Child labor

child-labour

One million child labor in Africa’s goldmines” . One in five children in Sub-Sahara, a region in African, is child laborer. In fact, this area is abusing more than 38 million children to work in variety of fields, including commercial sexual exploitation. Yet, Sub-Sahara is still ranked second, behind Asia in absolute terms. According to a study of UNICEF in 2006, the numbers of working children aged from 5 to 14 in Bangladesh was almost 5 million. It is sad to know that child labor is widely accepted and becomes common norms in Bangladesh society. On average, children here work 23 hours a week and earned 3.3 USD a week. So many children quits school to work and earn for living. Working children are facing with the risk of exploitation, sexual abuse and violence. 60 percent of child laborers reported to be slapped during their work. Not to mention that a huge numbers of child workers devoted their hard-work to get nothing, except accommodation food and clothing. More likely, these children have to live away from families. The vulnerability puts them at high risk of being raped and lured into sex work, which massively destroys their physical and psychological health.

childlabor

It is high time to change the social norms. The social norms that take away from children their absolute rights. It is high time to fight for child laborers’ rights. The rights of being paid fairly, of not being abused, of being able to use the communication channels….

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Water for life


africa_water_girl-ashz-090602

Did you know that “nearly one billion children, a sixth of the world’s population do not have access to safe drinking water”?. And did you know that “more than 2,6 billion people are without basic sanitation”?. It is probably over our imagination, because water is too reachable for us, just …. a tap away. But it is so true. While we are enjoying and sometimes, squandering water, more than 1600 children over the world die under age 5 die every day from diarrhea caused by unsafe water. “When people are desperately thirsty, they are willing to take the risk of disease by consuming water that may not be healthy. For them – it’s either risk infection or die from thirst! It is a horrible position to be in.” (Missionaries of Africa, Water crisis).

boy_with_water

Devastating lack of water is putting African people and all types of living existence on the verge of dying. Not yet discuss about education, medication or food, satisfying the most basic need of humans – drinking – is too critical for the huge numbers of people, especially African. In order get water, most of African women ought to walk far and carry heavy water containers on their exhausted backs. Continue reading

Blogging/ Tweeting best practices

Imaged copied from youvisit.com

Imaged copied from youvisit.com

Like any other social media platforms, content is the most important element that blog and Twitter need to focus on when doing blogging or tweeting. The content should include writing, image or video that relevant to the blog theme. The content must be fresh, exciting and engaging from the beginning to motivate the readers. That means the title and the first two paragraphs must create the good impression to keep readers to complete blog post which could be emotional, playful, informative or arguable. The tone used in the blog post should be casual, natural and conversational. The consistency is very important factor to announce the well care of bloggers toward their blogs or Twitter accounts. According to The Tao of Twitter of Mark W. Schaefer, tweet as least 20 minutes a day and a few times a day. However, bloggers should not overwhelm audiences with too much content updated too many times a day.

Another practice that businesses should generate is trying to respond to every comment that posted. Regardless the comment attitude is satisfied or dissatisfied because this is the good opportunity to demonstrate the business’s confidence toward its products/ image. Once the negative comments are handled correctly, business can show off its firmness in customer service and build rapport among others. Twitter account holders should engage with other users by re-tweeting somebody at least once a day, preferably more, because re-tweeting is another way to extend the compliment “Great job! I liked this tweet enough to share it”. (Schaefer, The Tao of Twitter). This is the good way to build up relationship with important followers.

The third best practice that should be applied in blogging or tweeting is taking advantage of SEO –search engine optimization to generate the blogs. The keywords or phrases used must be significant, especially in the title of the blog posts to bring the best outcome when somebody searches the relevant topic.

The other best practice that believed to be good for blogging and tweeting is to listen. According to Li and Bernoff in Groundswell, listening is the first tip to make the blog successful. “Listen to what’s being said out there before you drive in.” Listening is not only just simply listen but a very effective tool to conduct a marketing research, to gain the in-depth understanding about your target market and to socialize with those who discuss the same topic with you. “Listening is perhaps the most essential neglected skill in business”. (Li, Bernoff, Groundswell). Only starting by listening, bloggers can understand needs and wants of target customers to set up the optimal goal for their blogs as well as to develop the appropriate strategies to engage with customers effectively.

Image copied from mymamihood.com

Image copied from mymamihood.com

There are a lot of practices that blogger or Twitter account holder should acknowledge to thrive their pages. However, in the limit of this blog post, I would like to discuss the four most basic and critical elements for blogging/tweeting, especially for the beginners. I believe that education recruitment have applied these practices to push their social pages close to target customers. However, not all the negative posts in social media are handled appropriately and professionally. In fact, some chose to delete those negative comments immediately once they saw them on their pages, instead of making the proper response to clarify things out which caused the worse situation. Another issue that schools in particular and businesses in general should take note is social media is a business development tool, not just a trend. It should be used as the communication channel to communicate with customers. Hence, businesses should try to invest time and labor on this channel to respond and interact with all of the commenter as much as possible.

