Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The New 'Send' Button From Facebook - Social Media

Very recently Facebook has introduced a new social plugin, the 'Send' button. This button is to be installed onto your Blogs or Websites. Just when the 'Like'  button completed a year of its existence we now have the 'Send' button.

In essence the 'Send' button enables you to send the information from the Blog / Website to people on your network as a message. Thus if you do not want a particular information to feature on your network's feed and if you do not want that the whole network of your friends view it then this is an incredible facility.

Many a times there are articles and posts of 
Blog / Website that may be of interest to very few people. It may not be general interest to all persons. In such cases when you share the entire post with everyone it may start making people turn a blind eye towards your feeds as they are not relevant material to them. With the result people may start to 'hide' your feed on their home page. The 'Send' button enable you to come clear and be out of such situation. So only those persons who will find the post relevant from the Blog / Website will receive the matter.

Unlike the 'Like' button, the 'Send' button enables private sharing.

Where can you send the matter from the 'Send' button?
  • You can send the information to a person in your Facebook Network as a message
  • You can post it onto your Facebook Group's Page
  • You can email it as per Facebook email id given to Personal Profile Pages
No doubt it is great for focused, private sending of information. What is your take on this button?  Share your inputs.

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

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Benefits Of 'Like' On Facebook- Social Media

On Facebook - The Page connector button that connects your Business / Brand Pages with your Community Members is the 'Like' button. There are many misconceptions about the 'Like' button. Do they really like when they click 'Like' is a very debatable thought. The reason being that they may have connected to know information or because they feel they can complain and vent out their grievance here.

There is another debate that makes its rounds - quantity as against quality. Ideally we all would like to have quantity and quality. However this takes time and energy. Many a times people start off with quantity as their goal. For instance people feel that more the quantity that like the Page, better will be the sales and better will be the bottom line. The principle here is that greater and broader the catch even after filtration the number of potential target will be on the higher side. Though this is debatable this is a very common myth that runs in the business houses. Taking advantage of this thinking we will come across many who make claim such as:
'get 1500 Fans on Facebook'.

While there are misconceptions and myths to 'Like' lets take a step back and understand the benefits of 'like. Assuming that you will be doing the Social Media strategy in the right way and will not be the one who is considerably convinced with the misconceptions. The benefits of 'Like' on Facebook would be:
  • First and fore-mostly the benefit of 'Like' is that you can send off a newsletter that goes into your Community Member's message section [under the message section is the 'other' where newsletters reside']. You can send to your Community very focused information that they can react upon.
  • You can segregate your target customers so that you know who are active, passive and lapsed. Once you segregate and cluster them you can then connect with them and plan on how to make them move up the ladder.
  • You can connect with them in actual real time and attend to their questions, concerns and so on. You as a Business / Brand have a chance here to show your empathy and enable your irate customer to understand that you are concerned and that you do care.
  • This is your chance to act, behave and show your Brand Personality. On the Page you can actually live up to your brand image and create a brand personality that your Community Members can relate to. Thereby you grow in relevance and familiarity.
  • You can draw out a performance matrix on what is working and what is not. Thereby you can associate the findings to your bottom line and ROI. You will be able to work out your KPI for the next couple of months based on these findings.
  • With a Business / Brand Page you can do a quick Qualitative research as well so as to understand and know what best triggers the emotional connect with your Community Members and your Business / Brand.
  • Here is your chance to create the privileged feel for your Community. Let them have special offers and so on which would not be available otherwise. Thus they will feel belonged and one with your Business and Brand.
  • What's more, if you post something of relevance / topical / what they like then there is a huge chance of your information going viral. It is very easy to share information, just with one click your Community can share with their network. The authenticity of shared information is much higher. People believe in what they receive from their known sources like their own network.
  • Interaction and engagement is the core of all Social Media existence. This can be achieved on your Page. What better value than having your Community captivated by your conversation and add to it they participating in it as well.
It is a good idea to have a Facebook Page for your Brand and Business. Don't miss out on an opportunity.

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

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Nurturing Your Community - Social Media

Community Management cannot be taken for granted. You don't build a Community of relevant individuals over night. It takes time. It takes leadership qualities. Acquisition takes time and energy. Retention is even more intensive.

