Umar Kasumba’s two-year spell at Villa Park never panned out as expected. File photo.FOOTBALL– Since joining SC Villa from Police FC in 2015, striker Umar Kasumba ‘s two year spell at Villa Park never panned out as expected. A player who cut a seldom-seen figure and indeed, given his job description, his goals even less so.A bit-part player with playing time hard to come by , there was little tangible evidence , on paper at least , for what was to come. A parting of ways materialized after SC Villa released the misfiring striker at the end of last season.From his vantage point he had a clear view of the quickening rush to turn his fortunes a round.And when Coach Sam Ssimbwa presented him an opportunity to combine forces at Kenyan premier league side Sofapaka , Kasumba took it with both hands.And into his first few months in the KPL since joining in June, there is no doubt that both Kasumba and Sofapaka have emerged as winners in the deal.It is not only the amount of minutes Kasumba is getting under his belt, but the quality of those minutes , that suggest the Former Police FC striker has found his match made in Kenya.“The Kenyan league suits me very well because players fight for the ball all the time, I prefer physical challenges,” Kasumba told Kenya’s Daily Nation.Kasumba’ssolitary strike in Sofapaka’s 2-1 defeat to GorMahia last Wednesday in Kisumu took his tally to 10, and just one shy of KPL leading top scorer Ulinzi’s StephenWaruru who has bagged 11, and has managed that return since April 15.Cue, Kasumba’s 10 KPL goal tally thus far is just three goals less from equaling his best season goal return-13 goals which he notched in the 2014-2015 UPL Season to finish second fiddle to eventual top scorer Robert Ssentongo, who had 15.Kasumba and Ugandan compatriots Feni Ali and Rogers Aloro were part of the thirteen players the BatotobaMungu recruited in mid season.But it is kasumba who has made the best possible start at his current workstation,scoring 10 times in his opening nine league games in Kenya’s top flight , and a further more five goals in two Gotv shield matches. Mathematically, that’s an average of a goal every game.This is no mean feat, given the fact that Kasumba only joined the 2009 KPL Champions on 1st June this year at the resumption of KPL second round. His goal-scoring blitz has catapulted him as a main contender of the Sportpesa Premier League top Scorer’s gong.” I want to win that award for top scorer. I am confident and motivated because my teammates told me it comes with benefits,” the centre forward told Nation Sport.If Kasumba continues to with his splendid form in front of goal to emerge as top Scorer, he will join Dan”mzee”Sserukuma as other Ugandan Player to win the prestigious award in the Kenyan League.Comments
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers paid tribute to Steven Gerrard after the midfielder’s last-minute penalty gave the Reds a dramatic 3-2 victory at Fulham.The Whites led twice but stayed bottom of the Premier League after Gerrard fired home from the spot following Sascha Riether’s foul on Daniel Sturridge.And Rodgers declared: “Steven Gerrard is peerless in situations like that. He showed brilliant composure. It was a great result. We’ve had to show character to come from behind twice – a brilliant victory.“We raised the intensity and aggression at half-time. We’re disappointed with the second goal we gave away but this team has shown great characteristics mentally.“We conceded two goals – that has been unlike us for a while. We need to eradicate the individual errors. Thankfully we have goals in the team.”More reaction from Craven Cottage to follow.See also:Fulham beaten by Gerrard’s late penaltyRodgers laughs off Mourinho’s ‘little horse’ remark as Liverpool close on ChelseaFulham v Liverpool player ratingsFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Please take the time to complete this brief survey on South Africa, your opinions are important to us. All information recorded here is strictly confidential and will be used for research purposes only. Should you be the lucky winner of one of the prizes, of a US$200 voucher, we will notify you within the next 3 weeks.Brand South Africa is building on its current communication as part of its legacy campaign after the FIFA World Cup event. We would like you to take a look at a few examples of print communication for brand South Africa. Please give us your honest thoughts and opinions.Click here to complete the survey (the campaigns can be viewed as part of the survey)View the camapigns in PDF format:Campaign 1Campaign 2Campaign 3Campaign 4
18 October 2011 Thousands of South Africans and Mozambicans gathered in Mbuzini in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province on Monday to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the death of Mozambique’s first democratic president, Samora Machel. Machel and 33 others, including ministers and officials, died when the former president’s aircraft crashed in the Lebombo Mountains in Mbuzini on 19 October 1986.Plane crash mystery still unsolved Machel was a leader of the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frelimo) which toppled the colonial Portuguese government through guerrilla warfare in 1974. He became the first black president of Mozambique in 1975, and his government accommodated liberation fighters from South Africa and Zimbabwe who were still battling to overthrow the apartheid and Rhodesian governments respectively. The cause of Machel’s plane crash remains a mystery, but it is believed that South Africa’s apartheid government might have had a hand in causing the accident. South African