Bio: Originally from Chennai, and having lived in over 11 cities across three countries and continents, Arshya now lives in London and is the Founder and CEO of futurON. Arshya’s education and work took her from shooting her own documentaries, working with organisations like the BBC and BBDO to work with directors and cinematographers of the Indian film industry whilst rendering her creative ideas to advertising agencies and international organisations. She then moved on to crafting creative and innovative marketing strategies for global leaders as well as start-ups in the payment, IT, technology and biotech sector, before embarking on the journey called ‘futurON’. Apart from being perennially connected to the latest in social media, marketing, innovation and high-tech, Arshya is hash-tagged (#) for meditation, singing, theatre, photography, travel, movies, creativity and whilst making sure she finds enough time for her family! Lets connect on twitter - @arshya
Posts by arshya:
- Brand image
- Social media presence
- Competitive advantage over its competitors and the reasons for that
- Attitude towards its customers, employees, society, environment and all other stakeholders
- Does the company have a compelling, fun, interesting website?
- What are its core priorities online and do its actions reflect that offline?
- Does it have employee testimonials or videos to support its work ethic – do they seem genuine?
- What are the online forums saying about the work environment, management team, future forecasts, work-life balance and compensation packages? Check out forums that are not influenced by paid advertising/content.
- Does it have a Twitter or Facebook account – if so, is it engaging and helpful? Is it a boring sales pitchy account that one could easily mistake for spam?
- What are the customer reviews about the company/product online? Customers testimonials (outside company website) are quite an interesting way to get some perspective!
- What are the reviews on its employment and hiring process?
- Most importantly – does the company’s VALUE SYSTEM echo yours?
- Because its usually free to start an account?
- Sounds easy enough and fun?
- Everyone is doing it….or
- Whatever gets sales!?
- Don’t know what to talk about
- Don’t know whom to talk to
- Don’t get enough reciprocation
- Feel almost unwanted in the world wide web
- Realise its too much work and demands too much time and finally they just…
- Give up!
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)
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…
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 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
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!?
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.
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!
As work is increasing in futurON, so is the need to increase bandwidth of talent. We are constantly scouting for new talent in social media – from strategist, content writer to analyst. Therefore, obviously, we are lucky to find some interesting talent out there…but on the flipside we are also seeing what’s lacking in the pool of candidates who are looking for social media work.
This blog is an attempt to help those who want to seriously work within the social media industry and get picked by companies with real social media plans!
Before you decide to scout for a social media role, ask yourself – WHY?
1) Are you looking to get into social media because you have tons of Facebook friends and you think ”this translates into talent”?
2) Is it because social media is being spoken about everywhere and is the ‘in thing’?
3) Is it because you think that a social media job = chilling on your favourite social platform all day long updating status messages?
4) Is it because you are under 25 and that’s all you need?
Well – I really hope you can see where I am going with this. Clearly social media marketing entails much more than status updates and needs talent beyond your friends/family list on Facebook.
I am not going to discuss how much goes into developing social media marketing strategies and execution plans, instead I would like to help explain how you can get that social media role that you are applying for… knowing that you can achieve results in that role for the organization.
Well, for starters since you are applying for a social media role – please take it for granted that sending in your resume and covering letter with references will just not suffice. Your online profile will be scrutinized for knowledge, content, writing skills, frequency, influence, and more. And trust me – competition is TIGHT!
So here are a few pointers to help you out:
1) What does Google have to say about you?
When someone types your name on a search engine like Google/Bing/Yahoo – what comes up first? Is it an embarrassing photo of you in a party or is it a professional picture of you in a conference or is it your adventurous hiking pose or are you just completely absent!
2) Is your knowledge beyond the big three or four platforms?
There is a world beyond Facebook and Twitter! How do your profiles look in platforms like Slideshare, Pinterest, WordPress, LinkedIn? Each of these platforms can actually give a 360 degree brand image around your personality – what you read, what you ‘like’, what you pin, whether you have an opinion at all, what are your values and what defines you.
Believe it or not – your online profile is like a horoscope that can make or break your career.
3) Have you showcased your knowledge or opinion – are you passionate?
