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On why a Maverick stopped being gay

Its great when one of us go on beyond the workplace to do new, wonderful and imaginative things.

So we are thrilled to learn of Forever Mavbro Zulfikar’s latest adventure – to write a book called So I Stopped Being Gay: A Story of Giving Up by a Queer Muslim Indonesian.

He is kickstarting his effort with Publishizher, which Zul explains as: “a NYC-based crowd-powered publishing company” that is helping him to write the book. They need your help to fund the production though.

So if Zul can get enough pre-orders for the book he’ll very likely attract a publisher and land him a book deal.As little as 250 pre-orders will give him access to independent publishers; but 500 pre-orders will get him to the mainstream ones, meaning the book could reach a wider market.

The book is about how Zul grew up gay in Indonesia. The trials and tribulations he had to face until earlier this year when he decided enough was enough and sought asylum in Canada.

We wish him every success. You can place a pre-orer for Zul’s book here.

 

 

 

The Journey That Started with a Bang

Mount Sinabung decided to erupt just about I landed at Medan’s Kualanamu International Airport. As I walked from the runway to the airport building, I began to receive text messages on my mobile. My friends were asking how I was doing. “The volcano is far away so I’ll be fine,” I confidently replied to them.

That was how I jinxed my trip.

Now, I am seated in a car on my way to Tangkahan, an elephant conservation area within the Gunung Leuser National Park. Throughout my journey there, the ashes began raining down in the area, visibility are getting lower, and the bumpy, muddy road become more pronounced.

As we drove on to a seemingly endless road surrounded by palm oil trees, my phone signal was getting weaker as well. “Well the true vacation begins,” I thought, not realizing that the jinx still followed me.  At a cross road, we took a wrong turn and when we reversed, the four-wheel drive got stuck in a ditch. The driver, his son and I had to get down from the car and push it out of the rut amid falling volcano ash.

Dirty, dusty, and dreadful, I arrived in Tangkahan. The place was covered in trees and the only sound that I could hear were the cicadas and streams feeding into the Batang River.

Tangkahan gave me a much needed recharge by connecting me with nature. After three days there I caught a public bus from the resort and had to face another bumpy five-hour journey, thankfully less dusty than my first, to Medan.

I transited in Medan and caught the next available bus to Samosir Island, a picturesque island in the middle of ancient Lake Toba. It took me another five hours to get to Parapat harbor, where I took a ferry to the island. When we set sail the lake was enveloped in mist, giving the area a mystical feel.

On the next day, I did what most tourists there did – rented myself a vehicle to get around. The hotel staff recommended me to rent a motorcycle, but since I couldn’t ride one I chose a bicycle instead. As I pedaled my way out of the hotel, I was greeted by smiles from passers by.

I thought they were friendly. Little did I realize that they were probably laughing at me, because the roads are getting steeper that I ended having to push my bicycle of a large part of the way. Still, it was an enjoyable trip because the views and the people there were fantastic.

All too soon it was time to go back to reality, work and Jakarta. The trip was not long enough, but I still gained something from it and am inspired to go out there again. I began to realize how my office is very supportive for our development, by giving all the staff a Personal Development Fund. The idea is that after working for Maverick for a year, we are eligible to draw on the Personal Development Fund that’s equivalent to a month’s salary. The funding can be used to either study something not related to work or travel somewhere we haven’t been before.

As I sat on the plane and looking at Java island, I couldn’t help smiling as I recalled the people, elephants, and the places I came across during this short trip that helped me relax and reflect on life outside work and the adventures of further travel.

Written by Dyah Ayu Arini, Maverick’s consultant who decided to travel solo to North Sumatra for her first utilization of Personal Development Fund.

What You Need to Know and How to Nail Instagram’s New Algorithm

With 800 million users worldwide, Instagram has been one of the most significant social media platforms in our lives today.

It is arguably even more important in Indonesia where it is the third most popular social media platform (after Facebook and YouTube). Here, Instagram is used not only for millennials to brag about their picture-perfect meal or vacations, but also as a search engine and commercial platform for both brands and consumers to engage with each other

Instagram’s popularity, however, has also meant that it’s become a crowded space and competition is fierce. Getting ahead of the pack, however, is not as difficult as it may seem if you can figure out the rules of the game and take advantage of this knowledge.

In Instagram, while having great content is a given, the rules of the game come down to its algorithms. An algorithm is a sequential way with specified actions of procedure to solve a problem within an ecosystem.

Why understanding its algorithms is essential is because Instagram used to have chronological feeds. What we would see when we log into our Instagram accounts is the latest posts from our friends.

