What, How and Why of Social Media Branding for Startups

This post has been orignally published on the PuneStartups website by me. Reposting it here for the benefit of readers of this blog
I attended the a social media conference that was held at Persistent Systems in Pune on 7th Sep. 2013. It was a very good event that gave an overview of social media in branding yourself and your business.

For the benefit of people who couldn’t make it to the event, I’m posting the notes I took during the event.
Note: This is not a comprehensive or complete coverage of the event and not in any particular order, just some points that I thought were worth jotting down, none the less I think these are worth sharing.

Why use social media as branding tools?

  1. Helps create awareness about your product/service.
  2. Facilitates one to one communication with your audience.

How to make content go viral?
No one has cracked this.
But the general guidelines are these,

  • Create great & useful (for your target audience) content. If it isn’t the useful, it won’t matter how great the content is because it won’t convert into sales, at best just good entertainment value.
  • Try to get other influencers share your content.
  • Important to get your audience insight
  • Encourage people sharing their stories
  • Be a moderator, encourage people to talk with each other.

Can I get sales out of social media?
Indirectly yes, by creating awareness and driving traffic to finally converting. Don’t do aggressive sales on social media, build a relationship with audience first as a thumb rule.

To be effective on social media, you will have to,

  • Start/get involved in conversations on topics that matter to you.
  • Express your own opinions on the matters, rather than just echoing opinions of other people.
  • Hijack trending topics that are relevant to you and contribute to the discussions.

To create a brand for yourself, is it necessary to write just about the professional things that we do at work.  
No, it’s not necessary to write about what you do professionally. Infact you should write about things you are passionate and excited about, it might be things you do professionally or as a hobby or one of your side projects etc. This will highlight things about you that people normally wouldn’t know about.

Didn’t bogging die with the advent of twitter?
No. If you want to express your feelings/opinions in more than 140 chars bogging is useful. Attention span has decreased with advent of twitter, so keep it short and keep scope for comments.

Measure of effectiveness on platforms such as twitter and fb:

See it from a qualitative angle rather than quantitative measure.  One RT from an influencer is more imp than several RTs from non-influencers.

Concern about privacy and identity theft.
For concern regarding privacy, there are basic privacy settings which you need to set right away on various social networking sites, but the best way is to put content online which is not personal and which you don’t mind making public anytime.

Regarding Identity theft, there is no other option than be very careful and in the lookout if there is something unusual going on in your account. Having said that you cannot stay away from having a social media presence because of the possibility of someone trying to steal your identity online.

Why use different social media sites?
Because different social media sites have different characteristics and USPs,
Facebook: Mostly for friends and family and people who you have been associated with.
Twitter: Follower/Following dependent on content rather than relationship. Good to find relevant content and start conversations with like minded people who care about topics you care about.
Linkedin: Professional social networking, good to connect with whom you have professional relations with or with whom there is a likely chance of having a professional relationship with in the future.

The important thing is to choose which ones suits your requirements and making the most out of it.
Which Social Media are a must to be on currently,
1. Twitter,
2. Quora,
3. Blogging,
4. Linkedin.

That’s it for now. What do you think, is there anything that you would want to add? Please do so in the comments, I will gladly add it in this post.


Beagle Board and Hawk Board Seminar

On 30th oct. (saturday), I attended a seminar on Beagle & Hawk Board at the CDAC centre in juhu Mumbai. It was a very interactive seminar, lots of stuff related to beagle & hawk boards, and how you can use them were told & discussed.

beagle board

here is a summary of what happened in this one day seminar:

Syed Khasim, who works at Texas Instruments and is known as one of the founders of beagle board started of the seminar with the overview of beagle board & the related families of processors on these boards.

He next mentioned the importance of choosing the right processors & boards for your projects as these make a difference in performances & costs. Texas Instruments as processors suitable for almost all applications from the basic (Sitara) to advanced which use audio, video & graphics capability namely the OMAP series of processors. So you can choose based on the your specific requirements & save costs & increase performance.

