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Social Media Optimization: Challenges and Solutions

Posted by on May 15 2013 | digital marketing, SMO, social media optimization

While a few corporate executives admit uncertainty over social media optimization or its relevance, an overwhelming majority will admit that they foresee greater assignment of funds to the same. While only few businesses select professional services, some challenges remain.

Following are the obstacles that can be avoided.

1. Lack of Awareness

Social media optimization requires understanding the brand from the audience’s point of view, competitor’s aspect, and important terms, which is the first step. Ignoring this could lead to lost opportunities in all respects, like sales, collaborating, customer services, and others.

2. Cohesive Accountability

After establishing the goals, assigning responsibilities and accepting an overall accountability is necessary. Different departments must combine efforts to benefit the business. This prevents any possible brand misrepresentation.

3. Irregular Involvement

Consistently engaging audiences means regular participation in social media optimization tasks. Executive endorsements enable feedback to contributors, which grow the community. Having a dedicated community member as a curator or brand ambassador encourages community participation and displays the level of involvement.

4. Gaining Trust

To earn belief, a company needs confidence. Developing a sincere and passionate community depends immensely on the depth of participation of the company itself. More than opinions, a sense of conviction and strong will stand apart as respectable elements, which builds a reputable presence for social media optimization.

5. Ill-equipped Team

The emphasis is on understanding more than doing, as it is an approach more than a task.  Having your team undergo the requisite training will reduce the difficulty.

 6. Data Roadblocks

While data is essential to decision making, it should never restrict the capacities of the creative department. Most often, a spectacular creative idea can be the game changer, becoming a historic event in social media campaigns.

 7. Generalised Individualism

In addition to maintain a unique element, the real team members can support social media work. Rather than having a nameless person behind your brand, establish partnerships and acknowledge others for commendable work. Simply being useful with a focus will benefit you as well. With social dissent being expressed as well, a tactful and calm approach is required, even a light-hearted acceptance performs the necessary to maintain audience loyalty.

Conclusion

Ultimately, companies earn social media optimization by thorough strategy development, experimental innovations, and repetition of wholesome efforts and a fundamental framework. With these seven guidelines, your brand can fuel its progress on the path to realizing a robust market share and wider visibility.

Image courtesy mashable.com

 

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5 Essential Twitter Tips for a Business

Posted by on Apr 04 2013 | Social Media, Twitter

500 million – that’s the number of users Twitter boasts of on this date. Like most of social media, Twitter comes free of cost (there is an option to pay though) and not using it as a business tool would be missing too big an opportunity. Whilst owners of large businesses have got a hang of Twitter as a marketing tool, many small businesses are still trying to catch up rather than keep up.

So what do you need to dig out maximum benefits from Twitter:

Start Trending: Twitter hashtags are a way of spreading the word. They get your business in the loop, by not just creating news, but also by bringing out the opinions of the commoners with regard to your business

Listen to the Feedback: You would find a lot of Twitter users giving their opinions about a certain product. Feedback must serve as an eye opener. Having said that, it won’t be recommended that you accept every criticism coming your way (as most customers have tendency to take out their rants at the slightest sign of trouble).

Conversations: You can take it a step further by getting involved in 2 way conversations. Hire someone who can directly take the user queries/complains and responds to them promptly.

 It’s all Real-time: There is no better way of making your offering go viral than Twitter. Everything happens there and then. You launch a product, you tweet about it, and they will know about it. With platforms like Twitter, there is not even a nanosecond of a gap between the time of initiation and the time of going viral.

Avoid Aggressive Marketing: Now that you have garnered a fair number of followers, don’t post tweets regarding your promotions and offers only. Aggressive Twitter marketing will not bring more followers to your Twitter account, which would be lost in social media universe. Users don’t need too many reasons to hit the ‘Unfollow’ button and you are giving them one. Post tweets that have some sort of connection with your offerings but at the same time are interesting and worth retweeting.