The chronological feed is something that we used to know. But now you can choose!

But from June 2016 Instagram changed this so that what you see is not the latest posts but those of your friends that have a highest engagement values. What the algorithms do is to prioritize photo and video content that you’re likely to be interested in based on your usage history, your relationship with the person making the posts and the timeliness of the content of the post.

This new algorithm, however, shows that Instagram will show the post that you will care most. So, as a brand, you must post better images or videos that can attract likes, comments, saves, even DMs to make them visible to your followers feed.

Instagram listens to us though. Today, as people keep complaining about this new format of their feed, Instagram released a statement which explain that they can choose whether their feed will be based on most popular posts or based on newer posts. Instagram is testing a “New Posts” button that allow us to choose when we want to refresh, rather than showing it automatically.

The golden 10 percent

Imagine you have 1,000 followers and you post a picture of yourself in front of a bathroom mirror, in France, fully dressed. And then you wonder why you only have 80 likes. Where’s the other 920? It is because now, it’s estimated that only 10 percent of your followers can see your posts to see how fast and how often that small percentage of your audience engages. How many likes, comments, shares, saves, and DMs you got from a post.

Instagram claimed that the change is to improve user experience, to give better exposure to the moments we care about the most. So, it’s better for you to start thinking about what you will post to grab your golden 10 percent first!

 

Create good captions and hashtags

Do you still do a short poetic caption on your post? Or even no caption at all? It’s time to rethink the strategy and start to communicate your message in the caption. With the new algorithm, it is not surprising if the amount of time people spending on your Instagram’s post is also counted as an important factor to boost your post.

So, by creating a kick-ass first sentence of your caption, you will grab the audience attention and making them actually spend some time to read through it. You’re welcome!

Now, what about the hashtags? It is now better to only put 5 hashtags maximum. Why? Because too many hashtags will make you be considered as bots or fake accounts. Adding hashtags into your comment’s column will no longer be appeared on the result search. So, don’t waste your time and just focus on choosing the best five hashtags on your captions.

The danger of “pods”

Last year, you probably heard about “pods”, a group of people who agreed to comment and to like when the member of the pods announced that they are going to post something on Instagram. It’s a clever trick actually, especially when your business is still looking for engagement.

Instagram, however, sees this as an unnatural way to have high engagement. If you’re not careful, it can be one of the reasons you are shadow-banned. Shadow-ban, as simple as it sounds, is simply the state on Instagram where your account is not showing up in the search tab when people click on the hashtag you use.

Engage your engagement

If you think engagement is only happening because of the likes, comments, share, and DMs from your followers, then you must think again. Engagement doesn’t come in one way, it is two ways of communications. So, if someone comments something to your post, then you must reply.

It is now widely believed that you must reply the comments in your post under 60 minutes to avoid the decrease of your post’s visibility. Furthermore, it is better to reply under 30 minutes. So, you must engage, engage, and engage. Keep your eyes to your phone at least 60 minutes after you post something.

So, say goodbye to the old way of handling Instagram where you only posts pictures and respond when there’s inquiry or questions. The new algorithm weighs in how social you are in the platform, which means as a brand, you need to create an engaging platform with your audience.

Invest more time to respond to comments on your post. You can start small by loving the comments but do get in the conversation with your audience more often. This will create a genuine discussion and increase your engagement points.

You know those lazy comments in which they only reply, “Good Picture!”, “Love it”, “Nice!”? These comments are now considered the trademarks come from bots or fake accounts. Instagram is still fighting to reduce the number of people who use bots to “hack” the algorithm so they’ve developed technology to differentiate between bots’ engagement and real engagement.

In 2018, the algorithm has also been working to downgrade accounts that use traditional bot tactics to increase their engagement numbers. To avoid being labeled as the bots or fake accounts, then you must consider to be more understanding if you’re commenting on something. Give genuine and meaningful posts, don’t be lazy.

Mark your story by maximizing your Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories is the hottest yet simplest thing you can do as a brand. Like we said earlier, you need to start change your perspective from putting a lot of content to putting up high-quality ones. In doing so, you might want to use your time to be more active on Instagram story.

Don’t look down on Instagram Stories. Even though this feature only keeps your posts in 24 hours, Instagram Stories is an effective way to make your account on the game. Instagram Stories will make you stand out more, so what’s better than make your followers see you? It is also implied that the more that a user interacts with your Instagram Stories, the more likely your posts will show up in their feed.

