All posts in “social media”


We’re looking for a Social Media Manager

What we want

Experience – first and foremost. A Social Media Manager who can plan, execute and nurture brand relationships across various social platforms for an array of Apex Media clients, working in a cross-functional team.

Who you are

A specialist. Seriously. We’re a team of T-shaped storytellers and communicators, who shift between the content, creative and strategic space. We’re looking for someone to dip in and share strategic recommendations, but whose POV is focused on social media, paid and analytics – with an eye to campaigns and the long-term commitment of community management. You must have experience working in a digital agency or editorial space, and must be proficient in the paid/online advertising space (Twitter, Facebook, Ad Words and YouTube).

What you will do

  • Work independently and with the content and creative team
  • Develop social media strategy, editorial planning and calendars alongside the content team for roll out on social media across a range of campaigns and clients
  • Plan and buy Twitter, Facebook and YouTube ads
  • Build and maintain relationships with key influencers, manage as required in a long-term or on a campaigns basis
  • Launch and maintain brand presences on key social media platforms as and when required
  • Co-develop content ideas for social channels
  • Monitor, analyse, manage and report on social media activity using different analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, Hootsuite, Radian6, and others.
  • Work closely with the Managing Partners to continuously ensure best practice within the agency and build out the social department.

If this sounds like your kind of job, we look forward to hearing from you. Please send a cv and covering letter (or link – it is 2016 after all) to

20 Marketing Trends for 2013

20 Marketing Trends for 2013

The notion of campaigns have been around since the golden age of advertising. Campaigns are a defined series of activities, tactics and channels that often revolve around a common theme. And yes, campaigns have been good to us. But here’s the problem; their structure is often times rigid and can’t keep up with changing customer behaviors and rapidly changing technology. Campaigns are generally short-lived and not triggered based upon real-time actions or data, which can put the marketer at a disadvantage.


The notion of campaigns have been around since the golden age of advertising. Campaigns are a defined series of activities, tactics and channels that often revolve around a common theme. And yes, campaigns have been good to us. But here’s the problem; their structure is often times rigid and can’t keep up with changing customer behaviors and rapidly changing technology. Campaigns are generally short-lived and not triggered based upon real-time actions or data, which can put the marketer at a disadvantage.

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In 2013, marketing will no longer sustain as its own department. Every interaction your sales, HR, customer, development, finance, and executive teams take online is a way to promote your brand, products, or services. As a result, almost every employee will turn into an inbound marketer.

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Smarter marketing means understanding our customers beyond demographic information. In the future, we’ll be looking outside our CRM system to collect a unified view of customer behavior. According to David Raab, contributing analyst at Gleanster, web behavior data as well as data from other sources, such as accounting or order processing systems, will become easier to integrate in 2013. Over the next year, it will become an increasingly important initiative for CMOs to invest in technology that compiles customer data in a way that is more easily measurable and actionable. As a result, customer analysis will become the hot new feature for marketing automation providers.

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A recent Fournaise Marketing Group study found that 73% of executives don’t believe that marketing drives
demand and revenue. Ouch.
In 2013, that will start to change. Marketing will play a more critical role in contributing to revenue generation. Marketing activities will not only be measured on traffic and lead generation, but will further optimize processes that directly impact sales growth. And to do that, key performance indicators (KPIs) under the marketing department will change.

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Have a Facebook account? Check. Twitter? Check? LinkedIn and Pinterest? Check and check. OK, now what? Up until now, social media has remained very siloed. Activity that happens on social stays there. In the year head, integrating social media behavior and data into the rest of the marketing mix (and database) will become crucial in order to reach customers with relevant messages in real-time.

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In 2012, more people bought a smartphone than a PC. Clearly, mobile is where marketers need to be. According to an IBM study released in June 2012, almost 9 in 10 global marketers either have a mobile site or a mobile application or plan to employ one in the future. However, only 1 in 5 currently run mobile marketing tactics as part of integrated campaigns, with the remainder running their mobile programs discretely and on an ad hoc basis.

