyal reader and the other from a stranger. A stranger who had the guts to call me names and lecture me on how uneducated I was for not holding the same views as he did on the homosexuality topic. It is safe to say that I blocked him on Google+ and moved on with my life. One wonders what would have happened if I had actually shared the post. Lesson: Even when you don’t expect it, random people on the Internet will think they know everything and try to shove it down your throat. Keep a level head.
|“…sarcasm is really the only time people tell the truth.” Propaganda|
Indeed I have a friend who does not hold the same views as I do regarding homosexuality but we talked about it and moved on. We respect each other’s opinion. I respect your opinion. Respect mine.
This week, I am on another venture. I am avoiding social media. Well, mainstream social media: Twitter and Facebook. WhatsApp too. While it is quite difficult to do that being a social media manager and all, I log on to these sites for work only. I know, that sounds forced. You know that feature where you use Facebook as a page? Yes, that’s how I am rolling now. I will tell you how that goes by the end of this week. I had tried pulling the stunt on Google+ but that is quite impossible nowadays. You are there busy searching something out on Google or checking your mail and the bell up there comes short of shouting out your 5 notifications.
Miss me. 😉
Finally, my dears, if you feel you have anything you want to tell the world and you don’t have a channel to do so, the door to my blog is wide open. In short, I am calling you to be a guest and write here. I promise I will make as much noise as I make with my own pieces. Last time I hosted a guest, he was awesome! He just decided to remain anonymous. You can do that too. If I have ever rejected your post, don’t look at me like that, I need sanity here even as I endeavour to diversify and make this less about me. Yes, that is the other resolution for this week.
(This is also not getting shared, for purposes of consistency, domino effect and whatnot.)