🔵⚪🔴 Kmart ‘hack’ pages have taken over the Aussie internet. They expose the grey area between online fandom and unpaid marketing. – Stratégie Réseaux Sociaux


  • Kmart ‘hack’ pages and influencers devoted to the Australian department store brand have become a major force online, helping to rehabilitate the brand’s image and bottom line.
  • But Kmart does not financially remunerate the creators who promote its products, even though influencers can command sizable fees when working with brands.
  • Leaders in the “die hard” community say they are treated fairly by Kmart, but experts say there is a grey area between online fandom and unpaid promotion.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

“At the moment, I’m standing in my front little hallway… bit,” Helen James says, her eyes roaming around the room. “So when you walk in my front door, this is what you see.”

Behind her is a low-lying shelf, which holds a simple, modern lamp and a candle. A framed photo peeks from below. A print hangs on the wall. It’s styled like a mid-century travel poster, but instead of Paris or Marrakech it advertises the golden sands of Frankston, a suburb on Melbourne’s southern outskirts. It is, by all accounts, a clean, neat corner of a modern Australian home.

“It’s a little bit of a hot mess at the moment, not much there,” James says.

“But Kmart has kindly, kindly sent me their new Egon sideboard. It’s $49, and I’m going to style it with some Kmart pieces, and hopefully dress up my little area, so it’s nice and inviting when you walk in the door.”

‘Inviting’ is the right word. James is speaking through her Instagram account, @i_heart_kmart, where she has welcomed 121,000 followers into her home, closet, and kitchen, each styled and supplied with goods from Australian department store Kmart. It is here where a suburban entryway becomes a hub for countless self-professed Kmart fans to congregate.

Her visitors approve of the new look. They comment on each element replaced by something a bit newer, a little fresher.

“Love this space,” one follower writes. “Do you mind letting me know what the back of the unit looks like?” comments another. “Do you think it could be a floating piece?”

James is a star in a constellation of content creators, acolytes, and thrifty shoppers who form the Kmart fan community. It’s a massive, influential, and under-researched group, whose online ranks have grown with the company’s resurgence in the last decade.

A brand renewal

There have been plenty of stories about Kmart’s miraculous turnaround, and how parent company Wesfarmers and former CEO Guy Russo made the brand profitable. Less has been said about its online fanbase, who somehow made Kmart — a dowdy discount department store — into something legitimately desirable.

Kmart certainly recognises the community’s value. James received her new sideboard through the brand’s “gifted for review” program, part of Kmart’s effort to involve the community’s biggest stars in its own marketing campaigns. Key figures are regularly invited to seasonal events and product launches.

But Kmart does not financially compensate the influencers who drive its online fandom. And company staff appear to control at least one major ‘hack’ group on Facebook, indicating that the brand plays a quiet but active role in seemingly ‘organic’ communities.

James, and the other influencers Business Insider Australia spoke to, say they are ecstatic to work with a brand they genuinely love.

But a question remains: in the modern influencer economy, should an online community, whose tastes help dictate the success of a billion-dollar company, ask for more than a free sideboard in return?

The heavily abridged story of Kmart Australia goes like this: After opening its first store in Burwood, Victoria in 1969, Kmart expanded to become a mainstay of Australia’s department store scene. Nestled between the upmarket Myer and David Jones, and cheaper two dollar store offerings, Kmart offered Australian households access to affordable essentials, selling microwaves, mugs, trackpants, and paperbacks by the pallet.

But the brand’s fortunes decreased as its range ballooned in size. By 2008, Kmart was the black sheep in parent company Wesfarmer’s portfolio, generating earnings before interest and tax of $114 million — well behind stablemate Target on $223 million.

With the brand reportedly slated for sale, Wesfarmers hired Guy Russo, former managing director and chief executive of McDonald’s Australia, to take the helm at Kmart. One of his first tasks: Slashing the number of stock-keeping units (or ‘SKUs’), reversing Kmart’s ‘more is more’ strategy and swapping periodic sales for a constant flow of discounts.

“When we removed the SKUs and dropped the price, we found our customer,” Russo told the “Scaling Up” podcast last year. “They were a customer that really wanted value.”

Kmart also gutted its reliance on brand names, leaving its competitors to squabble over the big-name labels. “Removing brands, I think that was the other masterstroke,” Russo said. “We used to sell some really significant brands, but when we dropped the price of underpants to a buck each, the brands weren’t selling at ten bucks each. All of the sudden, the brands took a natural death.”

Wesfarmers put faith in Russo’s vision, providing funds to renovate stores as the brand cut inventory costs. “Make them look like Disneyland,” Russo recalls telling colleagues.

Layouts changed, with traditional departments axed. Customers would no longer pop into the electronics aisle to buy a coffee machine. Instead, they would have to meander through the all-purpose ‘kitchen’ section, potentially picking up some new mugs and cutlery along the way.

“And then the last little masterstroke, although we got a lot of criticism for it, is we put the registers in the middle,” Russo said. The move forced customers to spend a few more moments surrounded by product, giving them one last opportunity to reimagine their home before stepping back into the world.

It was expensive, time-consuming, and one of the most successful brand rehabilitations in Australian history, with Kmart pulling off one of the hardest tricks in retail: convincing customers it was ‘affordable’, not ‘cheap’.

Shoppers didn’t flinch at the brand’s slightly less vast range – instead, they bought en masse, energised by the low prices. When Russo retired as chief executive of Wesfarmer’s department stores in 2018, the segment posted earnings before interest and tax of $660 million, led by “continued strong growth in Kmart”.

The rise of a new kind of online fan

Low prices and sheer ubiquity go a long way in describing why so many Australians became enamoured by Kmart.

Yet that does little to explain the phenomenal passion of its fanbase, and why thousands of teachers, doctors, stay-at-home parents and retirees evangelise for the brand in their spare time. Another development is on the hook for that one: after shoppers left Kmart’s new, central registers, they set up their new goods at home and shared the photos on Instagram and Facebook.

“The marketing got done by our customers, which was the best part,” Russo said.

“My Instagram actually began because of Kmart,” Helen James told Business Insider Australia. “I would go in store and just see so many cool, on-trend pieces for ridiculously low prices, and so I would take photos and then post them to my page.”

It didn’t take long for photos of Kmart homewares and decor — long dismissed as a cut-price alternatives to more desirable products — to fill James’ page. “It was all a matter of timing really,” she said. “Instagram was just starting to take off, Kmart was just starting to refresh their image and homewares range, and I basically bought the two together.”

Friends would tag acquaintances in her post, who’d then tag others, when eventually led to James’ account picking up 400 new followers a week. “People couldn’t get enough of seeing all the new products coming into store,” James added.

She was not alone. As smartphone cameras empowered shoppers to become the stylists and creative directors of their own fashion shoots, many turned to Kmart, a newly trendy store with a national footprint. Some held elaborate shoots, co-opting the visual grammar of magazine spreads and established bloggers, laundering Kmart’s image among the high-fashion milieu. Others simply strolled the aisles, taking photos of fleece jumpers, baby rompers, and coffee tables as they appeared in-store.

‘Lawyer by day, Bargain Hunter by night,’ reads the profile of Jasmine Pisasale’s Instagram account, which she started seven years ago as an escape from the “stressful” requirements of her job. “I found Kmart to be more than just a shopping experience,” she told Business Insider Australia. “I love to pass time walking through the stores… It brings me a sense of excitement – ‘what am I going to see in Kmart today?’”

The excitement translated to flatlays, wishlists, and travel shots, with each outfit item meticulously tagged back to the brand’s own Instagram account. Her lifestyle shots show artfully rumpled linens, throw blankets draped over low-slung armchairs and, more recently, Pisasale’s young son, exploring the beach for the first time while wearing a Kmart-branded bucket hat.

Fans have “watched me get married and have my first child along the way,” Pisasale said, noting the growth in follower numbers — around 32,000, at time of writing — as “steady” and “organic”.

“I have made connections with so many inspiring individuals from other accounts too,” she added. “So the growth has not just been in numbers, but also in new friendships and networks.”

James and Pisasale have leveraged their followings for active partnerships with the brand. Both have participated in invite-only Kmart events, which influencers use to share sneak-peeks at unreleased products with their own fans. Kmart used a familiar playbook to bring these social media figures onside, according to Dr Brent Coker, a lecturer in digital marketing at the University of Melbourne.

“A common strategy with influencer marketing now is called ‘always on’,” Coker said. “These are people who genuinely like your brand, and eventually they’re posting content, if they aren’t already, about how great you are. That kind of gets integrated into their life, which has been recorded through social media.”

Coker, who has written a book on viral marketing, says consumers “can smell when there’s a team of five marketers behind something from a mile away.” Latching onto social media users who already love your brand is an easy workaround.

“It’s almost cliche, that kind of statistic that gets bandied about, that consumers trust each other more than the brand nowadays,” he added. “But it’s just true.”

The world of Kmart ‘hacks’

As Kmart built clout on Instagram through glossy fan photoshoots, something stranger, and far less predictable, was happening on Facebook.

Kmart ‘hack’ groups, named for the way users repurpose Kmart products beyond their original and intended use, have become a dominant part of the Australian social media experience. Few Facebook users are too far removed from these enormous public forums, where woven baskets become lampshades, shower caddies are nappy holders, and chopping boards are refashioned as bath trays, styled with tea lights and sparkling wine.

One of the larger groups, founded in 2015, now boasts 470,000 members. If membership counted as adherence to a religion, it would be one of the largest faith groups in the country.

There are dozens of denominations of this all-encompassing faith. There are offshoots for Kmart weddings and Kmart pets, as well as groups for teachers, who festoon their classrooms with Kmart supplies. Some users devote their time to organisation hacks, posting photos of meticulously-labelled spice racks or ways to stuff unsightly TV cables into ornamental boxes. There is a group dedicated to recipes for Kmart’s cult-favourite pie maker with almost 65,000 members. There is even a ‘hacks for normal people’ group, for those reluctant to admit their appreciation for Kmart’s broad, recognisable aesthetic.

What is the Kmart ‘look’, exactly? The textiles are muted: beige and burnt ochre, rosy salmon layered over the blue-grey of eucalyptus. Tables, drawers, and shelving units are typically enamel-white, or “oak look”, which is a sunbleached woodgrain applied to cheap particle board. Accent pieces are pearlescent silver, quartz, or chalky coral. Rattan and cane are slowly supplanting Kmart’s mid-decade turn to bronze and ‘millennial pink’, leaving the overarching aesthetic casual, coastal, and deliberately inoffensive — a bootleg Scandi chic, suffused with salty air.

Kmart’s products are certainly more appealing than they were a decade ago. Their versatility is appropriate for everything from baby showers to Ramadan celebrations, both of which feature prominently in the biggest ‘hack’ groups. The brand name appliances and clothes Kmart abandoned have largely been replaced by Anko, the brand’s in-house label, which launched in 2019. Similar to Costco’s Kirkland line, Anko does a bit of everything, allowing Kmart’s 300-strong buying team to funnel wireless earphones, vacuum cleaners, and fan-favourite air fryers into stores nationwide.

But in the brand’s savvy attempt to ensure every product matches everything else, redecoration has become a largely shop-by-numbers process. It’s one thing to observe the details of a Kmart-hacked lounge room, but flipping through the endless stretch of white and subdued earth tones sprawled over social media has a distinct numbing effect; an overwhelmingly pleasant vibe you might call ‘Byron purgatorial’.

The effect is most pronounced on Facebook. While Instagram fosters the curation of a distinct personal brand — “lawyer by day, bargain hunter by night” — Facebook unsubtly guides users into open forums, where ‘successful’ room transformations are celebrated through thousands of likes and comments. Looks the community deems distasteful are torn down in spectacular fashion. Many groups, for example, outright ban posts featuring Kmart’s infamous marble-effect book contact, after users were condemned for covering entire countertops with it. By virtue of Facebook’s voracious algorithm, users are more likely to see the most ‘successful’ looks, making them even more likely to be replicated in real life and then, in turn, fed back into Facebook.

The virality of these hacks has not gone unnoticed by Australian news organisations, either. Outlets regularly aggregate and package popular hacks into snappy, attention-grabbing pieces of online content. There’s Daily Mail Australia with ‘Shopper transforms Kmart shelves into chic furniture’; News Corp’s parent-centric KidSpot with ‘Kmart hack: How to turn $8 fruit bowl into mesh light shade; and 7 News, which now dedicates several articles a week to ‘cult buys’ and other Kmart-related phenomena. These articles then return to Facebook, reaching users who might have otherwise missed ‘Mum’s genius Kmart bedhead hack’, or ‘The secret sale section at Kmart with ‘heavily-reduced’ markdowns that you had no idea about’.

This feedback loop has reverberated into living rooms across the nation. It has homogenised suburban interiors, and certainly generated massive revenue for the brand. And it has transformed the ‘hack’ community into one of the most powerful forces in the Australian influencer economy. Kmart fan groups and influencers now serve as an open-air focus group, filling a board room which spans the continent.

Their dreams and desires have translated into an expanded toy range reflecting the diversity of Kmart’s customer base, a revamped take on the aforementioned pie-maker — which probably deserves its own analysis as a cultural artefact — and an overhaul of the brand’s fashion offerings. “I recall some influencers at a past event asking about the possibility of expanding their plus size range, and the style team took it on board and made significant efforts to expand the styles available,” Pisasale said.

“They really do listen to community feedback, which I love,” James added. “Womenswear, the Curve Collection, the quality of materials, the introduction of more sustainable products … I think over the years all of these improvements have really been driven from a grass roots level.”

But Kmart does not pay any of the influencers associated with its brand for these insights, be they polished Instagrammers or time-poor parents sharing pictures of their spice rack.

“As a business we do not do paid or sponsored content,” a Kmart representative told Business Insider Australia. “Rather we have a ‘gifted for review’ program where media and social media influencers are sent product (where relevant to them or their family) to review, trial and are encouraged to share their feedback.”

The uneasy relationship between marketing and ‘playbour’

Analysis of the influencer market suggests Kmart is getting a bargain.

A 2020 report by global social media analytics firm HypeAuditor found Australia’s professional Instagrammers — that is, creators who earn money on the platform by advertising brands and products to their followers — can command four-figure fees per post, even without the reach of homegrown superstars like Chris Hemsworth or Margot Robbie.

The report defines creators like James as ‘macro-influencers,’ who boast follower counts between 100,000 and 1 million, as “famous in a local community”. Creators in this tier can be expected to charge up to $1,200 for a sponsored post. Those with more concentrated followings, between 20,000 and 100,000, can bill brands up to $250 for access to their audience.

On the bottom rung are ‘nano-influencers’, the “regular consumers who are passionate and willing to share, but have little influence.” These figures can expect to earn $10 to $50 per post, if they earn at all. But these creators trade reach for engagement, the default measurement of a post’s impact. A major Australian celebrity might be expected to draw an engagement rate of 2.2%. This figure doubles for Australian nano-influencers.

The mode of influence changes, too: instead of a top-down relationship, nano-influencers reach each other in an omni-directional transfer of ideas, tastes, and aesthetics. The same pattern is exhibited by Facebook group members, even if the influencer economy has traditionally treated them as customers, not creators. For a brand like Kmart, the question then becomes one of scale: Why pay for access to one celebrity’s Australian audience, when everyday Instagrammers and a hivemind of 450,000 Facebook users will promote your product for free?

Catherine Archer, a senior lecturer in strategic communications at Perth’s Murdoch University, is one of several academics focused on digital ‘playbour’, the sticky middle ground between online fandom and paid service to a brand.

The benefit of these groups to Kmart is obvious, she said. But unlike traditional influencers, whose success is determined by click-through rates, it is harder to calculate their objective value to the brand. This under-researched commercial relationship makes compensation difficult to determine, if the conversation comes up at all.

“It’s all a bit blurred when you get to the ethics of interacting with people who are just like us, the everyday community,” Archer said, adding that participants “sometimes people don’t realise how absolutely amazing they are for that brand.” Savvy operators can forge careers out of online fan accounts, but for the most part, there are “a lot of people who don’t make any money out of it.”

Certainly, nobody is forcing hundreds of thousands of bargain hunters to proselytise for Kmart. The influencers Business Insider Australia spoke to expressed their genuine devotion to the brand, and appreciation for the way staff took their messages onboard. Not every fan group needs, or deserves, financial compensation from the causes they profess to support, and not every aspect of digital life should be packaged and sold to the highest bidder.

But it is hard not to see Kmart’s fan community as a case where the brand takes at least as much as it gives.

“Customer feedback through all of these channels are incredibly important to the entire Kmart team from design, buying, our quality technicians, stores and across to our distribution centres,” a Kmart spokesperson told Business Insider Australia.

“It allows us to listen to our customers, apply learnings where possible and continue to deliver great quality products at the lowest prices for everyone in the family.”

The brand does listen closely. At least one major ‘hack’ page, which does not advertise any official relationship with the brand, appears to be quietly administered by Kmart employees.

The company did not respond to questions about that group.

In his podcast appearance, Russo casually mentioned that at one point in his tenure as CEO, women accounted for 85% of sales. A cursory glance at the Kmart fan community suggests a similar demographic split. What these groups are, then, is a chance for Australian women to celebrate domestic ingenuity, and the unselfish, underappreciated labour of making a home. They are places for mothers — financially isolated compared to their male counterparts, yet contributing a disproportionate percentage of household labour — to find entertainment, inspiration, and community.

“I did some research about mothers using Facebook a few years ago, doing some focus groups and surveys,” Archer said. “And some of the reasons for being on Facebook were that sense of escape, to be in closed groups for advice, and genuinely to just sort of escape from boredom in some ways.

“But also feeling part of that connection to communities. And Kmart groups meet all of that.”

“We don’t use the word instinct, but it’s an instinctual sort of behavior, you know,” Coker added. “Once upon a time, it was beneficial for your survival to belong in a group… It’s kind of biologically programmed.”

But when some of the largest forums in Australian public life operate in service of commerce, should its participants not receive compensation for their contributions to the brand? And what good is a system which promises alienation for those who opt out altogether?

“What came up in the focus groups I did with mums of young children is that it’s very hard not to be on Facebook, because you feel a bit tethered to it,” Archer continued. “Because like I said, all the parties are on there, or everything’s on them. It throws you back in. And we know they work very hard to keep drawing back in, even if you don’t want to be drawn in.”

That Kmart became the beneficiary of an atomised society almost seems accidental, a fortunate addition to the brand’s offline overhaul. Any department store offering fashionable, cut-price goods could have feasibly profited from Facebook’s monopolisation of digital life. Regardless, brands will learn from Kmart’s example. And they will see community as a product, waiting to be repurposed.

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Publié le Catégories Réseaux sociaux

🔵⚪🔴 Acquiring Started out With Social Media Marketing for Your Small business – Stratégie Réseaux Sociaux


Receiving Your Compact Organization Commenced With Social Media Marketing

You are striving to grow your enterprise, and you have achieved the conclusion that a more powerful social media presence is the way to do it. But in which do you begin?

Using that initially step into social media can be too much to handle. There are so numerous web-sites and platforms, so a lot of end users, so a lot content out there waiting to be explored, where do you even commence? What are your overall objectives for marketing your enterprise? It’s a ton to method.

Hopefully, this tutorial will establish handy. What follows is a quick action-by-move walkthrough for social media marketing for novices.

Here’s how to get started off:

Answering these standard inquiries will support guide the path of your social attempts. Around the coming months and several years, you’re likely to devote a ton of time into social media. It is greatest, to start out with, your primary aims in intellect, so you can benchmark and measure your development.

1. Begin with your primary targets for using social media

In advance of you can really start out to leverage social media, you need to request your self some key questions about why you are doing it. What are you hoping to accomplish? Are you hoping to increase revenue, or boost customer assistance? Or alternatively, are you just hunting to create a minor far more visibility for your manufacturer?

2. Start tiny, and be selective

There are numerous social platforms. Fb, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest – the listing goes on. If you are formidable, you’re almost certainly nervous to get your enterprise up and functioning on most of them. But the reality is this – you simply cannot (and shouldn’t)  try to create your social presence on each of these platforms overnight. You have to start off small (think crawl, wander, run).

