Promise

Beliefs

Story

Gone are the days when marketing comprised of blindly using a push and pull strategy informing consumers about the features of your product to convince them to make a purchase.

Positioning and branding using digital media is absolutely essential to cut through the competition, get your brand ‘out there’ and retain loyalty by having people genuinely believe in your brand.

But, what exactly comprises of the word “brand”? Is it just your organisations vision and mission? Is it what you tell the customers, or is it the other way around – perception of what the people think of your brand!  Some of the best brands worldwide have adopted the golden triangle strategy for social media marketing and digital strategies.

  • Promise- The customer wants to know what are your deliverables, what do you assure them, what exactly are the benefits they derive out of purchasing your products. If the promise is delivered, the positive experiences will definitely be reflected in ROI and sales. Moreover, satisfied customers will share, retweet and blog about your brand delivering its promise. Reliability is key at this stage
  • Beliefs – Transferring the beliefs of your brand and what you stand for to the customers as well. Synchronised digital and social media marketing efforts will help you to achieve this – either through subliminal messages or an ‘out there’ approach.
  • Story – Products and services are no longer faceless things purchased to fulfil needs. The rich history and heritage behind your brand should be highlighted in your communication, on your website etc. The story may prove to be inspiring to consumers and they may identify with your journey.

Having genuine new content is very important as well. You don’t want to be one of those brands who’s pages are just retweets of repins  of reblogs !

 

If you follow this golden triangle for new age media branding, rather than a haphazard online communication plan, it will surely help you to get a genuine base of organic followers and believers in your brand !

 

Tags : , , Marketing, Social Media, Technology | add comments »

Everyone ‘does’ social media. Everyone says they are on some social media platform or the other. The latest Buzz now a days for every business is always remaining on top of mind of the consumer. We have been trying to grab the consumer’s eyeballs for years using traditional media. However, now a days with the increasing importance of digital and online media due to rise in smartphones and tablets, it has become imperative to connect with customers using new age tools and new media.

With the increasing emphasis on social media, almost every brand has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. But, in order to cut through the crowd, what customers are actually looking for are testimonials, and first hand reviews from other customers at the Zero moment of truth. One of the best new ways to reach potential target audience is through blogs.

Did you know – a  blog is a piece of a puzzle in a web of intertwined social media platforms – and making them all work together will help you get the most mileage out of your posts. Many firms are resorting to blogger outreach in addition to supporting digital media.

Promoting blog posts is critical for adding to your readership and getting others to share your unique content. Some tips by Kenneth Cameron, J.D. are given below -

Getting the Most Out of Blog Posts on Social Media: 5 Tactics

  • Use Twitter to share the link to your blog post. Start with an initial tweet just after the post is published and then continue to create unique tweets throughout the week to share the same post. (Try turning the title into a question! That’s a great way to engage on Twitter.)
  • Use an image from your blog post to share the link on Pinterest. Just remember to tailor this content to Pinterest – which is image-heavy.
  • Instagram. Seems like an unlikely way to share a blog post, right? Wrong! Using a fun image to describe your latest post with a caption like: New Post Up on the Blog! Is a great way to intrigue your readers? Instagram is also an excellent spot to capitalize on the use of popular hashtags.
  • Post links to your blog on Google+. Not only is Google+ a great addition to your Search Optimization Efforts, you’ll find a whole different community of potential readers.
  • Don’t forget about Facebook! Remember to tag any people or companies mentioned in your blog post – this will help increase shares of your link. Oh, and a great image goes a long way here too.

 

Tags : , , , , , Innovation, Marketing, Social Media, Technology | add comments »

Do’s and Don’t of Social Media for Startups

Posted by Arshya on Monday Feb 24, 2014

futurON had a great time at Social Media Week Bangalore. Experts and industry veterans spoke about their experiences, experiments, tips, tricks, challenges and lessons with social media (Click here to see the schedule for the week).

