Thursday, December 15, 2011

Does Social Media Have Bleak Future?

Social Media was a big riddle sometime back. It still remains a little riddle for many people. There are many questions that you will come across while dealing with the Social Media Plan. There will be questions when you will be executing your Social Media Plan as well.

The persons who are already in the Social Media field will be able to sharpen their skill and increase their experience. As time goes by there will be many Service Providers joining the Social Media wagon. Similarly the demand will also grow. There will be many more Organizations looking at capturing their Target Audience. Apart from the Organizations there will be many more Freelance Professionals who will be utilizing the Social Media Platform. Small Business will enter and test the waters as well.

With the increase in requirement the Social Media Professionals will require to hand hold their Clients. Training will be required. As many would not like to be in the dark on what will take place and how things would be done. The various persons at the Client side will require a quick course on what Social Media is and what it is not.

There will be many divisions involved like the Creative, Technical, Data Analytic and Content Management personnel. The team will require to work in tandem with the Marketing Plan. Your entire Social Media execution is to bring alive the Brand Personality.

With an increase in the supply and demand the Companies will be asking for ROI. Given that ROI is always crucial one will have to decide on what kind of ROI is required. The measuring is to be on realistic methods. There cannot always be same formula for all Social Media efforts. One needs to know what they are looking for and what they are seeking from the Social Media venture. It is critical to jot down the desirable call to action.

There will be many more Consumers / Customers seeking to join Pages on the Social Media Platforms. Thus the Social Media Platform will soon be more into Customer Service. On this Platform
Consumers / Customers will seek information and news. 

With
Consumers / Customers increasingly dependent on the Social Media Page CRM [Customer Retention Management] Programmes will be able to run. The core mode of operation would ofcourse be elsewhere as CRM needs lot more technical and data support. However a part of CRM will absorb the Social Media constituent.

If handled well your Social Media venture could become an amazing source of Customer testimonials. A good word from your
Consumers / Customers can always be used to showcase.

All this will bring about a much better clarity on Consumer Insights. Consumer Insights is the driver of all activities. This will come across with a better perspective.

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

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Points You Need To Know When Planning A Social Media Contest

You know that you need to have relevant persons on your Social Media Page of your Brand / Business. When you have relevant persons you can hope to have results towards your Marketing Plan. You also know that the relevant persons need to be given good quality information and encourage them to participate with you in your Conversations. One of the ways in which you can create excitement, involvement and a look forward to what you Post is by conducting Contests.
You could read this:

Nurturing Your Community - Social Media


Contests are one of the many ways of creating a little rush towards your Social Media Page. However you need to remember that Contests have many rules and conditions. These rules and conditions apply from the area / jurisdiction of the place from where the contests are held, as well as they are governed by the place your registered office is and they are also governed by the Social Media Platform on which the Contest is run. This is so that the Customers are protected and they know where exactly they are to approach in case of a scam. This means that when you run a Contest on Social Media Platform you need to take care of the rules of the Social Media Platform as well.
You could read this:

What Makes Your Facebook Page Get Banned - Social Media
What Makes Your Facebook Page Get Banned - Social Media
 

Apart from the laws, rules and regulations you should know about the various requirements and the risks that come with the Social Media Platform. Many a times mistakes take place due non awareness towards various terminologies. For instance people think that the two words namely Sweepstakes and Contest are interchangeably. This is not true. They are separate and the rules governing them would be different to some extent. The term Sweepstakes refers to promotion in which prizes are awarded based on a chance, whereas when you run a Contest the awards and prizes are given based on skill. Add to this different states and regions have their own interpretation and hence have customized rules.

Social Media Platforms also have different rules for Contests hence you should be aware and be sure on what steps you are taking. What you may have on Facebook for instance would be a little different on Google+.

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

Monday, December 5, 2011

Get Traffic And Retain Them On Google+ For Social Media

Google+ is one more feather in your cap on the Social Media front. The question is how should you get more Traffic to your Google+ Page? Also what should you do so that they do not 'Un-friend' you.

