In Seeking Social Media Engagement

I’m not an expert in engaging followers and audiences on Social Media, I’ll admit that. Being a social media user though, I want, need to engage with my audiences over the many social media platforms I use! Whether its in the personal or business setting, when I use social media, I seek to engage.

Social Media EngagementAdvice on social media engagement comes to the non-expert like me in the form of the online community. The community that continuously provides solutions to those seeking expertise in the art of engaging people over social media. The online world is filled with websites and gurus that promise to help you attain results you want, and I believe them, sometimes…

Have you ever experienced that before?

Do you read up on tips and advice provided to you by others, so that you could apply them to your best practices? For example, check out this post by Social Media Examiner. It has 26 ways you could engage with your followers! With every application, whether its Tip #6 “Find and Share Timely Content” or Tip #14 “Note when your fans are online”, you are levelling up on the engagement level you have with your audience right?

Well, not exactly.

Yes you are responding to your users needs and wants for content better. Yes you understand your users activities and therefore seek the most appropriate and effective time to reach out to them. Yes, you are engaging with your audience/users/followers! But are you the one who’s really seeking to engage with them or is the author who wrote the post on engagement the one who is engaging with them?

Ask yourself. Do you really know what you are doing and why you are doing what you are doing?

The social media tips and advice are only as good as you make them to be. They should not be copy-paste solutions that you directly adopt and implement without any form of thought put into it. Because the reality is that there is no universal answer as to what each marketer or social media user like you and I can simply follow. There just isn’t one! There are however, many attempts by marketers, social media gurus, experts, writers etc who have offered various strategies and tips that are meant to get you ongoing in engaging customers and what we normal social media users can do from hereon is to learn and apply. Learn and apply, NOT copy-paste.

It would thus be wise to step back and ask yourself some questions along the line of “Is this what I really want, what I really need?” before you actually jump onto taking someone else’s approach to engagement and and applying them to your own.

Understand your intentions before beginning to engage your audience. Understand what you are, what you want, then understand your audience. Only when you know what you want and what they want will you have a game plan on the road to successful engagement.

Basically, If you don’t know what you want, how would your audience know what to give back to you? No point wasting time and effort over an unsatisfied result because you did not set your goals right from the start.

After which, you would start asking questions about the engagement between you and your audience that would probably look like this:

  • What type of audience are you trying to engage?
    Are they of a certain age group? Are they centred on a specific interest? Know who you are trying to reach out to.)
  • How would you like for the engagement between you and your audience over social media to be like?
    Formal (which really shouldn’t be the case if you are engaging through social media), semi-casual, or really casual? Know what language will reach out to your audience for effective communication. You don’t speak of ponies to a group of computer scientists discussing industry topics similarly you don’t speak computer language when talking to a group of pre-school children.
  • What are you trying to achieve here through engaging with your audience? Is there a specific call-to-action that you want to attain? Or perhaps you simply want to have them coming back to you for more info and content! Know what you want and you’ll deliver what you set out to achieve.

Remember that your audience and users come to you because they want content from you. It’s really great that you are turning to engagement advice for the good of your followers so you could connect with them better but never lose sight of what you are.You need to be your own guru for only you would understand your audience the best. 

The Social Media Guru

So the question is: Are YOU engaging with your followers?

Social relationships you could harness as advocates.

Heard of the dunbar number? Yes? No? Don’t worry, it’s not rocket science. It’s the number 150. What makes this number special is its application to every individual’s social circle. Perhaps you have heard of this magic number 150 when you were reading up on that social media marketing tip or in that article about social theories.

The dunbar number has been thrown around quite a bit but you probably never realised the significance of the number 150 derived from a Mr Dunbar.

Well, here are some facts about this magic number! Great for those who have yet to come across it, or for those know the number but yet, don’t really know it.

1. It’s really young.
The number was ‘discovered’ not too long ago, probably about 10-20 years ago by… (go to the next point!)

2. Want to guess who derived that number…..?
Did you get it right? (hint; It’s called Dunbar’s number)
Answer: Robin Dunbar. He is a British psychologist and anthropologist, and a specialist in Primate behaviour. Currently, Professor Dunbar teaches at the University of Oxford.

3. There’s meaning behind 150.
150 is the number of people that one person, such as yourself, has meaningful connections with, the ones that you care about. Forget your Facebook hundreds, thousands of friends, your twitter and instagram followers or any social media platform connections for that matters. This is the real social aspect of your life.

4. Lucky guess… not.
This number was not derived from a one-off observation from one researcher. Similar studies conducted years ago by researchers, before and after Dunbar, also show a pattern that is centralised around this number.

5. Generally applicable.
Remember, this number refers to meaningful relationships you have with others. Ones that you are connected to, you bother to connect to, those people that you think of… The number is a general average based on social studies but certainly your social circle number could be higher or lower. It’s not a popularity race, and you could potentially have more than 150 people that you care for deeply.

Now think about this, and I’m not trying to suggest the exploitation of human relationships here but just give this a thought. If you could use your 150 contacts (and that’s just the average amount a person has),  and reach out to 1 out of the 150, which in turn, has another 150 contacts you could reach out to (and this could go on and on), that’s some big math numbers to be done there.

It may sound very simplistic and idealistic in thought right? Though, did you know that this is already happening?

Let’s take for example on Facebook, that you know Ally, who has a friend Betty. You aren’t friends with Betty but when Betty posts a photo of Ally on Facebook and tags her, you get to see that photo and are also able to like and/or comment on that photo. On that photo, there could be some other comments from both Ally’s and/or Betty’s friends whom you aren’t friends with, but by commenting on that one photo, all who are involved in commenting are now somewhat connected. Say you see a stranger, someone named John and his comments on that photo and decides to converse with him. John reciprocates by conversing with you, and just like that, your circle of people you could reach out to expands! If both of you become Facebook friends, in future, whenever John likes/comments on your photos or posts, his friends could potentially see what he commented on your photos, and your reach to other people thereby increases once more. You are leveraging on your 150 to reach out to other’s 150.

How your social network could look like. Magic number is 150.

How your social network could look like. Magic number is 150.

Sounds complicated but just substitute yourself in that equation and it would start to make sense, I promise. We’ve all been through that, albeit probably in a different manner! What we get out of this ever-expanding circle is that relationships between people is a never-ending process. You get to meet new people everyday if you choose to do so (there are 7 billion people out there, so don’t worry about running out of people to meet/reach out to).

If you’re running a company, and are trying to gain outreach beyond your regular group of fans/followers (I mean, they already are following you right?), you should really consider the power of the dunbar. The power from the dunbar comes when 1 is able to reach out to 150. Your company already has a foundation of a set number of people. Whether its 2 of you, or 10, or 50 or 100 or 500 and beyond, each employee can be an advocate for your marketing efforts. Articles on employee advocacy promote the power of it, and recognise the value of each employees’ reach. (Oracle managed to transform themselves from being socially inept to socially savvy using employees! Check out the article and many more on our NewzSocial FB Page)

So harness that power, use this knowledge of relationships to reach out to a wider set of audience, to get your brand name out there!

-NewzSocial-

References

Article about the dunbar number:

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-01-10/the-dunbar-number-from-the-guru-of-social-networks

Source image:

http://moonballs.blogspot.com/2012/02/dunbar-number-reason-my-family-consists.html

Of Tip(s) and Formula(s).

Been reading a lot of social media marketing tips?

So you want to become a better social media marketer. Social media is what you eat, sleep, breathe and live and you strive to master the art of social media marketing. All the tips you read, what do they tell you though?

Social-Media-Marketing

Having gone through some, I see that there’s one word these tips centre on : engagement.

Any social media marketer who has ever written any article or given any tips would know that it all boils down to engagement, that is, engaging the person on the other end.

en·gage [en-geyj] verb : to occupy the attention or efforts of (a person or persons)

To reach out and engage somebody, you do not just bombard them with messages. If you’ve ever been in a conversation with someone who just would not stop talking and not let you talk, you would know how annoying that is, and how much you would just want to get out of that conversation and maybe even never want to talk to that person ever again.

Engagement is key in conversations, and more importantly when you are marketing a product or service. To engage someone, you maintain a 2-way conversation which involves listening. As the social media marketer, listen to what your consumers and customers have to say. Sometimes, these words aren’t placed in front of you. Not many consumers will bother to come up to you and tell you they have an issue with your product, instead, they just leave your market and stop being your customer.

To overcome the fact that consumers are not going to be proactive, you instead have to be proactive and place yourself in your customers shoes. First understand what its like being a consumer and you’ll know what appeals to a customer and how you could then market your product or service.

Telling you to go out there to engage is not a tip, it is good marketing practice. This is marketing 101. Remember, it’s never about you, it’s always about them, your customers, consumers, users. To apply that in your marketing practice, you might want to consider the WIIFM formula; the What’s-In-It-For-Me formula.

Consumers and customers always need to get something out of using your product. That’s why they even use it in the first place! Users only care that you are solving their problem. As a marketer, you need to know what grabs the interest of your reader, and what they gain from using your product/ service and then actively market it to them. Help them see the value that your product provides and you will see returns (from them). Sounds complicated? It doesn’t have to be. Just remember, even before you or I became marketers, we started off as consumers and we still are consumers of other products. It is those who learn how to step back at look at the rest of the world as consumers before we learn to become marketers.