Be selective at 1st. Opt for 1 or two web-sites to get started out – the types that make the most perception for your business. Then, the moment you have adequate time and income to dedicate, commence to scale your initiatives and social footprint.

3. Hone in on a focus on viewers

As you’re developing your social strategy, deciding on sites and content system, etcetera, you’ll almost certainly be guided by 1 important problem: Who’s your viewers?

This will affect anything. Take your web page selections, for case in point. If you are seeking to cater to millenials, you may well want to emphasize YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat a lot more than other networks. If you’re concentrating on moms, Pinterest will work good. Fb is broader, appealing to everyone.

Which social web-site is the ideal match for you? It is dependent on what your business is hoping to complete. Investigate your supposed audience in advance of you make any final decisions about where by you will concentrate your social initiatives.

4. Arrive up with a unforgettable deal with

What is in a name? Preferably, it is one that is catchy and memorable. When it arrives to your social existence, you are going to want to develop a deal with that people today will identify throughout all of your social manufacturers.

It may possibly be just your company’s identify, or it may be something a tiny a lot more elaborate, just to emphasize a certain factor of your brand. For illustration, the BBC takes advantage of the username @BBCBreaking for its wildly well-known Twitter account, reminding individuals of their abundance of breaking news. Samsung uses @SamsungMobile, which encourages consumers to obtain their cellular equipment.

What variety of handle works very best for your business?

At the time you come to a decision on your manage, do some study to ensure it’s accessible on the numerous social platforms. One particular of the equipment I use for this is Knowem.

5. Build a social media staff

At the time you’ve got a plan for delving into social media marketing, you will need to have resources to execute it. After your social existence commences to scale, you will not be in a position to handle each facet you. You have a small business to operate, and you will require assistance.

Build a team of creative social media thinkers.
Construct a team of creative social media thinkers.

Try out to develop a “dream team” of people who all deliver diverse strengths to the table. Have a writer who can create persuasive social articles, as nicely as graphics and video people who can consider you into the multimedia sphere. You will also want an analytics human being who can observe your progress and assess the strengths and weaknesses of your marketing campaign. Most tiny businesses will not have a spending budget for introducing these positions to the payroll on a fulltime basis – but never fret – there are an wonderful quantity of passionate freelancers accessible to you, for virtually any funds. Verify out Freelancer.com and Upwork to get an concept of who and what is offered to you.

6. Get the cadence correct

1 of the crucial thoughts guiding your social initiatives is this – how frequently will you submit on your social web-sites? Is when a week more than enough, or do you want to do extra?

The remedy? It depends on which sites. A excellent rule of thumb is if you’re producing in-depth blog posts with a large amount of words and phrases, after or twice a week is in all probability good. On web pages like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, wherever persons adhere to a lot of information from a great a lot of people today and manufacturers, you are going to require to stage it to 3-5 posts per week. On Twitter, the place quantity is king, you can do additional. A number of tweets for each day is acceptable. One important rule – really do not put up, just to submit. Ensure each and every article, tweet or piece of written content is suitable to your audience and adds benefit.

7. Have a schedule, but display overall flexibility way too

After you have figured out how several moments to post on your social web pages, the up coming dilemma is when.

Timing your social posts is part science and section art. On a person hand, there are specified exceptional time slots – persons love to browse social media web sites through their lunch breaks and in the evenings immediately after operate. But if you adhere to a rigid program just to hit individuals sweet places, you’ll start off to look much too computerized, like a robot. You are going to want to combine it up for variety’s sake.

A single of the very best tools I’ve uncovered for running your written content is Co-Program – It is an remarkable WordPress plugin and you can see it below.

8. Be reliable and personable

Mingling with people today on Twitter is not that different from executing so at a social gathering or social collecting. In equally conditions, you make pals by being yourself and currently being reliable and good.

Continue to keep this in intellect as you are posting on the net. Folks don’t want to cozy up to a brand whose social presence appears rigid and corporate – or worse yet, unpleasant. Demonstrate a human facet, interact with individuals kindly and acquire a persona. Persons will appreciate that, and the next will come.

9. Acquire a material pipeline

A lovable or amusing article can grab a viewer’s awareness for a minute or two, but what really keeps them coming back again is engaging content. You want your social existence to website link to web pages and articles or blog posts that people today will find intriguing, or that will incorporate benefit to their lives. If you can do that, you can safe consumers’ loyalty.

So establish a pipeline for your content. What kinds of content material will you article? When and the place will you write-up them? Map out a approach and adhere to it for a while, but really do not be frightened to adapt if you believe it’s not operating.

10. Blend up your social media marketing content offerings

You have got to have a prepare for sharing articles, undoubtedly. But what kind of written content? Ideally, you’d have a mix of various things. Attempt to harmony your individual original written content with valued, articles curated from other internet sites. Search for all those “nuggets” of articles that your viewers will benefit, but may well not usually come across.

Equilibrium your first content with the written content you curate and share. If you only share material from other resources, you will just appear to be like you’re leeching off of others’ challenging do the job rather than executing your have. If you only share your own information, you’ll seem to be much too advertising and revenue-y. A pleasant balance will make you seem well-informed, worthwhile and humble 🙂 .

11. Connection, website link and link yet again

At the time your company has a solid social media existence up and working, you want to website link individuals to it once again and all over again and again. You don’t want to drive it much too a lot, lest persons start out to really feel like they’re currently being spammed, but still – it is important to fortify your brand name.

The fantastic thing about obtaining several social accounts is they can all be interwoven with 1 another. Set up a weblog post and backlink it to your Twitter site. Write-up a photograph on Instagram and invite individuals to study a lot more on Facebook. Just one social existence can link to many others.

12. Coordinate from a central dashboard

The downside is that juggling all of these accounts can get perplexing. You’ve been indicating to post on one of your social internet sites today, but which a person was it? Twitter? Pinterest? YouTube?

You may well want to use some kind of instrument for coordinating all of your social endeavours. Investing in a social media administration system – say, an software like Hootsuite , Sprout Social  or Sendible will give you a easy centralized dashboard. This way, all your social media logistics will be viewable on a solitary monitor. There are a amount of social administration platforms available – analysis and find the one particular that is ideal for you.

13. Incorporate worth for shoppers

Here’s a vital issue that lots of little company leaders have about submitting on social media – “Once I begin interacting with consumers, what strategy need to I just take? What must I actually say?”

The trick is to obtain the right equilibrium amongst delivering the manufacturer information and being personable. Immediately after all, the intention is to increase your revenue, but you really do not want to occur throughout as becoming revenue-y. Social media is a great platform for growing awareness of your model and boosting visibility at the best of the income funnel. It’s not the position to be driving rate points and conversion techniques at the base of the funnel.

Target on incorporating benefit for buyers in subtle means. Offer you them practical ideas. Fix their complications and response their inquiries. Advise techniques for their organization or personalized life. If you insert benefit in little approaches, the gross sales will appear.

14. Make valuable business enterprise connections

The other identify for social media you commonly hear is “social networking,” and there is a motive for that – there’s no improved place than the Web to community and make vital connections with many others. You should be working with your social existence to create associations that could possibly aid you later.

This can consist of any amount of approaches. You could possibly use LinkedIn for reaching out to probable hires and to bypass the gatekeepers at numerous businesses you would like to operate with. Twitter is a wonderful spot for sharing written content with marketplace considered leaders. Facebook assists you bond with regional folks in the neighborhood who could possibly grow to be customers. Just about everywhere you appear on social media, there are alternatives to make connections. Really don’t shy away it.

“The very best time to begin setting up your social network is ahead of you require it.”

15. Be willing to test new things

Social media marketing has been a viable marketing tactic for some time now, and we have appear to comprehend that there’s an acknowledged way of executing factors. There are norms for the place to submit, when, how often and so on and so forth.

Maybe in the starting, you are going to adhere to these procedures like gospel. That is likely for the very best – you really do not want to stray too considerably from what’s approved till you know what you are executing and fully grasp the several nuances. Finally, hen you are prepared, you can commence to department out and check out new approaches.

Play with the quantity and timing of your posts. Share content material that is different. Venture into new social internet sites that are not in the mainstream still. Experiment with convention, and you might stumble into a new strategy that works remarkably properly for you and your business enterprise.

16. Track your company’s social media reputation

Each individual social media site represents a great spot for sharing information about your small business. But here’s the key – you are not the only a single conversing about you. Other persons are, way too.

As you take a look at the numerous social web sites, dedicate some time to monitoring the reputation of your business. Lookup for what men and women are expressing about you. If the word is optimistic, get a moment to convey gratitude for the awesome issues people today are expressing, and vow to keep up the excellent get the job done. If it’s unfavorable, appear for constructive criticism. Do people’s social remarks issue to one thing you can do superior?

17. Measure the effects of social media

Way back again at the commencing of this article, we mentioned the worth of setting up with a aim in brain. Recall what you received into social media for – regardless of whether it’s raising product sales, much better services, much better exposure, whichever – it is constantly superior to have plans.

Alongside the way, you want to measure your development toward those targets. If you needed to increase revenue, then test the numbers – are they heading up? If you wanted greater assistance, then ask all around – are your social efforts creating a genuine variance?

Obtaining involved with social media takes time, strength and of study course dollars. You really don’t want any of those people assets to go to squander. If you observe up and evaluate your final results, you can be certain that they do not.

In conclusion…

There is a extensive earth of social media web pages out there with a array of distinctive utilizes. Here’s how to make the most of them all:

  • Get started with your standard targets. Look at them as you decide on a social strategy, an viewers and an id.
  • Make out your social existence with a wonderful offer of content material, each from your very own organization and in other places, and share it with impeccable timing.
  • Department out, take a look at, interact and watch your progress. Social media will help your organization increase and thrive – but bear in mind, it normally takes timeand will not take place overnight.
Publié le Catégories Réseaux sociaux

🔵⚪🔴 50 Budgeting Tips for Small Business Owners – Stratégie Réseaux Sociaux



14 min read


This story originally appeared on Due

Business is all about money. As a business owner, you want to make as much as you can and be frugal where you have to be. 

Budgeting is a vital aspect for any business, but especially important for small business owners. In this article, we’ll go over 50 budgeting tips to help your small business.

Research money and budgeting in your industry

The first thing to do is to understand the cash flow and general trends of your industry. There are tons of online articles for each industry, so spending time perusing through them as you drink your coffee. Having a better understanding of what’s new and what’s consistent will help you play your cards better and save more.

Know yourself, Know your habits

When trying to save, you have to be honest with yourself. Some of us are impulse buyers and always buy more than we think we will. Budgeting for the company starts with your personal habits. Then, you set an example for your employees and save money for the business and yourself. 

Know your organization

Knowing your organization is vital to budgeting. What habits and trends do you see from those you work with? Where is the company going to be in a few years with those current savings habits? Understanding those habits and trends will help you decide what needs to be changed to budget better. 

Understand your priorities

As a business owner, it’s tough to juggle everything on your plate. While you don’t have to be having budgeting meetings every day, it’s good to come back as a team every once in a while. Make budgeting a priority by bringing it up in meetings once or twice a month.

Set hard goals

Goal setting helps you track success when it comes to budgeting. How much do you want to save this quarter or this year? What plan is going to help you get to where you want to be? Once you have those questions answered, track progress and be accountable for what happens.

Keep your budget healthy

When creating your budget, sit down and make hard markers for what is considered healthy for your budget and unhealthy. For example, you could create green zones, yellow zones, orange zones, and red zones based on how much you have remaining. This takes just a few minutes when goal setting, but helps you understand how healthy your budget is overall.

Take time to review finances

Set time aside consistently (maybe once or twice a month) to review your finances and your progress to hitting budgeting goals. This can be a group meeting or just yourself as the owner. This consistent review allows you to consider what changes need to be made to hit goals.

Create a budgeting team

Creating a budgeting and finance team can be huge to your financial and budgeting success. If you already have a finance team, implement budgeting as a part of their responsibilities. If not, consider who on your team already could assist with that, or hire another employee if needed. 

Be realistic

When setting goals and making budgeting plans, be realistic in how much you’re going to save and spend. If you aren’t honest with yourself, it’s just going to make the rest of the process more difficult. So be realistic as you prepare and pursue budgeting goals.

Be human

As you go through the goal setting and saving process, let yourself have some fun and enjoy the process and results. When you keep on saving and keep on growing, reward yourself and your team for the hard work. You don’t want to burn out, and having fun with it helps you avoid burning out.

Be flexible

Budgeting is a process that may need some changes as time goes on. After all, the economy changes, and the goals set may not be exactly what’s right for the company. So be prepared to shift as time goes on. When it comes to finances and budgeting, prepare diligently but implement flexibly.

Be detailed

When considering cutting costs, be detailed in exactly how much you’ll save in which areas. Don’t use rough estimates, but use the actual amount that you’re paying consistently. This gives you a more accurate representation of what you’re working with. 

Create plans for the use of saved money

Before you’ve hit your goals and have budgeted well, consider what you’re going to do with the money you save. For example, how much are you going to put back into the business, where will you get bonuses, or what are you going to invest in? This helps you find the purpose and motivation behind the goals to propel you to hit them.

Use the right tools

There are so many tools out there to help you budget. Be resourceful and read budgeting books, articles, or consider hiring a client to manage your finances for you. There are tons of free and paid options, so consider which will be best for your business. 

Discuss budgeting with others

One of the best tools you have is those around you. Discuss your plans and goals with others in your industry, or run them by mentors to get constructive criticism. These people may have great advice and information specifically for you and your company. 

Stay patient

Budgeting and making money is a long-term game. Investments will eventually go up, and you’re not going to hit all your goals overnight. So just take a deep breath, and do what you can for today. 

Shoot for discounts with good clients

Take some time and identify the clients which you have the best relationship. Once that list is made, consider if your relationship is good enough to ask them for a small discount. It doesn’t have to be much, but asking for a 10-15% discount can save your company thousands in the long run.  

Track your progress

As you work towards the goals you’ve made, sit down at the end of each week and see how you’re doing. This should be a personal thing to see what contributions you’ve made and the growth that you’ve seen because of it. Take this time to appreciate the work that you’ve done.

Practice makes perfect

Odds are you’re not going to get things right on the first try. Even the CEOs of the biggest companies are still learning and still make mistakes. So as you go throughout your business and try to save, take what you learn and use it to build your business and others.

Make it a part of company culture

Implementing frugality and budgeting as part of the company’s culture builds habits for yourself and the employees. Think about your company’s core values and make sure that budgeting and frugality are a part of it. 

Make it a personal habit

The goal is to make more money and save more money, right? The easiest way to do this is to make it a part of yourself. Take time to ponder how you can save money on groceries, car washes, or other miscellaneous things. As it’s a bigger part of you, more and more people will follow your example. 

Remember, time is money

This is a simple thing to keep in mind, but it’s vital. As the business owner, your time is most important. Consider what things you and only you can do. The other work can be given to employees or interns. Get the most out of yourself by improving your own efficiency. This will pay you back and earn you more money in the long run. 

Cut out the fluff and focus on the meat

It’s really easy to get distracted by small things when you’re a business owner; you know that. Identify what matters most and focus on that. This goes for cutting costs, as well as where you spend your time. 

Ask for advice

Being humble enough to ask for corrections is going to help any business owner. We’ve previously talked about running it by friends and mentors. Take this a step further and discuss it with other small business owners close to your situation. 

Track income

Tracking income is one of the first steps to budgeting well. First, understand how much you’re making each month and why. Then, think about what needs to be done to increase income and discuss that with your team.

Track fixed costs

Fixed costs are another easy thing to do when considering budgets. The nice thing is that these will never change, so you can make a game plan to combat how much you’re spending on these each month. 

Understand variable costs

Variable costs are a bit more complicated than fixed costs; you know that. So look back and think about why the variable costs change so much. Is there anything that you can cut or need less of? Understanding the market will also help you understand why the prices are going up and down and how you can prepare for that fluctuation. 

Double-check

We all make mistakes, big and small. Those minor mistakes, though, can make a big difference in certain projects or areas. So be thorough and make sure you’re not moving the comma one spot or using the wrong numbers. 

Don’t over Predict how much you’ll make

It’s easy to get excited about launching a new product because it’s a new source of income! While it’s exciting, avoid over projecting how much you’ll make. It may take time for awareness of the product to grow, so it may even be good to stay pessimistic when it comes to sales.

Research products – get the most out of your money

Taking a few extra minutes to research what you’re buying can save you tons. Are there better deals out there? Are there discounts or sales going on? Habits like these get you more out of what you pay, leaving you with more to invest elsewhere. 

Pay employees to quit

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, would offer employees $2,000 to quit halfway through their training. His goal here was to weed out the lousy workers as fast as possible, and find the best ones. This process got him more out of who he was paying and gave the company more sales over time. 

Invest in AI for your website 

AI is great because once it’s installed, you reap the benefits of it for a long, long time. Implementing bots or other AI into websites or social media makes the customer experience much better. It won’t cost much but will bring in more and more sales.

Use apps or create a spreadsheet

There are so many ways to track expenses and everything relating to budgeting, but there are so many free tools that are just simple and easy. Using apps like Mint or creating a spreadsheet makes it easy to keep track long-term. You can also look back at previous data to see progress made. 

Get the most out of employees and yourself

The more efficient you are, the more time you save. The more time you save, the more money you make and save. Put employees where they fit best and where they can contribute the most. Small changes can lead to big rewards. 

Plan for future expenses

There may be future events or obstacles getting in the way, so businesses must prepare for them. This may be a change in the presidency, a change in the laws, or a business quarter that won’t perform as well. So make the cushion for seen and unseen obstacles.

Create an emergency fund

This is just your cushion for the unseen obstacles that may be coming in your future. Consider how much should be in it, and if it needs to be used, you’re going to thank yourself. If not, you still have that cash right there just in case the economy goes south.

Plan to increase revenue 

When thinking about increasing revenue, the simplest idea that comes to mind is to work with more clients. This can be done through online marketing or even just going to networking events. The more people knowing about you and your work means more sales and revenue. 

Look for beneficial change

When networking and meeting new people, ask questions about how they got through tough financial times or worked around budgeting obstacles. These are just new ideas that actually worked in the real world rather than on paper. Even if you don’t implement them, you have them in your back pocket if it could work later on. 

Find ways to keep it simple

Business is easy to overcomplicate, so keep it simple. Focus on the things you know are going to work and will bring in income. Of course, there’s always room for improvement, but making simple changes decreases confusion to keep everyone on the same track. 

Invest back in your business

Once you’ve saved a significant amount, consider how much you’re putting right back into your business. Your business is probably the best thing to invest in since you’re just investing in yourself. So set aside a certain percentage each quarter of earnings and how much you save to put back into the business.

Keep everyone accountable

Accountability is where you see if everyone is doing what they need to be doing. This doesn’t have to be a hard questionnaire every week, but briefly check in with employees now and then and see how things are going for them. For example, if they are struggling to implement the budgeting habits, look for ways to help and build them.

Simplify your product

If products or services are too complicated for consumers, they will not spend time learning about them. So make your marketing strategy simple enough for people to get the message quickly. 

Define overspending

Overspending is a bad habit that businesses can get to, so draw a line to define exactly what it is. It may be a percentage or a specific dollar amount, but knowing exactly what helps you understand when you’re getting into danger.

Define Needs and wants

All businesses have needs and want, but it’s easy to jumble the two. When differentiating them, consider which products are actually going to boost sales and productivity. For example, a high-tech mouse for your laptop probably isn’t a need but a want. Set a clear line to ensure that you’re paying for what’s essential. 

Build credit

Personal credit can actually influence your ability to get loans in the future, even if they’re business loans. To develop good spending habits personally and for the business to develop the credit you need for success. 

Budget using historical data

There’s plenty of financial data from the past years and decades for your specific industry. These trends can help you prepare for storms or even when you need to take more risks. Look at data from the industry and your company to see what changes can be made to optimize sales today and in the future. 

