Social Beat is delighted to bring on board David Appasamy to head Brand and Strategy for the company. He will be working closely with the core team to achieve the company’s vision of being amongst the top 10 digital agencies in India by 2018.
Speaking on the appointment, Co-Founder Suneil Chawla said, “We not only share the same Alma Mater, IIM Ahmedabad, but also a shared vision of leveraging the digital medium to deliver business results to the brands and companies we work with. We look forward to David driving strategy and growth along with a focus on key client acquisition”. David comes with over 35 years in companies like ITC Ltd, Mudra DDB and Sify Technologies covering Business Strategy, Brand & Marketing Management, Digital Marketing and Audience Engagement.
Talking about his new role, David stated, “The Internet, and what it represents for companies as a medium for business and marketing, has always been my passion. I am delighted to be part of a start-up that is firmly established and recognised, and excited to focus on growth strategies and the Social Beat brand as a Digital Marketing specialist.”
Co-Founder, Vikas Chawla said “We see David playing a key role in mentoring the core team that the company has built over the last 4 years. As we move towards the next phase of growth, nurturing talent and expanding across the country and globally is going to be key. We are delighted to have David be part of this journey.”
In the past, David has served on the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) advising the UN Secretary General on Internet Governance in 2010 and 2011. He was Co-Chair, International Chamber of Commerce’s Task Force on Internet & Telecoms Infrastructure & Services from 2006 to 2011. He is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the IIM Ahmedabad Chennai Chapter focusing on making it a vibrant, inclusive and rewarding experience for alumni members. David is also involved in multiple social activities including Roofs for the Roofless and the Appasamy Trust focused on self-employment and education.
About Social Beat
Founded in 2012, Social Beat is South India’s leading digital agency which helps companies build their brand and get business results via the digital medium.
Social Beat is a certified Google Partner and a trusted online expert with offices in Chennai & Bangalore. The 40 member team offers integrated digital marketing solutions including website development, app development, user experience consulting, social media marketing, content marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, digital advertising & influencer marketing. Social Beat has two digital products – the first is an influencer marketing platform, Influencer.in and the around user-generated content called Rewardify.
With focus verticals of real estate, e-commerce, healthcare & B2B, they have over 100 clients including Citibank, Saint Gobain, Murugappa Group, Akbar Travels, Sterling Holidays, PN Gadgil, Musafir.com, Casa Grande, Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Hospitals, Sterling Holidays, Chain, Olympia Group, Raintree Hotels, Forum Mall, India Home Health Care, Sulekha.com, Cambridge English & JVC Headphones amongst others.
In recognition of its excellent performance and contribution to the field of digital marketing, Social Beat’s co-founder Suneil Chawla was awarded the Best Digital Marketing Professional by CMO Council 2014 and the Outstanding Digital Person Of the Year award at the Digital Marketing Conclave & Awards 2014 conducted by Think Media Inc and VIT University Business School.
Live Chat is an efficient communication medium for proactively engaging customers and converting them into leads. This can be done at ease with the help of well trained agents using some of the many Live Chat tools avalable. However, deciding which one to pick be a bit confusing. Hence, we have put together a list of the 10 best live chat softwares for your website that can help boost sales and service your customers.
Before we go into the details and the USPs of each of the live chat softwares available, here’s a quick comparison of the features these platforms have to offer and their pricing:
USP: Social Discovery to help better understand the customer
Facebook ,Twitter and LinkedIn icons are bound with the chat option and if the agent feels that he/she can connect with the potential customer through social networking sites the customer can give a friend request or follow the customer directly from the chat area. This feature is called as ‘social discovery’, which is a unique feature and it also helps the agent to know about the customers better and further chats can be made more customisable. The details of the customers can be seen only after accepting the chat requests. Apart fom this, Snap Engage also allows the agents to remotely control the user’s browser and help them navigate to the right pages quickly. Also, tthere are blogs written in their website which helps the agent to enhance his/her skill to be a star agent. Unlimited access to sites is provided by Snap Engage. CRM and help desk can be integrated.
The basic price is $60 in which 4 agents can be employed.
Zopim is an affordable, easy to use Live Chat option. When you engage with a customer, a separate pop up doesn’t appear on the screen for every customer, instead all the windows and controls are integrated with the dash board they offer, unlike many other chat options. Automated chats are possible so that you can reach out to customers, before they complete their conversation. Integrating with Zen Desk can help in multi-channel support like emails and social media. Chat history is available by which it becomes easy for the agent to know the customer.
Free version is available and the basic version costs for $11 (single agent) per month.