With Twitter, it is even possible to get your small scale business boom like a giant. As an active social media platform, the bird-like marketer carries messages from where they start to those who relate with them, in less than 140 characters – Perfect retention and attention tactics. Beat that!

Image courtesy userinterfaced.com

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How Twitter Makes You a Better Writer

Posted by on Mar 14 2013 | Blog, Content Writing, Twitter

The fact that Twitter empowers you to build a huge audience base and serves as a boon to your business is no news. But do you realize that tweeting a more too often can make you a better writer? Well, credit the 140 characters limit for the effect:

Get to the Point Faster, Shorter

A tweet forces you to be brief. It requires you to get your message across in the simplest of language. Whilst you may be the guy who searches for long and flowery adjectives while writing, Twitter does not give you room for that. And before you know it, you are conveying a message or an idea without using too many layers. You begin realizing that you don’t have to be descriptive while describing something in the most explainable manner. You can directly get to the point, without a prologue and still garner readership. The Twitterverse has redefined penmanship.

Exercise Your Vocabulary, without being Extravagant

Since 140 characters are all you can write, you need to shrug yourself off the rich words that force readers to scramble for dictionary. On Twitter, you readers won’t do that. They would just rotate the mouse wheel to scroll to the next Tweet and there goes your chance to gain new readers. So while you start getting accustomed to writing simple, adequately descriptive and yet a mix of words in your tweet, it shows on your blog/article site. You get better at using verbs as well.

What to Leave Out

When you are writing a blog piece, you are eyeing, let’s say, 400 words. There is a lot of redundant information that is included with or without intentions. Inevitably, while drafting long write-ups, you sometimes lose the sight of what your readers might be interested in reading. On Twitter, you have to write the action-oriented words that have the best possible chance of drawing response from the readers. Just get the message across. Writing ‘about’ that message can be done on some other platform, on some other day.

Linear Writing

Blogs and articles give you the freedom of being all over the place. You start writing on a topic, meander off it and then come back. Whilst this might interest a segment of readers would like your article to be not one dimensional,  there are those with a lesser attention span who would only jump the paragraphs. Blogs make you ponder over words and sentences – at times disproportionately, but a Tweet lets to eliminate the redundant thought process and impede your though right then and there, without spending dime of an extra second.

You might argue that Twitter is an oddball platform for improving your writing style,  but as an under-literary way of writing, Tweets can help you curb the on-line blabbering and write with more focus.
Image courtesy 7boats.com

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Facebook/Twitter Feedback Rewriting TV shows

Posted by on Feb 14 2013 | Facebook, Social Media, Twitter

Little did you know that a tweet of yours on your account could dictate what you watch on TV. At least that is what’s happening in Australia and may be followed suit by the makers in other countries as well.

The most obvious alibi for the move is that makers not only understand the value of audience’s feedback, but also realize the power of social media and how it has replaced the mouth-to-mouth publicity with great aplomb. By the virtue of the increasing reach of the social networks, any negative feedback on a show’s page about the show is read by millions countrywide, which might also dissuade new viewers from watching it. More than anything else, the makers of the show can build a whole feedback graph covering extensively what viewers like and what they don’t like.

One of the shows which saw a huge makeover after carefully assessing the conversations happening on social media was Bondi Rescue that airs on Channel 10 in Australia. The show had a documentary-style feel to it owing to its voice over which wasn’t garnering them positive responses from the viewers. Makers also realized that the storyline of the show wasn’t impressive enough so they revamped their show by doing away with voiceovers and completely changing the storyline.

The critics and the general viewers have found a great platform on social media for voicing their opinions – mostly grievances – with the shows. The producers have assigned dedicated teams to assess the social media discussions about their reality shows or dramas and gauge if they are hitting the right notes with the viewers.

“I found when I was monitoring social media people were really frustrated by it, so in the second season we were quite keen to present a different kind of relationship where they got together and it was about what happens after,” he said.

