Make your business agile

Is Your Business Socially Agile?

Make your business agile

(Image Credit: tech-clarity.com)

Hello!

It’s almost the end of yet another year! As we reach the end of another year, businesses look back and see how they went the previous year. What worked, what didn’t and key takeaways from next year. We too are gearing up for a good 2015 and we have learnt a few lessons along the way.

Among other things; we have changed the way we work. Moving from time consuming, micromanaged, sequential projects to finding a more agile result oriented process.

Is your social media strategy agile? Are you spending too much time on your content marketing? Is SEO and SEM a distant possibility than an immediate task for your company?

Do you work an environment that values interactions and individuals over processes and tools? If you aren’t, it is time to rethink your strategy.

keep-calm-and-rethink-your-strategyMany businesses and entrepreneurs use different marketing and sales tactics to promote their business, gain customers and gain revenue. While social media and content marketing boost your company’s efforts; incorporating an agile marketing approach will take it to another level!

Agile-mindset-2 Time To adapt (Image credit:planit.net.au)

Don’t believe us?

Imagine this scenario- You come up with a concept for your business or you outsource it to an agency, after which work is initiated, consolidated, website design is complete, analysis is done and voila! Your project is signed, sealed and delivered! But after a year or so, you notice that it isn’t getting enough traction, your website has bugs and you need SEO, it’s too slow etc etc.

Sound familiar?

Now try this scenario- You, your team, outsourced agency or stakeholders sit together every morning for 15 minutes. No longer, and discuss these 3 questions.

  • What did we do yesterday?
  • What are we doing today?
  • What setbacks did we have?

Everyone has their say in regard to these questions and the day officially begins. It may sound like a wasteful exercise but really what you are doing is bridging the communication gap, addressing issues and creating a transparent work atmosphere. Who doesn’t’ like that?

You can make use of the SCRUM methodology which breaks down each project into smaller work modules, breaking the organization into smaller teams, break the time frame into shorter work cycles. Allowing room to revisit plans, rectify errors and optimize to deliver great results!

agile_development_value_proposition

(Image credit: empireone.com.au)

Make your social and content marketing agile:

Break the marketing team or social media team into smaller teams. If you already have a small team, simple assign roles and tasks differently.

  • One small team collects real time data about your company or various clients you work with social environment.
  • Another team of either 2 or more creates the content calendar , content across various platforms for your company or clients and deploys that content quickly
  • One more person then reacts to emerging conversations as they happen, tweet responses, or comment on the networks as they continue to happen
  • Collectively they all gather results and analyze at the end of the week
  • Next day- same 3 questions are addressed and issues are sorted, you stick to what is working and change what doesn’t.

Your manager will work as the Scrum master and ensure that everything happens seamlessly.

Scrum Technique Infographic(Image credit: Scruminc.com)

Why will this work for me?

Because your working cycle is not as long ensuring quick transition between phases or scrums, you are being responsive and approachable which is what social media is all about! All your team members are engaged and empowered to achieve results. Communication is happening every day between teams and stakeholders ensuring no gaps; issues are sorted then and there leading to high levels of productivity and results.

agile-marketing-cycle(Image credit: smashwords.com)

By incorporating an agile method; you understand your customers and the market as it keeps changing as well as you are relevant to your customer’s needs. Smaller , effective teams with distributed tasks or in this case product backlogs , testing can happen and you stick with what works and change what doesn’t before results get catastrophic.

Especially when it comes to testing your social media and content marketing strategy, you want to get your business up and running ASAP! Think of the time saved on implementing SEO or paid methods along with social and content marketing for various audiences.

Why don’t you try and incorporate an agile marketing structure for your business in the New Year!? Give it a burl for SEO and get your website noticed quickly!

Talk to an expert at Social Pandora to see how we can help you with your business today!

Have you tried an agile structure for your business? Let us know in the comments below!

-Social Pandora

 

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The Impact of Digitization on everyday life-PART 2

 

Big brands like Absolut with their Absolut truth campaign, Nivea , Hyundai , Lynx have embraced this change and created revolutionary content. Organizations world over are now focused on delivering seamless, meaningful, engaging content while incorporating new emerging technology, adopting a test launch and learn approach after which changes are made based on customer feedback.

