Join in for a live tweetchat with me today – 18 Nov2015, 12 PM IST

Happy and excited to share that I am an invited guest by SheThePeople.TV for a live tweetchat at 12 PM IST today (18 Nov 2015). If you’ve ever had any questions for me on #MyDigitalStory – tune in and tweet on…

If you are wondering why you should join a tweetchat, I’d say top reasons are – learning, networking and fun! Not convinced still? Hop over to my post on Top reasons why you should participate in tweetchats

To view the Storify of the entire chat, click here

For those who don’t know 

* SheThePeople.TV is SheThePeople is a video story telling space that inspires women, strengthens their efforts, exchanges leadership ideas, fosters networking and reinforces their ability to contribute to growth.

* Shaili Chopra is the founder of SheThePeople.TV – As one of India’s top television editor-presenters, she has been at the forefront of achievers in journalism. In her earlier avatar, Shaili was earlier the Senior Editor and Lead Anchor at ET NOW, the Economic Times Business News Channel and earlier before that with NDTV.

The Karmic Ways of Social Media

I published a post, but it has hardly got any views

I shared a tweet, but no one replied / Retweeted

No one ever leaves any comments on my blog

I hear this feedback all the time in my network. Blogger, Twitter enthusiasts, friends, colleagues – Before I used to try to probe further in an effort to help.. Now I just listen and nod.

WHY? Because I am wiser – as a blogger, writer and individual; and I realized that most of the people who say such things just say it. They don’t want to help themselves. Because if they did, they’d know that social media works similar to life. And just like the karmic ways of life govern what we experience in life.. The karmic ways of social media govern what we experience in social media

So in this post, I am sharing what I’ve understood about Social Media based on my personal experiences..

Social Media Karma(4)

What do you think? Have the karmic ways worked for you? Leave a comment to let me know


Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist / Byline in : Economic Times | Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Top Marketing Blogs in India, Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

Being among Twitterati – What it takes and what it means?

First the good news..

The team at SheroesIndia wrote a post on “Must Follow Woman Influencers on Twitter” . It was a pleasant surprise to feature in that list among august company like Tanvi Gautam @tanvi_gautam , Ankita Gaba – @ankitagaba , Lakshmi Rebecca @lakshmirebecca , Kalki Koechlin @kalkikanmani , Gul Panag @GulPanag , Meeta Sengupta @Meetasengupta and Kiran Manral @KiranManral

The post starts off with “There are tons of women on Twitterati making their mark. SHEROES list down a few Indian women who are impacting the space in a massive way“. Being included as ONE among 20 Indian woman is indeed wonderful. I do follow many of them on Twitter, and I know that they are doing their bit and best to make a difference in their sphere of influence with their tweets.

Personally, this is the second time I feature in a list among Twitterati. The first one was in 2012 when Dr Tanvi Gautam create the first ‘epic list’ of 50 Indian Woman to follow on Twitter

Her list in her own words was about “A dedication it to all women thought leaders from Asia, not just from media and film, not just the corporate world but all the ones that are making a difference in their own way.”

Even today, the list is as relevant as it was 2 years back because the women from that list continue to make a difference in their own way. Some of the women who find a mention are
Kiran Bedi ‏ @thekiranbedi
Sairee Chahal ‏ @Sairee
Sania Mirza-Malik ‏ @MirzaSania
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw ‏ @kiranshaw
Sagarika Ghose ‏ @sagarikaghose
Azmi shabana ‏ @AzmiShabana
Anupama Chopra ‏ @anupamachopra
Rashmibansal ‏ @rashmibansal
Barkha dutt ‏ @BDUTT
Jessie Paul ‏ @jessie_paul
Naina ‏ @Naina
Sucheta Dalal ‏ @suchetadalal
Rujuta Diwekar ‏ @RujutaDiwekar

Being featured amidst such amazing woman was indeed a a great honor and a humbling moment. It makes you happy, get attention (both in the real world and virtual world) and is extremely gratifying. Being in the spotlight makes me happy. Recognition is a great motivator in Social Media and in life.

Interestingly both the lists have several common names too!

But that’s not what this post is about? It is about my views on Why such lists are important? Why these women find a spot on these lists? And what it takes to be here?