Ask yourself, what would take you, a regular, on-the-street consumer, to use/buy the product (yours). Narcissism should not come into play here. If you can’t get past your narcissistic self,  don’t worry, just grab someone else (preferably a stranger), to give you some honest thoughts. Remember, you want and need to craft a message to engage consumers and what better way to know what consumers want by asking them! Listen to what your readers, consumers, users have to say. Because ultimately, they are your customers. They are what keeps your product alive.

So the next time you market a product or service. Stop and think. Is that what your readers want/need? Is there a value they would see through marketing that they can attribute to your product/service which would eventually make them users?

Of course, engagement is not the only step a marketer takes but is certainly the most fundamental. Without engagement, any other tool or tip would just not be as effective. The ‘tips’ I gave above apply, but should of course be tuned by you to suit your marketing needs. This is not a one-fit solution, as many tips out there are not as well.

Don’t be a conversational hogger, be the engage-r.

grumpy-cat copy

p.s Love to hear your thoughts, if any!

-NewzSocial-

Social Media Marketing Tips that inspired this post:

- http://www.inc.com/kevin-daum/critical-social-media-mistakes-to-avoid.html?utm_source=NewzSocial

- http://visitorcentricmarketing.com/2014/02/01/your-content-is-the-currency-of-your-marketing/

Social Media Automation. Automate your way!

So…… What’s this Social Media Automation you hear?

Social Media Automation. Social Media Automation. Social Media Automation!!!

Got that in your head now?

Be amazed!

Be amazed!

If you have not heard of the term by now, or have heard of it but don’t really know what it means, don’t worry, you’re not the first. But you really should, because this is a term that is catching up with both content and social media marketers. It’s gonna be big!

Essentially, the term is a combination of the two terms (social media marketing + content marketing) that uses the social media platform to reach out to targeted users using selected content. It’s all about effectiveness! If you were a business or a marketer and want to target your users or customers with messages about or relating to your product, you would use Social Media Automation to constantly address and give your customers something to talk about; you!

So here’s why you should get this term in your head and tell the next person who doesn’t know this term why he/she should know it!

1. Social Media Automation helps make marketers happier people. Literally.
Well, at least I think they do. Marketers who had to glue themselves on social media sites all the time and constantly be in tuned with the social media scene can now relax and make themselves happier people using social media automation. By constantly having to come up with content to post, tweet, talk about is not that much an easy task. And with the world up 24/7, how do you expect marketers to constantly be up and creating information for people everywhere at all times so that people stay interested in the product (this could be your product ;) ) They are human, and they deserve and need their share of rest. With Social Media Automation, selected posts will be up on social media sites automatically at timings that you have the option to choose when. Sounds really good doesn’t it? You don’t just work effectively, you work efficiently too! Now dear marketers, you will have more time to focus on other marketing aspects without having to constantly manage your business sites. -> You may start cheering!

Which brings me to the second point that marketers will further rejoice for!

2. Social Media Automation helps you get people talking. Their subject? You.
Social Media Automation, through the continuous stream of content generation, will certainly give your customers something to talk about that is related to you, in one way or another. You can now stream content that is both relevant and timely. The most updated information streamed to customers and users will enable them to relate it back to you, edging out others when it comes to providing first hand news. To the dear marketers, you no longer have to search through heaps of publishers and articles to find one that is relevant to you and promote that! Let the automation do that for you. -> Your cheers may continue.

In that way, you constantly maintain the interest level of the customers when you give them something to read or look forward to regarding your business. It keeps them engaged with you through the “oh so powerful and important and we all know that” social media platform.

Besides keeping your customers and users updated with information about your business,  a company should also always keep in mind its other stakeholders to update information with. Guess who…………………… Employees!

Employees life support to the company. You need clients, customers and users yes, but without your employees, how much can you do and how far can you go? Employees are such a huge part of a company’s operations that they should be the first to be updated of anything. The FIRST. Not the customer. Why is that so?

Think about it this way, your employee, in working for the company, gets firsthand information in which can and will be shared with others. The employee essentially becomes a marketing and even publicity tool for the company! Employees need to know what the company is doing, how it is doing, what it’s doing in order to be confident in their work, and perform well for the company. It is also through them that people will get to know (more) about the company. Friends, families and people who know your employees will be interested in his/her company because they have a personal relationship with your employee. Do you think they would be interested to go to your website simply to learn about you? Maybe, but their friend/family, that is your employee, will certainly provide that sincerity and genuine feel when they help promote the company. They are awesome mouthpieces!!!

Another plus point of using Social Media Automation then is that employees themselves are able to stay updated with company information as timely as possible, if not even earlier than the customers and users (which they should).

Like what you’re reading? Excited about it?

Here’s another thought. Since employees are such valuable resources to the company and are in a way marketing and even publicity tools for the company, they could potentially latch on to the company’s social media platform to publicise for the company as well! Does that sound impossible to you? Ridiculous? Or do you think it would be viable, feasible, interesting?

Well, if you’re interested (and I hope you are), and hopefully excited, be very excited because something is about to happen. Something called NewzSocial.

#waitforit

Cheery weekend ahead!
from the very awesome NewzSocial Team

Credits
Amazed face meme: http://theragefaces.tumblr.com/post/4277133260/amazed-face
Article inspired from: The Pros and Cons of Social Media Automation extracted via NewzSocial

What’s New?

It’s 2014!

Welcoming 2014 also meant welcoming the many predictions out there about the year. From sports, to people, to events and let’s not forget technology, I’m sure you would have come across some of these predictions if you haven’t seen it for yourself yet. Basically, you name it and it’s probably there.

<Read about the 7 social analytics prediction for 2014 article found through NewzSocial and another from Visual.ly here. Tips for managing social media 2014 may be found here.>

The one of interest here is of course, technology, the integral part we can’t live without (or I can’t live without, though sometimes I’d like to think I can but that’s near to impossible). With so MANY technology predictions out there, what have you come across and most importantly, which one strikes you the most?social-media-new1

Let’s talk about the obvious here first. We can’t deny that social media will remain as a popular platform and tool for businesses to reach out to customers, and that this will continue to grow. Even trends predict that.

For me, I went through a couple which included infographics, lists, charts, etc and what struck me was not the content but rather that these writers are fighting for mine and your attention to read their posts by presenting their data as interestingly as possible! (Much like what I am doing now actually, hoping I’m not boring you with my post. Please keep reading!)  With that, I have a prediction for 2014 that is you, dear reader, will be expecting content to be presented to you in ways that could potentially be so creative that you would never even have thought of now. Okay, that’s a terribly written prediction but I’m going to stick by it! It’s a fact that writers online do fight for readers attention and one way to achieving that is through design and presentation of content. No doubt that there are no limits to creativity but when every other business is so saturated trying to get their content out there recognised by presenting their content using design, why don’t you try getting your content out there recognised by presenting your content in a different manner than they are?

Now, how do you do that?

Firstly, count on social media marketing to be the tool that you reach out to your customers. Then comes the next 2 magic words: Content management. What makes content management so special is that it allows you to appeal to your customers according to what they want. It is essentially, marketing to individuals.

Individual marketing works because it comes across more personal and individualised such that one can relate to it. Instead of appealing to one’s ability to rationalise making a decision, it also appeals to making the decision in an emotional manner. For those with a business or a company, in one or even thinking about being in one, here’s something that you probably know but need to be reminded again: Being able to connect with the customer is key.

Now that we’ve identified social media and content management as key points in business models, the next step comes in implementation. How do you connect and reach out to customers’ that allow you to appeal to them your messages and at the same time get your brand out there? Lucky for you, there is NewzSocial in which we are coming up with solutions for us to do our very best to be the solution to every companies’ problems! < insert desired cheer here >

As a user of Newzsocial, you get to enjoy your own content management when you create channels and pick articles to read. You are able to curate your own articles, and share them on popular social media sites Facebook, Twitter and Linked in (and even email should you choose to stay away from these sites) where all your friends will be able to see any articles or channels that you curate!

The team at Newzsocial understands that there are 2 sides to a coin and of course we consider having services and functionalities for businesses to benefit too! With all the previous talk about marketing strategies and social media predictions, I’m sure if you had a business or are in a business firm, you are likely to have thought about marketing your product or service on the social media platform. But of course, you want and need to optimize your results too.  Well, we’re looking to solve that so do stay tuned for more updates from the team about our ideas! :)

Have a good year ahead everyone!

Cheers from the lovely team at NewzSocial <3

NewzSocial - Horizontal

 

 

The A to Z of Content Marketing

Many people do use content marketing techniques. However, when asked if they use or believe in content marketing, they often mistakenly say no. Perhaps, the root cause of this confusion is that people do not actually understand what content marketing truly means. Most people have the misconception that content marketing is all about flooding prospects with information about their products. However, this is SO VERY far away from the real meaning of content marketing. In fact, it is quite the opposite meaning and to clearly explain what content marketing means, lets take a look at a diagram from B2C.