 

Few years ago if you were to buy a vacuum cleaner from a store, you would go to the store and buy one that matches your specifications, come back home and see that it’s not as good as they described it to be! Today, you have the choice of looking it up, checking reviews and invest on something that is worth the money. People are practically using it for everyday life! Brands use location services, QR codes, Augmented reality, electronic papers and have taken the customer- brand relationship to an all-new high.

 

Take a look at this chart to see how engagement is changing over time (Source: Ernst & Young )

How engagment is changing over time

 

 

 

 

John is sitting at a café waiting for his first cup of coffee for the day at 8:00 am and his jawbone buzzes indicating a call, he answers it, discusses work while working on his iPad, makes a few appointments through his collaborative calendar and leaves the café. He walks to the car and gets to work, begins his day. His mind jogger app reminds him of his activities every half and hour while his device buzzes him of the steps he’s walked and how much is left to attain his goal for the day. On his way back home, Siri guides him to make a reservation at a plush restaurant, while Navman shows him the way to the nearest Florist, finishes a few calls on his Bluetooth speaker blaring out of his Peugeot and he’s out for his date.

 

 This just got more real and better with the introduction of Google Glass. Our experiences as customers are enhanced, because of small personal gestures, virtual assistants to bring a sense of familiarity while also making meaningful and lasting connections with the customers. They have moved beyond falling for mass marketing techniques to one of segmented marketing techniques. Allowing the user to interact with the brand and make their choices of sticking to the brand or move.

google-glasses-v-2

 

(Image credit via- www.techinfo2.com)

 Augmented reality is changing the future

 

(Image via http://www.augmentedrealitytrends.com)

 

According to E&Y , these are the expectations of GEN Y- they represent over a quarter of the world’s population and have significant ideas and are equally impossible to ignore.

 

-They seek transformational change

-To connect with consumers and employees, companies cannot just look good- it has to be good

-They seek transparency

-Visible peer recommendations in decision-making

-Immediate feedback

-Flexibility

 

 

So what do you as consumers, business owners, students, teachers, moms, do? You can effectively gather an understanding of how technology, digitization can work for you? What must you do to create a seamless operation model that connects to suppliers, partners, and employees, B2B?

 

Anticipate what the competition is doing and beat them to it ! Use it to enhance your current model, transform your method of working, and invent a new business model if you have to. If you are a supplier or a partner, see how you can improve work times, work with lower budgets; provide end-to-end solutions for your supply chain process.

 

Digitization has emerged as a key economic driver. It accelerates growth, promotes cultures, facilitates employment across different sectors and of course improves productivity!

 

Whether you’re young or old, off you go to embracing digitization and making it work for you !

 

How has digitization changed your life? We’d love to hear from you!

 

-Social Pandora

 

The Impact of Digitization on everyday life-PART 1

Impact od Digitization.jpg

 

(Image credit – http://www.widernet.org)

Howdy!

We have been writing about Social Media; it’s benefits, posts on using each of the networking sites to your advantage and measuring your efforts. But as we helped more small to medium sized companies with their campaigns, we took a step back and pondered.

While the youth, the young adults of today with their selfies, text messages that read LOL, BTW, OTW, LMAO, ease of technological lingo, if you will, easily adapt to the constantly changing industry. We wonder, how have the others fared? New technology or change in general is disruptive. And with the pace it is currently at, it has posed a fair few challenges to businesses.

While wondering, we had our team meet a few people- students, university staff, office goers, business owners, café workers, content writers, stay at home moms and work from home employees and asked them how digitization has impacted their lives. The result was astonishing, to say the least. Digitization as we know it is a step ahead and greater than the Internet.

Impact of Digitization

(Image credit- http://www.saphana.com)
Most business owners we met had been running the business for 35-40 years and it is safe to say that they knew what they were doing. But, it’s the digitization boom that’s created an imperative for digital innovation, technological upgrades and better engagement. Now while businesses have realized this, some often find it hard to pursue that innovation and disrupt their functioning business model for one that offers a more competitive advantage.

In the harsh world of marketing, if you don’t do it, your competition will beat you to it! So business owners need to deal with the challenge of understanding the technology, engage with suppliers, partners, clients, even employees digitally while also paying extra attention to the customers.

To begin, change needs to be from the top level and work downwards, and extend to all the departments. Developing a digital strategy that is robust, comprehensive, innovative should extend beyond the IT and operations department. It’s got to be cross- channel and should enable continuous engagement with all your stakeholders.