Whether you want to become a content writer or a social media analyst – you have to start writing in some form or the other. So once you start doing that, what stands out is – what kind of knowledge are you sharing? Is your writing style safe or edgy? Do you have opinions on things that matter? Are you passionate?
4) Is your content original
There is only that much you can do with retweets and liking other blogs. How original is your content? Are you commenting on other links – beyond a compliment or complain? Are you just copy-pasting stuff across the web to create a fake identity? Do ‘YOU’ exist in your content? Are you worth hiring full-time for a company?
5) Does it look like you are enjoying it?
Are you having fun with what you do? Do you enjoy using creative platforms, new blogs, and exciting Instagram pictures? If you enjoy and make being ‘online savvy’ a hobby – any company would love to have you and your enthusiasm on board.
I understand that some might say that doing all of the above could be risky since you are just putting yourself out there – more than just a resume. But at the end of the day, if you are not confident in your own skin (there really is no point hiding behind a covering letter), it will show eventually – whether it’s at the first or last stage of the interview process – or even after you get hired.
Don’t waste your time and the recruiter’s time – make sure you really enjoy social media before you apply for that job. Since it really is beyond status messages!
Do you have any more points to add? What are your thoughts? Trust me – I can’t wait to hear more on this topic, so please leave your comments below – look forward to it!
Disclaimer : All images posted are on third party websites. Copyrights as applicable.
Who would disagree with me when I say that, “Most companies/employers would try every possible medium to evaluate a candidate before they say ‘Aye”. From resumes, interviews, group discussions, written/oral tests, psychometric analysis and the whole lot.
It’s certainly not rocket science when I state that the patterns of candidate evaluation have changed over time in the last 4 to 5 years. What I am talking about is SMM test – the social media-marketing test, through social networks, online forums, websites, blogs, videos and more!
If a candidate’s LinkedIn profile is complete with good recommendations – makes a difference! Decent online presence without profanity and nasty comments about ex-employer makes a stronger case. If there are intellectual posts, presentations or blogs – it’s gold!
None of these things are new or unwritten before. So why do I write this post?
Because I want to talk about the other side of the story!
So all you people looking for a job or change in work situation – ever thought of how much social media could help you? Think again! While employees can be scrutinized, so can the employer, so have you done your study before accepting the offer and saying ‘Aye’?
Before or even after you have selected your dream company to work with, think about the company’s online presence…there is a ton of information there! When we talk about online presence, it could be a pretty vast topic. The things to look out would be the company’s
Now not all of us may really know how to gauge these indicators, but trust me there a ton of mediums available now days that just weren’t there almost 6 years ago! From forums, websites, social platforms to company reports, one can get their hands on some real gold dust – for free!
When you do find that gold dust, try asking yourself these questions and see how you feel.
Hope this helps! These are just some of the questions to get you thinking…if you can think of more, please write to me in the comments section below
How could we miss an opportunity to help entrepreneurs, startups and the youth, especially from a country close to our heart – Scotland? PSYBT helps many young entrepreneurs achieve their dreams and futurON is very excited to grab this opportunity to help PSYBT’s clients, volunteers and network supporters.
So ensuring that we work around our forte, our CEO Arshya Lakshman is conducting webinars on social media marketing, but of course!
Whether it’s startups, multinational companies, SME’s or even the government – everyone is slowly understanding the magnitude of social media. They are not only curious but also want to see how it can help them with their brand, sales, lead generation and return on investment!
However, why should one really go social? What is the real need? Also, if one decides to go ahead, HOW does one really go about starting it? Does one have to be tech savvy? Which platform is best for them? How do they get results? What should they really do online???
Yes – questions are galore. Social media is a new medium for communication and for marketing. There are a lot of early adopters, who would call themselves as “experts”. But truth-be-told, everyone is learning and experimenting.
So there are no techniques, tools and tips Ofcourse not – there are plenty of tried and tested methods, tricks and ways of doing well on social media. One just has to start and be ‘social’!
