Monthly Archives: June 2013

Success Mantras That Youngsters Can Learn From Cricket

Working with a bunch of young bright team members daily exposes me to their mindset. I could sense their urgency to attain success, fame. I understand its normal for youngsters to think so, however I don’t think success can be accomplished with that ease as it seems to be. In this blogpost a few points for young professionals and to make it more clear I have used examples from cricket (which I think most readers would be able to relate).

Success

Designations don’t matter

Well, this was very well noticed and appreciated by people when players of the rank Ponting & Sangakkara not only stepped down from the captainship but stayed out of the playing eleven in the recently concluded IPL. Well, the lesson to be learnt is that fancy designations don’t earn you respect. If you aren’t delivering just step down & let your best team player lead the team. Also, it clearly emphasizes that hard work and results would take you near to the coveted designations & not the other way round.

 Match the rules of game

Not every organization operates in a similar fashion. The work culture of an organization is more or less driven by the business model. Even if they wish not every organization on this earth can become a Google or a Apple. Suresh Raina & Ravindra Jadeja might be one of the best T20 specialists but they would hardly be able to match the calibre and temperament that is needed in test matches likes that of Dravid & Laxman. So, identify your strengths and weaknesses, and choose your game format where you can excel.

Temperament

The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid haven’t reached the pinnacle overnight. They have toiled and persevered for decades to see the shining light. Young professionals need to hold their breath, focus on work in today’s challenging cut-throat competitive work environment. The one who toils the most and dirties hand would have more opportunity to learn, but what’s needed is enormous temperament to lay the foundation of your career.

 Capitalize on opportunities

Indian cricket team has always preferred playing seven batsmen and four bowlers. The challenge ever remained was to find that one player who can bat at the death and yet be a handy bowler. There came Ravindra Jadeja who rose to the occasion and capitalized his position in India team after performing well in IPL matches. It is important for youth to sense an opportunity and capitalize on it. These opportunities could be within your teams when team needs someone to step up. Do not wait for your manager to choose you, just step in and make a mark. You would definitely earn brownie points for your valor.

Leaders are not born!

Well, I am sure there would be many who would oppose this, but I am biased towards this (judge me if you want!!). Little did people sense the leadership skills of Dhoni when he was young. He joined Indian team just as a wicketkeeper. However, with his consistent performance and leadership skills he attracted eyes of selection committee and soon became the Indian captain. He gradually went on to lead India in all formats of game and as of today (as and when this blogpost is written) is the only captain in the cricket history to have won all three coveted ICC trophies. The message here for young professionals to stick to the basics, keep performing well and show your leadership skills in small assignments. Your seniors are definitely watching you and you never know when the much dreamt of designation might land on your lap.

Guys, the journey to success isn’t that smooth else everyone would have reached there. Every step you make forward, every step at which you stumble and get hurt is a learning experience. Success is blessed to those who are ready to struggle, take every trouble as a learning experience and just move on.

Image Courtesy: Allthingslearning

Shame on brands that violated copyright law on #WorldMusicDay

Brands eagerly await for some special days that are well-known across a larger target audience. Some of these days include World Environment Day, World Education Day, World Technology Day, World AIDS Day, World Health Day and so on. Yesterday (21st June) it was World Music Day and as expected most of the brands jumped into somehow relate their product / service with the music. Now, as Facebook also introduced hashtags for public posts of profiles and all posts of pages, my newsfeed was flooded with posts on #WorldMusicDay. Though I didn’t like the Facebook’s move of hashtags, I just clicked on the #WorldMusicDay just to check out what posts have brands done. As I scrolled down a surprise awaited me.

I noticed that same image picked up from the web (obviously we don’t need to guess the source!!) was tampered by brands to their advantage and used for their posts. Music industry is one such industry where even a single beat is copyrighted. Can you imagine the blunder that brands have done on such a day?

Before you proceed further let’s see the following screenshots!!

