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Why Social Media Presence Is Essential for Online Companies? – Guest Post

Questioning on the importance of social media presence is equivalent to questioning on the relevance of having a marketing strategy for a growing business. The need for social media presence is inevitable if you want to develop your business. While internet has shrunk the world, it has increased the competition to your business. You are not fighting anymore with your neighborhood businesses; you are in the ring fighting big global names. Hence, it is essential that you have a strong social media presence so that you stay connected. Let us see why social media presence plays a dominant role to enhance your business.

 

Be Identified

 

It is no use if you are in business and people do not know what you are dealing with. It is not a 007 type of work that demands you work without others being aware of it. If you intend to stay in business, you need to create product awareness and the best way to do is to have a strong social media presence. Let people become familiar with your name so that they identify your product when they see it and as you go stronger, they will be able to recall your product when they look to purchase.

 

Be the Talk of the Town

 

To succeed in business, you need to be talked about. Your products and services should be discussed and which could be a better platform than social media? If you are offering lucrative deals, special discounts or coupon codes then you can spread the word like fire through social media platform to bank sales. Companies like Jabong is already ahead on this road by offering Jabong discount coupons and special discounts to its followers in Facebook, Twitter etc.

 

Building a strong client base in social media will let others hear about your products. Your happy customers will be too willing to give out information on their pride possession for a discounted rate. As the talks do the rounds, you could comfortably sit back and reap the benefits.

 

Social Media’s Google Role

 

Reviews play a decisive role when a person looks to purchase a product or service. While Google plays a major role in helping prospective clients read reviews about various products and services, social media is gearing up with its contribution. A person, who is a Facebook member or Twitter member, tries to find out what his social circle has to say about his decision to purchase a particular brand. Search engines do bring these reviews in social media to the fore but still being in a position to directly get information from friends through social media is highly appealing. People rely on the feedback from their social circle and hence having a strong influence in the social media will brighten up your business interests.

 

Keep Your Ears Open

 

Being present in social media opens various doors to interact with prospective clients and existing clients. People become more interested and involved if they could get to speak to a person who represents the company. Being in social media, helps to keep your ears open for your clients and this also gives you the opportunity to make a better representation.

 

Build Your Business with Trust

 

By gaining the trust of the people, you could build a business empire. While you interact with customers through social media platform, you gain a rapport with them and they begin to trust you. Trust leads to sales and sales leads to more sales.

 

Traffic Makes Your Day

 

While traffic on road could ruin your day, being in online business, you are sure to know that online traffic makes your day. The best way to increase traffic to your site is to link your website and/or blog to your social media page. Let your website and blog be content rich with great images. You cannot help but notice the increase in traffic to your website from your social media presence. In online business, the simple rule is more traffic = more sales.

 

You have ventured into business and it is essential that you stay to survive and succeed. And no one likes to just about survive. Business is all about success in capital letters. It is not enough if you have a great product and you have the ability to provide quality service. You need to let people know what you have to offer. To achieve this you have to follow a simple step and that is to have an active social media presence.

 

Author Bio:

Hemant, who is addicted to Facebook, loves to hang around with friends on social media platform. He believes that social media has changed the way we communicate & think. He is working at CouponLava.com.

These are the 10 things i would do inorder to manange a fanpage …

1) Firstly would be attracting fans mainly because the more the better it is to interact

2) After getting the fans which will build up subsequently i will focus on the content of the fanpage

3) The content of the fanpage should be such that people should feel like commenting on it ,

For eg : which were the first 3 songs did you listen on your i pod this morning etc etc…

4) The I would try to feed in the posts regarding the client which i am handling in a very interactive way and ask for suggestions…

5) Monitoring the fanpage inorder to avoid any spamming

6) Initiate a Contest which would try and get me as many interactions as possible.

7) Ask people for suggestions as how can i improve my fanpage .

8) Feeding at least 4updates in a day on the fanpage which would include photos, events maybe some good Quotes and which would keep my fanapage updated ..

9) And would definitely try to understand which kind of content is working on the fanpage and which not .

10) I would try to feed exclusive content which wont be available anywhere on the net

- authored by Divya Shetty, Social Media Catalyst, Avignyata Inc.

SMM Campaign we love – Ford Fiesta

A majority of business outlets are recognizing the role of social media in today’s net-ridden world. The much talked about Ford’s Fiesta campaign is an apt example of this trend.

What they did was simple: Their experiment was about inviting 100 “social agents” (members of the public) to drive and review Fiesta for six months, and share their experience with the world. They had them promote the car through different social media sites, including Twitter, YouTube and blogs.

For the Fiesta Movement campaign, Ford organized the World’s Largest Tweetup by bringing together friends and family of the selected test drivers. Also, the Guinness Book of Records has marked this as the World’s Largest Tweetup.

The main touch-point of the campaign was the Fiesta Movement website, which serves as some sort-of aggregator that gathers the different content being produced on the different pages the agent’s author. On the Fiesta movement website, one can track missions, watch videos produced and read more about the agents.

