Thursday, January 27, 2011

Innovative Testimonials Format By Facebook - Social Media

Recently, infact a couple of days back, Facebook has launched a new advertising option. It is actually bringing Social Networking into ads. This option indeed has its merit. It is innovative in its own way. What Facebook has done is that now brands and business can push ads into their target profiles by showing who from your own network has commented / posted about their brand and business.

This is amazing way of bringing word of mouth [in the online scenario], a kind of testimonial format, into ads. It is called
'Sponsored Stories'.

The only negative part that I see is that incase a person does not want to feature onto this ad then there is no opt-out facility. The counter side of this could be that when you comment on Social Media it is anyway available via search engines and so there is no reason why you would require the opt-out facility. Having said this am sure Facebook would have thought of this and there must be some coverage in its policy.

On the whole it is an amazing and innovative method of bring testimonials really alive and what's more you will trust it since you will see your own friend / network person saying / mentioning about the brand / business.

What is your take on this format?


We have an active Social Media community at my Facebook Business Page. You can experience / see demonstration of Social Media and Community Management at
http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia . To discover, share, interact, network, have question answer sessions and converse on Social Media do join me at facebook.com/pervarakapadia  http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia
Share this Page with people who require Social Media help for their brand and business.



Saturday, January 22, 2011

You Will Receive 3000+ Followers Guaranteed, Just Buy The Package - Social Media

Social Media can be measured in numbers which is the quantitative method. It can be measured in qualitative terms as well. What we need to keep in mind is both qualitative and quantitative methods can be measured - over a period of time. To see results you will need to wait for an average of six months in many cases. There are a couple of parameters to measure your Social Media endeavor that I have shared previously. 

It is not an over-night magic. It is not what we read that 'you will receive 3000+ followers guaranteed, just buy the package'.

If there are ready made people to connect with your business Page we need to re-look at such claims. From these how many will really lead to sensible and positive brand growth? It is not the number of followers that matter it is quality that matters. What is the sense of having over thousand followers when none really buy into your conversation? When no one really shares what you post? or no one really is interested in reading your comments? or no one engages onto your Page regularly and actively.

For instance: On Facebook it is good to know how many people have 'Liked' your Facebook Fan / Business Page. But it is far too crucial to know how many engaged onto the various conversations, how many 'liked' the individual posts. You need to check on who is regular on your Page.

How many times while working as a Social Media personnel have you received a call asking you why have the number of followers / community members fallen [even if it means one person leaving]. Or to that matter how many times as an individual would you have looked at your follower list and wondered whatever you did or rather did not do created the follower to leave you. Probably this thinking itself caused our fellow member to go away. The thinking as in: Where are my followers. What I am trying to put across is that thinking of our community member as 'one of the members' or as 'a follower' would be the reason why we may have not really connected with them on a one to one humane basis. You need to look and respond to our Community Members on a one to one level - on a human level.

Yes Social Media is time consuming not tedious though.

Social Media is like an investment. What you do today leaves footprints on the internet that enables you to draw positive fruits later on. Ofcourse if you do not use it wisely then you could suffer as well. Social Media requires focus, planning, adherence to plan, continuity, consistency and freshness.

If any of these criteria are missing then you may lose out with your target audience. Many a times you may get the feeling that no one is responding to you, but do not give up here. You need to understand that as time passes the search engines will start to index your page and then you can hope for traffic towards your page. To enable this you need to be consistent with fresh matter.

Search engines take time - around 3 mths to start to show your pages on search sites. Thus the earlier you start the better. Social Media enables you to achieve personal and professional objectives. The on-page SEO will enables you to reap benefits.

So are you all set and ready to manage your Social Media? Share your views here.

We have an active Social Media community at my Facebook Business Page. You can experience / see demonstration of Social Media and Community Management at http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia . To discover, share, interact, network, have question answer sessions and converse on Social Media do join me at facebook.com/pervarakapadia  http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Social Media Fallacies

These days business have either got into Social Media or are thinking of doing so, gone are the days of neglecting this marketing channel. While many do get into Social Media, most do not use the media in an appropriate way. There are common myths and wrong doing on the sites that I have come across. Am sharing a couple of them below:

Build it and they will come: Plenty of business houses seem to have registered on Social Media sites. When you go through their Page you will find that they have not posted in a long time - over couple of months. Similarly there are lots of NGOs non-profit organizations and lots of causes that have their Page but do not do anything beyond the initial posts. What happens here? Well at first persons who may have connected / subscribed to the pages  forget that they are members of the community. Hence they do not participate actively. Add to the misery spammers seem to have a free field day on the Pages. They seem to post all kinds of links. What happens here is as and when the right target audience do visit the Page they are lost in trying to understand as to what your Page is all about. The fact of Social Media is that you need to be consistently posting. This consistency is coupled with fresh and interesting content. The interest is to be judged from your customer's point of view.

