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Web Influence

Social Media ROI becomes important

Social Media ROI is a rather complex concept, I’ve observed. Unlike more direct forms of marketing, its indicators may not include actual sales. This has resulted in a lot of skepticism about its impact and hence relevance.

With Social Media, you can touch your stars. I wrote to my favorite writer, I’m ‘following’ my favorite actors and I know what the politicians I hate are up to now. I’m also a follower of the Dell blog, the retail chains I ‘like’ and the events I’m ‘attending’. Truth be told, Shoppers Stop and Bingo! Chips are as big stars to me as any actor. The fact that when I comment on its Facebook page saying a particular brand of clothing wasn’t available, Shoppers Stop replies informing me of the outlets it is available at, is strangely reassuring and encouraging. And I’m not going to deny the sudden high of having Shahrukh Khan (twitter) reply to my question on Twitter.

Which is all great and all, but how are Shah Rukh and Bingo! (Or Lays) profiting from this? Writing to SRK on Twitter is no assurance that I’m going to be watching Ra 1.

Well, they’re not. Not monetarily, anyway (even if sales do increase, but it’s impossible to relate that to any one cause). But Social Media Marketing is great PR, even if that is a slight contradiction in terms. Which means ROI needs to be mentioned in nontraditional ways. Fitting, since Social Media Marketing is nontraditional.

Social Media ROI is most important when it comes to actually measuring non-quantitative indicators like the audience reactions to new plans, satisfaction with customer service and referring to the brand as an expert on a particular concept or area of service. A few thousand people who ‘like’ your retail chain/restaurant/bookstore come online everyday and tell you what they think about you, what they want from you and how they will respond to a new t-shirt collection/event you’re introducing, and who they’d rather have performing there – everything you want to know, really.

ROI goes past money, here. It can actually affect the number of people who like your brand enough to buy from you.

Metrics (Measures) in social network analysis (Part 2)

Individual-level Density
The degree a respondent’s ties know one another/ proportion of ties among an individual’s nominees. Network or global-level density is the proportion of ties in a network relative to the total number possible (sparse versus dense networks).

Flow betweenness centrality
The degree that a node contributes to sum of maximum flow between all pairs of nodes (not that node).

Eigenvector centrality
A measure of the importance of a node in a network. It assigns relative scores to all nodes in the network based on the principle that connections to nodes having a high score contribute more to the score of the node in question.

Local Bridge
An edge is a local bridge if its endpoints share no common neighbors. Unlike a bridge, a local bridge is contained in a cycle.

Path Length
The distances between pairs of nodes in the network. Average path-length is the average of these distances between all pairs of nodes.

Prestige
In a directed graph prestige is the term used to describe a node’s centrality. “Degree Prestige”, “Proximity Prestige”, and “Status Prestige” are all measures of Prestige.

Radiality
Degree an individual’s network reaches out into the network and provides novel information and influence.

Reach
The degree any member of a network can reach other members of the network.
Structural cohesion. The minimum number of members who, if removed from a group, would disconnect the group.

Structural equivalence
Refers to the extent to which nodes have a common set of linkages to other nodes in the system. The nodes don’t need to have any ties to each other to be structurally equivalent.
Structural hole Static holes that can be strategically filled by connecting one or more links to link together other points. Linked to ideas of social capital: if you link to two people who are not linked you can control their communication.

Metrics (Measures) in social network analysis: (Part 1)

Betweenness:
The extent to which a node lies between other nodes in the network. This measure takes into account the connectivity of the node’s neighbors, giving a higher value for nodes which bridge clusters. The measure reflects the number of people who a person is connecting indirectly through their direct links.

Bridge
An edge is said to be a bridge if deleting it would cause its endpoints to lie in different components of a graph.

Centrality
This measure gives a rough indication of the social power of a node based on how well they “connect” the network. “Betweenness”, “Closeness”, and “Degree” are all measures of centrality.

Centralization
The difference between the number of links for each node divided by maximum possible sum of differences. A centralized network will have many of its links dispersed around one or a few nodes, while a decentralized network is one in which there is little variation between the number of links each node possesses.

Closeness
The degree an individual is near all other individuals in a network (directly or indirectly). It reflects the ability to access information through the “grapevine” of network members. Thus, closeness is the inverse of the sum of the shortest distances between each individual and every other person in the network.

Clustering coefficient
A measure of the likelihood that two associates of a node are associates themselves. A higher clustering coefficient indicates a greater ‘cliquishness’.

Cohesion
The degree to which actors are connected directly to each other by cohesive bonds. Groups are identified as ‘cliques’ if every individual is directly tied to every other individual, ‘social circles’ if there is less stringency of direct contact, which is imprecise, or as structurally cohesive blocks if precision is wanted.

Degree
The count of the number of ties to other actors in the network. This may also be known as the “geodesic distance”.

