Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Social Media Is Best Played By Your Nearby Provisional Store?

Social Media is about engagement and relevant conversations. It is about building a positive rapport and thereby good relationships. It gets into good CRM and one to one direct marketing space.

Lets consider our neighborhood provisional store. Do you think they have been building relationships long back?

We would have at some time or the other visited the provisional store near us, this could be from residence or office. These days you can call via telephone and they deliver your requirement at your door-step.

There are a couple of things that our neighborhood provisional stores do that perhaps we should learn form. This is worth looking at form Social Media aspect as well as from CRM direct marketing aspect:

  • They recognize you: If you are a little regular purchaser they soon start to recognize you and try to connect with you.
  • Remind you of previous purchase: In case you are ordering something and draw a blank [forget what is to be ordered]  they help you to remember this.
  • Cash turns to credit: They do not mind giving you your order on credit basis. They infact assure you that you will pay so nothing to worry.
  • Delivery at doorstep: They have no problem in sending your ordered items to your doorstep.
  • Going out of their way to get for you: Incase from the items that you have ordered there is something that they may not have at that time, they will get it for your by evening, they make you not look for that item elsewhere.
  • When you pass by they acknowledge you: Have passed by your regular provisional stores? Do they acknowledge you? They give you a recognition that you are an old trusted customer.
  • Warmth: When you enter the store there is immediate connection. You find the environment and people familiar.  
  • Senior Citizen pass time: You may notice that sometimes Senior Citizens do spend time a lot at the counter generally chatting. 
  • Change is always at hand: Incase you require change [currency] they have no problem in going all the way to get it for you.
  • Credit card dysfunction does not create embarrassment: If at all your credit card is not able to be read at the reader [swiping machine] there is no embarrassment, they know your intentions are good. 
Would you add anything else to this list?

Well if you are in Social Media within the online space do you re-act and relate to your set of community and customers in a similar method?  Do you think there is a learning from your neighborhood provisional store? What is your opinion? Share your views here!

Monday, September 27, 2010

SEO Strategy In Social Media?

Hello Folks,

Many a times we have heard of this nomenclature: SEO. The full form of SEO is Search Engine Optimization.

SEO is the method by which you improve the ranking of your site on the search engines.

Many a times am asked if SEO is only for website? Well this is not entirely true, while they are definitely used for websites they are 'also for any Social Media that you may be utilizing to connect with your target audience'. This means that SEO is useful for community managers, bloggers and anyone who would like to be found on various search engines.

SEO comprises of on-page method and off-page method. The off-page method is more of the technical side wherein one requires a little knowledge, comprehension and understanding of the scripting or programming language. While the on-page SEO is slightly easier and persons who write on the site can make use of. The on-page SEO is got to do with understanding the search words and making best usage of them. These search words are what people searching on the net type on search sites so that they find relevant pages to refer and interact with.

Have you used on-page SEO? It is usage of  keywords whenever you communicate with your community members. Whether you are on Twitter, Facebook and other sites. You need to be fully aware of the keywords that are to be used. Ofcourse while blogging and managing community we cannot write keywords without making sense and being relevant to the target audience. Just utilizing keywords without having any relevance to the people we are trying to communicate with does not serve the purpose. And, we will not be able to proceed towards our objective. 

Thus your on-page SEO should be used properly. It is a skill that one starts to develop.

For this you need to know and understand what are the keywords that you need to focus upon.

So? do you practice on-page SEO in all your Social Media endeavor?

Social Media - How Much Of Media To Consume?

Do we often wonder on how many sites are we to register and how much of information are we to read through on daily basis? Social Media and information can be overwhelming at times; rather many a times.

You would be receiving invites to join into Social Sites, forwards emails and links to various sites where there would be information that people thought would interest you. Add to this you would be receiving comments and posts notification from Social Media sites that you have already registered onto.  What do you do with so much of information overload?

Well we need to plan and be focused. Do share on how do you go about segregating information and deciding on what is to be followed. There is always a reason why you are on a particular site. Keep that as your focus continuously. Whether you are joining sites for personal reasons or for business and marketing objective keep this as focus.

