It’s A Wrap! Using Video To Connect With Your Audience

March 3, 2013

Using video content to market your business may seem a little daunting, but it is certainly a more engaging and popular medium compared to text and images alone. As popularity of video sites such as YouTube and Vimeo continue to soar, let’s look at some considerations in using video to propel your business towards success.

Video is much more than just filming yourself. Consider many of the options available: clever combination of text and voice over, screen captures to make a product tutorial, slideshows of images with music. For video content, your imagination is the limit!

The ways you approach a video is dependent on your target audience, so first you must be armed with a game plan:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What is your budget?
  • What is the message you want to convey?
  • What call-to-action do you want them to take at the end of the video?

Video experts can help you produce high quality videos suitable for commercial purposes. On the other hand, just a personal device like iPhone will be sufficient for a younger audience on social platforms.

Once you have your video, upload it to sites like YouTube or Vimeo. Make sure your videos are accompanied with suitable keyword-rich titles, descriptions, and tags so that users can easily search for your videos. YouTube also offers advanced options such as embedding links and providing subtitles onto your video to make it even more easily accessible.

Finally, remember to share your videos on your website, Facebook, and other social media platforms. With videos, you have the option to embed them directly onto your sites so that users can play the video and engage directly with it without leaving the webpage.

And the best way to get started? Just start filming!

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Instagram: A Snapshot For Business Success

February 27, 2013


Instagram, the photo editing and sharing app for mobile and tablet has reached stardom. Bought by Facebook for a staggering US$1 billion, it was a solid testament from the social media giant on the future of instant photo sharing.

Putting the power of photography back into the hands of everyday users like you and me, the lure of Instagram is its easy way to capture and create beautiful shots for instant sharing onto multiple social platforms. The powerful connection forged between users on Instagram is not to be underestimated; some 80 million are now snapping and sharing away with a passion never seen before.

How can your business leverage the power of Instagram?

First, connect your Instagram account to your existing social networks, like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Flickr. The Instagram app is designed to make sharing to multiple platforms a snap so when you take a shot, everyone within your social circle can see, like, and comment instantly.

Second, use hashtag, but sparingly. Clever use of hashtags make it easy for your photos to find new admirers and it is also a creative way to convey a message to your users.

Third, use photos to tell a brand story. Instagram is renowned for its simplicity – take a photo, apply a filter, and upload. Take it a step further to promote your brand on the platform. Product launches, event exclusives, and daily shots are all great material for Instagram.

Fourth, get your fans snapping. Instagram makes it easy for you to get your fans to create content for you. For example, you can ask you fans to snap photos based on a particular theme, and hashtag it. Creating a buzz online has never been so easy, or so engaging.

How are you using Instagram for your business?

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The Great War of Microblogging: Twitter vs Sina Weibo

February 23, 2013

With Sina Weibo launching an English platform to entice microbloggers to use its service, the battle ground is drawn. While both Twitter and Sina Weibo have their own merits, the decision to go for either or both is not an easy one.

PRDA Asia recommends that you evaluate both platforms with these findings.

With its engaging features such as Medal Reward System, Hall of Fame and rich media integration, Sina Weibo bodes well with entertainment and celebrity content. Twitter on the other hand stays true to its simplicity-is-king philosophy and is therefore an appropriate platform when it comes to business and professional content.

Though Sina Weibo is also available in English, a large majority of its users are in China and write in Chinese. Businesses wishing to enter China market will do well on this platform.

On the other hand, Twitter is largely a non-Chinese platform. Apart from its high usage rate in the English-speaking business world, increasingly more China companies reach out to English audience on Twitter.

It is also crucial to point out that, unlike Twitter whereby freedom of speech is upheld by-and-large, Sina Weibo accounts are regulated by the Chinese officials. Tales of government censorship and content control are rife. Twitter exists in a free yet mature market, while Sina Weibo exists in a less free, and growing market, so consider this when you decide to use Sina as a microblogging platform of choice.

Your choice between either platforms will depends on your target audience, business purposes and languages used.

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Using Pinterest To Pin Your Business To The Leaderboard

February 21, 2013

In the age of oversharing, engaging your users using visuals (instead of text) seems to be the new trick on the social network block. The beauty of carefully curated photos and the love for liking, sharing, and commenting seem to be a match made in heaven, and Pinterest is one of the best platforms available at the moment.

You will do well to enlist Pinterest in your social media network; here’s five tips to get you ahead of the pack:

#1 Confirm that images do, in fact, represent your business

As a visual platform, Pinterest can only work its magic if your business and images go hand-in-hand together. It is a no brainer for fashion stores, restaurants, travel operators and beauticians to hop onto the bandwagon, but can it work for a financial institution? Make sure you you can utilise Pinterest’s platform for your specific business.

#2 Keep it nice, keep it clean

The layout of Pinterest is incredibly clean and pleasing to the eye. Pin your images with care, and be selective. Organise them into appropriate themed boards so that your users can enjoy your content most easily and most efficiently.

