RSS

Monthly Archives: December 2010

Daag

Dooriyan jab majbooriyan ban jaye
faasle badh hi jate hai
Zimmedariyan jab badi ho jaye
deewar banke khade ho hi jate hai
Dil ki kashish ek kasak ban ke reh jati hai
aur wohi kambakht waqt bewafai ka daag, daaman me laga jata hai

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Of reunions, nostalgia and my alma mater-KV IITK

Can’t hold the tears back.The whole thing about reunions is so tear jerking. Can’t believe that I just saw pictures of my teachers, Principal Dixit, PKShukla sir, Suman ma’m, Premjit Kaur ma’m, Bade Choudhry sir(I still don’t know his first name),his son Naresh Choudhry sir(I am sure their third generation is ready to take over), Bajpai sir(i have only heard of but saw in the pictures today), batchmates, classrooms, school playground….the list is endless. The more I saw the more I cried.

During Principal Dixit’s tenure I rose and I shined. He was so very encouraging. He would always put me on the fore. When the school decided to hold the annual function in 1991-92, he selected me to host the show. At the end of it I still remember how every teacher came to me and congratulated me. It was so very overwhelming. And principal Dixit kept saying ‘it was my idea to keep her’. I am so greatful for that opportunity.

PK Shukla sir, fondly called ‘Panch Kavita Sunao’ because he insisted to hear 5 poems in every class he came, even if it was his substitution period, has a special place in everyone’s heart. All credits to my clarity of diction, love and penchant for the language goes to him. I still remember those poems by heart and so do my kids.

Ms. Veena Gupta was another of my favorite teachers. I loved her and adored her from the time we joined the school. And finally when she came to teach us in 9th and 10th, I felt so blessed to get one of the best teachers. It was another thing that I managed to carve a special place in her heart. She had once told my mom once ‘I am so fond of your daughter. Please give her to me.’ She is in the same city as I am now. I am definetly going to go over to meet her.

For the annual function in 1991-92, I had gone to Ms. Suman Srivastava to request her to do a play and she declined as she said she wasn’t prepared. Ms. Kavita Rao selected me for the dance and the first day of practise, Suman ma’m furiously entered the TT room (where the dance practise was going on)and said “how can u do this Jaya. I have planned to stage the play -Merchant of Venice keeping you in mind, and now when the cast is planned you have taken up dance”. I was so heart broken and felt so torn. I wanted to be a part of the play but the dance practises had already started and Ms . Kavita said clearly that you cant ride on both the boats Jaya. I hope she had forgiven me for that. If all goes well then in our next reunion I will certainly team up with her for a skit or something.

Then there was Ms.Premjit Kaur and Ms. Neera Negi, our beloved music and dance teachers. Ms. Neera Negi was an english teacher but her love for dance would always find her in the music room discussing the beats, off-beats, dance steps to a bhangra or a giddha or an assamese folk dance or a radha-krishna song. I still remember that Ms Premjit had a great knack to hunt for the best songs for the school, be it folk based or national integration based or any other ocassion based and prepare a musical extravaganza with lead singers, instrumentalists, chorus and the works. No one could ever beat us in any of the interschool competitions even at the national level.

Bade Choudhry sir and his son Naresh Choudhry sir were the pillars of the sports activities in the school. The morning assembly drills, the 15th August and 26th January march past, the musical display of Lazium and Dafli with over 300 students performing in a synchronised manner in the IIT Field, the baseball game that we played under the banyan tree during our games period, the inter-house volleball and kabaddi matches, the sports day rehearsals for javelin throw, discus throw, Table Tennis match, the swimming competition at the IIT pool and much more (I just remember the ones I played) was managed with such an ease by them. Hats off to you both.

There are so many of them who have shaped us the way we are today and paved way for us to carve our own niche in our areas of expertise.

No words can describe them the best but I thank them all for everything they did to get the best out of us.
(Pictures courtsey Aatmeeyata Gupta-KVIITK Alumni Day 26th Dec.2010)
 
2 Comments

Posted by on December 26, 2010 in Personal Diary

 

Tags: , , , ,

Twitter Marketing – 21 Tips

Various researches show that there are more that 50 million tweets per day and growing. So how can you be sure that your Tweets are seen and you get the desired follower base? Optimizing your tweets to give them better visibility in the twittersphere and some other simple techniques mentioned below can help in your tweets being read and shared.

