Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Crowdsourcing Your Next Marketing Campaign: Creative uses of crowdsourcing

Less than a decade ago, a new phenomenon of marketing and advertising hit social media circles and rode the waves created by Facebook, Twitter and other forums. It was termed crowdsourcing, as it relied on the general populace for content, ideas, marketing campaigns and even funding. Since then it has caught on the imagination of marketers, advertisers, event organizers and even finance companies alike.

A decade ago, it was inconceivable that a company would ask the general crowd at large to work out its campaigns. However, that hesitation seems to be a thing of the past now as companies have started opening themselves to the idea of crowd-sourcing their marketing campaigns. In fact, there have been many brilliant marketing campaigns that have been crowd sourced and the results have been phenomenal. Here are a few examples.

A New York publication called TimesSquare.com ran contest for designing its logo via this online marketplace called DesignCrowd. It provided designed logo services by giving the crowd at large access to its design team. It is done by posting design challenges where they ask people to send in logo designs. Any person can send in his entry and the winner receives a monetary award. In this case, TimesSquare.com offered $10,000 to the winning entry and announced the winner on a smart, strategic date 12/12/12 in Times Square, a la New Year’s style. Surely, a way to choose an awesome logo and promote your organization in a single masterstroke!

Singer Jason Mraz is regarded as a crowdsourcing Guru first and a lyrical poet later, given his genius for crowdsourcing. Humor aside, Jason Mraz actually masterminded a social media crowdsourcing campaign where he asked his fans to capture a photograph epitomizing the words of his single ‘I won’t give up’ and put it up on the social media website Instagram.

Gone are the days when marketing campaign managers were divorced with reality. Now, the mantra of success is to keep your hands on the hub of activity. The idea of contribution of the consumers as to what attracts them, is nothing less than sheer genius. After all, why wouldn’t the consumer feel flattered if the company or organization asks their opinion on what is more attractive?

Also, the organizations can find out creative ways of coming up with crowdsourcing marketing campaigns like TimesSquare.com or even the potato chip giant Frito Lays that offered $1million for the ‘perfect new recipe’ for Lays and also a chance for the winner’s photograph to be plastered on every packet of production of that recipe.

Still confused about your new marketing campaign? Just ask the social media peeps to come up with one. You would be pleasantly surprised by the results. 

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Crowdsourcing for competitive intelligence

Wikipedia defines competitive intelligence as –“the action of defining, gathering, analyzing, and distributing intelligence about products, customers, competitors, and any aspect of the environment needed to support executives and managers making strategic decisions for an organization.”

By the looks of it, it seems like an important function in an organization. However, sadly, competitive intelligence is both underrated and undervalued. Large companies have miniscule teams, mid-sized corporations have only one professional dedicated to monitoring the activities of the competition whereas small corporations have no competitive intelligence personnel dedicated to the task and only utilize a fraction of a resource’s time.

Regardless of the number of people employed in competitive intelligence of a company, all face one particular challenge i.e. the arduous task of gathering and assimilating information and subsequently reorganizing it into different formats. This particular task involves considerable amount of time. Most of these personnel would rather devote their time on analysis of the data gathered rather than collection of the data itself. Add to that the need to monitor various social media channels in addition to traditional websites, which has these professionals scrambling for time. These professionals pride themselves on being the first ones to break the information, good or bad, but that requires continuous monitoring of the social media and other sites. To remedy this, crowdsourcing plays an important role.

Crowdsourcing is a term coined in 2006 by Jeff Howes. It is defined as a function carried out by using talents on various professionals on the internet to achieve a particular result.

In this case, crowdsourcing the collection and gathering of data would vastly help the Competitive Intelligence personnel to get down to the main job of analyzing this data and finding out the implications.

An example of an organization dealing in crowdsourcing of competitive intelligence is Competipedia, set up by Xerox. It is a secure wiki based site set up by Xerox for its employees to locate competitive information.

Competipedia has certain aspects that are particularly well designed. One of them is the wiki based approach that enables the users to update and maintain up to date information about their competitors. So, the competitive intelligence (CI) professionals can directly view the new information on the site instead of calling the sales representative for new data. Another aspect was filing up of sales form at the closure of a deal. The sales representative would, at the end of the deal, have to fill up a form noting down the details of the sale. The CI personnel would then analyze whether the sale was profitable or not. To ensure that the sales representatives maintained content regularly, incentives were given in terms of points. On being accumulated, these points would then translate into gifts. Finally, Competipedia app was launched so that the sales personnel could update information on the go and the CI personnel would get almost instantaneous access to the updated information.

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Friday, 1 August 2014

LIV Sports uses social media beyond advertising during 2014 FIFA World Cup

July 31, 2014

With football craze gripping the Nation days before the start of the World Cup, LIV Sports, Sony’s online and mobile based VOD platform, anticipated a huge surge in Social communication and engagement from fans. Also, considering the LIVE streaming of the 2014 FIFA World Cup matches was a paid subscription service, LIV Sports decided to service queries from India’s mobile and social first users directly on their platforms. LIV Sports teamed up with Social IQ, a disruptive social media solution from TO THE NEW to set up The Social Command Center – a 24x7 social response solution. The team used social media as a customer support channel that helped in quick, transparent and efficient delivery of responses and updates to its users.  Read more...

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Challenges and way ahead for Crowd Sourcing

Crowd Sourcing is a way to involve, collaborate and make people from all over the globe interact with one another.  This in turn helps businesses gain momentum, in the form of opinions, suggestions and feedback from potential and willing clients, which in turn brings in the high ROI every business needs. As a business owner, here are a few challenges one would face when Crowd Sourcing is concerned and along with them the best techniques to use. Please read on and be well-informed for the same.

Claim the right size

Assuming the business is into recruiting the right skills and talents, Crowd Sourcing works wonders in hiring and recruiting. Jobs can be too large a charge for anyone to handle, recruiting the right talent thus is important and the challenging feat must be thrown open to the public wisely, or else the right considerations with regard to applicants would not come through. On the other hand, some jobs maybe too small and need lesser efforts, which is why business owners need to check on the genuineness of the candidates being recruited and the certain determined spirit they bring forth. Allowing a Crowd Sourcing team to do that assures core business functions aren’t hampered, which can be utilized elsewhere for ROI on high scales.

Stay connected

It isn’t possible for business owners to stay in touch and offer thorough and timely responses always. Every individual in the crowd involving himself or herself in the Crowd Sourcing project should have the right perspectives given from the business owner. Feedback on what the individuals offer should be given and the measure tactics or parameters should be discussed too. Keeping the crowds engaged would help the business function well and the project in the long run would reap benefits too.

Let go

Giving up wanting to be in control and letting go of the harness should be the business owner’s aim. This is especially when dealing with Crowd Sourcing, since the value of the people and their viewpoint works immense wonders. 

Grow the internal resources with external help

If Crowd Sourcing is a long term plan for the business, staffing identity issues would crop up. For example, when outsourcing an idea to new clients, the R&D division should speculate on how to frame the big picture. In this case using Crowd Sourcing and not swapping the masses out there for the internal ones would be best advised. Once the Crowd Sourcing is done, rendering work would be taken care off too.

These were a few instances on the challenges business owners should think off when planning to use Crowd Sourcing. There are many more ways on how to overcome challenges of Crowd Sourcing, and many new challenges to face and deal with too. Check online and be well-informed for the same.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Key Metrics to tap for Crowd Sourcing

Recognition and feedback using crowdsourcing is one of the metrics to be tapped into. Last year there were many companies surveyed, of which more than half were said to have reviews done only once a year. Employees still felt overwhelmed nevertheless when reviews for them were made on a frequent basis and from various sources that too. The input through crowdsourcing thus brought about accuracy and effective recognition programs, and what came about were;

More than half of the companies surveyed said they used or would use social recognition which would empower internal employees to honour and recognise one another for a good job done.

Around seventy percent agreed to crowdsourcing recognition which would help bring in more transparency for performance reviews, and

Seventy four percent of the companies at the moment consider or currently use mapping recognition awards and want to do away with ratings and rankings respectively.

