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    • New world order of Liking and Sharing
      Love it or hate it, but you’ll admit social media is not a passing fad. Over the last five years, numerous social media platforms have grabbed our attention, sometimes admittedly even taking over our lives. But every revolution has its benefits and social media marketing has forever changed the way we talk to our respective audiences.

      Social media is not just for marketers, it’s for individuals and enterprises and leaders and people from every walk of life. Knowledge and vital messaging now delivered through content shared across platforms is what keeps the world moving. From institutions and enterprises and individuals, even prominent personalities, in various spheres thrive on marketing products, services or simply clever thoughts. Never before has sales been dependent on a virtual ‘like’ or public relations been more effective because of some ‘shares’ or communication with people near and far been this easy with opportunities to ‘comment’. In social media, nearly every opinion matters and everyone is a potential customer. The recent glut of mobile applications drive this ‘new world order’ further. People can now participate in a conversation or a poll from just about anywhere in the world, and even while on the move.

      What this means is that every business that is serious about its reputation and profit-making will engage with customers. Businesses that invest in maintaining a social media presence across platforms and take the time to listen are tapping into conversation that underline new learning or throw up new possibilities for customer service and satisfaction. The most reputed enterprises across the world are allocating significant chunks of their marketing budgets to social media marketing.

      What defines this new world order even further is that many offerings are personalized and smartphones and mobile applications contributing to creating unique experiences for different individuals. Businesses get down to responding personally to comments and feedback on social media platforms. Social media is serious business – it’s simply changed the way we experience anything and everything in our world.

      Social media marketing creates tangible impact on bottomlines in every business across the globe that is worth its mettle. All the ‘likes’, ‘comments’ and ‘shares’ mean that you’re not solely responsible for the marketing of your products or services. You’re allowing the participation of your customers and ‘fans’ in the marketing process. This results in ‘recommendations’ and the growth of an influencer community, and of course, increased sales. Collaborative marketing, then, is the real shape of this new world order.

      Author: Dharam

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    • Twitter Enriching the IPL Experience for Fans
      Since IPL6 kicked off, fans have followed the action live through twitter. Twitter has created a discover page for the IPL, enabling fans across the world to congregate in one virtual space. The micro-platform is not so small in its reach considering it has built a platform for IPL6 to inform and educate interested audiences on individual players, team owners and the teams. Every official associate of IPL can tweet on the matches and be a catalyst for ongoing conversation around what is now become a premier sporting event, attracting interest from so many corners of the world. By curating the conversations around IPL, Twitter has increased its own fan base with more people signing up for accounts and then being able to follow the games.

      What makes the virtual IPL experience even more interesting is the host of apps and features on Twitter that enrich user experience and improve engagements with fans.

      TWITTER MAGIC MIRROR: For the first time, this application will be used worldwide throughout a professional sports tournament season. The Mirror will, in select celebratory settings, allow cricketers and celebrities to tweet out candid pictures with one click, through the @IPL account. The Mirror will travel the country, and give fans an authentic view of the IPL.

      IPL ON THE WEB: On the home page of the official IPL website, a live Twitter battle is showcased. It shows how many tweets have been sent out with a specific team’s hashtag and the team with the most number of tweets with their hashtag emerge the winner.

      LIVE TWEET COUNTER: There is a live tweet counter on the stats section of the homepage which shows the number of #IPL tweets that are sent out during the tournament.

      PEPSI IPL 2013 CONVERSATION: There is a window on the official website’s homepage, through which fans can communicate their excitement over Pepsi IPL 2013 to the many who are tuned in from across the world to catch conversations on IPL.

      PEPSI IPL 2013 TWEETS: There is a section on the official website that features tweets from the Pepsi IPL 2013 franchises, cricketers, commentators and administrators. The section will act as a fan’s one-stop destination to know what the ‘who’s who’ of the Pepsi IPL 2013 are talking about.

