Be Social But Be Safe

Today I am writing something that is very disturbing to me when I hear about the misuse of these new technologies. Social Networking websites are built to get social and build new relations, connect with people, know them, have your own community, and simply create your network of friends, family and work related networks. 

But few people use them for all the wrong means, bully people on internet and harass them. One cannot blame such people alone. The crime or cyber bullying or any such incident happens because people give them such chances and loopholes to do so. We need to Social, but not at the cost of being harassed or bullied. We need to keep ourselves safe from such things and build up a strong and safe social network. 

Here's a good infographic showing the tips on "how to keep yourselves safe on social media

No need to write much, as the above info-graphic tells everything that i wanted to explain. So just keep in mind one simple thing - BE SOCIAL BUT BE SAFE ! 

For now this much, would write up next when something solid and interesting appears to share. 
Till then, Happy Networking !

@Pandya_ Khushbu

Social Media Marketing Ideas from the West

Hi, its my first blog post on the very first day of my trip to USA. Actually I have been here twice before but I never thought of writing down my daily experience into a blog post. This interesting idea struck when I was packing my bags and thought that how am I going to share pictures with friends on facebook while am travelling. This thought concluded in deciding that not only pictures but I would also "Live Share" my thoughts and experiences with all!
Yesterday I just went to a small outlet near by to strech my legs. Outlets included the famous brand names like Macy's, J C Penny, Old Navy, Aeropostale, Hollister, etc whose product we now get in India too.. (they are made in India originally ;-) ) As I was walking by the stores, I noticed an interesting marketing idea for shops and outlets.
Traditionally, we see store names above the stores at each shops. Now they also imprint with various graphics and designs on the front doors and glass to attract customers. On occassions like Diwali, Holi and Navratri we see drawings of diya and dandiya on store front glasses. Its aesthetically attractive and inviting. And so this marketing stuff works well in India.
With the upcoming industry of social media marketing businesses have entered into the social media world to attract online viewers and customers. Now, we know that cross marketing always works best everywhere. Letting know people that "We are on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, etc" is most important because your customers need to know where are you located online and offline both, so that they can reach out to you everywhere in every possible ways. So for this businesses need to imprint social presence on the outside store maketing materials. Printing social networking sites logos, QR codes, etc will definitely bring you lot of loyal customers.
I noticed this small but very effective social media marketing idea at each store imprinted right outside the store's front glass. They are letting their customers and walking-by visitors know that they are actively present on social media platforms. They are there to serve you better. Just take a look at the picture I took at some of the stores for better understanding. Isnt this amazing?
What you think? Let me know your thoughts too..
Thanks for reading. Lot more yet to come, as I will be blogging throughout my trip, jotting down amazing things ! :-)    

7 reasons Why every MOM should use Pinterest

Pinterest is a little less used social media platform compared to Facebook, But it can be an amazing platform for all the MOMS out there. Today’s blog article is dedicated to my MOM who loves to use social media and is an eager learner to experience each social media platform. So, here I would love to share some tips to all the MOTHERS out there who loves to explore new things in life.

#1 It’s a great Organizing resource

Mothers are born managers. Every mother is a Master of Management in my view, and that’s the reason we call her MOM. Hence, Pinterest can act as an organizing tool for moms. They can keep record of recipes, furniture ideas, D-I-Y ideas, fashion ideas, and everything that they love. It also helps in organizing parties and events. Mothers can also collect project ideas for their school-going kids, holiday activity ideas for them, etc. It also helps in organizing latest updates for saving money tips, saving energy tips, health tips, etc. In short, Pinterest can help mothers in organizing all kind of ideas and tips, using different pinning boards.

#2 It’s a great platform for showing one’s creativity

Making a new recipe out of left-over; Creating an old pot into a new one by applying nail polish; Cutting out old Towels and using them for wiping floors;  etc... These are few ideas that every mother does at home but do not have a chance to share with others. Pinterest gives them the best place to show their creativity and their own space to have fun.

#3 It’s a fun way to be social

Pinterest has thousands of people around the world, having various kinds of interest boards. Anyone can browse for any topic, pin their posts and share posts on their boards. It gives huge opportunity to connect with people in a fun way.

#4 It’s a relaxing tool

A mother always juggles work load and time factor when it come to managing her home, or taking care of kids, attending her husband’s needs, etc. In between all, Pinterest gives her that entertaining time to yearn for her desires. She can relax herself through exploring beautiful images, motivational quotes, inspiring stories, etc. This can be a great resource for stress relief. 

