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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The Blog You like

Posted by on Nov 01 2012 | Blog, Blogging, Blogs

What is there in a blog that makes it so affable? As we know, the phenomenon of blogging started off as a personal log book and uneventfully went off to create a space where knowledge sharing is no more personal but public engagement. Blogging continues to mix the individual’s point of view and the public service in general with a subtlety of tone. For some it has evolved as a space for making money with content marketing, for others as a platform of communication. Whatever may be the purpose behind it, blogs take out a good percentage of overall online content space and in a variety of forms. At this juncture, we would like to see what kind of blogs top the list of online readers.

Technology: Technology perhaps has given pace to human race in more ways than one can imagine and has also mounted for a good amount of unanswerable questions. The latter is the cause of popular technology blogs that help users with answers on gadgets, features, usability and complications.

Marketing: For brands and products to talk about that special new aspect, blog is the best medium. No matter what, a simple communication through blog is the answer to the new marketing tool and a platform for consumer interaction.
News Feature: People like to prowl the internet for news and views. A plain news article may not be the catch everyday but with an opinionated blog, one is sure to grab more eyeballs. Video amalgamated news feature blogs are a hit in this category.

How To: Give rest to the textbooks because the new age formula for experiments is here. The ‘how to’ blogs are one of the fastest catching sensation on the net. From dressing up to cooking to fixing things, all the answers lie in a blog that deals with the specialized solution.

Travel: Men and women of the wanderlust kind found the answer in travel blogs. The readers and authors are of the same species here. This blog type has its very own kind of followers and it has come as a sigh of relief for people who could now visit places with virtual reads, since they miss out on it in physicality.

Humour: Laughter is the best medicine and the good news is it sells too. Blogs with the funny bone have tickled a huge amount of fan base on the web and continues to engage more with viral sharing via the social networking sites.

Image courtesy Miss Hamilton’s Class Blog

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How Bing ‘Decoded’ an Integrated Marketing Campaign?

Posted by on Oct 01 2012 | Internet Marketing

People talk a lot about integrated marketing campaigns. Almost every person in the media circle has got the bug but very few have been successful in implementing the same. Bing, the Microsoft search engine did not just accidentally hit a jackpot with the idea but was truly outstanding in bringing an integrated marketing campaign to blockbuster success.

The Idea: This was the time when Jay-Z, American hip hop rapper, decided to launch his book ‘Decoded’. Along with a marketing collaboration with Bing, the idea was set to engage the public in a variety of ways especially making the viral marketing tool leave no stone unturned. So, Bing decided to put together places on the map of America which appeared in the book and had connection with Jay-Z’s life experiences from the place of his birth to the start of his career.

The Map: Bing brought in the ‘map’ element as part of the central idea of audience participation. It was to disintegrate the pages from the book to locations all across the states, a total of 13. The pages appeared at sections unexpected, including places like the bottom of a Miami swimming pool to roof top of a New Orleans building. Not just that, it was printed on ceramic plates and Gucci had it on the jacket customized.

The Game: The game had people integrating the fragments from all of these 13 places. No matter where the audience was, participation required and guided people through Bing maps from one section of the book to the other. It was like being on a treasure hunt, picking clues from one point to reach another.

The Plot: The maps were modified and had ground as well as aerial views. The players of the game had the plot ‘Decoded’ by browsing and landing onto different locations for connecting the dot. This was definitely one of a kind idea of presenting the book to the public, even before it was launched.

The campaign worked on a variety of levels, for the singer, who achieved a different kind of success with the campaign, for Bing, it was a marketing and advertising hit professionally as well as economically. The audience had an amazing time experiencing the media spread and being part of a new out-of-the-box marketing stunt.

Video courtesy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNic4wf8AYg

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Changing Trends in Visual Marketing

Posted by on Sep 29 2012 | Online marketing

If somebody had to say that the movie helped him understand the plot better, it would not be a surprise. It is now tested and accepted that the visual has the capacity to make a larger and deeper impact on the human brain. The marketers have been using this formula for quite some time and now the trends are moving faster.

