Friday, February 25, 2011

Social Media Sparks Egyptian Revolution - ‘In The Space Below - Guest Writers And Interesting Topics’.

‘In The Space Below - Guest Writers And Interesting Topics’. 

Below is from Thomas Morrison

Thomas Morrison

I am a freelance writer who writes on topics that are current and progressive. I am also a co-editor of Everything Left along with my friend Jack Lundee.

Everything left relays the latest Liberal-based current events and political news to its readers.

Social media is no longer limited to status updates and posting photos from a friend’s birthday party. Social media has quickly become one of the most influential factors in grassroots socio-political mobilization across the globe. The January 25, 2011 revolution in Egypt gained a major foothold with the application of social media tools like Facebook and Twitter. Since the existence of media, individuals have used it to demand more governmental transparency and mobilize allies.

On February 9th former President Bill Clinton spoke at New York University. The former president was lecturing on the Dayton Peace Agreement. This agreement ended the1995 Bosnia Herzegovina genocide. During the lecture President Clinton compared constant news media coverage in the case of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Genocide with the role of social media in assisting communications during the revolution in Egypt. While the former president said the constant news coverage during the Bosnia-Herzegovina Genocide was different than the role social media played during the Revolution in Egypt, both captured global attention at different points in time, springing out of the human desire for information. Clinton reflected back on the quality of technology available when he was president 16 years ago, “There were just 50 Internet sites and the average cell phone weighed 5 pounds”. Clinton heads up the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) alongside personal counselor Doug Band who provides much needed help to the organization, which was founded in 2002 as the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative. Mr. Douglas Band also oversees plenty of foreign operations at the Clinton Global Initiative.

On 25 January 2011 after a successful revolution had taken in Tunisia, inspired by the events, many Egyptians began protesting against the unemployment and poverty that had settled in Egypt as a result of the country’s 30-year autocratic rule by former President Hosini Mubarak. Protesters used social network services like Facebook and Twitter to show the world what was happening in the country, arrange protests and governmental and military responses to the unrest. On the second day of mass protest in Egypt, the Internet, PDA access to the Internet and text messages shut off by Egyptian government. The government’s effort to disable ‘insurgent’ communication in Egypt was unsuccessful. A handful of transnational human rights activists, translators and bloggers used Facebook, Twitter, chatrooms and other social media platforms to relay messages from protestors, journalists and human rights activists to further the grassroots social mobilization while allowing the world to witness step in step exactly what was going on inside of Egypt. Social media makes social organization easier and effective. Social media used by Egyptian protestors brought together individuals who shared common goals and ideas, but also offered a medium for planning. In the case of Egypt, social media forced the government to take accountability. Transnational social networks made it very difficult for governments to lie and hide from their citizens. As January’s events have shown the world, social media interconnects individuals creating a transnational network armed with information.

While the Bosnia Herzegovina genocide and the recent revolution in Egypt are to completely separate events under girded by different politics and history, a human’s desire for information has always been insatiable. At many points in history individuals have combined ingenuity, passion and technology to link themselves with people and societies across the globe.


What Makes Your Facebook Page Post Feature On Feeds? - Social Media

While Google's search algorithms are well kept secrets Facebook is transparent about the algorithms that it uses for Posts of Pages to appear on the Feeds of the Fans / Community Members.

The Facebook algorithm is called EdgeRank. EdgeRank consists of three main variables. They are:
  • Affinity
  • Weight
  • Recency

Affinity: This is the number of times the person and the Page interact.

Weight: Is the number of times comments, likes and such interactions take place.

Recency: This is the time since content was posted.

So basically what does this tell us in short: The more immediate, the more times people interact with Page, and the more they comment is better for the Page posts to come up and be seen on the Feeds of Fans and Community Members. 

Did you know: Almost more than 90% of filtration takes place - which means you have 10% chance to show up on your Fan's Community Member's Feed!

My Business Page is on Facebook at: Do join me.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Should You Spread Thinly Or Densely On Social Media Sites?

While working on Social Media, what I have noticed is that as a Brand / Business head you would like to spread out on many Social Media Sites. Yes, this no doubt is a tempting option. The reason is simple and obvious - that you would not like to miss out on any opportunity of connecting with your target audience like your Customers and Clients. You naturally are trying to be on search engines as well and so spreading in this regard could be an option.

