personal branding

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how not to use facebook advertising lebanon

 

 

 

how not to use facebook advertising lebanon

UPDATE: Apparently someone is impersonating the Wissam Fares with this profile. Based on a comment by fellow blogger Elie on Blog Baladi. 

I was pretty shocked to see this facebook ad. I was intrigued. Could it be some interesting social media campaign? I clicked. It landed on a personal profile as you can see. The guy has been in the game ( registered FB user ) since 2010. Hence, most probably he is following the Lara Kay path, and trying to get some extra attention, or is just plain bored and playing with facebook advertising.

 

For those of you who can not understand Lebanese slang this ad says: “I am in Beirut now and I want a girl to spit in my face … and I am not kidding”.

 

In any case for a marketer, especially one that works in social media, such occurrences really put an interesting perspective  into our industry. Traditional billboards are overtaken by people posting Birthday wishes and love messages, while on Facebook, Sayfco ads come hand in hand by a guy who wants to find a girl to spit on his face. And I suspect, since facebook can’t really filter out Lebanese slag his ad got approved.

 

This definitely beats politicians promoting their facebook pages. Have you seen weirder Facebook ads? I am dying to know!

 

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It’s been almost a week since I’ve returned from Tunis, and I have barely unpacked, and I literally have sand from the beach there in my favorite sandals. Asides from the massive amount of fun, sightseeing and shopping that was done there, those four days were dedicated to the Regional Meeting of Creative Commons, which also served as an initiation of the CC Tunis community, that I am sure will greatly enrich the region with their unlimited passion.

Within the event a series of workshops were incorporated to introduce ‘sharism’, creative commons and remixing in an open source worlds. The whole event culminated in an amazing concert, the music and program of which was created by the participants within these four days.

Photo take by Bilal Randeere's during the workshop and is licensed under CC-BY-NC-SA license click to view more photos by Bilal From Tunis

Together with Eman Jaradat from Jordan, we gave a workshop* on how to use Creative Commons in combination with Social Media to Create, Share, Network and Build Your personal brand. We tried to explain CC, the different social networking platforms and how to share/find work there as well as emphasizing the importance of proper attribution.

The most amazing part of that is when we gave the attendees an assignment to create their own works representing current Tunis. Our participants were mostly writers and journalists, but surprisingly they have created very interesting conceptual work with limited tools and the internet, whilst one group ‘borrowed’ a designer from the other workshop to fulfill their concept.

You can see the results, as they were remixed into the video created during Stephanie Terroir‘s and Mahmoud Abou Wardeh’s workshops, which was projected in the concert.

Creative Commons Tunis Regional Meeting

Tunisia is a unbelievably beautiful country, with warm and welcoming people, despite the recent events, everything was completely safe and peaceful when we were there. So I absolutely recommend for anyone thinking of a vacation spot to pick Tunisia, you would not regret it!

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*building the workshop and exercises and coordinating it online is a whole other story/miracle all in the spirit of CC, big thanks to Donatella De La Rata for bringing me and Eman together ;) and Naeema for providing guidance, the slide background and some of the slides from her presentation.

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Rak Bank Social Media Twitter Campaign for Insurance

There is nothing out of the usual in this campaign and yet This campaign provides a good quality step up from the regular wishy-washy stale sweepstakes.

What is good about this campaign:

- It puts Rak Bank’s new product at the center of the promotion, by giving people a packaged message  to tweet. The message is short and concise.

- Does not force you to follow or like anyone.

- Message provided is impartial and hence does not in any way affect credibility of the tweeter.

- It is extremely simple for users to execute and only involves one step.

- It provides transparency by showing all the rules, number of prizes, campaign duration, method of selecting winners…

- It costs Rak Bank close to nothing and would be extremely easy to monitor.

- It is less of a bribery model (cheap sweepstakes) and more of a reward for promotion model.


Keep following @rakbanklive  on twitter to see their other ways of interacting with the audience.

P.S. I am lately resorting to short posts, as opposed to not writing at all.

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Creative Commons License

Women in Technology (Lebanon) have invited me to speak at their Networking and Sustainability Conference  about Social Media/Marketing & Networking in October. The objective was to show the organization members simple and accessible ways to use social media to raise awareness about their NGOs or small businesses without going into complexities. The approach I used was to show these women that are mostly from an older generation that the new technology follows the same rules as the normal socializing that women are so well equipped to do. At the end I listed a few campaigns that relied on social change for fund raising or awareness raising. I had to present in Arabic, so the slides do not say much, except carrying you around a retro, black and white movie theme that was supposed to calm down those ladies, and show them that social media is nothing new and it just simplifies communication. To get the ladies relaxed and less averse to technology I started by telling them that men, who are typically perceived as tech savvy also had their fears, like washing machines, irons, vacuum cleaners… as well as focusing on the strengths women have that make them social drivers. Seconds later they were chuckling and demanding SMEX Beirut for more social media training.

