The Importance of Social Media Trends

In the words of George Bernard Shaw, “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” 

The advent of trillions of brands online gives buyers the power of choice. For any organisation, retaining potential and happy customers is paramount in order to thrive the vying competition. It’s imperative to understand the buyer’s behaviour in every stage of the decision-making process and voice their brand at the right time, at the right place and to the right target audience.

According to @Hubspot, Google gets over 100 billion searches a month and over 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making big purchases (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics). According to We Are Social, there are 1.65 billion active mobile social accounts globally with 1 million new active mobile social users added every day. (Source: We Are Social). These statistics proves that online social presence is key for marketers and organisations. With social media being such a versatile platform, organisations can engage and promote their brands and services to audiences all across the globe with a tap of a finger. 

The world of social media is also evolving as time goes by & organisations need to keep pace with these rising trends. Great graphics aren’t enough anymore, it’s all about live visuals and great story telling. Going live and supporting social causes is the new normal. Reposting on Instagram and retweeting content from industry influencers improves organisations to broaden their social demography.

“Saying hello doesn’t have an ROI. It’s about building relationships”, says Gary Vaynerchuk. It is the genuine and authentic conversations with various groups and communities that drives successful social engagement and helps build stronger relationships.  

Turning a blind eye to these important tools and trends can be lead a loss of building valuable relationships for organisations. It goes with out saying, that marketing on social media is diverse, time-consuming and a constant challenge but it’s certainly not impossible to initiate.

Always Be Changing, that’s the only way to succeed in the social media world. 

Curves

The phone and the WiFi connection is like our “New Oxygen” – try to remove it and you feel like a vegetable.

So, one day, the service provider decided to cut off the connection for a whole day and suggested to live in real time – actual real time – with the environment; with people at home and with yourself. Yes, I panicked and felt like I’m running into a wall, I felt vegetative, I felt very lateral; but it was so gratifying!

It gave me the time to exchange a smile and say ‘good morning’ with the person I live with. It gave me the time to stare at the ceiling and see the blades of the fan rotate. As I put my foot down I felt it embrace the floor and the first gulp of fresh air energized me. The time allowed me visualize the aura of the of the sea and the waves, the ripples of water, the glowing sun, the strong winds, the light drizzle and the glorious rainbow. The alluring sight gave rise to a new found happiness in me.

So with a cup of coffee and my favorite book, I sat to read The Waves by Virginia Woolf. Reading through those magnificent pages in her book, I didn’t notice how time flew. Its such irony, languishing on the beach side reading about characters that are being related to the waves of an ocean.  This time was beautifully silent and enriching!

You tend to acknowledge your people and your surroundings better. In your mind, you wander to places you have never discovered ever before.You become a more compassionate and spirited individual. Everything seems to be more meaningful and nature seems to show off its beauty with all its curves.

Everyone must give yourselves some “me time” and forget about technology and places you can rant about nothing. Dwell in the silence, enjoy it, meditate, exercise and be bliss!

 

 

Twitter Flight School.

When you want to become a Digital Marketing geek, you always seek to improve your skill set – you see Digital Marketing is always evolving and trending. Keeping that in mind, you will also need to evolve and embrace that change in order to be a front runner in the industry today.

For starters, when we talk of Digital Marketing, the first thing that hits our mind is social media, right? Social media and its numerous fun platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat and more allows business’s and individuals to create a sense of awareness, be opined and emotionally and strategically engage with the world. The question of the hour is ‘How’. How do we learn social media? How do we use them for our benefit? How is it important and why?

In this day, its simple. There are free certifications everyone can do at our own pace. One such certification I came across is the Twitter Flight School. Well, unlike Hubspot’s free certifications that are lengthier and difficult; this is fairly simple, short and  easy! Its well designed and very interactive with the a lot of visual and statistical content to provide a better understanding. For a beginner, that’s important.

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The certification takes you through Twitter and its features, its a Twitter 101. Explains the attributes of your Twitter profile and most importantly guides you through the creation of content that is creative and engaging in real time. It also introduces you to the various campaigns/cards and twitter ads you can use to drive engagement; the best timing to deliver an important social media message to your audience and provides you with tools to develop a solid marketing strategy for yourself.