Spreading out on too many sites makes it a little difficult to manage. One way to look at it is that you start to post similar messages all across, this method is not a good solution. The reason being is that the 'privileged' and 'exclusive' content that you should be offering on your Social Media Site to your Community Members starts to get lost and diluted. Add to this if you have a very big community then catering to individual person's comments / posts / queries could be problematic and could be complicated.

Instead if you are on a couple of sites only then you can concentrate well. You can cater to your Community Members well and be more focused and precise. Add to this you can attend to your Community while you are on the move via your cell phone for instance.

What is your take? Share your views here. Should You Spread Thinly Or Densely On Social Media?

My Business Page is on Facebook at: Do join me.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Parameters To Plan Your Social Media Strategy

What are the parameters that one is to consider while working on Social Media? What is it that can make it tick and the lack of it can make it a resounding failure. We all commence the Social Media project with a bang. All concerned persons are very enthusiastic and very keen as well. Many would start to enroll and read up on any help Page found online. No one doubts the enthusiasm and the passion with which it all is started.

However somewhere you will notice that the steam is going out. Suddenly not many who showed interest initially are no more interested. Add to this the intensity of the passion and enthusiasm diminishes. This is inevitable given that other priorities take over and somehow interest and involvement levels decreases.  

What perhaps requires to be done is that you may need to have a check list that enables you to keep your understanding and your team's processes in place.

A quick check on parameters would be as follows. I have given hyperlink to various aspects that need a little more explanation so that you can read each criteria in its complete perspective.

  • On-Page SEO: It may not be essential to know technology in order to do SEO. Yes, there are specialists who can do off - page SEO which is done via programming and in the edit HTML formats. However with limited knowledge of programming you need to be aware of where all you can work to ensure that the various search engines throw up your page when your target audience do their search.
  • Key-Word:This is critical. Before you post your first comment / information you need to decide and be sure of what are your Key-Words. This would emit from doing Key-Word research of your category, competitors and what your Brand is to personify and identify with. Add to this be realistic and think in terms of your target audience. What would they type in search engines is essential that you know.
  • Brand Personality: It is important that your written words and any behavior stays inline with the Brand Personality. Same goes for any audio and video that you may upload.
  • Page Philosophy: While you have your Brand Philosophy in tact you also need to decide on what is your Page Differentiation and Philosophy. It is essential that you pre-decide on the reason as to 'why should people join your Page'. Is it that they will receive exclusive offers, or a launch preview etc.
  • Escalation Matrix: When you receive a query from your customer who is connected on your Page / Blog / Site what will you do if that query was not thought of previously. You need to have a person in the Company at your Client's side who can answer you almost 24/7.
  • Consumer Mind-Set: This is crucial. You need to understand what your customer thinks about your category, brand, competitors, online as a medium and the particular Social Media Site that you plan to establish your brand / business in. For instance there are customers in certain part of the world who will not use Social Media to talk with certain categories where they feel it is best to meet the relationship officer. So you need to understand your customer's usage and attitude towards the Social Media Sites.
  • Tackling Negative Comments: This is inevitable. At sometime or the other someone will post a very critical remark and so on. Your tackling of negative comments should be in line with your brand personality.
  • Competitor Study: Both, Direct Competitor and Notional as well. Who is your competitor, what is their offline and online activity is all important to be well understood. And yes what are they doing on Social Media Sites is crucial for you to keep updated with constantly.
  • Understand The Social Media Site's Functionality and Its Perception As well: It is best to really know the functions of the Social Media Sites that you take up. To use them optimally is the best way to get results.
  • Have A Diary Of Content Posts - Keep To Consistency And Freshness: Post information that is relevant to your customers. Post information that is topical. Inform and befriend your customer. Befriending does not mean that you cross the limits though.
  • Monitoring / Listening and Measuring Tools: There are lots of free and paid tools that you will get online. Use these regularly. Listening and then taking part in conversations is the key. Ofcourse this does not mean that you step into a conversation and become an irritant.
  • Adaptability To Change As Per Feed-Back From The Measuring And Monitoring Tools: Rules and plans should be pre-decided, however they are not to be rigid. You need to change your plan of action if required.
  • Pre-decide On Key Performance Indicators: This is important. It is sometimes the main cause of Social Media endeavors being left half way, people loosing interest, the steam goes out and the top management puts these efforts in the side line. Have your performance indicators well laid out. Let them be realistic and let them be such that they contribute towards the marketing and business goals. For instance having lots of followers and fans should not be a blind criteria, how much are they engaging and involving is important.
  • Add To This It Is Crucial That The Person Working On The Social Media Sites Has Relevant Knowledge Of Direct Marketing Along With Social Media Knowledge
  • A Delegated Leader Who Will Be Responsible And Accountable And Has Authority
  • Acquisition: It is necessary that you plan how and from where your target audience should flow into your Page.
  • Retention: How will you nurture and limit the attrition is also vital.
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.

