Tagged: social

Enterprise Search

Enterprisesearch Search is the technology through which information and/or data is retrieved with an organization generally through an intranet platform. The information can be presented in any form or format – such as links, documents, emails or simple data. Enterprise search is a boon to the modern corporate environment as it gives easy access to information, increases business performance and contributes towards optimizing the workplace. The quality of enterprise search results is dependent upon the description of the data by the metadata. The fundamental concept of an enterprise search is very much like that of a web search engine i.e. it indexes data and documents from a variety of sources such as: file systems, intranets, document management systems, e-mail, and databases.

Content Awareness – Push and Pull model

The core functionality of enterprise search depends on content awareness or “content collection”, that uses a push or pull mechanism. In the push model, a source system, more like a master repository of information, is integrated with the search engine in such a way that it connects to it and pushes new information and/or content directly to its APIs. This method is used in the case where real-time indexing is important. In the pull method, the enterprise software gathers or collates content from varied sources using a connector such as a web crawler or a database connector. This connector typically pulls the source with certain intervals to look for new, updated or deleted content, and presents data to the user.

The 3 key benefits of enterprise search:

1. Business Intelligence: Enterprise search is now acting as the bases of business intelligence i.e. data and information is becoming easily accessible and available for better business decisions.
2. Social: With the advent of enterprise search capabilities, social features are also getting more and more important. Enterprise search capabilities are now also providing features for collaboration and knowledge sharing.
3. Big Data: Volume and Variety of the data we have to process also needs a new approach. Enterprise search is contributing towards Big Data tools and constantly feeding information into a larger pool/database. Modern organizations are also tracking data and information related to employee behavior and preferences, with the help of search keywords and criteria.

The Future:

Enterprise search products that offer an improved user experience and mobility along with the prospect of a low cost of initial entry will continue to be deployed and used strategically. Corporations and active users of search technologies are already seeing evidence from major players, innovators, and relative startups that the information access setting is changing radically to meet business requirements. It is estimated that Enterprise Search industry is growing at 15-20% per year, and will continue to grow. The current state of enterprise search is modular and fragmented. A successful search platform should be coherent and have the ability of represent more mixed data. The convergence of search and text analytics is definitely a corner stone for next-generation (enterprise) search engines.

So the future of enterprise search is changing dramatically and the technology is here to stay!

Customer Engagement is Key

Engage-CustomersGetting more customers means getting more business; this in turn increases revenues and profits. All forms of businesses are directly or indirectly dependant on building loyal customers and it is all about how we strategically plan our customer engagement plans. With changing trends and technologies, businesses tend to automate their customer acquisition and retention strategies, which eventually becomes a problem. The essence lies in making sure that the approach is more customer-engaging rather than technological centric.

Here are the top five tips on how to attract customers and also retain them in the current business environment:

Go Social:

Build your business as a personality and make sure you create and utilize your online social profiles including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pintrest and Instagram. Give each channel a unique definition and strategy. The key is to post real-time behind-the-scenes content (photos, videos etc) to engage with your audience. Use these channels to inform customers of upcoming events, promotions and deals. Posting at least once a day shows that you are engaged. Your social media presence will help increase brand awareness for your business and will give a sense of reliability to your customers.

Go mobile:

The most important aspect of going mobile is building a responsive website i.e. making your website device agnostic, so that your customers could access it from any mobile device and/or operating system. This gives the ease to your customers to access your content from anywhere and everywhere. The second most important step is to partners with mobile search platforms that have the scale, reach and local search benefits to get your business found.

Get Loyal:

Loyal customers are all that your business wants. Focusing on loyalty can help you increase profits up to 80-90%. Initiating a loyalty program that rewards frequent visitors and encourages them to stay with you is the essence of any marketing strategy. Such forms of loyalty programs can encourage customers to spend more with each visit and with each positive experience they can also spread the word about your business.

Email Marketing:

Email marketing is by far the most important and powerful methods for growing business engagement and maintaining relationships with customers. Use standard email marketing tools to send alerts and campaigns to your customer that keeps them engaged. Try to do this at least once a month. Such tools offer email automation, with makes it very easy to send mass messages to customers, which are also traceable so you can measure results of the email click through rate and retention.

Manage Reviews:

All successful business thrives on reviews, so it is critical to have a presence on review sites. All businesses should take the extra effort to provide their complete information on these sites i.e. photos, descriptions, menus, hours and your businesses’ direct contact information etc. Displaying signs on your counter are also a great way to remind visiting customers to share their positive feedback about your great service. Now-a-days, 90% of customers state that their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews, so it is important to keep up with active reviews and comment politely to customers who have had a negative experience.

