The Social Strategy

Love it or hate it, social media has become an important element to business and despite the fact that it’s a difficult area to calculate return on investment, the SocialTimes is reporting that social media marketing budgets are projected to double in the next five years.

Many businesses and entrepreneurs are left wondering if it’s worth the time and how these new mediums can work for them. Brand exposure, increasing web traffic and gaining market insights are the top reasons businesses are investing in the platforms, according to Social Media Today, which are important aspects to success in any business, including within the travel industry.

Whether you’re a travel agent looking to engage with your client base, a travel agency wanting to connect with a specific community, a supplier trying to determine how to move forward with your social strategy, here are a few tips to consider:

1. Establish a plan: It’s not enough to create accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, etc… and simply start posting. Decide with your team: What is the purpose of having a social media presence for your personal brand or business? What do you hope to achieve? What are your goals for engagement? How does this tie in to your overall strategy? From there, you can establish which platforms work best in achieving those goals. Remember, not every platform works for every business so leverage the ones that suit your strategy best.

2. Establish a voice: Social media is all about engagement and is really a way to create or enhance a brand personality. Dedicate a small number of people to be the voice of your social platforms. Your social media team should understand the brand and the goals of your strategy in order to best portray this in online communications. With that in mind, each employee should be a brand ambassador. Some businesses (Contiki, for example) call on their staff to brand their online presence. Of course, if this is the route you decide to take, make sure guidelines are clear and everyone understands that their account is professional, not personal.

3. Engage! Be mindful of the type of content you share on social media. Remember, you want to create conversation. Ask questions and share images, videos & links that not only connect to your brand but also invite followers or friends to share their opinions and feedback. And when people do comment, keep the dialogue open by responding to them. By doing so, you form relationships with the consumer, which can translate into brand loyalty.

4. Be open and transparent: Like in any relationship, honesty is the best policy. There’s nothing worse than when businesses ignore mistakes or challenges that affect their clients. Acknowledge and own up to problems. By doing so, it eliminates the desire for your network to be confrontational and from there, the conversation can immediately be based on solutions – a positive message – versus putting you on the defensive.

5. Don’t forget about the customer service element: Gone are the days of handwritten letters, and to some extent, even the scathing e-mail is now taking a backseat. Social media platforms are quickly becoming the primary method of communication between brands and consumers, especially when it comes to complaints. If your social media team consists of marketers, ensure they have a dedicated customer service person on hand to draft responses to these particular posts or messages. Remember, in most cases, your entire network can see the problems other people bring forward, and also how you respond. Be sure to put your best foot forward.

Jeremiah Loves God’s Word – Riveting Stuff!

This reading contains some incredibly convicting passages, with insights on HYPOCRISY, LOVE, COMPASSION, JUDGMENT, and LOVING GOD’S WORD.

Picking up from where we left off yesterday in Jer 15, in the middle of God’s rant, Jeremiah expressed a bit of self-pity, cause he knew he was so hated!! But God comforted him and told him that one day his enemies would beg him for mercy…Jeremiah continued to focus on his own predicament for a moment, and verse 16 is an upward call to all of us: “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty.” (And God promised to take care of him…) Wow, what a great attitude. Jeremiah loved God’s word so much. This is a beautiful passage. As the psalmist wrote in Psalm 15, “who can stand on God’s holy hill? The one who keeps his oath even when it hurts…” That can mean many things, but it certainly could be applied to preaching the word, even if it hurts! If we try to put ourselves in Jeremiah’s place, can we even imagine what it would be like to be almost killed for the gospel? I have some friends who have been in that predicament, but God has always come through so far…

Chapter 16 begins in the opposite way we might think it would…just after Jeremiah has sought reassurance from God, Jehovah told him, “by the way, you can’t marry or have kids…” Oh man, he already sacrificed everything else…now God was telling him he couldn’t even have a family? God also told Jeremiah to not attend funerals or weddings. And when the people asked why God would be so cruel, Jeremiah was to tell them that firstly, their fathers had not obeyed God, and secondly, that the people themselves were even worse than their fathers had been: “But you have behaved more wickedly than your fathers. See how each of you is following the stubbornness of his evil heart instead of obeying me.” God then promised Jeremiah about a remnant in the future….One of the beautiful qualities of God is the ability to see things as they should be…I appreciate that!