So first.. Why such lists are important?
(1) They bring together in one place some awesome women so anyone can follow them, read and hear their views, opinions and perspectives on one / many subjects. I know I’ve connected with many of these women and learned immensely from their tweets / personal interactions
(2) They put ‘women’ in the spotlight and that is extremely important because it motivates, it inspires, it sets an example to more women
(3) They enable fostering networks and relationships amongst women and that is indeed a powerful force to reckon with – which can be the catalyst and harbinger for the cause and voice of many women’s issues.

Why these women find a spot on these lists?
(1) They are genuinely inspiring in what they share and do – Just follow them, and you’ll know why they’re on that list
(2) They are genuinely trying to make a difference with their words / tweets and shares on Social Media
(3) They are passionate about specific causes – And continuously support them

And what it takes to be here?
(1) Time – In today’s day and age, the most precious asset is “time”. And any serious Twitter / Social media user would know that being active on Twitter takes time and energy (which many times comes at the cost of letting-go many other things in life – specifically if you are a woman!), especially if you intend to be on Twitter for the long haul. Almost all these women are regular, active and serious Twitter users, so they are giving it time, focus and attention
(2) Willingness to share and speak up – Almost all these women are not shy to honestly share their life experiences, personal stories of success or failure, views, opinions, perspectives on one / many issues. So they speak up and share when given the opportunity, and that only helps the cause of women in terms of inspiration and bringing to the fore-front many critical and real issues
(3) Positivity – Again almost all these women are extremely positive, optimistic and hopeful (most of the times) while being conscious of the realities of today – especially in the context of women’s issues, empowerment and endowment
(4) Value – At the end of the day, Twitter is a free social media platform. While being free to use, any Twitter user has complete freedom to choose whom he / she will Follow / Unfollow. So your tweets should be of “value” to anyone who is reading, and almost all these women continuously share valuable content / tweets

And yes, before I forget another pleasant surprise came my way a few days back. The kind folks at Femspiration sent my way a #FemTribute .
As I sign-off, I’d like to say Thank you to all those who create these lists, and to all the women who continue to make a difference in their own way , in their own sphere of influence!

What do you think? Leave a comment to let me know…

10 ways Twitter made a difference in 2013

Looking back at my Twitter journey, I can say that in 2013 I have been more active on Twitter than ever before. While I did not start the year with any grand plans on objectives of what I wanted to accomplish, I definitely wanted to be more active..

Along the way, Twitter has helped me in several ways. In this blog, I am listing the 10 ways in which Twitter made a DIFFERENCE
(1) Connected me with some amazing individuals – Yes! I’ve connected with some fantastic individuals on Twitter – People who I would never have been able to connect with. People who are “great thinkers”, people from whom I learn so much and people who inspire me with their words. And to all of them, a BIG THANK YOU!

(2) Enabled me to learn continuously – If there is one social media platform through which I have learned about topics / areas that were of interest to me, it was through Twitter. To my advantage, I was very specific about my learning objectives and goals, and hence was very particular about whom I follow – In most cases, the very BEST in their respective niches. And if you follow the masters, you can be sure to learn – provided you are a diligent student :)

(3) Improved written communication skills (specially brevity) – Improvement in written communication is a priority for any one who writes. And personally, brevity has not been a strength for long. However, ever since I became active on Twitter – I was challenging myself (repeatedly) to come to the core of what I wanted to communicate. A year of practice later – I can definitely say that I am much better today. The real-life testimonial is that most meeting I usually chair mostly end before time :). As someone at work said, “You are so clear and concise, always conveying only the relevant information! – That’s definitely a feather in my cap :)

(4) Research – One of the most important activities as a part of my work involves research. And Twitter is a great repository to get real-time access to quality information on any topic. The two ways I get information are through Hashtag search, and by following the Gurus in a specific area of interest. Research time has reduced significantly ever since I started to use Twitter.

(5) Brought a smile to my face – On many a gloomy day, if there was one thing which brought a smile to my face it was Twitter. A joke or a witty comment or a compliment or a surprise DM from a kind soul – All brought a smile to my face. And it made a difference!

(6) Provided generous doses of inspiration – Quotes always inspire me. And starting off my day by reading an inspirational quote from the wise and learned and experienced has set the right tone and mood for my days. I look forward to getting my dose of quotes from Twitter. In addition, reading motivational and inspirational writings through shared links on Twitter was an added bonus!

(7) Platform to share my writings – One of the most important benefits for me as a blogger was that Twitter was a great platform to share my writings. It gave me real-time reach to a global audience : people who would probably never have read my content otherwise!

