You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2009.

Twitter is growing a phenomenal rate, did you ever feel like tweeting is different languages. While Google translator is what people have been using for sometime. Now there is a new tool with great options – Twinslator

Picture1This makes it even easier, allowing you to write a tweet, translate it into another language and gives ou the option to post both messages. That’s all there is to it: a simple app for one straightforward purpose. Trivia for ou this app is powered by Google Translate. This is not a unique concept, moreover  TweetTranslate and Tweetrans offer similar services, while TwitTrans offers to manually translate your Tweets in one hour, resulting in a much better translation than a machine could ever achieve.


hp2No matter what our perception of global warming is, we all do agree that reducing waste and minimizing the negative impact that we have on the environment is the right thing to do. Many corporates across the world today are involved in community work for the environment at every level.

As a result people have become increasingly aware and are taking steps to reduce negative effects on the environment, discussions have lead to the coining of terms like “going green”, and “eco-friendly”.

While all of this sounds very proactive and exciting and while most have agreed with the ideas behind these terms, it has been a slow process getting active and ongoing participation in programs aimed at raising awareness and changing the way we do things, the ways that we live and work, in order to follow through and actually change the impact that we have on the world around us. However there are companies who are moving fast on the new message paradigm – The social media. Below is a review of the HP Power to Change campaign and their effective use of social media, networks and communities.

HP has launched many programs over the last several years as part of their HP Eco Solutions program, which helps customers identify HP initiatives, products and services designed with the environment in mind. Adding to that program HP has launched their Power to Change Initiative, a campaign that encourages personal computer users around the world to make behavioral changes in support of the environment.

hpwidgetThe campaign encourages users to download a new desktop widget that tracks the cumulative energy savings associated with participants turning off idle PCs when not in use.

The Power To Change widget is available for download by individuals and companies across the globe and is compatible with all PC computing platforms. With the widget, computer users worldwide can watch and explore the energy savings the campaign generates through the power of behavioral changes across individual and global users. It doesn’t end with the Widget, in fact the widget is the starting point… The ‘Power To Change’ campaign is extremely active on Twitter and Facebook. The content posted on the blog and facebook is very very interesting to read.

“Power To Change
is the manifestation of HP’s long-held philosophy that industry leadership is about an ongoing contribution to society,” said John Frey, Americas sustainability executive at HP. “With Power To Change, individuals and organizations can make a small environmental commitment that has the potential for a large impact on addressing sustainability challenges today.”
HP estimates that if 100,000 users shut down their work computers at the end of each day, energy savings could total more than 2,680 kilowatt-hours and carbon emissions reductions could total more than 3,500 pounds per day. This is the equivalent of eliminating more than 105 cars from the road each day. Power To Change is launching across all three HP regions – Asia Pacific and Japan; Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and the Americas – and is available in five languages: Chinese, English, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish

Make your own way, connect with your audiences directly, shape perception & gaurd your organizational reputation

What is so great about 140 characters, that it has become a worldwide rage in communications? The key answer is – one on one communication, answers and updates every 5 seconds. The transparency around social media tools such as twitter makes it even more popular. There is an entire buzz among talent recruiters to use social media to build the buzz about their brands.

The key ingredient to any successful corporate or consumer brand is to build the buzz around it. Social media is a great tool, think of it as one tweet every 5 seconds. However there are nuances of using social media and they must be kept in mind. Twitter is medium but the message is key, especially when one is tweeting as an organisation. It is therefore essential to have a content map and strategy before one begins the use of social media for corporate communications.

Twitter is one of the fastest ways to connect with other people in your industry. It also gives you some insight into who companies and bloggers are as people; their likes, their dislikes, their personalities. This can be invaluable when it comes to putting together pitches and building relationships both inside and outside of your industry. If we are using Twitter for our business than it allow us to inform our clients, inform them about what’s happening to our company’s products, people, tools etc. at present. Twitter apart from this, poses an advantage for new and advanced marketers, as an efficient social media marketing tool, twitter allows us to build a giant list of followers.

It is much easier and faster for small business to adopt Twitter among other social media as marketing tools. Social media challenges our speed to bring change to the market. On the other hand, big firms have also started using social networks as part of their marketing campaigns.

Who should Tweet?