Frustration lowered

Another metric to tap into and which would help bring about more productivity would be recognition investment. The survey done last year spoke about the relationship between job satisfaction and productivity for an employee, and the company recognition program invested in. When there were higher budgets allocated, frustrations were lesser and productivity was more as compared to a case au contraire. Results and findings from the survey said;

More than half of the employees doubled on the productivity levels in their workplace, in comparison to companies that spent less on such recognition services

Frustration levels were fifty percent lower when such recognition services were in place, as compared to with companies that do not follow such strategies

Prize and Praises

Motivation is important or else the spirit sinks, and couple praise with a prize, companies have a happy bunch working for them.

More than eight percent of employees are motivated when praises are bestowed on them, and a reward given to them as well, as compared to companies that offer only praises sans a prize

Positive feedback say ninety percent of employees has a major impact on how employees perform, in comparison to belittling negative feedback in the garb of motivation.

With crowdsourcing performance reviews following the aforementioned metrics in place, a paradigm shift was noticed, especially in the Human Resource industry. With innovative and creative ways to use crowdsourcing, the reviews that came by were profound and one of a kind. Within and from outside the organisation, when crowdsourcing performance was done with all metrics in place, companies realised the internal employees needs better. It was a snowball effect as seen, where employees got what they wanted and were happier, which in turn brought about better productivity on the whole.

Thursday, 3 July 2014


ROI of Crowd Sourcing

So how does one measure the ROI of Crowd Sourcing? Interesting, let’s take a look further with what experts have to say when money is honey in the world of business, supported through crowdsourcing.

On what basis would co-creation and the concept of crowdsourcing be measured, is what everyone wants to know. Sources from the famous McKinsey Global Institute dwelt on this and did a little research to bring forth good news.


1. With co-creation and crowdsourcing as technological advancements in this day and age, productivity would be higher by more than 25 percent says a source.

2. Investment ROI here would be high, sources say anything between $900bn to $1.3bn

3. New product developments can gain the best benefits from crowdsourcing

What can the added revenue do?

The added revenue would help;

1. The retail financial sector

2. Advanced manufacturing sector

3. Consumer packaging sector, and

4. Professional services, say sources.

It is an interesting equation brought forth by the report done by the esteemed McKinsey group, on which it is clearly shown how a company can thrive by influencing it’s consumers. This report also shows how much gains can be made and expected using co-creation and collaborative technologies in the long run.

Crowdsourcing ways to use

1. Market research, analysis and prediction

2. Innovation for business and product

3. Research and brand collaboration

When one does research and analysis, prediction of the market behaviours can be forecasted! Traditional ways of doing so isn’t advised, and one needs to have the masses involved for accurate data and information collation.

Product innovation should use crowdsourcing; this would be asking the masses to let the business know what they want around before the launch happens. In doing so, life gets easier for the manufacturers and the consumers; it is a win-win love story situation for the two. Let the masses through crowdsourcing pitch in their ideas, and this is to be used by the business owners, which brings in high ROI in the bargain.

Finally, research and collaboration is a must for high ROI to come in, and this step would bring in the answers much needed. Crowdsourcing can help ventures and businesses with the same, especially when traditional ways of market research and collaboration fail to bring in what is needed. With the help of brand collaboration, creativity flows and new inputs come in, which makes it ideal for the businesses to thrive since they would be catering to the “needs” of the end client. The end client would also have their ideas improvised upon, due credits given as well.

Hence, the ROI Of crowdsourcing explained and what makes it happen the right way too. It would be wise to speak with experts and to find a great deal of more information for the same.

The applicability of Crowd Sourcing

Data in this day and age needs to be rapidly exchanged, or else maintaining balance with the fierce competition around wouldn’t be possible. With the help of Crowdsourcing, strategic issues can be solved, tasks get completed sooner, contributors from across the globe can be roped in for help on a voluntary and“open to all” participation, and the designated problem would thus find a solution without a sword hanging over the head, namely overhead costs.

Having said that, here are a few examples of companies that applied Crowdsourcing to the best, hence please read on and be well-informed;


A highly and well-recognised company across the globe, with immense facilities and high staffing of it’s own, Unilever realised how important it was to have innovative partners and collaboration, not within the firm but from outside. The company sought help from everyone around the world and took feedback on various projects they worked on.

Anheuser-Busch (AB)

As one of the leading breweries in the world, Anheuser- Bush (AB) made great inroads using Crowdsourcing. In the US, Budweiser at that time was on the top as one of the most wanted beers being sold. AB went one step ahead and sought feedback from real users in the market and brought about a brand which resonated with the choices of millions across the nation. Black Crown thus was born, and the golden amber beverage made a splash, thanks to Crowdsourcing


Crowdsourcing worked miracles for the soft drink giant, whose formula yet is unknown and is a mystery. The company now has a very open model for business and prominently talks about using Crowdsourcing, which according to them helps shape better futures for many, creates challenging ventures for the youth, brings about more employment and jobs across many nations, provides funding for educational projects and also cares for the environment too. Coke has sought the help of Crowdsourcing, using online feedback and suggestions to help market it’s products seamlessly and with lesser costs and efforts too.


Crowdsourcing didn’t stop at certain niches of the market, it went full throttle and one example of that would be with the mobile phone giant, Nokia. Nokia’s Ideas project was meant to be a global conglomerate of ideas and innovations, open to all and voluntary for people to use. The main aim of the company was to be consumer driven and derived, across all the nations it served. Such an idea was of high value since it worked on the needs of the consumer, took feedback seriously and newer ideas were generated, enabling Nokia to come out with one of a kind products and services.

In this day and age, one would find many such examples of how big and small companies have used Crowdsourcing to make it big. It would be wise to read more and learn how the companies used the innovations to their merit.

Monday, 30 June 2014

The relevance of Crowd Sourcing

It is the collective intelligence of many which crowdsourcing would use to create an environment, intellectual and open. The challenge when won would present the winner with monetary compensation or a prize for that matter, an acclaim to the bounty or maybe co-authoring as such, all of which would come using the idea from the winning individual. A manager would have a perspective of his own, where he would look into crowdsourcing as a way to develop a clear and a much organised path for people to collaborate and interact within the set parameters. Apart from that, the manager would go ahead and make the path friendly enough for individuals to track their progress, with metrics relevant that would help with data analysis and collection of information too.


Pros of crowd sourcing

1. A current business requirement would get immediate and full attention, staffing included. In some countries, crowdsourcing would be looked at as outsourcing a business’ needs, but the concept is way beyond and different from that. Outsourcing involves making the right hiring decisions, using the right resources for training, giving out the right benefits and more. In the case of crowdsourcing, it is voluntary and open for all. This means, overhead costs are low and there would be high agility for problem-solving too.

2. There are many sources and portals online which let companies post such challenges and jobs, and also allow people to work on the assignment too. For example, giving someone feedback on web development and layout, rating the websites interactive and responsive features, product descriptions and creating online catalogues for the e-commerce portal online, crowdsourcing uses them all


Does your business need crowd sourcing?

For a wide range of jobs and tasks allocated, maybe testing something new or making a preview on a product, service or information for better clarity, crowdsourcing would be helpful to use. Crowdsourcing brings feedback from real customers out there, making one’s venture and it’s offerings stronger.

Take a look around and there would be so many reputed companies using crowdsourcing to make product ideas work wonders for the company and the business at large. IT and software companies these days use crowdsourcing to engage with clients, and use the feedback of those who have used the company’s products. This helps the business come up with strategies and plans to develop newer features that hep address the market needs and the end customer’s needs at large.

Right from making a request on collaborating with traditional ways on doing business to seeking more help on everything around, crowdsourcing delves into the diverse and large segments of population in the market where willing and waiting participants want to take up the challenge on a number of tasks thrown at them. Hence the relevance of crowdsourcing makes sense in this day and age.

What is Crowd-sourcing?

Too many cooks can bake a nice pie - Crowd-sourcing

When many people are brought together for a project, Crowd-sourcing happens. This would also be a way to engage and rake in benefits on a long term basis. For example, with nonprofit ventures and educational hubs, authorities concerned would use tactics of engagement, perhaps involve people for an online study group, and collect stamps for a project, photographs for a history scrapbook, maybe together work on deciphering an old ancient scroll and more. It could also involve participating and interacting with the whole team of people in more ways than one, usually online these days. Crowd-sourcing has many facets, namely;

Collaborating and competition

Most important frameworks for any project, competition attracts many from across all corners who want to win something, a prize for example. It would be on the basis of objectives that the competitions as such would be held, not on the candidate’s profile, background or work experience. By collaboration it is meant that individuals would be in the project, but as small fish in the large ocean.