There are a couple of parameters that you may want to keep in mind so that you can 'filter' the information and their respective sites as well.

Site registration not an obligation - an informed decision:
First and fore mostly we need to be clear that we need not register on each site that comes our way.

Similarity in functionality - find the difference - does the difference make sense:
We may have received an invite to join a site but it does not mean that we are to go ahead and actually join this. We need to check out if the site has similarity in function with some other site that we are already registered on. This way you start to make a choice and decision by the theory of elimination. There is no purpose in being registered and joining multiple sites which all would have the same functionality. What you need to do is check out the site. See what is the different offering in the site. And then, think if this different offering makes sense to you. Do you really require this new functionality? Is your existing Social Media site not having this functionality?

Don't spread yourself thinly:
Joining multiple site makes you spread out a lot however one cannot really go deep and interact with people on daily basis across too many sites.  So, you need to plan and understand what is convenient to you and at the same time what brings you closer to your desired objective. Spreading out thinly makes you a very superficial person who touches the contacts at a very 'touch and go' level. What is more worry-some is that you start to give out same messages across. This does not promote you to an 'engagement' level. It is crucial that you are 'connecting and building a positive rapport with your contacts'.

Join and couple of sites but keep intensity in very few:
You could join in a couple of sites, say around 6 to 7?- not too many though; not each that comes your way or that you may come upon. From within the 6 to 7 sites that you have joined over a period of time you will start to realize that that only couple of these make real sense to you and wherein your interaction levels are high. Once you realize this focus only on the very few.

Attend to your selected sites daily:
It is crucial that you nurture your contacts on almost a daily level. And within a  day a couple of times. This creates a rapport this creates what is known as 'meaningful' interactions and thereby a deeper and more focused engagement levels. It is important that we understand - what we do or do not do online is what makes our personality on the internet space. The perceptions of people starts to develop from here. There would be people you may not know at all or who may be your acquaintances. They all start to develop a perception of who you are dependent on how you behave online. This is useful for your personal growth and business growth as well.

Online is a life:
Online world is an actual world. We need to understand that we are dealing with actual people. And that they too have emotions hence you need to be expressing yourself clearly. This is one space where people do  spend a lot of time these days and you do need to be emphatic towards them. 

Move away from what is not useful:
If after joining a site you realize that this is not fitting into your scheme of things and is not helping you go nearer towards your objective then you need to move away from those sites.

How do you go about deciding on what sites to follow and which ones do you turn away from? What are your parameters? Do join in here and share your perspective.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tagging In Facebook Status Messages - Social Media

I have often been asked as to how do you go about tagging people in Facebook status updates. If you want that your Facebook status updates be tagged to someone simply mention '@name of person'.

This is very similar to the Twitter function of '@replies'; the way we direct / mention someone in Twitter - similarly we do with the Facebook status updates. Once you key in the '@and name of person', you will observe the auto drop down name suggestions based on the alphabets you type.

This system at Facebook enables you to tag any pages / groups / communities / people that you are connected to via your Facebook. After you post the message with '@' the symbol of '@' will not appear in the message.

Have you tried this? Go on try this and share your experience here.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How To Keep Yourself Up-To Date On Social Media

While working as a Social Media professional we know that it is essential to 'listen'. Apart from listening to our community members, it is essential to listen to other professionals who are on-board as well within the Social Media space. It is from each other's experience and expertise that we can keep ourselves up-to date on what is taking place in the online space and how the future is getting shaped.

While you do have the option of searching individual professionals and then connecting with them, there is a much easier and a more methodical way. If I tell you there is one site that will enable you to receive information from the blogs of the various professionals what would you say to this? Check out
socialmediainformer.com. Share your experience with us here on what you think of this amazing space.

'Social Media Informer' site is a syndication of information. As the name suggests it is your space for Social Media information. Single space which you can say is in reality an 'online Social Media knowledge hub':
  • A space where you find best of online experts contributing their real working expertise.
  • You will find a plethora of 'how to articles' - to take you through steps that experts are using to get into higher engagement space with your customer sets so that you work your way into retention strategy and viral for acquisition purpose.
  • Check out the vast archive that is since over 5yrs and is growing - almost the time when Social Media took off.
  • This site is great for ready information, reference and usage for the wide spectrum of newbies to professionals.
It does not matter who you are - you want to be online you got to be subscribed here.

