Are you social media SMART?

Infographic on how Social Media are being used...

Infographic on how Social Media are being used, and how everything is changed by them. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Are you? Well lets find out.

Social: Is community the focus of your social media campigns? Or are you just obsessed with getting the likes and show a bunchful of members (Read Zombieland of Facebook Likes) adorn your business page. If latter is the case then you are not ready for social media campaign. You are not old fashioned but you haven’t changed with time. Well, here is the time to start. Where to start? Try by visitng your competitors social media outposts – now check out others from your industry but in different geographies. Probably trendsetters are already leading the way. If you are a small business owner then read, learn and start experimenting. But you got to start NOW. Make an status update, let the love flow and let your community and customers know that you not only exist, you care too. Be social!

Measurable: Now that you have taken the plunge and there are two possibilities- either you are on your way to become a demi social media rockstar (slowly), or you are just lost in the SM jungle. Either way be cautious but not at the expense of sacrificing your social aspect. Try to gain some insights about your referral traffic. Find what is driving uers to your SM pages and then away. Are there any influencers you can establish relationship with? Does data point towards your core community? i.e. have you got their attention or are these just random users. Mind it, either way there is an opportunity to cash on – woe these users and develop a relationship, do not let them go.

Actionable: So you have got it started and you are begining to feel the love with all the likes, shares, comments and retweets. Good job! What now? Well, whats your USP? Think hard about it, and then go have a look at your community. Find ways through which you can customise your content so that it reverberates with your community. Keep them at the core, develop content that balances your busines goals with their interests. Remember, when being social all work and no play can have adverse affect on your social community. So, don’t hard sell. Try to co-create, crowdsource your content, learn and then redeliver. There are loads of engagement opportunities to avail. Don’t miss it!

Realistic: Be realistic, unless ofcourse you are Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga. Getting liions of fans and thousands of retweets isn’t practically possible. Size of your business plays a big role here. Your first objective should be to nuture your community, develop some brand awareness and get the conversations going. Aim to make stories around your brand which your community enjoys. If you are doing that much, you will be exhausted at the end of the day – but it will be rewarding.

Trackable: Track what you put out and not just bin it. Your links, posts, images and videos all add to your brand’s social capital. So, track that link going out, find out who retweets you and what. At the end of the day establish a benchmark for you- weekly and monthly. Compare it your efforts and find out how you are performing. Eventully its the ROI that matters based on your business goals. So, don’t forget to track your content and its effectivess. Possibly you have got your call to action wrong – how many downloaded that white paper you sent out or was that branded video which got most traffic to your website. Develop a set of metrics for yourself, without making it too complicated and geeky.

At the end of it all. Enjoy what you doing. Remember, its social media and unless you try to be social you cannot deliver.

Coming up in next post a Checklist to find out your SMART quotient.

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The Zombieland of Facebook Likes!

Español: Icono del botón de "Me gusta&quo...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Likes are affirmation of a users’ confidence in your brand. This comes from the content you put out, the brand value that is evident, and the special offers. All of this and more comes together to form a lively community inhabiting your Facebook business page.

However, marketplace is full of people and companies who sell ‘Likes’ for as low as $50 per 10,000 likes. Is it worth it? Of course not and we will tell you why.

These likes are from fake profiles i.e. people who do not exist. Facebook can easily know about the activity from these people of unknown identities who exist just to like your page. If you still choose this option then you risk your page getting banned for good!

These likes are of no use to your brand i.e. they won’t comment, share and like your post. It makes your brand looks bad, as if you are living in a zombieland. If you truly want to gain profit from your Facebook page and are obsessed with ROI, then its real people who matter for you. Invest time, more than money and it will pay rich dividends.

So, what’s the way out? In short, start by taking a deep look into your analytics and find what is that your customer want? Align your campaign idea with your customers’ interest and make it SMART – Social, Measurable, Action driven, Realistic, and Trackable .

If you get this right, you can steer clear of dud likes!

This post by me was first published on ODigMa

Missing your fans on Facebook? Want to know why?

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

So, you have been on Facebook for quite some time and even got a business page setup for your brand in one proud moment. You expected people to like your jokes, share your photos and comment on your posts, as they have been doing on your competitors Facebook page.

However, nothing seems to be working and the loneliness if starting to hurt your brand. Well, failure at community management is the most common mistake committed by brands. This hurts their chances to make any breakthrough in lead generation, client servicing, and becoming a brand that is social and connected.

Why this happens?

1. Lack of Objectives: Facebook is a great marketing platform or that’s what you heard from someone. However, don’t forget that the rules of marketing still uphold for the social network. Start by defining your social media objectives. What do you plan to do with your Facebook page and the SM identity in general? What are the end objectives? Thinking about these questions would help you define your branding and content strategy.

2. Push Strategy: Give your fans what they want and not what you are. Post what you core community is interested in and not just what you are good at. Bottom line is do not hard sell trying to make a traditional sales pitch. Be social and become part of the conversation!

3. Know your community: Make use of range of free analytic tools like Facebook InsightsSocialMention and Google Alerts to know where your community resides and what they are talking about. Start listening to their conversations on social networks, blogs, forums and jump in where ever you can without being too nosey.

4. Have a content strategy: Develop a social media calendar for your  content strategy that could deliver high engagement levels i.e. where users willingly choose to embrace you brand. You can do that by developing Facebook apps, coupons, contests, videos, cartoons etc. Your fans or their friends will always trace back the links to your online identity getting you more traffic and viral engagement. Never abandon your Facebook page and always keep it updated.

