THE BOOK EVERY AFRICAN BUSINESS LEADER SHOULD BE READING

The past year saw me read a business book that i could not bear to put down.

I read it into the wee hours of the night.

Here it is….

Good to Great... By Jim Collins
Good to Great… By Jim Collins

It is an absolutely fascinating book that takes you through a research project by Jim Collins and team on some of the greatest companies in American history and what it took for them to be great.

The first chapter of the book is titled “Good is the enemy of great”

Further on along the book you get to learn why  who you hire and not how much you pay them determines the trajectory .

Why do i think every business leader should read this?

Most of us have heard about Kimberly Clark,Wells Fargo,Cisco systems and Walt Disney.

What made these companies great over time?

Read the book and find out.

I am definite Steve Jobs applied the same principles and insights  highlighted in this book to make Apple the great company it is today.

Let me finish off with an excerpt from the book..

“Enduring great companies don’t exist merely to deliver returns to shareholders.Indeed,in a truly great company,profits and cash flow become like blood and water to a healthy body:They are absolutely essential for life ,but they are not the very point of life.”

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THE BEST DAYS FOR BUSINESS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Its Market day at the largest market in Europe  and you are at the main market square in Krakow,Poland .

Thousands upon thousands of people jostling each other ,hundreds of vendors selling their wares.

There is noise,excitement and a kaleidoscope of  colors,smells   and sounds to set your senses ablaze.

You are excited ,everyone is excited you all know you will get great things today….

Farmers market...from Pinterest.
Farmers market…from Pinterest.

Would you believe it if I told you there is a larger,wider market than the Krakow one …..and that you are on it and you should be paying attention to it…

The virtual market is right here,if you are a business and you are on social media you have access to the largest market in the world.

Imagine a market where buyers come and find no vendors,there is no order,there are no rules to follow ,it is a free for all,anything goes.

Such a market will surely flop because market places are governed by certain rules and  conditions.

For any business on social media that hoping to use social media as an additional sales channel then they need to pay attention to the times buyers are most curious,eager and willing to buy.

I have spent the last two years studying people behaviors online using my blogs and various social media accounts as case studies and what i have found is truly interesting

Those days are Wednesday,Thursday and Friday.

Why these particular days…?

On Mondays most people on social media will be very bogged down by work and Monday blues with  little or no time to be paying attention to sales and promotions on social media.

By Tuesday,work has eased down a bit but it is too early in the week to be buying or selling anything yet.

On Wednesdays work ahs eased and it is time to catch up with whats happening with friends while also plan for the week ahead.

Thursday the week is about to end,everyone is excited and shopping frenzy is at a high.

Friday…thank God for the weekend that sniffing around the corner,its time to buy buy buy.

Over the weekends sales are not so high as people are catching up with family and friends sand have little time to be logged on to social sites.

And yes there are peak periods on these three days,any time between 9 am and 3.30 pm is great.

The secret is out,change the days and times with which you seek to promote or sell your product or service and see sales soar.

3 DO’S OF USING SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESS

Social Media image

 

What is social media and why is every business worth its name is on social media.

The Miriam Webster definition is the best i could find and if i may paraphrase it is defined as electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information,content,send personal messages and exchange

But are the business already on social media  playing by the rules or do they see social media as another sales channel for a healthy bottom line?

The best use of social media for business would be to use it to create a   clear channel of communication between the business and its clients or customer.

Using it in this way would ensure  businesses are not slaves of social media but are able  to reap the benefits social  media brings by creating mutually beneficial relationships for both the business and its customers.

On this post i point out three social media rules which if every business follows then they will definitely

1.DO  remember your  business or brand values when choosing  a social media channels .This is because you want one that is in line with your business or brand values.Different channels have different benefits and not all of them will meet your objectives.By choosing channels that will fulfill a brands values social media becomes a fun,exciting way through which business can use to reach out to their customers.

2.DO keep in mind where your target audience congregates.Where is your targeted audience for your business?are they on twitter, Facebook,Tumblr,Pinterest,YouTube..where are they/This will help you see clear results of any social media campaign you carry out.There should be a back and forth exchange between the business and its existing or potential clients/customers.Again if i may repeat choosing the RIGHT channels will help business see the results of their campaign because they will be focusing on the RIGHT social media tools .