Content Marketing Flowchart

As you can see from the diagram above, there are three main parts of a customer’s buying journey (Discovery, Consideration, Decision) and content marketing ties in very nicely with all of them using a variety of content tools which have been listed in the 3rd row of the diagram.

A customer’s needs, preferences and expectations change from one stage to another in his/her buying journey. The key to effective marketing converting to successful sales is to capture customers when they are at the start of their buying journey and solve their evolving needs in each of the three stages. That way, you can be guaranteed to be able to close the deal with that customer in no time! And your ability to do that is hugely dependent on your effective use of content marketing.

For instance, let us take a look at the first stage (Discovery) which is often touted to be the most critical one in today’s digital age. There are two categories in the first stage that customers would fall under:

  1. Customer does not know that problem exists or is ignorant/complacent about it.
  2. Customer knows about the problem but is hesitant to do something about it as staying in status quo is always so tempting.

Hence, the only way to reach out and engage customers in both these scenarios is to first provide them with compelling content which informs/highlights the severity of those problems and secondly why solving those problems would result in huge benefits for them. By doing so, you would be able to meet the exact needs of customers from both these categories, making it much easier for you to transition them onto the second stage (consideration), which is when you begin explaining how your products would be the best fit for them.

Hence, as illustrated above, content marketing equips you with the power of influencing buyers’ states of minds. All you need to do is ensure that you provide the right kind of content to solve the specific needs of customers at their respective buying journey stages. Content marketing has a very different goal and objective in every stage and once this is well understood, people will know that content marketing is not just about flooding customers with information about products.

Hopefully, this blogpost has been helpful in giving you a better insight into content marketing and perhaps convince you to begin using it proactively, which would certainly work wonders for your company’s sales numbers!

 

Content Marketing: Works for Business and Dating!

From the headline, you must be wondering, what in the world marketing and dating have in common? Well, actually both of them have two very similar processes. In dating, you are marketing yourself to someone you like in the hope of getting his/her attention and to eventually have a more serious relationship with him/her. Isn’t this pretty similar to how companies market themselves to their prospects, hoping to impress them enough to establish a longer-term customer relationship with them.

Having seen how this two processes are very similar, it is logical to conclude that the same method can be used to actually have a successful outcome (A good date or a powerful marketing campaign). And that method is none other than Content Marketing! Ok, I know what you are thinking….”Are you kidding me….You want me to use content marketing while dating??!!!! That does not even make sense!!!” Give me two minutes to explain what I mean and I guarantee that you will definitely agree with me.

Content Marketing-Dating

I hope that I have been able to convince you with the simple illustration above. If you are still not convinced, perhaps you could check out this cool video from CMA (Content Marketing Association) which might just change your beliefs! You might want to consider using content marketing techniques on your next date, if you are still singe :P

The Social Effect

I am sure that everyone knows about the power of social media. Everyone is trying to tap into that power to further their cause. This includes individuals with personal goals, companies trying to amplify their social brands and even government agencies! (President Obama is probably more active on Twitter than most people!)

But, have we ever stopped to think about what actually gives Social Media its power? What is the process that goes on behind the scenes that enables people to actually propagate their messages to the masses. Here is an interesting infograph from Social Reflexion that illustrates one of the possible channels that propels the power of Social Media.

The-Social-Media-Effect

This is just one of the infinite number of ways that Social Media can propagate your message to the masses. What also adds value to Social Media is that your website’s ranking on search engines depends LARGELY on how active it is on Social Media. The more content from your website is shared and commented on Facebook for instance, the higher is your search engine ranking.

Having seen an example of the process that goes on behind the scenes which gives Social Media its tremendous power, now it’s crucial to understand one thing.

Social Media is not a magic tool that would help you achieve all your goals. But rather, its a powerful engine which requires constant good quality fuel and that fuel is rich and engaging content!

Hence, to even be able to positively benefit from Social Media, you would definitely need good content to begin with. However, constantly churning out interesting and relevant content for your prospects is an arduous and time consuming task. That is where the magic of Social Media Automation comes in.

Social Media Automation = Content Marketing + Social Media Marketing

Content Marketing empowers you to very easily provide your Social Media engine with a constant supply of high grade fuel (engaging content) while Social Media Marketing is like the engine oil which your Social Media engine needs to reach its true power.  What do I mean by that? Well, to put it very simply, here are the two steps:

  • Content marketing enables you to easily curate relevant and good third party content into your own websites hence reducing the resources you need, to come up with a steady stream of engaging content for your prospects.
  • Social Media Marketing ensures that your content does actually reach your intended audience in the most effective way.

I hope this gives you a clearer picture of the power of Social Media and at the same time illustrates the importance of embracing Social Media Automation to fully utilize that power.

 

Webinars – A hidden Content Marketing gem?

Sometimes as marketers, we tend to get too absorbed in our efforts to achieve our marketing goals that we forget about what it feels like to be a consumer. It would certainly help to take a step back once in a while and reflect on how we would feel if we were the consumers being targeted by our own marketing outreach efforts. If you do this well, you would inevitably understand why Content Marketing is such a powerful way to engage with your prospects/customers. Imagine that you were a customer looking to buy a specific product: Wouldn’t you appreciate it when companies take the effort to provide you with knowledge that would guide you to make your own informed decision rather than plainly trying to brainwash you to buy their products? Of course you would and that’s the reason why companies are beginning to invest heavily in Content Marketing.

Now, having established the fact that Content Marketing is the right way to go, the next step is to decide on the tools/modes that you should use to implement your very own Content Marketing campaign. You have got several options available to you. Check out the graphic below (Source: Content Marketing Institute) to see the various methods and their respective popularity levels.

Which option should you use when implementing your own Content Marketing campaign? Which is the most effective and cost efficient way? Well, every one of those options have their own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s focus on Webinars in this blogpost.

Content Marketing Tools

Based on a survey done by Content Marketing Institute on 1092 marketers, 46% of the marketers used Webinars as a Content Marketing tool and 70% feel that it’s an effective medium. What is surprising is that Webinars are deemed to be more effective than Social Media (only 50% of surveyed marketers believed in the effectiveness of social media). But, what then is the reason behind less marketers adopting webinars as compared to social media?

Well, the reason is simply that, it takes much more effort and resources to conduct a successful Webinar than a Social Media marketing campaign. However, if done well, Webinars certainly have huge benefits for your company. Here are two simple reasons as to why Webinars are quite popular with prospects and customers.

1) Webinars are very engaging as you get to directly speak to your customers and prospects. You can almost immediately respond to their queries during the Webinar. Also, Webinars make your audience feel like they are part of a larger group and this feeling of inclusiveness often has a positive ripple effect.

2) Webinars have the ability to be very focused on a particular topic and hence they can be very informative and draw the right set of audience.

Having said this, it would be wrong to jump to the conclusion that you should ignore Social Media marketing and only engage in Webinars! That is tantamount to treason! It’s like saying that you can row a boat with just one hand! Webinars are an excellent tool to supplement your social media marketing efforts and the combined effects of these two can be very very powerful.

I hope you enjoyed this blogpost! Have a great weekend folks :)

Social Media Automation

Social Media Automation

 

What is Social Media Automation? To put it very simplistically, it refers to the process of automating all your social media marketing efforts. However, the benefits that you can derive from it, is phenomenal and cannot be explained in just a sentence. All Marketers are aware of the huge power of social media and marketing automation. Now imagine combining these two powers together! If undertaken properly, the benefits that a company would get are immense. I have listed a few of the huge implications for a company in investing in social media automation strategies.

1) Amplify your company brand by many fold with just a small investment

By automating your social media marketing efforts, you free up your marketing team’s resources and at the same time constantly feature on the various social media platforms, making sure that your prospects never ever forget about you (In a good way of course!)

2) Be known as the Thought Leader of your industry

By regularly posting interesting and good content in the right places where your prospects do actually spend their time at, you build up your reputation as a reputable subject expert who can be relied upon for reliable and timely information. Automating content to be posted to the right Facebook group at a specific time when people are most active on Facebook, would drastically increase your company’s reach. Becoming a thought leader makes it much easier for your company to convince your prospects about the validity of the solutions that your company’s products provide, making your sales process much more effective.

3) Engage your audience

By personalizing your automated social media postings, you provide content that your prospects would be interested in and actually care about. Educating them and increasing their knowledge would empower them to make better decisions and this would strengthen your relationship with them. They would come back to you for any clarifications or to fill any gaps in their knowledge. This increases your engagement with your audience and attract them to visit your website and social media pages more frequently.

 

These are just a handful of the several benefits that a company can derive from social media automation. However, this does not entirely remove the necessity of a human element from marketing. At the end of the day, you are dealing with people and not machines and hence there needs to be a human touch to your marketing efforts. For example, imagine hearing a lovely voice on the phone vs a recorded message when you call someone. Which do you prefer?

