6 Great Tools For Social Media Monitoring

Today, it is no secret that social media is a very powerful tool that can help you expand and empower your brand in numerous ways. So, whether you like it or not, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ have now become mainstream communication tools for brands and businesses. Never before has connecting and sharing real time information, both on a personal and professional level become so simple, fast, and effective. According to the latest statistics by Pew Research Center, almost 74% of internet users can be reached by blogs and social media. That is an incredible number of people and many of them are providing brands with insights and suggestions on how they can win over more customers. In fact, if brands are not in sync with their following on social media, it can damage their reputation, because fans won’t be able to associate with them in a convenient manner. So understanding and monitoring social media is one of the main methods by which brands can build their reputation online and achieve real success within the social media marketplace.

After having established the importance of social media monitoring, let us have a look at some of the tools that can help a brand to monitor social media in a successful fashion. When looking for a tool, it is always better to try a couple of them and then choose the one that suits your needs in the best possible manner.

1. Hootsuite: One of the best free social media management tool, it covers multiple social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress among others. The weekly analytics report and well-integrated team management facility allows users to delegate tasks and send private messages which are highly useful, especially when there is more than one person handling the social media account.

2. Google Analytics: Another impressive social media monitoring tool that will help you find out which social networks are referring traffic to your site. Further, Google Analytics will also help you find out the conversion rate for your website as well. Aside from finding out general traffic and social activity, this tool can also help you find out specific data through Google’s URL builder and create goal tracking to see the conversion rate of each page in your website. This will enable you to see which traffic source converts best.

3. Cyfe: Different social media tools allow users to track different things and keeping a track of all of them can be quite challenging. It is here that Cyfe is ideal as it allows brands to create their own customized dashboard. Cyfe also has a number of pre-built widgets for social media platforms like Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Further, Cyfe allows customers to track their emails and marketing campaigns as well. This tool is however not completely free and unlimited usage requires a fee of USD19/month.

4. Social Mention: A very popular tool among social media enthusiasts, Social Mention monitors more than 100 social media sites. One of the best free listening tool in the market, it analyses data under four categories namely strength, sentiment, passion and reach. As a result the data collected is comprehensive and detailed.

5. NOD3x: Another great social media tool for in depth analysis is NOD3x. This tool is more focused on YouTube and Google+ platforms. There are plenty of great features in NOD3x that are particularly helpful for social media monitoring such as brand monitoring and social listening, sentiment analysis and page insights (includes both profiles and brand pages)

6. Oktopost: Another great social media tool, especially for digital campaigns, Oktopost makes it easier for brands to track the progress of each campaign, rather than relying on metrics or statistics of individual social messages. There are numerous other features in the tool but the biggest advantage of Oktopost is that it allows brands to see how well their campaigns are performing at a glance and which networks are driving results.

Social media is changing the way brands conduct their businesses. And the sooner a brand adapts to this rapidly changing scenario, the faster it will be able to use it to its advantage. Therefore, it is time for brands to not just track and monitor social media, but engage with it as well. And more importantly, they have to do it in real time as being part of the social media conversation gives them a unique opportunity to positively influence public perception. Therefore, smart companies have learnt that monitoring social media is the key through which they can track their role in the digital world, understand consumer behavior, and gain insights into both their digital successes and failures. After all, if you’re not actively listening, how can you truly connect with your customers?

The Impact Of Google Pigeon On Local Businesses

Google Pigeon is one of the latest algorithms launched by Google. But before going into the details of that, let us first understand what exactly an algorithm is. According to the ‘Internet Live Stats’, there were more than one billion active web sites, as of September 2014. This makes the task of sifting through all the sites in order to find relevant information, difficult and complex. So for a typical query, there may be multiple websites that can provide the user with the required information. That is why search engines use complex algorithms like Google Penguin and Google Panda, in order to ensure that relevant information reaches the user, whenever they type a particular keyword/query. Today, Google’s algorithms rely on more than 200 unique signals or ‘clues’ that make it possible to correctly guess what the user may be looking for. These signals can include things like the terms on websites, the uniqueness of content, the region of the user and PageRank.

HOW WILL GOOGLE PIGEON IMPACT THE RANKING OF A WEBSITE?

The Pigeon Update is a new algorithm that was launched by Google on July 24, 2014, with the intention of providing users with helpful, appropriate and correct local search results that are in sync with traditional web search ranking signals as well. Google has stated that this new algorithm improves their distance and location ranking parameters. So what are the major changes that Google Penguin has brought about?

