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.
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.
The key to generating loyalty and rising above the general noise seems to be all about creating an authentic voice
What is the best way to promote our blog on environmental conservation in Kenya? We are hoping to help build an eco-friendly generation, and wish to reach out to potential donors.
— Sam Dindi, Kenya
The rise of social media over the last few years and the speed at which companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Google are signing up new members has forced businesses and charities to reassess many of their traditional marketing and PR efforts, and instead focus on building a substantial and loyal online following.
The key to generating loyalty and rising above the general noise seems to be all about creating an authentic voice. Over the last couple of years I have spent a lot of time with my digital media team, creating varied and interesting content for our pages and channels. I post blog entries and tweets almost daily, and I often upload photos from around the world.
Our channels have also helped me publicize many of our philanthropic efforts, such as wildlife conservation, drug decriminalization, encouraging entrepreneurship and battling climate change. This has helped to ensure that the public and politicians take note.
This in turn has helped us raise our brand’s profile online, which has translated into real benefits for our businesses. The more followers Virgin and myself have online, the more feedback and important information we can glean that will tell us whether we are getting things right or wrong. We can react quickly through our own channels, reaching a wide audience that includes our best clients and most fervent fans.
In the past, I often made a splash for our businesses through eye-catching adventures and stunts. Now a timely comment on one of our online channels can trigger widespread debate, while an amusing video or fun competition will create visibility for our brand in many markets where we have little or no footprint. Every week I receive emails from readers in countries such as Brazil and Uganda, where we haven’t yet established businesses, asking that we set up in their country.
This year we are launching our Virgin Mobile business in Latin America through a series of partnerships with local firms. Our online presence and increasing following has helped raise awareness of the brand and build expectation before the launches.
So how can Sam and other budding entrepreneurs make an impact? For those trying to establish an online presence for a nonprofit or charitable organization, I have prepared some tips on how to kick-start your online presence.
1. Build a loyal following by creating interesting and accessible content. This is time-consuming, but is crucial for keeping your audiences engaged. This will ensure that your stakeholders will be listening when the time comes for you to deliver a message about your company or organization.
Sam must take care that the tone of his site is consistent with his target audience—in this case, the younger generation. If the focus of the blog is promoting conservation to young people in Kenya, then make sure that this is evident in every article. Try to talk about topics that will not only educate them but are relevant to their lives and can influence behaviour change.
2. Consider other sources of content. In some cases you may decide to approach bloggers and ask them to team up with you on certain subjects.
Once the tone and content of Sam’s blog has been focused to the target audience, it would be good for him to also look at getting a diverse range of other bloggers who can contribute and build up the following on that website.
3. Look for like-minded partner organizations to help you. There will likely be other nonprofits working on similar problems; reach out to them with your ideas on how to combine or augment each other’s efforts. Sam could reach out to companies and NGOs focused on either children or environmental issues.
4. Create a revenue stream to fund more development and promotion on your site. This can be as easy as contracting with services such as Google AdSense to put ads on your website in order to generate some income.
5. Target potential donors. Through social networking, Sam can draw people’s attention to his charitable cause—for this, the Internet has proved invaluable. However, when it comes to turning those supporters into donors, remember that there really is no substitute for human interaction. Sam needs to make sure that people have a way of interacting and donating on the website.
6. Once you have a sufficient number of followers and your initiative has grown into a success, it’s a good idea to start looking for sponsors—companies, larger organizations and even governments. Sam has a great idea—the goal of building an eco-friendly generation in Kenya has the key advantage of winning the attention of the much sought-after younger generation. Having many followers will be attractive to potential sponsors.
Sam, you have chosen a great niche! Many people in Kenya are working hard on conservation—even the UN Environment Program is based there. Just remember that you must pursue what interests you and you enjoy—if you do, your passion and commitment will show through in everything you do.
By NYT Syndicate
Richard Branson is the founder of the Virgin Group and companies such as Virgin Atlantic, Virgin America, Virgin Mobile and Virgin Active. He maintains a blog. You can follow him on Twitter.
Christina Gomez has carefully displayed her dream cribs, rockers and mobiles on Pinterest, the increasingly popular online bulletin board. Never mind that she doesn’t have a baby.
“Ah, Pinterest – where I dress my unborn children and decorate my imaginary mansion,” the San Antonio political consultant said – on Twitter – when asked about the website.
Gomez is addicted. And she’s not alone. The social site where users can “pin” images and follow others’ collections has surged in recent months to become the 16th most-visited site in theUnited States, according to the Web information company Alexa. That’s a higher rank than CNN.com.
Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann, who grew up in Iowa collecting bugs and stamps, said on Tuesday that his goal is to help people discover things that they didn’t know they wanted. He said there are plenty of people trying to tell you what you want via billboards, catalogs or Internet ads.
“But no one has really made a lot of progress toward building a place you want to go every day to discover things that feel like they were hand-picked just for you, and that’s what I can hope we can do,” Silbermann told a packed ballroom at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin.
The self-deprecating Silbermann, who has rarely spoken publicly about the site he co-founded in fall 2009, described having “catastrophically small numbers” at first. Nine months in, there were fewer than 10,000 people on it, he said. He sought feedback from early users, giving some his cell phone number. And he didn’t quit.
Silbermann, who spoke repeatedly of wanting his site to be beautiful and display beautiful collections, said one goal of his was to create a service that offered timelessness in an era when people were obsessed with real-time sites like Twitter.
“If something is your favorite book, it’s no less your favorite book 72 hours from now or a year from now or five years from now or 10 years from now,” he said. “It still says something about who you were then and who you want other people to know you as.”
Learning from pinning
For Gomez, who lives in a 900-square-foot home in Texas and is about to move to smaller digs in Washington, DC, Pinterest allows her to collect things – like USB drives shaped like teddy bears – without taking up precious physical space.
Like other users, she has organized her pictures into boards with titles like “Sewing Projects,” “Gift Ideas” and “For the new house. She has used it to post pictures of clothes she already owns and to learn to cook with a crock pot.
The growth of Pinterest has been fueled primarily by women, including those planning their weddings, said Robert Quigley, who teaches new media and multimedia at the University of Texas. The draw is the site’s simplicity, he said.
“The rise of Pinterest has been absolutely incredible – it just came out of nowhere,” Quigley said. “It’s so visual, it’s easy to use and simple – yet complex enough to allow you to organize the way you want.”
Pinterest isn’t only for women. Guillaume Driscoll, 30, a design student at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, said he and his girlfriend both use the site. Before he joined a few months ago, he was interested in clothes, but “not on a level of some of my lady friends.” He’s seen that change as he’s pinned more clothes, like colorful socks and a grey cashmere sport coat from J. Crew.
“Now, I’m starting to think about it more. What is my style? What does my style say about me?” said Driscoll, who was visiting Austin for SXSW.
Silbermann said it makes sense for people to use Pinterest to explore topics that lifestyle magazines focus on — design, home decorating, cooking and fitness — but he’s also seeing new uses like political satire (say, Mitt Romney‘s fake yacht collection). Museums are using Pinterest to post art collections. Some users are posting travel guides to cities.
“Every day, literally, we see at least one board where we just couldn’t have imagined how people would use it and to me, that’s really exciting,” Silbermann said.
- The Quick and Easy Guide to Branding Your Business and Creating Massive Sales with Pinterest by Kim Garst (create-with-joy.com)
- Where Pinterest Will Go From Here (inc.com)
- The CMO’s Guide to Pinterest (greatfinds.icrossing.com)
The problem with social media is that it is powered by thousands of small companies, which may or may not have sound financial backing. Many companies with good finances come up with dud apps or gobble up small companies and then shut them down.
One of the latest to shut down is AOL‘s Brizzly, a Twitter web client. Brizzly held a lot of promise, but never really took off. Though Brizzly was like a breath of fresh air when it was launched, there wasn’t much development to retain customers’ interest.
Google’s attempt to bridge scholarly articles and social media, Knol, also bit the dust. Knol never really picked up after the initial excitement surrounding its launch. Intellectual products like Knol don’t seem to figure in Google’s list of priorities, as Google itself said in its email announcing Knol’s closure: “As part of Google’s prioritisation of product efforts, we will be retiring Knol.”
The Knol ‘closure’ announcement page had a note which said: “Knol will be discontinued as a service, but we’ve worked with Solvitor and Crowd Favorite to create Annotum, an open-source platform based upon WordPress that allows you to continue authoring and publishing scholarly articles.” This could mean that Google has nothing to do with Annotum, other than “working with” others to create it and helping Knol users migrate to Annotum.
This comes after the closure of another Google product – Wave. Again, though Wave had created lot of interest, people really did not understand how to use it.
Both the closures were from big cos. But Brizzly, founded in 2009, was acquired by AOL in 2010. And in 2012, it was curtains for the app. Sometimes, it makes you wonder whether the biggies have any plans at all when they acquire small cos. Brizzly is just one sad example.
- Google retires Knol (philbradley.typepad.com)