Insights & Strategy

Why blogging or original content creation (OCC) is important?

Concert Crowd (Osheaga 2009) - 30000 waiting f...

Blogging/ OCC = Influence

Influence = Followers

Followers = Conversations
Conversations = Stories
Stories = Engagement
Engagement = Sharing
Sharing = Reach
Reach = Message Amplified
Message amplified = Influence

Therefore, Blogging/OCC = Influence. Blog now!! :)

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Insights & Strategy

Debunking Myths About Facebook. Really?!

Everything that catches attention always comes under the close scrutiny of the critics. Everyone has an opinion be it the tech geeks, social media experts, politicians or the general public. And when it comes to Facebook –  we love to have conversation about it both on and off it. facebook engancha

Cynics have suggested conspiracy theories of world domination in Facebook’s policies. Well, it could seem quite believable when you find the company imitating ever walk of ones social life and wrapping it for display online. It’s not that no one has tried it before- MySpace, Orkut and loads of other have traveled the same road and got lost in tech graveyard. Sometimes the burden of rising user expectations have pulled them down while at other times extreme focus on monetization of user base have got them bleeding.

Though the jury is still out on Facebook’s future – nearly a billion users network can’t be discounted that easily. The social in facebook is still strong and those who think getting the taste of e-com to the network could be the beginning of the end are in for a big surprise. Simply because ‘Money is Social’. That’s where most networks in the pre-Facebook era have lost the plot. They tried to monetize the social by selling it i.e. the numbers to advertisers anyone and everyone. Perhaps it was the only logical model that they saw delivering the moolah following the steps of big brother Google.

But Google didn’t have stakes on social until recently with G+. What these networks didn’t understand was that Google was all about numbers and algorithms – a mechanical code that barely touched upon the psyche of social existence. In fact, only thing it managed to capture was the hype and persona of the glittery banner ads with somewhat segmented traffic base which came in hordes and disappeared even quickly. But Google has evolved and learned it’s lesson about where the real money is.

So where is the real money? Well, its there where it has always been. Any guesses? Yes, its the people. People have the money. But people have a nasty habit – they don’t give you the money when you want it unless that’s what they want and they have to want it badly. And Google or Facebook  would want them to do just that.

So, what’s the great idea – Make Money Social. And Facebook is doing exactly that. It is enticing enough for people to mirror their real life or reel life relationships on the network. And now that everyone I know and you know is on Facebook what’s the next thing we can do.

Well, it’s the same thing you do every Friday after work? PARTY.

Only difference is this party doesn’t need a Friday to start. It lasts the whole week. Your fancy clothes retailer is even offering an ‘Offer’ with exclusive discount. You got shoes available too. Well, why not invite everyone else too! And you know what’s even better let’s show off to the losers who missed out. Blahhh.

Well, that’s facebook. So when next time someone tells you Social is money! They are almost right but it has always been the other way round. Remember this – whoever said money can’t buy everything didn’t know how to Facebook.

Help him log in. Peace!

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Well, this article was actually supposed to be about Myths about Facebook. The serious stuff. Will write that sometime today.

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News

Facebook brings big changes for community managers

In one of the most anticipated feature roll outs, Facebook has made life easy for page managers providing them a set of features they are going to love. Page admins can now schedule posts six months in advance, each post at an interval of atleast 15 minutes.

According to Facebook Help Centre page, ‘You can prepare a post and schedule it to appear later by adding a date and time in the future before you post it. You can schedule a post up to 6 months in advance in 15-minute interval.

You can also post in the back date by choosing a date in the past. The post will appear immediately at the appropriate place on your Page’s timeline. All times correspond to the current time zone you’re in.

For social media tools like Postcron, which have become synonymous with scheduling posts on Facebook are going to take a big hit. In order to use this feature it is important that your page has a start date i.e. founded, launched, started with the year and date. Unless that is provided the page won’t allow any scheduling.

Another big change that will make community managers happy is the option to assign roles to page admins. Page admins can have 5 different roles, each with different abilities. Only managers can change what kind of admin someone is. All admins are managers by default.

The Facebook Help Centre page provides a table (below) that outlines the 5 admin roles and what they’re able to do:

Assigning roles have been a feature provided in the team feature offered by tools like HootSuite. This one in particular would be only for Facebook and take care of privacy concerns. If you are working in a team managed remotely and see many people like analysts or advertisers come and go, then compromising the ownership of the page has always been an issue. Now, the page manager can comfortably assign roles without any such fears.

Have you started using these features for your page yet?

Part of the above post by me was first published on ODigMa’s blog

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Insights & Strategy, News

‘Organ Donor’ to be featured as ‘Life Event’ on Facebook

Facebook users will be able to add organ donor preferences to their profiles through ‘life event’, encouraging their friends to become organ donors as well.

Though this won’t be an official registration for donating organs, but a social pledge making everyone in your family and friends aware of your decision. One of the ways this could help the cause is that your family members can make more informed decisions about unregistered donors more confidently.  May be such public status updates will influence others too considering the impressive number of 901mn members in the network.

