Welcome and join the social media bandwagon!!! I have created this platform to understand and interpret the social media landscape in India. Here we will discuss who is doing what in social media marketing, what are the new techniques/innovations used in the social media marketing, from the Indian context, mash up of stories on social media from the Indian media and lots more…. Come read, comment and participate. If you intend to contribute on regular basis, mail me on pr.vikram@gmail.com to be an author on this blog.


Letter to Vodafone

To whomsoever concerned

I am one of the millions of consumers of Vodfone, who has subscribed to not one but 4 mobile numbers and have been a loyal consumer of your services since many years now. But unfortunately regret to mention that even I am not spared with the worst customer service that your hundreds other consumers have to go through. I am sure there is nothing or unique to this grievance of mine and know very well nothing would change or improve anything at your end with the small email of mine. But still I dare to take this opportunity to make you aware about the frustration I have to go through because of your shoddy call center service.

I had recently travelled from 26th April to 28th April, 2012 to Malaysia and had got activated my international roaming. On 27th April I got an SMS stating my credit limit is Rs. 8800 and my usage has exceeded Rs.10083 and need to make interim payment to avoid restriction of services. Promptly after receiving the a payment of Rs. 5000 was made within two hours of receiving the SMS, which was confirmed by an SMS. Later my credit limit was hiked to Rs.9000 (I felt delighted). Post which I deactivated internet connectivity on my Samsung phone cause of very high international roaming tariff. After returning to India on 28th April I reactivated my internet settings but could not get the connectivity back. I called numerous times to your call center but interestingly every time I called I got different reasons but could not get my net back, leading to heavy inconvenience to my professional life.

We are one of those unlucky lots who are always on move and have to depend on smart phones to get our work done but services like yours are real road blocks. It is very unfortunate that I have to deal with this and will decide to jump services at the first instance of promising service from other service provider.

Really very frustrated  and helpless with VODAFONE India

The Hindu : Sci-Tech / Internet : Google feature can make your photo appear along with links on Google search results

The Hindu : Sci-Tech / Internet : Google feature can make your photo appear along with links on Google search results.

Business Line : Features / eWorld : “We spend a lot of time being proactive”

Business Line : Features / eWorld : “We spend a lot of time being proactive”.

Digital advertising in India is expected to become Rs 3,535 crore industry by year end

Digital advertising in India is expected to become Rs 3,535 crore industry by year end.

Social media reacts to Google Drive – Hindustan Times

Social media reacts to Google Drive – Hindustan Times.

How Does Social Media Affect Website Search Rankings? [INFOGRAPHIC]

How Does Social Media Affect Website Search Rankings? [INFOGRAPHIC].

Vicky Anscomb: How to convince your clients that they need social media – Advice – Eastern Daily Press

Social media’s a bit of a tricky one when engaging with a client for the first time. They’ll probably be familiar with (and keen to hear about) PPC, SEO and site design, but when it comes to social media, they may well lean forward with narrowed eyes and ask the dreaded question, ‘But why do I need social media?’

This is the time to stop wittering about ‘brand awareness’, ‘community cohesion’ and ‘moving forward with technology’, and time to bring out some solid reasons that companies should be on board when it comes to social media. It’s not enough to claim that everyone else is doing it, and it ‘makes a difference’. If you’re looking to impress in any upcoming meetings, the following points are sure to win over clients:

Firstly, there are mind-boggling numbers of people using social media. At the time of writing this, Twitter has over 100 million ‘active’ users (users who log in once a month) and Facebook has approximately 794 million users. These are people that you ignore at your peril – they’re out there, and it’s up to you to try to find them, and then harness their buying power. Refusing to engage with social media users is like knowing there’s a packed shopping centre in town full of browsing buyers, but point-blank refusing to set up a shop there just because it’s new and a bit daunting.

Secondly, you’ll be able to get a better idea of who’s interested in your brand – and you’ll know who to target in the future. Facebook Insights, Sprout Social, Brandwatch and other applications that measure social networking analytics can not only show you the gender of the people engaging with you, but their age, where they’re located, the main languages they speak, and the medium they’re using to surf the web. This is especially handy if you’re wondering why the app you’ve launched hasn’t taken off (users using desktop computers) or nobody’s writing lengthy chunks of text on your Facebook wall (smartphone users).