The picture says it all: For a lot of brands, the visual branding has worked wonders. Be it soft drink giant Coke or automobile biggie Volkswagen. Their advertising campaigns over the ages have seen multi dimensional shift, but in all times they have kept the consumer talking about it.

Go the classy way: The feel of a bygone era is eternal. That is one reason why the fashion keeps bouncing back. The same goes with the visual. A lot of companies have utilized this trend by turning their ad campaigns into a black and white feel.

Take the most searched subject: For a business that needs to keep the consumer engaged. It is important to research on a subject which is live and trending. Participating in the most happening issue around and depicting it through the brand can grab the consumer’s interest.

Innovate and exercise: Exploring new options of visual marketing should be a welcome sign. Design arts have transformed the way the brands represented themselves. So, it is advised to join the bandwagon and practice something new.

Share a lot: Once the brand has the visual impact in its hand, it is time to move out and share. The brands online make it part of its campaigns, ads, banners, profiles to help attract traffic. The fans like to talk about it and share the idea further. This keeps the ball rolling.

Image courtesy www.interiordesign.net

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Reddit as a Marketing Tool

Posted by on Sep 21 2012 | digital marketing, Social Media

Reddit is a unique social news website that operates on a very simple concept. Owing to the exceedingly simple interface of Reddit, marketing on Reddit requires a slightly different approach.

1.    Work on the Title: Reddit is basically a bulletin board which lists titles of currently trending posts. Apparently, the title of the post play a major role in inviting clicks from other users and therefore also influences post’s ranking on Reddit.

2.    Tag it: SEO practices like adding tags can significantly augment the chances of your post being found by other users. However, don’t stuff the post with tags and only use relevant ones.

3.    Participate: Reddit is a social community that rewards participation. If you wish to solely promote your business on Reddit, then it probably would not favour you. The more you vote other articles up, the more followers you garner. With a large base of followers, the chances of your article being ranked higher also increases.

4.    Submit Quality Content: In order to rank your posts higher, you must only submit quality links and content which may be of some use to other users.

5.    Track the Trend: An analysis of Reddit’s top link section can offer a deep insight into the trending topics on Reddit. It is viable to create posts based upon the trending topics on Reddit.

6.    Be Consistent: Posting prolifically and regularly will help you to build your reputation in the Reddit community.

7.    Network: Your friends have a ready access to all your posts. By making more friends on Reddit you can market your business much more efficiently on Reddit.

8.    Add Visuals: Visuals always go a long way in making your posts look more attractive and appealing.

Reddit attracts a more than 35 million visitors every month. Though, Reddit is not as popular as other mainstream social media sites, marketers cannot afford to ignore the rich potential it offers.

Image courtesy www.gawker.com

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Effective Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses

Posted by on Sep 06 2012 | Social Media

Social media is probably one of the most aggressively used marketing tools of our times. The magnitude of the effectiveness of the various networking websites can be judged by the fact that many bigger firms today are spending more on their getting their social networking right rather than on their advertising campaigns. Here are some tips for effective social media marketing for small businesses-

  • Join Facebook Groups- Joining specific Facebook groups will help you meet other businesses and do you can conduct your research in a better way.
  • Focus on the Target Audience- If you have just created your Facebook page or a twitter account for your business, focus on your specific audiences rather than all users. If you are selling a product for the teenagers, spread the word on the youth groups and forums, not on a page created for the single moms.
  • Videos- Videos can be an extremely powerful tool in getting your business its own share of word of mouth publicity. Target the trending topics and make use of the popular culture. People love and share what they can associate with and giving them something to talk about will always do you good.
  • Set up a Blog- Blogging will get your business an instant identity. Blog about topics that are related to your business and make full use of SEO. Use tags and categories to increase traffic.
  • Unique Content- If you have just set up your Facebook or Twitter pages, provide your fan community with some uniqueness. Go online, find out the latest trends that rule your industry and keep posting your pages with interesting and unconventional content to keep them booked.

For startups and small businesses, building up a fan community, tapping the right audiences and the right communication can be a real test. So, while the above tips are good to follow, it is also advisable to test the waters, survey the competition and understand the market well before embarking.

