You CAN Judge A Facebooker By Their Profile Picture

You’ve heard the saying “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover”, but the truth is you really CAN. If I see a book with the title “Ravenous Love Affair” with a picture of a Fabio lookalike feeding strawberries to a desperate housewife, I know that’s not the book for me. I have no interest in romance novels so I don’t even need to pick it up. Although I might be pleasantly surprised by the superb writing and nail biting story line, I will never know because I wont touch it.

This same type of prejudgment occurs when confirming my Facebook friends. A picture is worth a thousand words. You may be unaware of this fact, but your profile picture speaks to your friends and gives them an insight into who you are. Below you will find a list of profile pics that persuade me to ignore, block and delete Facebook friends.

No Profile Picture

No photo or as I like to call it, the white Facebook shadow should always be avoided. It was brought to my attention that several individuals with no photo and limited profile information are actually hackers and spread computer viruses. No profile photo is a potential threat to my computer. I prefer to add those who have photos of their children, favorite books, movies, animals, etc. rather than no photo at all.

The Fake Profile Picture

I really don’t like it when people have pictures of other people as their profile picture. I’m not talking about photos of celebrities. Some people take photos of other people and try to pass them off as themselves. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve see profiles with the same photo or stumbled upon these generic pictures in google images. This type of behavior is deceitful. If I can’t trust you to be honest about who you are…I can’t trust anything you say.

Inappropriate Profile Pictures

This is pretty self explanatory, but everyone has a different opinion about the boundaries of inappropriateness. Half naked photos and images of you passed out with a bottle of Tequila in your hands isn’t professional. If you use Facebook to promote your business and network with other professionals, you should consider creating a separate page if yours is a little to racy for the business world.

In the end, I like to see who I’m talking to. It’s hard enough to form a connection with someone you’ve never met. A poor profile picture or lack there of will only widen the disconnect. Select your profile pictures wisely and let your friends see who you really are =)

How do stock markets work

Stock markets, in spite of all technical analysis and number crunching, are driven by what the masses think about a stock, or how they value the same. The way these valuations take place based on incomplete information, is often hilarious. This cartoon depicts how stock markets often are driven by wrong or misinterpreted information that gets magnified as it spreads through social networks.

Facebook Friend Request DOs and DON’Ts

DO: Write A Personal Message To Your New Potential Friend

Tell them why you are choosing to friend them. Is it because you are in a common Facebook group? Did you go to grade school together? Did you read something interesting on their blog and decide to make a connection? Why do you want to be friends? For some, it’s pretty awkward to get a friend request from someone you’ve never seen before. A personal message will put your friend’s mind at ease.

DONT: Send A Message About Your Business Opportunity

There are a few reasons you shouldn’t do this…

1. You present yourself as a salesman who is only interested in forming a connection to market your business. This defeats the entire purpose of the “FRIEND” request because you make it very clear that you aren’t interested in a friendship.

2. You don’t know if your friend is interested in what you have to offer. Keep information about your business on your Facebook page so that they can have the option to view your opportunity.

3. Network marketers within the same company are sending pitches to each other about their business. I find it highly insulting when people friend me with a message about the company I’m already involved with. If you take the time to get to know your friends instead of being in such a hurry to tell them all about your company, you would know that they are already a fellow associate/business partner. This is the perfect example of why you should never mention your business from jump.

DO: Compliment Your Potential Friends

Everybody likes a good compliment. Make sure they are genuine and and feel personal.

DON’T: Include A Link

Links don’t work in friend requests. Wait until you are actually friends before sending links because they are not click-able in friend requests and look like spam.

DO: Provide A Personal Signature

Add a personal touch to your message by adding a signature. “Take care”, “Have a great day,” and “Best wishes” are great signatures that your potential friends will appreciate.

DON’T: Use Personalization Variables

Personalization variables don’t work on Facebook. You can’t type !Firstname_fix!, $$NAME$$ or anything of that nature and expect it to work. Take the few extra seconds to type in the name of the person you are requesting to be friends.

10 Success Mantras for Viral Marketing using Social Media

By definition, social media marketing describes the use of social networks, online communities, blogs, wikis or any other online collaborative media for marketing. In recent times, this has been used extensively to market content (blog) and products, even those with B2B utility. Commonly this had been achieved using social media like Facebook, MySpace, Orkut, Digg, Stumbleupon, Flicker, Reditt, Twitter, Delicious and lots of other upcoming new sites like Yahoo Buzz, Mixx, Fark, Shoutwire, eBaumsworld and others (e.g SWOM, the latest kid on the block). So how does one use the power of social network to market one’s  content or product? Following these few steps may ensure success of your marketing efforts.

