Five things you didn’t know about Mxit

If you think it’s just a place where people’s spelling and grammar abilities go to die, you’re wrong. Here are five things you didn’t know about Mxit.

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1.    It’s a solution to a gaming problem.

Mxit originated in Stellenbosch when Swist Group Technologies was developing a massive multiplayer mobile game named Alaya, which was a flop because it was sms-based and too expensive for the user. They reassessed and released the game and MXit in 2003.

2.    It’s not just for teenagers.

Mxit is now Africa’s largest mobile social network, boasting 750 million messages sent per day and 10 million active subscribers.

 3.    It’s helping money move safely.

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You can send money to people, buy airtime and electricity, deposit and withdraw from your bank account. Check it out here.

4.    It gives free access to counselling and educational material.

Mxit offers counselling to youth via text by partnering with LoveLife (which focuses on HIV and AIDS), Childline (which focuses on abuse) and Angel (which focuses on gang members and substance abuse). Learners can also access Maths and Science textbooks made available by publisher, Siyavula.

 5.    It’s proving to be a serious marketing tool.

Kimberly Clark has used Mxit to launch a global Kotex campaign. If this sounds familiar, it’s because we featured Kotex’s Pinterest campaign on the blog just last week.

This Mxit campaign targets young females aged 13 to 35 with brand splash screens (full screen ads that display each time a user launches the site), leading users to a customised and branded app where it’s reported that users hung around for as long as 14.7 minutes.

Through the app, users were offered a gateway to the exchange of product information, polls around sensitive feminine topics, prizes and coupons, and they could engage in one-on-one sessions with a trusted gynaecologist, offering a free, private, safe and anonymous resource for advice and information.

kotex Mxit campaign

Three free really useful apps for your iPad

Your iPad can be a really useful toolbox. These are my top three free apps that have proved to be really helpful.

1. Unstuck

Sometimes a part of your life just stumps you. It’s difficult to find a way through and you feel stuck. Dr Seuss knows what we’re talking about.

You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump. And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.

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“Oh the Places You’ll Go” by Dr Seuss

Unstuck is a great app that helps you lay out your feelings, the situation that’s bothering you and ways to take action to work through it. Basically, Unstuck is “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” for adults. It describes itself as “combining personalised digital tools with tips and know-how from a community of other people facing stuck moments,” and “on-demand coaching whenever you need it”.

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2. SuperNote

Unobtrusive and easy to use, this app has a voice recorder with notepad functionality. Perfect for fast-moving interviews and meetings where you just want to jot down the odd detail and focus your attention on the conversation, SuperNote has proved super handy. You can email yourself and others the audio and notes and it saves them together so you can browse through meetings where the material is saved together. Simply, it works.

Super-Note-medium-icon_66853. Google Drive

Having this app on your desktop and iPad makes accessing files a breeze. Not only do we backup our business there, work on documents simultaneously and share material instantly, but having the app on your iPad means you can pull up something really easily during a meeting or presentation. You never have to worry about saving things in the right place. Easy peasy.

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Winning pinning: Three great Pinterest campaigns

Pinterest. It took a while for people to catch on to this social media platform in South Africa (and to be able to pronounce the name – “pin-interest”? Awkies.), but it’s growing rapidly. There are currently just under 50 million users worldwide. My mom is one of them. Just saying. Yip – best you get on that, if you’re not already.

Because it’s such a visually-rich platform – Pinterest is like a big digital pinboard that allows users to create and curate theme-based image collections, in case you weren’t sure – it has been used very creatively by brands in some nifty campaigns.

There are loads of examples of great uses of Pinterest floating around the internet. These three are of our favourites:

UNICEF ‘S Ami Musa

UNICEF Pinterest

The whole attraction of Pinterest for many people is that it is a platform of aspiration. It allows them to pin pictures of items that, in a perfect world, they would love to have: a dream wardrobe here, an ideal home there, places they’d love to travel to – the list goes on. And then UNICEF showed up and turned the whole concept upside down. They created a fictional character, Ami Musa, a 13-year-old girl from Sierra Leone. She has one board. It is called: “Really want these”. “These” are running water, soap, basic food, shoes, an education – things that we take for granted.

6 pins. 1550 followers – all left with something to think about.

Kotex pop-up store

So this is pretty clever. Kotex and Tel Aviv marketing agency Smoyz got together and created the first ever pop-up Pinterest store. Intrigued? I was too. The store was designed to look like a Pinterest board, and local women lined up for a chance to “pin and win” whatever was inside the mystery gift boxes. Each box had a sentence on it, and ladies had to pick a sentence that inspired them and pin that sentence to their Pinterest board in order to win the contents of the box.

Free stuff + Pinterest – what’s not to love, right? The store attracted a decent amount of attention pretty quickly. Never underestimate the power of an excited woman and a smartphone. Marketing mileage for days on social media.

Clever Kotex, clever.

GIRLS fan art

GIRLS fan art

There are a lot of great series out there that get under people’s skin and crawl into their hearts. Most of these series inspire awesome fan art – but HBO’s GIRLS actually showcases it on their fanGIRLS board. Great use of Pinterest, girls.

P.S. Watch this show. If you haven’t – where have you been?

GIRLS fan art

 

P.P.S. Follow Pomegranite on Pinterest and check our our boards of things that inspire usbeautiful office spaces, useful infographicssocial media laughs, ALL the pomegranates, and all things proudly Cape Town.

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Hitting targets and reaping the rewards

Which Downton Abbey character are you? And other important conversations

When you start your own business, it’s important to step back from time to time and see how far you’ve come. It’s equally important to set targets in order to ensure that you actually put enough distance between yourself and the starting blocks – otherwise it’s not much of a view when you do take that step back.

When Liz and I first sat down together to write our business plan, we made sure to include targets we wanted to reach – and rewards we would claim when we got there.

We reached our first target ahead of schedule, and didn’t waste time in enjoying our reward: a 30 minute back, neck and shoulder massage. Ok, originally it was a foot massage, but, being on crutches (still – I know), my ankle wouldn’t have appreciated that very much. So, being accommodating and adaptable, we graciously opted for a back, neck and shoulder massage.

The problem was – we both badly needed haircuts too. I know. Dilemma. So we spent a blissful Wednesday afternoon attending to our tresses and stresses.

The nice thing about these kinds of days is that they give you the opportunity to have really important conversations. Case in point: If you were born in the Downton Abbey time period (early 20th century), would you have been upstairs (upper class) or downstairs (a servant)?

We quickly decided that Liz would have been downstairs and I would have been upstairs. It became important to decide which character we would be in the series, and, interestingly, we came to the answer within seconds, and agreed completely. Liz would be Mrs Patmore, the mouthy, bossy cook, and I would be Mary, the aristocratic ice queen.

Am I right??

We then proceeded to cast everyone we knew in the series, which kept us entertained for quite some time.

That evening, we went to our monthly girls’ dinner, which was hosted by the lovely Vanessa. We were telling her about our day and showing her our new haircuts – to which she said: “Oh, did you cut each other’s?”

Yes, well. You can’t win them all.