Category Archives: Social Media

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How to keep tabs on the Indian General Elections – 2014

With the Elections just around the corner, several politicians and their respective parties are busy polishing their image, building their portfolios, mending ties with their allies, sling mud at their rivals and preparing their manifestos. At the same time, traditional media and social media platforms are coming up with innovative tools to help the public keep tabs on all the happenings on a national and local level.

 

Here are some of the tools, trackers and portals you could ‘bookmark’ or save to stay up-to-date with the General Elections 2014:
 
Recently, Facebook rolled out its India election tracker app for its 80 million odd users in India. Visitors to this dashboard would be able to watch the Candidates 2014 livestreams, take a poll about the issues that matter the most to them in the election as well as compare how much the Facebook community is talking about leading candidates and parties over time. 
 
To view the app, go here
 
 
Whether you are a politician, journalist, or someone who just wants to keep a track of the latest happenings in the world of social media and politics, the Election Tracker is your answer. This tracker from mobile telecom service provide MTS and India’s largest Social Media knowledge storehouse Social Samosa provides real-time data analysis, comprehensive tracking, relevant data and graphical representation to help you stay updated on all the social media conversations around the elections.
 
To view the tracker, go here
Towards the fag end of 2013, Google launched an elections portal that aimed at assisting the Indian voters to understand the electoral process, get access to all the news related to elections and politics, get detailed information on specific political parties and serve as a one a one stop destination to help voters get answers to their elections and voting-related queries to make an informed decision.
 
To view the portal, go here
Catch all Hangouts and Election related stories on this dedicated hub for the Indian elections by YouTube. YouTube has partnered with all the top news channels across 5 languages to build this one stop destination for all the top stories, breaking news and campaign trails during the elections.
 
To view the hub, go here


Socialbakers’ Election Infographic for India
Wondering how political parties and leaders are engaging on Facebook? Here is a great infographic by Socialbakers where you can view data-driven social statistics for India’s largest competing political parties & understand the social media story being told.

 

To view the real-time infographic, go here

This portal from MapsofIndia.com brings to you everything related to elections as they unfold. It provides up-to-date news, accurate maps, critical analysis, and facts on the various elections in India. Opinion polls allow users to express themselves and get their voice heard. To view the portal, go here

Facebook Lists
Facebook provides its users with an option to organize the important and interesting content through the Lists feature. This feature helps The users can create their own interest lists based on the things they care about, or follow other people’s listsWhen the user creates or follows a list, they would see the best posts from that list in their main News Feed. Check out the following lists curated by Karuna Nain from Facebook India:


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Social Media for Democracy

Tags :

A couple of weeks back, my Uncle- a Social Entrepreneur called me and asked if I was interested in doing a conference on The Role of Social Media in Democracy on behalf of my firm, along with 2 other non-profits.

I took some time, asked my colleagues and jumped into it. I’ve always been inquisitive about Social Media and it’s applications across diverse domains. With democracy coming into the picture, it does look like a lethal combination. I gave a thumbs up and we set about looking for the right speakers for the various themes.

By God’s grace, it’s all gone well with a few minor hiccups here and there.

Today, Social Media is a lot more than having simple & friendly interactions on Facebook & Twitter. It has become the most potent tool for reaching out to the masses & spreading awareness about various issues.

Alec Ross, senior advisor on innovation and technology at the US department of State had said- “One of the greatest benefits of social media for government’s relationship with citizens is the way in which it helps strengthen democracy. “At the core of democracy is citizen participation. The more our citizens are using social media for the purpose of electioneering, communicating with government and engaging, the more robust it makes our democracy”

The conference should ideally be attended by social entrepreneurs, social media enthusiasts and pros, media persons, change-makers, students and active citizens

This conference is being jointly organized by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (www.fes-india.org) MICCI (www.micci.in), COVA (www.covanetwork.org) & Dot Now Social (www.dotnow.in)

For the detailed itinerary, kindly go here

 
To join the event on Facebook, click here

Also, we’ll be tweeting live from the event. Here’s the hashtag- #sm4d

There’ll be 5 sessions and each session will consist of the following topics.

Day 1:

Session 1: Social Media- Power to People? (History of Social Media, Overview of Social Media Landscape, Applications of different Social media platforms)

Session 2: Role of Social Media in Strengthening Democracy: Strategies and Applications (Successful Social Media Strategies, Case Study- Jan Lokpal Movement)

Session 3: Can Social Media Change Power Structures? (Role of Social Media in Changing Community Equations, Social Media for Democratization and Transformation of Rural and Tribal Societies, Application and Impact of Social Media on Governance, Application of Social Media for Effective and Transparent Policing)

Day 2:

Session 4: Should Government Monitor / Regulate Social Media (Misuses of Social Media- An Overview of Cyber Crimes, Impact of Social Media on other media, Prevailing Regulation Policies in different countries and their impact on Freedom of Speech)

Session 5: Open Forum

 
The questions we explore during the event may not be totally new, but they are questions worth reconsidering through a new, composite lens: What role can social media play in democracy?