#3 Share the love

As a business, it is natural to promote your own content, and yours exclusively. However, the key to success on Pinterest is the value of the community. Be sure to balance your Pinterest with self-promotion and sharing other pinboards and images related to your business for success.

#4 Make your content shareable

This may seem obvious, but you may be surprised by how many businesses that forget to make their content shareable. Images on your website should be made instantly pin-able to Pinterest using the available plugin. Make it easy for your users to show you some pinning love.

#5 Get inspired… by your competitors

The idea is not to steal, but to learn. Browse around pins and boards of other similar businesses, and learn why some are more successful than others. This could serve as a great jumpstart to your Pinterest effort.

Everyone loves a good visual, so start pinning today.

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PRDA Shares: Social Media Trends to Look for in 2013

February 7, 2013


2012 has come and gone, and with a new year, it’s time to put our social media strategies into high gear. PRDA has put together a short list of social media trends that you should look out for in 2013.

Increasing Visuals

2012’s big news was Facebook purchasing Instagram. It should come as no surprise that eye-catching images will be crucial this upcoming year. Likewise, Pinterest grew the quickest- over 1000%- in 2012. To keep up with the social media game, 2013 will have brands needing to embrace the right visual platform to reach their consumers.

Twitter Soars

Facebook’s public status has caused the social media giant to worry about profits. This has hurt some brand pages with limited reach algorithms and pay-to-use services. Twitter continues to deliver its users’ messages to all followers without limitations. Twitter has also started personalizing profiles with a “TweetRank” that includes engagement, influence, and interests. This allows brands to better target the right audience.

Go Mobile

There are over 600 million total monthly mobile active Facebook users. Every major social media network has a mobile ready site, as well as a mobile application designed for users on the go. Creating content that is mobile friendly will be crucial this year as more brands find consumers researching brands, products, and services from their tablets and cellphones.

Facebook Improves

Facebook will work hard to maintain its social media dominance this year. They are rolling out user satisfaction surveys to try to hone what consumers are really looking for on social media and what brands need to aid their social media marketing strategies. Their soon-to-be new feature, Graph Search, will allow users to find photos, products, and pages that match their interests more easily. A premium version of Facebook Pages will be offered to give brands better insights around specific fan segments to more efficiently target their consumers and better tailor their content.

Don’t let your brand fall behind. Stay on top of the latest social media news and trends by visiting PRDA online.

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PRDA Helps You Reach Consumers With SoLoMo

January 21, 2013

Marketers are always looking for new ways to reach more consumers within their target audience. With an increase in mobile use and social media, marketing strategies are evolving. SoLoMo, a new marketing strategy, has proven to be very successful in today’s electronic world and PRDA has taken note.

SoLoMo combines three things that today’s consumers rely on when searching for products and services: SOcial media, LOcal information, and MObile usage. Mobile devices utilize users’ locations to deliver relevant information online and through social media. This technology can be taken advantage of to reach consumers in your target market.

China has surpassed the US as the world’s top smartphone market. There are over 1 billion mobile subscribers, with over 400 million consumers taking advantage of mobile web. China is also home to the world’s largest e-commerce market with an expected worth of 2 trillion yuan by 2015. Mobile usage, e-commerce, and social media usage have all increased significantly every quarter.

How can your business capitalize on this new trend in China? Use social media tools to drive traffic to your product.

Creating business pages on the best and most used social networks will give your company more visibility and will allow you to build trust in your brand. This also allows you to introduce offers locally to your target consumers. Mobile users spend most of their time on social media, so don’t miss out.

Be sure to include localization in your web pages and online stores. This localization will be useful when mobile users search for a specific product online. Optimize your website for mobile usage and consider developing an app for your consumers to use. Mobile users are people of action, so be sure to include all your information: phone number, location, hours, and special offers.

For more advice on how to maximize your social media experience, visit PRDA online.

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Simple Tips for Small Business Social Media Success from PRDA

January 8, 2013

In the year 2013, your business will fall behind if it doesn’t have a presence in social media. Before buying a product, trying out a restaurant, or visiting a star attraction, consumers turn to social media to do their research. When a small business has little to no presence online, consumers are likely to turn a blind eye. Here are some simple tips to guide you in your social media experience.

Have a Strategy

There are plenty of social media platforms to choose from, but your business doesn’t necessarily need to be on all of them. Which platforms are your target customers more likely to be on? With over 1 billion users, Facebook is a very popular choice. Products with strong visual images will perform best on Instagram and Pinterest, while Yelp and Foursquare accounts are crucial for restaurants and shop owners.

Be Consistent

Regardless of how many content contributors you may have, ensure that your business is represented the same every time. All of your messages should have the same tone of voice, the same style, and the same subject matter. Consistency in posting frequency is crucial as well. Clogging up your fans’ newsfeeds will cause your messages to lose meaning and your business to lose followers.