You can also get inside peoples’ heads. Not many customers will take the time to fill in a review or a long survey, but they may well respond to a tweet or update that asks them what they think of a new design. You’ll also find that you receive both good and bad feedback, and how you respond to this will shape how your customers see you. If you’re able to placate a furious customer with some excellent, speedy customer service, you’ll not only win them round, but anyone else who sees that you’re bending over backwards to assist them. Social media allows a level of transparency not often seen in communications between customer and vendor, so use this to your advantage.

Tools such as Twilert and Tweetbeep can let you know when people are talking about you – and you can set up alerts for people talking about the products you sell. So, if you see a tweet from a local person wondering where they can find [insert your product], you can neatly introduce yourself and politely ask if you can help. These tools enable you to be the butler at the party – you can overhear everyone’s conversations and step in when you feel it’s appropriate. Just be careful not to overdo this side of things, or your Twitter timeline will become a sad pool of desperation.

If you want to be seen as a leader within your field, you have to remember that your opinions are worthwhile – and you should respond to industry developments at the earliest opportunity. It’s far easier to send out a quick update on Google+ or Facebook than it is to draft a blog for your website, and your customers will see your passion for your business. If you’re making a particularly strong point, or one that generates discussion, all the better – your views will get shared, driving more people towards your social media – and your website.

If you’re looking for fresh talent, especially in the social media and online networking sphere, you should be using social media to try to find your next big star. More and more businesses are using their social media accounts to search for employees, as it’s free, the word is easily spread, and it’s a great way to drive people wanting new information to your website. Plus, it’s a very promising sign if you manage to find someone through social media as it shows they have a good understanding of the medium – and its potential.

Finally, don’t forget that the speed of social media can make it behave a bit like Lassie – it can let you know that something’s wrong long before you even have an inkling of disaster. If you receive many messages informing you that the same thing has gone awry with your product, it’s time to stop the production line and start your examination. It’s true that badly-run social media accounts have the capacity to damage your brand irreversibly, but they also have the potential to save it from a sticky end, so value your followers – they may end up saving your bacon.

Source: Vicky Anscomb: How to convince your clients that they need social media – Advice – Eastern Daily Press.

Facebook buying photo-share app Instagram for $1 billion

Instagram - 8

Instagram - 8 (Photo credit: BrentOzar)

Facebook is spending $1 billion to buy the photo-sharing company Instagram in the social network’s largest acquisition ever.

On the surface, that’s a huge sum for a tiny start-up that has a handful of employees and no way to make money.

But the lack of a business model rarely dampens excitement about hot tech upshots these days. As Facebook has shown, itself without ads or revenue in its early days, money goes where the users are.

Instagram lets people share photos they snap with their mobile devices. The app has filters that can make photos look as if they’ve been taken in the 1970s or on Polaroid cameras. Its users take photos of everything from their breakfast egg sandwiches to sunsets to the smiling faces of their girlfriends.

In a little more than a year, Instagram attracted a loyal and loving user base of more than 30 million people. Apple picked it as the iPhone App of the Year in 2011.

Instagram’s fans, brand recognition and its potential are difficult to put a price tag on. Yet Facebook has and can afford it. The company is preparing for an initial public offering of stock that could value it at as much as $100 billion in a few weeks. What’s $1 billion? A drop in the bucket, really.

“Facebook after this IPO is going to be in a position to be predatory. They can make sure no one steps in their way and buy anyone who gets in their way,” said Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter, who follows social media.

Buying Instagram, he added, not only eliminates a rival but gives Facebook the technology “that is gaining crazy traction.”

Facebook is paying cash and stock for San Francisco-based Instagram and hiring its dozen or so employees. The deal is expected to close by the end of June.

It’s a windfall not just for Instagram’s employees, but the venture capital firms backing the company. Last week, Sequoia Capital led an investment round that valued Instagram at $500 million, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Going by the $1 billion price tag, Facebook is paying about $33 for each Instagram user. That’s a fraction of the $118 that Facebook investors will be paying per Facebook user if the company gets its expected $100 billion valuation after going public. By that math, Mr. Pachter said, $1 billon “doesn’t sound crazy.”