#WorldMusicDay #WorldMusicDay2 #WorldMusicDay3 #WorldMusicDay4 #WorldMusicDay5 #WorldMusicDay6 #WorldMusicDay7 #WorldMusicDay8 #WorldMusicDay9 #WorldMusicDay10

Note: I have hidden all brand names and all possible hints like the url shared  in the post etc. 

It’s not that these are small brands that have done by mistake. There are a couple of big banner brands as well who have committed this unpardonable copyright violation. Some of them are leading digital marketing agencies who claimed this image to be of theirs and also modified the image with their logos on the bottom right corner (which I have cropped). This is real shame for them.

After a stream of thought process I realized that brands aren’t responsible for such foolishness. It’s the community managers / brand managers / social media managers behind these brands who are responsible for such blunders to happen.

So, what should you do to avoid these things in future?

1.      Prepare original content: There is nothing better than being original on social media. Social media is all about quality of content. If as a brand you can’t prepare a single image that describes your business, better leave the social media 🙂

2.      Credit the source: It is not harm to use other’s image but at least give respect to the copyright laws. As a brand you are bound to credit the source from where you are using the image.

3.      Search for distinct image: If you are so lazy or don’t have a talented person to create a distinct image, at least conduct a research to see which images are used by other brands on that particular day (specially on such global days). Try to avoid widely used image.

I hope social media managers / brand managers / content heads would take this blogpost in positive stride and avoid such blunders in future.

Interview on ‘Why Businesses Must Consider Social Media?’ with Vyapaari.in

It is always fun and a proud moment to be interviewed by someone. Recently I was interviewed (by email) by Vyapaari.in an online media property that publishes various informative news, discussions, blogposts, product reviews etc. that are helpful for startups, and small & medium businesses.

The theme of interview was Why Businesses Must Consider Social Media? In this interview I shared my views on following topics:

  1. Relevance of social media for startup and SME businesses in India
  2. Differential advantage that brands can reap from social meia viz-a-viz traditional media channels
  3. Importance of specific social media channels for SME businesses
  4. Effectiveness of social media for B2C vs B2B businesses
  5. Metrics to measure effectiveness of social media campaigns
  6. Crucial role that content plays in social media strategy
  7. Proportion of social media in the overall marketing budget

Read the interview here, and I hope the thoughts expressed by me in the interview are helpful.

Are brands fooling themselves by organizing Twitter contests?

Contests and social media have ‘almost’ become synonyms these days with the frequency at which brands are organizing contests on social media platforms. Not a single event is missed out! Whenever there is any occasion, some or other form of contest is organized on Twitter. Gone are the days when contests were thought be ‘one of’ the social media tactics to spur engagement on respective social media channels. Do you disagree with me? Just notice the hashtags that trend on Twitter every other day and I bet at least one of them would be of a contest run by a brand.

Being a social media strategist, I too have to run such contests for the brands I look after. However, deep down a question itches me. Are the contest participants really bothered about the brand and the products/services offered by them? Or, they are just participating for the fun quotient of contests and are more oriented towards the prize?

The picture becomes scarier when just a search of keyword ‘contest’ in Twitter bios results into this:

Twitter contests

On the other hand some of the India’s Twitter popular influencers have themselves accepted that they get roped by brands for certain campaigns.

Some of the unanswered questions that bother me are:

a) Are Twitter contests meant for influencers and contest freaks only?

b) Do brands realize that contest participants who are participating in their contests are actually participating in 10 other contests in a day?

c) Even though these brand influencers and contest freaks do help brands gain momentary viral effect, is it sustainable?

d) Would it be wise to trust or feel proud of community that gets built due to the influence of these contest freaks?

e) Have brands made diligent efforts to check such contest freaks?

f) Will brands have guts to stop making these contest freaks and Twitter influencers winners just because they ‘influence’ (where the genuineness of influence itself is doubtful)?

Does this mean brands should not organize contests on Twitter? No! Wait for my blogpost in future where I would discuss how brands should organize Twitter contests!

Till then,  share your experience.