Tag Archives: Social media

Basics of Planning a Digital Marketing Campaign

I was recently asked by the ‘Small Enterprise’ magazine to contribute the ‘Digital Marketing’ special edition. I contributed this piece on the ‘Basics of Planning a Digital Marketing Campaign’.


Filed under Media

Social Media Marketing For Health Insurance Industry

Health Insurance marketing has always been perceived as a challenging subject. The key players in the health insurance industry have been dealing with prominent issues such as consumer trust and category education. At Iffort, we have created a presentation which covers 5 Must Do’s for Health Insurance Players on social media to ensure trust, seek attention and create impact!

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Filed under Social media

2013 Social Media Bloopers

They say that mistakes are bound to happen and they can happen to the best of us. But the most important lesson is to learn and improve from them. So, as we say hello to 2014, let us look at which brands make it to the list of 2013 Social Media Bloopers.

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Filed under Social media, social media india

The New Wall Street-Indian CIOs’ Success with Social Media Marketing

I was recently quoted in the CIO magazine’s article titled: The New Wall Street-Indian CIOs’ Success with Social Media Marketing.

Excerpts from the news-story

According to Daksh Sharma, director and co-founder of Iffort, a web-strategy and digital marketing consulting firm, “There are conversations happening about your brand whether you like it or not. You can use social media channels to churn out data, discover trends and align these with your business strategy. But first you need to clear out the noise.”

  • Social media marketing is not the new kid on the block; it’s a dragon on your porch, waiting for you to tame it.
  • Despite social media emerging as tomorrow’s most important marketplace, few IT leaders have made it a priority.

To read the news story please visit here.


Filed under Media

Thoughts on Poken & Off-line Social Networking

Remember the Casio digital diaries which were a digi-fashion statement way back in the 90s? A brilliant concept that enabled you to store the details of all your contacts including their names, phone-numbers and what not. However, gradually as time passed by, the concept and the device started fading away.

Amongst the many reasons that caused the slow death the key reason was the emergence of a stronger alternative to the consumers in the form of cellphones. While, the diary still scored over cellphone in some of the features the socially conscious consumer just wanted to have a single device. ‘Convergence’ which is quite often heard or referred to these days was still a necessity back then.

Fast forward to 20 September 2010 i.e. today where I just finished reading Kapil Ohri’s latest write-up on afaqs.com which talks about Poken – a USB enabled pen drive type social business card device. The device allows users to exchange their contact details and social networking profile within a few seconds. Poken was originally launched by a Swiss start-up in 2008 and is being marketed/sold in India by a Hyderabad based company.

Here is how Poken works:

To begin the process, the user needs to first plug the device into the USB port of his computer, connected with the Internet. Once plugged, the device automatically directs him to Poken.com, where he can create his virtual business card and feed in information such as name, designation and other contact details.

The underlying concept

When you press the USB key the embedded RFID reader/transmitter does the rest of the work in exchanging information

My thoughts

At the outset, I think it is a brilliant concept and works very well whenever you attend conferences/seminars and meet a bunch of people. Keeping a track of so many business cards can be a real problem at that time.

But here are few ‘User-Adoption’ problems with this concept and the device:

  1. Device dependency: If I go to a conference where I meet about 100 folks and ’40’ of them don’t have the Poken USB device then I go back to the old school strategy of exchanging business cards.
  2. Overhead of managing multiple devices: Remember, Aircel’s Peek? A dedicated hand-held device that allows you to check your emails. A pretty cost effective way of checking your emails. But then why would you want a separate device in the first place?
  3. Penetration Problems: The distribution problem looks very similar to the Reliance mobile issue. In-order to take its real advantage the other user also needs to have the same device. With the scale that we’ve in India, the distrubtion and shipment of this device would be put to real test.
  4. Cultural Differences: India as a market is fundamentally different when compared with the Western world. It is because of our tastes, upbringing and buying patterns.