(8) Log for the incessant chatter of the mind – In hindsight, one of the most important benefits of using Twitter is that it was a log for the incessant chatter of my mind. A lot of ideas, thoughts and realizations keep buzzing around continuously. Once I started logging it on Twitter, my mind was a lot clearer. Decision making improved. Concentration improved. My productivity improved. My sleep improved :) – That’s a lot of good things !

(9) Topics / Ideas to Blog About – One of the challenges for most bloggers is to find the next thing to write about. Even here, Twitter has come to the rescue. Sometimes it is through my own back-dated tweets, and sometimes it is via others tweets.

(10) Friend when no one was there – There were times when I had nothing really to do (Albeit few, but they did exist). At those times, Twitter was a good friend. Just logging in to Twitter, and spending some time with no specific agenda objective or expectations – was surprisingly very comforting!

Did Twitter make a difference for you in 2013? Leave a comment to let me know HOW?

Great Social Media Quotes

I’m a big fan of quotes. And have been all along in my life.. So I wanted to publish a post on great Social Media Quotes that I’ve come across. Here goes!

“Social Media, it turns out, isn’t about aggregating audiences so you can yell at them about the junk you want to sell. Social Media, in fact, is a basic human need, revealed digitally online. We want to be connected, to make a difference, to matter, to be missed. We want to belong, and yes, we want to be led.” BY Seth Godin

“Social Media puts the “public” into PR and the “market” into marketing” BY Chris Brogan

“ATA – be AUTHENCTIC, be TRANSPARENT, be ALTRUISTIC, and you will find enough success in Social Media to have a satisfying career and experience.” BY Nils Monta

“Build it, and they will come” only works in the movies.  Social Media is a “build it, nurture it, engage them, and they may come and stay.” BY Seth Godin

“Social Media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide for you.” BY Matt Goulart
“LinkedIn is for people you know. Facebook is for people you used to know. Twitter is for people you want to know.” BY Author Unknown

“By creating compelling content, you can become a celebrity.” BY Paul Gillin

“The problem with trying to determine ROI for Social Media is you are trying to put numeric quantities around human interactions and conversations, which are not quantifiable” BY Jason Falls

“Focus on how to be social, not on how to do social.” BY Jay Baer

“Content is King, Social Media is Queen; and Together they rule the online world. So be the king and befriend the Queen, or be prepared to be ruled over” BY Nischala

Why Twitter for Small Business Owners?

Small business owners of today are faced with several challenges as a part of their everyday business operations. First and most importantly, is the basic need to survive and break-even. Second, is the focus on top-line growth through new customer acquisition or new businesses from existing customers. Third, is the focus on cost reduction / optimization / rationalization. And last but not least is the focus on profits. Oh! I forgot to mention all the other additional aspects which running a business usually involves – like Positioning, Branding and Marketing, Innovation, Human Resource Management, Communication, Operations, Finance, Strategy, Compliance, etc.

With so many things that need to be done with limited resources and small teams, it can get really busy and overwhelming for small business owners. And it’s so easy to wonder if there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Well here’s the good news! Social Media can definitely help address some of these challenges. Not only is social media cost effective, ubiquitous, easy to learn and adopt; but if a well-integrated social media strategy is adopted, the probability of business success is significantly amplified!

In this blog, I will list specific ways in which Twitter can be leveraged for the benefit of small business owners.

First and most important is to establish the BIG “WHY?” – “Why do you as a small business owner want to use Twitter?”

The question is very simple, albeit very important. But giving the right answer usually requires a lot of thought, introspection and clarity on your business goals and strategy. Once you have this answer, the Twitter journey is a lot more focused, useful, productive and enjoyable!

Small business owners could typically use Twitter for any of the following:

(1)   Connect and Interact with Customers (Existing / New) – The only pre-requisites for this are that you should know who exactly are your customers and whether they are active on Twitter

 Case-in-point: An entrepreneur I know who runs a high-end designer fashion label was working on the Social Media Strategy for her business. During discussions, it emerged that most of her customers are NOT on Twitter. And hence, it made limited sense for her to invest time and effort in building a Twitter presence exclusively for her customer interactions, or for lead generation / business development activities.

 As a small business owner, if you’ve established that you’re customers are active on Twitter, the next step is to start active engagement with them. The purpose of customer interactions can vary from announcements of new products / services / offers / discounts, to sharing regular updates on information which is valued by your customer base.

