Monthly Archives: December 2012

10 Content Marketing Tips from Social Media Experts

Here are ten content marketing tips from the social media experts here at Content Marketing World.

1. If you run out of things to say, don’t say anything at all. —Mitch Joel
2. Make customers the hero in your content. They saved the day, came up with solution, reaped the reward. — Deana Goldasich
3. Think like a business person blogging, not like a blogger blogging for business. — Jason Falls
4. You have to be brave. — Brian Clark
5. Some of your content should be written for the people who share your content. — Sonia Simone
6. Ask yourself: Am I adding value or am I creating static and noise? — Mitch Joel
7. Create “holy smokes!” content. — Jason Falls
8. The chasm between privacy and personalization is immense. Speak to me, but don’t stalk me. — Mitch Joel
9. Write in simple, consumable language, just as you’d speak—not like you’re writing a high school essay. —Mike Stelzner
10. Working on headlines is probably the best thing you can do as a writer. — Brian Clark

Source: http://blogs.salesforce.com/company/2012/09/10-content-marketing-tips-from-social-media-experts.html

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How to motivate your employees (Infographic)

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What’s the secret to motivating employees? This infographic explains it. Hint: it isn’t just money!

Motivating employees isn’t as simple as paying them more. People are complex and lots of different factors contribute to their overall level of job satisfaction, and what motivates people to do their best work. Happiness, career aspirations, challenges, money, stress, are all factors that contributing factors in employee motivation.

There is an optimal level of arousal that is key to motivating people. This can be brought about in many ways: employee recognition, dialogue with employees, employee coaching, and healthy relationships with bosses and co-workers.

There is a material impact to having disengaged employees. Human resources professionals must manage their organizations with finesse, constantly looking for that optimal level workplace satisfaction which keeps employees motivated and engaged.

Courtesy: http://blogs.salesforce.com/company/2012/09/how-to-motivate-employee.html

An interesting perspective.

Small Business Facts
Small business is BIG!

Thought I would share a few facts on Small Business.

  • Small business produces roughly half of the private Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and creates, on average, about two-thirds of net new jobs annually.
  • Small businesses are the greatest source of new employment in inner cities, comprising more than 99 percent of establishments and 80 percent of total employment.
  • American small business is the world’s second largest economy, trailing only the United States as a whole.
  • Small businesses employ more than half of private sector employees.
  • Ninety percent of small businesses employ fewer than 20 people.
  • Small firms represent 99.7 percent of all employers.
  • Nearly 16 million people operate a small business as their primary occupation in a year.
  • Women-owned firms have grown at around two times the rate of all firms.
  • Minority-owned firms have grown at around four times the rate of all…

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Never advertise on facebook !

FB Like LogoIf you just want to randomly run facebook adverts without any planning and strategy then it’s better not to run them at all …

This morning while I was researching on the effectiveness of ‘Facebook Ads‘ I came across an article published on www.tribune.com.pk in September 2012 (yes, you are right, I got my hands on it a little late 🙂 ) about how “14th Street Pizza Co.” in Karachi started in 2010 and emphasizing  mainly on marketing and promotion through social media with a focus on facebook primarily.

According to this article 14th Street Pizza managed to earn PKR 20 million in revenue in their first year, which is quite impressive. As of today 14th Street Pizza has 612,900 likes on their facebook page and their main business driver is this facebook page.

Another such example is of ‘Ginsoy – Extreme Chinese’ (although with not that many likes as of 14th Street Pizza). As the name suggests, it’s a Chinese restaurant in DHA Karachi which is primarily reaching out to the target audience through social media, primarily facebook. Ginsoy management has successfully been able to create the buzz through facebook but their mouthwatering innovative recipes, elegantly done interior and good service levels have resulted in high demand amongst the right target audience. You cannot just walk-in and find a place on busy days. You must have prior reservation in order to enjoy the food.

Apologies for deviating from the topic, this is what happens when a ‘Lahori’ talks about food J

Coming back to the topic …..

On the contrary, I have personally noticed and found my facebook friends to have liked 1000’s of pages for random businesses on faecbook which they are very less likely to interact with in their real life. In one case I noticed that a facebook friend of mine living in a small town near Islamabad had liked a Chinese restaurant in Karachi. I know that my friend had never visited Karachi in his life and I was sure that he had never been to that restaurant.

This has both positive and negative sides.

It is positive in terms of awareness of the brand and interest in people who have not used its services as yet but can be potential customers but that negative side is for the restaurant which would very proudly include that friend of mine in their ‘fans list’ without realizing the actual conversion or sale from this particular ‘fan’.

I am glad that facebook is aware of this and has revealed earlier this year that about 5-6% of its 901 million users might be fake – representing up to 54 million profiles. This is something which I would leave to facebook to sort out!

In my opinion, the reasons of 14th Street Pizza Co’s success in facebook advertising are based on the following

  • Right targeting for the audience
  • Compelling call-to-action
  • Value proposition (free delivery)
  • Routing the clicks to the right and targeted content, rather than sending the ‘clicker’ to a page with mixed and unclear messages.
  • Most important of all, consistency (don’t lose hope if you don’t get results initially)

If you want to run successful facebook campaigns then you must have the right mix of the above ingredients.