Perhaps chapter 17 is a better-known section of Jeremiah because of the passages on trusting God and the deceitfulness of man’s hearts. When read in context of chapters 12-16, and the strong opening section of chapter 17 where God rails against Judah’s love of idolatry, v5-10 pack even more punch!!! I love this part so much I will copy and paste it here:

5 This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, 

       who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.

 6 He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. 

       He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.

 7 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.

 8 He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. 

       It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. 

       It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

 9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

 10 “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, 

       to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.”

The sermon by James Lloyd (delivered in London in the mid-80s) entitled “Are You A Tree or A Bush?” is a classic. It was a truly convicting sermon on the need to take our relationship with God seriously. The sermon used Jeremiah 17 to call us to make sure our prayer times were regular and were helping us to get closer to God, and that our personal Bible study was deep and sustaining us in our Christian walk. Very memorable, considering I heard it back in 1986 – almost thirty years ago! How are you doing in this area? Some years I have felt more like a dried up Texas tumbleweed than a flourishing tropical bougainvillea… I know that all it takes is me getting back into my positive routine (not that I want to have “routine” QTs) and I am back on track…Lack of discipline is usually my nemesis…

But honestly, our whole Christian life and personal happiness is related to how close we become to God and how much we trust in His promises. We can choose to be a flourishing, flowering, fruitful tree or we can choose to be a withering, weather-beaten bush…as the song said, “If I don’t read my Bible, it is nobody’s fault but mine…”

In the context of depending on God, no wonder Jeremiah wrote that the heart is deceitful. Our own opinion is often diametrically opposed to God’s point of view…that is why we are supposed to use the Bible to guide our thinking, not our own “logic”. The warning here is strong: ignore God’s word at your own peril! God is watching, and there is a judgment day!

After this challenging delivery, Jeremiah prayed an interesting prayer – he asked God to make sure that he was vindicated in front of his mockers. How I have often felt that way…and amazingly, God always does bring out the truth. Now, sometimes I was the one in the wrong, and then the other person needed to be vindicated! How wide was my smile, however, either inwardly or on the outside, when I was the one who was vindicated…of course, gloating is also a sin (smile). But no matter who is right or wrong, with God, the truth will out! No wonder patience is a virtue…The chapter ends with God telling Jeremiah to rebuke the people specifically for not following the Sabbath. We can only assume that the people were breaking that law for the sake of greed or being comfortable. If that is the case, then we might examine why we break certain laws. I know that sometimes it seems ok to break the speed limit, but is it really? What about copyright laws? Buying pirated goods? I have done those things before, but I am not so sure that God doesn’t care about them…

The first half of chapter 18 reminds us of the chapter from Isaiah about the potter and the clay. The second half sees Jeremiah, the weeping prophet turn into the angry prophet! He is incensed over another plot against him, and he cries to God in anger. God ignores the plea, at least he doesn’t address Jeremiah’s prayer directly, and instead, in chapter 19, sends Jeremiah out to prophesy again to the people. This time it is a message of destruction related to the idol worshipping practice of sacrificing children in the fire to Molech, which was done in Topheth.

The result of his trust in God and continued preaching? Chapter 20 tells us that he was beaten and imprisoned! Not many of us have been treated like that for sharing our faith or taking a stand as a Christian. (Some of you have. Wow! You are great example!) But that didn’t stop Jeremiah from telling the truth to his persecutors! Amen! In the midst of feeling full of self-pity (it would be hard not to!), Jeremiah uttered what has become one of the most well-known passages from his writings: “But if I say, ‘I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,’ his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot!” (I can’t read these verses aloud without getting tears in my eyes…)Jeremiah ends his prayer with praise and more trust. Lord, let us have his heart and conviction.

JULY 20 Introducing Daniel, the Bravest High-Achieving Teen Ever! Daniel 1-2

This is the first entry to feature Daniel, one of the most inspiring characters in the Old Testament, and hits on topics such as TAKING A STAND AT WORK, STICKING TO YOUR CONVICTIONS, and TRUSTING GOD IN DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES.