Plan for taxes

Taxes aren’t fun for anyone, but they need to be accounted for. So when planning and setting goals, keep them in mind to give a more accurate representation. 

Understand risk

Ask a business owner there’s going to be some risk involved. While you can’t change the risk itself, you can become more educated to make better decisions in the future. Underestimate the growth risk brings and overestimate the costs.

Over-communicate

When interacting with clients and employees, telling more can be better than telling less. The more you share, the better picture you paint for them to understand the financial situation better. People want to help, and when you communicate a need, they may be willing to help more than you expect. 

Invest

Investing may not bring you quick cash, but it’ll bring you cash nonetheless. So first, consider where you can invest your money to get a good return in a few years. Then, as you invest more and more, you’ll be able to get out more.

The post 50 Budgeting Tips for Small Business Owners appeared first on Due.

Publié le Catégories Réseaux sociaux

🔵⚪🔴 Electric Alternatives Get started to Permeate As a result of the Construction Equipment Business – Stratégie Réseaux Sociaux


NEW YORK, June 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The transition from gasoline to electric powered cars is accelerating. Significant automakers are significantly betting that thousands and thousands of new electrical cars and trucks and trucks more than the upcoming ten years will be on the roadways. For example, last 7 days, Typical Motors introduced that it will increase its EV and AV investments from 2020 by way of 2025 to USD 35 Billion. “We are investing aggressively in a thorough and highly-integrated plan to make positive that GM potential customers in all features of the transformation to a much more sustainable foreseeable future,” claimed GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra. Additionally, GM is targeting once-a-year worldwide EV gross sales of extra than 1 million by 2025. This changeover goes significantly over and above electric powered autos nevertheless, as more and much more industries are wanting to emulate the automobile industry when it comes to electrification. Greenland Systems Holding Company (NASDAQ: GTEC), Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), Deere & Business (NYSE: DE), NIO Inc. (NYSE: NIO), XPeng Inc. (NYSE: XPEV).

For illustration, battery-electrical adoption could provide sizable potential in weighty machinery, which is specifically developed for executing construction works this kind of as earthwork operations or other substantial design tasks. In accordance to a report by McKinsey, there is a extremely minimal share of battery-electric automobiles (BEVs) in the area of heavy machinery and equipment, even though electric propulsion (with cable) is not uncommon in some equipment. On the other hand, both equally operators and OEMs have commenced to commit in battery-electric powered solutions, with first commercial alternatives setting up to arise in the marketplace. Recent, considerable advancements in battery overall performance and expense, world-wide and regional environmental concerns, and far better and extra accessible charging technologies have also contributed to the change. 

Greenland Technologies Holding Company (NASDAQ: GTEC) introduced yesterday breaking news pertaining to, “a key strategic partnership with Shandong Zhongcha Weighty Business Equipment Co. (‘Shandong‘)”, a multinational weighty machinery and automotive production firm.

The partnership is structured to attain two strategic objectives to drive profits technology and to enrich management situation as a first mover. Initial, the companies are joining forces to launch a lithium battery forklift, which utilizes Greenland’s new built-in drivetrain system that will be accessible for sale in the U.S. by Greenland beginning in July 2021. 2nd, the two strategic companions will combine R&D assets to produce the up coming phase of lithium driven forklifts to be certain they continue to be positioned for current market leadership around the more time time period.

Headquartered in Jinan, Shandong, China, Shandong Zhongcha Large Industry Equipment Co. was founded in 2009 by way of a merger among Weichai Keeping Group, Shandong Design Machinery Team, and Shandong Automobile Industrial Group. Shandong Weighty Market has 5 principal operating subsidiaries: Weichai Holding Group Co., Ltd. (the parent business of Weichai Power), Shantui Building Machinery Co., Ltd., Shantui Machinery Co., Ltd., Shanzhong Development Machinery Co., Ltd., and Shandong Vehicle Industry Group Co., Ltd., Shazhonng Development Machinery.

Raymond Wang, CEO of Greenland, commented, “This is an additional main enhancement for our business, as we align with a effective, well-funded strategic spouse with in depth expertise and consumer relationships in our goal marketplaces. We have by now spoken with a lot of buyers with pretty constructive opinions for a lithium battery forklift alternative. Importantly, we are self-confident we can deliver our jointly-developed lithium battery powered forklift to industry at a rate place competitive with legacy acid battery powered autos. The aggressive selling price stage mixed with the truth our motor vehicle is a safer, cleaner motor vehicle with a bigger consumer return on financial investment than traditional forklifts, provides us a profitable marketplace placement with significant-volume opportunity. We look forward to performing alongside one another with Shandong, as we create a mutually profitable, extensive-time period partnership.”

About Greenland Systems Holding Corporation: GTEC is a developer and a company of drivetrain units for content handling machineries and electric powered cars, as properly as electrical industrial automobiles. For a lot more facts take a look at www.gtec-tech.com

For our latest “Excitement on the Street” Clearly show showcasing Greenland Technologies Holding Company modern company information, you should head more than to https://www.youtube.com/enjoy?v=Hl6536yOddU

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) claimed back again in May possibly new sustainability ambitions to attain by 2030. “Caterpillar is perfectly-positioned to go on bettering the excellent of the surroundings and communities by encouraging our shoppers fulfill society’s essential demands this kind of as shelter, clean up drinking water, education and learning, and trusted electrical power, in a sustainable way,” reported Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Jim Umpleby. “We are demonstrating our motivation to a decreased-carbon long run in several methods, which include as a result of our substantial progress in lowering greenhouse gasoline (GHG) emissions from our functions and our continued financial investment in new solutions, systems, and products and services that support buyers achieve their local weather-relevant aims as they make a improved, a lot more sustainable earth.” Caterpillar’s seven new 2030 sustainability aims will greatly enhance the company’s overall performance and effect and are concentrated on ESG matters inside of its very own functions, as nicely as product stewardship in help of its customers’ sustainability objectives.

Deere & Organization (NYSE: DE) declared back in March that John Deere Foundation will devote $200 million above the future 10 years in initiatives that will carry to life John Deere’s bigger reason: We run so life can leap ahead. “The urgency of managing nowadays with the eyesight of a better tomorrow is John Deere at our main,” claimed John Might, Chairman and CEO of Deere & Organization and Chairman of the John Deere Foundation. “The Foundation’s monetary commitment holds real to this function by investing deeply in the individuals we serve to overcome the issues they confront right now and make for on their own paths to a extra affluent tomorrow.” The Foundation’s 10-year commitment aligns to the United Nations Sustainable Enhancement Aims, and the Basis will observe and report investments versus suitable targets and indicators, stated Nate Clark, President of the John Deere Basis.

NIO Inc. (NYSE: NIO) announced back in Might its April 2021 shipping and delivery effects. NIO shipped 7,102 automobiles in April 2021, representing a powerful 125.1% yr-above-12 months development. The deliveries consisted of 1,523 ES8s, the Firm’s six-seater and seven-seater flagship top quality clever electrical SUV, 3,163 ES6s, the Firm’s 5-seater higher-overall performance premium sensible electric SUV, and 2,416 EC6s, the Company’s five-seater quality clever electric coupe SUV. As of April 30, 2021, cumulative deliveries of the ES8, ES6, and EC6 achieved 102,803 motor vehicles. NIO types, develops, jointly manufactures and sells premium sensible electric powered cars, driving innovations in future-era systems in autonomous driving, digital systems, electrical powertrains, and batteries.

XPeng Inc. (NYSE: XPEV) described earlier in Could its car delivery benefits for May possibly 2021. XPeng shipped a total of 5,686 Good EVs in Might 2021, representing a 483% enhance calendar year-above-year, and a 10% improve above previous month. The Might deliveries consisted of 3,797 P7s, the Firm’s sports intelligent sedan, and 1,889 G3s, its intelligent compact SUV. As of May well 31, 2021, calendar year-to-day complete deliveries achieved 24,173 models, representing a 427% enhance yr-around-yr. The quantity of P7s shipped in Could achieved a record higher of 3,797, demonstrating the solid buyer enchantment of XPeng’s industry-major sensible functions. Launched in January this 12 months, XPILOT 3. and its Navigation Guided Pilot (NGP) freeway solutions have reached a strong set of consumer utilization rates. Moreover, these options allow the Company to generate incremental revenues from its proprietary XPILOT application.

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Publié le Catégories Réseaux sociaux

🔵⚪🔴 Top 15 Best Social Media Marketing Courses & Training in 2021 – Stratégie Réseaux Sociaux


A new year brings new resolutions. What a better way to spend time but through social media marketing courses. Through lessons, assessments, and certification, they help expand knowledge. This education and skills help open doors to real jobs.

Many are on the fence about where to take an online course. Details of the top ones come in handy. We have curated a list of the best social media training courses. They have all the tools and resources to build a successful marketing business.

15 Social Media Marketing Courses & Training

The following social media marketing courses & training sites boast a substantial value. They are verified, relevant, and timeless. They fill in the gaps of the social media industry and provide with resources for effective learning.

We will make objective reviews of these courses. This will guide readers into picking the best for a particular need. We single out the most important details to help choose the best fit.


#1 Social Media Marketing: Become a Successful Entrepreneur

SO ME Academy
Creator:
SO ME Academy
Number of lectures:
75
Time for completion:
3h 37min
Level:
All levels
Price:
$29.99
Sign up Link:
Social Media Marketing

Udemy is one of the most trusted sites for online courses. Learn how to use Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, and blogging. Then use them to build a strategy. It focuses on customer services and PR. Tips, tricks, and risks of social media for marketing complete the mix.

This particular one has an affordable fee. Upon payment, users have access to it for life. It has over 41,000 students enrolled. It targets entrepreneurs and organization members.

What Will You Learn:

— Foundations of social media
— Understand the basics of the most popular social media sites
— Harness the full scope of social media in the industry
— Use social media for customer service and PR
— How to audit an organization
— Building a solid marketing strategy
— Understand the risks of social media and how to deal with them
— Using advanced features of the most important social media tools
— Everything on content marketing

This online program turns the user into a social media hero. It comprises over 2 hours of videos and 16 articles. This content makes certified strategists out of learners. Upon completion, SO ME Academy issues a certification. This course is for those looking to expand their business or organization. It includes Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and others. It is broad and goes from the basics to practical applications.

#2 Social Marketing Training by Hootsuite

Hootsuite
Creator:
Hootsuite
Number of chapters:
5
Time for completion:
6 hours
Level:
Beginner/Intermediate
Price:
Free
Sign up Link:
Training by Hootsuite

Hootsuite’s beginner’s social media training course includes basic skills. It will help grow followers, stir engagement, and pump up business. This series of lessons are addressed to those who want to launch themselves head-on. This is the free beginner course from a series of six courses. It starts the learner on the basics of social media sites. Next, it goes on to how pros use them.

Each lesson in every chapter features a quiz for self-assessment. Every chapter includes an optional lesson on the Hootsuite platform. The training includes an intro to social media marketing. This intro explains the use of every social media platform. We recommend taking them all.

What Will You Learn:

— Basics of marketing a business
— Introduction to social networks
— Optimizing social media profiles
— How to build an effective social media plan
— Building, growing and engaging with a community
— Creating content that provides results
— Social Media advertising fundamentals

Hootsuite developed this course with top social media marketers in mind. Learners train to start from beginner level to best pro. The training helps build a community of loyal followers.It includes thorough explanations of what engaged communities are. Participants learn how to take advantage of digital sources to connect. The study plan is comprehensive and detailed. Each lesson ends with recommended next steps into applying what students learned. A paid option for certification is available. This one has a cost of $199. It is well-invested money for a course with enormous value.

#3 Boot Camp Digital: A Door to Social Media Excellence

Boot camp digital
Creator:
Boot camp digital
Number of courses:
26
Time for completion:
70+ hours
Level:
Al levels
Price:
$97/month
Sign up Link:
Boot Camp Digital

Bootcamp Digital has prepared specific courses for every social network. Every single one is dissected to teach particular strategies. Are these courses necessary? Definitely! They offer an in-depth study of each social site and the means to use their power.

This is social media marketing gold and is addressed to all levels. Beginners to pros are welcome. Boot Camp calls it “Our Master Class Library” which comprises 70+ hours of training. It includes digital marketing, strategies, web, analytics, and ads.

What Will You Learn:

— Marketing using the most important social networks
— Chatbot marketing
— Digital marketing
— SEO
— Copywriting for search
— Creating and optimizing websites
— Google Analytics
— Content marketing strategy
— Digital advertising
— Digital Measurement and Analytics

Users will notice that this is a high-end training library. Large-scale groups such as NASA and Proctor and Gamble use it. Every single course caters rich and updated content. Each one has a fixed cost starting at $97. Boot Camp Digital offers an all-access pass at a price of $97/month.

Courses are addressed to beginners, which go through specialized personal training. It escalates through all levels. It provides top instruments and strategies to become competitive. The company offers a certification option too.

#4 Alison’s Social Media Strategy for Small Businesses

Advanced Learning Academy
Publisher:
Advanced Learning Academy
Number of modules:
4
Time for completion:
2-3 hours
Level:
Academic Level 1
Price:
Free
Sign up Link:
Social Media Strategy

All small businesses should build a social media marketing plan. Social networks provide targeted tools to make a business grow. Alison has prepared this free option to infer into this. The program teaches how to design and install a social media strategy. It encourages designs to boost sales and growth.

The course comprises 2 to 3 hours of effective learning and training. It includes assessment and certification. One prime trait of this set of modules is that they are short and effective. It focuses on establishing a dynamic web presence. Engagement through social media.

What Will You Learn:

— Elements of a dynamic web presence
— Research and planning for a dynamic web presence
— Key interactive elements in a website
— Effective social media engagement
— Types of social media and their benefits
— Preparing and sharing social media content
— Metrics of social media engagement
— Describe the leading social media platforms and take advantage of their features

Alison’s Social Media Strategy course is short and inclusive. It is designed to help small businesses create a meaningful presence online. The course has over 40,000 students enrolled. Undoubtedly, upon completion, users will boost their online presence. As a consequence, small businesses’ sales will take off.

This course is addressed to beginners who want to build and engage their audience. It focuses on creating websites to promote products and/or services. Then it goes to using social media instruments to engage and cut through the noise. This is a place to go to put together stunning and useful websites. Those interested in attractive social network profiles turn to this one.

#5 Wharton`s (edX) Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing

Wharton University
Creator:
Wharton University
Number of modules:
4
Time for completion:
15 hours
Level:
Intermediate
Price:
$585
Sign up Link:
New Business Models

Wharton (University of Pennsylvania) has created this piece. It is a complete course and professional certification program. It caters to anyone wanting to succeed in their businesses. This guide spreads into six weeks of training with a commitment of 2 to 3 hours per week.

To learn how to succeed in an ever-changing field, this course suits perfectly. David Bell is the instructor. He is a Wharton professor and consumer shopping expert. The program delves into how digital companies have changed how we see business. It teaches how to take a good chunk of the industry pie. This professional certificate program is thorough and relevant. It taps into the pains of a growing marketing landscape.

What Will You Learn:

— Increase profit through fresh models in business and e-commerce
— Effective application of digital marketing and e-commerce methods
— Social media and digital marketing techniques
— Effective marketing strategies for products and/or services
— Tools to navigate through emerging digital services

In this course, students learn how e-commerce and the digital economy works. It empowers them to generate their own critical insights. Participants acquire the skills to design strategies. Methods include market analysis, digital marketing, and tactics. Anything that can be put to good use in e-commerce is right here. This includes online advertising and social advertising. It covers mobile technologies and engagement, for instance. How to influence audiences through social media, and more.

The syllabus is designed for intermediate learners. To those that want to better understand marketing and digital business. It includes analysis and practical applications. It addresses marketing professionals, analysts, and entrepreneurs. Small business owners, investors, and consumer benefit from this set.

#6 Skillshare’s Social Media Marketing Modules

Skillshare
Creator:
Skillshare
Number of modules:
15.000+
Time for completion:
Lifelong learning
Level:
All levels
Price:
$15/mo
Sign up Link:
Marketing Modules

Skillshare is a platform with an extensive library of courses. It provides an intuitive website for easy navigation. It comes at a very affordable fee. A series of video courses start learners with social media essentials. It then surveys every social media network.

Take advantage of the free-trial month and use it as possible. After the trial month, Skillshare charges for the package picked at sign up. The website’s library comprises over 15,000 titles to choose from. All there is to know about SoMe marketing, this series has it covered.

What Will You Learn:

— Everything about social media marketing
— SEO and effective uses
— Courses for every specific platform
— E-commerce and digital market
— Strategies and ways of making a business grow
— Monetizing online presence
— Social media curation tools

This library of content is quite extensive, to say the least. You name it, Skillshare has a course and a certification for it. When options are so vast, it feels like noise, and it is tough to cut through it.
The site curates every section according to common interests. Users can better dive into these sections hassle-free. In this way, students can easily find what they need.

There is more than one course on a particular topic. Most of them are short and always to the point. As an enriching feature, every title includes class projects. These class projects are a part of the site’s library.

#7 Content Marketing by the University of California

University of California
Creator:
University of California
Number of modules:
5
Time for completion:
17 hours
Level:
Intermediate
Price:
$49
Sign up Link:
Content Marketing

The Content Marketing Course focuses on powerful content marketing. It maps out strategies and everything surrounding content. But not only does the course thrive to put in place certain planning. It also seeks to shift the streamlined way of thinking into something bigger. So, this is not a load of info pushed down your throat. Instead, it presents real on-field applications of what learned.

What Will You Learn:

— The content marketing ecosystem
— What is and how to apply the 7A framework
— Craft a content marketing strategy
— The strategic types of content
— How to manage your content

This course addresses intermediate learners. To those who want to infer into why content is king. But it does not stop at hearing and learning alone. It includes assessments and applications. This help soak in everything there is to know.

Access to the lessons, with a certificate included, is inexpensive. Financial aid through Coursera is available. UC Davis is one of the top-ranked research campuses. Learners can see this expertise throughout the course. Creators designed this one for those wanting to make astonishing content. As a consequence, to drive loyalty and revenue.

#8 Instagram Marketing: A Step-By-Step to 10.000 Followers

Benjamin and Anneliese Wilson
Creator:
Benjamin and Anneliese Wilson
Number of modules:
56
Time for completion:
5.5 hours
Level:
Intermediate
Price:
$159.99
Sign up Link:
Instagram Marketing

Udemy is at the top of digital content for Instagram marketing. This updated course has an enrollment of almost 62,000 students. The main focus is not only to attract and get organic followers. It goes further to turn them into paying customers.

It aims to build a community of loyal customers. Participants do this through a powerful Instagram account. Applying these proven principles guarantees 10,000 organic followers. Learners get all the specific IG features to develop a profile. But not any profile but one that speaks success and relevance.

What Will You Learn:

— Create an appealing, compelling, and professional Instagram account
— Build strong and meaningful connections with your Instagram followers
— Connect with sections of followers every day
— The follower funnel technique
— Stay up-to-date with the most recent Instagram updates and features

Instagram has the advantage of being intuitive, fun, and easy to use. This makes it a targeted tool to get a message out there. This course teaches content managing for an Instagram account. It also explores techniques to boost post quality. When quality improves an increase in followers ensues.

Here’s a summary of the course: Learners generate followers. They engage them and establish an interactive community. Learners turn the community into paying customers. Intuitive. Simple. But it requires an effort. If Instagram is the network of choice for business, this course is a great choice. Instagram users who have been lagging and needed a nudge can also apply for it.

#9 Facebook Ads & Facebook Marketing: Mastering the King

COURSE ENVY
Creator:
COURSE ENVY
Number of modules:
112
Time for completion:
14.5 hours
Level:
Beginner
Price:
$129.99
Sign up Link:
Facebook Marketing

This bestseller course has 150,000+ students enrolled. Most of them with stories of success. The aim here is to master Facebook and to become Facebook ads experts. It lists all the steps to create an effective Facebook advertising campaign.