Advantages and disadvantages

One of the boons of Crowd-sourcing would be to bring in the best results and of high quality that too. This is because there would be many from various nooks and corners, contributing support, skills and ideas, one of a kind. With the help of Crowd-sourcing, one gets to select the cream from the many that come in, au contraire to what you would otherwise find from one provider or source.

With Crowdsourcing one can expect results to be efficient, faster and sooner, much more than what the traditional ways can offer. Consider Crowdsourcing to be freelancing, where the job is done in no time, an idea comes about in a jiffy and small tasks are managed with the wave of a hand.

However, with Crowdsourcing one needs to set their priorities right and hence clear instructions should be given out. There would be thousands of ideas that would pour in, and it could be a pain to deal with them all. Sometimes there are complications understanding the instructions, especially to the novices around.

Spec work is important in some domains of Crowdsourcing, and not everyone would want to follow this rule. Expectations need to be set right from the beginning, so that proper judgments and well-informed decisions can be made.

It would be wise to check with experts on Crowdsourcing, read blogs and forums online for more information and help. This would then bring about a fair idea about the term, how to best use it and where to look for such help. Everything looks large, but Crowdsourcing involves people in smaller fractions to make the picture large, hence think and apply the thought wisely.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Blogmint is all set to kick-start first ever blogger driven sports extravaganza on the web!

Being a pioneer in blog crowdsourcing, we are thrilled to present the first-of-its-kind live blogging contest inspired by the mega-event of the year -- the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

How exactly does this concept work?

It all started with an idea, wherein each expert blogger is assigned a FIFA World Cup team. As the teams go neck-to-neck on the field, the enthusiastic bloggers also compete against one another on the digital playground i.e. Blogmint. Each blogger is required to post a match review of their assigned team within 12 hours from the final whistle and the blog-post with the higher page-views comes out victorious.

The blogging contest will follow the same structure as that of the world cup in Brazil. Replicating the same groups in the cup competition, the bloggers will first collide in the group stages and the top two bloggers from each group shall progress to the knockout part of the event. The parameter that decides a bloggers’ progression to the advanced stages of the competition is simply the number of page-views they can garner for their posts.

A dedicated contest page on Blogmint will highlight all the relevant information related to the Blogger World Cup such as match schedules, live scores, past results and an up-to-date points table.

The journey to the finals of the Blogger World Cup is a rewarding one with the winner bagging a mega cash-prize of INR 50,000.  The runner-up and the second runner up contestants would also qualify for INR 25,000 and INR 10,000 respectively.

The 32 bloggers have been selected and the stage is set for an enthralling phenomenon.

Come and witness the live action only on Blogmint!  

Monday, 28 April 2014

Blogs: The main content influencer on social media

As per a study released by LinkedIn, over three quarters of businesses using content marketing are publishing through blogs.

With the rise in social media communities and networks across sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and many other networks, several analysts had sounded the death knell for the blog. However, the reality is that the blog is far from dead - figures from the LinkedIn report show
that 76% of content marketers are using blogs.

Findings from the LinkedIn report find support in several other studies which have attested to the fact that consumers are turning to blogs when looking to make a purchase.

Blogs rank favorably with consumers for trust, popularity and influence. More and more consumers are exploring new blogs to seek reviews and advice on product information.

Studies have shown that readers turn to blogs to make a sound decision before purchasing products like electronic gadgets, apparel and footwear and more as well as deciding on possible travel destinations or to go to a particular restaurant for dining.

About the Author:

Author of this blog is a Chief Evangelist, Digital with Blogmint  India's first crowd-sourcing platform that brings together Brands, Bloggers and Market Influencers.

Friday, 21 February 2014

How Social Media has changed/ing my life-Varun Agarwal

Varun Agarwal had his life changed by social media.
The story goes something like this: Varun realized one day, that if he had a video camera, he could actually show his thoughts to the world. So he set about making short films with whoever or whatever was willing to act. However, he was sent to study engineering. At the time, he just happened to come across YouTube and thought, why not? Well, it worked. The video went viral and and he started receiving appreciation from around the world.
This proved to be a stepping stone for him to go ahead and do a music video with Pentagram, another video with A.R. Rahman and a video with Preity Zinta.

In a drunken conversation with his friend, they just happened to discuss a business idea – selling customized hoodies to every school and college in the country. They started small under the name Alma Mater Store, selling to the students of one college initially, but they still lacked a platform to reach out to the entire country. That is when Facebook happened. By setting up a page on Facebook, Varun managed to reach out to the entire country.

Instrumental to Varun’s success, was his mother’s friend – Anu Aunty. Now Anu Aunty, was his greatest critique. When he sold hoodies, Anu Aunty referred to him as a T-Shirt salesman. Similar criticism about his videos also make for a comic narration. Varun decided to chronicle these incidents in a book titled “How I braved Anu Aunty and Co-Founded a Million Dollar Company.” Rupa Publications, the biggest publication house in the country published and distributed the book. As a result, it was being sold at every train station, every book store in the country. This proved to be a great marketing instrument for Varun’s company. The book struck a chord with the audience, and this endeared him and his company to the people he wanted to target.

Moral of the story, when building a brand on social media, your campaigns aren’t important and neither are your paid ads. What is important is how you tell a story and how that story relates to your target consumer. When it comes to reaching out for your dreams, as iterated by Varun, Don’t think, just do!

Social Media Week Bangalore 2014

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Girl Rising: Harnessing Social Media to change the world

We read about the injustice against women by society every day in the newspapers. We know that the situation is grim, but how much are we doing about it?
Girl Rising by Moxie Media is an example of a company trying to do something about the issue by harnessing the power of social media. Fundamentally, what do people want to see on social media? They want to see great stories. This is exactly what this effort does. The feature length film, is about struggles of nine different girls who battle social evils like slavery, forced marriage, molestation and being deprived of education to rise above the circumstances. This was an impactful way of resuming the finale of Social Media Week after the tea break.
The hard-hitting documentary feature has been directed by Richard Robbins and written by Marie Arana. Now although we got to witness four stories at the Hard Rock Café a couple of days ago and a fifth one today, this is definitely one feature that everyone should watch and bring to attention using social media because this is what drives the social media, honest and humane content with an emotional connect!
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Can you really build a brand using social media?

Hosted by Prateek Shrivastava, Social Media Week’s panel discussion on “Can you really build a brand using digital media?” featured industry stalwarts like Ramesh Srivats, L.K. Gupta, Prateek Shrivastava, Nikhil Dey, Harish Bijoor and Bhaskar Choudhuri.
The discussion kicked off with Mr. Ramesh Srivats giving his views on the topic saying that delivering content is not the only way to build a brand, it also needs to be backed by actions. The brand can have great content, but it also needs a great product, great service and a great experience.
Mr. L.K. Gupta followed up saying that people are the media and digital media is just a tool. Audience are not contributors and they care about the product first. Also, there is a misconception that building a brand on social media is cheap. However, money and resources have to be spent on social media, just as you do on any other media.
Mr. Harish Bijoor then compared the pre-internet and post-internet era. In the pre-internet era, brands thought before they did. Marketing was organized and systematic and brands were built by word of mouth. In the post internet era, brands act before they think. Media has become an anarchy and many aspects of the brand proposition is not even handled by the marketers anymore. Today, its word of digital.
Mr. Nikhil Dey is of the view that being social is about defending the brand and damage control, whereas Mr. Bhaskar Choudhuri believes that brands are on social media because they have FOMO – “Fear of missing out”. It is actually safer to speak only when you have something worthwhile to say otherwise people won’t notice.
So can brands be built on social media?
Well, social media is not about brands talking to people, but more about people talking about brands. Harley Davidson being advertised by the HOG is a good example. However, it goes awry when brands start forcing themselves on the people. Also, a brand is more valued when its presence on social media serves its purpose. Brands should send people what they expect, because people are basically looking for usefulness in an entertaining way. The key takeaways from the discussion were:
• Digital media can help in adding a brand in the consideration set
• Choose the right metrics for measuring the success of the brand, it might not necessarily be number of likes or percentage of engagement
• Brands could trigger conversations, but then it’s all about getting word of mouth which still happens to be the most effective form of advertising.
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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Timeline contest and internet gratification

