Learn how Design Thinking can transform your business – Part II

Let’s quickly recap what we’ve learned in the 1st part of this two-part series:

What is Design Thinking?

Design Thinking is a solution driven problem-solving approach that tackles big ideas in a manageable way, to help you learn and grow.

Why have we adopted Design Thinking approach? And why you should too!

Design Thinking has transformed our view of the problems and questions we face. It has helped us step outside of the traditional boxes with visual thinking, creativity, and innovation in order to find new solutions to the same old issues. Plus, it can be easily applied to all industries irrespective of their size.

How can it help you grow?

  • By bringing the spotlight on the end-user (your clients/customers)
  • By harnessing the collective power of your team
  • By rebooting your business philosophy
  • By solving real business problems

In the 2nd part of the series, you’ll learn how to introduce the principles of Design Thinking to your daily operations, in order to transform your brand.

How can you become a Design Thinker?

The core of this approach is to think differently and to reframe the problems and solutions we assume we have the answer to.

By defining the right problem to solve. You can even try to visually represent the problem or scenario.

Establishing the proper amount of time for truly thinking through the work being done and measuring its merit as a viable solution to solve the challenge at hand.

By combining creative and critical thinking that allows information and ideas to be organized, decisions to be made, situations to be improved, and knowledge to be gained.

Gaining different perspectives is obviously important and this is where the cross-functional blending of teams adds real value.

It’s important that many solutions be ideated no matter what the problem at hand is and be careful not to overanalyze each idea.

No Judging and criticising thoughts and ideas should be allowed in a brainstorming meeting. Vocalize this rule from the start with your team. Help people feel comfortable to speak up and say anything.

Encourage the practice of mindful thinking by giving your team enough time to prepare pre-meeting and some time for reflection post-meeting. Did you know that Google formally allows 20% of their employees’ time to think and do their own thing? That says a lot about the value of thinking.

A design-centric culture begins by having a strategic intent and broad commitment from an organization’s senior leadership, including at the executive and board levels.

To make design a driving force within a company, everyone—from executive leadership to engineering, marketing to sales—should receive training and coaching in design thinking, whether it be in-person workshops or online courses.

Pro-tip: How we do it!

We’re traversing from our earlier focus on design thinking to design doing, where we relentlessly focus on the end-to-end customer experience. This means that before anything gets built, the whole team—designers, strategists, SEO specialists, account planners—interacts with your brand and its customers, to ensure that the team understands the problem well, and together, they design the best solution.

Learn how Design Thinking can transform your business – Part I

In the 1st part of this two-part series, the prime questions we’ll be addressing are What is Design Thinking? Why we’ve adopted Designing Thinking in our organization and why you should too. And of course, how can it help your business grow!

What is Design Thinking?

“A brainstorming process that promises to help tackle big ideas in a manageable way.”

“A formal method for practical, creative resolution of problems and creation of solutions.”

“It’s a mindset focused on solutions and not the problem.”

Many definitions, one purpose – to help you learn and grow.

Why have we adopted Design Thinking approach?

Over the years, we’ve adopted different elements of the Design Thinking approach and have become really passionate about it. You know why? Because it works! And not just for tech or design industries. Think – government, health care, financial services or non-profits. Any field is potentially ripe for this kind of innovation.

Design Thinking has transformed our view of the problems and questions we face in our world. It has helped us step outside of the traditional boxes with visual thinking, creativity, and innovation in order to find new solutions to the same old issues. Maybe it’s not even about problems; maybe it’s about finding a better way.

http://www.rushrepublic.co/creativity-brand-development/

How can it help you grow?

Brings the spotlight on the end-user: You’ve probably heard it multiple times but here goes again. Once you get in your customers’ shoes, you can hit the ground running. At the core of this problem-solving approach is empathy for customers. The goal is to develop useful products and solutions that fit the needs of the user, not the other way around.

Harnesses the power of collective: Our brands are built by our stakeholders – employees, executive and customers alike. A key takeaway from this principle is to build multidisciplinary teams that have the potential of bringing different perspectives and opinions to the table. This helps us break out of our respective fields to leverage our collective wisdom, experience, and expertise.