We were excited with the opportunity to represent futurON as a speaker at the event. Upon requests from some keen audience members and industry fellows, here I am converting my presentation into a blog. Will try to keep it short and simple! (Here are some pictures of the futurON talk)

Arshya Lakshman speaking at SMWBangalore

Arshya Lakshman speaking at SMWBangalore

Marketing within a startup life cycle

Before we jump into the do’s and don’ts, we need to understand a few parameters to this presentation.

1) Marketing needs and methods vary depending on the life cycle of a startup

> Pre launch: If you haven’t launched your startup, typically your marketing efforts are passive. You would spend time in social media listening exercises, research on competition or target audience and possibly focus your marketing plan to show the ‘Go-to-Market Strategy & growth plans’ of your startup to venture capitalists or angel investors.

> Post launch: The marketing efforts change in this phase, they start focusing on the brand awareness and brand image to various stakeholders etc. In case of startups the most important stakeholder is the customer, so the marketing needs tend to focus more on the customer in the first year or so.

In the presentation (and blog) I focus on the post launch stage. If you want me to write another blog for a pre-launch, please post in the comments below and I shall do so.

2) Social Media has increased exponentially in the number of users in the last few years – but many people think that the reason behind this is because it’s FREE and EASY. I would like to debunk this myth and tell all readers even before we kick of the Do’s and Don’ts that this is a myth. Social media is neither free nor easy.

3) The last point before we jump into the do’s and don’ts is that….well,  there are no real do’s and don’ts! Why? Social media is still at a very nascent stage. The so called ‘experts’ of the industry themselves are learning by experimenting. Unfortunately, a lot of these experiments happen at the expense of the clients – but the relationship of hit or miss with social/marketing experiments is a love story with a long past.

Therefore, in this presentation I am going to simply share my experiences of success and failures with social – which can be taken as do’s and don’ts – I hope we can all learn together to create beautiful and successful social plans with minimum errors, mistakes, failures and don’ts! Here we go…

Social Media and it's relationship to a marketing plan

Link your social media to the bigger picture!

DON’T: Make social media a stand-alone plan
DO: Link it to the bigger picture – your marketing plan

As simple as this sounds, it’s pretty much a gospel truth. Before you ask how to do social, think how to BE social and even before that think about how social will tie back to your entire marketing plan. So if you have email campaigns, videos, customer service phone calls or any other marketing activity – think about how you can include you Facebook or Twitter in these. Also, think visa-versa. How can your social media include various aspects of your marketing?

To quote a simple example from futurON’s learning. For one of our clients from the finance industry, we send out a monthly newsletter. The content of the newsletter is heavily dependent on what really worked on their Facebook page. So apart from company news, any topical company blogs, posts that got shared/liked the most etc., they also have a screen shot of what the community buzz is on their Facebook page. When we started doing this – we saw an immediate increase in their Likes and comments! Simple but affective.

DON’T: Make social a platform for ‘ME TALK’
DO: Talk about things that you know your audience will relate to – in and around your core industry

We all love to talk about services, products, achievements and ‘offers’. Especially when one is a startup – it’s very easy to get into this spiral because it seems that you want the world to know everything about how awesome your new company is! However remember, especially since your company has a low brand recall at this point, people might get put off or disinterested very easily. So make your content a good mix of topics that you know your target audience will enjoy reading – and also relate it to your company/industry/product/service!

To quote a simple example from our learning, the company that comes to my mind is a Healthcare Insurance provider. Now, knowing that their core product is dental insurance we spoke about health care, dental tips, dental facts, interviews with doctors, affect of dental health on overall health etc. We then threw in product or brand posts in between these topics so that the audience not only relates to the brand – but also trusts it more. It also shows the depth of knowledge, the interest in customer health and a sense of concern for the customer’s interest in topical posts. Worked like a charm!

Don't use too many social platforms to start with

Pick your most important platform and be awesome at it!