#5 It helps in earning too

Pinterest is widely used as a marketing tool by businesses worldwide. Stay-at-home mothers can also utilise this way to earn for herself through her own creativity. We all have some talents and every talent is valuable. Why not mothers utilize her talent and monetize it?

#6 It’s a time saver

As mentioned earlier in this article, that Pinterest is a great resource for organizing things. One its benefits after organizing is that it saves lot of time searching on Internet for ideas about food, fashion, holiday planning, vacation destinations, kid’s projects and activities, money saving tips, romantic tips, working from home tips, etc... You already have your boards ready at the time you really need some of the ideas to implement. These ideas and tips are your collection from over the Internet as well as from other people’s boards. So why waste time in searching them all over again. Just scroll down your own board.

#7 It ‘s a great resource for Personal and Professional Development  

Many people posts amazing things that are useful for personal as well as professional development.  There are posts like “Tips you can use for your personal development journey that motivates on the front of personal development. Moms can develop themselves through professional development as well through reading on any topic of interest. Any keyword will work and will give awesome ideas by other people on Pinterest.

Concluding thoughts

If you are a mother and reading this blog, I would like to congratulate you for finding out this post and reading it until end. I hope it interested you.

Today, on the Mother’s Day, if you really want to present your mother with something awesome, just let her know about Pinterest or teach her how to use Pinterest. Rest everything, she will find it out herself and bless you for making her life easy and valuable.   


Ph.D. in Social Media

 I often come across a question - How can one do a Ph.D. is Social Media? That is so Awesome.. Can you tell me how to go for it? And that's when I feel so good about my decision to have chosen this awesome area of study (that I am even passionate about). 

2 and half years back when I had selected this topic, some people even asked me - Is that even possible? What do you have to do in it? Do you use Facebook everyday and talk to people? I was so amazed by all these questions. Well, I think today many of them would have understood and doing Ph.D. in social media is not just to surf Facebook whole day. It is so much wider than what people think it is. 

Well, talking about my research, I am studying the "Influence of Social Media: A Study of Consumers of Gujarat" (Gujarat is a State in India). It is so interesting journey till now, that I am enjoying every part of it. The most amazing part of the research is the Literature Review. I have collected many influential papers and research studies that have taught me a lot about the topic in detail with statistical proofs. 

As I said, each moment is enjoyable in this journey, I have thoroughly worked hard and prepared the survey questionnaire myself (obviously with the help from research guide and other professors too). At the time of Pilot testing, amazing feedback were received from pilot sample respondents. It encouraged me to go further in the study. 

Social Media is a so wide that it can be integrated into any kind of discipline and a new study can be done. You know what is the reason behind it? People are the new media - That's what Social Media means. And any research study involves studying people, their behaviour, attitudes, emotions, reactions, usage, etc.. Social Media is a medium where people connect. The place where people interacts, becomes the area of the study. 

Well, this year in 2013, I will be getting my Doctoral Degree, after which I will be sharing the results section. :)

Till then, you are most welcome to drop in by mails, or let's connect on social profiles and explore the ways to utilize this amazingly awesome social world. :)

Happy Socializing :)

Do we actually know how to use Twitter?

We are almost addicted to FACEBOOK. First thing that we do in mornings is to check whether or not any notifications are there on it, and then we step into bathrooms. For Twitter, the scenario is almost different. Many surveys have been done on How Indians Consume Twitter. The facts state that still majority of the people figuring out what to do with Twitter. [Well, This was my own state in 2009 ;-)] But, luckily I figured it out for myself and started helping other people too.

Twitter is mostly consumed for getting quick news updates as far as its use among Indians is concerned. However, it is much more wide than this. In India there are 3 major categories of Twitter Users:
1. Journalists
2. Celebrities (Sports, Films, Entertainment, etc)
3. Politicians and Big Business house CEO's

Inspite of India's so high population, very few people use twitter. And that's little surprising. I was doing some research regarding the same on the internet and to my amaze, I found some really interesting facts:

Population Size does not actually matter when it comes to comparing it with Twitter users. Though India may be having more than one billion population, very few people have access to internet (137,000,000 as of Dec 2012). Even among the people who has internet access, few are present on social media websites. According to World Internet Stats, 5.2 % of people use Facebook among the people who has internet access. 

These whole big picture shows that when it comes to Twitter users, India's gigantic population size does not convert into users. 

Next to the size, other major problem among Indians using Twitter - is the English Language. Twitter has 140 characters to explain your message and majority of its users use English as the basic language. In India, English is spoken only amongst business networks alone and to some extent in the entertainment industry. That may be one of the reason why there less Indian Twitter Users. Well, Language is no barrier today, I am just saying that due to less number of people actually speaking English, may be it can be the reason of not expressing one self in 140 characters. 

As I earlier mentioned, only 3 categories of people are observed using Twitter the most, many of the small businesses have showed their interest in using it too. But the only fact that become a hindrance is - what to do after making a Twitter account? What to Tweet about? Who to follow? How to get following? How to spread message? Do the world actually read 140 characters?

Well, I can show you the ways :)

Anybody who wants to use twitter, first must understand that it is very different from Facebook. You must be seeing your friends on Facebook, enjoying each others' pictures, seeing colourfull wall pages, etc. But that's not what Twitter will offer. It is like a collection of messages. It is like your mobile inbox, where you see all the text messages bundled upon each other. Understand it that way and you will gradually come to know how to use it. There is no perfect guideline that will tell you the step-by-step process to use Twitter. You have to follow your instinct on what should be tweeted. I can just tell you basic things. Those are:

Decide on what you will Tweet? - Personal or Professional
Find people - Friends, people you would like to get connected to..
Tweet Information and not the Junk..
Respond to people who are mentioning your name..
Do not over flow with your business information all the time..

Last but not least, enjoy twittering.
I would really love to know how you use Twitter :)


7 Impressive Free Tools to Create a “Brand YOU”

Have you spend a huge amount on online branding? Well, then you have still ignored Social Media. This article will brief you with few websites that really helps in branding yourself and your business. These tools are free forever. They are impressively awesome.

Email continues to be one of the most important digital communities. ‘Brand My Mail’ personalises your e-mail with Headers, Background, Signatures, Social sharing applications, Twitter tweets, Images, and many other applications. It is a complete e-mail branding and marketing solution. It can be integrated with your Gmail account. Another benefit of this great website is that you can create a free newsletter of your own without spending anything.

“about.me” creates your personal one page website, where you can choose every possible options like Background, fonts, applications, colours, etc. Anyone can connect with you through this tool, send you an email message just like contact me forms, share your website with others, give you compliments and also favourite it. about.me lets you quickly build simple and visually elegant splash pages that points visitors to your content from around the web. Through your personalised about.me page you can promote yourself and build trust with potential business contacts. You can also find and connect with other about.me members with similar interests and create a network. It is a great free tool. There are two other free tools that offers similar features like about.me – follr.com and flavors.me

Xobni makes your inbox smarter. Once you install it, you will be able to monitor what your email contacts are doing across Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Moreover, Xobni makes it easy to automatically find all the people with whom you have ever exchanged emails, calls, or SMS messages. They instantly provide a full view of each contact, complete with their photo, job title, company details, and email history as well as updates from LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. You can connect with them directly from your inbox. Xobni is smart in true sense – it easily searches and discovers all your contacts - even those who are not in your address book. It works with Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, Blackberry, iPhone and Android. There is another similar tool – Rapportive. However, it only works with Gmail.

Google Scholar
Many of you must have heard about it and read scholarly articles through it but have you actually used it? Google offers this amazing free tool that helps you “be searchable” by others. If you are in to education field, original content writers, authors, then this tool is for you. Make your Scholar account and it will automatically search your work online. You need to claim it and add in your profile. If some of your work does not appear in the search results then you can add it manually. The best advantage of making a Scholar account is that you can get “Quoted” in other’s work as you appear in Google search results. This creates credibility and an impressive personal brand value. 

Marketing Grader by Hubspot is an awesome tool to grade your website. It gives you the complete report after analysing your website. After all that efforts that you put in creating your brand and marketing plan you should analyse it. Marketing Grader is a free analytics tool that offers detailed report on every parameter that is important to measure and improve your website marketing efforts. 

Just like Klout, “Kred” is an influence measurement tool, which uses social data and influence measurement to produce a personal visual stream from activity on a Twitter ID or hashtag. A free tool measures influence (the likelihood that someone will trust a person and act upon their posts) and outreach (the propensity to share other people's content forward). The scoring system of Kred is stonger because it reflects the foundations of strong relationships – Trust & Generosity. Kred scores can be shared in your blog like a badge – it helps in creating credibility of your content and of your own self. 

Images always say much more than words. Ideas and thought processes can be easily described through charts, images, and infographics. Piktochart is an easy and free tool to create infographics. It helps in creating engaging presentation of your ideas. No technical skills are needed, just write your thoughts, drag and drop images, decorate it with related icons and its ready. You share it, save it; download in various formats for future reference. It is an excellent tool for presenting your ideas and work.  

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