Archive for the 'Social Media' Category

Jan 14 2011

Could it be true? Could Facebook really shut down?

Published by under News,Social Media

By now you’ve probably heard the news that Facebook might be shutting down in March 2011. Like me, you were probably extremely shocked upon hearing the news. Indeed, for most people around the world now, imagining life without Facebook is simply impossible.According to a report on weeklyworldnews.com, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and President, Facebook, said in a press conference outside his Palo Alto office that, “Facebook has gotten out of control and the stress of managing this company has ruined my life. I need to put an end to all the madness.”Indeed, as the movie ‘The Social Network’ released in 2010 depicted, Facebook has affected his few true relationships and it appears that Facebook is all Zuckerberg really has in his life now.But owning Facebook is certainly a big deal. Facebook is currently ranked as one of the wealthiest businesses in the world, with economists estimating its value at around $ 41 billion. Facebook reportedly has more than 500 million active users around the world.With statistics like this it seems unbelievable that Zuckerberg would want to shut down Facebook. It comes as no surprise then that a day after weeklyworldnews.com published the story that Facebook was shutting down, mashable.com published a contradicting story that Facebook is most certainly not shutting down in the near future.The mashable.com story claims that Facebook Director of Corporate Communications, Larry Yu confirmed that the rumor is false. Yu said, “The answer is no, so please help us put an end to this silliness.” He added, “We didn’t get the memo about shutting down and there’s lots to do, so we’ll just keep cranking away like always.”

According to this story, Facebook had announced just a few days ago that it will be receiving funding consisting of $450 million from Goldman Sachs and $50 million from Russian investment firm Digital Sky Technologies.

Mashable.com concludes its story by wondering if people will believe anything?

As far as I’m concerned, both stories seem to have some truth to them. And with Mark Zuckerberg, you really never know. So what do you think; will Facebook shut down soon? And if it does, how would it impact your life and business?

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Dec 26 2010

Share quick & make brand promotion stick with the new LinkedIn Share Button

Published by under Branding,Social Media

LinkedIn has finally gone the Twitter and Facebook way – possibly a step further – and introduced a LinkedIn Share buttonthrough which users can share information or content on their profiles as well as on LinkedIn Groups.  I know … I know that such forums for brand positioning were already started by the FB and Twitter magnates. Still wondering why am I so kicked about LinkedIn finally getting there? Its because this will give a professional focus to brand promotion on the social media network.

With most of your current and potential business contacts already on the site, the LinkedIn  Share button can prove to be a blessing for your brand promotion and can direct your brand positioning. Here’s how and why…

Share information

Any new developments in your business, new products introduced or discounts offered. All you have to do is share it using the LinkedIn Share button and the news gets zapped into the LinkedIn sphere that hosts all your business contacts. Brand promotion – instantly achieved!

Strengthen contacts

It works like the FB ‘likes’ and the Twitter ‘follow’ or ‘retweet’! In addition to your information, share information you sourced from your contacts’ blog or website too, using LinkedIn Share. The business camaraderie generated will be good for your business and will be reciprocated too. Brand promotion – gradually … but achieved nonetheless!

Save time

Information dissemination – to business contacts at LinkedIn who make up your business destination – at the click of a button! Brand promotion – won’t take more than a few seconds!

Linked in also recently introduced LinkedIn Company pages where companies can ‘build their brand through network-aware recommendations, giving members rich, credible insights into how any given product (or service) is perceived by their fellow professionals’ – (that’s how LinkedIn blog described it!) It works pretty much like the Facebook ‘like’ concept wherein clients can visit the company pages and ‘recommend’ your company and go a step further in your brand promotion.

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Dec 16 2010

The famous and the forgettables of Google & Twitter- 2010

Published by under News,Social Media

Google’s annual most searched list – the Google Zeitgeist is out! Celebrities, movies, music and chat sites dominate the list.

