Friday, July 18, 2014

Social Media As Customer Service

Do you think that your Social Media Page could work well in attending to customer complains and requests? Perhaps now is the time to start to look at Social Media in many ways. 

Your customer could have connected with your Page for many reasons. For instance they could have connected so that they get privileges in terms of discounts, or to be the first to know on new arrivals or new launches. They could join your Page to perhaps know and connect with similar minded people in case of professional interest or causes and social issues. And so on.

What about this situation: They may also join because they could be fed-up with the current customer care that they have called a numerous times and have not received any answer.  

When your customer connects with your Social Media site it is all part of customer care. You need to gear up and empower your Social Media team with the relevant knowledge. Be careful your Social Media Page should not be a page full of apologies and asking people to send an email with complete scenario of problem or asking them to call on the customer care number. There are times when you may go on Twitter for instance and view certain business houses - you could come across an entire stream of 'we are sorry to hear this, please send your email to ....'. This kind of approach only in dire situation is justified. However if your entire Page is seen in this manner then the customer or target audience will loose interest. Your Social Media personnel should have the power to address issues. 

For this it is important that you have an action plan sorted and well laid out. Naturally if there is a product defect then your Social Media personnel cannot rectify this over the internet. Hence you need to have an escalation matrix back at your drawing board. Thus all departments should be informed and infact trained on the Social Media plan. They need to be explicitly informed that they are to act when the Social Media person forwards to them a request / advice / concern / complain. This is serious information and they need to take steps towards it. Secondly they need to revert back with proper details post the steps taken. The reason being the Social Media personnel needs to inform openly [ofcourse dependent on situation] on the same platform as the complain was received the steps that are taken.

Is your organization ready to take up this challenge? Share your views here. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Are You For Or Against: 'Right to be Forgotten' - Social Media

Are you for or against: 'Right to be Forgotten'  

We know once you Post on the Internet, your matter stays; even if the 'delete' button is pressed. 


'Right to be Forgotten' is the latest debate that is taking its rounds in Social Media. The right to be forgotten is a concept that has been discussed and put into practice in the European Union (EU) (most notably France) and Argentina in recent years. The concept stems from the desire of an individual to ‘determine the development of his / her life in an autonomous way, without being perpetually or periodically stigmatized as a consequence of a specific action performed in the past.’


There is discussion about the viability of the elevation of the right to be forgotten into the status of an international human right due to the vagueness of the concept. There are concerns about its impact on the right to freedom of expression, its interaction with the right to privacy, and whether creating a right to be forgotten would decrease the quality of the internet through censorship and a rewriting of history.


What is your take?

I work as Freelance Social Media Network Online Professional. My Business Page is on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia Do join me. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

3 Points To Remember When You Are Looking At Social Media

You do hope to use Social Media Marketing to the best of your capacity and to its optimum use. Social Media may look easy; which it is! If you have the patience and the perseverance then Social Media will not remain a mystery.

Strategy is all about what is to be done and what is not to be done. Here goes the basics:



  1. Remember Social Media is not about Sales Bombardment. No one wants to connect with a Page that keeps on giving out sales oriented messages. 
  2. Great that you are on Social Media - however it is not a race to get more people joining you - it is not a popularity contest. 
  3. Social Media is not about overnight success. If you think that your sales should soar up in a week's time then you might as well not be here; you have not got it right as yet.
I work as Freelance Social Media Network Online Professional. My Business Page is on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia Do join me. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What To Post On Facebook? - Social Media

Many a times am questioned as to what should the Facebook Posts be so that the Community starts to interact and the Communication between the Brand and the Community could start...

First advice - a very critical one:
Posts are not about bombarding sales messages. They are about 'Sharing'. This is what usually Appeals and is Useful / Beneficial to the person at Personal Level, Professional Level and or Social Level. 

Your Sales Message would not appeal to any of these right? So drop it!


I work as Freelance Social Media Network Online Professional. My Business Page is on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia Do join me.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

How To Measure Your Social Media Efforts

Social Media efforts like any other marketing effort requires that it be measured, monitored and be accountable. This is simple business practice not restricted and not limited by marketing efforts alone. Typically in business terminology called Return On Investments or ROI.

It is certain that while Social Media is easily available and can be networked with, it still does require investment, skill and thorough knowledge. These investment at minimal level would be time, energy, technology [hardware, software the web and internet connectivity], dedicated human resource. Add to this just like any other marketing campaign we will require objectives and KPIs Key Process Indicators as well. 

There is lot of research and discussion going on in the area of 'how to arrive at a ROI for Social Media'. There are two unique groups at the two ends of a spectrum. One group profess that Social Media has not as yet reached the stage of measurement and the other group states that Social Media can be measured. What is your take on this? Can Social Media be measured - as yet?

What we need to understand is that while we do measure the Social Media space we need to be very clear on what the parameters are to be. Naturally the most upfront one is mentioning that if the objective is achieved then all other things would fall in place. Now the objective for Social Media need not always be in terms of quantifiable terms. It could be qualitative and / or quantitative. The measuring process works just like any other profit and loss system however the parameters are very very different. Add to this not only are the parameters different but the scale of these parameters are also different. 

