Social Media and Branding

Social media is essential for business these days. Social media and branding go together like peanut butter and jelly.Branding on social media isn’t just about setting up your accounts and getting a pretty design across each one. Every single post you make, every single reply you post, every single piece of content you share is building your brand. Your social media personality should be a reflection of your business personality, and that should stay consistent from day to day (Gilbert, 2014).

 Fig 1.1 Brands and Social Media [3]

Fig 1.1 Brands and Social Media. Clark (2013) Retrieved from  http://bit.ly/1yany89

Personal branding is merely a way of selling your skills, and it’s never been more important, thanks to social media. Social media has given us a platform to broadcast our personal messaging to accomplish our goals. For professional purposes, we have LinkedIn to connect with others in our industry. For sharing with friends and family, there’s Facebook. Pinterest is where we show off our passions. Instagram is for visual self-expression (Gilbert, 2014)

What are the benefits of social media? The first notable fact is the large market share. Social networking websites contain the largest amount of connections and command the most attention from their user-base.

Now, Lets look at some strategies for reaching mass audiences through social media branding: (Carol, 2014)

  • Develop a Social Media Platform Strategy: brands should identify which platforms their target audiences frequent most. For example, Pinterest has a predominantly female user base, and therefore, if a brand is trying to attract a male consumer, then a different platform should probably be prioritized.
  • Create Captivating Content with High Share Value: Content with high share value is more likely to create a viral effect, exposing brands to wider audiences. Users tend to share content that is less promotional and more personal. Therefore, brands need to look for content inspiration beyond the products.
  • Optimize for Mobile: Business should ensure that all content looks great and is easy to share on small screen devices such as iPads and smart phones. The number of people accessing social platforms via mobile devices continues to increase rapidly.
  • Get Influencers and Users Involved: Influencers and bloggers tend to have a lot of social clout. Brands should partner with the ones who are on-brand for them, and create interesting content and initiatives, utilizing the influencers’ large audiences to create buzz and awareness. For example, an influencer’s involvement can be extremely helpful in the case of a brand hosting a contest or giveaway around a key sales period (Carol, 2014).
 Fig1.2 Personal Brand

Fig1.2 Personal Brand. Osborne (2014). Retrieved from http://linkd.in/12d49qe

My Experience with Social Media and Branding:

Well, I am a very close witness to a success story about Branding on Social Media. One of my very close friends recently started a start-up.

They work on big-data security. The founder used LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to catch an eye of potential investors. With the strategy they followed regarding branding through social media, they not only were able to get good investments but also to hire top talent.

Gilbert, S (2014, June). 7 Rules for Social Media Branding. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/13D4R0i

Carol, H(2014, Nov). How Older Brands Can Reach New, Younger Audiences Through Social Media Branding. Retrieved from http://huff.to/PtAz9y

Clark, D(2013, June). Open View Labs. Three Tips for Making Time for Social Media. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/1yany89

Osborne (2014)(LinkedIn). 5 Tips to Build Your Personal Brand. Retrieved from http://linkd.in/12d49qe

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LinkedIn profiles : How to use them to market yourself and to network?

With over 300 million members, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking site. When searching for a new job, having a strong LinkedIn profile is very important for enhancing your visibility, networking with other professionals and building your own personal brand.(Christine, 2014)

Fig 1.1 Tips to create a great LinkedIn Profile

Fig 1.1 Tips to create a great LinkedIn Profile Christine (2014). Retrieved from http://bit.ly/1yWOMwg

In this blog, we will talk about few tips to build a good LinkedIn profile, to use the LinkedIn profile to network and to market yourself.(Christine, 2014)

To Build an Effective LinkedIn Profile

1.  Include a professional picture: LinkedIn profiles with pictures are more likely to get clicked on than ones without a photo. Your LinkedIn photo should be a professional head-shot that accurately represents you.(Christine, 2014)

2. Use a strong headline: The headline is the most important part of your LinkedIn profile. It should grab the viewers’ attention and make them want to find out more about you. State your specialty, include important keywords and be specific and creative. Example Headline- A person who likes to work in systems and love to do coding.Dream project is a system project from scratch development.

LinkedIn-profile

Fig 1.2 LinkedIn Profile .Osborne Tom(2014). Retrieved from http://linkd.in/12d49qe

3. Detailed summary section: Having a detailed summary section in your LinkedIn profile helps increase the chances that your profile will pop-up in search results. Make sure to include key words in your summary section that are closely related to the job that you are currently in or the position you are currently seeking out.(Christine, 2014)

4. Ask for recommendations from colleagues: Recommendations give recruiters and hiring managers a sense of your work ethic and your ability to work well with others. Well-written recommendations will help boost your reputation. One way to secure recommendations is by offering to write one in return.(Christine, 2014)

5. Join LinkedIn groups to improve your visibility:

 Fig 1.3. LinkedIn Groups [2]

Fig 1.3. LinkedIn Groups. Osborne Tom(2014). Retrieved from http://linkd.in/12d49qe