Many social media commentators agree that this campaign was a huge success. The 700 videos produced by the agents have generated 6.5 million views on YouTube, and there have been more than 3.4 million impressions of Fiesta Movement on Twitter. Even photos taken by the agents have been viewed more than 670,000 times.

More first hand experiences on this blog.

Do’s and Dont’s of SMM marketing

Social media has indeed changed the face of marketing. Radio, TV, and print ads move over – online interaction is the way of the future. However there are a few pointers any new startup should keep mind -

* Start with a proper plan, not tactics
* Grow your customer base quickly
* Set specific goals
* Welcome participation, feedback and co-creation
* Connect with customers easily
* Benefit from word-of-mouth advertising
* Actively participate in online forums and air your views
* Don’t feed readers a sales pitch; let the user community decide how great the product is

And, what should be best avoided –
* Do not be pushy or overtly ‘salesy’ in messaging and communications
* Don’t broadcast useless information on social media sites
* Avoid being fake in any way
* Above all, remember that social media is about the C’s: Conversation, Connections, Community, Consumer, Collaboration and Content.

From blogging, news aggregation to social networking and Twitter presence, if you invest time wisely in social media, the rewards will be readily visible.

Trust factor is another aspect that makes viral marketing powerful. Which is more likely to influence whether or not you buy a product, a friend recommending the product or a marketer telling you to buy the product? The answer is obvious– your friend holds more influence.

Few things that will rule in the social media scene this year:

From plug-ins to location-based marketing initiatives to the move to higher bandwidth and putting updates highlighting a cause or an event, there’s plethora of change in the world of social media.

Audience will have control: Brands will have to have some presence in the online world. If a brand doesn’t have a presence on social media consumers will still talk about them. In particular, consumers will demand corporate social media presence.

Booshaka: This recent startup offers real-time look at what’s trending on Facebook based on open search keywords, as well as via topic if you’re interested in more a general browse. Listening will become even more important, even before marketing and engagement.

Moving to Higher Bandwidth (4G): The use of higher bandwidth will not only be a necessity but a demand from busy consumers.

Social media policy in offices (it might actually be enforced): If the company you work for doesn’t already have a social media policy in place with specific rules of engagement across multiple networks, it just might in the next year.

Educational institutes’ adopting social media strategies: What was earlier shunned is now readily accepted and gaining popularity. Teachers themselves are getting updated with the latest news about social media so that they too can incorporate it in their learning.

Social Media trends in India

Our communiqué, interactions, online business, blogging has all changed in one decade owing to the tremendous growth and innovation in the online world. Social networking websites are now a widespread means of the way people converse everyday and also the way many youngsters earn money.

More importantly Social Media is not a Fad, it a paradigm shift which is the accepted way of communication.

The use of internet has undergone a fundamental change with anyone creating content and sharing it with others using platforms like Blogging, Social Networks, YouTube etc. People have started easily ‘connecting’ with others via tagging, locations, content creation,

Some trends identified in social media are:

Social Scanning
Smartphone owners have the world at their fingertips. As grandiose as that may sound, advances in mobile barcode scanning technology have given rise to applications that allow for comparison shopping, QR code place checkins and ultimately a social experience around product barcodes.

SMS-based mobile social network
Even as we see several innovations in location based mobile social networking internationally, the adoption of such services in India will be minimal, even with the launch of 3G and flat data rates. 3G will be restricted only to smart phones initially, before people start adopting it.

Gaming and location based applications
Foursquare.com already allows 4 million users to track the locations of their friends on their smart phones. Also gaming elements like Mayorships and badges attracts a lot of loyal followers, old and young alike.

India is not for behind the social media and tech revolution. Indian companies are focusing on growing Indian middle class, which has the fastest growing internet user base in India. Hence, one thing is sure that in this digital age social media trends and marketing will play an important role in determining any products success as well.

Facebook and the new Q&A

Yahoo Answers was the first Q&A site that i was exposed to. When it had started, it was exciting to see for any given question, you always had someone answering it. Someone who has the expertise or the experience in answering the question. Then there was the country editions that were started. Each country had their own Q&A sites like India had Rediff Q&A. This was the time, when we were just graduating from Chat systems to better and easy interactivity to off beat questions.

Need to be social
The intent of an individual to be – social – You create a social networking site. All sites began to gather momentum to

Then you provide people to become ego-massagers through interaction – You create the sharability feature

Then you provide them with resource of information – Search – via Google, first, then via Bing

and now bring in more interaction and kind of AI – through Collaborative research, big competition to Vark and Yahoo Answers.

What Next?
Google Answers has shut down!! But they bought Vark, where they wanted to integrate the real time and social search in a way that it becomes more sharable

FormSpring – Another Social QnA which created a whole new way of leveraging Facebook, Twitter and even Blogging platforms.

Even though there are so many social platforms that are available to answer your query. But the best part is that there is an inherent quality in us that we want answers, provided we have the right questions.