Rebooting Your Philosophy: At the heart of this approach is the rhythmic process of – design, test, and iterate. It allows you to have those completely unexpected breakthroughs by creating several rapid prototypes and encouraging fast feedback from actual users and customers before spending too much time, effort or money on any one idea.

Solves real problems: Design Thinking isn’t just creativity and innovation for its own sake; it’s specifically directed at creating value and solving problems. But instead of going about either of these in the traditional ways, Design Thinking seeks to use design principles to solve problems, from small to large, in almost any industry.

It can be challenging to implement at a more established company where process and systems run amuck, but the benefits outweigh the process of cutting through all the red tape. And for small business owners, a design thinking culture is yours to create and lead.

In the 2nd part of the series, you’ll learn how to introduce the principles of Design Thinking to your daily operations, in order to transform your brand. Stay tuned!

Website Design in 72 hours: How we do it!

We believe that a 360° strategy is the best way to address user experience and get the website right the first time. It is both the face of your company and a brand connection to anyone who doesn’t visit your offices.It might be the only touch point for the majority of your potential customers and employees. That’s why we have developed a system to power through your website development process.

Stage 1: Planning

All our projects start with a Questionnaire, where we get to understand your brand story, vision, requirements, and expectations. Next, we decide the scope of work based on website components including design, technical, and business. Simultaneously, we identify your end users and interview them about their experience and interactions with your brand.

Stage 2: Research

In the next phase, we carry out a complete market research of your industry to understand your competitor strategy and customer awareness. Your current website is also reviewed and goals of the new website are established along with a roadmap of future value-added services. The resultant Mood Board reflects the aspirational look and feel of your branded website.

Stage 3: UI/UX Design

The first step towards designing user interactions and experience is empathizing with the user. Based on information collected at the research stage, Personas of your end-users are developed. This helps us in visualizing how the users will navigate your website and what they will find useful. This is followed by a creation of complete tasks list. In the end, a site map and wireframe start taking shape.

Stage 4: Content Design

After a complete review of your existing website, a new content strategy is developed. The most important points and high-level messaging is identified so that your website has a clear value proposition for the users. All content and messaging are made consistent with your brand messaging and brand story to reinforce who you are and what you have to offer in a way that connects with people.

Stage 5: Graphic & Motion Design

Drawing inspiration from the Mood Board, high-end visuals are selected to amplify the message on your website. That means spending time choosing imagery and creating graphics that fit the visual narrative, not just dropping in some stock photography. At this stage, multiple look and feel options may be provided so you can select which is best suited to your brand.

Stage 6: Coding & Development

Once the wireframe, sitemap and the visual look and feel of the brand are decided, the next step is to make it HTML friendly and interactive. The website can be coded from scratch, or an existing CMS can be customized so that content is updated in-house and has a reasonable setup and maintenance costs.

Stage 7& 8: Testing& Redesign

The site is tested by developers across devices and browsers to ensure accessibility for all. At this stage, stakeholders and potential users can test the features and functionality of the website. Based on their feedback, the final changes are made to the website design. Any technical bugs in coding are detected and fixed.

Stage 9: Site Launch

Simultaneously, arrangements are made for domain registration and hosting. After rigorous testing by our expert team, the website is ready to go live with your final approval.

Stage 10: Support

Once the project is complete, that’s to say that all the modules or phases scoped are complete, we continue to iterate on design and development. Especially, the development and management of successful content never end. We always make contingency plans to accommodate inevitable changes encountered along the way.

So now that you know how we design and develop websites, we leave you with this.

Creating a website is definitely an investment of time and money, but when executed well, it can easily pay off in customer conversion, employee attraction, brand amplification, and sales process automation.That’s why you should consider a consultative partner rather than a vendor. Ultimately, choosing a partner is as much about choosing the process.Thus, building a website with us means overcoming technological and organizational obstacles as well as avoiding compromises that could weaken the integrity of the overall vision.

Beginner’s guide to Search Engine Optimization – Part II

In the first part of this 2 part series, we learnt –

What is SEO?

“The process of maximising visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.”

How do search engines work?