References:

Schaefer, M. W. (2011). The Tao of Twitter. Create Space.

Li, C. and Bernoff, J. Groundswell. Harvard Business Press.

Hunt, C. (2013, Dec 13). Twitter Best Practices: 11 + Tips for Tweeting well. Social media today. Retrieved from http://socialmediatoday.com/courtney-hunt/2002361/twitter-best-practices-11-tips-tweeting-well

Is it worth to take challenges and risks to go for brand social?

Image copied from behindthehustle.com

Image copied from behindthehustle.com

With the saturation of the market, businesses have had to turn into another marketing strategy as the alternative for the traditional method in order to increase the sales as well as enhance brand awareness. The booming of internet and social media has opened the new door for businesses to penetrate into the market. Nowadays, social media is considered as the must-have tool that companies ought to adopt to unveil the market potential. Yet, there are still many challenges and risks that businesses might face to during the “taking brand social” proceed regardless they type of industry business specializes one.Let’s take a deep look at the education field to observe the difficulties it needs to overcome to be successful with online recruitment.

Challenges:

Choose the suitable platforms: Decide the optimal social media platforms to meet with target audience: Although the most popular social media site currently is Facebook, using only Facebook will be too limiting the school messages and reaching possibility. For instance, universities that recruit students for higher education like post graduate, should consider LinkedIn because of its popularity among the college students and professional career.  According to High Education Marketing, as of October 2011, approximately 14 million of LinkedIn’s total 161 million members were students.

Adopt social media rules: It is has been the question for many businesses whether companies should allow and encourage employees to online behalf of the companies. Actually, this strategy brings about the benefit to school in terms of quick response to the online issues. However, the downside of this challenge is how schools can manage and control the employees’ social media usage manners to reassure everyone is on the same page and there is no out-of control interaction between school staffs and online users. In order to address this challenge, schools must have the common social media using rules applying to everyone.

Image copied from rodwolfemba.wordprees.com

Image copied from rodwolfemba.wordprees.com

Risks:

Negative feedback: With social media, things can go viral within a second. Choosing going for social media, schools should be aware of the risk- reward scenario in order to address the negative spread as quick as possible before it gets worse. Identifying the negative buzz is the first step in tackling the issue, followed by responding to those feedbacks in the most professional manner instead of deleting them.

Information Leakage and Data loss: Confidential information of schools might face to the risk of being accessed by another party that causes the negative impacts when using social media. Not only it leads to financial loses but also the depreciated reputation. Especially, personal information data about students’ address, phone number or date of birth might create the serious risk toward students if the information is tempted to use for the negative purposes.

When schools decide to take the brand social, there are many challenges and risks that need to be analyzed and addressed in timely manner. However, it would be more detrimental if schools choose to avoid those difficulties by not taking brand social because schools will eliminate the opportunities to get touch with the massively untapped market.

References:

Shullich, R. (2011, December 5). Risk assessment of social media. Retrieved from http://www.sans.org/reading-room/whitepapers/privacy/risk-assessment-social-media-33940

 

 

Google Analytics Mobile application.

Image copied from netcel.com

Image copied from netcel.com

In the United States today, there are more than 327 million mobile devices being used every day. The American mobile users averagely spend 127 minutes each day to check email, browse websites, do research or access other functions. (Street Fight Insights. (February, 2014). A study by Nielsen and Google published last month found that seventy seven of mobile searches are performed in a location of home or workplace where a PC is likely to be available. Mobile has been a growing buzzword in recent years and recognized as a top priority for businesses to engage with their customers. Noel Levitz 2013 E-Expectations Report showed the surprising impact of mobile browsing among the young adult toward their choices of universities/ colleges:

  • 75% of students claim higher education websites are influential in their decisions
  • More than 2/3 view higher education websites on mobile devices
  • Although only 20% had downloaded school apps, 71% indicated they would even like to complete enrollment via an app

Education search queries on mobile devices have been increasing approximately fifty percent year by year. Mobile site is an effective integral tool in helping colleges and universities connect with prospective students, who might become applicants eventually. However, in order to be more successful in engaging with students, schools should acknowledge the unique user behaviors on mobile devices by firstly, understanding the most popular landing site and the time on site. The new 2012 E-Recruiting Practices Report from Noel-Levitz claimed that over half of prospective students had used a mobile phone or table to view a college or university Web site. With the complexity of the cross-platform, schools need to utilize Google Analytics app so as to track the visitors from all referrers, including search engine, social networks or websites. Google Analytics is a service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about a website’s traffic and traffic sources and measures conversions and sales. About two years ago, Google brought Analytics to mobile apps of both Android and iOS which created the opportunity for businesses to manage visitors and monitor their pages anywhere, anytime.