Participants learn how to convert an investment into revenue. It starts from a beginner’s perspective. It concludes with a professional Facebook marketer’s view. This course is intuitive, up-to-date, and detailed. The only requirement is to have a Facebook account/profile. Before starting, users have to make an initial investment. This is necessary to set up FB ads and test them in real time.

What Will You Learn:

— How to connect with new audiences
— Save money with FB ads
— Post to various social media sites with one click
— Use Facebook Business Manager
— Implement Facebook Pixel and advanced tracking strategies

This is a course that hones skills for targeting audiences through FB ads. As we mentioned before, it has fine details. It will take learners from A to Z to become masters at publicizing.

The course implements the Facebook Business Manager. It is loaded with everything there is to know about FB advertising. It is one of the best teaching materials for small business owners. Bloggers, online marketers, and advertising managers can use it too. Pretty much anyone interested in mastering Facebook advertising. This is a valuable material for FB advertising. It will teach learners how to turn investment into sales.

#10 YouTube Masterclass: The Complete Guide to YouTube

Video School Online Inc
Creator:
Video School Online Inc
Number of modules:
102
Time for completion:
6 hours
Level:
Beginner
Price:
$149.99
Sign up Link:
YouTube Masterclass

SoMe strategies to bring in new customers and engage existing ones? YouTube makes it to the list. Udemy presents this extensive course on harnessing the power of YouTube.

The instructor reveals all the traits of a successful YouTube channel. Participants get lifetime access to the lecture. This includes updates and messages from the instructor. The experience is dynamic, fresh, active, action-packed, and pretty thorough. The goal is to help create rocking content that engages and generates money.

What Will You Learn:

— Create a YouTube channel
— Make high-quality YouTube videos with little money
— Attract viewers and generate subscribers
— Use YouTube to grow a brand
— Use analytics to improve a YouTube channel
— How to monetize a YouTube channel

Testimonies and history reveal that this is one dynamic course. One of the best. It includes rich content on how to monetize a YouTube channel. It focuses on creating appealing visuals that inform and engage.

This course is of interest to those who want to start their own channel. It is open to those who are struggling to get viewers and subscribers. It is addressed to those interested in expanding their brand. Call it a businessman, an entrepreneur, an actor, or a teacher. This material is for them. As YouTube evolves, the course is updated to keep materials fresh.

#11 Twitter for Business: Attract 200+ Customers a Day!

Benjamin Wilson
Creator:
Benjamin Wilson
Number of modules:
39
Time for completion:
3.5 hours
Level:
Beginner
Price:
$99.99
Sign up Link:
Twitter for Business

Getting that many followers per day sound like a dream. It is possible and without dubious and unethical methods. This mighty course gives users the tools needed to master Twitter for marketing.

Twitter is a powerful marketing tool. Every lecture in this program builds toward getting the best out of it. The goal of this course is to get 200+ targeted and real people as followers. It strives to develop important conversations with such followers. It includes strategies, features, plans, etc. It entails everything about using Twitter to grow business.

What Will You Learn:

— Optimizing Twitter to increase followers and engagement
— Tips to achieve more considerable exposure (when, how, what)
— How to attract relevant followers every day
— Optimize Twitter account for Twitter search
— Increase Twitter using 3 tools
— Networking via Twitter

Those who enroll must have a Twitter account. The course goes through the process of creating an account if you do not have one. It walks through picking a handle and profile pic to capture attention.
Participants find everything about harnessing the power of Twitter. Personal and business accounts will see enormous benefits in this series. They can all take advantage of the abundant resources found here.

At such price, this course is a great way to enrich the Twitter knowledge database. This world-class training on how to optimize Twitter is open to beginners.

#12 Viral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content

University of Pennsylvania
Creator:
University of Pennsylvania
Number of modules:
4
Time for completion:
6 hours
Level:
Beginner
Price:
$95
Sign up Link:
Viral Marketing

This course by the U. of Pennsylvania teaches the mysteries in the world of e-commerce. It explores all the actions of a marketer to engage audiences. It gives “catchy” ideas to present products appealingly. The primary goal is to empower learners into the art of luring customers. The instructor is Professor Jonah Berger. He is the bestseller author of “Contagious: Why Things Catch On.” He explores all the creative aspects of a campaign that resonates with people.

Social networks are only a part of what this course comprises. The premise is that the content has to be rich. This is how it will add value to your business profile.

What Will You Learn:

— Strategies to make ideas sticky
— How social influence shapes behavior
— The power of word of mouth
— Social media and its impact on society

This course is comprehensive and easy to understand. It is recommended to learn more about crafting content that can go viral. This requires an intuitive and creative mind. This course leads learners to the right mindset.

Participants get world-class instruction on how to be influential with the word. The course debunks mistaken beliefs and myths on content. It teaches how to get better at creating relevant material.
It is perfect for any entrepreneur who wants to see their numbers grow.

#13 What Is Social? by Coursera: Learn the Basics of It All

Northwestern University
Creator:
Northwestern University
Number of modules:
4
Time for completion:
9 hours
Level:
Beginner
Price:
$49/mo
Sign up Link:
What Is Social?

Some terms used in social media marketing might sound like mumbo jumbo. This calls for a swift introduction to what social media is. This course taps on everything on marketing and social media. It offers advice on building a social media strategy. Four modules provide resources to start big in social media marketing.

It starts with the importance of massive open online courses (MOOCs). Next, it helps to make sense of the digital world. It ends with a social overview of a business.

What Will You Learn:

— Matching markets to social strategies to improve revenue
— Create and optimize campaigns through social media tools and platforms
— Develop relevant content to spark meaningful interactions
— How the digital revolution has affected the digital marketplace
— Define a target audience within the social environment
— How to deal with an ever-changing digital social environment

Each of the modules includes a bonus kit. This kit is available for those who subscribe to full access. It contains extra information on the topics you have learned. Users get the option to audit the modules for free. This is an option for learners with a tight budget.

The end of every module features a personal assessment. Namely a quiz to check performance. The course is very intuitive and easy to complete. It will take an average 9 hours split in a 4-week time. Anyone who wants to have a better grasp of how social works should take this. Personal and business accounts will enjoy the content and activities.

#14 Social Media Ethics by Coursera: Doing It the Right Way

Eric Schwartzman
Creator:
Eric Schwartzman
Number of lectures:
11
Time for completion:
33 min
Level:
Beginner
Price:
Free
Sign up Link:
Social Media Ethics

This is a necessary course for anyone that decides to put their voice out there. A code of ethics must precede any of business activity. Social media marketing is no exception to that. The syllabus guides marketers and publicist to make objective judgments. It encourages them to keep remarks smart and sweet. It teaches how to move in the digital social space concerning others.

Social media ethics is part of every professional career. This course includes real-life examples of incorrect practices. The lessons include practical applications and exercises. This help to develop a sense of responsible digital citizenship.

What Will You Learn:

— Exercising good judgment when posting on social media
— Learn what is ethical and respectful behavior
— How to avoid getting sued or fired
— Exhibit tolerance
— Professional standards of netiquette

This course has an enrollment of 6,682 students. More participants of social media should come across it and take it. It includes basic principles of respect, behavior, and etiquette.
Social media netiquette empowers respectful marketers. Customers do not overlook this. It can be a game-changer for them when deciding which brand to yield for.

So, this material works for anyone who is involved in social media. Sometimes, even what we think is a better judgment might fail us. Different people judge things differently. At times, others get hurt by poor judgment. This calls for an ample study of ethics, which users will get here.

#15 Advanced Social Media Marketing for Picking up Clients

Brian Yang
Creator:
Brian Yang
Number of lectures:
5
Time for completion:
1 hour
Level:
Intermediate
Price:
Free
Sign up Link:
Picking up Clients

This is a step by step system to pick up clients in less than 48 hours. Participants learn the rules to pick up clients. The syllabus includes the AMOC authority network. This is a 4-step process to prove expertise and have clients follow you.

This Udemy course teaches the correct use of forums. Niche forums, Facebook groups, and YouTube are used to pick up real clients. In 48 hours, users can get coaching and consulting clients. Students learn how to cut through the noise to go to places where real people are.

The program teaches techniques to lure in clients. Then it explains how to bestow value and no fluff to those customers. This set of 5 lectures gives participants skills to attract real people with real needs.

What Will You Learn:

— Use social media groups to attract valuable clients
— Motivate clients through YouTube into emailing about services
— Use forums to attract motivated clients
— Avoid the most common social media marketing mistakes and myths
— The AMOC authority record
— Positioning yourself as the “problem solver”

This course is short, productive, and effective. It is an honest talk through strategies, myths, and mistakes thought to be correct. Continuous experiences have proved some “truths” as wrong. Yet, many continue to put them in place.

To stick out of the crowd, marketers need to know what these mistakes are. They need to be able to tackle them. This is the aim, to make a problem-solver out of every student. Coaches, consultants, startups, or freelancers are all welcome to take this material. It will add enormous value to their marketing strategy. It will put them one step ahead of their competition.

#16 Quintly`S Free Social Media Analytic: Check If It Is Working

Quintly Academy
Creator:
Quintly Academy
Number of lectures:
4
Time for completion:
15 min
Level:
Beginner/Intermediate
Price:
Free
Sign up Link:
Social Media Analytic

A true gem, Quintly’s Free Social Media Analytics course is a must. That is if you want to know how effective a strategy has been. All marketers wish to that. In this program, participants learn how to read and interpret analytics. They will learn the means and methods to start with the next step: taking action.

It is an essential material to stay in the loop of changing times. It includes insights on how to compare own charts with those of the competition. The lectures go through all the steps to automating reports. Users decide what reports are convenient for what crowd based on what they learned.

What Will You Learn:

— What social media analytics is and the need for it
— How to approach situation analysis
— Compare social media appearances to optimize their frequency
— Create data-based goals (An action)
— Find Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and define a sensible purpose

The creators tailored it for both beginners and seasoned marketers. It starts with the fundamentals of analytics. It moves onto using these analytics to plan an effective strategy. Many do not know what to do of the data presented to them. This course provides the training and skills to go from gibberish to useful data. The idea is to make corrections and better promote a brand or service. This series is valuable for those involved with analytics. It addresses the conversion of statistical data into action.

The Final Word

No one should fall short when it comes to social media marketing training. It is essential to keep learning and updating. This market is never static. Its spokes are rotating, and it is imperative to stay in the loop.

The social media courses reviewed all represent a prime product. Certified professionals back up and guarantee success. The best part is that students can complete them at their own pace. Self-assessment features keep track of performance.

Here’s to those serious about their social media marketing in 2021. These training options will equip them with valuable sets of tools. They will empower them to generate growth for their brand or organization.

Published: April 27, 2019Updated: April 13, 2021


James Clark

James is a publishing consultant with more than two decades of experience working for individual authors, literary agents, and publisher clients.
As a Phi Beta Kappa graduate and Master of Arts in English and Creative Writing, James specializes in leading our talented writer’s team toward fulfilling their dreams of publishing the latest data about new SMM tools, devices, and upcoming techno trends.
He develops the tactics for our projects as well as consults on marketing and publishing strategies for external agencies, most of which are social media.


Publié le Catégories Réseaux sociaux

🔵⚪🔴 Why Lauretta Onochie Is Constitutionally Barred From Being INEC Commissioner, By Yiaga Africa, PTCIJ, et al. – Stratégie Réseaux Sociaux


The Senate President
Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
National Assembly
3 Arms Zone, Abuja
Federal Capital Territory

ATTENTION:

The Chairman,
Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
National Assembly
Three Arms Zone, Federal Capital Territory
Abuja

Dear Distinguished Senator,

Petititon Opposing President Buhari’s Appointment of Lauretta Onochie As a National Commissioner of The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

Introduction

On Tuesday, October 13, 2020, the Senate President read a letter from President Muhammadu Buhari requesting the confirmation of three nominees as INEC National Commissioners and one Resident Electoral Commissioner.

The three nominees for National Commissioner were expected to replace three out of five National Commissioners of INEC, whose tenures were due to terminate in November 2020.

Mrs Lauretta Onochie, who hails from Aniocha Local Government Area of Delta State and a current Special Assistant to the President on Social Media, is among the nominees awaiting confirmation by the Senate. She was nominated as National Commissioner of INEC to represent the South-South region.

On Wednesday, June 9, eight months after her nomination, the Senate referred Lauretta Onochie’s name to its Committee on INEC to commence her screening as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Given her antecedents…We contend that her appointment will greatly undermine the neutrality and impartiality of the Independent National Electoral Commission and it will increase mistrust in the INEC and Nigeria’s electoral process… Mrs Lauretta Onochie is constitutionally prohibited from any appointment as a member of the electoral umpire.

Grounds of the Petition

The nomination of a Nigerian as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission is governed by Section 154(3), 156(1a), Third Schedule, Item F Paragraph 14(2a) and 14(3b) of the 1999 Constitution (As Amended). A combined reading of the stated constitutional provisions demands that, first, the President, before appointing an individual as INEC National Commissioner, must first consult the Council of State, before forwarding the nomination to the Senate for confirmation. The fundamental question is: Did the President consulted with the Council of State before submitting to the Senate a letter nominating Mrs Lauretta Onochie as an INEC National Commissioner? A confirmation by the Senate without the input of the State Council is unconstitutional.

TEXEM

Secondly, the Constitution mandates that a person nominated as an INEC National Commissioner should be non-partisan. Section 156(1)(a) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria clearly prohibits the appointment of any person who is a member of a political party as a member of INEC. To further ensure the neutrality of the members of INEC, the Constitution clearly mandates in the Third Schedule, Part 1, Item F, paragraph 14 (1), that a National Commissioner shall be non-partisan and a person of unquestionable integrity. Mrs. Lauretta Onochie is not only a card-carrying member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), and a Special Assistant to President Buhari on Social Media, but she is also notorious for her partisan, biased and, in some instances, inflammatory comments on national issues, targeted at perceived or imagined enemies of the Buhari government.

Given her antecedents, it is highly unlikely that she will remain neutral and objective if successfully screened as one of INEC’s National Commissioners. We contend that her appointment will greatly undermine the neutrality and impartiality of the Independent National Electoral Commission and it will increase mistrust in the INEC and Nigeria’s electoral process. By the combined effects of Section 156 (1)(a) and Third Schedule, Part 1, Item F, paragraph 14 (1), Mrs Lauretta Onochie is constitutionally prohibited from any appointment as a member of the electoral umpire. It is against the sacred spirit of our Constitution to accept her nomination.

The third requirement is that a person nominated as INEC’s National Commissioner should be “a person of unquestionable integrity”. Unfortunately, Mrs Onochie lacks the integrity to serve as an INEC National Commissioner due to her previous antics on social media. In addition to using her social media platform to express her loyalty to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), she peddles propaganda and misinformation regularly. There are several documented evidence of written attacks, social media altercations, and unfounded, malicious allegations against individuals or groups by the nominee, in a manner that clearly shows partisanship and a questionable character. (See Appendix 1). In addition, a February 2019 media analysis by Premium Times on individuals/accounts using fake news as campaign strategy online, revealed and identified Mrs Lauretta Onochie as one of the Nigerian politicians who used fake news as a campaign strategy online. (See Appendix 2).

The social media space is still littered with many other inexcusable tweets and posts by Mrs Onochie. It will be innocuous to state that the nomination of an individual as an INEC National Commissioner who, as in the present case, has habitually demonstrated unabashed partisanship, should be refused outright and rejected by the Senate.

We will provide just four examples here. First, in September 2018, Mrs Onochie tweeted a picture of an asphalt road being constructed with the caption, “Nasarawa-Jos Road”, painting the picture that it was a road constructed by the Federal Government; this turned out to be false. The picture was a stock photo uploaded to Getty Images in November 2015. The embarrassing inaccuracy prompted the trend #TweetLikeLaurettaOnochie. (See Appendix 3).

A second example of her lack of integrity was when Mrs Onochie, in December 2018, shared an image of former President Obasanjo, with a quote credited to him that, “The money Atiku stole when he was my vice is enough to feed 300 million for 400 years”. In another vein, Mrs Lauretta Onochie, in February 2019, uploaded a Facebook status screenshot that said, “Atiku becoming president is like hearing that a former armed robber is now your bank manager – OBJ (My Watch, page 49)”. A fact check by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) indicates that there was no time that former President Obasanjo made such direct statements in any of his books. These quotes were deliberately fabricated by Mrs Onochie to score cheap political points. (See Appendix 4).

A third example that shows that the nominee peddles misinformation was when in April 2019, Mrs Onochie shared a picture with her followers in which she praised the then Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, for launching “Africa’s biggest Automated Solar Panel manufacturing plant”. This tweet was shared by over 500 users and liked by over 1300 people. Investigation, however, established that the picture was not only credited to senior airman Larry E. Reid Jr (Staff Sergeant in the US Air Force), but was over 11 years old and shows a solar power plant in Las Vegas in the U.S. The whole tweet attributing the power plant to the then APC governor of Borno State was utter falsehood. (See Appendix 5).

In the fourth example, in September 2018, Mrs Onochie tweeted four pictures from her Twitter handle, claiming that they were low-cost housing projects in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, funded by the Federal Government. However, one of the pictures was first uploaded in April 2014 by the Lagos State Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme. The second picture is a bungalow at the Sir Michael Otedola Housing Estate in Odoragushin, Lagos. The third picture dates back to, at least 2016, and it has been used in articles about housing projects in Malaysia, Guyana and Kenya. The ICIR traced the last picture to affordable housing that was planned for Revelstoke in British Columbia, Canada. None of the four pictures, therefore, show housing projects in the FCT, Abuja. (See Appendix 6).

The social media space is still littered with many other inexcusable tweets and posts by Mrs Onochie. It will be innocuous to state that the nomination of an individual as an INEC National Commissioner who, as in the present case, has habitually demonstrated unabashed partisanship, should be refused outright and rejected by the Senate. Doing otherwise is a violation of our Constitution and the impartiality of our electoral umpire.

Following the precedent established by the Upper Chamber, it will be in place if the nomination of Mrs Onochie is rejected by the Senate. In December 2019, confronted with similar facts as in this case, the Senate stood down the nomination of Mr Olalekan Raheem as a Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the ground that he was a card-carrying member of the APC. (See Appendix 7). Mrs. Onochie is not only a card-carrying member of the APC; she is partisan and very divisive.

We further state that the appointment of Lauretta Onochie, who is from Delta State, as a Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission will also desecrate Federal Character principle as…Delta State is already represented by Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu, SAN who currently serves as National Commissioner with the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Mrs Onochie should not be confirmed by the Senate because she is not qualified to contest election in Nigeria as a Member of the House of Representatives. Section 156(1a) of the 1999 Constitution provides as follows:

“No person shall be qualified for appointment as a member of any of the bodies aforesaid if –
(a) he is not qualified or if he is disqualified for election as a member of the House of Representatives provided that a member of any of these bodies shall not be required to belong to a political party, and in the caseof the Independent National Electoral Commission, he shall not be a member of a political party…

On when a person can be disqualified to contest election as a member of the House of Representatives; section 66(1a) of the 1999 Constitution provides thus:

“No person shall be qualified for election to the Senate or the House of Representatives if:

(a) subject to the provisions of section 28 of this Constitution, he has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a country other than Nigeria or, except in such cases as may be prescribed by the National Assembly, has made a declaration of allegiance to such a country…

A collective reading of Sections 156(1a) and 66(1a) of the 1999 Constitution disqualifies a person, as in the present case, from being appointed an INEC National Commissioner on the ground that such a person is a member of a political party. Mrs Onochie is a British citizen and has over the years been involved in active politics in the U.K. Up till recently, she has been a full, card carrying member of the British Conservative Party. To be specific, Mrs Onochie, in 2010, contested election for a councillorship position in Thames Ward in the London Borough of Barking and Degenham, as a member of the U.K. Conservative Party. A total of 12 candidates contested for the election, and Mrs Onochie lost by emerging tenth on the ballot, after securing a total vote of 322 in her favour. (See Appendix 8). The mere fact that she holds dual citizenship makes her unfit to hold such a sensitive office. As a Nigerian and U.K. citizen, she is obligated to demonstrate loyalty to both countries. Therefore, her dual loyalty will undermine national interest and it could potentially threaten the independence of INEC.

