Tag Archives: advertising

Unraveling The Mystery of Facebook Community Page

At the starting of this month I noticed a new option while creating a Facebook Fan Page and I wasn’t quite sure what was going on and what to expect next. It was yesterday when I stumbled upon this

Facebook Community Page

that things started to fall into place. The info of this page (Electronics and Communication Engg. IIT Guwahati) reads

Our goal is to make this Community Page the best collection of shared knowledge on this topic. If you have a passion for Electronics and Communiation Engg. (Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati)sign up and we’ll let you know when we’re ready for your help. You can also get us started by suggesting a relevant Wikipedia article or the Official Site.

Guess that says it all

  1. Make this Community Page the best collection of shared knowledge on this topic (Regularly updated/active Content? )
    Think of it, if there were to be a decently popular fan page(community page) on anything, say Yoga or Soccer then it would get updated regularly and would have tons of discussions going on it. This page on Soccer would have far more content than any other page on the same topic and it shouldn’t be difficult to guess the SEO juice it will derive and how advertiser friendly that page is going to be.
  2. If you have a passion for Electronics and Communiation Engg. (Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati), sign up and we’ll let you know when we’re ready for your help. (Wikipedia?)
    Yes, another community driven page which could have a few administrators or content curators that’ll ensure that the activity on the community page is sustained.

So while everyone happily takes care of the content and discussions, facebook sells the ad space at a premium to advertisers and earns $$. That’s not it, to facilitate the creation of numerous community pages like the one on E &C IIT Guwahati, Facebook has started to automatically create community pages that are up for grabs and might be promoted via ads or news feeds in future.

So what do you think about this move by Facebook? Should Wikipedia be scared?

Update 1:  There’s something more to the move by Facebook around Community Pages. Apparently they’ve started re-categorizing the generic pages(non brands/company pages) as Community Pages. Here’s an email I received about one of the pages I had created a while back

Facebook re-categorizing generic pages

Clicking on the link(for mis-categorizing) leads hereFacebook Mis-categorization of pages

Does this move worry all those who created pages around various social objects/activities? I think so.

Update 2 (1/5/2010):

While logging on to Facebook for the first time yesterday, I saw this notification

From information to community pages

As expected Facebook is indeed on a big mission to turn all the information into community pages. So now all the interests, favorite shows, books etc in my profile are linked to their respective community pages.

Another social wiki in the making

Update 3 (23/8/2010):

Just saw this.

The community pages now also have a Wikipedia tab which pulls in all the information about the subject from Wiki. Let’s see how things shape up from here.

India: IPL, TV Industrial Complex and Social Media

That new technology, trends etc take their own sweet(not so) time to reach and permeate the Indian market is a well known and accepted fact, and Social Media is no different. While marketing and advertising companies/teams from other countries(especially from the west) might have already dipped deep in the Social Media waters, their counterparts in India are no where close.

When Pepsi ditched Superbowl and chose to spend their budget ($20 million) on a Social Media campaign there were celebrations amongst the Social Media folks world over and everyone(Including we in India) felt that Social Media has finally arrived and the game has changed from being Traditional Media centric to Social Media being equally if not more important. If you think that’s the same with India (transition from Tradition Media to Social  Media at a considerable level), think again.

In the course of last year or so I’ve met numerous Social Media enthusiasts/marketers/analysts and quite a few advertising/media agencies and some guys who are in-charge of marketing campaigns for the brands they represent. Little has changed since last year if we talk about how people who offer Social Media solutions feel and how those who should be using those Social Media solutions feel. Despite all the jazz around Social Media, in India particularly brands are spending a bare minimum percentage of their marketing/advertising budget on Social Media. Not just this, what’s particularly interesting is the fact that in India some brands have started spending more(and not less) on Traditional Media. If these figures are anything to go by

AD Rates for IPL3 and T20 World Cup 2010
you can get an idea of how things seem to be moving in the Indian market. We are increasingly spending more money on Traditional Media and it’s not just TV ads, the print media is also on a roll with Realtors and FMCG companies booking full page ads like anything.  It’s not just a co-incidence that there aren’t any remarkable Social Media campaigns around IPL despite all the hype and hoopla.

Keeping in mind all this and the response that these Traditional Media campaigns manage to get I would like to believe
that the days of TV-Industrial Complex are not yet over in India and it will be another few years before significant changes start to happen.

Personal email in a print ad – personal touch or lack of professional attitude?

I started out replying to this question on LinkedIn

In every print ad it is common to give some contacts for a consumer – be it a website address, infoline number or general email (info@company (product).com). What about email address with name and surname of a brand manager? Does it look unprofessional, or on contrary – gives a sense of credibility and personal touch

but thought of posting my answer in form of a blog post.