Remember social networks like Facebook helps you embrace social i.e. relying on users recommendations and likes to give thumbs up to your products and services, so that even their friends become positively disposed towards your brand. Can you choose to ignore it?

The above post was first published on oDigMa’s blog

Do more with LinkedIn

LinkedIn

Are you on LinkedIn? Image by Christopher S. Penn via Flickr

LinkedIn is more than your resume, it’s your professional identity which tracks where you have been, people you are connected with and the recommendations you have received for it. Often cited as the number one choice of recruiters who love to browse through your connections and even make enquiries for your past work. There are ways through which you can manage your professional personality through sprucing up your profile by connecting your blog, Twitter account, Slide Share, participating in Groups and answering Q&A among other options available through LinkedIn.

Let’s talk about what more could be done using your LinkedIn profile data.

InMaps: Brought about by LinkedIn Labs, which hosts projects and experimental features built by LinkedIn employees, InMaps allows LinkedIn users to ‘visualise their professional network, clustered in real-time based on their inter-relationships.’ Those linked with same colour reflect a same set of connections which could be either your schoolmates, colleagues at a company you worked long time back or people you met at a conference. You can label these connection and see how your connections pan out.

Resume Builder: Another LinkedIn Labs product, the Resume Builder allows you to build, save and share beautifully formatted resumes based on your LinkedIn profile. You need to pick a template that best describes your personality: classic, modern, business, executive etc. Your resume details are automatically populated through your LinkedIn profile which you can customise further. You can save the file as PDF and through a customised link share via email, Twitter and Facebook.

Vizualize.me: Hailed as the next big think in resume making, Vizualize.me provides a relief from lengthy and boring traditional text based resumes. You can either connect through LinkedIn or create a new account to view your education, work, skills and language expertise in a beautifully crafted visualisation through timeline and vibrant colours. You can customise your own URL and attach your Facebook, Twitter and portfolio, which can be shared as professional resume that not only looks good but also speaks of your achievements.

Connection Timeline: LinkedIn engineers again strike an ace by crafting a time line for your career. If you can’t remember where you met your contacts and when, try this feature to ‘play’ a timeline of your connections since the start of your career. The sleek horizontal visualisation would take you back memory lane.

Year in Review: This helps you get a visual representation of your contacts who in a particular year have changed their jobs. You can see who got promoted, switched jobs or started something on their own.

Above article was published in Daily Post, you can also view it here

How to improve Google+ Hangouts UI design

I got thinking after reading a conversation thread on Bradley Horowitz‘s page  and inspired by a post by Chee on Google+. Following is the outcome:

Problems

1. Too Much noise.

2. Not clear who is in control

3. Confusion about when to speak and whom to speak

4. Needs a leader/moderator instead of a seamless over the coffee conversation

Solution

1.Provide visible cues for : Speaking (user understands that  its his/her turn to speak and others understand that its time to listen); Engagement (user makes sure that others understand that the user has something worthwhile to say Now); Urgency (user makes sure that others understand that  he/she wants to intervene)

How to do it?

1.Develop a queue system i.e. a set of arrangement where its clear who is going to speak first and in which order others will speak. However, this system holds good only till the first speaker has spoken.
2.Users can follow the queue as in a formal conference like situation and speak in the arrangement that’s decided.

or

3.Once the first speaker is done,  just like in casual conversation the stage is wide open. So everyone presses a queue button to queue once again. The next user in this queue speaks now while others listen.
4.The whole process gets repeated i.e. either they follow the queue arrangement as decided earlier or queue in once again everytime the speaker finishes.
5.This helps in case someone wants to give quick rebuttal.
6.Not everyone needs to press queue button all the time i.e. once the person who has the rebuttal queues in the rest of the queue falls after it.
7.We can have different default arrangements for what is the acceptable levels of re- queuing i.e. the spoilsports do not keep jumping upfront in the queue and pushing others back. The default queue can be arranged depednign on the nature of conversation e.g. as Casual (users can queue many times but same user can’t jump the  queue more than 4 times); Formal (users queue limited time but same user can’t jump the queue more than twice); Conference (no jumping the queue till the initial conference queue is over say after 20mins)
Visualization:

Visualisation of How to improve Google+ Hangouts

Who are the most popular Social Media gurus of India?

India

Image via Wikipedia

My answer on Quora

Who are the most popular Social Media gurus of India?

It is difficult to say if someone is a social media guru or not. However, in my search so far I haven’t found any in India. For me a guru would be someone who would produce some original social media related content predicting trends and providing an excellent commentary on existing scenarios.

I guess the lack of gurus is to do with the whole culture of innovation. US is coming up with most numbers of online startups, and this is directly related to the level of discussion and expertise they have developed in this field

I don’t see that happening in the Indian context atleast for the time being . But there is good discourse starting to take place and that’s a start. Websites such as India social and blogs like Gauravonomics  are doing some good job in this field.

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How does social media bring value to film production companies?

A film being made in Warsaw, Bracka street

Image via Wikipedia

My answer on Quora

How does social media bring value to film production companies?

It helps you find where your audience are and share the sort of content that appeals to them. Its an excellent opportunity to engage with them and spread the word about your film production company far and wide.

Also at times seek ideas from your audience and do some co-production with them, make them own the content. You never know with so many fans and exciting content it could always go Viral.

Also it helps to engage with the influencers in your field, access them and you will get their attention if u follow the engagement rules and not hard sell