Content Amplification Strategies to promote content

Why content promotion is essential

Good content can go a long way in effectively building brand recall and trust with a brand’s target audience. This has made content marketing a key ingredient in every business’ digital marketing strategy.

With all marketers the world over dishing out content to reach, inform, engage, educate and connect to their target audience to build their brand, the amount of content produced on a daily basis has grown exponentially. Sure, the internet population has grown as well, but content creation and publishing is growing at a rate much faster than the growth in internet connectivity. In fact, as per a recent AOL and Nielsen report, over 27,000,000 pieces of content are shared every day! Even if we assume that only 1% of this content is great content, that’s a really huge number of great content pieces being published every day! In such a scenario, it is critical to ensure that content cuts through the clutter and reaches the audience it has been created for.

Content amplification strategies

Simply ideating, creating and publishing content does not work anymore and content distribution requires as much, if not more, effort as content creation. A word of caution here though – content amplification works best for content that has been ideated and created keeping in mind the interests and needs of the target audience. So, here are content amplification strategies you can use to effectively promote your content:

Respond to questions on Quora

Quora is recognised as the most comprehensive and trusted online forum. You can ask and answer questions relating to any subject matter. Since forums provide an open source for your Target Audience to discuss a topic, you can add value by responding to their queries using your existing write-up, if relevant. You can also link back to your blog or website, which effectively renders your work as a credible source.

Tweet various snippets from your content

Have interesting stats or facts that are share-worthy as individual pieces of content? Share those snippets on Twitter. The microblogging giant is one of the most active social media platforms today, so anything interesting that fits within 140 characters is bound to be retweeted. You can even take screenshots of other elements like pictures, infographics and quotes and use a shortened URL of your website for promotion.

Get featured in industry roundups

Roundups are collections of the best or most happening events in a particular industry. If your content is information based, you have a high chance of featuring in a roundup. Begin by searching for relevant roundups on Google (limit your search to the past month), then pitch your content to the roundup curators. If luck is on your side, the curators will feature your content in their collection. Roundups are searched extensively by business professionals, so your content will reach a niche audience, which works brilliantly for amplification purposes.

Contact people who have shared similar content

While researching for your content, you will surely come across existing articles that have written on the topic similar to yours. Content from reputed sources should already be generating traffic through social media shares. Your best bet is to copy the URL of the article and search for it on sites like Twitter and Facebook. You will be able to spot people who have shared the content, so contact these people through a direct message, requesting them to share what you have done as well.

Link to relevant sites/Mention entities when sharing

While researching, you may also come across interesting pieces of information that were quoted by credible sources. It is advisable to link to these sources while writing your article. When you publish your content and promote it on social media, use Twitter mentions or Facebook hashtags to prompt those sources that you’ve used their information. Doing so will increase the chance of your article being viewed by multiple individuals through the mentions.

Use Sniply to leverage the reach of content from more reputed sources

Sniply is a very simple yet effective tool that lets you create a one-liner message about your article and display it along with a button prompt. You can use Sniply to overlay your custom message onto any other piece of relevant content. The tool lets you drive conversions from one piece of shared content to another. Let’s assume you’ve found content that shares information about a topic similar to yours; you can use the Sniply tool to add your link to the topic, prompting the reader to delve deeper and gain more knowledge on the subject matter.

Post on relevant LinkedIn groups

LinkedIn is nothing but the Facebook variant for all things professional. If you’ content has information that can help professionals, LinkedIn is the best platform for promotional purposes. Much like Facebook communities, LinkedIn has an option where you can create groups. Find such groups that could make the most out of your content and share it on their pages.

Contact people who have linked to similar content

There is competition everywhere nowadays; you are sure to find a whole lot of articles similar to yours. Some of these articles would have gained immense social share yet may lack certain pieces of information that your article has. You can take advantage of this by pasting the URL of the similar articles on Ahrefs or Open Site Explorers. You will get a list of pages or sites that have used those articles as links. Reach out to those sites and ask them to link your fresher and better content.