Hence, to fully experience all the benefits of social media automation strategies, marketers would need to utilize the magic tool of curation. By curating content unique to your different customer segments,which is actually the crux of content marketing, you would be able to effectively automate your social media marketing efforts without losing the special human touch. Curation is actually a very simple and in fact, fun process which would simplify marketers’ efforts considerably. But, let’s reserve this topic for another day as it’s a huge segment of its own.

I hope this blog post did provide some insights into the power of social media automation and maybe even persuade you to undertake it, if you have not already done so!

 

 

Friggatriskaidekaphobia

Having had discussed some serious marketing stuff in the past few blog posts, here is a pretty different (some what laid back) non-marketing related topic for you!

Friday the 13th!!!!

You must be wondering what does Friggatriskaidekaphobia actually mean….Well, if you haven’t already guessed it, it’s the official word coined to represent the fear that people have for Friday the 13th. If you are still in shock and wondering if people do actually suffer from that, check this out: “The Friggatriskaidekaphobia Treatment Center”. Yes, you read it right! You must be wondering if your eyes are playing tricks on you….Well, I had that doubt too, but guess what? It is real, very real! They have treatment centers that offer help to people who suffer from Friggatriskaidekaphobia!

Having established the fact that this condition is not a joke, let’s analyze how a seemingly innocent day (Friday) & date (13th) could become such terrorizing entities! Friggatriskaidekaphobia was not really a big thing before the 19th century but grew in ‘popularity’ only in the 20th century, largely due to media influence. There is very little written evidence that support any real concrete reasons for this superstition to exist but here are some of the more popular theories:

1) 12 is considered to be a complete number (12 months in a year, 12 Gods of Olympus,12 Labors of Hercules etc…) Hence, 13 being the number immediately after this ‘complete’ number is viewed to be ‘bad’.

2) With reference to the Bible, Jesus was said to have been betrayed by the 13th guest at The Last Supper.

3) Apollo 13 is the only unsuccessful moon mission during which an oxygen tank exploded.

Well, the list goes on and on…..you get the picture don’t you?

So, for all those of you out there who suffer from Friggatriskaidekaphobia or experience some sort of weird queasy feeling on this date, perhaps your fear is not that irrational after all :p

Content Curation

We have talked a lot about content marketing in our previous blog posts. But where do companies get all that content from, to conduct a successful content marketing campaign? It is a time consuming, energy draining and resource intensive process for a company to constantly churn out original, unique and quality content. This is especially true for start-ups and smaller companies as they are often hard pressed for resources (Money and Manpower) which are often diverted to other pressing issues such as product development and customer acquisition.

So, what is the solution to this problem? Is it impossible for a smaller company to actually conduct a successful content marketing campaign? The answer is a loud and resounding ‘NO!’

“Content Curation” are the 2 magic words that empower companies to post good quality content without requiring too much resources. Companies can supplement their own content with third party information which enables them to leverage on other people’s topical expertise. This empowers companies to build and establish their brands at a much lower cost.

People frequently confuse content curation with content aggregation, when in reality content aggregation is the first step of the entire content curation process. Content aggregation is just the mindless compilation of information with respect to a pre-defined algorithm while curation is the act of selecting only relevant, informative and interesting content.

   ”People are just more interesting than algorithms”    - Noah Brier

This quote highlights the importance of curating and publishing only interesting content instead of relying only on an algorithm to do so. Think of it this way: Content aggregation provides a pool of information based on a pre-defined formula and what content curation does is to distill captivating content from this pool to be posted to a company’s target audience. If you are a more visual person, perhaps the following infographic from Rohit Bhargava, will provide a clearer image.

content-curation_models

So, in summary, content curation is the magic solution for companies to constantly engage their audience with interesting content without having to spend too much resources on marketing. This is certainly great news for marketers in start-ups and smaller companies as they are often constrained by several financial limitations.

Mobile Marketing

The days when phones were used only as telecommunication devices have long gone. Phones now double up as mobile computers on which people can do a lot more things that were not even remotely possible a few years back. I am pretty sure that there are several people who actually use their phones to check Facebook more than they actually do to call someone! A larger percentage of people are also starting to read and reply emails on their phones due to enhanced user experiences offered by smartphones.

What does this mean for marketers? Hmmmm…….Duh! Marketing campaigns need to be tailored to specially serve this rapidly growing group of people. It’s an excellent way to amplify your company brand and increase engagement with your target audience. Here is an infograph from Visual.ly that very nicely captures the big picture linking up social media and email marketing with mobile devices. Take a look at it and if you haven’t started planning a mobile marketing campaign for your company yet, delay no more!

Mobile Marketing

Branding Analyzed

I am sure that we all know what branding means. But not many of us truly understand the real meaning and power of it. A strong brand can make all the difference in the world. In fact, a mediocre product with a powerful branding strategy will most certainly triumph a good product with a horrible branding.

“Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room”

- Jeff Bezos (Founder of Amazon)

Your target customers’ first impression of your company is through your brand and whether they would even want to approach your company or use your product depends largely on how well your brand resonates with them.

As such, there are several tips/courses/seminars out there advocating the best practices of branding. But, what I would like to point out is how content marketing and social media marketing helps you to build your brand and achieve all the benefits that a strong brand would bring to your company. Take a look at the inforgraph from ‘Infographic Design Team’ below which lists 7 excellent ways to enhance your brand visibility.

Branding Infograph

Content Marketing & Social Media Marketing actually plays a vital role in several of the 7 ways and let me just give you a quick explanation of some of those.

1) Branding Tip: Communicate with the market regularly to maintain brand visibility

You would certainly want your company to have a personality(brand) that your target customers can resonate with. An excellent way to actually build that personality is to constantly engage your audience by delivering interesting, relevant and timely content to them. Being known as the thought leader in your industry would certainly create a superior personality and greater brand visibility that will help you outshine all your competitors.

2) Branding Tip: Integrate Community Interest in Your Brand

In today’s digital age, consumers are no longer passive shoppers being bossed around by companies. Instead, they are well informed of what their alternatives are, due to the abundant wealth of information available on the internet. Hence, via content marketing, you can easily produce and publish your own content, supplemented with good third party content, in a regular and consistent manner.

By delivering a constant stream of interesting information about a relevant topic, you would naturally develop a stronger rapport with your target customers. They would look at you as a credible source and trust that you know what you are actually talking about! Once you have secured the trust and reputation of being a subject expert, you can very easily position your products and garner a higher interest level for your brand among your target audience.

3) Branding Tip: Create an Online Brand Community

Imagine the power of combining content marketing with social media marketing. A constant stream of useful information being posted,with your company branding, onto the various social media avenues such as Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Company Pages and LinkedIn Groups. This way, you are actually amplifying your company’s presence manyfold as all of your company posts is actually delivered to the right places and at the right time. Many of us are regular users of social media. (Come on, don’t tell me you have not went on Facebook while at work! :P ) Hence, customers would naturally be exposed to these interesting information posted by your company without even actively looking for it. It is through this constant and subtle encounters with your brand that you would be able create an online brand community which looks up to your company for reliable industry information.

I hope that you are able see how crucial content marketing and social media marketing is to building your brand. And also if you were not a believer of the power of branding, hopefully this blog post has helped you to reconsider!

ROI of Content Marketing

“Rome wasn’t built in a day”

Now, you must be wondering what’s the relation between the above proverb and the title of this blog. Well, perhaps after taking a look at the diagram below from Content Marketing Institute, you might be able to figure out the connection.

Confidence Gap

As you can see based on the research results presented above, about 30 – 50   percentage of marketers are still not convinced about the power of content marketing. Well, I believe that this stems from two possible issues:

1) Unrealistic expectations of obtaining immediate results (Hence, the above proverb stressing the importance of patience :P )

2) Insufficiet Usage of Analytics Metrics

Lets go through these two issues and hopefully by the end of this blog, I would have made a reasonably convincing argument as to why content marketing is a force to be reckoned with!

Patience is a virtue

Somehow, with the immense buzz associated with content marketing, people have started to develop unrealistic expectations about it. Marketers seem to expect content marketing to provide an instant magic solution to their problems. However, it just doesn’t work that way! Content marketing is a powerful vehicle to build a strong and trusting relationship with your audience. And as we all know, relationship building takes time. By consistently providing good and relevant content over a decent span of time, you would be able to present yourself as a Industry Thought Leader to your audience and earn their trust. They will turn to you for the latest industry news because they know that you are a subject expert and can be relied upon. This trust can reap HUGE rewards for you as you would be able to convert your audience to become loyal customers much more easily now. However, this sort of relationship does not just happen overnight. Content marketing is an excellent mechanism to build this relationship but it will certainly take time.

Insufficient Analytics Metrics

Another reason as to why marketers are not able to comprehend the power of content marketing is perhaps they are not analyzing and evaluating the results of their efforts properly.

Analytics plays an increased role in content marketing campaigns as compared to other traditional marketing campaigns. Getting broad and generic statistics such as 1000 Facebook likes, 300 shares etc may not be sufficient to fully understand and utilize the impact of your content marketing campaign. You need to know and analyze much more specific details such as the following:

Who has read your article? Who did he share it with? Which is the most popular content posted by you? Who likes what specific types of content? How do people access your content?