We hope that these two webinars are useful for all PSYBT volunteers, clients and network supporters. The webinars are split into two parts:
“Social Media – Why” – Wednesday 30th November at 1000 (UK Time)
“Social Media – How” – Wednesday 14th December at 1000 (UK Time)
So, if you are in any way a part of PSYBT, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get a place in this FREE webinar!
First of all – a big thanks to everyone who voted for this survey!
Here are my two cents worth…
In this blog I am addressing two questions
1) Is having social media savvy employees a threat?
2) Which department should handle social media efforts?
The reason that I am raising these two questions together is because the answer to both these are pretty similar. Find out why…
Question 1 : Is having social media savvy employees a threat?
We have seen many cases in the recent past with employees getting fired because of their comments/photos on Facebook or because of using Facebook at work for far too long. Companies are seeing social media as almost a threat and waste of time.
I believe having people at work who like being social CAN be a boon, its just the way you use it.
Remember the times when people used to take up their first job and retire with the same company with pride? Where is that culture? Are we proud of the company that we are associated with? If so then should our employer be worried if we are on social media?
Picture a different world: where people are proud of where they work. They are given a pat on the back for being on social media. They are trained to use different platforms and they know how to tweet, blog, update status et all. Simultaneously, they actually enjoy working for the company. Wouldn’t this reflect in their messages online too?
If we want to talk in business terms, here is how I would put it – Every employee is a marketing opportunity. Use it – and use it well.
1) The best way to do this is give all employees some social media training – so they have a feeling of responsibility towards their social presence and towards the company.
2) Ask them to keep their LinkedIn profiles active and complete – this will only increase the company brand presence!
3) Allow them to participate in social discussions, forums and groups to show their expertise professionally – this will help them market your company’s, products/services/ideologies and only increase brand identity.
4) Encourage them to use their expertise to help customers, even if they are not in customer service – this will increase brand loyalty for your company and also show it’s dedication to its customers!
And this clearly brings us to the second question!
Question : Which department should handle social media efforts?
Although the marketing department should handle the social media strategies, every department should take the efforts. This will not only increase the brand loyalty of the company but also generate leads! How? Imagine:
1) Your customer service team tracking social media and replying to dissatisfied customers.
2) The product/sales team looking out for people who are wanting your service/product or are currently using your competitor’s product/service.
3) Your content generation team knowing the in’s and outs of the topics that are trending so that they use completely up to date info for their content.
4) Senior executives tweeting and talking on LinkedIn passionately about how awesome the new product launch is going to be.
And now tell me – do you really think that the marketing team has the entire responsibility of the social media efforts? Ofcourse they should lead it with the strategy – but it shouldn’t it be driven by everyone who can be social??
Keep the employees happy, have them trained and ensure that they know that they are ‘Responsible’ for not only their own but also their company’s image. I believe that having SMM savvy employees can be a free marketing tool, a boon and a huge intellectual investment.
Disclaimer: All links and images are from third-party websites. Copyrights as applicable.
You are cordially invited to this auspicious occasion of the union of two beautiful mediums in a bond for life. Combining the best of old and new, the wedding involves a series of events. We hope you can attend and bless the couple!
1) Print advertising on the newspaper asks people to follow them on twitter and participate in a ‘Tweet-chat’ to win free branded goodies
2) The tradeshow in Vegas has a twitter ‘Hashtag’ and everyone is invited to tweet about it so that people worldwide can follow/track the event
3) The PR is set for release and it is published on popular online websites and with the social plugins so that it can be shared on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to make it a trending topic on all three platforms
4) The new branding and messaging campaign asks customer views/surveys through polls on Twitter/Facebook, while the launch of the new brand will go LIVE on all social platforms, TV and websites
5) Database and CRM marketing will now include an invitation to attend a free webinar which allows people to ask questions to the company’s famous evangelist online
6) Blogs will share links about our new Youtube and Slideshare channels
7) ROI will be measured for SEO, analytics and will include social media monitoring
We look forward to seeing you!”
What do you think… would you attend?