The funda for every successful Twitter strategy is to have an opportunity, an objective, a tactic, and a result. 

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It consists of five very intuitive modules with tests at the end of each one. Once you pass the test, you get a certificate and badge and looks something like this. Awesome right?

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Its extremely engaging, fast paced, less of content and more of visuals, interactive videos and case studies that makes learning fun. So what are you waiting for? Get certified and #takeflight with the Twitter Flight School.

 

The Blueberry Hunt

The Blueberry Hunt!

Not heard of this? Yes, I know.

Unfortunately I happened to see this and it is only because of Naseerudhin Shah and that very deceiving trailer that created such a stir.

The Blueberry Hunt is a story about the life of a reclusive old man, a dog that’s addicted to beef and Looney Toons, a pretty woman, a crop that loves music, one North Indian client, random decoits in a mallu land amidst the hills, rivers, ravines and forests!

Naseeruddin Shah plays the role of Colonel, a lonely old rifle-toting man sporting shabby white dreadlocks and fancy goggles in the middle of a thick jungle in Kerala. Naseer is content with his far-flung life. He is seen feeding his German Shepard, Kuttapan Patti (the Looney Toon addict), singing sweet songs for his Blueberry Skunk and protecting his territory with CCTV cameras and satellite phones. His daily supplies are brought by a localite, George (PJ Unnikrishnan) who is Colonel’s only contact.

George introduces Mr. Sett, a Bihari middleman played by Vipin Sharma who comes to inspect the cannabis crop. Sett’s entry to the scene invites danger and soon after his visit three shooters abruptly attack Shah’s protected land. While protecting his crop, the movie takes some un-directed turn when Shah is compelled to baby sit a college girl (Aahana Kumra) abducted by Vipin Sharma as an outcome of a personal rivalry we hear of but never see. For all you know the kidnapped girl happens to Sett’s daughter. While baby sitting the girl, Aahana and Naseer try forming some relationship, but its not really clear. 

Aahana’s role in the movie was superfluous and was no screaming hell. Probably if the movies’ run time was a tad bit longer the screenplay would have fit an eerie romantic scene as well. Gaah! There was not one captivating moment in the film. You wait for something to happen but nothing happens.

With such an edgy story line, this would have been a cracker of a film if directed well. The movie lacks a back story, the characters are vague and it’s pace is sloooooow beyond comprehension!

I heard there is a graphic rendition by Baburajan Muliyankeezhil that’s better than the film. While I check that out, you stay away from this hazy drama.

 

 

 

Metamorphosis

Should dreams true and to our fate we become these not so lucky creatures, its a sad death. Metamorphosis portrays human psychology just right! Franz Kafka studies the harrowing nature of humans and their attitude towards living beings. No wonder they say, “Kafka is important to us because his predicament is the predicament of modern man.”

Gregor Samsa, an altruistic man, worked hard for his family to make ends meet and support them with day to day family life. Unfortunately, one night he wakes up and realizes that he is no longer is a human but an insect, a Beetle. The family and his employer cannot stomach his ugly and dangerous transformation so they disown him immediately. Left in isolation, it is only his sister who cares for him initially but not for too long. His mother and father stay horrified throughout this time and find him a disgrace to the family.

Gregor dies out of starvation and never turns into a human to be loved again. He was treated like an outsider because he did not fit the patriarchal views of his own society and family.

Metamorphosis is absurd and comical with a very strong message about human acceptance, empathy and gratitude. Societal values preside over love and respect for one another. As it is a short-stringed novel, it’s a great read and worth all your time. I would totally recommend to pick a copy ASAP!

A Poem of Eternal Love

For the only person I loved my whole life.

I promise to come and pick you up when I’m gone.
I will knock on the door at midnight and take you along.
For you were the only reason for my earthly existence.
You’re eternal love filled in all the emptiness.
You might hate me for leaving you alone, but I yearn every second to see you.
So I promise to come and pick you up when I’m gone.

I apologize for all the trauma I put you through.
You slept next to my vegetative body that no one else would have the guts to do.
You looked at me for hours hoping that I would wake up and say your name.
But I was told not to and I don’t know by who.
You saw me grow cold, stiff and weak by the second and heard my breath fade away slow and steady.
You knew you were going to lose me, so you held on tight till my last breath.
For I can’t live without you, I promise to come and pick you up when I’m gone.

