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Social media rules to adhere to for sureshot success

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Flickr, Google+, Tumblr, Slideshare, Instagram, so on and so forth, the list goes on. For a company that’s serious about marking and imprinting its social media presence across the World Wide Web, the Web offers innumerable platforms, and which ones to choose becomes a tough decision.

Any social media strategy depends on some basic tenets to witness phenomenal success. These tenets when followed ensure that your social media strategy takes off vertically and once this happens, your company can plan some focused campaigns around each of the channels to leverage and grow their followers.

8 - Social Media Rules for Success

1.     Focus:

It’s important to determine which social media channels your company would be focussing on as a part of the digital marketing process. Being everywhere and keeping some profiles dormant is not a very sound idea. Instead, by analysing the area of business and understanding what works for the industry, a company can wisely choose the most important channels for its digital marketing strategy.

2.     Visual Candy:

Remember reading boring essays in school? Same is the case with long never-ending essay type articles on the Internet. Content marketing has become the order of the day since the time search engines started giving importance to keywords. Everyone is churning content by the mills. But how do you make your content appealing? Visual candy is very important to grab eye balls and make them stay. So, always represent your content with good relevant images that enhance the context and meaning of your content.

3.     Interaction:

The essence of communication is always a two-way affair. Single-handed sermons do not work anywhere, more so in the online space. How can you elicit interaction from your customers, followers and prospects? You can ask questions – pertinent questions that your followers would be more than happy to answer. Thus starts a conversation. Debate – all the more desirable, but ensure that the area of discussion does not result in a controversy.

4.     Hash them all up:

The Internet has come up with so many ways to generate and file conversations. Tagging, categorising, hashtags, etc. are ways of ensuring that your content comes up in searches. Whenever hash tags are used, your content tends to get found globally and you get more traction to your website and social media pages.

5.     Gratification Mantra:

Your customers love freebies. Make good use of this general psyche of a buyer prospect and give them a sneak peek to your product by offering free previews or free giveaways. Encourage by requesting reviews and involving bloggers for the same. This not only creates legitimate backlinks but helps you to leverage the popularity of bloggers to your company’s advantage. For example, several beauty product companies have tied up with blogger communities in engaging bloggers to write about their new launches in return for a chance to win big prizes/hampers.

6.     Brevity is the key:

Remember that users tend to scroll away from your screen if you have pages and pages of boring content. As discussed in Point 1, in addition to images, if you can keep your social media posts brief and blogs concise, you will have more readers and takers for your social content.

7.     Numbers:

Stay on top of them. Numbers are your strength. Keep a track of how your posts are faring. In fact, these days, marketers are also calculating the best time to post their social media broadcasts in order to catch their readers when they are actually more likely to be online.

Social media is not about random posting and hoping with fingers crossed that followers will increase. It is all about strategy – planning for goals and making those numbers happen.

8.     Take feedback seriously:

Your readers are your best judges because they are the ones who take your content and are likely to share it across. So, when you receive negative feedback about any of your content or social posts, take it seriously, acknowledge it and move on with the changes. This not only places you on a credible pedestal but also ensures that your followers feel important, needed and heard.

9.     Get personal:

Literally. One-on-one interactions with your audience will take you very far. Communicating with your audience will ensure that they know that you know them personally, and you recognize them. Make them feel important. Address them by name and include them into your community, whatever it may be – Twitter or Facebook. This creates a personal relationship and your audience tends to become loyal to you and your brand.

So, follow these simple rules and you will be there on the top in no time.

If you need assistance in managing your social media presence, do get in touch with us here to understand how we can chalk out a Social Media Optimisation strategy for you.

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Join Tech Share Event held On 13th & 14th FEB 2014 In New Delhi

Techshare India 2014 to be held on 13th – 14th February, 2014 at New Delhi. Tech Share  is a conference and exhibition discussing accessibility and assistive technology at a national level with international participation. Techshare India 2014 will focus on Innovate – Adapt – Evolve theme under four verticals:

• Education – Whether it is primary, secondary, college level or vocational education, it is imperative for educators, parents and rehabilitation specialist to understand how they can innovate and adapt the existing and new technology to support the student with disabilities. If Education for All has to be a reality, we need to bridge the gap in implementation and provide them with the assistive aids and technologies required to meet their needs. It is important that the authorities in charge of education at all levels realize the reach of technology and implement it to attain Education for All.

• Employability – For employers today, equal opportunity is key, how do we integrate people with disabilities into the corporate culture wherein there are numerous hurdles that people face in using the infrastructure whether physical or technological. How can assistive technology be adapted and implemented so as to develop a self-sustainable population.