And yes, facebook adverts do work, even in Pakistan 🙂

5 Trends to Ignore in 2013

Amid all the forecasts for what next year will bring, here are five business trends you’d be wise to pass up

This article is part of Inc.‘s special report on How (and Where) to Make Money in 2013 (and Beyond). Follow the links at the end of the story for more game-changing trends, bold predictions, and hot markets to watch next year.

‘Tis the season for forecasting, prediction-making, and soothsaying. It’s fun. It gives pundits, vendors, and journalists something to talk about. And it can be smart to try to keep your eye on legitimate trends that may affect your business.

Then again, sometimes a trend is nothing more than a lot of lemmings plunging over the edge of a cliff. Or it’s something that makes sense for only a few select businesses. As you sift through the forecasts for what 2013 will bring, here are a few things that should make you raise a skeptical eyebrow.

1. QR Codes

You’ve seen those two-dimension bar codes on advertisements, product packaging, and even signs in stores. The idea is for a consumer to take a picture with a smartphone, use an app that can decipher the squiggles, and then land on a marketing website or perhaps download some enticing content.

QR may stand for quick response, but it might instead be an abbreviation of quixotic response. Back in June 2011, comScore estimated that 14 million Americans scanned QR codes with their mobile phones. It sounds like a big number–but it was only 6.2% of the total mobile audience. So, using them as a strategic marketing tool will likely mean you’re reaching a tiny portion of your potential customer universe.

Plus, many consumers don’t know how to use them and multiple types of 2D barcodes exist, just to make the world more complicated. So don’t. Spend your time on communication forms that all your customers will readily understand.

2. Big Data

Everyone needs big data, if you read the business and technology magazines. But the term has become an amorphous catch phrase that covers everything. Real big data involves millions or even billions of data points. We’re talking complicated tasks like predicting the weather, or Google looking for trends among all the search queries it sees day in, day out.

That level of data analysis is probably nowhere near what you need for your business. Most decisions are built on small data: dozens or hundreds or maybe thousands of data points. If you don’t have systems in place that let you regularly and predictably make effective use of the data you already have, then looking at big data is like saying you want to jump into the ocean to avoid getting damp from a summer shower.

Also, making sense of lots of data is far harder than people think. There are few Nate Silvers out there, but you probably can’t afford to hire them. Instead of trying to sift through massive amounts of data, spend more time in 2013 fine-tuning your products or personally connecting with your customers.

3. BYOD

Tech industry watchers have lots of opinions about BYOD–that’s short for bring your own device. The idea is that by letting employees use their own computers, smartphones, or tablets they’ll be more productive. The other bonus, according to fans, is that it allows businesses to get out of the hardware provision business.

Time for a reality check. Sure, let workers bring mobile devices in, where it makes sense. But don’t assume that just because they use their favorite iDevice employees will suddenly hit untamed levels of productivity. And don’t assume that passing off the hardware mantle to your employees is sensible. What happens if they don’t get an adequate degree of support? Are you ready for them to be out of commission while they wait for some unmotivated third party to repair their machines in a few weeks?

Figure out what employees need to do, what resources that requires, and when they need to do it. And if letting people use their own devices makes sense, do it bit at a time. Don’t move everyone over wholesale.

4. Gamification

Games are engaging. Games are fun. Games are interactive. It’s no wonder businesses have jumped on the band wagon to bring game mechanics to things like in-house applications and consumer-facing mobile apps, not to mention other company initiatives. Why shouldn’t a customer get an achievement badge for staying in a hotel or frequently “checking in” to a restaurant?

It might help some companies, but this has all the smell of a silver-bullet solution. If you don’t have practices, insights, offerings, and ways of doing business that can bring customers closer to begin with, using games won’t help.

Gimmicks can work to improve sales, employee productivity, or virtually anything else for a while. In organizational psychology, it’s called the Hawthorne Effect. People start working harder because management is paying attention. But eventually things slow to back to normal levels, because people get used to the new status quo. When all is said and done, games rely on consumer whimsy and can be ephemeral in nature, which probably isn’t what you had in mind for business improvements.

5. Consumer Internet Companies

Last year was strong for consumer Internet companies. VCs poured money into the sector–first- or seed-round deals accounted for 57% percent of deal flow in the third quarter. Notable start-ups like Cheezburger Inc. and Glam Media closed significant rounds. And just look at the money you can make through an acquisition: Even after the value of Facebook’s stock crashed, Instagram still sold for $741 million this year.

Not so fast. Consider the hundreds of consumer Internet start-ups born in 2012 through accelerators, incubators, and start-up contests. Then consider how many of them fell right into oblivion. Despite the continued interest in this sector, there are already signs that at least some VCs are starting to put more of their money into less faddish concepts. This year, the B2B sector offered a few bright spots, especially in financial services and IT, in an otherwise down VC market.

Instead of turning every idea into another consumer website or application, considerwhat you can do that might have lasting value for some group of people. You might not get invited to all the cool Silicon Valley parties, at least not in the beginning, but you’ll have some revenue to show for your efforts.

Courtesy: http://www.inc.com
Web link: Click here to go to Inc. website