Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button
Linkedin button
Delicious button
Digg button
Flickr button
Stumbleupon button

Posts from — November 2011

My Pick of the Week: Kolkata :)

I’ve been to Calcutta a few years ago and I loved the city even though mustard oil doesn’t suit my tummy :D Che’s first ever wedding video collage reminded me so much of the place. This one’s for you Calcutta :)

November 25, 2011   1 Comment

Why Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs Must Use Social Media

A couple of days back I received some Marketing Charts from HubSpot. Here are some stats I found very useful for small businesses and entrepreneurs to know. Keep in mind that most of these numbers are from U.S. web users but with the internet aren’t you selling/offering services to the world? :) (and India is headed here in the future so better start early!)

  • Social media site users spend an average of 5.4 hours a month engaged in networking sites.
  • 53.5 billion minutes per month spent on Facebook
  • The average Facebook user spent seven hours, 46 minutes on the site monthly
  • 734.2 million unique visitors to Facebook.com globally in June 2011, an increase of 33% from the previous year. Twitter.com comes second reaching 144.4 million visitors (up 56%). LinkedIn.com is fourth with more than 84 million visitors
  • Facebook, has an average monthly audience of more than 140 million vs its nearest competitor Blogger with 50 million. That means Facebook reaches 70% of active internet users.
  • From 9% of US market share of visits, Facebook has now reached about 65%. YouTube has gone from 9% to 20% and is steadily climbing. Twitter and LinkedIn seem to be staying constant at 2 to 3%.
  • Globally Europe leads in the average hours spent on social networking sites by 38.1%. N. America has 21.4% and Asia-Pacific has 16.5%.
  • According to the 2011 American Customer Satisfaction Index Facebook scores the lowest satisfaction score. Google on the other-hand was one of the highest scoring companies.
  • In just one week, Google+ went from ranking as 54th most visited site to 8th place.
  • Women make up majority of visitors to social networks, and people aged between 18-34 have the highest concentration of visitors among age groups.
  • Mobile users accessing social networks on the phone in the older generation (+55) have doubled since last year.
  • 41% of both video and search ad viewers have taken some type of action from an, while only 28% of social media ad viewers were inspired to act.
  • 63% of Facebook users what something in return when ‘Like’ing a page.
  • 80% of social network users prefer to connect to brands via Facebook.
  • 6 in 10 online shoppers say user-generated customer product reviews have a good impact on their buying behavior
  • An average of 29%, that’s 3 of 10 consumers seek buying advice.

That’s a lot of numbers but it’s clear that for now Facebook cannot be ignored. Customers are talking and connecting on Facebook and companies need to be there engaging with them or they will be missing out! YouTube and videos are a great way to engage with your audience and its steadily growing in usage. Not to be left out is Google+. I’d like to see how it fares a year from now; instinct says it’s just gonna keep climbing the usage charts – so get your Google+ Corporate Page Now!

You can download the entire report at Hubspot.

November 23, 2011   No Comments

The Dexter 6 Contest on FoxCrime

This Saturday (19th Nov.), FoxCrime channel ran a Dexter contest to promote the start of Dexter Season 6. They ran an ad on TV asking fans to click a photo of the Dexter Tool when it showed up in the show and post it on their Facebook FoxCrime Asia page to win some cool Dexter swag.

I like Dexter and overtime I’ve seen its fan following in my friend circle grow. Since I was planning to take part I thought I’d watch and see what response it got and if it did turn out to be a good idea for FoxCrime.

Here Are Some Numbers

Page ‘Like’ definitely went up (I recollect seeing the number as a thousand figure last night, now its 2742)
108 photos were published on their wall in about 12 hours.
There a quite a few posts from India and Indians across Asia.
One guy saw the image 7 times and created a collage of all seven!
Mine was the 20th photo to be posted and I had posted it fairly early at 9pm IST.
None of my friends on Facebook took part!

Did It Work

I think it did. The numbers aren’t huge but keep in mind that it was targeted at a niche audience – people in Asia who like Crime series – that’s not a large number in the larger scheme of things. Contests aren’t the best way to increase ‘Likes’ on Facebook but they help in gathering critical mass. The page also saw a lot of activity in a short span of time – 108 posts in 12 hours.

