The results for the previously mentioned survey I was conducting at DigiWhirl, on the payscale for social media professionals in India were just published, take a look. It seems social media is quite a lucrative professional. I think some rules should be revisited,
Cheap services - There are many out there who suggest very low rates for social media services, claiming a hundred reasons. Its up to the person to put their foot down and not do the work unless the rates are reasonable. If you are going to do it for cheap you may as well work with a non-profit that would be better.
Social media is free - It should be rephrased to social media tools are usually free. Even the tools are not always free ;)
I just love @improvevery !!
Their latest musical is all about social networks and 'always online' people. Must Watch!
From last couple of weeks I have been conducting a survey of social media salaries that Indian professionals are getting. This is an in-house effort by my company just to shed some light over the matter cause me and some friends in the industry used to wonder about it. Instead of pushing it too much openly over here on the blog or Twitter, I chose to message people individually on Linkedin. This way I thought the results would be lot more qualitative as I would be messaging only social media profiles. Another advantage I felt was that it might lead to dialogue between various social media folk, which did happen. I replied to almost everyone who wrote back to me.
Along with the good stuff however there was some backfire, due to the fact that it is actually not possible to keep track of who I have already messaged and who I have recently come across. (It is possible but very tedious) It so happened that couple of them got the message multiple times, while one of them nicely replied back and I apologised and explained to them why it might have happened. This other person just called me a Spammer and threatened to remove me from their contact list. I removed them from my contact list, as anyway that person was not adding any value being there cause he couldn't even word his messages well!
His comments however got me thinking....
Work can be done to the degree of professionalism where every little detail is in place, however tedious we would take the road which would lead to no mistakes. Probably a very "Safe" path. Sure it might have taken more time if I had to cross check before I messaged anyone but at least there wouldn't be a repeat.
Now the thing is that I need to at this point re-visit why "I" was doing the social media survey in the first place. I could have hired someone and got them to do the messaging (its nothing too difficult) but I was doing it cause I like doing stuff on my own. I did take help from someone for a while but the answer is that I am really passionate about these things.
So the problem that comes up is that mistakes do happen. Many a times they are unavoidable. If I got scared of them, I would have to work like a computer and I would not be able to put my soul into my work. My passion, my love for the work I am doing is the drive not some 'Safety' rules and procedures.
Another example, is my Happenings newsletter. This newsletter started as an expression to communicate with friends, family and even some not so close friends. What happens is that a lot of them are not tech savvy enough so I can't ask them to subscribe to my newsletter but they would read my emails. So when I started my newsletter I scanned through my entire email database where there are a lot of people... I ticked all my relatives, friends and even some with whom I had lost contact but I wanted them to read these letters from me.
Now the thing here is that since I had not 'technically' asked them to sign up for the newsletter some idiot could call it spamming. The thing is that if I listened to these people, whether they are right or wrong, I would not be able to work with passion and 'रूचि'
At some point I think everyone needs to ask themselves Do I have passion for what I am doing? And if I really feel for it just go ahead and do it. If in the process someone who is not interested in my life gets the newsletter or if a social media professional gets the same message multiple times they need to have the grace to just unsubscribe or just let me know politely. This applies to me too when someone else goofs up... and it is something that I have been experiencing in my life. Small things can get us really riled up against some act another person has done and we start judging them saying 'they spammed' or 'they are rude'. Via social media it becomes so easy to just 'unfriend' these people or block them or bash them on a blog.
What I feel is that this is part of a bigger problem that we as Humans have. We create a small circle of friends and family and then we close ourselves to others. we perceive relatives as completely different from the way we see another person on the road. Why is this? The fact is that even in close families often you don't Know (beyond routine likes & dislikes) most relative any better than you can know a stranger on the road. Taking the example of an extreme situation - sometimes when there is a case where a family member has indulged in paedophilia - if you have read cases you will find the family is very reluctant to even believe the child of the same family who has made the claim. If the accused were to be outside the family these people would pick up stones to hit him! Why this difference?
Another example I just read today in Robinson Crusoe - It seems RC was taken as a slave by some turks, he found that really distasteful and ran away. He obviously saw that as great injustice but then in the same book, RC himself is completely comfortable with taking African slaves!!
So I think, we Humans as a whole need to calm down, sit and think about stuff. We need to see people as part of our family, and I mean all People. Albeit an extended family, but I do not think there is any other way to achieve true peace and a loving world..........And if you know your family you will know that they are never 'Perfect'!
pic source: www.call4peace.com
Social media being the new, happening field every now and then we see examples of how its being used badly and very badly! All of a sudden came across two conversations at the same time,
So there is this brand called Wagh Bakri, I like the brand since I went to their cozy little tea shop in Vile Parle. Saw them on Twitter & Facebook sometime back and have been following their activities. They are pretty bad but then when brands are new they tend to do such stuff as it is usually some in-house person messing around without talking to any professional people. They are sending out 10+ tweets like this every hour,
I mean its not even 'Follow us' it has a link alongwith it!! What is the need for the link to your twitter profile in your tweet!
