Do you wish people for their birthdays on FB? This is what you should be doing.

This post aims to help you at nurturing relationships and connections on Facebook, though only a tiny notch more. And we’ll keep it very short.

So since times immemorial, birthdays of your friends have been made visible to you by Facebook on top right of your home page, during the whole of their respective big days. (By the way, I am still to figure out why people have been needing a special app for this and furthermore sending spammy invites to their friends over it.) You might also be knowing that, if the birthday-boy has allowed for his friends or other people to post on his wall (which IS the default option), if you click on the birthday reminder, out pops a field where you can see ‘Write a birthday wish on his timeline…’ You click in the field. Type in a quick ‘Happy Birthday mate!’ and poof.

Here’s what I suggest
Next time, click on your friend’s name besides that empty field. And as you visit their profile page, click on message and type in a message and if you can, use an emoticon to make your wish look more personal.

Why you should do it?
There are going to hundreds of their friends who would be wishing them on their timeline. Yes, they would get a notification for the wishes from each of the friends of course. But a month or six months hence, are they going to remember? Even their timeline is going to club all the wishes together and put a boasting ‘ABC, XYZ and 348 others wished you on your birthday’ after a short while.
The reason why message does it better, is that it stores the communication that had taken place. And whenever the next time you want to have a talk with them (might be the case that you would want to ask them a favor or there’s something you need to know from them), their eyes scan up the message box innately to look up the last conversation that had taken place, to know where you two had left off. This is an activity we all unconsciously do to gain context.
And there they are reminded that you had taken the effort (no matter how small) it takes to personally wish them on their big day! Now as you have your little edge and some positiveness from their side already, I hope we have just tweaked the likeliness of your conversation to go better!

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Should we be Casual or Formal on Social Media as brands or companies? Emoticons a Yes Please, or a No No?

How often have we really thought and pondered over this? How much of an array of opinions we have got over it! Sadly, most often prejudiced and sometimes even too conservational for something as dynamic as social media. No. I am not nudging you right away already. Rather, let’s talk about a few points that we can consider while trying to figure out the answer of this question for ourselves, or rather for our ‘brand’. We can think of it from the point of view of each of the main types of companies that we might be representing on social media.

For B2C companies:
Let’s get to the basics of modern day social media once quickly, as this group forms the majority of companies that have taken to social media so far. So as we know, social media is now more social than ever. And like we have discussed and figured already, it is a business’s best chance to connect with their customers, like never before. And how do you connect with anyone? Through the commonalities often, isn’t it? It is also referred to as micro-matching at times in psychology. Matching your behavior with the person in front of you, often results in establishing a better rapport with them. So instead of behaving like a cold representative of an enterprise who speaks diplomatically and like a trained bot, why not lighten things up by expressing the way your customers and audience is? 🙂
An important thing to note is as you are selling your stuff to an end user, it is likelier that the person who would make the decision to buy, is at his home or otherwise still probably in a casual mood. And that is one reason why your business page/profile might do well, if you engage in a more of casual lingo along with emoticons. 🙂

For B2B companies:
For B2B companies there are some considerations to be made, too. Your company might also be amongst those who have a target audience of an elder age group who are more accessible in and comfortable with clear, simple and responsible communication. If you are looking to impress people at higher posts in the companies that you are targeting to sell your product or service to, there would be a different set of tactics that you would need to engage while managing your own company’s social media avatar. Here your goal often is to establish credibility and win respect. Also another thing to note would be, there are more chances that the person you are trying to portray your image to, or sell your product to, is sitting in an office or is at work. Hence a clear or a little more of a formal language might help him relate to you and your services better. However, you can still try and be his source of stress-relief by being funny, casual and yet respectable, provided you have the resources, talent and the confidence to pull it off. This can especially work if you are looking to serve entrepreneurs and startups, as they often don’t have a bifurcated schedule and would enjoy something that could make them smile for a while as they work. 