Here are a couple of points that you might want to work towards so that your Google+ Pages have a good Traffic flow which you can retain as well:
  • Remember to update your Profile Page. Have an appropriate image and proper Bio-Data. Use Keywords wisely and sparingly.
  • Have Content that matters. Make your Content SEO based. Google+ gives a good opportunity to write in-depth Posts. This is a great opportunity to put your thoughts across. 
  • Make it a point to have your Google+ Link across all your other outlets and Customer Touch-Points. Mention your Links on your Blog, Site, other Social Media Platforms, Offline Communication like Press Ads., Hoardings and so on. Have your Link mentioned in the retail stores that you might have.
  •  If you have a Blog it would be great if you can write a quick Post about your Google+ Page. The way you went about creating it, what can be found on your Page and so on.
  • Utilize the Google Direct Connect. Linking from that page to your website and vice versa. Have the Google+ Badge on your Site and Blog. This way you are informing Google of your Page's relevancy and authenticity.
  • You can suggest to your existing Audience to share your Page in their Network.
  • Use Circles appropriately and utilize the HangOuts well.
How do you attract and retain your Google+ Traffic?

Do read:
Acquisition, Retention, And Building Loyalty In Social Media
My Business Page is on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia Do join me.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

For Your Social Media Should You Be On Facebook Or Google+

Google+ is the most talked about Social Media Platform today. There are questions like will Facebook do anything to face the Google+ syndrome that all are going though. Currently Facebook is being compared to Google+.

Google brought out the Google+ Pages for Brands and Business Houses. The question most likely asked is if you are already on Facebook then why should you be on Google+. The answer is simple if your Target Audience is on Google+ then you need to be there as well.

All the answers will not emerge today. As we use the two platforms we will start to realize the difference. There are some definite functional differences that you will experience on the two platforms. 

There is no harm in being on both the Social Media Platforms. What do you think?

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

Friday, November 25, 2011

Prepare Your Client For Social Media

Your Clients need to be prepared for the Social Media that you are proposing to do for them. Social Media is a relatively new zone and hence it is best to bring your Client up to speed with what you perhaps are thinking of doing with their Business / Brand on the Social Media Platforms.

By sharing with them your thought process you will be able to reduce their anxiety and and not make them feel that you are working in isolation. You will need to plan with them on what you will be doing. Working on Social Media could leave you a little exasperated if later on the Client may turn around and state that they too could have done similar matter. They may want to know what you have brought to the table - what value you have brought for the money they have spent. They are right when they want to know what you have done. Hence you will need to do the below so that both, you and your Clients are on the same Page. Here are some of the pointers that you and your Client need to be specific about:
  • Inform them what Posts are, how do they take place, why should you Post and so on. Brief them that while it may be easy the continuity and consistency is what takes time and hence you step in. Educate them and share with them the details.
  • You will need to clearly define the objectives of the Social Media Campaign before you start. This will need to be integrated into their complete Marketing effort. It is important that all know what is required, how this will take place and what probable results are to be expected.
  • Understand the Brief well. You need to take care of the Brand Personality, the Competitors, Target Audience and so on. Understand the tone of voice that you are to apply. SEO and Keywords are to be discussed in depth as well.
  • Clearly identify what are the measurable in terms of ROI. What may be ROI for one Brand may not be similar for the other. You will face the typical argument of the number of Likes versus the earnings of your Client via Facebook. One needs to consider points like while there may not see returns on immediate basis at times, the Community on Facebook is potential Customers.
  • Do make it a point to explain and mutually agree on how your Client and their Team will be of help to you. In the eagerness of taking the project do not neglect the fact that together with the Client you and your task will see success.
Put yourself on the other side and see how best you can help your Clients to understand and enhance the Social Media Campaign. 

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

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Facebook Tracks Your Online Journey - Social Media

Unlike Google, Facebook does not always share how they track users in the online world. However this time they have shared a little on what their modus operandi is to track various users. 