In 2013, marketers will finally list mobile as a major line item on their marketing strategy. Not only will there be continued investment in mobileoptimized websites and email, but we’ll see mobile take a more important role when integrating with marketing campaigns. By the end of the year, mobile will become a more strategic and must-have channel for many businesses.

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Over the years, good search engine optimization (SEO) was all about knowing the tricks of the trade. The SEO of tomorrow will be less about having the right H1 tag or the right keywords on the page and more about creating really good, original content that is socially consumed and shared. Overall, SEO will go further and further away from on-page SEO, and focus on the various components of offpage SEO, as Rand described, that come together for a holistic and powerful SEO strategy.

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Sure, marketers are great at creative, but the marketers that company’s hire in 2013 will carry skills in content creation, lead generation, optimization and data analysis. In an economy that’s tough on job seekers, the war for talent will become even more fierce. With the growing importance of content and data, companies will hire more Inbound Marketers in 2013.
According to trends measured by SimplyHired, “Inbound Marketing” jobs increased 52% and “Content Marketing” jobs increased 26% since October 2011.
Increasingly, the marketers that get hired in the future will more likely have the words “publisher” and “pivottable lover” on their resume.

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I’m not a fan of buzzwords, but there’s something intriguing about the promise of big data. Gartner predicts that it will drive $232 Billion In I.T. spending through 2016. But so far, big data as been for engineers, not marketers. In 2013 we’ll see a rise of startups that are dedicated to making big data more accessible to folks on the front end, such as sales, business development, and marketing professionals. One of these, Origami Logic, aims to give marketers access to big data in a way that is digestible and usable by them specifically.

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The first time Amazon introduced me to the perfect book for me via their recommendation engine, I was completely awed. The idea that a website could not only recognize a return visitor, but also discern their interests and alter their site experience accordingly, felt like nothing short of magic.

Since then, data-driven personalization, or dynamic content, has become more common, though not entirely pervasive in the marketing space. In 2013, we’ll start to hear more about adaptive, ‘smart’ content.

As context becomes increasingly important in any inbound marketing strategy, dynamic content enables marketers to serve highly personalize messages to the right audience at the right time.

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No one likes marketing speak. That’s why we’ll start to see organizations become more “human” through social interactions and great content. Companies will develop a personality through storytelling. Corporations become less “faceless” and the trust between companies and consumers continue to grow.

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No, email is not dead. And it won’t be in 2013, either (as much as some of us would like it to). In fact, email will continue to be an important part of the marketing mix. However; how it will be used, is what will change. Marketing emails will become less “batch and blast” and instead more personalized, relevant and targeted based on real-time data. There will be increased importance in opt-in marketing instead of opt-out marketing and buying lists will become a less-used practice.

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Just a few, short years ago, marketing automation was the “must-have” on every marketers wishlist. Unfortunately, the “set-it and forget-it” mentality of automation, while nice sounding, resulted in an unhealthy process of churning a database of email through a set “nurturing” process until they were spammed to death. The promise of marketing automation starts to fail because it is not supported by a solid inbound marketing foundation. Essentially, not enough leads enter the funnel to keep the automated machine running. This is called “Death by Marketing Automation.”

In 2013, CMOs and senior executives will allocate more resources to creating a strong inbound engine – generating interest, traffic, leads, and conversions – to support the demand generation engine. The graph below, provided by Google Trends, show that over time, more marketers will be searching for solutions and best practices to inbound marketing over marketing automation.

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In 2012, we saw a lot of acquisitions, IPOs, private rounds of funding, and the emergence of new startups. As the marketing industry heats up, we can expect even more action. This is great news for the marketing industry. In 2013, we will see two major changes in the technology landscape:

• More investment in technology solutions that solve for inbound marketing, social media management, and marketing measurement, attribution and ROI .