By crawling and building an index, search engines go through the billions of interconnected documents on the web through HTML Links. So when a person performs an online search, the search engine goes through its database and shows results that are relevant. Getting featured on top of the results page provides both, traffic and also reinforces trust worthiness of the website.

How do people use search engines?

When users experience the need for an answer, solution, or information, they type in a set of words or phrases. After browsing through the results, the users either find a solution or perform a new search with alternative keywords. So while computer-generated algorithm tries different parts of the internet together, the searches are performed by humans. To maximise leads to your web page you must understand users first, and search engines second.

The big question we’ll be addressing in the 2nd part of this series is

How can you optimise your web page?

Let’s consider the On-page and off-page factors that bring relevance and popularity to your website.

On-page factors

As a first step, it makes more sense to start with on-page SEO and get it right, rather than trying to convince search engines to give you better ranking with off page SEO. Ask yourself these questions to optimise your web content, architecture and HTML output.

Content – Is the content original and copy checked? Does the content have enough descriptive text? Is the content well researched with references? Do you have a clear publishing strategy?

Architecture– Can search engines easily “crawl” pages on site? Does your site work well for mobile devices? Does the site load quickly? Do URLs contain meaningful keywords to page topics?

HTML – Do HTML title tags contain keywords relevant to page topics? Are they unique for each page? Do all images have defined ALT tags? Are the image filenames descriptive? Is the text properly formatted and split into small paragraphs?

Off-page factors

One of the factors that determine the position a web page will appear in the results is the number of incoming links. Optimising such links is called Link Building. While incoming links are a signal of trust, depending upon where they are coming from, they can also affect your ranking position.Positively if the links are coming from well-known and trusted sites or negatively if they are paid links, article directories, link farms etc. When optimising off-page SEO, ask yourself these questions.

Trust –Will links and shares make my site a trusted authority? Has my site or its domain been around a long time, operating in the same way? Is my content ad-heavy? Do visitors spend time reading or “bounce” away quickly?

Links – Are these links from trusted, quality or respected web sites? Do links pointing at pages use words you hope they’ll be found for? Do many links point at your web pages? Have you created links by spamming blogs, forums or other places?

Social Do those respected on social networks share your content? Do many users share your content on social networks?

Once you have successfully answered these questions your website should have moved up in search engine ranking. To sustain the effort, keep the following pointers as a shared check-list between your web designer, developer and content creator.

  • Build your site with a clear hierarchy and text links.
  • While multiple text links to internal pages or external websites can add credibility to your site, overdoing it (with hundreds of links on a page)may result in not getting all of the links crawled and indexed.
  • A link earlier (higher up) on a page carries more weight than a link lower down on the page.
  • Leave no page orphaned, i.e., every page should be reachable from at least one static text link.
  • Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.
  • Your most important content should be in HTML text format. Images, Flash files and other non-text content are often ignored or devalued by a search engine.
  • Produce fresh content regularly.
  • A link earlier (higher up) on a page carries more weight than a link lower down on the page.

And always remember, search engines need to see content in order to list pages in their massive keyword-based indexes, but they need to see links in order to find the content in the first place.

Beginner’s guide to Search Engine Optimization – Part I

If you’ve been told that SEO is the new kid on the block who only be friends the tech savvy, this article is for you.The concept of Search Engine Optimization has existed as long as search engines like Google and Yahoo have.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to break the clutter of the internet age and gain visibility or a corporate giant innovating new ways of reaching your target audience, SEO is sure to add value to your digital profile.

So, what is SEO?

“The process of maximising visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.”

When we think SEO, words like free, organic, editorial or natural come to mind. On the other hand, you may think Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads, Adwords and Analytics. Let’ be clear – It takes more than technical knowledge to improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness in search engines. Creative implementation and iterations are required: of the content on your page; of the external links on the website; of the site structure, to be understood by search engines. If all this seems a bit overwhelming, don’t fret because you’re not alone. Read on to understand the world of SEO and we’ll help you implement it in your strategy.

The two prime questions we’ll be addressing in this 2 part series is

How do search engines work?

We all readily agree that search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, are the primary method of navigation for most Internet users. But sometimes it is easy to forget that search engines are also unique in that they provide targeted traffic—people looking for what you offer.