• Accessible technology – With technology evolving so fast, ensuring that people with disabilities are included and that web, mobile or any technology is accessible is the key question. The technology companies need to see how they can innovate and adopt to the needs of people with disabilities and how they can ensure that their products and services are accessible to all. People from research and development can bring a whole new meaning to accessible technologies.

• Laws, Policies & Standards – One way to ensure implementation is by enforcing laws, policies and standards that will provide direction on how people can implement accessibility & assistive technology. Various government and non-government bodies can come together to spread awareness, identify gaps and provide solutions.

You can find few more details of the Conference at the links below

About TechShare
Speakers at TechShare
 

 

Schedule & Venue:

 

February 13, 2014 — 9:00 am to
February 14, 2014 — 6:00 pm

India Habitat Center
Gate No. 3, Lodhi Road
New Delhi, New Delhi
India

 

 

 

Below is a youtube video of the Techshare conference held in 2012

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WAI-ARIA Live Regions

Aria-live regions will help a screen reader user get the dynamic updates on the application without losing the current focus from the activity that is being performed. Aria-live property is extremely useful to make a screen reader user under stand the complex widgets like dynamically updating tables or chat windows etc and the aria live property can be useful for regularly updating news sites, blogs & applications that pull data from social channels, gamification portals etc.

Aria-Live Property

The aria-live property indicates a section within the content that is live and the verbosity in which changes shall be announced. The following values may be used to determine the verbosity,

Aria-live=”off”

Aria-live=”off” indicates that a region is not live & changes will not be announced to the user. This attribute is used when there is a frequently updating content for example tweets & facebook activity that is being pulled into the site. There is no necessity for the user to get these updates by default, how ever user can read these updates by usual navigation.

Aria-live=”polite”

The update must be announced at the next interval. For example when the user stops typing or when the user is waiting for an update to happen & the most important thing to note is that user will not be interrupted by the live region in order to provide the update.

Example breaking news headlines, new offers in ecommerce stores, optin box for blogs etc.

Aria-live=”assertive”

Aria-live=”assertive” will inform the update immediately & this must be used with care as update is announced mmediately this cannot be used in a live region where frequent updates are expected.

For example aria-live=”assertive” can be used for form validation, appearance of new chat windows and one time offer of a product in ecommerce stores.

More examples of Aria live property can be found on the following websites,

Aria live region example1

Aria live region example 2

Aria live regions by juicy studio

Here is a screen capture video explaining all about ARIA live regions & this video is little behind the time, but concept is valid.

Note: I am just sharing the knowledge that I acquired by reading & practicing as accessibility consultant. Lot of this is already available on the web & is sharing it here on my blog so as to make my self an expert in the field & to remember the concepts.

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Responsive Design: Being device inclusive

A recent survey by ReturnPath has turned up with interesting numbers, stating that almost 51% of total emails sent in December 2013 were opened in mobile devices as against 27% on desktop and remaining on webmail.

Mobile Email Users prompt the need for responsive design
Mobile Email Users

The trend started in early 2011, when PC sales dipped down after sale of smart phones shot up and crossed the PC sale numbers. Between 2010 and 2012, the number of mobile Internet users had grown by 45%.

As per another survey by GetResponse that was conducted between June 2012 and March 2013, emails opened in mobile increased by 30%.

What are the implications of this survey vis-à-vis responsive design?

The implications are very clear. If your website/emails are not compliant with a responsive design, they are less likely to be read; and also more likely to get trashed/bounced off.

A majority of global online users carry smart devices, including smart phones, tablets and I-pads. Most of these users are perpetually online, connected to the Internet and almost always available the moment mails and messages pop into their inbox. This means, it is easier for them to just switch on their hand-held devices and check the emails right there, instead of waiting to get onto their laptops or desktops.

Many companies these days are heavily into email marketing and newsletter distribution. Emails and Newsletters is a great way to keep the customers abreast of the latest updates from your industry. However, if your emails are not responsive, which means, if your emails are not mobile-friendly when viewed on mobile and other devices, you lose traffic from your website.

Users hardly go back to their opened emails. Once opened, emails remain read, unless very important. It becomes vital for you to make the email reading for your customers an easy experience on their mobiles.

Most newsletters and emails look great on the Web. However, when opened on phones, a lot of issues crop up, especially those related to layout, design and fonts.

The fact is that only 25% of digital marketers or companies opt for responsive design for their mobile devices. (Email Marketing Census 2013 – eConsultancy)

For example, a very popular product company had a big lead form popup window inserted on its home page for product enquiries. The same web page, when opened in a mobile, was not optimised to re-size the pop up window as per the mobile specifications. As a result, the user was stuck as the close button was outside the scrollable area. On the mobile screen, neither the complete form could be seen, nor the complete window. The only option was to close the browser and abandon going to the site again.

