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

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Social Networking on the Windows Phone

We have all heard enough about social networking on Android and the large number of applications available for the same. Windows Phones (We are talking about the Windows Phone 7 Mango update here) are largely designed to aid social networking with just a few clicks.

Things we love about the Windows Phone

The People Hub

This is where all your social networking needs begin and end.

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The People Hub gives you updates from all your social networks, be it Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. And no, you will not be overwhelmed with updates (we all have that friend who posts about the Fortune Cookie he just opened on Facebook) because you can filter what you would like to see. You can choose to share a single status update with multiple social networking sites as well.

Have a contact you talk to all the time? Simply click on his/her contact and pin it to the start and you can see all their updates with one click. It is really that simple.

And yes, if you are one of those who like to keep their social networks separate and integration of everything in one is not what you want, you can always download separate apps for Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare or any other social network of your choice from the marketplace!

The Pictures Hub

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The ‘What’s New’ section of the Pictures Hub gives updates on pictures posted by your friends in any social network. Your personal albums are all visible under the albums section. This was a definite advantage for us since we stopped having back-ups or personal copies of photographs ever since Facebook came around. Having all our photographs on  our phone is a definite plus. Organising photographs is easy – you can filter by date, people or add pictures to a favourites’ list.

Calendar

Ever had the problem of having multiple calendars – one for your office meetings, one for personal appointments, one for birthdays from Facebook and so on? The built-in Calendar app integrates all your calendars so that you will never again miss an appointment or a birthday.

The icing on the cake – Microsoft Office

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Create a Word document, a presentation for tomorrow’s meeting, tabulate your bills in an excel sheet and share it over email or simply store it on SkyDrive to be accessed at leisure on your other devices. Need we say more?

All this is just the tip of the iceberg. The Windows Phone offers a lot more in terms of easy usability and social networking. Very different from the iPhone or Android phones, the Windows Phone is a pleasant change in the age of clutter and too many apps. Coupled with the refreshing live tiles UI, the Windows Phone is here to stay.

By: Jayashree Bhat

Image courtesy: http://www.microsoft.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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Think before you update!

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Do you feel social media sites make it easier for you to express your thoughts and give you freedom of speech? A lot of people find it easier to say things on these sites – things they might not say easily in person or even over the phone. But sometimes these ‘things’ could rather be rude or inappropriate in the name of ‘freedom of speech’. A lot of people use social media sites  to send one of “those” messages out into the universe to let off some steam or to just stir a controversy.

Do you REALLY need to say it?

Most of the times the messages are directed to a person who you know CAN and WILL see you status update or your tweet. Messages like “Why do I meet so many idiots” or “Why are some people mean around me” are some examples. While typing the message, seconds after an argument or a disagreeable conversation you know exactly who you have in mind. But you prefer sending out this ‘vague’ message thinking you’re venting out and not hitting direct either. But guess what, most of the times the person in question knows exactly what you are talking about. Your other friends’ ‘likes’ and words of sympathy don’t make the situation any better, infact it worsens it. Coming back to reality, would you have the guts to say the same things to this person in real? Absolutely not! That’s the reason you’re taking this alternative route to vent out.

Then why say it all?

Studies show that while people use social media to express their frustration over a situation or a person, most of the times instead of them feeling better about having said it, it leads to a feeling of guilt and embarrassment moments later, after the ‘steam’ goes down. And then they quickly try to undo the damage in every possible way but most times it’s too late because Google has saved your message forever.  Sometimes this can even lead to more mis-communication than communication and a lot of confusion around you!

No one likes a ‘whiner’

While people around you might give your negative ‘message’ some attention, do you think they are really being appreciative of it? Most of the times – no! You might have well become the laughing stock of the day or tagged as the ‘whiner’. Very few people on your social network actually care about your miserable situation so why give them a chance to talk about it at all?

So the next time you update your status or tweet about an argument or want to pass a personal comment about someone- count 10, breathe and think if you really need to do this or would you rather talk about something happier? 

– Suruchi & Naimeesha

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

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PHOTOS – to tingle your funny bone!

Social media can be a funny thing because we have become so dependent on it in our daily lives. For most of us, life is unthinkable without our daily glace at Facebook or Twitter.

We are sure you wonder from time to time about what’s up with your friends. So what do you do – instead of picking up the phone and calling, you write them a ‘wall post’ and wait for their reply in anticipation.

Oh yes! Social media can be a funny thing indeed. Check out these pictures and give us a “like” if you have been in a situation just like these pictures.

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By: Naimeesha Murthy & Suruchi Jajoo

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