One needs to understand 'how Social Media works' before diving into a measuring chase. This is the most critical part. If one does not know, understand and comprehend how Social Media actually works, how it performs and how to go about it then one is not [with due respect] qualified to establish the measuring criteria. As you read below you will get an understanding of  this statement.   

While measuring the Social Media efforts we need to consider the below parameters. The below parameters are indications of the various factors that are to be 'considered' and 'understood' before we start to set a formula:

Time: Time is of great essence here in Social Media. At one level we need to be clear that immediate results are not every time the only correct way for measure. Social Media by its nature works on two levels one is engagement levels with the members and the SEO level. If we go a little deep both engagement and SEO get better with consistent efforts.They require the time factor to get established. For instance the positive engagement which eventually should lead to loyalty and viral effect cannot happen at once by merely setting up of a Facebook Fan Page for instance and getting people to join in. To develop relevant interactions the brand and the customer set would require time. The next part is SEO. SEO work is like an investment. You consistently work on the SEO aspect while working online. The efforts put in today will reap you rewards in the near future.   

Number of followers / fans / members: This is the most sought after target. While it would be great to have a huge Fan base it is necessary that the topics we communicate is relevant to them and enhancing our brand image. It is equally essential to get them dialoguing with us and just not having a one way communication [only from us]. This means that we need to have quality and not just quantity based followers / fans / members. When our communication is engaging only then we can be sure to a large extent to have a desired response. Additionally we should remember that good quality of engagement would lead to a viral effect. Thus automatically leading to increase in membership which is relevant to us and to whom we are relevant and bring value into their lives. This leads us onto 3 aspects namely:
Quantity [number of members]
Quality [right members that are relevant to brand]
Engagement Level [level of interaction and involvement]

For those who would be satisfied with numbers there is still a way out: Hence instead of the typical, usual number game how about using parameters like:
How many customers asked for more information
How many have been retained for over three months as your Tweeter followers
How many come to your main site / main blog
What was the conversion taking place in terms of sales
Number of features that the customers suggested and how many have we managed to implement
Number of hours in a week when we have interacted with the customers and created a result
Number of new qualitative customers
How many qualitative customers are being retained over three months
Number of repeat customers [same customer interacting intensely and participating more]
Number of viral effects that have taken place
Reduction in support costs
Number of new things that we discovered as consumer insight
Increase in Page Rank
Number of redemption taking place [if at all there is redemption coupon made available]
Number of back-links that you receive [qualitative back-links not just quantitative]

Add to this be sure to measure the qualitative aspect in terms of:
Satisfaction
Loyalty [retention and viral effect]
Engagement
Feedback

So it could be the mix of qualitative and quantitative matrix.

Add to all of the above factors is constant improvement. Having set the parameters we need to consistently check with reality of out individual case. Many a times we may set a lot of parameters that will not really make sense to an individual case for measuring. The parameters need to be in-sync with the feasibility of there being an output in terms of the brand, customer set, competition and category. It is not the case of same parameters fit all.

So we need to be very clear on how we want to measure the success of a Social Media Network Campaign.

What are your thoughts? Do join in.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

People Get Sued For Doing This OnLine - Social Media

People Get Sued For Doing This OnLine

Here is a situation:

Suppose You were browsing through a huge Retail Site and You come across a product that catches your desire and now you just cannot live without. So you buy it and eagerly await its arrival.

When it arrives, You rip it open and see it - and find it's ... terrible. Disappointed, you go back to the same WebSite and leave a Negative Review to warn others and also this way you are informing the Company and venting your anger. Perhaps you are hoping that the Product be replaced et al. 


You go along and share the same on your Social Media Platforms as well.

Now this is what can happen:
A few days later, you get a letter from a law firm representing the Product's manufacturer. It has decided your review constitutes defamation and libel. You can take down the review or you can show up in court.
The letter might even demand a small settlement fee for 
​'damages​'.​​


Be careful when you are OnLine. Do pass this message along so that people are cautious......


What is your take on this? Do you think the Company is right.....