1.Hash Tag: Take a look at some of the most popular hashtags used in Twitter at hashtag.org. Incorporate them at the end of your tweets. This process would increase the chances of your tweet being pulled when one of those popular tags would be searched for. Some companies even advice thier employees to add the hashtag for the corporate they are working for to enhace the pull. e.g an employee working with say ‘Retail Academy’ can add #RetailAcademy at the end of his personal tweets. Utilise hash tags for trending topics and get involved with conversations.

2.Smash tag-This is a term that I have coined for ‘Smart usage of a hash tag’. Everyone is aware of the use of a hash tag. But to use it is a different ball game altogether. Say for example I am tweeting to follow my blog on Twitter Marketing Tips.Generally what everyone does is
— follow my blog http://askjayaa.blogspot.com/2010/12/tweet-tweet-says-twitter.html
A ‘smash tag’ would be used like
— follow my #twittermarketing blog.#survey blog address is http://askjayaa.blogspot.com/2010/12/tweet-tweet-says-twitter.html .
You still have space for 16 characters which can be used for retweeting.

3.Use bit.ly-Due to the limited 140 character tweet, just in case in case you require additional characters to be fitted in you may use bit.ly to shorten your URL. The above mentioned tweet will then look like
— follow my #twittermarketing blog.#survey blog address is http://bit.ly/gxfmQm
Now you have space for ’62’ characters to be keyed in. Go ahead!

4.Retweet- Another way to simply ask your followers to retweet. Someone finding your tweet interesting would definetly pass it on.

5.Register in Twitter Directories-Registering yourself in one of the big twitter directories, e.g. wefollow.com or http://www.twellow.com also helps. many more such directories can be found through a google search.

6. Look in these directories for people/companies related to your area of interest. Twitter can be used for 2 things. One to acquire knowledge and two to share the same. Follow the quality tweets to gain knowledge in the area of interest and share, connect and comment on those who are seeking information. They’re sure to follow you back. You can then try searching their follow lists, which are bound to contain many other people relevant to the field.

7. Look in twitter by using the advance search option (http://search.twitter.com/advanced ) and search through keywords or location to identify tweets/bios related to your area of interest and follow them.Refer to http://mashable.com/2010/12/12/twitter-advanced-search-video/  for a demo on how to use the advanced search option in Twitter.keep in mind that about 50% of twitter users leave twitter after 3 months.So find people that have recent activity. Find people that are relevant to you, and your business and strike up a conversation or provide great content and make them aware of it.

8.Use http://search.twitter.com/ to keep an ear to the ground about what is being said about your company, competitors, products, industry etc. For example,if you are a Management Institute (B2C) planning to launch a Retail Management coures, use search.twitter.com with phrases like “Retail management courses” or “best retailers” since Retail outlets are where the students will be placed and following their corporate tweets will also help in the curriculum development. Search.Twitter.com is a hugely helpful tool for delving into the Twitterverse.

9.Make sure to have a photograph/company logo and company information on your page. That too makes it easier for the followers to know exactly whom they are following and if you happen to be someone really of their interest then the ‘follow’ will not change to ‘unfollow’. Also make sure your profile bio is SEO optimized. Keep your Twitter account public. This way people will be able to find you/your content through Twitter search.

10.Advertise your Twitter user name on all collaterals such as email footers websites, other social networking, social bookmarking and social media sites profile page,any other online places where you have an account and space to write something,contact forms, other offline/printed publicity material,business cards. This will help you get interesting and targeted people follow you. Cross promote it. Also if possible incentivise the once who follow eg. you may say the first 100 followers will get Rs. 500 voucher in case it is a product or 5% refund on admission fee in case it is an educational institution/service.

11. Invite your mailing list- Invite your existing customers/members from your mailing list. They are most likely to follow you and are the most potential ones to give you the link to the next set of followers. Create your own list of VIP’s to build relationships with. The list tool in Twitter is for filtering through the thousands of followers you’ll eventually have. So you can remember to visit and engage with those lists of people regularly.

