The global reach of Social Media

Social Media Strategy
Planning your Social Media Strategy. (source : Advanced Human Technologies)

For every requirement such as bonding with friends & sharing life’s secrets, articulating strong opinions, analysis & evaluation of a trend, or learning while watching; there are a plethora of social media options to choose from for each of the things that form part of our intent. The year 2011, surely promises to augment this virtual brotherhood, i.e. this optimal representative of a globalizing world.

Hence keeping pace with the following trends becomes mandatory for users and beneficiaries of social media:

Marketing, Marketing & Marketing

In an era of increasing competition, a good company can become great mostly on the basis of its promotional campaigns and by building customer loyalty. In such a scenario, the low-cost endorsement option provided by social media is a godsend. Companies can advertise, inform and describe their products all in a compact space and market themselves to a sundry consumer base.

Visionary brands need to realize that social media is about sending meaningful messages and building relationships. A good example of this is the Pepsi Refresh Project. People will only ‘like’ a product or organization on Facebook because they vaguely appreciate it, but the more significant challenge is to make them come back continually.

Preaching & Professionalism

People who can delineate the company’s vision clearly should blog, manage discussion forums and play the role of virtual ambassadors. It is essential to choose and train the right person to fashion a buoyant company image. Every department in an organization – R&D, Sales, HR; should have representatives on the social web whose sole purpose should be to have the right impact on the customers so that the strategic intent of the organization for its customers is known to one and all.

Real-Time Worrying, should be Handled

Keeping pace with responses to a post or a product is difficult with so many different channels, but it is of great consequence. Discussions should be kept alive and running, as should regular updates about fresh developments. Starbucks engaged its fans with its feedback and contribution forum My Starbucks Idea. Dierdre Walsh, Community and Social Media Manager of National Instruments says, “Listening and engaging in meaningful dialogue with customers both on our site and in social media outlets like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter helps us provide quality support, improve products, and build loyalty.”

Some tools used for such social media monitoring and analysis are uberVU, Flinchline (a Dutch tool with international focus), Meltwater Buzz, Radian6, Argyle Social and and this brand monitoring tool from Brandmentions.

Wise Content will itself create Wise Branding

What you write can create your ‘brand’. Even if a chewing gum is discussed intelligently on a blog, it is likely to become a brand. Creating interesting content is half the battle won. For that content, developers must study the requirements of their audience/consumers. Journalism is being re-invented in the world of social media, and every man has a story to tell. Remember, it’s the “telling” that counts.

Branding with the help of Top Four Social Media streams

Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn are at the top of the social media pyramid. If your company is not here, then you are missing out on a huge customer base. More than individual websites, it is imperative that your presence is felt on these illustrious mediums. Until more social media sites come up, make sure you keep updated information, advertisements, discussions, promotional offers and fan responses on these forums.

Further, Anthony J. Bradley lists 6 core principles that underlie the value of social media solutions — Participation, Collective, Transparency, Independence, Persistence & Emergence.

So, let’s just say “Cheers” to all the above mentions!

Don’t Let Facebook ruin your Brand Image

Many entrepreneurs are eager to grab some publicity off of the social networking model and Facebook is obviously the most obvious place to begin. However, just because Facebook is the most successful social networking site does not mean that it is the easiest to work into your business model. Facebook is NOT for Business says other social networks can already do everything that Facebook is capable of.

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What empowers the revolution called ~ Android

It has been quite an exciting ride for Android from being seen as a very small time substitute of Apple’s iPhone to becoming the most sought after mobile operating system. There are many reasons cited which personify Android to be one of the best technological innovations that has happened in the last decade or so. It is vital that we know the chief aspects which essentially empower Android and have, over a period of time transformed it to be more popular than iPhones.

Always a competitor of iPhone!

Android since its inception is seen as a competition of Apple’s iPhone. It was not too long ago when Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Google and Apple were all on the same page and it was Apple that broke the shackles with the initiation of the iPhone in the year 2007. It was written off by Blackberry and Windows who persisted on bringing something better than the iPhone. However, one player — Google, followed iPhone’s lead and brought out its own mobile operating system — Android the very next year in 2008.

Having followed pursuit, Android has over time grown and developed to an extent wherein its applications, features, etc. are considered better off than those possessed by Apple’s iPhone.

Android

The backing of a Brand

Android is a system that is dependent on Open-Source and Linux. Though in recent times the number of Linux users has been on the rise, it is yet to make a major impact on the personal computer market. Forecasts are still made on the fact that ‘Linux will eventually replace Windows’ and many mobile operators since have put in efforts to incorporate Linux, but in vain. Android is the one that adapted Linux onto its system and has thus enhanced Linux’s growth in the mobile phone business beyond growth in both desktop and server business.

All this has been possible because of one major factor and that is the brand name of Google. Whatever scandal it may have been in or is still involved in, Google has since long achieved tremendous trust and brand loyalty from its consumers. This is a result of decades of hard and innovative work that Google has put in.

The existence of a Chaotic yet Organized Eco-System

Firms like Samsung, HTC, and Motorola represent the manufacturers’ side and the number could increase with the addition of Acer, ASUS, Lenovo, Dell, NEC, Sharp, Toshiba, and others to the team. Besides this, there exists another team – Telecom Carriers such as Verizon, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Sprint, AT&T, China Telecom, KDDI, and Telefonica. The existence of such an array of telecom carriers and manufacturers represents chaotic competition amongst themselves, albeit the competition would ultimately bring out the best Android package.

Developers love Android

The developer’s ultimate choice – Android

A recent report stated that 72% developers were of the feeling that Android is “best positioned to power a large number and variety of connected devices in the future.” Scott Schwarzhoff, vice president of Appcelerator, the company that did the survey, said, “You will see Android embedded on devices beyond the smartphone — tablets, connected TVs, conference systems like Cisco’s TelePresence, stereos, refrigerators, automobiles. How many devices could benefit from the Android operating system? The answer is : A Lot. It is the next-generation operating system.”

Android and its ruthless Novel Practices

It has been the forte of Google’s to only produce devices, software applications, products and services that are primarily innovative. Going by this philosophy Google’s Android is only expected to get more innovative and deliver novel applications, features and uses. And to sponsor this it has the backing of the above mentioned manufacturers, telecom players, developers, etc.

Going forward, there’s no reason why Android should not over-take Apple’s iPhone.

(Photo: Laihiuyeung Ryanne)