Knowing answers to such questions will greatly enhance the success of your content marketing campaigns as you would be able to more effectively engage your audience, generate leads and close sales. I came across this interesting infograph (shown below) from BrandPoint which explains how you could measure your content marketing campaigns. The measurement metrics have been categorized under Awareness, Consideration & Conversion. It’s a well illustrated thought process of how you can measure and analyze your content marketing campaigns. Do check it out!

brandpoint-content-marketing-792

Well, I hope I have made a reasonably convincing argument that will slightly sway those skeptical marketers to begin embracing content marketing. If I haven’t, all I can say is, ‘Just give it a shot! What have you got to lose?’ :)

Personalized Marketing For The Win!

Everyone marketer on earth knows this, it’s an obvious fact, a marketing truth that would stand the test of time…….

Well, you must be wondering what I am talking about…. The truth is none other than the age-old marketing concept that personalized marketing works magic way better and stronger than random mass marketing. Every marketer knows this by heart but not every marketer is able to effectively utilize this truth to his benefit. Is personalized marketing really that hard?

In the olden times, where one would have to painstakingly go collect information about every customer, aggregate those data and come up with trends, personalized marketing was certainly a tedious process. However, today with cutting edge CRM and marketing automation technologies readily available, personalized marketing is so much easier. In fact, it’s now a ‘crime’ if marketers do not engage in some element of personalized marketing given the abundant resources that they have!

In fact, one superior form of personalized marketing is customizing and tailoring the content that you want to show to your audience according to their taste and preferences. This is essentially what content marketing is about, at least when content marketing is carried out effectively!

I came across this cool infographic from Econsultancy, which really outlines the key facts about personalized marketing in today’s digital marketing landscape. It provides interesting statistics revealing the importance of personalized marketing and also explains how marketing automation techniques can actually aid marketers to achieve that.

Do check out the inforgraphic below to learn more and stay tuned to NewzSocial’s blog for more interesting insights on trending marketing concepts :)

Personalized Marketing

 

 

Content Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

We have spoken alot about the power of content marketing in our past few blog posts. But, how different exactly, is content marketing from traditional marketing?

I am sure most of you, if not all of you, would have heard of the terms ‘Inbound Marketing’ & ‘Outbound Marketing’. Just in case you haven’t, let me give you a quick explanation of the two terms:

Inbound marketing earns the attention of audience in a passive manner without actively going out to draw them in, while on the other hand, outbound marketing does the exact opposite through strong advertising campaigns intended to grab the attention of customers.

Hopefully that brief explanation is sufficient to show you the difference between the two marketing concepts. Having established that, it would take no rocket scientist to figure out which category content marketing belongs to! In today’s marketing world, inbound marketing has gained more traction with customers due to the fact that people prefer to be informed rather than persuaded. As such, content marketing which is a prime inbound marketing tool, has been the number one marketing solution for most firms. As a proof to that statement, a survey done by Content Marketing Institute has shown that 91% of firms operating in the B2B sector use content marketing!

So, what is the difference between content marketing and traditional marketing? Well, I don’t think I can put it any more appropriatley then what was stated in the image from AttachMedia (shown above): ‘Traditional Marketing Interrupts while Content Marketing Informs (Gives valuable information).’ And this primary difference has given content marketing several huge advantages over traditional marketing campaigns, some of which have been listed in the image above.

Well, folks, I hope this blog post has shed some light on what inbound and outbound marketing is and how content marketing primarily differs from traditional marketing campaigns.

Stay tuned for more posts on marketing related concepts! Have a great weekend :)

 

Social Media Dissected

How many social media sites are there? Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Flickr…..well, the list is almost endless…..In today’s digital age, it takes no rocket scientist to figure out that people spend a significant amount of time in their lives surfing social media sites. This has given rise to abundant marketing opportunities for companies to reach out to their target audience.

In our previous blogpost, we had discussed about the science behind getting more Facebook likes for a company page. But perhaps, we should take a step back and first think about whether Facebook is even the right social media site for a company. With a limited budget and scarce manpower, it’s absolutely crucial for companies (especially start-ups) to direct their marketing efforts in the most productive manner possible. The social media site in which a company should focus most of its marketing efforts in, depends on two main factors:

  1. The type of product the company is selling
  2. The demographics & psychographics of the audience visiting the social media site

Marketers should invest more in campaigns on social media sites that draw audience compatible with their product types instead of just randomly throwing their hats into the most popular social media site. At this point, you might be asking how different can the characteristics of audience visiting the various social media sites be. Well, trust me, you will be surprised!

Did you know that 79% of Pinterest users are females compared to 58% for Facebook. Also, a larger portion of Pinterest users are from a higher income group as compared to Twitter & Facebook. Check out this infographic from QuickSprout to get more interesting statistics if you still do not believe that the characteristics of users of different social media sites vary considerably. So marketers, if you have a tight budget and are on a squeezed timeline, the wisest thing to do is to first decide which social media site you want to focus and invest more in before even planning any further.

The Science Behind Facebook Likes

Social media has infinitely increased the marketing options available for all marketers. It is now unimaginably easy to promote a brand on various social media platforms. For instance, it literally takes less than 5 minutes to create a Facebook page and promote your brand. However, this is no magic potion that would instantly solve all your marketing problems. The fact that it is now so easy to actually conduct social media marketing campaigns has given rise to an avalanche of brands attempting to leverage its power. This has resulted in a huge ‘noise’ level on all social media platforms making it extremely hard to actually get the attention of your target user, even for one fleeting second.

Hence, it is extremely pertinent to learn about the secret sauces that are required for an effective social media marketing campaign in order to successfully achieve the results that you desire. Here is an interesting infographic from KISSmetrics that gives some tips on how you can actually get more likes on Facebook. Although getting more people to ‘Like’ your brand does not automatically translate to increased sales, it certainly helps to increase your brand awareness. Check out the infographic below for some cool and interesting insights!

p.s. I wonder why Facebook usage peaks at 3pm everyday and is also the highest on Wednesdays!  Too much of a coincidence, don’t you think :P

A moment in your life vs A moment in the Internet

STOP! JUST STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING NOW!

Spare a few seconds to think about the amount of work you are able to get done within a minute of your life. To put it another way,how productive is the average minute you spend in your life?

Well, I have spent some time to actually think of the answer to that question for my life and honestly I have come up blank! And during this juncture, I happened to stumble upon an interesting infograph from SparkyHub.

“What happens in a minute on the Internet?” The answer to this question is filled with several stunning statistics. Did you know that there are 1 million YouTube Video Viewers in just a minute! And 639,800 GB of global IP data transferred within a minute on the Internet? That’s just amazing! Take a look at the infograph below to see more stunning facts.

Now back to my initial question, what are the statistics like for a minute in your life? Well, I have decided to not waste another moment of my life trying to figure out the answer to that question and actually get down to doing things more productive! I suggest you do the same :)

Marketing Automation Works Wonders

Source: Yahoo Finance

Can’t believe what you see? Try rubbing your eyes/pinching yourself/jumping around and then look at the picture again. Yes, the numbers you saw earlier is still the same. Believe it or not, Marketo share prices are through the roof! Priced at $13 last night, opened at $20 today and last seen trading at $23.10! How do you explain this magic: Extreme Luck? Good Timing? Crazy unpredictable market sentiment?

Well perhaps the answer is all of the above. But the key take away from this is the huge potential and power that the concept of marketing automation holds. In today’s crazy digitalized world where consumers are thrown into an information tsunami, marketers would grab onto anything that would enable them to reach out to their target audience in the most efficient and effective manner. The rise and virility of social media is both a pain and a boon to marketers. The boon is derived from the fact that marketers can now reach out and connect with their target audience easily but just like a double edged sword, this also poses are huge pain to marketers. How do you constantly keep up with the extremely fast paced nature of social media?

Typically, most companies do not have many people tasked with managing their social media campaigns and hence it can often turn out to be very exhausting and time consuming for marketers to constantly ensure that they are churning out the right content on social media. This is where marketing automation softwares like Marketo come in and save the day for marketers! Not only does it simplify the workload for marketers, it also makes marketing campaigns more effective. Check out the infograph below from CMS WIRE to see a well illustrated diagram of the benefits offered by marketing automation softwares.

Source: CMS WIRE

Alright Folks, that’s all from me this week! Stay tuned for more posts right here next week and have a great weekend ahead!

p.s. Do not get shocked if Marketo share prices continue to rise (perhaps due to marketers like me rushing to buy the shares :p)

Content Marketing Campaign 101

As promised in our previous blog, NewzSocial has come up with a few tips for you to spruce up your content marketing campaign.

But, before we even begin talking about the strategies of an effective content marketing campaign, lets analyse the term ‘Content Marketing’. The simplicity of the term is what makes people overlook its true meaning, resulting in really bad content marketing campaigns. Ignoring the risk of sounding too simplistic, let me break the term down to its essence to ensure that we are all on the same page. Warning: Simple Mathematical Knowledge is required to proceed further.

Content Marketing = Content + Marketing 

Content: Information About Something

Marketing: The action of promoting something

Hence,  following simple mathematical logic, content marketing is basically promoting content about something. Having made this clear, lets explore this concept further.

