Archive for March 2010

7 Things You Should Know About Tweeting for Brands

Using Twitter for promoting brands is becoming very popular, with more and more brands wanting to get onboard with Twitter. Why do some brands become so successful on Twitter platform, while some others gravely fail with their Tweeting adventures? I’ve observed few brands that I follow on Twitter, and listed down seven Twitter best practices used by winning brands. Interestingly, those brands which embarrassingly failed on Twitter did not adhere to most of these Twitter best practices for brands.

Here we go! The list of 7 things you should know when Tweeting for a brand.

One: Focus on quality, not quantity

I have seen many brands becoming overly obsessed about the quantity of followers, and blindly follow thousands of irrelevant people with the hope of some of them will follow their brands back. This is the typical approach of Twitter spammers.

Successful brands on Twitter, always managed to avoid this cheep tactic of attracting followers, and focused on more genuine ways of attracting followers. If you are a Radio station in Bangkok, having 10,000 followers based in USA never going to take you anywhere near success, on Twitter. In contrast, having just 100 Thai nationals to follow your brand can create enriched conversations, within the small community around your brand.

Lesson here is “do not bulk follow irrelevant Tweeters, with the hope of getting some follow back love”.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Posted by Amitha Amarasinghe

Emergence of Truly Social Commerce Websites (A Mini Case of Lulu.com)

Last two years marked an exponential growth for social networking sites across the world, gaining momentum from the early boost they had in the year 2007. Facebook alone accumulated over 350 million by end of 2009, of which the last 100 million came up just within few months. In August 2009, Facebook noted that they are already cash-flow positive, with the help of their innovative advertising platform which allows micro level ad targeting for marketers. Remarkable fact is, all this growth took place, in an era where everything else was heading directly downwards.

Other social networks too did quite well in accumulating users during 2009, but the profit potential for these sites are still questionable due to the lack of a stable revenue model. Selling advertising space to third party companies might not be a sustainable model in the long run, as people are becoming more and more advertising-proof on these social networking sites. When more and more low quality advertisers (mostly spammers) come online on Facebook ads (and other social network advertising programs), people will start to suspect the trustworthiness of ads being delivered to them. This type of low quality advertising accounted for the rapid drop of click through rates (CTR) on Google Adwords, during the years of 2007 and 2008. Given this scenario, it is at high risk for these social networking sites to trust selling advertising space as their primary revenue model.

The other alternative practiced by some social networks is charging a premium free for additional privileges. Linkedin.com, Ning, and WAYN remains to be the best examples of trying this strategy. However, this still is a risky venture to depend on too much. Internet works best, when people have free access to information. Everything else on internet is promising more free stuff, starting from free POP3 email, free web analytics, free online document sharing, and free domain hosting. The minute someone else comes up with the same premium features on Ning for 100% free; the entire revenue model of Ning will be in turmoil. (No one ever expected to see an “enterprise level web analytics tool” for 100% free).

Saturday, March 13, 2010
Posted by Amitha Amarasinghe

Six Degrees of Separation – The Foundation of Social Media


Before I tell you a word further, I want to tell you that you MUST WATCH the video embedded below. If you are not into social media as much as I do, you will start to realize from where I got the inspiration.

I use two theories, every time I explain “Social Media” to someone. First one is the monkeysphere theory (or the Dunbar’s Number). The other theory is Six Degrees of Separation (or the Small World Phenomenon). I believe, these are the two most fundamental concepts of making all social network sites so interesting to watch. It is based on these two theories, that we can leverage the power of social media for marketing an idea or a product.

What exactly is six degrees of separation all about? In plain English, SDOS means that you need only six nodes of social connections to connect with any of the 6 billion human beings on planet earth. Surprised? Did you know that you are connected to president Obama, by only six social connections in the middle? Let me not explain this further, and invite you to watch this wonderful documentary produced by BBC.

(This is a high quality video which you can watch in full screen. Click on "full screen" icon on bottom right hand side corner of the embeded video)



Six degrees of separation from Adam Woozeer on Vimeo.



Originally posted on www.amisampath.com Like this blog? Get email updates when I post next time, or subscribe to the feed on a reader. Follow me on Twitter @Amisampath 
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Posted by Amitha Amarasinghe

Using Social Media for Just Promoting a Product is Not Social Commerce

Social Commerce may be the next big thing to storm the online discussion forums and blogs. Last two years brought many new changes to the world we live in; starting from the growing popularity of online social networks, web 2.0 technologies, micro blogging, and citizen journalism. Some argued this as the social media revolution. Marketers too wanted to quickly jump into the bandwagon with big talks about social media marketing, viral lops and customer engagement through online communities. While the effectiveness of most of these social media marketing endeavors remains questionable; buzz about a new concept called “social commerce” is gaining momentum on various forums.

It’s still the early days, so not much of resources you can find on the internet, written in depth about Social Commerce. I first read it in a Business Today article, and then stumbled upon on couple of blog posts discussing this upcoming concept.

But for my disappointment, most online resources I found about Social Commerce, limit its scope for leveraging social networks and online communities for selling a predefined product.

Friday, March 5, 2010
Posted by Amitha Amarasinghe

Is Skypenames2.exe a Virus?




If you are Skype user, and tried to log into your account recently, you would have noticed this message “Skypenames2.exe wants access to your program” (or something similar). It gives you two options, either to accept access or deny. Is this a virus, or a malware? I researched a little bit into this, and learned Skypenames2.exe is a legit program developed by Skype. At once, you might suspect if Skypenames2.exe a virus trying to access your web browsers. But, as confirmed by Skype’s technical support team, this is a legit program to be used with your regular Skype installation. What does Skypenames2.exe do? [Continue after these ads]




According to Skype’s technical support response, Skypenames2.exe is the program which highlights the phone numbers inside your web browser, to enable one-click calling through Skype. According to them, it is completely safe to allow access for Skypenames2.exe.

If you would like to remove the number highlighting feature in Skype, you can disable Skypenames2.exe with following steps.

To disable number highlighting (Skypenames2.exe) please follow these steps:
1. Open your web browser
2. On the toolbar you should see the Skype Add-on/extension icon
3. Click on the icon to turn it off.

If you are not able to find an add-on/extension icon, then reinstall
Skype as follows:

1. Uninstall Skype from:
Start > Settings > Control Panel > "Add or Remove Programs" (for Vista
users, Start > Settings > Control Panel > "Programs and Features"). 2. Search for "Skype" and remove/uninstall it.
3. Download Skype from http://www.skype.com/go/download

Important: Once you start the installation process, click on Options,
and make sure the following check box(es) are unticked:
- Install Skype extension for Mozilla Firefox
- Install Skype add-on for Internet Explorer

And proceed with the installation as usually.






Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Posted by Amitha Amarasinghe

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