One of the main changes that has been noticed after the Penguin update is that there has been a facelift to the ‘Google Local 7-Pack’. The 7 Pack is the name given to the group of seven Google Maps listings that a user is presented with during a local search. For example, if you type restaurants in Connaught place, you get a list of seven restaurants that are located in CP. Now there may be numerous reasons why Google choose only these seven restaurants, as there are many more located within that region. This is mainly because Google, as usual, is trying to ensure the best search experience for the user (not for the brand). After the Google Penguin update, many users have seen a shift in this section, wherein the results were different with a much tighter focus on local business within the immediate area of search.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO NOW?

Google’s Penguin update is the perfect opportunity for brands to focus all their attention on local search engine optimization because this is the major area that is affected by this update. Here are a few things, which website owners can do in order to not just improve their local rankings, but minimize the effect of this algorithm update.

Verify your business on Google Maps and Google+ Local: Make sure that your Google Map listings and Google+ Local listings are up to date as far as possible. Also ensure that you have claimed all the listings associated with your business and that the exact location of your company is placed correctly on the map.

Create local business directories: Do some research and find out all the major local directories. After that, try and list your business with them and optimize it in the best possible manner.

Ensure an optimized website: Always make sure that you create and maintain a high quality website that is optimized for a variety of local search terms. The content in your website must be unique, original and customized according to the demands of customers within your target region.

Build quality backlink profile: Having a high quality backlink profile can help strengthen a website’s authority within Google and similar search engines. So, backlinks from good and authorized local business directories will help you get better rankings and visibility.

Update your contact information as and when required: Ensure that all the contact information on your website, from address to contact number to email address is correct and updated on all websites and directory listings. Also, make sure that these details are consistent in all forms of brand communication.

Involve your customers: Positive feedback from customers can help you improve your local search rankings effectively. You could also link your directory listings in your email newsletter as well as on your website, or use social media platforms to ask your fans and/or followers for their opinion/reviews. The more positivity your brand can generate, the more your listings will improve and thereby, help you improve your rankings as well.

HAVE THE GOOGLE PIGEON UPDATE AFFECTED YOUR WEBSITE?

In case you think that you have been affected by Google Pigeon, or are worried about the consequences of the latest Google algorithm updates, then we will be more than happy to help you minimize the effect of these updates in a successful manner.

If you would like to know more on how we can help or if you have any questions regarding Google Algorithms, we would be delighted to get touch with you. Please feel free to contact our digital experts at Design Mechanics or call us at 91 – 0120- 4206301/04/05. We really look forward to hearing from you soon.

The Elements Of A Perfect Multimedia Interactive Presentation

Are your presentations drawing more snores than attention? Are you unable to communicate to your target audience despite providing enough information to them? Have your presentations become boring and unengaging? Then it is time for you to invest in multimedia presentations that can truly help you turn the tide. For a very long time, presentations have been used by many individuals/organizations to inform, persuade and build good will. However, normal presentations tended to be long, boring, uninteresting and unengaging. But now, as a result of evolving technology and the need to communicate effectively, multimedia presentations are gaining more popularity among brands/organizations.

Today, multimedia presentations are extremely popular because they integrate text, audio, video, animation (both 2D and 3D) still images and narration to provide audiences with a totally world class and interactive experience. Additionally, due to the presence of many elements like narration, images and music, these presentations help brands to communicate with people who suffer from visual disabilities as well. Gone are the days when professionals used to assemble a few slides to create a mediocre presentation. Now, companies, irrespective of their size, prefer to employ professionally created multimedia presentations to showcase their corporate profile, demonstrate their products/services and connect with their target customers with new information. Also, these presentations can be used for a number of purposes like corporate presentation, new launches, product demonstration, interactive museum guides, post-sale CD presentation, customer communications, and website introductions among others. This means that a dynamic presentation can help a brand to create a powerful impact on the minds of the audiences.

Numerous elements come together to create the perfect multimedia presentation. In this article, we will deal with four elements that are an integral part of any good multimedia presentation. They are as follows:

Concept: A concept is the building block for any form of digital campaign. The more comprehensible and intelligent your concept is, the more chances it will have of becoming viral on the internet, with people sharing it across various platforms. So always remember, to integrate innovative concepts with awesome creativity, so that you are able to communicate your message, in a much more engaging manner. Further, how creatively you manage to present your idea/concept will also affect the overall output. Adding humor while conceptualizing the multimedia presentation can help you engage and entertain your target audience, in a much better way.