Turn content into a ppt/pdf and upload to SlideShare

SlideShare is the perfect place to promote presentations to get the visibility you need. Once you upload your content on Slideshare, you can also share the link on LinkedIn as well. LinkedIn, as we all know, is fast becoming the go-to spot for business professionals when it comes to reading about industry related news and topics.

Leverage the reach of Influencers

Reaching out to influencers at scale is a good idea to amplify your content. Getting your content featured by some key influencers or getting them to share your content can amplify your reach drastically. Pick influencers that are relevant to your domain and engage with them. Contact more than one influencer and engage with them regularly for better reach.

The content mentioned above include promotion strategies that are used to their fullest potential by some of the best content marketers on the planet. Of course, some of these strategies may die out while others will evolve, so to stay ahead of the curve, you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled and ears tuned.

If there are any content distribution channels which you have tried that could be added to the list, do let us know in the comments below.

Complete Guide to Twitter Ads

As a brand, you might be confused on whether Twitter Ads can provide a good ROI for your marketing budget or pushing more money on Facebook Ads can deliver better business results.

Before kick-starting Twitter Marketing, it would be great if you can set clear the goals you need to achieve from the ads. Any marketing strategy implemented without a clear objective would fail to deliver results, and Twitter is no exception.

Why should brands leverage Twitter Ads?

Facebook & Google Ads are undoubtedly quite popular among marketers. So, it’s important to know the reasons why brands should leverage Twitter Ads:


  • No Text Limit on the images

Facebook has a very powerful targeting back-end but the text limit of 20% sometimes can be a hassle. Communicating the message with call-to-action & brand logo might seem difficult sometimes. Twitter doesn’t have this limitation & this is a major advantage for running detailed offer ads.

  • One-click seamless Lead Generation

Twitter Lead Generation Ads have a great advantage that it generates lead with one-click on Twitter, without the need for the interested audience to click & go to the landing page or a website. This reduction in the funnel length increases the conversion rate for your lead generation. Recently, Facebook has also launched its Lead Generation Ads on similar lines (currently this feature is only available through the Power Editor).

  • Easy Ad interface

The Twitter Ads dashboard is simpler in comparison to the more complex Ads interface of Google. It requires practice & time before the Ads creation can be mastered. Facebook Ads interface can fall in between Google & Twitter.

  • Target users based on Accounts followed

Twitter allows you to accurately target the followers of a particular account. This can be a great way to target the fans/customers of your competitors. Facebook allows you to target the fans of a page only if you are the page admin.

  • Keyword Targeting

Keyword targeting feature is similar to Google Adwords where you can target people who have tweeted using certain keywords or have interacted with tweets containing those keywords. Broad, Phrase & Negative keyword targeting is allowed.

  • Detailed Ad Content

Twitter has 140 characters restriction for tweets but you can leverage the Twitter Cards that allow you to add more text content along with links, quite similar to Facebook ads. We shall look at the different Ad types in the late section.

Different Type of Ads on Twitter

Twitter offers many different type of Ads such as Promoted Account, Promoted Tweet, Website Click/Conversion, App Install, Lead Generation, Promoted Trends and Video View ads. Let us have a look at each of these types below:


Promoted Account / Follower Ads:

When someone follows you on Twitter, you get the chance to engage with them over time. Studies show that followers just don’t follow you, the interactions with them benefit your business over a period of time. As per the Small Businesses Customer Insights Survey conducted by DBS, 70% users who follow SMBs provide free advertising via retweets & 43% will make purchases from them. This percentage can vary based on the quality of the follower you have & hence, it is important to acquire followers who can become your potential customers.

Before creating the ad, you should create a strong short description that focuses on why potential fans should follow your account. If you are an ecommerce player, you can showcases shopping deals. These ads will appear in the following places:

  • Home Timeline
  • “Who to Follow” widget on Home, Profile, Notifications & Search Results pages

Lead Generation Ads

The Lead Generation Ads are ads implement using the Lead Generation Cards. These Lead Generation Cards can be used to collect email addresses and qualified leads. It’s designed in a way that the user doesn’t have to click on the ad and go to an external website or a landing page. If interested in the offer description, the user can submit his information with one-click from within the Twitter App itself. His Twitter handle & email address is directly sent to you as soon as a user submits the lead. The Leads can be downloaded from the Twitter Cards dashboard.