12. Try to involve in conversation with people having more number of followers as their comments on your tweet may urge their followers to follow you.

13. Keep the content meaningful-Just the fact you have 1000s of followers doesn’t mean that they are potential buyers of your product or services. Unless and until your conversations are releveant, you will not be able to realise the end result of sale of the product or service. The content should also be dependent on the target audience-B2B or B2C.

14.Try http://tweetchat.com/. You will find couple of interesting twitter chats to particiapte in which will also result in generating followers.

15.Look at Twilert-its free and allows you to have daily notification of key words.

16.Twazzup gives and insight into topics on Twitter. It also shows you who the most active an influential user per keywords are.

17. Tweet Regularly-At least once a day. Sending them to your blogs, fan pages, etc and when they leave a comment, respond and continue to build a relationship. Tweet more from 10am to 3pm and from 7pm to 10pm when more people are on social media.

18. Do not spam -The types of promotion when companies ask the users to RT to earn something is totally annoying. It is alright once in a while. If the product/service is really good the any which way you will have followers. Do not rush otherwise the followers will have tons of uninteresting tweets in their timelines and this could damage your brand, instead of generating awareness.

19. Applications you can consider are TweetDeck, Social Oomph, TweetAdder (run a google search for the latest and more relevant ones). Tweetadder helps in getting a “targeted” following. You can add anywhere from 500 to a 1000 folks a week just focusing on one keyword phrase. You can targeted folks a lot of different ways:
a.Profile content – search f
or info in their profiles and follow
b.Tweet content – search past tweets again for content (age of post and language)
c.Profile size (number of followers/following)
This method is works fine if you are selling a product but remember always that the quality should always superseed quantity as a policy. There is a high possibility of getting spammers as followers.

20. Measure- Always measure the outcome of any campaign be it for awareness or for selling a product or service. Some tools available to measure it are -Hootsuite, Omniture & Gomez. Twitter’s official analytics product has also arrived – http://ow.ly/3tiOJ

21. Ensure to create and abide by a company social media policy. All involved in creating content needs to read, understand and abide by the company policies.

The basic idea of tweeting is to act as a ‘facilitator’.You should be using Twitter as a tool to engage them. You should also be using it to learn about your target audience as a community. Twitter can be not only be used as a ‘headline machine’ to direct your target audience to some location where you have provided much detailed information but also to find the people who will make your business/company tick. Your social media marketing is an integrated part of, and consistent with, your overall marketing and PR message and specifically focused on your target markets. I read somewhere that the hardest slog is 0 to 100, then 101 to 200 etc. 200 to 300 followers goes much quicker than 0 to 100.

Your social strategy should be based on the behavior of your target audience. Focus on your strategy, your target audience and the kind of experience you intend to create. Twitter in isolation doesn’t mean anything. You should be aiming at a broader platform with different social channels working together- Linkedin, youtube, facebook, blogs etc to create an experience with technology and content where the users will want to particpate in and share with.

‘Patience is a virtue as it is always Quality over Quantity’. It is not about building followers but building a reputation.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

MUSIC 24X7X365

I have been singing for past over 30 yrs, c’mon now don’t start calculating my age. But this is not about my love for singing. After my MBA, I spent quite some time fiddling with the different options for employability, hopping, skipping and jumping from one career to the other – financial analyst to forex training to software development to ecommerce consultancy, (just like our ancestors who performed their acts from tree to tree). Then I met my dear husband and jumped from one city to another-Kanpur to Delhi to Mumbai where I again took a jump into the Telecom sector (the ancestral trait seemed to be quite hard stamped on me). I was almost settling to the sector when I took the most crucial leap of my life, which gave me a new lease of life…..I conceived my first child. I will blog later on my maternal experiences even though my ancestral instincts are compelling me to jump ‘out of this topic’ again.