There have been a lot of blogs and talks about what to do with the new kid on the block – social media. Let’s face it, marketing has been here for ages and has evolved in so many ways. From posters to mobile apps, marketing has been the reason many of us bought a brand new watch, Sachin Tendulkar t-shirt or an iPOD. We brand ourselves, our homes, our life and truly even a holiday is all about branding. So, what really is bothering me is that until now we always thought that marketing has evolved and used what suited each industry. However, now suddenly we hear people saying ‘bye-bye traditional and welcome social’? Why this ‘drop all things old’ attitude?
I am going to say it, and I hope it resonates in the right spirit, here goes…
To all traditional marketers, early adopters of social media, marketing agencies, in-house communications/PR/marketing teams, in fact to anyone or everyone who breathes, thinks and reads ‘Marketing’, here is a food for thought – there is no ‘Get out traditional give way to social’.
Whether we like it or not, neither traditional nor social can avoid each other. Whether we know it or not, they are slowly blending into each other. In other words, they are marrying each other!
Look at the events in the invitation to the wedding. Can we not see how beautifully the best of both the worlds can blend? Can we not see how this can be such a powerful tool to us? Can we really just overlook that using a mix of offline, digital, online and social in a manner that suits your industry, audience and goal is what really makes the difference?
I believe that all those who want to use the best of every medium, to ensure that their creative and ‘well thought of’ plans work and actually contribute to ROI, should attend this wedding.
Will you attend?
Disclaimer: All links posted are on third party websites. Copyrights as applicable.
How many of us really read an entire blog and how many of us expect others to read every sentence of our blog? Think about it…who is really ‘reading’ a blog?
As usual, this meant asking myself the question before I write about it. If I spent time reading an entire blog during work hours, in between meetings, I would probably finish no more than four blogs per day. To then actually read a blog, digest what it’s saying and give an opinion about it might mean that the count would come down to about 2 or 3 blogs per day. So when I tweet or RT a blog that I think is ‘interesting to share’, really, my question is – how many of us really ‘read’ a blog before we share it?
Has the new-age of short tweets and updates made it tough for us to give our attention span to anything for longer than a couple of seconds? When we skim through a blog – do we really digest what it’s saying and read it entirely to understand a writers view? Probably not.
This brings me to a very basic topic that has been discussed plenty of times – ‘the art of writing’. This art has been engraved within us from school’s essay writing competitions to university’s dissertations.
However, I believe what we need is the ‘art of writing for this new-age audience.’ The lack of attention span that we have from our audiences can make them yawn all over a completely ‘content rich’ blog!
We need to almost re-learn know how to get maximum eye contact between our words and our readers.
So what makes me read a blog?
1) The topic… needs to be ‘Kick Ass’.
Sure we know that already, nothing new about this right? The reason I brought this up is because I am tired of seeing “10 best ways” “10 top tips” “10 strategies”. To really kindle my interest, I’d prefer topics like “blogging is dead…if” “Social media is useless…”. The point I am trying to make is that get out of the box and really make the topic tough to not click on.
2) Reduce the length of each paragraph
After a couple of sentences, your reader ‘will’ try to move on to the next paragraph. Why…simply because, in a reader’s mind, a new paragraph is adding something new to the blog. Try it out – go read something with 4 long paragraphs…. When do you feel like moving on to the next one?
3) Image Images Images…!
Yes, a picture really can really speak a thousand words! When I see an image while reading a blog – the writer’s words and sentences just automatically make sense! Trust me, even a number crunching geek’s head would pause for a few seconds on the image to see what it’s trying to describe in an article. The result of images is magical – anything written after becomes easily understood.
4) Bullet points are my magic potion
Ok – I am a list person. I have a list of things to do, for my list of things to do! But then, it’s not just me. Whether we know it or not, when things are listed the key points just jump out at you.
5) Simple words
Now, I love reading a dictionary as much as the next person, I really do. But when it comes to blogs – I’d rather just understand what the writer’s opinion on the topic is.
6) Punch line
I have seen enough number of great bloggers do this tiny mistake…and it’s like missing the cherry on the top of a beautifully baked cake! A solid punch line at the very end, a crusk, and a gist – is the finishing touch of a neatly presented blog. This is when you do a little something that makes the reader ‘share’ your blog or come back to your writing!