Promoted Tweet Ads

The Promoted Tweet ads help amplify the reach of your tweets to a wider audience. This can help you get more engagement on your tweets & at the same time showcase your content to your target audience. These appear in the home timeline of the targeted users. The setup process of these ads are similar to the Promoted Account ads.

Website Clicks / Conversion Ads

The Website Click Ads are implement using Website Cards. The Website Cards are ad units which allow users to preview horizontal creative image, descriptive text, website Url & a big call-to-action in their timeline. You can also link the preview of your website in these website cards.

App Install Ads

With more than 75% users accessing Twitter from a mobile device, brands have a huge opportunity to tap & drive downloads for the mobile apps. An App card is to be created – it has title, description, app icon and the option to highlight features such as your App’s rating. It requires your App ID to submit the card. Once the card is ready, it can be linked to the app install ad. Users can install or open the App directly from the tweet.

Promoted Hashtag Ads

Trends that appear on the left side of your Twitter page is one of the most watched sections on Twitter. It’s a great way to keep a tab on current hot topics. Hence, promoted hashtag ads allow you to be in the right place & a perfect trigger to grab eyeballs, trigger conversations and launch new products/brands.

Platforms and Placements

The Twitter Ads allow you to select the location of the display of the ads to the targeted users. You can select to show the ads in their timelines or search results (in case of promoted tweets / app install ads alone). The platform selection is limited to iOS devices, Android devices, Blackberry phones, Desktops, Laptops & Mobile Web on other devices.

Targeting Options on Twitter

Targeting is undoubtedly an important part of the ad creation. Targeting the wrong audience can waste your marketing budget while proper targeting can help you have a great ROI and help you reach your objectives. The available targeting options on Twitter are discussed below:


Keyword Targeting

The Keyword Targeting Ads are used to target users who have either used the keywords in their tweets, engaged with tweets around those keywords or have searched for those keywords on Twitter. The matching options for each keyword are as follows:

  • Exact Match – targets users who have searched for this keyword content & not as part of their tweets
  • Broad Match – targets variations of keyword & any order of keyword
  • Phrase Match – targets exact order & words in the keyword with no variations in the terms
  • Negative Match – these keywords are excluded from the targeting
  • Negative Phrase – targeting excludes all matches of the keyword in the exact order with no variations

When typing the keywords, Twitter will allow you to choose between the above options. You can also import a matching keyword or a phrase from another document. On the selection of the keyword & modifier type, Twitter gives an estimate of the audience size for that keyword.

Interest & Follower Targeting

This option allows you to target the users based on their interests and the accounts they follow. Interest targeting on Twitter is very wide hence, it is advisable to use only the popular interest that are recommended by Twitter. Follower Targeting is very accurate and is recommended. You can manually type the Handles you want to target (for example – @MurugappaGroup) or import the list of usernames from a document. You are not required to be a follower of the account you are targeting. On selection of the handles, Twitter provides you an estimate of the reach as well as the other suggested handles in the same reach. There is also an option of Lookalike Audiences through which you can allow Twitter to target users similar to the followers of handles you want to target.


In recent times, leading Television Shows & News Channels have leveraged Twitter to engage with their audience. Twitter allows you to target users who engage with such TV Shows on Twitter. This is an option currently limited to few countries like US, UK, Italy, Spain, etc.

Tailored Audiences

From the ROI point of view, this is one of the best form of advertising on Twitter that allows you to target fans who have already interacted with your brand. This interaction includes visitors to your website and are more likely to convert. You can also use an existing customer database & import the Twitter-ids or mail-ids.

Location Targeting

The Location targeting feature allows you to select the geographical location of the users who you want to target. You can target a country or state or a city.

Tracking & Reporting – Metrics that matter

Now, the last but an important part of any ad campaign – measuring the performance and results of the campaign. The summary of your campaigns are displayed on immediately logging into your Twitter Ads account.

