Twitter is the Future

On 21st March 2006, Jack Dorsey, the co -founder of twitter, became the first person to send a tweet. As per the literal meaning “Tweets” are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the users profile page of twitter. Since then billion of tweets have been sent through twitter by millions of people across the globe. Twitter, without a doubt is one of the fast growing social media websites in the world. It has become a very simple and easy mode of communication for people in various part of the world.

Today, twitter has almost 200 million registered users generating millions of tweets each day. These updates/tweets can be viewed by the people who follow him or her; they can be friends, family, anyone they know or simply a fan as well. It depends on the members whether they want to put privacy on their tweets or make it public to anyone anywhere. Over the years Twitter has attracted celebrities, sport stars and even politicians which has given it a whole new level of boost.

Legitimacy:
One of the most intriguing facts about Twitter is the authentic profiles of known personalities. Pop singer Lady Gaga is now the most followed person on Twitter! The pop singer recently reached 10 million followers on the Twitter. She is the first person to ever gain 10 million followers and has 10,698,417 followers at the moment, Justin Bieber right behind her with10,174,653 followers.
There are scores of fake and “just for fun” profiles as well. From the Bronx Zoos missing cobra to Osama bin Laden twitter has its share of notorious fake profiles as well.

Basis Features:
Twitter comes in with various features to be utilized for maximum out-reach. Another interesting feature of Twitter is hash tagging i.e “#” and “@” tagging. The “#” tagging is used when a user wants his/her Tweet to be linked or connected with any topic i.e #Pakistan, #music or #technology etc. The “@” sign followed by a username is used for mentioning or replying to any specified user. There is an option of re-sharing tweets by others as well. One can repost a message from another Twitter user and share it with his her own followers. The retweet function is symbolized by “RT” in the message.

Twitter is coming up with new apps every now and then to be more apt for use. Other than Latest feature that it has introduced is the “Top Tweets” search result option. Unlike regular search engines, which try to show the most relevant matches Twitter has largely followed a first in and the last one out ordering of its search listings.


Twitter also came with a new app called the “Follow Button”, making it easy for you to discover the Twitter accounts of your favorite celebrities, sports person, politicians and other personalities. No hassle of searching for them and trying to get hold of the authentic one. Now you just need to go your favorite personality’s website and click on the “Follow Button” there. It will direct you the profile of that person on twitter.

As the time passes it is evident twitter will be coming up with more and appealing apps as well.

Twitter For Media:
“Some tweets make news, and some of those tweets break news”

This quote says it all. Over the years Twitter has evolved from being just a social networking site to a socio-political awareness tool as well.

More and more, news stories that arise i.e. a natural disaster, a plane crash, sport matches, the latest political scenarios are shared and spread in the form tweets from people you follow on Twitter. This allows everyone to essentially create their own news stream or newscast and to do so directly.

Almost all of the news channels, news paper and major magazines have profiles on Twitter and are followed by millions of fans. The best part is sharing contest via tweets have its benefits. The tweets are usually half stories hence automatically directing your fans to your site for entire narrative is an attention-grabbing method of gathering traffic. Tweeting outreach is easy and massive at the same time. News channels continuously sends out news in the form of live tweets.
Events are live blogged through twitter as well, which is another major profit of having a Twitter account. Recently, Sohaib Athar, whose home overlooks Osama Bin Laden’s Abbottabad hideaway, began Tweeting the May 1 raid on the compound.

His first tweet was “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).” As the time passed Athar live blogged the scenes sending out various tweets as the event unfolded.
“Uh oh, now I’m the guy who live blogged the Osama raid without knowing it,” he tweeted on May 2 after the news of Osama’s death was made public.

