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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Grappling with Real Social Media Questions

 All this while we were planning to run a social media campaign to attract invitees for the networking event. Today, it is the third day of our Twitter strategy execution. Our objective is use Twitter to make connections with the right employers and build client relationships. Apart from telephone contacts and emails, we are using Twitter as a third medium to get through to employers to acquire internships for students. We are first adding the employers on our ‘Followers’ list and then we’ll populate the Twitter stream with messages so that employers can receive updates regarding the event in a non-obtrusive way.

Sounds simple…doesn’t it? Well, while discussing the Twitter strategy and executing it, some fundamental questions worth noting have emerged.  These are real questions people are struggling with in developing an understanding about social media. Nancy, one of the Event co-ordinators asked me how a person should react if someone writes BS about them for no reason. For instance, if I criticize Nancy on blogs with anonymous comments, what will she do? Will she let me say anything about her? Will she defend? She said that the whole social media thing sounds unfair. I told her that I could go and defend by positively dealing with comments but then time becomes a factor too. Nancy wouldn’t want to waste her time wiping peoples’ opinions when they talk BS about her. I was speechless because I hadn’t thought of it that way. 

Another question asked by her on the same grounds but on a macro level stumped me as well. She said that companies do want to adopt social media but they have a fear of being exposed to their customers. The new media gives their customers a platform to share their thoughts with others. This could damage their brand reputation forever. 

According to me, this is a huge risk and companies will have to take it sooner or later. Businesses will have to listen to the customers and respond to them. Gary Vaynerchuk, the author of Thank You Economy says that businesses have to get ready for a paradigm shift in marketing and those who don’t care about the customer will suffer. 

Any thoughts on how these questions could be resolved?  

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Facebook Introduces the ‘Send’ Button

Facebook adds another tool to its set by introducing the ‘Send’ button. The ‘Send’ button allows selective sharing of favorite content with friends. It is different from the ‘Like’ button in the sense that it allows Facebook users to share relevant content with selected friends rather than with everyone. For example, Humber College publishes a blog related to the launch of its Twitter account. If the Humber blog has a ‘Send’ button, then on clicking the button I’ll be able to select my friends at Humber and share the update with them. I won’t have to ‘Like’ the blog and share it with everyone, but instead, I will have the power to choose whom to send the update.  

How will it affect the growing online community?

Well, in my opinion, it will take some time for people to absorb the update. The usage will increase as people get accustomed to this button. I believe that people are still getting used to their ‘Like’ button so how long this will take will depend on how other websites incorporate this button and spread the word.
 When the users are fairly accustomed, it will give them a chance to selectively customize and share the message. The ‘Send’ button will help small business owners to distribute relevant content to their clients. This could be important for their business as it will give them another way to spark discussions and build better relationships. Overusing the ‘Send’ button could, however, crumble their relationship.

What do you think? Will the ‘Send’ button make a difference?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What I learnt in the #smli webinar Part 2 (Twitter Strategy)

Some people are crazily addicted to online games. Do you know the reason why? Because of three things - it engages them, rewards them, and makes them feel good about themselves. I play online games for the same reasons. Sometimes they are so addictive that its hard pull myself out. Broadly, people are attracted to microblogging platform Twitter for the same reasons. It engages users around the topics of their interest unlike any other social networking site. For companies, rewards come from Twitter in the form of website traffic, new visitors and brand popularity.  
In the second part of the Advanced Social Media Marketing webinar, Sean touched on some activities that a Twitter user must implement to reap the full benefits of the site. He breaks it down into eight steps:

Step 1 - Add friends

Step 2 – Remove irrelevant followers

Step 3 - Interact and engage

Step 4 - Be authentic

Step 5- Follow and interact with key influencers

Step 6 - Share great relevant content for you niche

Step 7 - Retweet thought leaders

Step 8 - Create content and share it

Being a Twitter fanatic myself, I’d like to add a few cents of my own. The microblogging site is also a great search tool for finding information on topics of your interest. I use the site personally to get the latest and most insightful social media content on the net. It is real-time, interesting and insightful and that’s the reason why people choose to tweet it. If you have some questions or would like to talk with the person who shares similar interests, you can start talking instantly. Isn’t that amazing?

Twitter by itself is half the story. There are other tools built on the site’s API that facilitate the user experience.  I have used Tweet Analyzer, Tweet Chat, Postling, TweetPic, Tweet Deck and few other tools to enhance my performance on the microblogging site. These sites cut the long story short providing us with new ways of engaging users with content.

I don’t like reading lengthy blogs so I’ll wave good bye for now. I have some more ‘valuable inputs’ on Twitter but I’ll keep that for the next time.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What I learnt from the #smli webinar – Part 1 (LinkedIn Strategy)

Whenever I try to do something good, something stupid happens OR the timing isn’t right. Today, friends have come over to my place and I have started writing this blog. They are talking, giggling, and having fun and I’m here in this room fighting with words. Well, you gotta do what you gotta do. Here’s a synopsis of the Advanced Social Media Marketing webinar I attended this afternoon. I was lucky to get through in the first go as there were hundreds of people trying to connect at the same time.  

Like all other SMM presentations, they began the session by listing social media stats and explaining why social media is important. Facebook users spend about 5.5 hrs a day, which amounts to about 38.5 hrs a week on the social networking site. YouTube has become the second largest search engine after Google. Technorati has indexed 210 million blogs. To sum up, more people are spending time online more than ever before. 

LinkedIn expert Lewis Howes explained the sharing feature on LinkedIn which allows users to share content not only on their own timeline but also on the groups that they are following. It maximizes content reach and saves time. They call it ‘The Group Share Avalanche Strategy’. In addition, with the new Twitter settings available on LinkedIn, you can update both sites simultaneously.  

Winging away from Twitter, Lewis Howes provided industry examples illustrating the tremendous growth of LinkedIn searches in the past couple of years. Businesses are looking for service providers and employers are looking for qualified employees on LinkedIn. Therefore, it is very important to rank high on search results. How do you do that? He addressed the LinkedIn SEO challenge in 5 simple steps.

Step #1: Add a keyword to the title
The space below the name allows you to write a description so add relevant keywords there to rank higher.

Step #2: Current work experience
Write the current work experience in a way that it has the keywords that you are targeting. Try to use them as much as possible but don’t sound ridiculous.

Step #3: Past work experience
Again, add relevant keywords to the past experience.

Step #4: Summary
Structure your summary to incorporate maximum relevant keywords.

Step #5: Specialties
Add keywords to this section as well.

Furthermore, he pointed out that most people have no idea how to use LinkedIn to get leads. He suggested networking and trying to be a part of as many groups relevant to the industry as possible. Make a list of contacts and target them to get the maximum advantage. Finally, he stated that LinkedIn is a great resource for gathering quality leads, which was soon followed by their sales pitch. I assume people don’t want me to write about that. :) 
In my next blog, I will write on Sean Malarkey’s insights on Twitter. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


This blog is dedicated to sharing useful information on Social Media.