Robin Goel Blog

Online Marketing

Social Media and Branding. August 31, 2009

Filed under: SMM — Robin Goel @ 12:24 am

Social Media is the hottest topic after Global Warming people are taking about while some even think Social Media as virus which is spreading at higher rate as compared to STD. Well unfortunately it’s true.

What is Social Media ? Teens

“Social media is like teen sex.
Everyone wants to do it. Nobody knows how.
When it’s finally done there is surprise it’s not better.”

- Avinash Kaushik, Google

Officially, though, Social Media is not like Teen Sex*

Social media is “an umbrella term that defines the various activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos, and audio.” Social Media is Frictionless conversation in a connected environment.It’s also a fancy way to describe the zillions of conversation people are having online 24/7.

Why Social Media ?

Well the question is difficult but the answer is that simple:

1. 3 out of 4 in America uses Social Technology.

2. 67% of Global Internet  population visits Social Networks.

3. Visiting Social sites is the 4th most popular Online Activity ahead of Personal E-Mailing.

4. 125,000,000 Youtube videos viewed per day.

5. 14,000,000 numbers of articles available on Wikipedia.

6. 1400% is the monthly growth rate of Twitter users from Jan 09 to Feb 09.

7. 5,000,000,000 number of minutes spent on Facebook each day.

8. If Facebook were a country, It would be the 8th most populated in the world just ahead of Japan.

social-media-wagonSo, please stop muttering around  and get serious about harnessing the power of Social Media. 85% of social media users believe that a company should go further than just having a presence on social sites and should also interact with it’s customers. Unfortunately, most companies are still treating Social Media like just another Marketing channel.

Social Media and Branding.

I would really like to take an example here how people creates your brand on these Social Networks without taking any interest in your product or service. Some of us might not have heard of  Zappos- A shoe and clothes manufacturing company in Las Vegas, US. even I heard about this company from various social networking sites like Slideshare, Youtube, Blogs etc without visiting their website atleast once .

Surprisingly content on these sites was not to promote Zappos or their products but people included  Zappos in their various case studies, presentations like I have done here Including Zappos in my post.It would be hard to digest that  3 out of 10 presentations on Slideshare featuring Social Media Marketing has this word ” Zappos”.

Huhhh….

This is what Branding is !

So, ultimately the theme of the story is, you cannot make yourself popular among but it’s the people who makes you popular to make themselves popular.

Social Media is Frictionless Conversation in a Connected Environment

 

Reaching your customers through Facebook August 23, 2009

Filed under: SMM — Robin Goel @ 3:09 pm

First Newspapers, Radio then Television and now Social Media. This is the way Marketers are reaching there potential costumers aroung the world and the coming ‘Era’ is of Online Advertising i.e through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc.

More and more businesses are jumping into social media as the ROI of Inbound Marketing continues to show that online tools like Twitter and Facebook are an effective – and inexpensive – way to reach potential buyers.

What Is Facebook?facebook-logo
Facebook is a social media platform for connecting people with those around them – friends, family, coworkers, or simply others with similar interests. Facebook started in 2004 as a closed community for college students (requiring users to sign up with a valid university email address) but has since expanded beyond that to high schools, corporations, regional networks, or any user across the world. Facebook allows users to connect and share information in a variety of ways.

Facebook has over 250 million active users and that number continues to grow steadily. It is the third most trafficked website in the world (behind Google and Yahoo) and the most trafficked social media site in the world.

Business Goals for Using Facebook:

  • Get found by people who are searching for your products or services
  • Connect and engage with current and potential customers
  • Create a community around your business
  • Promote other content you create, including webinars, blog articles, or other resources

Tips for Reaching your Customers:

1. Manage Your Profile:

  • Fill out your profile completely to earn trust.
  • Establish a business account if you don’t already have one.
  • Stay out of trouble by reading the Facebook rules regarding business accounts.
  • Install appropriate applications to integrate feeds from your blog and other social media accounts into your Facebook profile.
  • Create friends lists such as “Work,” “Family” and “Limited Profile” for better control over your profile privacy.
  • Post a professional photo or business logo to reinforce your brand.
  • Post your newsletter subscription information and archives somewhere in your profile.