Such scenarios are real time scenarios that crop up when a website is not optimised for the mobile and other devices. The disadvantages of bad mobile design could be humongous, including higher bounce rate and loss of RoI. A bad user mobile experience is not a good sign for any company, be it an e-commerce store or a real estate company.

Decoding responsive mobile design

Responsive Mobile Design
Responsive Design to cater to mobile users

Building a responsive mobile design is completely dependent on the following key aspects:

  1. Maintain a simple design, no matter how flashy, engaging or wow your web email design is.
  2. Keep it short and sweet – the KISS acronym applies here to the subject line, the actual email, and the format layout.
  3. Be relevant and to the point. Remember that a trash button gets hit easier on mobile than on the computer monitor where there is a lot more space to entice your customer visually as well as with context.
  4. Very practical design tips include increasing the line space, especially around clickable links to enable easy navigation. This also applies to button sizes. Consider the size of a finger that is going to click on the button. Design accordingly. Make sure your call to action is very clear in the final design.
  5. Font sizes need to be determined as per target device platforms because different platforms respond differently to font sizes.
  6. Keep reiterating your testing practices on different platforms to see the results, with focus on the loading time of emails and links within them.

Conclusion:

Mobile customers can turn into conversions on the go. Do not ignore them and ensure that your website is mobile friendly and also compatible with other devices.

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5 Simple Steps To Make Your Website Accessible

Video produced by System Concepts for World Usability Day 2010. This video describes how making your website accessible to people with disabilities improves the usability of your website for people of all abilities. This podcast describes and illustrates five simple ways you can improve the accessibility of your website.

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Social Media Roundup: What’s gone and what’s to come in 2014

As 2013 bids goodbye and ushers the New Year with a lot of expectations, the Social Media scene remains as dynamic as ever. Rapidly changing trends, viral strategies, changing algorithms and the capitalistic tricks of search engines to trap users into using their products have all grabbed headlines in the year past.

Several trends were predicted for 2013 in the year 2012, and these trends have today become a vital part of digital marketing strategy.

Quick Roundup of social media scene:

Content marketing was one of these and the latest Google update underscores the trend and further reiterates the importance of producing high quality and intelligent content. The Hummingbird update rolled out by Google during the last quarter of last year took everyone by the wave. Google timed the launch to coincide with its 15th birthday on 27th September 2013. Most Google’s updates are looked upon with apprehension because they are aimed at quashing the digital marketers who misuse and abuse the search algorithms to play with the rankings. One such example is keyword stuffing.

However, with the Hummingbird update, Google has now started understanding user queries to display better results. So, while we all were typing ‘grocery stores street name’ onto the search bar, Google was revamping its algorithms to understand ‘grocery stores within 5 kilometres of street name’, or ‘grocery stores inside malls’.

Trends in Social Media 2014
Trends in Social Media 2014

Hummingbird update signals the era of intelligent searching. The technical word here is ‘semantic search’, which means search by queries/context in totality, and not just by keywords alone. So this in simple words means users get what they want in the form of answers. This calls for writing more How to content, questions and answers, and phrasing content in simple words that converse rather than preach, teach or sermonize.

The last quarter of 2013 witnessed the release of direct messages at Instagram, and the launch of Twitter IPO which rose to 70% of its initial offering price on the same day of launch.

Facebook tried acquiring Snapchat for $3 billion, while Google tried offering $4 billion. Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel turned down both!! 2013 was the year of “Selfies”, so much so that the word, meaning self-picture was added to Oxford dictionary owing to a 17,000% increase in its frequency. The year not only saw a boom in the social media space, but also suffered with rise in social media spam by almost 355%. And Google Plus took the second spot after Facebook for the most active users.

What a year!!

Looking ahead at 2014: What’s in store?

Of course, it goes without saying for it’s been said and repeated umpteen times, how content is going to be a really strong player in the coming years. More so, the use of visually pleasing and graphical content such as Infographics will heighten the ‘shareability’ factor by leaps and bounds. Content will be developed exclusively for mobile devices with brevity as the foundation.

Geo-tagging is taking off in a big way. Findability on Google Places and elsewhere will become the most important strategy for businesses. Pinterest has teamed up with FourSquare to allow geo-tagged pins to be posted. As mobile users increase, digital media efforts will be more focused towards roping all the alternate platform users into the funnel.

The void of certified courses in the area of online media and marketing is expected to be filled by international universities, some of which have already introduced graduation and online programs to produce skilled digital marketing talent.

Short copy will rule as users’ average attention span keeps dwindling, owing to a surge in the available devices at hand as well as overload of information. Marketers will use attention grabbing techniques which include colourful images, graphics, info-graphics, repackaged and repurposed content. ‘Less-is-more’ is still going to be the mantra.

All in all, 2014 is going to be an interesting year in the digital marketing space – a lot to look out for.

Source:
The State of Social Media 2013 by Infographic Promotion