President Jacob Zuma and Mozambican President Armando Emilio Guebuza were joined by Machel’s widow, Graca Machel – now wife of Nelson Mandela – Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza and Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile at the commemoration at the Samora Machel memorial site in Mbuzini on Monday.Africa’s liberation heritage ‘must be passed on’ After laying wreaths and conducting a tour of the museum, Zuma addressed the large crowd gathered at the memorial site, saying Africa’s liberation heritage had to be passed on so that children knew where they came from. “We must tell our children how the heroes of the African continent fought tirelessly, so that they could be able to walk around as free people in the countries of their birth,” Zuma said. “Issues of heritage define who we are, define our history and our future. Let the stories be told, let the monuments be built, not matter how long it takes us. In that way, the deaths of Comrade Samora Machel and scores of other stalwarts will not have been in vain.” South Africa has spent over R11-million upgrading the memorial site, which was built in 1999 and now features a museum, amphitheatre, helipad and improved access roads. The Mbuzini Library, which opened near the site in 2006, offers a collection of books in both English and Portuguese, including books about Mozambique and its history.‘We are paying tribute to a liberator’ Zuma described Machel as an activist for a better life for the people of Africa. “We are paying tribute to a liberator, whose teachings and influence was not only felt in Mozambique but also in the entire southern African region, the continent and beyond.” The President said it was time for both nations to reap the benefits of peace and liberation. “None of us would ever want to go back to a period of conflict and war. A nation that is at peace with itself creates a climate that is conducive to productive economic and social activity, and contributes positively to improvement of the standard of living for its citizens and its neighbours. There is progress in both countries.” Zuma will attend a ceremony to commemorate the plane crash in Mozambique on Wednesday. SAinfo reporter and BuaNews
Brand South Africa celebrates Africa Day in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Todd NeeleyDTN Staff ReporterOMAHA (DTN) — Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development banned the import of glyphosate on Wednesday after a series of legal defeats for Bayer in U.S. civil lawsuits alleging the weed killer caused cancer.Vietnam Director of Plant Protection Hoang Trung said during a news conference on Wednesday the action was taken because glyphosate affects the environment and is harmful to human health.At the end of March, a California jury awarded $80 million to a man with non-Hodgkin lymphoma who had used glyphosate at an animal refuge for nearly 30 years. Last year, another jury in the state awarded $287 million to a groundskeeper with cancer who used the chemical. In all, there are 11,200 lawsuits aimed at glyphosate.Charla Lord, media communications, corporate engagement and preparedness for Bayer, said Vietnam’s decision is likely to hurt both farmers and consumers.“Unfortunately, today’s decision banning glyphosate will not help to improve food security, safety or sustainability in the country,” she said. “Importantly, Bayer is not aware of any new scientific assessment undertaken by the government of Vietnam on which the decision is based. Reportedly, it was driven by developments in litigation taking place in the United States.“This litigation does not change the overwhelming weight of over four decades of extensive science and the conclusions of regulators worldwide that support the safety of glyphosate-based herbicide products.”Lord said EPA, the European Food Safety Authority, as well as regulatory agencies in Canada, Japan, Australia, Korea, Brazil and other countries, “routinely review all approved pesticide products and have consistently reaffirmed” that glyphosate is not carcinogenic.“We have seen the unfortunate impact of denying farmers access to such an essential tool,” she said.Sri Lanka, for example, imposed a glyphosate ban in 2015. The ban was reversed in 2018 after local farmers became vocal about the economic effects to their businesses.OTHER PRODUCTSIn a news release, the Vietnam government said glyphosate is not needed because there are 54 other “safe” herbicide active ingredients. Glyphosate products already in circulation in Vietnam are not affected by the ban. Vietnam imports the vast majority of its agriculture chemicals from China.“In particular, individual organizations have also actively registered for herbicides containing new-generation active ingredients, which are bio-effective and safe to replace glyphosate,” the Vietnam’s MARD said in a news release.U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said the decision will have “devastating impacts” on agricultural production worldwide.“This ban flies in the face of that scientific evidence,” Perdue said in a statement on Thursday.