My maternity off lasted for a month. In the field I was (IT/Telecom), just a day of absence would strip you of all your market worth by years and I was talking of 30 days.I know, I know, its not that bad but I am just building up reasons for my next jump. I took up HR consultancy activity. Convenient, based from home, telecalling and fixing appointments, once in a week BD activity, and some amount of internet marketing was all that I was handling for the next nine months. The best part was I had the pleasure to watch my baby grow in front of me without missing on ‘those moments’ which most working mothers miss out upon. The not so good part was I was earning lower than what I earned as my first pay. I got some good opportunities post that- in an educational institution followed by some consultancy offers based from home for a retail management institute, for a blog site and am a known name in my field but my pay packets are much below my market worth(this is what every single working individual feels).

But now after all these years, I am happy and content. Content that while I was making babies- 3 of them now, I could be with them and see them grow, contribute to their value systems(as if full time working mothers contribute nothing), teach them, train them to be better individuals, and blah, blah, blah.

But that crucial leap is always reminded to me by people around me at almost every occasion,’Bright and intelligent woman, bright future, pregnancy at the peak of your career, and ‘3 kids'(scream when u read this, and repeat till you believe it). You made a huge mistake.You would have gone places by now.’ resulting in ‘MyUnSungInnerCord- MUSIC24X7X365, that resonates exactly what people say to me.

Me: I have a PTA meeting at the school .
MUSIC: Had you been working, you would have had to take an off from work. ‘Bright and intelligent woman….’

Me: Today I made gajar ka halwa
MUSIC: Thats nice. Did you add almonds to it? It tastes great with them. Almonds help in making you active and bright…bright ‘Bright and intelligent woman….’

Me: My maid did not come today so I had to do all the chores.
MUSIC: That is such a thankless job.’Bright and intelligent woman….’

Me: We did a show in our society with my students.
MUSIC: Oh that’s so nice. But what would these classes fetch you. Had u continued with the job that time u would be earning so well by now. ‘Bright and intelligent woman….’

Me: Cheekoo stood first in her class
MUSIC: Women are born jugglers. You could have given the same attention to them even while working.’Bright and intelligent woman….’

Me: I have put on so much weight
MUSIC: What else would one do sitting at home. i don’t understand this ‘work from home’ thing. ‘Bright and intelligent woman….’

Me: I have a blog to finish.
MUSIC: Is that some job? How much money do you get per blog post? ‘Bright and intelligent woman….’

Me: I have been invited for a felicitation ceremony.
MUSIC: Do they pay you too? It must be a meagre amount I am sure. ‘Bright and intelligent woman….’

Me: I met an old friend who is a lecturer in the same college where I studied
MUSIC:jump straight to the point here ‘Bright and intelligent woman….’

Many a times when I leap to fly,
I fall to the ground.
But it’s not the number of times I fell,
that counts.
It’s the number of times I fluttered hard,
to soar high without making much sound.
The day ‘MyUnSungInnerCord’ resonates with ‘Me’ (and not what other opine about me),
There will be real MUSIC around,
And my heart will jump leaps and bounds.

Enhanced by Zemanta
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Running a successful e-mail campaign for Educational Institutions

I had a very small stint with SPJain Institute’s BCIDS program and being directly responsible for the online marketing activities, there were a lot of observation. During my discussions with my ex-college alumni team Jaipuria Institute of Management, one of the professors suggested that I should be sharing my learning points through my blog so this post.

We achieved a great response through our online social media and other ATL, BTL, offline activities. Here I am sharing some key points for running a successful e-mail campaign for educational institutions.

As a part of direct marketing, electronic mails are used as a means of communication for commercial or fund-raising messages to an audience. Every e-mail sent to a potential or current customer could be considered e-mail marketing. This would include:

  1. Sending e-mails to strengthen relationship with existing customers of existing product/service, to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business
  2. Sending e-mails with to acquire new customers or convincing current customers to purchase a newly launched product/service.
  3. Adding advertisements to e-mails sent by other companies to their customers, and
  4. Sending e-mails over the Internet, as e-mail did and does exist outside the Internet (e.g., network e-mail and FIDO).