Here it is:

Facebook identifies two types of users:
  • It uses different tracking methodology for persons who have signed in and are using their accounts.
  • And a different one for persons who have logged-off and are non-members.
The modus operandi:
When you arrive on any Facebook Page for the first time
it delivers cookies in your browser. If you do sign-in for the Facebook account, it inserts two types of cookies. Incase you do not set up the account then it inserts only one of the two cookies.
The tracking starts off almost immediately. When you visit any Website or Blog that has the Facebook Plugin your visit is recorded since the cookies which are already installed initiate the recording. The individual details of your computer, IP address etc are recorded. The date time etc are also recorded.
The log that records your past 90 days of activity are kept. Activities older than 90 days are deleted.
If you are logged into your Facebook account, then your name, your email address, your friends and all of the other data in your Facebook profile get recorded. 

Data about web searches and browsing habits could be used to figure out political affiliations, religious beliefs, or health issues about consumers.


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

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Quick SEO Tips For Google+ On Social Media

With Google bringing out the Google+ Business Pages it is clearly understood by many that you will have a heads up on the Google Search aspect. While there is no such certainty what perhaps you need to do is take care of your SEO when you are working on your Google+ Brand / Business Pages.

What you need to look at and pay extra attention to is:
  • When you Post on Google+ make it a point to have the Public Visibility on. This option will be visible to you in your Conversation / Post section when you type your Post. When you make your Post Public you are informing the algorithms on the Google Search Engine that your Post is open to being indexed.
  • Your Circles in Google+ also hold a very huge cue on your Post being indexed. While you do need to have the Public Visibility it is a good idea to have your Circles also marked onto your Posts. The reason being that when your Post gets on the feed of your Circle Members there is a huge chance of their interaction as well. When they interact it increases your chances of being indexed and thereby your rank goes higher up on Google Search.
  • It goes without saying that your Google+ Profile needs to be complete with the right usage of Keywords.
  • Using direct Links from the source is always better than having URL Shortners. 
  • Participate in conversations in Google+. This is again a criteria that increases your authenticity. Use of the right Keyword and no spam is the requirement that Google Search drives towards.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Google+ Can Remove Your Contests - Social Media

Google Plus does not allow any kind of Contests to be run on their Google+ Brand / Business Pages. It states that any kind of contests, sweepstakes, offers, coupons or other such promotions cannot be run directly on your Google+ Page.

The way out? Well you are allowed to share the Links to the various types of Contests on your Google+ Brand / Business Pages. This is ofcourse while you clearly mention that Google is in no way a part or responsible about the
contests, sweepstakes, offers, coupons or other such promotions that you may share. 

Note: Google holds the right to remove your Promotion Content from Google+ Page for any reason.

Play safe: As long as you have clearly mentioned that Google and all of its group is not responsible for your
contests, sweepstakes, offers, coupons or other such promotions, and that you / your company is solely responsible for the entire contests, sweepstakes, offers, coupons or other such promotions then you perhaps are a little safe.

If anyone Flags your Page then again you can stand a chance of Google taking action.
There are Five audiences that can flag you and get you banned:
  • Google has one of the greatest algorithms which can easily recognize your Content and can with ease know that you are going against their rules
  • By Community Members of your Page
  • By your Personal Profile Page Network
  • By Other Pages where you join and may spam
  • By Members of the other Pages where you have joined and are spamming
Simply put do not have the action of any kind with regards to your contests, sweepstakes, offers, coupons or other such promotions be taken on Google+ Brand / Business Pages.

Bottom line is that Google+ / Google 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. Promotions that are leading people to take action on your or their Google+ Page calls for Google to cut you out.

For more information follow the Post written for Facebook rules. It will enable you to understand what you should not do on any Social Media Platform. What Makes Your Facebook Page Get Banned - Social Media


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


Saturday, November 5, 2011

The New GMail Look - Social Media

GMail has recently rolled out the new look. This is available to everyone. You can revert back to your previous look of GMail if you wish to. This option of reverting back is temporarily. Later on your GMail will be having the new look.