“Vietnam also needs to look at the potential ramifications for its own farmers. In addition to the immediate effect of slowing the development of Vietnamese agricultural production, there’s the very real risk that Vietnam’s farmers will turn to unregulated, illegal chemical products in place of glyphosate.”Agricultural crops genetically engineered to withstand glyphosate have greatly expanded the use of the chemistry since 1996. Glyphosate also is used in forestry, urban, lawn and garden applications. Bayer also had glyphosate in its portfolio before acquiring Monsanto.That broad use has drawn worldwide attention to the herbicide and to its safety.Though glyphosate was developed by Monsanto, it is off-patent and sold by many agriculture companies as one of the most widely used herbicides in the world. It came to market in 1974 under Monsanto’s Roundup label for control of perennial and annual weeds in non-crop and industrial areas. In 2018, California regulators failed in an attempt to label glyphosate products as “known to cause cancer.”In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a World Health Organization agency, concluded glyphosate was “probably carcinogenic.”IARC came under fire as a result of its broad declarations about what is carcinogenic in summary reports the IARC calls “monographs.” The agency, for instance, drew scorn in 2015 for a monograph classifying processed red meats such as bacon as carcinogenic.The IARC’s glyphosate finding set off a series of reactions. The EPA released and retracted a report refuting the IARC’s conclusion in 2015.At the end of December 2017, the EPA announced in its draft risk assessment of glyphosate that the herbicide is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.At the end of November 2017, the European Union approved a five-year extension of glyphosate’s use.Todd Neeley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.orgFollow him on Twitter @toddneeleyDTN(BAS/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.
Irving has three years and $60 million remaining on his contract. He can opt out of the final year prior to the 2019-20 season while James could opt out after next seasonSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim PFL: Meralco tries to bounce back from heavy loss Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Irving’s agent, Jeff Wechsler, did not specifically confirm a trade request in comments to Cleveland.com.“We met with Cavs’ leadership and we discussed many different scenarios in reference to Kyrie and his future with the team,” Wechsler said. “There were a bunch of scenarios, and I’m not going to discuss anything that was said. I don’t know where this is coming from.”Irving was the top overall NBA Draft pick in 2011 after one season at Duke University.Cleveland recorded losing records in his first three seasons before James returned.The Cavaliers reached the NBA Finals each of the past three seasons, falling to the Warriors in 2015, beating them in 2016 and surrendering the title to them in June.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIES View comments Cleveland.com then cited two sources as saying the 25-year-old Irving told Gilbert he wanted to escape James’s shadow and be the focal point of a team.The news comes shortly after Irving told Sports Illustrated that the Cavaliers were “in a peculiar place” in the wake of their NBA Finals loss to the Golden State Warriors.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsSince then, the Cavaliers’ have endured an awkward off-season. No replacement has been named for general manager David Griffin, who departed when the two sides failed to reach a contract extension.James has reportedly voiced concern about the team’s future, fueling speculation that he might leave his hometown club a second time. He famously departed in 2010 for Miami, won two titles and led the Heat to four finals in four years, then returned to the Cavaliers. Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Kyrie Irving #2 and LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrate after a play in the first quarter against the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the 2017 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 9, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images/AFPCleveland point guard Kyrie Irving has requested a trade, shocking Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, reports said Friday.ESPN, citing unnamed sources, first reported that the Australian-born US point guard told team owner Dan Gilbert last week that he wanted to be traded.ADVERTISEMENT
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Social media moves at the speed of light, so if you’re just getting started now, there are conceivably tons of nuances you may have missed. Many people seek out sketchy or outdated Google results instead of asking someone, because they feel these are things they should already know the answer to. Well we think that’s just not the best approach, so we compiled a list of those simple social media questions that people seem pretty timid to ask and are providing you the answers so you never again have to perform a panicked Google search or blindly nod your head in agreement during a marketing meeting.Answers to Your Google+ Questions1.) Where do I go to create a Google+ business page?Visit http://plus.google.com/pages/create to get started, and remember that you need a Google account to set up a page. Find more detailed instructions here.2.) What is the difference between a Google+ Page and a Google+ Profile?A Google+ Profile is for people, while a Google+ Page is for an entity (like your business!).3.) Can I add multiple page administrators?At this time, no. Until this functionality is added, a workaround is creating a team Gmail email address like email@example.com and using this to create your Google+ page. That way, multiple people on your team have access and management of your page is not limited to one person.4.) What is Direct Connect?Direct Connect allows searchers to immediately find a Google+ Page in Google search and add it to their Google+ Circles by searching +brandname. Right now, not all Google+ Pages that apply for Direct