The feedback from social media helps more explicitly when a show is being aired season-wise. Social media monitors can scan the Facebook and Twitter for comments on the shows’ official pages or other user-created pages and write scripts according to what ‘consensus’ they receive. The producers can also get the audience involved by asking specific questions about characters or episodes and gauging their replies.

Though social media can’t wager that viewers will have a good time watching a re-written show, but it can sure communicate the opinions to the makers in real-time.

Image courtesy www.businessgrow.com

 

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How to Hire & Retain Talent in 2013

Posted by on Feb 04 2013 | digital marketing, Online Reputation

Whilst companies make every effort to ensure they hire only the best for developing their applications, writing their content or designing a marketing strategy for a product, there are always some loopholes unattended. And there are certain departments or positions for which companies spend considerable resources, but not much emphasis is made on hiring the best talent or for that matter, retaining it.
 
Training of the Junior Level Employees
 
Let’s say you are hiring SEOs. To start with, you must have highly qualified and experienced SEOs working for you already. At the same time, a good investment should be made into hiring new talents who have the potential to assist your organization after being properly guided. Building a pipeline for talents would serve you well in the long run. If you promote people within, that would mean occupying of senior positions by talents you are sure of, a reduced transition time and it would also mean making savings on budget.
 
Hiring
 
Your company needs to have its presence felt on the social networks – LinkedIn being the most important. When an SEO at mid-level or senior level is looking switch companies, he/she is seeking to work for a brand that would look good on her resume. Not only to their work experience, but they are also looking to increase value to their own brand as a professional. Make sure as a potential employer, yours appears to be a lucrative place at work at.
 

 
Environment within Your Organization
 
You are the boss alright, but you are drawing your force from the employees that work under you, particularly those who report directly to you. They would expect to be you to keep them abreast with the moves your company is making, the direction it is likely to take for the next quarter. Keep them in the loop.
 
Maintaining a corporate culture in the company that gives employees a chance to indulge themselves not only in work, but also in some fun activities, enjoying happy hours and organizing mini cultural programs would do well to drive away some mental clogs that keep developing from time to time.
 
Whilst there are many technical bullet points to keep in mind while hiring talent, when you talk of corporate environment, it also means hiring employees for your organization that don’t make a bad company.
 
Image courtesy tribepad.com

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All You Need To Know About the New Facebook Search Tool

Posted by on Jan 16 2013 | digital marketing, Facebook, Social Media

Facebook has finally stepped into the ring with Google, and there is a lot going for it this time round. After more than a year of brain rummaging on the part of its developers, Facebook has unveiled its new search tool, Graph Search, which is expected to provide far more search options than Google, particularly regarding people, their interests, places, etc. The Facebook ‘Like’ and photos of your friends would be the biggest assets in the search.

It is another giant step forward by Facebook which is already the biggest social media platform on the internet. In the words of Mark Zuckerberg, “Graph search is a completely new way to get information on Facebook.”

So, how is Graph Search different from Google?
A typical Google search is more of an undefined search that returns links in response to our query. The returned links might or might not have what you are looking for. The Google algorithm is such that only the most popular searches appear on the first page. For instance, if you are searching for best restaurants in Delhi, it will come up with the 5 star and 3 star restaurants or the huge franchises on the first few pages. You might have your own preference, your own budget, and it’s very hard to find something on Google according to those specifications. You got to dig really deep, scroll through pages and pages of information to get what you want.

Facebook Graph Search, on the other hand, would take your query and address it with a more specific answer rather than giving you pages of links.

Let’s elucidate this with a few examples:

  • You could put a query in Graph Search, “Which friends of mine live in Pune”- and it will come up with YOUR. A more personalized search is how Facebook refers to it.
  • Friends who like Dark Knight and Django Unchained. In this case, there may be another person with same friends as you, but based on your relationship with the particular friends (which Facebook lets you decide), the results would be filtered.
  • It also serves as an excellent tool for dating. Suppose you are searching for single women. Ask Graph Search, “Who are single women” you will be shown profiles of single people in your friend list, and people who are friends of your friends. You can further streamline it according your city

These are only a few examples of what Graph Search can do for you. You can search for a doctor that your friends go to, or a book your friend reads, a hotel where he/she stayed. Companies can also use this search tool to recruit people.

