Saturday, July 30, 2011

Why Use #Hashtag In Twitter ? - Social Media

This sign on Twitter is the most known and used: #. It is called Hashtag. Though it may be a little difficult to organize content on Twitter #Hashtag has made it a little simple. Hashtag has made searching on Twitter easy. It has made the conversational thread feasible. You can search with # and have other people continue to converse. Infact # enables to have an alert system as well; during crises situation people Tweet out with # attached to words / phrases.

You will have yourself used the Twitter Hashtag at some point in time while Tweeting. The Hashtag is put along with a word or phrase. There is no space between the Hashtag and the chosen word. 

The uses of Hashtag # can be summarized as below:
  • The main purpose of #Hashtag is so that your Tweets can be organized by you.
  • In a way you create categories via the #Hashtag usage.
  • Additionally people searching for that particular #Hashtag will be able to read your Tweets as well.
  • A #Hashtag enables you to make the persons reading your Tweets understand for who or what purpose you have Tweeted. This way the right Target Audience will select your Profile to follow.
  • A #Hashtag enables others to Re-Tweet your Tweets.
  • Having consistency in your #Hashtag enables you to procure new followers who have similar topics to discussed.
What is your experience with #Hashtag of Twitter?

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Monday, July 25, 2011

What Causes Social Media Crises?

Social Media has opened up new avenues of understanding for the Brands and Businesses. The days of mere push of information has taken a sharp turn. It is no more just push. Here there is pull as well. Together they make interaction feasible. While there is a debate that the Social Media space is owned by Customers I would say both, the Customer and the Brand have equal rights and ownership. Perhaps ownership can be defined by this fact: the one who uses Social Media correctly starts to own it. So if a Brand chooses to stay out of it and be lethargic then the ball is in the Customer's court.

Thus in simple words Social Media belongs to that person or Brand who stays on top of things. It is an era where you need to plan and execute with ease and consistency. You need to pre-plan on how you will tackle various types of situations. It may not be possible to plan for all events however it would be worth spending time and energy to construct a structure on what and how you will behave in a particular situation.

Many a times we may come across the view that controlling a Brand Perception now is out of question due to Social Media - however if we plan then it should not be very difficult. The perception of a Brand is developed with various factors one of them is Social Media. Usually a bad service or a defective product results in a Social Media crises. If your product does not deliver what it mentions, or your customer service fails, or your after sales service goes out of context then you are most probably going to face a Social Media crises. You may face a Social Media crises if your Social Media personnel does not behave and act in an appropriate way.

You can face a Social Media crisis whether or not you have a Social Media Page. You may think that since you are not on Social Media you can stay away from the Social Media mess and crises. Well, this is not true, an angry customer is not going to wait for you to arrive on the Social Media scenario. If you are not present then it is your loss, your loss all the more. Your angry customer will post the grievance anywhere and you will have to go chasing the messages.

Social Media will be used under various situations. Sometimes your stakeholders may be against your stock market value for instance. Reasons to have a Social Media crises could be ample and plenty. Sometimes an unhappy employee may just go ranting about how improper your systems are.

What makes a Social Media crises stand out and make a huge following? There are two factors that can make a Social Media crises go out of hand and create many people to go against you, your Brand, Product, Company and so on.
  • The first point is that when a grievance is not attended with care, respect and a definite rectification course.
  • The second part is when useless, unnecessary justification is given although there is a glaring problem.
When you attain the above two points your Social Media crisis will begin to go out of your hand.

So while the thinking is that the Customer has taken over I would say it is not so true if you play your role well. You can to a large extent control and rectify your Social Media Brand Perception.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Important Points For Your Social Media Endeavor

Social Media is developing into an active and a well recognized part of Marketing. Companies and Business Houses are recognizing the advantage in having a Social Media presence. In order to maintain an active and robust Social Media Page there are a couple of pointers that could be useful. Check out these parameters and do share your favorites too:
  • Think of the activity as Communication extension. Look at the activity as part of building the Brand and role playing / behaving as per the Brand Personality. Your Consumer has many touch points with your Brand, one of the touch point is the Social Media Platform that you may be working on. This means that a singular Brand Message and a singular Brand Personality is to be in existence all across.
  • Look at your Social Media Page as a space where your Customers will interact with you in two situations. Situation one: When they are angry they will seek you and Post the grievance. The second part is that since it is Social in nature they will view your Posts and Comments when they are on that particular site at their convenience. You need to respect their time and the reason why they have connected with you.
  • You need to be active on your social Media Page if you are looking at your Community Members interacting and engaging with you. Do not think that if you have created your Business / Brand Profile Page you have got your Social Media presence. This is a myth. The term Social itself signifies that you behave and remain consistently Social. Be consistent and update your Social Media Page regularly. Ofcourse do not cross the the line and be a nuisance either.
  • Many a times we see blatant sales messages being posted. This is again an incorrect approach. The idea of being on Social Media is so that you attain top-of-the-mind recall value and not so that you have a space to blast sales messages. You need to carefully develop and hand hold your Community Members. Give them lots of reasons to be on your Page.
  • When your Community Members start to interact do make it a point to revert as soon as possible. If you feel satisfied that people are interacting and then do not share back then it is not worth being on the Social Media scenario. 
  • Your Community Members could write just about anything on your Page. You will need to know how best you can monitor this. You also need to decide before hand on how you should deal with various situations. You need to know how negative comments for instance is to be handled.
  • Make it a point to let your Community Members feel privileged. Make it a point to let them feel that they belong to your Social Page. Give them information that has not been out. Let them have a sneak peek at what is taking place with your Company / Brand / Business / Product / Outlets and so on. Let them feel that because they are on your Page they are receiving first hand  genuine inside information.
  • Have a trend and stick to it. Have a weekly trend like question answers etc. Let your Community Members know that there will be an interaction hour on a particular day of the week at a particular time. This will make them look forward to the time. This creates an amazing feeling and it opens up a real active engaging communication.
  • Ask and you shall get. If you are doing all of the above then it is time to ask. Ask your Community Members to invite their Network. Ask them to recommend. Ask them to share with their Network what you may Post. Use this tool of asking very carefully. You need not get aggressive here or become a nuisance. Remember the discretion to act on your request is upto your Community Members you cannot force them. Remember that you are asking them to share what may hold them in good light with their Network. Do not ask / blast sales messages. 
Your turn. What are your key pointers. Share them here.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Google Plus Circles For Your Brand And Your Business - Social Media