There are a couple of new functions / changes that the New Look of GMail brings with it:
  • You can re-size your Gmail. This means that you can have a condensed or a free look of the same. This works well for people using mobile hardware. Now the new GMail fits into your window size. If you have touch screen then the New Look re-sizes to fit well for ease of read and use. 
  • A much cleaner version has come on board. 
  • You have the Chat and Labels adjustable. You can size them as per your usage. Labels are moved to the top as a Tab for ease of use. 
  • You can select images. This is similar to the previous GMail. The difference is that they are high definition for impact level. They are easy on the eyes. 
  • When you view your Emails you will notice that they have been redesigned, making it feel more like a conversation. The people included in the conversation can be found on the right, appearing just as they would in GChat with their status. This way you get the actual feel of conversation.
I work as Freelance Social Media Network Online Professional. My Business Page is on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia Do join me.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Social Media Spammer

Social Media is an amazing space. Here you will find folks who promise a huge Fan Following for you. No doubt there are people who can do this however there are people who merely are scamming around and / or having bots. The result is that your Page / Blog Site has an overnight fame and then it eventually vanishes. The whole idea of Social Media is to grow slowly and chronologically and then to sustain this. The rush to achieve more people in a short span of time is understandable however keep a lookout for people who can give you false promises.

Here are some people that you may want to check in a little more detail before you give your project to them:
  • You could be promised that they will get you a great following. One of the most simple method for you is to check their own Social Media Page and see the following that they have. If they can get you 5000 people then why do they on their own Page have very few following? You need to get a clarity here.
  • It would be great if you could request references and know what people have to say. Today with LinkedIn and such other platform it is easy to request for references the question is why has your expert not got any.
  • Social Media requires a strategy. This is part of the whole strategy. Strategy depends on individual case. Strategy comes from understanding Mindset of Target Audience, Competitors, the Product Category and the Brand.  Hence being sold on a package does not really hold good. If there are ready made packages then how do you say that there is strategy in this.
  • Beware of people who at the first instinct say that you need to be present on many Social Media platform. Ask them what is important to spread thinly or to go deep.
  • It is always a good feeling to have lots of Followers and Fans. The question here is how many are your core real target is important. The question here is quantity or quality?
  • If they claim that they will get you your Competitor Community Members in a month's time you need to perhaps be afraid. You could get banned.
  • Being active on Social Media is different from generating leads and Business.
  • If you are being promised of viral spread be very careful. Id it a 20 minute of fame only that you are being promised?
  • Social Media is an extension of your Brand Personality. If people do not take time out to understand your Brand and its environment then how will they Post / Behave as per your Brand Personality?
  • If you are being told that more the number of Fans and Followers - this will create more sales. You need to re-think did this person understand your Business?
  • If your person has not asked on who your Target Audience is and what is your Market then you need to re-think; is this the right person to handle your Social Media?
  • If they are starting without having a mutual agreement on how will they tackle negative comments then you need to know that you are not in safe hands.
  • If your person has no clue on how to monitor your Social Media then you need ask the person for a format they follow.
  • It is important that your Social Media personnel has had a good discussion with you on Keywords and SEO.
What are you pointers - share them here.

Good to read:

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

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 understand 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, then 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.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Is Social Media Still A Riddle?

If you are still wondering if your Business and Brand should be on the Social Media scenario then the answer is yes if your Customers and Clients are online and on the Social Media Platform then you too should be.

Social Media gives you the flexibility of doing things on the spot and changing them if you do not receive the relevant feedback that you may desire. This flexibility is due to the internet wherein you can do changes online in the real time. Knowing this increases your responsibility even more. You cannot work in a haphazard manner and bank on changing things. Remember what you Post and what you may upload will remain for a long time. It is like footprints which cannot be erased.

The good part about Social Media is that you can actually reach out to your Target Audience. You can contact them, you can connect and have a conversation with them. You can get to understand and know what makes them have a positive feel towards your Business and Brand. You can get to know what makes them negative towards your Brand and Business. It is essential to track the conversations taking place. Only then you will be able to weave your way into their heart.

You cannot afford to not be on Social Media. Your Customer and Clients are talking, you may acknowledge this fact or not.

There are a couple of Social Media Platforms that you may want to use so that you can have a healthy Social media environment for your Business and Brand:
Additionally join the industry based forums and sites where you can connect with people from the same category and similar mindset. Have healthy discussions here. Please do not go spamming around.

When you do plan the Platforms that you may want to use you need to keep in mind your Brand and Business Personality, Keywords, SEO, Consumer Mindset and so on.

