B2B Marketers: Get Cracking and Get Social

B2B and Social Media Marketing

Recent studies reveal that 73% of B2B Marketers who make use of social media tools have been very effective in delivering content and driving traffic to websites., Yet, today Marketers are skeptic about exploring the possibilities of the digital universe. Having said that, my question to all the marketers, especially those who specialize in the area of B2B would be- in this day and age when you hear of a budding company or a service, what do you do first? I’m guessing:

Step 1: Google what you are looking for

Step 2: Look for their Facebook page to ensure that it is a legit company

Step 3: Boom! In less than 2 minutes you have probably made a judgment about the product or service

Am I right or am I right? Let’s admit it. We are all snooping and digging to get the best deals. Actually, I would like to call this as ‘doing my due diligence’. Having said that, if I were considering opening a store and looking at purchasing opportunities from a whole-seller, let’s say in India who does not have any digital presence except a beaten down website, would I really think of the company highly? My answer would be, NO. I don’t know about the baby-bloomer generation, maybe they think it’s a waste of money to invest in a digital presence, but I can assure you that generation Y functions differently. We do want to see dazzling websites along with engaging social media presence because the reality is that none of us really want to talk to too many people, we just want to research make a judgment and redeem services or purchase products. It’s as easy as that.

Whether it is the architectural industry, IT consulting or retail, my advice to all the B2B marketers would be to wake up and smell the coffee. If at all you are looking at sustaining your Business presence in the long run, investing in creating a brand is almost mandatory. Here is a good start for those of you who want to begin creating an effective brand image:

–       Website re-vamp: Ensure that your website is informative, visually appealing and user-friendly

–       Content: Marketing in 2013 has wholly revolved around content. Sources state that 23% of Internet time is spent on blogs. So if you are looking at converting that traffic into leads, I would say invest in content of all kind, – e-mailers, newsletters, webinars, slideshares etc. In other words, good content is directly proportional to SEO optimization

–        Social Media: Identify what social media tools work best for you and start engaging your audience. Keep in mind that retaining a potential customer and keeping them informed and engaged is more valuable than acquiring one –  both financially as well as socially. So, get Social! You really don’t want to metamorphosize into a relic company and perish because you could not stay germane. Yes, some traditional marketing techniques are still a vital part. But believe me this is changing and in a few years it could even be non-existent. Who knows?! Perhaps, we could all be a part of digital conventions someday so get cracking and get social.

-Naimeesha Murthy

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Someone cast a spell!

Do you remember doing dictation when you were little? Yes, the one where the teacher read out a word and you wrote it down and points were awarded for spelling it correctly. Where ‘Practice’ and ‘Practise’ and ‘diary’ and ‘diary’ could be your undoing!

Not so long ago, when I came across a difficult word, I read it a couple of times, trying to memorise it in the hope that I could use it again and spell it correctly. I do not do that anymore.

Why not? Well, for one, just like the Microsoft Word document I am typing this in, everything comes with a built-in dictionary. I can even type gibberish and Word will helpfully offer a meaningful word or a sentence. I no longer have to remember how connoisseur is spelt. I no longer try to remember anything, as a matter of fact. For I think that I will always have Google by my side!

It sounds surprisingly like a good thing, that it is indeed making our lives easier, but that is just a façade. The fact that we are depending lesser on our brains and more on the devices around us can only spell doom. I wonder what everyone would do if there was a humungous power outage that lasted days and all we could do was read regular books and use a pen and paper. That unlikely possibility aside, I just do not like the idea of needing a word processer/ T9 dictionary to express myself in writing.

Think Twitter – expressing yourself in 140 characters or less. We, as people, want to convey as much as we can and 140 characters are, well, rather less! This makes us use all kind of abbreviations, often making people ask in the comments, “Did you mean ‘ate’ when you wrote 8?” It sounds hilarious, but it is just a little scary.

Remember orkut and now Facebook? Commenting on photos and liking status messages leaves us short of time, making us want to keep our sentences as short as possible. With the advent of smart phones and them being used for social networking, “wat is dis?” is not an uncommon sentence to be seen. The smooth touch keyboards make us less likely to type too!

Sms-ese  (The language of SMSes. Inspired from the word Chinese/Japanese) has attracted enough hate mail. But it continues to be ironically funny. HRU? TTYL. BRB. GR8. Though I belong to the SMS generation, it still irks me no end to decipher these cryptic sentences.  Webster must definitely be turning in his grave.