When you read the book of Daniel, remember that you are not reading a “story”, but true exploits of your spiritual brother who is waiting for you in heaven – it is very emotional and encouraging!

The following is quoted from Dr F LaGard Smith’s narration:

While Jeremiah is having his problems with Jehoiakim, several captives in Babylon are being singled out for duty in the king’s service. The requirements for their selection are unusually demanding, and to be chosen would be considered an honour even under normal circumstances. Among them is a young man by the name of Daniel, who distinguishes himself by refusing to eat food or drink wine from Nebuchadnezzar’s royal table. For this act of faith, Daniel and three others with him are exceptionally blessed by God. After three years of special training, they enter the king’s service and are found to excel in understanding whenever the king inquires of them.

Wow! Isn’t it great right from the start? Daniel and his friends were the equivalent of what in Singapore would be called “President’s Scholars”. In America, we might look at these guys as potential “Rhodes Scholars”. In Britain, they would be the students who get top marks at Eton, Harrow, and Winchester.

They would have been born sometime during Josiah’s reign and presumably would have heard the preaching of Jeremiah. They might have been Jeremiah’s best disciples, because it appears that they may have already learned the language of the Babylonians by 605 BC. When Josiah died in battle, and the spirituality of Judah began to go down the toilet with the sinfulness of the new king, perhaps these intelligent young men smelled the coffee and were only too ready to go into exile as part of what they perceived to be their purpose.

Now I don’t know about you, but if I were in a country that had been overrun by the reigning super power of the day, and if the king told me to jump, I might say, “How high?” And if I were chosen by said king to be in his pool of advisors, I think I would be completely flattered and there would be no way I would consider rejecting anything (especially the nicest food from his table, which tends to be my weakness anyway!)  And if I were a teenage boy who had never turned down food before – well you get the picture…talk about self-discipline!

An American Olympic swimmer visiting Singapore said the biggest trial he was facing was figuring out how to ignore the buffet breakfast every morning before his training! (He confessed that after the first morning he sank to the bottom of the pool!) Honestly, Daniel and his friends had to have tremendous faith in God and an immense amount of self-control to be able to make this decision. I guess it helped that they were together. And of course, God didn’t let them down – they benefited in every way from their decision to not defile themselves with the possibility of eating unclean foods from the king’s table. Daniel and Co are incredible examples of what we all need to do as disciples of Jesus!

Amazing how Daniel was ready to make a stand for something that might not have been sure was a sin but that could possibly be one. That reminds me of the admonition Paul gives us in Ephesians 5:3But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” 

(I have some friends who use this passage to show that being a vegetarian is healthier. However, it is not certain whether the diet helped them or God was miraculously sustaining them just for taking a stand. I certainly believe that eating vegetables and fruit of all varieties is healthy, and nowadays, there are so many additives to the meat that it might not be a bad idea to cut down, but I digress…)

I do think it is fun when God-fearers excel in the world because it brings glory to God. Paul tells us, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31). When we strive for God’s glory at work, at school, and at other pursuits, we are truly being lights that shine. “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16.  “…so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe…” Philippians 2:15

I suppose the lessons from this story are that when you stand up for God, you will be blessed (in some form or other), that having great spiritual friends really helps, that being righteous causes us to shine like stars, and that denying your self-indulgent nature is always a good thing! 

The next section of the story is almost comical as it highlights the bizarre character of Nebuchadnezzar and the amazing way that God brought glory to himself through Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar was a classic Narcissist, but I will explore this more in a future entry, when we look at the fourth chapter of Daniel (the one where the king has to live like a wild animal.) Nebuchadnezzar was completely unreasonable and asked his coterie of wise men to interpret his rather involved dream – with a twist – the wise men had to first tell him the dream! Now I have heard of irrational despots, but this takes the cake! And yet the Bible tells us how this once again brought glory to God. Please remember this story the next time you are in a desperate situation. In fact, the whole first half of the book of Daniel is filled with stories of a righteous guy trying to shine at work who kept getting put into desperate situations, and how God always saw him through. I love it!

Back to the story – what did Daniel do when he heard that he was about to be killed for no discernible reason by a maniacal ruler? He clarified the situation, remained hopeful, (didn’t get hopeless), asked for more time, told his spiritual friends about it, and prayed to God! Lessons here – when others are manic, do not panic! When Satan threatens the day, keep your head and pray! (OK these sound corny – I’ll move on!)

