Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Social Media Influencers

An interesting article on social media influencers discusses what are the forces that drive businesses and decision-making . A team of Economists and Scientific researchers carried out a clinical study on what factors influence people’s behavior in the decision making process. They reached the conclusion that though people understand the vagaries of their nature, they are unable to predict what motivates them to take a decision.
The article further elaborates on what constitutes common sense and how it helps people in making practical day-to-day decisions. It however does not help them in dealing with complex situations. For instance, they can’t design a marketing campaign on plain common sense.
Another interesting point made in the article concerns, what kind of people influence social media and consumer decision. An earlier hypothesis claimed that extraordinary people with great social connections and clout, are the ones who influence mass behavior. The writer of the article however begs to differ. He says what influences people today is not that easy to gauge. What makes ideas go viral and what makes people accept your suggestion, often relates to how receptive your target audience is.
The study offered an interesting conclusion; though social media influencers do impact their network, what really influences a group is-- people who influence, are networking with those who are easily influenced, and are working with them too. In other words, if you want to influence people, you have to nurture your network.
A case study of Twitter users also offered an interesting suggestion. While, well-connected people who have massive fan following, do get retweeted; the maximum retweets were based on the subject, the timing and topic of the tweet.
Are you active on social media? Do you consider yourself as an influencer in your network and what according to you makes people repost your status updates or retweet your tweets?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How to use Online Business Networking to improve your Business Prospects?

Online networking may not have the reach of traditional media in terms of promoting or advertising your business however it manages to reach customers who are well-educated  and are able to make independent decisions. If such customers like your products or services, they will not just promote you but will come back for more. Online business networking also is a great medium to conduct market research and most views you get will be pretty honest.
Here are some methods by which you can do online business networking to market your products or services.
Firstly online business networking is a great means to research your prospective market. When you participate in online business networking communities you not just connect with others but also learn about other people’s views on things and you get to know customer needs and demands.
If your marketing strategy involves that you prove your expertise in your field then social business networking sites are a great medium to execute this. Participate in discussions, answer questions where your expertise is displayed or write blogs with your tips. Appreciate opinions expressed by others and add your views too.
Build your brand image and use the online medium to reinforce it. Every contact online is a chance to build your brand image.
Volunteer for a non-profit organization. People see you in a positive light when you associate with a non-profit cause.
Create word of mouth publicity. If you have launched a new company or product then satisfied customers who promote your product are a much better way to increase sales than any advertising campaign.
People often deal with the online medium like the traditional marketing medium but online business networking does not appreciate any kind of aggressive marketing campaigns. Here if you want to promote your products you should be adding value to your community in the form of participation in social groups, showing expertise in your chosen field by helping people and building communities. So, don’t just use people to promote your products, nurture your network.

Monday, May 16, 2011

How Twitter can Help you?

Twitter as a social media tool has several advantages. It limits you to 140 characters—as a writer it expects you to be as succinct as possible and gives you access to a wealth of information. An essential requirement of good writing. It also matches the temperament of the modern web surfer who does not want to spend much time reading long messages.
Once you connect to a reasonable number of people you can use it to direct people to your business or service or article. The informal way in which Twitter allows people to connect makes it a perfect tool for promoting your business. There is no compulsion to follow all the people who are following you. It offers you the choice of following those you want to. Which essentially cuts out the process of formal introductions.
The multiple options that Twitter offers to its users has made it the latest media buzz. Today open any periodical or watch a news show and they offer you the option of voting on Twitter. 
 Who follows Twitter? 
With over 60,000 million registered users, Twitter’s potential to reach out to people is limitless. If you are looking for a job or if you are searching for information. Twitter comes to your aid. All the latest news updates come from twitter and even seasoned media professionals gather information from Twitter.
Most people who are Twitter addicts go there either to gather information or to share information. They are usually looking for new ideas, services, offers, and opportunities. Make sure you make your business a part of this exchange. This gives you a chance to grow your business as well as improve it.
Why do businesses use Twitter?
Businesses use Twitter for different purposes. Some use it as a marketing tool while others use it for customer service. Even news is disseminated via Twitter. Mid-sized or small businesses are also using Twitter to reach out to their target customers. Twitter may not directly bring readers to your website but it may help in communication. You may learn what is missing in your website. Why is the traffic elsewhere or what is the hottest topic being discussed. 
How can you use Twitter to further your business?
1) You can directly promote your business through your tweets.
2) Follow influential people in your industry who post information or links to useful resources.
3) Ask for help and offer help to establish your credibility.
4) Post links to your website or blog. Do this occasionally.
5) Keep up with the latest trends in your industry.
6) Network with fellow professionals as well as like-minded people. Offer value to business prospects, to get noticed. 
How should you tweet to gain the maximum advantage?
Be knowledgeable about your subject or business. Just sending out links doesn’t engage people. Unless you can explain to people what you are talking about in a simple manner, you are unlikely to strike a chord with them.
Be a good listener. Careful listening will help you in gauging what people seek and then you can pitch in your information accordingly.
The standard case of Ashton Kutcher landing a role for Two and Half Men, is now known to all. His strong social media presence helped him land that role.
Like all other social media, building a relationship on Twitter helps. Offer them something so that they think you are worth following.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Clients and Clients