Joining LinkedIn groups helps increase the visibility of your profile. It increases the chances that your profile will be viewed by the right audience. A good place to start is by joining your Alma mater’s official group and monitoring the discussions that are taking place. Also consider joining groups that are related to your field.(Christine, 2014)

6.Posting Status Updates: keep in mind that LinkedIn is a “social” network. Use LinkedIn to share articles that you find interesting, or things that your company is doing and that you are proud of. This will help position you as an individual who not only understands how to use LinkedIn as a professional platform, but also to connect with others in your network on a more personal level. (Christine, 2014)

To Use LinkedIn for Building Your Personal Brand

To effectively use LinkedIn for building your personal brand, I will share five useful tips (Osborne, 2014)

  • Profile Pictures: People are a lot more comfortable interacting with accounts that feel human so add a photo that is 70-85% your face.(Linkedin Inc, 2013)
  • Bio-data:Try to keep opening sentences across all social profiles the same. It’s good when people try and find you and also for search engines.Try to keep things short and to the point. Too often you see people’s life stories on LinkedIn and people simply just click away when presented with lines of text so cut the fluff.
  • Banner Space: Be sure to use Banner space on company pages and personal profiles to create your brand online. Again great from when people are trying to recognize you and can also give a more professional feel. Banner space on your personal profiles can highlight achievements or projects. Again adding a personal touch here works wonders.
  • Backgrounds:Change the background where possible. When you click a profile the ones that stand out are the ones without standard backgrounds, some can be great and include logos, links etc, but a simple color change still makes a profile stand out.
  • Branding and Links: Top three free websites that help you brand yourself are: About.me, Flavors.me, Brand Yourself.com

Christine P(2014). 5 ways to improve your LinkedIn Profile. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/1yWOMwg

Osborne Tom(2014)(LinkedIn). 5 Tips to Build Your Personal Brand. Retrieved from http://linkd.in/12d49qe

LinkedIn Inc.(2013). Top 10 LinkedIn Business Marketing Tips. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/1rKTAWK

Agile tasks lists, what does “done” mean in Agile?

Agile Task

Figure 1.1 Agile Task.Admin (2013). Retrieved from http://bit.ly/1ytj36v

So far we discussed until Agile Sprint Retrospective. Now lets discuss Agile Tasks Lists. A task communicates the need to do some work. Each team member can define tasks to represent the work that they need to accomplish. For example, a developer can define development tasks to implement user stories. (admin, 2013)

A tester can define test tasks to assign the job of writing and running test cases. A task can also be used to signal regressions or to suggest that exploratory testing should be performed. Also, a team member can define a task to represent generic work for the project.

A task list consists of various tasks. A task can be associated with A User Story or A Bug. A task can be explained better by adding hyperlinks, attachments explaining the task to it.(admin , 2013)

Agile_Task_List_Users

Figure 1.2 A Tasks List in Agile.Microsoft (2013). Retrieved from http://bit.ly/1A6DEgU

Lets look at a sample Agile Task List. Here, the tasks have been associated with product backlog items.For each product backlog item, tasks will be listed. For each such task, task owner will be associated.(admin, 2013)

My Experiment with Agile Tasks Lists: Let me give you an example where I could make use of Agile Tasks List. Recently, during my internship I was working on an encryption related project wherein I was supposed to develop AES-128 encryption algorithm. So I decided to make use of Agile Tasks Lists. Following is the task list I came up with. (Waters, 2007)

  • Read and understand how AES works : 1 Day
  • Chop down the implementation into encryption and decryption algorithm implementation :  3 Days
  • Develop each module :  5 Days
  • Test with plain text and cipher text : 5 days
  • For each of the items on this list I was the owner. With the help of this list I could manage my time wisely and could come up with a viable solution for my project. (Waters, 2007)

Now let’s look at a typical task life workflow. Typical workflow progression is explained below.

Task State Diagram

Figure 1.3 Task Work Flow.Waters (2007). Retrieved from http://bit.ly/1nM9bRn

  • A team member creates a task in the Active state with a default reason of New.
  • A team member changes the state from Active to Closed indicating that the task has been completed.
  • A team member determines that the task is not relevant and changes the state from Active to Closed.
  • A team member determines that the task was closed in error and reactivates the task, changing the state from Closed to Active.Active :The task remains in the active state as long as it is being implemented. The team member who has been assigned the task tracks the level of effort of the task by updating it with Completed and Remaining hours. From Active to Closed: When you close the task, you must specify the reason for closing it.(Waters, 2007)

Done means DONE!: In agile development, “done” should really mean “DONE!”[3]. Features developed within an iteration (Sprint in Scrum), should be 100% complete by the end of the Sprint. So, in agile development, make sure that each feature is fully developed, tested, styled, and accepted by the product owner before counting it as “DONE!”. And if there’s any doubt about what activities should or should not be completed within the Sprint for each feature, “DONE!” should mean the feature can actually be shipped. (Waters, 2007)

Admin (2013). Responsive Business Service. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/1ytj36v

Microsoft (2013). Microsoft Developer Network. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/1A6DEgU

Waters, K(2007). Agile Principle 7 : Done Means Done. Retrieved from  http://bit.ly/1nM9bRn