Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Social (Public) or Personal?

This topic is inspired by several discussions over social and professional networks and the birth of 'Path', a social network that restricts the number of friends to a mere 50.

Firstly, I am often asked the question - 'Should I add colleagues on Facebook?'. This question resonates the very basic question of privacy in using these social networking websites. A very interesting observation was made by professor Robin Dunbar of Oxford, that we may have many (>=500) 'Friends' on Facebook, but we are capable of maintaining only 150 "meaningful relationships". This means that we have many people on our social networks, with whom we hesitate to share very persoanl and private information.

Now to answer the question that I am very frequently asked - I use two Twitter accounts. I use one for communicating trends with professional followers/following and the other for communicating personal updates with close friends and family. Similarly, I keep Facebook strictly personal and do not add colleagues as I might share a little too much than I want my colleagues and bosses to find out!! Like Twitter, many people maintain two separate accounts for Facebook as well - this is a step too much for me - but people do, and people who have the strength and energy to maintain multiple websites can very well do so. LinkedIn, by its very nature is for professional networks, and I keep it that way.

This leads on to the other thing I mentioned in the opening sentence of this blog - the birth of 'Path'. We have many 'friends' on facebook and we do not wish to share everything with everyone. Path is very much inspired by this and Professor Dunbar's research findings. It is a social networking website that restricts the maximum number of friends to 50. This means we would be careful in selecting the close 50, with whom we can share personal information without any qualms!

The whole point of this blog was to reflect on how 'social' has started to mean 'public' and slowly, new application slike 'Path' are trying to break the publicness of being social and make it more personal.

Please leave your comments on how you feel about sharing information on social networking websites.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Ways to increase Twitter followers

7 ways to increase twitter followers:

1. Getting listed on twellow
2. Following back key followers
3. Encouraging retweets
4. Completing company bio on twitter profile
5. Including company website in bio
6. Spreading twitter name through business cards, client presentations
7. Post engaging and useful tweets and not just promotional stuff

I could write that in detail, but it looks quite self-explanatory for now. Will update later if required :)

2010 - Year of Social Media?

After many years of the introduction of social media, 2010 has been the year social media has seen wide acceptance as a marketing channel. Many case studies were released of companies exceling in deploying social media as a marketing tool.

Image courtesy: SmallBizTrends

2010 is the year that saw experts and practitioners emphasise on engagement rather than spread. Likes, followers and comments were highly sought after in media campaigns. New ways of monitoring and analysing returns of investment have been devised and implemented successfully breaking the fears of inability to measure success. More and more senior management are coming on board the social bandwagon - not because everybody is but because they are convinced of its power. It is true to say that, social media has gained special status in companies with record breaking hires of social media specialists. The year also sees a surge of social media protagonists.

The growth of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn users has been phenomenal this year. New mobile applications helped propagate these tools to the mobile, tech savvy and young masses.

Now that social media has reached its maturity and a new level of acceptance by the public and the marketing community, it is interesting to anticipate what 2011 has in store for this dynamic and innovative field of marketing. Experts believe 2011 to be the year of 'mobile'. Though nothing can be said for sure, it sure will be a prospective year for social media.