Photo-Centric Search
Photos also serve as essential element of this new search tool. For example, if you enter,” photos of my friends at beaches”, it will return to you a page full of stunning pictures of your friends at beaches, taken at any beach in the world.

Privacy Issues Will Be Taken Care Of
All said and done, if there are any reservations in your mind that your privacy is under *threat*, trust Facebook to take care of that. Before this search tool is made available to you, you will be asked, “Please take some time to review who can see your stuff.” Thus you can set your privacy controls accordingly.
The former Google engineers, Lars Rasmussen and Tom Stocky have also been the driving force behind the development of this tool. In their words, “As people shared more and more content, we saw that we needed to give them better ways to explore and enjoy those stories and memories.”

For the initial period, this tool would be made available to few individuals. It would be interesting to see how it all pans out. Google, on the other hand, would surely have something up its sleeve.

Image courtesy Search Engine Land (www.searchengineland.com)

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Top Social Media Fails of 2012

Posted by on Jan 05 2013 | digital marketing, Social Media

Random quips by celebrities on social media often stir up a controversy. Same goes for companies which have found a great ally in the form of social media to promote their brand and product ranges. There is no dearth of instances where a social media campaign has turned into an embarrassment for the firms. 2012 was plenty of such sordid stories which ironically have been fun to read about:


Hurricane Sandy Discount
: The American firm, American Apparel launched a Twitter campaign which offered 20% discount to people who were ‘bored’ of the events that unfolded due to the hurricane. True to its nature, the campaign received a huge backlash by twitter users.

Palghar Girls Quote on Bal Thackeray Episode: This wasn’t even the case of a celeb’s tweet going wrong. Two Palghar girls posted a harmless status on their Facebook account, stating that the Mumbai shutdown on the eve of Bal Thackeray’s death was uncalled for. The post caused a lot of furor as they got arrested. And as one would have expected, Shiv Sena harassed the girls as well.

Robert Vadra’s ‘Mango People, Banana Republic’ Statement: It was Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra’s turn to find himself at the wrong end of a social media controversy. Arvind Kejriwal raised his finger on the dealings between Robert Vadra and DLF. In response, Vadra mocked the accusation tweeting, ‘Mango People, Banana Republic’.

McDonald’s #McDStories: Everything was going great for our favourite McDonalds. The “M” sign”, the tagline, and the burgers were all perfect. But then the brand erred! Its social media strategy which they thought would be a success, turned out to be a nightmare.

Criticism of Supreme Court = Jail: Another case of opinion paving the way for jail. Two Air India employees tweeted a remark about the Supreme Court, which was labeled as ‘derogatory’. The two accused KVJ Rao and Mayank Sharma found themselves behind the bars in no time.

Image courtesy tweetingbizness.blogspot.com

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Top 5 Functionalities Your Website Must Have

Posted by on Dec 18 2012 | Web Design, Web development

With the surge in competition all around you, how do you ensure your business stands out amongst the crowd?  Moreover, with the competition getting even tougher in the digital space, it is even more imperative that you make your online presence even stronger. How can all this be achieved?

A compelling and functionality-rich website can help you win half the battle. Read on to know 5 features you MUST load it with:

  1. Social Media Widgets: In a world where sharing dominates the value of a brand and enables faster brand awareness and recall, the integration of social media buttons is a must. Since social media activities influence the search results of a website heavily, this feature becomes very important to be included.
  2. Calls to Action: Whilst a user may land up on your website, there must also be relevant calls to action for him or her to take an action. The action could be to register, contact, sign up or subscribe. The idea for you is to covert as many users as possible.
  3. Responsive: You must remember that a large percentage of your users may be viewing your website on their tabs or mobiles. The traffic to your website should not suffer as a result if this trend. Keeping that in mind, enable a smooth user experience even on mobile phones by making your website responsive.
  4. Search Bar: You know what can be found where on your website, but your audience doesn’t. Make their journey through your site easier, and include a search bar on the site.
  5. Meta Data: A pretty website sitting in the virtual space is practically of no use at all, unless equipped to be found by users in search results. Thus, it is essential to ensure a well-optimized site, with meta titles and meta tags in place.