To maximize its feature, then you must consider using Polling or Swipe Up. Unfortunately, Swipe Up only featured in Instagram accounts with more than 10k users. But that’s fine, you still have time. Recently, the most used content on Instagram Stories is ‘the template’ which allow people to fill in the blank columns and choose their preferences of something like favorite movies, travel destinations, make-up, and so on. This is effective and also interactive to boost your account awareness because people can take (screenshot) your content and share it in their own Stories.

In Stories, many influencers also keep asking their followers to DM if they have question. It’s simple and easiest way to boost engagement as we sometimes forget that DM is also counted as a tool to have high engagement. After all, it is the one feature that puts Indonesia as one of the highest producers of Instagram Stories – twice the amount of global average number. Use it to further connect with the audience by creating online to offline moment, ex: daily coupon for in-store purchase, free gifts with offline purchase, etc.

Best if you know your audience and focus on creating high-quality content!

If knowing your audience is important before, it is more crucial now. Get to know your audience better by using the analytics you have. Who are your audience? Where do they live? What time they are most active? Which posts they like the most? As you analyze these data, then you can create specialized contents that cater to resonate well with your audience.

By knowing your audience, the you will know what you do with your Instagram. You’ll know the right direction! As a brand, these new algorithms will affect the way you use the platform especially for the marketing purpose. No more quantity over quality mindset, the new algorithm pushes you to create a high-quality content worthy of your audience time.

Written by Bambang Ramdhan & Khalda Larasati and edited by Karina Prameswari, all are Maverick consultants who are passionate about digital and marketing communications.

#Instagram #algorithm #content #digitalmarketing #influencers #marketingcommunications

“The Maverick team imbues the perfect PR combination of passionate pitching and commercial thinking.

The team has an innate ability to understand their client’s philosophy and work hard to develop campaigns that resonate locally while protecting the client’s ethos. The Maverick team was a key player in the successful launch of Dyson in Indonesia; meticulously organizing press visits, launch event and product review program. With it garnering first rate coverage.”

Sarah Arts
Sarah Arts PR Manager, Dyson Southeast Asia

“I’m glad to be supported by a group of professional and reliable people such as the Maverick team.

 They know how to handle crisis composedly, are able to deliver what is promised and agreed, and always willing to go extra miles to achieve our objectives. We can always depend on the Maverick team to come up and share insights about communications & media strategies. By the end of the day, all those qualities are what make us see the Maverick team as more of a partner than client-agency relationship.”

Viona Ong
Viona Ong Brand Manager, Heineken Indonesia

“We worked together with Maverick through a difficult situation,

 but Maverick’s professionalism, availability, and composure managed to help us contain the damage, going beyond communications strategy. Also, the quality of their work remained consistent, helping us not just to manage the situation, but also to create an awareness for our newest product as an effort to move on from the situation.”

Erditya Nur Arfah
Erditya Nur Arfah Corporate Marketing Senior Manager, Bluebird Group

“Working with the Maverick team has been a wonderful pleasure.

We have always been looking for a partner that not only knew what we needed, but could also augment our strategy and take our brand to the next level in Indonesia. We are happy to have a highly committed and forward-thinking team that is equally passionate for our brand and business. Not only do they understand every assignment, they are always prepared with great ideas, sound counsel and strategic advice.”

Ada Sarah Yen
Ada Sarah Yen Senior Marketing Executive, Sennheiser Asia

“Maverick has shown great integrity during years of partnership, is able to deliver results and exceeds expectations at times.

As a partner Maverick also went further than just receiving and executing requests. They were able to balance our views on occasions, even though it was different from our initial decision. The team was always responsive and able to talk through different channels, from conventional media, digital media, and even social media influencers and communities.”

Arra Primanta
Arra Primanta FormerMarketing Public Relations Manager, PT HM Sampoerna Tbk.

“We have been working together for more than two years.

 Maverick is a professional PR partner proven in resolving crisis management and maintaining OPPO’s good reputation in Indonesia. We hope the cooperation will continue so in the future we will have better outcomes and result in the increase of people’s awareness of OPPO brand in the Indonesian market.”

Aryo Meidianto
Aryo Meidianto Media Engagement, OPPO Indonesia

“Maverick has been working with Airbus Group over the last 10 years.

 I’ve always been impressed by their high quality work and their ability to provide flawless execution under challenging conditions. The work undertaken by Maverick has certainly played a key role in enhancing the awareness of Airbus Groups and its products in the Indonesian market.”

Jose Jacinto Monge Bravo
Jose Jacinto Monge Bravo President Director, PT Airbus Group Indonesia