3.DO remember to listen.Listen to your clients or customers,whether it is through the comments they leave on your page or blog,the content they find great,the ideas they give,their disappointments or their raving reviews .Listening to them will help your business in more ways than one.Do not clog your businesses social media sites with offers,sales promotions,campaigns,get to know what visitors to your site like,heck go even as far as asking them what they would like to see more of.

By keeping these three things in mind business will be sure to see the immediate results of any efforts they put into their social media accounts.As a parting shot ,while social media has revolutionized the way we do business let us remember professionalism is also as important in the virtual world.Keep all communication on social media civil and polite just like you would in real life.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA FOR CONSERVATION

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

Khalil Gibran

We cannot make any meaningful gains in conservation if all efforts aimed at conserving it are not geared towards the generation that will come after us.

Too many forums are held,too much money has been spent on conservation efforts all over the world .

We need to  engage millions of youth in conservation matters in the forums they frequent the most.we need to talk to them in a language they understand and can relate to.

There are so many ways conservation can benefit from social media.

Whether it is by use of  images or videos there is something for everyone on the social media platform that will go far and beyond the numerous conferences that form most conservation efforts.

The use of  images,videos or infographics will ensure the   message  gets passed along that conservation matters.

Pinterest which at the moment is the fastest growing media forum has an especially special appeal as it has a mobile application available for most android phones which are very popular among young people.

Are we going to let the chance to make a difference slip away ?

 

 

 

 

MARKET INSIGHTS: WHY THE FACEBOOK GENERATION MATTERS

Fact:24-35 year olds make the largest percentage of any age group spending time online.

Question:Are brands paying attention?

Facebook has changed market dynamics.

It has changed the way we relate to each other,it has brought people from all walks of life together .Created virtual communities around interests and brands in a way that for a person who studies trends online, is simply astounding.

Almost every business is on the online wall of fame…facebook .

You no longer have to pick groceries at the supermarket ,go shopping for clothes,cosmetics or baby essentials at a brick and mortar store.

You can do it online and with the way money transfer works in Kenya…voila ..goods delivered and you did not even have to step out of your house  or office.

This trend is replicated in many other markets across Africa and in the world.

Companies,small and medium-sized businesses are now on Facebook and many have attracted their customers to their pages with offers,discounts and many other enticing goodies and freebies.

But how many of these business are paying attention to what 24-35 year olds are doing and discussing online.

This age group spends a lot of time online.

How many have sat  their marketing teams down  and discussed or even put in place plans for  what their customers will need in five or even a years time?

How many have taken in mind the changing lifestyles of these same group in 10 years time and put in place structures that will ensure they are customers for life?

When Safaricom Limited released its first quarty report,it reported that 80 billion Kenya shillings accounted for transactions between customers on its   Mpesa money transfer service.

Did you get that…. 80 billion Kenyan shillings,a third of the country’s GDP in just 6 months.

Read more about the results here and here.

With the way things online are shaping up,the next quarter will be a fantastic one for the mobile company that controls the largest percentage of the mobile money transfer market. It has more than 15 million customers registered on the mobile money transfer business.

Why focus on this age group?

These are people on their first/second jobs.

They have money to spend.

They are at crucial  periods in their lives  where major decisions like getting life partners,starting families,settling in their careers matter .

They want great service/products and are happy to pay for them.

They are creating groups based on common interests from online businesses/entrepreneurs to mummy groups to dissatisfied customer groups.

They are sharing ideas on where to get the best deals on houses,mobile devices,great discounts and venting when they get bad service.

For brands that want to keep their customers and gain more market share it means they have to be good, really good at whatever service/product they are offering.

They have to learn to anticipate what their customers need and provide it .

They have to provide a really great customer experience .

By paying attention to the lifestyle dynamics   and interests  this  generation enjoys,brands will be able to anticipate their customer needs,meet them  and survive the market place.

Let brands start listening to the online chattering going on among online communities,put their ears to the ground(figuratively of course)…it matters and in more ways than one.