For a lot of companies Twitter is an instant focus group and a great way to dip their collective toes in the social media pool. So from an Intern to a CEO or Official Twitter, anyone can tweet on behalf of the company. However do be careful of who is appointed, make sure they know tweeting etiquettes and have intelligent content to share. After all you don’t want your brand to appear foolish in the audience universe!  

Measure the impact of your Tweets!


The social media landscape is extremely dynamic, it is easy to get lost in it. Therefore measurability is essential. Below are a few tools that can help!

1. #Hashtag research = keyword research

Just as people had to learn how to search using traditional search engines like Google and Yahoo, people are learning how to better search social media sites like Twitter. Increasingly, they are using hashtags. A hashtag is simply including the # symbol in front of a keyword. For example #diabetes. People can subscribe to follow hashtags or they can search for them, allowing them to stay current on specific topics, and recently Twitter began hyper linking hashtags within tweets allowing people to go directly the search results for that hashtag instantly.

We can find out which hashtags are most popular or trending by reviewing researching which keywords are popular at the moment, you craft messages that are relevant and timely, and by including the hashtag in your post, you expand the reach of your tweet beyond your follower list, which leads us to…

2. # of followers you have

The more followers you have, the more likely the content you post will be seen (found).Your number of followers measures your immediate audience on Twitter. It’s a way to measure the opportunity each of your tweets has to reach and engage your audience. TwitterCounter allows you to measure and compare your profile against competitors (or friends)


 3. # of clicks on the links you post on Twitter

Linking to relevant content within your tweets adds value to other users, and by utilizing URL shorteners with tools like Tweetburner you can measure how engaged people are with your tweets by tracking the number of clicks on the links you post.

Sites like Tweetburner rank top URLs within Twitter and post lists of the top-clicked links. Appearing on these lists is similar to getting your content voted up on Digg; though the traffic impact is not as substantial. Similarly, posting pictures to your tweets adds value, and using a service like TwitPic allows you to measure how many people are viewing the pics you post.


 4. Search for People Who Are Sharing Your Site or Blog Post on Twitter

You can now track when other people post links to your content on Twitter using tools like backtweets. Backtweets actually shows you when people post links to your content organically. Without checking a tool like backtweets, you would only be seeing a portion of how the community is engaging with your content. It’s also a great way to find new people who are interested in your content. Follow them, and they’ll likely follow you back, if they aren’t already.

 We will soon be putting up a comprehensive case study on how brands have successfully used twitter. Till then Tweet on…!

Social Media Re-Defines PR

Are Companies listening to their Consumers?

Carroll Dave vs. United Airline

united2I flew United Airlines on my way to Nebraska…
The plane departed, Halifax, connecting in Chicago’s “O’Hare”…
While on the ground, a passenger said from the seat behind me,
“My God, they’re throwing guitars out there”…
You broke it, you should fix it…
You’re liable, just admit it…
I should’ve flown with someone else…
Or gone by car!

Cause United Breaks Guitars..

Many of us have seen or heard Dave Carroll YouTube video did and how United Airlines’ baggage handlers mangled his guitar. This is perhaps the most well crafted consumer complaint I have ever come across. Dave Carroll, the musician who took his terrible experience with united airlines to YouTube, has changed the rules of engagement for organizations and customer service protocol from now on. While companies pay lot of attention to their external image with extensive use of PR, advertising, events; most have not graduated to the social media curve.

UnitedAirlines One bad experience, one video on a platform like you tube, a couple of blog posts and the entire reputation of the corporate was at stake! Brands are a result of consumer perception! People make brands…its not the other way round.The Dave Carroll incident once again demonstrates the power of authenticity, creativity and compelling content to grab attention and send PR executives reeling. Dave Carroll’s video undermines United Airlines’ reputation and hurts its brand. Numerous traditional media outlets covered the story (LA Times, USA Today, Chicago Tribune), but it was YouTube, Twitter and blogs that fueled the flame.

It’s a great story of how a little guy took on the indifferent corporate giant, this is what happened:It happened last spring, when Carroll was traveling with the band to Nebraska for a one-week tour. A woman sitting in the plane near Carroll watched as United Airlines baggage handlers in Chicago threw his Taylor guitar, which had a $3,500 value before it got chucked. His bass player’s guitar was also thrown, but Carroll soon discovered his was severely damaged.