Globally, there have been major changes in the online world. Decline of the cost of media distribution, introduction of broadband has made content available to millions and on a commercial level.
Creating user –generated content which has paved way for companies to change their advertising strategies allowing customers to participate in the usage and review of their products or services
Content marketing with the inclusion of photographs, images, videos, video blogs making it that much easier to connect with people, learn new things and find time to reflect
Web search itself has changed to allowing collaborative working and flexibility of searching for content that is now made easier to find.

Media companies aren’t the only ones reeling from these changes!

 

Information Overload

(Image credit via –www.thecybersec.co.uk)

Students have flocked to the Internet cafes, bought laptops to assist them in their education, there’s an increase in the consumption of data, allowing access to researched articles, international data on topics, broader perspectives – all while shaping the individual! The impact of this is a real time global exchange of information between multiple connected devices-phones, tablets, PC’s, SMART TV’s

Group of college students studying at campus

(Image credit via ihworld.com)
Head over to PART 2 of this article to understand the influence of new emerging technology on today’s world and the latest research that shows what Generation Y expects!

 

 

 

 

Putting the success back into your social media campaign! PART 2

 

(PART 2 CONTD…)

 

Every industry is different, so try being in the required range for your industry. All this does is to help gauge your scores.

 

Ford’s Global Head of Social Media –Scott Monty also suggests using a tiered point system in place rather than looking at how many likes you have. It’s a simple yet effective strategy to use. You can measure the response to your efforts on any social media channel you use.

 

Here’s how it works (Source: Socialmediaexaminer.com)

If you’re launching a product or a service, you want to generate a buzz about it on Facebook. You post an update to your page about your launch and get a few likes on it. The next day, post a different update, get likes on it and you begin to see people engaging with the post. Shares are more valuable than likes or comments because that update is moved to another page, which increases your reach.

 

At the beginning of your campaign, translate your objective into a numeric goal. Then, use the tiered point system to weight different types of engagement according to what is valuable to you.

 

For ex: (For Facebook)  -Likes- 1 point each

Comments- 5 points each

Shares- 10 points each

During the campaign, a quick sum of values will help you determine if your efforts are paying off. You can create similar systems for any of the social media channels.

 

4. Visibilities and Brand Perception:

 

 

visibility

 (Image via www.xeus.co.uk)

Social media monitoring tools will provide you data on your brand, your products to see who’s talking about you , how, why,where from? The key to getting good scores here is to add tonnes of value for your customers. Gradually build it up and then begin to sell and then measure. Building relationships with customers is vital, and this is the best way to get there.

 

How do your numbers compare to your expectations? How have you fared with respect to your industry?

 

5. Measure traffic to your website:

Link each social media channel to your website; then track which of them send the most and the best traffic to your site. Track URL shares, click conversions, what do they do once they’re on your site?

6. Audit, Adjust, Repeat:

Review your measurement program periodically. Always include benchmarks or competitor information so that your stakeholders will understand how well you have fared.

It also helps to include visual representations of your data to describe your readings better. Editing and improving your measurement program will help you rectify errors if any. Enter new metrics, you may have missed before and alter content that is needed to help achieve your goals.

 

And. That’s it! 6 super simple steps to show your stakeholders the money! Soon enough you will be raking in results! We hope this gives you ideas on how you can simply measure your social media campaigns and do so without all the expensive tools!

But, hey, if it’s a little too much to do in too little a time, give us a call! We’d do all the hard work for you!

Let us know how you go! What do you think? Can some of the above-mentioned strategies improve the effectiveness of your campaign?

 

-Social Pandora

Putting the success back into your social media campaign!

Putting the success back into your social media campaign!

2 Part series

 PART 1

 

Putting success back into your social media campaign

(Image via http://www.switch-magazine.net)

 

By now you’ve run a campaign or two across a few social media platforms and you are noticing people take note of your brand; what you have to offer and maybe even dropped by your office! While all these are great signs of progress; you still need to measure how well that progress has been. Measuring the campaign will tell you where you’ve been successful and where you can improve.

 

At the start, you would have set goals for your campaign, the number of followers, fans you want, the levels of engagement for your campaign etc. so when you measure your results, you will have two kinds of analytics –ongoing analytics and campaign focused analytics to focus on. Measuring the success of your social media campaign is not very different from you measuring the success of your marketing efforts. You will still see where your customers are from, how many times the ad or campaign on TV and social media was clicked; what do they like, socio- economic and cultural backgrounds etc.

