August 2010
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Get Social Media savvy

Most of us fell into social media. We ended up on Facebook and Twitter, possibly with a blog that three friends now read, but have not truly understood why social media is important and how we can use it to enhance our image, or promote our business. The subject is not exactly taught at school either.

Now advertising agency Dentsu India has brought out a handbook to guide us through the booming world of social media. The Social Media Handbook covers blogs, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Orkut, Twitter, wikis, forums, chat rooms, podcasts and MySpace.

Other sites and tools, such as, the social news site, analytics tools like Twitteranalyzer (which lets you see who retweets your messages and what people are writing about you), too, are covered, as is the meaning of au courant words like ‘microblogging’ and ‘mashup’.

Says Sandeep Goyal, chairman, Dentsu India: “We felt that there was a gap in understanding on social media. Everyone knows a bit. Some know more than a bit. Only a few know a lot. We felt that a simple handbook would help.”

Krishna Prasad, chief experience officer, Dentsu Digital, adds: “Social media has touched a large number of people in different ways, so the awareness is there. But what is it really, what does it cover, who is a social media expert, how can I benefit from social media, etc, were questions that went unanswered.”

What could social media do for your brand?

Learn what people are saying about you. Create buzz for events. Find new opportunities and customers. Improve your search engine visibility.

Why should your business be connected via social media?

Branding and Buzz Creation: Try and create a recognisable identity for your product or service, which is of high importance for a small-sized business. Get the word out about your products and services in a way that promotes online conversation.

Online Reputation Management: You are being talked about on various Websites, forums and blogs. Each voice is important so keep track of, analyse and respond to it. Try to fix it if there is any wrong perception floating around.

Establish yourself as an expert: Use forums and message boards to answer questions professionally, honestly and correctly, which will earn you respect as an expert in your niche. And then people online will look forward to your answers.

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