(Source: Wikipedia.com)

Website Audit: SEO Measurable Parameters – Part 1

Converting a lead is never an easy job for the sales person in any industry with no 100% guaranteed results and even if you guarantee people will come up with a link saying that “No one can guarantee results” how come you? But still the industry is getting more and more clients with great potential. If you are thinking of an industry that would best match with above phrases, yes you are right it is SEO industry.

The first process that most of the SEOs would do is carry out a simple audit in the website to understand its indexing status, link popularity, traffic stats, rank etc.
Once the above process is completed an in-depth analysis will be carried out in the website. This is a list of suggestions to make the website search engine friendly.

Website Design: An effective SEO audit would start with analyzing the website design to find whether the design is search engine friendly i.e.: all the links, content, images etc are search engine crawlable.

URL Structure: The process starts from identifying the canonicalisation in the website. Then this would lead to the URL structure analysis to find whether the website URL is search engine friendly. If this is not the case, we need to make sure that we optimize the URL structure targeting the keywords.

Niche Specific: The advanced audit process includes analyzing the products displayed in an ecommerce website. This includes competitive analysis in pricing, products, coupons and more. This tends to vary based on the website niche and target. A detailed product audit includes the analysis on the navigation path, images, content, pricing, reviews etc. In case of a travel website this would vary to analysis over a booking process etc. These suggestions are vital which play a major role in the website conversion.

The above details are some of the examples how an SEO based website audit will be carried out. This is mainly focused to ensure,
• Search Engine Friendliness
• Conversion Rate Improvement

These points will go a long way in ensuring that the SEO campaign is successful.

Are we in Public domain or Private domain on social networks?

Social networking websites like MySpace, Facebook, and Bebo are all over the internet and today’s youth are spending a lot of time using these sites to make friends and does time pass.
How is public life changed by social technology? How the properties of meddled
publics like social network sites different from unmeddled publics? We have to explore the social dynamics of meddled public life in order to help marketers understand their role in socializing.

The difficulty:
It is difficult to define what is public and what is private. Especially in technology circles, these terms are seen as two sides of same coin. A more liberal definition suggests allowing the two terms to sit at opposite ends of a pole, giving us the ability to judge just how public or private a particular event or place is. Unfortunately this too seems ill equipped to handle the disruption of meddling technology. What it means to be public or private is quickly changing every moment.

Today’s youth are being socialized into a society complicated by shifts in the public and private. New social technologies have altered the underlying structure of social interaction and information dispersal. They are embracing this change. Meanwhile, most adults are frightened. They do not understand the cultural shifts that are taking place and as is always the case, they don’t like or understand the happenings.

This leaves educationists in a peculiar dilemma. More conservative educationists view social technologies as a product of the evil, which corrupts and destroys youth.

Their turn a blind eye to the happenings and hope that the moral panics and chaos that surround the social technologies will just disappear. A third group of educationists are emerging – those who believe that it is essential to understand and embrace the new social technologies so as to guide youth through the difficult situation prevalent at present. This path is tricky because it requires educationists to let go of their pre-existing assumptions about how the world works. Furthermore, as youth are far more flexible at adapting to newer technologies through which these changes are taking place, educationists must learn from their students in order to help them work through the challenges that they face.

Educationists have a very powerful role to play in helping smooth the cultural transition that is taking place. We just hope that they take on the issue with all force.

How is social networking advertisement targeted?

Sites focused on shared interests allow advertisers to better target their messages.

HIGHER COSTS

According to itLinkz figures, advertisers are paying more each time their ads are viewed on his site than on more general social networks. Advertisers are paying double-digit figures for every 1,000 times their ad is viewed. MySpace‘s average charge per 1,000 views is considerably less than $1, according to an August eMarketer study citing press reports. The only question is: How can I get more ad inventory and can I lock that rate in for a year?
The other aspect fueling targeted sites is privacy. Some users are wary of posting on the larger sites because they don’t want their boss, a college admissions officer, or relative finding pictures or posts they would rather keep for friends’ eyes only. Because they reach smaller audiences, targeted sites have less exposure than a major online destination such as MySpace.

PRIVACY TOOLS

Social networks are also satisfying this need by providing tools that allow users to select who sees content. The big networks, such as MySpace, have adopted limited privacy controls. (MySpace, for example, allows users to keep their entire profile private.) However, the newer social networking tools and platforms such as Vox have more targeted controls, allowing users to choose who in their vast network sees particular information.

Adesso Systems, which creates business and consumer Web applications, has built a “Tubes” networking and document sharing platform. The downloadable software allows users to segment their social network into as many groups as they want and then send information or files only to that group. For example, a user could have a Tubes toolbar on their computer with a folder for family, a folder for friends, a folder for a specific group of close co-workers, and then another folder for view by everyone in the office. When someone wants to share a photo, document, e-mail or other file with the group, he or she just drags it into the respective tube.

