HOW TO: Get Popular on Social Media Websites (For Businesses)

Here are 10 ways to help businesses make the most out of their digital marketing and social media strategy.

In the world of the internet, there is no mantra for success. Some people just bump into success, while others try all their lives with what they think are the best of ideas and do not get what they’re looking for. A lot of this also depends on how they define the “success” of their digital marketing and social media presence. For some, mere engagement is a success story. For the others, it is a complete waste off time and money if their social platforms do not fetch them direct leads, conversions, or even revenue!

Having said that, there do exist some tried and tested ways which, if followed religiously, are sure to pay dividends and make your business the social media star. This applies to all the digital platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, and all the other websites which has a good presence of your target group.

Think and Create

Think different. Thinking on the same lines as a million other companies is not going to help your cause one bit. You have to strive, at all times, to be different and not have a “me too” presence everywhere. You have to think of something that immediately attract people and drive participation and engagement. Remember what Mr. Shiv Khera quoted: “Winners don’t do different things, they do thing differently.”

Once you have your mind clear and filled with fresh ideas, you are ready to move to the next step. Create a goal first. Create a plan after that. Creating a goal will help you work actively towards it, and keep you on track.

Allocate and Centralize

As with almost everything that’s fruitful, social media marketing needs investment. That includes investment of time and effort. Allocate a budget for everything. Allocate personnel for it. Then hire a good digital media agency that understands your needs well. Remember, you should not think of the money spent on social activities as money dumped in the bin. It is an investment for the present and future of the company that will pay for itself many times over in terms of engagement, goodwill, and sales. You also need to centralize all your marketing strategies. The thin line between digital marketing and conventional marketing is fast blurring, and is expected to disappear very soon. You need to consolidate both the efforts and make the two marketing strategies go hand in hand, and aid each other, rather than competing against one another and resulting in cannibalism.

Give and Build

Social media acts differently. Here, you need to give more than you take. You need to build relationships, build a reputation and then maintain it constantly in order to increase engagement. Your customers are not fools, they’re your most valuable assets. They understand each and every move of yours, and they’ll only buy from you again and again or maintain their loyalty on social media pages when they discover integrity in your brand. If you’re creating a social presence to just “sell” there as well and create another sales channels, don’t. You’ll do your brand more harm then good. Social media is all about sharing, not selling.

Monitor and Rediscover

You need to constantly monitor your progress in order to know where you’re going. This goes a long way in determining whether you’re on the right path or not. Your strategies should be very dynamic and flexible. There is no room for idealism on the internet, and you must be ready to change the strategy whenever it’s not working. Based on the monitoring, find out what’s working and what’s not.

Measure and Repeat

Measure the return on investment (ROI) from time to time and, as mentioned earlier, stay flexible. You may have to change the plan when the current one is not working. Whenever you sense that a process is fruitful, repeat it again and again. It’s all bout perseverance.

Above all, be patient. Good things take time. Even in this fast and connected world, success takes time to be achieved. Remember the golden words of the great Warren Buffett himself, “No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time. You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.” Keep working and always have faith in your strategy, your team, your investment. One day, for sure, it will pay its dividends.


Whats’app’ Facebook?

Facebook’s $19 billion deal last week, made it to the headlines of almost every leading daily across the globe. The news took the world by surprise but apparently, negotiations had been on for over two years, between the social media giant and the smartphone messaging major.

But here’s the befuddling question for most, “why is a free messaging app worth $19 billion?” Zuckerberg’s reply was simple. Whatsapp is a rare mass market service with over a billion users, making it “very valuable” and that the acquisition is in line with his vision to make the world more open and connected. When Facebook came out with its Initial Public Offering in May 2012, it had a strong mobile user base but no mobile advertising revenues, due to its failure to monetise those resources. The acquisition of Whatsapp is a step towards repairing that strategy, with Facebook already having a cushion of 1.2 billion users. Another lure for Facebook to shell out $19 billion was to tap into your smartphone address books. The data is immense and whatsapp’s 450 million users proved that in age of technologival advancements, private, one on one communication is not yet passe and here to stay. Facebook itself tried to invent and re-invent its own messaging applications, but was not successful in catching the customers’ eye like few of the other start ups. This stunning acquisition takes care of it quite smartly.