Getting Instagram is a big win for Facebook as it works to harness people’s growing obsession with their mobile devices and sharing every moment of their life. The company’s own mobile application is not as easy to use as Instagram, and sharing photos can be downright clunky. Facebook’s way, noted Mr. Pachter, has always been to buy technology if it’s better than what it can build on its own.

Facebook, which is based in Menlo Park, California, said it plans to keep Instagram running independently. That’s a departure from its tendency to buy small start-ups and integrate the technology or shut them down altogether just so it can hire talented engineers and developers.

“This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page on Monday announcing the deal. “We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all.”

“We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience,” Mr. Zuckerberg said.

Source: http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/internet/article3299305.ece

Priyanka Chopra beats Big B, Sachin Tendulkar

Indian actress & Miss World 2000 Priyanka Chop...

Indian actress & Miss World 2000 Priyanka Chopra, at the Filmfare Magazine launch in Mumbai, October 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A recent survey declared Priyanka Chopra as the topmost influential Indian in the social media circuit.

With social media gaining prominence in present times, a company has compiled the list of the most influential names in the Indian domain. And no, it’s not any of the Khans who top the list. Believe it or not, it’s Priyanka Chopra who is at the number one position.

The list compiled by Pinstorm India has Shashi Tharoor at number 2 and Amitabh Bachchan on number 3. The list consists of 100 names ranging from Aamir Khan to Salman Khan to Taran Adarsh and many more. However it’s Priyanka Chopra who has made it to the top slot.

Priyanka Chopra also has the highest number of followers on Twitter (22,28,363) which is more than the followers of Sachin Tendulkar.

Presently Priyanka Chopra has been working round the clock shooting for Krissh 3, Kunal Kohli‘s Teri Meri Kahaani and finishing her endorsement commitments.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/bollywood/news-interviews/Priyanka-Chopra-beats-Big-B-Sachin-Tendulkar/articleshow/12520540.cms

Travel and hospitality sector ramps up social media marketing

Research by Mindshift Interactive says Club Mahindra, ITC, Taj Hotels, Oberoi Group and Pride Hotels are the top five companies actively involved in marketing on social media

The travel and hospitality industry is going social with a vengeance to engage and network with travellers. According to a study, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are the most popular and effective social media platforms for marketing within the tourism and hospitality industry.

The industry uses these networks to review brands, locations and read user experiences, whilst also responding actively to queries and comments.

According to a research conducted by Mindshift Interactive, the top five hospitality players in the Indian market that are actively involved in the social media space are Club Mahindra, ITC, Taj Hotels, Oberoi Group and Pride Hotels.

Club Mahindra with 51 per cent had the maximum number of conversations, followed by ITC with 21 per cent and Taj Hotels at 17 per cent. Oberoi Group (8 per cent) and Pride Hotels (3 per cent) ranked at the bottom with respect to its presence on Social Media.

The increased dependency on social media by travellers is growing faster than the travel industry itself. India’s travel category garnered the second largest share (42 per cent) of total Internet visitors in Asia, with 17.8 million average monthly unique visitors in the first quarter of 2011. With the digital media ecosystem in India evolving rapidly, the number of Internet users is expected to cross 546 million users by 2016, a report by KPMG said. Continued growth in internet penetration and mobile device access is expected to drive consumption and bring about a 360 degree approach for marketing.

“Brands today are spending almost 20 to 30 per cent of their marketing budgets on digital and these figures are expected to grow with years to come. Hotels present on the social media platforms are beginning to understand their consumer’s better,” said Mr Zafar Rais, CEO of MindShift Interactive.

With over 63,467 fans and an engagement ratio of 14 per cent, Club Mahindra leads the presence on Facebook. Club Mahindra leads the Twitter presence with 7,159 followers and effective engagement.

Oberoi Hotels has over 10, 879 fans on Facebook with an engagement ratio of 3.5 per cent. ITC has over 15,402 fans with an engagement ratio of 2 per cent. Taj Hotels has integrated their campaigns such as “Mélange – Vote for Art” and “Marathon For A Cause” with social media. The Twitter presence of Taj Hotels is as @TajMahalMumbai with 2,444 followers.

Source: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/marketing/article3013178.ece