Connect functionality are given it, but everyone can and should make their page eligible so they are ready when functionality rolls out to everyone.5.) How do I become eligible for Direct Connect?The easiest way is to add your website link to your Google+ Page and add a snippet of code to your site, explained in more detail on Google’s support site.6.) Can my Google+ Page add people to Circles or +1 content?It depends. If someone mentions you or adds you to their Circles first, then your Google+ Page can Circle them. Otherwise, you cannot add people to your Google+ Page Circles. As for +1’ing content, no, you cannot +1 content as a Google+ Page.7.) Can I add someone to more than once Circle?You sure can!8.) What’s an Extended Circle?Extended Circles refer to your Circles’ Circles, so content a Google+ user shares with their extended circles will also appear in the incoming stream of people from whom they are one degree removed. Only Profiles can share via Extended Circles though — not Pages.9.) Can all business pages participate in a Google+ Hangout, and is there an attendee limit? Yes, all business pages can make use of the Google+ Hangout feature, but unfortunately the limit is 9 people for almost everyone. Google+ is experimenting with a feature called Hangouts on Air that will remedy this problem and allow people who aren’t participating to simply watch the Hangout, but it is not available yet.10.) Do Google+ Pages and posts appear in search results?Yes, both the pages and posts appear in search results, which is why integrating Google+ into your social media strategy can also help your SEO. Google continues to roll out more ways in which Google+ is integrated into search results, with four new developments in just the past few weeks.Answers to Your Twitter Questions11.) Can I change my Twitter username?Yes, you can! Simply go to the ‘Account’ tab on Twitter, and you’ll see a field to change your username. Doing this will not wipe out your tweets or followers.12.) Should I follow back everyone who follows me? There is not an established industry best practice on this, but let’s throw down a definitive answer on whether you should follow someone on Twitter. No, you should not follow back everyone who follows you. However, if that person provides useful or interesting tweets, you should absolutely follow them. Also, keep in mind that being stingy with your follow-backs makes you look…well…stingy. And that’s not a good look on anyone.13.) What is a #hashtag, and how do I use it?A #hashtag is a way to organize topics and make them easier to filter in Twitter search results. For example, HubSpot uses the hashtag #HoHoHubspot in holiday tweets to indicate the tweet is holiday related, to make it easier for people to find our holiday content on Twitter, and so they can also tag inbound marketing related holiday content in tweets of their own. Using #hashtags is also a great idea for online and offline events, so people at the event and those not in attendance can follow the conversations happening around the event.14.) How do I use an @reply?An @reply is a public message sent from one Twitter user to another. You can do this by putting another user’s Twitter username after @ somewhere within the body of the tweet. A user’s @mentions will appear in the tab @username on that user’s homepage. Again, this is not private, so don’t say anything you’re not comfortable saying to the world!15.) How do I use a direct message (DM)?If you need to message another Twitter user in a more private way than the @reply allows, opt for a direct message. These can be sent by clicking the Message link, or typing D Username into the “What’s Happening” field. Think of this as Twitter email.16.) What is a TweetChat?Also known as a Twitter Chat, a TweetChat is a conversation that happens on Twitter during a pre-designated date and time, usually centered around an industry topic and aggregated through use of a #hashtag. For example, HubSpot hosts tweet chats around marketing topics like search engine optimization with the hashtag #InboundChat.17.) How do I personalize a retweet?You can quickly retweet (RT) someone else’s tweet by clicking the arrows on the bottom of that tweet, but unfortunately, this doesn’t let you personalize the tweet. Instead, perform a manual retweet in four steps by copying the tweet and username, replacing the username with an @reply, typing RT at the front, and adding in your commentary.18.) What are Twitter Lists, and how do I use them?Twitter Lists let you group together the tweet streams of people you’re most interested in. Create a new list, name it according to those you’ll add, and simply input their Twitter usernames to create a more targeted stream of content. These can be private or public, so others can also follow your lists.19.) How do I find people to follow?Your follow list will grow organically over time, but the ‘Who to Follow’ feature on Twitter is a great place to start if you need suggestions. Type in industry keywords and keywords related to topics that interest you. You can also search for the names of people in your industry that you know to see who they are following.20.) What are Favorites and how do I use them?Think of Favorites like Twitter bookmarking. When you hover your mouse over a tweet you want to Favorite, click the star so it becomes yellow. That tweet will appear in your Favorites tab on Twitter, and can be referred back to for useful links, kind comments about you or your company, or important pieces of data.Answers to Your Facebook Questions21.) What’s the difference between a Facebook Profile and a Facebook Page?As with Google+, a Facebook Profile