So folks, writing comes easily to some and it takes a wee bit more learning for others. I believe, to kick off that ‘First Blog’ is what it takes. After that, there is no looking back. But to really keep your readers coming back, actually ‘reading’ the entire blog, digesting it, having an opinion about it and hopefully sharing it – try out some of the ideas that I shared here and let me know if it helps. I would love to hear from you – and hope that you actually ‘READ’ this blog!
Disclaimer: All links and images posted are on third party websites. Copyrights as applicable.
We all know the numbers …
With the large and diverse number of individuals AND companies on social networks, it’s quite obvious that people are quite often ready to give social media strategy a go…..Why?
But really – very often what happens is, companies realize that there are too many platforms to choose from. They go ahead and start being ‘social’ in the most commonly used networks. But then what? They slowly realise that they…
It is actually quite daunting out there!
There are tons of platforms to choose from, so many tools to pick, many influence scorers to trust (or not!). We have Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Customer Forums and more. Then there are the tools that judge our scores and infleunce from Klout, HubSpot to Twentyfeet. Not to leave out the tons of social media monitoring tools from Brand Monitor, Radian 6, Sysomos and beyond!
Breathe…all this looks monstrous only from a distance.
Social media strategy involves work, but a little bit of homework can take you miles ahead. Furthermore, a social media campaign is not a ‘Start today and end two months later’ strategy. It’s a process that needs some work before, during and after the campaign!
In this blog, I am attempting to give an overview so that companies who want to start a social media strategy, have a vague idea of what it involves and how beneficial it could be.
Wait wait wait – don’t just start creating accounts on every possible social platform. Let’s get some clear facts laid out shall we? Before we even think of choosing our networks, we need to do some homework, whether we like it or not!
The research – this involves asking a series of questions and more importantly analysing answers. Here are a few things that will give you a head start…
1) What is the aim/goal of starting the social media strategy ? (This helps in judging your ROI)
2) Who are you targeting?
3) Where does the target audience spend most of their time – which social network/community?
4) What do they read, where do they read, do they engage with response?
5) Whom do they listen to – who are the key opinion leaders in your industry?
When you have established your answers, use this gold dust to your advantage! Analyse these answers to prepare your strategy. Make sure you do the following…
1) Choose a few social media platforms – be wise, you don’t have to be everywhere. But be great where you are!
2) Ensure that your content strategy is in place. Which includes making sure you know your messaging and your focus key topics.
3) Don’t follow people outside your industry just to get more likes and follows – use your data and target the audience who would enjoy your messages and like to engage with you.
4) That brings us to the most important aspect – engage! Don’t just sit and write what you think is important – ask questions, answer problems, understand pain points, build trust – HELP for free!
These are just a few steps to help kick start a social media strategy. But guess what – it doesn’t stop here. There is more…
Social media is a continuous process. There is no “end” to social media. However, once you have been in the space for a good chunk of time – its good to always measure your efforts. Remember we talked about knowing your aim/goal? This is when you measure you ROI.
This however doesn’t mean just measure the number of followers and likes. The following should push you in the right direction…
1) Track the sentiment analysis of your brand – positive, negative, neutral? Whats the percentage and why is it so?
2) Measure the number of mentions of your company or brand.
3) Who is talking about you – what is the demographic, psychographic detail?
4) What are they saying?
5) Does anyone out there need your help – can you help for free?
6) And yes, social media marketing does generate leads – so don’t forget to track any potential partners, leads, customers?
Hopefully these pointers will steer you in the right direction.
Social media hasn’t been around long enough to have experts, but it certainly has a lot of early adopters. So it’s never too late to give it a kick start. If you have any thoughts or questions, don’t hold back – just give us a shout!
This comes from a vey personal social media experience and I am probably putting myself out there with this blog…but hey, that’s what makes this journey worth travelling.
I heard someone say, “The time of the day should determine the type of tweet”.
So, you start your day with motivational tweets – ‘Good morning! whatsup tweeple, nothing can beat this day” etc. Then you go ahead and fill mid-day with great content like “this is an awesome blog, RT that brilliant info, check out this perfect new innovation in technology” and the likes. You finally end the day with some brilliant entertainment tweets like “This made me laugh so hard, this infographic is hilarious, I stepped on a banana peel– see a photo of me tripping and laugh!”…Well you get the drift.