Some metrics that are important in terms of performance measurement are:

Impressions: The number of times a tweet or an ad has been displayed

Engagement: Action taken by users such as a follow, click or an install

Follows: The number of users who have followed your handle based on the ad

Spend: The total spend for the campaign (the cost per action would vary based on the campaign types and campaign goals)

Conversions: This shows the number of users converted (if you have used conversion tracking for your campaign). This is an important metric for Offer campaigns or for ecommerce players. For Follower campaigns, the conversions would show the number of followers gained for the promoted account.

Audience Interests, Demographics & Locations: This is an important metric to check the accuracy of your targeting. It shows the topics your acquired followers are interested in, their geographical locations, tweets they engage with (based on Interest cluster) and the demographics. The demographics data would be of real interest to brands that go after a niche audience say, only females or youth.

Twitter is not radically different from other ad platforms in its basics – you have got to be prepared with the details, run the ads & test to see what works for you. Deep dive into the reports and see whether your campaigns are delivering and what needs to be optimized. Keep a track on all campaigns regularly.

Twitter Marketing Guide for Businesses in India

Businesses across the globe leverage Twitter for marketing their business. And, India has not been a mute spectator to the rapid rise of Twitter as a micro-blogging tool. This presentation can help you learn about important aspects to be considered for marketing your brand on Twitter.

Brands have achieved a considerable amount of success on Twitter, marketing their products and services to people. But, it has also created uneasy spots for brands which have been at the receiving end of consumer’s ire. On one hand, you have businesses who taken to Twitter to connect and engage with the fast-growing audience and on the other hand, you have the Influencers right from Bollywood stars and sportstars to leading bloggers. Building a brand on Twitter requires commitment and you cannot expect a big return on investment overnight. Of late, it has also emerged as a customer service & a market research tool. It is helping brands to understand what their consumers say about their products and at the same time service any concern raised by them.

4 Tips To Integrate Social Media For Live Events

Brands/Businesses conduct events with an end goal in mind. Charity & institutional brands would want to raise funds for a specific cause or movement. Conferences/Summits/Conclaves want participants to network and learn, in turn spreading a vision which is believed by a brand. And then there are launch, sporting, or gaming events which brands want people to remember, delivering recognition for talent.

Social media has become an essential part of events and has transcended into a real-time platform to showcase the happenings of an event and build awareness for the brand.

The following are 4 key essential tips that can be followed while providing live social media news feeds for an event:

1. Promoting The Hashtag: Create a unique/synonymous hashtag that can be treated as a signature for your posts, during the event. Use this hashtag in your creative and posts, as a method for your audience to engage with you and other audience throughout the duration/phase of the event. For example: The 2015 edition of the Murugappa Kovai Quotient Quiz which was promoted with the hashtag #MKQ2015, present in every news feed or conversation that happened during the event.

Tip 1

The launch of The Madras Song also stirred up conversations in platforms like Twitter where we trended hashtags like #TheMadrasSongs & #Madras375, which helped us spread the word and prompted people to share the video.


2. Make Your Feeds Entertaining & Engaging: One should make sure that the social media news feeds are catchy, informative, carry the essence of the event and have a strong call-to-action aspect embedded in the post. During the Murugappa Kovai Quotient Quiz, we asked interesting questions inspired by the questions put forth by the quiz-master on the dais.

Tip 2 a

3. Informing People About What They Are Missing Out On: Giving a glimpse about the happenings of the event is vital. It helps your audience to experience the event even if they are not physically present in the venue. We covered the outdoor activities which took place at the Murugappa Kovai Quotient Quiz, showcasing enthusiastic students who clicked pictures at a photo booth which was placed outside the auditorium.

Tip 3

We were also able to engage with a huge cluster of audience through live feeds at the Global Alumni Meet of Don Bosco, held at Egmore, Chennai.


4. Follow Conversations & Engage With Audience Even After The Event:  Live social media news feeds generate a high influx of conversations. A live feed helps create a buzz at the event, prompting the crowd to engage in a conversation.  It is very important that these conversations are tracked and addressed. Continuing the conversations with the audience even after the event will build credibility and will boost engagements in the forthcoming events. Our posts for Murugappa, during the Aircel Chennai Open 2015 built conversations that lasted even after the event’s closure.