What is your experience with Social Media -  do share it here.

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

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Websites, Emails, Chats, Forums, Social Media, Clouds, QR Codes

Twenty years back having your Business and Brand in the virtual world was not a very digestible thought. Being on Social Media was not even thought of. People had started with the dot com [.com]. Unfortunately a lot of mishaps took place and the online world was seen with a lot of suspicion. This was not a wrong perception, there were many people who went all out and scammed on the net. People had made investments. There were people who trusted with a lot of money. Unfortunately they were taken for a ride and no one was able to track the criminals and the fraudulent party.

Along with all this, emails as a communication tool had grown wide and strong. We all depend on them today as well. They are great for personal and professional communication. The world was loosing boundaries.

In this era came the chat sessions. We had the famous Yahoo and MSN Chat. A simple peer to peer encoding and decoding. This was when the world become small. Distances minimized. People were chatting in real time with their near and dear ones.

After this episode came the certification era when people would look out for
VeriSign Authentication SSL Certificate and similar encrypting gateway systems. Having the VeriSign Authentication SSL told people that they could engage in communications and e-commerce online with confidence as the required safety concerns were taken care of. This initiated the era of online payment gateway system. You could do safe shopping online.

Simultaneously the Forum Platforms were getting strong. There were Forums for practically everything. You have them from how to do various things, to medicine, to aunt agony and so on.

Slowly but steadily online transactions were getting stronger. The Banks also joined this and online banking was the progress that we as a society made.

While all this was going on the mobile industry was well into a developed stage. Games were anyway an addiction on cell phones. Along with this people started to think of having mobile as a means of shopping and online banking as well.

When all teething problems were addressed in came the Network scenario. This is in today's time called Social Networking. Networking started in a small but definite way. It had started long back. Emails are part of it. Chat is also a part of it. The websites that had people logging in and having an Online Community is also a part of Social scenario. Forums are also a part of this.

Approximately six years back Facebook came. It started off as just a teenage Networking site. No one then would have imagined that this would make and break Brands and Business. No one imagined that money would be made from here. No one thought that CEO would look at it. No one imagined that an industry was about to start off and perhaps will remain for many decades to comes.

Social Media platforms like ORKUT was already in existence and many people were looking at this. Somehow Facebook got the better deal and became more promising. Since then every year many Networking Platforms come and close down. Facebook has remained and has grown bigger and stronger.

We have now reached a stage where it is simple to estimate if your Brand and Business should be on Social Media. If your Clients and Customers are online then you too need to be online. If they are active on Social Media Platforms then you too need to have Page there.

While this is going great we have Cloud Computing. A single space to put all your data so that you no longer need to have huge servers with heavy infrastructure.

We have QR codes as well now wherein a single image leads us to the site and information. You simply have to scan the image with your cell phone and you will land on the desired site. This could be a Website, Blog or a Social Media Page as well.


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

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Acquisition, Retention, And Building Loyalty In Social Media

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 your 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 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.


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

Monday, October 10, 2011

Social Media Networking Is A Win - Win Situation

Networking is an integral part of Social Media. It is essential that you know what it takes to enable healthy Networking in the online world. Networking in the virtual world is almost similar to the Networking in the real world. The difference is obvious that while in the real world you are able to meet on a Face to Face basis while in the virtual world there is video conferencing and so on.

The power of your online Network can be tremendous if you are able to retain and maintain it on a day to day regular basis.

Networking can best work when you have a good win - win situation. Networking is about mutual benefit. For instance you cannot ask for favors and tell people to buy your products or sell them for you. Just asking people to do something will not work. You need to answer this: what have you given and done for your Network. Have you helped them? Without being asked many times have you got two people connected so that they could mutually benefit? Have you shared valuable information with them? How have you contributed towards the persons in your Network?