Image courtesy Bolder Image

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Traditional vs. Digital Marketing: 5 Reasons to Shift

Posted by on Aug 18 2012 | digital marketing

The concept of Marketing was originated to suffice for the need of a more intelligent and effective system for the delivery of services and goods. The concept still holds good but the modalities of its application have undergone a major change. With regard to the contemporary information age we live in, traditional marketing techniques have gradually given way to the need to market your product/service digitally. Read on to know why.

  1. Engaging the Customer: The cardinal principle of marketing is to engage the customer and keep him engaged. Whilst traditional marketing methods have proved to be effective for this purpose, they are more or less passive in contrast to digital marketing. Digital marketing enables you to engage your customer on a much more intimate level. With social media, customers become an active member of the whole marketing communication process, enabling the marketers to establish a genuine rapport with them.
  2. Seamless Simplification:  Unlike traditional marketing, the reach of digital marketing is not limited by geographical factors. The development cycle for a digital marketing campaign is fairly short and campaigns can be launched without much ado.
  3. Individualised Approach: Via digital medium, you can specifically target your key demographics. Social media enables marketers to segregate the audience up to an individual level, as they have the access to the preferences, likes and interests of each person. Adding a personal touch goes a long way in terms of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – a key tenet of marketing.
  4. Micro View: It is exceedingly simple to project and analyse results with digital marketing campaigns. As results are available in real-time and with every possible detail, it is possible to adopt a highly analytical approach with digital marketing.
  5. Instant Feedback: Through traditional means it is almost impossible to gain feedback of the customer instantly. With instant feedback, digital marketing can help you identify and counter the shortcomings of the product/service which is crucial for a long term success.

Owing to the increasing dominance of the digital world over the real one, the past has seen the birth of many brands through digital marketing. “Digital” is the language the contemporary generation seems to conversing in and it will only be natural for the marketers to communicate with their audience in their colloquial language.

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The Game of ‘Outplay’: Competition driven by Smart Consumers

Posted by on Jun 06 2012 | Advertising, branding

Blame it on Unilever (then Hindustan Lever) to bring about Lalita ji, to a very naïve and non-experimenting Indian consumer circle. The brand (read Surf) was smart to connect the idea of a good product with the buyer’s intelligence. And so the revolution began. The consumer understood the fact that with liberalization, the market would offer choices and that would make the former more stronger, which in turn would allow him to have the last say in where the money goes.(Trust me, that’s all we think). That was the beginning of problems for brands and their marketers.

Now, it was no more the fight of getting a chunk of that cake (read market/economy/capital) but also how long the cake lasts. The longer it is there, the sweeter it is. So, the idea was not just sales, but, sales based on long term relationship with the consumer. The consumer on the other hand was having the best of times and they still do. Before anybody could realize or let alone picture the future, the market was flooded with brands in just about all categories (and it’s growing exponentially with the retail arena). Hence, the inevitable competition. Thankfully, for a market like India, a marketer could pick and choose a category (based on socio-economic/income group distribution). Here, lay the catch. A well-read consumer (or forget that, just think of someone who is biased with feedbacks from others) would turn out to be a very tricky customer and in Indian scenario they play(ed) a dramatic role.

So, with total pun intended, this ‘smart’ consumer knew his way out and he wanted everything; economy, luxury, value and style too. Thus, the brands just had to play their cards right. Say for example some brands relied on innovation (and it’s not always about the technical ones) and have come to be known for that e.g. Pepsi, some played with the sentiment e.g. Titan, Asian Paints, some relied on offering quality e.g. Amul, Colgate. These were just a few but miraculously the ones those survived the market wars and emerged triumphant. The ones who could not, just took a bit too long realizing what the consumer wants?

Well, if nothing else, the current players take a lot of interest in consumer understanding based on extensive research tools and pay heed to what is being asked out of them, which eventually shows in frequent upgradation of product quality and variety. And the consumer seems to be having the biggest grin of the century. So much for Lalita ji, I say.

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