 

As marketers, we are all on a mission to be better than our competitors, out-think others, deliver better products and services and track our efforts.

Ongoing analytics are those that you will keep tracking over time. These are necessary to understand the trend; the peaks and pulses about your brand and that of the competition over a period of time. To do this, you need to set up brand tracking and check the results every now and then.

Campaign metrics will measure the results of your targeted marketing activities or campaigns. These can also vary from campaign to campaign and depend upon the goals you set.

To get the best possible results, you will need a combination of both

So without further ado; here’s a list of what you should be measuring

1.Measure your social media listening activities: If you aren’t listening as part of your campaign, you’re missing out on the conversations people are having about your brand. When you do listen you gain insights into your brand

How engaged are your target audience?

What customer support issues are they happy with?

What customer support need gap can be filled?

Are there any changes to your product or service you need to make?

Performance management?

 social media listening

(Image via www.leadformix.com)

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply”– Stephen R.Covey

Use listening tools to understand how many people you’re helping through your campaign, are your fan followers increasing, etc. prioritize the points and use the information gathered to make changes to your business.

 

2. Measure Growths and Reach:

 

 

 

Measuring social media growth

                  (Image via http://www.marketingzen.com)

 

How healthy is your growth rate? Watch for a steady increase in the number of your fans, followers and subscribers. We also like to club growth, reach, volume, exposure under one metric- Awareness-how far is your message spreading?

3. Engagement: Are your followers interested in what you post? Do they comment? Interact? Maybe even poke, write an LOL? Well that’s great! It’s exactly what you need! It cannot get any easier really, just monitor the quick interactions to your channel- starting with how many likes, shares, +1’s, comments, retweets, mentions repins etc. Always set a target and then work your way up to measure the targets on a bi=weekly or monthly level. See how far your interactions increase, decrease or remain neutral. The idea is to keep increasing but also maintaining a good engagement level.

 

(PART 2 CONTD ..)

 

 

 

 

 

 

What you need to know to be a successful entrepreneur

Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you “ – Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO

 

Mark Zucherberg, Richard Branson, Reggie Brown, Evan Spiegel are all names you’ve heard of or even people who you’ve looked up to. Entrepreneurs come in different shapes and sizes, educational and economic backgrounds but there’s not many things that are common except for the passion, perseverance, never say die attitude and the ability to take risks that comes with the job.

In order to get to where they are, you can bet your bottom dollar that they’ve faced hardships, made numerous mistakes, and tried various things before they perfected their business.

 

The difference between most entrepreneurs, you will notice is their attitude. Either to persevere or to give up when faced with adversity, to not let competition pull you down or shut shop when there are a few bad reviews. It takes a lot more to be a good entrepreneur.

 

What makes them successful?

 They:

  1. Figure out what they want to do; and take baby steps towards their goal
  2. Pause in-between steps to see how far they’ve come and reassess their next step. It’s more a routine of Act.Pause.Learn.Pause.Build.Pause.Repeat
  3. Deal with uncertainty and contingency by experience and not just theoretical plans that have been put in place.
  4. Put yourself out there and try new things and at some point you will figure out what you’re good at and stick to it.
  5. See over every detail of your business. It’s good to look at the big picture but also the smaller details. Especially the case when you’re just starting out.
  6. Never give up-No matter what! They’ll always be moments that bring you down, leave you faithless and competitors will try to cut you off. But, remember why you started your business and stick to it.
  7. Get out of your comfort zone– It’s important to stay scared in the beginning. Some call it staying hungry and some call it staying scared. Either way, the sentiment’s bottom line is the same. Which is to use it as an important motivator.  Go outside of your comfort zone, learn to survive, grow and evolve.
  8. Create what the market needs: This is an important thing you will find most entrepreneurs doing. There are a lot of people with a lot of ideas out there but not every idea is a lucrative business to pursue. If you begin with a current market need, you have a market that is already present with the people who need what you have.
  9. Don’t begin by thinking you will be rich and famous: Believe it or not, entrepreneurs don’t’ have money, success or fame as their goal but rather the by-product.  They begin by working on their product or service, perfecting it until they’re the best at it. The fame, fortune and success will follow on it’s own.
  10. Push yourself harder
  11.                   Learn to finance your business well: Begin with sufficient financing before you move on
  12.        Manage your time well: Remember that time is money
  13.               Learn to function as teams and play to everyone’s strengths
  14.                   Turn Obstacles into assets
  15.                 Learn to say ‘NO’ when the need arises. It’s essential to say no to some great ideas in order to get to the brilliant ones.