Also, depending on auto-correct could lead to quite a few mix-ups.

That one did go well, but Google some autocorrect mix-ups. (They are too politically incorrect to be here, but they are hilarious!)

Maybe the next time you read a difficult word, you will pause and murmur the word to yourself a couple of times?

By – Jayashree Bhat

Image Courtesy: http://www.9gag.com

Call us on +919739388168 (India) or +15853010801 (USA) or drop in a mail – socobuzzer@gmail.com

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Prediction: Is Facebook here to stay or will it fall prey?

Facebook – the favorite social networking website of the world was launched in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg along with his college roommates and fellow students Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. The website’s membership was originally limited to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It slowly added support for students at various other universities before opening to high school students, and eventually to anyone. The company claims almost 1 billion users today.

Facebook was very successful in phasing out it’s predecessors like Hi5 and Myspace. So the big question that has been hovering around a lot is – is Facebook in for a long innings or will the bubble burst in the coming years?

Facebook approaches their model from a standpoint of longevity; they are strategically planning 5 or 10 years out as we speak. Look at the ‘Like’ button for instance. This is a function of Facebook which has migrated to the rest of the web. Similarly Facebook’s future success depends on product innovation and new services, without which the user population will migrate to other “hives”.

The current fluctuation in the stock price is no indication of future prospects, but for the myopic vision of the short term investors and speculators. In the long term the company has to try and monetize their user data, so that they can realize their true market value. Facebook is currently sitting on a pile of cash and how they put this cash to use is yet to be seen. Will they squander it in empire building projects or will they put it in return enhancing projects is a question that only the future will answer.

Facebook has not only captured the market share but also increased share of mind and heart which makes its members keep coming back. The first question that arises in most people’s mind when they think about Facebook not being around is what happens to the many pictures, conversations and memories that we have on this site? For most, it’s almost impossible to imagine life without a daily dose of Facebook!

We are in a relationship building age of marketing, what Facebook is offering now is in line with societal movements and therefore it is highly unlikely that it will not be around in a few years or something bigger or better will take away this position of monopoly from them. As preferences change, Facebook sticking around will come down to whether or not they can serve the needs of its members. If not, then you can assume Facebook would fall prey.

By: Suruchi & Naimeesha

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Call us on +919739388168 (India) or +15853010801 (USA) or drop in a mail – socobuzzer@gmail.com

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Sid Mallaya, Watch what you tweet!

                     

The Royal Challengers owner Sidhartha Mallya was the newest celeb to get into trouble for his tweets. While defending Luke who is a part of the Royal Challengers team, Sid Mallya in turn went on to accuse the girl who charged Luke of molestation and expressed it pretty openly through social media.

His tweet read, “The girl who is accusing Luke is saying he hit her ‘fiance’…what a load of f*****g shit. She was all over me last night and asked for me (sic) bbm pin, so if he was her fiance she wasn’t exactly behaving like a future wife” The Twitter rage did not last too long after Sid Mallya received a legal notice for his tweets and now has been advised to keep a low profile by his media managers.

So, was it the heat of the moment or have a lot of us taken these mediums for granted as a mass medium to put our point across?

The difference between freedom of speech and defamation:

While some of us think it is alright to say just about anything about a person or a situation in a democratic country, this might not be the most lawful situation. Therefore it is important to understand where we need to draw the line.

There’s a thin line between ‘freedom of speech’ and ‘defamation’. The right to freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights according to the Indian constitution. Freedom of speech is defined as political right to communicate one’s opinions and ideas via speech (written or verbal). However, the right is commonly subject to limitations, as with libel, slander, obscenity and incitement to commit a crime. Slander and Libel both are types of defamation which means communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, or nation a negative image. This can be also any disparaging statement made by one person about another, which is communicated or published, whether true or false, depending on legal state. In India, Defamation takes place “by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations”.

So the next time you are about to type a tweet or update your status message which could offend someone, beware! Your words might land you in a legal soup.

By: Suruchi & Naimeesha

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Call us on +919739388168 (India) or +15853010801 (USA) or drop in a mail – socobuzzer@gmail.com

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How you can be the next “Justin Biber” [VIDEO]

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Wondering, what Justin Biber did right which made him so big?

Practice and persistence? If it was that simple then why isn’t that singer with that enthralling voice at New York City 42ndstreet subway station not a swanky sensation who breaks millions of hearts?