Friday, May 2, 2014

Acquisition, Retention, And Building Loyalty In Social Media

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There are three important criteria while working on Social Media:
  • Acquisition
  • Retention
  • Building Loyalty
Acquisition:
This is the process of getting new people on-board. This is the phase where you bring in new Customers and Clients.
In order to get people on-board you will need to make a Business decision if you want to do aggressive marketing or have a subtle chronological effort. There are a couple of ways in which you could look at Acquisition:
  • Forums: Join the industry / category based Forums
    ​​
    . Forums have a good format of automatic giving your links in your signature. These are really good platforms if used properly. Do not spam.
  • Competitors: Many a times joining competitors is good. You know what the industry is doing. Please be extremely careful here. The idea is not to steal / pinch their Community Members. The idea is to give constructive discussions and add to the value that they are trying to give. You could join their Community on their Sites, join their Blogs, Join and add to their Facebook content, be on their Twitter and  LinkedIn.
  • Online Advertisements: The other way is to recommend to your Clients on giving out online advertisements. Facebook has an amazing concept of Sponsored Advertising and so on. Use these constructively. There is not much of money involved in the initial stages. What you need to know and do is target the advertisements in a correct manner by way of selecting the right Target Audience and their Target Market / Geography along with a message that will generate a desirable response. You can also look at online banner advertising and so on. These also can create new Customers and Clients. Online advertising can be have various formats to it. There are various sites offering various banner sizes and platforms. For instance you can have floating banners and so on.
  • Commenting: Commenting on various Blogs, Articles, Posts etc is a great way to encourage people into looking at you and your Links.
  • Offline Spread: Offline methods are also great to get you Clients and Customers. Advice your Clients to have your online Links on every document sent out. This could be envelopes, bills, invoices, advertisements, hoardings, tv, radio, visiting cards, letter heads and so on.
  • Software Templates: Have templates created for Emails and other software like Microsoft Word documents and so on containing the Online Links.
  • Reference And Endorsement: There is another method to get new Clients and Customers: This is the referral and endorsement system. If you have done satisfactory work with your ongoing Customers and Clients then there is a huge chance of them recommending you to their Network. If this takes place there is nothing better. However when you do get new Business from your existing Business sources you have a greater responsibility. People recommending others are putting their reputation to test as well. If you fail then they will be displeased as well. So be careful here.
  • More From Existing Clients And Customers: Additionally if your existing Clients and Customers are happy then they in turn will give you more business, your scope of work  will be increased.
  • QR Codes: With the help of QR Codes you can make a long URL printed in the offline world easy to connect with you
    r ​
    Social Media Page. 
These are few of the ways in which you could look at Acquisition.

Retention:
This is the process of maintaining the existing Clients and Customers. After you get Clients and Customers you need to deliver to them the desired results. There is a lot that goes into delivering the right results at the right time and at the right price. There are a couple of tips that you could use so that you can retain your Social Media Community:

  • Privileged Feeling: You need to give your Clients and Customers a feeling of being privileged. 
    • This could be done by giving them great discounts and sales information
      ​​
      .
    • You could let them have the first peek at new launches.
    • Let them be the first to know what is taking place behind the scenes.
    • If you are managing Celebrity then let them have a chance to connect with your Celebrity.
    • If there is a new announcement that you will 
      ​be ​
      coming out with let your Community know first.
  • Belonging Feeling: Let your Customers and Clients get the feeling of belonging to your Inner Circle. 
    • Encourage them to speak and to share. 
    • Let them know that they are a part of your Family. 
    • Let them share their experience with your product. 
    • Appreciate a good comment. Make it a point to address a negative remark.
  • Share information that can help them. See when and on what do they re-act. 
  • Monitor and check on feedback. 
  • Listen in to what they are talking. Add if you can deliver value. 
These are few of the ways in which you could look at Retention.

​​
Building Loyalty:
If you have managed to retain your Clients and Customers well then getting them to be a little more attached and loyal to you / your Brand or Business should not be a far away dream. Building Loyalty is a life long process. It is a feeling that people have towards your Brand or Business. Loyalty is not a destination; in the sense you cannot really say that you have attained Loyal Clients and Customers so there is nothing else to be done. Anything going down on the Retention graph directly hampers your Loyalty graph.

What are your points to build on Acquisition, Retention and Loyalty.



I work as Freelance Social Media Network Online Professional. My Business Page is on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia Do join me.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

How To Tackle Negative Comments While Managing Community In Social Media


Hi Folks, do you work as an Online Community Manager? Do you often receive the negative remarks of some person whom you have not known in a long time? Well you do not have to be a community member to receive negative feedback / response or a comment. You could have subscribed to a site and there you have someone creating a high noise level. You may not know this person. The only connection between you and this person is the Page / Site that you both are on. While sometime the comments 'may' not be 'useful', other times certain comments are necessary to be heard and addressed to. 

When the comments are directly towards you at a personal level you may tend to re-act a little more strongly. When it is towards your business or brand then you at first step try to plan but yet could have a strong urge to re-act. 

There are couple of reasons why people react negatively. Before we re-act to negative comments we need to have a basic understanding towards the human mind set. 

People face different situations in their daily life and this they interpret with their own individual understanding and thus portray certain attitudes and traits and thereby a particular behavior takes place. Before we re-act we need to take a step back. We need to realize that each person comes with some background / situation / circumstances in life. Yes, this is very easily said than done. However we need to try and step back. Many a times a person voices negative remarks within the online space is because they feel maybe this way you will at-least adhere to what they are sharing and quickly work towards solution. Perhaps they have been given the feeling of not being heard otherwise. They could also be voicing - just so that they feel they are heard. For some it is a good ego boost.

There are a couple of ways in which one should re-act or rather let me say 'address' negative comments. 

Weigh the comments first: 
Re-read, try to listen to what the person has actually been driving towards, what is being referred to and mentioned, rather than what is being read by you. Read between the lines. There would be aggressive words and tone of voice however beneath this is the person trying to share with you that they are quite troubled and fed - up with a certain aspect / reason to comment. See if in the first place the comment is to be addressed. Try to move your anger and aggression out.  Is this person justified in what they have shared and voiced?