When you look at iPhone and the single biggest problem that it solves, you realize it is ‘”CONVERGENCE”. Instead of carrying a camera, mp3 player, usb stick and a phone it packages everything into one and this what today the massive consumption segment is looking at.

Possible Solution

I think this is what really needs to be done, if we were to make this concept a success story in India at a large scale level:

Shun hardware, think software: I don’t know whether it is possible or not, but if there could be a smartphone app. which does exactly what Poken does but on a mobile phone, we could be clearing a lot of mess. I know that the international version of Poken does have mobile phone-app. I know that My Name is E, their Dutch friends also have an iPhone app but then my audience is Indian. iPhone India users constitute just a small percentage of the entire mobile phone population. Instead we should be looking at the nokias, the lavas, micromaxx, the blackberrys and possibly the Aircel powered phones to build a cross mobile apps which allow seamless exchange of information.

Alternatively, we could be looking at high end camera phones to do the job by taking pictures of business card and actually converting/keying them into the application’s database.

Off-course my thoughts are primarily based on what I’ve read and heard a bit about these innovative products.  I haven’t had the opportunity to use Poken or any other device and my opinions could change. An alternate school of thought brings the example of USB devices. Even though a mobile phone does the job of ‘USB-sticks’ but we still use both of them 🙂

What about you? Would you be using this device? Would love hear your thoughts !!


Filed under Social Network, Web 2.0

A Study on How Business Entities in India are Using Facebook

Over the last few weeks/months our team had been working on a pilot study to understand the applications of Facebook pages by Indian businesses. Primarily these are entities which have a degree of recognition and have consumption in various forms.

Facebook in India

We reviewed the Facebook fan pages of ’25’ select brands from ‘7’ different industry verticals for over a one month period. These brands were profiled on various criteria to understand their efforts to build engagement with their target audience through Facebook.


In our initial assessment we identified 31 brands that were most visible and famous amongst Indian consumers in their respective industry verticals and monitored them for a period of one month. However, as we didn’t notice adequate engagement levels in 6 brands, we dropped them and narrowed down our list to 25 brands. We followed an observation method, wherein we regularly visited the fan page of these 25 brands on daily basis and reviewed them on various quantitative and qualitative parameters (like fan engagement, wall-posts, likes, administrator activity etc.)

Some of the findings of the study are:

Most popular Brand: MTV-India [522,112 Fans as measured on 28th July 2010]

Brand with the highest growth in terms of fans: MTV-India [3846 + Daily fan growth]

Most active brand: Delhi Traffic Police [12.8 wall posts by admin each day]

Most Discussed brand: MTV-India [2085+ Interactions each day]


The exercise reveals that organizations are successfully using several tactics like poll contests, interesting apps and videos amongst others to drive participation, which would result in word-of-mouth and better engagement with the brand.


Content Strategy for the Report

We thank, Anandan Pillai for his vital inputs and direction on organizing the content and preparing this report. He is a doctoral student (Marketing area) with Management Development Institute, Gurgaon. His research interests involve brand communities on social media, social media strategy and consumer behavior on virtual mediums. He can be reached at anandan1982@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @Anandan_Pillai.

Technology Partners

Special mention goes to our technology partners’ itemperance consulting. For more information about itemperance consulting, please visit www.itemperance.com or follow them on twitter at @itemperance.

Our Questionnaire Respondents

We thank the following teams for providing us vital inputs on their Facebook Fan page initiatives:

Pratham Books, Pagalguy.com and Su-Kam Power Systems.

Lastly the credit goes to entire team for pulling this one 🙂


Filed under Facebook, Iffort

3 Ways to Analyze Facebook Fan Page Traffic

NOTE: I had recently scribbled my thoughts on Facebook Insights for India’s growing B2B marketing community http://www.paulwriter.com. Here is the version that is live on the website.

