The Zombieland of Facebook Likes!

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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

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Have you Pinned something lately?

Pinterest!All that buzz about Pinterest being more than just the new kid on the block is getting more eyeballs than anything else in the social media circle these days. Some reports suggest that it is has more members than Google+ and perhaps is getting more traffic everyday than Twitter.

Well, you can be the judge of that. However, pinning things on a board is not bad and guess what, brands like Adidas are already pinning their stuff on it. For retailers this is another opportunity to share their content and connect with their community.

Though I have been one of the early adopters of Pinterest, it only recently that I started using it actively. You can find my two boards Social Media in Pics, and My First Month in Delhi. I plan to start more boards and keep pinning on a variety of social media and online marketing topics in general.

You can follow my Pinterest profile here: http://pinterest.com/vishalsharrma

Lady Gaga offering free Macbooks and iPad’s ?

Lady GaGa@ladygaga, the Twitter account of ‘mother monster’ as she loves to call herself was hacked on Monday. The first tweet promised Macbooks to her followers followed by a second one which asked her monsters to follow a link to get an iPad.  The tweet promised her monsters (fans) a free iPad2 to celebrate the holiday season directing them to a web link which now delivers a ‘potentially problematic’ warning. Thousands of people are believed to have clicked on the link leading them to a not so impressive portal.

Lady Gaga’s much loved twitter account was declared hacker free, and hours later Lady Gaga was much relieved when her account was recovered just in time for her to meet her ‘Tokyo Monsters’, she tweeted, “Phew. The hacking is over! And Justin time, I’m on my way to Japan! So excited to spend Xmastime with my TokyoMonsters!”

Lady Gaga is the most sort after celebrity on Twitter with 17 million followers though she has just 1800 tweets to her credit.

@Nellyfurtado’s twitter account also seems to be giving ‘FREE Macbook’s.. in the spirit of holidays.’ No doubt with Christmas nearing and the New year in sight the spirit of holidays is catching up with hackers and who else to share it other then their very own Lady gaga

Lady Gaga's original hacked tweet

Lady Gaga relieved to get her Twitter account back

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Facebook and businesses?

Illustration of Facebook mobile interface

Image via Wikipedia

Follow up of Making your Boss Understand the Fuss about Facebook

So coming back to the point about why companies are on Fb?: Because people/target audience are here and they are more real-life here than they have ever been with any other medium. It has taken the shape of a mass aggregation of social units each with life of their own, connecting with other units. The prominent factor here is that these users have chosen to be Fb and have not been lured by some marketing gimmick.

And once they are here the relationships they form with companies or other users are as good as it would have been in a real life scenario. So a ‘like’ or recommendation here is easily identifiable by the community providing a proof of company’s worthiness.

Companies and Facebook: Why? Companies can set up pages on Facebook for free. It’s an address of their identity on a site. Let me explain considering the example of ‘global village’, a company own a cottage in the village just like their competitors and other users. But this is the only village where people like to live out of their own will even though there are other villages nearby. So would it make sense living in another village where no one comes and does business?

Is the Facebook address an alternative to official websites? No, it is not an alternative but just an acceptance of the fact that the company is responsive to its customers’ needs. People on the network talk about the company when they are happy with their services or even otherwise. So it makes sense to be there and interact with them. However, one should understand that all data (pictures, text, conversations etc) on Facebook is governed by Fb’s rules and regulation. Being a social network it is safe to assume that all of its is in public domain, however, Fb has the right to alter its policy as it has done in the past which could have impact on company’s Fb page jeopardising the huge investment of time and money in supporting it.

Is having a Fb page for your company the new form of advertising? Yes and no. Yes because having a company page would mean users or your community would be able to find you easily and connect with your message. But then they would act and react to that message, which is not only shared with the company but with the whole community at the same time. So the message becomes participatory at that very instant, and the user/community and the company become equal participants on a level playing field. This has implications for customer service, brand management and virtually for every other department of the company.

Does having a Facebook address mean that you have arrived? No, Fb won’t work for your company if it is used as any other mass communication medium where the information is just pushed at end users. Unless a strategy bound interaction based approach is used being on Fb would be futile.

Would websites become obsolete? No, websites are here to stay for a long time to come. What makes a website obsolete in real terms is the lack of interaction with end users. Unless the website is optimised for social users (social media optimisation) it is of no use as it adheres to the one-way flow of communication model.

Making your Boss understand the ‘fuss about Facebook’

Quel ricco sfondato di Mark Zuckerberg, founde...

Image via Wikipedia

Recently I met a social media executive friend who works at a company that take their traditional marketing a bit too seriously. But the good news is that they want to change and get on the SM band wagon. However, they fail to understand as my friend puts it, “What’s the fuss about Facebook?”

I guess they are baffled about Facebook becoming the integrating force of all online marketing efforts and can’t understand why. So I thought why not provide them with a context they can relate to, which by the way is also going to be my first blog post. So here we go.

Unlike popular perception Facebook users are not just teenagers or young people in their 20’s. It is safe to assume that Facebook has evenly penetrated or is actively reaching users of all age groups especially the 35+ demographic base.

So, why are corporates interested in Facebook?

Simply because people are spending more and more time on Facebook. There has been a surge as high as 700% on the total time spent on Facebook. Unsurprisingly marketers are simply following people through a medium that guarantees maximum exposure and a prolonged attention span. Earlier this was done through mass communication mediums like radio, newspapers and television as it provided companies a medium to advertise or place their brands to reach their target audience.

So what’s changed?

As any social scientists would tell you human being aren’t coded to follow a medium of mass communication (one to many). Our evolution process that goes back to millions of years makes us inter-dependent beings who hunt (now work) together, gather information and survive. In my opinion the mass communication mediums available before the internet revolution proved inefficient in addressing the basic human need of ‘Participatory Information Sourcing & Sharing’. In fact, the pre-revolution medium could be broadly described as information scavenging due to the lack of participatory mechanism.

So here comes the internet and the world becomes a ‘Global Village.’ And as you would expect people living in this village have families, colleagues, friends and other shared relationships. These relationships had to be sustained considering increased differences of time zones and industrial revolutions. This led to Social Media, which is nothing but a shared space of relationships in an augmented reality supported and appreciated by real-life inputs.

Why ‘fuss’ about Facebook?

Facebook has pioneered the social networking trend by customising its experience to a ‘real-life role playing’. It’s the most real-life interaction based network that replicates the social experience at a psychological level. The vital need for social acceptance (liked or accepted by peers) is inherent in human psyche.

Facebook provides a model for mass aggregation of social units (with relationships) each with the life of their own, connecting with other similar units. The prominent factor here is that these users have chosen to be Facebook and have not been lured by some marketing gimmick.  And once they are here the relationships they form with companies or other users are as good as it would have been in a real life scenario.  So a ‘like’ or recommendation here is easily identifiable by the community providing a proof of company’s credibility.

(Part II of the post to highlight what Facebook  means for companies)