Monday, May 19, 2014

Modi’s Victory Tweet The Most Retweeted Tweet From India

May 16, 2014 was the judgment day for Lok Sabha elections 2014. The whole nation had eyes on the results. By the time counting concluded, Narendra Modi tweeted the below which according to Twitter India, has become the most retweeted tweet from India.

At the time of drafting, its seen that the tweet has received 69,520 retweets & 44,447 favorites & its still increasing. This shows yet again that people use Twitter as a voracious media to consume news and interact thereby. Of course, this also shows the countless supporters of the to be PM on Twitter to extend their best wishes. Narendra Modi himself has been a very active Twitterati and has used the power of 140 as an effective communication method to reach voters.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How To Remove Ring From Swollen Finger

You know, every time you try on a ring and when it's difficult to remove it, the first thought that in-evidently comes to mind is 'this time I may just end up losing my finger'!

Well that's exactly the thought that struck my wife's mind when our engagement ring got stuck in her finger. Last Saturday, she tried the engagement ring on her finger after quite sometime and slept with it. Now, when you wake up your fingers usually are slightly puffy. You may know that if you've ever tried to remove a tight fitted ring from your finger just after waking up. That's exactly what my wife, Salma did. She woke up and wanted to remove the ring as it was feeling tight. The ring refused to come off and a lot of struggle on it ensured a swollen finger in just a few minutes. 

Now was the time to do the following tips that we knew of on how to remove ring from swollen finger. 
We tried all the following methods to remove the ring

1. Using soap to remove the ring.

2. Used oil to remove the ring.
3. Used dental floss to tie the thread around the finger and slid it under the ring, so as when you untie the thread the ring comes off it.
4. Used ice packs to reduce the swelling on the finger every ten minutes.
5. Had an anti-inflammatory pill to reduce the finger swelling
6. Switch on AC and fan to let body temperature come down to reduce swelling
7. And finally, slept over the matter for the night. (hoped to see the swelling reduce in morning and then try all the above steps again)

Waking up in the morning we saw no reduction in the swelling. Perhaps, it even increased. Things were now getting little freaky and we did not want to take chance of the ring stopping the blood circulation to the finger. Thankfully, the finger hadn't turned blue yet, else we would have visited a doctor immediately.

So, we finally headed to a Jeweller and see if we could get a ring cutter to get Salma off the agony.

The goldsmith here said he would do it, but not before giving us a warning. He said we will have to cut the ring and in case of any injury to the finger in the process he will not be responsible. The other option is to go to the doctor/hospital. We agreed to let him cut the ring.  And here's what happened:

The ring got cut in 5 minutes and Salma was relieved! Slight pain during the process but again, thankfully no injury or cuts due to the tool. The goldsmith was quite patient and seemed to know what he was doing. He said he's done this quite a few times. Another thing you would like to know, since this ring was 18 karat gold (which most rings with diamonds are) , it was tougher than a simple steel or 22/24 karat gold ring. Those just snap off easily since its delicate. But this engagement ring, (call it the strength of our love :P ) gave some harrowing time to us.

Hope this post helps you if you are ever stuck in the same situation. But before cutting the ring (or your finger) ensure you follow the above mentioned steps once. There are enough videos online to show you the processes for the above too! 

Friday, March 14, 2014

DMTI Launches Cyber Safety Programs for School Children


10 March ’14, Mumbai. Digital Marketing Training Institute (DMTI), a distinguished name in Digital Marketing Education is launching DMTI for Juniors, India’s 1st organized approach to impart netiquettes and cyber safety education to children between 6 & 16 years of age. It’s an initiative that has received tremendous appreciation from parents and educationists.

Rashmi Putcha, Founder & CEO of DMTI said- “The current generation of children spend a lot of time online. Most of this time goes unsupervised. Our research shows that 62% of kids share personal information online, 58% share home addresses on the internet, 39% don’t tell parents about online activities and 12% have been victims of cyber threat. When we discussed this with parents, 30% of parents were worried but didn't know what to do, 59% said schools should take care of it and 11% said it's okay and kids will learn on their own. Cyber safety curriculum remains alarmingly absent from the curriculums of even the best schools in the country. Children do not even realize the risks of being online, let alone being careful and ensuring safety. DMTI for Juniors is an endeavor to take this knowledge and education to the children and hopefully make their virtual world secure. We have a robust plan to collaborate with at least 100 schools to educate 25000+ students in the coming academic year.”

