5 Cameras That Will Help You Make 2017 Memorable

 

2016 was a fabulous year for Indian travellers. They moved out of their comfort zones, chased real experiences and embraced the unknown. And now as we welcome 2017, it’s time to set new expectations, achieve new goals and visit new places. So here are 5 cool cameras that will definitely turn moments into memories.

1. Hover Camera
If 2017 is the year when you intend to take the plunge (literally), then go for this! Cliff jumping isn’t for the faint-hearted, so if you muster up the courage, then here’s the gizmo that will make you remember the moment forever. Play it on loop, all year round. It’s the perfect piece of tech that’s easy to use, pack and unveil – all in all, the best and most reasonable flying camera in town.

2. DJI Phantom 4 
Turning 30 and don’t know how to celebrate? Easy peasy. The DJI Phantom 4 is the perfect gift for you or your beloved. The good news is that it captures amazing 4K footage with a respectable battery life; the bad news is the price. Then again, it’s the big 30, make it count!

3. Photo Jojo Lenses
Have you been going through the looking-down syndrome? Photo Jojo lenses will help you master the art of optical perfection in 2017.You can strap this wonder piece to almost all smartphones and get clicking in minutes. It has a wide variety of lenses to choose from – wide, macro, fisheye, super fisheye, telephoto and a polarizer, phone-photography made easy.

camera

4. Samsung Galaxy S7
D-SLRs are not your cup of tea? Smartphones come to your rescue. This one specifically helps the photographer in you. It not only takes beautiful pictures in the day but also takes care of the low light memories, because life is not lived only during the day.

5. Polaroid Instax 70
For all the selfie crazies who were struggling to ace it with the Polaroid, the latest model is what you’ve been searching for. The lens comes with a small mirror adjacent to it, so you can work that selfie right! Another add-on is the automatic exposure control so you don’t end up looking like vampires, some of the other features that are worth mentioning are the self-timer, tripod socket and hi-key mode.

camera

 

5 Easy Tips to Take Care of Your Skin After Playing Holi

 

Holi – the festival of colours is here! The time when you put all rules on hold and let the child within loose, playing with colours, dancing on paan banaras wala, and simply soaking up the sun as you gorge on gujias and gulp down the thandai. As you get ready to have all the fun, make sure that your skin is well protected, so that you do not suffer from any after effects like skin allergies or irritation after the game is over.

Traditionally, the festival was all about natural colours made from flowers and herbs. But these days there are many varieties of cheap and synthetic colours available in the market made from chemicals, and artificial dyes. They could also contain heavy metals, acids, mica, glass powder and dangerous alkalis. These chemicals can cause serious harm to the skin. It is a great idea to play with natural colours and herbs like tesu or genda flowers, rose petals, haldi and sandalwood that are actually good for your skin.

If you are going out and not sure about the colours others will use, make sure make sure that you oil your entire body with coconut oil. You can also use Olive oil or Vitamin E oil if you prefer. While oiling, make sure you do not forget places like behind the ear, between finger tips and near the finger nails where paint is bound to collect. You can oil your hair with mustard oil and tie it in a plait or pony. If you’ve been wanting to experiment with nail colour, here’s your chance to go wild. Paint your nails with the darkest shade possible to avoid the Holi colour from seeping inside the nail bed.

After you have had all the fun with colours and can hardly recognize yourself in the mirror, it is now time to get back to your normal self. If you are wondering how you will ever get rid of all those stubborn colours, worry not. Here are few tips to cleanse your skin and get back that glow safely.

1. Stand in running water for 5-10 minutes after playing Holi, and ensure that you do not scrub or scratch aggressively.

shower

2. Apply liquid soap gently on the body. Still struggling? You can try home remedies thereafter, such as applying a mix of lemon juice, curd and sandalwood. You can also apply a mix of turmeric and white flour, and wash off after 15-20 minutes with milk. The trick with white flour works wonders for the face.

3. Be extra careful while removing the Holi colours from your face. It is ideal to use olive oil to remove the colour. Dab some, leave it on for a few minutes and then wash off.

olive oil

4. A concoction of fresh lemon juice, curd and a pinch of sandalwood powder is great to remove those stubborn traces of colour from your body and get back the glow.

