Experiment with #AdWords

I have started on a new experiment over the past few days- using AdWords to promote my blog.

Yes, I do want more pageviews and visitors to my blog, but I am not expecting to use paid search to gain 1,000,000 PV and UV overnight. The purpose of using AdWords to promote my blog, is to get hands-on experience in Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

In the past, paid search marketing falls in the same category as SEO, but now paid search has a more defined role. And now we have SEO and SEM.

Reading about digital and social media is one way to learn. But hands-on experience will help you get insights, and makes understanding easier. (Perhaps I am just someone who needs practice to learn better.)

There are so many aspects of digital marketing, and Performance Marketing is one of them. I am interested to find out more about Performance Marketing, but I don’t see myself going down in that career path, as my interest still lies with content creation, the creative production side of it. (I am not saying people doing Performance Marketing are not creative! They need to be very creative to think of good and effective media strategies! Creative here is a noun.)

So in case you reside in Singapore, and happen to see banner ads of my blog when you conduct a search, please don’t be alarmed. This is part of my experiment and learning process.


#Thrive: Catching up with a good friend

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp, WeChat, etc, all sorts of social platforms to help us stay in touch with friends. The irony of it all, technology helps to make it better, makes it easier for people to “talk” to one another, keep in touch without having to meet up. However, how often do you keep in touch with friends after parting ways?

I am glad to have met great people at workplace, and we become good friends.

One of the new year resolutions I’ve made this year, is to catch up with old friends. (Refer to this post.)

I love the personal touch and face to face interaction. I love to see the expression, the body language, which you can never get over text. One can hide some of the emotions behind a screen. (unless you do video-conferencing with your friends all the time, but that is quite unlikely.)

Though it was just a lunch appointment with this friend, but it brought me much positive feelings. It’s about learning from each other, sharing what we wouldn’t do in the digital world. This is social interaction at its best.


Mob-Ex 2015

Just attended Mob-Ex 2015 with my boss, met some old friends, and made some new ones.

I was there as an observer, keeping track of who are the big winners on both the agency and client side.

Deep down in my heart, I was rooting for 2 teams. It’s been a long day, woke up at 4am and the dinner ended at 1030pm. I stayed on because I believe the 2 teams will win something, they did. Congratulations!


#Search and #Social

I love reading, buying books and keeping them. My college teachers used to call me 藏书楼主, meaning keeper of books towers.

In 2014, I bought the book: Search and Social- The Definitive Guide to Real-Time Content Marketing.

I read it, and wrote to the writer, Rob Garner.

Rob replied, and invited me to ClickZ Live Shanghai to help him with translation work. We met, we worked together, we exchanged ideas. He became my mentor. We are now friends.

Recently, Global Managing Director at Ogilvy & Mather, Thomas Crampton recommended Rob’s book as one of them to read to learn more about social media. So I shared the news with Rob, and it triggered me to read the book again.

Search & Social: The Definitive Guide to Real-Time Content Marketing

Search & Social: The Definitive Guide to Real-Time Content Marketing

The book is very used. Ignore the dog/cat/monkey whatever you call it ears.

Reading the same book again gives me new perspectives. As I meet more people, discuss digital and social media, I begin to ask more questions.

I always hear people (especially “Social Media” folks) say: Digital and Social Media are completely different! Don’t lump them together. Are you sure?

I hear people say: Having a good social media strategy and community boosts your SEO. Do you know HOW it helps with SEO? (I often wonder why clients don’t ask WHY. You would want to know if the person you are engaging services for knows what he/she is doing.) No doubt one can be better in social media and wants to focus on that, but it is important for the same person to have basic knowledge of search, analytics, and even media strategy to come up with a holistic view and plan for the brand.

I hear people say: Keywords are important in social media content. Do you know which are the long-tail keywords? And how do you avoid looking too spammy to the search engines?

I hear people say: I only do social media, I just need to know the platform and user behaviour to do a good job. Even as a community manager, you need to know what are some of the keywords to use in your replies and communications to the public. You need to know what are the latest trends, and these results come from top trending keywords. Eg, Twitter and Facebook has trending hashtags. That’s part of search! Search engines can help provide you with clues on what’s trending too! That’s SEARCH!

I had a conversation with a digital planner, and she was surprised that I mentioned social media is part of digital, I don’t see it as silo. It never occurred to me that social media is a separate entity from the whole digital ecosystem. If you call digital the parents, then social media platforms would be the kids. They will always be related by blood, that flows and transcend boundaries.

I am never stingy about lending my books out. But I will not loan Search & Social out, with the fear that it will go missing. If you want to read, try the library if you don’t want to buy one. Rob has his book in Chinese as well.

Rob, this post is dedicated to you.


Learn and #thrive

Education is always a good investment. I’m not saying everyone should get a MBA, but any form of self improvement.

It can be in the form of buying good books to read and improve your skills, or taking classes, short term courses.

It’s been 7 years since I graduated from university. Looking back at my working years, I’m glad I’ve taken a course, or attended a conference once in every of my working year.

Knowing this is a fast moving digital and social world, it’s constant learning.

Learning and to get better, that’s how I #thrive!