The customisable graphical user interface GUI makes Olark stand out from the rest. When it is Christmas time, it gets updated to the Christmas theme. Every celebration can be more fun with the GUI it offers. The logo of the organisation can also be incorporated in the paid versions of Olark. After every chat, rating can be given for the chat from which instant feedback of the conversation through live chat can be noted. Another noteworthy component of Olark is ‘savethecart’ feature by which the agent can know what is the product that is stored in the cart and based upon this the chat can be done and targeting becomes easy.
The basic version costs $15 (single agent) whereas the free version limits in the number of chats.
The geographical location of the website visitor can be tracked along with the content what they are looking for so that even the greeting by the agent can be of the language which the viewer follows which gives a personal connect to the user and the user is more likely to buy the product. Keeping track of the content can also help in product that can be promoted through chat as a follow up. Unlimited access to sites and can be managed centrally. There are three versions like other chats that include basic business, smart business and enterprise Omni.
The basic price is $29.95 and free version is available with limited features
USP: Integration with G-talk and Instant Messenger
Ogg Chat can be integrated with G-Talk and Instant messenger. Separate desired departments can be created and operators can be added to the chat. Every operator can include a schedule chart to keep a track on the pending schedule. Some data are available that can be used to analyse like brief chat history but however real time monitoring of the viewers, usage of canned messages is a considerable setback.
The basic version of the product costs $9.95 and all plans include a 14-day free trial
Internationalisation is possible as it offers real time translation feature. Languages are translated instantly which makes it easy to use in non-English speaking nations. The admin interface isn’t much cluttered. It is a simple, user friendly admin which the consumer may like to use. Prioritising the mails become easy with the email management system that is offered. All the information about the clients can be viewed in one click, but a separate window opens up every time which may be tough to view for a series of clients.
A 30 day free trial is available with constraints and the basic version of LiveHelpNow chat costs $21 per month
USP: Quick response through the Mobile application
Users find the mobile application very useful as the agents can respond to the queries from any place. However, the user interface doesn’t support any other language other than English which is seen as a drawback. Live Chat tickets can be administered through e-mail. Service Level Agreements are complex when compared to other chat options. Kayako allows the user to create a macro which enables automatic response to some of the basic and repeated queries as it reduces the response time of the agent.
PRICING: The basic version of the Kayako Live Chat costs $24 and three versions of Kayako are called as Case, Fusion and Engage
Casengo has one inbox for all the chats, emails and social media posts. The cloud based application allows the responders to post their answers in a quicker phase than other options. The customers of online retailers and other small businesses have the response in a very fast time period. Most of the live chats, attachments can be sent only through downloadable links, where as the file itself can be sent as an attachment, however sending multiple attachments is not an easy task using Casengo.
The basic version costs $9.65 (9Euros), Free version can be used in which enables only the chat option
Comm100livechat, as the name suggests this live chat claims to produce 100 percent uptime. A typing indicator allows agents to see what their customers are typing before they submit their message. With ‘MaximumOn’ technology, the software also ensures that your live chat program runs continuously without interruptions, despite failures at both server and data center levels. Chats can also be extended onto mobile platforms; including on iOS and Android devices.A drag-and-drop file transfer feature allows agents to share a file that provides all the requested information. However, no real time translation is available and no co-browsing option is available.
The basic version of the live chat costs $29 and there are different versions based on the Shared Server and dedicated Server
USP: An all in one live chat with email integration
If your business is a small firm and is looking for a one stop solution that integrates e-mail with your live chat options, website live chat can serve your business. It supports till 20 multiple chats with quick tabs to enable swift performance. The user interface helps to edit the interface without coding. Internal operator chat that helps to interact internally when a query hard to manage by an agent can be used to clear his doubts.
The basic version of the live chat costs $20 and there are different versions available with different pricing.
As the growing digital population is all set to rock India’s economy and business landscape, it has become vital for businesses to go online as well. A budding entrepreneur who is looking at selling his products online can create his own e-commerce website or sell products on other online marketplaces such as Flipkart, eBay, Amazon, etc.
After registering with these online marketplaces that allow you to sell products for a commission, managing different dashboards, stock list & inventories becomes difficult. In order to simplify the online selling process, tools have been developed to integrate all of these into one single dashboard.
Tools like Browntape, ecomdash, boostmysale, etc provide one common dashboard to manage all your orders and inventories across e-commerce platforms. Let’s take a look at what each of these softwares have to offer:
Selling across multiple ecommerce marketplaces in India
If Indian market is your main business focus, the below mentioned tools are some of the key players in providing inventory and order management solutions:
Unicommerce, recently acquired by Snapdeal has an inventory management software for e-commerce, integrated with some of the world’s leading online marketplaces and cart solutions.
It helps in complete order fulfillment life-cycle through real-time maintenance of inventory, orders and shipping process. One can also view key metrics and insights with respect to sales and performance using a single dashboard.