Milestones by Twitter!!
British climber, Kenton Cool, sent the first tweet from the summit of Mount Everest on 5th May. Cool’s climb was sponsored by Samsung, and he completed his tweet on the Samsung Galaxy S II handset. His Tweet said, “Everest summit no 9! 1st tweet from the top of the world thanks to a weak 3G signal & the awesome Samsung Galaxy S2 handset! @samsunguk”

Twitter received its first tweet from space in January 2010. NASA Astronaut T.J. Creamer wrote: “Hello Twitterverse! We r now LIVE tweeting from the International Space Station – the 1st live tweet from Space! 🙂 More soon, send yours.”

“The French Revolution” by Matt Stewart was the first full-length novel published on Twitter. Approximately 3700 tweets were sent to transmit the 480,000 characters in his novel. Steward and his agent could not get any publishers to sign on the book, so they decided to try an unconventional approach which eventually landed them a deal.

Twitter For Business:
Like mention before further than its social function, Twitter is used increasingly by business to communicate with employees and customers. It is used for the purpose of advertising their products or promotes their businesses.
Numerous brands are using twitter for latest sales, promotions, introducing new products or features by simply sending out an update and directing their followers to its website. Different electronic and mobile companies are availing this tool for marketing as well. On the contrary, when customers are happy with a product or service, they can spread the word quickly – and do wonders – with a few tweets or it can be vice versa. Spreading the message across is the key here.
Recently, a Malaysian was accused of using the Twitter to malign the former employer of a friend. He was charged by the company for damaging its reputation and that his tweet had sent out a wrong perception of the company. The accused was able to avoid fines for the Twitter indiscretion, but he was ordered to send an apology tweet 100 times in compliance with the out of court settlement. The series of events did give publicity to the company if not promotion. The count for the 100th tweet is on as this gets published.
Without a doubt this social networking website will assist you to get followers and eventually generate required traffic into your website. This will be gateway for you to becoming a successful internet marketer.

Twitter for People:
It is said that Twitter has been significant if not critical in the Egypt and Tunisia 2011 revolutions as well as the Iranian demonstrations in 2009. The use of Twitter to communicate among the protester and also for sending across the message is now the norm among revolutions of the World. It is evident that different rallies and peaceful protest are carried out by sending out messages through twitter. The timings and location are communicated to the like mind people. There is no denying the fact that Twitter has been the stronghold in todays of revolt and revolutions.

Twitter is without a doubt an incredible social media tool to send your message anywhere in the world. Twitter breaks news faster than other sources there is no denying about that, often Twitter gives businesses a glimpse at what status messaging can do for an organization it also brings great minds together .Twitter can expand customer service for various brands. And also twitter keep you connected to the outside no matter where you are!!

By Ayesha Shuaib
The writer is a social media manager at Prymus Technologies.

Marketing 101: Engage your fans on Facebook!

By Ayesha Shuaib
Published: May 30, 2011

Social media networks are among the most effective marketing tools in modern business. DESIGN: S.JAMAL

The social media boom simply cannot be ignored. Over the past few years Facebook has witnessed a remarkable rise in new users and right now has more than 500 million users and with that has come the opportunity for brands to amalgamate directly with existing customers and connect to new ones through fan pages. It is like having an amazing advertising campaign without paying a penny. All the tools and applications used are free of cost and the best part is the rewards are instant.

Fan pages allow you to brand your business, use your logo and customise your page style just as you would your website. With this extremely valuable tool available, you can keep your brand stable across the board as it relates to all aspects of your online presence. There are numerous ways for brands to promote themselves on Facebook by having a single “Fan” page.

Your brand’s fan page allows you to have an unlimited number of “fans”. Some Facebook fan pages have thousands and even millions of fans. As per the latest statistic Facebook page Texas Hold’em Poker tops the list with 43,552,626 fans. While the fan page for Facebook itself is at 2nd spot with 41,951,143 fans, Eminem takes third place with 37,420,794 fans, followed by pop star, Lady Gaga and YouTube – the video sharing website – with more than 35 million fans each. Hence, if any promotional update is posted on any one of these pages it appears in the news feed of each fan. Imagine how easy it is to reach out to millions of people with your message by just having a single fan page.