To maintain and nurture your Community is the core task. If your Community is satisfied they will be the best ambassadors that you could ever have. Cherish them cause they are precious.

There are a couple of factors that you need to keep in mind when working with your Community on Social Media.

  • Human: Have a voice. Relate to people as a human not as a robot. Many a times one ends up like a robot while trying to be professional. Though you need not cross the line and become overtly friendly, you do need to express yourself and relate to people. You are communicating to people in an environment that demands interactivity and social behavior.
  • Team: Remember it is a team. The spirit of Community lies in it having a momentum of its own. You need to get that spirit up and running. For this at times you may need to be a leader while at other times you need to mingle and be one with your people.
  • Authentic: Be authentic. Show your true self. Be genuine. This is your make or break road to credibility.
  • Respond: Please do not put up something where people comment and you as Page Admin are just not around. Naturally you cannot be 24 hours all of 365 days. However you do need to be there and be see alive. When you set up a Page you are making a promise of being there.
  • Consistency: The stream of posts that come on your Community Member's Facebook Personal Profile Home Pages is rightly called Feed. You need to keep the feed going. Pre-decide how many times you will post. Out of sight is out of mind. And, too much is also not good.
  • Fresh: While being consistent try to keep topical and fresh communication flowing. Content curation is essential in these time.
  • Privilege: People have joined your Page with various reasons. One reason is to belong. Give your Community something special. Make them feel special. After all they are special no doubt. This could be by way of advice, pre-launch information, consultancy and so on.
  • Contests: Give your Community a challenge. Have votes, chance to win and so on.
  • Quality: Don't bring in suddenly too many new people. Grow organically not by just quantity.
So go on talk with people online the way you would when you meet them.

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

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Keeping Track Of Competitors On Facebook - Social Media

As Facebook Page Administrator you would be constantly looking for ways and methods to keep yourself updated with the various activities taking place on your Page. Thankfully Facebook has introduced the notification system wherein you can keep yourself in the know if anyone comments or posts on your Brand / Business Page.

Apart from keeping track of your Page you need to track your competitors as well. What do you do? Do you have a method? There are a couple of tools available online that can enable you to track and be on top of information.

A simple but very effective tool is hyperalerts.no. Have you tried this as yet? It enables you to receive email notifications of the posts and comments that are made on your Facebook Page. It does not stop here. You can keep track of other Facebook Pages where you are not an administrator. You have the option of receiving alerts on an immediate basis as it happens, or every hour, day, week or month. The choice is yours.

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

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, April 10, 2011

Measuring Your Customer In Social Media


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


RFM = Recency, Frequency and Monetary Value.

  • Recency = How recent has the customer purchased
  • Frequency = How often did the purchase take place
  • Monetary= How much was the spend / purchase made of

Here you slice and dice the data. From this model you can decipher who are your active customer sets, who are passive and not reacting and those who have been active and have for some reason gone out of action. This and more can be done with the data. For instance you can figure out who are your high paying people. You can take business decision if you want to concentrate on the customers who are more value by monetary terms but may not be as frequent as the medium monetary value customers in a given period and so on.

In a RFM model there is lot of permutation and combination that could take place. For instance you can slice / segregate the Recency factor into:

  • Customers who have purchased in the last 90 days
  • Customers who have purchased between the last 91 and 120 days
  • Customers who have purchased between the last 121 days and 365 days
  • And so on

The depth of slicing your data depends on the category that you have. For instance an impulse or FMCG or a monthly product can have more depth while if your product is consumer durable which after purchase requires atleast 5 years for the customer to make the next purchase then naturally the recency parameter will not need to be sliced in depth.

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

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

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

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


Over a period of time the measure can be made to understand the life time value of the customer in your system as well. You can look at it as CLV, LCV and LTV. For this you need your data to be over a couple of years to have any concrete understanding.

  • CLV / CLTV= Customer Lifetime Value
  • LCV = Lifetime Customer Value
  • LTV = Lifetime Value
  • CV = Customer Value

When you work on the RFM module knowing and measuring CLV should not be a problem. You know who is contributing towards your bottom line, you know if the person arrived via Social Media sites, you can measure you customer value on Social Media.