Be Social

One of the most common mistakes businesses make in social media is being too impersonal. Try not to self-promote too frequently; these types of messages will come across as advertisements and will cause fans to lose interest. Build a community with your fans and gain their trust. Listen to their comments and always respond to feedback, even negative ones. Responding to negative feedback is one of the easiest ways to stop negative word of mouth dead in its tracks, and a great way to turn a disgruntled customer into one who’s willing to try again.

For more social media advice, visit PRDA online.

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The Opportunities and Pitfalls of Android Apps In China

November 19, 2012

With over 35 million active iOS and Android devices in China, there is no denying that the mobile app in the mainland is huge, the kind of scale that makes small and big investors alike eager to make their mark. However, such a market comes with its own set of potential as well as challenges.

Consider the top downloaded social applications by users in China:

(Source: China Internet Watch)

If your business is suitable for the apps market, entering China seems like a no brainer. However, there are challenges.

As Google has yet to formally support the Android Market in the country due to censorship concerns and ongoing discussion with the China government, the app market is fragmented with dozens of alternative stores operated by small studios. These independent outfits engage in fierce battle for app market dominance. Just to name a few, there is AppChina, Tencent’s app store, Gfan, HiAPK, etc. and many, many more.

(Source: Tech in Asia)

With such a free app market, it can be as a boom to businesses who can swoop in with useful apps and market it on multiple stores. However, this scenario is also riddled with ongoing problems such as piracy, malware risks, and lack of an app payment gateway.

Yet another consideration for businesses considering entering the China app market would be a unique industry dynamic quite unseen in other countries. Unlike “the long tail” theory, in China, a very small percentage of the applications (estimated at around 4%) accounts for more than 80% of active installations. Highly popular apps are getting the lion’s share of app users attention, while many others remain totally unheard of.

It does seem that until Google launches an Android Marketplace for China, the marketplace may not be as comfortable as it can be for businesses to get into. The future, of course, remains uncharted and as volatile as ever.

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What do Tone of Voice and Frankensteins monster have in common? It’s alive!

October 11, 2012

Tone of Voice (TOV) is an old concept for Brands. PR releases, marketing and advertising campaigns follow strict brand and communication guidelines to ensure consistent presentation to the public. Additionally, with social media, TOV has taken on a higher level of importance. The luxury of pre-conceived topics spoon fed to journalists who are expected to reply days, weeks or months later are gone. Fans now voice their opinion on whatever topic they choose and expect Brands to respond in real time. This is an odd concept for me as I have always rejected the diffusion of responsibility within a faceless company in favour of having one person respond. But today’s social media, like Dr. Frankenstein gave to his monster, has given life to the Brand.

Important guidelines for TOV:

  • Corporate culture and brand story should be clearly reflected in TOV
  • Fans’ and customers’ way of communicating (use of language, education level, local phrasing) must be considered so the TOV “fits in” with the conversation
  • Be consistent — TOV must be documented with guidelines. Inconsistent responses make fans uncomfortable, much like having an acquaintance with mood swings is not fun
  • Multiple TOV’s for a brand are acceptable provided they follow guidelines and have purpose. Example:
    • Daily engagement – follow language use of fans, be friendly and engaging
    • Corporate B2B – formal and structured, response is concise using the grown up voice
    • Customer service – empathy and informative, provide direction for solutions

Note for SME’s

Most businesses in the world are small businesses. The TOV on social media usually reflects the business owner and is often managed by them. Please note that we all have good days and bad days, but the message that you post on social media must always reflect your “good days”. When you post on social media, all the world can see and there is no taking it back.

Much success,

Doug

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What does Yahoo and Big Tobacco have in common? Children.

September 17, 2012

Yahoo, once a golden child of the internet it has plunged into obscurity almost as complete as Friendster and MySpace. Having lost relevance across its entire product line,  Yahoo is now taking a lesson from Big Tobacco and targeting children.


I am a social media consultant through my agency PRDA. The advice I give clients follows common sense and good business practice. Target your demographic and those that will most likely be loyal consumers. All statistics show that:

  • Ages < 24 are large consumers of online time, but represent a small portion of money spent online.
  • Ages > 24 spend less time, but spend a much more significant amount of money.
  • 35 -54 is where the real cash is. They spend a significant amount of time online and spend the most money.

So why has Yahoo decided to target the youngest age group with the lowest spending potential? The most obvious reason has been mentioned; they were competitively shut out of the more lucrative areas. But there may be something to this. Historically big tobacco made a killing (pun intended) off of addicting children to the brand. McDonalds’ success is due to the influence kids have on their parents’ wallets. And more recently, apps such as Instagram have seen stratospheric valuations based on zero revenue but fanatical Gen Z members.


The problem comes from Yahoo being a mature business. They are unlikely to get a stupid valuation based on a surge of activity from kids on their site. So how long can they go without paying the rent?

Business is in business to make money. It is unclear why fundamentals often go out the window when something flashy and exciting comes along. I will cheer the success of Facebook and Instagram, but I have a better chance of winning the lottery than repeating those achievements.

Much success,

Doug