Do check it out and share your views here. It will be great to know what is your advice for this site.

Monday, September 20, 2010

How To Know If Social Media Network Can Help Your Business

We have all heard that Social Media Network is to be integrated into the overall marketing plan. While we have heard that Social Media has a lot of benefits for the business we may often wonder if it is 'really suitable for our individual brand and category', 'is this right for my business?'. There are often doubts that I notice when people look at Social Media. Many a times industrial and manufactures think that they may not find Social Media path a very fruitful marketing endeavor. While others at professional level, retail level, consumer durables and FMCG do work towards the Social Media space.

Social Media is not and should not be a constraining factor to any business. The logic is very simple here on how to determine if your business should take the Social Media path. First and foremost check on who is your target audience.

Your target audience decides if you should be on Social Media or not:
If your customers are online then you 'may need to consider Social Media'. However this plain understanding is not enough to decide that you should be on Social Media space. Lets consider the below factors:

What type of online activity do your target audience indulge in?:
If your target audience is merely looking at emails and not really spending time on other Social Media sites then you need not get into Social Media Network. Perhaps you may need to consider email marketing alone in this case with regards to online activity.

Target Audience looks for information alone? They are not on Social Sites like Facebook, Twitter and others?:
  • Incase your target audience sees search then you may want to consider Pay Per Click method of Google AdWords, and other advertising methods along with those spaces that does not require a registration and login. For instance blogging is a great method. Your target audience need not login nor register they can view and read your blog posts directly after coming from the search link. Search engines have a very high affinity of crawling and indexing blogs. This is a very good and positive way of Social Media path.
  • Additionally, You can be a writer for various other sites, like for instance you could look at writing for your industry and category specific sites. Add to this you could look at writing industry and category specif articles and submitting the same to article sites.
  • There are lots of [PR] press release sites that enable you to submit your information and publish the same. 
Target Audience looks at search and other Social Networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and others?:
Great! Now you definitely can look at blogs, PR sites,and article marketing path and in addition to these you can be on Social Media sites as well. However: you need to still determine on:
  • What exactly is their view, behavior and attitude towards the Social Media. How do they use and consume the Social Media. What relevance and role does Social Media play in their life.
  • Based on this information you need to plan your strategy. 
  • You can then, determine where your target audience is and 'if' you should also be on those site. We need to be careful here you need not be on each site that your target audience is. The site selection depends on two main factors: one being the target audience and the other being the brand personality. If your brand personality does not allow your interaction on a particular site then lets not be there. The Social Media site personality [perception] matters as well.
  • Dependent on the involvement level of your target audience with a particular site you can then determine what should be your frequency of posting content. What kind of content will bring about the desired call to action.
Additionally there are various others factors as well no doubt, for instance creating your own website etc.

  • Determine your target audience behavior, attitude and usage on the internet.
  • Have your brand personality and brand print drawn out properly.
  • Understand the mood, tone and functions of the various sites.
Do join in here and share your parameters to help business to determine if they should be on the Social Media path.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Maslow In Recent Times Would Have Added Social Media

We do see Social Media all across. Whether you work as a Social Media personnel or not, as long as you have an urge to go online and start to search where your friends, relatives and colleges are, you end up on a Social Site. And then, you start to spend more time online.

What would have been Maslow's theory today? Would Social Media be one of the main basic factors for human survival. He had mentioned food, shelter, clothing as basic human needs. Today perhaps Social Media would also fall into this category. Add to this Social Media also spreads towards the next level of psychological satisfaction as well.

What do you think? Share your views.

Content Curation For Social Media Integrity

While working on Social Media it is important to maintain integrity and ethics. Blatant copy pasting someone else's hard work is just not correct. It could mar your professional credibility. You could loose out on potential clients and start to give out an image of yourself as not being genuine. This could lead people to perceive you as not knowing much about the field you are working in. Having said this, to each time get ideas to populate your blog could be difficult. In-between your hectic schedule  how do you each time get matter for content?