Wearable tech: My Fitbit Flex

It’s said wearable tech will be one of the highlights in 2015, with many new brands and designs. More powerful devices, with better aesthetics.

I’m quite happy with how my Fitbit Flex looks like. I do find the range of trackers from Fitbit looking quite pleasant. Not too rugged for a lady’s everyday wear, even for Fitbit Charge.

My Fitbit Flex

I love my fitness tracker device, though there are things that I feel can be better. If only I don’t have to remove the tracker and charging takes place with solar energy. As long as one is in the sun, the tracker will absorb the energy. And this encourages people to get out and walk more!

Fitbit Flex is charging

I always feel strange when my tracker is charging, because I know I will miss out on steps taken, calories burned, and that day’s recording won’t be so accurate. (Call me obsessed!) That’s why I hope for a device that will not required you to remove the tracker from your body at all to charge.

There are so much for such trackers to catch up. Things such as heart rate tracking, better sleep monitoring, capturing calories intake without having the user/wearer to input manually. I’m hoping for a tracker that can detect sleep automatically, from the time I fall asleep, sleep pattern and quality, and what time I should wake up. I’ve read in a Huffington Post article that sleep comes in 90 minute blocks, if you wake up at the end of the 90 minute cycle, you will wake up feeling fresh.

It will be exciting times ahead for wearable tech. I’m looking forward to see one that will better suit my needs. (And price must be affordable too! I’ve got my Fitbit Flex really cheap during Amazon Black Friday sales!)

For now, I’m happy with my Fitbit Flex.

Shoot. Shoot. Shoot.

I think I took more than 500 photos today.

My creative designer told me she needs some high resolution image of Kinder Bueno chocolate, so I went out to get some today. Once I got back, I started shooting and uploaded them to Box for her to use. (It’s 100+ photos for this batch, so it took a while to upload.)

While it’s uploading, I went to Bras Besah to look for flipboard. (It’s for office, my boss Zoran told me to get it. Thank goodness it will be delivered to my office the next day, so I won’t have to lug it up 3 storeys of stairs! Office is in a shophouse, there’s no lift!)

Came back, and continued with the shoot. Making use of whatever I can find at home, from yoghurt, granola, transparent glass cups and bowls and of course chocolates, I made up whatever I can and snapped pictures.

It’s just so me, once I start, I can’t stop.

Though it’s work, but I do love photography. It was good fun today with my oh so bimbo camera! And this is how I #thrive!

My oh so bimbo Samsung NX1000

10 things about #hashtag: 2014 Roundup

10 things about hashtag


Hashtags, a topic close to my heart. 10 things I have to say about using #Hashtags, and let this be my roundup post for 2014.

1. Hashtags are used to curate content on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, they don’t work the same way as in blogs. I used hashtags in my blog posts for illustration purposes.

2. Don’t spam hashtags. Use a maximum of 3.

3. Even though Instagram allows up to use of 30 hashtags, but that doesn’t mean you have to use all of them. As Guy Kawasaki said, don’t try and game the system. It makes your brand looks desperate.

4. I did a hashtag test on Instagram previously. I used alot of hashtags, waited and see how long I need to wait for someone to point out to me this is not a best practice. I waited for a few months, and it was my colleague in the agency, Ericson who pointed it out to me. (yay! to Ericson!)

5. Some hashtags are just strange, and long. eg, #mrXXXwasmysecondaryschoolchemistryteacher (????!!!!) What is the purpose?

6. If its for a brand, be consistent with your hashtags, it will reinforce your brand recall amongst consumers.

7. I have fought with many people on the use of hashtags. (It’s not using the more the merrier!)

8. There are many free tools (and paid ones) to find out what are some of the popular hashtags you can use to help promote your brand. (for content with seasonality)

9. Unless it’s a super uber nice pretty picture, I will not like pictures on social media when it’s spammed with hashtags.

10. I wrote this not to make more enemies, but just how I feel about the use of hashtags.

Happy New Year everyone! Let’s start 2015 well, and pray for no more bad things happening.

Goodby 2014! Hello 2015!: Digital Detox

It was a spontaneous decision. Grabbed a hotel under best deals in Hotels.com, and redeemed a free night at Days Hotel (with minimal top-up).

Given the nature of my work, I’m wired most of the time.

But I also subscribe to Arianna Huffington’s third metric of success. #Thrive

What is the best time to go on a #digitaldetox? So I kept my phones and Ipad away after posting a last picture onto Instagram and Facebook, and declared the start of my digital detox for a night.

I am supposed to go off the TV, but I watched a bit before switching off. There was an interesting programme “Talking Business” on BBC, hosted by Linda Yueh, speaking to the Chief Executive of Huawei. She interviewed a few brand strategists on their take on Huawei, and that’s some food for thought. Sales of Huawei is third after Apple and Samsung, but results are disappointing in America. Is it possible for the Chinese brand to become the next mobile phone/tablet giant globally?

Then I continued reading my book by Donald Low, Hard Choices. Very thought provoking, but yet disturbing. Where is Singapore positioning itself in the global economy? And who are we, fellow Singaporeans?

We need to make the effort to change, and make things better. That’s how we can bring hope into our lives. Slow down, you will look at things in a different perspective.