Looking forward eagerly to the event.

P.S: To follow the proceedings from the comfort of your home/office, kindly follow #sm4d on Twitter. Thanks

 


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What you didn’t know about Mark Zuckerberg?

Mark Zuckerberg is the name that is synonyms to Facebook. He is the young nerd who transformed social media into a revolution, a high end business, a hub for entertainment.
A college dropout from Harvard University went on to create the social networking site facebook along with his friends Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin, and Chris Hughes in the year 2004, which has turned to be a cult today. 
Zuckerberg was ranked No.1 on the list of the Top 100 ‘Most Influential People of the Information Age’ by Vanity Fair 2010 and was voted among the world’s ’50 Most Influential Figures by New Statesman’s’ annual survey 2010.
Let’s get a sneak peek into some of the interesting facts about Mark Zuckerberg.
1.Born on May 14th 1984
Mark was born on the very day and year when Domain Name System- DNS an internet service that translates domain names into IP addresses took place. 
2. Private School
Mark never attended any public school, he attended only private school. However that did not stop him to make philanthropy towards public schools. Mark donated $100 million to the Newark public school system, New Jersey in October 2010. 
3. Languages
Mark can read and write at least five languages with ease. Zuckerberg listed four non-English languages he could read and write: 
French, Hebrew, Latin, and ancient Greek. 
4. Atheist
He is Jewish by descent and atheist by choice. But most people of Jewish descent consider themselves to be Jews even if they don’t practice it. 
5. Valuable player
He was named as the most valuable player in his high school fencing team. At Ardsley High School, Zuckerberg had excelled in the classics before transferring to Phillips Exeter Academy in his junior year, where he won prizes in science (math, astronomy and physics) and Classical studies (on his college application.)
6. Billionaire
He is the youngest billionaire in the world. In Forbes list for the 100 Richest people in the world for the year 2011, Zuckerberg holds the 4th position with property worth $17.5 billion. 
7. Color blind
Facebook is blue because Mark Zuckerberg is red-green colorblind. Blue is the color he see best; therefore, blue is the dominant color on all Facebook pages. 
8. Born in White Plains, New York
Mark Zuckerberg was born and brought up in White Plains, New York, he graduated from Philips Exeter Academy high school. 
9. Sandals
Mark Zuckerberg is a really different personality from his league. Unlike all his counterparts he is hardly seen in formal attire or dressed up for an occasion. It is quite unusual that he wears rubber sandals to board meetings. 
Courtesy: SiliconIndia

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Consumerization of the Enterprise- Social CRM


With the advent of the ‘Web’, the world has shrunken into a small community in itself and that has made an enormous difference to Businesses, both service oriented and product development firms. We’re living in the era of the ‘Customer’/Consumer or rather the ‘Social Customer’. With such extensive use of Social media– Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MouthShut, Hotpot, Yelp, Blogs, etc. the voice of the customer is amplified. Here, the customers give opinions and share their experiences with their purchased products or catered services. Potential customers get to have a glimpse of prior user experiences of the Vendor’s offerings (products and services) and get to rethink or retract their decisions. Customer reviews can either make or break sales. Customer feedback can easily push a Business to its zenith of glory or nadir of ignominy.

CRM has many definitions but the one that covers all aspects of CRM is given by our good old Wikipedia, which defines Customer relationship management (CRM) as a widely-implemented strategy for managing a company’s interactions with customers, clients and sales prospects. The overall goals are to find, attract, and win new clients, nurture and retain those the company already has, entice former clients back into the fold, and reduce the costs of marketing and client service.

In Social CRM, as in traditional CRM, the focus is completely on the Customer and there are tremendous efforts undertaken by the Vendor to please the customer and build a relationship with him.

The first step of CRM is to Acquire the customer. This can be done either through proper Contact, i.e. – Ads, referrals or word-of-mouth.

The second step is Servicing/Enhancement. Here the customer is literally treated like a God by the Vendors. This is also the most critical step in the CRM Process. The ultimate objective is offer convenience to the customer. If the Vendor fails to please or falls short of delivering the promised service, he is sure to have a furious customer.(And, seriously there is nothing worse for vendor than having an irate customer posting his feedback or ‘bad experience all over social media). It attracts negative publicity and can even damage the reputation of the Vendor. Nothing travels faster than negative stories on Social Media. This is also the reason why some brands have restricted themselves from entering the Social Media realm.

Lastly, the final step of CRM process is ‘Retaining’. Here the customer is rewarded for his loyalty & faithfulness in the Vendor and his brand. This could be in the form of special offers, discounts, or various promotional deals.

The biggest challenge here is to see how Social Media can make CRM happen and at the same time help the brand to build/further strengthen the relationships with its customers. The key is to Engage with the customers. Engagement simply refers to healthy Interaction and good reception. This will contribute in creating an optimistic brand perception, enhance brand recall and eventually promote loyalty towards the brand, thereby resulting in sales.