In my line of work I meet all kinds of clients. Some are very professional, they know what exactly they want; they know how much they will pay, and they give you good feedback.  And then there are those who know a lot; teach you a few things while you are working with them and they appreciate you when you do good work. Give you feedback when something is wrong and are not averse to paying a bonus if they like the work.
But in this post I want to discuss those wonderful clients, who have no clear idea of what they seek from the writer. They will ask you for samples and then again ask you to write a sample copy. They will haggle over price. Some even offer $1 or $2 for a 500 word article. I wish these wonderful clients would understand that even in third world countries people do not survive on air, water and mud. This kind of money converts into nothing in Rupees.
The third kind of clients are the most interesting. They will ask for your chat id. And then will begin a chat session and start flirting with you. Ask your name, age, and if  by-any-chance they have seen your photograph and irrespective of whether   you look geeky to all your friends. They will start complimenting your looks. They will send you a few files and have no clear idea of what exactly they want. I once had one such client. I was so thrilled that I had an actual American client. However this person told me little about the work. He had  started  a new business and I was hoping he would explain it to me; so that I could translate his vision into words. However, he never did that. Instead after a few days I was introduced to his wife on the same business networking site. I do wonder about such professionals and also their family members. Do they think that people are on business networking sites to look for clients of the opposite sex? And the moment they see a client of the opposite sex they are ready to pounce on him/her. Irrespective of the fact that the person is socially and culturally from a totally different background. Lives thousands of miles away and  is married and has kids. Finally once I was introduced to the client’s wife, I didn’t get the work. Do all my fellow writers come across such professionals? I request my fellow writers to write in and share their experiences and advise me on how they deal with such people.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Do you always play safe?

A recent newsletter in my mailbox inspired this post. In fact I can safely say that I’m very often guilty of this. I try to play safe and say things that please people or if I totally disagree with somebody or something I just keep quiet.
According to the writer of this newsletter, one might as well be dead; because she says whatever stand you take on an issue there will be an equal or double the number of people who will take an opposite stand and three times the number of that, who just don’t care about the issue.
She however makes a very valid point; she says if you don’t want to infuriate anybodyor hurt anybody's sentiments, you can do so only after your death. The dead do not bother anybody.
I think when we continuously play safe we stop our growth as the rough edges that we have in our personality get polished when we are exposed to an alternate point of view. We may agree or disagree, but we learn to explain things better. As a writer if I just sit on the fence, I’m very likely to bore my readers, on the other hand if I take a stand or express a point-of-view, it is quite likely that the reader will think , argue and perhaps give a feedback, which helps me as a writer.
I think as a story-teller if I create a conflict and try and create a resolution or leave it open to the reader to take a stand, I have all the likelihood of engaging my reader and he may like to know what I want to say in my story or what point-of-view I want to express in my story.
With this said, my new year’s resolution is to take a stand on things and not just try and please everybody…