Browntape lets you sell your products across 8 platforms which includes eBay, Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Rediff Shopping, Tradus, Naaptol, shopclues, etc.
It provides a centralised inventory management system that keeps track of the stocks and orders that come in on a real-time basis. One can also print out the shipping labels and send out automated emails to the customer about purchase order status.
This easy to use e-commerce solutions provider integrates inventories, sales and other management factors in one single window. It not only streamlines and automates the processes but also provides insights on scaling up your business and visibility. With real-time inventory and sales figures, Boost My Sale helps in quick decision making and growing the business without having to worry about everyday challenges in sales & supply chain management.
Selling across multiple ecommerce marketplaces globally
Businesses that operate on a large scale and have tie-ups with global online marketplaces can make use of these tools for hassle-free sales and operations:
ecomdash is yet another inventory management & order fulfillment software for multi-channel e-commerce sellers. It provides a single view of all e-commerce operations using a single dashboard. Sales, shipping & inventory management is all automated and also lets us monitor sales & supply chain through effective data management.
Orderhive is a multichannel order & inventory management system that is integrated with leading marketplaces and businesses. It cuts down on the additional infrastructure and maintenance cost for online sellers through its simplified back-end process management. It also provides customised offerings to suit your business needs, in terms of having a dedicated server (such as Bluehost) and managing it efficiently.
It’s a cloud based inventory management application that consolidates and processes orders from multiple marketplaces. It removes the clutter out of multichannel selling and gives real-time updates on competitor’s pricing as well. It also analyses shipping rates and gets the most cost-efficient rates from leading delivery companies to process the orders.
Online selling across various marketplaces means having to oversee and manage different channels and processes. As and when the business grows in terms of more online marketplaces and product orders, resorting to such tools & solutions providers becomes inevitable. They greatly help in streamlining processes, reducing the infrastructure cost and provide great insights, which might otherwise go unnoticed in a daily tracking routine.
Do try out the trial versions or subscribe for the above mentioned tools for your business and share your experience with us in the ‘Comments’ section. And in case we have missed out on other important channel & inventory management tools, do write to us.
For Spidey fans a trivia which says Andrew Garfield admitted to shedding tears the first time he wore the Spiderman costume shooting for The Amazing Spiderman, could be priceless. And for a startup that sells super hero merchandise, this exclusive trivia on their interactive blog could mean serious business. Stories told through videos and blogs are taking the place of advertisements for several startups that are using content to engage with customers.
“Every industry has a story to tell, if they look hard enough. And people continue to love interesting narrative,” said Lakshmanan Narayan, founder of Chennai-based Unmetric, a social media intelligence platform whose company has been serving clients like Toyota, American Airlines and Lowe’s. Most startups working in the online space find content-based marketing or content marketing as a medium to connect to the customer and prefer it over direct marketing. Without pitching brands directly, content marketing looks at generating relevant content that educates and creates awareness among customers.
“Content marketing allows us to engage the customers better by sharing information that is useful for them,” said Rishi Khaithan, cofounder of BuildMyEvent, a Mumbai-based platform, which connects its customers to venues for their events. It also provides platforms for its vendors to connect with the customers via their blog instead of individual marketing.
“Startups don’t have the money to compete with the big names,” said Vikas Chawla of Social Beat, a Chennai-based digital agency delivering social media marketing and ecommerce consulting. “They have to do things in a different way either around the product or around content. Content marketing helps them to do that.”
“People get sick of ads,” says Pradeep Rajadas of Sociall.in, a Chennai-based social media marketing company . “Diversity keeps you engaged. So you have to start spinning stories to which customers can connect to and through which you can promote your brand,” he added. Sociall has developed and marketed content for city-based real estate companies, focusing on the lifestyle, neighbourhood, appreciation of land and so on. The company has also produced content around “investment opportunities” in technology productivity hacks from tech, ROI from your latest smartphone purchase and so on for a gadget retailer.
For e-commerce companies, social media is a critical channel for driving sales. While Google and the display network is an effective medium to reach the target audience, social media networks, especially Facebook are being used to target the right consumers having relevant interests. While it’s important to engage with the audience within Facebook, we have found it to be more effective to drive traffic via Facebook Ads directly to the website or landing page and track results there.
For example, Planet Superheroes, which is into Superhero Merchandise has used FB to segment users who like specific superheroes and are online spenders in India. So superman t-shirt ads are targeted to users who like Superman and fit into the age & location demographic relevant to the brand. This level of granular targeting is possible only in social media. Moreover, organic posts are not enough anymore owing to the recent policy changes for Facebook Pages. This means advertising on Facebook and other channels becomes essential. With the advanced features of Facebook companies can even target their existing customers, friends of their customers and even audiences having similar interests and demographics to their existing customers.
