Hashtag Blog

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People hear the term ‘blog posts’ and instantly imagine a teenager journaling on their computer. However, this is not the case entirely. Blog posts are a great way to get your message across directly to your audience and thanks to Hashtag Media you don’t need to be a snobby teenager to be heard. You most likely already have knowledge of what you want your overall message to be, but given your schedule you could run into all sorts of inconveniences like finding the time to post several times a month or simply putting all the content you have in the perfect format. If you are in any of these situations, or think it could be overwhelming, Hashtag Media is here to help. Communication is very important when running a business, and our team of writers have excelled at writing blog posts for your establishment and understanding the difference between merely selling a product and building trust.

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Cybersecurity

July 9, 2018

Cybersecurity.

When you hear this term does it make you sit up and pay attention? It should, here’s why cybersecurity is on the rise and how you can be prepared.

 

Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks. These attacks are usually aimed at accessing, changing, or destroying sensitive information, extorting money from users, or interrupting normal business processes. Implementing effective cybersecurity measures is particularly challenging today because there are more devices than people, and attackers are becoming more innovative.  As much as Africa is still behind Europe when it comes to technology and cyberattacks, there has been an exponential increase in online threats.

“We’re seeing an ongoing trend of cybercriminals exploiting weaker security controls in less developed African nations to target their more advanced counterparts, said Doros Hadjizenonos, country manager of check point South Africa. “The rise in mobile malware also highlights the growing need for organisations to protect their employee’s mobile devices, which process and carry valuable corporate data.  Attackers have realised that these devices are an easier target compared with corporate networks, so it’s critical that organisations deploy protection to prevent them from being exploited and stop data leakage. Back home, The Namibia University Of Science And Technology (NUST) a key player in technology awareness now offers Bachelor of Cyber Security, as a measure to teach a nation growing more about online security as there seems to be a growing threat in cybersecurity locally as well. Namibia’s government also seems to be in the final stages of refining a draft cybercrime and electronic transactions bill.

 

The first draft elicited an outcry from civil society when it was first published in early 2017, as it contained potentially problematic provisions. This paper outlines the issues with the bill- which includes language that could be used to hamper free speech on the internet as well as language that can be interpreted as allowing for warrant-less surveillance. It outlines amendments that should be made, and calls for approach to cybersecurity that respects human rights.  Findings of the first Deloitte Cyber Security Survey for Namibia, showed a few shocking results:

 

  1. There is a lack of awareness of cyber risk
  2. Accountability for cyber security is assigned, but not always to the correct level of personnel.
  3. There is a lack of high-level direction and governance for the management of information assets
  4. Budget for IT as a whole are comparable to global standards, but may be too low for the strategic development of information assets. So there is definitely room for improvement.

Currently the most common type of cyberattack is Phishing. Phishing is a cybercrime in which a target is contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details and financial loss. The information is then used to access important accounts and can result in identity theft and financial loss. So when are you bait during this ‘Phishing’ process?

 

  1. When it’s too good to be true:

Lucrative offers and eye-catching or attention-grabbing statements are designed to attract people’s attention immediately. For instance, many claim that you have won an iPhone, the lotto, or in some cases a tiger, it is too good to be true and this is a usual sign of cybersecurity concern.

 

  1. A sense of urgency:

A favourite tactic amongst cybercriminals is to ask you to act fast because the super deals are only for a limited time. Some of them will even tell you that you have only a few minutes to respond. When you come across these kinds of emails, its best to just ignore them. Sometimes, they will tell you that your account will be suspended unless you update your personal details over the internet. Call the source directly to find out if its true rather then clicking on the link.

 

  1. Whether it looks like it’s from someone you don’t know or someone you do know, if anything seems out of the ordinary, unexpected, out of character or just suspicious in general don’t click on it. This is one of the biggest form of cybersecurity threat.

 

 

With companies, cybercrime is aimed more at software attacks. So how do criminals access your software? They do this through Malware. Malware is shorthand for malicious software. It is software developed by cyber attackers with the intention of gaining access or causing damage to a computer or network, often while the victim remains oblivious to the fact there’s been a compromise.  Some of the most common Malware are:

 

  1. Conficker- machines infected by Conficker are controlled by a botnet. It also disables security services, leaving computers even more vulnerable to other infections.
  2. Cutwail – a bonet mostly used for sending spam, as well as some DDoS attacks.
  3. Necurs – Used as a backdoor to download further malware onto an infected machine and disable security services to avoid detection.

 

It’s crucial to recognise privacy as a foundation for trust in the digital environment and prioritize the sustainable and responsible use of personal data in the digital economy to help promote cybersecurity. So take a few precautions. Use the Internet and other sources to inform yourself about the risks and benefits of the digital economy as well as your online activities, this includes being aware of agreements you make when signing up for “free” services or use social media platforms that may profit off their data. Also learn to understand and exercise your rights and when needed as cybersecurity is your responsibility at the end of the day. There is a corresponding role for government to empower individuals to do so by ensuring citizens know how to exercise their rights under privacy and personal data protection laws.