In a dilemma to integrate social media for your events? We highly recommend that you do!

Social Media Trends from Ernst & Young: What has changed in 2014?

India is a significant market for social media giants. We have 100m+ users on Facebook and over 33 million users on Twitter. Mobile web penetration has also been one of the main contributors in the active social media usage. Almost 84% of the 100 million users on Facebook access it through their mobile phones. Keeping all of the above mentioned facts in consideration, it is fair to conclude that the reach on social media is exponentially huge and for brands to tap on this opportunity would result in a vital growth for their businesses

Ernst & Young have released the second edition of the Social Media Marketing Trends in India. They collated data based on the insights shared by top brands in India that are social-media savvy. The previous Ernst & Young study was centered on how brands explored social media to build communities online & sustain engagement. This time, the key focus was on understanding how far have the brands come in the digital space and also the social media maturity levels with respect to the processes and policies, technology and governance across organizations in India.

Let’s have a look at what has changed since 2013!
(Image Courtesy – Ernst & Young)

  1. Reputation Management, Thought Leadership & Recruitment have been added to the objectives to achieve alongside community building & brand engagement on social media.
  2. Facebook continues to be the predominant social media platform for engagement. Google+ and LinkedIn evolved as social media platforms to reach out to professionals across the country (highly relevant for B2B industries). Apart from these two platforms, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest have also emerged as highly engaging & crucial platforms to spawn conversations with the TG.
  3. Brands have become observant of the frequency of updates on social media channels & response time from the audiences. Most of the top social media savvy brands in India engage with their fans once a day through multiple platforms. The point worth noting here is that the average response time is 1-5 hours per engagement.
  4. The study indicates that with the popularity and expanding reach of social media, around 90 per cent of Indian brands plan on dedicating 15% of their annual marketing spends to social media.
  5. The top 3 challenges have been narrowed down to not being able to successfully measure effectiveness of social media engagements, and creating/curating content & sustaining or increasing engagement rates.

Graph3   (Image Courtesy – Ernst & Young)

The study also highlighted that brands across various industries have realized the implication of tapping on social media channels and understood its peculiar demands.

How do brands in India function digitally?

  1. Most of the Indian brands have their social media strategy & content aligned to meet their business goals. However, there are brands that have their social media strategy in place but do not have it linked to any specific goal.
  2. Many companies have an internal team dedicated for curating social media content & strategy whereas there are few which outsource them from agencies. Mostly Indian brands work on a hybrid model where the internal core team is supplemented by social media agencies & consultants. However, when it comes to the execution part of a social media campaign/strategy the brands turn to social media agencies which run the campaign online.
  3. Market trends and Customer Insights are the key drivers for the brands to formulate their strategies for social media.
  4. Brands are looking at a 360 degree marketing approach and are including social media as a key channel for deploying campaigns along with traditional channels.
  5. Mobile app development is an area that is being explored aggressively since it adds another advertising medium in the bag. Considering that a lot of users access social media channels through their smartphones & tablets, mobile advertising will emerge as a crucial channel for marketing.

How do brands measure success on social media?

  1.  Engagement level, traffic growth rate & social media reach will be the main metrics to measure the success of social media campaigns deployed by the brands.
  2. It is important for brands to tie their social media efforts with their business goals and these goals are measured by the conversions, leads, ROI & sales.
  3. Radian6 and Meltwater emerged as the most popular tools to measure the brand sentiment.
  4. Most of the brands focus on listening to the customers instead of bombarding them with information. And this resulted in companies paying more attention to what their customers had to say about their brand.
  5. Understanding customer perception of the brands, effective monitoring of the brand sentiment, efficient handling of customer queries and better customer insights are some of the benefits that the brands have secured by integrating social media marketing with social listening.

What’s the next big thing?

The study also states that Social CRM, Social Commerce & Gamification will be the future for the brands to explore and harness their growth on.

The full Ernst & Young report on Social Media Marketing Trends in India can be found here.