5. However, if there are still some traces of colour, then remember to give it a couple of days to fade away naturally rather than scrubbing away aggressively and harming your skin in the process. It is advisable not to use body scrubs, exfoliators or bath salts for at least 48 hours after playing Holi, and try not to go out in the sun for too long.

Here’s wishing you all a happy, safe, and colourful Holi!

 

These 5 Life Skills Are Tied to Health Benefits

 

There’s a good reason for older adults to be conscientious and optimistic, a new study from England suggests.

Researchers found that men and women ages 52 and older who had higher scores on measures of five “life skills” — conscientiousness, control, determination (i.e., persistence), emotional stability and optimism — experience a broad range of health benefits and positive outcomes later in life, compared with older adults who had lower scores. This finding held true even after the researchers took into account people’s socioeconomic background, education and cognitive abilities.

These “life skills” include personal characteristics and capabilities thought to increase a person’s chance of success and well-being in life, according to the study, which was published online today (April 10) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. [9 DIY Ways to Improve Your Mental Health]

The findings suggest that these attributes are relevant to many aspects of life, from economic prosperity and social relationships to health and biology, even at older ages, said the study’s lead author Andrew Steptoe, a professor of psychology and epidemiology at University College London.

Previous research has found that these five life skills are important to success in early life in areas such as educational achievement and work performance, but scientists didn’t know much about the roles these personality attributes may play in people’s health at older ages, Steptoe told Live Science.

In the study, the researchers evaluated data collected from about 8,100 people who were participating in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), a long-term study of middle-age and older adults living in England that began in 2002. The average age of the participants at the study’s start was 67.

In 2010, the ELSA participants were given a questionnaire to evaluate the five life skills measured in this new study. For example, this questionnaire asked the participants to self-rate how determined they felt over the past month on a scale ranging from “not at all” to “very much.”

To gauge optimism, the participants were asked to rate how much they felt that “life is full of opportunities.” And to evaluate the participants’ sense of control over their lives, the researchers asked the participants to rate how much they felt in control over what happens to them at home. A personality test developed for people in middle age and older was used to assess conscientiousness and emotional stability.

In addition to measuring these five life skills, the researchers collected information from the participants in order to evaluate their physical and psychological health, economic resources, cognitive capacity and social well-being.

The findings showed that the participants who scored generally higher on the measures of these five skills also had better outcomes in various aspects of their health, Steptoe said. [Extending Life: 7 Ways to Live Past 100]

For example, only 3 percent of older adults who rated high in four or five of the life skills had symptoms of depression, compared with about 23 percent of those who had low life-skill scores (not scoring high on any life skills). Moreover, about 37 percent of older adults with low life-skill scores rated their health as fair or poor, compared with 6 percent of older adults with four or five life skills.

Higher scores on measures of life skills was also linked with more economic success, fewer chronic diseases, a faster walking speed and a lower prevalence of obesity, compared with older adults with low scores. Older adults with more life skills were also less lonely, had more close relationships and did more volunteer work, according to the findings.

The researchers aren’t sure why having more life skills later in life appears to be linked with such a wide variety of health and social benefits.

One possible explanation is that “these skills help people to negotiate the challenges of life more effectively,” Steptoe told Live Science. For example, developing these attributes can help people take advantage of opportunities and stick to goals despite facing obstacles, he suggested.

Older adults with more life skills may be less likely to become discouraged when things go wrong, and they might persist with the belief that things will eventually improve, Steptoe speculated.

The findings also revealed that no single skill was more important than any other; rather, it was the accumulation of all five attributes that influenced people’s health and well-being later in life. [9 Healthy Habits You Can Do in 1 Minute (Or Less)]

This finding suggests that each life skill taps into a different aspect of a person’s makeup and that the combination of all five skills is especially powerful, Steptoe said.

Although all five attributes involved in the study have a genetic component, a person who didn’t inherit a tendency to be persistent or optimistic can still develop these characteristics, Steptoe noted. He said that people can learn or work on these skills, or change their attitudes toward them, in specific situations, such as increasing a person’s sense of control while at work.

“Developing life skills in early adulthood and middle age may put people in a good position when they move into older ages,” Steptoe said.