DON’T: Use too many platforms
DO: Be awesome at a couple and expand.

It’s very easy to just open an account in every possible platform because it’s free and looks easy. However, I strongly believe it’s better to stick to a few platforms that you know you can do well – depending on the amount of time and knowledge you have. Deciding which platform should be based on where you think you audience will be and which platform gives you the best type of content space for your industry or offering.

futurON’s decision for the launch of our client’s music album was pretty straight forward. We chose YouTube. Soundcloud and Facebook. We knew that the client had a tight budget, limited time period (because it’s for the launch of an album) and wanted maximum number of people to listen to the album and ‘Buy’ it. The combination of videos and music, along with sharing that on Facebook worked brilliantly. The album got pushed to the top of the charts on iTunes and great sales. Job done.

DON’T: Be social ad-hoc
DO: PLAN..Plan…Plan!

Since we treat our business page like our personal social page or because we think social media doesn’t require the same amount of time/energy as other marketing activities, most of us (especially startups) tend to post things on social ad-hoc. Unless the posts are topical or you are a news channel – you most certainly can plan your posts.

How does this help?
➢ This helps you schedule your posts in advance so no last minute glitches
➢ It helps you spend more time in measurement, analytics and understanding of you posts. You can see check out when your posts have most reach, when is your audience online the most, which type of posts work?
➢ It helps you spend time on topical things when need be and not worry about regular posts.
➢ Less stress about hunting around for content in last minute.

I cannot stress enough about the importance of planning – we do it with all our clients and it helps the pages look better and get more engagement. End of the day your social page is like a party that you are organising – while the audience is the guest list. Would you not plan for your party? Especially when it means business!?

Content is kind - especially now!

Social media is also a marketing tool!

DON’T: Recycle your content without giving it credit and a layer of intelligence
DO: Understand your brand tonality, templates, colours

It’s easy to start posting as soon as you register a business page. However avoid making that mistake. Before you start posting, understand you brand voice and think about how your page will look – the colours, templates etc. Also, if you are posting content from other sources – always give the source it’s due credit. To make your page more credible – remember to add a layer of your own intelligence to recycled content, so that people don’t look at you as a brand with an identity crisis or lack of intelligence or lack of content.

Quick tip: Use content buckets! For one of our clients we use about six type of content units – motivation, education of audience, brand, product, client testimonials and topical events. It works really well since we don’t repeat the same type of content unit too often, mix it up and work on analysing what works best and tweaking it – instead of hunting around for content to post!

DON’T: Expect a free ride
DO: Remember that social media is also a marketing tool – have a budget and time allocated to it

As discussed earlier – it’s not free and it’s not easy. It’s easy to start and free to open an account – but to get people seeing you posts, getting good posts and for engagement on the page, we need to have a budget.

Budget for what?
➢ Time allocation – Either your own time (since your time is money – it is still a budget) or a resource whom you hire internally or externally to maintain the page for you.
➢ Creative content – Creating great content needs originality and creativity. This might require a designer.
➢ Analytics – Even if you use free tools, you need someone who can analyse it and tweak your posts accordingly.
➢ Advertising – After speaking to many people from Facebook, LinkedIn and the likes, it’s pretty clear that they want you to understand that their platforms are also a marketing tool. They want you to spend money on advertising to help you reach the right kind of audience. Even if you have the likes or followers – for your posts to reach your entire audience – you still need to advertise. So even if it’s a tiny budget – allocate a small budget for boosting, promoting, advertising and then analysing your page.

Social media is awesome! Nurture it

Social media is awesome..nurture it!

These are my lists of a few Do’s and Don’ts. This list if certainly not exhaustive, however it sure is a start. Social media is awesome, a lot of fun…some times a bit complicated if you don’t spend enough time to learn and understand it. But if you nurture it and link it to the bigger picture – it has a ton of potential.

To be fantastic at it – engage, BE social and most importantly ‘Respect the audience’. They don’t want to be sold to all the time!