In a similar vein, Mrs Onochie was a volunteer on the media campaign team for former Prime Minister David Cameron. While she was campaigning for the APC in Nigeria in 2014, she was at the same time involved in the Conservative Party’s #Roadtrip2015 to campaign for the re-election of conservative candidates across the U.K. It will be improbable for this Upper Chamber to circumvent the provisions of Sections 156(1a) and 66(1a) of the 1999 Constitution. We urged this hallowed red chamber to reject her nomination and preserve the purity of the Nigerian Constitution.

We further state that the appointment of Lauretta Onochie, who is from Delta State, as a Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission will also desecrate Federal Character principle as provided in SECTIONS 14.3 AND 14.4 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA 1999 (AS AMENDED IN 2011) as Delta State is already represented by Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu, SAN who currently serves as National Commissioner with the Independent National Electoral Commission. Her appointment will be detrimental to other states without INEC commissioners in the South-South geo-political region.

Prayers

To this end, we the undersigned implore you to use your good office to:

  1. Completely reject the nomination of Mrs. Lauretta Onochie as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC);
  2. Urge President Buhari to withdraw her nomination in the public interest and in furtherance of his commitment to leave a legacy of a truly independent electoral institution that enjoys the trust and confidence of citizens and electoral stakeholders;
  3. Request President Buhari to uphold the Federal Character principle in re-nominating a non-partisan, neutral, and competent Nigerian to represent the South-South region as an INEC National Commissioner;
  4. Also, request the President to uphold the principle of diversity by ensuring gender inclusion in the nomination of non-partisan and competent Nigerians as INEC National Commissioners;
  5. Ensure that members of the Independent National Election Commission must be of individuals with impeccable character, unquestionable neutral inclinations, dispositions, and competence;
  6. Ensure proper scrutiny and due diligence is exercised in the confirmation of nominations into the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); and
  7. As custodians of the Nigerian Constitution, the Senate should ensure that the principle of Federal Character is protected in order to guarantee inclusiveness and promote national unity amongst Nigerians.

We hope our petition will be entertained, considered and granted. Kindly accept the assurances of our esteemed regards.

Signed.

Yiaga Africa
Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa (PAACA)
International Press Centre (IPC)
Institute for Media and Society (IMS)
The Albino Foundation
Centre for Citizens with Disability (CCD)
Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF)
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ)
Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD)
CLEEN Foundation

Petitioners contact info:

c/o Yiaga Africa
No. 3, Frantz Fanon Crescent, 4
th Avenue, Gwarinpa, Abuja
+234 813 934 5663, +234 703 666 9339
info@yiaga.org www.yiaga.org

APPENDICIES

Appendix 1

https://twitter.com/Laurestar?s=09

Appendix 2

ANALYSIS: How Nigerian politicians, supporters use fake news as a campaign strategy https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/311532-analysis-how-nigerian-politicians-supporters- use-fake-news-as-campaign-strategy.html

Appendix 3

Appendix 4

FACT CHECK: The many social media lies of Lauretta Onochie, President Buhari’s aide
https://www.icirnigeria.org/fact-check-many-social-media-crimes-president-buhari-social-media-aide/

Appendix 5

Appendix 6

FACT CHECK: The many social media lies of Lauretta Onochie, President Buhari’s aide
https://www.icirnigeria.org/fact-check-many-social-media-crimes-president-buhari-social-media-aide/


Appendix 7
REC Nominees: Senate rejects ‘former’ APC member, confirms two others
https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/366513-rec-nominees-senate-rejects-former-apc- member-confirms-two-others.html

Appendix 8
2010 Barking and Dagenham London Borough Council election
https://library.answerthepublic.net/en/A/2010_Barking_and_Dagenham_London_Borough_Council_election


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For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

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Publié le Catégories Réseaux sociaux

🔵⚪🔴 Why Lauretta Onochie Is Constitutionally Barred From Being INEC Commissioner, By Yiaga Africa, PTCIJ, et al. – Stratégie Réseaux Sociaux


The Senate President
Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
National Assembly
3 Arms Zone, Abuja
Federal Capital Territory

ATTENTION:

The Chairman,
Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
National Assembly
Three Arms Zone, Federal Capital Territory
Abuja

Dear Distinguished Senator,

Petititon Opposing President Buhari’s Appointment of Lauretta Onochie As a National Commissioner of The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

Introduction

On Tuesday, October 13, 2020, the Senate President read a letter from President Muhammadu Buhari requesting the confirmation of three nominees as INEC National Commissioners and one Resident Electoral Commissioner.

The three nominees for National Commissioner were expected to replace three out of five National Commissioners of INEC, whose tenures were due to terminate in November 2020.

Mrs Lauretta Onochie, who hails from Aniocha Local Government Area of Delta State and a current Special Assistant to the President on Social Media, is among the nominees awaiting confirmation by the Senate. She was nominated as National Commissioner of INEC to represent the South-South region.

On Wednesday, June 9, eight months after her nomination, the Senate referred Lauretta Onochie’s name to its Committee on INEC to commence her screening as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Given her antecedents…We contend that her appointment will greatly undermine the neutrality and impartiality of the Independent National Electoral Commission and it will increase mistrust in the INEC and Nigeria’s electoral process… Mrs Lauretta Onochie is constitutionally prohibited from any appointment as a member of the electoral umpire.

Grounds of the Petition

The nomination of a Nigerian as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission is governed by Section 154(3), 156(1a), Third Schedule, Item F Paragraph 14(2a) and 14(3b) of the 1999 Constitution (As Amended). A combined reading of the stated constitutional provisions demands that, first, the President, before appointing an individual as INEC National Commissioner, must first consult the Council of State, before forwarding the nomination to the Senate for confirmation. The fundamental question is: Did the President consulted with the Council of State before submitting to the Senate a letter nominating Mrs Lauretta Onochie as an INEC National Commissioner? A confirmation by the Senate without the input of the State Council is unconstitutional.

TEXEM

Secondly, the Constitution mandates that a person nominated as an INEC National Commissioner should be non-partisan. Section 156(1)(a) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria clearly prohibits the appointment of any person who is a member of a political party as a member of INEC. To further ensure the neutrality of the members of INEC, the Constitution clearly mandates in the Third Schedule, Part 1, Item F, paragraph 14 (1), that a National Commissioner shall be non-partisan and a person of unquestionable integrity. Mrs. Lauretta Onochie is not only a card-carrying member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), and a Special Assistant to President Buhari on Social Media, but she is also notorious for her partisan, biased and, in some instances, inflammatory comments on national issues, targeted at perceived or imagined enemies of the Buhari government.

Given her antecedents, it is highly unlikely that she will remain neutral and objective if successfully screened as one of INEC’s National Commissioners. We contend that her appointment will greatly undermine the neutrality and impartiality of the Independent National Electoral Commission and it will increase mistrust in the INEC and Nigeria’s electoral process. By the combined effects of Section 156 (1)(a) and Third Schedule, Part 1, Item F, paragraph 14 (1), Mrs Lauretta Onochie is constitutionally prohibited from any appointment as a member of the electoral umpire. It is against the sacred spirit of our Constitution to accept her nomination.

The third requirement is that a person nominated as INEC’s National Commissioner should be “a person of unquestionable integrity”. Unfortunately, Mrs Onochie lacks the integrity to serve as an INEC National Commissioner due to her previous antics on social media. In addition to using her social media platform to express her loyalty to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), she peddles propaganda and misinformation regularly. There are several documented evidence of written attacks, social media altercations, and unfounded, malicious allegations against individuals or groups by the nominee, in a manner that clearly shows partisanship and a questionable character. (See Appendix 1). In addition, a February 2019 media analysis by Premium Times on individuals/accounts using fake news as campaign strategy online, revealed and identified Mrs Lauretta Onochie as one of the Nigerian politicians who used fake news as a campaign strategy online. (See Appendix 2).

The social media space is still littered with many other inexcusable tweets and posts by Mrs Onochie. It will be innocuous to state that the nomination of an individual as an INEC National Commissioner who, as in the present case, has habitually demonstrated unabashed partisanship, should be refused outright and rejected by the Senate.

We will provide just four examples here. First, in September 2018, Mrs Onochie tweeted a picture of an asphalt road being constructed with the caption, “Nasarawa-Jos Road”, painting the picture that it was a road constructed by the Federal Government; this turned out to be false. The picture was a stock photo uploaded to Getty Images in November 2015. The embarrassing inaccuracy prompted the trend #TweetLikeLaurettaOnochie. (See Appendix 3).

A second example of her lack of integrity was when Mrs Onochie, in December 2018, shared an image of former President Obasanjo, with a quote credited to him that, “The money Atiku stole when he was my vice is enough to feed 300 million for 400 years”. In another vein, Mrs Lauretta Onochie, in February 2019, uploaded a Facebook status screenshot that said, “Atiku becoming president is like hearing that a former armed robber is now your bank manager – OBJ (My Watch, page 49)”. A fact check by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) indicates that there was no time that former President Obasanjo made such direct statements in any of his books. These quotes were deliberately fabricated by Mrs Onochie to score cheap political points. (See Appendix 4).

A third example that shows that the nominee peddles misinformation was when in April 2019, Mrs Onochie shared a picture with her followers in which she praised the then Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, for launching “Africa’s biggest Automated Solar Panel manufacturing plant”. This tweet was shared by over 500 users and liked by over 1300 people. Investigation, however, established that the picture was not only credited to senior airman Larry E. Reid Jr (Staff Sergeant in the US Air Force), but was over 11 years old and shows a solar power plant in Las Vegas in the U.S. The whole tweet attributing the power plant to the then APC governor of Borno State was utter falsehood. (See Appendix 5).

In the fourth example, in September 2018, Mrs Onochie tweeted four pictures from her Twitter handle, claiming that they were low-cost housing projects in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, funded by the Federal Government. However, one of the pictures was first uploaded in April 2014 by the Lagos State Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme. The second picture is a bungalow at the Sir Michael Otedola Housing Estate in Odoragushin, Lagos. The third picture dates back to, at least 2016, and it has been used in articles about housing projects in Malaysia, Guyana and Kenya. The ICIR traced the last picture to affordable housing that was planned for Revelstoke in British Columbia, Canada. None of the four pictures, therefore, show housing projects in the FCT, Abuja. (See Appendix 6).

The social media space is still littered with many other inexcusable tweets and posts by Mrs Onochie. It will be innocuous to state that the nomination of an individual as an INEC National Commissioner who, as in the present case, has habitually demonstrated unabashed partisanship, should be refused outright and rejected by the Senate. Doing otherwise is a violation of our Constitution and the impartiality of our electoral umpire.

Following the precedent established by the Upper Chamber, it will be in place if the nomination of Mrs Onochie is rejected by the Senate. In December 2019, confronted with similar facts as in this case, the Senate stood down the nomination of Mr Olalekan Raheem as a Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the ground that he was a card-carrying member of the APC. (See Appendix 7). Mrs. Onochie is not only a card-carrying member of the APC; she is partisan and very divisive.

We further state that the appointment of Lauretta Onochie, who is from Delta State, as a Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission will also desecrate Federal Character principle as…Delta State is already represented by Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu, SAN who currently serves as National Commissioner with the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Mrs Onochie should not be confirmed by the Senate because she is not qualified to contest election in Nigeria as a Member of the House of Representatives. Section 156(1a) of the 1999 Constitution provides as follows:

“No person shall be qualified for appointment as a member of any of the bodies aforesaid if –
(a) he is not qualified or if he is disqualified for election as a member of the House of Representatives provided that a member of any of these bodies shall not be required to belong to a political party, and in the caseof the Independent National Electoral Commission, he shall not be a member of a political party…

On when a person can be disqualified to contest election as a member of the House of Representatives; section 66(1a) of the 1999 Constitution provides thus:

“No person shall be qualified for election to the Senate or the House of Representatives if:

(a) subject to the provisions of section 28 of this Constitution, he has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a country other than Nigeria or, except in such cases as may be prescribed by the National Assembly, has made a declaration of allegiance to such a country…

A collective reading of Sections 156(1a) and 66(1a) of the 1999 Constitution disqualifies a person, as in the present case, from being appointed an INEC National Commissioner on the ground that such a person is a member of a political party. Mrs Onochie is a British citizen and has over the years been involved in active politics in the U.K. Up till recently, she has been a full, card carrying member of the British Conservative Party. To be specific, Mrs Onochie, in 2010, contested election for a councillorship position in Thames Ward in the London Borough of Barking and Degenham, as a member of the U.K. Conservative Party. A total of 12 candidates contested for the election, and Mrs Onochie lost by emerging tenth on the ballot, after securing a total vote of 322 in her favour. (See Appendix 8). The mere fact that she holds dual citizenship makes her unfit to hold such a sensitive office. As a Nigerian and U.K. citizen, she is obligated to demonstrate loyalty to both countries. Therefore, her dual loyalty will undermine national interest and it could potentially threaten the independence of INEC.

In a similar vein, Mrs Onochie was a volunteer on the media campaign team for former Prime Minister David Cameron. While she was campaigning for the APC in Nigeria in 2014, she was at the same time involved in the Conservative Party’s #Roadtrip2015 to campaign for the re-election of conservative candidates across the U.K. It will be improbable for this Upper Chamber to circumvent the provisions of Sections 156(1a) and 66(1a) of the 1999 Constitution. We urged this hallowed red chamber to reject her nomination and preserve the purity of the Nigerian Constitution.

We further state that the appointment of Lauretta Onochie, who is from Delta State, as a Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission will also desecrate Federal Character principle as provided in SECTIONS 14.3 AND 14.4 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA 1999 (AS AMENDED IN 2011) as Delta State is already represented by Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu, SAN who currently serves as National Commissioner with the Independent National Electoral Commission. Her appointment will be detrimental to other states without INEC commissioners in the South-South geo-political region.

Prayers

To this end, we the undersigned implore you to use your good office to:

  1. Completely reject the nomination of Mrs. Lauretta Onochie as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC);
  2. Urge President Buhari to withdraw her nomination in the public interest and in furtherance of his commitment to leave a legacy of a truly independent electoral institution that enjoys the trust and confidence of citizens and electoral stakeholders;
  3. Request President Buhari to uphold the Federal Character principle in re-nominating a non-partisan, neutral, and competent Nigerian to represent the South-South region as an INEC National Commissioner;
  4. Also, request the President to uphold the principle of diversity by ensuring gender inclusion in the nomination of non-partisan and competent Nigerians as INEC National Commissioners;
  5. Ensure that members of the Independent National Election Commission must be of individuals with impeccable character, unquestionable neutral inclinations, dispositions, and competence;
  6. Ensure proper scrutiny and due diligence is exercised in the confirmation of nominations into the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); and
  7. As custodians of the Nigerian Constitution, the Senate should ensure that the principle of Federal Character is protected in order to guarantee inclusiveness and promote national unity amongst Nigerians.

We hope our petition will be entertained, considered and granted. Kindly accept the assurances of our esteemed regards.

Signed.

Yiaga Africa
Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa (PAACA)
International Press Centre (IPC)
Institute for Media and Society (IMS)
The Albino Foundation
Centre for Citizens with Disability (CCD)
Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF)
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ)
Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD)
CLEEN Foundation

Petitioners contact info:

c/o Yiaga Africa
No. 3, Frantz Fanon Crescent, 4
th Avenue, Gwarinpa, Abuja
+234 813 934 5663, +234 703 666 9339
info@yiaga.org www.yiaga.org

APPENDICIES

Appendix 1

https://twitter.com/Laurestar?s=09

Appendix 2

ANALYSIS: How Nigerian politicians, supporters use fake news as a campaign strategy https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/311532-analysis-how-nigerian-politicians-supporters- use-fake-news-as-campaign-strategy.html

Appendix 3

Appendix 4

FACT CHECK: The many social media lies of Lauretta Onochie, President Buhari’s aide
https://www.icirnigeria.org/fact-check-many-social-media-crimes-president-buhari-social-media-aide/

Appendix 5

Appendix 6

FACT CHECK: The many social media lies of Lauretta Onochie, President Buhari’s aide
https://www.icirnigeria.org/fact-check-many-social-media-crimes-president-buhari-social-media-aide/


Appendix 7
REC Nominees: Senate rejects ‘former’ APC member, confirms two others
https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/366513-rec-nominees-senate-rejects-former-apc- member-confirms-two-others.html

Appendix 8
2010 Barking and Dagenham London Borough Council election
https://library.answerthepublic.net/en/A/2010_Barking_and_Dagenham_London_Borough_Council_election


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For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.

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Publié le Catégories Réseaux sociaux

🔵⚪🔴 Behavioral finance or how NOT to be your have worst enemy when it comes to income – Stratégie Réseaux Sociaux


Yes, we know that you imagine that you are a rational trader.

But you are not.

Whether you know it or not, regardless of whether you like it or not, you have some behavioral biases that could materially and adversely have an impact on your investment decision choices and ultimately your outcomes.

And there’s a myriad of exploration to show it, courting again at least in the modern day period, to 1979 when Daniel Kahneman’s and Amos Tversky’s paper, Prospect Theory: A Examine of Decision Generating Underneath Threat, was revealed. Their investigate uncovered the decline aversion bias.

In the decades in advance of and after that landmark paper was released, a lot of other biases have been recognized. And, at a minimum amount, you ought to have a performing information of some of the much more typical biases, how to spot them, and what you can to avoid or mitigate these biases.

Recency bias

Traders tend to concentrate on the latest returns and existing traits as a substitute of incorporating a far more comprehensive universe of historic knowledge, John Nersesian, head of adviser training at PIMCO, wrote in a new difficulty of the Investments & Wealth Keep track of.

And normally, they presume all those returns and trends – imagine bitcoin, which was up about 322% for the 12 months ending June 15 — will proceed. “This can lead to portfolio decisions that are pushed by emotion and inconsistent with investors’ threat tolerance and prolonged-expression economical ambitions,” he wrote.

You really do not have to lookup considerably and large to uncover much more illustrations of recency bias, possibly. For instance, traders getting mutual money and ETFs that have generated the premier around-time period returns, although most likely disregarding individuals investment options with higher extended-time period records that could possibly manage better benefit in the latest ecosystem, is possibly the most typical illustration of recency bias, reported Nersesian.

And those who suffer from this bias stand to eliminate a terrific offer of income. “Recency bias could be the biggest contributor to the variance between market place returns and the returns earned by particular person investors, as it frequently qualified prospects to behaviors to invest in significant and promote small,” explained Nersesian. “Remember that thriving investing is typically counterintuitive: incorporating to positions when it feels awkward and controlling thoughts when the environment is euphoric.”

How ideal to spot this bias? Do you locate your self chasing incredibly hot stocks, mutual money, ETFs, and other kinds of investments (bitcoin) devoid of understanding the genuine expense features? Are you the form of trader who gains self confidence dependent on your current productive trades even with a mediocre extensive-time period file? Then you’re inclined to recency bias.

How greatest to counter this bias? Nersesian endorses the next: Search at a much larger information established, lengthier time frame, and steer clear of the temptation to use only current returns search at the volatility of asset class returns, and the challenge of predicting them, using the so-named periodic desk of expense returns master how to determine your behavioral biases and check out to concentration your consideration on matters you can management (chance, taxes, prices and behaviors) compared to items you cannot (market place returns).

Loss aversion

Adam Smith, author of The Wealth of Nations, mentioned again in 1776, that “Pain … is, in virtually all situations, a extra pungent sensation than the opposite and correspondent enjoyment.” Or, as Kahneman and Tversky observed in their landmark paper: losses are weighed more greatly than gains.

And this aversion to losses can cause investors, according to Nersesian, to provide winning investments much too early, or to maintain shedding investments too lengthy, or to make investments in harmless belongings to steer clear of the likelihood of loss.

How to place it? According to Sarah Newcomb, director of behavioral science at Morningstar, reduction aversion is that common, recoiling emotion at the mere believed of failure or loss. “It’s very very similar to risk aversion, and so the same behaviors can be indications,” she reported. “Do you have cash sitting down in lower or no-fascination accounts because the assumed of looking at the balance drop for the duration of a market slump is additional agonizing than the concept of seeing the balance expand? That could be loss aversion speaking.”

