Matter of Opinion

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Archive for the tag “social media”

Feminism or Click-bait?

I follow Facebook trends all the time. Not because I like it, well it is kind of my job. When you start working in the field of social media you sign an unsaid pact that requires you to follow social media trends. I have been noticing something from past few weeks or rather a month or so. There is a certain pattern in the kind of content that is doing rounds on Facebook these days? Have you noticed? For someone who has been into social media for a while do not take long to realize what kind of content has been working lately. If you have not noticed, you will when I tell you this. Women. Feminism. Anything to do with Females.

What are content makers doing these days? There seems to be a formula here. Pick a girl. Pick a situation. In the situation the girl was either very brave, or was molested, or was very sad or was sharing some experience from her life. Voila! The story is viral. I think I should get paid for giving this away but never mind.

Same thing has been happening from a past few days. I open Facebook and there are dozens of such articles. While I write this blog, I am going to pick examples LIVE!

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You get the point right? Do you think these stories do better than articles about the Policemen who died saving some people, or the Army who always live in terror of dying on the border? Maybe if the Army is connected to women or a woman soldier they will get more attention.

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See what I mean? Moreover, dead people will not do any good for your feel good content that your manager has asked you to make. We want more eyeballs and clicks and likes than genuine consideration. For that we need women doing something or the other. She could be the accused or the victim.

Nana Patekar has declared that he will pay poor farmer’s loans and that they should call him instead of committing suicide.

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I would urge you to look at the likes on this post and posts mentioned earlier in this blog. There is news that Rupee will be first emerging market currency to bounce back from the slowdown. We have serious health concerns amongst the youth in India but no one wants to talk about that.

Sexual harassment has always been a problem in India. Ironically and sadly, media is more obsessed with this issue than the police and authorities dealing with crime. Media should be more sympathetic and responsible about what they put in public. Talking about a sexual harassment incident about a person (woman, man or child) in public can hurt their sentiments as much as the act itself. It is a different story if they want to take the help of media to ask for justice. Here, no justice is happening. Every kind of media, even social media is obsessed with such stories and the details. Do not get me wrong. I feel bad for women who have to face some of the most heinous crimes by strangers and known people. #Hashtaging will never give justice. It might humiliate the victim further. It is just another Click-bait.

So where are we headed with Social activism? Online petitions, Hashtags, Facebook pages, you name it. Our generation just want to make a difference and that too quick. We want to contribute no matter whose problem it is. But is all of this helping? I know a few infrastructure related problems that were solved by signing online petition but we are talking about human life. How many rapists have been severely punished till date? Compared to kind of candle rallies and social media campaigns, the result has been nothing. All this is great but should we not face the reality already? Our assertiveness is considered as joke by people who actually have the power of making all the difference.

Have you watched the movie ‘Nayak’? Do you remember what Amrish Puri as a politician says about a mob of people that creates a riot in the city? He says, ‘Let people fight, let the buses burn. They will make noise, fight and will calm down on their own’. Don’t you think this is exactly what happens to all our online effort that we put? The defeat of this medium is that no one takes it seriously. There was a time when no one knew what social media was. So they did not take it seriously. Now they know what the crowd talks about and how we react to each and everything. Now, they take us granted.

The tragedy of Social Media today is that we easily forget people who have died. We easily forget people who have actually made a difference in the society. A like, a share is all we have to give to these people. What we remember is how a woman was ill-treated, how a girl was not allowed to go to school, how a woman was looked down upon because of her clothes. Evidence of the fact that people are interested in these topics is that, such articles keep circulating and appearing on your Newsfeed, repeatedly.

For once, give more importance to real news. How many articles do you see on ‘filing your taxes’ on social media? The last date is 31st August. Do you know what forms are for what purpose? I had no clue whatsoever. No one seems to be writing or reading content based on that. People in this business of helping file returns have to take help of ‘Ads’ to reach out to people and educate them. Don’t fall prey to such feminist, racist, eye-ball grabbing content. Their intention is just that. There is a content manager / social media manager asking them to make such content. It doesn’t mean it is more important than news of someone’s achievement or death or important instructions.

