5 major trends in technology for 2013

this article was originally published on Trak.in

Technology is an ever changing play field where a revolution might happen in the blink of an eye or click of a mouse, so to say. Thereby, a year is a little too long to be talking about. Nevertheless, here are the trends I believe, will change, drive or revolutionize technology and its repercussions in 2013 and beyond.

Downloads7 thumb | Five Major Trends in Technology for 2013

1. Second-Screen goes inevitable

The world that we live in, doesn’t work in isolation anymore. So is true for the different modes of entertainment that we are hooked on to. We update our statuses or tweet while watching a movie on the big screen, or keep browsing on our smartphones while watching our favorite show on TV.

With a recent study claiming that more than 80% of smartphone and tablet owners use these devices while watching TV and 51% of them post on social media about it to connect with others who might beviewing the same show, the time of second screen is here.

In the new year & age we are likely to witness marketers in the search of new and interesting ways of second screen engagement. The importance of the same can be corroborated from the fact that, a recent Nielsen/IAB study found that people who saw a video ad across all “four screens” (computer, smartphone, tablet, TV) correctly recalled the ad 74 percent of the time, an increase from a 50 percent ad recall when they saw the video on TV only.

Hence, second screens not just promise better experience but better results, and a connection that extends from consumer’s drawing room to his pocket and beyond.

2. Data Pile & putting it to use

It’s been a while, since talks have been made and seminars conducted on how the “big data” is the next revolution. With internet completing 30 odd years and spreading its wings everywhere possible, the consumers are providing the companies with tonnes of data all the while. Amidst speculations and more, 2013 might just be the year when these big firms discover how to put the “big-data” they are housing, to good use.

Thorough analysis, targeted information & insightful predictions might just give the consumers some astonishing products or devices, thus making, optimization, prediction, scoring & forecasting, the buzz words.

3. Privacy sees its slow death

Privacy breaches are gradually becoming a norm with Instagram too following the suite. Though, it has been reported that the mishap has costed them a lot of users, privacy might soon be a thing of the past. Facebook has also been accused of changing its terms & conditions off and on.

Moreover, with the number of applications that ask for a lot of access and sharing from the users, seeing proliferation, privacy is bound to suffer. Not just this, there is a group of people who don’t hold privacy that dear and are bending the rules of the game.

However, with privacy at such risk, few of the digital-jamming tools might get to see the light of the day.

4. Good Bye Desktops

Microsoft Windows and Desktops that always went hand in hand seem to now have drifted ways with the latter losing on popularity and the former taking a plunge into the stylish & cool. The Window 8 launch last year didn’t include the traditional desktops in the array of systems. This was seen in the technology circle as a mark of their end.

While in India, though sales are still happening, things have moved from flattening numbers to a decline. In countries like US and other developed ones, 2013 might see the official death of desktops and their being replaced with the trendy All-in-Ones.

5. Acqui-hire the new norm

Many acquisitions that happened in the bygone year, were acqui-hire by nature, that is, the acquiring number not just bought over the company being acquired but the employees were welcomed on board too.

In the world of technology, this has been deemed as new and easy way out to lure, otherwise-difficult- to-hire, amazing talent. When Yahoo acquired a California based start-up OnTheAir, their aim was to foray into the world of mobile all decked up with superb mobile talent rather than really just putting the app to good use.

More such ways of luring new talent or another few interesting acqui-hires might be a part of 2013.

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January 18, 2013 · 3:08 pm

5 Social Media Goof-ups of 2012

This post was originally publish on Trak.in.

Social media enables brands to carry out really personal and one-to-one conversations with their consumers, and that’s what makes it the in-thing. People you have always wanted to reach out to, your customers, with the advent of this media are just a call way.

But, such awesome opportunities bring along lot of trouble as well, if not handled well. With the power being in the hands of the customers, a mistake happening over social media can’t that easily be undone. Result is a tarnished brand image and damage that is beyond repair.

Here we are with 5 such goof-ups that hurt the concerned brands hard, in the year that’s about to pass:

1. Volkswagen India “Vibrator” Ad

Volkswagen India came up with a really innovative advertising stint, called “vibrated” wherein they placed vibration-inducing chips, as a metaphor for excitement that driving brings along. The campaign got lot of eyeballs, and gradually people began commenting & tweeting it out on social media platforms. What seemed to be going quite okay for the Brand’s popularity, turned havoc with a response from the brand to one of the tweets.

 

With many a women quoting the advertising gimmick to be a “vibrator” and nothing really exciting, @volkswagenindia tweeted the following:

Top 5 Remarkable Social Media Goof ups by Indian Brands in 2012!