is for a person, while a Facebook Page is for an entity, like your company.22.) Oops, I set up a profile instead! Can I transfer it to a page?Yes, Facebook released a Profile to Business Page Migration Tool this year that lets you do this without losing followers or alerting them of the change. However, your page content and photos are not migrated over. If you have fewer than 100 friends, you also have the option to rename your business page.23.) When I set up my Facebook Page, can it have more than one administrator?Yes, as long as each administrator has their own Facebook account. Go to ‘Applications,’ then select ‘Page Manager’ to add someone else as a page administrator.24.) How do I claim my page’s vanity URL?First, you need to have at least 25 Likes (fans) for your page. Once you reach this milestone, go to http://facebook.com/username, click ‘Select a Username,’ enter your desired username, press ‘Check Availability,’ and confirm your username once you find the one you like.25.) What exactly does the ‘Talking About This’ number on my page measure?’Talking About This’ can be found under the number of Likes on your Facebook Page, and it measures user-initiated activity related to that page. This includes things like: posting to your wall, liking your content, commenting on your content, sharing your posts, sharing content on your page, sharing or mentioning your page, or checking in with you.26.) What’s the pricing structure for paid Facebook Ads?Facebook Ads run slightly different than Google’s PPC ads. Facebook will let you choose a CPM model, in which you pay per thousand ad impressions, or a CPC model, in which you pay for clicks. Click-through rate on Facebook ads is usually low, so a CPC model will likely be the least expensive.Answers to Your LinkedIn Questions 27.) Can I customize the anchor text in the ‘Websites’ section of my profile? How?Yes, and you should, because inbound links to your website with good anchor text drive more traffic. To do so, click ‘Edit’ next to the ‘Website’ field on your profile, and select ‘Other’ in the dropdown menu to customize the anchor text.28.) Can I message people on LinkedIn if we’re not connected?You can only message people if you have a first degree connection with them or you hold a Premium (paid) account. If you do have a Premium Account, you can do it using OpenLink if the user you’re attempting to message allows it.29.) How can I see who is viewing my profile?You can only see who is viewing your profile if you let them see when you view theirs. To allow this, click ‘Settings’ and select “See what others see when you’ve viewed their profile.”30.) How do I activate status updates for my Company Page?From your Company Page, click ‘Edit’ under ‘Admin Tools.’ If checked, uncheck the box that says “All employees with a valid email registered to the company domain.” Then select the ‘Designated Users Only’ button, and designate who you would like to be an admin under ‘Manage Admins.’ Only the people you designate as admins will be able to administrate the status updates on your Company Page.31.) How do I pull in my blog’s RSS feed to my LinkedIn Company Page?Blog feeds can be added to Company Pages via an app called Blog Link. More LinkedIn apps are available in the LinkedIn Apps section of the Learning Center, including a tweet app, a poll app, and a SlideShare app, all of which are excellent additions to turn your LinkedIn company page into an inbound marketing machine.What simple social media questions have you always wanted an answer to? Share questions and answers to your burning questions in a judgment free zone!Image credit: Andréias, Bruce Clay, Inc, topgold, dearanxiety, ekelly89 Topics: Originally published Dec 7, 2011 2:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Social Media
Are you doing anything this weekend to generate traffic to your website? If you’re a B2B marketer, chances are you’ve probably asked yourself at some point: How do I keep marketing effectively when nobody is in the office? You want to continue to drive traffic and leads, but you don’t know exactly how.The wrong thing to do is assume that nobody is listening on holidays or during weekends. Depending on your audience, this could actually be a good time for a new blog post, video release, or email. Data from a recent Xobni survey shows that people are still wired into work during time off: 68% of working adults say they check email while they aren’t working, and 27% of those people will check email more than once.Here are some tips on how you can use this knowledge to the advantage of your marketing program.Be Creative in Your CommunicationsTry something a little zany, and see what happens. Marketing on a day off can sometimes work in your favor because there’s less clutter in people’s inboxes and social media feeds. It could also make your job a lot harder because people don’t want to be bothered. This means you’ve gotta step it up!The email below is a great example of what we’re talking about. Aside from witty copy, the sender has an extra special offer:The result of a creative message like this is not only traffic and leads to your site, but it’s also an entertained email recipient. The readers of this email probably felt lucky even though they were working on holiday. And if your readers feel lucky to be getting an email from you on a day off, that’s a wonderful thing! Think of creative ways you can stand out in your audience’s social media feeds and inboxes during off-times or holidays by playing with witty language and special offers. Test and Measure Your Marketing TacticsIf you’re going to try out some out-of-the-box communication tactics, you’re