Daniel didn’t use his wisdom to glorify himself, by the way. He shared the glory with his friends who had prayed with him. He got the vision, but they had prayed, so he shared the credit as he thanked God. (“you have made known to us the dream of the king.”) Not doing things for personal glory is an important lesson for us to remember – God gives us our gifts. “…but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries…” When we take the credit, we are missing out on an opportunity to glorify God (not to mention probably getting all the glory we are going to get here on earth and missing out on any glory in heaven). Remember what happened to King Herod when he didn’t give glory to God? If you are so inclined, check out the story in 12th chapter of Acts…

Back to Daniel…Now if we look into the dream that Nebuchadnezzar had, it is fascinating! The dream, which was a vision of a statue made of different kinds of metal, illustrated how the Babylonian kingdom (gold) would be followed by the Medo-Persians (silver), followed by the Greeks (bronze), followed by the Romans (iron and clay). And how God would set up HIS everlasting kingdom during this time. That kingdom would be built on a rock, not cut from human hands, which would smash all of the other kingdoms. Wow! What a dream! Most of our dreams are probably a result of indigestion…but look at this one! No wonder the king made Daniel his chief advisor. Perhaps God engineered this in order to have loyal and God fearing Jews overseeing Babylon so that the captives wouldn’t be too mistreated. In any case, God lifted up Daniel and his friends and used them for His own purposes. When we submit to God and trust him, whether it be with an unreasonable boss or in any situation, God is watching and He is able to bring glory to himself through our righteousness. (Reading this always makes me think of Peter Smith, the American brother who helped us so much in Jakarta because he was a “Daniel”. Thanks, Peter!)

Stay tuned for more of Daniel in the months to come. However, for next few weeks, we make our way back to Jeremiah and Ezekiel, to learn more from these awesome prophets.

Romania is for the first time amongst Knight News Challenge winners with a consortium of EurActiv.ro & RISE Project – OCCRP

The Romania-based project “Who are the gatekeepers of the Internet, cable and satellite infrastructures in Eastern Europe? Mapping and investigating media distribution providers” was among the nine projects selected for funding by the Knight News Challenge. The Knight Foundation organized on June 23 the MIT-Knight Civic Media conference “The Open Internet and Everything After”, in order to present this year’s granted projects of Knight News Challenge. 704 applications have been submitted, with nine projects selected for funding.

The project “Who are the gatekeepers of the Internet, cable and satellite Infrastructures in Eastern Europe? Mapping and Investigating media distribution providers”, initiated by Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, in partnership with European Actors Association (EurActiv.ro) and RISE Project from Romania is among the winners. The team consists of: Paul Radu (project manager), Dan Tapalaga (senior data analyst), Manuela Preoteasa (senior researcher), Ramona Diaconu (advocacy campaign coordinator), Andrei Schwartz (junior consultant).

  • See a summary of the project here

The Knight News Challenge Announcement took place in Boston during MIT-Knight Civic Media conference, “The Open Internet and Everything After”. The Romanian proposal awarded with a grant was presented on stage by Dan Tapalaga, from Hotnews.ro, on behalf of European Actors Association (EurActiv.ro)

​Pascal Bruckner’s generation is the last generation of French thinkers who get involved in public debates

  • on writing novels and essays: I usually alternate novels and essays. Now I write a novel, then an essay; but for the past several years I stopped sticking to te rule and I reached a point where I no longer know what I prefer. Novel or essay, it all becomes so difficult to write that I’m always facing a challenge. This is the first and certainly last when I write a book of confessions.

 

  • about his antisemitic father, depicted in the book: My father was not only antisemitic, he was also a violent man, rough with my mother. His antisemitism was an aggravating circumstance. He might have been a kind, gentle, teaching antisemite. But he was hysterical, bilious. One could rather say his person was an amassment of flaws. There are many antisemitic fathers who are brutal to their wives and yell all the time. And so was my father.