 

Lastly, develop your capabilities to protect your online interests. Supervisory authorities and governments should take steps to ensure that services- providers and product vendors are transparent about their business models and product capabilities, so consumers can make informed choices about privacy implications of product and services and be at the forefront of cybersecurity.

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Humour – Do you make time to laugh during the course of the day?

June 20, 2018
Humour at work

Humour – Do you make time to laugh during the course of the day?

No, really… all jokes aside when was the last time you and your work mates had a good laugh?

 

With nagging colleagues, deadlines due, demanding clients, there’s constantly something on the table when you are at work. In between all of this, there is not much to find funny during the day. So the question is, why is laughing important? For starters laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Laughter also triggers the release of endorphins. Basically, Endorphins promote well being and gives the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. However it doesn’t end there, Endorphins also promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain. So laughter literally is (the best) medicine. Working in any industry as a professional, it’s important to take time out to unwind with a bit of humour, and realize that a bit of humour in the workplace does not equate to you not taking your job seriously, contrary you are creating a space for constructive work flow due to the positive energy in the office. Chris Robert, assistant professor of management in MU’S Robert J Trulaske Sr. College of Business, said that humour – particularly joking around about things associated with the job has a positive impact in the workplace. Occasional humour among colleagues, he said enhances creativity, department cohesiveness and overall performance. Research also shows that the use of jokes and comedy affects how confident we appear, how productive and creative we are and even how much status we achieve.

 

Instead of trying to be the office clown and getting on everyone’s nerves, here are a few practical ways to incorporate a bit of humour at work:

 

  1. Laugh at yourself

This is the first step. In order for you to relax and release the pressure of your job, remember to look at yourself and find the funny in the most awkward situations. Spilled coffee on your white shirt? Instead of sobbing about it, see the humour in how you messed up a good shirt and simply laugh it off.

 

  1. Be respectful

Remember that you are in a work environment and before you start making jokes around the office ask yourself a few question:

  • Are you using humour to say something that you would not otherwise say?
    • Keep in mind with whom you are “joking around.” Would your humour be offensive to a person, or for that matter, a certain group of people?
    • Avoid controversial or personal topics; especially political or religious beliefs. One wrong comment and you can wind up unemployed.
    • If you’re not sure about your message or your co-workers just forget it. It’s about respecting your co-workers and the people around you, so try to stick to a neutral topic if you’re not sure how your humour will be received in the workplace.

 

  1. Incorporate work toys

Of course you don’t want to turn your entire office into a play room, however having a few props to ease off stress could be beneficial to work productivity. Be it a small table tennis, a basketball or even at your own desk a stress ball to relieve stress. You can also use a small ball to keep you calm as you toss it around during work meetings. The possibilities are endless, as this makes you tap into your creative side of thinking.

 

  1. Key words

Use unlikely metaphors to get your staff excited and engaging. Words like ‘‘I need you to work harder when you are working with me” sound very dominating and off putting. Use words like “This partnership is like a marriage, we both need to make it work.’’ Or next time one of your staff members suggest a super hot concept, instead of saying “Great.” Drop a humours response “Hey Darryn, that suggestion is hot like spicy Kapana!” Your staff will feel like they relate to you more.

 

  1. Be original

Implement something in the workplace that hasn’t been done anywhere else. Your staff, especially if they are from a younger generation, get bored easily. With that in mind keep them on their toes by having ideas, concepts, and activities no other employer has. Do you know the MD of the tallest building in town? Great, how about you organise an impromptu braai on the roof top for your “hard working staff” and incorporate a few jokes.

 

  1. Keep it simple

Start a meeting with a smile, and keep the momentum. You can tell a story about your funny ride to work it will make you appear more human. Also, show your staff that everyone is the same by including an example of how you messed up in the past and how you learned from it, or send a motivational, yet funny meme in your group chat to keep the ball rolling.

 

 

Always bear in mind: Humour is a great tool that should be utilized in any work situation, as long as it is used appropriately. The occasional laugh or joke amongst co-workers can significantly improve productivity, creativity, interpersonal relationships, and ultimately the conditions for each and every one of the employees within the workplace. Remember, if you can find the humour, even in difficult situations, you’ll find it easier to cope with life’s challenges at work and at home.

Motivational

Key to success

June 7, 2018
Key to success

Key to success

 

Unless you are on a world wide quest to derail your life, I believe everyone is on a mission to be successful.

 

Be it looking your best in the mirror, landing that dream job, or maybe earning your first million dollars. Everyone is looking for something. I googled ‘what makes successful people successful?’ and over 757 million results popped up in 0.36 seconds. So it’s safe to say there is a few answers out there but what exactly applies to each one of us individually? I was set to find out, so for 3 weeks I decided to commit.