Do contests on Facebook Timeline really engage the audience? If so, how does one conduct successful contests?
Facebook announced in 2013 that brands can host/promote contests and engage users through steps such as likes as voting mechanisms, messaging the page, posting on the page etc.
So what are the different types of timeline contests that brands may use to engage with it’s followers?
Let us have a look below:
1) Like to win: which means if a user likes the post he/she gets a chance to win a prize.
2) Comment to win: which takes matters a step forward by providing feedback and reviews.
3) Most likes on comment to win: this basically promotes quality comments.
4) Like and comment to win: which basically doubles the engagement.
5) Giveaways provide an incentive for users to enter into a contest.
6) Trivia makes a user learn about the brand or a product.
7) Photo comments again promote specialised content.
8) Apart from using Facebook as a platform, brands may promote contests on a website or a blog.
Let’s delve into some of the challenges encountered while hosting a timeline contest. Obviously, going through a pool of comments and likes becomes a tedious task and analysing the data collected is also another obstacle for page owners.
Services such as Promo Factory help to drive a Facebook contest by providing solutions to tasks such as collecting entries, processing the information and drawing a winner.
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"Content strategy for B2B enterprises should be to focus on human to human"- Teena Jones Gomes

Why, how, where and getting social, that’s how Teena Gomes starts her talk. How does content reach where your sales folks can’t? How does it help with lead generation, sales, customer acquisition etc. Before we get ahead of ourselves, she says you should focus on the why and not the how! Forget making your competitors your benchmark and instead focus on why you want to stand apart.
Content strategy is not saying you want a corporate blog or that you want 1000 followers. Gomes mentions that every company should have a content strategy that is compelling and concise that focuses on the objectives. Set timelines and deadlines for your objectives.
This content strategy should be shared across sales, marketing and customer relations, so the voice is consistent. Again she mentions that we cannot plan unless we measure.
Segment your content based on company demographics, industry trends, events/holidays, and needs. Figure out your customers preferences, what do they want to see and read? Are industry trends or the Super Bowl more engaging for them?
Align your content to the buying cycle. What is your customers need during a specific time? Let them know that you are an expert in your industry- build buying personas with your customers.
Gomes focuses on not making B2B marketing about “me”. Engage them with the requirements and needs that your clients need.
Use your content to advise, warn, amuse, inspire etc your target audience. She says “if content is fire, social media is gasoline”. She shares statistics that show linkedin, twitter and Facebook are on the top of the list for B2B enterprises. However focus on what works well for your company.
Point to note: use your employees as social advocates. Empower them to propagate your brand, like brand ambassadors. And know social etiquette- no stalking!
She references how SalesForce has an interactive and engaging Facebook page. Whereas Hubspot gets the formula right on most of the platforms.
Gomes ends by noting that the main focus should be on H2H- human to human.
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Building communities around content & stories- Sumit Saurav

It’s been two minutes into the presentation and I already have a story to tell from this one. I’m already and thoroughly engaged, despite it being lunch time. My tummy can wait to be a part of this presentation. He talks about communities, the binding force that holds us all together.
He mentions all communities are unique and believes building content around stories is not enough. Content should meet context. To establish the context you need to know the communities.
He shows us the bra project that focuses on the importance of the bra and what boys think of it. Through this project they’ve been able to engage a social topic and community. The Roobaroo- beyond borders aims to being together youth from Pakistan and India. In both projects they have attacked a context and created a connection. The Facebook page had created a viral buzz, creating conversations amongst college going kids.
Context not necessarily means the ends use, it can be a connection with you and your client- a fine thread that binds you together.
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Content marketing: moving beyond facebook updates?

Content marketing is the process of informing the consumers accurately about a brand or product without any actual sale involved within the loop.
The focus of this talk was to educate the audience on how to take content marketing beyond what we know as the surface functions of social media platforms like status updates and likes.
The intersection between what consumers want and what brands offer is where content marketing occurs. Three channels of content marketing are social, visual and written and together they cover platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube or Instagram.
One way marketing is a thing of the past and it is crucial to know what comes next. That is what the guys from PageTraffic wanted to convey and according to them the keyword here is ‘engagement’. Therefore, it is necessary to utilise social media in more ways than one.
Social content drives traffic towards a brand’s online store and creates a buzz in the marketplace while enabling other areas of marketing like identifying target audiences, reviewing feedback and understanding the trends in society. Therefore, social content is not just nice to have but has become a necessity.
What comes beyond the sharing and the engaging process? Analysis of how the content is being consumed is a follow up step to keep in mind. Next, how is the content being shared and defining patterns within this process certainly gives an insight into how social media reacts to the engagement activity.
Integrating ideas such as return on relationships, emotional connection with audience and brand transparency/authenticity will strengthen the foundation of any social media activity that is undertaken.
In an age where there is a overflow of content from every direction, promotion of content is key. So the point is to engage influencers and bloggers who can provide content outreach, advertising as well as generate content to reach newer and wider audiences.
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Mobile environment and social-media marketing-Adhvith Dhuddu

Why is the mobile so important? Well you get to read this because I’m typing it straight off my mobile! Adhvith Dhuddu talks about why mobile marketing is so important. He states 50 out of 90 million Facebook users access it through their mobile. From playing games to surfing the net, most of us use our handy phones.
Consumption of information is mostly driven through mobiles and tablets. However creation of content is still created through our laptops or desktops.
He takes us through various case studies that display how consumers are embracing mobile interaction. He discusses the difference between mobile apps, a optimized mobile site and a responsive site. If your contest is short lives then you don’t want to spend too much time developing an app, a responsive mobile site would work better. Also work with what’s in your budget.
Competitions and offers are a great way to create engaging campaigns focused on mobile marketing.
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Internet of things becoming social-Vinit Bhansali

What is the internet of things- you ask? It’s the interaction of humans with things and things interacting with things. It’s about things getting social. Still confused? Imagine your Nike fuel band syncing with your iPod.
Bhansali talks about a Parachute campaign where customers wore bands that would show their journey trough the campaign and instantly update on their Facebook. You know those sci-if movies where they put a chip in your body? Well, something like that.
What does this mean for us? It means we can let our customer permit once and be connected with a brand.
It’s a game changer I say!
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Twitter: A jewel in Social Media Crown

This talk by Digital Vidya focused on how exactly does Twitter function and whether or not the people who use this social platform are exercising it to its full potential. The event kicked off with the audience members sharing their experiences on how they engage Twitter in their business strategies.
Through the example of an hashtag ‘#HasJustineLandedYet’ which involved an American lady, Justine Sacco, posting a racist comment, Kapil Nakra of Digital Vidya presented the power that Twitter encompasses. The post made by Justine went viral worldwide during the course of her flight from the United States to Africa simply because it involved a a human element that concerned a mass number of people.
Brands use Twitter for product promotion through various campaigns and contests. The hashtag visibility that accompanies every tweet provides any and every brand a massive visibility quotient and creates trends on Twitter which is otherwise hard to achieve for brand names. It is mostly public figures or thought leaders who receive the maximum amount of following on Twitter. Also, the number of tweets or retweets needed to become a trend on Twitter is rising on an everyday basis.
The talk then explored in detail how different brands try to sustain the visibility of their products or campaigns and they achieve this through constant retweeting and engaging contests for the followers. How do brands use twitter to measure the impact on business? They look at the facts such as increase in the number of followers, amount of brand mentions, reach of branded hashtags, number of retweets and clicks on any URLs posted.
Mr. Nakra then moved on to a subject which was extremely interesting but at the same time somewhat unethical. He narrated an instance in which what an organization did was to use the tweets on Twitter to increase the traffic on their own platform by manipulating posts to make them go viral. The dry run of the campaign was quite successful but the project had to be set aside once complications arose during the scaling-up process.
Lastly, the talk spoke about how Twitter is not free from it’s own set of problems that stare the social media website in the face. The rate of growth of the social media platform is shrinking and the engagement within twitter is also going down. Also, a ton of fake or inactive accounts make up the total number of profiles that exist in Twitter.
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10 Ten commandments of product development from social gaming: Karthik Gopal

Did you know 30% of your time spend on your mobile involves gaming?
And did you know 32 is the average age of mobile game players!
Karthick Gopal, breaks down social games to three categories, viral games, causal games and social platform games.
He goes on to give the Ten commandements:
1. Mantras: virality, retention to monetization.
2. Market: unexplored market, catering to a new age group and newer engagement techniques.
3. Innovate: find opportunity. What can you do differently?
4. Scale: prepare for scale. Think big, forget the millions, think about the billions.
5. Data: metrics are for doing, not sharing. Measure to learn and fix.
6. Develop: lean teams, smart teams. CEO of functions, let them have the complete power to execute their fields.
7. Ubiquity: availability across all platforms, so you don’t loose out on customers.
8. Mobile: have a presence on the mobile. Have mobile designed websites.
9. Social: integrate social to your product. The stars and likes on your product pages let you know what others think of it.
10. Trends: are you moving along with the trends? Virtual reality is soon to be a core in gaming.
Karthick also insists you should play candy crush!
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Workshop on Google Adwords, remarketing, Display Ads.