When we do all of the above we can then be ready to start our venture into Social Media. Any other parameters that come to your mind share them here.

My Business Page is on Facebook at:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

QR Code In Social Media

Hello, by now you will have heard the new terminology doing its rounds - called QR Code. To put it simply QR Code enables your customers and clients to 'read' / 'link' to your online Page / Site.

Allow me to explain: For instance if you have a blog / site you can have a QR Code. This code which is an image as a matter of speaking can be printed, can be embedded onto another site and so on. When your customer / client scans this from their smartphone they can be provided information and are swiftly linked to your Page / Site / blog and any other online address that has its own url. Basically your url is the clue here. This is 'read' and automatically the site gets connected. So in other words a long url need not be typed out, instead the QR Code gets scanned and the online site gets linked and can be surfed.

You may ask why should we go through the whole process - the answer is simple. For instance one of the reasons being: in the online world you would use url shortener like the Google url shortener called you would not go about placing a very long url everywhere. Similarly when you need to share your url in the real world and when you want people to [almost] automatically connect with your site and blog / page and other online destinations the easy way is to give them the QR Code and lo! people are connected.

What do you think of this? Interesting?

So what is the full form of QR Code:
  • It stands for Quick Response Code.

Where can the QR Codes be used:
  • Since it is similar to bar code you can use it to give off discounts, tickets, etc. Just the way we have MCoupons this can substitute the same
  • Customer service is another way in which this can be used
  • and so on
What is required to implement the QR Code:
  • You need to determine which Page / Blog /Site you want people to get directed towards
  • Next is you need to create the QR Code - this is done online there are free sites that enable this
  • Share the link / code to your print medium / online medium from where you want people to come
  • Your target audience requires smartphone with the application - this can be freely downloaded, one time download is only required
  • and you can roll!
Your turn - is this easy? Will you go in for this marketing channel.

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

Friday, February 4, 2011

Identifying Different Social Media Audiences

Close your eyes and think back on the various presentations that you will have made or have witnessed. Try to remember the various audiences. What do you see:
  • There are some that are nodding
  • There are some that stare without an expression
  • There are those that may choose to close their eyes and sit through
  • There are some who interact
  • There are some that put forth extra ordinary questions that could take discussion on a different tangent
  • There are some who do ask relevant questions
  • There are those who disagree and disapprove
  • And yes there are fierce devil's advocates as well
Like them or hate them, you may feel they should exist or disappear but they are real and very much present.

Similarly when you are working in the Social Media realm you will come across various sets of people who re-act in similar way as shared above in the bullet point - except perhaps closing their eyes and yet being present.

Just as in the presentation scenario you will have to deal with the various individual personalities, in the Social Media world also you need to deal with various personalities. In the presentation you can see body language, eye contact and decipher from the vocal tone of voice in the Social Media sites you end up deciphering from the text matter and any icons [smiley etc] typed uploaded etc.

Just because it is the online world you cannot each time escape and ignore without closing the conversation. Exceptions will remain.

For this you do need have your brand personality drawn out before you key in your first post / comment. The brand personality will enable you in understanding how best you should reply / re-act / behave when you face a certain type of comments.

Your turn - share your views.

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

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Social Media As Customer Service

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

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

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

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

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

Is your organization ready to take up this challenge? Share your views here.
We have an active Social Media community at my Facebook Business Page. You can experience / see demonstration of Social Media and Community Management at . To discover, share, interact, network, have question answer sessions and converse on Social Media do join me at
Share this Page with people who require Social Media help for their brand and business.