Once you know the customer value you can estimate and put a price to that customer as to how much you want to spend on the customer. To measure the customer on lifetime value you need to have the below parameters:

  • Churn Rate = This is the percentage of your customers who move / end their relationship with your company in a given period
  • Discount Rate = Herein you are to check on the capital cost that is put into a particular customer set
  • Retention Costs = This is amount of monies that your company spends on a particular customer set in a given period to enable retention
  • Period / Duration = This is the critical measure. The period of time that you designate to the above calculations. Minimum advisable would be 3years as your data would not be robust till then for you to derive concrete idea.

Ofcourse the above is a simple glimpse. There is work and longtime dedication if you want to work towards attaining the real value of your customer sets.

ROI = The most debated, questioned and doubted attribute in Social Media. Call it by any name you are referring to the bottom line.

  • ROR = Rate Of Return
  • ROI = Return On Investment
  • RP = Rate Of Profit

The measure arrives from understanding what you have invested and what you have benefited with [Taxes to be understood as well]. To explain further it is the monies gained / lost by calculating the net gain and the gross gain. ROI is calculated in percentage.

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

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

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

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

Good to read:

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



Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Treat Your Community With Respect - Social Media

Engage with your audience. We all hear it all the time. Engaging with your audience is the core in Social Media. Keeping your Community engaged on Facebook for instance is what matters the most. While it sounds easy, many a times it could be the most difficult task for some. Engagement essentially means involving, getting the audience to interact and gently leading to a conversational mode. The benefit of this is that you start to relate with people as brand / business. Your brand / business starts to become more relevant to your people.

The question is how do you talk with people. It is only feasible when you and they meet at a mutual point of understanding. What we would call a rapport in normal colloquial English. It is a connection that we sense and exhibit by way of dialogue. Dialogues need not always be in agreement, you may choose to disagree however the line of conversation continues.

There would be many deterrents while engaging. One of the prime ones could be the way you look at your Community.

Perhaps the first and foremost aspect of engaging with your Community would be to not look at them as Fans [incase of Facebook]. Here is where most problems take place. Here is where restrictions come by. Just because Facebook has chosen to call the connection / permission button as 'like' we all tend to call our Community persons as Fans. Announcements such as 'become our Fan' are quite questionable. In Direct Marketing and Loyalty Programme scenario we try our
level best to call / name / brand programmes which people would like been seen in. We try to name the membership and then go on to address our Community with that membership. Do we address them as 'hi Fans'? If you do have an offline programme then why not continue the same online. And if you do not have an offline programme then why not think of it for your 'Fan Page'. Except for very few Brands perhaps the aspect of Fan is slightly far fetched. Instead of saying 'become our Fan' will the message get dissolved if we say 'converse with us on Facebook' and such other lines.

There are various reasons to click the 'Like' button. Let's not be misguided.

Reading matter that may interest you:

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

Friday, April 1, 2011

How To Procure Community Data In Social Media

Social Media lends itself to Customer Relationship Management [CRM]. Although it may be an indirect method to procure data you can still understand what are the trigger points that can work best with your Community Members. For instance if you are on Facebook and if you have a Community on your Business Page then a quick run through of your key Community persons can show you what they like and what matters to them.

Here are simple pointers that can work as starters:
  • 'Listen' in on your own Page what they interact with, what matters to them, on which topics the Posts and Comments are coming in and so on.
  • Next is the timing. You will observe that there are certain days and time bands when your Community Members interact and engage with you and other members. Make sure you note these and create a reminder on when next you are going to talk with your Community.
  • Facebook has this wonder upgrade recently done. Wherein you can now make your Facebook Business Page as your main Home Page. When you will do this on your left hand side you will see 'recommendations'. The algorithm at Facebook is such that recommendations made to you are based on the 'likes' of your network. Hence you can assume to a large extent that your Community is onto the recommended Pages. Thereby you can look at it as what they like.
  • And finally the 'Question' field that is so nicely given to all of us on Facebook. How well have you used it? It is a smooth way to generate information plus enables conversation. Add to this it has an amazing viral spread to it.
Simple? Your turn. how do you 'read' data of your Community on Social Media.

Below shared posts could be interesting read for you:

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