Build your brand’s digital and social presence right: we tell you how


Twenty years ago, brands had to plan extensive PR mechanisms to get their stories told; today the same PR mechanisms are hard at work, ensuring the right stories are gaining traction and trying to get a hang of popular sentiment about the brand, via the opinions and reviews floating free across all social media. So what changed in the last 20 years to bring about the change? A lot, of course, but the biggest contributing factor was the rebirth of the world wide web, via social media networks, and the pervasive usage of Internet via handheld devices including the ubiquitous mobile phone. Most cell phone users today use (or want to use) at least one social network from a phone app, so much so that on entry-level phones, sites like Facebook are often a newbie’s first exposure to the world wide web. Welcome to the virtual world!

The modes of storytelling and the avenues of networking have changed: both have gone virtual, and the possibility of virtual content going viral has multiplied manifold! One bad review, in the days of word-of-mouth, would not have hit a brand very hard; but these days, a well-worded, cheeky tweet could be retweeted and liked hundreds of times in a matter of minutes! Which also goes for happy product and user experiences too, of course. So how does a brand build build its digital presence right? We give you some pointers:

  1. Define your goals.
    And let your goals define your social media strategy. If you are looking to be a thought leader in your industry space, perhaps you need to focus more on blogging, LinkedIn and Twitter. Google+, Facebook and Twitter are excellent for customer interactions and engagement. So are a plethora of other social media platforms. If you need to choose the right one, you need to know what your goal is.
  2. No hardsell please.
    Let your ads do that. On social media networks, people are looking for information, engagement and real stories. Don’t use the space to exclusively market your products. What if that is your priority? You can talk about the difference or benefit your product or service can bring about, you can mention new developments in your industry, you can share happy client-speak and occasionally you can put up product-specific updates. Take some tips from Nike, one of the brands that leverages social media best.
  3. Be consistent, stay relevant.
    This may seem obvious but the truth is not many brands are consistent about implementing this: add your social media URLs to all your branding and marketing materials, from ads to visiting cards to signages used for an event and most importantly, your website. Help your customer stay connected to you by making it easier for them to find you on the social media platforms they use.
  4. Assign a budget.
    Signing up on a social media platform may be free but it takes time, effort and money to update and monitor your social media profiles perfectly. Defining a budget for social media activities and ads are crucial if you want to invest time in creating and sharing the right content. There are a lot of brands competing for attention on the social media space, and you need to allocate resources for your social media plans if you intend to take it seriously.

So what are your key goals when it comes to social media? What are the challenges you face when you are planning a social media strategy?

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Aren’t you blogging yet?

India is poised at the tip of a digital revolution, and leading the charge is social media. The number of people going online to search, review, browse or simply Facebook, has been quietly and steadily on the upswing: A comScore report for March 2013 says that 73.9 million Indians went online via a computer at home or at work; the figure was 56.3 million for March 2012. And that doesn’t count the thousands who check into the World Wide Web via their trusty mobile devices. Indian Internet users numbered 205 million in 2013, and industry observers expect it to hit 350 million by 2015. A lot of these users search for brand and product related information online. More than ever before, people are engaging with the brands they love (and occasionally, hate) online. Social media makes for an open forum where people can reach out to brands and hope to be heard.

While India is now officially Facebook’s second biggest market, poised to overtake the US by end-2014 to become the largest market, there is another quiet-yet-steady revolution brewing in Indian Internet-land. Blogging has found a large audience in India, and blogs are the new ‘reader’s digest’ for those who want news and views at their fingertips.  The data for March 2013 showed that blogs added 11.6 million new users in a year! So why aren’t more companies out there, blogging and letting the world know their point of view, the story of their brand, updates about new products and more?

If you thought ‘do people really spend time reading such stuff on the Internet?’, do know it is most often ‘the first place’ people turn to for information, for entertainment, for news and for just about anything. Companies and brands can increase their visibility, build brand image and reputation, create a trust factor and even drive sales via blogging. If your company does not have qualified people on board to write the right kind of stuff for your blogs or you are looking for expert help for high-quality or keyword blogging, you can always seek help from an agency that provides focused content solutions. An experienced blogger can help you find your brand’s voice and will be an asset in your digital brand-building exercise.

If you aren’t blogging yet, what is holding you back? And those who have tried blogging, what are the benefits you have derived and the challenges you face? We would love to hear from you, so do leave a comment.

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And…. we’re back!

Yes, it’s been nearly a year since our website has been down for revamping. Now it’s bright and shiny-new and tells you how we can help you use content to build and promote your brand.