So here’s the deal:

While most people who read this or commented on this question might feel/say that they are more likely to respond to a firstname.lastname@company.com than to info@company.com, I don’t think it holds true for me. On the contrary I feel it’s better to have generic email ids for following reasons

1) It gives you a sense of knowing what you are getting into:
While a “firstname.lastname@company.com” might be more personal, it definitely doesn’t tell you about the role/designation the guy holds or if you are asking the right question to the right guy.

2) Easy to remember:
While firstname.lastname@company.com might look and sound good, what people don’t realize is that it’s difficult to remember these email ids. For ex: If every company whose products you use started giving people’s names as ids for things like support would you be able to remember even a few of them ? No, on the other hand think if each one of those companies had an email id like help@company.com or support@company.com. Isn’t this a lot easier to remember and share ?

3) Ease of management:
While giving personal email id’s is not a big deal but it might not be a practical deal, especially for big brands. I for sure know that I won’t be able to handle if I start getting hunderds of emails per day. The way these email accounts are maintained(mostly) is that the emails to them gets forwarded to everyone whose part of the support team or alternatively is assigned to a member from support team. Supporting that sort of thing would be difficult unless you make a fake account and give it out rather than giving email id of a real user.

These are a few points that I could think of in support of using a generic email id.

What do you think about this and why you think that way ?

Internet campaign of BJP’s L.K Advani

Blogosphere and Twitterville are abuzz with the news of recently launched blog of  prime ministerial candidate Mr L.K Advani of the India’s opposition party, BJP.  Be it the Obama effect or something else, it’s good to see Indian politicians starting to use Internet actively.  Clearly, BJP is coming out stronger and smarter when it comes to making their presence felt on the web as compared to the Congress.  Also, there seem to be an aggressive effort in marketing Mr Advani on the internet too. Lets see how Mr Advani and team are using various social media tools and services to spread the word.

1) Personal Web Site: The website http://www.lkadvani.in/ as Gaurav Mishra notes, was launched on November 8, 2008.  The site is much better than the kind of sites we’ve seen in the past . Not only does it look better, it is also well conceptualized(though there’s nothing out of the box yet).
Things worth noting about the site are
a)  Comprehensive about and background page(s): This is very important for those who want to know more about the leader and/or the party. That said, the site offers a lot of relevant information.

b) Forum: The site also has an active in house forum, with a couple of threads having more than 100 posts. Having a forum is very important to organize a loyal community around the social media object in question. If handled properly a forum like this could grow really big and attract lots of politics enthusiasts engaged in various sorts of discussions. What remains to be seen is if Mr Advani, himself takes part in this forum.

c)  Blog: A blog in another way to share your views/opinions and engage the community. A few questions that comes to one’s mind immediately are,  who writes the content ?  how open are they to feedback/criticism ? and who replies to the comments i.e engages in conversations ?
Since the blog is just a few days old, its difficult to answer these questions now.

d) Recent activities: It’s good to see, details about his standing and statements on currently relevant issues on the home page of the site.

e) Open to suggestions/feedback: There’s good enough and visible focus on asking for user feedback and suggestions. How they are dealt with it however is a separate issue.

f) Alerts: Email and SMS alerts about breaking news. Sharing things first with the community is a great thing to do and it gives people enough incentive to subscribe for these alerts.

g) Share with friends: The site also lets you invite your address book contacts and contacts from various social networks like Facebook, Orkut and LinkedIn.

2) Google Adwords Campaign: Though this doesn’t come under social media per se but there is also an active Google adwords campaign, not just for keyword search but also contextual advertising. Smartly enough they’ve even bought ads for keyword “congress”. So if someone searches Google for “congress” they’ll be seeing an ad like this

Some other keywords and phrases bought are “l k advani”, “lk advani” and bjp. Incidentally SBI folks are even smarter for they too bought ads for the keyword “l k advani”. Here’s what their contextual ad looks like

Apart from the above mentioned there also some properties on the web some of which might be official, like the Facebook fan page.

These are some of the aspects of Mr Advani’s internet campaign that I could discover. The campaign is focussed more on depth than on width for now and that’s the reason there’s a lot of focus on the website and almost zero focus on other social media tools. A couple of interesting and simple things they can do are

1) have videos of his speeches uploaded under an official youtube channel, so that more people can see them and know more about him and his viewss.
2) Have an option to vote for or against his stands on various issues. This could help them understand what’s the popular opinion for netizens about his stands.

Even if they decide to focus on just the site without doing anything fancy, they can get a lot of attention and earn goodwill by just spending more time conversing with the users/visitors.

Mr Advani’s experiments with the internet should serve as an example for other politicians from India, especially the younger ones and hopefully 2009 will see more politicos finding their way to the internet.