Monday, April 11, 2011

Evolving as a Social Brand

The Brands of today need to evolve as 'Social Brands'. Here's a recent presentation I created to summarize this concept:

See also:  The Social Brands 100 Report from Brandwatch

Friday, February 25, 2011

Social Media For Brands: What Not To Do #1

Someone on twitter had recently asked me to blog my experiences as 'Dos and Don'ts for brands in the social media space'.

Well, here's a start:

Although this is something that applies to everyone on twitter, it holds greater significance for brands:

#1 Don't tweet without thinking it through: What you tweet can be damaging and irreversible. As a brand, you need to be doubly-sure of the message you're trying to convey. Especially considering the permanent nature of tweets. If you send out something without thinking about the meaning it can convey, and realize later, it would be too late to delete that tweet. For by then, it would have been read by your followers, replied to and even retweeted. 

Case in point: My own retweet of Vodafone's tweet when they responded to my complaint about network issues...

Have you had any similar experiences with brands on twitter?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Birthdays and Social Media

The emergence of social media has added another dimension to how we celebrate personal events, particularly birthdays.

So here's one in anticipation of today...

Monday, January 24, 2011

The blackberry and me, we weren't meant to be

A good smartphone goes a long way in helping you stay tuned on the go and multi task with social media. Unfortunately, I'm still looking for one.

Meanwhile, I wrote this short poem to describe my not-so-pleasant experiences with Blackberry...

The blackberry and me, we weren't meant to be
The decision to buy it, was filled with glee
I used it to tweet, I used it to chat
I used it to check email, which is what it was best at
But it used to hang up and had to be rebooted
especially when it came to multitasking, it wasn't well-suited
Rebooting it could take so very long
you'd think it was a punishment ​for doing something wrong
Web-browsing on the blackberry browser was best not tried
And battery life so poor, just when you needed it, it died
All I'd wanted to buy was a smartphone
Which the blackberry clearly wasn't, it had shown
Nevertheless, I decided to carry on using it for a while​
Until I decided on an alternative that wasn't as hostile
And then one day it crashed, the trackpad st​oped working
'Customer Damage' claimed the service center shirking
They refused to fix it cl​aiming it wasn't repairable
My decision t​o buy a blackberry clearly wasn't cerebral
And now I'm ​rendered phoneless
which of course causes ​a great deal of stress
While my blackberry now rests in peace
I need a real smartphone that won't ever cease

I'm in the midst of deciding which one that shall be​
But the blackberry and me, certainly weren't meant to be
(UPDATE: I moved to the iPhone 4 two weeks after I wrote this post. Have been loving it so far!)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Observations from a Social Media Bootcamp

This is a long overdue post about the Social Media Bootcamp organized by Digital Vidya  in Delhi this month. They had invited me as 'tweeting partner' and it was interesting to be a part of the 2 day interactive and engaging session. The participants were from varied industries all wanting to learn about how they can get on to the Social Media bandwagon.

Not only did the training help participants understand the reach and role of social media, it also familiarized them with social media platforms, terminology and the basics of creating a social media strategy. The 2 day period is too short to give anyone a complete experience of social media platforms. However, its a great way to get people started. All in all, a great learning opportunity for anyone who is new to social media and interested in adapting it for business.

Of course, learning to use and adapt social media is an ongoing process as social media by itself is currently in an adapting, evolving stage.

Basis my observations, I wanted to summarize the main impact that the bootcamp seems to have left on the participants minds with this cartoon:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Social Media and Multitasking

I've always felt that social media makes greater demands on our tendency to multi-task.

And then I came across this question I found on Quora:

What kind of cognitive changes have been observed of people engaged in a near constant use of social media?
So I posted the following answer, keeping the multi-tasking angle in mind: 

One definite cognitive change would be an increase in the tendency to multi-task. We're driven to constantly maintain, check and update our timelines across multiple social platforms even while we may be engaged in other 'offline' tasks. These social media platforms are making far greater demands on our limited average attention span. There's constant shifting of attention, between various social media and offline activities. This could result in people no longer being able to focus on any one task. 

As a victim of this tendency, I'd personally like to believe that multi-tasking is good for the brain and that it helps us learn to process more information at the same time. 

Here are some relevant studies that indicate otherwise:


 results also illustrate an age-old conflict in the brain, one that technology may be intensifying. A portion of the brain acts as a control tower, helping a person focus and set priorities. More primitive parts of the brain, like those that process sight and sound, demand that it pay attention to new information, bombarding the control tower when they are stimulated.


Managing two mental tasks at once reduces the brainpower available for either task, according to a study published in the journal NeuroImage. “It doesn’t mean you can’t do several things at the same time,” says Dr. Just, co-director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging, interviewed by Buzz About Science. “But we’re kidding ourselves if we think we can do so without cost.”


According to a Stanford study, multitaskers are “suckers for irrelevancy” according to communication Professor Clifford Nass, one of the researchers whose findings are published in the Aug. 24 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Everything distracts them.”

This answer is cross-posted from Quora where it received 3 votes, making it the top answer to the question so far. 

What's your personal experience with multi-tasking, social-media and both of these put-together? 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

20 Twitter Resolutions for Twenty Eleven

On 31st December 2010, I tweeted a series of tweets as part of a hashtag (#suggestedtwitterresolution)

What started with just a random attempt to suggest new year resolutions to people who tweet, turned into an interactive discussion with people replying and contributing ideas. Here's the top 20 off the list, for anyone who may want to pick all (requires a lot of time and effort) or some of these as their resolutions for 2011:
  1. Engage with the people you follow and get to know them.Twitter is best used with a combination of tweets in monologue and dialog modes.
  2. Interact with people you follow, even if they don't follow you back. It's the only way they'll get to know you.
  3. Try and reply to tweets from people who follow you, even if you don't follow them back. The conversations could lead you to discover some interesting people and you may just be interested in following them back.
  4. Stop counting your tweets and start making your tweets count.
  5. Focus on collecting thoughts, ideas and information, not followers
  6. Respect attention spans. Don't expect people to read, reply to or RT everything you tweet about.
  7. Tweet about what interests *you* and it doesn't (always) have to be a link.
  8. Don't let your twitter timeline look like a press-release. Unless, it is.
  9. *Try* to be yourself in 140 characters. And have fun while you're at it
  10. *Try* to keep your tweets grammar-grounded and spelling-sane.
  11. Try not 2 twt lyk dis. Use complete words and sentences unless where the 140 character limitation is really pressing upon you to cut short on the number of characters.
  12. Respect mutual rights of all to follow / unfollow / block whoever they want without having to justify.
  13. Use twitter lists to discover, organize and recommend interesting people.
  14. Don't tweet when you're too angry. Or too drunk. You may regret what you posted later and it will be too late to take back what you said by then.
  15. If you don't have anything to tweet about, don't. Meanwhile, you could retweet interesting tweets that appear in your timeline.
  16. Engage in conversations but when they get personal or irrelevant for others on the timeline, move to direct messages.
  17. Try your hand at a couple of twitter apps till you find the one that best complements your tweeting style
  18. Don't get into fights on twitter. If you're offended by someone's opinion, ignore / block and move on.
  19. *Occasionally* indulge in random hashtags. This post was a result of one such hashtag tweeting session.
  20. Make the most of 140 characters.
That's my list of suggested twitter resolutions for the new year.

Have a great 2011. And remember, all's well that tweets well.