Do not make each response public:
Just because the person has made their comments publicly towards you or your brand or your business it does not mean and is not necessary to re-act in a same public manner. Sometimes connecting with this person on a one to one basis could be helpful. Yes one could feel that 'others may think i am a coward' and so on. Let us not be hampered by our own uncertainties, as there is already the commentator in a not so good state of mind. By going public we could unnecessarily make a situation ugly. Remember you are judged by what you do and not do. If the person is a regular aggressive commentator people will realize. You do not have to degrade yourself. 

Not to re-act:
Sometimes senseless rantings need to not be addressed at all. Yes you need not comment and start to get into a dialogue with each comment; while this is being said it should be very clear that you should be noticing, listening to each comment and would be having a logical reasoning as to why you do not re-act to certain comments at all. Silence speaks. It is just like the case of pen being mightier than the sword. Silence speaks a thousand words. So be very careful when you choose to silence yourself with respect to some comments. Definitely if it is a feedback please do not get into a silence mode. Yes if it is some comment that has just intercepted into an ongoing conversation in a aggressive manner then perhaps silence towards that comment could be justified.  

Accept the problem:
If the person is correct in what they have shared then you need to accept this case. However please do not make each bad remark into an apology. In the sense if some third person comes to that particular page they should not find a string of only apologies. I have seen this in cases of certain brands. You may go on Twitter and check that these are full of a sentence that goes as 'we are sorry to hear this, can you please send your email id or contact number so we can contact you'. While this is good customer service it may not be the right engagement in the online space. It so happens that wherever you scroll on this page this sentence seems to have been the template for all cases. The acceptance can be on a one to one basis as well. 

Be in-sync with your brand:
If the person whom you would be addressing is a online contact alone; who does not know you personally / professionally and whom you may also not know this persons only see and perceives you in the manner in which you react within the online space. Lets be clear that your personality is constantly being portrayed and comprehended by what actions you do and not do. It is critical that you have a planned brand personality within your system. How should you re-act should be driven by the brand personality. It is also essential that you have an escalation matrix within your system. And all concerned are aware of this. The reason being is that you finally need to deliver what you are mentioning online.

In Conclusion:
Be consistent with your brand image. Have a planned escalation matrix. Remember online material many a times cannot be deleted from the mind. Think before reacting. Consider and listen clearly. Move out the negatives wording see between the lines and listen in to what is being said, get an understanding of why it being said rather than concentrating on the how / the words being used.Please be empathetic. 

Do share in your parameters and caution points as well. Do join in here. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Measuring Your Customer In Social Media

We know how Direct Marketing and CRM [Customer Relationship Management] use the RFM model.

RFM = Recency, Frequency and Monetary Value.
  • Recency = How recent has the customer purchased
  • Frequency = How often did the purchase take place
  • Monetary= How much was the spend / purchase made of
Here you slice and dice the data. From this model you can decipher who are your active customer sets, who are passive and not reacting and those who have been active and have for some reason gone out of action. This and more can be done with the data. For instance you can figure out who are your high paying people. You can take business decision if you want to concentrate on the customers who are more value by monetary terms but may not be as frequent as the medium monetary value customers in a given period and so on.

In a RFM model there is lot of permutation and combination that could take place. For instance you can slice / segregate the Recency factor into:
  • Customers who have purchased in the last 90 days
  • Customers who have purchased between the last 91 and 120 days
  • Customers who have purchased between the last 121 days and 365 days
  • And so on
The depth of slicing your data depends on the category that you have. For instance an impulse or FMCG or a monthly product can have more depth while if your product is consumer durable which after purchase requires atleast 5 years for the customer to make the next purchase then naturally the recency parameter will not need to be sliced in depth.

RFM can have its deviations to suite your type of category. For instance if you have too many products, variants and sub-variants then you can add a P to the RFM which makes it RFMP. Need more deviation? You can change M to D. Wherein D = Duration.

To analyze the RFM:
You can do this with high end software or you can do this manually on excel sheet. However, your back end data collection is required to be strong. You need to have a method and a system in place, wherein the data gets populated when purchase is made. Only then you can do your analysis.

The above is just a glimpse and short synopsis of what RFM is and how you can put it to use.

Let's consider the Social Media Community that we have. Let's look at Facebook Business Page as an example. We have a list of people connected to our Page. You may need to physically put them onto your excel sheet, or build a software that patches this process. The main problem that you may have to overcome is the name of the person on Facebook needs to match the name of the person who is purchasing. People may have a different identity on Social Sites. You may have to connect with each and share with them the relevance of them giving their true name so that you can match the identity on Facebook and in real life. Usually people share as there is always a possibility of receiving a reward in this, they would be given something more due their good standing in the RFM scenario. Once you have this in place [it is an ongoing process] then you can have your regular analysis as shared above.