One of the powerful features of Google Analytics is event tracking that supports schools track the numbers of people click on the ads, the reaction of viewers toward the video ads such as pausing, fast forwarding or stop playing. Through Google Analytics app, schools will get to know how many visitors visiting the website and the location of those audiences via LOCATIONS feature, where the viewers come from via the TRAFFIC SOURCES feature, and what are the active pages that visitors read and how many active visitors are on each of the pages via CONTENT. The other beautiful function of Google Analytics is to let schools know the exactly keywords that people use during their research, which is very much useful for schools to perfect their SEO. Through Google Analytics, schools also are able to know about the sources, for instance: Social media, ads or what links that lead viewers to their websites. This usage will assist schools identify more accurately the sources that schools should invest more in the future. Another wonderful identification is that Google Analytics can generate up to 85 different reportsthat will help schools analyze all possible data about their website traffic.

In fact, Google Analytics is undoubtedly the most widely used tool analytics application which is not only popular in education industry but also other fields. It is a powerful and free, why do not grab the mobile phone and download it for your business NOW!

References:

Jacobs, S. (2013 May 14). New report examines Hyperlocal targeting on mobile. Street Fight. Retrieved from http://streetfightmag.com/2013/05/13/new-report-examines-hyperlocal-targeting-on-mobile/
Levitz, N. (2012 July 11). College e-recruiting strategies: Is your campus keeping up with technology? Retrieved from http://blog.noellevitz.com/2012/07/11/college-e-recruiting-strategies/

School recruitment is more effective with social media ?

Image copied from blog.noellevitz.com

Image copied from blog.noellevitz.com

Social media creates an impact on almost any type of business and industry. Less than a decade ago, with its rapid development, social media represented a huge opportunity for businesses to build their brands as well as increase their market share online. Not only that, social media is also becoming a part of the lifestyle of the younger generation, who are the “digital natives”. Understanding this cue from the students, universities and colleges across the US are investing more time on using social media to connect with prospective and engage current students. Social media also support universities to have a more “international atmosphere” by advertising their names all over the world, having more chance to get in touch with international students and following up  potential applications.  As compared with the traditional media, universities are able to save much on traveling and advertising expenditures as well as labor and time resources, by using social media. In fact, the question is not whether universities and colleges should adhere to social media, but which sites they should embrace and how to use them effectively. It has always been a time-tested approach to “go to where your customers are”. The target market of universities and colleges are students, who, most likely own a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account, or even all three.
Facebook: Most social media users are active on Facebook also. According to the The Verge, 2014, Facebook has 1.28 billion monthly active users and over 1 billion monthly active mobile users. This is always the potential site for schools to engage with students because a large portion of their targeted market is at their fingertips. According to Deseret News, 2012, as of August 2012, eighty-five percent of colleges said they use Facebook to recruit students. And in reverse, according to the 2012 Social Admissions Report, almost seventy percent of students have utilized social media including Facebook, Twitter and Youtube to research colleges, and approximately forty percent using these tools to decide where to enroll. One of the great examples for the success of schools in using social media for their recruitment is Brock University. In just eight months, Brock has sixteen Chinese students enrolled via Renren (a copied version of Facebook used in China) and less than one year more than 1600 Chinese students have expressed their interests in Brock. (Macleans, 2011).

Youtube: Youtube is a wonderful online advertising tool. Video posted on Youtube regarding campus tour, student testimonials, sport events and experimental sharing will leave the impression for the audiences. If the video is impressive enough, it has a high potential to go viral, that means thousands of people will share the video link with their people – a type of “word-of-mouth” advertising. A UC-Berkeley page provides viewers access to full class lecture on a variety of subjects instead of a greeting to welcome newcomers.

LinkedIn: This is another potential social networking site that universities and colleges should invest on. LinkedIn is currently holding the number one position for the professionalism among all of the social media sites. If Facebook was purposely designed to encourage almost everyone to join regardless of their social status in life, LinkedIn has its reputation in college students and in the community with professional occupations. Which means schools can find its targeted market through this social site, especially targeted market for higher education.

