Saturday, September 11, 2010

Social Media - The Next Big Thing!

Social media is emerging and developing at a very fast pace. But SMM is a supplement and not a substitute. You cannot take it as a career opportunity but you can surely use it as a tool to boost your career. It is, in short, having an interaction. Have an interaction with your consumers because at the end of the day it’s all about benefiting your consumer and earning profit. It’s about having a dialogue rather than having a monologue. And what could be a better option than our Social Media. The most powerful tool at present. To put this in the shortest possible manner; it’s a three step process :

  • Direction
  • Objective
  • Improving lifestyle of the consumers

Know your direction. Be sure where you want to go. Then be clear with your objective. Target your audience. Do not lose your focus. And then the most important step of all... to improve the lifestyle of your consumer. Always remember 'Consumer is GOD'. It’s all about His benefit. If your product or service is not good then this hits you bad very badly. So be very sure of your product and the service that you are rendering.

But remember don't try to be everything to everyone. You'll end up being nothing to no one. Choose your segment. Choose your people.

Segment --> Position --> Attack!

And as I have already mentioned earlier, Social Media is a supplement and not a substitute. Integrate it with other media vehicles. Conventional media is equally important. Maintain a balance. Be responsive. As i said earlier, have a dialogue instead of a monologue. Be consistence. Interact with your consumers. But in all this process do not lose sight of the product. Read your consumers regularly. Remember...the need of the consumer is your need.

Having said that, one of the questions that arise is why does one use Social Media?
Ask yourself. The answer lies within you. Why do 'You' use Social Media?

  • To keep in touch with your loved ones.
  • To make new friends and know people.
  • Peer pressure - if your friends are using it then it becomes mandatory for us also to be a part of it.
  • To get validation.
  • Displaying. Humans have this tendency to 'show off'. They want others to know what they can do.
  • Creativity - again human tendency to 'show off' their talent to the world.

These are some of the reasons I got, which led me to the other question : How should one do it? The answer to this question is clear. One can do this through :

  • Blogs
  • Tagging
  • Wikis (Wikipedia)
  • RSS
  • Rating and Reviews
  • Social networking Sites (Facebook, twitter, etc...)
  • Forums and Message boards.

These are your tools. This is what Social Media is all about. Now all depends on how you use these tools for your benefit. Remember, it’s all about consumers. Earn the trust of your consumers and you will earn profit. It’s a give and take process. You give your consumers what they want and they will give you what you want!

Consumers trust consumers. 78% consumers trust peer recommendations. 14% trust advertisements. Humans have this tendency to share. They like sharing. So create sharable stuff. Remember, your brand is what your consumer says it is.

Social Media is very important in today's time and it will be the most powerful tool in the coming years. A famous person has said, "By the time there is a case study in your specific industry, it is going to be way too late for you to catch up."

It is a slow process but the results are very powerful. As they say, 'slow and steady wins the race'. It’s exactly the same. To be successful in this field, follow these simple steps:

  • Choose your people. Choose your segment. Know your Consumers.
  • Be very clear with your goal. What is your main purpose? Have a clear target in your mind.
  • Then plan a strategy to influence your consumers.
  • And then the most important of all is The process. As I mentioned earlier, the process is slow but the results are powerful.
  • Be consistent. Commit. It’s not about’s about conversation.

You have to learn to listen before you talk. It’s about creating 'show-able' content. Your users are also your content distributors. It’s not a campaign. It’s a process that will eventually evolve into a culture. It is a part of Integrated Marketing. It has to align with your other communication channels. Once you start, there is no going back. Be patient. Take baby steps. Be consistent.

It’s like lighting up a forest with a match stick. And as Baba Ranchoddas says “Pursue excellence, and success will follow, pants down.”

Friday, September 3, 2010

Ganpatti Bappa Morya... Mangal Murti Morya !

Ganesh Chaturthi being one of the most popular Hindu festivals is on the doorstep. It is the day on which Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati was born. The day thus marks the auspicious birth of one of the most important Hindu God. It is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi in many other parts of the country. Lord Ganesh is remembered on chauth or chaturthi which is the 4th day of every month of the Hindu calendar, but most of all on Ganesh Chaturthi which falls on the fourth day of the month of Bhadrapad in the Hindu calendar. Ganesha is considered as the supreme God of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. Though the festival is being celebrated since times immemorial, the present kind of celebrations of Ganesha Chaturthi came in fashion in 1893, Lokmanya Tilak, an Indian freedom fighter and social reformer reshaped the annual Ganesh festival from a private family celebration into a community event. The day was conceived to be the National Festival in order to bridge the gap between the Brahmins and the non-Brahmins in the society. Talking about the lord let me share an experience I recently had in Mumbai Local...

A building gate…a small cute little school bus…a petite backpack… All now replaced. Now it is our very own clogged Local railway platform, to be precise a platform that greet all in and out bound Virar Local. When it is Virar Local it has certain specialties than other Local train. Greet it from the overhead bridge and have a view, one need to struggle with their eye balls to peep through the all dark and painted head to reach the surface of platform. That’s how crowded it is …
Being a mumbaikar if you haven’t travelled in Virar Local you have missed one of the most beautiful and horrible experience of local life. I got blessed with this opportunity once I finished School and stepped into college life. The very idea of studying in one of the best colleges of the city demands long commuting from home and I happily agreed to accept the torment of Virar Local. The 7:42 Church gate local is my darling, drops me on time to reach for the morning lecture…

Another most amusing thing of these locals is, in almost all trains you will find a Bhajan Mandli that makes the journey a bit saintly as singing and remembering almighty God early in the morning assures a good day ahead.

The other day, a bit delay in getting to the station cost me to not get my regular compartment with all the known faces to greet and exchange the goodness of morning and I was forced to get myself in a General compartment so as to not to miss my darling local.

I’m sharing the experience of this particular journey where I experienced both the sides of a coin. The good thing I found in the unknown compartment was, I was greeted with the Bhajan Mandli and it was really an amazing experience to listen to a group live which I had never experience before and it is quite soothing to one's ears and it just entrust an extra energy to cope with the metro’s daily drudgery.
The Bad experience… There were two old ladies traveling in the same compartment. It could be that even they were late and couldn't make it to their special ladies compartment and were forced to board the same compartment where I was.

It was a long hard journey especially in the heavy crowded condition but these old souls couldn’t find little respect or sympathy in all those young hearts over there to help them out with a bit comfortable journey.

The reason why I'm sharing this experience with you all is that we need to look to these old Souls as they are double our age and certainly deserve our attention. It is our duty to take there care of them as much as possible cause they took care of us when we needed them the most. And I will also include the little student too who travels with us almost every day.

We sing and pray to God to bless us with our Bhajans and Sholkas but ever did we think that God may come to us in this old and little soul to bless us with the all goodness of life which we are ignoring quietly.

Let's pledge for it today and now only…

When I was in school, my teacher taught me that “KAN KAN MEIN BHAGWAN HOTA HAI” (God is everywhere)

Let’s welcome everybody as Bhagwan… Never know when we find one.

Ganpati is almost ringing bell on our doorsteps so wish you all Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!

Ganpati Bappa Morya
Mangal Murthi Morya!

Jai Maharashtra!