The capping blow, Carroll says, was an e-mail from a Ms. Irlweg, who denied his claim for compensation because he didn’t complain in the right place, or at the right time. So he vowed a sort of musical revenge – not one protest song, not two, but three, with a video for each, all to be posted on the Web. The video was posted on July 6. In its first 23 hours, “United Breaks Guitars” had drawn 461 comments on YouTube, most of them maligning the airline.

Thousands of tweets, whopping numbers of comments on Facebook etc demonstrates the power of Twitter and YouTube, turning an obscure musician into a video star and corporate headache in less than a week.


The Internet became for United Airlines an open platform for critics, and United Airlines could not or did not want to keep up with public reaction. Their traditional news channel remains silent.  Their YouTube Channel has become a platform for snaky, negative comments with no reaction from United Airlines. These entire sites an example of individuals are using social media to serve their own needs and to confront bad service when it rears its ugly head. It is no longer acceptable for corporate PR to ignore social brand monitoring; it is a vital part of building and protecting brand reputation.

It has only been a week and the Youtube Video has accumulated over 3 million views already.

This is a prime example of why companies must really pay more attention to social media today. Not only is social media an important tool for businesses to interact with their audience, it’s also a crucial tool for timely damage control when it comes to crisis management. Had United been active in social media or even responded in time, they could probably have stopped the bleeding maybe by shedding some light on their side of the story. Instead, it appears that they chose to ignore the ordeal altogether and pretty much let it blow up in their own faces

A comparison of the numbers demonstrates the viral effect of YouTube.  Consider the following. As July 20th 2009

Sons of Maxwell YouTube video:

  1. Number of views:  2,544,668 view
  2. Number of comments: 13,288 comments

In contrast:

United Airlines YouTube Channel

  1. Channel Views: 84,791
  2. Most viewed video:  86,415 views
  3. Most discussed video: 122 comments
  4. Channel Comments: 115 comments (12 in the last few days; the rest, but one, over a month ago)

The power of the network!

These numbers clearly demonstrate the power of YouTube, turning an obscure musician into a video star and corporate headache in less than a week.

The Internet became for United Airlines an open platform for critics, and United Airlines could not or did not want to keep up with public reaction. Their traditional news channel remains hushed.  Their YouTube Channel has become a platform for snarky, negative comments with no reaction from United Airlines.  And look at the content on YouTube’s corporate channel: repurposed commercials and promotional videos. Dave Carroll’s video went viral, but United needs to do a better job serving up connect.  Do see Delta’s inflight safety video:  1,313,478 views!

Could they have managed this better?

The two tricks which United in particular missed were on YouTube and on Twitter. On YouTube, United Airlines could have recorded a response from a senior figure and then submitted it to appear as a “response” under the Dave Carroll song on the YouTube website. This would have been a very effective way to help ensure that those seeing the negative story also saw United’s response.

United Airlines has an established Twitter presence, with many thousands of followers. However, although it referred to the issue in a tweet the day after the song hit YouTube, this was done as an @ reply to another Twitter user. This means it won’t have been seen by many of their followers on Twitter (as, unless they were also following the person replied to, they won’t have seen the message in their normal stream of messages). Moreover, by not mentioning Dave Carroll’s name or the word guitars in the tweet, United ensured that it wouldn’t be found by people searching for tweets on the topic – again therefore missing out on an audience.

Since then United has upped its use of social media on the issue, including sending a pair of standard tweets, though again they missed out key terms that would be picked up by searches for news on the topic.

Learning: First, the benefits of having established social media presences so that, if bad news hits, you have the infrastructure ready to help deal with them. Second, the importance of getting the details right so that what you say via social media is seen by as many people as possible.

gucciGucci is tweeting and so is Oscar de la Renta. Donna Karan Louis Vuitton, Urban Outfitters and Rachel Roy are on social media too! The recent lead story of WWD (Women’s Wear Daily) ‘Social Media Rewrites the Rules for Brands’ highlighted how leading brands are customizing their message and medium to match the consumer.

