Is your Twitter dressed to the nines?

Resolutions fail because they are vague, they can be easily achieved if we pin down the actions rather than the goal itself. Most common and apt business resolution is to optimise the Twitter Profile this year, and here’s my new year gift to you all. An action packed list to help you achieve this goal:

1)    Stitch in time saves nine
How secure is your password? Test it here http://howsecureismypassword.net “Change is good” and a periodic change for your password is a security mandate. Can I ask when was the last time you changed your Twitter or any frequently used account password? Ah! I can imagine your wide-opened eyes and dropped jaw for your own answer.

2)    Would YOU follow you?
Check your profile often and keep questioning yourself.  I am sure your profile looks great, it is recommended to enliven it every now and then. How about reviewing your design settings now and refreshing it. https://twitter.com/settings/design This is a wonderful feature. You can even customise the design based on an upcoming event of your business.

3)    Is your Bio up-to-date? 
You were on the drawing board last summer and revised your business’s profile to be in sync with your expanded line of product, services and the new goals. It should reflect accurately at your social footprints as well just like your employee book, website and all the policies. Time to review your twitter bio and re-write, if required.  https://twitter.com/settings/profile

4)    Give it a little swirl
This is an appropriate time to review the people you are following. Unfollow the ones you just started following in the flow, start following a few new and keep the mix right. Twitter profile health checks offered by “Twitter Counter” can be a good place to start.

5)    Get better with a Bitly account
Twitter automatically shortens URLs for you when you compose a tweet. But they use their own shortened and that doesn’t give you any access to the statistics that you may essentially need. Some Twitter interfaces let you to connect to Bitly and that way you can always go back to that site to see which URLs did good.

6)    Get an app
The web interface of Twitter is fine, however its helpful to have an app for your smart devices and see if it helps you operate your social world more effectively. HootSuite, TweeDeck, TweetCaster, Scheduling, managing different accounts and platform at once, statistics are some features of these apps and interfaces that can help you achieve your goals and carve your content and twitter strategy.

7)    Pull the plug for all unwanted apps
This is yet another very important security arena we often miss. The number of apps you have given permission to do mostl everything they want on your account. The number will surely surprise you. Some might still be appropriate, but there might be a few you tested once and never used even for a second time. They are better off if disconnected. https://twitter.com/settings/applications

8)    Flourish with more Followers
Never stop announcing your presence, the excitement and efforts should be as fresh as when you had just started on Twitter. Mention your Twitter handle in your email signature, contact page, sidebar of your blog, Google+ page, LinkedIn profile.. at every social footprint of yours. Are your employees aware of your social footprints? You could be losing on a ready to use followers base. Don’t leave any stone unturned. Employee handbook, newsletter, sen an email to the employees and your customers with a friendly reminder that you are active on Twitter and a few instructions on how to follow you. Try making it visible at the entrance to your office.

9)    Love is a universal language
Twitter wouldn’t be Twitter without the engagements between tweeps. Show some love to your followers and keep the conversation on. Retweets, replies and the stars keep tweeps connected and a bit of the mention goes a long way.

With the above and a few tips from my previous post, your social footprints will shine with the glory.

14 must-dos to improve your social impression in 2014

social_christmas_tree

Just like you I was totally tempted to surrender to the bubbly, mulled wine, cookies and cakes so I started with the yearly housekeeping and just then it occured to me that I am meant to do the yearly tidying to my social as well.

Well whilst you decorate your Christmas tree and warm up for the New Year cheer, this is a suitable time to do a little social media housekeeping. Here are top 14 stars to add glamour and sturdiness to your social cheer. Get them all done and you’ll enter the New Year with a stronger base.

  1. Verify your Google profile – Google+ made colossal progress this year. You can try some simple updates. If you haven’t already, customize your URL so your company page is legitimate and easier to find and share.
  2. Tarot card readings didn’t fetch you well this year? Try Twitter Cards? Well I find Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards very promising. They allow you to collect leads directly from tweets. Christmas is a great time to try new things, and these have no form for users to fill in – cherry on the top, isn’t it?
  3. Fine tune your content – Now is a good time to review all the content shared and plan ahead. Be creative. Experiment!
  4. Take a Google Analytics course – No business is complete without acumens. Insights is everything. Google analytics course will be a true investment of your time and money, well only the time as it’s free now.
  5. A lot can happen over LinkedIn –Sponsored Updates allow businesses to promote any post from their company page directly into a specific demographics’ news feed. Give it a go.
  6. Be the “Titleholder” – Had a good social 2013? Highlight your work with internal staging, newsletter and creative comms using Vine, videos, infographics. Celebrate your social triumph!
  7. “My father taught me many things … keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” (Yes, I was watching “Godfather” last night. Yes, Again!)Take a few steps back and get the wider view of the marketplaces. Understand what worked well for your competitors and what didn’t. Learn and take notes to fin-tune your social strategy.
  8. Play with video – Now you can create and edit videos on the Instagram app as well as photos. And what’s more, these videos outdo the 6 second restriction of Vine, so it’s worth testing which platforms work best for you.
  9. Get on the right side of the law – The legal systems of any nation wasn’t  made with social in mind so they have had to adapt. Get better prepared for legislation in 2014. An appropriate time to refresh and brush the legal knowledge. Research time!
  10. Re-state your statement  – Once you’re aware of the legal risks, you’ll no doubt want to get your housekeeping in order. Re-draft your social policy; it should cover everything from changing passwords to protecting the company against liability caused by your workforce. Many free and reliable workbooks are available online.
  11. Sieve and revive – Get rid of the channels which are not suited for your business and re-focus your efforts on active platforms.
  12. Surf the net for inspiration – This is a great time to do a bit of research. Some casual surfing can land you with great ideas for the next twelve months. Start by checking out what competitors have been up to!
  13. Social also needs some “alone-time”  – While business is not that chaotic and busy, reflect upon the risks and vulnerabilities in social. What worked for you and where could you improve? How will you go about making change? Who else in your company could you tempt with cake to get some guidance?
  14. Before you get Christmassy – Before you pour that drink to your success, plan the social media content and dispenser during the holidays. There should be Christmas in the virtual world as well. Isn’t it?

Wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happier 2014!

Is your emotional leadership instinct inexplicably bottled-up?

Individual leaders also face a fabricated dichotomy to forge their identity as a rigorous, results-oriented tyrant or be a nurturing, naive softy who doesn’t meet targets. In some settings, an individual leader is perceived as powerful and effectual only if they are unemotional.

Contrary to the expectation that leaders can emulate machines, positions of power are actually centres of intense emotional experience; responsibility, loyalty, and trust are major concerns in the mind of a leader. Nonetheless, the business climate has favoured delegitimizing such emotional considerations.

“The instinct of a spectacular leader is to have emotional awareness of those around him in order to support the requirements for long-term company success.

“Today, this leadership instinct is suppressed.”

Time to wake up to the value and rewards of allowing emotion into your leadership practices, your workplace behaviour and your brand’s presence.

Not a replacement for your business strategies. But rather an additional element to what you do.

The Collaborative Marketing Future – How co-creation and activism will make companies win!

baker_logo-2Just ten years ago, Facebook did not exist. Communication was primarily one-to-one, and marketers focused almost exclusively on mass communication to a mass audience. The last decade saw swift change and technological growth that marketers are just beginning to put into the right angel; not only change in communications, but in empowerment, permitting consumers to influence and take co-ownership of brands.

The conjoint theme across all of this change is an evolution towards alliances, relationships, partnership and Collaboration. The future of marketing is a future where brands must market “with” consumers, not “at” them, thinking advantageously about inviting consumers into the marketing process. The days of tossing products and services on customers are way behind us. Today’s customer is educated, conversant and equipped hence demands an alliance and not dismisses the isolation.

A Collaborative Marketing Future is not in “work in progress” mode. It’s a reality already set in motion, one that is consistent with consumers’ innate tendencies to share and contribute. It’s a future where the companies that are closest to the buyers, use and advocate for their products win.

What is Collaborative Marketing?

Web definition A broad term used to describe a wide variety of partnerships — retailer and product manufacturer, product manufacturer and product.

One of the first definitions of “collaborative marketing” was developed by top management consultant and author of The Power of Pull, John Hagel.

In 2006, he described the major shifts in business moving:

FROM CONVENTIONAL MARKETING BUILT UPON THREE “I’S” TO “COLLABORATION MARKETING” DEFINED IN TERMS OF THREE “A’S”

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The evolution of marketing towards collaboration

The first ever recorded advertisement was placed in a Boston newspaper in 1704. For the earlier 300 years, the formula was bumpily the same – mass marketing messages to mass audiences. This was the main means through which consumers discovered new products and services. In the 1990s and early 2000s, the Internet, and more recently transmuted social technologies, began to change the primary fundamentals of how companies market their products.

In 2006, Facebook opened its doors beyond teen agers and college goings, and the next year Twitter’s growth exploded. The arrival of social technologies brought about a new era of real-time communication where anyone could share anything with the rest of the world.  This began what we have termed the first stage of social marketing, Social Listening. Marketers were able to listen in consumers’ conversations about their products for the first time with great ease. This definitely opened up the market for social listening tools market.

In 2008, Facebook launched the brand page and pressed a tournament for marketers to gain more and more fans. In turn, the second phase of social marketing was launched: Social Management. Many Platforms emerged to help brands acquire and manage these fans, perform and utilise social listening and data.

Marketers built large social databases, and the challenge became how to best leverage social communities to drive real, bottom-line value. These platforms help companies to convert the gold mine of data into valuable information.

Now, we are entering the third phase, Collaborative Marketing. The need of the hour for the companies is to market with, not at, their most loyal customers. By providing these consumers with a special seat at the table with their favourite brands, consumers will generate an endless supply of penetration, ideas, acumen and content on the brands’ behalf. Perhaps even more importantly, these customers will serve as an essential broadcasting channel for delivering a brand’s message to relevant audiences. Customers are the new brand ambassadors now, rather the most and only accepted ones.