Things turned ugly, when after receiving not the kind of attention they wanted, the agency/hand chose to delete the tweet. And, then came the famous tweet, which has been touted as the panacea for all such disasters.

Our Volkswagen twitter handle got compromised. We officially distance ourselves from it. We are investigating this issue.

2. Fortis Healthcare Mamma Mia Fiasco

The phrase “Mamma Mia” means my mother. Mamma Mia is also the twitter handle of an initiative by Fortis Healthcare. And their bio reads:

Top 5 Remarkable Social Media Goof ups by Indian Brands in 2012!

The brand was out to celebrate World Breast Feeding Week this August, but they really missed the point and chose a rather outrageous hash tag to do it for them. They called their followers to use the following#AgarMaKaDudhPiaHaiTo and tweet.

And the CONTEST starts! Use #AgarMaKaDudhPiaHaiTo as the hash tag and post creative one liners!! 😀

The brand did receive exciting posts, but none such that could meet the brand’s objectives, for obvious reasons. To add to the fun, people even associated the hash tag with people like Sunny Leone & Rakhi Sawant, and all of it in bad taste. Tweets came in like the ones given below…

#AgarMaKaDudhPiaHaiTo Rakhi Sawant ko Sita ka role dila be!

#AgarMaKaDudhPiaHaiTo Saala Manmohan ji ko bulwa ka dikhao.

#AgarMaKaDudhPiaHaiTo Sunny Leone ko rakhi baand kar..

Finally, they attempted to save it all, with the following post:

Unfortunately our Twitter account was hacked into and the hackers have been tweeting from 1pm till we regained control of our account now !

3. Vishal Gondal’s Audi Joyride

Now, this one cannot be called a classic Social Media goof-up, but the statements made on Twitter and Facebook were very damaging to a brand like Audi!

Vishal Gondal who is the Managing Director, DisneyUTV Digital and a powerful social media influencer at that, gave his Audi Q7 to an authorized Audi service station at Kalina. With the tech savvy that he is, his car had a GPS tracking system[6] installed, which recorded all of the car’s movements.

A notification stating that his car had exceeded the speed limit in the middle of the night, made him aware of the whole thing, on investigation of which he saw that somebody had been driving his car all this while on the roads of Mumbai.

Vishal posted the whole incident on Facebook and Twitter.

Top 5 Remarkable Social Media Goof ups by Indian Brands in 2012!

The news got shared like anything before you know it, to nobody’s surprise, and Audi had a crisis at hand. Audi India failed to respond on time, and a post by this social media influencer went viral. If Audi had intervened in timely manner, much of the damage caused could have easily been diverted.

4. Cool Chef Café

What could have been easily sorted out on Facebook, blew out of proportions on twitter, owing to mishandling of @CoolChefCafe.

Top 5 Remarkable Social Media Goof ups by Indian Brands in 2012!

Kenneth Lobo shared the above image was shared and thereafter, all hell broke loose, and all concerned fellows shared it too. Within no time, the image was everywhere from twitter to facebook.

And what happened after that is history:

Top 5 Remarkable Social Media Goof ups by Indian Brands in 2012!

Top 5 Remarkable Social Media Goof ups by Indian Brands in 2012!

Top 5 Remarkable Social Media Goof ups by Indian Brands in 2012!

5. Samsung India

Clinton Jeff, a blogger from Delhi participated in a Samsung Mob!lers 2012 Program and went to IFA, Berlin as a part of the same. His trip was entirely sponsored by Samsung. Clinton opted to travel as an independent journalist and this where the fuss began. He was not just asked to adorn a Samsung-branded shirt but also promote the company’s products to fellow journalists. To this when he did not comply, his sponsorship was immediately withdrawn, he was left at the show unattended.. This gotreported by news sites and blogs across the world, causing much damage to Samsung.

Nokia made the most of the moment and offered Clinton, to sponsor the rest of his trip. Thereafter, the, the micro-blogging site, Twitter was flooded with tweets carrying the hash tag, #ScumbagSamsung.

However, this one didn’t go too far for Samsung India issued a statement on this one and also apologized to the blogger.

Top 5 Remarkable Social Media Goof ups by Indian Brands in 2012!

Again, Samsung could have averted much damage if they had taken action in time and but by the time they did apologize, much harm was already caused.

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Steps to effective Online Reputation Management

Reputation Management, when simply put, can be defined as the process of monitoring a brand’s presence over different media and gauging how customers feel about it.