 

5 Famous Varieties of Ramen You Must Try in Japan

5 Famous Varieties of Ramen You Must Try in Japan

The unrelenting rain pelted down onto the streets below. But a look outside my hotel window, the view boasting of cherry blossoms and Mt.Fuji, reminded me of why I needed to get moving and get out of the room. I was in Tokyo, one of the world’s greatest food cities, housing numerous Michelin starred restaurants. However, that wet, cold day, my destination was no fancy restaurant. In fact, it was a ramen shop in the backlanes of Shinkuju, Tokyo’s business district, infamous for waiting lines snaking around the block and famous for what could arguably be the best ramen in town. But let me start at the beginning.

Having grown up in India, the term ramen usually brings to mind a large bowl with a delicious clear broth, with noodles, meat and tons of vegetables. In a broad sense, that could describe ramen. However, when you look closely, like there are numerous versions of dosas in South India or of parathas in Punjab, there are many types of ramen. Here is a quick guide for you to know your way around the ramen world.

ramen restaurent

A typical Ramen joint in Japan

History of Ramen

Ramen is most associated with Japan but it is said that Japanese soldiers brought the dish back to Japan from China at the end of World War II. It was here that they made it their own and now it is a staple dinner in any street of Japan. Typically, people go for a drink after work where they will only munch on a yakitori stick or two. And when they are ravenous, head down to a ramen joint and devour a bowlful.

Types of Ramen

1. Shoyu (Soy sauce)

The broth in this one is clear and slightly brown, lightly flavoured with soy sauce. Typically, the broth is made with chicken but may also contain pork or other meats. Curly noodles are usually used in Shoyu Ramen. If the menu doesn’t specify what type of ramen it is, there is a good chance it is a Shoyu Ramen as this is the most common type. It is also fairly popular in India and this is the one you will find in restaurants like Fatty Bao. Go Go Ramen in Chennai, the only Ramen Bar in India does their own take on this.

soy ramen

2. Shio (Salt)

The soup in Shio Ramen is flavoured only with salt and thus is characteristically clear and yellowish in colour. As in the case with Shoyu Ramen, it is typically made with chicken but may also use other meats depending on the region. It also contains a lot of seaweed.

salt ramen

3. Tsukemen

This is the type of ramen that I set out to eat that rainy day in Tokyo, perhaps (and unfortunately) the most under-represented ramen across the world. The broth is thick and brown, unlike any other ramen. And the most fun part? The noodles come separately, so you have to ‘dip’ them with chopsticks in the broth and then slurp up. The thick soba noodles are served cold and the broth warm, allowing you to dip the noodles without making them mushy. If you ever get your hands on a bowl, trust me you will never forget this one.

ramen

4. Miso (Soybean paste)

You may be familiar with the taste of miso soup, which is often an accompaniment with tempura or other Japanese dishes. This ramen is flavoured with the same soybean paste called miso and is thick and brown in consistency. The flavour is complex, and not as clean as Shoyu or Shio, but it is heartier and perfect for cold winters. Having originated in Hokkaido, it is now popular across Japan and the world for its nutty sweet flavour. In India, you can get your Miso Ramen fix at Fuji in Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai.

miso

5. Tonkotsu (Pork bone)

As the name suggests, this ramen soup is made of pork bones which are cooked down to a point where they dissolve into a creamy, white broth. It looks almost milky and takes upto 20 hours to cook. Surprisingly, the best one in India can be found in Rajasthan, in a Japanese chef-run restaurant in Neemrana located within Hotel Hirohama. The spicy version comes highly recommended.

pork ramen

So, there you have it. Order with confidence at a Japanese restaurant now, whether you’re going fine dining or as the Japanese do it, to a hole-in-the-wall ramen shop (where you have to order on a ticket machine and wait in line to eat on the bar-like table). As for me? I had my ramen fix in Tokyo last week and can vouch that there are few dishes that comfort the soul like a good bowl of ramen does.