2. Connect and share with others

  • Obtain a Facebook URL so that people can find you easily.
  • Add your Facebok URL to your email signature and any marketing collateral (business cards, etc.) so prospects can learn more about you.
  • Post business updates on your wall. Focus on business activities, such as “Working on Product development strategy ” etc.
  • Share useful articles and links to presentation and valuable resources that interest customers to establish credibility.
  • Combine Facebook with other social media tools like Twitter. For example, when someone asks question on Twitter, you can respond in detail in a blog post and link to it from Facebook.
  • Upload your contacts from your email client to find more connections.
  • Use Find Friends for suggestions of other people you may know to expand your network even further.
  • Look for mutual contacts on your contacts’ friends lists.
  • Find experts in your field and invite them as a guest blogger on your blog or speaker at your event.
  • Market your products by posting discounts and package deals.
  • Use Facebook Connect to add social networking features to your web site.
  • Suggest Friends to clients and colleagues — by helping them, you establish trust.
  • Buy Facebook ads to target your exact audience.

facebook-ads-thumb

3. Use Network, Group and Fan Pages

  • Start a group or fan page for product, brand or business. Unless you or your business is already a household name, a group is usually the better choice.
  • Add basic information to the group or fan page such as links to company site, newsletter subscription information and newsletter archives.
  • Post upcoming events including webinars, conferences and other programs where you or someone from your company will be present.
  • Update your group or fan page on a regular basis with helpful information and answers to questions.
  • Join network, industry and alumni groups related to your business.
  • Use search to find groups and fan pages related to your business by industry, location and career.

How do you use Facebook for business?


 

Social Media and IPL 2 August 15, 2009

Filed under: cricket,IPL — Robin Goel @ 10:31 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Deccan Chargers win

Indian Premier league 2nd season ended with an emphatic win by Deccan Chargers crushing Royal Challengers Banglore in finals, IPL has nicely warmed up spectators around the globe, with two weeks of fascinating cricket and media spotlight adding to it were ZooZoo cartoons of Vodafone who were seen encouring players and entertaining jam-packed stadiums with their presence in middle of the crowd.

Web has lapped IPL with both hands in such a way, that it is very hard to find any website which is associated with cricket or India, devoid of headlines about IPL or at least Bollywood stars of IPL. Be it updating latest team news or updating ipl live score , websites have been forerunners and they dictate the fads.

Media has been clearly reaping on IPL harvest this season, where websites like livecricketmatch.com and cricinfo.com have been bombarded with huge traffic and certainly their boses doesn’t have any complaints.

IPL has not only given Indian Media a box full of currency but South Africa as well according to the sources tours and travel companies recoreded huge income by providing best and comfortable travel packages to the “land of wildlife” by including variousadventure treks and trips inside Africa along giving a best taste of fatafat cricket.

It will be a crime to leave away two pillars, which has kicked IPL to a much wider horizons than expected namely Blogging and Social networking site. Mystery Blogger, who has shot to overnight fame through his controversy blog about Kolkata Knight Riders, is a classic example.

So era, where focus might be on traffic of  blogs and websites, which determines the success of crickets matches and IPL  does not seem far away with a kind of platform and potential ‘ Social Media’ offers.

