Sunday, 23 November 2014

The digital scope for the brands via Twitter

In this age, we barely know of people who may be absent from the social media sphere. Social networking and social conversations are the ‘in’ thing and obviously the future too. And why not, it’s a trend we’ve noticed since 2008. More people are willing to connect, build contacts, and grow their network. Not lagging behind are the brands who realize the power of social media & how they can gain the much-needed mileage out of it. They are ready to welcome the change in anyway that’s possible to promote their brand in the social space. 

One of the most vociferous social channels undoubtedly has to be Twitter. A live-stream of the Twitter feed will essentially be filled with opinions, news, political outbursts, pop culture, brand talk and much more. Almost every Twitter user on the planet has mentioned at least 5 brands in their tweets. It is important for a brand/ business to make their audience speak about the brand, build trust & obviously maintain the relationship with the customers for longer period of time. 

The first step is always crucial, but worth taking. With the help of social media, a brand actually can save a lot of time, manpower & on-field exercises, which requires huge amount of logistic support & investment. 

How Twitter can be a winner for brands? 

Considering the fact that nowadays Twitter is much popular, It’s very important that a brand (be it a startup or SME), it HAS-TO-HAVE a Twitter presence. It would be a negative approach if the brand starts to think “It’s too tough to reach out & express in just 140 chars or via any social network”. It has to be understood, it’s one of the easiest ways, once a few guidelines are in place; it can turn out to be the icing on the cake. 
  • Have the logo uploaded as the display photo. 
  • A good Twitter profile background, cover picture related to the brand is a must. 
  • A small catchy info as the bio will do wonders. 
  • Be simple in expressing & have a friendly approach while tweeting. 
Below, are some points to consider to get the most of your Twitter channel. 
  • Being online 24*7 may not be possible but at least 5-10 tweets a day to start with, can be a good jumpstart. Twitter is all about followers. If there are no followers, it will look as if the brand is broadcasting to itself. The brands should make a habit to follow 25-30 people per day. Else divide the time slots into 3 sessions that be morning, afternoon & evening. Spend 15-20 mins minimum per session exploring the hashtags & following other people, suppliers, well wishers, investors & send replies to the mentions.

  • Following: Unless it’s a well known brand, followers wont just flow in. Believe in a policy “Follow to get followed”. Build a conversation. A conversation will get your Twitter handle noticed within the circle of the followers of the people who the brand is interacting with. 

  • Other way to get the brand noticed is by conducting activities like contests or events. Come up with a good hashtag suitable for the Twitter activity. With the help of influencers, the brand can let them spread the word about the contest & call as many tweeps to follow the brand handle & RT the tweets. It is important to keep the followers entertained in order they won’t unfollow. So frequent interaction is must. Hence being active on the timeline leads to the visibility of the brand. 

  • Create a Twitter list & include the regular people in the list with whom frequent interactions happen & also create a list of people having a great amount of followers and try to converse with them. 

  • Being active doesn’t mean that a brand should start posting links. Avoid spamming the timeline. If there be only the brand tweets on other people’s timeline, they won’t accept it and there be a risk that the brand may lose followers. 

  • The most important aspect to consider that as Twitter being a social network, a brand won’t come across people who will always praise. At times people use social network to crib and complain about the brands on the issues they experience with the brand. Thus avoid getting into interactions that may lead to negative promotion & controversies. Take a small step, but do take the step. 
There’s never a good time to start and always a right time to start!

Originally written for DMTI.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Are you aware of the Facebook's 20% rule & the grid tool?

Do you design graphics for your Facebook pages? Imagine, one fine day you decide to promote a specific post of your Facebook page & after submitting your post for review, you get a lovely message saying “Your ad / post has been disapproved?”. Thanks to the Facebook’s 20% rule! All your efforts in designing a spectacular post goes in vain.

Facebook’s 20% rule explained

The Facebook 20% Rule has slowly become one of the most common ad violations amongst submitted advertisements due to the inconsistency of the Facebook judgement algorithms. The rule works like this: whenever you submit an ad that features an image, Facebook runs that image through their 20% text grid. Facebook’s reasoning:

“Images may not include more than 20% text in the image to ensure people only see high-quality content. This includes logos and slogans in images. We recommend that you use the text field in the ad to get your message across.”

Then how to tackle this rule? Its simple but tricky, yet doable! Divide the whole graphic in 25 boxes (5x5). For the graphic to be approved, your text should be in total 5 boxes. What’s tricky? A grid box that has any bit of text in it counts as “full.” As such, one letter that spans two boxes will count as two of your five allotted boxes.

We know Facebook implied this rule but then they also came up with a tool call “Grid Tool”. 

Simply upload the image to see how much text you're using. After you upload an image, mark five boxes on the grid in order to determine whether your creative has 20% text.

What’s allowed & what is not?

Allowed in the 20% text policy:
  • Pictures of products that include text on the actual product
  • Photos of products in real situations or photos of products with a background 

Not allowed in the 20% text policy:
  • Images that are zoomed in on logos/images with text overlay
  • Images that are clearly edited to include text on the product as a loophole to policy 
Happy designing & happy promoting on Facebook!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Miller ACE party was truly fun!

It had been long since last time when we friends met over a house party. The time came again. Recently on a Saturday, we few friends Adesh Gunjan, Sushil Meghraj, Rodney D’Souza & myself decided to meet & try Miller ACE beer! Honestly, I never had tasted Miller Beer before. It was my very first time. Thanks to Miller India for sending us Miller ACE which was launched recently in September 2014. By this, they have officially entered the premium strong beer market. Its said that its an extension of their mild variant called Miller High Life. Also many thanks to Adesh & Smita Gunjan for the warm welcome & the yummy snacks. 

Miller ACE comes with a bolder taste and a higher ABV (alcohol by volume). With this launch SABMiller India forays further into the fast growing premium beer segment and will address the increasing consumer demand for world class quality premium beers in India. So what is unique about Miller ACE? Miller ACE is an American style strong beer and is brewed to perfection by using a perfect blend of pale and caramel malt, with imported barley and 'light-stable' hops for a bold flavor and a smooth finish. And when they say smooth yet stronger brew, they really mean it. Frankly, one has to acquire the taste of beer by consuming it & by knowing the brew sip by sip! The taste doesn’t hit that hard. The effect arises slowly & smooth!

If you have not tried Miller ACE yet, go try it out & I would love to know your views too! For more details, feel free to follow them on Twitter & Facebook.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

It was fun attending the #AmazeLongestDrive bloggers meet of Honda Car India

Recently I had an opportunity to be at the bloggers meet organized by Honda Car India to cheer their team which are on the mission of #AmazeLongestDrive.

So what is this #AmazeLongestDrive all about?
Its about their car named Amaze, which is said to be the car designed for Indian ergonomics. In India people love to do things together, with say friends or family, to drop somebody at the station or bus stand, or say go to shopping, wedding. Basically travel together. So keeping this in mind, Honda Car launched Amaze, which goes by the tagline "Amazingly Indian". Amaze comes with big cabin space & large boot space. 

This car achieved a milestone of 1 lakh sales in just mere span of 16 months, which is said to be the fastest in the history of Honda Car India Limited & has won many awards. In order to celebrate this, Honda Car Limited came up with "Longest Drive" mission throughout India with Honda Amaze to explore diverse terrains & picturesque corners. In which one car is covering the distance of more than 23,000 km, passing through more than 250 towns within India. 

The mission started on Sept 15, 2014 & Bunny Punia is leading the mission throughout.. The whole team was in Mumbai on Sept 27, 2014 which was their stop for one day to meet with few bloggers, interact with them & play few interactive games. Along with other bloggers, I had a great time meeting the team and cheer them for their journey. Today, that is Oct 25, 2014 they are on Day 38th, covering 18,000 km. Still they have 15 more days in hand. I wish the whole team of Honda Car India & Longest Drive, all the very best for their mission.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Bhopal - A Prayer For Rain Movie Review: A thriller which depicts the story of the Bhopal gas tragedy

How many of you know about Bhopal gas tragedy (a gas leak incident which is considered to be the world's worst industrial disaster) that took place on the night of 2–3 December 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Over 500,000 people were exposed to methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas and other chemicals & killing as many as 10,000 people in one night. The toxic substance made its way in and around the shanty towns located near the plant. Many of us know & many still don't know what happened. Though there are many articles which lay the event on the whole tragedy.

"Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain" is a historical-drama movie from Sahara Movie Studios and Rising Star Entertainment which tells the real story of the same gas tragedy. The movie showcases the real shocking events revolving around the Union Carbide India Limited, its employees & the people residing around. It begins with the perspective of a young rickshaw driver who gets a job at Union Carbide which is a risky & tough job which required long working hours. It was noticed that the managers at the plant used to ignore the safety protocol always and still people who knew about it were holding on to their jobs as it was their only source of income. How this negligence took a disastrous turn which lead to post effect of the tragedy & how the political scene was pre & post tragedy, is the plot of the movie. 

The casting, screenplay & the treatment given to the movie is honest, genuine. The cast has given their best & the sincerity is reflected on-screen. As the events progresses, it really makes you sad to see so many human lives were affected after the leak. It also showcases the good work of the Doctors which tried every bit to save the affected even though they faced the difficulties. Its the first movie made on this tragedy & by this, now every person will know what went wrong, what were the post effects & whats going on with the case. As being the Citizen of India, you want to know about the whole tragedy, then this is not to be missed. 

Director: Ravi Kumar 
Cast: Martin Sheen, Mischa Barton, Kal Penn, Fagun Thakrar, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Rajpal Yadav, Vineet Kumar, Lisa Dwan, Manoj Joshi 

Rating: 4.5/5