 

5 Herbal Remedies for Depression: Know What Could Help

5 Herbal Remedies for Depression: Know What Could Help

We are not oblivious to the fact how depression is fast becoming a common lifestyle problem with many of us suffering from symptoms like anxiety, stress and insomnia. These may seem like mere day to day problems, but they can turn into a matter of concern in the long run. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. More than 300 million people are living with depression with an increase of more than 18 percent between 2005 and 2015. The depression rate in India in 2016-17 was 36 percent. The fear of stigma and lack of support for people with mental disorders have known to be the biggest reasons for not being able to get the right treatment. There may not be a sure shot cure for depression, but there is a possibility to slow it down and calm your perturbed self.

Ayurvedic herbs can help in healing your body in more ways than one. According to Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, Clinical Operations and Coordination Manager, Baidyanath, “During depression, your feel good hormones are not competent anymore to handle many situations, hence, putting you in different moods. Some ayurvedic herbs and spices have proved to help reduce the symptoms of depression.”
He suggests the following herbal remedies for depression.
1. Ashwangandha

Ashwangnadha is believed to relieve stress and anxiety due to the presence of active compounds like steroidal lactones, saponins, alkaloids and withanolides that provide antidepressant, anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties. These properties help in reducing stress caused by emotional and physical fatigue. It also balances out the constant mood swings and increases mental alertness, focus and concentration. It helps restore the normal physiological functioning. Ashwangandha can be consumed in its powdered form or as a liquid extract.

ashwagandha 625

Ashwangandha helps restore normal physiological functioning

2. Brahmi

Brahmi is a small perennial creeping herb that has an age old reputation of curing stress. Brahmi acts as an adaptogen, which simply means that it helps the body adapt to new or stressful situations. When consumed, it is believed to increase the serotonin levels in the brain that help the mind keep calm and give relief from anxiety and nervousness.

brahmi

Brahmi helps in adapting new or stress situations

3. Jatamansi (Spikenard)

Jatamansi is a perennial herb that helps curing insomnia and other sleeping disorders. It is also known for its anti-depressant, anti-stress and anti-fatigue properties. The roots of jatamansi are used for the medicinal purposes in Ayurveda which are known to give a therapeutic effect to mood swings and stress disorders. Jatamansi can erase negative thoughts by channelizing the energies of the mind in the right direction.
4. Pudina (Peppermint)

Pudina or peppermint has been used for centuries to cure nervous system disorders due to the presence of menthol as it helps calm the frazzled nerves and has a cooling effect. It is loaded with vitamin A and C, minerals including magnesium, manganese, calcium, iron, folate, copper and potassium. Menthol helps cure insomnia by keeping your mind calm and lets you sleep in peace.

peppermint oil

Pudina has menthol that keeps your mind calm

5. Maca (Peruvian Ginseng)

Maca also known as Peruvian ginseng is a herb that is power packed with nutrients. It is a rich source of vitamins, amino acids, various minerals and phytonutrients that increase stamina and decrease excessive anxiety. A Peruvian plant that belongs to the radish family, maca has proved to be a natural healer that helps with hormone and neurotransmitter production due to the presence of adaptogen. Additionally, maca is a natural energizer and helps people overcome lethargy.

maca

Maca is a natural energizer and helps overcome lethargy

It is imperative to refer to a doctor before you switch to herbal remedies as the result majorly depends on the dosage and the form in which they are consumed.

 

The 5 rules of success for highly effective lifestyle gurus

 

How exactly did Amanda Chantal Bacon snag her piece of the $3.72 trillion wellness industry? She followed the well-worn formula of the wellness guru.
Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Girlboss, Inc.

Los Angeles–based wellness guru Amanda Chantal Bacon has made a fortune selling … herbal dust.

That’s the big takeaway from a masterful New York Times magazine profile of Bacon, the newest darling of the health and wellness industry.

The story, by Molly Young, details Bacon’s rise to fame — opening LA health food stores, being featured in Vogue, getting the Gwyneth Paltrow seal of approval, publishing a cookbook — and her adherence to an exorbitantly expensive raw food diet.

Bacon’s breakthrough product is her “Moon Dust” line of ayurvedic and Chinese medicine powders. Sold under names like Spirit Dust, Brain Dust, and Sex Dust, the gimmicky $30 powders promise to lift your spirit, enhance your cognitive abilities, and boost your sexual prowess. (They are not FDA-approved, and have not been proven to work. Bacon says she worked with herbalists, kinesiologists, and ayurvedic doctors to create them.)