Imaged copied from youvisit.com

Imaged copied from youvisit.com

Another potential social media site that is becoming more and more popular as a school recruitment support is Instagram. Instagram is leading the mobile sharing application among the young people with more than 200 million users nowadays. Michigan University’s Instagram account has more than 23000 followers and grows by 700 percent a year. With about 35000 followers, Instagram of Boston College is currently one of the most popular Instagram accounts among the US universities. (Inside Higher Ed, 2013). With the advanced feature, Instagram is the great mobile phone app for colleges and universities to show off their campus photos and videos to the public, as well as engaging online with their students on campus and around the world.
According to the Campus Technology, 2012, U.S schools spent thirty three percent less on print media, twenty four percent less on newspaper advertising and seventeen percent less on TV and radio marketing in order to invest more on social media.  Social media is considered as the key to student recruitment in the digital age as the statement of Chris Larkin, University of Salford’s Director of Communications: “Engaging students across those platforms which today form an integral part of their daily lives is an essential part of any marketing, recruitment and brand strategy.  Ignore it at your peril.” (An analysis of UK universities on social media, 2013).

References:

Dehaas, J. (2011 May 20). Brock recruits Chinese students on social media. Macleans. Retrieved from http://www.macleans.ca/education/uniandcollege/brock-recruits-chinese-students-on-social-media/

Head, P. (2013, September 20). An analysis of UK universities on social media. The Uni Pod. Retrieved from http://www.theunipod.com/making-your-choice/university-rankings/social-media-rankings/theunipod-social-media-rankings-2013

Straumsheim, c. (2013 November 27). Experts of engagement. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/11/27/institutions-recruit-students-reach-students-social-media

Social media tools: Buffer vs HootSuite

Understanding the power of social media, businesses embrace social networking sites as strategic marketing strategies regardless of the type of the business industry. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and so on and so forth are considered as the must-have marketing tools of approximately ninety-seven percent of businesses (Stelzner, 2013). With the rapid development of social networking sites, determining the right social media monitoring tool is not an easy decision, because the consideration process should be done based on the observation and understanding of social site demographics as well as customers’ social site preferences, not the personal perception. Businesses must “Go to where the customers are”. Let’s take a glance at the field of education to observe how American schools and universities market themselves as well as recruit new students through social media under the support of social media tools. It is obvious that the target market of the schools and universities are the young people and parents. With the fact that almost every single young person utilizes Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn and other social platforms, schools adhere to the Buffer or HootSuite tool in order to make the best out of the benefits that social media can bring about.

Image copied from musicindustryhowto.com

Image copied from musicindustryhowto.com

Buffer is a software application which is designed to manage social network by providing the means for users to schedule posts and send updates to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and App.net. It works ideally for schools during the busy time period. This is a powerful and smart social media tool with built-in analytics to support the account holders understand the content as well as the time frame that makes the post go well, base on analyzing the involvement of audiences toward that post. Users can download the browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox or Safari, and “Buffer” program works right in to the social profiles. Buffer also provides apps for iPhone and Android, making it convenient and giving an opportunity to its users to use the services at anytime and anywhere. In December 2012, TechCrunch reported the Buffer application had over 400,000 users. As of September 19, 2013, according to Co-founder Leo Widrich, Buffer has reached 1 million registered users. (Bufferapp, 2013)
The other social media tool that creates the huge impact on the outcome of social media networking that schools love to engage is HootSuite. HootSuite is a very effective supporter for the social network integrations including Twitter, Facebook , LinkedIn, Google +, Foursquare, MySpace, WordPress, TrendSpottr and Mixi.. One of the outstanding points of HootSuite is the auto scheduler. Schools can create the post, select the network, then HootSuite will automatically select the best time to publish that post. Another powerful function of HootSuite is Reporting. With this function, schools can get custom reports via email to keep track how the social media networking are performing, including the click summary. HootSuite also supports keyword tracking, which is really helpful for keeping up-to-date on business trends across various social media networks. HootSuite operates on a freemium model and has over 7 million users in more than 175 countries.

Both Buffer and HootSuite have their own pros and cons. If Buffer has a reputation for its scheduling function, HootSuite is known for the analysis report. Thus, if schools/universities adhere to both, it will create a great combination that provides the best solution to manage the various social media sites in a very timely manner to gain the best interests that social media can bring about.

References:

Widrich, L. (2013 September 19). The journey and statistics of Buffer. Bufferapp. Retrieved from http://blog.bufferapp.com/from-0-to-1000000-users-the-journey-and-statistics-of-buffer

Lunden, I. (2013, August 1). Hootsuite raises $165M series B round from insight. Techcrunch. Retrieved from http://techcrunch.com/2013/08/01/hootsuite-raises-165m-series-b-round-from-insight-accel-and-omers-to-go-large-on-enterprise-social-media-monitoring/