 

Listing your Business on Google Maps

Filed under: SMM — Robin Goel @ 4:15 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Businesses now a day’s realized the importance of online Marketing and started focussing more on branding and making their presence online while they give their best on site promotion and using various social media tools but they overlook Google Maps most of the time.
Google Maps provide exact result with the local intent, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a product or a service company a customer crave for the services next to his doorstep and with it’s physical presence. Here i have discussed some key points while using Google Maps as Local search Optimization for your business.
Allpages is the key to ranking in Google Maps. Allpages is the only Internet Yellow Pages I’ve found that does not allow business owners to add their listing to the directory. The only way to get in is with a business line through the local phone company. The data is provided from the phone company to Acxiom to Allpages; where Google picks it up.
Sure anyone can go in and add their own business through the Local Business Center but ranking begins with Allpages. It seems to me that Google will only begin giving credit for Links once it sees this listing. I started with a search in Google Maps for OSSCube an Open Source company in Morrisville in NC . I’m a working on OSSCube so I decided to see how this PR 6 site ranked in Maps, one does need to be in Allpages before links begin to count. And that starts with adding a business line from your local telephone company.
Now things have changed… there was a time when you needed a business line to be in the yellow pages… now that is no longer true but you need one to rank in Google.
Add your business listing:
All listings must come to them through their data provider – Acxiom, which generally happens every three months. If you would like to be listed in AllPages.com Yellow Pages, please contact your local phone company directly and make sure your business listing is in their database. The new listings from your Phone Company would be added to Acxiom’s database and it would most likely show up in next update (currently three to six months)
Tips to help Google users find and connect with your business
Make sure your listing is complete and accurate.

• Include optional information like images and videos to help your listing stand out.
• Add information like opening hours, payment types, and additional details to help users choose among search results.
• Make sure that the location of your business on the map is correct so users can find you.
• Remember, you can always drag the map marker to the exact location of your business.
• Make sure to list your authoritative business website as your homepage, since Google uses information from your homepage to help improve search results.
• Of course, be sure that your business name, physical address, and phone number(s) are correct.

Choose the most appropriate, specific categories for your business.
• Pick a category from the list of suggestions to help Google to show your business for the right searches (although you can always enter your own category if the Local Business Center doesn’t suggest one that fits your business).
• Don’t be afraid to choose specific categories instead of broad ones. The important thing is that the categories are accurate and describe your business well.
Establish a strong, accurate presence on the web
• Make sure that information about your business on the web is accurate, and try to correct it if it’s not. Google improves search results using information about your business from all over the web.
• Encourage customers to review your business or to blog about it. Google uses these to improve search results too.
How to claim your Business on Google Maps?
Add your listing with the Local Business Center.
Local Business Center gives you the most control over the way your business listing appears in Google Maps. Since more people search for businesses online than anywhere else, it’s important to make sure your business listing can be easily found on Google Maps. When you submit and verify information through the Local Business Center, you provide the most authoritative information for your business listings.

The basic information that you submit through the Local Business Center is the information that Google trust the most. This means that it will appear instead of any basic information that they get from anywhere else. To make sure the basic information you submit is accurate, They will ask you to verify it first by contacting you at your business address or phone number.
You can add other information to your listing too — such as a description of your business, for example, as well as photos, reviews, or information about hours and parking costs — that will also appear above similar information from other providers. Every business listing must have a mailing address.

If your listing is already in Google Maps, claiming it through the Local Business Center will give you full control over how your listing appears. In other words, once you verify that you are the business owner, the information that you submit will replace the information from third parties that already appears in Google Maps. You’ll be able to make your listing better with more useful information, as well as photos and video. Other users will no longer be able to edit your listing.

To claim your listing, search for it in Google Maps. When you’ve found it:
1. Click on the name of your business in the search results in the left-hand panel of Google Maps.
2. Click Edit in the white info bubble that appears on the map, and then click Claim your business. If the info bubble doesn’t have an Edit link, click more info, then Add or edit your business. This prompts you to submit your business information as a new listing.
Three options appear. You can:
• Edit the information in the listing.
• Suspend it to stop it from appearing on Google Maps.
• Add your business as a new listing, if you realize that the business you’re trying to claim isn’t yours.
For each of these options, you would be asked to verify that you are the business owner.
Even if you don’t search for your business first, when you submit basic information about your listing to the Local Business Center, Google will let you know if there’s already a listing with the information you submitted. You’ll then have two options.
• You can claim that listing, and take control of the information about your business that appears in Google Maps. It prevents you from creating a duplicate listing, which might confuse others trying to find information about your business.
• Add your business as a new listing if the other listing they show isn’t the one you were trying to add.
In both cases, you’ll need to verify your listing before it will appear in Google Maps.