Like always…look forward to your comments below!

Tags : Marketing, Social Media | 2 comments »

There is no such thing as a success formula. Every brand, irrespective of industry or size has its own unique success strategy.

And as we all know, one suit doesn’t fit all, especially when it comes to social media.

futurON is a marketing organization that specializes in digital marketing. We work with social media for most part and we’re aware of the practical application of the ‘one suit doesn’t fit all’ theory :) .  Hence, in this post, we thought of sharing some insights about a client we work with, that has met social media success.

A brief introduction

Our client is a mutual funds investment organization. In just about two years into the market, the brand has already hit home with many investors and young professionals. With hassle-free finance as their mantra, they’re going all out to capture their market.

How things began

The client had their first social media account on Facebook for 6 months before futurON engaged with them. When we started managing the Facebook business page, it had 160 Likes – all from employees, family and friends.

The client had posted some write-ups about finance on their blog and posted links of them on the business page and they had also posted interesting articles they came across. But in six months, there was not as much interaction as there could have been.

Business need

The account required futurON to do the following for the company,

  1. Account Management
  2. PR Strategy
  3. Social Media Management

But for the purpose of this blog we are concentrating on only the activities and actions on the Facebook Page.

There were broadly 3 requirements -

  1. A defined target audience
  2. A clear brand message and communication
  3. An overall strategy that could increase the reach

Images and picture-based posts fare well on Facebook for the most part, so taking a cue from this statistic, we began creating quips and quotes and started putting them up. People saw, agreed and even liked the posts.

Where the likes were steadily increasing, we were concerned about audience engagement – people didn’t comment or share the posts.

We were plagued, at that time, by questions like:

Were our posts reaching enough people? Were they reaching the right people?

The main objective was to create a warm community of genuinely interested people, who want to talk about finance, investments and related topics.

And we were not sure, if we were reaching those people who would like to be a part of such a community.

 

 

 

Execution

Keeping our business needs in mind, and learnings from previous posts and engagement on those posts, what we did first was define our target audience. Once we knew whom we were talking to, creating content and messages for them became much clearer and specific.

We then evaluated the kind of content that would get this target audience to visit the Facebook page and interact with the brand. Hence, we began generating original content and simultaneously began a Facebook ad campaign. This garnered good visibility and a steady following.

And the last thing we did, was open the page for audience interaction. We gathered that topical issues garner more interest among the Facebook audiences – hence quips, illustrations and original blog posts were made a necessity every week.

A combination of these posts kept some of the audiences coming back for more.

With the help of Facebook Insights, we found out when our audiences were online and decided a fixed time to make posts. And since people like seeing the brand every time and again, but NOT every day, as that would be considered spamming, we decided that posts would go out on particular days of the week.

This made for a strategy that worked like magic for the brand. The Likes were multiplying and the brand awareness was steadily increasing and to our delight – the growth was more organic than paid. Which meant people who Liked the page were actually, genuinely interested in discussing finance and related topics – just what we had set out to achieve!

This was our unique strategy for the brand, and it worked!

Success

Today, the page has four times the following it started out with. It is more interactive and people engage more with the brand.

In addition to Facebook, the brand has established a presence on other social media platforms as well, such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

The brand has also begun a Google Adword campaign now and is seeing more visibility and traction to their website because of it.

In the end, we would like to reveal that the brand was sceptical about a social media presence in the beginning. There was no visible measure to see if it could actively help with their sales and marketing. But we’re elated to also reveal that the brand received a lot of business leads after their social media campaign went live and are extremely proactive about their online presence as of today.

Tell us what you think about the article and feel free to share your experiences with us in the comments below. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Tags : Marketing | add comments »

Yes, the second half of the title has been omitted, because that’s what it is right now – a distant dream.

futurON had previously posted about channelling social media positively and using it to impart education in Part 1 – Social media in education: a distant dream or a reality fast catching up? But things seem to have taken a U-turn since.