In this past year, the world around us has changed by leaps and bounds, spurred on by giant strides in science and technology. We are now on the precipice of Internet for everyone, wearable technology is part of everyday fashion for many and Yahoo!, which reinvented itself under CEO Marissa Mayer, is thriving with its renewed focus on content. Which brings us to the importance of using the right content and the appropriate content platforms for your brand, whether you are looking at brand-building, marketing or building yourself as a thought leader in your space.

Over the coming weeks, we will bring you news and updates from the sectors of social media, PR, writing and more. And yes, also news from our wonderful home city, Kochi, and once in a while, interesting stuff that catch our eye.  So happy to be greeting all our readers once again, and look forward to meeting new audiences.

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Businesspeople Reading Pamphlet

Do’s & Don’ts of a Good Newsletter

For your business to be successful, it is extremely important to keep yourself on top of your client’s mind. A carefully crafted, well-timed and well-targeted newsletter can make your job easier. However, there is always a big debate on whether newsletters are effective or not. Newsletters work, no doubt; but only if they are done professionally. A newsletter put together shoddily, with no serious thought into its content or design, can backfire, doing more harm than good.
Image courtesy: Corbis
A good newsletter can secure the loyalty of existing customers and keep them updated about the full range of products and services you offer. It can also generate interest in new customers, besides reaching out to investors and other businesses, helping you build a wide and fruitful business network. Newsletters also make it easier for your existing customers to pass referrals to their friends who are likely to be interested in the products and services you offer.

Whether it is an online newsletter or a printed one, you should always follow a formula to keep them interesting for the target audience. Is there really any “news” to pass on to your customers via the newsletter? Unlike a brochure, which is intended to spread general info regarding a company, a newsletter is about news – something new and exciting that has happened in your business. You can even carry industry-specific information that could be of use to your readers.

Of course, a newsletter does give you the chance to sneak in an ad; but the idea is to do this without losing your audience and by talking about something they care about. Some important points to be remembered while creating a newsletter are:
  • Always send your newsletter to a well-thought out target customer group.
  • Get it done perfectly and professionally. Give it an expert touch. A professionally designed newsletter can instantly appeal to the reader’s aesthetic sense.
  • Keep them short, comprehensive and interesting.
  • Give your customer respect; build integrity.
The content of your newsletter should be eye catching, simple and to the point. Write short pieces that are informative and relevant for the customer. You do not have to be on a sales pitch all the time.
When done professionally, newsletters can convey your message and generate an impact for your business and achieve customer interest.

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Spread the word: how to help the world find your business on social media

Images courtesy: Corbis Images

Don’t we love Facebooking and Tweeting and all the other random things we do on social media! Brands love it too! And we love it when companies provide great social content that we can relate to, learn from, simply have fun with or even use to win a prize or two!

For the average user, social media is more about fun, catching up and games; for companies, however, a lot of thought, effort and strategy is put into making sure their presence on social networking sites is ‘just right’ and that the look and feel of their content lends to brand-building. Which is probably why the average user is not too focused on his/her ‘friends’ count while brands almost define their social media presence by the number of fans/likes/followers they have!

Stop and think, though, before pouring tons of money into apps that promise to deliver fans and followers aplenty. Do you really need those numbers that mean absolutely nothing to your bottomline or customer engagement or any of your other corporate goals? Do you even need fans you can literally buy, fans who have absolutely no connect with your brand? Why is it so important that a Facebook Page of say, a boutique, simply must have 10,000+ followers, if they are followers who are highly unlikely to set a foot in the store, forget buying something out there? Unless your social media strategy starts and ends with showing off, there’s no point in simply amassing a lot of followers who have absolutely no clue about your brand or are not interested in getting to know the brand at all.

No, this is not an argument defending the slow-paced growth of fan count on social media sites; on the contrary, do grow your “authentic” fans and followers, which in turn helps you connect easily to your clients, grow your business and do a whole lot more. But do understand that follower count will not pick up from 100 to 10,000 in a month or so! Businesses often do not realise that like any other medium (perhaps, more than any other medium), you need to do the giving first before you can hope to receive. 

And if you are already putting great content out there, here are some tips using your ‘real world’ presence that will help you popularise your brand’s social presence:
  • Email all clients and associates welcoming them to be a part of your community on FB, YouTube, blog, etc.
  • Add FB, Blogger, YouTube logos and links to email signatures and the company website.
  • Put social media logos along with page links in all written communiques (letterheads, brochures, press releases, print newsletters) and ads.
  • You can also display the social networking logos and page URLs in posters (with a message like: ‘Come, join us!’) in prominent areas in your office, common areas in your building (lifts, for instance) and also in eye-catching spots in your business and on your products as well.
Need more help with popularising your brand on social media? Feel free to dial us at +91-92872 17277 for a consultation or drop a line at

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