      ON TELEVISION: Viewers are encouraged to tweet and capture vine videos during the Pepsi IPL 2013. The live tweet-stream will be integrated with the broadcasting of the tournament and interesting tweets will flash on the screen from time to time. The best tweets will also be read out by the media team.

      The Pepsi IPL 2013 will run until 26th May, 2013. Nine teams, including new team ‘Sunrisers Hyderabad, and a total of 76 matches.

      Author: Nikhil Cariappa

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    • Generation 2.0 India wants Speed with Google
      The present generation of social media and technology savvy urban Indians are demanding what countries with better infrastructure are used to. It’s why Google thought it best to rapidly ramp up its data center and server capacities and networks so that speeds of Google services can go up by around 30%. What this seems to guarantee is that YouTube videos will load faster, besides Google throwing up search results quicker. Google has recognized that there is a significant gap between what modern India wants and has been getting.

      Google’s data centre in Asia is going operational this year. Work to build centers and networks in Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong began in 2011. While the Singapore and Taiwan facilities are due to be up and running sometime this year, there seems to be no clear timeframe for the Hong Kong center to be completed. Google is spending nearly $300 million on its Asian data centres.

      Outside Asia, Google has seven data centres in the US, and one each in Finland, Belgium and Ireland. When Google began scouting for suitable locations in Asia in 2007, it considered sites in Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, India and Vietnam. But while India was deemed unsuitable for the set-up of an extensive data center, it is still one of Google’s largest market segments with over 100 million users. Therefore, the expectations are that data centers may be located in closer proximity closer to many target markets in the future. Typically, countries located close to data centres enjoy faster access to data on the internet.

      According to a report from web-based content delivery firm Akamai Technologies, India is ranked 112th globally in internet speed. Google has accepted that some services like YouTube and Google Hangout cannot be accessed at optimal speeds now. With the set-up of new centres, and in relatively closer proximity to India, the time taken to access these services is expected to reduce dramatically. Over the next three years, Google expects 500 million internet users from emerging markets to come online as against just about 15 million from the United States. Predictably, a tech-savvy India may soon have its demands met – optimal speeds for Google applications and offerings.

      Author: Nikhil Cariappa

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    • Flux across the platforms
      So many social media platforms out there and all of them go through changes of some kind or the other over time. Keeping up can be a challenge. But the new comes with a considered view of the past. From Facebook to Google to Twitter, these platforms have been updated with new features or even just a new appearance or the way various elements on them are listed. Simply to create better user experiences.

      While Facebook is known for its ‘surprises’ – our timelines, for example, have changed a few times even in just the last year and our photographs look bigger and better with the platform allowing high resolution images in albums – its rival Google has also been quietly consolidating its offerings in recent years.

      It was a handy tool, many would have thought. But Google announced the impending closure of its Reader service in March. Google Reader provided a great way to organize our RSS feeds. It was fast, reliable and allowed users to easily organize long lists of feeds into convenient folders.

      We can now use Google Takeout to get a copy of our reader data. All of it will be saved in an xml file and can be easily uploaded on another reader of we choose. However, Google is still allowing subscription-based use of the Google Reader. It is aptly titled, ‘The Old Reader’. The ‘Old Reader’ has a very simple UI. All subscriptions are neatly organized under ‘Subscriptions’. A separate tab for ‘Liked’ items and ‘Shared’ items, a separate category for articles that are ‘Trending’ – it searches the web for posts that are shared by a large number of people and it offers you a list of such articles and blogs. Much like how Facebook regularly showcases ‘Most Shared’ articles or blog posts or videos. Google will soon have a mobile app that serves the same function.

      Google Buzz, a social networking site that was integrated into your gmail account, was discontinued in 2011. Picnik – a tool that let you edit your photos in your browser itself was shut down in 2012 and its tools were integrated into Google+. This seemed a strategic move to redirect users to Google+ and counter Facebook’s domination among social media users.

      Twitter has had some interesting updates over the last few years. Just last year, it launched Twitter Cards. It also enabled a host of applications to link with it, especially those focused on businesses.

      Write in and let us know what you found useful, and what you think would have been better retained across the most popular social media platforms.

      Author: Nikhil Cariappa

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    • Exciting times ahead for social media eco-system
      Everyone who may be seen as an authority in the social media space has written or spoken about the various trends to be expected in social media this year. We’re going to be exploring some of them in a little more detail over the next few weeks and we would love to hear from you. Share your opinions and experiences with the various platforms in 2013 so far – especially since some of them have changed a little while still remaining popular for their core functionalities.

      Just because of the numbers of image-based platform users increasing, we are keeping a watch on how the social media platforms operate with more shares from Pinterest and Instagram-like applications. The biggest and most renowned brands are using image-based messages to reach out to their key audiences. Along with this, video apps will become more popular. Vine, in particular, has revolutionized the way people will potentially communicated a quick story. Vine is like Twitter, except it’s all about video. How do you see organizations and individuals with key messages to share capitalizing on Vine’s capabilities? Let us know your thoughts.

      YouTube will still reign as the champion of video platforms for sharing content and informing people. But Twitter is already trying new avenues of user outreach through live events (IPL6 is a great example. How will the use of major events generate and encourage comprehensive conversations? We must note that an ‘event’ now begins way before the physical event on ground, of course – social sharing generates the hits and footfalls every big brand wants and is vying for. The ‘social event’ will be as important as the event on ground.

      With the possibilities of guaranteed or semi-guaranteed engagement from Facebook and other channels rising, things will change in the near future for brands that are serious about reaching the right audiences. A catch here is that unless the content and sharing is adding value to consumers and general audiences, it will all seem like noise pretty quickly.

      In addition, the ‘influencer’ community will matter more. Connecting with the right people and inciting more engagement and response from consumers and listeners alike will be the order of the day.

      What else are you expecting to change in the social media landscape? Write in to us!

      Author: Debdatta Ganguly

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    • Freedom is just another word
      How would one define freedom in a democracy? Perhaps only in writing, say the constitution and its principles of freedom. But it has been flippant in the most recent reaction of the Government to the Assam riots. Blocking websites and curbing the usage of bulk text messages have been an attempt to regulate a volatile situation like that. Of course freedom can be abridged for a greater cause, as social media has been instrumental in dispatching circumstances for communal hatred. Threat text messages and modified photos have reportedly enabled agitation. But the question is how effective is this banning in controlling the conditions?

      In my opinion blocking social networking platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the likes cannot control a situation so grave. Probably tracking down the users propagating hatred by exploiting the social media would bring in moderation in all things.

      Author: Debdatta Ganguly

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    • Advertising to Digital Marketing to Social Media Marketing. Whats next?
      Like, Comment and Share are the new parameters that drive sales in the social networking business, with mobile apps and social networking sites changing the face of consumer participation and engagement in the marketing process of business, it is no longer an ‘I advertise, you watch and buy process’ but rather a ‘You advertise, I rate and think about it process.’ Facebook and Twitter have revolutionized business to such an extent that social media marketing has become a matter of significant consideration when a business is allocating its marketing budget for the year.

      The world has become more personalized for every individual because of social media, and with smart phones redefining accessibility on the move; companies are always on a race to get ahead of competition by developing their own apps. Businesses that interact with their customers on a more personalized basis are much better positioned and that’s where apps bridge the digital market gap, because on the social media space an actionable idea better captures the consumers intrigue than the stereotype print, radio or TV ad.

      Basically in social media marketing you don’t market your product by yourself but instead, you make others market it for you, if a company engages with a potential customer with the right tonality and an actionable idea on social space, it not only gains the loyalty of the customer but also stands a chance to be recommended to a group of customers with the same interest as its influencer hence increasing the probability of higher sales.

      Social media marketing, smart phone marketing and companies developing their own apps! What next?

      Bio-digital Jazz!? You never know.

      Author: Dharam

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