No matter how small or big your business is, these simple tips will help you organize, plan and kick start your marketing campaign with a fresh perspective and give a new outlook to your business. Try it and see the change.

The Viral Phenomenon

The viral phenomenonHave you ever wondered what does the word “viral” mean? Have you ever thought what might go into creating a so called “viral phenomenon”? Is it an act or some form of information flowing through a network?

To explain it in simple terms it’s more of a pattern (or object) that has the ability to replicate its own copies, more like a chain reaction. This is a common way to describe how thoughts, information and trends move into and through a human population. In a business context this “pattern” is referred to as CONTENT.

Marketing departments of businesses try to create such “patterns” or content that has the ability to go Viral. This generally falls under two categories – entertaining & useful. Something that has a unique blend of both these elements is an ideal form of VIRAL content.

Your content could be an article, a video, marketing collateral, a photograph, an info-graphics or simply a piece of news. Unlike traditional marketing and advertising content, there are certain attributes of typical viral material. Here are some important elements of viral content:

Keep it positive, real and simple: Any form of content that creates a positive effect has more probability of going viral. Stuff that makes us feel good about ourselves and the people around us. The content should be real i.e. it should appear realistic and believable. Also, any material that is confusing to understand or comprehend is generally ignored. The most viewed, talked about and shared content is anything that is simple to understand.

The SHOCK factor: Your content should have the “awe” effect i.e. it should simply be remarkable. It should be something that people haven’t seen before and can’t resist commenting on. This could be in the form of a video, a research article, or it can also be something as simple as an exhaustive list of some useful resources or tips.

Appreciation and recognition through association: This is by far the most important attribute of viral content. When people share or talk about your content they would expect appreciation and recognition for it. A user who shares content will want to be recognized both as the person who discovered it and the person who introduced others to it.

Sharing is Caring: Any form of content created should be made share-able. With the advent of social media, it’s important to keep in mind that your material should have the option of sharing i.e. it should have buttons that allow it to be shared on social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Digg etc. These social media platforms have become the hotspots for viral content. A simple retweet or a “LIKE” could get tremendous amount of traction to your content.

Last but not the least; we should never forget that we need to STAMP and brand the content. The creator of the content should get due visibility, and its best done when you do it subtly at the end. Things like a quick mention about your business or brand in your article, photograph, video or info-graphic, go a long way in creating awareness about your business.

Is your Corporation Socially Responsible?

corporate social responsibilityIn the past few years, great emphasis has been given to the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility, precisely defined in terms of the responsiveness of businesses to stakeholders’ legal, ethical, social, economical and environmental expectations. Over the last decade, there have been number of companies worldwide that have started promoting their business through Corporate Social Responsibility strategies because the customers and the investors expect them to act sustainable as well as responsible.

The concept of Corporate Social responsibility is now becoming a self-regulation integrated into an organizations’ business model. Its regulations generally function as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism whereby a business monitors and ensures its active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards, and international norms. On a broader level, “corporate social responsibility” or CSR is a mechanism though which an organization can embrace responsibility for its actions and propel a positive impact through its business activities on the consumers, employees, stakeholders, communities, environment and all other members of the public sphere.

ISO 26000 is the recognized international standard for CSR. The standard emphasizes the relationship of a business to the society and environment in which they operate which is a critical factor in their ability to continue to operate effectively. The ISO 26000 standard is becoming popular these days as it helps businesses and organizations translate principles into effective actions and shares best practices relating to social responsibility, globally and is meant for all types of organizations regardless of their industry, activity, size or location.

Social responsibility and sustainability have become important marketing strategies for businesses. Corporations are motivated to become more socially responsible because their most important stakeholders expect them to understand and address the social and community issues that are relevant to them. Generally, CSR is related to crisis i.e. whenever a company falls into a social or economical crisis they look towards the concept of corporate social responsibility. It is important that organizations understand the significance of the concept of CRS and integrate it into their business models.

Aligning a business towards a sustainability approach is always helpful in the long run. CSR is an evolving theory and with the coming of the global digital age, the theory is gaining rapid significance among business of all sizes.

A guide to hyper-social entrepreneurship 2013

hypre social entrepreneurIn the last five years, business and economies around the world have seen massive economical and social changes. As the old saying goes, “necessity is the mother of all invention”, we have actually seen business owners and entrepreneurs working on basic ideas of day-to-day necessities that help societies and turning those ideas into workable and profitable businesses.

In the year 2011-12, the phrase “social entrepreneurship” became highly popular. What it meant was simple – make a difference to the society and don’t forget to make money!