FoxCrime is quite a new network – it started in 2005 in Italy and launched in India in 2009. Right now they air the Asia Feed in India. Interestingly they didn’t run the contest on their Facebook FoxCrime India page which has a following of 90,764 and 9,492 people talking about it. Thats a huge audience to lose out on but then I think the contest was aimed at Asia excluding India; a way to get more fans for their Asia Facebook page. They have the critical mass in India already.

They could have used their India numbers to increase traffic to their Asia page with a mention and redirect on the India page. But they don’t seem to have done so. I wonder why!

Ofcourse it’s to be seen how FoxCrime will go about giving away the swag. Their page doesn’t say anything about how winners will be chosen or rules if there were any. It also remains to be seen how FoxCrime will engage with the people who Liked/Followed their page last night. That I think, will make or break their entire campaign.

November 21, 2011   2 Comments

The Rann of Kutch – A Photo Tribute

A friend who is planning a trip to the Rann called the other day and the call took me down memory lane. My experience of the Rann or Land of White Souls ranks second to only the Himalayas. The Rann is an experience you will never forget, its leaves you with a feeling of accomplishment and yet humbles you with the power of nature and just much you are the mercy of it.

I did do a write-up after the ride and you can read it here but the photo service I used back then has disappeared, so here are a few photos.
If you want to read up on the Rann you can read about it here on Wikipedia.

The Rann is so vast and sees such extreme temperatures that if a local is lost in it, no search is done. They are just considered lost and the locals call those lost in the Rann white souls. The Greater Rann borders Pakistan and the Indian Army here cannot patrol the border all the time. The patrol method is to walk the border on camels in the early morn and if footprints are seen, a search is set-up to check who crossed the border at night. (This I heard from locals but ofcourse there was no way for me to verify it but having seen the Rann I believe them.)

Sunset at Tikar

Me

Salt Pans in the Rann

Salt Pans that Look like a Mirage

The Real Wild Ass and Other Asses

Boats used when the Rann Floods

Riding in the Rann

The Rann, Musafir and Me

The Rann, Musafir and Me

A Chakara - the local transport

Local Fauna in Rann

The Line-up

Line-up with a Chakara

The Land in the Rann

The Land and Modern Art

Me and the Rann

Salt Pans in the Small Rann

Salt Pans

Small Rann

The Rann from Varnu

Varnu and the Small Rann

Sunrise at Kala Dungar

The Greater Rann from Kala Dungar

India Bridge in Greater Rann separating India and Pakistan

The Dattatreya Temple on Kala Dungar

Arrow Straight Road between Kala Dungar and Bhuj for about 100km

170 km for the first time

November 15, 2011   7 Comments

My Take on the #Social India Conference 2011

It’s been a busy, packed weekend but very fruitful. In all the conferences and sessions I’ve attended on Social Media this one offered the most bang for my buck. Since I think it added value I’m writing this post to thank all the speakers for sharing and to let others interested in social media know that they shouldn’t miss the #Social India Conference 2012. :D

Before I go on, here’s a few people I met over twitter and then in real life at the conference.
Prasant Naidu – @LHInsights,
Ambuj Tiwari – @TweetGyan,
Thilak Rao – @Thilak,
Sachin Karnik – @_SachinKarnik,
Millie Khanna – @Anomillie
It was nice to put a face to an ID; keep tweeting :) I met a lot of other people too; thanks to all who made my weekend such fun.

Now onto the conference, we had 11 speakers by my count and the majority were great. I’m gonna list out and thank those that added value according to me, the rest I’m choosing to ignore :D

These are just my highlights! The speakers talked about a lot of things and I can’t and won’t go into too much about it here. If you missed it, tough luck; make sure you attend the next conference. :P

Stefan Kolle@FLB_StefanKolle
www.futurelab.net
Stefan reinforced all I believe Social Media is about. It’s putting the customer first. It’s not about what you want to tell your customer but about what customers want to tell you and what they are saying about you. It’s about what they need and not what you want. Thanks Stefan.