Be dynamic

However, creating a fan page, generating a promotion and sitting back will not lead to success. One needs to engage the fans-customers. When fans “like” a certain brand’s page they need to be provided with content or activities to keep them active on the page. You can share content, videos, photos, run contests, ask questions, create polls etc. The interaction will build relationships with your fans which are your target market. Otherwise, having a fan page without interaction or input from the fans will lead to nothing. Just a dead end.

To keep your page alive it is important to launch an interactive activity every day. Facebook has provided and is coming up with new interesting tabs and tools which can be utilised by brands for maximum outreach. Easiest way to do that is by daily status updates. The more engaging your status update, the greater the chances of having interaction on it, in form of “like” and comments and greater word-of-mouth marketing for your business in return.

Keep it short and simple

The shorter your communication the easier it is for your fans to read, the more likely it is for them to respond. Keep your status updates short and simple. Facebook allows you have up to 420 characters per update, but shorter is better. For longer updates, one can use the Notes app or write a blog post and update. Do the same for any kind of advertising campaign. If you are introducing any contest make its communication simple and to the point.

Be direct with your fans. Use the word “you” more often “What do you think?”, “What are your thoughts?” etc. This makes customers/fans feel valued, respected and included. They would like to participate in activities on your page and make their presence felt. Most people will come back to your fan page only if there’s a real sense of community.

Contests are one of the most effective ways of keeping your fans interested and engaged. Introduce various competitions with giveaways to keep the fans involved.

Be timely

A study found that daily Facebook engagement has three peaks: early morning, after work and late at night. Therefore, posting all of your updates during the workday means you’re missing key prospects to engage fans at non-work hours. It does vary from brand to brand so get to know when your fans are most responsive. Depending on which part of the world the majority of your fans are, you might want to post between 9 am and 2 pm in your time zone.

Do your best to respond to fan wall posts as punctually as possible, at least within 24 hours or so. By leaving your fans unanswered might discourage them to contribute any further and you, as a brand, wouldn’t want that.

Use the apps provided

Facebook recently introduced a new Question application. It helps you have surveys, random interaction, fans views and suggestion in shorter span of time. Make sure you don’t overdo it. Try for a maximum of three to four updates a day, preferably just two updates in a day. Otherwise, your fans might restrict your posts from their news feed and hence they won’t be getting any information of the promotional activity you do.
There is no denying the fact that Facebook pages are breeding grounds for excellent feedback and engagement with your customers. It’s simple and always available. And best of all, its free!

The writer is a social media manager at Prymus Technologies and blogs at https://socialyzd.wordpress.com
Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2011
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Move over outsourcing, make way for crowdsourcing!

By Ayesha Shuaib

Published in The Express Tribune, April 25th, 2011

The new way to get things done is to get the people involved. DESIGN: ESSA MALIK

We have all heard of outsourcing. This was the buzzword in the 90s, and was more often heard in conjunction with the IT industry, but is a factor in almost any industry around the world today. But if there is any aspect of the industry which is ever-evolving and finding new ways to get the message across and get things done, it is the aspect of maximising output and minimising input. And crowd sourcing fits right into that philosophy.

Crowd sourcing is the act of taking a task traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people, in the form of an open call. Put in laymen’s terms, it’s the idea of taking a job you need done and making it available for anyone who wants to just show up and do it – preferably for free.

The most common scenario for a crowd source project starts with a company with a problem. The company posts the problem on a crowd sourcing platform and requests solutions from the widely distributed Web community. Users upload solutions and the crowd votes on the best idea or project.

Engaging your fans is the fundamental aim of crowd sourcing. There are many brands locally which adapted crowedsourcing as a marketing tool and have been immensely successful. There are numerous examples and success stories in the local market as well, proving that this is indeed a very efficient way of getting the job done.