More importantly, software and services that are integrated and unified with other channels, departments, and databases is key. In fact, Gartner predicts that CMOs will outspend CIOs by 2017. Specifically, marketers will spend more on unified, integrated technology solutions that eliminate data silos.

• As more widgets, gadgets and devices enter the market, marketers will need to figure how to use each platform in the best and most appropriate way. Taking an old advertising model onto new technologies won’t fly.

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Content is king, whether you like it or not. Creating more and more content will be among the top priorities for marketing teams in 2013. In addition to the increase in allocating budget to content creation, we’ll find increasingly more curation services and “content marketplaces” that will help marketers deliver more in a content-heavy world.

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Socially-generated content, where your audience help builds content for you (usually through a contest), has been done for years. But there is an even bigger opportunity for crowdsourcing platforms that contribute to new marketing ideas. As the social footprint grows, marketers will find more ways to leverage crowd creativity by build interesting and viral pieces of content with their network of fans and followers.

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Expect to see the convergence of marketing and gaming over the next year. And I don’t been product placement in Farmville. Marketing will become more interactive in how it’s deployed and consumed. “Gamificiation” will help increase the stickiness of content through its entertainment value, reward, and learning abilities. Perhaps through gamification, marketing will actually be enjoyable instead of avoided.

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With all this attention toward content as the holy grail of marketing, it doesn’t mean that written content is the only form that works. Sites like Pinterest and Instragram prove that visual content is really worth 1000 words (or in Instragram’s case, $1 billion). Infographics, photos, picture boards, video, and other forms of rich-media will increase over the coming years as humans look to digest more information faster than ever before.

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To do marketing better in 2013, marketers will need to go beyond simply creating content to creating a personalized experience for their target customer that’s seamless across multiple interactions. These experiences will leverage context to make a company’s marketing jive with the searcher’s proclivities – the things you’ve learned about your leads over months and years of talking with them. The things they do, the things they say, the sites they like, the products they purchase, their happiness level with your company – all to have deeper and more meaningful relationships and better results.

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Mass marketing gets a 2% response rate, if you’re lucky. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, can produce conversion rates 10x higher or more. That’s because prospects respond to valuable content that is more helpful and educational. More so than ever before, budgets spent on outbound marketing (paid media) will shift to inbound marketing (earned media and original content). According to 2012 study, one-third of CMOs say that more than half of their budgets have shifted from traditional to digital marketing in the past year.

Network Improvement & Upgrades

We’re happy to share some great news with you – Apex is growing and expanding!

As a part of our many months of hard work to harden our network, improve stability, and strengthen our systems overall we’ve chosen to move into some new state-of-the-art data centers. This move so far has provided additional stability and redundancy for our customers and our network. As a part of these improvements we will be shutting down our server in the Los Angeles Airport adjacent (LAX) data center where your site is currently hosted.

Your site will be migrated into our newest data center (located in the US – East Region, in Ashburn, Virginia) within about a week starting from December 7th. During the move you should not experience ANY interruption in service with one exception! If you have third party DNS (your domain does not point to our nameservers) or other services that connect to your domain via the IP address, we will need to update those outside records to match yours.

Once the move has completed, we will notify you via email, Facebook & Twitter and here on our news.

We are very happy to share this great news with you – it will only mean a better and more reliable experience for you.

Should you have any questions or concerns please comment on this message with the details.

Thank you for your continued support!

Microsoft Launches – Their Own Social Network

With decidedly little fanfare, Microsoft’s research-oriented FUSE Labs launched a new, student-oriented social network last weekend. While very much an experimental product at this point, (pronounced “social”) does highlight once more that the Redmond-based software giant is keen to keep its boffins thinking outside the box in order to find the next big thing, first. has been put through a series of tests at the University of Washington, Syracuse University, and New York University since December 2011, and Microsoft has been very keen to manage expectations about the project. Rather than make any bold claims about being a white knight to usurp the reigning Facebook, the company seems instead to be headed in a different, altogether more academic direction, aiming to turn into a viable platform for younger people to share useful information quickly and easily. As a company blog post from December 2011 states:

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[blockquote align=”center”] has been designed for students studying social media to extend their educational experience and rethink how they learn and communicate. They can build posts with many elements—photos, video, text, and more—and share them with colleagues. They also can find students with similar interests and build communities around specific educational goals. might even give students the ability to create their own social tool, customized for their own community.[/blockquote]

While the above features are interesting, they’re far from compelling and one could just as easily imagine another more established social network simply rolling such options into their existing platforms, thus nullifying’s merits. Once we also add the fact that fact that the service launched without any mobile support, it’s clear just how green this project actually is.

So, early days then and at this point it’s anyone’s guess as to whether will become Microsoft’s academic answer to Google+ or, rather, its Google Wave. You can decide for yourself, as is open to all comers and just needs a Facebook login or Windows Live account to get started.

South African Social Media Landscape 2011

South Africans have embraced social media as a core pillar of Internet activity in this country, along with e-mail, news and banking. MXit and Facebook lead the way in user numbers, while Twitter has seen the most dramatic growth in social networking in the past year, and BlackBerry Messenger is the fastest growing network in the second half of 2011.

Continue Reading…

South African Social Media Landscape 2011

Executive Summary: Social media goes mainstream in SA

South Africans have embraced social media as a core pillar of Internet activity in this country, along with e-mail, news and banking. MXit and Facebook lead the way in user numbers, while Twitter has seen the most dramatic growth in social networking in the past year, and BlackBerry Messenger is the fastest growing network in the second half of 2011.

These are among the key findings of a new study by Fuseware and World Wide Worx, entitled South African Social Media Landscape 2011.

“The question of how many South Africans use each of the major social networks comes up so often, it became a priority for us to pin down the numbers,” says Michal Wronski, Managing Director of information analysts Fuseware and co-author of the report. “The data was collected through a combination of Fuseware’s analysis of social network databases, information provided directly by social networks, and World Wide Worx’s consumer market research.”

An analysis of Fuseware’s extensive database of Twitter usage, in conjunction with World Wide Worx’s consumer market research, shows that there were 1,1-million Twitter users in South Africa in mid-2011. This is a 20-fold increase in a little more than a year.

“One of the drivers of growth of Twitter is the media obsession with the network,” says report co-author Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of World Wide Worx. “Most radio and TV personalities with large audiences are engaged in intensive campaigns to drive their listeners and viewers to both Twitter and Facebook. The former, coming off a very low base, is therefore seeing the greatest growth.”

As in the global environment, not all Twitter users are active users, with only 40% tweeting, but probably as many simply watching, following and using it as a breaking news service.

MXit remains the most popular social network in South Africa, with approximately 10-million active users. Its demographic mix runs counter to the popular media image of MXit as a teen-dominated environment. No less than 76% of the male user base of MXit and 73% of female users are aged 18 or over.

A surprising finding emerged from analysis of Facebook data. Of approximately 4.2-million Facebook users in South Africa by August 2011, only 3.2 million had visited the site in the year-to-date.

“This is partly a factor of many users moving on once the novelty of the site had worn off, as well as a result of the fickle nature of the youth market,” says Wronski. “Once BBM picked up significant traction in private schools, for example, many teenagers who had previously flocked to Facebook, opted for BBM’s greater immediacy.”

While LinkedIn, aimed at professional users, also reached the 1,1-million mark, it came off a far higher base – but still saw 83% growth of South African users from 2010 to 2011. Of these, 112 000 or 10% are business owners.

Consumer research analysed in the report revealed that future intention of usage of most social networks is strongly related to age. The younger the user, the greater the intention of usage.

“This is only one of many micro-trends shaping social networking,” says Goldstuck. “MXit, Facebook and BBM statistics illustrate, for example, that as social networks become more mainstream, their penetration within all age ranges deepens. This, in turn, will result in the continual flattening of the age curve as social networks mature.”