I’m sure you’ve all already read about how schools are cracking down on students below the age of 13 years, asking them to delete their Facebook accounts – and this isn’t something that’s happening only in Bangalore or India. It has happened world over – there were instances in Australia and the United States as well, regarding this matter.

We believe the institutions cannot be blamed here, they’re in fact protecting their students, given the rise in cyber-crimes against children and online bullying – that’s becoming common among the student folk, today.

But a more pertinent question here would be – why delete the account? Why not have it monitored or guided by an adult in a safe, conducive environment?

Wouldn’t turning in the password for the Facebook account to parents/guardians be a better solution to this? Thereby, allowing them to not only keep track of content being posted by their wards but also monitor the conversations and exchanges among students and their peers.

This way, the overall online environment leading to cyber-crimes and bullying can be controlled and perhaps even eliminated altogether.

Social media is not so scary

It cannot be denied that social media, in contrast to the monster it is being portrayed as, can be informative and can help prevent certain catastrophes, if monitored, as this article suggests.

It has the potential to help students in need and increase awareness among them about what they should know and be wary of, on the first day of school, at the beginning of a new term, or outside.

For instance, this article about 12 People to Avoid On the First Day of School, definitely helps (on a lighter note). Or being part of an informational chat on Twitter can certainly make one aware of the various scenarios they’ll come face-to-face with, at school. It also prepares them to make the transition from vacation-to-education mode easily.

The futurON Take: Bullying and cyber-crime against children are serious offenses and must not be taken lightly. Yes, measures must be taken so that matters remain in control. But, let’s not write-off social media. It’s still a wonderful tool to learn and gather information from.

Hence, we suggest social media be granted guided usage rather than complete exile from the lives of students.

 

 

Tags : Marketing | add comments »

Web fads – is this what success looks like?

Posted by futurON Ltd on Thursday Oct 10, 2013

Certainly seems like it! Brace yourselves, this is the new face of celebrity-dom (and their behinds)

Miley Cyrus's performance at the VMA's. Where's Hannah Montana gone?

A drunk Justin Beiber attacking paparazzi. Is this the new face of Celebrity-dom?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, it really took us a lot of effort to find this picture of a drunk Justin Bieber lunging at the paparazzi. All we can say is, well done to his PR firm for keeping the myriad of others off the web. Or maybe it’s so offensive that it isn’t allowed in our region (remember that message that popped up when you tried to watch Miley Cyrus’ MTV VMA performance and you had to sign in to show age proof to watch a bad quality one anyway?) Yeah! That’s what we’re talking about.

So, what happened here? Why did Disney’s darling and Usher’s protégé go wild? Mashable called it a childhood-ruining performance by Miley Cyrus. And Justin Bieber’s public meltdown isn’t really setting any standards for growing up gracefully.

Cut to their managers and media team – sure these once-kids are popular and everybody is talking about them. But does it count for success when people of your own fraternity look at you with disgust?

The Smith Family react to Miley's VMA performance

Drake reacts to Miley's VMA performance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The answers to these questions are really subjective, hence looking into the thought process of either the stars or their media agencies will be futile. Instead, we’d like to focus on the social media angle to all this.

The social media factor

Apart from being runaway successes in the States, both Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber have a huge fan following world over. A lot of this can be attributed to their social media presence. An article on Mashable called Miley Cyrus and Her Social Media Save is testimony to the fact that public images can be influenced and swung by controlled social media presence.

But what are the parameters of success on social media? Popularity, influence or both. This article called How Klout Is Twerking Your Mind About Influence answers some very pertinent questions.

Whatever the marketing strategy, the real question is, how long can this last? Is anyone thinking about a long-term benefit here? Or is this just that?

Here are some tips we could take from both Miley Cyrus’ and Justin Bieber’s marketing teams. Find out how Justin Bieber is Out Marketing Your Marketing Team and why we’re still talking about Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance more than a month after it happened! Seriously, think about it.