If your brand has a website, you would definitely want to analyze its performance in terms of visitor traffic, its navigation patterns, where the visitors are coming from etc. Based on the analysis of parameters like these, you would want to measure the success ratio of your site. Subsequently these indices would help you in doing a real time check, refining your website goals and making changes to your overall strategy by plugging it back into the website. Such changes could be design level changes or content level changes.

Moving beyond your website, the concept of analytics is also strongly applicable to your other online initiatives as well. The bottom-line is that as a marketer you would certainly want to measure the impact and effect of your activities on any channel.

When it comes to Facebook, the social networking platform is no different. Your brand has a Facebook fan page and you have a bunch of folks who like your company’s official ‘Facebook’ page. You have been posting updates on your Facebook fan page but do not have a clear idea about measuring the response to your activities.

With a few simple yet effective methods, you can measure the level of interactivity of your Fans on the Facebook page:

#1 Using Facebook Insights

A little while back Facebook had announced the improved version of Facebook insights which provides better metrics for Facebook developers and page administrators. The new version has many features which include Page tab analytics, track Facebook sharing and Likes on your own blog or website.

Facebook insights are located on the left sidebar of a fan page and can be accessed by the page administrators.

Facebook Insights

Fan Growth Graph

You can monitor the monthly growth graph of your fans, fans that are being added on a daily basis and the overall rise in fans.

Facebook Fan Growth

Fan Demographics

If you want to position a page towards a particular demographic you can see how many males or females are interacting. The screen below shows that the bulk of the interaction happens in 25 – 34 age groups and the trend holds true for both the males and females category.

Fan Demographics

Fan Geography

Since this is basic data, you might want to dig a little deeper and find out more about the geographic trends like where your fans are coming from. As seen by the figure below Mumbai and Delhi are two of the most popular cities for this fan page. So, if your target audience is from Chennai then you need to figure out how you can position your updates and make them more appealing to the visitors from a particular geography.

Level of Interactions

You can also gauge the type of interactions preferred by your fans i.e. Likes, Comments or even un-subscribes on your page. E.g. it is a matter of concern for a page administrator if the value of un-subscriptions in a week is more than 0 over a consistent period.

Level of Interactions

#2 Using 3rd Party Tools

Other than Facebook’s integrated insights dashboard there are many vendors who provide tools that help the administrators to track activity on their Facebook pages. These tools build on the core philosophy of limitations with Facebook’s own measurement service.

Webtrends Facebook Analytics

Using Facebook’s FBML application you can set up a custom tab which supports HTML language. The limitation with Facebook analytics is it doesn’t quite tell you in detail what happens on the custom tabs. Facebook Insights just shows you the % views received by each one of your tabs.

The Facebook Analytics solution by webtrends captures all the transactional details including custom tabs and flash applications. Similarly if you are running a custom application or are using your Facebook page to drive email sign-ups it can be easily measured by webtrends.

Web Trends Facebook Analytics

#3 Using Google Analytics

If you are a hard-core user of Google analytics and crave for its functionalities then you can integrate its comprehensive set of features with your Facebook fan page. What it means is that you can get insights on your fan pages like visitor statistics, traffic sources, visitor country, keyword searches with all other powerful reporting & maps overlays etc.

To get Google analytics working for your Facebook fan-page, you can follow these steps:

* The first thing that we need to do is setup Google analytics account in-case it is not already setup.
* Then you need to set tracking images and generate custom code.
* The generated code can be placed inside Facebook pages using the FBML application. Google Analytics will track all visits to pages including those pages where the code has been inserted.
* The solution has been created by a London based web-development company for further inputs you can read their detailed blog-post. Another simpler version is available at socialmediaexaminer.com.

It is time for your two cents

If you are aware of other ways and sources through which we can measure the interactions, visitor traffic & other data on Facebook fan page then do let us know and we would be more than glad to include it in this thread.

This exclusive guest post was written by Daksh Sharma is the Director and Co-founder at Iffort, a people centric digital marketing & a web-strategy consulting firm. For more information you can read his blog and visit his company’s website Iffort.


Filed under Facebook