going to want to walk away from the experience with some lessons learned. The best way to do this is to take a scientific approach through which you can use testing and data to drive future decisions.An excellent example of a company that tried this is Brewer’s Market. The test was featured on subscription site WhichTestWon.com as an example of how to test during the holidays. The goal was to determine which copy was most appealing to gift-buyers. The company did an A/B split test on its homepage and found that its control page performed 61% better than the treatment page from December 16th to the 23rd. The article concludes with an excellent insight: Although in hindsight, it makes sense to adjust your copy length and benefits for your seasonal visitors’ perspective, the idea was a huge point of contention between the site’s execs, some of whom “hated” the winning version… before they saw the results data. Now, their 2012 design plans include tweaked homepage versions for all major holidays from Valentine’s Day on.While this an example of how a business used A/B testing to optimize their homepage for the holiday season, holidays and off-hours are also a safe time to conduct tests in general, due to a reduction in traffic and attention. You’ll just want to make sure you’re still generating enough traffic to make your tests statistically significant.Don’t Quit on Content Just because it’s the weekend or a holiday doesn’t mean your audience will completely stay away from the internet (in fact, we’ve heard of some people even using work as an excuse to take a break from a lot of family time). Maybe your audience just prefers to use Twitter more on the weekends. The only way to find out is to try using a variety of channels and analyze what works best for your individual audience. QuickenLoans, for example, recently used its blog during the quietest week of the holiday season to drive traffic to their site. The company posted a series of timely articles, from what to do with unwanted gift cards, to how to handle post-holiday returns, to fireplace alternatives that will keep you cozy and New Year’s Eve safety tips. The takeaway here is that you shouldn’t stop publishing content when people are out of the office. Instead, you should adjust your content so that it’s timely and promoted using the channels your audience uses during their time off. Use Data to Make Informed DecisionsIf you know a certain segment of your audience is more likely to be working on Sundays (young and hungry entrepreneurs perhaps), you can use that knowledge to drive your decisions and create targeted, relevant content directed toward that segment. Likewise, if you know a certain demographic is going to be annoyed by certain messaging over the holidays, you can avoid a bad situation. The Xobni survey found that younger adults between the ages of 18 to 44 were most likely to feel annoyed or frustrated about receiving work-related emails during the holidays.You can learn more about your audience’s preferences by observing which demographics convert on certain days. If your landing page forms ask the right demographic questions, you can export your lead data, along with the conversion dates, and do tons of great analysis like figuring out exactly who converts on Saturday mornings? Knowing that will help you identify the kinds of people you should hit with your Saturday morning email send, for example.Show Your Brand’s PersonalityHolidays and weekends are the perfect time to lighten things up, have a little fun, and show off the part of your brand’s personality that makes it relatable to your audience. Google is known for doing this and doing it well. Its most recent treat was an interactive Google logo that played “Jingle Bells.” This past Halloween, HubSpot released a video of our very own flash mob, complete with zombies and gore, to the soundtrack of Michael Jackson’s hit, “Thriller.” Not only did we have a blast making the video, but we also managed to give our audience a Halloween treat and show off our brand’s unique personality.Have you had any success with marketing during the holidays or off hours? What worked (or didn’t work) for you? Topics: Inbound Marketing Originally published Jan 27, 2012 6:30:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Social Media Fails Originally published Sep 17, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: It may feel like a fustercluck, but there are actually some rules and regulations that go along with participating in social media. Not the kind that ban people from uploading pictures of their meals (PB&J no crust today guys! #omgsohungry), but the ones that help alleviate things like spamming, bad content, and a poor community experience. You know, the things that help make social media a nice place to be.It’s not a perfect system the social networks have worked out, but it’s important for marketers to know — because believe it or not, lots of marketers are breaking these rules and don’t even know it. And it breaks our hearts to see marketers giving an honest go of social media get banned from the networks … and then not even know why the heck it happened.This post will review the policies the most popular social networks have set up — some more stringent than others — that we think you should be aware of. And we tried to put them in plain English, too, devoid of confusing and boring legal babble. If you’re accidentally breaking any of these rules, at least now you can put the kibosh on your illicit activities before it’s too late!How Marketers Can Get Banned From PinterestIf you’re curious how the newest social network on the block works, we encourage you