The US list of’ fastest rising’ and the ‘fastest falling’ is exactly half similar to the global searches with a few positional changes of course. IPad may have come second to Chatroulette on the global list but in the USA, it took over as the topper. Justin Bieber and Myxer are the other common terms on both the lists.

Facebook clearly has more fans among Americans as compared to Twitter if Zeitgeist is anything to go by. While Twitter ranks eighth on the list of the ten most searched global terms, it doesn’t feature anywhere in the top 10 searched terms in the USA.  Facebook may be the last on the global fastest rising list but in the US, it ranks seventh and has nudged out Twitter off the list!

 

Almost instantly after the Zeitgeist, Twitter also released its list of top trending topics – essentially about what are people talking/tweeting about. The Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the Haiti Earthquake, Google Android and the Apple iPad were prominent topics for discussion here, just like they were some of the most searched news on Google.

When I say that brand positioning on Twitter is very effective, I have a reason. While Google lists out the searches by users, Twitter derives its trends list on the basis of actual tweet conversations or discussions thus making the trends closer to what people actually think and talk about, while Google searches are usually done in an exploratory fashion. Through Twitter, you can easily reach out to your target group, know what works for them and what doesn’t and even promote your business among the group who may actually be interested.

Google search trends can help your business too. Did you know that Google can help you know what terms related to your business are the most searched, when and how much – which will obviously help you in your brand positioning.

All you have to do is first go on Google Insight, type terms associated with the industry you come from for example, if you belong to a promotional products industry, type multiple terms related to the above like promotional items, business gifts, promo items, corporate gifts etc. You can make your search more defined based on geography, category as well as the time frame.

The results will show you how many searches have been conducted for a particular term like promotional products, or corporate gifts thus juxtaposing it with the total number of searches done on Google over the time period you have specified. You will also get to know when the term was searched the most and when the least which can help you strategize your brand positioning initiatives accordingly.

To view a large variety of branding products for your employees, please visit our website at www.promodirect.com

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Dec 02 2010

The Brand image contest – and the winner is…Customer loyalty!

Picture this: You are the owner of ‘Successfully Successful’ – an imaginary company that has everything going right for it. Your branding strategies are impeccable – you believe that ‘new’ never gets ‘old’ and regularly update your gradually increasing products and services catalog, you diligently make your presence felt on Facebook and Twitter and are an advertising whiz when it comes to brand promotion. You don’t worry even when your customers come and go, nor do you woo them back with corporate gifts or promotional items; because you know you won’t run out of clients.

Brand Image – Mission accomplished? No. Far from it! You have been looking inwards all the while and ignoring the one aspect that can give permanence to your brand identity – Customer loyalty. It is not my verdict alone, over 100 other individuals (104 to be precise) agreed with me when they chose customer loyalty over options like advertising, social media visibility, introducing new products/services etc in a recently concluded LinkedIn poll on the Best way to maintain your Brand Image.

LinkedIn Poll Results for Maintaining A Brand Image

Maintaining customer loyalty secured a whopping 41% of the votes from most business owners and individuals on the VP and management level.

As Carissa Siems,VP of Marketing at CAS Inc puts in her comment on the poll,
“effective branding starts with your own customer database. The loyalty of your customers is the greatest advertising you can ask for. Happy customers spread the word and get others involved in your brand. Branding encompasses all of the topics, but it all starts with your own customers.” True.

The simplest ways to maintain customer loyalty would be to…

  • Be prompt in your service. Prompter than your rival, actually.
  • Keep your promises and if you don’t hesitate to say sorry.
  • Gift of appreciation can make apologies easier. Promotional items as corporate gifts. will leave them with fond memories of doing business with you.
  • Take their feedback, and take it seriously.

And yeah, I agree with Wendy Soucie, a Social Media Consultant who says that the choices are also influenced by age.
“Its interesting that the youngest suggest social media visibility which your customers can find and interact with. The oldest poll responders suggest that maintaining customer loyalty is most important. In my opinion, these two are really the same but seen from different perspectives. Use social media to stay in front and accessible to your customers which will maintain customer loyalty. This also supports your brand while the customers become evangelists.