Closer to home, there are no real raging successes due to social media but we do have the occasional Rakhi Sawant spring up, crying media every chance she got. And there was Poonam Pandey who came to the limelight only due to antics like promising to pose nude if India won the cricket world cup. But do these really count as social media marketing or are they just blatant publicity stunts? Now, that’s a topic for another blog altogether. :)

Let us know if you liked the article in the comments below. We look forward to your thoughts

 

Tags : , , , , Marketing, Social Media | add comments »

The social media frenzy around Miss America

Posted by futurON Ltd on Monday Sep 23, 2013

Sometimes people on social media have the tendency to go crazy – and we all witnessed that after Miss New York, Nina Davuluri won the Miss America pageant.

For all those who haven’t caught up with the momentous occasion yet, here it is:

 

Crowning of the new Miss America

Nina Davuluri was the subject of a tirade of racist remarks on Twitter after she was crowned, oh wait, as she was being crowned. The new Miss America showed immense gratitude as she gave her first speech. Take a look at what she had to say and a few things you didn’t know about her. She also spoke to Bloomberg TV after the pageant about how she survived the hate:

 

Nina Davuluri: How she survived the hate

Diversity is one of the more significant things she touched upon when she spoke. The world as an entity is embracing diversity, and the support and adulation she received was way more than the temporary backlash.

It was a proud moment for the world – an American of Indian descent won the coveted beauty title of the land. It only reflects how the world is becoming more inclusive, tolerant and all-encompassing. And kudos to the United States, the world’s biggest superpower is demonstrating it in every sense of the word.

Social media – the facilitator

We cannot overlook the role social media has to play in creating a connected world. Thanks to the wonderful world of the web, there is less opacity, more transparency and a great understanding among people, today.

So where there were people who made unjust remarks on Twitter, there were people standing up for the new Miss America in full support, and in larger numbers. And this highlights the point about justice in social media that Ms Davuluri speaks of – where positivity surpassed the overall negativity.  Accounts that create disparity on social platforms get initial traction but not the long term benefit in comparison with accounts that spread positivity. In fact, social platforms can delete these accounts for spamming or spreading hatred – as they did in this case. Being connected to people across the world should be the reason for more acceptance because one becomes more knowledgeable about other people and their cultures. For instance, the very fact that someone called her an Arab is telling of how ignorant the person is, and how connected with the world they actually are on social media. Some of the Tweeple apologized for their offensive tweets and some remained remorseless as can be seen here.

This debacle is a classic example of what NOT to do on social media. It is a place to collaborate and learn, not propagate hate and intolerance. Social media is a huge space to create and bring change – whether it was the Anna Hazare movement or the Nirbhaya rape case. Let’s use it to spread a positive change.

Here at futurON, we thought this video by YouTuber – iiSuperwomanii – sums up our thoughts on this matter. Enjoy!

Tags : , , , , , , , , , Social Media, Technology | add comments »

There is a whole lot going on out there with regard to education and new ways to disseminate it – and social media is a front-running contender. So what are you going to read here that you haven’t read elsewhere? Let’s highlight the objectives:

  1. A look at the future of education in India. What could be, if we used technology?
  2. The global scenario and work being done world over. Assistance for teachers in the form of blogs, infographics and tools.
  3. The futurON Take

To begin with, we’d like you to consider this:

Scenario 1

Rani and Raju go to school. As in any school, they learn five subjects and two languages. They’re studious, take notes in class, solve problems, ask teachers doubts, study for the final exams and pass with great grades.

 

This is how most of us have schooled.

 

Now get this:

Scenario 2

Rani and Raju go to school. They have fun, participate in extra-curricular activities, take notes, solve problems and go home. But before going home, their History teacher gives them homework to read up about the Mughal era.

