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How can fake reviews hurt your brand?

According to a Pew Research Center report, 82% of Americans say they read online reviews at least some of the time. While BrightLocal reports this number to be higher with 91% of people regularly or occasionally reading online reviews and 84% trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Reviews help them to form opinions quickly as studies have shown that 68% of them form an opinion after reading only 1 to 6 online reviews. Needless to say, online reviews are important to the success of your business and in encouraging or discouraging customers from purchasing your product or service. In the era where everything can be faked, e-commerce sites such as Amazon, eBay and may others are plagued with fake reviews that are causing customers to become more skeptical. The Washington Post revealed in an investigative piece than in some categories, the percentage of questionable reviews can go up to 67%! As consumers are waking up to the reality of the internet that they use on
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Overview of my latest trip to Japan: Changing the world with JCI!

“The JCI Academy is the best JCI experience that you will ever have” is a statement that I frequently heard from past national presidents. “It will probably be in the top experiences of your life.” And indeed, it was, without a doubt, as memorable as they described it. I could not have thought that one can create as many memories, learn as many lessons or make as many friends in the span of 10 days. Last month, I had the pleasure of attending the 2017 JCI Academy in Kumamoto, Japan. The JCI Academy is an annual event that is hosted in a different Japanese city every year where upcoming JCI national presidents and leaders are invited to an empowerment academy to prepare them to be future leaders. This year, we were celebrating the 30th edition of the academy, three decades of evolution and experience had culminated in a wonderful experience for everyone involved. Under the slogan “Who Changes The World? It’s Us!”, JCI Japan had prepared an intensive program with JCI Past Presiden

SIX STEPS to plan a vacation or travel trip yourself online

With over 100 flights in the past two years, I have become a master of planning my own trips and booking them online. Many people would opt to pay a travel agent to plan all their trips and vacations, but there are several reasons why it might be better to plan and book them themselves. Most big agencies won't customize the trips for you especially when they have group offers, and this for me is the number one reason why I plan everything myself. I customize everything to my liking in the interest of not wasting time on things that I have no interest in seeing or doing. Additionally, I like to book the flights that best suit my time and the hotels that fit my budget and my preferred locations within a city without the added fees and commission of the agent. Another reason is that it gets you more involved; you would learn about the destination that you are going to beforehand so you know what to expect. You can read reviews and avoid tourist traps that agents usually get commi

Overview of my last trip to Istanbul: Regional Social Impact

It has been a while since I last blogged on this platform and I do miss blogging about what's going on in my life. Truth be told, for the last couple of years, I have been extremely busy, not only when it comes to my professional career as a communications consultant, but also working on social impact issues with several local and international organizations such as Junior Chamber International (JCI) which is a 101-year-old UN-partner organization that aims to make positive impact through youth empowerment as well as the World Economic Forum's Global Shapers program which empowers successful individuals in 436 different hubs to positively impact their communities. Hopefully I will be writing more about these organizations in the future. In this post, I am going to be talking about the two activities that I took part of this month in Istanbul, Turkey. Istanbul is one of my favorite cities. Having been traveled to dozens of cities in the last couple of years, Istanbul has my

Introduction to Social Media Strategy

JCI Beirut hosted me on Wednesday March 2, 2016 to conduct a hands-on training about Social Media Strategy at Berytech Beirut Digital District. In this workshop, where more than 50 people from different backgrounds (students, fresh graduates and professionals) attended, I explained how to create a social media strategy for business. The points discussed included examples of brands that do not have a proper strategy, defining social media goals, the sales cycle, asset mapping, defining the audience and creating personas, choosing channels, voice & tone, posting frequency & time, crisis management, and understanding Facebook's algorithm. The session was followed by a Q&A session. I was really overwhelmed by the positive feedback from the attendees after the session especially that several ha said that they learned so many new things that they have not learned when they took expensive workshops or companies. It had been almost two years since I had given a public so

Social Media Case Studies From The Middle East: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

I was invited to speak at the 4th Arabian Social Media Forum in Kuwait last week. I spoke about some case studies that reflected the state of social media in the Middle East. In my presentation, I discussed successful campaigns from Lebanon, UAE, KSA, Jordan and Egypt. I have also included examples of bad conduct from brands and celebrities on social media, in addition to examples of really bad (ugly) examples of social media customer service from Lebanon and Kuwait. Some key takeaways from the presentation: A simple campaign can go viral for a long time if implemented properly. (# MyDubai ) Negative content spreads much faster than positive content. Campaigns that use negative content in a smart way can take advantage of this with a smaller advertising budget. (Ugliest Couch campaign) You must know and study your demographic before you launch an online campaign. (Samsung Levant's Secret Valentine) With a small budget, small businesses can hugely increase their sales wh

Brands Got You Fooled

This was the first post we came across by Malik's Lebanon . It's a cute idea, but we're a bit worried that One Directioners (is that the official name of the fandom?) might take it seriously and possibly murder Malik's workers when they find out it's a joke.  Abril foul indeed, good one NGNO !  XXL Energy released an original new flavor inspired by Lebanon. haha Oh Beirut+ TV , how we wish all of what you said was true! Watch the episode here.   Selfie sticks gone too far spotted on Mashable . Update: Apparently this is not a joke? We weep for the future of our planet. A very apparent fake product release was announced by Barry M , the Nip Dip would hypothetically allow you to apply glitter to your nipples.Not sure how we feel about this one... We love it when law enforcement agencies have a sense of humor, good one GMP Radcliffe   One of our favorites (if not absolute favorite) was obviou