 

  • is the depiction of his father a portrait of universal extremists in post-war Western society? I don’t know, but above all it is a very European portrait. It is about the generation born during the war and who is passing away now – those people are very old now. So it is not an universal portrait, because our culture is local. But it is true that by the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st these people, who went through the horrors of war, who are bearing this message of hate and brutality, are still alive. Antisemitism has migrated to the Arab world, is active especially in the case of Muslims; the phenomenon is dropping in Europe, it is even forbidden, but for the Arab world it is celebrated as a victory on the state of Israel.

 

  • on the French public’s passion about issues such as Nazism, collaboration, resistance, which is less strong in Romania when it comes to collaborators of the communist regime: It is of interest in France, England, everywhere, even including the US. Maybe it will manifest in Romania as well. It’s just that the memory exercise has not concluded in your country, whereas in France it started the 70′s. In France, I think there is a huge gap between what we’d like to see and what reality shows us, that is why it is humiliating for the French to learn that their grandeur vanished in the war of 1914-1918 and in 1945. It’s true, the family secrets revolve around issues related to the second World War, Jews, our parents and grandparents collaboration and resistance.

 

  • (…) It’s about the French-German reality, because Germany has been our major rival since 1870. After losing three wars – two wars of soldiers and an economic one – Germany is in a much better situation. That means a lot of battles lost before our Eastern neighbor – it is a thing which in France leads to all sorts of psychological, historical, political, military and economic issues and the problem of World War II creates divisions within all French families.

 

  • on the feelings of the French about Germany: It is Germany who masters Europe, it’s no longer France. In the past, we used to share power with Germany, now we are nothing. Merkel is the boss and Hollande is just a butler. He doesn’t have the necessary stature to rule Europe. France is going through a time of depression and its rival is about to win, which of course awakens the old demons of the WWII and so it happens that all conflicts are seen through the lens of collaboration and resistance, notions which have begun to belong to everybody’s vocabulary. France is the old world.

 

  • on the future role of France: I have no idea what it will be, but if this fall continues France will probably have a still lesser role. (…) Recovery must start from changing the ideas of average citizens, changing the government and the president. Only then will we have changes to have stateliness in Europe, but for now we’re nothing, we are the “sick man” of Europe. The French are very depressed. All intelligent French people are living the country. (…) Our country is paralyzed, brought to a standstill by bureaucracy, prejudice, hate towards money, hate towards trade. (…)

 

  • (…) I think not only France, but the whole Europe seems to want to drop from history. Europe doesn’t have a common army, doesn’t have a government, nor a common president. We may say Europe will weigh less and less in world history. Only the major nations of the world, like the United States, Brazil, India, China, Israel will stand. I think that Europe is dying because of the heavy burden of history. It stood out of the circle of grand history first in 1945, then in 1989 when the Berlin Wall fell. Europe thinks it has no enemy, but in its blindness it doesn’t see that at least to major enemies are threatening it. One is radical Islam (there are 15 to 20 million Muslims living in Europe and some of them are drawn to radical lines). The other is Putin’s Russia. Putin doesn’t tell us how much he hates us, despises us. He sees us as decadents, degenerates, a society sold to homosexuals and lesbians. Scandals are appearing all across Europe. See, it’s not only France’s disease. It’s a European disease. (…)

 

  • on the current prime minister of France: I know Manuel Valls. I think he is quite brave. He is a liberal in terms of economy, a man of order in terms of domestic security. He has a certain stiffness, his side of Catalan hidalgo, but he is perfectly aware of France’s fragility. (…)

 

  • on National Front: The National Front is the heir of the old fascist party (…) But it’s not its fascist side that troubles me, but the downright ineptitude of its economic doctrine based on which they want to drop the euro, close the borders and force a return to the franc, meaning a return to 50 years ago. What troubles me about Marine Le Pen is the absolute ineptitude of her promises. She must do anything to rise to power. They’re imbeciles who have adopted some left-wing ideas. In her ideological momentum, she has forgotten about the nation, the borders, the population, migration, Islam. Had the Left dealt with these issues seriously, we wouldn’t be in the situation we are in now.