How to counter it? Newcomb recommends reminding by yourself that losses are a normal part of each and every thriving investor’s knowledge. “It isn’t a indication of lousy choices, it is simply just a byproduct of volatility,” she explained. “You can support simplicity the anxiety of losses by generating confident you’ve effectively diversified your investments. If you are especially loss averse, owning an crisis fund that is in Treasurys or other harmless investments can enable you rest confident that even when moderate marketplace losses happen, you’ve obtained loads of solvency in the brief and medium expression to get you through.”

Confirmation

With affirmation bias, investors are inclined to seek out out and extra simply feel resources of information and facts that agree with what we now assume, explained Newcomb.

“It’s much more psychologically costly to find out or soak in data that troubles our current sights, so as a substitute we scan the ecosystem for proof to assistance what we already assume or consider,” she explained.

In accordance to Newcomb, you can spot confirmation bias by seeing your data lookup patterns. Do you scan headlines for sights that ‘prove’ your views? Do you search for details on investments that backs up your beloved methods? Or do you deliberately search for counterpoints to your individual sights so that you can make your approach as potent as feasible? Do you test to feel of means to fill in your blind spots?

What are some means to counter confirmation bias? Newcomb endorses hoping new websites and news resources. “Find a author or commentator who is intelligent but holds a diverse check out and open up your ears to them,” she mentioned. “Even if you wind up sticking to your unique watch, you will most most likely have much better motives for performing so as a result of welcoming and weighing alternate perspectives.”

Familiarity

This habits occurs when persons have a fondness for familiar investments in spite of the crystal clear positive aspects of diversification, stated Victor Ricciardi, a checking out finance professor at Washington and Lee University and co-editor of Trader Habits and Fiscal Habits.

“People reveal a strong motivation for proudly owning neighborhood stocks that they are much more common with, which is identified as local bias, and extremely make investments in portfolios with domestic securities, which is recognised as house bias,” he reported. “This benefits in traders holding overly concentrated and underneath-diversified portfolios.”

Some others share this point of view. “We are additional snug with what is acquainted and shut than what is not known or considerably absent, so it can experience safer and a lot more snug to commit in domestic securities than to undertaking into the waters of international businesses and cash,” explained Newcomb. “This can guide to disregarding fantastic chances for the reason that they are not close to household.”

How to spot it? Newcomb suggests examining your portfolio. What proportion of your holdings are domestic?

How to counter it? Check with by yourself the next thoughts: Do you actually consider that your house nation signifies the only worthwhile opportunities for growth and financial commitment? What other areas about the globe do you imagine may possibly be developing in strategies you could get on board with?

Also, discuss to your monetary adviser and start off reading up on worldwide company traits. “You might discover some extremely fascinating opportunities overseas that can complement your domestic investments nicely,” Newcomb stated.

Anchoring

Anchoring is a bias in which our selections are subconsciously influenced by some other piece of information and facts, in accordance to Jay Mooreland, the founder and president of the Behavioral Finance Community. “This information is a reference point, an anchor from which we form anticipations and choices about the foreseeable future,” he said.

Take into consideration, for illustration, the adviser who tells their consumer that they anticipate to accomplish a 6.5% once-a-year price of return in excess of the long term. “Such a assertion is generally the final result of financial assessment and could be fully correct,” he mentioned. “The dilemma is that the 6.5% has turn out to be an unintended anchor. Now the shopper is anticipating a return of 6.5%, irrespective of time horizon.”

But if the sector were to drop 25% in a quarter, and the customer is subconsciously anchored to a return of beneficial 6.5%, they will get an unwelcome surprise, said Mooreland. “Such adverse functionality is not in line with the envisioned 6.5% return and may perhaps signal to the trader that one thing is erroneous, and they require to get to protection.”

Advisers can embrace anchoring by applying it to set anticipations. “They can surely condition that over time the customer is envisioned to gain an common of 6.5% yearly return, but they should really also deliver supplemental ‘anchors’ to help investors get by the quick term,” Mooreland claimed.

The adviser could state, for instance, that this sort of a portfolio in the brief time period could fluctuate amongst, say, -35% and +55%. “This way they have offered the prolonged-term information and facts, but being familiar with how anchoring performs, could deliver quick-phrase anchors as effectively, mainly because we know buyers, even very long-term traders, are motivated by limited-expression performance,” mentioned Mooreland.

Most human selection-building is based on comparisons, Newcomb pointed out. “We like to evaluate choices or glance at attainable outcomes relative to a reference stage,” she explained. “Anchoring occurs when we mentally attach the price of some thing to a particular reference stage, the anchor.”

The difficulty with anchoring and adjustment is that often the reference stage we anchor on is inappropriate, and often we really don’t alter ample, said Newcomb. “For case in point, some studies have revealed that random numbers presented to participants can provide as anchors in subsequent conclusions, biasing their answers toward the random selection,” she reported.

How to location it? This 1 can be hard due to the fact we make most selections dependent on some reference issue, so figuring out if you are anchoring on an correct reference point and figuring out if you are modifying appropriately can be difficult, stated Newcomb.

How to counter it? One way to counter anchoring bias is to established your own rate issue centered on very carefully selected data prior to getting into a purchasing atmosphere.

“If you have been buying for denims, you may established your price range prior to you head out based mostly on what you imagine is affordable and cost-effective so you are fewer probably to anchor on the prices offered to you at the shop,” said Newcomb. “In the situation of investments, you’d want to established your anticipations about costs, cost, and returns primarily based on cautious study just before coming into the gross sales surroundings of an information agency or brokerage web-site.”

Inertia/Standing quo

Quite a few buyers, primarily retirement savers put up with from status quo bias in which they default to the exact same conclusion or accept the latest situation, stated Ricciardi.

“Status quo bias transpires when traders fail to modify or update their expenditure decisions regardless of the opportunity added benefits,” he said. “For example, individuals fail to conserve for retirement, under no circumstances meet up with with a economical planner or do not actively keep track of their financial investment portfolio.”

For her aspect, Newcomb stated “better the satan you know than the devil you don’t” is the root of position-quo bias. “Even when we are awkward with the present scenario, we usually prefer the common to the unidentified,” she stated. “Status-quo bias behaves a great deal like inertia for the reason that it can direct us to continue on behaving in a certain way even when that study course of motion isn’t ideal.”

Psychologically, she explained, it usually hurts considerably less to sustain training course than to adjust just since we are so uncomfortable with uncertainty. “Some scientific tests propose that we in fact favor bodily suffering to the psychological/psychological soreness of uncertainty,” reported Newcomb. “This can guide us to adhere to common paths even when they are sub-exceptional economically just mainly because they are a lot less high priced psychologically at least, in the small operate.”

How to place it? Are you sitting on a pile of income simply because you’re not pretty absolutely sure where to make investments it? Have you been which means to revisit your asset allocation, but just haven’t acquired around to it? “Procrastination and standing-quo bias are near bedfellows, said Newcomb. “Since transform helps make us confront up to uncertainty, we generally just keep going as we have been likely.”

Traders who are unsuccessful to monitor their portfolios and/or meet up with with a fiscal planner on a common basis are exhibiting inertia about their economic decisions, Ricciardi explained. 

What to do about it? Rely the value of inaction, reported Newcomb. “Cash holdings eliminate dollars as a result of inflation,” she said. “Failing to rebalance can leave your portfolio to drift radically absent from your supposed system. Inaction is motion.”

And, if you’re fearful of making a blunder by having too drastic an motion, then at minimum check with your self (or your adviser) if there is a little move you could make to boost your stability sheet just a minimal. Explained Newcomb: “Instead of hard cash, could you put those people cash into superior-fascination price savings or inflation-connected bonds, for illustration? You really do not have to swing wildly absent from the status-quo, but if inaction signifies losses, then even tiny motion can gain.”

Conquering this bias also demands powerful inspiration and incentives, said Ricciardi.

Overconfidence

People exhibit a tendency to overestimate their capabilities, know-how, skills and possibilities of success, claimed Ricciardi. “The result of overconfidence is too much buying and selling, weak investment returns, and failure to properly diversify financial commitment portfolios. These kinds of men and women are traders and not traders.”

How to place this bias? Do you assess your expenditure skills as earlier mentioned average? “For instance, if a man or woman was explained to the ordinary return for an asset course is 8% per year, if the particular person expects a 12% return for the up coming calendar year this may well reveal overconfidence,” reported Ricciardi.

A further concern: Do you trade excessively as opposed with the regular investor? Usually, these who experience from overconfidence will have a really substantial portfolio turnover charge for their investments, said Ricciardi.

To get over this bias, investors should body their portfolio as a “long-expression bucket” that is for money goals this sort of as retirement, said Ricciardi. “This style of bucket should be considered as a ‘buy and hold’ method fairly than as a investing account,” he mentioned. “Remind you not to chase brief-term returns based mostly on the emotional factors of the present-day market, economical information and social media.”

A lot more strategies to counter behavioral biases

Conquering biases involves finding out about the various expenditure biases you may possibly undergo from, reported Ricciardi. “Having the potential not to interact in bad fiscal behaviors and to limit expenditure mistakes this entails developing and next a nonemotional, aim investment tactic,” he claimed. “Individuals need to make investments for the lengthy expression, establish their stage of possibility perception and chance tolerance, determine on a appropriate asset allocation tactic, and rebalance portfolios yearly. Last of all, assembly with a monetary expert to build financial objectives and administer a fiscal plan will result in a lifetime of financial wealth and solutions.”

Others share this issue of perspective. 

“Spotting anchoring, or any behavioral bias in ourselves, is around unachievable in the minute,” reported Mooreland. “That is why acquiring an adviser or trustworthy friend that understands the psychology of decision generating can support. The greatest way to manage/mitigate it is to talk to additional queries and obtain a lot more information and facts – which we are normally averse to. We usually want the quick, intuitive response without the need of investigation. That is why several folks get trapped into these biases and constantly make unwise selections.”

Publié le Catégories Réseaux sociaux

🔵⚪🔴 Deterring Terrorism Versus Combating Terrorism | Balwan Nagial – Stratégie Réseaux Sociaux


Terrorism remains a danger to peace and security worldwide. Terrorism refers to political violence that intentionally targets civilians to frighten and start trembling with fear and insecurity. Though beyond other criteria can be applied, then it gets politically motivated definition. Terrorism is a shadowy world of faceless enemies and irregular tactics.  It is a strategy to achieve ends through violent means.

In olden times, violence was resorted to when the rulers failed to redress their people’s grievances, and their rights were oppressed and infringed. However, today terrorism has political overtures and highly violent means to achieve its aims. The purpose of terrorism is to demoralise the civil population and use this discontentment against the government.

The primary effect of terrorism is psychological. The effectiveness of terrorism lies in capturing attention due to the dramatic eruption of terror incidents as they catch the media attention. The 9/11 terror attack on World Trade Centre in the US changed the political and cultural landscapes of the US. Thus, there was a paradigm shift in terrorism from the 1970s to the 2000s.

The present multifaceted technological society is enormously susceptible to unanticipated and brutal attacks of terrorism because transportation centres, communication facilities, oil fields and refineries, and factories cannot always be safeguarded against the arbitrary and violent acts of terrorism led by small but strongminded and radicalised terrorists.

Violence is the principal means of all terrorist organisations. Though this assumes different manifestation, and different groups of terrorists use different methods to achieve their aims. Terrorists’ methods have evolved from primitive means to the most sophisticated weapons, including killer gases. The origin of the current wave of violent terrorism can be traced back to West Asia. Wherein terrorism started way back in 1968, mainly driven by ideologies. Hijacking, kidnapping, suicide bombing, arson, Improvised Explosive Device (IED), etc., are the standard methods used by the various terrorist groups.

Policies to deter and combat terrorism can be placed along a gamut involving more or less force dealing with terrorism and terrorist organisations. States may undertake small- or large-scale operations to neutralise the terror outfits. Every state which that undertake counter-terrorism policies uses the combination of ‘Deterrence and Combating Terrorism’ methods.

Countering terrorism. The countering of terrorism incorporates military tactics, which governments, military, paramilitary forces and law enforcement agencies adopt to prevent terrorism. Our responses to terrorism are rooted in the way we understand or theorise terrorist actions. Counter-terrorism strategy is a government’s plan to use the various apparatuses of national power to eliminate terrorists, their groups, and their systems to reduce them powerless to use violence to instil fear and coerce the government or its citizens to react the terrorists’ goals.[1]  If terrorism is part of a wide-ranging insurgency, then counter-terrorism may conduct counter-insurgency actions. The first counter-terrorism unit ever came up in Britain in 1883 to fight against Irish Fenians. A Special Irish Department unit was established by then Home Secretary, Sir William Harcourt. Harcourt envisioned a permanent unit dedicated to preventing politically motivated violence through contemporary methods such as covert permeation. This ground-breaking branch was the first to be trained in counter-terrorism techniques.[2]

Counter-terrorism forces enlarged with the apparent increasing threat of terrorism in the late 20th century. Specifically, after the 9/11 terror attacks, many governments worldwide made counter-terrorism endeavours an urgency and included more foreign cooperation, shifting tactics involving red teams and preventive measures. The enormity of the attacks intended that no one could stand and mere onlooker anymore. The fight had become international because the impact of terrorism was being felt everywhere across the borders.

The aim of counter-terrorism are:

  • Identification of Terrorist Organisations.
  • Identification and elimination of terrorist suspects.
  • Preventing terrorists’ movements, especially across the borders.
  • Tracing the terror financing resources. Disrupting the flow of terrorist funding is critical to curtailing their activities. Any crime which results in a profit can be used to finance terrorism.
  • Social media analysis is essential since terrorists use social media for radicalisation, recruitment, funding, planning, and terror activities.

To confront the threat of terrorism, a diverse tactic is needed. In this framework, socio-economic development should be given precedence so that susceptible sections of society do not get trapped by the propaganda misinformation of terrorists, giving them false hopes, wealth and equity. Furthermore, the administration, mainly the service delivery devices, needs to be responsive to people’s genuine and long-standing complaints. These are redressed promptly and cannot be subjugated by terrorist organisations. There is a need for multidimensional approaches such as choking their finances, multi-lateral dialogues and creating intelligence networks, operating centres, and joint anti-terror operations to limit the sphere of influence of terrorist organisations.

Deterrence of Terrorism. Deterrence is the psychological mechanism of employing another’s behaviour by intimidating with sufferings. It includes persuasion a potential enemy that one should one’s interest avoid the specific course of action.  This mechanism employs credible threats of force as a means of influencing the decision-makers. However, it does not involve the actual use of force but rather the threat of its application.

It is an art of conveying to terrorist organisations not to take on a given course of action, which may be risky and costlier than its benefits. Thus, deterrence stresses two factors: one cost plus risks, two not to allow the adversary to take advantage of the given situation. Deterring terrorism represents state of the art in the influencing of terrorist behaviour. With beneficiation from leading researchers in the field, it integrates the most advanced thinking on deterrence with rich empirical studies of the handling of contemporary terrorist problems.[3]

This threat-based preventive method of conflict escalation prevention acts on the political will of an opponent, who is expected as a result of this method to make a rational cost-benefit analysis and decide against any offensive action.

However, this slender classic understanding of deterrence as an instrument of dissuasion does not appear to deter potential jihadist terrorists successfully. Terrorists aim for the highest result with an attack. This result can be measured in physical damage (loss of lives, wounded people, destruction of buildings or infrastructure), economic damage, and the spreading of fear and social unrest in societies.  Terrorists also carry out attacks to generate attention for a political cause and legitimise the means used in their struggle to reach that aim. It is essential to appreciate that in drafting their strategy, they do not make the same kind of rational decisions in weighing the pros and cons of an attack in the same manner as we do.

Counter-terrorism policies based on deterrence employ methodological individualism and do not consider larger social, political and economic contexts. Numerous studies on dissuasion as a part of the counter-terrorism policy showcase the significance of the issue and the problems of comprehending an effective and efficient deterrent policy against terrorist organisations. Various offensive and defensive actions are initiated against terrorist organisations are directed at preventing terrorism. However, it is difficult to deter a terrorist organisation but much easier to deter a sovereign state because the very nature of a terrorist organisation is covert. Moreover, these terrorist organisations do not operate based on a reasonable cost-benefit basis.

The global war on terrorism is similar to the Arab-Israeli conflict.  The war on terrorism is, in other words, a war in need of a strategy of cumulative deterrence. Israel has neighbours who have threatened it for most of its existence with total eradication. Moreover, Israel’s ‘no choice option policy’ carries a substantial social and economical price label. Thus, Israeli doctrine depends heavily on the forecast of deterrence. The comprehension of Israeli deterrence doctrine is based on the difference between three national situation levels: Routine, Emergency and War and the role of compliance and pre-emption of the enemy’s offensive capabilities. Eventually, Israel has thrived in preserving strategic deterrence vis-à-vis neighbouring states.

India has been fighting cross border terrorism with success since independence in 1947 when the Indian subcontinent was divided on two-nations theory. Moreover, Pakistan’s fear of a likely nuclear upswing has usually constrained subsequent Indian governments in retorting such attacks. This apprehension came after when India and Pakistan carried out nuclear tests in 1998. From the 1990s onwards, India’s responses to terrorist attacks, hijackings and bombings have generally been reactive, diffident and restrained. The punitive strikes along the Myanmar border against the NSCN(K) in June 2015 were the first calibrated step. On 29 September 2016, India announced a surgical strike against militant launch pads across the Line of Control in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and inflicted significant casualties.  Finally, India’s bombing on a terrorist camp in Balakot deep into Pakistan territory in February 2019, in answer to a terrorist attack by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Muhammad that killed nearly 40 Indian troops, indicates a possible change Indian thinking.

Deterrence cynicism reached a climax following the 9/11 terror attack in the US. Sceptics assume the following:

(i) The fundamentalist religiosity of Al-Qaeda and others terror organisations negates rational decision-making.

(ii) Extremism generates different contextualisation and a desire for risk-accepting, maximalist, and resolute behaviour.

(iii) Individual who has conceptualised a wonderful life after death fears neither retaliation nor punishment.

(iv) Non-state organisations lack a ‘return address’, a territorial target against which threats can be issued and fulfilled.

The disturbing consent of these arguments is that deterrence cannot be applied to combat terrorist organisations and that terrorism is altogether undeterrable. For counter-terrorism, the most real understandings of deterrence are the wide-ranging ones that suggest a range of terrorist activity – from suicide attacks against civilians to acquiring and using chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) a variety of tailor predispose weapons made deterrents.

Combating Terrorism. All sovereign nations pursue their perceived national interests. At the apex level, a nation’s vital interests would encompass matters about territorial integrity, state sovereignty, and the security of its people. Combating terrorism refers to efforts by a government to seek, defeat or destroy the terrorists and their networks. Political considerations must drive military and other counter-terrorism efforts. The argument of Carl von Clausewitz that the “political object….will be the standard for determining the aim of military force and amount of efforts to be made” holds good for combating terrorism.[4]

Whether we like it or not, terrorism/insurgencies have usually brought to an end on the battlefield instead of the peace negotiating table. Terrorist groups survive on securing combat support from outside. These terrorist organisations have a good strategy, sound tactics, structured organisational setups, and a proper information system.

In India, all three of them stands seriously challenged by non-state actors. Though most non-state actors have come upon indigenous narratives, some are promoted, propped or supported by nation-states inimical to India. This has given rise to internal conflict in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), parts of Northeast India, and the hinterland where Maoist violence has spread to many districts.

Terrorism is, unquestionably, the most potent threat to universal peace and security. With progress in technology and an overflowing ‘Cyber world’, terrorists are obtaining an approach to endless resources of “DO IT YOURSELF” tools on matters ranging from making bombs to executing, beheadings, and securing communications and funds flow. Moreover, the proponents and perpetrators of these nefarious acts cleverly adopt emerging technologies for furthering their ideologies and accomplishing their evil acts.