  1. Don’t launch your product first. Spend time to understand the dynamics of the social network which you want to use before using it. The dynamics of Digg are very different from Stumbleupon. So the same strategy won’t work in all places.
  2. Create a network on that media before using the same. Always introduce yourself to your network. This creates a long term benefit. Also collaborators are crucial for your success. Identification of these collaborators are extremely important before you launch your product.
  3. Decide your media based on the product which you want to sell. Not all kinds of content/products are suitable for all the social media. Research has indicated that multimedia content is more preferred in sites like Stumbleupon, Facebook and MySpace, while information (textual) is more preferred in sites like Digg and Reditt. Flicker for instance is only suitable for photos.
  4. Interact regularly with your customer segments. Degree of personalization will impact the success of your marketing efforts. A humanitarian approach always speaks volumes and increases trust of the consumers. A relationship is beneficial in the long run, as then he will promote your product (promotion without investment and may start a chain of promotion)
  5. A unique strategy is always crucial for your success. Remember, everyone is using the same tools which you are using. How can you make a difference when you are doing the same thing which others are doing? Decide on a long term goal before focusing on the short term implementation necessities.
  6. Ensure that the fans of your product can promote a message themselves to their social network in multiple online social media venues using WEB 2.0. These buttons must be highly visible to actually prompt them to do it, and the process must be very easy.
  7. Never SPAM! Your customers can always see what you are promoting in your group/fan page. A no reaction from them may mean they are not interested in this particular offering. Overdoing may irritate them enough to leave your network altogether.
  8. Remember “Viral marketing” based around “online conversations“. Social media marketing cannot be controlled by you. But try to encourage user participation and dialogue so that the chain can start. A badly designed social media marketing campaign can potentially backfire on you.
  9. Respect your partners and customers. Always remember they may be seeing through your intentions, even if they may not express that clearly, if you are trying to tweak around. Trust is crucial for your success.
  10. You must learn to collaborate with others and be transparent about it with your partners. Always be clear about the benefits the relationship will have on both. Both are here for a professional reason only. Be sure both the collaborators are clear about that, to ensure a long term relationship.

Following these simple steps may do wonders for your social media campaign. Let me know how you fare.

Google launches Google Prank Suite

Many of us may not be knowing it yet. Google has launched the perfect product for the huge fan base following the technology giant. Ever heard of Google romance?  No its not about all the stuff most of the Orkut users try to do or even the desperate GTalk users who try their hand in cyber-world. This must have swayed technology enthusiasts on how Google decides to step into the pre-matrimony game.

For my readers who are still wondering, it is the “Google way to Organize World’s Courtship Information with Google Romance“. Sounds big? Google announced on 1st April the launch of Google Romance™, a new product that offers users both a psychographic matchmaking service and all-expenses-paid dates for couples who agree to experience contextually relevant advertising throughout the course of their evening.

Are you swayed by the news, on how the giant which changed the way information availibility is made to the user, can impact the industry? With the possible track on all the IMs which take place on GTalk, this sure was something that struck me as having tremendous potential, using social network analysis. I for one was all out thinking of the limitless possibilities Google’s new product may offer to its ever increasing fan base.

But know what? You’ll be even more swayed to know it was a prank by Google for its fans on April the 1st, 2006. Which company cares so much about its consumers so as to create an April Fool prank? None. And there you have it. Google stands aloft amongst all technology comopanies in the way it focuses on the customers. Care for the customers is a winning strategy that succeeds always.

Google sure has a long history of playing pranks with its fan base. The firm “leaks” news which delights the fans to no extent, the latest in 2010 and few such delightful surprises are the following:

  • Store anything on Google Docs (even multimedia)
  • YouTube ASCII video filter
  • Standard Voicemail Mode for Google voice
  • Google Annotations Gallery
  • Reader Advantage Program

Many of us don’t actually realize the great buzz marketing behind Google’s pranks.By increasing consumer intrigue, the company is actually increasing brand awareness and brand recall, besides fueling the core of its business, the search engine and email, when users scurry the net to know more of these pranks and mail friends excitedly starting off a chain reaction and create a larger buzz.

Google should now launch “Google Prank Suite” on popular demand from its ever increasing fan base. So Google, what’s next?

The 7 Ps of services marketing

Services are very different from products. So the marketing concepts need to be revisited while marketing a service. Services can range from financial services provided by the banks, technology services provided by the IT company, food and ambiance as a service provided by restaurants or even a blog where an author provides a service (information presentation, interesting reading etc) to his audience. Services marketing are dominated by the 7 Ps of marketing namely Product, Price,  Place, Promotion, People, Process and Physical evidence. The 7 P framework is one of the most popular framework for deciding a marketing strategy, right from strategy formulation to actual implementation.