This particular session was a little technical in nature and the hosts from Web Marketing Academy warned the audience about this in advance. As the topic suggests the workshop aimed at familiarising the audience with how Google Adwords functions and what kind of services are provided by them.
Firstly, the team from Web Marketing Academy, discussed the question of what are the different types of networks where advertisements can appear. These are the Google Search Network which includes advertisements on search pages, Google Images, Google Maps and secondly Google Display Network that concerns Advertisements placed on Google owned websites like YouTube and Blogger.
Next, the topic of discussion was in regards with what elements are targeted on these networks. Google Adwords contextualises the advertisements to be placed based on topic, gender, age group, location and browser cookies. Marketers and advertisers can also choose whether their ads are to be placed automatically on a we page or on personally chosen sections of the page and this is called Automatic and Managed placements.
Another chapter in the event was concerning the various types of advertisement formats that are offered by Google Adwords. Anyone who uses the internet must be familiar with these many variations of ads that we witness in the internet. The main kinds are simple text ads, static and rich media ads, user engagement ads, video ads, floating video ads and many more.
The talk was certainly not for a person who is not familiar with the technicalities behind concepts like display ads and remarketing for different channels. Yet there were plenty of people in the audience who had a whole bunch of questions making it an engaging event altogether.
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Respect your audience!- social media DO's and Dont's for startups by Arshya Laxman

It’s every entrepreneur’s golden goose, to gain as much information as they can, to start off their baby, what are the dos and don’ts? How do you see your idea grow? How do you get to it go viral?
It’s only natural to admire and be in awe of successful people, today being Arshaya Lakshman, CEO of Futurecon.
Her ideas and strategy doesn’t come straight out of a textbook, it’s thought through from learning from her customers. She believes social media cannot be a stand alone plan and should involve everything from packaging to service- involve! Her next might surprise you- all of us narcissistic souls out there- she says stop the ‘me talk’.
It’s interesting how she points out, that you should connect to your customers through their social platforms. Are they readers? Then have a blog! The more focused you are on your platforms then the better you are at reaching out to your target customers.
Plan, plan and more planning! Our mothers tell us that too! It’s absolutely necessary to plan your social media content, it allows you to make space for conversations and measurement. Note: measurement only comes when you have a plan!
We’ve heard it before- content is king! Don’t rush into it and instead focus on what you want to say. Lakshman creatively has ‘content buckets’, which allows her to have a pool of ideas and thoughts- so you always have something to share.
She also stresses on having a budget for all your platforms. No point putting money where it doesn’t grow, right? Once you set some goals, you’ll know where you need to put some moolah, facebook ads or twitter ads, or both!
Her last point says ‘respect your audience’, it is absolutely necessary! And stop selling all the time, sometimes a little fun can get you a longer way.
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Activated Marketing:Are you willing to engage beyond the likes?

Exploration of the possibility of exchanging value- that’s what Sartaj Anand, says marketing is. It involves identifying and fulfilling the unmet/unexpressed needs of people. How do you know what people want?
Anand references Apple, being a classic example of meeting the unexpressed needs of people. No one needed an iPhone, people want it- they crave for it.
He mentions Nike and their future plans to print your own shoes. You must have read about it. Even though the product isn’t out yet, Nike excels at engaging and crating a buzz before the product is actually attainable.
Simon Sinek’s golden circle surfaces in his presentation making us ask and think the obvious- why, how, what! Why- being the root of all need. Why do you need it?
It’s interesting how me mentions the internet has a “bias towards the under dog”. It’s accessible to everyone and not only to Fortune 100 companies. How can a start up battle the big guys? Focus on purpose and not presence. Attack they why- why are you doing what you do?
Anand shares an engaging TNT ad, telling us to focus on the story. Be interactive and try bridge the divide between offline and digital. He also focuses in ‘owning it all’ from concept to execution.
Question is, are you willing to engage beyond the likes?
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Tuesday, 18 February 2014


Why? Well, Nokia is enormously committed to social media, and not simply because we’re all about technological innovation and development, but because we’re able to use that stuff as a way to make a difference in the world. How? Well, first, let’s rewind and take a look at Social Media Week itself.
Social Media Week is a huge worldwide annual event that’s taking place this year across five continents in over twenty-five cities. It’s all to do with the way communication technology acts as a unifying force that shrinks the globe and brings us all into contact with disparate other lives and experiences and how that alters the way we interact with our environments. Hardly surprising then that Alex Oberberg Head of Programs & Markets Engagement, said of the event, ‘Nokia is proud to partner with Social Media Week for the 4th year in the row, bringing together tens of thousands of people to share, listen and collaborate.’
This year’s extravaganza is aiming to investigate the global impact of this shift in human interactions via a hectic program of more than 2,500 events and educational workshops – which is where Nokia comes in!
Teaching 21st century film and photography
One of Nokia’s contributions to the Week’s diary is a two-city event showcasing the work of the world’s finest Instagram and Vine artists. If you’re anywhere near NYC or Milan, head to the #NOWstudio, where these creative experts will be sharing their knowledge with local attendees using Nokia Lumia 1020 handsets – and check out the hashtag to see the results. We’re huge fans of photography and photo-sharing, and the Lumia 1020 with its 41MP camera is a fantastic tool to play with if you’re keen to show the world your skills.
Sharing social media expertise the write way
If you’re closer to Lagos, make sure check out the series of educational masterclasses that Nokia are running there – search for #NOKIAEDU to follow along if you’re further afield, because livestreaming is where it’s at in 2014. The sessions are run by a host of seasoned pros and the agenda is packed full of events that will show exactly how Nokia’s working to make a difference in the field of social media tech. Choose between classes on app-building for Windows Phones, hosted by development folk from Nokia, Microsoft and MoMo; one on one writing for a digital audience, which will no doubt be popular amongst the bloggers and journalists amongst you; a class on using mobile technology to maximize productivity using business tools and apps; and a discussion led by a senior Nokia marketing manager exploring how mobile tech is driving innovation and development in Africa. Each session is at midday local time, so stick it in your calendar.
Discussing how social media can change a woman’s world
It’s not all limited to tech development, though; a few of Nokia’s especially innovative and thoughtful Social Media Week events have come about through Nokia’s involvement with the ‘Empowering Women’ sessions in Bangalore. Two discussion panels in particular – ‘Women in Media’ and ‘Women Safety – Role of Social Media’ are set to be impassioned, informative and motivating events. Nokia’s Director of Communications for India, the Middle East and Africa, Poonam Kaul, will be one of the panelists for the former event, in which participants will explore how woman can use social and digital media to build businesses and brands and affect social change. Kaul will also take on a female mentee as part of the Moxie Mentorship scheme, demonstrating that this event and Nokia really are committed to real-life action and change. For the second event, ‘Women Safety’, women from online media, social activism, and urban planning and development will talk about issues around social media and safety as they affect female tech users.
Screening an inspiring girl power movie
Panels aside, though, Nokia in Bangalore are also powering a screening of ‘Girl Rising’, a documentary that follows nine women from developing countries as they overcome the odds to pursue their dreams – it’s all about education, folks! If you want to help promote the film’s inspiring message, join in the photo contest and you could win a Lumia 1520 – look for the hashtags #WomenInMedia and #ShesEmpowered.
What more you could you ask for? A fantastic combination of creativity, education and inspiration! Head on over to the Social Media Week website for more details and to check out Nokia’s other innovative and exciting activities.