As we all know that trends keep changing, so will the focus. Let’s put it this way: an average entrepreneur, perhaps in his early 30s, knows more about global technology and business trends than a young business owner in the late 90s, and this phenomenon is only going to get better in the years to come.

We are heading towards an era of “hyper-social entrepreneurship” i.e. getting quick, social and profitable, and to achieve that, here’s the GAME plan:

Think concept not technology: We all know that knowledge is power, well to be a successful business owner; you don’t need to know it all. All you need to do is think of concepts and just not rely on knowledge. A true manager of the future is going to be someone who thinks “out of the box”. There could be 10 different tried and tested methods to solve a problem, but you come up with the 11th solution, keeping in mind that it should be workable and would set a new trend.

Think content and search engine – The future of the World is just content. What you did, or what your business did, or what you said or what someone has to say about you or your business is all out there on the World Wide Web. There is nothing to hide! If you have something to publicize, you can get writers to write about it. If you want to comment, you have appropriate forms. It’s like deep blue sea were keywords are like fish, always moving. All you need to do is type in the right keyword on Google, and you get what you need!

Self brand yourself – don’t be shy about talking about what you do. We all are human, and have brains that have ideas. Brand yourself in a way that signifies that you are someone who has grey cells, someone who knows his industry, someone who is positive and is ready to take risks and face the challenges.

Socially Network in the right way – It’s not about having tons of friends, contacts and followers on facebook, linkedin and twitter, but it’s about how many of them really care and are of value. Connecting with people is the key, but it should be done in a way that is professional yet creative.

Play chess – It improves your cognitive and logical brain power. If you feel dull and burnt out, a game of chess will help you get into the mode of a challenge and competition. It will help you see a situation from all different angles. There are no tried and tested methods, you make your own strategy and live by it. The more you play the game, the more intuitive you become.

Get in shape – If you are that famous rock stare next door who is high on drugs and alcohol all the time, then perhaps you should stop writing and just be high! Such a lifestyle is a recipe to disaster. The future entrepreneur is someone who takes care of his health, body and attire. A healthy look portrays an image of confidence, reliability and trust. Moreover, an active and balanced lifestyle keeps you away from stress, and gives your extra energy to face challenges.

Just do it – Last but not the least, it’s important that we actually start doing things. Plan and budget that new marketing initiative that you have been thinking about or organize that Friday networking meeting that you always thought would work. It’s always important that we actually WORK on an idea or concept or else it stales out with time.

With growing competition around the world, it is your creativity that will actually help you make a difference and will fetch your profits. So get ready to become the next “hyper-social entrepreneur” in the year 2013.

The new mantra: change marketing

With the changing trends in digital marketing and content development, business of all sizes and shapes would need to keep pace with the new evolution in the field of marketing. The new marketing mantra is no more just about making sales; it is now all about building concepts and communities.

Here are a few upcoming trends to watch for:

Content is king: As industries and business move towards using “Organic” ways of monetizing, content becomes extremely important not just to consumers but to brands. The key is to create relevant content for your target audience. If done correctly and placed in the right situation, can have great long term benefits.

Creating cross device experience: Digital devices are becoming smarter every day. The changing trend will allow content experiences to become multi-dimensional and could dramatically lift engagement numbers for brands. Digital device application creators have the opportunity to drive a connected content experience across multiple devices.

Social communication will be seamless: With so many social platforms joining the game it would soon become difficult for businesses to stay on top of each platform. In the coming years, we will be seeing the emergence of technology providers that will make it easier to not just maintain and create workflow solutions across these social platforms, but also launch media-driven campaigns.

Location Targeting: The two main elements of any marketing campaign are reaching out to the target audience and using the right channel. With the coming of digital devices including phones and tablets, we are seeing an increasingly amount of digital media inventory tagged with location data (latitude and longitude). With this entire new data asset, marketers are giving location an increased role within the whole media planning and buying process.

Social Networking made easier with Ping.fm

Talking about Ping.fm – it is a free social networking and micro-blogging web service that enables users to post to multiple social networks simultaneously.

Ping.fm was created with the intent of making it as easy as possible to post updates to multiple social networking sites simultaneously. The idea came about when creators were updating status messages with micro-blogging sites Twitter and Tumblr. The idea of posting exactly the same information in two places seemed a bit tedious, so Ping.fm was born.

Making an update on Ping.fm pushes the update to a number of different social websites at once. This allows individuals using multiple social networks to update their status only once, without having to update it in all their social media individually. Ping.fm groups services into three categories – status updates, blogs, and micro-blogs – and updates can be sent to each group separately.