A new decade is upon us, and while it’s nice to reminisce about all that we have accomplished in the past year and in the last decade, I prefer to look towards the future. There are undoubtedly lessons for us in the bygone years; but looking through the kaleidoscope of the past, it’s difficult to predict what the future of marketing will look like five, or ten years down the line. A new wave of marketing reforms and technologies could sweep us off our feet, and compel us to adapt and adopt quickly, or force us to perish trying. Okay, that sounded a bit too ominous, but you catch my drift, don’t you?
I perhaps spend about 30mins of each waking day either glancing through e-mails and text messages or taking calls, from brands that try to sell me everything from pizza to luxury condos. I am not exaggerating in the slightest, when I tell you that I literally have to say “No thank you, I am not looking for a personal loan” at least five times a day.
There is this factoid that says – every individual is ‘exposed’ to anywhere between 5000 – 20,000 brand messages in a single day. This could be true. But does that mean that the individual has ‘seen’ all those messages? Probably not. But I am going to make a guesstimate and say that the individual, a potential customer, pays attention to at least 5 – 10 ads/brand messages which they chance upon in a day. In such a scenario, how does the brand ensure that their message resonates with the customer and stands out, amidst the legions of unsolicited messages thrust at them?
eCommerce has grown exponentially over the years. New eCommerce brands are sprouting in every nook and corner around the globe, while the established ones continue to fortify their hold on existing markets and forage into newer economies. The prime reason for this is that consumers now have higher disposable incomes – “have money, will spend.” In such a lucrative market scenario, how could technology and internet giants be left behind? Google, Twitter, Apple and Facebook, to name a few, are players looking to sink their teeth into the eCommerce pie. These companies are partnering with and in some cases even acquiring firms, which will enable them to provide users with a one-stop shopping/payment experience.
Community Management (or presence management, like some would call it) is a very fascinating job and a very critical one too, since the community manager is quite often the face of a brand on social media. Everyone knows by now that social media is a very ruthless and unforgiving animal, and that makes a community manager’s job even more challenging. Unlike with the television and print mediums, social media is a perpetually functioning entity and almost everything happens in near real-time. In such a state, it’s quite easy to commit blunders, either due to oversight or mere sloppiness.
Participating in social media is not just an option any more. The real test of social media engagement now lies in whether we have the ability to sustain it and ensure scalability. While enterprises across industries are fast adopting the channel, the Indian healthcare industry is still grappling to get a foot in the door. There is a pertinent need for the healthcare industry to identify and capitalize on opportunities presented due to customers’ affinity to this platform.
So here we are, already halfway through the year. How time flies! And I know what you’re wondering to yourself right now – How can anybody have anything to talk about social media that hasn’t already been said before? My sentiments exactly. But don’t fret; I’m not going to make an attempt to preach to the choir. Let’s leave that to the Mashables of the world 😛 What I wanted to talk about in this post however, is about where social media is headed and what it holds in store for you and me.
First things first. Happy New Year folks! Hope 2014 ushers in more success, prosperity and joy for you and your loved ones.
A lot has already been said on the topic of social media advocacy/advocates and influence/influencers. However, a lot of people still inadvertently substitute one term with the other. Though both groups are indispensable to a marketer, the objectives they help achieve are divergent. The oxford dictionary delineates the two terms as follows:
A public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy.
The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.
The definitions of the two terms makes it adequately clear that they’re not the same and that they cannot be used interchangeably. Now let’s put them into the social media perspective.
The # symbol until not too long ago was just another one of those inconspicuous keys on your keyboards and telephones. The hash (or the pound symbol like the Americans like to call it) symbol was rarely used other than in mathematical or coding (software programming) terms. Of course, there were a few other usages, like for example I was one of those few people who liked to prefix # before a number because I had grown up knowing it to be the number sign, though I later realized that this wasn’t a very popular practice. Also, there were those (and still is; maybe more so now, than before) rare instances when the IVR systems asked us to press the # key to confirm the input we made. Then Twitter happened, and all of a sudden the # symbol was catapulted into the limelight, even surpassing the fame its cousin the @ symbol had managed to garner since the advent of e-mail communication.
So here we’re, in the year 2013. The good news is that the ‘bubble’ we’ve all come to know as social media is still intact! In fact, it’s soaring. With a spurt in internet and smartphone penetration over the past few years, more users are connected through social media today than what most of us would’ve expected until sometime back. Social has become one of the top buzzwords today – in schools/colleges, conference/board rooms, brainstorming sessions and even in our very own homes. It’s transforming the way we communicate, collaborate, entertain and consume/share information. The ‘what’ has already been addressed, the ‘why’ and ‘when’ is inessential, what we really need to now focus on is the ‘how’. How are we going to leverage social media to improve how individuals connect to one another and how brands connect with customers? Because at the end of the day, isn’t that what social media is all about?
Let’s take a crack at the second part of the ‘How’, shall we?
The simplest things can prove to be exceptionally complex for some, just like Twitter. Yes, it can be a bit intimidating at first but once you get a hang of it, Twitter is very addictive.For folks who have progressed from Orkut to Facebook, the concept of the 140 character status update is quite puzzling. Through this post, I intend to share a few reasons why I believe Twitter is a cut above the rest and why everyone should use it.