So if search engines cannot find your site, you miss out on incredible opportunities to drive traffic to your site. The first step towards implementing an SEO strategy is to understand the functions of search engines.

  1. Crawling and building an indexSearch engines have a process in place, to go through the billions of interconnected documents on the web. Enter, HTML Links. These bind the pages on the web together so that they are easily navigable and stored in databases within seconds.
  2. Providing answersWhen a person performs an online search, the search engine goes through billions of documents and does two things: first, it shows results that are relevant; second, it ranks those results according to the popularity of the websites.Popularity and relevance aren’t determined manually. Instead, the engines employ mathematical equations (algorithms).

Expert tip: Being listed at the top of the results page not only provides the greatest amount of traffic but also reinforces trust worthiness of the company or website.

How do people use search engines?

Once you grasp what your target market is searching for, you can more effectively reach and keep those users. The words that users type into the search box are called Search Queries.

There are three types of queries most of the internet users carry out –

Transactional Queries Looking to do something, such as buy a plane ticket or listen to a song.

Informational Queries Looking for information, such as the name of a band or the best restaurant in Chennai.

Navigation Queries Looking for a particular place on the Internet, such as Facebook or the homepage of the Indian Premier League.

A typical search journey on the internet looks like this –

  1. Experience the need for an answer, solution, or information.
  2. Formulate that need in words and phrases – the Search Query.
  3. Enter the query into a search engine.
  4. Browse through the results for a match.
  5. Click on a result.
  6. Scan for a solution.

7a. If unsatisfied, return to the search results and browse for another link or

7b. Perform a new search with alternative keywords.

So while computer-generated algorithm tries different parts of the internet together and makes the World Wide Web navigable, the searches that matter are performed by humans. So the way to maximise leads to your web page is to understand users first, and search engines second.

No matter what you sell – Service Design matters

Whether your business is a service provider or retailer or relies on B2B sales, Service Design can play a key role in optimizing operations, motivating your staff and satisfying your customers. Still unsure what Service Design is and can do for your brand? Read on!

Service Design

Service Design is the activity of planning and organizing people, infrastructure, communication, and material components of a service in order to improve its quality and the interaction between the service provider and its customers. 

Service Design can teach your employees new ways to work together, develop ideas and make decisions. So whether you run a restaurant or sell antiquities online, educating your employees about service oriented behaviour can be crucial to your business success.

We understand if Service Design still sounds like a Design process and its end result and impact seems ambiguous. We’ve answered a few questions that you might have on Service Design and how to equip your staff in designing better customer and client experience.

Where do I start?

Start by applying Service Design to the most vital for your business and implement it all the way to achieve the goal that matters the most. Induction and training of employees at an early stage can bring about a transformation in the culture of your company. The design of your service and the delivery of your product should consistently reflect your brand values. And even though, Service Design is a term that’s not easily understood by your workforce, when you explain it in simple words, it will make sense.

What if I face resistance?

You will probably face cultural resistance simply by the fact that you’re trying to bring something new that there may not be room or interest for. The key is to simplify the process as much as you can for the internal adoption by your staff. Where lectures, technical jargon and heavily imposed rules and restrictions fail,lead by action, set an example and show them the obvious benefit of your initiative.

Can I use Service Design to drive sales without changing the service?

Can you quit smoking without stopping to buy cigarettes? It’s the service (the sequence of actions) and its delivery that defines customer experience with your brand. Service Design isn’t a go-to tool for service providers to promote their brand, but instead to re-vitalize the business. As brand owners we develop a tendency to be overly-critical of our businesses and complicate it along the way. If your services aren’t immediately understandable and easy to use it can confuse users and lead to mistakes being made.Basically, bad services are expensive and require more time investment from the point of the user. So transform your services to transfigure your business.

How do I design a service?

Services should be viewed and treated as a sequence of interrelated actions or events. Delivering a service is like taking your customer on a journey. So make sure that you make this journey as comfortable and as memorable as possible. Your product or service should be designed based on customer needs rather than the internal needs of the business. If your business offering satisfies their desires then Service Design can enable better experience delivery and more meaningful interactions to take place between your staff and your customers.

How do I make a service memorable?