Building a good website is like packaging your offerings well. The user will get attracted only if the appearance looks appealing enough to come closer. So, make sure your website development has that creative edge it needs.

Image courtesy onvizi.co.nz

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Resume Writing: What a Professional Writer Can Do

Posted by on Dec 01 2012 | Resume Writing

As a job seeker, I had applied for many companies by sending my resume, but to my surprise, the answer that generally came was that they will call me back. But I never got a call from any of the companies. I was disappointed. Even after having the highest qualifications, I could not understand what went wrong. Later, I was able to understand that this is the most common situation for many and the reason was a vaguely written resume.

A professionally written resume helps you get employed more easily. Therefore, if you wish to have a resume that would sell you to potential employers, then hiring an expert resume writer proves to be the best option. Here are the top 4 reasons why:

  1. Writing Skills: Professional resume writers have the skill to highlight the key points, which an employer is looking for. They cautiously but briefly analyze the strengths, qualifications, aptitude and proficiency of the applicant making him or her fit for a particular job.
  2. The Right Matter: Adding the right kind of matter required for your resume is done by these professional writers by collecting all the details pertaining to the job seeker. The bio-data of the job seekers plays the foremost role even before the final call for the interview.
  3. Eye for Detail: Writers keep in mind, that the resume should not be too long since the employer will not read each and every line. The key details have to be written in a catchy manner, making it easy for the employer to go through the qualifications, experiences and other important details.
  4.  Professionalism: Professional resume writers help in creating a promising resume by writing different types of resumes, which include, entry-level, mid level, senior level and executive level. They not only write resumes for experienced candidates, but also for freshers.

So, don’t take a chance if you wish to climb the success ladder, instead take professional help and work in your favourite company. Seek the help of professional resume writers to get that edge, just like I did.

Image courtesy www.topresumewrting.com

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5 Most Interesting Google Doodles

Posted by on Nov 19 2012 | Internet

Google has always encouraged and even spearheaded innovation. In 1998, Google started a new phenomenon with a series of doodles. The first doodle honoured the “Burning Man Festival” and as the years followed, the phenomenon picked up pace and got more creative and funkier. Let’s take a look at the most interesting doodles of 2012.

1. Hisashige Tanaka’s 213th Birthday: To honour the great Japanese inventor, Google created quite an intuitive doodle with flash animation. As Hisashige Tanaka created the Karakuri dolls, Google also created a doodle which portrayed the mechanical prowess of his inventions.

2. 107th Anniversary of Little Nemo in Slumberland: This is probably one of the most elaborate doodles Google has ever created. This doodle honoured master draftsman Winsor McCay who was one of the most remarkably talented storytellers the world has ever seen. The doodle consisted of a series of animated sketches which told an interesting story about the adventure of a boy.

3. Robert Moog’s 78th Birthday: How could Google ignore one of the finest creations gifted to the world by Dr. Robert Moog. As a token of gratitude to Bob Moog’s unique inventions, the Google Doodle created a close version of the keyboard, consistent with the theme of 1960s music.

4. Julia Child’s 100th Birthday: For the love of Julia Child, Google Doodle celebrated her birthday with a Google Doodle. Celebrating in the honour of someone who has been an ardent supporter of causes close to her heart was a small yet significant tribute.

5. Howard Carter’s 138th Birthday: It was the most FUN Google Doodle ever. Some may say that it had a kind of dizzying effect; nonetheless, it was addictive. Intricately detailed, this doodle also ranks as one of the best of 2012.

Now, Google creates doodles to honour major festivals of the year, known personalities and various other things. With its doodles, Google has given its followers an extra something to look forward to.

Images’ courtesy google.com

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