It majorly attempts to bridge the gap between a company’s self-perception to its image in the world outside. When the same process happens, with focus on a brand’s online presence, it is termed as Online Reputation Management or in short ORM

In the present times, when it isn’t really a big deal for any consumer, in any corner of the world to make his/her voice heard, which can defame or popularize the brand, a good reputation online is one of the keys for a business to gain and retain customers.

Hence, opting for Online Reputation Management puts you in control of things and enables creation of a desired image. However, it is important to have an effective strategy in going about the same so that you have the results to your benefit.

There are three broad stages to ORM:

  1. Build – A positive presence by promoting websites whose content you control
  2. Monitor –Be on constant look-out for the content that could be of damage
  3. Repair – Counter negative with the positive

How to Effectively Manage your Brands Online Reputation?

 

A large chunk of online reputation management is about getting involved in the conversations, framing them and wherever possible tweaking them to terms that suit you.

Following are some of the ways which can get you the online presence you always dreamt of:

  • Good optimization of web properties under your control. This will drive down the negative content, if any.
  • Nothing works better than positive reviews. Manage review websites well.
  • Submitting online press releases to authoritative websites in order to promote brand presence and suppress negative content.
  • Be in good terms with influencers in your industry as they come really handy in saving grace.
  • Gathering mentions in highly-ranked websites on search engines.
  • Monitor everything that is being said about you, more so on social networks.
  • Monitor trends and get involved in them, for more people see you in a positive light and talking intelligent stuff, a critical voice raised off and on will go ignored. You should be everywhere your customers expect to see you.
  • Respond to social mentions, if possible, remove any content that is incorrect and issue defamation warnings as well, if need be.
  • Proactively respond to public criticism as quickly as possible, and avoid resolving the whole thing on record.

Further, there are a few tools that can take you to the places where all the action is happening:

1. BrandsEye

How to Effectively Manage your Brands Online Reputation?It tracks all online conversations about a brand, event, campaign or individual and is used to identify real-time strategic risks and opportunities.

The process is fully automated to ensure no on-going time investment is required and this, and offers brands real insight into how they are perceived, which opportunities to embrace and how to manage crisis situations. It is also used for competitive analysis plus checking out what’s going on with your competitors.

2. Brandwatch

How to Effectively Manage your Brands Online Reputation?

It is a Social Media monitoring system that summarizes what’s being said on the web about brands, people and products. It is an online application where users define keywords (brands, topics, people names, products) and get access to each and every mention of their keywords which they can analyze.

3. Radian 6

How to Effectively Manage your Brands Online Reputation?

It is a monitoring tool for all the brand mentions happening all across the social media landscape. The two attributes that make the tool really efficient are its coverage and the ability to integrate. It gathers data for analysis from umpteen number of blogs, facebook API, Twitter, etc.

Also, it can be easily integrated with applications like Salesforce.com and Analytics like Webtrends, Omniture and Google Analytics. It is a kind of complete package for brands involved in corporate marketing. Many services of Radian 6 include insights, Engagement Console, Summary Dashboard, Social Hub, Marketing Cloud etc. All of the data captured herein is real-time.

This article was originally published on Trak.in.

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Social Media Influencers: Find them here!

The world of social media is on an all-time changing spree, what works today, may not work tomorrow and might be totally outdated the day after. With around 93% of the all the brands that exist, riding the social media bandwagon and attempting to make their voices being heard, clutter is meant to be.

Every big brand today and at times not-so big ones too, boast of millions of fans and followers supposedly hooked on to their pages. However, when everybody is talking to everybody who’s listening it all?

Read on to know more!

The post was originally published on http://www.socialsamosa.com.

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Facebook Removing Cover Photos on Users’ Timeline for Violations!

If you are one such social media enthusiast, who cares more about how your profile looks on a social networking site, than how you look in real life, here is something that might just freak you out. Many of the Facebook users (individuals and brands alike), got a shocker when they woke up one fine day to realize that their Cover Photo is no more!

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Of late, different social media forums have seen users complaining removal of their Cover Photoovernight. Since, there has been no announcement, per se, regarding any change in Terms of Service, the reason why these photos are been pulled is not really known. However, what many deem to be the culprit is the following message that appears, when one attempts to upload a new cover photo in lieu of the removed one:

“Pick a unique photo from your life to feature at the top of your timeline. Note: This space is not meant for banner ads or other promotions. Please don’t use content that is commercial, promotional, copyright-infringing or already in use on other people’s covers.”

Hence, it is being speculated that it is a move on Facebook’s part to strictly pull out the images that tended to be promotional in nature.

The issue appears to be a move by Facebook to aggressively crack down on images that are considered promotional. Though, the good thing is that the picture is not deleted, but just removed from the cover position, what is of concern is that the user is not informed or warned of it, and learns it only once the picture is gone!