Any act of terrorism, undertaken by anybody, anywhere and for any purposes and resolves, is an offence and hence has no validation. All acts, methods and practices of terrorism intended to destroy the human rights, foundational freedoms and democracy, threatening the territorial integrity, security of the nations, and that the worldwide community should take the required steps to enhance the cooperation to prevent and combat terrorism, including the cross-border movement of terrorists. However, terrorism can not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilisation or ethnic group.

India believes that the only effective way to tackle terrorism is through intensive worldwide cooperation and genuine collaboration. Through extradition, prosecution, information exchange and capacity building, international efforts go a long way in countering terrorism threatening the global community. The flow of resources to terror-linked entities has to be stopped by collective inter-state efforts. The international community cannot and should not be selective in dealing with the terrorist groups or dismantling terror infrastructure.

The fight against terrorism should seek to eliminate terrorists, disrupt terror organisations/networks, identify/hold accountable, and take strong measures against States that encourage, support, and finance terrorism and provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups. Sustained international efforts can counter terrorism, and that the UN may be best suited for taking forward practical global efforts preventing and countering terrorism. Therefore, we fully support the leadership provided by the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism at the UN.

With the tactic of terrorism adopted by Israel to hasten the British out from Palestine in 1948, the State of Israel has found herself subject to terrorist attacks, especially since the beginning of the Intifada in 1987. Israel’s experience has led to an inclusive counter-terrorism policy driven by the critical belief that the country’s survival is at stake.

The threat of terrorism is not theoretical but prevalent and persistent against Israel. In the last seven decades, Israel has not known a single day free from terrorism. Out of necessity, it has established a long-standing practice of experts in the field of counter-terrorism, extending the way of assisting victims of terror. Israel is treating victims immediately after the terrorist act. Within the first 24 hours, the victims’ families are treated and accompanied by social workers from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services. About 1,375 people have been killed by Palestinian violence and terrorism since September 2000.

The perception of Israel’s national security as one that is unique is essential. It profoundly influences Israeli politics and policy, including the definition of national interest and the strategies required to deal with Israel’s security problems.[5] In Israel’s case, a government believes it cannot rely upon outside governments to ensure its safety and well-being. Furthermore, the Israeli government also realises that military action alone will not solve the terrorism issues with its neighbours.[6] Consequently, the IDF, the ISA, and Shin Bet employ strategies to decrease terrorist attacks and lower direct and collateral damage. These tactics are employed in three critical areas of the nation’s counter-terrorism strategy: defensive, offensive, and punitive.

Nevertheless, the Israelis consider these punitive actions as methods aimed at discouraging future terrorists. Punitive measures punish the perpetrators, the architects, co-conspirators, and anyone else involved in terrorist attacks. Interestingly enough, there is a difference between the penal system carried out within Israel and the Occupied Territories.[7]  Generally speaking, the  Israeli combating-terrorism strategy has been successful in preventing terrorist attacks. Israeli counter-terrorism measures aim at several different groups that attempt to carry out terrorist attacks within Israel and the Occupied Territories. For example, Palestinian groups have employed spectacular suicide terrorist attacks to force Israel to abandon the West Bank and Gaza.[8]  Indeed, the terrorist organisations operating in Palestine territories are not going to fade away anytime soon. So to have an effective combating-terrorism strategy, Israel needs to understand the goals and motives of these groups and their tactics. This understanding, in the end, will further the effectiveness of Israel’s combating-terrorism strategy.

Operative counter-terrorism entails a more broad-based strategy. It requires a continuous process of assessment and fine-tuning. However, Israel does not have all the answers and counts mainly trial and error for different contexts. Nevertheless, both India and Israel can learn from each other to combat terrorism effectively. India should learn from Israel’s tragic experience, but make sure to learn suitable lessons.

Conclusion: Terrorism encompasses a range of complex threats, so it is essential to identify the terrorist organisations, their functioning and prevent their activities well in advance. These threats are organised terrorism in conflict zones, foreign terrorist fighters, radicalised ‘lone wolves, and attacks using chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive materials. Terrorist groups incite individuals, often young people, to leave their communities worldwide and travel to conflict zones. The way recruits are targeted and radicalised has shifted, focusing on social media and other digital channels. Biometric data is of increasing importance in identifying foreign terrorist fighters and preventing them from crossing borders.

The response instruments require coordination among the various worldwide agencies, including police, customs, border controls, public health professionals, the military, intelligence services and environmental management.

It is amply clear that present-day terrorism embodies a latent danger to the security and probably threat democratic states. Therefore, with the intent to eliminate such threats and thwart future terrorist acts against the state, counter-terrorism involves an array of methods, tactics, and policies utilised by governments to either destroy the terrorist organisations or incapacitate them to operate effectively. Boaz Ganor outlined in ascending order three potential goals of counter-terrorism policy: prevention of conflict escalation in the context of terrorism, minimisation of damage caused by terrorism, and elimination of terrorism.

Policies of deterrence will continue to form an integral part of the counter-terrorism measures in the conceivable future. Though the strategies of denial and punishment have a limited and short-term deterrent effect upon terrorist organisations, the application of deterrence theory in the long term appears futile. Nevertheless, this ostensible futility can be ascribed to the dominance of a state-centric policy of combating terrorism. Therefore, in conjunction with valuable denial and punishment strategies, longer-term counter-terrorism strategies must attempt to isolate and dissociate terrorist activities from the socio-political framework, which is their survival. Instead, counter-terrorism must focus upon the actions of terrorists themselves and address the underlying causes of terrorism. Thus, a combination of effective ‘deterrence and combatting of terrorism’ strategies would go in the long run to fight the menace of terrorism.

[1] Stigall, Miller, and Donnatucci (October 7, 2019). “The 2018 National Strategy for Counterterrorism: A Synoptic Overview”. American University National Security Law Brief. SSRN 3466967.

[2] Aniceto Masferrer, Clive Walker (2013). Counter-Terrorism, Human Rights and the Rule of Law: Crossing Legal Boundaries in Defence of the State. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 294. ISBN 9781781954478

[3] Paul R. Pillar, Centre for Peace and Security Studies, US.

[4] Carl von Clausewitz, On War (New York Penguin, 1968, p-109)

[5] Daniel Bar-Tal, Dan Jacobson, and Aharon Klieman, Security Concerns: Insights From the Israeli Experience, (Stamford, Connecticut: JAI Press, Inc., 1999) p. 37.

[6] Smith, Jerry D. The Effectiveness of Israel’s counter-terrorism strategy 2005-03, Monterey California. Naval Postgraduate School.

[7] Smith, Jerry D. The Effectiveness of Israel’s counter-terrorism strategy 2005-03, Monterey California. Naval Postgraduate School.

[8] Robert A. Pape, “The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism,” American Political Science Review, Vol. 97, No. 3, p. 343, August 2003



Publié le Catégories Réseaux sociaux

🔵⚪🔴 Andrew Ross Sorkin on meme stocks, bitcoin, SPACs, antitrust, and Elon – Stratégie Réseaux Sociaux


The following Is a partial transcript of Big Technology Podcast, edited for length and clarity. You can listen to the full episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your app of choice

Andrew Ross Sorkin is the co-anchor of Squawk Box on CNBC, founder and editor of Dealbook at the New York Times, and the author of “Too Big To Fail.” He joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss the wild state of the market, the rise of meme stocks, along with bitcoin, SPACs, Big Tech antitrust, Elon Musk, and when the party will come to an end. 

Alex Kantrowitz: Andrew, welcome to the show.

Andrew Ross Sorkin: Thank you for having me. I am a longtime fan and listener, first time on the show. 

What’s your sense of the market’s rationality right now, or lack thereof? 

Well, we have to break apart what we’re describing as the market for a second. There’s one part of the market that is this meme stock driven explosion, and that is something unto itself. Then there is the market excluding all of that. And then there is this thing we’ll call the “real economy” over here. They’re all potentially interrelated, or you’d like to think. 

The stock market unto itself — meme stock excluded for a second — there’s lots of excitement still about where we are, but you’re even starting to see what they call, “the great rotations,” or people moving out of technology and into travel, because they think everyone’s going to travel again and all sorts.

That seems at least rational. And we can debate about whether there’s going to be more infrastructure spending or what the Federal Reserve is going to do. But what’s really caught everybody’s excitement or the meme stocks, the AMC apes and the GameStop hysteria. And don’t forget Bed Bath & Beyond or some of the others that are completely and utterly divorced from reality, Alex.

It’s a bunch of people who have an idea, I don’t the idea is about fundamental investing, it’s about demonstrating that they can push up the price of a stock. I hate to use the word manipulation, and people will get very angry if you put it in this context. But I think there’s a group of people who would like to press the price of a stock up. And you’re seeing it in this very unique social media enabled, mobilized moment.

Some of those people are doing it because they actually believe in the stock. Most of them are doing it to prove something. Other people are doing it, hopefully just to make a lot of money because they think they can ride a wave. There’s a lot of elements to this.

There’s an argument that this is totally normal, that all stocks are traded on momentum and stories. And so what if a GameStop, or what if an AMC, is traded on a story? People are only getting mad when it’s the common person doing it versus traditional investors. What do you think about that? 

I don’t buy it. I just don’t buy it. First of all I would love the “little guy,” I even hate that phrase, to be wildly successful and to beat the man. I would love that. I’m not even sure that’s what’s even happening here. But there is, I think a distinction between what’s happening in this meme stock era and the frankly blatant manipulation that happens — to the extent that we’re going to call it manipulation — in the market via institutional investors. And the biggest distinction I’d make, is that one group, the professional investor, typically knows what they’re doing. They understand it, and they understand the risks of it. If you spend enough time on Reddit — and for better or worse, I do — there are a lot of people that don’t really understand what’s going on at all.

There’s a lot of misinformation. There’s a lot of people who don’t even believe information that’s factual in front of them. This financial moment’s almost become politicized in certain ways. And some of the things that we’ve seen in politics over the last four or five years, it’s come to the market. And so I worry about that and I worry about the people who have frankly, a lot to lose. And that’s why we’ve always, as in we, as an industry, the media, but hopefully the laws and regulations that are in place have always been about trying to protect the smaller investor. 

What’s so unique about this moment, is that a lot of those smaller investors are saying, no, no, no, those laws you say work in the media, they don’t protect us at all. In fact, you’re not protecting us, you’re protecting the man. You’re protecting the establishment. You’re protecting the big guy with all of those laws. And you’re preventing us from having the opportunity to make money. And to some degree they’re probably right. They’ve actually hit on something. Some of those rules and laws and maybe even the way we approach it, do prevent some of them from buying some of those lottery tickets and winning. 

But I think, or at least I want to think, unless my head is not screwed on straight and I’ve got this totally wrong, I think it’s also about protecting them on the downside. And it’s almost impossible to believe that the downside won’t come.

The other counterpoint would be that GameStop has actually stayed pretty high. I’ve been surprised at how high it stayed. Who knows if AMC is going to drop given the current levels? So maybe the joke really is on the short sellers…

Well look, maybe it is. Maybe it really is and you’re right. Look, there are people who believe that Ryan Cohen who’s now been installed as the chairman and the new team, most of whom come from Amazon are going to reinvent the company. And maybe this is a venture capital bet that these folks are going to somehow totally reinvent this thing in ways that we don’t even know. Whatever they would do to get to the price that we’re at now, it would almost have to be a completely different business. It would have to be transformed into something that looks almost nothing like what it is today and maybe that’s possible. Now, historically public market investors have not made those types of bets before. That’s the place where historically venture capital has made those kinds of bets or maybe private equity has made a turnaround bet.

Maybe the argument in this case is, look, those kinds of bets in these private areas where typically the public can’t participate, we want to participate. I get it, I get it. There’s an element of it, which I admire greatly, but there’s also a piece of it that I think is at minimum nerve wracking. 

One other thing, I think there’s a distinction between what you’re seeing GameStop. I don’t want to say I see it, but I understand it. AMC, for example, though, I think is a completely different-

How so? Because they’re not sticking it to the shorts it’s just all speculation?

Well, it may very well be sticking to the shorts. But you look at the secular trends in the theater business, in the film business, before we had the pandemic and then are we going to believe that somehow the secular trends are going to be even going the opposite direction after the pandemic? I don’t think anyone’s making that argument. Nobody’s making the argument that Adam Aron who’s the CEO of AMC is planning to somehow magically transform the company. He’s not saying he’s going to transform the company, right?

Adam Aron’s not claiming he’s going to do anything different. In fact, the only thing that Adam Aron is doing, is to some degree and I also admire this, though I think it creates all sorts of questions….

He’s winking at the investors and saying, keep on going….

Keep on going. And by the way, at the same time, I don’t want say he’s taking advantage of them, but if they’re taking advantage, he’s taking advantage by selling shares to them at prices that I think he knows full well are vastly overvalued. And so he’s taking that money, using it hopefully to pay down debt and maybe put the company in at least a better position to not fail, but is he putting it in a better position to have great shoot the moon success? I’m not sure that’s his plan.

So where does this go? Does every CEO, all of a sudden need to have a meme strategy where they do an AMA on Wall Street bets and try to corral all these retail investors?

I think there’s a whole world of CEOs who are saying, oh my God, could this happen to us? How’s this going to work? In some respects, there’s an argument to make, this can’t really happen to every company out there and especially massive large companies. It’d be very hard for a retail base of investors to move the stock of an Apple or a Walmart or an Amazon in this way. 

What made these things attractive was both the short interest, I don’t want to say the small amount of volume, but these were smaller companies. By the way, now they’re big, big, multi, tens of billions of dollar value companies. It’s possible at some level, this can happen. I don’t want to say that nobody’s susceptible, but I think there’s a range of company with a valuation and a perspective around these issues around what the short interest is like, for something this to happen and be attractive to this group.

Yes, but big stocks can also be a story company. I started to think about this and I don’t think it happens unless you start to have some of the stock market unhinged from the fundamentals to begin with. And that’s when I start to think about Tesla, which is a real story stock. I guess Elon can do it on a scale because he’s Elon.

But that’s the argument. I think a lot of people would say, look, look at Tesla, that was a story stock and people believed and look at where it is now. And so why can’t that be AMC? Why can’t you will the valuation — not just the valuation, but the success of a company into being, simply by getting behind it and getting behind its stock and effectively giving them the opportunity to raise so much money that they can do these things? That is possible. 

By the way, there’s an intersection here probably with crypto and bitcoin. That was a bit of a belief system. It is a belief system. And 11 years later, people still believe. So, yes, if people decide they’re going to believe in AMC for the next hundred years, and they decided they want to keep giving Adam Aron money, maybe this can end spectacularly.

Let’s think about what’s going to happen next. You’ve said that either this type of manipulation — or whatever you want to call it — is going to be regulated or they’re going to prove that the whole system is broken and cause some lasting changes. So what could that look like?

There’s two possibilities, probably relatively binary. One is that Gary Gensler at the SEC decides that he’s going to crack down, for lack of a better word or phrase, on this trading. Either he’s going to regulate what can be said on social media platforms about stocks, try to prosecute some of the people that have been involved in these things online. I don’t know if a good case or bad case, I don’t think by the way, it’d be a particularly popular case to be made. But could you subpoena some of these individuals’ emails, have them talking about how they don’t believe the stock is worth anything,  and that they’re trying to manipulate the price to push it higher. And they actually say that in email. And could you bring a case against them and make an example of them? Yes, you could.

And then how would that change the dynamic? Would it force Reddit and other social media sites to put in different procedures and things? Maybe in the same way that you’re seeing Facebook and others try to deal with misinformation or disinformation in the world of politics. That’s when it could get interesting on one side of things. 

The other side of things is if they really succeed, they could effectively break the markets as we know them. One of the things that’s so interesting is if you own the Russell 2000, which is an index, passive index, it’s actually doing quite well, almost spectacularly so. Why? Because AMC and GameStop are part of it. And so you could start to do things to the market that divorce it from reality. I don’t know where that ultimately goes.

But again, by the way, at some point everything’s not going to go to the sky, something will go wrong. And when things go wrong, lots of things typically go wrong. That’s when I think the divorcing of everything will come into play.

I think it will be also tough for the SEC to start cracking down on this trading in particular, even if there are people that are manipulating on the backend, because they will face a backlash.

There are two issues. One is Gary Gensler is a different person than Jay Clayton, who’s the former chair of the SEC. Gary’s just got into this role. I think he’s going to want to put his stamp on this agency and make a mark. I do. And so I think it’s almost impossible to believe that he would have done something already in any real way. I’d also remind your listeners, and it’s such a fabulous story, if you can go back and Google it and find it. Michael Lewis wrote a piece, probably 20 years ago, this is after the dot com bubble burst, about an 18 year old kid that the SEC had actually prosecuted. Or I should say sued, because it’s not a criminal case, for effectively manipulation using chart boards and the like to push stocks, and they won.

And so could he go after some individuals? I wouldn’t be surprised if he were and I wouldn’t be surprised if he even went after an Elon Musk. I wouldn’t be surprised if he tried to go after some of the higher profile people involved in SPACs, just to make a point.

The order of operations on that is going to be important. Because if you go only after the folks involved in this retail trade — and I know there’s lots of implications there — and you leave Elon and you leave the SPAC guys alone, you could have a problem on your hands.

Bingo.

Let’s talk a little bit about another speculative asset — although I’m going to get in trouble for saying that — bitcoin. When I hear you talk about bitcoin, you seem somewhat amused, and pretty skeptical. Where do you think the freight train is heading on that front?

On the price, I have no idea. I think there’s now a considerable group of people who believe in the idea of bitcoin. I’ve been fascinated by bitcoin, probably since about, I’m trying to think. I met Brian Armstrong, who I remember trying to convince me of bitcoin’s benefits. Had I listened to him, I’d probably be in a different profession right now, back then.

Did you buy?

I did not, I did not buy.

You like to ask guests, whether they own. Do you own bitcoin?

It’s a great question. I do not own bitcoin. And I will also say as a journalist, I was always skeptical of whether I should or could. I don’t own stocks as you probably know, because that’s a policy that we’ve long had and because of the information that oftentimes I’m privy to sometimes in the reporting process. I own mutual funds and things like that, but nothing beyond that. I always didn’t know, does bitcoin count as a currency? How would we think —

It’s so strange in terms of what it actually is.

It’s funny because my kids now, now that it’s become a mainstream thing, it might even be a bit of a currency. Maybe I’d feel more comfortable owning it. I don’t know. My kids, I have two 10 year old boys and a four year old. The 10 year olds are trying to design NFTs and to also buy NFTs, for like $4.

Not $69 million?

Right. Not Beeple… but they need Ethereum. So we need to get a wallet for them, so they have Ethereum. This is all of a sudden very interesting. Can you really own Ethereum? It’s getting complicated quickly.

I like how you asked Francis Suarez, the mayor of Miami, a former guest of this show, whether he owns. And he said, yes. I thought there were two really interesting things about his answer. First of all, he’s the bitcoin mayor and he bought in mid to high 30s. He’s probably underwater right now. And second, he flat out said, the reason why he bought was because he bought it as a hedge against inflation. What did you think when you heard that?

I thought that was the right thing to say, if you’re the mayor of Miami and you’re trying to become the mayor of the crypto capital — if it becomes the crypto capital — he said the words he was supposed to say. I imagine he bought it because he wanted to play with it. I think he imagined he bought it, so he could say that he had bought some and believed in it in the same way that he’s trying to do this for the city. 

I have been somewhat skeptical of the argument around inflation. I think inflation is real by the way, but around whether bitcoin becomes the standard? It may, it may not. To me the whole thing is so hard to figure out. And maybe that makes me too skeptical of it. I think it could have some success. I just don’t know if it’s really going to turn into a currency. I don’t know what happens when there is regulation.

For the first time, we just learned that there’s a couple of companies that are going to start working on 401(k) plans to allow you to put crypto into them. I think all of a sudden that’s going to force the issue for regulators to figure out what they’re going to do.