I also bumped into this video which shows how the mood changed depending on the time of the day – “Inferred from Twitter” !
Now I didn’t realize that without actually knowing this ‘formula’, this is what I have been doing. I start with some motivation, continue with content to engage with my followers and tweeters. And yes, as suspected – I end the day with some entertainment tweets!
Somehow, this gave me reason to give my conscience a call. Do we have a social media conscience?
Before I tell you the reason for my call- a little background story…
I started tweeting because I enjoyed it. I wanted to share my opinion on marketing, social media, world issues or something just plain funny. I wanted to engage with my followers, mention them, RT them and talk to them like they matter. I never followed 2000 people using hummingbird, simply because I felt that instead of having 20% spam accounts, I’d rather slowly increase my followers and following – with some intellectual discretion. This works for me – because it’s my personal account.
Back to the call…
The reason that this came up in my head is because I very recently launched futurON Ltd. and its blog. The bloggers are awesome and I can’t wait for folks to read and give their feedback. However this meant a slight shift, a shift in my tweets that is. This enthusiasm of wanting to share futurON blogs or futurON news put me in a bit of a quandary.
How do I maintain my account so that folks still enjoy reading/following and can relate to “Arshya”. How do I create a personal brand, being associated to futurON but not being seen as a sales pitch trumpet. How do I get information that I feel is great out in the ether without going OTT (yes I can speak teen language – just in case you are not ‘with it’ – its Over The Top).
How do I balance?
The answer was pretty simple. It came in a few stages…
1) Acceptance – that apart from sharing interesting tweets, I ‘will’ talk about blogs that I or my bloggers write. Most importantly, its not wrong to broadcast as long as you do it in a manner that entertains, informs and educates the right audience!
2) Listen to your social media conscience – you will know when you are over doing it. LISTEN to your SMC (that’s my new acronym for this). Put yourself in your follower’s shoes and see if you’ll unfollow yourself?
3) Engage yes, but also help! – Engaging is so very important and we hear that from futurON blogs and from several other bloggers. But then – help! You are not the only one trying to broadcast. Listen to people who want you to read their blog, check out their website – give them some feedback. After all if there is SMC – there must be SMK!
In case you are wondering, SMK = Social Media Karma
Disclaimer: All links posted are on third party websites. Copyrights as applicable.
We like our space, demand our ‘me time’ and are proud that we mind our own business – or do we?
For all those who remember years before social networks, did you ever know which restaurant Joe Blogs ‘checked-into’ and what his colleague looks like during the drunken night-out while you have access to zoom into his pictures enough to see his tiny new pimple at the age of 40.
The point I am making is pretty obvious – as much as we respect and demand our space, we LOVE other’s information.
Who hasn’t gotten bored and spent five minutes “checking out” their friend’s photos or commenting on status updates. We are hit with information on people’s happiness, misery, holidays and emotions. It’s great, but let’s face it, we WANT to be more connected.
Now, why am I writing about this? So we play this ‘space-info’ game. What’s the big deal?
This thought struck me while watching a documentary on World War 1 the other day. “Morse code is like twitter” they said. What an utterly beautiful comparison! World War 1 demanded information to be brought as soon as possible, it was needed to shrink the world and that’s when Samuel Morse impressed president Lincoln with his special invention that made information so quick and so easy that it literally helped strategize war tactics. This invention of war, not limited to 140 characters but definitely limited to dots & dashes, created a future that demanded ‘Quick Info’.
Isn’t this exactly what social networks are doing? As much as we want our space, we are increasingly closer and closer to each other. But why? This time is it for the war of Egypt, Libya, recession or business? What is this strange, almost compulsive, need to have information on-the-go.
I think it’s because we really, deep down, want a smaller radius for our circle of space. We want to be connected and want people to see us like we want to be seen – with a cool photo, a funky bio and a kick-ass number of ‘likes’ on our status messages. This is a war of for un-space.
Disclaimer: All links/image posted are on third party websites. Copyrights as applicable.