Reactions on Twitter, of those at the suffering end, enable the conclusion this seems to be happening a little too frequently in the recent past. There have been claims from the users that the photos they had been using were their own and had no promotional content as such, the majority of them had been the ones that had in them some kind of promotion, ambassadors, bill-boards, etc.

This alertness from Facebook’s end has made the users reminiscent of the times when a few brand pages had been banned for using Facebook’s property to bring out their inorganic growth and run contests.

There were a few guidelines Facebook had brought to light, at the time of introduction of Cover Photos, which said a strict No-No to the following:

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”

All cover images are public, which means anyone visiting your Page, will be able to see the image you choose. Covers must not be false, deceptive or misleading, and must not infringe on third parties’ intellectual property. You may not encourage or incentivize people to upload your cover image to their personal timelines.

Hence, if you think there is anything you are violating, rush and DIY (Do it Yourself), before Facebook takes the pain for you.

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10 Most Popular Online Videos Indians watched in 2012!

It is that time and age in the world of digital, when the popularity of a video is determined by its virality, the number of people not just viewing it, but sharing it to make their friends a party. Statistics say that around 4 billion videos are being viewed every day over YouTube, and the number reached to a trillion in the last year.

With all that data it might seem a little easy to garner all those billions of views, but with around 60 hours of video every minute, or an hour of video every second, being uploaded on YouTube ,it is not really a cakewalk to rise above the clutter. Also, in the absence of a copy-book recipe to making a viral video, you never know what really works and what doesn’t. Sometimes it’s the quirky moves, at times the peppy music, often the content that tickles your funny bone and rarely even something that’s quite bizarre.

The year 2012, as it wraps up, also saw umpteen videos going popular. There were some that were geography specific, while the others that broke all barriers and became unanimously the viewers’ favorite.

Here we are with five Indian videos that attracted maximum views from the audiences within India :

10 Most Popular Online Videos Indians watched in 2012!

(Note: We have deliberately not included movie trailers and songs, despite the fact that some of them had more views than the videos listed here, because they don’t really qualify, since truly viral videos are ones that sell solely on content and sharing).

Top 5 most Viral Indian Videos of 2012

1. Gana wala song: the Q-tiyatic version

This parody of the famous number from the movie Student of The Year got really popular after it was uploaded on the 15th of October 2012 by a production house called theviralfever.com, that is known for creating such viral content in the past as well.

The video today stands tall at close to 1.6 million views.

2. Airtel “jo mera hai wo tera hai, Jo tera hai wo mera”

This jingle of another popular advertisement for Airtel created by Taproot India was released at the opportune time of Friendship’s Day. It got quite popular amongst youngsters and even was downloaded in big numbers to be put up as ring tones.

The video now has roughly 1.4 million views as of today.

3. Video of Guwahati mob molesting girl shames police into action

This real footage of a very shameful incident that happened with a girl in Guwahati was put up by NDTV on the 13th of July. The footage was said to have been captured by a local reporter who was present at the scene. The incident was a real shocker and left Indians ashamed. Around 13 major culprits were identified in this case.

The video has being viewed over 1.1 million times.

4. Inbox short film

This cute love story, filmed by Nalaya Iyakunar was a hit. After being uploaded on YouTube on 4th of June 2012, it managed to attract around a million views. The movie is originally in Tamil.

5. Imitating Harsha Bhogle, Ravi Shastri, Ian Chappel, Tony Greig & Sachin Tendulkar

In a country where cricket is religion, such awesome mimicry of top commentators had to be a rage. The video was just uploaded on 22nd of November 2012, and within less than 15 days, it has already been hit by a million viewers mark. The name of this software engineer is still not known, but he sure has a great talent, probably one of the best!

Here is a one fact about popular Indian Videos – Kolaveri Di which was uploaded close to year back has become one of the most watched Youtube video of all time. It has garnered close to 65 millions views till date!

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Additionally, there are a few other videos that were though not made in India, but got really popular with the Indian viewers:

Top 5 Global Videos popular with Indians

1. The Ganganam Style

This popular number and its video knows no bounds, Americas or Asia, it has taken the masses by storm. After being released in July 2012, by the Korean musician PSY[14], the video had over 879 million views over Youtube, till yesterday.

In September this year, it entered the Guinness Book of World Records, for the most “liked” video over YouTube, and gradually surpassed Justin Bieber’s “Baby”, to be named as the most watched video as well. Additionally, with leading diplomats and political leaders touting the song as “force of world peace”, the song is a massive hit.

