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

Photo: freedigitalphotos.net/photoraidz
Photo: freedigitalphotos.net/photoraidz

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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Social Media for the Uninitiated – I

“What is social media?” It is a question we often come across from friends, associates and mostly, prospective clients. The minute we mention names like Facebook and Twitter, most faces light up in recognition. However, even then, a majority of people do not understand what our scope of work is, or in the case of potential clients, they wonder how a page on Facebook or an account on Twitter can help their business.

We don’t blame them since the media (print and electronic, that is) has just about started talking about social media and the impact it has been making. For most people (read businesses), an account on Facebook is for youngsters who have nothing better to do. Having been in this business for over a year, and having made a difference to our clients’ businesses, it’s time we delved into the ‘whats’, ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of social media, once again. (No, we don’t get tired of doing this!)

Let’s start with something simple. Traditional businesses believe in keeping things under wraps. They like it quiet, and they love keeping ‘secrets’. But the ‘secret’ ingredient of Gen Y marketing is to SHARE. Share information, knowledge, news, tips, whatever there is to share and that will bring you one step closer to your client. Getting under the skin of your brand is just not enough. Look beyond selling; think bonding. And the best way to bond with your client is to get on to the same platform as him—reach him via social media. The mantra is to ‘Become Accessible!’ Clients love brands which are accessible.

According to the leading business daily, The Economic Times, Indian consumers use social media to convey grievances.

So if you are not on the network, how do you address these grievances? The complaints will largely remain unattended, and you will soon find your business going out to other companies (which are most likely to be social media savvy)!

It is high time businesses took social media seriously. Your online presence does not begin and end with a website. If you are a small business, how do you let people know you exist? If you are a large one, how do you convey that you are within reach? Start networking!

However, social media is not just about getting a page ready and inviting people to become fans or followers. Social media is 24/7. You have to be active round the clock and constantly stay in touch with your fan base. Answer questions, give people titbits to chew on, keep interactions alive, bond with your “fans”—do anything to stay top-of-the-mind. Clichéd but true; THINK OUT OF THE BOX!

We will leave you with this interesting video on the revolution called Social Media. 

Tell us what you think! Meanwhile, keep checking this space, because there is a lot more gyaan on Social Media coming up right here!

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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 info@dropcapmedia.com.

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Integrate your email signature with your social media presence

Saying too much in an email to a client is unpardonable, especially if you are saying too much about yourself. But what do you do if you want to add relevant content about yourself in outgoing mails without being seen as pushy or egotistical?

A friend’s early-morning email was an eye-opener! It featured her one-of-a-kind signature powered by WiseStamp, integrating links to her Blogger, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. What’s more, you can create separate signatures for personal and business use, which means all your friends can still keep receiving your personal blog rather than the updates in your official blog, which might be irrelevant to some of them.

Sumi Thomas
Wordsmith @ DropCap
+91-484-6593654
+91-98461 75588 

Connect here: FacebookLinkedInBloggerTwitter

Signature powered by WiseStamp
Sumi
My profiles: FacebookLinkedInBloggerTwitter
Signature powered by WiseStamp 

And the installation is simple and hassle-free, requiring zero technical expertise. You can also add an image or a logo to your signature through Flickr or Picasa. WiseStamp FAQs answer nearly every technical query you may have while trying to create a signature of your own. What’s more, the site even gives you ideas on creating an interesting signature! Happy signing, folks!

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