Response: It is amazing that after a question is put forth by the Page Admin, when people do start to answer on the same, there is no response from the Page Admin. There is a huge responsibility when you want and do mange to generate response from your community people. Please respect the people, their comments and reply / converse back. Incase if there is any negativity taking place try to gently move that particular conversation back on the right track.

Personality: Before you write and post your first comment remember to have the brand print and brand personality drawn out clearly. If your brand image is to go in a particular direction remember to live by it and behave in that way throughout your interaction.

Human: Social Media is all about human interaction. It is got to do with sharing, opinions, conversations, engagement, networking and so on. Please do not reply as a robot. The reason behind being a robot is justified as being professional. But tell me how many of your customers are logging onto Social Sites to receive professional tone. Yes they log-on to get expert advice but this can be done at an human level not as if a person is reading out of text book!.

There are many fallacies that we do as Social Media persons. Remember there are more than the above pointers as well.

We have an active Social Media community at my Facebook Business Page. You can experience / see demonstration of Social Media and Community Management at http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia . To discover, share, interact, network, have question answer sessions and converse on Social Media do join me at facebook.com/pervarakapadia  http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia
Share this Page with people who require Social Media help for their brand and business.

Monday, January 10, 2011

How The Steam Goes Out Of Social Media Efforts!

Social Media is soon becoming an extension of marketing for many business houses, and some have already adopted it as one of the main channels to connect with the customers. Many a times we commence the Social Media planning and strategy with a bang! We start with enthusiasm and a lot of hope that we will achieve our objectives within the marketing preview. Ofcouse, some start with a lot of apprehension as well. So, there is a person appointed to carry out the various tasks. And, the execution starts. The person could be from within the organization, or could be the head of business or maybe an external agency.

With a good take off, everyone has started to join into Twitter and Facebook [dependent on what is wanted, this is just example]. And soon the excitement builds up as we start to count on how many people have joined us. In elevators and corridors a quick response is shared on questions like 'how many today?'. This excitement continues till suddenly someone wants to know the ROI. And then suddenly everyone is  figuring out on parameters - the matrix to measure Social Media. This could be the first part of loosing out on steam of enthusiasm.

Next part when the steam starts to get out is during engagement period. While initially we may engage but the problem starts when someone complains and we do not respond as a company / brand properly. While apologizing is one part if there is no real concrete step taken then things could go out of hand. It is essential to have developed a matrix / escalation levels while creating the plan and strategy itself. It is essential that all departments know and understand that if the Social Media person flags an issue the concerned department should take the responsibility and solve the issue. This is critical. This the Social Media person should establish at the very beginning itself.

Many a times there are pre-conceived notions about how should a business unit attract customers on the net.

Social Media is a consistent and constant efforts. Let us 'never' think that once the basics are set up it will all generate talks on its own. People always need a little push and a little nudging. Social Media no doubt catches momentum, but one has to keep the momentum going. We cannot say that without an 'active driver' the Social Media will continue to create and achieve our objectives.

Social Media could start to loose the steam. How do you keep it going? What do you think? Join in ...

We have an active Social Media community at my Facebook Business Page. You can experience / see demonstration of Social Media and Community Management at http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia . To discover, share, interact, network, have question answer sessions and converse on Social Media do join me at facebook.com/pervarakapadia  http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia
Share this Page with people who require Social Media help for their brand and business.


Friday, January 7, 2011

What Are The Social Media Uses For Your Brand And Marketing Objectives?

What are the Social Media uses. Social Media needs time and dedication. It is not feasible to have the results within a short period of time. But, yes you can start to achieve results over a period of time.

Your brand / business may have several reason to be on the Social Media Sites. It depends how you nurture it and enable it to grow. Based on your efforts you could start to achieve various results.