Here is the truth, times are changing and there is more than just talent and X factor required to make the cut. The new generation mantra to be a legend is TALENT+ SOCIAL MEDIA.

Yes you read that right! You could be the next big thing and you don’t always need to have the ‘right’ connections or wait around in the reception of recording companies for hours anymore.

Bieber is a living example of that. This Canadian sensation uploaded his video on YOUTUBE in 2008 when he was discovered by his manager Scooter Braun. There was no stopping Justin since then! Not only did he pass the likeability test but outshined in every way on social media which almost forced people to fall in LOVE with him.

So all you budding actors and singers, here’s a piece of advice –the click button is waiting for you -get your social media act together and UPLOAD!

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By: Naimeesha & Suruchi

Call us on +91 9739388168 (India) or +15853010801 (USA) or drop in a mail – socobuzzer@gmail.com

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A…B…C’s of Facebook Ads!

When you login to your Facebook account you usually see a few ads on the right hand side. You can click on these ads, “Like” them or make them disappear if you are not interested in them.

Facebook ads can be set up as pay per click ads or pay per impression ads, but they are different from most PPC ads as they incorporate a picture. When you setup an ad in Facebook, you can choose the demographics of the people that you want to show the ad to. This is big, as you can narrow down your target audience based on their age, sex, where they live, what their interests are and much more. This means that these ads are many times more targeted than Google Adwords and Yahoo Ads can ever be.

The image you use in your ad is very important and you should be sure to choose something extremely eye catching, but obviously related to your ad. If you choose the pay per click method the price you pay for your ad will vary based on how successful your ad is – the higher the CTR (click through rate), the lower your cost per click.

We want your opinion, take this poll:

Traditional advertising VS Social media – So close, yet so far!

While typing the headline, I was confused. Which side am I going to take when I put my thoughts together in this blog?  Social media or traditional advertising? At one point I knew I was going to be all in favor of social media because that’s the way to go – easy, quick, connects with people instantly and affordable. On the other hand I wonder if social media can survive by itself -without the support of traditional advertising. That’s when you really wonder, is it an either-or fight or can they co-exist peacefully?

So, has social media declared a war on good old, traditional advertising? While some might say social media is just a part of a good full-proof advertising plan in today’s digital world, others feel it is well going to be(or already is) the reason for the decline of other advertising mediums.

An average American spends roughly 13 hours in a week on the internet and the same watching television. But the trend is soon to change because Gen X (age 31-45) prefers spending more time on the internet. Should that be a cause of worry or advertisers around the world should look at it as an opportunity to get up, close and personal with their customers?

Are they really mutually exclusive?

I would think social media and other advertising mediums go hand in hand. Take the example of television vs print. At one point, print medium was the most effective way of reaching out to the masses and then came the television – which stole the thunder from print and took marketing spends to a different level. Though print did not receive the undivided attention of marketers any more, it still continued to be on every marketer’s perfect mix of advertising spends.  The reason is simple. It still reached the audience who could not be reached by television and even if it did, it served as a good point of recall. Which has higher recall? Well that can be debated several times over. Similarly, social media should ideally be a ‘part’ of a good advertising plan, and not a mutually exclusive entity.  However, the percentage of this mix can be debated depending on the demographics and product or service in question.

The price war

Social media has the power of connecting with the target audience instantly. It is more ‘affordable’. Yes, affordability is another factor where social media scores the brownie points. On one hand a good television advertisement might run your bill into millions but a Facebook ‘like’ on your product or services page might cost you nothing! So how do you decide what is really worth the monies?

The ‘Choice’ is yours!

Experts feel that while social media reaches the audience in a more up-close and personal way, it also gives the customer too much of a ‘choice’. For example the ‘choice’ of being liked or followed. A television ad  does not give you that choice. If you are watching a game, you don’t have a choice BUT to watch the ad that plays in the 30 second ad-break. Similarly, if you are reading a magazine, you do not have a choice BUT to flip through the ad on the page before you move to the next one. You can surely change the channel or decide to close the magazine but the chances are unlikey. You are more likely to continue watching the ad in anticipation of the game starting any minute. This is where traditional advertising scores. It reaches you, whether you want it to or not.

So, are they really worth the fight? Maybe not. Maybe a smarter idea is to work on a good mix of traditional advertising and social media to reach the customers more effectively.

Written By: Suruchi Jajoo

Photo Credit: Naimeesha Moola

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