How is promoting content about something different from traditional promotions about your products? Well, the key difference is that now you are not directly promoting your product but rather promoting a wide range of information encapsulating more than just your product with the intention of educating and/or entertaining people. Many marketers do not realize this fact and hence in their content marketing campaigns, the content that they put up is just a mere regurgitation of their product features or company background (A huge turnoff for consumers!)  Remember the goal is to promote content and not your product. And if you do a good job at it, consumers would automatically be drawn to your product. With social media being so prevalent and viral, a bad content marketing campaign is enough to heavily damage your company while a good campaign would certainly work wonders for you.

Having established that content is king, let’s now talk about how we can adorn this content with ‘kingly’ like attributes!

Source: Oracle Digital

 

  • Provide content of utility to your audience. Remember content marketing is all about promoting content that will be of use and interest to your audience and not just information about your product! A general rule of thumb is that after reading your content, your audience’s reaction should be along the lines of ‘Oh that’s cool! I didn’t know that!”
  • Use pictures, videos and other forms of multimedia to supplement your content. Come on, you do not need me to repeat this age old saying do you? Ok well, just in case, here it is: ‘A picture speaks a thousand words!’. So, always try to reduce your word count and replace them with pictures or videos when applicable.
  • A King is fed with a constant supply of never ending delicious food….Get where I am going? Well, your content has to be constantly updated with new information. Write new content consistently and do not leave your audience hanging in the air. No one likes that feeling of uncertainty!
  • Diversify your content. Do not always write about the same topic and remember that the more interesting your content is, the higher your chance of converting passive audience to active customers.
  • Leverage Social Media to the maximum of its potential. There is so much untapped power lying dorment in the various modes of social media. Setting up a Facebook page is not enough! Unfortunately, many people think that social media is all about setting up Facebook pages or groups. There is so much more to it than just that. Read up on tips on how to rise above the noise in social media and disseminate your content in the most effective manner.

These 5 adornments are certainly sufficient to alleviate your content to a King like status. So, marketers, after having read all these, you must be raring to begin your own content marketing campaign. Just rememeber this magic equation in all that you do:

Content Marketing = Content + Marketing

( You are promoting content and not just your product)

 

 

The Power of Content Marketing

“With great power, comes great responsibility” – Spiderman’s Uncle (Uncle Ben)

“With great content, comes great power” – NewzSocial 

It all begin in 1884. Long before you and I came into existence, the first concept of marketing came into play in this world. And since then, marketing has been subjected to strong Darwinian Evolutionary Forces and undergone several transformations. Just like how evolution has resulted in the survival of the fittest, only marketing strategies that work(those that actually bring in the money!) have withstood the test of time. New marketing concepts and techniques are constantly being brought in and old ones are being modified or thrown out of the window.

As such, the hot trend in today’s marketing space is what’s known as ‘Content Marketing‘. What exactly is it? Well, to put it in a very simplistic way without any of those technical jargons, it is basically a marketing technique that pulls audience to you through the presentation of quality content about yourself, your company or product. The main reason as to why it has such a strong appeal today is because in today’s information age, people have the ability to easily learn more about your product and company even if you do not want them to. Hence, instead of viewing this as a disadvantage, content marketing empowers you to use the situation to your benefit by presenting the audience with the right kind of content that you WANT them to actually see! If done well, this will easily draw the right kind of audience to you without you having to undertake all those boring and tedious marketing techniques deployed in the olden times.

And, to prove that this is not just some theoretical argument, check out this infograph from ContentPlus to see how powerful content marketing actually is. ContentPlus has summarized this very aptly in one sentence: ‘Just as the heart powers the body, content powers online marketing success’.

Do keep a look out for NewzSocial’s next blogpost, as we would be exploring some tips on how to effectively conduct a content marketing campaign! In the meantime, check out this awesome infograph and truly appreciate the power of content marketing!

Content Marketing

Can the difference between Men & Women get any more obvious?!

A shout out to all marketers out there: Your worst fears have been confirmed! You would have to tailor your social media marketing campaigns differently for both men and women! It has been proven that on average, both men and women consume and use social media quite differently.

For instance, according to an infograph from InternetServiceProviders.org, 40 million more women use Twitter as compared to men every month! So, marketers, when you are designing your social media campaigns, you have got to factor this in your plans! Check out the infograph below for more information.

Social Media Gender Comparison

 

 

Oh Twitter, please give me more followers!

I admit, I am guilty of secretly comparing the number of twitter followers I have with my friends and everytime I discover that I am leading the ‘race’, I secretly smile to myself :)

Now wait, before you begin judging me, tell me honestly that deep down in your heart, you do not really care about how many followers you have on Twitter. Hmmm….yes thats what I thought! Every time you log-in to Twitter, there would certainly be a part of you hoping that you did get an additional follower. That’s human nature. Come on, who does not like being popular ;)

So, the real question is how do you increase your twitter following? Are there strategies that you can use to achieve that? I am sure you have read about the buzz surrounding Aaron Gartner, a Twitter user who only got 15 followers despite having 10,000 tweets! In case you haven’t, you can do so here, on the ONION.

Okay, lets get down to some serious business. Check out the tips given by Michael Hyatt on how to perfect the art of increasing your twitter following. Time to get our hands dirty and become popular tweeters, ok maybe just get more followers than our friends for a start :P

Increase your Twitter Following!

Source: Michael Hyatt

Increase your Twitter Following!

Source: Michael Hyatt

Increase your Twitter Following!

Source: Michael Hyatt

*The tips shown above are the intellectual property of Michael Hyatt

There is Curation and then there is CURATION!

Welcome FlipBoard. Seriously.(circa 1981, Apple Ad welcoming IBM to the PC revolution).
We are now in the Curation revolution, where every reader is an editor and every user is a topic expert. NewzSocial pioneered the idea of a socially curated news magazine and we are glad that others are following suit.
NewzSocial introduced the key elements of a social curation magazine:

  1. SEARCH: Use search terms to create a stream of content on a topic.
  2. CHANNEL: Encapsulate the article stream.
  3. CURATE: Favorite articles into a channel.
  4. SHARE: Selectively distribute articles across social networks
  5. COLLABORATE: Add multiple curators for a curated channel.

The value of curation is that one’s topic of interest changes all the time and friends help discover new topic streams. So here is the list of channels that I actively read, curate and share with my team. The cool feature is that these channels are continuously updated with fresh articles and allows our team to stay on top of news that is relevant to our interests.

newzsocial following channels page

Channels I am Following

Using NewzSocial, we keep track of what’s happening in Content Marketing, Sales & Marketing Business Tools and recent technology advances like Facebook Graph Search. And of course, we follow all the news articles about Flipboard’s new 2.0 curation magazine. It’s a good start with a beautiful interface.

A Magazine you create once and publish. A Channel you create once and it automatically updates with fresh content and you can continue to curate.

The real question is how curation can be used for businesses. Can the power of curation be utilized to track news about the business, its competition, its customers and its ecosystem? Can these curated channels be selectively distributed across groups within a business? Can curated channels be used to build the business brand on social media? You need NewzSocial Business! Stay tuned!

NewzSocial’s Curator Program

Howdy Peeps!

NewzSocial has launched a new ‘Curator Program’ where channels curated by awesome users like yourself would be featured to everyone else. This is your chance to become your own News Editor where you can share your very own news channel with the rest of the world. Here are some tips on how you can effectively curate a unique channel.

1) Type as many search terms relevant to your topic in the top right search box

2) Separate the search terms with a comma

3) Put the search term in apostrophe for exact search results

 

 

Got the idea? So, once you have curated your own channel and you are ready to share it with everyone else, send us an email at support@newzsocial.com, stating your Name, your Login Username( Facebook/LinkedIn/Email) and Your Channel Name. We would then get back to you on whether your channel has been selected in our featured list!

So what you waiting for? Go curate and show the world your very own news channel!

Post Google Reader Era

                    The age of NewzSocial Begins

          We empower you to create your own virtual newspaper on ANY topic that you want.

                  NewzSocial Features

  • Get all your content at a one-stop place without having to painstakingly add the feeds or search for them on the internet. 
  • Create your own news channel on any topic of your interest and all the relevant information will come right to you.
  • Share the channels that you have created with your friends via Facebook, LinkedIn & Email.
  • Dynamic content updates fresh from the feeds.
  • Hundreds of pre-defined channels in the database spanning across wide topic ranges.

The pictures above are just a small sample of what our free ipad application offers. Download our app for free right here and experience the power of NewzSocial first-hand!

Internet Addiction

Are we all getting too hooked to the internet? Just pause for a second and imagine a day without any internet connection. Do you feel like you have lost something really essential to you? You bet that I certainly do!

Does that mean we are all addicted to the internet? There is a fine line between being addicted to something and being heavy users of something. Most of us will certainly not develop strong emotional or psychological responses when deprived of internet, but if you do, then it might actually mean you are indeed a victim of internet addiction.

Check out this really detailed infograph from Daily Infographic to learn more about internet addiction and perhaps discover if you are bordering on the line of becoming an internet addict!