One of Bacon’s products, Brain Dust, is sold as “an enlightening edible formula alchemized to align you with the mighty cosmic flow needed for great achievement.”
Moon Juice

These products are now sold on Paltrow’s popular lifestyle site Goop, at Urban Outfitters, in the super-trendy Ace Hotel, and on Net-a-Porter. Bacon lives in a gorgeous, 4,000-square-foot LA home, she’s opened a third Moon Juice shop in LA, and she ships her products to customers across the country. Her acolytes include Jennifer Aniston, Shailene Woodley, and Alicia Keys.

So, you might wonder, how exactly did Bacon manage to snag her piece of the $3.72 trillion wellness industry? How did she build an empire on dust?

She simply followed the well-worn formula of the wellness guru. Here are the five easy steps.

1) Have a compelling origin story

Wellness gurus, like superheroes, need amazing origin stories. The tale must involve overcoming a struggle that leads you to a eureka moment and sets you on your path to helping others become healthier, more vibrant beings.

According to the Times, Bacon’s origin story involved a fortuitous meeting at the tender age of 7. While growing up in New York, she was “a sickly child” with an undefined bronchial problems who was “pumped through the Western-medicine chain.”

Of course, the mainstream medicine didn’t help — but an alternative medicine man her family stumbled upon in a health food shop did. The ayurvedic doctor heard Bacon coughing, and what happened in that store changed her life:

The doctor came over and posed some questions (Very typical Ayurvedic ones, like “How often do you poop?”) and took the child’s pulse. After examining Bacon’s tongue, the man provided her mother with a list of forbidden foods: cow’s milk, wheat and white sugar, among others. Bacon stopped eating gluten at age 4 and became a vegetarian at around 7.

She’s described this encounter as “a divine intervention.”

2) Know your moment of truth

Next comes the moment of truth: Your origin story needs to lead to the eye-opening revelation you’re going to share with others.

For Bacon, it came during a stay in Italy. After partying hard as a teenager in New York and trying “every drug multiple times” — cocaine, acid — she packed up and moved to Florence alone at age 18 to “detox,” 11 years after that health food store encounter. While there, she realized food was her true passion. She told the Times, “If I thought about all the times I felt connected or alive, it was around the rituals of people gathering and eating and sharing food and slowing down.”

After moving back to the US, and a stint at a Vermont culinary school, Bacon began working under the celebrity chef Suzanne Goin. According to a Vanity Fair profile, it was then that she truly began to understand “the power of raw and medicinal foods”:

She wanted to heal the hypothyroid condition she’d had since her teens, in addition to severe allergies to wheat, sugar, and cow dairy. “At this juncture, my whole diet changed. I ate primarily vegetables and legumes from the farmers’ market, and foods that would serve as hormonal adaptogens. Within a few months, I noticed a radical shift. These live, medicinal foods had changed me from the inside out.”

So Bacon’s health problems, and the love of food she learned in Italy, led her to want to “bridge the gap between the healing world and the foodie world,” Vanity Fair reported. She views her company, Moon Juice, “as not a business but a mission to educate consumers about herbs that have changed her life.”

3) Offer a quick fix for contemporary health woes — and remind your clientele that everything they know is wrong

Now you have to put that origin story and eureka moment to work — and use the transformative experiences to sell something. The underlying subtext of the wellness guru narrative is always that the world is toxic and everything you’ve been told about eating and health is wrong. Instead, the guru has the answer.

Bacon does this masterfully. Here she is in Vanity Fair again: “My own transformative experience, backed up by extensive blood tests, and under the scrutiny of several physicians, found me with renewed vitality. This shift in my personality, my immune system, appearance, and thought inspired me to create Moon Juice.”

Moon Juice is the name of Bacon’s California shops, where she sells the superfoods, juices, and supplements that she claims have healed her and a multitude of customers. For $30 a jar, you can select from the Moon Dust Collection of organic herb products to sprinkle on your coffee or tea and improve your skin, sex life, or spirit, or even boost your brain. Like many wellness gurus, she claims her potions and powders draw on the mystical secrets of healing ancient Chinese and ayurvedic medicine.