There are some good pointers when to keep in mind when you are looking at your online Social Network:
  • Having a good conversation is great on Social Networking. Please do not get too inquisitive about their personal lives. Also do not get inquisitive on what crises they are facing in their professional lives. Check what is their hobby and what work they do. Have tertiary conversations.
  • Avoid arguments. It only leads to ego clashes. Have healthy discussions. This does not mean that you become a yes man. In doing this you will loose your respect. Gently disagree if you must.
  • Check how best you can be of help to them. Here is the catch. Do not sound too helpful. Do not sound as if you are doing a huge favor. Helping people is the key to healthy relations. Help can be given in various ways: You could help by listening to them. You could help by getting two people professionally connected with each other from / via your Network. Help can be given by sharing a great article that you may think will be beneficial to them.
  • When you have done something for someone you need to check and see if it made sense to them. Did it help them? You will need to have a system of follow up. It is essential that you have a feedback. Be open to having negative replies as well. Do not shy away from negative comments. Understand what went wrong. Reply to them. If need be reply after half an hour so that you can stabilize your emotions and then reply.
Your turn - what are your Social Media Networking pointers?

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

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Why Do People 'Like' And 'UnLike' On Facebook? - Social Media

When people 'Like' a particular Page on Facebook they are expressing the fact that they want to 'connect'. Connecting with your Page does not always mean that you are really liked or people are passionate about you / your Brand / your Business. For instance people could have connected to voice a grievance as they may have not as yet got a suitable reply from your customer care, or from the number of emails that they may have sent to your office.

What this Post goes on to share is that there are number of reasons why people connect with
you / your Brand / your Business Page on Facebook. It is essential that you understand these reasons and behave in tandem with them.

There are a couple of reasons why people would 'Like'
and 'UnLike' you / your Brand / your Business Page on Facebook:
  • They most certainly do not wish to be bombarded with your rantings and sales messages.
  • They do not want you to interfere into their Wall on Facebook especially when they are not really active on your Page. If they are active then it is good to be occasionally conversing.
  • People join to have exclusive information. Give them the privileged of knowing things in advance and before hand. Let them be the first to know and let them feel they belong to your Community.
  • They join you to have special offers and discounts that others may not be able to avail if they are not on your Facebook Business Page.
  • If you have a celebrity Page then people join so that they can interact with the celebrity.
  • They definitely would not like you prying onto their friends and Network.
  • Please note that there are certain set of mindsets that would like to be associated and have the expression of joining a particular Page. They are not expecting discounts and other perks.
  • Some join so that your Page could be seen on their information and Profile Page. This takes place if your Page holds esteem value. If your Page is what people want to be seen with then they will join.
  • Sometimes people join so that they can share your information in their Network. They feel that the information that you Post is good and valuable for their Network.
  • If people are not aware of 'why should they join' then perhaps they do not see the reason to join and the subsequent action is that they do not join.
What are your reasons to 'Like' and 'UnLike' the Pages on Facebook?

Reading that may be of interest to you:
My Business Page is on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia Do join me.


Friday, September 30, 2011

Appropriate Networking Scenario - Social Media

Social Media amongst other things is about proper Networking. The world of online Networking has people broadcasting messages. The messages at one level need to be broadcasted in such a way that they enable positive and healthy relationships to be formed.

In order to have an appropriate Networking scenario there are a couple of pointers that you may want to keep in mind:
  • We all hear content is the key. This stands true. You need to plan and write each Post. Your text needs to be insync with the Brand Personality.
  • The frequency of your messages should be well planned. You will be perceived with your frequency along with the content. Together they make the complete Post. If your Post too often you will become a nuisance and if you Post rarely you will be forgotten.
  • Your Community Members have joined your Page with a particular reason and expectation. You need to understand this and ask them if need be on what are their expectations.
  • Do not be highhanded. If there are comments then make it a point to understand the reason behind them. Be active and not anti-social.
What are your quick pointers?

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

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Description And Page Title Meta Tags - Social Media

You will have heard and worked on Meta Tags as the SEO personnel and as a Social Media person. You know Meta Tags are important so that your Page / Site / Blog get found easily by Search Engines and you have a better ranking. Once you have a good rank on the Search Pages then there are higher chances of you drawing good traffic. Have you wondered which of the Meta Tags are really more important?