In order to have a good ranking on search engines it is imperative to be consistent with fresh content on your blog. This in turn would bring good and positive quality traffic. Good content takes up your time and energy.

How do you manage to consistently produce quality work? Ofcourse blatant copy pasting does not justify the existence of your blog. Here is where content curation comes to your rescue.

Content curation is about appreciating and synthesizing work of others. Allow me to repeat myself: it is not about copy pasting someone's hard work;  It is reviewing and filtering it is all about synthesizing.

Have you come across any such content curation? ReTweet is a form of content curation. Content curation is a skill and art. It is not stealing. It is understanding and then putting forth your opinion and your own understanding.

Do you encourage content curation? Share in your views here.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Manage Your Social Media Better - Distribute Your Blog To Twitter, Facebook And More

Managing your important communication on the Social Media could be tedious at times. It is important that you have a system wherein you can organize your communication. There are couple of tools available online that enable you to communicate with your various communities. For instance when you post a blog you need not manually start to copy and paste the same matter across your other sites. A simple tool like dlvr.it does this task very efficiently. To the extent that this site even shortens long urls so that they fit in well with the posts and even leave space for Retweet in Twitter. 

This site enable you to simultaneously post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Buzz, Ping and a couple of others as well.

This service constantly scans the various sites and informs if there is any API and such other problem.

Add to this you can also utilize its scheduling services. Herein you simply have to put date and time on when and which site should your posts be delivered. 

Have you tried dlvr.it ? What is your experience with this site. Do share in your feedback. What similar platform do you use?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

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. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Facebook Notification For The Benefit Of Managing Your Social Media Community

These days with a lot of noise and clutter around various Social Media sites it is imperative that we have a better monitoring tool. Fortunately many famous / popular Social Media sites have given access to various third party tools. This monitoring enables us to work more efficiently and thereby effectively.

One such tool that enables you to receive notification on Facebook Fan Pages is the '
PageNotifier'. When you are administrator of Facebook Fan Pages you would need to be in touch with your community.You need to be able to respond to them in approximate real time.

How does PageNotifier work?
PageNotifier scans our Facebook Fan Pages regularly. The Notifier scans for new comments on status updates, videos, photos, and albums. If atall there are any new posts / comments etc the notifier captures this and sends us an email along with the link to the comment / post etc. So you can directly go to that particular space and respond in an appropriate way. Add to this it emails to you any comments on the photos as well.

What comes to you is an email:
You receive an email notification with mention of who commented, what they said, what post they commented on, and a link to the post for easy reply.

PageNotifier is developed by Brandon Zundel. What I have noticed is that he personally replies to any information that you may want with regards the application.

Do join in here. Share in which other such notification you rely on.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Social Media Community Manager's Management

Monitoring Social Media can be overwhelming. From the outside it looks like a mayhem. Lots of people chatting, couple of praises, many silent monologues that could lead the Community Manager themselves into utter silence and the rest of the time stressing with negative feedback. Add to this some person posting an affiliate programme link and someone else venting out their frustration. Sounds familiar?

Have you faced these situations? What do you do?

You start your day with new zest, saying that, you will create a buzz. The much wanted buzz such that maybe the head of the organization gets to hear about the same from elsewhere [in a positive way].

All you need is to plan out your day. Have a schedule. Check each site and restrict this for thrice a day or maybe four times if you can manage. Over a period of time you will realize the below:
  • There are certain people who are good and interactive. They like to hear from your end. They are interested in what you mention, suggest and inform.
  • These interested people have a 'kind of' set way to checking and responding to what you share. They come on particular days of the week at a particular time period.
When you start to have a grasp of the above two points, you will find yourself managing the 'noise' on your page. This in no way means that you start to restrict yourself from checking your pages at other time intervals. This in no way means that you do not respond to others at the time of their interaction.

What this means is that you can plan your time and schedule your online Social Media management a little better. Having said this please keep an open mind for new people to start making you notice new activity schedules.