Capability of OMAP

Khasim demoed how to install Andriod on beagle & hawk boards. Some boards also come with android pre-built on the boards. For details you can visit rowboat project page. You can also install Ubuntu, Angstrom & Win CE on these boards. All follow basically the same steps with a few custom changes.

Demo of installing and working with apps on boards

After Khasim’s talk there was a session by Sunny Siji of Bizmobiletech who gave an overview of the OS on beagleboard and also talked about UI & Application development on the boards.

Chaitannya Mahatme of Pune’s open arm lab gave a presentation about building tool chains for ARM, such as linkers, loaders, compilers etc. and also gave a brief talk on the build environment for the linux & ARM.

A few people who already owned the boards had some problems which were solved & discussed at the end part of the seminar, and the interesting thing was the solutions were given by many in the audience. The seminar concluded with discussions on the things such as how to get this initiative of bringing the users & developers of beagle, hawk & panda boards together and how it can be made to do something substantial. All in all, I had a great time.

Note: I have not gone in detail about the various topics as it would be a very long post. I will write about these separately as & when i try these out, which hopefully will be very soon.


Beagle Board mailing list/group:

If you are a interested in beagle, hawk, panda boards in Pune and want to know more, you can visit Open ARM Lab website which they have just launched and also join their mailing list, it is a good resource.

Open ARM Lab Pune, mailing list:

If you can know any other resources please write them in the comments section below, it will help the readers & me as well.

Google Instant

Google is rolling out google instant in India.  When I opened google this morning there it was.. finally I could use google instant. here is a short demo with screenshots:

when you first open google

When you first open google

When you first open google you will not notice anything different. it is when you start typing in the word you want to search, that you start noticing something….for this demo i’m using the keyword ‘nikhil’…


When start typing the keyword

you will notice that results are displayed as soon as i have started typing, it gives the relevant results for the words present in the search box as you keep typing, as you can see i have typed only the letter n of ‘nikhil’, it shows the most searched items beginning with n, similarly it will show the most searched items when i have typed the letters ‘nik’ & ‘nikh’ of the word ‘nikhil’, as shown in the images below.

search displayed as you type in the search box

search result displayed as the you type in the box

Also notice as we type in the keyword google highlights in grey of the most searched word of containing the same letters. (not sure if this there earlier)

word highlighted in grey.

google has also provided an option to turn google instant on & off,  this is located right next to the search box as shown

You can turn google instant on & off as & when you want.

At first glance Google Instant looks good, the search results are displayed faster than before. Looking forward to using it more and if there is something else to write about I will update this post.

Search Engines

From the past couple of days I have come across some very interesting new search engines, Google is still the big daddy as far as search engine goes, google i guess has the most number of users in the world than any other company and has the largest conglomerate on the internet with google docs, blogspot, google video,  youtube etc… but almost all its services can’t be called No.1, now they are sure to feel the heat in its primary domain which is ‘Search’.

here are a few new ones:

  1. : This is a newly lauched search engine by Microsoft, the other big daddy. They call this the ‘decision engine’.
  2. :  This is one of the engines that i liked and thought would be usefull, it not only gives links to websites that includes relevant topics but also gives results in various sections, such as, At a Glance where you get a brief para on the relevant topic, Video, Images, Blogs and Q&A’s on the revelant topics are also shown in sections which can really be helpfull in trying to accurately find what you are looking for.
  3. : This one also gives relevant links & brief paras on whatever topic you are looking for.
  4. This one is in the niche of finding relevant pdf files for your search query.
  5. This one I found of little use until now, but is a niche search engine claiming to be a scientific search engine, but many of the results to my query were not found, but if you enter a mathematical query it gives you the result. It has the potential, but has to go a long way i feel.

To conclude i think many of these search engines at present fill a niche that google has left out and they certainly are a good alternative for google in some cases & will be good competition. Hopefully we will see some quality features in the coming future from these companies in a bid to woo the users.