to read its Terms & Privacy page in full. But for a quick reality check, here are the guidelines marketers should remember when pinning to ensure they stay in Pinterest’s good graces:1) Grabbing another company’s account name. When you open an account on Pinterest, you’re indicating that you are authorized to act on behalf of that company. So if you’re not an employee of that company, you’re not authorized. And if you get caught, you’re not allowed on Pinterest anymore, either.2) Pinning copyrighted content. Any content you post cannot infringe on the rights of the content creator. Make sure it’s either content you’ve created yourself, or content you have a license to share. That means if you’re posting an image from your blog post, that better be copyright-free!3) Automating your Pinterest content. Marketers can’t use an automated service to post content to their pinboards, repin or like other pinners’ content, or create links. All the rewards you reap from Pinterest, in other words, have to come from your own hard work! Note: If you pin a ton of content from one URL all in one sitting — let’s say you just published a blog post with a ton of great images, for example — you may be prompted by Pinterest to verify that you’re not a bot. Just fill it in and keep on keepin’ on.4) Scraping content from Pinterest. On a similar note, you can’t use automation to scrape content from Pinterest. Whether you wanted to use it in blog posts, on your Facebook page, to get a list of links — whatever — you can’t do it. Again, any information or content gathered has to be done manually.5) Scraping for contacts. Any contacts you get from Pinterest have to be opt-ins; as in, they have to come to your site and fill out a form saying they want to hear more from you. Scraping Pinterest for pinners’ personal information so you can market to them later is strictly prohibited.6) Spamming posts. Just like you shouldn’t be spamming the comments sections of blogs, you shouldn’t be spamming the comments sections of pins.7) Putting links in the wrong place. Pinterest wants you to include links in your pins so pinners can follow the links to get more information on a pin. But they only want it in the right place. When you pin an image, click ‘Edit,’ where you’ll find a field labeled ‘Link.’ Put your link anywhere else and you may get banned.8) Don’t get banned. If you’ve been banned once, you’re banned for life. Or as Pinterest puts it, “the Service is not available to any users previously removed from the service by Pinterest.” So, tread lightly.How Marketers Can Get Banned From LinkedInLinkedIn’s rules aren’t as stringent as the ones we’ve seen on other social networks — perhaps the B2B playground hasn’t gotten quite so out of hand. You can read LinkedIn’s User Agreement in full, or just browse these highlights that jump out for marketers:1) Connecting with people you don’t know. Seriously! You have to actually know the people you connect with on LinkedIn, or they can boot ya right off!2) Posting copyrighted content to forums. Whether it’s your LinkedIn Group, LinkedIn Company Page, or on LinkedIn Answers, you can’t publish information that violates others’ intellectual property rights. This one won’t get you banned, but LinkedIn can remove the content and close your group or page. Additionally, LinkedIn will terminate the accounts of users who have been “deemed to be repeat infringers under the United States Copyright Act.” You know who you are.3) Using LinkedIn messages as an ESP. LinkedIn messages are not to be used for mass emailing. This constitutes a misuse of service, and can get you kicked off the network.4) Putting links and email addresses where they don’t belong. You get to fill out your profile however you want, as long as it’s accurate. So if you put, say, a link to your blog in, oh I don’t know, the ‘Name’ field … you’re gonna get shut down pretty fast.5) Selling your LinkedIn presence. Built up a pretty big LinkedIn Group? It might be an asset, but you can’t sell it or monetize it in any way if you want to stay on the social network.6) Using bots to get connections, followers, or members. Just like Pinterest and some other social networks we’re about to cover in this blog post, LinkedIn wants you to grow your reach organically.7) Impersonating another company. Another familiar refrain, brands can’t create a fake profile for a competitor to mess around on. You’ll look stupider doing that than they will, anyway.How Marketers Can Get Banned From TwitterThe full list of Twitter “rules” can be found here: The Twitter Rules. Aptly named, eh? Here are the ones that are most likely to apply to marketers so you don’t get banned by that sweet little tweety bird:1) Impersonating others. If you’re impersonating others in an attempt to mislead other Twitter users, Twitter will not be happy. That means no pretending to be a competitor — that’s a low blow move, anyway.2) Snagging trademarked usernames. Another sketchy move is trying to grab your competitor’s username. If they’ve trademarked the name, Twitter will reclaim it from you on their behalf. Twitter will also suspend you if you’re using trademarked logos on your profile.3) Squatting on handles. Ow, that sounds uncomfortable. This means you can’t grab a Twitter username and not use it. Well, you can, but Twitter will just grab it right back if it remains inactive after 6 months. On a related note, you can’t grab a username for the purposes of selling it.4) Buying or selling Twitter usernames. There can be no transactions made around Twitter usernames at all. The penalty is possible permanent suspension from Twitter — for buyers and sellers.5) Giving yourself