All posts by Portia Mthembu

How to engage with your Instagram followers

Instagram is no longer just a platform for users to post images of their favourite things. Now businesses can use the social media platform to fill their pages with brand content. As a matter of fact, in comparison to other major social media platforms, Instagram has the highest engagement rates between brands and customers.

While it’s great that your followers want you to engage with them, how you go about it is what matters. If you’re uncertain about what it takes, follow these tips below to ensure you get the most from your Instagram followers.

Instagram

1.Teach yourself how to make most of Instagram for business

More and more businesses are setting up homebase on Instagram so they can stay in touch with their target market. In response, Instagram has created an Instagram for business, where businesses can now get tips, brand spotlights, API examples and news straight from Instagram’s headquarters.

2. Develop a following

Consider these three tips for growing your followers:

  1. Make use of popular and relevant hashtags
  2. Link your Facebook page to your Instagram account
  3. Follow back, comment and like others’ posts

3. Add an embedded Instagram video to your website

With Instagram’s embed feature, you can extend your content to users who may not be able to see your shares on other social media networks.

4. Contrast your posts by using filter types and no-filter types

You can use the various filters Instagram provides to change the look and feel of your page. A study conducted by Simply Measured  revealed the top filter choices, finding that top of the list was Lo-fi, followed by Valencia, Rise, Amaro, Hudson, Sierra, X-Pro II and Hefe.

5. Host photo contests on Facebook

You can leverage photo contests on Instagram using hashtags so you can organise submissions and an RSS feed to keep up with entries as they come in.

To help you promote your contest, use Facebook status updates.

6. Post images of your employees

A few posts of some behind-the-scenes shots is a great way to showcase your organisation. It’s also a way to celebrate your employees and show how much you value them.

These are only a few ways to use Instagram to enhance your brand. If you have any tips of your own that you’d like to share, you can leave a comment in the comments box below.

8 tips to improve the way you study

Improving your studying approach is an important skill to master for your university studies. Add on the stress of a full-time job and it becomes even more essential to master the art of studying effectively. Instead of burning the midnight oil, scientific research has proven ways in which your brain can process and learn information smarter and within shorter time spans.

How to study smarter

Here are a few tips you can apply to your own life so you study smarter:

  1. Study in short small chunks. Break up your studies into twenty 30-minute sessions. According to scientists, your brain is better at coding information in short repeated chunks as opposed to one large chunk.  This is also true when you’re learning different skills.
  2. Set up specific times to study. Scientists suggest that after prolonged study sessions, reasoning and memory may be affected by up to 4 days. Setting up specific times to study trains your brain to develop a routine, and overtime studying becomes easier as your brain is trained to study during those times.
  3. Use key cards to understand concepts. Key cards are said to be the most effective memory reinforcement tool. Plus, you can always whip them out during times of heavy traffic congestion.
  4. Have a specific goal for each study session. Aim to master one concept per study session. This will enable you to grasp what you’re study. To test your knowledge, see if you can to someone in simple terms. If you’re unable to, it’s a sign that you perhaps don’t understand the concept well enough.
  5. Study like you’re preparing to teach a lesson. When you study like you’re going to deliver a lecture your brain organises the information in a more coherent manner.
  6. Practice, practice, practice. As with anything you’re learning, nothing comes too easily unless you practice. Writing a practice test will enable your brain to become accustomed to the learning environment. In addition, if you make any mistakes, the practice test will help you identify gaps in your knowledge.
  7. Designate a study spot. A go-to study area that is well equipped with every tool you’ll need, will prime your brain for studying.
  8. Put your earphones and phone aside. Interruption caused by a notification on your phone is the same as to the effects seen when users actively use their cell phones to make calls or send text messages.

Don’t forget to take breaks between your studies. Keeping your body refreshed, will keep your mind refreshed too.

Keith Henning + Jody Paulsen: A match made in fashion heaven

Keith Henning and Jody Paulsen – collectively known as AKJP, have been on the lips of many South Africans of late. Known for their bold colour selection and graphic prints, the two designers collaborate on fashion label AKJP to bring the fashion-savvy South African a brand that offers unisex clothing and accessories with an emphasis on comfort and quality.

Keith Henning, an Industrial and Furniture graduate, founded the label in 2012 and named it after his grandfather. In the same year, Keith debuted at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Cape Town, and following his success, decided to open the first Adriaan Kuiters retail outlet on Kloof Street – one of Cape Town’s fashion hubs.

Soon after Jody Paulsen jumped on board, and the two artists have since showcased their artistic ability at a number of high-end fashion runways – the latest being South African Menswear Week.

(www.innocentin.com)
(innocentin.com)

We found out more from Keith and Jody about their lives in the fashion industry.

WW: How did you come to work together?

Jody: Keith and I decided to work together after the success of our first collaboration. We did not really think about it too much, we just continued working together because it felt right.

Keith: When we met, Jody was like my muse. He is super fun and exciting. His obsession with fashion keeps me alive and inspired. I love working with him.

WW: How would you describe your style?

Keith: Black, white and minimal.
Jody: I usually wear jeans, track pants or baggy shorts with sneakers and a jumper or T-shirt. Something I can move around in in my studio. I like anything that feels like pyjamas.

WW: You recently showed your AW16 collection on the SA Menswear Week runway. How was the experience?

Jody: It was a bit tricky doing all the womenswear in a week but it all worked out in the end. The team at SAMW did their best and I’m sure that the event will evolve over time.

WW: How did you go about choosing the materials you worked with?

Keith: We always like to use good quality fabric as it produces the best outcome and longevity. We love silk! On this collection, we created our own fabrics like the jacquard and the appliqué garments. The textiles were designed through collages we handmade in studio. We translated our collages into a digital format to produce printed fabrics and jacquard woven at a local fabric mill. The appliquéd pieces where cut and hand-stitched in the studio.

WW: Why use Georgina Gratrix’s art as a reference in your work?

Jody: I think that Georgina has a very iconic look about her and I have always loved her work. Referencing her work was not a very calculated decision – it just happened because I have been exposed to her work throughout our friendship. Georgina has a captivating and effortlessly original spirit. She embodies the mood I was to create with this
collection.

(stylemestrauss.com)
(stylemestrauss.com)

Read more about Keith Henning and Jody Paulsen in our Notables feature.