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Everyday tools- Social Media

As a social media professional I use a few tools on a daily basis. If I am to list all of the tools that social media executives use it will be longer but I will just name a few important ones.

Here is a list of tools that should be open on your browser all the time.

http://www.lettercount.com/

Letter Count: This tool is useful for your Twitter as you can count the characters before tweeting. So when Twitter says you have to be more clever this tool comes to rescue.

http://www.socialmention.com/

Social Mention: So you do not have a fancy tool to track mentions of your brand on social media? Behold Social Mention. It is called the ‘Google’ of social media. Run this twice a day to collect most of the mentions related to your brand. Also make a decent report using the sentiment report and top users identified by this tool.

http://tweetreach.com

Tweet Reach: A tool that helps you understand how many impression you have got for your tweet. This tool is Twitter specific and gives you a report on impressions on last 50 tweets.

http://hootsuite.com/

Hootsuite: Personally I do not recommend using Hootsuite for regular Facebook posting as Facebook algorithms do not help scheduling tool to rank on News Feed. Your post might just go unnoticed. But at times when you are on leave or if you want to schedule tweets at odd times like midnight or on weekends this tool works wonders. Schedule the date and time when you want your tweet to go live and leave the rest to Hootsuite.

https://bitly.com/

Bit.ly: This is a link shortening tool and helps you a great deal when you have to shorten a link to insert in a tweet or post. Bit.ly also gives you a report on the clicks that the shortened URL receives. They have had a makeover recently but most of the features still remain.

There are a lot of tools that enthusiasts and innovators have come up with to make tracking mentions, posting and replying easy. But above are the essentials and should be ready on your browser every day.

3 step process- Online Reputation Management

The internet is a good way to understand what people think about your brand and product & services. People are very honest on these platforms. But there is one downside to it. People tend to talk more negative than positive about the brands. The challenge is to give them a solution online, for the query or problems they are facing and convert them into real value offline.

Since it is easy to write and publish content online, web has become a personal diary for all. To add to the benefit there are a number of platforms that allow you to write whatever you wish. However, for brands it has become a task to make sure people do not write anything negative about them due to certain incidents and even if they do, brands constantly strive to attend those issues online or offline. One thing we need to keep in mind is that you cannot keep everyone happy. But if you can track most of the mentions you can solve many a crisis.

In order to make reputation management easy online there are 3 steps we need to follow:

Step 1: Monitoring

As we mentioned earlier there are many platforms where people express good and bad views about a brand or their experience with them. Those platforms, in India can be broadly classified into blogs, discussion forums and opinion forums. Apart from these there are social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ where friends who are connected with each other online share their views.

We come to the first step that is monitoring. If you wish to know what is being said about you through online conversations you will need to monitor them first.  And to do this task you need have a very alert warning system.

There are various tools that help you do so effectively. There are a few free tools and few come for a price.

Once you have set up a monitoring system for your brand you should also track what you competitors are doing or what people are talking about them also. Moreover, tracking general news and developments also help you grow as a brand and understand industry position and standards. While tracking positive and negative mentions also track slangs that people use online For eg: fail, sucks, not happening etc.

This is the first step. Unfortunately this is not enough. You need to take steps to make sure the damage done is not too much and solve it before it goes out of hand.

Step 2: Analysing

As we mentioned earlier, the work does not get over at monitoring. It is crucial to understand and then analyse the social reviews for your brands. This task consists of going through the feedback, complaints, comments and appreciations expressed online,

A conversation may be positive or negative. Both needs equal amount of attention. It is similar keeping the old customer happy and getting new ones via old customers.

What is most important is that you let your audience know what that you consider all their feedbacks. Also keep them informed about the status of query that you needed to solve. Make them feel they are part of the decision making process. Let them know you are listening.

A failed communication can not only break your rapport with one customer but also negatively influence that customer’s peers and circle. A one to one communication can make or break your image in public.