Social Beat Influencers & Bloggers Meet in Chennai


Riding on the social media wave, #Influencer #Marketing has emerged as the next big thing. We have also recently launched our new initiative for Influencer Marketing in India which can be seen at In this context, the Social Beat Influencers’s Meet was held at the Hotel Vestin Park today. The guest list included content marketing experts, bloggers and social media influencers, as follows:

  • Mr. Rajasekar, Head – Content & Social Media marketing, Bharat Matrimony
  • Naveena Vijayan, Sub-editor, The New Indian Express
  • Sarath Babu, Twitter Influencer & Blogger
  • Shrinidhi Hande, Travel & Lifestyle Blogger
  • Pari Vasisht, Food & Home Blogger
  • Balaji Vijayaraghavan, Co-founder, Insightz Media Pvt. Ltd.

The agenda revolved around content marketing, its evolution and future trends. The key discussion points that came up for discussion are briefly mentioned as follows:

  • Content Strategy for blogs: With content marketing driving businesses, brands who haven’t taken to blogging as a marketing medium are missing out. According to Mr. Rajasekar, Head of Content Marketing at Bharat Matrimony – blogging by brands should not just revolve around lead generation in the short-term. The blog strategy should have a 360-degree approach whereby they should look at brand-building as well as providing relevant information to the readers who can be their future customers. This is a long-term strategy that can yield multi-fold returns for their efforts.
  • Key goal of influencers: The influencers need to develop a niche for themselves in their area of  interest, like lifestyle, travel, etc. Apart from various monetization opportunities, it also gives them a chance to establish themselves as an industry or domain expert.
  • Monetization of blogs: If you have an excellent blog, then you can look forward to monetizing it easily via various ways like collaboration with brands and Google AdSense. Google AdSense is an advertising program that works based on relevant content targeting. For example, in case a food blogger activates the AdSense program, then ads related to restaurants, food, etc. shows up next to the blog posts.
  • Freedom of speech working with brands: The freedom of speech issue discussed was one of the key points discussed. When bloggers work for brands, there is an important question involved – while reviewing a product, a blogger has a responsibility towards his readers but when one is paid by the brands on the other side to review the product, do you have the freedom to write about the cons? What should be done in such a case of conflict in interest? The panel was of the view that it’s ultimately the readers who should be the priority in the above scenario, as they have a responsibility towards their followers.
  • Creating the DNA in organizations to take user feedback from social media and implement policies: When brands go online, it is a double-edged sword. While it makes it easier for brands to reach their customers, it also opens an easy way for their customers to share their feedback in the public space. While good feedback is welcome, but negative feedback is dreaded by many brands. The discussion brought about an important aspect that it’s not the negative feedback that matters, but how you handle them. The organization’s DNA should have the ability to quickly handle negative feedback and improve the organization. Once a negative feedback is addressed appropriately, the now-converted happy customers will be the biggest brand ambassadors for their brand.

The meet ended on an enthusiastic note with demand for more such events in Chennai. We are equally excited about the next Influencer meet. Watch this space for more updates.


Leveraging Twitter to drive conversations and build a strong brand

Twitter is the fastest growing social media platform & the significance of Twitter can be emphasized by a simple fact that 8000 tweets per second is the average around the world.

What it emphasizes is the fact that it gives a huge avenue for businesses to connect and engage with fans. But the question is how? Most businesses are coming online and have a social media presence on Twitter but not all businesses leverage it in the most effective manner to build a strong brand, engage and have meaningful conversations with the fans. Here are some of the key points that can help in the above:

  • Share unique and interesting content – This is the first step towards It is not about tweeting all the time, rather it is about tweeting content that can arouse the interest in your fans and help you gain new fans. People like to read and share great content. If this part goes right, re-tweets and favorites would follow automatically.

social beat twitter post

  • Track your brand mentions and keywords – With millions of conversations happening daily on Twitter, you are missing out on market intelligence and a certain competitive edge if you are not tracking your brand, keywords and mentions along with the competitors whom you would like to keep a close eye on. Search alerts and setting up RSS feeds can go a long way in helping out with this.
  • Be ready to handle a mixed basket – The biggest benefits of easy accessibility to customers can also prove true for the converse- it will also provide easy publicity for all the negative comments about your brand. But, how you handle it becomes more important. Acknowledge and reply to a positive comment, but also acknowledge a negative comment and immediately work towards addressing the concern. It can surely win you more hearts!