After getting home, they finish their homework and logon to the social media education tool that their school automatically registers them on, during induction. They see that their History teacher has started a new discussion on the Mughal era. The children participate in the discussion by presenting, countering and debating points with their peers as their teacher moderates the discussion. She then conducts a pop quiz in the end to test how much was learned from the discussion and grades the students.

The students understand the nuances of the subject this way. Based on their performance in the pop quiz, they know how they should approach questions and answer them. The children then appear for their exams well-rounded and knowledgeable about the subject.

This is an ideal case scenario. We’re not saying schools must function this way – but how awesome would it be if they did?!

We understand that it is difficult to move from a chalk-board to key-board style of teaching. But given the pace at which the younger generation picks up on technology, it is inevitable.

Have we made progress?

It is time educators get their act together – and some of them are. If not aggressively, there is a small rising tide somewhere waiting to become the big social media wave in the education system.

futurON spoke with Ms Vijaylakshmi Subramanian, Principal of MCTM CC Matric Higher Secondary School, based in Chennai, India. On being asked about the role of social media in education, she said, “If they (students) are guided, it could be a wonderful tool to learn.” She was all for the medium, but laid emphasis on the fact that children are vulnerable and must be taught how to use the medium positively.

What seemed to be lacking, however, was an awareness among the educators and teaching staff, but in this regard Ms Subramanian said that educators around the world are connected today through professional social media platforms. She for instance, makes it a point to network with educators across the globe through groups and discussions on these professional networking sites and hence is in-the-know of the developments and progress in the field of education, world over.

We also came across an article in which some other educators say they believe this model can work out (albeit for higher education, at graduation level and such). But it has its pros and cons that have been highlighted in this article.

What our global counterparts are up to?

Globally, there is more work being done on the matter. For instance, there’s more content for the education and awareness of teachers and how they can incorporate social media into their curriculum.

Mashable’s article called The Teacher’s Guide to Social Media outlines the don’ts of social media for educators and edSocialMedia’s article called A visual guide to using social media highlights how an educator can effectively use social media to teach. There are also several easy-to-use tools that educators can employ in their teaching methodology.

The futurON Take: We believe education will give rise to a thinking generation and what better medium to reach out to the younger generation than the one they understand best – social media. It must be looked at as a productive medium rather than a disruptive one. And this is a good time to begin. :)

Tell us what you thought about the article? Where do you think we stand, as a nation, in this regard? Give us your thoughts in the comments below.

Related Reading

 

Tags : , , , , , , , , , Education, Social Media | add comments »

Google+: A force to be reckoned with

Posted by Mallika on Wednesday Sep 4, 2013

 

Absolutely!

For one thing I was forced to get a G+ account because there was a pop-up on every Google window that I don’t have one.

And just when I thought I had evaded the pains of signing up, I HAD to open one because I had to +1 something to see more details.

And that’s how I was bullied into opening a G+ account :)

My thoughts: Why do I need this? Everyone I want to be in touch with is on Facebook! (Or Twitter, or LinkedIn – these cover all categories – good friends, just friends, acquaintances, colleagues, professional network et al.)

I’m sure you’ve thought of it, too. So, where does Google+ figure in this competitive social media space? And what chances of survival does it have in comparison with social media mammoth – Facebook?

Here’s an interesting infographic I found, and must say, was quite surprised with what I learnt.

Facebook vs. Google+

Infographic - Facebook vs. Google+

 

Why Google+?

Having seen that the entire objective of Google+ was starkly different from Facebook’s, the concept of Circles started making perfect sense, to me.

With Google+, it’s not so much about personal connections as it is about common interests. So, the whole idea that anybody on the Google network can add you to their Circles – means they want to connect with you because of a common interest/opinion they share. Which is why you can go easy on your privacy settings, so you can keep browsing away and +1- ing away on the Google+ network (the option to lock, protect or guard your data is always available).

But since, we’re all tuned to the Facebook way of functioning, this seems a bit too intrusive to some of us. We need to un-Facebook ourselves to understand the functionality and actual potential of Google+.