4) Arm yourself with anecdotes to “prove” your potions work

To really own wellness gurudom, you need to have anecdotes that back up your work — stories of people whose lives have been transformed by your products or methods.

In the Times profile, Bacon talked about turning around the sex drive of a woman who had been treated for cancer:

“People really report back: Wow, my skin changed,’ ” she said, turbocharging into evangelical mode. “I hear incredible stories from people. There was a young, beautiful woman who approached me at an event. She said, ‘I’ve been coming into Moon Juice, I had breast cancer,’ and she went through all that hormonal treatment, and by going through it, she no longer had a sex drive. She’s beautiful! She’s our age. She has a boyfriend … and she said that the Sex Dust” — along with pomegranate seed lube — “got them to be able to enjoy sex despite the fact that her body wasn’t producing any of the hormones enabling her to do so. So the herbs, they work. They all work.”

To be clear, in evidence-based medicine, anecdotes are considered the lowest form of evidence, since they may be cherry-picked or otherwise unrepresentative of a broader experience.

But in the world of wellness, they are often presented as definitive proof.

5) Be gorgeous

Any profile of a wellness guru is not complete without a lengthy description of the ethereal beauty of the guru. That’s because being the change you promise to deliver is a key part of the formula.

You need to pluck, scrub, bleach, tuck, tone, and whiten your teeth. You need to look sun-kissed. You need to wear light and wispy clothes that convey the health and healing you’re packaging in your products. You need an absurdly complicated, difficult-to-manage diet that involves lots of seeds, nuts, and supplements no one’s ever heard of. It doesn’t hurt if you can attract a couple of celebrity endorsements for said diet.

As Young writes in the Times, “By the time I left Bacon’s house, I wanted to scrub off my makeup and swaddle myself in white cottons and let my hair tumble down my back in sun-lightened coils like hers.”

That’s the change you want to inspire that’ll sell your products. And you can get there in these five easy steps.

The time is ripe. There’s been an erosion of trust in medicine and science, and a rise in the number of people seeking out alternative medicine and celebrity health advice. The genius of Bacon is that she’s tapped into that desire, with her memorable potions and powders that promise quick fixes for problems that vex people.

But Bacon and the lifestyle gurus that have come before her also confuse the public on health. They obscure the few truths we know actually lead to lasting wellness — getting exercise, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, avoiding smoking, drinking, and eating too much — with overpriced and unproven products. That’s the cost of gurudom.

 

5 Creative Ways to Evaluate Social Media for Offline Businesses

 

Social Media has become a worldwide phenomenon. The growth in usage statistics is staggering across the numerous platforms that make up this online world. In 2016 alone the number of social media users rose by 176 million bringing the total number of active social media users to 2.3 billion.

Social Media for Offline Businesses

Despite these astonishing statistics, the big question still remains…

Does Social Media Belong in Your Business Plan?

The starting point for answering the question “Does social media belong in your business plan?” is the understanding that a business plan is a living, breathing, ever-changing document. It is no secret that too many business owners of small to medium size businesses either don’t develop a business plan at all or if they do, they don’t revisit it periodically to keep it fresh and relevant.

While social media has existed for some time now, its use for business is a rather recent development. This has come about as a result of its increasing acceptance by the population in general, businesses finding ways to capitalize on it, larger businesses dedicating resources to it and the social media platforms offering more business-oriented capabilities.Social Media for Offline Businesses

Those business owners that are keeping their plans current are likely to already have included it as a consideration. For others, this new technology may force them to dust off their current business plan and take a fresh look from a new perspective.

So how should you incorporate social media into your business plan? To answer that question, let’s examine some of the key elements of a business plan.

Market Analysis

Has social media had an impact on the specific industry related to your business?

For example, if you own a restaurant you need to know whether any of these platforms could help you grow your business. In this case, two immediately come to mind — Yelp and Foursquare.

It would be important to be proactive with the use of these platforms in your business planning.

You must keep in mind that tech is not just a ‘young man’s’ game anymore. We’ve about reached that point where you’re no longer surprised to see a grandma on a smartphone.

This means no matter your demographic, they are tech-savvy. It’s why AARP has such a large social media presence. Everyone is online.