The Description Meta Tag works in a unique way. When your Page / Site Blog gets thrown up on Search Engine findings it is the Description Meta Tag that gets shown as snippet. If written well then it is this that brings you click through. So if your Description Meta Tag is compelling enough then be sure that your click through rate via the Search Engines is a certainty.

The other important Meta Tag is the Page Title. This directly is seen on your Search Engines in bold. It is the result of search words used by your target audience.

Both, Description and Title Meta Tags together form the text that you read on Search Pages. If written well they will induce and encourage readers / searchers to click.

Your description cannot be longer than 160 characters in case of Google.com for instance. After 160 characters your text will be truncated.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Quick SEO Tips - Social Media

SEO is becoming more and more complex as many people demand that their online presence have the SEO inoculation. SEO is to be done to your each and every online presence, however it need not become a night mare.

Here are quick tips to enable your SEO endeavor:
  • Use your KeyWords sparingly but definitely consistently. Use the right Keywords in your content, headline, sub-head, URL and links as well.
  • Do not over stuff with KeyWords. Search Engines recognize this and flag such Sites / Blogs / Pages. Some you may stand a chance of being banned as well. To the extent use KeyWords while saving and naming an image as well.
  • A very important part of SEO is page - loading. It is critical that your page loads fast. This is not a new entrant in the SEO category. This parameter has been there now since over a decade sine the time people were struggling with website designing.
  • Use re-directs with a little more creativity. It is a good idea to construct your 404 and such other error / re-direct pages well in advance.
  • Trust towards your Sites / Blogs / Pages has a direct relation with the ranking. If your site is not anonymous, if it shows real people running it and the intention of its existence then people will flow more towards you and share more of your content. This creates the Search Engines to understand your Sites / Blogs / Pages as good and genuine.
What are your tips for good SEO?

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Social Media For Multi Level Marketing

Multi Level Marketing or Chain Marketing means that the sales persons are not only compensated for the sales that they make but also get the commission on the sales that their recruits or down-lines make. Multi Level Marketing is also popularly known as Network Marketing.

In this format one person can do sales from their end as well as recruit a team of persons under them so that this team in turn makes sales. The top person who created this team earns from the sales of their down-lines as well.

The amount that one would earn as commission and the level of people as down-line is fixed and determined by the main company whose products are being sold and who is the ultimate pay master to this entire networking programme. Many a times you can have unlimited down-lines, however some companies profess that you need to have limitations therein.

Have you considered having a Social Media Platform for Multi Level Marketing?
  • You can set up a Facebook Page for instance and have people join you there. Imagine a Facebook Page can be your one point contact wherein you can have your team touching base with you with their questions, asking you on what best is to be done and so on.
  • This same space can be used to execute your motivational strategy as well wherein you can encourage your team to move ahead and take more challenging sales route.
  • With Facebook as one of your marketing extensions you can safely put up information and latest news at one centralized Page on the internet which all can subscribe to.
  • If you have a rewards programme you can put up the winners and encourage others to gear up as well on this one Facebook Page.
  • If you want to send out an urgent sales offer then this too can be done on your Facebook Page.
So while you can have the rest of your marketing strategy and media playing along a Facebook Page will enable a great method to connect with your Sales Force.

Add to this you will be easily found on Search Engines as well. So go on if you are into Chain Marketing then try out a Facebook Page. Remember it takes time, energy and dedication along with consistency.

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

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Search Engines Technical Limitations - Social Media

Understanding the Search Engine could be advantageous for you. Search Engine Optimization is the process of building your Blog / Site / Social Profile in a way such that the Search Engines can easily find them. This in turn will get them on higher ranks and thereby much easily and quickly available to humans.

Since Search Engines have certain limitations. It is essential and advantageous for your to know these limitations.
  • Search Engines programmes can read text not images, animations and forms. Hence what is behind these is left out. This means that having your Site with flash could be a little hassle or an image which does not have an appropriate name may be ignore.
  • A Link structure that is not developed well and is broken then the Search Engine will overlook this.
  • Usage of terms that normally your Target Audience does not use will be negative for your. For instance if people are used to searching for TV and you are writing television then the Search will not throw up your Blog / Site / Social Profile.
  • Similarly language matters. If you have French Site and your real Target Audience is Japanese then again this stands to be a problem.
  • The most critical factor is quality of your content. Ofcourse the Search Engines cannot understand the content and hence cannot know if the quality is good or bad. Thus they get to know this via the traffic, links and comments on your Blog / Site / Social Profile. So greater your traffic, the better your Blog / Site / Social Profile is rated.
These are few of the suggestions in understanding the limitations of Search Engines.