How many social media experts does it take to change a bulb?

Ten years ago, Media Campaigns were largely experimental until you got it right. In the new age, there is not room for trail and error. Because you are being talked about right now.
Social media is not a platform, it is a conversation! – Shyam Nair
There is a clear shift from push to pull when it comes to engagement with your audience. Brands now have to start involving audiences in the creative process to engage them.
A conversation is taking place. It’s all about “What is trending?” “The only thing constant in life is change and the sooner we embrace change the better.” – seems to be the new Mantra and brands have to incorporate this spirit in their Media Campaigns.
In the last few years, there has been a wind of change on social media.
Looking at Facebook, the new trends are as follows:
1. Graph search – gives you and idea of what people are talking about? which Locations are being discussed? Trending topics?
2. The hashtag# Inspite of privacy settings, a hashtag makes content universal.
3. Newsfeed algorithm – where facebook throws up things based on your interest,
4. News source : People are consuming news through social media. On an average, a person checks his newsfeed on a smartphone 150 times a day. Imagine the prospects?
Twitter has become an ad platform for brands. Brands have seen upto 22% increase in sales following engagement with consumers on Twitter.
Posting of images in consumers’ stream translates into free promotion and endorsements
A new trend is lead generation cards.
Linkedinhas proven to be a boon for Human Resources to reach new talent in a consolidate pool of contacts. Sponsored updates via Linkedin becomes a base of knowledge sharing. A new feature called Showcase pages allows brands to showcase and highlight new products and services as opposed to an “about us” page that is run of the mill space for basic information.
Youtube has taken the lead in becoming a Multi platform with a One channel design web plan.
It’s now all about integration and not diversification!
Consumers don’t visit websites or fanpages anymore unless they have a specific requirement. They rely on newsfeed from their personal contacts and information networks. They visit forums and social communities for word of mouth reviews and make decisions based on these interactions. Influencers now play a key role!
Stop pushing content down people’s throats! People will come to you if you make your content interesting! The focus should be on making your content more viable and relevant.
Twitter poses a challenge to brands by not allowing creation of communities on twitter. But when a good thing gets going, there is not stopping the trending. It is always good to know where opportunities of an interaction can be.
Integrated offline and online.
How to make your Social Media campaign engaging?
> Distribute content across multiple platforms.
> Diversify width of communication.
> Identify your real Brand ambassadors – Your followers and employees! Engaging relationship to get tangible returns. Engage with key influencers, advocates and online promoters to increase your visibility, engagement and ROI.
Things to keep in mind:
>Healthy mix of outbound and inbound marketing! Channel your outbound to increase inbound!
>Digital exposure to in-store sales! Make the most of consumers’online access to your in-store offers!
>Map constant changes in consumer behaviour.
> Move to mobile first strategy thus strengthening mobile access.
> Increase user generated content.
> Increase location marketing.
Shyam Nair is an Entrepreneur, Brand Management Consultant, and Social Media Specialist, among a few things. Currently based in Bangalore, he has over the past 12 years of his career worked with McCann Relationship Marketing, New Delhi, IKEA, Melbourne and Direxions Loyalty Marketing, Gurgaon before joining Spry as Director – Planning and Creative Strategy.
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Design in digital age- Utkarsh Singh

As the topic is very crucial in designing world, it was very well discussed at Fava.
Some of the key points to take away were:
1. Content is central because without it, however good the design it’s of no use. At the same time, it is parallel design too.
2. Image background is a recent trend going upwards.
3. Full screen was very popular some 3-4 years ago compared to now.
4. Today hardly anyone read content unless it is eye catching so design matters a lot.
5. In recent times scrolling a website is gaining a lot of popularity unlike 2-3 years ago when clients were against it.
6. Social media integration is very important and has to be taken into careful consideration while designing website.
7. Share button too is gaining attention as there are many social media platforms now where the brand need to have their presence.
What is a website today?
If you see current trends, it’s very different from the focus of the 90′s. This is because in 90′s people built websites and forgot about it for 4-5 years like they would build a home. But today there is lot of change with the presence of social media platforms which has enabled consumers to go and visit brands’ social media page and then to website, so website has become more or like phone directory where customer will go only to look for specific information.
As always, minimalism of content and more of images that carry a strong message is a continuing trend and this particular trend will never go out of fashion.
Looking at recent trends, responsive web design is something much in trend. For example, like mashable.com where we see just three column, one wider column and 2 small columns. Simplistic in design.
Looking at all these trends we get a question in our mind “For which device to do the designing first?”
1. Desktop
2. Tablet
3. Mobile
So the good way to start is Tablet and along with that we need to consider who is going to consume our content, what type of content our audiences are looking for? And need to take care of text sizes, fonts etc
But still there is a need to maintain multiple platforms for different devices because typography is something which can kill or make our website so for that as a designer, one should know what the primary colors of the brand are and get detailed insights about the brand.
Besides all these things, one more important point is that, as a designer one needs to find the correlation between different aspects of brands and borrow an idea if required to bring out an original new idea.
Utkarsh Singh studied architecture, followed by a 3 year voluntary research on ‘Context & Identity’ covering various creative fields beyond architecture. He founded a ‘dotcom’ in the architecture, real estate and construction industry in 1999. And founded Hyphen Strategic Design in the year 2000.
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Using Social Applications For Startups

Arnab Choudhuri took the gathering with him as he once again reiterated how Facebook is an excellent free platform to advertise your product and services. He pointed out that Tripadvisor is a good example of how to use social apps to widen brand presence by generating genuine user generated content that is verifiable and can be easy to relate to for readers and users. Or look at what Amazon does? It integrates your Facebook likes with other services and products available to generate ads related to your choice thus ensuring higher visibility and interest.
He also dwelt on how Twitter has made it easy for people to interact without following other or even be friends unlike Facebook.
And that all the activities on Social Media has spawned a culture of a fast growing breed of developers who are engaged in bringing out functional social applications across platforms and covering a wide range of functions.
He also introduced some very social Apps including Smule – an audio based social network, Talkbiznow – social network for businesses, Recipefy which allows you to trace recipes from across the world and few more like Taptu, Acrossair browser and Comigo which are purely social based applications.
Among the things to consider when creating a social application are:
Community – Who are the audience? Does it serve a purpose?
Conversation – Are people talking about it? Is it engaging?
Collaboration – Who will carry out which role? engagement, distribution, development?
Commerce – The ins and outs of budget and ROI
In other words,
1. Find the social objective
2. Personas – the user experience you create is important to take your product forward
3. Improve and innovate on existing ideas
The angles of consideration are “Me- Mine – Market” – which form the basic tenet of social applications.
We also have to consider the flow, traffic & streams of the Application.
What is your Design pattern? Have your pattern in place.
What is a social enterprise app?
The approach should be “Mobile-Social-Optimised”
- Architecture should account for mobile as a primary device
- Social grace – encourage conversation, chatter feed, interactions, story
- Social enterprose app will create more data so we have to consider data handling, security and social awareness.
A good idea is also to learn how to use and embed preexisting Plugins/widgets/comment boxes to drive engagement
“It is not difficult to make social apps, but the difficult thing is to figure out how to do it.” – Arnab Choudhuri
Arnab’s career spans more then 18 years. After having spent from 1994 to 2007 at different companies in various capacities, he founded Xanadu which is a young & dynamic product development company that thrives on innovation and works on spaces which are already not well established and rather fill existing voids so as to maximize impact for effort.
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Workshop: Productivity- Mind, Body, The Theatre connect