There is common notion among brand managers that if we delete the comment everything will be back to normal. There are 2 things to be remembered about ORM. There are some platforms where all you can do is answer and not delete. Secondly, when the query is not solved the person can also do a word to mouth negative publicity of yours and you will keep wondering what went wrong. It is thus, wise to attend them tactically. Do not fear of negative remarks. Harsh criticism only helps you to grow. You just need to know how to handle it.

Step 3: Influencing

This is the most crucial step in online reputation management. Consider a case where you have received a negative review about your brand or service. Will you let it go or take matters in hand and defend your company?

The speed of internet is not going hand in hand with Public relations principles and working pattern. Mostly by the time you realize there is a crisis, the damage is already done. So you have to be quick and efficient in answering the queries to put a check on it. Since business organizations are able to connect with people and they are back by social monitoring system, they can tackle such crisis effectively.

Participation is the key

First thing first. Always remember Consumer is the King. If they have opinions regarding your service or product you have to make the necessary changes to make things better for them. You should establish a good communication with them even if they are speaking ill about you. This shows you are open to suggestions and are willing to do all you can to add value.

Experts have said that the best tactic to counter attack a negative comment is to answer it with positive mention. You can influence and change the mode of conversation by being a part of it. It gives you a chance to change or improve the perception of your brand.

It is not necessary that you can be a part of a conversation only when there is crisis. You should involve yourself in industry discussions and become a regular contributor on forums and discussion boards. If the conversation is about your brand then lead it. If it is a general query then give solutions. You can be open and honest about the limitation of that solution with your brand. Do not promote other brands but still give a suitable solution. The benefit of this exercise would reflect when you have a negative comment to tackle. The page rankings would help you drastically to control the situation in hand.

The bottom line is, even if you do not do this exercise on a regular basis you should be able to handle the crisis situation when it occurs.

Choosing right technology

Mostly, it is sufficient to answer someone positively on a negative remark to make an impact. But you should also try to make your presence wider that it is currently. Internet is vast and to reach right people at the right time you will have to segment them properly.

Selecting the right platforms for the right audience thus becomes important.  Many businesses favour social media technologies like Facebook, Twitter and some other popular ones. Still, there are complaints that the brands are not able to reach people. Just because Facebook and Twitter are the most preferred websites doesn’t mean all your audience is present there.

Engage the customer on the right social network to build online reputation.

The above three steps should be performed in harmony. Each step is as important as other and linked to each other. Following them will surely help you create a positive reputation online.

Images courtesy: Google Images

How to delete your Facebook account permanently?

Hello Folks!

Being into social media this doesn’t suit me, like they say in Hindi ‘Yeh Mujhe Shobha Nahi Deta’ but I think there should be a note made somewhere that you can delete your Facebook account permanently.

Assume you have become addicted to Facebook and want to get rid of it, or you doubt that your account has been hacked constantly to extract your personal information. Maybe some friend or your colleague is spying on you. Maybe you feel you are losing the real life touch because of FB or maybe you are simply bored of this virtual world.  There is a way of getting rid of your Facebook account PERMANENTLY.

Cut the crap and tell me how to delete it. 

Ok then. Here it is. Follow the process.

Account Settings>> Security Settings>> Last option on the page is Deactivate your account.

Just go here and say Delete My Account. When you do so Facebook will ask you for your password and you will have to enter the security code.

Put in your password and the Captcha and hit Okay.

That is it! The account will just be deactivated for 14 days. If you want to retrieve the account back then just log in to your account within 14 days of deactivating and it will reactivate again. They shall give you an option to cancel your request to delete your account permanently.

Do not log in for 14 days and your account will be permanently deleted. Now get down to read the book which you wished to read since long or catch up with your friends and neighbours. Follow your passion or hobby. Have a great time and enjoy yourself!

7 coolest jobs in India by Rediff

Hello all,

I just wanted to keep this link for records. I was featured in this article under Social Media Executive part of it.  Check it out if you like.

http://www.rediff.com/getahead/slide-show/slide-show-1-career-7-really-cool-jobs-you-want-to-have/20110928.htm

To access my part of the article you will have to click next till you reach there as this is a slide show or check out the picture.

I would like to thank Abhishek Mande and Rediff for this honour.

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