The 2013 Cerebra Social Business Africa Report

Cerebra Posted by on the 12th of August 2013 | Comments

New research report by Cerebra, examines the social media and social business practices of Africa’s top 200 companies.

When ranking brand social engagement in Africa, telecoms companies lead the way, occupying four of the top five positions. In no particular order, they are: Safaricom (@Safaricomltd), MTN Nigeria (@MTNNg), Mobinil (@Mobinil), Maroc Telecom (@Maroc_Telecom). This according to the 2013 Cerebra Social Business Africa Report, a comprehensive study of the internal collaboration and external social engagement of Africa’s top 200 companies, powered by Fuseware.

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What does ‘social business’ mean for an organisation?

Posted by on the 7th of August 2013 | Comments

This is a popular question and in order to give a meaningful answer, it’s best to revisit what ‘social business’ means and then unpack how this impacts on business decisions.

At its core, a social business understands that people do business with people. A social business focuses on leveraging conversations and collaboration in order to more effectively achieve overarching marketing, sales, communication and business objectives.

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Social Business Africa 2013

Cerebra Posted by on the 3rd of July 2013 | Comments

Following the success of the inaugural Social Business Summit last year, sponsors Cerebra and WyseTalk have confirmed that Dion Hinchcliffe, Chief Strategy Officer of Dachis Group, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Social Business Africa conference.

Social Business Africa empowers business decision makers with insights and practical tools to transform their organisations from the inside out, and capitalise on the disruptive nature of social customers, employees, and technologies.

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Instagram is moving (literally)

Posted by on the 21st of June 2013 | Comments

If you download the update you’ll see that you can now choose between photo or video and then (as per normal photo usage) choose filters before you publish.

On face value, from a product development point of view, it makes sense that one of the fastest growing photo editing and sharing social networks would expand their offering.


I think that Instagram was one of the first apps I downloaded when I upgraded to an iPhone (it’s been around since Oct 2010.) I’m a visual person with a very short attention span so being able to see ‘slice of life’ pics from all over the world was appealing – still is. It’s a true mobile photo sharing and editing app that just works, and stuff looks amazing, what’s not to love?

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Vodacom recognised as Africa’s top social brand

Cerebra Posted by on the 29th of May 2013 | Comments

Mobile communications company Vodacom is the only African brand to have its social media platforms, run by integrated strategic communication agency Cerebra, recognised by the 2013 Social Brands 100 report.

Read more here

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SEO and the Filter Bubble

Posted by on the 7th of May 2013 | Comments

A significant pillar of search engine optimisation [SEO] has always been relevance. Delving deeper into present-day search algorithms however, has revealed a development that surely challenges the SEO principles we’re all accustomed to.

Consider this: invisible search engine filters ensure that you and I receive tailored, and therefore, very different SERPs when we individually do a Google search on the topic of, for example, the Gupta family (see the screenshot below for my results; share yours with me).

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Facebook To Charge For Private Messaging?

Posted by on the 26th of March 2013 | Comments

This morning the office was abuzz with talk of Facebook’s latest change – seems the company has rolled out preliminary testing on their messaging service. Basically, should you wish to send a private message to someone who is not a connection, Facebook will charge you anywhere from $1 (approx. R9,46) to deliver your message. If you don’t pay, your message will be sent to that recipients spam folder.


I tried to test this today by sending a message to a colleague who is not a friend on Facebook, and my message went through just fine. So although this testing phase has been rolled out in South Africa, it’s clearly only to a percentage of the South African users, for now.

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SXSW: Behaviour on the Internet

Posted by on the 18th of March 2013 | Comments

The majority of all the sessions I attended had one key point – explaining how humans behave on the web, and how we can take “advantage” of that behavior.

Sounds easy, but it seems most of us, as much as we use the web, take little notice of the finer human nuances to how people share, gather, read and talk. In a talk about cyber bullying with the creators of itgetsbetter.org, they highlighted the fact that in certain communities people enjoy being anonymous. This simple human truth – that we all have secrets and don’t necessarily share everything with everyone – is why many LGBT forums exist, allowing people to come together in a closed community and talk about their challenges or fears. Community, even in anonymity, is strong.

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SXSW: A brief overview

Keenan Harduth Posted by on the 13th of March 2013 | Comments

Anyone who knows anything about SXSW knows that it is a frenzied week of interactive conferences, film and music. This year it is even bigger as its the 20th anniversary of the event, which means there are over 5000 events in the city of Austin.

Born in 1987 as a music festival only, the organisers added the film festival and interactive conference in 1994. Johnny Cash was the keynote speaker in 1987 and in 2013 the main keynote was Elon Musk.

This is a clear indication of how the super conference has evolved over the years from music dominating the scene up to 2009/2010 to the switch to interactive becoming the biggest pull for people. The numbers speak for themselves, as you can see in the table below.

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SXSW: Social Media ROI

Posted by on the 12th of March 2013 | Comments

It was with great interest that I attended a working group session on social media ROI. The room was filled with both brand marketing as well as agency social media people. I must state up front this was an open discussion session and not a talk from a panel.

First off, I was fascinated at how sales focused most of the questions were, with the majority of the Q&A revolving around how people have succeeded in selling more via social. Considering the environment and audience, I really would have thought the conversation would have progressed a bit.
The main points, which we’ve all heard over and over, are outlined below:

• Billboards can’t track sales so why should social.

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SXSW: How Brands Survive In China

Keenan Harduth Posted by on the 12th of March 2013 | Comments

After 6 years of research into why businesses succeed or fail in China, Emily Chong, the AVP of Design and Marketing for Frog innovation specialists, tackles the subject of survival strategies for brands in China. The parallels and differences in marketing to South Africans were startling.

Here are some of the insights for anyone thinking of taking their products or services East, or for anyone venturing into new territories.

Stop thinking these are nascent markets

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SXSW: Lessons from the Shanzhai – how we can innovate better

Posted by on the 11th of March 2013 | Comments

Lyn Jeffery from the Institute Of The Future has drawn fascinating correlations between the counterfeit goods industry in China and how their approach can help western businesses innovate faster. Their most lucrative market at the moment is technology, where the counterfeit mobile phone market is said to be worth $15billion, and the Shanzhai produce all of these handsets.

The Shanzhai (A collective network of counterfeit goods manufacturers in China) get products to market faster, in bigger volume and cheaper than anyone else, but how do they do it?

The Shanzhai work in highly effective agile networks, and there are five rules they apply to innovation:

1. Never build anything from scratch

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