Over a period of time the measure can be made to understand the life time value of the customer in your system as well. You can look at it as CLV, LCV and LTV. For this you need your data to be over a couple of years to have any concrete understanding.
  • CLV / CLTV= Customer Lifetime Value
  • LCV = Lifetime Customer Value
  • LTV = Lifetime Value
  • CV = Customer Value
When you work on the RFM module knowing and measuring CLV should not be a problem. You know who is contributing towards your bottom line, you know if the person arrived via Social Media sites, you can measure you customer value on Social Media.

Once you know the customer value you can estimate and put a price to that customer as to how much you want to spend on the customer. To measure the customer on lifetime value you need to have the below parameters:
  • Churn Rate = This is the percentage of your customers who move / end their relationship with your company in a given period
  • Discount Rate = Herein you are to check on the capital cost that is put into a particular customer set
  • Retention Costs = This is amount of monies that your company spends on a particular customer set in a given period to enable retention
  • Period / Duration = This is the critical measure. The period of time that you designate to the above calculations. Minimum advisable would be 3years as your data would not be robust till then for you to derive concrete idea.
Ofcourse the above is a simple glimpse. There is work and longtime dedication if you want to work towards attaining the real value of your customer sets.

ROI = The most debated, questioned and doubted attribute in Social Media. Call it by any name you are referring to the bottom line.
  • ROR = Rate Of Return
  • ROI = Return On Investment
  • RP = Rate Of Profit
The measure arrives from understanding what you have invested and what you have benefited with [Taxes to be understood as well]. To explain further it is the monies gained / lost by calculating the net gain and the gross gain. ROI is calculated in percentage.

In Social Media let's look at Facebook:
You know what all creative you have done, viral videos, wall papers, any technology, Social Media person's monthly cost and so on. Break this into capital and variables. Then calculate based on the re-actions that you have pre-decided. The re-action could be purchase for instance.

Need not be ROI each time:
You may want to not look at ROI each time. Value of a Community person is in their interactions on your Brand / Business Page, their sharing with their network and so on. Not every-time you may want to calculate in terms of figures. In real life how would you calculate word of mouth? Well if you have a loyalty programme then don't you ask who referred you? Just the way we have member get member programmes you can have on the Social Site as well the member get member programmes and so on. Have mutual benefits: let the person who brings in the new customer also benefit and let the new person also gain.

How do we know if the customer has come via Social Media Site?
This is answered by the age old method of tracking. When you want to know if a direct mail has worked or nor don't we give a code in the mail that customer would carry to do their purchase and redeem it to avail discounts. Similarly your Social Media can share codes which can be brought to the purchase counter. It could be a QR Code, MCoupon, On Social Site coupon and so on.

Social Media is an amazing space. You can do mass broadcast and direct connect. The space is such that it enables both. You can do CRM as well. Your choice, your business and marketing and branding decision. 
Good to read:

I work as Freelance Social Media Network Online Professional. My Business Page is on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia Do join me.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

How To Plan Your Social Media

Social Media should be a part of your Marketing Plan. Social Media is not to be seen as an  isolated one - off case. You need to be sure on how exactly you will use the Social Media Platforms like Facebook and others. Just the way your Marketing Plan would have a set of tactical steps for action, your Social Media is to have an action plan as well. The most worrying situation is when Business houses set up the Facebook Page and then they do not keep the Page active. This leaves a bad impression for the Brand and Business. Add to this the Page is open for Spammers. 
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Social Media Specialist: Working on Social Media requires expertise in many Marketing functions. For instance the person handling your Facebook Page is to be aware of the Brand Personality and how should the Brand Behave on the Social Media Platform. It is critical to understand the Brand Print and Personality. This will then be useful to know what kind of execution you will do on the Social Media Platform. The tone of voice is to be culled out from the Brand Personality. The person also needs to be sensitive to the pulse of the Consumer and other Stake-Holders. They need to understand how best Customer Care is rendered. They need to have the maturity on handling real time Comments.

Negative Comments Crises Management: While we all are certain and anxious that our Customers are happy with our products and services, we also know that there would be some issues which would end up being a deterrent to Customer Satisfaction efforts.  It is important that once you know the Brand Personality you have an agreed Crises Management written mandate. Crises in terms of unforeseen incident with your Business and Brand. Crises also means Negative Comments. The reason being that while you are in an open space of the internet there are Customers who can voice their opinion and suggestions. This not only comes to you but also goes to other Existing Customers and Future Customers as well. Any negative publicity needs to b e understood in a matured manner and not be responded due to anger. Practically all Brands see Negative Comments. It is a good idea to have Escalation Matrix. When you receive a query from your customer who is connected on your Page / Blog / Site what will you do if that query was not thought of previously. You need to have a person in the Company at your Client's side who can answer you almost 24/7. Your tackling of Negative Comments should be in line with your brand personality.

Monitor And Listening: It is important that you have a well constructed Monitoring System in place. This will keep you on top of the various Comments going out in the World Wide Web. It would be great if you have an alert system to send you an alert whenever your Business / Brand is mentions in the OnLine World. 