  • Look out for interesting tweets on your brand or the industry and leverage it to engage and drive conversations


  • Use the Twitter “Favorites” option effectively – The twitter favorites feature can be an effective tool to showcase interesting conversations with or about your brand. It can be made into a compilation of testimonials from fans.


  • Use hashtags and images as far as possible – Different studies show that the tweets with hashtags and image links can get up to 2 times more engagement on an average than tweets without hashtags. But more is not always good. Usage of more than 2 hashtags results in a significant drop in the engagement rate.
  • Quick response management – Fans expect brands to quickly acknowledge their appreciation or respond to concerns raised. This is true for all social media channels, including Twitter.

Facebook & Twitter to join the “Buy” bandwagon

According to a recent study by eMarketer, India records the highest social networking growth as the number of active social network users in the country has grown by 37.4 percent in 2013. Even though the overall internet penetration is low in India, the number of active social media users in urban India is expected to cross 80 million this year, as opposed to 63 million in 2013. From being online platforms solely used for social interactions, to becoming a significant part of the marketing strategy for brands today, the growth of social media networks like Facebook & Twitter has been tremendous.

Twitter joins Facebook in offering “Buy” button to directly buy on these platforms

As the pressure is mounting on these social media networks to prove that they are successful sales channels, they are constantly making efforts to modify & introduce new advertising options. The latest buzz is that Twitter is following the footsteps of Facebook in testing a ‘Buy’ button that will now let users shop from their social media sites itself, without having to navigate to the retailer’s website.

Facebook’s Buy Button – Convenience or Clutter?

Facebook officially announced in July about the testing of a ‘Buy’ button that would appear in newsfeed ads and page posts. As of now, it is only being tested with a few small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S.

This is not Facebook’ first attempt to crack e-commerce as they previously introduced the ‘Gifts’ feature which was shut down within a year. Even though the earlier attempts were unsuccessful, the team is keen on working on other commercial purchase features within Facebook, with ‘Buy’ button being the recent result of it.

This button is expected to provide an added level of convenience for online shoppers to buy products from merchants within the Facebook framework itself. The customer can use his credit card on file with Facebook and make purchases directly. The option to save your payment details or just checkout without saving is also available. However, Facebook claims that the entire functionality has robust safety & privacy options and won’t pass on the payment details to any of its other advertisers.

The main objective of introducing this functionality is to increase the conversion rates and the return on investments for its advertisers. Not to forget that this new development will put them in direct competition with e-commerce sites like Amazon, also providing a new avenue for Facebook to gain some revenues through sales and payment processing.

Will Twitter Commerce reveal your identity?

Two months after the announcement from Facebook, Twitter revealed about testing its own “Buy’ button to facilitate sales & increase revenue. This facility to make purchases directly from tweets is available only to a small set of consumers in the U.S as of now. It is now being experimented with selling limited edition merchandises, charities, and concert tickets and is expected to grow with more product options based on the initial testing feedback.

Launching on the mobile platform first, Twitter says the purchase process will only have few simple steps & is completely secure. The user can simply click on the buy button, enter product details, choose payment option, enter shipping details and make a purchase. This payment data used by the user can also help in revealing the real names & details of its anonymous Twitter profiles, a move that can be greatly beneficial for marketers. However, Twitter denied the possibility of this and emphasized on working with Stripe to make the entire transaction completely safe & private.

Here’s how the marketers can benefit

The previous attempts made by these social media platforms to explore e-commerce have not been so successful. Pinterest, the only platform to have topped Facebook in driving referral traffic to retailer sites has made promising developments, but still lags behind when it comes to investment & adoption. If the ‘Buy’ option proves to be highly beneficial for Facebook & Twitter, brands that focus on time-limited offers and on-off promotions have chances of getting high investment returns. However, the performance of direct ‘Buy’ button when it comes to high value products & the ones that need more research & time is uncertain.