Consider my surprise when I see that some social media simplified book covers @waghbakri as a casestudy!! Phew... so this is what follows...
Are you kidding me!!! RT @smsbeyond: India's 1st compre. book on #socialmedia explores how @waghbakri promotes .... on fb & twitter #Indialess than a minute ago via HootSuite Favorite Retweet ReplyPriyanka Dalal
@priyankawriting Sorry, you got us wrong. We haven't been paid by @waghbakri. They have 1,288 tweets & around 220 followers, pls chkless than a minute ago via HootSuite Favorite Retweet ReplySMSimplified
Nothing much to say... apart from - I am never buying that book!
Along with that Nirav of BlogAdda has another conversation regarding bad social media agency practices on the Channel V page.
Its sometimes freaky to be in the field and see big companies doing such shady stuff, whether its them in-house or some agency they have hired.
The problem with explaining social media strategies to clients, or at least one of the problems is that they think they have understood it when they haven't. Its happened twice now, once with a client and one where I had pitched a few ideas to a company.
Both decided they understood what I was saying and liked the idea. In one of the cases I was planning to live tweet at a event, which is a great way to get the company/account popular with others into the same stuff. Liking this idea the guy says okay so before the big event we have this small event happening why don't you live tweet from there also! Now its actually not a bad idea except that since the account was very new it barely had any followers so it wouldn't lead to much visibility as no one maybe checking that hash tag. I explained all that.. and yet did a bit of live tweeting and as expected it didn't get much response at all.
What I was not expecting is that on the basis of this, he decided live tweeting at that big event from where another 50 people would be tweeting wouldn't be useful either and decided not to go with it.
Similarly sometime back I had given a few ideas to a company who liked it while the deal didn't get finalised they did do something on the lines of an idea I had given. However they obviously did not get what the concept was and mis-managed it, so now its a pretty pointless move for them. In fact might even get them some criticism. After this they may think my idea wouldn't work... but they didn't have a clue what they were doing!
So I have realised that its better to be a little close mouthed about many social media tactics cause the client may misunderstand and worse mis-implement them!
The thing about Twitter that I keep trying to explain to people,
the ones who go like "but why do you want to put something on Twitter? Is it cause you don't have any friends... blah blah... "
the ones who go like,
"Twitter is definitely a great way to keep posting all day long about my company" and
the ones who just act surprised when I tell them
"Oh ya I found that out on Twitter... I am going to meet some twitter friends.... I will check that on Twitter".... and so on
So the thing I keep trying to explain is that when everyone is tweeting the little quirks that people have which can't or don't actually get shared with anyone comes across and it creates a little pool of quirky people who have now shared their quirks with each other. The quirk that drew this matter across to me was tweeple making up words!
So in my circle of friends I am probably the only geek who actually makes words..
Sorrible: It was so horrible that I am sorry to be part of it or I am so sorry that it was so horrible :D
Assholy: Don't have to explain this one.
Now imagine my surprise when I see tweets like this,
:) Twitter is fun!
Terms & Conditions - When two parties individuals or companies want to do business together T&C mainly comes into play to specify one party to the other and vice versa that this is what we will provide and this is what I need from you in return.
Quite a simple and crucial component. Lately I had couple of interesting experiences...
I signed up for Just Dial services, where the customer care people gave the whole low down on what will be provided and how much it will cost me... Seemed fine so I opted for it. The guy came to my house explained the plan and I signed up. I took a cursory glance at the T&C but nothing more. Its 2-3 pages long and small font! I chose to go by what the customer care told me verbally.
The next day I got a message of Thank you for signing up
1. You cannot cancel this plan for 9 months.
2. After 9 months in order to cancel the plan you need to provide 3 months notice
I did not plan to stay on for 9 months, in fact the customer care had assured me I can check it for two months minimum then cancel at anytime!!
Now the issue here wasn't so much the fact that they told me different stuff, its the fact that once a customer signs up to your service and you send them such a greeting with how they CANNOT cancel instead of how I would benefit then the first question that comes to my mind is "Are you peeing in your pants??" I mean why the hell are you so hell bound to not let your customers cancel their service? Does your service suck!!??
[I am currently taking their services as one of their customer care managers spoke to me well, apologizing and all that - and offering a discount]
After that I was checking out web hosting services for my company website and while checking them out I signed up for bluehost. I was still wondering whether to go for it when I filled the credit card info to see how much they are actually charging (yes I know dumb way of checking costs :p), instead of going to 3D secure screen where it would show me amount debited the amount straight away got debited!
I was a little freaked I might not even have gone for this company! So I thought let me see what the cancellation procedures are. I was amazed that,
1. They would freely cancel my subscription in first 3 days after signing up
Even later the process was so simple.... that I just felt very good about the whole company. Now I don't know how promptly they would follow up on these claims because I did not cancel my subscription feeling good with their T&C!!
So I think its great and talks volume about the company and people behind them when they make client - friendly T&C