 

Managing your Online Reputation May 4, 2009

Filed under: SMM — Robin Goel @ 7:05 am
Tags: , , ,

Online reputation management, or ORM, is the practice of consistent research and analysis of one’s personal or professional, business or industry reputation as represented by the content across all types of online media.

Tools:

1. Managing your identity through claimid.com, findmeon.com, freeyourid.com, myopenid.com, typekey.com, wordpress.com.

2. Managing your reputation through naymz.com, monitorthis.com, keotag.com, forumfind.com, etc.

3. Managing your Online Profiles through comwat.com, onxiam.com, socialurl.com, simplified.com, profilemat.com etc.

4. Monitoring through googlealerts.com, yahooalerts.com,

5. RSS feed subscriptions to search result of technorati, google & yahoo news, blogpulse etc.

6. Filter all feeds into one RSS Reader for easy and time-efficient monitoring options include: Newsgator.com, Bloglines.com, Google Reader or Pluck.com.

7. Not sure what keywords to track? Start entering your main “buzz” word at Google Suggest and see what most commonly has searched. Or try Google Trends for the latest search query trends.

Process and steps:

1. Once a negative mention has been identified, here are a few basic steps in dealing with it:

a) Research the situation

b) Provide the facts and corrections

c) Offer to discuss

d) Ready to respond with own blog, being honest, transparent and listen.

2. Offering quality content and maintaining quality email newsletter are two extremely effective ways to protect brand.

3. Investigate facts internally before taking action – could this be a competitor spreading rumour?

4. Offer to resolve any complaints personally – have a senior-level staff member make the offer – try to continue discussion offline

5 Don’t create new “personas” to support your position in blogs, forums and message boards as you’ll likely be caught

6. Use forums, user groups and message boards are ways to outreach CGM. (Consumer Generated Media)

7. Use of various web2.0 tools such as flickr, Slideshare etc.

8. Legal action may be taken to protect brand and IP valve

Steps to build ORM:-

1. Research and Resource Identification- This step is first and most crucial, it includes researching the content available on client and identifying the right resource to publish it on the web.

2. Content Segregation and Optimization- The content obtained from the client is segregated as per the tool to be used and is re-written in a style easy to comprehend by the search engines. This is further optimised as per keywords suggested by clients.

3. Content Submission- The final content is then submitted across various websites, journals, newswires, blogs etc. We can used photos, videos, presentations also.

4. Social Bookmarking and Pinging- Once the new content is uploaded on the web the search engine need to be given an alert via updating social bookmarking sites and by sending alerts via pings.

Instructions for PR Companies-

1. Treat customers as partners not sheep.

2. Be consistent, don’t be passive.

3. Don’t use self- proclaimed titles like gurus, experts, master etc.

4. Use Multimedia, collaboration and Communication sites for content population and branding.

A Case Study for Domino’s Pizza:-

-          2 employees posted a horrific video on You Tube showing disgusting things they do to the food prior to it being delivered.

-          Over 1 million people saw this in 48 hours.

-          5 of the first 12 Google listing for the Dominos Pizza by the time became Negative.

-          Over 6000 people commented on the video

-          Domino’s held off on responding until after 48 hours after they found ( Video was uploaded on Monday and Domino’s didn’t respond until following Friday).

-          As first reported by Ad Age, the video taken a toll on quality and perception from an 81% positive perception to 64% negative.

-          Expert put the cost of this to Domino’s at over 50 million( Including legal, pr, loss of sales, coupons to recover business

That’s the challenge of the Web world. Any two idiots with a video camera and dumb idea damaged a reputation of a 50 year old brand.

 

 
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