Competitive Analysis

In this section of your business plan have you analyzed how your competitors are using social media platforms? For example, do they have a business page on Facebook? Do they use Facebook ads?

Along these same lines, you need to consider how investing in these platforms can help you with your competitive differentiation. How can you use them to make your business stand out from the rest?

It’s a simple way of assessing your needs. Look at other similar businesses and see if they are getting good results from social media. Business can be very collaborative so even if it’s not apparent how good the company’s ROI is, they may happily share it with you. Just please contribute something in return.

Organization and Management

The use of these technologies requires resources. Consideration needs to be given to whether these will be internal or external. In addition, social media can provide an effective platform for managing customer service, including issues. It has provided new methods for people to share their opinions about a business and its service.

It is important to follow these developments and pay attention to whether your customers are providing information to their online friends about your business.

Social media also keeps people from asking the same question over and over again. A simple tweet from your company’s social media account may be enough to quell the question of thousands of customers.

Now that’s a good ROI, wouldn’t you agree?

Marketing and Sales

This is a crucial area for those that decide to dedicate time, energy and money to the use of social media. A focused strategy is critical to the success or you may spend thousands of dollars with little return to show for it.

Consistent messages, attracting people to your products and converting them to customers requires proper business planning for successful execution.

It seems like nearly all sales at least start online. Nearly all of us go online before going in-store. Even just to check the general prices on Amazon. With that said, social media ties in nicely. Market and sell to your customers before they go to anyone else.

Financial

Unfortunately, most owners of small to medium size businesses spend money on online services such as a website that is never going to give them a return on their investment because the site is not likely to be found among the millions of websites that exist today. However, these new platforms can provide very cost effective alternatives for promoting your business.

New data released by email marketing software provider Yesmail shows that 91 percent of retail brands use two or more social media channels.

Final Thoughts

In summary, the growth of social media indicates that it is here to stay. That doesn’t mean that every platform will survive, however. It is important to periodically review your business plan to ensure that your business is taking advantage of the growth opportunities that social media has to offer.

This doesn’t mean you need to feel responsible for managing these social media campaigns. There are lots of young people who are eager to prove themselves and all you have to do is give them the keys, a modest budget, and watch the magic.

Okay, well, that’s not all there is to do. But those are ingredients that can lead to big results.

So should your business have a social media presence? Probably. No matter who your target demographic. Even if your demographic is children in Africa. Social media is still useful for letting everyone know what your company is doing for those children. Social media is about giving your company a voice. It’s not about pushing products, singing your praises, or posting funny cat meme’s on Friday’s.

Be there for those you care about.

 

5 ways to keep learning till 90!

 Tips to keep your mind active till 90
 In her TED talk, Barbara Oakley, professor of engineering at Oakland University, talked about “learning how to learn without procrastinating”. Here’s how to go about it.

Unearth your hidden potentials

Unearth your hidden potentials
 

Use mental powers to discover your hidden potential. Says Oakley, “I was a linguist who hated math and science; I had no talent for either topic. Yet, I’m now a professor of engineering. Musicians can become medical doctors. High school dropouts can become college graduates and business executives. People are realising that life-long learning is key not only to career success, but also to a happier and healthier life.”

​Have a brain that wants to keep learning

​Have a brain that wants to keep learning
 

Firstly, start playing action-style video games. Neuroscientific research has shown that these types of games improve the function of key “focusing” areas of the brain, as well as vision. Exercise! Exercise helps promote growth of new neurons, which helps you learn better. Present yourself with new experiences. “Try a different route to work. Variety can help your new neurons to survive, thrive, and make new connections. Start learning a foreign language. You’ll directly boost the areas of the brain that are often most affected by ageing,” says Oakley.

​Make learning a fun experience, and reward yourself

​Make learning a fun experience, and reward yourself
 

When you “reward” yourself, it helps the brain to rearrange and understand the material that’s been learned.

​Learning till 90

​Learning till 90
 

No matter what your age, new neurons are born every day in your hippocampus. Developing a learning lifestyle helps those new neurons to survive, which allows you to maintain mental sharpness. If you want to have a sharp mind until age 90 and beyond, just keep learning.

​Be persistent

​Be persistent
 

Persistence is key. Don’t ever give up too easy.