 

Wanna be a Superhero?

After a series of somewhat serious blog posts, here is a light-hearted and maybe life changing post for you from NewzSocial. But before proceeding to read, take a  moment to answer the following questions:

  • Have you ever secretly wished that you were a superhero?
  • Ever wanted to fly around anywhere at anytime without having to buy an airplane ticket?
  • Does the idea of climbing walls or shooting webs thrill you beyond anything else in the world?

Well, if your answers were a resounding YES, then there is good news for you. NewzSocial presents to you an infograph from Pinterest, which lets you in on some secret diets that you can follow to transform yourself into the superhero of your dreams.

Didn’t we tell you that this could be a life changing blog post!

p.s. NewzSocial does not gurantee that you will successfully complete the transformation into a superhero!

Brain : The Information CPU

Hello Everyone!

I hope it has been an awesome week for you and it certainly has been a blast for NewzSocial, thanks to the wonderful response that we have received to our new international release version! Thank you for all your fantastic support thus far to make our new release successful. Do keep sending us your feedback through our NewzSocial app, as your views and opinions are highly valuable to us.

Since NewzSocial is all about ensuring that you get all the information relavant to you in an interactive and fun way, here is an interesting infograph from “A Health Blog“, which explains how our human brain processes information. Let me try to give you a one liner description: Trillions of synapses between our neurotransmittors dutifully and effortlessly carry all the information to our Hippocampus, Cerebellum and to God knows how many more other areas of our brain!

Hmmm….well, I don’t think that was very helpful! Do take a look at the infograph to get a better description right from the experts!

NewzSocial wishes you a wonderful weekend ahead and please do keep the feedback coming it about our new release! Adios Amigos! :)

 

NewzSocial Goes International

Howdy Good People Of The World,

Here is a Valentine’s Day Special, from yours truly. NewzSocial has released a new international version on the Appstore, incorporating some exciting features made just for you!

  • Using its new country and language-sensing feature, NewzSocial automatically selects content from publications that are relevant to your region and language.
  • NewzSocial is also now the first social news magazine app for the iPad to be fully localized with a Spanish user interface, help screens and content from South America.
  • Publication sources and news channels have been tagged with country and language settings to enable international content to reach specific global audiences.
  • The localized Spanish version is available for any user with iPad settings set for Spanish.
  • Users with German, Japanese, or Mandarin Chinese iPad settings will also be able to see localized channels in their relevant language.

Some screenshots of Spanish Content in our New International Version

Spanish Homepage

Spanish Trending News

Spanish News Categories

Our new country and language feature will guarantee that you receive all the relevant information that you want and need. Information consumption has just gotten alot more cooler with our New NewzSocial Release! Do check it out to get good content the fun way!

 

 

Sleeping Troubles Demystified

Alarm Clock Rings, Half-Opened Eyes struggles to see the time, Hand slams the alarm clock shut, Brain Screams “I WANT MORE SLEEP!!!”

Is this a daily routine that you experience in the morning? Well, I am not sure about you, but  I certainly suffer from this! Well, here is a super relevant and interesting infograph from MercuryNews.com that explains more about this. Check it out and also learn certain tips that you can adopt to overcome this problem. Say goodbye to restless and troubled nights and hello to a good peaceful sleep at night!

p.s. Napping in the afternoon may actually bring out the ‘Einstein’ in you!

 

Information Avalanche

“It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information.”
― Oscar Wilde

NewzSocial understands the pain that all of us face due to the huge information avalanche that is heaped upon us every minute, or maybe even every second! The amount of information that is being created/shared every day is so much that it often takes us more time to find the relevant information than to actually make use of that information. Just to give you an idea of the extent of information proliferation occuring, check out the cool infograph(below) from DR4WARD.

160 million Emails, 98000+ Tweets, 79364 Facebook wallposts every minute is just an example of the crazy world we are living in! Are we doomed to having to sieve through this complex information jungle to reach the information that is actually relevant to us? Well, the good news is, NewzSocial is here to do that dirty and tedious job for you! All you need to do is actually sit back, relax and let the information come find you! Through NewzSocial, you can curate your very own ‘Channel’ which can range anywhere from a broad topic such as ‘World Politics’ to a narrow subject such as ‘George Clooney Movies’. NewSocial would then dig up all the information that is relevant to your very own channel and constantly update you!

Have fun checking the infograph below to fully understand the intensity and insanity of the information creation pace present in today’s world. Also, do check out our NewzSocial App and let us help you manage this information avalanche with ease!

A Fashion and Shopping Adventure with SHEfinds

To all those carrer women out there, here’s a BIG shout out from:

‘We understand that the overwhelming and endless piles of work deadlines and family commitments can often zap the energy out of every busy woman. And this often leaves her with little time to stay on top of latest fashion trends, let alone look out for latest shopping coupons and deals. However, NewzSocial strongly believes that this should not prevent a career woman from getting timely information about fashion and shopping. Looking stunning while fulfilling work and family commitments can be made a reality for all  women!’

Sounds too good to be true? Thanks to a partnership NewzSocial has with SHEfinds, you can be readily updated on your favourite articles about latest fashion trends and also receive expert recommendations on shopping. You can even get online coupon codes and  great sales found by SHEfinds!

Featured on NewzSocial:

SHEfinds is a one stop portal for women to find solutions to a wide array of problems. Don’t have time for shopping? New  mothers at wit’s end with regards on what to buy for children? Fret Not! SHEfinds and MOMfinds provides answers to all your needs in a reliable manner.

With NewzSocial, you can now create your own fashion/shopping channels consisting of your very own favorite articles from SHEfinds and other fashion blogs. Be constantly updated with the latest news without having to waste time searching for them. Let fashion news find you and not the other way round!

So, do make use of this excellent opportunity to make fashion news come finding you and stay informed of any latest fashion updates. Download our application NewzSocial and let us do the work for you!

Pets World

Aren’t pets the best thing ever!

Here are some reasons to why:

Many of us have kept pets at some point in our lives. They are so involved in our everyday lives and are a part of the family. Check out this infographic from visua.ly that discusses the love, time and money we put into our little furry friends.

Read more about Pets by following NewzSocial’s Pet’s World Channel.

 

Do Ads Educate or Irritate?

Are you suffering from an overdose of Ad Exposure? Do you always get swamped with advertisements (pop-ups on internet, commercials during interesting tv shows, posters along the drive-way) and wish that you could automatically tune your senses to ignore them? Do the ads really educate or irritate you?

Well, if you belong to the latter group and you believe that ads are useless, guess what? You are not alone! Based on an infograph from Mashable.com, only 3% of the respondents of a survey do actually believe that ads are accurate and worth paying attention to!

Check out the infograph to know more about what majority of the people feel about Ads in general and even to discover the implicit ‘Battle of the Sexes’ played out in Ads!

 

 

Need any post Holiday recipes?

Featured on NewzSocial:

Food is essential. With that said, we could never leave our users without a go-to food expert. The next time you are itching to try out a new recipe or to look at some fancy food photography, open the Lucullian Delights channel and we promise that you will be in for a treat!

There are just tons of food websites and blogs out there but Lucullian Delights really stands out because of the interesting content and personal style of writing that Author Ilva Beretta delivers. It’s such a beautiful blog to read whenever you want to feel happy or relaxed. You will be immersed in a galore of great photography and food images that bring about this peculiar calming effect but at the same time can make you very hungry. And just to help you get an idea of what I’m saying, here are some stunning pieces of photography that you can find on her website:

Follow the Lucullian Delights channel on NewzSocial and you will see that the channel is updated with wonderful new posts every other day.

Here to learn more about Ilva and her achievements.

Are you sleeping with technology?

According to an infograph from Online Psychology Degree, our dependency on gadgets is a disturbing phenomenon. Why there’s nothing wrong with loving our technology (especially when we pay so much for it!), but if it starts to affect our lives in the ways below, it’s about time we re-think this affair.

Read on, because being overly attached with your phone can

  • Seriously affect your quality of sleep
  • Increase time needed to fall asleep due to decreased Melatonin
  • Increase sleep disorders, stress and depressive symptoms
  • Raise heart attack risk by up to 50% due to decreased hours of sleep

Are you disturbingly involved with your cell phone? Answer this checklist to find out.

You would rather give up sex than your phone
You sleep and browse the web before trying to sleep
You sleep with your phone right next to your bed (or on your bed)
You don’t silence your cell phone before bed
You check your phone right away if you wake up for no reason in the night

 

Read the infograph below to understand more about Gadget addiction and how it has possibly affected your quality of life!

Keep up with the latest trends in fitness from Fit Bottomed Girls!

We’re all about good content at NewzSocial. That’s why we’re making friends with the pros to feature their expert opinions on the topics that matter to you. We bring in topic gurus on various categories to recommend and share great reads that everybody should know about.