 

“The value of an idea lies in the using of it.”—Thomas Edison, General Electric Co-founder

 

 We hope that these 15 tips from successful entrepreneurs and business owners will help motivate you and give you  the ideas you need to keep surging ahead.

 

“Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect.” —Jack Dorsey, Twitter co-founder

There’s nothing wrong with staying small. You can do big things with a small team.” —Jason Fried, 37signals founder

What tips do you use for your business? Let us know!

-Social Pandora

 

15 TIPS TO KEEP YOU INSPIRED AND PRODUCTIVE WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE GIVING UP

a dream is never big unless you make it happen

Some days are good days at work, and some days are downright hard. We read about the many success stories of entrepreneurs and what motivates them ,gets them to be so productive all the time. Unfortunately success does not come easily for everyone. Chances are you will soon be giving up on your venture before you can even fully experience the success you’ve been aspiring for. But you never know, tomorrow might be your lucky day! And you would have wished you hadn’t given up today.

To keep yourself motivated or inspired when the Going get’s tough. Here are our top tips.

TIP 1:  “Begin your day Early’:  Sounds cliched but it’s true and works every time. Entrepreneurs wake up early and begin their day healthy. Drink plenty of water and stay fit to help you throughout the day.

TIP 2: Plan your day:  Write down your top 5 tasks that you need to accomplish today.

TIP 3: Set achievable goals: Some entrepreneurs set high goals in the beginning of their venture which sometimes results in disappointments. Set realistic goals with proper timelines. Make use of Gantt charts to help you set smaller more achievable goals. They will then push you to achieve more once each goal is fulfilled.

TIP 4: The 50/10 rule:  It’s easy to get distracted or side tracked at work so try avoiding that by applying the 50/10 rule which is  50 minutes of work with a 10 minute break to refocus.

TIP 5: Keep your mind on the Big Picture:  When you begin your business, no doubt you have pictured yourself basking in the glory of your success after a few years. But if you haven’t gotten there within a few years, don’t give up. Keep that big picture, your dream in your mind and carry on.

TIP 6: Make sure that your work environment is comfortable– Spending a large amount of time in front of the computer can be hard so ensure that your chair is adjusted properly, and that your room is airy and well ventilated and free of distraction.

TIP 7: Change your work environment every now and then: If your work is the kind where you can take it anywhere, then move! Either to a different room at your office, your home, to a library, a nice comfortable public spot with Wi-Fi access or your backyard, anywhere where you’re comfortable because a change in scenery helps with the creative thinking.

TIP 8: Take timely breaks:  If you feel yourself becoming drowsy, low in energy or that you’ve hit a blank spot. Take a break! Get up and take a walk, run an errand maybe, get some coffee or green tea. Each break renews or refreshes you plus gets you to move a bit giving you more energy and a chance to think laterally.

TIP 9: Reflect and self- evaluate: Set aside 10 minutes at the end of your day everyday to just reflect and self evaluate. Rethink your goals, your day. Or meditate. It’s great to calm yourself and get a good night’s rest.

TIP 10: Forecast:  All good entrepreneurs plan and forecast for any glitches that they might come across. Open your minds to the ‘what-if scenario’ even try the marketing warfare strategy with your team.

TIP 11: Keep learning:  Reading, browsing, brainstorming promotes increase in knowledge, increase in capabilities and be the creative gold mine that you’re looking for!

TIP 12: focus on what makes you happy

Focus on what makes you happy Do the things you love to! They keep you happy and productive!

TIP 13: Express gratitude:  Be grateful for what you have and for how far you’ve come. It will help you become a better person and achieve higher levels.

be grateful for what you have

TIP 14: Reward yourself: For every goal achieved, reward yourself with small indulges, or a movie night out or maybe even a spa!

TIP 15: Alternate between projects:- If you find yourself bogged down on  a particular project , switch to something else (if you have the time). It might require a different skill set but it let’s you work with fresh energy and ideas.

Remember that you will fail a few times before you really make it ,especially if you’re a start up. But, It’s in those moments that you truly learn so take it in your stride and carry on.  Once the hardships are over, the business will blossom under your care and passion!

impossible is nothing

What are your go to tips for being inspired and productive?

Write to us!

-Social Pandora

(Images via: WeSEE)