Make an Ad
One such event that we launched for one of our clients was a “Make the Ad” competition. We asked our fans to make an electronic ad about one of our products. We announced attractive gifts for winners and runners up. That worked really well as a marketing tool for our clients and we received numerous ads. In order to indulge the fans further they were asked to vote for the top eight ads. Again, the voting lead to engaging fans who themselves were not directly related to the competition. This activity was extended for more than a month which got us an ad, which we wanted; it got us thousands of fans and also generated lively interaction.

Talent Hunt
In October 2010, a leading tea manufacturing company rolled out a ‘”Talent Hunt”, running a competition in multiple universities, with a task to build a fan page consistent with the brand’s tagline. With competing teams chosen from seven leading business universities, the registration process accepted all the business plans submitted within the allocated budget for executing a social media campaign within three weeks. It instantly became a hit due its specific target market, the educational institutes with the highest number of social media users.

Ad War
In another such exercise, a leading university in collaboration with a fast food chain, launched an interuniversity ad-making competition.

Students were invited to make an electronic ad of the brand and get a chance of winning Rs50,000 in cash. The campaign was promoted on Social Media fan pages and groups of not only the university but also the brand. Each participant further helped in promoting the campaign by posting the ads and updates on their personal social media profiles.

This proved to be a huge success as student life does comprises eating out with friends and having fun – hence the strategy of crowd sourcing hit a bulls eye by selecting the best target audience. Their idea of crowd sourcing worked really well for them.

Pre Launch Campaign
One of Pakistan’s Leading cellular company launched it self with the help of crowdsourcing. Announcements were made through electronic as well as print media asking the audience to suggest a name for the brand. It ran a campaign for almost a month and then finally came up with a name as suggested by the audience with maximum number of votes. This activity gained the brand a lot of customers even before being actually launched.

The crowdsourcing possibilities have increased over the last two decades as web applications have improved. It has become very easy to access your clients directly and get a feedback in a minimum span of time. Thanks to social media, it’s become easier to ask your customers to contribute to product development or collaborate on other creative endeavors. Not only is it doable, it’s been done, and with great success, by major brands. It not only builds a strong relationship between consumers and the products but makes the consumer feel like a part of the brand as well.

Hence, you can very easily out source your competitors by rightly crowd-sourcing.

The author is a social media officer at Prymus Technologies and regularly contributes at socialyzd.wordpress.com

Market in a Timely Manner – I

Definition:

Marketing is the process of interesting potential customers and clients in your products and/or services. The key word in this marketing definition is “process”; marketing involves researching, promoting, selling, and distributing your products or services.

Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. It generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication, and business developments. It is an integrated process through which companies build strong customer relationships and create value for their customers and for themselves.

Market in a Timely Manner

One of the most important aspects to keep in mind about marketing materials is the timing of message or offer. You want your marketing piece to reach your target audience at a time when your product or service is relevant, and when they might be in the market to buy.

A few things to consider when considering the timeliness of your marketing:

Does your offer include and expiration date? If so, be sure that your message is received in advance so that the offer is still good and the prospect has an opportunity to take advantage.

Is your product or service seasonal? Be sure to market your company during peak buying times. For example, it would do you no good to advertise for summer cloths in winters or vise versa. Also make maximum use of occassions or events that are close to the society.

When are you most likely to reach your target audience? When marketing with T.V., Radio, Internet, or email, identify when your customers are tuning in and reach out to them then. Its even advisable to research and then select your time slot. Always select the peak time of viewership for advertising.

Are your marketing messages automated? Automated marketing via the internet, email, or social media is a real time saver, but be sure that your automation is timed correctly.

Think ahead when planning your marketing strategy. If your marketing piece is time sensitive you need to start preparing in advance. It is important to keep in mind the time span of your advertisement or marketing strategy. Just like there are sales in winter clothing right before the arrival of summer and ends with-in couple of weeks before launching new clothing for summer season. Similarly, make sure you don’t go on bragging about you product r service way before or ahead of time. The timing must be accurate enough to generate maximum revenue.