Monthly Archives: October 2012

How should brands effectively leverage LinkedIn?

When it comes to building a community around a brand, the most obvious channel that comes to the mind of a marketing manager is Facebook, obviously due to its sheer size and popularity. This might be a perfect choice for a B2C brand. However, according to me for a B2B brand it would be more beneficial to have a strong presence on LinkedIn, where the decision makers are flocking around. LinkedIn is a professional network where not only brands can build their presence using Company Pages feature, but key decision makers of a brand can network, discuss and build relationships with decision makers of their customers, suppliers and other affiliates.

The different features of LinkedIn like Company Pages, LinkedIn Groups, LinkedIn Answers, LinkedIn Jobs can be effectively leveraged by brands to nurture a valuable community. I recently blogged about the same on Social Samosa. The blogpost highlights following topics:

  • Should brands create a LinkedIn profile or a LinkedIn company page?
  • How does a Company Page look like?
  • How to build followers on your Company Page?
  • What should be the content strategy for the Company Page?
  • Is Company Page the only way for brands to build community?

If you have come across any impressive Company Page on LinkedIn, share the link here in comment section.

 

Twitonomy: An impressive Twitter analytics tool

I have in past tried many Twitter analytics tools like Tweetstats, TwitterCounter and Followerwonk etc., however none of them awed me as much as Twitonomy. Thanks Neha for exposing me to this tool. The moment I logged into this tool, I was simply impressed with the UI, the depth of information that this tool provides free of cost and most importantly the cool graphics through which information is presented. I take you through each section of this tool in the blogpost.

1) Login: Any Twitter user can login this tool with the Twitter account. The home feed of one’s account is shown here and one can easily reply/retweet/favourite/quote the tweet. Also at the top left corner there is an option for users to tweet from here.

2) Homepage / Dashboard: Once you login, you would reach the homepage of the tool, which is also the dashboard of your account. This page has a clear menu right at the top, indicating various elements one can analyze about his/her account. On the right hand top corner, it gives an option to analyze one’s account or someone else’s account. This is a unique feature of this tool that, it provides detailed analysis of not only one’s own account but of any other Twitter user’s account with the same level of details. The home feed of one’s account is visible on bottom left side and it also provides options to “Add a User”, “Add a List” or “Add a Keyword search”.

3) Profile: This page provides all details about one’s account – Tweet Analytics (for the maximum of last 3,200 tweets, which is really amazing number), the frequency of tweets in a graphical manner, users whom one retweeted most, users whom one replied to most, the hashtags that were frequently used, the days and time of the day when tweets were made and the platform that was widely used for tweeting. The top right hand side of the  page provides details about recent tweets, followers, following, lists followed by user, lists  following an users in the dropdown format. Here are the colourful screenshots of all these parameters that are so visually appealing and reader-friendly.

While, Twitter is still thinking of providing an option for users to download their past tweets, this tool has already incorporated that feature along with details about retweets that a particular tweet earned.

4) Mentions & RTs: This section provides trend about mentions and retweets of one’s account. The geographical mapping of mentions is very beautiful and provides a single shot view of from where all in the world are people talking to you. 

5) Followers & Following: The followers and following pages provide a detailed list well presented in a tabular format. The followers list also provides an option to filter “followers you are not following”and “followers you are following”. Similarly, the following page provides a filter option of “people not following you” and “people following you”. These filter options are very helpful for one to identify right people to follow and engage with. 

6) Lists: This page summarizes all the lists one has prepared and the lists that one is following. Each list’s tab has a dropdown feature, wherein all real-time tweets of the members in that lists are shown and just below that, all the members classified in that list are also listed. One can again communicate with those members from the tweet section directly.

The most beautiful feature in the lists section is the “Manage list” part. When one clicks on that, a page with the list of people one is “following” appears in the tabular form. A user can easily classify these people by tick marking in the respective column of lists. The lists titles are represented in short form, but when you hoover over it the full name of list appears. This is such a easy way of classifying multiple people at one go. I wonder why Twitter didn’t think of providing such convenience on its platform. 

The three things that impressed me about Twitonomy are: user-friendly interface, reader-friendly presentation of data in graphical and tabular formats (with colours!) and convenience for instant communication from this platform itself. It is an awesome blend of an analytics tool and a dashboard.

I won’t be surprised if they work on this platform further to incorporate Facebook pages, LinkedIn and other platforms like Pinterest.

Where can you add value as a Social Media Manager/Executive?

A typical social media manager working in an agency is responsible for managing the social presence of number of brands as part of his/her job profile. He/she is often caught in a catch22 situation of whether one should either focus on project based objectives set by agency for which he/she is working or the long term objectives of the brand that he/she senses from the interaction with the brand manager. The typical conflict would arise in one’s mind whether to just fulfill the activities that are listed as part of project agreement or go ahead and suggest ideas that are really good for the brand. These two don’t go hand-in-hand most of the times. At times clients aren’t aware of the potential that social media platforms possess but see social media marketing with a budget constraint viewpoint and rely purely on social network specific numbers as performance for e.g. no. of posts done on a platform, no. of fans / followers accumulated on a platform and so on. At the other end, agency would have their top line in mind and might want to have a particular client at whatever budget the client wants to pay. In this negotiation process few activities are agreed upon based on purely economics basis rather than focusing on the engagement potential.

 

The complexity for an enthusiastic social media manager arrives when he/she has to match the agency requirements and also ensure client is happy enough for the bucks that have been spent. My advice to such social media managers is that they should just focus on the end customers (who are customers of clients). I believe social media managers should think and act in the favor of end customers. If the content shared is helpful for end customers, they would be happy, engage well with the content, which would satisfy the clients and in return earn new and more business for the agency.

It is a simple trickle effect phenomenon. As a social media manager if you add value right at the top i.e. to the end customer (who is in most cases given least importance in agency-client discussions), the satisfaction would drive down to the brand and it would reflect in their relationship with agency, which would further drive appreciation for the social media manager/executive in the agency.

My short lived entrepreneurial journey!

I hope many of you read my blogpost on 30th June about my professional career being at crossroads. Well, it was (yes, was!!) an entrepreneurial journey with lots of learning which came to an end by July 31st! If you are thinking whether it lasted only one month, then “no” is the answer. It was operational since September’2011; however I didn’t make it public about it on my blog or any of social channels, due to some reasons. I could make it public only on 30th June, and due to some reasons had to wind up its operations by 31st July. So, when I look back now to understand why didn’t it work for us, here are few points which I could think of:

• It is difficult to differentiate (yes, it is not as easy in real business life, as easily we are taught “differentiation” in colleges!) your services and we were the nth player in the market
• Credibility matters a lot and it is challenging for entrepreneurs to attain it
• Educational degrees don’t build credibility in business, industry demands application
• Networking helps a lot in getting sufficient number of leads, we didn’t have it
• It is tough to be on two boats at the same time, probably I miscalculated the commitments required. Yes, it was tough to concentrate on both my PhD and venture.
• I didn’t have sufficient financial backup plans, and hence succumbed to the entrepreneurial pressure, which otherwise requires lot of patience.

However, it was a great learning experience and I did enjoy the flavor of being an entrepreneur. So, what’s next in my professional life? I struggled for almost two months to get a satisfactory job assignment and finally, got an offer from AdGlobal360 as a Social Media Strategist. I am joining them from 5th October’2012. My key responsibility would be to frame social media strategies for the brands. I would be managing a team of campaign managers, content writers and creative people.  Apart from this, I have few exciting responsibilities.

I am all excited about this new role and hope to learn a lot.