10 Comments you always wanted to leave on Facebook

The homepage of facebook always welcomes us with updates of the recent activities of our friends, colleagues or of people we don’t even know but have added them for some reason or the other. Some are funny, some are interesting and some are apt for whatever is trending at that moment. But many are just plain stupid… dumb status messages that are there for no rhyme or reason.

What irritates me is to see some dimwit acting as an industry expert or critic and giving out his or her opinion; half left status messages left by people, asking for follow-up comments from friends before they complete their message; minute by minute commentary of an ongoing game and so on…

I have stopped myself several times and that too at the very last moment from commenting on such status updates. Here are some comments that were created but never got posted:

  1. Who’s gives the ****!

  2. Your status message really sucks!

  3. Why do you even need to think? Or Nobody cares of what you think!

  4. Will you stop leaving your status message incomplete just to gain attention of curious losers asking: Why? Where? How? What happened?

  5. Just shut-up and go weep elsewhere

  6. You think your status is funny? Get your head examined!

  7. I’d visit a news website if I wanted news updates

  8. You look really ugly; please stop torturing us by uploading more pictures of yourself partying

  9. Has ESPN signed you as their official commentator on Facebook?

  10. Get a life!

Felt really good to get those comments out.

Kenneth Peter — kennethpeter.com

STOP! Don’t eat…until I take a picture

Trending these days is clicking pictures of elegantly garnished dishes before taking a bite. Almost everyday, I see pictures of delectable food uploaded by people connected to me on social networking sites like twitter, facebook, and linkedin. In fact, one of my friends has a photo album on Flickr dedicated to exotic dishes he has had over years.

Clicking food pictures, keeping photo albums or having a food blog is a growing phenomenon.  Aware of the trend camera manufacturers like Sony, Nikon, Panasonic have already released cameras with special macro focusing, close-up mode or simply ‘food mode’ features.

These pictures or photo albums are also a quick source of information. Pictures are usually accompanied by a status message and follow-up comments that give information on the food item along with the name and location of the restaurant. So if you like what you see and the restaurant happens to be in your neighborhood, you don’t need to do a Google search for the restaurant or read the reviews.

Lastly, if you are maintaining an online food diary, they will help you calculate the amount you spent on eating out and also keep a tab on your calorie intake. Later, you can point out to your son or daughter how you gained those extra lbs.

Kenneth Peter — kennethpeter.com

Addicted to Social Media???

Basketball court was the place you would find me when Yahoo Messenger became popular. I was busy playing my PS2 and then PS3 when most of my friends were creating their profiles on Myspace, Orkut and Facebook. Just to be socially available online, I did my part and created my profile on some of these sites…little did I know that social networking would soon takeover my life.

Being a PR and Marketing Professional, staying away from social media would not be a wise thing to do. Now, apart from managing my online presence (which comes secondary), I also manage profiles of some reputed brands. That’s not all; there are several other things involved when you are managing the profile of a brand, these include –

  • Listening
  • Identifying influencers/issues
  • Engaging
  • Measuring the output

Managing brands, monitoring competitors, customer engagement, updating my profiles, oh well, hope you get the idea, that I spend a lot of my time trading information online. Its fun, rewarding and a part of my profession, but the question is – am I addicted to social media?

Addicted or not, let’s together answer the question below to find out:

  • While on our way to work or home, we get stuck in traffic or see a kid in the car next to us making faces – do you feel like taking a picture, share it online accompanied with a status message (Yes/No)
  • You go to a flashy restaurant or you pick up accessories of a high-end fashion brand and you just can’t wait to share it with the www (Yes/No)
  • You have to tell the world that you are listening to music, going to the loo or taking your dog out for a walk (Yes/No)
  • You keep your answers crisp and make sure that they don’t exceed 140 characters (Yes/No)
  • After a tweet or updating your facebook status you keep hitting the refresh/reload tab for follow-up comments or RT (Yes/No)
  • Whatever you have done over the weekend is all up on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin etc and you feel like kicking your colleague if they ask: “So, what did you do over the weekend?” (Yes/No)
  • You keep flaunting your number of followers and friends to people (Yes/No)
  • At a gathering you keep asking the people you meet if they are on facebook/ twitter/linkedin and instantly add them the moment you reach home (Yes/No)
  • You have to be present on every social networking site and you don’t delete any of your accounts as someone might ask if you have an account there (Yes/No)
  • You also get up in the middle of the night to check for any new updates (Yes/No)

What’s your score?

Kenneth Peter — kennethpeter.com

Can Social Media replace Traditional Media?