Pre-decide On Key Performance Indicators: KPI or Key Performance Indicators are important. Many a times when important personnel from the Brand / Business side are not clear on what happens in the Social Media atmosphere  It is sometimes the main cause of Social Media endeavors being left half way, people loosing interest, the steam goes out and the top management puts these efforts in the side line. Have your performance indicators well laid out. Let them be realistic and let them be such that they contribute towards the marketing and business goals. For instance having lots of followers and fans should not be a blind criteria, how much are they engaging and involving with your Page is important. 

On-Page SEO: It may not be essential to know technology in order to do SEO. Yes, there are specialists who can do off - page SEO which is done via programming, script writing, coding and in the edit HTML formats. However with limited knowledge of programming you need to be aware of where all you can work to ensure that the various search engines throw up your page when your target audience do their search.

Key-Word: One of the main reasons for your Page to come up ahead on Search Engines like Google.com is selecting the right KeyWords. This is critical. Before you post your first comment / information you need to decide and be sure of what are your Key-Words. This would emit from doing Key-Word research of your category, competitors and what your Brand is to personify and identify with. Add to this be realistic and think in terms of your target audience. What would they type in search engines is essential that you know. 

Page Philosophy: While you have your Brand Philosophy in tact you will also need to decide on what is your Page Differentiation and Philosophy. It is important that you pre-decide on the reason as to 'why should people join your Page'. Is it that they will receive exclusive offers, or a launch preview etc.

Consumer Mind-Set: You need to understand what your customer thinks about your category, brand, competitors, online as a medium and the particular Social Media Site that you plan to establish your brand / business in. For instance there are customers in certain part of the world who will not use Social Media to talk with certain categories where they feel it is best to meet the relationship officer. So you need to understand your customer's usage and attitude towards the Social Media Sites. Add to this there are various reasons as to why a person could have joined your Facebook Page for instance. The reason could be as  simple as they want a response to a specific problem with regards to your product / service. Since they may have not received a good and satisfying reply from your Costume Care persons they have joined your Page to ask you. 

Adaptability To Change As Per Feed-Back From The Measuring And Monitoring Tools: Rules and plans should be pre-decided, however they are not to be rigid. You need to change your plan of action if required. If feedback via your Monitoring Method throws up the fact that changes are required then do so. 

Competitor Study: You need to be aware on what others are doing. Both, Direct Competitor and Notional as well. Who is your competitor, what is their offline and online activity is all important to be well understood. And yes what are they doing on Social Media Sites is crucial for you to keep updated with constantly. Also keep in mind that your Posts will be one of the many Posts that come onto your Audiences Feed. So you are not only fighting with Competitors but also other Posts.

Understand The Social Media Site's Functionality and Its Perception As well: It is best to really know the functions of the Social Media Platforms that you take up. To use them optimally is the best way to get resul
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ts.

Acquisition: It is necessary that you plan how and from where your target audience should flow into your Page. You need to have your Social Media URL on each and every communication - OnLine and OffLine.

Retention: How will you nurture and limit the attrition is also vital. This if done well then your existing Audience will become your Brand Ambassadors. 
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I work as Freelance Social Media Network Online Professional. My Business Page is on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia Do join me.

Friday, January 31, 2014

How To Spread Your Facebook Page URL And Twitter Handle - Social Media



Incase your Facebook Page and your Tweets from your Twitter is not being spread around or heard well, then, here are couple of spaces where you can add your Facebook Page URL and your Twitter Handle:
  • Insert on your EMail below your Signature
  • Put the Twitter Handle on your Facebook Page in the About Section
  • Put the Facebook URL on your Twitter Page in the Description Section
  • Sparingly mention your Handle and Facebook URL when you write your LinkedIn Credential Part
  • Incorporate the two on your Visiting Card 
  • Incorporate them on all your Offline and Online Communications like advertisements, Press Releases Etc
  • Place them in the most visible position on your WebSite and Blog
  • Place them as Signature on your SMS and when you send out EMails from your Cell Phones
  • It would be great if you can generate  a Q R  Code as well
  • Have them a
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    s Signature in your Forums as well
  • Write a Blog Post for them mentioning what people will find if they join them
  • Request your existing Network to share and spread them

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Your Turn, add to this List!

I work as Freelance Social Media Network Online Professional. My Business Page is on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia Do join me.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What Makes Your Facebook Page Get Banned - Social Media

Do you work a lot on Facebook to sell your Brand / Business? This is well appreciated since this is strong platform to get into Community Engagement mode. Add to this most people seem to be on Facebook. What's more is that Search Engines do like Facebook.

Facebook has its own rules and guidelines on what you are allowed to do and what will get your Brand / Business Page banned. The rules are not too difficult to under
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stand however they end up making you ask what then can you do. Banning of your Page can be a little troublesome for you, reason being that you may find it difficult to get your Page back.