It was an honor to present along with SMEX Beirut , The Amazing Maya Zankoul, The Ostensibly talented Tony Yammine, and the Charismatic Ayman Itani.
It was also extremely touching when after a presentation a girl from the audience gave me a phone accessory which she made herself. She said that she is currently working on her blog, well you can check some of the stuff she is into here .
You can check photos from the panel here.
About WIT Lebanon Networking and Sustainability Conference (NSC).

The NSC in Lebanon brought together over 130 people including representatives from WIT sponsors MEPI and Microsoft, WIT staff, local dignitaries, in-country stakeholders, WIT participants, Professional Development Leaders, and representatives from WIT Partner Organizations. The event was hosted under the patronage of Minister of the Interior Ziad Baroud.
The primary objectives of the Networking and Sustainability Conferences were to create a more cohesive network of local Partners Organizations and in-country teams and strengthen WIT’s Professional Development Networks.

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Identity Chef in Communicate Magazine - Lebanese Bloggers Thanks to Joesbox I found out that my blog was once again featured in Communicate Magazine. The blogpost featured is Gabriel Ghali’s Guest Post about the  Islamic Brand.

Thank you communicate for praising my dear friend.

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Just to tell you that The Identity Chef is now on Beirut.com :)

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Advertising and design companies around the Middle East have always worked on Ramadan greeting cards, which hold corporate messages and link back to the brands of their clients. Every year, the challenge gets even more interesting with a focus on creativity and visual impact that would surprise and inspire. But as globalization takes over the Arab world, interesting developments are easily noticed.

Starting with the design phase, all creative’s scout around for inspiration and ideas to create a card that is visually interesting, modern and creative. An essential part of “Islamic design” is the integration of old and modern Arabic calligraphy, the “star” of the visual, coupled with a layout design including interesting die cuts and new cardboard treatments and rendering the card an interesting design to display.

In the past few years, the display factor has become essential. With designers creating cards that would “stand alone” and display the message without necessarily being an actual physical card. Ideas range from regular cards to developed boxes that would hold two main messages: first, the company name, which would link the message to a specific brand and second, the actual message, which is a heartfelt wish and portrays the “humane” aspect of a caring company.

Recently, we can notice the introduction of Latin and Arabic texts at the same time, something never done in the past, a symbol of adaptation to the world and a way of sending a clear message and communicating the “Islamic life” to countries and people who do not necessarily understand the Arabic Calligraphy.

Similarly, the calligraphy, which is also a beautiful graphical element, is coupled with modern Arabic typefaces, an interesting thing to note. Calligraphy stays a visual link to the traditional Arabic past, a visual and historical story developing over time. In Ramadan, as people read and remember God’s word, they are reminded by its beauty and form (calligraphy is the Islamic expression of the beauty of Allah’s word).

I view this period as a form of advertising the Islamic world brand. All Arabs from around the Middle East unite in a similar manner (the everyday lifestyle adaptation to rituals). This unity creates a global brand forcing itself on the global audience. These greetings, given out to clients and businesses around the globe, are a simple form of communication. On one side, a certain company promotes itself (as noted above) on another side, it promotes the Islamic world, the religion, the people as one group, one complex identity, one brand.

This brand is currently evolving, integrating itself on a global, massive scale (Arabic typeface development is a simple example). On another hand, the global audience is more open to the Arabic language (with so many interested in learning it, and so many learning how to draw Arabic calligraphy) there seems to be surprising developments awaiting us in the years to come.

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Gabriel Ghali

Art Director, Blogger, Columnist, DJ

Blog: http://gghali.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @gabrielghali

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I want to thank Gaby for jump-starting this great collaboration and  his wonderful and insightful review of trends in Islamic art and the development of what is know as an “Islamic brand”, based on his many years of experience in branding and advertising in the middle east. Gaby has also provided the great gallery of cards, which we would like to contribute to as well. Just send your company’s corporate greeting card to contact [at] theidentitychef.com or add a link to it in the comment box.

Do not forget to subscribe to Gaby’s Blog and follow him on twitter for his amazing daily doses of positive vibes. While you are on Gaby’s blog download his Exotic Sensation’s Tracklist, which is simply divine.

Ramadan Moubarak My Dear Readers, I wish you Warmth, Empathy & Spiritual Uplift in this Holy Month.

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Even if youy are not in search of a job vacancy, make sure you attend this workshop to learn how to harness this powerful networking tool. See you there: )

smex linked in workshop

Jobseeking and Professional Networking with LinkedIn

Based on the idea that it’s who you know as much as what you know that matters when advancing your career, LinkedIn is a fast-growing ‘Facebook for professionals’ that helps you connect with colleagues and expand your professional circles.

In this half-day workshop, recruiting expert Marie Jo Roepke will introduce you to the world of social media for networked professionals on LinkedIn, help you create a well-regarded profile, and show you how to leverage the application to reach your professional goals. The workshop is perfect for anyone who’s familiar with Facebook but would like to get more out of social networks. Even if you already have a profile, chances are you’re not using it to its fullest potential.