We are not talking about the New York Flea market, some of the most prominent designers you would have never expected to see using Twitter, Facebook or any other online social media, today are active on the social media universe. The new communication channels are radically changing the way fashion brands engage with their customers and prospects online.

oscarPRgirlBrands are coming to realize that people are interested to know beyond what’s hiding behind the fashion label. Oscar de la Renta does a great job in managing his Twitter profile by appointing what he calls the OscarPRGirl, to promote the brand ‘from inside one of the world’s most prestigious design houses’. Who wouldn’t want to know more about what goes on inside Oscar’s fashion empire? Donna Karan tags right along with her very own PRgirl who provides the latest behind-the-scenes scoop from inside DKNY. What is also a great insight is that people like to see, a more humanized, responsive and sensitive facet of the brand.

Social media channels offer a huge experience for the brands to share and a great opportunity to reach out to customers, in a much more engaging manner. Social media is permission led communications which is far more effective than advertising. “Customers can feel like they are part of the brand’s extended family, and therefore the brand itself, while the interactive element further deepens that relationship,” said Alex Bolen, chief executive officer of Oscar de la Renta. “These characteristics address and satisfy that ‘tribal’ part of the fashion consumer — the way in which people identify themselves by the brands they buy.”

dknySocial media represents a powerful brand advantage that allows for both the brand and the consumer to engage in conversation while offering a fun and easy way to stay tuned on the latest products, lines, and promotions. As reported by Nielsen Media, Facebook and MySpace represent the most established social platforms with a retention rate of almost 70%.

One important fact that should not be overlooked by brands is that social media is here to stay, whether they evolve, lose, gain influence, one can love it, hate it but definitely can’t ignore it! As we know, the fashion world is constantly shifting and people’s habits are constantly changing too-particularly shopping habits- therefore, brands would need to adapt to these changes and keep up with the consumer and their demands.

twitter Technology Impacts Branding!

In the customer driven world, CEOs need to stay on top of Brand Building

Technology is transforming the way brands and customers interact. Wired. Networked. Multiplexed. Call it anything you want. Your customers are more in control of your business and brand. Marketing must adapt, or your brand will wither. How can a CEO formulate an agile approach to branding in a tech-driven customer world? Here are five questions you need to ask–and answer: What’s the single, most important trend I need to be aware of? 

Transparency. Thanks to technology, nearly everything you do as an enterprise or brand can be observed and published to the world at large. Dell Computer learned this in a series of incidents. A reporter named Jeff Jarvis became enraged with what he called poor service from Dell and he turned his blog, “Buzz Machine,” into a rant against the company. His outrage spread rapidly through the Web and erupted into mainstream media. And the result? Dell recently committed $100 million to improve sales and support. Dell was victimized next by photos and videos of exploding laptops whose batteries malfunctioned. These were published on the Web and flashed around the globe.

And if you think this only happens to high-tech companies, go to Google and do a search of terms like “Mercedes sucks.” In the past, irate feedback came in the form of letters or phone calls. Not any more. Whether you make cars or dishwashers, flat-screen TVs or powerbars, one dissatisfied customer can–via text, audio or video--let you and the world know their unhappiness in seconds. That’s the downside.

On the upside, transparency can be your friend.

Engaging positively with customers, friends and critics makes a statement about your openness and the openness of your company and brand.

Not all of these blogs take feedback, but when they do, blogs open channels to customers to give raw and unadulterated opinions. You are likely to discover insights that can fix, revitalize, advance and deepen connections between brand and customer. In a parity world, transparency is the tiebreaker. Agile brands openly embrace customers. Static brands fear them.

How can I stay on top of what’s happening and what’s next?

Not an easy question. The biggest ad agencies still haven’t found the answers to building brands in an age of technology, though they’re snapping up smaller shops and hoping little players can provide insight and competence. Watch your children or grandchildren as they use technology to connect with peers and products. There’s no science to this, but they are a leading indicator. Things trickle up in the new-media marketing world, not vice versa.

Tech’s impact on branding can be a scary subject, especially for those who don’t use the technology themselves. This tends to create an internal digital divide between those who get it and those who don’t. One answer is to create an advisory council of transformers, a fusion of young and older talent, who can explore, debate and share the possibilities, not only with you but other high-level executives. The signal you send as CEO will spur your marketing assets to begin viewing technology as integral to the brand. And that aligns the brand with the master of brands, the customer.

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