The various purposes that Social Media could serve are:
  • Customer Service
  • Public Relation
  • Page Ranking
  • Acquisition
  • Retention
  • Customer Value Enhancement
  • Referral [Friend Get Friend] Programme, Member Get Member Programme, Viral Marketing
  • Encourage Non Active Members To Participate
  • Brand Awareness
  • Brand Personality Re-Enforcement, Build Brand Identity And Thereby Brand Recognition
  • Bring In Positive Brand Perceptions
  • Progress Towards Brand Associations, Familiarity, Attitudes, Identity, Personality, Image And Brand Preference
  • Increase The Brand - Consumer Bond, Loyalty Towards Your Brand, Service, Product, Company Etc
  • Over A Period Of Time Customer Intelligence Can Be Built - Who They Are, What Interests Them, And So On Based On What Is Feasible From The Connection Online
  • Create Brand Difference
  • Consumer Insights
  • What Does Your Customer Like And Not Like About Your Brand, Product, Service Etc.
  • Enhance Brand Proposition And Positioning 
  • Try Preventing Attrition
  • Nurturing Brand - Customer Relationship Over Time Thereby Deepening Relationships
  • Identify Active Participants To Give Them More Benefits And Thereby Get Them To Feel More Belonging Towards Your Brand, Product, Service Etc
  • Facilitating Cross Sell And Up Sell
Your turn. What are the various purposes that you would get your brand / business onto the Social Media Site?

We have an active Social Media community at my Facebook Business Page. You can experience / see demonstration of Social Media and Community Management at
http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia . To discover, share, interact, network, have question answer sessions and converse on Social Media do join me at facebook.com/pervarakapadia  http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia
Share this Page with people who require Social Media help for their brand and business.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Social Media Calls For Pro-Active And Re-Active Actions

When on Social Media you need to have a plan of action. A plan that has directional steps for two paths: one which guides you on the road ahead and the other which helps out when you meet with hurdles on that road. What this goes to say is that you need a plan that is pro-active along with a plan that is re-active.

Allow me to explain this: Just creating a Facebook Business / Fan Pages is not enough. You need a plan - which indicates on what is to be done. Developing a community is time consuming job. The community is to be nurtured and fed with information. As Facebook rightly calls posts as feeds! Truly so, you do need to keep at it and be consistent and fresh as well. It is best to have a diary wherein you will have written about the topics that you want to converse about.

While you plan on this you also need to think in terms of crises. For instance suppose you are administrating the Facebook Fan / Business Page of consumer goods. Who will you approach if one day your community member on Facebook mentions that the goods bought are defective. What would be your steps; at one level how will you address this complain on the Facebook and at another level what will you do at company level. Hence, the plan should also comprise of steps for meeting sudden crises based situations.

When facing crises you need to adhere to the brand philosophy as well.

Conclusion: You need to have a plan that sets you towards your direction clearly. You also need the plan that enables you to tackle crises situations.

We have an active Social Media community at my Facebook Business Page. You can experience / see demonstration of Social Media and Community Management at http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia . To discover, share, interact, network, have question answer sessions and converse on Social Media do join me at facebook.com/pervarakapadia  http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia
Share this Page with people who require Social Media help for their brand and business.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Know About Social Bookmarking Sites - Social Media

In the online world of Social Media we have the well known sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on. In this same world we have sites that enable you to share the various pages and blogs that may be of interest to you. These sites enable you to share links of pages / sites / blogs that you would like to recommend.
Social Bookmarking sites are handy at two levels. One is, they are handy to share and spread the message / articles etc. At another level they enable better SEO [Search Engine Optimization]. There are various sites that enable Social Bookmarking. The popular ones are Delicious, Digg, Stumbleupon and so on.

What happens at Social Bookmarking sites:

At initial level you start off by registering like you would at any other Social site. Post your registering you can then onwards start to post links of pages, blogs etc that you would like to share. This works effectively for the SEO purpose as well. As more traffic gets driven towards your link. These sites also work on more or less same basic sharing and posting descriptions of what you suggest etc.

How do you do Social Bookmarking:
There are a couple of ways in which you can do bookmarking. One is go on the site and copy paste the link of the page you want to share. The other is your browser would have the facility to do Social Bookmarking. And, thirdly usually the sites, blogs would have the same facility as well. As technology advances you have the fourth past which is - applications for
your iPhone, Android phone, or iPad as well.

You too can search for sites and pages, blogs that others would have bookmarked. Usually these sites have categories so you can search with ease.

This is another way to start getting traffic towards your site. So which Social Bookmarking sites are your favorite?

We have an active Social Media community at my Facebook Business Page. You can experience / see demonstration of Social Media and Community Management at http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia . To discover, share, interact, network, have question answer sessions and converse on Social Media do join me at facebook.com/pervarakapadia  http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia
Share this Page with people who require Social Media help for their brand and business.