Length of the Presentation: According to statistics, a normal person has an attention span of 7-10 minutes. This implies that a good presentation should not exceed this time limit. When the length of a presentation is very long, the chance of effective and interactive communication decreases drastically. A good multimedia presentation will therefore communicate its message in very little time while remaining interactive and interesting as well.

Targeted Communication: Understanding your target market is very important in any form of digital communication. If you try to communicate to everyone, without selecting your market, you will end up losing a lot of your audience, because the communication does not apply to them. Understanding your target group and subject is extremely important; because they affect your choice of language, vocabulary and effects- which is the prerequisite of effective communication.

Keep Technical Considerations In Mind: An essential element of a good multimedia presentation is that it will always keep in mind major technical considerations. The most important among them, is to ensure a good graphical user interface, which is defined as a visual way of interacting with a computer, using items like windows, icons, and menus. User interfaces communicate information from the product to the user and vice versa. So, it is very important to create a good interface that can help viewers understand the product/services in a simple manner. Secondly, a good multimedia presentation would always be optimized for web and CD Rom, so that brands can showcase it to potential target audience at any time.

Design Mechanics perfectly mixes the above elements to create awesome multimedia presentations. Click http://demo.designmechanics.in/airtel/airtel.html or http://demo.designmechanics.in/11/web/demo.html to see how impressive designs are blended with clever marketing techniques to get that desired effect on the audiences.

Exercise Choice In Career

Society. Family. Parents.

More often than not, create the greatest obstacles in exercising career choice.

Everyone wants happiness for his child but allow me to be more precise here….the topmost layer of happiness, which can be flaunted in the form of materialistic possessions!

What about more meaningful words like Contentment, Happiness, Inner Peace?

They seem to be relegating to the background when it comes to exercising choice in career. This only leads to one road……with milestones of frustration, unfulfilled dreams and desires.

Recently, I came across a student of a reputed MBA institute. I had called her in for an interview. But actually, she was forced into it. She looked bright and full of energy but towards the end of the whole process, she said that she wanted to be a social worker! On being asked if that was the case then why did she come here then, her answer was quite obvious- under extreme parental pressure.

That very moment I told her to go back and talk to her parents and not get into a corporate job. Her heart and soul didn’t belong there.

What she would get in social work…she will never get even in the fattest pay checks!

When will this typical mindset of parents change? Don’t they want their kids to be happier or do they just want their girls to be married off to people who love the degrees of the prospective bride more than the person she really is?

Making the right career choice is a crucial decision. Unfortunately and very often, particularly in India, a career choice is not a personal choice alone. It is a choice of the environment around us.

Kids are not allowed to follow their passions or dreams, rather, they are pushed into the well of degrees and higher degrees. They struggle and manage to come out with some pieces of papers they might not be interested in. They struggle through the every brick of the wall they climb. They struggle even after coming out of the well. They struggle at concentrating on their work. They struggle at enjoying their work. They struggle at life.

The only thing they may not be struggling about in such a devastating scenario is their bank balance. But every time, you talk to them, you feel the continued struggle in their voices.

Why can’t my son play football? Why does he have to play Cricket? To get selected in an IPL team and have a big bank balance?

C’mon…Its one life…live the way you want to live and let your kids live it the way they want to live. Am not saying allow them enough space to get into bad habits but give them just enough to make a career choice under proper (not forced) guidance.

At max, they will fail and fall. But then, they will also learn to get up and stand tall.

 

TOP 5 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS TO WATCH OUT FOR IN 2015!

The entire world is going social today. In fact, digital growth continues to gather pace around the globe, with more than 2 billion people having access to the internet. Among these, almost one billion people are active social media users. Naturally, the growing use of social media has impacted the policies and functioning of brands across sectors. So while some trends and ideas may have worked in the past, now brands need to expand their knowledge to create campaigns that are creative, engaging, inspiring and effective at the same time.

Here are 5 trends that we feel will impact the field of digital marketing in the coming year. 

                                                           #SocialMediaTrend No.1

Social media is a popular & vast medium, so invest your resources intelligently!

 The Potential

Social media is widely used, with innumerable users registering their activities every moment. Every 60 seconds, 104, 00,000 photos are shared on snapchat, 2, 78, 00,000 new tweets are added on Twitter, 72 hours of video is uploaded on YouTube and 3,600 photos are added on Instagram.

How to Milk the Opportunity?