 

  • do the French like Vladimir Putin? Very much, especially the Right. All nationalist adore Putin and hate America. The far Left and the far Right as well. Not necessarily for his policy, but because Putin is a man who does what he says and says what he does and is straightforward. You don’t like it? To prison! You don’t agree? Come! (…) Nation needs leadership, a thing Holland does not muster at all. Holland is a charismatic catastrophe – that is the best word. You burst into crying or laughing when you look at him, with shame that he is the President of France. That’s what it is about, Hollande is a shame for the country. I voted him and I’m ashamed I did so. He is fun at parties, but doesn’t have a President’s strength.

Sue Wagner Joins Apple’s Board of Directors

Susan L. Wagner, founding partner and director of BlackRock, has been elected to Apple’s board of directors. Bill Campbell, the board’s longest-serving member, is retiring after 17 years. Wagner co-founded BlackRock in 1988 and helped it become one of the world’s most successful asset-management companies. “Sue is a pioneer in the financial industry and we are excited to welcome her to Apple’s board of directors,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We believe her strong experience, especially in M&A and building a global business across both developed and emerging markets, will be extremely valuable as Apple continues to grow around the world.” Wagner has been recognized as one of Fortune Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and honored by the National Council for Research on Women. “I have always admired Apple for its innovative products and dynamic leadership team, and I’m honored to be joining their board,” Wagner said

You Give What You Get

Acknowledging the reality that personal privacy will always be a priority to users, it’s important for businesses to clearly communicate exactly how this first party data will be used to provide value back to the end user. In other words, the adage “you get what you give” applies here: By offering value to your users in the form of incentives to register socially, you encourage more registrations, which then enables you to discover more about your user base so you can better your marketing efforts.

In fact, we have the numbers to prove just how paramount communication is when it comes to nurturing positive user experiences. We surveyed thousands of businesses that implemented social login and discovered that those that didn’t include a clear message outlining the benefits of logging in socially saw an average of 21.6% users choosing to log in with their social identities. On the flip side, sites that clearly communicated the advantages of social login to its users experienced a social login rate of over 45%.

In other words, businesses that effectively communicate the benefits of registering socially for their sites see a 109% increase in login conversions on average.

To offer some inspiration to businesses looking to boost their registration rates and better understand their users, we’ve outlined a few examples of businesses that are hitting the target when it comes to clearly communicating the benefits of social login.

The arrival of cheap drone technology – and small, light high-quality cameras – has given rise to a new genre of beautiful aerial photography and film-making.

A new competition, sponsored by National Geographic, has highlighted some stunning examples of drone photographs taken in the past year.

The winner of the competition was a stunning view of an eagle soaring high above a national park in Indonesia.

More photographs can be seen, a site dedicated to the images taken in mid-air.

The site’s founder Eric Dupin told the BBC drone photography quite literally offers a whole new perspective.

“It depicts a new vision of the world, with stunning images taken from low altitude, near field,” he said.

“It is so different of images taken by satellite or plane or helicopter, or, on the other end, street view images. It represents an ‘intermediary layer’.”

Below are the other winners, as selected by a panel of judges.

Germany and Argentina will contest the 2014 Fifa World Cup final on Sunday in front of an expected television audience of more than a billion.

Germany would be the first European team to win the tournament in South America if they take the title for the first time since 1990.

If Argentina triumph it would end a 28-year wait for World Cup glory since they beat West Germany in 1986.

BBC Sport readers voted Brazil 2014 the best World Cup

The game, a 20:00 BST kick-off at Rio’s Maracana, is a 79,000 sellout.

There will be live uninterrupted coverage on BBC One and the BBC Sport website from 19:00 BST, while there is also live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

Germany, seeking a fourth World Cup, crushed hosts Brazil 7-1 in the semi-finals, while two-time winners Argentina beat Netherlands 4-2 on penalties after a 0-0 draw.

Rio is preparing what local authorities claim to be the “largest security operation in the city’s history”, with more than 25,000 people involved, including local agents, military police, civil police, firefighters, the armed forces and intelligence agents.

The authorities say terrorism, clashes between fans, the presence of at least 15 members of foreign governments and the security of Brazil President Dilma Rousseff are the main areas of concern.

Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero, who has not conceded a goal in the knockout phase and was the hero of the win against Netherlands, said: “The most important thing is that our team and our country provide the best image in the eyes of the world, that the world will speak well of Argentina.