DMTI for Juniors offers ‘Cyber Smart Programs’ that are aimed at providing cyber safety education to the children. The program content has been designed with inputs from child psychologists & academicians to ensure maximum acceptability by the students. The programs range from a one day workshop to a full-fledged course on the topic. Premier schools in Mumbai like Cathedral & John Connon School, Billabong High International School, Jamnabai Narsee, etc. have already expressed their interest in the program. “We are elated with the response from the education fraternity. We are hoping to take this PAN India very soon” – said Rashmi Putcha.

The institute doesn’t stop at training children but also conducts workshop for teachers and parents to ensure continuous reinforcement at school and home.

For Details Contact:
Ranjan Upadhyay: +91 99309 25822

Friday, February 21, 2014

Facebook Ads Targeting Update 21st Feb 2014

While you were sleeping, Facebook yesterday made some very interesting and effective changes to Facebook Ads Targeting. The new features make your ad targeting and reach more flexible than it ever has been.

If you login to your Adverts Manager you can play with the newer targeting options made available to almost everyone. Some features still remain US centric. Below, are some very exceptionally interesting targeting options I discovered from my Adverts Manager.

Exclude Cities: FB now gives you the option of targeting the entire country but exclude certain cities that you may want to. This reverse form of targeting should help large chain of businesses or business communication that may have presence in more cities than fewer.

Interest Targeting: The new parameters in Interest based targeting no longer supports only broad targeting like Sports. Now you can exactly target people with interest in 'Cricket' or 'Football' or for that matter even major sports clubs. Very effective for marketing during match seasons or for the particular sport.

More Categories : This section now goes deeper to target a person on the basis of the important events of their life. For instance, you can target people upto 1 week before their birthdays for any special offers or target newly wed/engaged couples or on change of job. 
FMCG, Leisure and retailers should find these very useful for action-based responses. A very interesting option which I guess a lot of brands missed for targeting Mothers and Parents will now fill the void. You can target Parents with kids of specific age-groups too. 

These new targeting options seem to have come a long way since FB's early advertising days. One should see better ad responses, CTRs and conversions if these are used well. But is the cost of this deep targeting (most of which may be based on user behavior) coming at the cost of an Individual's privacy? Now, that's a debate we may see in the days to come. Love to hear what you think about these!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Become A Responsible Tweeter

Yesterday, I noticed a tweet by a very close friend of mine who mentioned about a so-called bomb scare at an airport and also shared the link of a news site with the tweet. When I clicked the link to know more, I noticed the news story was dated two years back! Upon, checking with my friend what made him tweet this info which may have disastrously trended in a few minutes had it not been deleted by then, he said he heard someone mention in a conversation and that he immediately Google-searched the keywords, saw the top news link and shared that news site!

This irresponsible behavior by users in a bid to become content creators and news-breakers has been noticed time and again. While we all talk about managing guidelines for brands while tweeting, do we as marketers or even responsible netizens have some basic guidelines for personal tweeting? Below, are critical pointers to note for personal twitter profiles -

1. Authentic: Always ensure you are tweeting authentic content and honest views. In case of any news-breaking or critical information verify first and then tweet. If available, share the source to make your point more credible. In case the facts are half available, mention so. For eg if you heard gun shots or a loud blast, a tweet like this could help: Heard some gun-shot like sound near the subway. Did anyone else hear them too? Please confirm!

2. Catch a Rumor: If you notice a tweet which mentions a news breaking item ensure the tweet has a source link. If no link available, ask the Tweeter to share his source. Only once you are convinced with the reply, then should you Retweet. For instance, in the tweet mentioned below, the user has not tweeted any link nor mentions he's at/near the area. If untrue, a retweet for such a tweet could spell trouble.

3. Use ‘Report Tweet’: While we all click on ‘Retweet’, ‘Reply’ and ‘Favorite’, there is also an option called ‘Report Tweet’. Use this option appropriately when you come across bot accounts, brands spamming, abusive and hurtful tweets etc. Use your discretion to report tweets but don't misuse the feature either.


4. Use ‘Twitter Search’: A very prominent feature of Twitter to find information on real-time incidents and content, as also to identify other tweeps. The search functionality filters the results on All results and Top results. Use the relevant filter to get your information.

5. Think Before You Tweet: It’s essential that you give some thought to your tweets before tweeting esp your feelings on sensitive topics. You don’t wanna tweet faux pas or get caught foot-in-mouth. Many brands, celebs and politicians have faced these with extreme ire or laughter onslaught. We, just like them are humans too and prone to jump the gun. Take a moment and read your tweet twice on subjects outside your domain.