Now that I have bid adieu, I heard you weep. This was the first time I saw my lady love shattered to pieces.
It broke my heart too.
I might not be there next to you in a physical state, so I pray that you stay head strong.
I will watch over every step you take and pick you up every time you fall, just like the olden days.
I know there are people to take care of you now, but no one can replace me.
I will put an end to all the blood that you lost and the pain you went through.
I would do anything to wipe your tear just to see you smile and your wrinkled skin shine.
I promise to come and pick you when I’m gone.

It’s been exactly a year now that I left to my heavenly abode.
I cannot bear to see my lady broken and suffer of pain anymore.
Its been far too long you stayed frail without love and happiness.
Its time for you to join me so I can share my beautiful little haven with you.
Close your eyes and take one last breath and whisper my name.
I will come and pick you up, no matter where you are.

I knew you couldn’t go through the agony anymore, so I decided its time.
You looked so calm and beautiful, no one could say you put up a strongest fight for life a few hours ago.
Fresh as a flower and bright like a star in the sky, you looked better than ever before.
I have come to pick you up. Let’s go.
My heart skipped a beat, just the way it did when I saw you the very first time in my life.
The sparkle in your eyes, your delicate figure, your beautiful silky hair, and your soft touch is still the same.
I couldn’t wait any longer to take you in my arms and fall in love with your soul so pure and simple once again.
I will always love you and be beside you forever.
See, I kept my promise to come and pick you up when I’m gone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Life of Temple Wives

International Women’s day is being celebrated nationwide but are we really celebrating? We say women are in par with men, is this true? I still find women play the role of a scorpion under a slipper, devoid of freedom to live according to her choice. Do we have strong voice to condemn the horrendous practices of superstition and humiliation? I think not. In the words of our ministry, India has second biggest economy in the world after China and is a strong contender to achieve the “world power” status. Well, maybe, but we have lost our state of mind and our motive to life. In an age of progress and development, there still lies an undercurrent of tradition, religion, and superstition.

Though we live in the 21st century, we still seem to follow age old customs religiously. The legacy of “Devadasi” or “Prabhudevi” is carried on even till today, though being outlawed 1988. Its a taboo, that’s performed predominantly in the villages of Karnataka, Mudhol being the hub. Girls as young as four are married to the Goddess Yellama Devi during the Saundatti festival and are dedicated to the trade of religious prostitution. Deceived that the goddess will secure their lives forever, they are forced into sex slavery.

In medieval times, Devadasis were glamorous temple dancers and had a high social status. Conducting sacred rituals and offering royal dances to the goddess Yellamma were their duties. Over time, their status dwindled and today they are paid princesses or patrons of men and rich landlords.

Women are forced to make out with men of all sorts for a sum as little as Rs. 20 to a few thousands in order to make ends meet becoming the highest carriers of the deadly disease, HIV. Marriage is forbidden, but a Prabhudevi can conceive. Should it be a girl child, she is forced to follow her mothers’ footsteps. The most interesting fact is that, the industry is so female driven. Women recruiting women. Once these Devadasis get older they end up trafficking young girls and managing brothels at cosmopolitan cities.

As age catches up, she is destined to become a destitute, left to the mercy of the goddess. After being turned down for everything, the busy streets and unsheltered pavements become their only home until an NGO comes to their rescue. According to a study, there are nearly 23,000 (estimated) such Devadasis in the district. There are NGOs, started by former Devadasis trying to uplift this community but it seems to be a hard task as the custom is deep rooted.

This just shows that in the name of god, everything seems fair. In the name of custom, dignity and humanity are sacrificed. In the midst of this prejudice, lives have been lost and dreams have been shattered. Though the law governs, some colonies are let to rule and no extreme force can stop them.

Women are still bound by fear and tradition, no doubt. World power can be achieved when there is gender equality not only in cities but in these rural districts like Mudhol too. I hope the government abolishes this age old practice of the Devadasi system. As we strive for woman empowerment all across the nation, this superstition needs to come to end as well.