Google Plus is one of the most talked about Network Sites in today's time. You look at the Tweets and it is one of the most Tweeted content on the internet. Though in its nascent stage as yet Google Plus has shown great advantages.

In this post am going to share a couple of features that are very advantageous for Brand and Business Networking.
Google Plus has a significant feature called Circles. It could be compared to what Facebook has as Lists.

Circles from Google Plus enables you to form various groups. You can have plenty of groups. For instance friends, family, work and so on. The Circles enables you to have focused and targeted information sent out. Thus your information is not sent off to people who may not be interested in that piece of information. In the same way you can click on any of your Circles and you will be able to view the information posted by members of that particular Circle alone.

Your people will not know the name of the Circle that you put them into.

An amazing part is that when you post you can select the Circle you want to share your post with. You can select individuals from your GMail as well. And here is the amazing part: you can select to share with your entire Circle as well as the network in their Circles. This is the point of extended / spread of information you can do. One more part is that you can share your post with people whom you may have not added to your Circles but if they have added you to their Circles you can send out information to them.

You can chat with your particular Circle exclusively. This way you can have many people chatting with similar interest or concern.

You can select what part of your profile information is available to which Circle. For instance if you have your professional Circle they will be able to view your education and employment while your friends Circle can view your relationship, location and so on.

If you are posting information that you may want to share and draw attention of a particular person then you can do tagging. You can simply tag by '@'.

The features in Google Plus enable you to do a quick research and ask on what is it that your Customer would be seeking. Ofcourse still the 'questions' section has not been well developed still you can make the best use of the post section.

Google has enable your android phone to be in sync with your Google Plus Network. This means you can be online when you are on the go.

You can have Customer Care taking place on your Google Plus - and have your Brand and Business reaching out to various persons and group of people [Circles].

Your turn: Would you look at Google Plus for Brand and Business?

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

SEO Pointers - Social Media

SEO is an important criteria for your online activities. SEO [Search Engine Optimization] if done accurately and consistently then it can be a very rewarding work.

Below are a couple of myths and pointers that one should consider while working on SEO tasks:
  • Duplicate the content: Having a couple of blogs that are same is not the way to go. Also having same content across various Social Media Sites, Blog and Website is not a very good idea. There are two main disadvantages: One is that your Pages and Site will not be taken up higher by Search Engines and secondly your Target Audience will loose interest as wherever they go it seems they have to see the same copy paste job.
  • Images are to be named as Image1, Image2 and so on: Spiders [Crawlers / programmes / scripts] of Search Engines do not 'read' photos, videos and audios. What they do read is text matter. Hence here is a great chance for you. Name your images as per proper and relevant keywords. You can name your images while saving them. Alt Text is an important feature.
  • Link: Your best SEO is linking the various matter with each other. If you have referred to some point in another post then why not hyperlink the two. As much as external linking is important do remember to work towards internal linking as well.
  • Another task of SEO is Keyword. You need to research on what is the right Keyword for your task. Keywords are critical hence before you start to post you need to be clear on your set of Keywords. They need to be intelligently used across all your online work. This starts right from your URL name and so on. Your Page Title, Headline, Sub-head and so on all should be having the intelligent usage of Keywords. There are two parts to this one is On-Page and the other is Off-Page. Use your Keywords in MetaTags and so on.
SEO should not be considered later - it is the first part that is to be done planning for.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Your Community's Network Is Important - Social Media

Social Media is a great platform for sharing information. It is a great platform when things go well and people share either what you want them to share or they share on their own a positive note about you / your Brand / your Business. There are various people sharing various matter. People automatically start to prefer a certain platform for a particular aspect. For instance: LinkedIn to show professional side while Facebook Profile Pages for friends and family.

On Your Social Media Page you will find that particular people share a lot while some do
this less frequently and others may have not as yet done the sharing.

Have you tried to track and see if those who are sharing have the network that could be useful to you? Try to monitor and see who other than your immediate Community is getting to view what you Post. It is a critical and good to know aspect of Social Media.

Track the people and check if they also would be good to have on your Social Media Page. When your core Community Member is doing too much sharing and still no one from their network seem to join you perhaps it is time to understand that the sharing may not be so much of value. You need to have a quick check on those people who share less frequently. Perhaps they may be having an actual relevant target audience in their network. It is a simple understanding that people connect with people who perhaps have some similar liking. There is huge potential in the network of your Community Members; it is your task to see as to what may make the difference.

Your Community Member would be having in their network people who have some similar choice. This section could be a huge potential for you to take your Brand / Business ahead. Check this aspect and go ahead.

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