But that’s only as far as your personal page and your personal interests go – when it comes to business and marketing, it’s a whole other ball game.

Here’s an interesting article I found on SocialMedia Examiner on why you should not overlook Google+ when it comes to marketing. The article also includes a podcast of an interview with Jesse Stay, the author of several books including Google+ for Dummies and Google+ Marketing for Dummies.

He cites 4 ways that Google+ can help your marketing and hence your business:

  • Improve your search results in Google
  • Bring social connections into your YouTube videos
  • Add a CRM experience into Gmail and Google Calendar
  • Build connections through Google Hangouts

Business Insider, too, has an interesting article on the rise of Google+ which includes some great data and analysis.

So, it won’t be the best thing to write off Google+ yet. Don’t be swayed by the beautiful user interface (UI), user experience (UX) or the cool Hangout communities. Google has entered the space for the long haul and as I said – it’s a force to be reckoned with!

Let us know what you think of the article. Would you like to see a part 2 on best practices? Write to us in the comments below.

 

Please note: The opinions expressed here are purely the author’s and not the company’s. All data and facts have been sourced from third party sites.

 

 

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Who says Instagram isn’t for everyone?

Posted by futurON Ltd on Thursday Aug 22, 2013

 

It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is or even what its nature is – if you’re on Instagram, your business is beautiful pictures. And if you can connect with people through your pictures, there’s nothing that can stop you from succeeding.

Here are 3 brands you’d have never thought could be runaway hits on Instagram:

 

1. Maersk Line

Maersk Line is the world’s largest shipping container company

Maersk Line is the world’s largest shipping container company

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a wonder how a shipping container company can connect with people at large. But one look at the number of followers will answer that question. Each time Maersk Line shares a picture, it’s accompanied by a caption or description with the location of the ship and at what point in time (season, time of the day) the picture was taken. Sailors, boat enthusiasts, travelers, adventurers, naval officers and even photographers are a part of this community built by Maersk Line.

 

2. PayPal

PayPal is a global e-commerce business allowing payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet

PayPal is a global e-commerce business allowing payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PayPal took a unique approach called re-imagining money, through which they highlighted the experiences that the PayPal service enables. It is a sort of adventure diary of guest Instagrammers on the PayPal account. The result of this is beautiful pictures and a direct connect with audiences.

 

3. Lexus

Lexus is the luxury vehicle division of Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corporation

Lexus is the luxury vehicle division of Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corporation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lexus and more than 200 Instagrammers joined hands to create a stop-motion film using only pictures taken through mobile devices. They called it LexusInstafilm – take a look at the creativity that ensued and how it all came together. You can never go wrong with a strategy like this!

On Instagram, the idea is to celebrate the power of instant photography. And that’s what these brands have done on different scales.

 

7 things you can take away from their success stories

  • You need a clear strategy to get started on Instagram – Who is your target audience? What are you going to say to them? What should they expect from your page?
  • The nature of your business is not a limiting factor to venture into Instagram
  • Your brand positioning can be different and more creative on this platform
  • It is an interactive medium and the more your audience participates and contributes, the richer your content
  • People are your biggest strength! Talk to them, take their advice, make them a part of your brand
  • On Instagram, the good can be made better and the pretty prettier
  • See how you can enhance the utility of the platform (like in the case of Lexus)

And don’t forget your filters and frames – they are imperative to giving your pictures a finesse. And the hashtags will help other interested people find you easily.

In case you’re still wondering how the Nikes and Burberrys of the world jumped out of billboards and magazines to enter our world through our smartphones. We can tell you one thing for sure, the first thing they did was get an Instagram account! And that’s where you should begin, too.

See our previous post about Best practices for Instagram to know how you can get started.

We at futurON would like to know what you thought about this article. Did it help you or not? Did it give you more clarity on how this medium can be used? Post a comment and let us know.

 

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