It would also help if you add ‘physical elements’ to your service delivery to help customers visualize and retain the experience. Triggers such as souvenirs, merchandise, cosmetic samples etc., when properly designed and positioned within the service delivery experience can be powerful value adding contributors.Capturing emotions and experiences of customers in terms of photographs, testimonials etc., and featuring them within your ‘services cape’, be it your website or brick-and-mortar store, can create positive service memories and strong emotional associations with the brand.

Is Service Design only for those with digital presence?

While most services in the internet age are driven by digital, it doesn’t exclusively apply to building websites or digital interfaces. Some of the biggest challenges in service design are in the transitions between physical, offline, and digital transactions.

Who creates the Brand Experience? How do I transform customer experience via Service Design?

Your brand experience is co-created by your service staff along with the customer. While your staff can be responsible for delivery of the service, the overall experience depends upon the customer’s mental, physical and emotional state when the service is consumed. The first two conditions of mental and physical discomfort can be remedied by indulging their senses and creating a holistic environment of relaxation. The 5 senses, seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting, can be vital to the delivery of a seamless, impactful and overtly positive customer experience.For this, the entire environment in which the service exists and is delivered should be considered.

Naturally, it is your staff who plays a crucial role in the service delivery by making a conscious decision about how he/she wants the customer to feel. Their understanding of behavioral drivers such as expectations, personal tastes, and cultural values lay a foundation of their actions. By training them and guiding their actions in a brand consistent manner, brands can achieve customer satisfaction while efficiently meeting their business goals.

Want to know what we can do for you?

We understand that good branding is all about creating an immersive experience for your customers – at the store and on your website. We bring your brand story to life by creatively embedding it in your website and into your customer’s user journey. We work fast and we make things in code, wire frames and diagrams. We test our assumptions through research. We believe that it’s results that matter and we are committed to designing better services.

 

Setting your brand apart: What’s in a name?

Whether you’re just setting up your business or expanding into a new market with a new name, choosing the perfect name (brand) for your business is by no means an easy feat. In fact, securing a unique name in the dot-com era is strenuous, so when you find one you like, make sure you can use it.

Not only should you check for copyright infringements that could force you to abandon the new business name after investing a lot of time and money in it, but also domain availability. There are over 860 million domain names registered worldwide, and experts have indicated that over 99.9% of the dictionary is already taken.

Set your brand apart

Create your unique web page in just 3 days!  Fortunately, constraints have an ability to foster creativity. So get ready to power up and push past the obvious to uncover hidden opportunities. Here are some tips to get you started and help you outsmart the domain and trademark frenzy.

First impressions:

In most scenarios your brand name is the first introduction to your business. It’s your chance to make a great first impression so you can make a second and third one.If you are new, chances are that your potential customers might know virtually nothing about your business, product or service, and a striking name can serve as an extension of your brand promise. It can reinforce the value you provide or distance you from it.

A story to share:

Common place words in the English language will not make the cut. So focus instead on the symbolic or lyrical associations with your business. It’s important to decide what your name should mean and represent.Instead of getting lost in the list of nouns, verbs and adjectives that your company wants to be and do, think about the emotions that you want your target customer to feel.Start by exploring the emotions and experiences that you’ve felt in building your business. Use this personal story to create a visual map of the concepts and images associated with your business.Try not to be too descriptive – Imagine if Yahoo! had come out as Find Things On The Internet.com

Your unique mark:

If you can’t settle on a word that perfectly captures the essence of your brand, invent your own! Words are ever-changing and follow evolutionary cycles. Capture the market and the imagination of your target audience with new words, slang or formal terms. Apparent examples of this trend are words like Google and Xerox that arose from complete obscurity to eventually earn its place in the Oxford Dictionary. A great way to get some creative brainstorming underway is to have some right-brain types in the mix.

Captivate them, not confuse:

Resist the urge to name your brand after the mythical Greek god of fast service or the Latin phrase for “We’re number one!” If a name has a natural, intuitive sound and a special meaning, it can work. If it’s too complex and puzzling, it will remain a mystery to your customers. This is especially true if you’re reaching out to a mass audience. Even if your name is unique and eclectic, focus on sounds and pronunciation that are familiar to your target audience so that it won’t be constantly mispronounced or misspelled.