Introduction to the talk basically conveyed how theatre helps anyone and everyone to be expressive when they try and communicate.
The event basically consisted Activities that were conducted keeping in mind factors like team spirit, hand-eye coordination, non-verbal communication and the art of observation
The activities were mainly focused towards increasing productivity by engaging the mind and body through the use of theatre exercises. It was interesting to see the many different reactions of the audience members when faced with unusual situations.
Tortilla Entertainment are the main group of people behind this particular event and they specialise in training people to be more comfortable with themselves through theatre. At the start of the event it was simply a room full of people who showed up for the event and only after 45 mins it was more like a group of friends interacting with each other.
Overall, it was an extremely engaging exercise that was more than helpful for all those who participated.
Anita Mitra, Founder, Tortilla Entertainment is graduate in Mass Communication, Anita has worked in marketing and training throughout a range of corporate and media environments .An experienced actress, Anita realized the value in using role-playing as a training tool and has utilized this in her corporate training work.
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Digital Marketing/Social Marketing for start ups

What is the biggest problem in Digital Marketing?
Content! Reach! Platform! Marketing! Technology! Access!
According to Suresh Babu, the three top challenges for any brand or Startup when it comes to Digital Marketing and Social Media would have to be the following:
1. Access to Information.
2. Engagement.
3. How to use content.
besides Support, Money, mentoring, resources, team building and technology.
For any Digital marketing campaign, the focus is always the Reach, platform, ROI and content.
The solution?
1)An online community that educates on the subject.
2)What we expect might end up as something else while starting up. The functional aspects of Social Media can be challenging and may leave you unsure of what it is going to turn into.
3) Generate content covering all platforms: audio content, video content, images, blogs, PDFs etc. There are so many platforms for sharing and interaction. Identifying the right platform is half the job done. Visibility is not only about how many platforms you traverse rather, how many people you are able to engage despite the channels and platforms you appear on.
4) Choose channels for marketing. SEO, SEM, Mobile, Social Media and Analytics to help you find out where you stand.
5) Goals and objectives. You have to be clear about where and what you intend to do with your efforts. By setting your goals, you get the clarity and can plan the steps you need to take.
Social Media is here to stay as the main platform for pushing marketing in the digital arena. Content can come in different formats but the medium of Social Media will prove to be an effective tool in the years to come.
Suresh Babu is the founder and CEO of Web Marketing Academy. A training center in Bangalore educating small businesses, students in digital marketing including SEO, Google ad words, analytics. Suresh is a Guest Faculty & Speaker in Universities for Christ University, Archarya B-School. He is also founder & community leader of Online Marketing Enthusiast Community, a community of passionate digital marketing enthusiast in Bangalore, India.
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Future of Online Engagement,Content Marketing and Lead Generation

The first event of the day was on something that is important for everyone associated with the social media arena.
Getting quality content is the most important aspect when it comes to social media. It is important that the content makes a connect and creates a conversation. However, there is no hard-subbed way to having great content; there is always some hit and trial involved and brands need to understand user reaction to that content and accordingly refocus their content strategy.
Another big challenge for social media marketers is to show demonstrable ROI because that is what the head honchos are concerned with. The most effective selling point is to make them aware of the fact that their competitors are doing it; peer pressure works well. Network effect helps a lot in sharing interesting content. For sustaining the audience on social media, it is about recognizing the right strategy.
A harsh eye opener during the session was never to judge a Facebook page by the number of likes. In technical terminology, it is the work of bots and that is in no way a measure of the organic engagement of audience with a brand.
Coming to the trends, the panelists shared their choice of different channels which keeps them connected and up to date. Apart from the usual suspects in Facebook and Twitter, sites like Buzzfeed (viral content) and Mashable were also popular. The session concluded with the panelists again emphasizing on the importance of creation and effective distribution of quality content as the driver of better social media engagement for brands.
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Challenges, Solutions & latest Social Digital Marketing Trends

The first event of the day was on something that is important for everyone associated with the social media arena.
Getting quality content is the most important aspect when it comes to social media. It is important that the content makes a connect and creates a conversation. However, there is no hard-subbed way to having great content; there is always some hit and trial involved and brands need to understand user reaction to that content and accordingly refocus their content strategy.
Another big challenge for social media marketers is to show demonstrable ROI because that is what the head honchos are concerned with. The most effective selling point is to make them aware of the fact that their competitors are doing it; peer pressure works well. Network effect helps a lot in sharing interesting content. For sustaining the audience on social media, it is about recognizing the right strategy.
A harsh eye opener during the session was never to judge a Facebook page by the number of likes. In technical terminology, it is the work of bots and that is in no way a measure of the organic engagement of audience with a brand.
Coming to the trends, the panelists shared their choice of different channels which keeps them connected and up to date. Apart from the usual suspects in Facebook and Twitter, sites like Buzzfeed (viral content) and Mashable were also popular. The session concluded with the panelists again emphasizing on the importance of creation and effective distribution of quality content as the driver of better social media engagement for brands.
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Sustaining Engagement and conversations on social

“In this digital age, engagement and conversation on social media is extremely crucial for any brand.”
88% marketers want to know how to better engage with their audience on social media.
-In the 21st century brands need to he more adaptive.
-From a campaign to a viral campaign to a big viral campaign is a very brand oriented way of thinking. 76% marketers think they know what customers want. 34% have actually asked the consumer what they want.
Before you start any campaign, you should
- Understand your target audience
- Evaluate your brand reputation
- Gather valuable consumer insights
A need based evaluation is necessary for any brand.
People: asses the customers’ social activities
Objective: what to accomplish
Strategy: how relationships with customers will change.
Technology: which social technology to use.
Goal: qualitative and qualitative goals.
Metrics: a way to measure the results actually achieved against targets.
Tips for Goal setting
Be Specific
Make it Measurable
Know Attainability
Be Relevant
Make it Time Bound
Common mistakes in goal setting
> Unrealistic
> Far too many goals
> Unspecific
> Not writing them
Effective 2 way communication has to be established, namely – Visual communication and Influential communication.
** Video content has been found to have 40 times more penetration that text or audio.
**People don’t buy things, they join things!! They want to be included and a part of conversations.
2014 has been declared the year of influencers.
As Influencers, content creators have to :
- Build awareness
- Build credibility
- Create emotional communication
- Create loyalty
- Super advocate
And Brands have to work at influencing the Influencers.

Udit Malhotra, Digital Strategist, Brand & Consumer Practice, Genesis Burson-Marsteller helps brands engage online with their fans, and consumers on a continuous basis. Udit helps brands and organizations to structure, plan, and implement activation or launch products and services with engaging campaigns.
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Dream Live- Talk by Bharadwaj Dayala

The talk mainly revisited the travelogue as documented by Bharadwaj Dayala, who is basically a nomadic traveller and an expert motorcycle rider who loves to ride without a concrete plan.
Dayala also happens to be the first person from India to travel the whole world on a motorbike and his odyssey included around 60 countries and over 1,00,000 kilometres.
His team plans to make use of social media to identify riders who shall be chosen to accompany him on his expeditions.
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Sex, Sexting & Social Media

A panel discussion on sex, sexting and social media happened here at Fava, where the panellists were:
Prasad Virappa , Namarata and Samrit Gill and the moderator was Apoorv who has also written a book recently.
Social media has made people’s sex life exciting. With social media, sexting has taken a hygienic way of having an affair. Here you get involved with people with whom you may have never interacted in your real life. You get the freedom and independence to do or say something which you will never do in person. You get to live another life. Young people even share with their friends and show them how are they flirting with another person or what are they texting.
Samrit says she has learnt a lot from social media about all intimate stuff as India being a country where people are a little reserved in talking about sex and related stuff. She never had the courage to ask her parents about it or go and pay a visit to a doctor regarding the same. So, here social media has helped her.
Namrata feels that nowadays sexting has become a virtual foreplay. People are more open these days and talk about casual sex, sex buddies etc openely. People are opening up. She feels texting in a way is different than a phone call.
But not everyone supports the same idea, some say they would be same when they are texting or speaking over the phone.
People get involved in virtual relationships as they get to live a fantasy live here which they always wanted to live.
It has been a trend these days to change the profile picture on facebook three times in a day. People change pictures to seek approval from others. To project an image of what they want others to see in them. They are trying to fit into a group. In short, they are trying to validate their existence.
Another trend that has come up these days is to take self pictures through your own phone. It keeps you motivated. It makes you take the control of how you look in front of others.
Social media enables you to keep in touch with people, it enables you to see people who share the same interests or have the same personality as you. But the art of conversation is dying nowadays, the conversations are more direct and straight to the point.
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Changing Paradigms