7_Ps_Services_marketing_mix

The following form the marketing mix for services marketing, the first 4 P’s being the core and the next 3 P’s being the extended marketing mix.

  • Product is your core offering.This is “the thing” that will fulfill the needs of your customer. If your product is faulty, every thing else fails. The attributes of the product, vis-a-vis the attributes offered by competing products and substitutes, are important in estimating the competitive scenario for the marketing strategy formulation.
  • Price has a lot of impact on the service buyer’s satisfaction level. Often, paying a higher price makes a customer more satisfied. Price is often considered a proxy for quality and vice-versa. What is important to note that services being all the more intangible, the price becomes an important factor for the actual service consumption to happen, after service awareness and service acknowledgement.
  • Place often offers a different side of value (utility) to the customer. Who would want to travel 10 miles to have a regular dinner, even if that is priced very competitively and has a super quality? Services are often chosen for their place utility. Closer to the customer means higher probability of purchase. Place utility is important to evaluate, for strategizing on the other 6 Ps.
  • Promotion plays a role in the perception the possible target audience may have about your service. There has to be a fit between the promotion and the positioning. Promotion leads to service (brand) recognition and further establishes a proxy to evaluate quality of services based by potential customers. Many different promotional tools are often used like internet advertisement, special events, endorsements which happen out of the store or in-store merchandising like branded boxes from Custom Boxes Now, plastic dump bins and digital signage.
  • People are crucial in service delivery. The best food may not seem equally palatable if the waitress is in a sour mood. A smile always helps. Intensive training for your human resources on how to handle customers and how to deal with contingencies, is crucial for your success.
  • Processes are important to deliver a quality service. Services being intangible, processes become all the more crucial to ensure standards are met with. Process mapping ensures that your service is perceived as being dependable by your target segment.
  • Physical evidence affects the customer’s satisfaction. Often, services being intangible, customers depend on other cues to judge the offering. This is where physical evidence plays a part. Would you like eating at a joint where the table is greasy or the waitresses and cooks look untidy and wear a stained apron? Surely you would evaluate the quality of your experience through proxies such as these.

Services marketing is that elusive concept which stays incomplete without a thorough understanding of 7 Ps. These form the critical success factors for any service as evaluated by a possible customer.

Another P which has grown in significance in Services Marketing is the 8th P, namely Productivity and Quality, more details of which can be found in our article “The 8 Ps of Services Marketing

Do let us know if you liked our article or if you have any questions.

Have you read our article on the 4 P’s on Social Marketing?

Also did you read our article on the The 4 P’s of Marketing – The Marketing Mix strategies?

These articles are highly popular posts in our educative blog.

How to manage a Lean Supply Chain

Today the buzz word in supply chain management is a lean supply chain. Question is, although lean supply chain offers many benefits, it has its own set of management challenges. Lean supply chain management is not only for the manufacturing companies but for any setups which need to streamline processes by eliminating non-value added activities.

Firms have a number of areas in their supply chain where wastes such as time, labor, materials and inventory, may be identified. To create a leaner supply chain companies must examine each area of the supply chain and eliminate these wastes. With a lean supply chain, manufacturing processes can be improved to reduce resources wastage while maintaining a high level of operational performance. A few tips are suggested for managing a lean supply chain effectively.

  • Focus on a clear cut long term objective. Try and analyze how each waste category (time, labor, materials and inventory) form a barrier to meet that objective and strategize changes in implementation. A “meeting the numbers” game may not be wise.
  • Cost reduction is the mantra for lean supply chain success. Identify processes which tend to take more resources than expected or form a bottleneck.
  • Change management is critical for your success. Educating employees and getting their confidence is a crucial factor. Always remember, they implement your strategy. Unless they are convinced of the benefits of the change, your strategies will fail.
  • Check you warehousing. Most of the slacks happen there. Loading up of inventory is a sign of added costs.
  • Logistics is a crucial player in your success. Poor shipment can lead to delays in fulfillment of customer orders and hence lower customer satisfaction. This can kill your business. Ensure that the transportation is in place.

Lean supply chains are the need of the day to ensure that the firm achieves higher profitability without losing out on quality or performance. But the risks of disturbing the organization processes are there, and so the managers have to be appreciative of the factors at stake.

can you please help me out with SU & RT from these links?
http://business-fundas.com/2010/a-guide-to-using-facebook-gifts-2/
Feel free to send me ur links when you need a promo (other than Digg)