If we take the above and extrapolate over the educational institutions it can be rewritten as:

  1. Sending mails to the alumni and existing students who have already experienced the teaching standards and hence can act as:
    1. the ambassadors to spread the word about the institute
    2. generate further job opportunities(in case of alumnis who can absorb the current and future students in their current organisations)
    3. Advice on improvisation of the existing system-alumni feedback to improve employability and existing student feedback based on the job interviews to assess their market readiness.
  2. Sending e-mails to new students-tapping unexplored markets and running an email campaign to attract them by citing the placement status for the current and previous batches and the companies in the pipeline which are expected to come in the near future.
  3. Tie up with sister concers of your organisation and advertise your features in their outbound mails eg. you can append at the bottom of each outgoing mail the latest on admissions/placement and add a link to your website/facebook/twitter/blog for them to follow.
  4. Any internal communication to your employees/students within your private network too should have campaigns appended at the bottom.

The points to be kept in mind before starting an email campaign is:

  1. Spam check your mail address. A good ESP(Email service provider) can ensure that you could pass through all the spam filters and land in the inbox.
  2. The mail should have an impactful subject line which says it all. In just limited subject line one should aim at generating inquisitiveness about the content presented inside the mail. Not all readers open these sort of marketing emails. Hence it is extremely important to attract the attention through the subject line itself. The worst thing woul dbe that you get into the inbox but never got opened.
  3. Content:-The basic underlining factor to be remembered for any social media marketing system is to ‘create conversations’. Hence the content is the most important aspect. Whether the campaign aims at consolidating on the existing student base or aimed at tapping a newer prospect, the content should be brief and to the point and not beat around the bush for long. e.g. If it is aimed at the alumnus, there should be a touch of emotions to revive and rekindle the memorable times they spent at the campus and not only aim at generating job opportunities for the batches being churned out, but also seeking advice on the ways to imporvise upon the processess to create employable, market ready students. If the mail is aimed at new students, it should have information on the past and current placement scenario, reviews of students and industry experts on the past and existing batches and the teaching standards.
  4. Create content in both HTML and text formats as some would not have the HTML capability in their email softwares.
  5. Social Media Links- Links to website, facebook groups and fanpages, twitter account, student and campus blogs and any other important link should be put multiple times as it will help increase the click through rate from your message. According to socialbakers.com the facebook statistics in India shows that the majority of its Indian users come under the 18-24 age bracket which is around 47%. And since this is the target group of the Higher Education institutes, they should ensure that there is relevant content available on these pages where the links are pointing.
  6. Mailing list is also very crucial. Profiling of the target audience based on their age, courses interested, preferred centres (if you are running the course at multiple locations) can be done by a good ESP and the e-mails content, subject line and other information can be sent modified based on these informations.
  7. Trial run-Test the mail campaign on 10% of your target group with 2-3 different subject lines/images/content/anything of your choice and gather the reviews . Within 24-48 hrs you will get to know which subject line got majority open rate. The remaining 90% can be sent the most successful e-mail.There are two very important things to be kept in mind at this point in time.
    1. What was the conversion rate? Were there any inquiries?What was the difference between those who came on the basis of email campaign and otherwise(your control group to whom you did not send anything)?
    2. Ensure that you take an opt-in form that takes permission from the receiver before the campaign starts. This is essential for the reason that it doesn’t upset those people who have not requested for the information and also that in some countries there are laws regarding sending unwarranted emails to addresses and not doing opt-ins is breaking the law. Double opt-ins can protect you from being accused of spamming. Keep the option “signup for newsletters/latest information” in your Facebook,websites, blogs etc for the mail list to be segregated into 2 different categories for the ease of prioritizing your mailing list.

Researchers estimate that United States firms alone spent US $400 million on e-mail marketing in 2006.

By following the above mentioned tips you can be sure to get the needed response. Never forget to take stock of things at every step.

I will always help. All the best!

Enhanced by Zemanta
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 20, 2010 in Education, Review, Technology

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Ramayan/Mahabharat era revisited.

(posted on FB on 26th jul)
The next innovation waiting fr realisation- chip embedd in the human brain…connect to anyone and everyone…anytime…anywhere

Enhanced by Zemanta
 
 

Tags: , , , ,

Link

My youngest one composed this one

‘akka cheeku skool jati hai’
(re re ga ma ga sa re )notation of the song.
She said ‘mum raajshree gana ga rahi hai…and sang this peice’
27th July 2010

Enhanced by Zemanta
 

Tags: , , , , ,