Most importantly, the return on investment is measurable to the last rupee using analytics and conversion tracking tools. This also makes digital marketing more transparent in constantly improving the cost of acquisition for ecommerce brands.
Other Social Media Platforms that e-commerce companies can leverage
Social Media has been crucial to the brand building of e-commerce companies. Not just Facebook but even Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest have enabled even smaller startups find a niche in the crowded e-commerce space. The younger generation is more inclined to using Instagram and Whatsapp and brands are starting to experiment with these networks depending on their target segment. Even usage of pinterest and professional network, Linkedin have grown remarkable and depending on the audience being targetted, different ecommerce companies are using different channels. An interesting case in scenario is Cherrytin, a premium e-gifting destination which has used Instagram & youtube to showcase the premiumness and fun identify of the brand and thereby driving sales in the long run.
We see Whatsapp, Instagram and YouTube playing a pivotal role in the growth of ecommerce brands as the younger generation is adapting to these platforms even faster than they adapted Facebook.
Increased focus on Conversion Rate Optimisation
With tools like Zarget, CrazyEgg and even Google Analytics allowing data points to help improve sales, revenue and conversions, this is going to be a focus area for every ecommerce company.
The Aam Aadmi Party’s Donation drive has always been in the news for all the right reasons – it’s focus on clean money, complete transparency in the process and the use of innovative means and effective social media campaigns to raise funds (an excellent example of this being Arvind Kejriwal’s recent tweet for cash which raised more than Rs. 80 lakh in 24 hours after the tweet).
In this Infographic, we analyze the AAP donation campaign – the average donation per donor, the donations received and the candidates receiving the highest donations.
In the last in a series of three infographics, we analyse the presence on, and effective use of Twitter by the Indian National Congress party.
Just in case you missed our earlier two infographics in the series, you can read the one on the effectiveness of Narendra Modi‘s Twitter campaign hereand the other on Arvind Kejriwal‘s Twitter campaign here.
Do share your views below, on how Twitter and other social media is changing the way election campaigning is done in India.
In the first in a series of three infographics, we analyse the presence on and effective use of Twitter by Narendra Modi, the BJP’s Prime Ministerial Candidate for the 2014 Indian Elections.
Narendra Modi has been using Digital Media very actively and so have other leading politicians, including Arvind Kejriwal. Has the 2014 election campaign replicated the methods used by Barack Obama during the US elections? The BJP and Narendra Modi have definitely taken a cue, while most Congress leaders have stayed away. Here’s a comparison of the 2 US elections in 2008 and 2012 with Indian Elections 2014.
2008 US Election and Comparison with BJP vs. Congress
Barack Obama vs. John McCain is equivalent to BJP vs Congress. While Barack Obama pushed the boundaries of political campaigning online, from raising online contributions to active tweeting, his opponent, John McCain was hardly online. This is very similar to the Indian context, where multiple BJP leaders have built a strong presence and following online – specially Narendra Modi with 12 Million fans on Facebook, while the Congress has by-and-large stayed away, with Rahul Gandhi only having 125,000 Facebook fans.
2012 US Election
In the 2012 US election, Barack Obama was up against Mitt Romney. While Romney did spend approx. $5M online, Obama spent over $47 Million on his digital campaign.
One of the key components to the Obama’s digital campaign was his website barackobama.com, a ‘social network’ where volunteers could sign up, enroll their friends and neighbors and help increase the virality of Obama’s digital campaign.
AAP has taken a leaf out of this and launched https://donate.aamaadmiparty.org , where anyone can contribute to the party with amounts as low as Rs. 1. Similarly, the Volunteer section on the website promotes signups to its volunteer program.
Is the presence of Politicians in Social Media helpful?
The active online presence of politicians and involvement of citizens helps democracy by initiating discussions and debates and helping citizens vote for the best candidate.
Further, this opens the platform to more active democracy, where elected representatives are more accountable to the voters. We have seen social media make businesses more accountable – the day is not far when social media also makes our politicians more accountable.
Watch this space for our next two infographics on the Twitter presence of Arvind Kejriwal and the Indian National Congress.
Indian Politicians have taken note of Social Media and many have actively initiated engagement on Facebook. We analysed the presence of all the current Chief Ministers of India and analysed the extent of their Facebook presence. The infographic shows the Facebook presence for each CM.
The most popular CM on Facebook is Narendra Modi, with over 11 Million likes. Arvind Kejriwal has 4.7 Million likes, while Rahul Gandhi has a relatively low presence with only 120K likes. Closer home, Tamilnadu CM J Jayalalitha has 33,000 likes. Global leaders like Barack Obama have over 39 Million Likes, showcasing the impact of Social Media in US Politics.