After all, Social media today is not just about merely reaching out, its about reaching out to fulfill concrete goals like sales, creating brand identity and profits!

Though the option only got 14% of votes, I do believe that creative advertising as a means for brand promotion is going to get BIG. According to Barclays Capital, US advertising will increase by 3.5% to $167 billion in 2010 that should account for something.

Ok, now I will choose to disobey my diplomatic mind’s contention that a combination of all of the above is a perfect recipe to maintain brand image, and go with the majority. (Though personally I think many of us picked customer loyalty, solely because we thought of ourselves as consumers first rather than entrepreneurs or professionals!)

To view a large variety of branding products for business promotion, please visit our website at www.promodirect.com

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Nov 20 2010

Social Media – for friendship or business marketing?

Those of you who start, spend and end their day on social networks, use it for online business opportunities and take pride in their rapidly widening virtual friend/follower-circle, am sure you haven’t missed two ‘gasp, choke and splutter’ events related to social media, that each of the past two weeks brought.

First, popular TV host Jimmy Kimmel berated Facebook for ‘cheapening Friendship’ and called for a National Unfriend Day to be observed on November 17, to cut out the FB ‘friend fat’. Then earlier this week, ‘Path’ a ‘Personal Network’ that ‘allows you to be yourself’ launched as a photo sharing application on Apple I Phone and placed a boundary on the number of virtual friends one can have, and limits it to 50.

After a few mental garbled arguments on the proposed ‘unfriending’ and Path’s and came up with six ‘I agree’ and ‘I disagree’ aspects of social networks.

  • ‘Friends’ for friends sake?

I agree with Kimmel when he says why be friends with someone whom you wouldn’t loan $50? Facebook may give you a chance to connect with friends, family, colleagues and others from across the world, but if you sit back and think after clicking ‘Accept’ to a friend request, how many of those accepted friends do you interact with on a weekly or monthly if not on a daily basis?

  • What ‘end’ is FB a means to?

What started out as a social networking website has now become an avenue for brand promotion and a preferred avenue for small business advertising. ‘Friends’ or ‘Followers’ have become FB/Twitter synonyms for ‘clients’ or ‘customers’. When social networks blur the line between professional and personal, where do you go for that sacred ‘personal space’? Path, answers that question.

I hope am not being overly critical of social networks as I have used them to find both; long-lost friends as well as online business opportunities.

  • A steadily increasing, relevant database

No more ‘headless chicken’ panic when you need to contact your clients or employees. You have all your contacts on your social profile and all you need to do for communicating a message is post it on your wall or tweet about it. Social networks are ideal small business resources that can help you keep in touch with existing clients and even trace and contact potential clients through them. Brand promotion has never been easier.

  • A rich Information base

You may not interact with each of your ‘friends’ on a daily basis and can also filter out seemingly irrelevant info about their personal lives when it doesn’t matter. However you never know when a ‘friend’ you haven’t kept in touch with, (except through FB for example) may post an important bit of information useful to you. Forewarned is forearmed isn’t it?

  • Cheapens friendship or strengthens communication?

What Kimmel says is true – you can only really have, know more than a dozen real friends at one time. In real life you have different sets of friends that don’t fit into the ‘real’ category – there office friends, travel buddies, friends who are the parents of your children’s friends, friends made on a cruise or a seminar, friends from the neighborhood you grew up in and friends in the neighborhood you got married into. So why should you have only ‘real’ – ‘I can loan $50 to’ friends on social networks when you can keep in touch with them in addition to all those friends from all the other categories?

So here’s what I feel. Social networks are successful especially because of the freedom they offer. So, if you have the right reasons, you can guiltlessly boast about having 1000 ‘friends’ regardless of what Kimmel says.

For tip on business & brand promotion, please visit our Promo Ideas section at www.promodirect.com

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