2. Dumb ways to Die

Dumb Ways to Die is a public service announcement campaign by Metro Trains in Melbourne, Australia to promote rail safety. Created my McCann Melbourne, the video features different cute characters attempting to end their lives in the most stupid of ways possible.

The video received 2.7 million views within two days of being uploaded on 14th November 2012. Within two weeks the video had attracted around a 100 parodies and almost everybody who has watched it, hasn’t stopped humming. It has notched up over 31 million views till date.

3. A Dramatic Surprise on a Quiet Square

This video was uploaded on the 11th of April 2012 and has around 39 million views as of today. The event marked the launch of the famous TNT channel in Belgium. To put forth the idea, that TNT knows drama well, they had set up a “button” in the middle of a not so happening street, which read, “Push to add drama”. The moment anybody pushed the button, there was a lot of action. It is closing in on 40 million views…

4. The Last

Another flick in the series of light hearted ones by Wong Fu productions. The movie is a simple romantic one. After its release on 24th October 2012, the video got really popular with Asian audiences, and now stands at around 4 million views.

5. Extremely Scary Ghost Elevator Prank in Brazil

This one is the hottest and latest of all. Released just last week on 26th of November 2012, the video already has over 41 million views. This is about a really spooky and scary prank that’s being played over people of Brazil. Reports even claim that post this, people are taking stairs and avoiding the elevators.

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Social Commerce: Set for a fresh start

social commerce

With recent statistics claiming that as many as 90% of the consumers trust recommendations of peers, when they set out to make a purchase, and just 14% count on the advertisements, there is no skepticism on the notion that social commerce is here to stay.

However, recent performance of Facebook stores of many a brands, which led to their ultimate shut-down, has made the marketers re-think and make better use of Social Commerce Phenomenon, as it plays a key role in helping products move to the consideration set of the consumers from mere awareness.

Revenues from the markets of social commerce are slated to reach approximately $30 billion by the year 2015. This can be attributed to consumers spending a lot of time on various social networks, brands becoming more conscious of their social media presence and advent of innovative apps and tools like geo-location shopping.

Why Social Commerce?

  • Improves conversation rates as well as average order value for online retailers.
  • Provides brands an opportunity to create new revenue streams by monitoring content over the media.
  • Enables trust building with the aid of reviews, ratings and interactions.
  • Enhance shopping experience of consumers and makes this inherent social activity more fun.
  • Gives due attention to concepts of social-proof and re-assurance

What can get it Rolling?

  1. Being multi-social: Using suitable platforms for various steps in the shopping ladder rather than sticking to Facebook. For instance, twitter is good for service, Pinterest for product display and purchase, YouTube for visibility and awareness, and Facebook for interaction.
  2. Creating social currency: Demand for reviews and feedback from happy customers, for value and trust garnered from them is irreplaceable and more valuable than any other kind of popularity.
  3. Personalizing: Let customers see what is on their friend’s wishlist, what did they buy, and enable shopping with them too.
  4. Not ignoring mobile: Research proves that more than a quarter of visitors to retailer websites originated from mobile devices, led by the famous iPad, which accounts for almost 10% of all traffic.

Further, a seamless integration will go a long way in enhancing popularity of social commerce, as presently, what makes the experience annoying for consumers is the moment they are ready to buy, they are directed to some other site to continue with the transaction. Hence, brands that will smoothen away the journey of consumers from awareness to recommendation to purchase will walk away with lower costs and all boosted up sales volumes.

The key objective should remain to create social capital and increase social connections between potential customers and those within their networks who have a natural inclination towards recommending specific products.

Recent Industry Developments that can give S-Commerce a kick!

Popularity of Pinterest:  Pinterest has known to drive more sales and more new customers than Facebook, with more unique visits. Here, users are in discovery mode, looking for the best, most interesting products and designs the web has to offer. Also, the “board” format makes it a convenient listing and showcasing platform. To add to this, with a majority of platform’s users being the fairer sex, it seems to be the ultimate shopping destination.

Amazon Pages:  They have picked up the most popular features from Facebook and Pinterest and are giving brands an official platform to mitigate cannibalization from resellers. Further, with brands using Amazon Pages and Posts having access to the service of Amazon Analytics, which will help them gauge the “reach, views, considerations, and purchase lift” of their Page and Post activities.

Facebook’s Want Button:  This is one of the most highly-awaited features from facebook. Once introduced, it would allow users to add products to a virtual wish list, and share product purchases, charitable donations or items purchased within Facebook games to profile pages and Timeline.

The article was originally published at www.socialsamosa.com.

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