Shashank Nigam@simpliflying
www.simpliflying.com
Shashank’s talk was an eye-opener to all the airlines are doing across the world in social media and some of them are doing a great job even if their (customer) service still sucks :D I kept wondering how he chose the airline industry to work in until Kiruba told us. Wish I had had the chance to ask Shashank myself. Do you want to know? Ask Shashank at @simpliflying :)

Valerie R Wagoner@valrozycki
www.zipdial.com
Valerie’s company offers a very interesting service for India where almost all of the population has mobile phones but only a small section has smart phones and uses the internet extensively. ZipDial offers companies a way to get feedback and activity from users using phone numbers that they just give missed calls to. That means it costs customers nothing but gives companies invaluable feedback and a way to engage with users. Make sure you check it out!

Gillian Muessig@SEOmom
www.SEOmoz.org
Gillian shared her story of how SEOmoz came to be and a lot of other things. Her story was an inspiration – as mother of three kids working is tough and making it even tougher – thanks Gillian for reminding me about tenacity. They other point that I’m not likely to forget soon is their company ethic – TAGFEE – Transparency, Authenticity, Generosity, Fun, Empathy, Exceptional; I loved that and hope to follow it always.

Also Gillian thank you for the sticker and the little MozBot pendrive. It’s going to be a prize possession for some time to come. (Can’t wait to show it to the hubby and see him burn :D )

Jim Long@NewMediaJim
www.vergenewmedia.com
Jim talked over Skype at the conference and reminded me yet again of just how small our world has become. It was interesting to listen to an NBC Newsman – his life and his take on social media. Your quip that you don’t have 44,000 followers but rather 44,000 teachers touched my heart.

Eric Weaver@weave
www.antseyeview.com
First of all thank you Eric for spear heading the conference, it added a lot of value to my work in Social Media and MY LIFE. Touching peoples lives is the key to social today and you led by example. :)

Eric shared great insights about how companies use social media and how they should be using it. Just like Stefan, you reinforced my beliefs when the world seems to be saying otherwise; thank you.

Kiruba Shankar@Kiruba
www.kiruba.com
Kiruba is a man you should make time to meet and interact with. He is so many things and yet just one man and a humble one at that. I’m looking forward to getting to know him better on Twitter and maybe even in the real world :D

BTW if you’re a comics person or even if you’re not – please help Kiruba with his Limca Book of Records Attempt to have the largest collection of comics in India.

Shauna Causey@ShaunaCausey
Shauna has worked for Comcast and had the opportunity to experience the difference one man can make. If you don’t know the @Comcastcares story, just Google it and read Frank’s version . Thanks Shauna; I knew the Comcast story but it was great to hear it first-hand.

Narendra Nag@narendranag
www.narendranag.com
I bumped into Narendra at coffee on the first day and got talking just coz I felt he had a wacky sense of humour (don’t know too many people like that and I like that – wacky people that is :D ) Took me a while to realise he was a speaker but not before I’d said some things I might not have if I’d known. :P

His presentation was insightful and thought provoking. Here’s a guy I’d like to hear more from over the years.

Sean Moffitt - @SeanMoffitt
www.wiki-brands.com
A friend on twitter told me she was a friend of Sean’s and that I shouldn’t miss his talk. Truthfully I didn’t take it very seriously and almost did miss his talk. Mom was baby-sitting for me (I have three dogs, if you can call them that!) and she had to leave so, I had to return home before 6pm. At the last minute I asked her if she could please extend her deadline; and Moms being Moms she said yes. Thanks a ton Mama.

It was totally worth it, Sean’s presentation was fun but also very insightful and thought-provoking. A great way to end the conference – with a head full and packed with thoughts and ideas. I can’t put it all in words so gonna simply say – Thanks a ton Sean for making it! (Special thanks to Mariellen @BreatheDreamGo for pointing him in the right direction :D )

Last but not the least a special thanks to AkshayaPatra, Anant and Infinity. I have heard of AkshayaPatra’s work before but listening to so many people who have seen it first hand was touching. Lately I seem to be coming across so many people who are making a difference and changing the world – not in big ways but in small steps – but like they say ‘little drops of water make an ocean’. Kudos to AkshayaPatra and Anant. If you have a moment, check them out and help out – it doesn’t take much and costs just as much as a Pizza these days :D

November 14, 2011   4 Comments