There are Five audiences that can flag you and get you banned:
  • Facebook algorithms recognizing your footprints on Facebook as going against their rules
  • By Community Members of your Page
  • By your Personal Profile Page Network
  • By Other Pages where you join
  • By Members of the other Pages where you have joined
Below is what you should avoid and what you could do on your Facebook Brand / Business Page:
  • On and From your Brand / Business and Profile Page:
    • As much you may be tempted do not send out unnecessary and too many newsletters. This is a space where even if Facebook does not ban you - your Community Members will flag you and unsubscribe from your Page.
    • Posting too many marketing Links will get you flagged by Facebook. This is done so that Brand and Business Pages do not turn out to be a nuisance to people. Your Community Members have joined you for various reasons - 99% of the time they have not joined you to be bombarded with sales messages.
    • Posting too often the same Link will immediate tell the algorithms at Facebook that here is spammer. 
    • Sending out requests to join via 'Invite Friends' button leaves you very much in the hate list of your Network and Facebook as well. 
    • Copy and pasting the same information around.
    • Your Page for the Brand or Business should be created from your Personal Profile Page not from a pseudo name or corporate name. This Profile Page should be real and not fictitious. In other words you should be traced in the real world if required. Naturally this does not mean you give out too much Personal information that can cause crime. 
    • You can have multiple Pages for your different Brands and Business all of them should be from that one original real Personal Profile Page. 
    • You cannot have multiple Profile Pages. 
    • Do no go on making friends spree from your Personal Profile Page. 
    • Do not Post Copy-write matter. If you do the give the credit line. Do not claim it as your own in any manner whatsoever. This means that - your not claiming and not giving it a credit line either can be misunderstood as your matter / content is also wrong.
    • Your Brand and Business Page name should be real and not general qualifiers like for instance Pizzas. Your campaign name and/or regional or demographic qualifiers are acceptable
  • Using your Page as the 'Use Facebook as Page':
    • This is great function that Facebook has brought in. However use this wisely.
    • Posting your link all over gets you not only on the hit list of Facebook but also by other Pages and Community Members of other Pages.
    • Giving unnecessary comment and not adding value to the other Pages that you seem to be trampling on will make your own page get flagged. You will be recognized as spammer by the other Pages and their Community Members as well. 
    • Copy and Pasting the same information around all Pages that you have joined.
  • Running Promotions / Contests / Sweepstakes / Discounts / Offers etc on your Facebook Page:
    • Promotions that are leading people to take action on your or their Facebook Page calls for Facebook to cut you out. Examples are:
      • Click like and join us and get / win ....
      • Post a comment and get / win .... 
      • Tag the photos and get / win ....
      • Get members and get / win .....
      • Click like on this Post and get / win ....
      • Upload a photo on our Wall and get / win ....
      • The 100th Fan will get / win ....
      • Mention this Page on your Wall and get / win ....
      • Etc
    • Promotions should have a open disclosure that in no way Facebook is responsible for the same - its logic, deliverables, content and so on.
    • You cannot use any of the Facebook functionality as a voting mechanism
      • For instance like and vote your voice
    • You cannot notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook Messages, Chat, or Posts on Profiles (timelines) or Pages.
    • If you wish to interact / collect any information then you need to have an application for this. The application developed needs to comply to Facebook rules for applications and developers. This means that judging entries, notifying winners, collecting entries, conducting a competition etc all need an application.
    • You can randomly select a Community Member - this means that there was no contest or competition etc.
    • For third party applications you can get them ready made online or create your own. Both ways the application and the developer needs to comply with the general and special rules of Facebook. Special rules are made for developers to adhere to.
    • A simple way to go about is have your contest, competition or discounts and offers run on your Blog or Site. You are allowed to give the Link as a Post. Announce that this is in no way is endorsed, sponsored, administered or associated with or by Facebook. 
  • If you do collect information from users, the you need to take their consent, and make it very clear that it is you and not Facebook who is collecting their information, and post a privacy policy explaining what information you wish to collect and how you plan to use it.
  • Use applications wherein the developers have met with the Facebook terms and conditions meant for developers.
  • Any Third party advertisements on Pages are very strictly prohibited. Ads or commercial content on Pages must comply with Facebook Advertising Guideline.
  • And finally: Facebook has the right to amend / change the rules anytime. 
The rules are simple. Are they not? Still need more information?
Bottom line is that Facebook should not be involved directly or indirectly in whatever you do. It is your liability. Simply put if there is winner involved, if there is give away monetary non-monetary then you need to follow the rules tightly.
My Business Page is on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia Do join me.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

How To Make Your Facebook Posts Viral - Social Media

On Facebook we hope to bring the Brand closer to our customers. We know that the base of a good relationship with our Audience is by Posting Content that makes our Audience Like us and Interact with us. 

Step back!. Think. What is the Content to consist so that it triggers action from our Audiences?

In Psychology there are many reasons as to why people would Interact and Infact share your Content. There is a certain need to be met. This would be tangible and / or intangible. If you get the hook on this need then you have won almost 60% of the battle. Along with this need there is another factor to keep in mind. The answer to the this question  Why have people joined your Facebook Page. 

While a couple of ideas are shared below, it is important that you keep the Brand Personality and Brand Tone of Voice in Mind. For instance below there is mention of having humorous Posts. However if your Brand Personality is got to be serious no smile type then you need not go in for the humor idea.  