Always remember that your name is an extension of your brand so it’s important to develop your brand strategy before you start the naming process. Once you have a great name you love, get cracking on the logo and corporate identity to give your brand a face.
Check out how we’ve crafted our clients’ Brand Identity

Branding your small business while saving the big bucks

Whether you’ve just become a dealer on Amazon or been serving clients from your home-salon, at some point or the other you would’ve faced ‘the Branding conundrum’.

What is Branding?

Should I invest in it? How much? How often? Where do I even start?
Read on to learn for yourself how branding can boost your business’ performance by at least 30%
Introspect & Research:
The first step in branding your business is understanding your business. Now this might seem like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised when you critically start thinking. Can you describe your business in a line? What sets you apart from your competitors? Can you clearly define your target audience? Can you forecast what your brand (not just the numbers) will look like in 5 years?
It’s ok to not know all the answers instinctually, in fact it’s great! You should take time to think about these facets of your business instead of blurting out the first thing that comes to your mind. Research terminology, your competitors, brands that inspire you, trends in the market and related themes that will help define your business and in turn, your brand.
Begin introspecting with our simple branding questionnaire. Go on, it only takes 15 minutes!

Connect & Create:

Take the next step without further ado, start building your brand identity and with it, your brand persona, story and tonality. If this seems overwhelming, as it would to anybody new to the creative industry, get help! Your first instinct will be to hire that cousin who (by mistake) introduced you to Photoshop. Or you might consider getting an intern to cut costs. But be sure to ask yourself, Can I entrust the creation of the brand profile to an amateur?
No? Get on LinkedIn and find yourself an in-house design expert who is not only skilled but strategic. Better yet, hire a small team of creative people who can own, lead and deliver your brand. They will not only bring a fresh perspective but also a culmination of different talents.

Check out how our team of super-designers are transforming businesses just like yours.

Collaborate & Get noticed:

The most effective and efficient way for small businesses to promote themselves is to connect and collaborate with other small businesses. Ideally, look for businesses of the same size as yours (if not bigger) and check if their product or service complement yours. You will have struck gold if your target audiences are also the same, without any conflict of interest. For example, if you are a niche fashion boutique, find other businesses that connect with your customers like a beauty salon, art café, contemporary jewelry, cosmetics brand. The possibilities are endless! Show your collaborators the mutual benefits of your association and cross-promote on all the platforms to get the word out. There’s a good chance that an untapped audience will discover your business thanks to your collaborators’ efforts.

Get social and boost your performance:

All things said and done, no matter how important a brick-mortar store is for your business, without socializing online a chunk of your target audience may remain untapped. And the best part is that maintaining a virtual-social presence is much more economical than traditional advertising. If you have recently set up your social profiles, boost your page views by promoting your best posts. Keep these targeted to your key audience for maximum return on investment and to maintain quality interactions on your page. If you are yet to launch your brand page, do it with a bang! Create a bold campaign that presents your brand’s identity, story and offering to a whole new audience. Set aside a budget (even if it’s modest) to promote your campaign and let the likes and comments flood in!

What is Branding?

Quiz: Which social media platform is right for you?

Whether you’re a large business at the top of your industry, an independent professional just getting started or somewhere in between, you must’ve surely considered using social media to network and connect with clients and customers. Are you still wondering where to start and what to publish on these platforms? Should you just create a Facebook page for your company and upload every new product or feature update? Should you get adventurous with Instagram and post pictures from the last office party?
Here’s your guide to Top Social Media platforms and content that clicks!

Instagram

Content with relevant images (to your business and your customers) gets 94% more views than content without relevant images.
Who should use it?
By profession – Creative professionals like photographer, artists, designers, bakers.
By industry – If you take pride in creating and delivering deliver visually appealing products or services, especially in the lifestyle category – Food and beverage, confectionery, hospitality, travel and tourism, arts and crafts, fashion, gifting.
What should I publish?
Good quality pictures or short videos of selective things that truly reflect your business’s lifestyle. Imagine if your business were a person and ask yourself what would he/she post on Instagram? Instagramers love content that is genuine, personal and shows that your brand is a real, creative and passionate person.