To manage Social Media it is important that you start to understand that you need to be flexible. Flexibility in terms of time, the response turnaround, the quality of content that you share and the quantity of time, energy and content.

Do share in your views on what philosophy and modus operandi you have - so that you manage your online Social Media effectively and efficiently.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Earning From The Internet - A Social Media Ruin

Many a times we come across information on the net as: 'Make your pc an ATM Machine!' 'Mr.X earns four figures monthly!' 'Become a billionaire by not doing anything!'
'If X can become rich then you too can!' 'Have your dream cruise come true!' 'Just invest $194 and earn every month four figure without doing anything!'

Many people who read this fall into the trap. Many people seem to have fallen into this trap. You probably may know some person who will have [and maybe still awaiting] awaited the infamous four figure monies to land in their bank account.

You will find these people on the net. Unfortunately though you can report them to cyber crimes most of these eventually are not reachable as the very account and email they identify themselves with is fake. To the extent the proof of earning that they show is just a photo-shop [a software used for images] made job.

At the beginning they offer great help and service. Once you have paid suddenly they do not exist. You will find them in Social Sites, Forums, perhaps they even to come to your blog and post messages that lead to their amazing offer.

Just wanted to share - be careful. Many a times those who are at home and hope to earn from the internet are soft targets for this. Many a times working people who feel they have little extra time for extra income are soft targets for this.

Do join in here. A scam is a scam there are no two ways to this. In case you have witnessed this kind of experience do share in here.

Friday, September 3, 2010

As A Social Media Network Professionals What You Do

Hello and how have you been.

Many a times we are asked as to what exactly do we as Social Media persons do. Do we create advertisements online? Do we blog generally? More evolved asks do we moderate the forums? Do we go to practically each space online and start to post messages that are sales driven? And for those who do never really go online we are doing something on the net - unexplained! Ah do you do all that scam!?

Well do join in here and add on to what a Social Media Network person does. Do share in your experiences.

Below what I have shared is just the tip of the ice burg. Each parameter shared below has lot of depth and requires experience and skill sets.
Unfortunately many a times the person may find it difficult to extract information from the concerned parties, but do try.

Marketing Objective:
The Social Media Person to start off understands the complete marketing scenario. It is necessary to understand what are the various communication messages that the consumer set is getting exposed to. Social Media is part of the overall marketing effort. Even if the companies may not look at it in that manner it does fall into achieving the marketing objective and is a vehicle which takes you towards the goals. Marketing objectives need to be clear to the personnel.

Understand Consumer Mind-Set [Lifestyle, Behavior, etc]:
It is imperative for the Social Media Person to understand what is the Consumer Mind-Set. Factors like who is the customer, what does he or she do, how do they behave and what kind of lifestyle do they live and aspire towards are the pillars that the Social Media Personnel would be constantly and consistently updating themselves with throughout their tenure and engagement with their clients.

Competitor Understanding:
While the Social Media Person should be provided with the names of competitors, it is this personnel who would be tracking the competitor activity with regards to their engagement on the Social Media Network online space. The personnel would be keeping track of what is taking place in the category.

Social Site Understanding:
It is crucial to be aware of what the various sites like Facebook Personal Page vis a vis the Facebook Fan Page should render itself towards. What is Twitter lending itself to and so on. What is LinkedIn bringing across. And so on.

It is the crucial understanding of the Consumer Mind-Set and the Social Media Site that tells us how should one interact with the Community Members / Fans / Followers. The reason being the mix of these two parameters tells us in what current mind-set the customer is making interaction with us.

Brand Personality:
Brand Personality is the core of directing the brand on how should it behave under various circumstances. To understand and breadth the brand personality by the Social Media Personnel is extremely crucial. The Customer sees the brand in various communication formats as a single personality during a campaign and in the long term as well - this is exactly the Customer should be seeing, interacting, and understanding the brand when they come across the Social Media Network personnel across various Social Media sites / blogs etc.

All the above parameters are not placed in order of importance. Let me state that that they all are important equally. There is much more when the Social Media Personnel actually starts to work.
Unfortunately many a times the person may find it difficult to extract information from the concerned parties, but do try.

Share in your views and experiences as well. Do join here.