Here are a couple of interesting ideas that could be of help:
  • Offers work. Any discount, anything free works. The magic word 'Free' works. Buy one get one free also works. Provide offers that most / many can benefit from. 
  • Provide good advise. There is always someone who requires a quick solution. Tips are another great method. In practically all Industries there is a certain amount of information that can be given out in a couple of sentences. These are sometimes quick fixes and sometimes open secrets. Give out information that helps people in taking care. Let them know on what damage could take place and so on. 
  • Humor. This is always a great way to get people immediately connecting with your Post [Not your Page though]. Remember humor when done with care and responsibility is looked forward to. 
  • Inspiring quotes that relate to day to day life of your Audiences is a great way to have mutual connect.
  • Another good aspect is the did you know series. This is about facts and figures that would be useful / good to know.
  • A cause, flag bearer Posts also make people re-act.
I work as Freelance Social Media Network Online Professional. My Business Page is on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia Do join me.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Should You Use Facebook Page Or Facebook Group - Social Media

Many a times am asked if the Business House should get onto Facebook Page or Facebook Group. Do you also face this dilemma? It is a very justified question. The reason being that after all time energy and lot of thinking would be utilized in Social Media. Using a wrong platform could mean the Business House will not be able to achieve its desired objective.

There is a simple way to understand what you should do. You need to understand what you are going to do. What is it that you want to achieve. Also you need to have a clear idea on how Groups and Pages function. What is feasible on them and what is not feasible. This then you should match with what exactly you are planning on Facebook.

Facebook Group can be used for varied purpose. For instance:
  • Family based Groups: When you put up photos and messages not all of your Facebook friends / list can be disturbed and interfered with. 
  • Close friends Groups: You will have your privacy and just have your gang / group of friends communicating without the world really interfering onto your team.
  • Colleagues team up on a task / project: If your work environment suggests that you have a team then enable the Groups to have updates and status reports come up on the Groups wall for all to view at same time; comments will be seen and interacted / acted upon as well.  
  • And so on, Facebook Groups have a reason to exists. 

Coming back to our question should you look at Facebook Pages or Facebook Groups? Pages have people from all walks of life connecting to you via a single Page. Now let’s assume [or maybe you have already experienced] a situation wherein your Facebook Pages has a broad value. Say for example if your Page philosophy / intent / purpose / reach is broad based and people who have joined your Page get very involved. You may now see that there is a reason to bifurcate into smaller groups. The reason being that certain people are addressing a particular issue. For this you need not create another Fan Page what you need now is to create small Facebook Groups.  

So in business you need to create Facebook Groups strategically. Such that while you have your main Facebook Page as umbrella, the various Facebook Groups could be created to address more in-depth conversations  / issues.  

I work as Freelance Social Media Network Online Professional. My Business Page is on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia
 Do join me.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Your Search Engine Optimizer - Social Media

Social Media is very important in order to enhance and support Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts. The reason being - as once a page of a site or a link is found by Social Media users, it can then go 'Viral' ; if Content is good. This starts pointing many links back to the website which in turn is seen as a sign of 'Popularity' to the search Genies [Algorithms]. Thereby giving a boost in Rankings to that particular site. Both the small and big business rely on the Social  Networking Strategies in order to promote the offers and share updates from the Business, meaning that the Social Media Marketing is made all that easier. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

What Not To Do On Facebook - Social Media

One of the main platform in Social Media is Facebook. Just the way we have do and donts for other medias, we have dos and donts for Facebook as well. For instance you would avoid more than 8 words on a hoarding. 

Social Media is a sensitive platform for your Brand and Business. The whole area of Marketing is based on trial and improvisation. Feedback and addressing issues is the core of Marketing effort. These could be in any form and via any vehicle like advertising wherein we deal with perception, direct marketing where we deal with one to one [we try to] and so on. In this huge sphere we have now Social Media as an additional feature. This though is no more new media and in no way should it still be a mystery to the marketing personnel.
Below are a couple of dont's while you work on your Facebook Page for your Brand / Business:
  • Buy Fans. This is amazing. You have a huge following suddenly. The cost is usually per Fan joining... The practice of buying Fans kills the very idea of Social Media. You are coming on-board because you believe in the amazing power of connecting with your Audience and putting in the required efforts. Many a times the Buy Fans practice leads to disaster. 
  • Post Irrelevant Content. Posting Content that has no meaning and use to your Audience is worse than not Posting. Just for the sake of Posting please do not bombard your Audience with matter that is not at all relevant to them. Your Audience will start to ignore you, and unsubscribe from your Page.
  • No Interaction with Audience. This is again against the basic principal of Social Media. You are on the platform of Social Media to Interact and Connect with your Audience. If they Communicate with you then you too need to Communicate. Ofcourse it depends on your Brand and Business Personality on how you may want to respond. 
  • Be A Spammer. Joining other Pages on Facebook and then giving Links of your Page is not a very good thing. You need to understand that not only the Page Owner but also other Audiences on that Page will look at your Post as Spam. It is essential that you know and understand that this way you may just about get a two to four people onto your Page. However the negative image and perception that you are building is larger than what you may think.


My Business Page is on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia Do join me.