 

As a millennial who is pro-Social Media (check out our previous blog post on Social Media), I believe in the power of social media and how it can keep me updated on world events but one of the first things that I found most common amongst successful people is that they read a lot. Even though I believe 140 characters is reading, I knew I had to read a REAL book, so I went to CNA bought a very great motivational book that I found relatable and not too ‘‘preachy’’, and I must say I enjoyed reading it. This was by far one of my favourite things to do.  Next on the agenda was getting some good old beauty sleep. This was hard because I usually spend my late hours at night going through social media and group chats but according to my research, successful people sleep on average at 22:00 and wake up early, so as you can imagine this was an epic fail. The first two days was very hard because who would’ve thought a cellular device could have so much control over my life. I decided that the notifications I see and the Memes are really distracting so I put the phone on charger in the living room far away from my reach. This leads me to my third task: Waking Up Early. This was a complete disaster! Due to my phone not being in my room I woke up very late and I was super late for work twice during the first week. This to me was actually an eye opener that I cannot have my phone with me without constantly checking it. I wasn’t ready! Anyway, back to waking up early. Waking up early was hard and now I see why not everyone can be a Bill Gates, Oprah or Sam Shivute of this world, it’s really the little things. Successful people wake up at 4:00 am read a motivational quote and meditate and do a bit of exercise, I tried this and boy was it interesting.

 

Believe it or not, sleeping early made me wake up nice and fresh at 4 in the morning after I got he hang of it, but the motivational quote and meditation was a bit tricky. I am not a guru of some sorts, but I believe meditation needs to be done in a calm and serene space, this was particularly hard for me due to the loud noises the tenants living in my complex kept making (From what I hear they are going through a break up, so breaking dishes and screaming is an everyday occurrence at this point). However, at the same time I believe I can interpret this as a sign to keep calm amidst the noise. (See what I just did there?) Needless to say I got the hang of it and it really made me feel good during the course of the day. Seeing as I’m a guy living on the skinny side of life, exercise hasn’t really been a priority of mine, but it’s more than trying to look like a Men’s Health Cover Model, but more of getting endorphins running and being at your optimum best. It felt good, this is for sure a habit I can get used to. Push ups, Chin ups, running few kilometres outside your block, just being proactive. Deep down inside I know the guys at the office see my improvement but testosterone fuelled egos wont let them admit to it, but oh well…

 

Another potential key to success for super successful people is to say NO! This sounds funny but successful people turn down opportunities that don’t add value to their brands and their values. The late Steve Jobs once said ‘‘People think ‘focus’ means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying ‘no’ to the hundred other good ideas that are’’. Accomplished people know that they cant do everything, be everywhere, and help everyone all in one day or one lifetime. They know that they can’t take every project, attend every holiday party, or agree to every friendly ‘‘Can I pick your brain’’ request. They choose their battles carefully and avoid spreading themselves too thin. So take control and say no without being rude or condescending.

 

Finally the last key to success is making time for the things that matter. See, people who are at the top know that family, friends and close relationships are just as vital as being number one in their fields. As busy as they are successful people tuck their kids in at night, have dinner with the wife or husband and still keep it moving. I personally don’t have any kids, but this really made me feel some type of way inside. So I’ve been making more time for my parents who I don’t get to see as much now that I am an adult doing adult things and I sometimes go to the park with my God son. It makes you feel less selfish and realize there really is more to life and that you work hard to be able to give attention to the things that have more value and the people who are always there for you in your darkest hour.

 

I’m still trying to adhere to this new lifestyle, it’s manageable and a few adjustments are needed for it to work but I’m enjoying it. I’m enjoying reading at night as opposed to spending money at a bar or a fancy restaurant, I like the way my train of thought works and I believe with this kind of commitment success is just around the corner.

Social Media

Is Social Media really beneficial?

May 18, 2018
Social Media benefits

Is Social Media really beneficial?

 

That’s the question on everyone’s mind these days. The answer is yes, social media is very important especially in a country like Namibia where a vast majority of the population is growing a custom to cell phones and other digital platforms as a means of update with regards to current affairs.

 

Investing in social media marketing services may have been identified as the missing link connecting you with your consumers. However for the others, who are still contemplating diving into the social media, it increases your brand awareness. Small businesses use social media to attract new customers and large businesses as well. A company’s social media presence, when done correctly, tells consumers that their brand is active and focused on thriving communication with customers. Furthermore customers have identified social media as how they identify new brand products and services. Think of it this way, with social media a potential customer can see your brand while at work behind a desk or simply enjoying a plate of Kapana. It’s so easy!