Social Media Experts feel the need for B2B models to tread with an ultra-cautious approach on social media. The experts advise an intense market research and to weigh the pros and cons, for this is truly the Consumerization of the Enterprise.

So, if the Vendors see good returns, in terms of sales, brand awareness, etc they should definitely go for it and leverage the power of Social Media to benefit their Business. Your time is Now!

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The advent of Social Commerce

Of late, I had been thinking how Social Media could be integrated into various other realms. This time, how it can be plugged into E-Commerce. So, here goes…
So, what exactly is Social commerce? 
Well, in very simple words, Social Commerce is the use of Social Media in an E-Commerce environment.


As we all know, with the increasing amount of users on Social Networks (especially Facebook and Twitter) every day, the scope for carrying out Business on them has grown enormously.
Almost all the Sellers/Vendors have forayed into Social Media and made a significant presence there, in terms of their brand recognition and fan following. Thanks to Social Media, all of them have been able to build their own respective communities and narrowed down on their buyers to a great extent. Social Media is a great channel to reach out to your customers. Be it the arrival of the latest range of products or promotional deals or sales, the followers are up-to-date with everything.
As per a comScore Report, 23% of Twitter users follow businesses to find special deals, promotions, or sales, while 14% of Twitter users reported taking to the stream to find and share product reviews and opinions. According to another study by Chadwick Martin Bailey, it was observed that 25% of consumers connected to brands on Facebook did so to receive discounts. Another interesting fact that comScore found was- Facebook and Twitter visitors spend 1.5x more online than average Internet users. Therefore, with growing number of users on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, the tendency to spend online also augments.
    



 

Social Commerce now has under its fold a variety of social media tools and content used in the context of e-commerce. A few of them are:
  • Customer ratings
  • Customer reviews
  • User recommendations
  • Social Shopping tools
  • Dedicated platforms (Forums and communities)
  • SEO
  • Social Advertising
More and more companies are coming up with strategies to capitalize on Social Commerce. Facebook came out with a new strategy wherein its members who use the company’s location-based ‘Places’ feature will be alerted to special deals and discounts offered by retailers in their vicinity. The users can take advantage of this feature by showing their phones at participating stores. Facebook said that this action would be posted on users’ news feed so that their friends might also utilize the special offers. Amazon is charting out its strategy as well.
Few of the most popular Social Commerce players are Amazon, Best Buy, Starbucks, Dell and Hallmark.
And here are a list of Social Commerce sites
  • ShopSocially
  • Kactoos
  • Groupon
  • BuyWithMe
So, what more do the Sellers need now, they’ve got dedicated Communities with active Conversations happening and now even the Commerce factor comes in to play. Your time is Now!

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Content- The Real Winner in the Social Media race

Social Media, as we all know rides on quality content. Be it blogs or videos or articles or even facebook/twitter statuses, all ride on content. The number of people ‘liking’ or ‘retweeting’ or ‘sharing’ your content is directly proportional to its quality. Humor is a great vehicle and can have a great fan following. But, eventually it comes down to the amount of ‘substance’ one adds to his/her content. Its the substance that can make or break the fan following. (In this context, I’ll use context and substance inter-changeably)

I’d define Social Media as a platform for Interaction, not just personally, but also professionally, using cultured practices. The word ‘Social’ used here, actually refers to the ‘Social Life’ of a person in the Virtual space. Just like in the Real-world, a person in virtual space meets new people, make friends, has conversations,  shares information, knowledge and data and much more. And just like in real life, your actions on Social media reflect your character. So, its important to be upto-the-mark when on Social Media. Whatever you post on Social media should have a meaning or purpose to it. It should have content that your peer networks can associate with, in some manner or the other.

Sadly, the content aspect is not taken too seriously by the users and we see all kinds of crap flying in and around our virtual life. Web developers spend loads of time, effort and money on the ‘look’ of their entity but end up paying very little or no attention to content. The end result is a visual splendor but a potential catastrophe due to the lack of substance. Most of them believe in the ‘All style, No substance’ mantra, which will more often than not take a pounding in present day times. Even in Search Engine Optimization, content rules.

Before using Social Media on a regular basis, one must adhere to the following ‘Laws of Social Media’

 
    Create original, quality content that is meaningful, purposeful, and intriguing
    Optimize the content with keywords that make sense and do not overstuff it
    Network by posting the content in the right places and remember that where your customers are is where you need to be
    Track where the content goes, how it got there and how it gets directed back to your site
    Engage with others that surround the content and become active but not overly promotional
    Nurture the engagement and use it to draw your audience in and tailor that content around their wants and need
    Track everything that is trackable as Social Media ROI is the future of online content creation and management


Always remember, “Content is King!“, not just in virtual space, but in real life too. 


P.S: Resources that may be of some help to you:
To know the most Retweeted post of the blogosphere, use Tweetmeme
To know the most shared content on facebook check out ItsTrending.


References: Dragon Search