Whatsapp’s monetisation potential is probably what Zuckerberg was after, given its half a billion and growing users. With this single masterstroke, Facebook has managed to grab 18.4 percent of the mobile publicity market. Of the billion Facebook users, 75% access the social media site from their smartphones. With those staggering statistics, $19 billion does seem to be a resonable number, though the results will tell the final story. As things stand today, the colossal amount of the acquisition reaffirms the impact of private messaging. For parting thoughts, where does this leave the ‘good old SMS’?

Written by: E2 Solutions, Category: Social Media,Tech-Trends

Brand Experience Strategies for New-Age Customers

A couple decades ago, the brand experience was much different than what it is today. It was much more simpler and mainly orchestrated by the brand managers/companies, while consumers had a passive role to play. The stages of brand awareness, perception and involvement were majorly dominated by the brand managers. However today, the world is a very different place. Today’s consumer is evolved, informed and empowered with smart phone devices, ubiquitous internet access and social networks to discuss and hence influence brand experience.

Times are changing faster and the market trends are evolving rapidly. Here, we have listed several relevant trends in the virtual world for merchandisers and marketers to consider as they gear up to plan for the next campaign.

a. The soaring adoption and consumer acceptance at a never-before pace - Today’s consumers are extremely flexible and open to new ideas and technologies. Inventions are latching on and talking off at unprecedented speed, thus thinning the line between change “inventors” and “early followers”.

b. The shift from traditional shopping channels to eCommerce and mCommerce has been really fast - While in the year 2009, worldwide online sales were estimated around $8 trillion, the same is estimated to double the size by 2013. On the similar path, while the mobile commerce market – mCommerce was $42 billion in the previous year (2010), it is projected to touch the whopping figure of $70 billion by the end of coming few years.

c. Increasing cross-channel consumers’ spend - Studies reveal that nearly every internet user in the age of 16-55 has purchased goods on the Internet. Due to the fact that people seems to have less time for shopping nowadays compared to earlier generations, the demand for convenience and information search before making a purchase has increased.  The benefits offered with multiple channels are that customers can search for information in one channel and pursue the purchase transaction stage in another channel. Hence, it is in every brand’s best interest to cater to this highly profitable cross-channel consumer segment.

d. Increased consumer interaction with brands - Though the consumer always had the opportunity to decide for the fate of a brand but blog postings, online feedbacks, ratings and other consumer forums empower them further to influence brand perception more visibly. Consumers’ negative reviews are significantly affecting brand status and because of this shift, producers, retailers and marketers are being extra conscious with content and promotions that consumers will find relevant and trustworthy. The best way to do that is engage them, reward them and convert them into loyal brand advocates.

e. Marketing shift from selling to interacting – Historically, marketing initiatives were driven to push products, bring in sales and create brand awareness as a whole. The customer was being targeted on the basis of pre-defined criteria as derived from previous behaviour patterns and historical purchase behaviours. However, these strategies are not applicable today. Today’s consumer demands real time, experience based marketing. Strategies like loyal consumer cards coupled with location based services make it possible to offer consumers different sort of offers on a real-time as they walk down a store’s aisle or enter a mall premises. Consumers can respond to these direct messages through store walk-ins or by availing special packages.

Written by: E2 Solutions, Category: Social Media

Facebook page goes under the knife – Looks great!

The recent changes brought about by Facebook on its Fanpages is surely a welcome relief because one thing that the string of changes have brought to the Fanpage administrator is the level of personal touch and personality, which was missing in the earlier version of the same. The new fanpage, which currently is available on a optional basis would become a permanent or default feature from March 2011 onwards. On first glance the fanpage has the complete look and feel of a regular Facebook profile page. But as announced by Facebook earlier, the tabs have been done away with, and have been repositioned on the left panel, beneath the display picture.

Along with this, one striking addition to the new fanpage is the “Photos on the Top” feature. As is the case with the Facebook profile, the new fanpage displays 5 pictures alongside the display picture and what is even more exciting is what happens when you click on any of these pictures. A popup window opens up with the full picture along with the details about the picture as well as the options to share it. This should certainly excite the 600+ million users out there. One thing to note here is this area would not include any of the pictures posted by people who have “Liked” your page.