 

Also, make sure you check your check your brand blog. Social media marketing has the power to increase customer loyalty and consumers who receive a quick response on social media would recommend the brand to others. So do a bit of hard work as this will improve search engine rankings. Although posting on social media might get your business some site traffic, more effort that is required to see significant success. Search engine optimization is very important for achieving higher page rankings and obtaining traffic to your business website and with increased visibility your business gets more opportunities for conversation. Every blog post, image, video, or comment may lead viewers to your company’s website and increase traffic. Social media marketing allows your business to give a positive impression through a humanization factor. When brands are interactive by sharing content, commenting and posting statuses on social media it personifies a brand. People prefer to do business with other people, rather than companies.

 

It’s always important to remember that social media is a networking and communication platform. Creating a voice for your company through these platforms is important in humanizing your company. Customers appreciate knowing that when they post comments on your pages they will receive a personalized response rather than an automated one. Being able to acknowledge each comment shows that you are attentive of your visitors’ needs and aim to provide the best experience. This instantly develops a loyal customer base. Considering that customers satisfaction and brand loyalty typically go hand in hand it is important to regulate engagement with customers and begin developing a bond with them. Millennials are known for being the most brand loyal customers of all and they appreciate engagement more as they are very tech savvy and usually influence trends.

 

Before you count out social media marketing as just a trend for the ‘kids’ remember that social media is possibly the most cost-efficient part of an advertising strategy. Signing up and creating a profile is free for almost all social media marketing and any paid promotions you decide to invest in are relatively low cost compared to other marketing tactics. So be smart and invest in social media to drive your business all the way up.

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Videography in Namibia – why it’s important

April 10, 2018

Videography Namibia

Videography for social media is the fastest growing trend to engage with your audience. With very little attention span amongst consumers and busy schedules, great video content cuts through the noise to meet your business objectives. Here at Hashtag Media we pride ourselves for creating outstanding videos that are shareable via social media.

With numerous videos everyday being posted on social media, what makes your video stand out? We spoke to our chief video editor Penda Kamati who had a few words of advice. ‘‘Make sure to grab your audience’s attention within the first few seconds of your video. In order to do this you need to get the audience’s attention at least 15 seconds within the video or they’ll stop watching and move on to something else. This forces you to get straight to the point, and be effective’’.  Over the years videography in Namibia has grown into a ground breaking marketing strategy and Kamati adds that interesting visuals is key: ‘‘Even without sound you can still attract viewers attention, when your video auto plays as users scroll past, it needs to be captivating and grab people’s attention, that is one of the biggest factors of videography’’.

At Hashtag Media videography is what we do best. With a dedicated team of writers, we conceptualize an idea from the ground up, transforming them into unique works of art. With a proven track record, we have laid the foundation of being one the best social media agency in Namibia, that incorporates videography. Be smart when doing your work, if for example you are shooting an interview or a speech, make sure to notice what is in the background. You can either move the camera to get the best angle, or move the subject in front of a good background to create a new one. Always ask yourself if whether the backdrop is something you are proud of or not.  Often times when starting out with videography, the key element to look for is attention to detail. Pay attention to all the things you normally wouldn’t, as this could be your  ‘money shot’.

On social media it’s also important to look at which platform is more appropriate for your video content and which social media platform is compatible with your unique brand and target audience. Facebook affords marketers flexibility in regard to video adverts. Videos published on Facebook, can be full length commercials to small snippets, anything is possible, and as this is the leader of the pack when it comes to social media, long form campaigns are ideal on Facebook. Then there is Instagram, an ‘influencers’ dream app. On Instagram videos posted are not your run of the mill marketing. Often times resembling user generated content by incorporating people and showing off products in action. Instagram’s videos are time limited so its meant to be quick, flashy, and it’s crucial that yours stands out from the pack. However there is one video sharing network that has become the staple of uploading content: YouTube. YouTube is more so a content distribution platform versus a social network, however it does have its own community and massive audience, therefore it also deserves great attention of any booming brand. With YouTube you can get more mileage out of your video content and you get to stretch the idea more, without feeling constraint.

 

Remember to make your videos work. If possible, avoid traditional sales pitch ideas. Add a bit of humour and personality to create more engagement, people want to feel warmth and authenticity but bare in mind the tone of your industry and refrain from going overboard as to not alienate some of your audience but let your message resonate once people have switched off their device.

Another key element to videography is to make your video stand out. To avoid getting scrolled past, consider bright colours, bold fonts and eye-popping imagery within the first few frames of your ad, including the thumbnail and if your video ad can get its message across in a few seconds versus a few minutes, the shorter version is more likely the perfect choice.

 

Remember, videography in Namibia and video marketing are the new means of branding. Given that video consumption is at an all time high, brands who embrace video ads will not only stand out versus the competition, but also keep up with the expectations of modern consumers. As there is not one size fits all approach to video marketing, make sure to communicate with your audience and rise to the top.