6. Mind Your Language: Absolutely avoid public spats with a known/unknown person on Twitter. We have seen timelines filled with split couples ill-mouthing each other, abusive and hate language being tweeted. Besides creating a bad image for yourself to your followers, you are also creating content that may go done in the pages of Internet and comeback to haunt you one day.

Twitter is a fantastic channel and a medium that thrives in the hands of millions. Several Governments, politicians, brands, welfare organisations, and general public have used it in very effective manner. Stray incidences should not overpower this medium and its adoration by users.
Hope you find these points useful to becoming a responsible Twitter user!

Feel free to share or update me with some more points you may like to add for responsible tweeting.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pinterest Gives You A Gif!

Pinterest last week announced a pinteresting feature. You can now pin gifs to your boards. Yes, this announcement came on Jan 23rd and Pinterest has confirmed on its official blog post – A GIF from Pinterest.

What this means for brands and users?
GIFs have been a great way of sharing fun and interesting content over the net. They have also been the seed of thought for popular short video applications like Vine. We’ve seen users and brands take creativity to an almost new level with Vine clips on Twitter feed. Pinterest with the GIF feature may very well set to replicate your boards and timeline with the same effect!

How do you get started?
If you are a designer or have an in-house design team, get the coolest pics you may have and get them moving thru photoshop immediately. For those who’re non-designers, there are plenty online GIF makers out there. You can make one in a jiffy!

Below are some inspirational GIFs to get you started, Let’s get Gif’ing!

Dogs imitating a baby!

The High Five

Dancing With The Goat

GIFs courtesy:

Friday, January 24, 2014

How to Setup a Social Media Workforce?

Over the past 5 years, we’ve seen hundreds of Social Media agencies and Social Media departments within corporate emerge in commerce space. Setting up a social media agency perhaps, maybe one of the simplest business ideas – A computer, a fairly decent marketing knowledge with working knowledge of social media sites, and presto you’ve begun!

True, many agencies would have come to existence this way, but the functioning of a social media arm may not be as simple. Brands are serious about capitalizing from this medium than ever before. So, resources like free tools, college trainees and interns may be a thing of the past. It is essential that a social media team have all the capable resources and equipped well to address fun and quirky communication as well as crisis management. Here are my quick pointers to draw up a social media workforce plan.

1.   Leadership: A mid to senior level experienced professional gives the much needed brand and market insights for creating a social strategy that otherwise lacks in most brands on social media. It is very important that an agency understands the big picture of the brand and thereby the responsibility of brand communication that may need to be aligned to the brand objectives, voice, personality and tone. More often than not, this would be your most important hire for this division.

2.    The Hands: These would be the resources for day-today account management and servicing. Don’t mistake these resources to be cheap, inexperienced trainees. We have seen a large number of social media faux pas instances for some of the most famous brands and would be better off not acquiring untrained hands to manage accounts. Hires with marketing and digital education would be an advantage for these roles.

3.  Defined Roles: Due to low cost of client acquisition/retainer in the industry, a number of agencies assign a single resource for content creation, servicing, analysis, reporting, advertising among other functions. It is imperative that there are defined roles for each social media profile. It is absolutely fine for one executive to handle multiple clients so long as he/she specializes in one or two aspects and not all. Such a decision reduces the dependency of the account on one executive as also exposes them to multiple category clients to work with.

4. Tools: Most social networks provide their own page insights with varying data. Facebook, has evolved its page insights to one of the most comprehensible yet deep data for an analyst. Seasoned brands on social media who are used to seeing the screen grabs and data points from FB and other social sites are now willing to invest in tools to see varying data points and graphical representation. It’s also mandatory to invest in a social listening tool for reputation management for any brand. Tools like Simplify360 offer the ability of reporting as well as monitoring.

5. The Machines: A social workforce is incomplete without the most up to date devices and gadgets in the house. Since social media is a 24 X 7 phenomena, you’d prefer to start with personalized laptops for all so that there is portability of work. You may also like to check before hiring if an individual owns smartphone and home connection. If not, the same should be arranged for them. Tablets and Ipad help greatly for LIVE events in capturing images, live tweeting and short videos. A good quality HD camera also sets the premise for the agency being perceived as progressive and initiative. Content creation is the most important fodder of a social strategy and one has to have the basics ready. A mix of android, IOS, Windows platforms under the same roof smoothens to testing of websites and applications too.

While the above pointers come from best practices, there are of course a lot more other parameters to practice to ensure smooth and successful running. Remember, Social Media needs to be given the importance and best efforts it deserves. There is also the constant learning curve that comes along with this media as it is ever changing with its features, platforms and most importantly user behavior!