The heart of any successful social media campaign lies in proper understanding of the target audience. So, as there are multiple social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. available, it is immensely important for brands to choose the correct social media platform and the correct target audience, so as to deliver high levels of engagement and loyalty.   


                   #SocialMediaTrend No.2

Social listening is the key to connecting with your market.

 The Potential

In a rapidly evolving social media landscape, a conversation about your brand has the potential to enhance or destroy your reputation in the market. A bad word spreads like wildfire and can devastate a brand. Social media pages have eliminated the need of having suggestion/complaint boxes. Now, customers praise/criticize a product or service (which may become viral) on the social media profile page of that brand. In the coming year, social listening will become an integral part of all social media campaigns.

How to Milk the Opportunity?

Listening constitutes an important element of good communication. It means that brands must convert their social media platforms into venues for sharing and conversation rather than turning them into monologues. Brands need to continuously monitor the customers’ posts; answer their queries and resolve issues instantly; and express gratitude for any compliments received! For celebrated branding, investing in social listening skills and keeping ears and eyes open will be a welcome idea in the coming year. 


#SocialMediaTrend No.3

The importance of Real Time Marketing, especially for social media will increase!

 The Potential

Real time marketing is based on up to date events, trends and customer feedback. It can be a reaction to a particular event or a brand’s own updates. With the evolution of social media platforms, real time or right time marketing has gained multifold importance. Companies believe that with strategically structured and quickly executed marketing plans based on current events or feedbacks, customers will feel more involved with the brand and believe that the brand is updated, responsive and cares for their opinions and feedbacks. According to CMO.com, real-time marketing is very important for any campaign and provides a dramatic lift to consumer sentiment (16 percent lift), purchase intent (14 percent lift), interest (18 percent lift), likelihood to recommend (18 percent lift), and seriously consider the product/service (18 percent).

How to Milk the Opportunity?

Long before the social media platforms gained currency in India, Amul Butter used the strategy of real time marketing. In the coming year, real-time marketing will become essential for marketers and brands. Brands must react to current events and have real- time communication with their potential and existing customers! They must create platforms where the consumers can voice their opinions in the forms of likes, shares, retweets, etc. and maintain them qualitatively. Big brands may also employ specialized ‘real time marketing teams’ to achieve the purpose. 


#SocialMediaTrend No.4

Content is the backbone of good social media marketing.

 The Potential

“Our words are our currency”- Beth Dunn

Relationships are created and maintained on the basis of what, how and when you communicate. Likewise, advertising content can make or break a brand in the social arena and decide the fate of ambitious marketing campaigns. Words directly impact the psyche and mood of the consumers, thereby affecting the success of your campaign. Thus, framing a perfect content strategy is not a luxury today but a necessity.

How to Milk the Opportunity?

Content has and will always remain the king, across all forms of digital campaigns and platforms. Good content is the one that is written according to the segment of target audience. Companies must judiciously hire quality copy/content writers, who are excellent in not only minting beautiful words and assembling them into grammatically correct sentences, but are also pros at out of box ideation and conceptualization. The ability to write engaging content that can inspire real emotions and connections will help companies get noticed and amplify their message across various platforms.  Companies must draft their content well, especially on social media, and ensure that it is engaging to such a degree, that it gets shared by your target audience, thereby increasing brand promotion and engagement.


 #SocialMediaTrend No.5

Facebook and Twitter ad pricing will increase due to their enhanced reach!

 The Potential

Facebook has more than a billion registered users while Twitter has more than a million users. In the coming year, the number of users on both these platforms is set to increase substantially. As both of them are popular social media platforms, brands can use them to effectively promote their goods and services. Facebook ad pricing has already gone up 10 percent since 2013 and this trend will continue in the coming years as well. Similarly, Twitter is also growing as a popular medium of marketing, especially among brands that have limited budget and want to reach out to a particular segment. Further, as they allow targeted advertising, brands can reach their target market at a fairly affordable price.

How to Milk the Opportunity?

With increasing advertising costs on popular social media platforms, brands must allocate decent social media marketing budgets and carefully design their campaigns for better ROI. They must hire experienced digital media professionals or outsource their social media marketing to specialized digital marketing agencies. Bringing on board such specialization will lead to correct audience targeting, perfectly worded and designed communication across the appropriate social media platform, and elimination of any probability of hit and trial by amateurs.

#NewYear2015 will bring new hopes and ambitions, and also higher sales targets! Keeping the above trends in mind, brands can meticulously plan their social media campaigns that may work wonders for their sales.