Featured on NewzSocial:

It’s not always easy to get moti­vated to get healthy, but the FBGs believe that the key to success is a healthy balance of both good food and good activity. They bring their humor and energy to the mass­es to inspire women (and men!) to make working out fun, not a dreaded punishment. They be­lieve that fitness should be acces­sible and attainable for everybody, which is why they want to share their perspectives. The girls insist that there are no “good” foods or “bad” foods, but preach the phi­losophy of everything in modera­tion and want to help people strike a balance in their fitness and diet regimens. They want women to realize that an active lifestyle and good health aren’t about count­ing calories or the number on the scale, but rather being active, eat­ing healthfully and having a posi­tive attitude and outlook. The FBGs always preach that If you get out there and get moving, you are a Fit Bottomed Girl because fit bottoms come in all shapes and sizes!

Meet the Founders Jenn and Erin!

There is so much you can explore and learn about on FBG but just to get you started, here are some of the interesting categories that you simply can’t miss:

Hot Topics and News: Studies, news articles and research abound in the workout world, hottest trends and information. In this section, FBG also cover popular items like The Biggest Loser and celebs!

Eats: The FBGs love to munch, and they’ll let you know what to try and what to avoid. They love sharing tips and tricks on eating right and cooking healthy, whether in the drive-thru, in a restaurant or in the grocery store.

FitStars/FitCasts: The FBG are privileged to be able to talk with some of the coolest fitness celebrities out there, from The Biggest Loser’s Bob Harper to fitness icon Denise Austin and workout DVD sensation Kim Kardashian. They love to hear about the fitness philosophies of these fit celebs and share them with readers in their FitStars interviews and FitCast podcasts.

On the Scene: The Fit Bottomed Girls hit the pavement to cover the latest fitness trends, events and classes across the country.

Fitness Equipment Reviews and Workout DVD Reviews: Jenn and Erin research—and often test out—the latest and greatest (and sometimes not so great) products in the fitness biz.

Fit Bottomed Girls posts great new content almost everyday (and sometimes multiple times a day) every week. Stay up to date with them by following their channel on NewzSocial:

Keeping fit and living healthy is a fun affair when you do it the Fit Bottomed way!

Who will win the Presidential Elections 2012?

Tomorrow’s the big day!  Be the first to know all news, updates and chatter on the presidential elections by following NewzSocial’s “Presidential Elections” channel and have access to all these content in real-time.

As always, things have always been interesting among the swing states. How will usual swing states Florida, Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin and the toughest battleground state of all—Ohio, affect the final results? Stay tuned to the “Presidential Elections” channel to find out!

And just to add to the fun, here’s an Infographic from bestdegreeprograms.org that aptly describes the big business around electing America’s president.

Follow Our K-Pop Channel!

There’s been so much buzz and craze over the Gangnam Style video by Korean pop singer Park Sae Sung it’s hard to get the beats out of my head. We’ve got to hand it to the Koreans who have such a knack for producing music videos that get so viral. Think the Wonder Girls’ famous song ‘Nobody’ and you’ll get my drift.

If you haven’t yet watched the hilarious dance moves and heard the catchy tunes of Gangnam Style (but what are chances), check out the video right now!

We’ve also created a whole new system Channel on K-pop, with news on Korean culture, celebrity and entertainment just for K-pop enthusiasts! This way, we can keep you up to date with Korean music, celebrity news and your favorite K bands easily in real time. Whether you are a fan of Super Junior, SS501, Wonder Girls, Girls Generation or any Korean celebrity, you can get consistent streams of related articles on their latest news and scoops right from this Channel effortlessly.

But what if you’re a fan of just one Korean band/singer/celebrity and the whole K-Pop she-bang is just way too overwhelming? Not to worry, we’ve got that covered too. Simply key in the name of the celebrity into the search term, and we will offer the most relevant articles on that singer/band to you. (We recommend adding “ ” to names that have more than one word). Check out this “Super Junior” channel I’ve created on the fly!

Password Theft

eharmonyLinkedIn, Yahoo. These are just some of the high profile companies which had their password database hacked over the past few months. With the ever-improving technology that translates to faster password cracking, it is essential we protect our online assets. These assets include our online identity, usernames, passwords, and even online banking access.

The below infographic from SecurityCoverage gives us an understanding about the statistics relating to password theft.

Protect Your Online Assets

Keep yourself up to date on Password Hack news on our NewzSocial app:

Password Hack

Three key points to remember when creating passwords:
1) Use secure passwords (A combination of upper and lower case characters, numbers and symbols at least 14 characters long.)
2) Use unique passwords (A unique password for each website)
3) Help yourself remember your passwords with password helpers like Password Genie

Have a peace of mind by staying secure.

Consume quality content with curation

There are 3.5 million pieces of content shared everyday on Facebook, 1.4 million blog posts created every day, 48  hours of videos uploaded onto Youtube per minute, 2,300 new Wikipedia articles created on an average day and 57 million WordPress websites written in over 100 languages. I’ve decided not to go on because, well, you get the idea –the internet is bursting with content!

Imagine how much quality content there is online with that much input surging into the web every day, every minute! But we don’t have all our lives to seethe out all these worthy pieces of content. Even the best search engine can only do so much to get you the information you want. It might surprise you to know that up to 20% of Google searches have never been done before.

This is where the business of curation comes in. No machine learning recommendation engine can beat the delivery of content that is handpicked by experts on a topic. In this infographic from CurationSoft, be amazed at how much content people are generating on the web and check out what industry experts like Robert Scoble and Seth Godin have to say about curation.

Having a good sitting posture

We spend a large part of our life sitting down. According to sciencedaily, The average person spends almost 1/4 of his/her life sitting at a desk. In fact, you are probably reading this while sitting at work or at home!

Besides investing a good chair, a good posture can do wonders to your health. Check out greatist‘s infographic on tips for a better sitting posture:

Having a good posture at work

Having a good posture at work

It doesn’t stop with sitting right, but living right! Check out channels relating to a healthy lifestyle on our newzsocial app:

Newzsocial Screenshot

Newzsocial Screenshot

Start living today by making it your habit to sit right!

Napping does wonders to your productivity

Our day time productivity has always been correlated to the amount of rest we have had the night before. We spend almost a third of our lives asleep. Do we need day-time naps to make our waking hours even shorter?

If we look closely at the infograph from Buzzfeed below, it’s a loud and resounding yes! Well, think about it: Why would Google spend $12, 985 per napping pod to provide the best napping experience for their employees? Perhaps this infograph can shed some light on that.

The power of a nap seems almost like downing a daily magic potion. Somehow, I couldn’t help but check out more articles to confirm that.

That’s it folks, gotta nap.

How to choose wine? From being a wine lover to a great host!

At any time, occasion or event, you can always rely on a trusty bottle of wine to be the icing on the cake. You might love wine, but don’t know too much about it. Afterall, there’s so much to wine that they award PHDs on it!

There are limitless options when it comes to picking the right wine. But yet there is the right wine for the right occasion.  To help you look like a pro, we’ve uploaded an infographic from wine folly that will solve all your wine selection problems.

For wine enthusiasts who want delve deeper, start following our “Wine and Drinks” Channel! This channel covers everything about wine from experts. As usual, go ahead to create even more niche channels on Pinot Noir, Burgundy or Moscato if you’d like.

Now everyone can be a little wine expert.

Not just the Olympics, stay updated on everything that matters

Yes, the Olympics is exhilarating, fun and full of controversy. Everyone’s following it! We’ve dedicated an entire Channel on the Olympics to give you easy access to the most updated and relevant information. And if that’s not enough, you have the power to create customized Channels based on your particular sporting interests, such as Swimming or Gymnastics. Simply type in a search term, follow the Channel and you will never miss an article on your favorite Olympic Sport. Here’s a snapshot of the Channels I’m following!

But life isn’t all about the Olympics! With Newzsocial, you will never have to give up priority on your other favorite topics that you equally enjoy. If you’re a die-hard Giants fan, or have avid interest in web design, continue to follow news on these topics, along with the other ad-hoc Olympic-related Channels you have created on-the-fly.

Stay updated and read only the most relevant news you are interested in.

Have fun with it, and don’t forget to share!

Find out other amazing things you can do with Newzsocial here.

 

 

Infographics: London Olympics

In spite of having an Olympics channel on NewzSocial, I created two additional channel on Olympics-Track & Field and Olympics-Gymnastics to  get specific news on each sport.

I stumbled upon two interesting articles and couldn’t help sharing.

Like every event, the Olympics should also have some fun infographics. What a great way to know about every sport at the London Olympics better. Every sport lover will enjoy Guardian’s infographics.
And for the rest of us, there’s Olympic Facebook infographic from Compass Labs.


Olympic

What is Curation?

Keeping up to date with news on the internet is like entering a vast warehouse, full of new and old, relevant and irrelevant, fun and informative articles. Wandering into that warehouse to find something is a daunting task that can lead you on tangents and distractions you never would have dreamed of. But with a careful hand, this warehouse can be transformed into a museum, with the best of the best right at your fingertips. These careful hands are curating. Curation is selecting, organizing, editing, filtering, then delivering contextual and meaningful information to you, the user. The curator is responsible to help create new meaning from existing content.

The main difference between aggregation and curation is algorithms are not enough for curation. A human touch helps bring a new perspective to create a new meaning. Intent and conscious selection is the only way to curate something well.

-Shastri