Brands start using Listening Platforms to monitor Conversations

400 million active users + thousands of fan pages + friend lists of at least 100 people + status updates and comment options = a whole lot of conversation. Facebook chat may suck, but that doesn’t constrict the amount of chatting on Facebook. People talk about all sorts of things, their lives, their partners, the past day, shopping, your brand…..

Social media is the most valuable resource currently available that gathers customer opinion without any specific effort on the consumer’s part, even. Surveys are too much of an effort, and have too many hazards of bias. Social media, on the other hand, is open, free, and puts no pressure on the consumer to like or dislike your brand. Twitter is the new Opinion column in the Mumbai Mirror. Bad service, pushy staff, unavailability of products – irritated customers proclaim their dissatisfaction on the microblogging site to their followers. The customer also alternatively tweets about the wonderful time she had, the great dress she bought, the rocking grill at the food-court and the gig in the car-park.

Monitoring social media can help you capitalize on this availability of information. It includes collection as well as a comprehensive analysis of web opinion. Consumer opinion just got so much more accessible.

What is a brand missing out on, if it isn’t monitoring conversations about it? A whole lot of things: opportunities for interaction, low-cost customer service, promotion at an opportune moment (If a tweeter tweets asking about Gucci purses available in Bombay, the brand can tweet back updating the tweeter on their store at Nariman Point), knowing mass perceptions of your brand, and of course, crucial information.

Social Media has caught on rabidly and it is best if brands and companies join the band – if only to watch.

Social Media ROI becomes important

Social Media ROI is a rather complex concept, I’ve observed. Unlike more direct forms of marketing, its indicators may not include actual sales. This has resulted in a lot of skepticism about its impact and hence relevance.

With Social Media, you can touch your stars. I wrote to my favorite writer, I’m ‘following’ my favorite actors and I know what the politicians I hate are up to now. I’m also a follower of the Dell blog, the retail chains I ‘like’ and the events I’m ‘attending’. Truth be told, Shoppers Stop and Bingo! Chips are as big stars to me as any actor. The fact that when I comment on its Facebook page saying a particular brand of clothing wasn’t available, Shoppers Stop replies informing me of the outlets it is available at, is strangely reassuring and encouraging. And I’m not going to deny the sudden high of having Shahrukh Khan (twitter) reply to my question on Twitter.

Which is all great and all, but how are Shah Rukh and Bingo! (Or Lays) profiting from this? Writing to SRK on Twitter is no assurance that I’m going to be watching Ra 1.

Well, they’re not. Not monetarily, anyway (even if sales do increase, but it’s impossible to relate that to any one cause). But Social Media Marketing is great PR, even if that is a slight contradiction in terms. Which means ROI needs to be mentioned in nontraditional ways. Fitting, since Social Media Marketing is nontraditional.

Social Media ROI is most important when it comes to actually measuring non-quantitative indicators like the audience reactions to new plans, satisfaction with customer service and referring to the brand as an expert on a particular concept or area of service. A few thousand people who ‘like’ your retail chain/restaurant/bookstore come online everyday and tell you what they think about you, what they want from you and how they will respond to a new t-shirt collection/event you’re introducing, and who they’d rather have performing there – everything you want to know, really.

ROI goes past money, here. It can actually affect the number of people who like your brand enough to buy from you.

Real budgets for Social Media Marketing

Nothing on an average Facebook feed lasts more than a minute on top. It’s full of people: talking, sharing links and pictures and stories, taking random quizzes – making their presence felt. Social media has incredible potential in terms of presence – otherwise fulfilled by marketing and PR. Unlike other mediums of marketing, social media’s fabulous interactivity makes it invaluable in both customer service and brand value.

Social Networking on the web has caught on furiously. The fact that on Facebook, you can watch videos and have whacky conversations about them somehow makes Facebook so much attractive than TV to ‘Gen Y’. Youngsters watching 90210 log in to post “I <3 Navid” statuses ( or ‘Dil Mil Gaye’ and “I <3 Armaan”), people make political statements on status updates (short of standing up before an audience, there are few ways you can get a message across to 200 people at a time; and this is way more graceful) – basically everyone is there. Day and night.

Marketing professionals would have already identified the potential of Social Media, then – possibly greater than that of advertising, because of the huge extent of time and numbers involved. However budgets for Social Media Marketing are still planned hesitantly, with an air of dubious puzzlement. For some reason, belief in the power of Social Media seems tentative and shaky.

In my experience, this trend is more than a trend. The Indian Gen Y has higher self-esteem and more freedom than previous generations – they sanction and relish the exhibitionism of their lives on the web. Their obvious gratification in comments and conversation over any chosen facet of their lives tells me that Social Media is here to stay.

Social Media Marketing requires truly consequential attention and considerable budgets. Think of it as an untapped reservoir in a water-starved Bombay. Corporations – big and tiny – need to turn their consciousness to it. Social networking is now too big a media to be ignored.

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