The workshop will be held at SMEX’s new offices in Badaro from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, March 20. The language of the workshop is English.

RSVP to attend: http://bit.ly/smex-getajob.

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Got a mentioned by the lovely @laradunston in her article about twitter in the middle east, here it goes:

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What’s happening?

Suddenly everyone’s using Twitter. Lara Dunston (@laradunston) went to tweet-ups in Dubai and Beirut to find out why

update

At a tweet-up in Dubai, a woman whose Twitter handle is @Kangayayaroo glances around the table. “This is an atypical expat experience,” she confides. “Because of Twitter we’re friends with people we wouldn’t normally meet socially.” Joining us are “tweeps”, as Twitter users call themselves, from all over the region and beyond.

The Middle East is racking up Twitter users at a rapid pace. A survey by Spot On PR found that users in the MENA region quadrupled in the second quarter of 2009, with 14,000 accounts by September. Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) and Jordan’s Queen Rania (@QueenRania) are among them.

Continue Reading HERE

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Disclaimer: I am aware that most of my dear readers are nothing like the Lebanese Laila I speak of. In fact, my readers are amazing bright Lebanese women who reject being branded with media stereotypes and have worked hard to become well established respected  professionals .  Male readers, especially those from outside of Lebanon, may not believe that such a species of women actually exists here, but it DOES… And unfortunately,  it co-exists with the cliched “Haifa like” “Lebanese Laila”. Images and personifications of which are all too painful for true Lebanese women to see. So I am really sorry my dear readers for delving to explore this cliche, I do not abet Laila or aspire to be like her, but I  I believe that the Lebanese Laila is a brand. A brand which in spite of all of the harm caused, can teach us a lot!

This post is part of the Kolena Laila Campaign.

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Yes the “Lebanese Leila” gets a lot of laughs and criticism from us women for being silly, superficial, unambitious, short-sighted… But then again, doesn’t Laila always get what she wants effortlessly? And isn’t that what everyone, not just a marketer, wants? … Now you’re listening? Well, take notes:

1) Be where you community is.

No my dears, Laila does not Blog! Laila does not even Twitter! Some of you may say it is because she does not have much to say… But no, it is because she knows all too well her target audience. And she knows that her target audience of Don-Juans and starlets does not read, does not spend time in soul digging and does not have an artistic streak. She knows that her audience is on Facebook, and she makes sure to have a very attractive profile there. Which brings us to point two.

2) Always give your audience what they want.

They don’t read, but they have eye-balls and curiosity. And Laila always makes sure to have a great set of profile pics of her at “such and such party” or “such and such wedding” make-uped and air-brushed to perfection.  Her fans, her target audience, her prospective husband to be, will devour these photos  and comment on them (audience engagement). Moreover, these photos together with the comments will enlarge her footprint on the web and spread her content through her audience. And that is what every brand wants!

3) Be active in connecting to your audience.

Laila is always the first one to wish you a Happy Birthday, give you a nudge / missed call if you have not connected in a while and adding you on facebook after meeting you after a random gig in Gemmayze. And that is how she retains a “loyal” network of connections. [Chuckles of Disbelief in background] Well these strategies are exactly what allow Laila to get extra $$$ on her mobile phone credit whenever her heart desires, get a free invite to a party, or even get that necklace that she put as her display photo for a week on facebook with a tag ” I WANT THIS” instead of slaving for months to buy it…Sad, But True.

4) If you can’t create  – imitate.

To us mere mortals, Laila seems like a fashion victim, with her Haifa lips, tatooed eyebrows, Shakira Curls, Rihanna Shorts… Then again, doesn’t Laila make heads turn in the mall (product placement)? Doesn’t she have her photos all over Layalina and Mondalite (free PR)? Doesn’t she have more friends on facebook as a result (brand equity)? And eventually more choice of rich cavaliers for her to choose to be-wed (product demand) ? And keep in mind this is what she wants!(achieving marketing objectives)


5) Know your competition.

Even Layla knows, that in today’s open age it is a loss not to keep track of what your competitors are doing and using it to your advantage. She will always text you when Celine’s dress is too short, Jana’s husband is cheating on you, or email you and another 100 of close friends a video of Dana wasted at a party. She would always go shopping with her drop dead gorgeous cousin, whom her fiance adores, just to advise her to buy the ugly top and last season boots. And yes , when she was 16, she would spend hours browsing through her “frenemies’” new photos, because if just one of them got their nose done this year, she also had to do it.

So you see, if Laila can do it and achieve her marketing objectives, you with YOUR BRAIN can as well, just play by the rules of the New Media Age.

So tell me, have I missed anything?

P.S. I Found this FANTASTIC lebanese blog all dedicated to Lebanese Illustrators, check it out: http://kootoob.blogspot.com

Images via: Maya Zankoul, http://kootoob.blogspot.com and  Stavro .

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