an unearned Twitter badge. Twitter has little badges for Promoted Products and Verified Accounts. If you use one of these badges anywhere on your profile — including your profile picture or background image — your profile will be suspended.6) Posting the same thing over and over. If you’re trying to get a tweet visibility, you can’t do it by tweeting it like a maniac, particularly if it’s duplicate content tweeted at specific users. Same goes for links — Twitter will penalize you if they see you tweeting the same link over, and over, and over … and over.7) Following people like a bot would. That means you shouldn’t use a bot to manage your following and unfollowing, nor should you act like a bot when manually following and unfollowing people. Aggressive follow and unfollow behavior — particularly seeing a large amount of people followed and/or unfollowed in a short period of time — will signal to Twitter that something’s amiss.8) Getting followers in sketchy ways. Specifically, those “get followers fast!” schemes. It may get you permanently banned from Twitter.9) Hijacking a hashtag or Trending Topic. If there’s a #hashtag or trending topic blowing up Twitter and you want in on the action, you can’t try to hijack it with unrelated content about your brand. If you do, you could feel the wrath of the mighty blue bird mighty soon.10) Posting links with no context. If your updates are just a slew of links with no personal content to give them context, you’ll not only annoy your followers, but Twitter will also want you off their network.11) Getting ratted out. Sometimes the Twitter community self-polices. If a large number of people are blocking you, or your account has received a lot of SPAM complaints, Twitter will boot you. So play nice out there.How Marketers Can Get Banned From Google+If you’re using Google+, there are a couple surprises in here that you might not have considered. You can read their Google+ Policies & Principles in full here, or catch the biggies below:1) Creating fake pages. Yes, it’s prohibited here, too. Big shock. Moving on.2) Running contests. Ooooh, that’s a new one! You cannot run contests, sweepstakes, offers, or coupons directly on your Google+ page, but you can display a link to those promotions that leads people offsite.3) Aggressive Circling. That’s a … weird phrase. But much like you can’t aggressively follow and unfollow people on Twitter without getting flagged, you can’t Circle a ton of people on Google+ without punishment.4) Altering or adding +1 buttons where they don’t belong. Similar to the Twitter badge rule, you can’t, say, superimpose the Google +1 button on an ad. It’s a misleading way to garner clicks.5) Keyword stuffing. Yes, it can happen here, too! Because Google+ is so closely tied with organic search, the penalties are just as stiff. If you’re trying to rank for a keyword, stuffing it into every Google+ update is not the way to do it.6) Marketing regulated products. If you’re marketing in a regulated industry, such as alcohol, tobacco, medical devices, fireworks, pharmeceuticals, etc., you cannot use Google+ to market those topics.7) Letting your page go dormant. If your Google+ account is dormant for more than 9 months, Google can snatch it right back from ya.How Marketers Can Get Banned From FacebookWe’ve all probably participated in our fair share of complaining about leaving Facebook. But could they force marketers to leave? Maybe, if they start doing any of these things that violate the Facebook Page Guidelines:1) Creating fake accounts. As Forrest Gump said, “That’s all I have to say about that.”2) Using bots or scrapers. Well, almost. Facebook says you can’t use them “without our prior permission.” Which basically means no using bots or scrapers … if you had permission, you’d know it.3) Posting copyrighted content. You’ve heard this one a bunch of times in this blog post, and if you do it a bunch of times on Facebook, they have the right to disable your account.4) Naming your page in goofy ways. Facebook has some pretty stringent naming requirements! Your page name cannot consist of solely generic terms, like “pizza,” must use proper grammar and capitalization, may not be in all caps, and may not include character symbols.5) Collecting user data incorrectly. What does that mean, exactly? It means you have to clearly state that it’s your business, not Facebook, collecting their information, and you will obtain their consent before using their data in any way.6) Including calls-to-action in your cover photo. This includes promotions or discounts, requests to ‘Like’ or share your photo, contact information for your business, or generic CTAs like “Tell a Friend.”7) Running contest or promotions outside of a Facebook app. If you want to run a contest or promotion on Facebook, you can only do it through one of their apps — either a Canvas Page or a Facebook App. You also can’t base participation on a requirement that a user take any action with your brand page, such as uploading a photo to your Timeline, or “Liking” a wall post. The only actions that are allowed as a condition of participation are “Liking” a page, connecting to your app, or checking in to a Place. You can’t use any Facebook mechanism, like the ‘Like’ button, in order to vote or register for the promo, either. Finally, you can’t notify winners through Facebook. So basically … you have to jump through a whole lotta hoops if you want to run a promotion or contest on Facebook.Have you unwittingly broken any of these social media rules? Have we missed any that you think marketers should know about?Image credit: emilyrides Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack