Friday, April 26, 2013

What Does YOUR Business Card Say About You?

When I started on my own around 2.5 years ago, a good friend and CEO of IDYeah Creations, Vishal Mehta, helped me with the design of the logo and the business card. At that time, the idea about the business was clear and it was also clear as to what is going to be the business offering.

My first business card looked like this

I started exchanging the card during business interactions or networking events and also started collecting business cards from the people I meet. My personal experience is that when someone hands over the card to me, while I am looking at the card, I am also listening to that person as to what exactly the business is. Many a times, it gets difficult to remember the exact context of conversation and follow up plan after a few days.

Then starts the Internet search based on the name of the person. Slowly the context starts building up as information unfolds on the internet, you start knowing the person more through social media channels and if you find a photo of that person on the internet, it becomes easy to connect a face with the business. 

Taking this thread in mind, Vishal came up with this new design for the card.

Front Side
Back Side

I simply love this ‘personal business card’ because:
  • I think this is an ideal card of a social media enthusiast – with information about all social media channels where I can be connected
  • It has all the details (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, My Blog Address, Website URL, Phone number, email address and also my company name) without too much clutter and too little text
  • Photo on the card helps in remembering
  • Notes section at the back of the card helps in taking points about conversation and note down the follow up plan
Now what’s the reason for me personally boasting about this card on my blog? Simply because I thought this example will help my blog readers in getting some pointers on their business card designs :- )

Thanks once again Vishal for this amazing, innovative and out-of-the box design!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mind Your Facebook Page Etiquettes – Dos and Don’ts

Here comes another post on managing Facebook brand page. This is a quick and probably already known but not followed list of Dos and Don’ts brand pages on Facebook.

Use this as checklist, if you want :-)


#1: Form a strategy and tone of the page

The first and foremost thing is to have a tone and strategy for your page. I feel sorry for pages which do not have any tone for the page. For example: If I am following a Book Store page on Facebook, it is absolutely irrelevant for me if the page posts an update about some actor’s birthday or some Fashion Tip (Yes, I have seen this!).

There is no point in being on Facebook just because your social media consultant has asked you to do so. Have a proper plan in mind, understand whom you are going to target through Facebook, what are the likes and dislikes of your target audience, what kind of posts the audience with engage with and what will be relevant for your business. Seems like lot of work? Yes, it indeed is. 

Spend maximum of your time in strategy definition. If your strategy is finely defined, the execution will be easier, more scalable and chances of success will be high.

#2 Pay special attention to time, photo and length

The best time to share on Facebook is noon and a little after 7pm (read more in this post). Go by these guidelines but also keep a close watch on your posts and the engagement you drive through those. You will know the best time which is most suitable for your business.

It is also a known fact that pictures in posts get more engagement –because great visuals grab attention. But yes, select the pictures which are suitable for your post. Do check license agreements of images before using the pictures from search engines.

Do keep an eye on the length of the post. Longer posts (which require clicking on ‘See More’ for complete view) usually get lesser Likes and Comments. Could be that people are busy reading many posts on their Wall and don’t really like clicking on ‘See More’ to check out the complete post. Optimally work your posts to have maximum visual and textual impact.

#3 Provide special incentives and value

Nobody is interesting in joining your page just because you are running a contest with some cool prizes. Well, that can attract people once but those may not be your real target audience with whom you would have deeper engagement or meaningful conversations.

You need to provide real value to your audience for them to be with you on Facebook. The real value can come from some form of incentives which they get only because they are with you on Facebook. Or there should be some value like getting a sneak preview of your products before release, beta program membership, exclusive announcements or some exclusive value-added content.

With too much information overload from various channels, the attention span of people has reduced in general. So you need to be really creative and thoughtful about delivering maximum value to your audience on Facebook.

#4 Get Insights from Facebook Insights

Facebook Insights is a wonderful tool you need to extensively use to understand your target audience (demographics, locations etc), response to your posts and page performance in terms of Likes and Unlikes and the reach of your posts.

The Insights also tell you performance report for each post in terms of the reach, the engagement ratio and interactions. You can use this information to understand the kind of posts the audience engages well with and what is the time when ‘your target audience’ is more available on Facebook. This will also help you in defining the tone of the posts.


#1 Ignore comments/ questions or Delete Posts

There is a general tendency of brands to remove, hide or ignore negative comments on the pages. It is a strict NO-NO. The recent Starbucks India Social Media disaster was a result of post deletion. 

Yes, negative comments spread faster than positive ones, but this does not mean that you should simply ignore or delete those. That will do more harm than good. Respond to negative comments positively and try and resolve the issue. This can be your excellent opportunity to make a good impression in front of the whole community. Here is my other post about handling negative comments on social media.

Lot of times, people post questions on the walls of the brand pages and those are often unanswered. That creates a very bad impression. To me, it clearly shows lack of care from the brand’s side. Many times, brands post canned responses for the questions or comments but they forget that the audience has become very smart and at the same time, very demanding. People now want personalized attention to their problems and genuine resolution.

#2 Scheduled Posts / In-activity During Crucial Time

If you are not active on social media when your audience is, then well, you can’t be on social media. For instance: If you are managing the Facebook brand page of a popular football team and your social media team is not active on Facebook at the time of a crucial match, you have already lost the social media match. Your scheduled posts cannot be work in such cases. Or if you have a product launch planned and your Facebook page or Twitter account does not even announce the launch, then no amount of paid PR will help you in forming connection with your audience.

People connect on social media for interactions, not to get bombarded with scheduled posts. 

#3 Sell! Sell! Sell!

Again, refrain yourself from selling on Facebook. Don’t be desperate and use Facebook as another advertising medium. You have other mediums for advertising – which are meant for that. Facebook is not that. Use it for interactions, engagement, feedback and conversations – all of this which cannot be achieved through your traditional advertising mediums like billboards or TV.