Cynics are out considering the timing of Facebook’s IPO which is scheduled for mid May 2012. Perhaps, this is a last attempt to infuse some more positive sentiment to the brand before it starts trading on the stock market. However, this is truly a commendable move by Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg who made this announcement during an interview with Good Morning America said that this idea came from an conversation with this girlfriend Priscilla Chan about the ways organ donations can change people’s lives. Priscilla is a medical student. In a statement along with Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, Zuckerberg wrote that,  “And we believe that by simply telling people that you’re an organ donor, the power of sharing and connection can play an important role.”

According to a press release by Facebook, “Today, more than 114,000 people in the United States, and millions more around the globe, are waiting for the heart, kidney or liver transplant that will save their lives. Many of those people – an average of 18 people per day – will die waiting, because there simply aren’t enough organ donors to meet the need. Medical experts believe that broader awareness about organ donation could go a long way toward solving this crisis. And we believe that by simply telling people that you’re an organ donor, the power of sharing and connection can play an important role.”

Some are raising questions about the effectiveness of this feature in driving awareness about organ donation. Though, according to one survey by Mashable nearly 60% of respondents think that ‘Organ Donor’ life event will help those in needs. It will be a while before you see this feature functional on your page.

Do you plan to donate your organs anytime soon?

Some part of this post by me was first published on ODigMa

 

 

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Insights & Strategy, News

Listen button to swarm sites like Spotify with referral traffic

Soon you will find a listen button on pages of musical artists. This will be between the Like and Message tab on the page. Once you click on the listen button it will direct you to the track of the artist on the social music streaming sites likes Spotify, for which the artist has already signed up.

Listen button is said to be live on the pages of Justin Bieber, Linkin Park and Slash. Though we didn’t find it when we last checked. This button will be part of core set of features offered by Facebook, located at a prominent location on the page. This is not to be confused with apps that many music streaming companies have created as specialised tabs on the page or in your activity stream.

This will provide a good marketing tactic for artists to showcase their new releases or hits on the page. Quite similar to pinning the post, they can now choose which song to highlight through the listen button. Additionally, hosting songs on sites like Spotify, Earbits, MOG, Rdio, and Slacker would act as an actual endorsement for these sites. Think Justin Bieber sending all her traffic from Facebook Listen button to Spotify. This will prove to be a real game changer and influence the bulk of the referral traffic for these companies.

So, what are you listening to?

This post by me was first published at ODigMa

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Insights & Strategy

Are you social media SMART?

Infographic on how Social Media are being used...

Infographic on how Social Media are being used, and how everything is changed by them. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Are you? Well lets find out.

Social: Is community the focus of your social media campigns? Or are you just obsessed with getting the likes and show a bunchful of members (Read Zombieland of Facebook Likes) adorn your business page. If latter is the case then you are not ready for social media campaign. You are not old fashioned but you haven’t changed with time. Well, here is the time to start. Where to start? Try by visitng your competitors social media outposts – now check out others from your industry but in different geographies. Probably trendsetters are already leading the way. If you are a small business owner then read, learn and start experimenting. But you got to start NOW. Make an status update, let the love flow and let your community and customers know that you not only exist, you care too. Be social!

Measurable: Now that you have taken the plunge and there are two possibilities- either you are on your way to become a demi social media rockstar (slowly), or you are just lost in the SM jungle. Either way be cautious but not at the expense of sacrificing your social aspect. Try to gain some insights about your referral traffic. Find what is driving uers to your SM pages and then away. Are there any influencers you can establish relationship with? Does data point towards your core community? i.e. have you got their attention or are these just random users. Mind it, either way there is an opportunity to cash on – woe these users and develop a relationship, do not let them go.

Actionable: So you have got it started and you are begining to feel the love with all the likes, shares, comments and retweets. Good job! What now? Well, whats your USP? Think hard about it, and then go have a look at your community. Find ways through which you can customise your content so that it reverberates with your community. Keep them at the core, develop content that balances your busines goals with their interests. Remember, when being social all work and no play can have adverse affect on your social community. So, don’t hard sell. Try to co-create, crowdsource your content, learn and then redeliver. There are loads of engagement opportunities to avail. Don’t miss it!

Realistic: Be realistic, unless ofcourse you are Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga. Getting liions of fans and thousands of retweets isn’t practically possible. Size of your business plays a big role here. Your first objective should be to nuture your community, develop some brand awareness and get the conversations going. Aim to make stories around your brand which your community enjoys. If you are doing that much, you will be exhausted at the end of the day – but it will be rewarding.

Trackable: Track what you put out and not just bin it. Your links, posts, images and videos all add to your brand’s social capital. So, track that link going out, find out who retweets you and what. At the end of the day establish a benchmark for you- weekly and monthly. Compare it your efforts and find out how you are performing. Eventully its the ROI that matters based on your business goals. So, don’t forget to track your content and its effectivess. Possibly you have got your call to action wrong – how many downloaded that white paper you sent out or was that branded video which got most traffic to your website. Develop a set of metrics for yourself, without making it too complicated and geeky.