Before getting into the gist of what this session was all about, here’s a question – What is a Paradigm Shift? To define it simply, a Paradigm Shift is a complete change in the way you perceive things. To elucidate this statement, Mr. Senthil Anand, Head-Account Management at KRDS Social Media agency, gave a simple yet convincing hypothetical scenario.
“A person buys a packet of chocolate and goes and sit on a bench, keeping the packet besides him. Just then, another person comes and sits there, opens the packet and starts having those chocolates. This leaves the first person perplexed as to how someone can do something like this. And to add insult to injury, he even offers those chocolates to the first person. At that time, he puts his hand in his pocket and realizes that he had kept his packet there itself.
This realization of his changes his perception of the situation from being desolated to appreciating the giving gesture of the second person.”
Social media has seen a similar paradigm shift since it first came into being. Before 2000, the only medium for brands to advertise and promote was broadcast and print media. But at present, social media as a medium plays a big role in changing brand perception and influencing buying decisions. A great example of such influence is the “Swaad Zindagi Ka” campaign by Cadbury which changed the popular perception that chocolates is for children to chocolates means celebration.
In this PULL marketing era where consumers are attracted to brands rather than brands being forced onto them, Facebook ads has helped brands focus on target audience and amplify their reach to a large extent. To crisply round it off, the paradigm shift in social media has been from limited avenues of promotion through PUSH MARKETING to a much more tangible approach in PULL MARKETING with lesser media orientation, instant access to information and multiple content creators for a better of exposure to brand audiences through web and social media platforms.
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Building brands on social media

This was another very important and interactive session during Day 2 of the Social Media Week at Hard Rock Café. The whole purpose of this presentation-based session by Samar Singh Sheikhawat was to outline the benefit of social media in a well-integrated strategy for a brand.
At present, the consumer behavior is changing; people are not buying the way they used to in the past. With social media gaining popularity, it has become essential for brands to devise an approach that helps cultivate visibility and earn leverage on different social media channels. With digital marketing as a focal point, Mr. Sheikhawat put forth a multi-layered strategy that can help a brand do just that through social media: -
Being Collaborative – Brands should recognize the need to talk to its customers and then do just that. Nike’s Chalkbot campaign at the Tour De France managed to do just that.
Being Participative – With the ubiquity of Smartphones these days, it is necessary that a brand provides avenues of user participation to bring in a sense of connect.
Being Generous – For every brand, giving back to the society is a big part of that. Now it might be opposing to the conventional marketing principles, but it is crucial nonetheless. “One Day without shoes” by TOMS which was implemented in multiple countries is a good example of this characteristic. Apart from that, the “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” was an endearing one as well.
Being Experimental – Brands should always be open to experimenting to have better engagement with its audience. The “COKE Small World Machines” and “Kingfisher Beer Up” are such campaigns that paid off well thanks to the intent of the brand and execution of the campaign.
Being Playful – Till the time a brand is not deviating from its core communication, it is always good to have a fun element about the brand. “Kingfisher’s Beer Headbang” contest campaign is a good example of that.
Being Personal – Consumers always appreciate the personal touch that a brand gives them. This is something brands should look into more often. “A Glass of Water” by Toyota and Volkswagen’s “Driving Music Redefined” were two such campaigns where iOS apps helped users to improve their driving skills and create music as per your driving respectively.
The session came to a close with Mr. Sheikhawat emphasizing on the fact that effective leverage of different social media channels for a brand is possible only with a well thought-out and online-offline integrated market approach.
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Preparing to taking the social plunge

This session provided some valuable insights about a marketer’s perspective on social media as a medium of marketing a brand. Exposure to social media is free for a user but for a marketer, it is a challenging task with the strategizing and financial restrictions involved.
Currently, the major roadblocks that marketers are –
-> Improper goal setting by a brand
-> Lack of stakeholder agreement
-> Social media as a standalone does not work
-> Level of success is undefined
The first major point of consideration before a brand takes the plunge is to analyze whether social media is needed or not. The stats that 70% people listen to experiences of other people and 65% of consumers interact with a brand through social media makes it even more difficult for a brand to come to a decision regarding this. However, that is an assessment that is essential for a brand to make on the basis of their target consumer group and viability to business.
As a brand or an agency handling the brand, it is important to listen to what your audiences want and align their digital marketing strategy in line with that. Even more crucially, what can be done to bring about this social media maturity? Some of the suggestions put forth in the session for this were: -
* Having the right attitude towards social media
* An understanding of the kind of structure that is required to execute social media strategy.
* Long term goals for social media should be well-integrated with the overall marketing strategy.
* Employees should be well aware of the social media strategies that their organization follows.
The question that now remains – As a brand, are you ready to take the social plunge?
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Awareness of security in social media

This session was possibly the most interesting and unexpectedly intriguing session of the day. Taken by Saket Modi, a self-proclaimed ethical hacker, the target of this session was to underline the need of security in web and social media platforms. Before he started, he was bluntly clear that this session was to bring about awareness rather than scaring the audiences present.
Saket shed light on how security is on the back end of considerations for websites – be it general or e-commerce, when running a business. However, this is where majority of the companies get it wrong. With the socially integrated world that we live in, social media security is basically the stem on which the social media arena grows, so it becomes imperative to take care of it. Turning a blind eye to the security aspect of a social media strategy just leaves it vulnerable to being compromised. Speaking from a hacker’s perspective, he repeatedly stressed on how easy it is for a hacker to get access to your personal credentials which can then be used unethically by him.
He even gave a live demonstration by taking a random Smartphone from the audience for a span of a few seconds and before one would know, he had access to contacts, messages and everything else on that phone. He even disclosed how he did it by downloading a simple APK file and accessed it through an indigenous software developed by his company. This demonstration refreshed Die Hard 4.0 for us.
The crux of this session was well conveyed and equally well received. The lesson learnt – Be aware Give importance to security when utilizing social media avenues on web or mobile.
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Monday, 17 February 2014

Social Media Week Bangalore Takes Off

The much awaited Social Media Week kickstarted here at The Leela, Bangalore today with an opening address by Alex Oberberg, ‎Global Head of Programs & Markets Engagement, Social Media & Digital at Nokia with a message to people to embrace Social Media, meet new people, share ideas, collaborate and bring in the community together.
This is the fourth year of Nokia’s association with Social Media Week and this year, the Social Media Week is happening across 25 countries spanning 5 continents.
“Social Media is a true movement. Let us make it a platform to bring the social to technology and interaction in the community.” – Alex Oberberg
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The Future of now-Neville taraporewalla

“Technology is changing our lives in the way we use Social Media to connect with others, share ideas and get things done.” ‎Neville Taraporewalla, General Manager-India, Advertising & Online at Microsoft highlighted the emerging technology trends. He spoke about how Mobile devices are getting more and more smarter with better computing powers to enable connectivity for users.
He pointed out that technology is going to make the computing power of your mobiles in such a way that it is going to actually help you to get things done once you hit the “Search” button.
At Microsoft, efforts are being made to allow consumers to go “from searching to doing” through their devices in the near future.
Microsoft recognizes that Technology is reacting to trends and these trends are shaping the designs of devices.
Starting with computers, Microsoft is working to build a family of unified devices which will have a uniform feel across platforms and easily connected on Cloud.
According to an online survey of over 8000 consumers, the following trends have emerged which will influence the design of devices being developed.
1. Value me : Many consumers are open to sharing their information if they are rewarded for it.
2. Create a culture: People want to create and be involved. People want to have the freedom to play around with their devices and even reassemble it, share it and feel good about it. People wanting to do their own things with their devices.
3. Niche Network: Consumers want to be part of a network that gives access to information and allows sharing of information/expertise/teachnology
4. Age of Serendipity- People want to be inspired by a Spark! There is a feeling of urgency to do things “Right now”. Consumers wanting to do something on their own without waiting for technology.
He once again stressed on Microsoft’s vision to build a family of products and devices to ensure that they are unified in design and connected by cloud, taking into consideration the wishes and feedback of consumers. He wrapped up with a short clip highlighting the message that “With a little imagination, anything is possible.” when it comes to integrating technology with making life better for people.
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