The factors that have been mentioned above, are only supposed to be pointers. They aren’t meant to be conclusions that you should rely on, but starting points to consider while you initiate developing your digital strategy. So think things through as you plan your social media strategy and consider the factors stated amongst the tens of others that you might have already. And then, I believe there should never be any formation of a very specific and predictable code when it comes to dealing with humans. If you are genuine enough and smashing enough with people and their concerns, there are no rigid rules for you at social media really. Many of us today, see the times coming, when more deals would be cracked by winning hearts than by winning minds, or winning at calculations. 🙂

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Facing the new Facebook Newsfeed Update

So a flurry of posts was seeing flying around discussing about the drop in organic reach of the posts of Facebook’s business pages a couple of days back. Upon research and digging up of some of the resourceful digital marketers, the post on Facebook’s blog titled  ‘What Increases Content Sharing Means for Businesses’ dated 5th December 2013 was brought to the fore. The post craftily conveyed that Facebook is going to start to charge more consistently henceforth for the marketing that the businesses were getting done for free, based on their content. And then reasonable fury flowed across multiple blogs, of mainly business owners and digital marketers on how this has been a very sad development. There has already been said a lot over how Facebook has taken such a drastic step, hostile for the small and medium businesses.

And of course, the anger and frustration is understandable. However, now that the damage to the system that could have been done, has been done, I would like us to be keen over figuring out how to counter it. Upon some reading and further study about the kind of changes that the Facebook has announced, I have come to draw a few guidelines for myself which might help at marketing/advertising on Facebook over the coming few weeks or months (depending on whether or how they perform over the next few weeks). These, I believe, have a good probability  of giving the business page owners/managers a fighting chance in the pursuit to keep the engagement high, or to minimize the adverse effects of the alteration implemented. I have listed the points below.

1. Shift the concentration on quality, from over quantity of content
This, I believe, is going to be very radical towards getting the business page’s posts higher numbers of views. If one can send out even just one or two posts a day, but are attractive enough to generate engagements, well.. You would have your posts in the news feed of those engaged, at least for a while. However a thing to consider is that the number of posts should not be allowed to drop so much that even your good posts get crowded out over the newsfeed out there.

2. Promote certain posts
It has been a long time that we have been occasionally using promoted posts and they aren’t that expensive yet. Because of the changes that have taken place, one would have to resort to promoting posts at regular intervals. Again very keen attention would have to be paid over the post here. It would have to be visual or otherwise something that is bound to generate a lead or at least some activity. The more the engagement one gathers here, the more the visibility of his page’s future posts probably. So once or twice in a week if possible, promoted posts would be a good idea.

3. Narrowing your targets
The reason I have to mention this, is that, the competition for advertising is bound to increase. Since the advent of targeting options while advertising, be it Facebook or Google Adwords (where it has been there almost from the start), I have always been very particular about using them. Gaining likes or engagement of random people who might not be interested in your actual product, or promoting to an audience to which your service is not relevant, is often a waste of monetary investment, and also at times leads to accumulation of a passive inactive audience. Now that promoted posts/pages are going to work all the more over regular posts, the competition might rise and the bids might get higher with time too. So to make sure one makes the most of his investment, it would be great if one could figure out the narrow band of his target audience and then go expanding the spectrum gradually.

4. Start using other platforms if you haven’t started yet
This is something that is always recommended. It is a general assumption (though sometimes, even a reality) that it takes a lot of effort to be active on one more social media platform. But it’s a must in today’s age. The whole social media sphere is very dynamic in nature, and if one is looking to create and maintain credibility that lasts really long, his brand should be up to date across multiple platforms AND importantly be in sync with the specific culture of each of the social media sites. (Once again, having the exact same posts across Twitter as well as Facebook is not cool. #OneOfTheManyReasons)

I have skipped the tip of using blog as that has already been covered as a valid and sound point in multiple articles so far. There sure are more ways that might be helpful while countering this change that Facebook has implemented, and I would like to know any such ideas or your personal take in the comments below.

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