Facebook

A platform where businesses can creatively glorify their products and tell their brand story uninterrupted.
Who should use it?
With over 70% percent of online adults actively using Facebook you may find yourself wondering, why not! Right? Think again because apart from being the most popular social media platform, Facebook is also the most crowded and competitive platform. Most business can expect to get less than 10% reach on their posts, without spending on advertising.
What should I publish?
Facebook is one of the platforms that business can use as their product catalogue and gain good traction if deployed creatively. However, Facebook isn’t only about selling. The main goal of every communication on Facebook should reveal the people and their passion behind the brand. All photos, videos and posts that you publish should reinforce your brand story. From promotions to new launches, design your Facebook posts professionally and boost the ones you don’t want your customers to miss.

LinkedIn

Before investing in social media marketing, identify the platforms where your digital audience not only hang out, but can’t live without.
Who should use it?
Since its advent LinkedIn has primarily served the purpose of a networking site for professionals and B2B reach outs. If your goal is to make connections in the business world and to add clients to your rolodex, invest time and effort on LinkedIn. Service providers in Financial, Legal and Educational sectors are predominant LinkedIn users, as compared to manufacturers or retailers.
What should you publish?
Unless you’re a recruiter or a University, you shouldn’t be selling anything directly on LinkedIn. Solutions, ideas and best practice cases the few things that particularly interest LinkedIn users. Many small and large businesses have benefited from sharing industry updates, company news and whitepapers. The senior members can become the voice of an expert in your industry by offering tips and research findings linking to your business blog. Your team members can also represent your company in relevant groups and discussions to solicit advice and spread the word about your business.

Pinterest

85% of the users are female and 67% are millennials. So if your brand is geared towards young women, it’s a no-brainer!
Who should use it?
This platform predominantly enjoys a creative and savvy female audience. So if your business is rich in visual imagery like – wedding planning, travel destinations, interior decorating, fashion or foods, you can say a great deal about your products and services through your stunning photos or videos.
What should you publish?
Pinterest is great for releasing and sharing regular and fresh visual content (photos and videos) that members can pin (save and share) on their boards. Save the best of your visual assets, from DIYs to creative photoshoots to conceptual renders to post on this platform.

Twitter

Your tweets have approx. 18 minutes to get discovered and gain traction, after that they might as well disappear.
Who should use it?
Err.. If you aren’t already on twitter with a decent number of followers, maybe now’s not the great time to get on this band wagon. Twitter as a platform for branded content promotion is dying as you read this. Twitter’s year-over-year increase in daily active users is -0.44%. Mostly supported by the tech industry, Twitter still remains relevant to businesses who are revered for keeping the users up-to-date with what’s happening in the world, however it’s not the best place to try to acquire new customers.
What should you publish?
Twitter has only 100m daily active users, who are most reactive to breaking news, updates and announcements. So businesses that see an opportunity in topical marketing and benefit from breaking news, making public announcements from time to time, may want to continue tweeting. For the rest of us, there’s a sweeping trend in town – real time conversations with Whatsapp Messenger.

Whatsapp

Finally, a relationship building platform is here to help you understand the psyche of loyal customers.
Who should use it?
Anybody and everybody with a robust customer database! Because who doesn’t want to have a conversation with their customers, to get to know what they think about you, do they love your product/service, would they pay more for it? And aren’t emailers requesting feedback a little old-fashioned and redundant now, as they only generate 10% clicks and fewer responses.
What should you publish?
While its application as a social media channel is still at its infancy stage, that’s what makes it exciting. Businesses can innovate ways of chatting up their customers and acquiring new ones by creating relevant and impactful tit-bits that make people share. Mixed formats like photos and text or video and text can be the most powerful broadcast messages. Whereas a well written warm message can start up a one-one conversation with customers to gain invaluable feedback.
It takes time, effort and sometimes money to find out what works for your business. The key is to put your best foot forward – invest in having meaningful conversations on one platform rather than publishing mediocre content on three. And always remember, Social media only works if you stay involved.

• Instagram
• Facebook
• LinkedIn
• Pinterest
• Twitter
• Whatsapp