Another important alteration is the “Use Facebook as your Page” option. This feature allows you to receive notifications for your Page, view a News Feed for your Page, and like and post on other Pages as your Page and you have the option of switching between your profile and your fanpage as and when you need it. This also allows you to post on other pages with the name of your fanpage, a feature which was restricted to only the Facebook profiles.

Addition number 3 is the “Wall Filters” feature. Pages now have two publicly visible Wall filters-”Posts by Page” and “Everyone.” This function allows page administrators to view additional filters-”Most Recent” and “Hidden Posts.” This was something which was highly desired in the previous version of the fanpages.

For us, the most important addition has been the “E-mail notifications” feature. Through this, you can opt to receive notification when people comment or post on your page. This feature eases the work of the page admin to a certain extent as one doesn’t have to check the page over and over again to look for comments or posts by fans.

If you really want to, then you can even feature other pages which you like and even display your own picture of the picture of the other page admins through the “Featured Pages and admins” option. But how many page admins would actually take up this feature and displace their identity, remains to be seen.

Another important feature which has been added to the new Facebook fanpage is the “Mutual Connections”.  When people visit your Page, they will be able to view friends who also like your Page, as well as other Pages that both they and your Page like. Not is that cool or what?

To adjust with the tabs being introduced on the left side panel, the profile picture size too has been reduced from 200×600 earlier to 180×540.

All in all a job well done, but it remains to be seen how the users react to such changes and does it take the excitement out of the previous version of the Fanpages and the social media marketing as a result , with the tabs on top and in-line visibility.

Written by: E2 Solutions, Category: Social Media

Social Media Marketing is the Marketing Denominator

It’s Time!

Small brands often looked upto the bigger players for cues on marketing and ideas on branding. Haven’t the tables turned? Social media is the platform to be, no matter how big or small you are. It’s a haven for marketers who dream of reaching a vast number of people, and convincing them to become a loyal part of their brand. Believe it or not, on the fertile grounds of social media, size doesn’t really matter! This is itself is a big statement to make and would certainly raise many eyebrows. But think about it. Social media has provided the smaller brands a platform where they can carve a niche for themselves; something that wasn’t possible a few years from now in a cut-throat marketing environment which the conventional media provided. Money ruled the roost and the bigger the pockets, the bigger the bang.

News stories about small brands bringing in their innovation to create waves in the social media circles has become common and will continue to do so. But even in such scenarios, companies in countries like India still need convincing about the innumerable possibilities which exist for them in the field of Social media optimization. The cost involved – A fraction of their traditional media budget!

Social media is like a virus we, as marketers would like seeing spread far and wide. Know why? Because it means that one good word through word-of-mouth would be enough to carry our names across the globe. This is the power of social media. Our advice – Realize it before your competitors do. Alright, let us sight an example to support this claim:-

According to a new report by the social media consulting group Trendstream, which conducted the Welcome to Social Entertainment – Annual Report 2011, which surveyed 51,000 consumers globally between July 2009 and September 2010, stated that during this time period consumer participation in real-time social networks and microblogs grew 20 percent.

We’ve being saying it all along and now there are facts to prove the same.

Real-time Social interactions are rapidly changing the impact of social media by “creating an ongoing shared agenda and conversation that steers consumer involvement towards reacting and interacting with live events and discourse, rather than creating their own agenda or content,” the study said. This shift to “social entertainment” means more people will utilize social networking sites to filter the content they consume.

Another case in point:-

  • Of the 51,000 people that participated in the study, 10 percent make updates on Facebook daily and 24 percent update weekly.

Platforms like Twitter and Quora too continue to evolve and bring in tons of new marketing ideas for brands. People love to share content, some for professional reasons, some for mutually beneficial ones and some just want to look cool in their peer group. Give them what they need. Not because you should, but because you have to!

Business Use of Social Networking

Fact for thought – Consumer trust levels of companies with a social network presence rose by nearly 50 percent, compared with the 2.5 percent rise in trust associated with televised content.

This should be enough to convince to begin the social media journey for your brand.

Written by: E2 Solutions, Category: Social Media,Uncategorized