At the end of it all. Enjoy what you doing. Remember, its social media and unless you try to be social you cannot deliver.

Coming up in next post a Checklist to find out your SMART quotient.

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News

Is Google imitating Facebook?

Google+ today came out with a redesigned user interface for the social network. More than 170 million people have upgraded to Google+, enjoying new ways to share in Search, Gmail, YouTube and lots of other places.

Google claims this to be a ‘more functional and flexible version of Google+’. The cover photo looks very similar to that of Facebook, though its smaller in size. There is more focus on photos view and apps arrangement. Seems very much inspired from Facebook.

One of the first things you’ll notice is a new way to get around the stream. There is a dynamic ribbon of applications on the left. This approach comes with lots of perks, but some of our favorites include:

  • You can drag apps up or down to create the order you want
  • You can hover over certain apps to reveal a set of quick actions
  • You can show or hide apps by moving them in and out of “More”

Google is aiming for an experience that fuses utility with beauty—one that inspires users to connect with others, and cherish the conversations that unfold. Other updates include:

  • Full bleed photos and videos that’ll make you really proud to post
  • A stream of conversation “cards” that make it easier to scan and join discussions
  • An activity drawer that highlights the community around your content
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News

Celebrating YouTube Live’s first birthday

Without adding too much, here is the YouTube update on pay per view option for publishers who livestream. Straight from their blog

 To celebrate the first birthday of YouTube Live, we went through the normal birthday thought process: rent a bouncy castle or bring in the magicians. Neither of these seemed just right to celebrate the millions of you who’ve seen live videos, so we went with our favorite gifts: new features from our tireless engineers.


If you have YouTube Live, here’s what you’ll see:

Wirecast for YouTube Live: This new software is free for YouTube partners and allows you to produce and stream professional-looking live events directly to YouTube from your desktop. It allows capture and switching between multiple video and audio sources, roll in of media files and images and add live effects and overlays. If you’re enabled for livestreaming, you’ll see a link to download Wirecast for YouTube in your YouTube account.

New publishing flows and real time analytics: You now have a guided flow to set up and preview live events before you go live. You can also see real time access to data like playbacks and concurrent viewers of your live streams by geography and format.

Monetize live streams: You can now monetize your live events with advertising or paid options. A live event can be claimed in the new video manager like any other video and monetized with instream ads or paid options where you can set price by country. You can see more details on this in our Help Center on ads and paid livestreaming sections.

If you’re one of the many people who’ve asked for YouTube Live but don’t have access yet, we want to thank you very much for your patience. We’ve developed these features with the expectation many more of you will eventually use YouTube Live, and like we said last year, this process takes time to roll out broadly.

Learn more about YouTube Live in the Help Center and check out youtube.com/live for everything happening right now.

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Insights & Strategy

The Zombieland of Facebook Likes!

Español: Icono del botón de "Me gusta&quo...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Likes are affirmation of a users’ confidence in your brand. This comes from the content you put out, the brand value that is evident, and the special offers. All of this and more comes together to form a lively community inhabiting your Facebook business page.

However, marketplace is full of people and companies who sell ‘Likes’ for as low as $50 per 10,000 likes. Is it worth it? Of course not and we will tell you why.

These likes are from fake profiles i.e. people who do not exist. Facebook can easily know about the activity from these people of unknown identities who exist just to like your page. If you still choose this option then you risk your page getting banned for good!

These likes are of no use to your brand i.e. they won’t comment, share and like your post. It makes your brand looks bad, as if you are living in a zombieland. If you truly want to gain profit from your Facebook page and are obsessed with ROI, then its real people who matter for you. Invest time, more than money and it will pay rich dividends.

So, what’s the way out? In short, start by taking a deep look into your analytics and find what is that your customer want? Align your campaign idea with your customers’ interest and make it SMART – Social, Measurable, Action driven, Realistic, and Trackable .

If you get this right, you can steer clear of dud likes!

This post by me was first published on ODigMa

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News

Instagram goes the Facebook way

It’s been few hours since the news of Facebook buying Instagram, the much loved photo sharing app broke out. Instagram has around 27mn users on iOS and its android launch was also quite successful with a 1 million downloads within few hours of its launch.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook first came out with the news on his page.

“For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.”

Sharing photos has been a popular activity on Facebook with people sharing photos of their family and friends. Instagram will continue to function independently and will not be integrated to Facebook as of now. However, its team will join Facebook, and you can expect more wonderful things to come from their complementing skills.

“We need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook. That’s why we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.”

Speculation is ripe on what new features might be coming from this combination. According to Kevin Systrom, CEO of Instagram in a blog post:

“It’s important to be clear that Instagram is not going away…We’ll continue to add new features to the product and find new ways to create a better mobile photos experience…You’ll still have all the same people you follow and that follow you. You’ll still be able to share to other social networks. And you’ll still have all the other features that make the app so fun and unique.”

What do you expect from the combination of Facebook and Instagram? Tell us your thoughts.

This post by me was first published on the ODigMa blog

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