Reasons for the more targeted approach to social networking:

One is the sheer popularity of sites such as MySpace and Friendster. As those sites have expanded and become among the Internet’s most trafficked, some users and potential users have grown wary about exposing themselves to so many people. Some users would rather connect with people with whom they share common interests, such as hobbies or professional associations, other than knowing somebody who knows somebody who is listed as a MySpace friend.

SOME SUCCESSES
Demand for more specific social networks, and the resulting targeted sites, is a natural outgrowth of MySpace and Friendster’s popularity, the inevitable reaction to when something gets too big? Leave for a smaller, more personal experience.

Dozens of such targeted sites have taken root in the past several years with varying degrees of success. Among the most popular is LinkedIn, a site with 9 million members focused on helping people further their career through professional networking.

Fuzzster is a social network for pet lovers; Yub is a site for shopaholics; Model Mayhem, a network for models and photographers; and Mog, a network for music lovers, as just some of the networks now catering to specific interests.

There are financial reasons fueling the targeting as well. Advertisers are expected to spend $1.9 billion on social networks by 2010, up from $280 million in 2006.

Saving of employers resources on advertisement for jobs:

Many business-networking sites also post jobs on their sites. So, you get one more online option to look out for jobs, i.e. in addition to the job portals. Online networking also helps you to build relationships before you can actually ask for a job. And that too without facing the recruiter. It is always better to break the ice in the virtual world before meeting in the real world. This is particularly beneficial to people who are somewhat apprehensive about talking to strangers.

Many of the recruiters also use networking sites for finding out potential employees. In an interview, there is always a chance of the candidate lying about his capabilities, though, the availability of sophisticated software and the various developments taking place in the HR field makes it very easy for the recruiter to spot the lies. In an online networking site, the relationship is established and trust is built over a period. Hence, the recruiter is able to decide the true capabilities of a person. This is also perhaps the reason why more and more recruiters are choosing the ‘networking’ way instead of posting jobs online.

Business and networking sites are thus revolutionizing the way people are getting jobs. More and more people are becoming aware of the power and benefits of online networking. Online methods should be judiciously combined with traditional methods to make sure that you do bag that coveted job.

How social networking sites is changing the way we find jobs:

70% of successful job searches depend on personal contacts’ according to Career Development Center of Hollins University. The above fact emphasizes the need for having and creating personal contacts and networking. In an age, where job seekers outnumber the available jobs, it has become imperative to be at the right place at the right time. But how will you know where to be at and at what time? Someone has got to inform you. And this is where ‘networking’ assumes importance.

Networking is not a new age phenomenon. The Western world came to know about Indian spices through networking. Trade between the Indus valley civilization and Mesopotamia can be attributed to networking.

The rise of the Internet saw the traditional avatar of networking donning new clothes. While traditional networking allowed making contacts via our acquaintances, online networking allows us to contact people with whom we share something in common. For e.g., online networking allows you to contact someone who is engaged in the same profession. You can directly approach the person on your own.

Business and social networking sites are changing the way of searching and finding the latest vacancies that exist. More and more people are logging into the virtual world and making appropriate connections to land that dream job.

Thus, business and social networking sites are witnessing a phenomenal growth rate. But how are business and social networking sites changing the way we find jobs? Social networking makes sure that you are among the first who gets the whiff of the latest job posted. Networking allows the easy and free flow of information. It also makes sure that the information is forwarded at a lightning speed. For e.g. you are a resident of Mumbai looking out for a job as a sales person. You comb the local newspapers, swamp innumerable firms with your resumes and make sure that your profile is visible on all job sites such as naukri, monster, timesjobs, shine etc. that you can possibly think of. And the result- you are still looking for a job. And then a miracle takes place. You are registered with one of the social networking sites. You get a call from your friend who knows about a particular vacancy.

How to use Social Networking Site for Advertising Products/ Services:

Create your account– Creating a profile is not very hard task and can be easily done. However, you may need to keep all your profiles updated on a regular basis.
Expand your network– Almost every networking site provides you option to search friends who share same interests as you. So always search and invite members who share the same interest as you or those who needs your product or services.

Try to be more socialize-Always participate in online discussion forum that maybe directly or indirectly related to your site. This simple practice can sometimes be more fruitful to build connection with your prospective clients and pitch in your products.

Be more persistent- Social marketing advertising work best when you are persistent. Keep in contact with your “friends” with comments and messages.
Show your expertise- You may also write an article or blog about your product and post it to bulletins. This simple act can let your friends or members who belong to same community know how your products or services can address their needs.

Create your product or service video- This is perhaps one of the emerging ways that seems to be rising in popularity by advertising in the form of a video. You as an individual can create videos and can even share on different social networking website.

Paid Advertisement– Just in case, if you are willing to shell out some money, make the best use of paid advertisement to these social networking sites. It will surely be an extra advantage.

When you utilize social media sites, you may soon appreciate the advantages of it. It doesn’t matter, how you choose to go about social networking advertising, whether you create your own profile for free or buy advertising space, you can rest assured that your sales and business network will receive a vast increase