It’s being said everywhere that social media if used wisely can replace traditional media. By now, most of us will have the benefits of social media at our fingertips – it is cost effective with high returns, helps build relationship through customer service and feedback, increases visibility, builds awareness etc

With all the hype, I hear many saying that they are gradually shifting focus towards social media. But I believe that there are still many limitations and challenges. Social media marketing is still not fully understood, is a little risky and is not that cheap.

If we focus only on social media we miss out the powerful combination of social media marketing and traditional media marketing. Both of them can work together to strengthen a brand. The point is that everyone can benefit from social media and it should be a part of the marketing or public relations strategy. However, it should not be the only focus as we cannot afford to ignore traditional media completely.

Kenneth Peter — kennethpeter.com

How New Media will change Public Relations

With the advent of new media including social networks, there is a question I keep asking myself, especially after writing a Press Release…

Then I start comparing them…

The advantage of internet as source of news has been well documented over the last couple of years. However, if you have chosen new media for your Press Release your work does not stop there. There are over hundred billion websites out there, and you have to ensure that your news reaches your target audience.

Search engines are used for finding news, our job further is to use the right key words, external links and other internet tools to narrowcast the news to the right audience (SEO). Many successful company websites and PR agencies also use AdWords and AdSense to lure traffic to their releases.

PR Agencies and PR Professionals should know both Old and New Media like from the back of their hand and should know how to jointly use them. It is also important to figure out which medium will be more suitable – as this would be of critical importance to the success of any public relations strategy.

Kenneth Peter — kennethpeter.com

Social Media – A Marketing Activity, Who owns it?

As a student, I remember drawing diagrams instead of writing lengthy notes to understand a particular topic as it made things simpler.  I have used the same practice to point out my views on the above topic.

As social media is a non-paid activity, it should be considered under PR

Although marketing largely owns SEO and email marketing, Public Relations owns the responsibility for making an online strategy plan that covers blogging, social networking, podcasting, micro-blogging etc

What bothers me is the fact that many PR Professionals do not pay much attention towards social media and focus primarily on media relations, press releases etc.

My suggestion to all the public relations and marketing professionals is that they should be well equipped to handle social media for future jobs in the industry.

Why use social media? They say…

Social media has become a best practice for marketing, public relations, business development etc and everyone seems to be embracing this new approach.

I rely on Twitter to get instant information and news on topics that interest me from across the globe. I keep asking all the interesting people I meet if they are on Twitter so that I can start following them to receive their updates.

Facebook for me, started like a place to keep in touch with friends and colleagues, but now maintain some fan pages and monitor competitors and conversations.

My recommendation to owners of restaurants, luxury retail stores whom I keep meeting,  is to increase their online presence. Many buy this but some don’t, as they have some doubts that I have tried to answer below…

Have never used it, my business is doing well, so why bother, will use it someday…

Haven’t you spent a fortune on advertising, or paid tons of money to PR Agencies. Not denying that they got the job well done, but you missed an opportunity that was cost effective and would have contributed in lead generation.

Someday you’ll use it! Not an issue, if you’re okay with someone else taking up your desired username, missing the opportunity to directly engage with your current and potential clients or loosing out to your competitors who must have already established themselves among your target audience.

Anyone can say anything about my company…

True, it’s an open platform; one can say whatever they feel like – but at least you get to know what is being said out there than being aloof. It gives an opportunity to listen, identify, engage and measure the output. For instance – if I go and badmouth something about your company and you never get to know because (a) you are not on social media (b) you don’t monitor as you’re not active, chances are that my message will grab attention and it will spread. However, had you been on social media you could have prevented this by getting in touch with me, get a hold of the situation, rectify it and then take my feedback for others. I would have appreciated this unless I’m your competitor’s rat

Twitter and Facebook are for students and for executives who use it to kill time at work, as a result we have banned this at work

Lol! Social media does a lot more; almost all the major brands, companies etc are using it, obviously not to kill time. It can increase the traffic to your website by Search engine optimization (SEO) i.e., the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines (still learning about this), lead generation, customer engagement etc

Banning these sites is a common trend in most of the offices. Well why not allow the usage of social networking websites and use it to your advantage – ask every employee to become a fan or follower of your company. Ask them to review your products, recommend it to their friends and ask every employee to get at least 30 fan or followers for the brand/company (Just a suggestion)

I do have a fan page on Facebook

I’m so proud of you! When was the last time you updated the page and informed your fans about the latest event or promotion or responded to a fans query?  It doesn’t mean by having a Facebook or Twitter page that the jobs done, it needs to be maintained and regularly updated. Use it to provide industry news, what’s new at your company, take part in conversations, announce ongoing promotions and events, user feedback etc

Whatever happened to print, electronic and radio?

Wake up! All of them – print, electronic, radio are using social media for almost everything mentioned above. Almost all the media houses are on Twitter. Journalists use it to hunt for news and topics; PR uses it to pitch company/industry news to the media.