Will privacy be a concern for the buyers?

Social media platforms have been playing a major role in influencing the decision making process of its users. These networking sites possess large amounts of data about their consumer preferences which helps them to come up with tailor made posts and promoted ads. The ‘Buy’ option to be introduced will facilitate the quick shift from a promoted post or tweet to a shopping cart which saves a lot of time & effort for its customers. However, privacy & security around financial data is something that these social networking sites are constantly trying to assure its consumers.

Future of Online Shopping is here

For both retailers and social media sites, the objective is to successfully merge online commerce with mobile & social activity of people, without obstructing their user experience with unwanted targeted ads filling their timelines. Hence, if the testing of ‘Buy’ button turns out to be successful, it would open a whole new avenue for these platforms to not only influence our social life, but our shopping patterns too.

The Madras Song

Social Beat - the madras song

In 1639, a Nayak ruler handed over a small strip of land to the East India Company to build its trading warehouse. Little was known that it would lay the foundation for one of the historic cities of India in years to come.

22nd August, 2014 would mark the 375th anniversary of Chennai, earlier known as Madras. As part of the 375th anniversary celebrations, the Murugappa group has launched the #TheMadrasSong to celebrate the occasion & give a fitting tribute to the history, tradition, and culture of this city.

Check out the song that captures the soul of Madras:

In fact, the Murugappa group has planned a notable month-long campaign to celebrate the 375th year with already underway contests such as #FavMadrasMemory Map & photo contest, daily Madras trivia and the upcoming Murugappa Madras Quotient Quiz 4th edition on 6th September.

#FavMadrasMemory Map app that asks people to mark the spots that has given them their fondest Madras memory, has turned out to be very popular among the citizens here. It gives them a chance to reflect back to the memorable times spent in the city.

This is the time to be in Madras and enjoy the city at its best. Umpteen other events have been planned across the city such as quizzes, heritage walks, photo exhibitions, lectures, etc. Social Beat is proud to be associated with the #Madras375 Celebrations.

Indian Premier League on Twitter – Sporting experience goes digital in a big way

Pepsi IPL 2014 Twitter

Indian Premier League 2013 was special right since Twitter and IPL announced their partnership to give the IPL fans a real-time interactive experience. But being an experimental one, it was not able to offer the complete experience like what IPL Season-7 has offered in 2014. The trailblazing partnership offered a complete seamless experience across air, ground and online.

With a huge fan base of approximately 230 million users, the wide range of new interactive features added this year, kept this large base of fans grossly engaged. Real-time interactive features such as #IPLMagic, #IPLSelfie, #TwitterMirror, Twitter IPL Calendar has allowed the cricket fans to be engaged throughout and generate greater frenzy for both, IPL as well as Twitter. Features like IPL Pulse that allows spectators at the stadium to get their tweets featured on the big screen and IPL Selfie contest has turned out to be real hot property among the fans.
As the season draws to an end, it is worth mentioning that it is definitely going to leave a void in our lives. The daily anticipation for the matches, continuous engagement across platforms and frenzied passion across the two months of IPL is unparalleled. At this fag end, let us look back and see how the IPL-mania on twitter panned out this season.

The total #PEPSIIPL tweets this season has crossed a staggering 4.3 million and still counting. The most popular match in terms of the number of tweets was the scintillating final group game between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals.

Most Popular IPL Teams on Twitter (based on no. of followers)

Most popular IPL team

Most Popular IPL Players on Twitter (based on no. of followers)

Most popular IPL players

Top Teams with maximum mentions and related tweets

Team Mentions and tweets

If an annual cricketing event like IPL can drive such an extent of social media engagement, with the FIFA WC 2014 just round the corner, it will be interesting to keep a tab on how social media revolutionizes the experience of a FIFA World Cup, one of the biggest sporting extravaganza on the planet after the Olympics. Undoubtedly, social media will be playing umpteen times a bigger role, but the question is “how big”?