People are betting their retirement on this stuff…

And once you get there, okay, so now are you going to say there has to be a know your customer, what’s called the KYC policy around bitcoin, anti-money laundering, implementations in the same way that banks have? If you actually do that, then what does that do to bitcoin? You can’t have a private wallet. All of the benefits of bitcoin disappear very quickly. I think there’s that. I also wonder about the environmental piece of it. I know there’s lots of people who are now arguing that somehow it’s going to be an improvement for the environment over time.

The water is pretty muddy on that front.

Look, I think long term we will figure out how to mine bitcoin, and also just create electricity. Of course hopefully more cleanly. That will happen. But if you were going to create a new currency in this day and age today, you would think you would try to deal with how much electricity is used, whether it has KYC, know your customer information, except, but that’s the virtue of it, by the way. Some people say that’s the virtue. It takes a lot of electricity that makes it creates value, imbues it with value. And of course the fact that it’s anonymous also imbues it with value.

Talking about the inflation, I don’t agree with Francis Suarez that bitcoin a good hedge on inflation. But, from my perspective, it’s increased so much because money has become somewhat meaningless to lots of folks recently…

There’s a lot of money floating around. And the question is, when the music stops and the music will stop, is bitcoin somehow completely not correlated to everything else? I have a hard time believing that, but there’s clearly a lot of people who spent time in the month of June in Miami, who believe it.

I think the bitcoin Miami emails have finally tailed off in my inbox. I don’t know about yours.

I’m still getting some.

When does the music stop? Is it when the Fed raises the rate in some way, or how does this party come to an end, not just bitcoin but economy overall?

The only lesson I feel I learned writing “Too Big To Fail” and reporting around that crisis, and now really trying to understand financial crisis as a phenomenon is, every financial crisis is really only a function of one thing, it’s too much debt, it’s too much credit leverage in the system. 

You can have as many bad actors as you want on the stage doing as many bad things on the stage, as you could imagine. If you think that the SPAC people are being irresponsible and you think that the SEC is not minding the store, you can name whatever you think is bad. It doesn’t really matter unless there’s too much leverage in the system. And so the question is where that leverage is today. It’s not at the banks. And so the question is, is it somehow levered into crypto? Is this, quote unquote, shadow banking system, Is that where the leverage is?

Even the phrase “too big to fail,” back in 2008, we talked about it in the context of banks. Today, we talk about cities, municipalities, states, countries that are too big to fail. Think about the amount of debt that we took on even during the pandemic in the United States, let alone every other country in the world. That’s what I really worry about long term.

What do you think is going to be the implications of taking on all that debt? We did, what, $6 trillion in stimulus in the year?

The benefit of a government taking on that kind of debt on a company or a bank is, you can keep printing money. But as you keep printing money, you devalue your currency and you have inflation. That’s I think what ultimately happens, the question is if every other country is doing the same thing at the same time, you could argue, maybe it doesn’t matter. I think that’s the MMT theory of life. I wish I knew the answer.

To bring it full circle, it seems like it’s a great time to be in the money and in the right places but an awful time…

Goodness, if you can own assets, if you own property, if you own stocks, if you could just own anything right now, at least it appears that that is the winning ticket at the moment. If you’re renting it is probably…

Renting and a wage worker.

And a wage worker. It’s a hard place to be. It’s a very, very hard place to be. We’ve seen it in the movie and the divergence keeps getting worse.

I worry what’s going to happen to the country, because you will have a very distinct, we already had a distinct set of winners and losers, and now we’re going to have a much more distinct set of them.

I think it will then play into the politics

No doubt.

Completely.

Let’s talk about something more uplifting, SPACs. I really had just one question written down about SPACs: Legit or scam? 

The answer is actually it’s not binary. I actually think SPACs will be around for a very, very long time. I think there’ll be a feature of the market. By the way, they were a feature of the market for years, they were just a dark corner and people did think they were somewhat shady. I think that this SPAC phenomenon we’re seeing is probably going to be long term, actually a good thing for SPACs. In so far as they’re going create more regulations and other policies and better practices around these things, so that they’re not effectively backdoor ways for companies to go public that shouldn’t be public. That’s the issue. Right now, it’s a backdoor. It’s oftentimes a backdoor way for a company that has no business being public, to be public without going through the rigorous process of an IPO.

That’s I think the issue pushed by, quote unquote, sponsors who really have no interest in actually hanging around the hoop at all and actually investing in the company but making a quick buck. That’s the problem. I think longer term, you’re going to find more SPACs with more reputable sponsors, and that’s not to say that the current sponsors aren’t reputable, there are some that are, and some that aren’t, that we’ll have more attractive pricing and more attractive transparency around what they’re doing. And then it will become just another way for companies to go public. But I don’t think we will look at it as askance we are now. And I think we’re looking askance today rightly.

Yup. As a kind of an inside baseball question, but did you read Charles Duhigg’s story on SPACs and Chamath?

On Chamath? I did, of course.

What did you think about it?

I worked with Charles for many, many years. He’s a great writer. I thought he did a great job with the piece. I think Chamath’s an interesting, complicated, brilliant guy, who I think skates close to the edge, no question. I think 20 years from now, he will get credit as the SPAC king. But the question is whether that will be good credit or bad credit. I’m not sure what the answer will be. 

I only say that because I think if you’re, as we were talking about before, if you’re a Gary Gensler and you’re trying to make your mark and you look at the SPAC market and you think that it is not being done above board, a lot of these SPACs are presented in the best light always.

I’m sure that if you subpoenaed the emails, you would find lots of these sponsors, maybe the Chamaths of the world, and people like Chamath who are emailing each other. And clearly they have projections that are not great and projections that are great. And if you go out and make only great projections, but you not only acknowledge other protections, is that a good case to break? Maybe it is. I don’t know, but I think that that’s the thing that you could see.

All these things that we’ve talked about meme stocks, bitcoin, SPACs, I like the way that they work in theory. They are a way for the everyday person to get in on, for instance, the value of the IPO or rising currency or momentum stock before the institutional investors get in there.

Look, I love the idea of democratizing finance. What I find so strange is the people who say they’re trying to democratize finance, seem to do such a lousy job of actually trying to protect the people that they say they’re democratizing it for. I would feel totally differently about SPACs if the SPAC sponsors were out there saying, look, we want to give you an early opportunity to get in now, but here are really all of the issues and problems and conflicts and everything else, that are involved in a very easy to digest way. Why don’t they do that? For obvious reasons they don’t do that.

Half of it is grift.

Right. But that’s the issue. I think that there’s a lot of these things, same thing with the meme stocks, I would love if the people who were really out there promoting this stuff on Reddit, didn’t just explain what they were doing, but said, here are the risks. I don’t know what’s going to happen here. This is a theory. You don’t see that. I think Robinhood, by the way, has done a tremendous job of creating a product that people want to use. But most of them, unfortunately, even though they in the terms of service, don’t understand that there’s this payment for order flow issue that effectively some of the money that they could be making effectively is getting paid out to other financial firms and that’s how Robinhood is getting paid. I guess journalists are supposed to be professional skeptics, but that’s where my skepticism lies.

And I think it’s fair skepticism. All this stuff is nice in theory. We probably need some rulemaking in order to make sure that people can really share in the wealth and don’t end up getting hammered by the downside.

Look, I hope everybody does really well. That would be a great outcome.

Big Tech antitrust is one of our favorite issues to discuss/debate, so let’s jump into that. First I want to hear your personal story. I saw you hint at it on Twitter and I want to hear the full deal. Your father was an antitrust litigator? 

That’s what he did. That’s what he did for a living.

You grew up talking about antitrust cases around the dinner table?

All day long. My father was an antitrust lawyer in New York city and that’s what we talked about. We talked about whether mergers should go through or not, how to define a market. We talked about dumping cases when foreign companies were arguably dumping products in the United States at lower prices. That’s an antitrust issue. I loved it, frankly. We had debates about Microsoft for years. Should the browser be connected? Should it not be connected? Is it-

Which side were you on?

I went back and forth. There were certain evidence that was presented, I was a believer at one point, I do remember thinking it was an ecosystem and actually that the ecosystem mattered. I remember going back and forth about that with him a lot. Anyway I love a great antitrust debate, so let’s go for it.

Okay. So Apple.

Yes.

You don’t think Apple is a monopoly.

I don’t think Apple is a monopoly in the way it’s being argued in the construct of the Epic case clearly. And probably more broadly I don’t think it’s a monopoly either yet. Remember that there’s two pieces. One is, the other thing I remember learning as a child is, being a monopoly unto itself is actually not illegal.

It’s the maintenance of a monopoly.

It’s what you did to either become a monopoly or to, quote unquote, maintain the monopoly, as you just said. And so, in the context of the Epic case, for example….

Just for context, Epic is the maker Fortnite. Epic sued Apple, because Apple was charging this 30% tax on payments in its App Store. Epic didn’t like it, got kicked off the App Store, and sued Apple. 

To me the lesson I learned from my father many years ago is, when you think about any type of antitrust suit, you first have to think about the market. What is the market? In the context of Epic suing Apple, I’ve never thought that they had a great case. I thought that there were other companies that could probably bring a stronger case, because most of Epic’s market, if you will, doesn’t even exist on the phone, that’s not where the majority of the people that are even playing Fortnite. They’re playing it on console. They’re playing on computers. They are playing in other places. Arguing that Apple is somehow a monopoly, is doing some disservice to them. I think once you define the market and say that they’re not a monopoly in the context of Epic, everything else goes out the window.

Look, there are lots of things that came up during that trial, because I listened to it every day on YouTube. I was fascinated by it. There were some very unattractive facts that were brought forward for Apple’s purposes, not necessarily in relation to Epic, but about how they keep a walled garden and what they’re trying to do. All of that. I wouldn’t sit here to defend Apple in that regard. I would just say in the context of the Epic case, I think it’s a very tall hill to climb to win that case. I also think it’s very hard, even in a more broadly to claim that the App Store unto itself is monopolistic in so far as it’s very hard to say that Walmart is a monopoly.

If you have your own store, what you sell in it, you typically don’t have to open up your store to others. It’s a very unusual thing to ask for. I’ve always been surprised in a way by the resistance from, I understand why developers would like-

More money.

Lower fees, no question. But this isn’t a false inducement case. There are cases a company, a store might say, please make a product for us and we will give you a certain percentage of the sale, or we’ll take a certain percentage of the sale. They bring you in at 5% and then 12 months later, they jack the price on you, right? That would be a problem because you built a product for a specific thing and then they’ve changed the terms on you. In fact, at Apple, the terms have actually only gotten better, right? First of all, they’ve either been in 30% or in some cases they’ve since come down. It’s not like everybody who was developing for Apple didn’t know what the arrangement is. People forget that every developer is developing for Apple.

It’s a little bit if you were an auto maker and an auto supply maker, you said that we’re looking for steering wheels for this car and you will make the steering wheel for this car. And then the auto supply maker decides to make a steering wheel for this car and then decides they don’t like the deal.

Okay. It is a little different than that.

That’s kind of what’s happened here. I’m not so sure.

Because you’re talking about the way to get to people using phones, that’s become the internet in the large part.

That is actually to me the most interesting piece of this. At some point you can just make a public policy argument, which is a case that the government would have to bring, I think not an individual company. The government could bring. It really is a public policy issue, which is to say, at some point, do you decide that it’s somehow bad for the economy, for a company to be of a certain size and scale? I’ll give you a great, by the way example of this. After the Baby Bells, after the bells are broken up, this is in the, I believe the late 70s, early 80s, there was a fascinating case, where there were third party companies that may telephones, the physical telephones and they weren’t allowed to connect into the Baby Bells networks. It was called, it was an interchange business. Because Baby Bells said, you have to use our physical phones on the network.

And a lot of those third party companies sued and they lost individually, but then the government brought a case and they won. And so I think that that’s to me the larger piece of it. Again, there is a public policy question, and I don’t know the answer, but I also don’t know if you broke it up. I’m not sure what the solution would be, because I do think that the reason why you buy an iPhone, the reason I buy an iPhone is because I like it the way it is. I do actually. I don’t think I’d be happy if it was the wild west, otherwise I’d buy an Android.

That definitely has something to do with it. It’s also, they get you locked in on the ecosystem. If you started using an iPhone before Androids were good, you’re stuck there. Now, you’re going to break all your group messages if you go Android and it’ll appear as a snot green bubble.

I also think by the way, what people don’t appreciate is, what do you think the implication would be if they won? Let’s say there was now multiple App Stores in the iPhone. What happens? It just means that the hardware will get more expensive.

Okay. That’s a good point.

It’ll get passed on to you. That’s why I think there’s some interesting dynamics that are often not thought about thoroughly in the public policy.

Do you think could raise the iPhone price and still sell the same amount? It’s pretty high right now. Could they go to $1,500 or does that make switching become more appealing to people, given that Android’s really improved? There’s got to be a ceiling.

I’ve always thought there’d be a ceiling for them. This goes back to meme stocks a little bit. The world is a little bit divorced from what you might think is completely realistic.

Totally.

Look, maybe for the highest end phone, I think there will come up on a top I would imagine, but I also think they could probably manage to create cheaper phones, but more middle tier phones and build the premium effectively into that.

Also the whole reason why they’re so adamant about this stuff, is because they realize people are going to hang onto their phones for longer. It used to be an upgrade every year, every other year. Now you can hold onto your phone for four or five years. They need that App Store revenue in order to be able to justify their $2 trillion valuation.

Right. By the way, you could also decide from a public policy perspective that it doesn’t matter that Apple has a $2 trillion valuation. That shouldn’t be part of the calculus. The question is if there was a lower price, where would the value go? That’s the other question, by the way, I think, which is to say, would that value really gets spread out? Would it just go to those other companies? Is that a better answer anyway? I don’t know the answer.

We’ve talked a little bit about Apple’s 30% App Store tax. Do you think Apple should be able to prohibit app developers from telling people they can go pay for services for less money on the web?

Now you’ve got me in a very tough one, because I’m a total free speech believer and you know I think people should be able to say whatever they want. But I also recognize that the business model comes undone effectively if everything goes off pieced, if you will. I don’t know. I don’t know.

There are five Big Tech bills in Congress. One of them explicitly prohibits companies from preventing app developers from telling their users they can get the services cheaper elsewhere, What do you make of that?

I think they will do something. I just don’t know how far it’ll go and how big of an impact it will have. Do you remember, and I got to go back and look, the result, there was a case against American Express because they had terms of service for merchants that were not allowed to say, you couldn’t offer a better price. If you accepted American Express, you could not offer a better price to MasterCard users or Visa users. And you can not advertise that extensively. The idea was there was a higher transaction fee with American Express. I believe and I got to go back and look at this, American Express, I thought originally lost the case and then maybe won afterwards on appeal. Unless my memory is not capturing that right. I have the computer in front of me. So maybe we’ll look while we’re talking. It’s fascinating.

We have cases against Facebook and Google from the FTC and DOJ, and then investigations going on with Apple and Amazon and those two regulatory agencies. What’s your gut? Do you think that these companies are going to be broken up? 

Well, I think it’ll be company by company. Look, I think it’d be very hard for Amazon, for example. I think some of the things that we’ve read over the years around what’s happened with some of the third party merchants and building product effectively to compete with them and using some of that data. I think there’s going to be rules, regulation, and enforcement around that that’s going to make that thing very difficult. [Do] I think that Amazon unto itself is going to get broken up? I’d be very hard pressed to see that really happen.

It’s tough to do also.

Very tough to do. [Do] I think Facebook will ultimately get broken up? No, I don’t. And part of that is because the other element of this, and this is the thing that I do believe, even though I know we think there’s no competition. if I had said Alex to you, if I had just looked at you and said, TikTok, three years ago, you would have looked at your watch. Right?

It’s true.

That’s what would have happened. And so if you go look at the top 20 largest companies in America, 30 years ago, and you look at the top 20 large companies in America today, they’re pretty much all different. They really are. And then of course, the question is 30 years from now, will they be again? And that is the fundamental question, but I am a believer in innovation. I am.

I think we all know that AMC and GameStop will be the top two companies in the economy.

Given how much money is going to be thrown at them. Tesla is going to be number three, is that what you’re saying?

Depending on if Elon is in jail or not.

Ooh, wow. The gloves just came off at the end of the podcast.

That’s right.

Do you really think he’s going to jail?

No, probably not, but you never know with that guy, he’s unpredictable.

I’m one of those believers and, I can’t claim to have made up this phrase, it might have been Jason Calacanis or someone, who said, betting against Elon is like betting against humanity. I kind of believe that. I don’t agree with everything that Elon does at all. And I think he’s done lots of things that I’ve just frankly disagreed with. I think I marvel, I do marvel at what he’s been able to do.

I give him credit, especially the stuff he’s done with Tesla and SpaceX. I’ve been fascinated with this whole space race that’s going on between him and Bezos. I think the fact that both of them are in it is going to make it even more exciting, because you never bet against a billionaire’s ego. They’re going to put everything they have into one upping the other.

But is all of their wealth going to be taxed, such that they won’t be able to do this?

What do you think is going to happen?

I don’t know if we’re going to get to a wealth tax, but I do think that there is a real question about coming up with a fair tax system. That’s the one thing that I’ve cared about for a very long time. I think it’s very important in a democracy that people feel that the system is fair. I think taxes are actually part of that democracy, and the fact that it isn’t fair, the fact that everybody knows it isn’t fair and that it’s been this unfair, I think unless it does get fixed in self, not just for the sense of fairness. So there’s the fairness issue and then there’s just the practical, we need revenue issue. But it does seem that when you look at, in this ProPublica piece, really I think demonstrated it. Some of the wealthiest people in the world have really managed to effectively never pay taxes.

Totally.

And look, some of that’s because they’re giving it away and it’s a charitable contribution. And I appreciate that, but it also means effectively that everybody else, including us effectively subsidizing their philanthropy, right? They get to choose where they’re giving their money. You don’t. By the way, I think that actually oddly enough goes against people’s fundamental sense of fairness. I think that there has to be at some point, look, I’m a believer in increasing the step up basis at the end of life, I think a lifetime of not paying taxes is enough. Even if you lose the family farm, not a popular thing to say I know, but I think you have to pay it. I would deal with, I think some people Larry Ellison who live off of effectively interest, basically they take out loans against their stock and so that they never have to pay.

That was wild.

I think there should probably be a limit on the amount of interest deduction you can actually take. And I very unpopularly would probably tax great philanthropy, meaning most philanthropists, including Warren Buffet or Bill Gates effectively are transferring shares, typically founder shares into either their foundations or to their charity, which means that those shares, which have created enormous value and wealth, if you will, will never be taxed, ever, when they’re sold by the charity. And so my view is maybe the first $5 million you give away on an annual basis should be tax free. But after that there probably should be some rate. Maybe there’s a special philanthropy rate even, maybe that’s closer to the current capital gains rate, especially if capital gains goes to income tax. That’s a little bit of how I’m thinking about it.

I like that, because essentially, if you’re not taxing that money, it’s going to philanthropy. What the government is saying is, we think you billionaires are going to do a better job at providing services than we are.

I would also say, look, we can have lots of debates about Bill Gates, but what Bill Gates did even during Covid actually to me proved that you actually occasionally might want a billionaire out there working on some of these projects.

I agree.

They effectively, now, uniquely though, they’re almost like nation states because they’re competing with the government, but in a way that competition was probably helpful.

I think that Gates’s work on the vaccines in particular helped push everybody forward and I’m glad to be vaccinated. I’ll say that much. But it does strike me as unfair — talking about that ProPublica story — that all these billionaires are paying less tax than Big Technology, just seems crazy. I’m struggling to make it. There should be some more fairness on that front.

After this podcast you won’t be struggling to make it, I know that. You going to be on your like, on your series C, series D.

I can’t take any investment. I think taking investment in a new media company is absurd most of the time.

You’re just bootstrapping yourself. I like it.

Bootstrapped and ad supported…

You’re creating more value for you when you go public through a SPAC.

That’s right. We’ll have to give Chamath a call after this. 

Alex is the founder of Big Technology, an independent publication that covers the inner workings of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. His email newsletter goes out to thousands of Silicon Valley decision-makers each week. 

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