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Monday, September 5, 2011

Interacting With Search On Search Engines - Social Media

It is interesting to note as to how people search on the Internet. Once you know how people search your category based information then you can easily adhere to their requirements. This is how you can use SEO to the fullest. The knowledge of what your Target Audience is keying into search engines is like a little magic wand in your hands. You then are to keep using it at practically all times.

Though people search for various reasons the act of searching is performed in similar way. People go to the Search Engines like Google.com and type in the word that directly represents what they are looking for. At times people type a phrase as well. The whole idea is that people are typing so that they reach a destination. For this they type a phrase, a word, a sentence. They hope to reach a proper Site / Blog / Social Profile that gives them or connects them with the required information.

If at all they are not satisfied with what they find then they refine their search query.

There are specific online tools to enable you in understanding on what is the rank of the words that are used in Search. In other words the tool enables you to know which words are used by many people to do a certain Search. Once you identify the words then you need to cross check if they are relevant to your content and what you / your Brand / your Business will stand for. If it makes sense to use the words then by all means do go all out and use them. These are your Keywords. When you use Keywords remember to not clutter your content and not stuff your article with unnecessary usage of Keywords.

Keywords are to be used in an intelligent way. Use them on your Site / Blog / Social Page.

Share your points in here.

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

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Blogging Is Extention Of Your Brand And Business - Social Media

Blogging is a critical part of Social Media. Blogging enables you to establish and position yourself / your Brand / your Business. Your Blog represents you and your Brand. Neglecting this aspect of your Social Media could be a little dangerous.

Here are few of the parameters that you may want to keep in mind:
  • Keep your content new and fresh.
  • Keep writing. The more you write the better you get. You improve in your writing skills and you get more traffic as well.
  • Use of Keywords is crucial.
  • Do respond and encourage interactions. It is critical.
  • Be consistent. Do not neglect your Blogging Posts dates.
  • Frame out what your Blogging will represent and stand for.
These are few of Blogging parameters. What are yours - do share here.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

What Affects The Search Engines - Social Media

In the online world, Search Engines are critical. Knowledge of Search Engines form an important part of Social Media professional's  day to day activity. It is critical that you understand what a Search Engine is looking for and how best you can make use of the opportunity. While you do understand the important criteria of the Search Engine you need to keep in mind that the algorithms are updated and changed constantly. Hence what may be true today may not be so correct to use in the near future, or may not be so important in the near future. A classic example of this was Panda which was brought in by Google. Panda was claimed to be a more sophisticated and intelligent way to diagnosing what is a healthy Site / Blog / Social Profile Page / Link and what is just spam.

Search Engines are programmes, they are scripts, they are not human. Keeping this in mind here are a few pointers for you to get a brief understanding on what affects the Search Engine and how your Content could affect your ranking on the Search Engines.
  • Though algorithms change there is no doubt that the quality and health of your Site / Blog is crucial. When we refer to health we are talking about the Content and the Frequency of Posts.
  • If there are more people visiting your Site / Blog the the algorithms understand that this would be a healthy Site.
  • If there are more people sharing to your Posts then this is a clear indication that the Posts are good.
  • If there are people linking to your Site / Blog then again the Search Engine understands this as a positive sign.
  • You will need to fix your KeyWord selection. It is essential that you start to identify a limited number of words as KeyWords.
  • Search Engines also look at MetaTags. This is Off - Page SEO. Your MetaTag of Headlines, Descriptions, Labels etc are critical factors. They direct and entertain the Search Engine Crawlers.
  • The images that you may upload are another crucial factor for Search Engine Indexing. The names of the Images should be based upon KeyWords that you would have selected.
These are some of the pointers that could help you in understanding what does a Search Engine look for normally.

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