 Take-Away: Be clear on who you’re customers are, and whether they are on Twitter. Then you can start connecting and interacting with them on Twitter.

 (2)   Create a Brand – Twitter can be an effective and powerful channel to establish your brand. The only pre-requisite is that you should be clear on what brand image you want to create, and ensure that you tweet in line with this brand image. This will determine your competitive differentiation, industry presence and positioning. For e.g.: If you are a research firm who provides research services in technology areas, you should tweet snippets about your own research findings, or interesting data / facts and references on technology related research. This will enable you to create your own voice in the Twitter-verse

 Take-Away: Clear, consistent and continuous communication in line with the brand is the key for brand creation and brand recall.

 (3)   Business Networking – One of the keys to success for small business owners is the kind of business networks they are associated with. Twitter can be a very powerful medium to establish new business connections and strengthen existing ones. Many times these business networks can help directly / indirectly in new upcoming opportunities. In addition to specific one-o-one networks / tweets / Direct Messages, active participation in Twitter chats can be a great source for building new business connections or identification of new business opportunities.

 Take-Away: Focus on building and strengthening business networks on Twitter

 (4)   ResearchOne of the most important back-end activities essential for most small business owners is continuous focus on research around specific focus areas. Twitter is a great platform to get real-time access to quality information on any topic. The two specific ways which are of great help in this regard are Hashtag search, and by following the Gurus (experts) in a specific area of interest.

 The good news is that research time can be significantly reduced on Twitter. Sometimes an easy way to get answers is to ask a question on Twitter, or ask someone with a good Follower base to post the question. More often than not, this can be one source of primary research data, similar to an online real-time survey.

 Take-Away: Be clear on the research objectives. And use Twitter to get direct feedback, responses or hear from the experts.

 (5)   Ideation – Twitter can be used as a great platform for ideation. Ideas around What next?, How to grow and improve your business?, etc. can occur several times during social conversations and interactions – especially when you engage in dialog on what would make customers happy or what are the current pain–areas which plague a specific customer segment. In addition, interacting with industry peers and in specialized forums / networks can many spark off those “Eureka moments”.

 Take-Away: Look to Twitter to hear, discover and learn what others are doing. This is the first source of new ideas.

 (6)   Continuous Learning and Knowledge Updates – Constantly learning and knowing what’s happening in your industry, within the market and getting a pulse of your customers, partners, suppliers, competition, etc. is absolutely essential for small business owners. Twitter can be a very effective in helping you do this! The easiest way is to identify your key partners, competitors, customers, analysts, publications and experts in your specific line of business, and follow them on Twitter (provided they have a Twitter presence). You will be able to gather real-time data and insights in trends, views, opinions and perspectives.

 Take-Away: Look to Twitter to hear, discover and learn what others are doing. This is the first source of new ideas.

(7)   Daily Dose of Inspiration / Motivation – The life of many a small business owner is filled with moments of uncertainty, doubt, questions and lows. And giving up is not an option. You have to move ahead! And one of the best ways is to stay and feel positive, inspired and motivations through the storms and rainbows.

Again, Twitter can be of immense help in this department. Following Twitter handles which usually share inspirational quotes, positive thoughts and motivational words / links can sometimes make all the difference in changing our moods, approach, thoughts, perspectives and responses. So, try to start your day by reading something positive / inspirational / motivational – And this can set the right tone for your day! And if you’re feeling blue, look up the tweets of someone who motivates / inspires, and that can help you sail through many a blue day!

Take-Away: Twitter can be that one channel which brings your way the much needed inspiration, motivation, support and cheer through many a low and many a high!

As I conclude, sharing below a compilations of resources which you may find helpful in your Twitter journey
How to get started on Twitter
Twitter Basics
How to Use Twitter to Grow Your Business?
Content Life Cycle on Twitter
Social Media Etiquette 101: The Basics
Why I don’t have even 100 followers on Twitter even after 3 years?

Good Luck in your ventures, and hope this post helps you in the effective usage of Twitter!

And if you’ve found a specific Twitter link / reference, do share it in the comments below so that it can help others in this community

Originally published on The Next Women; Edited and re-published here

What determines your follower base on Twitter?

So for the past few days I’ve been mulling about what exactly determines your follower base on Twitter..

Is it predominantly the topis you tweet about? For e.g: Marketing, Leadership, Social Media

Is it your online brand image?

Is it your offline brand image?

is it your Profile description on Twitter?

Is it your Twitter profile photo ;)?

Is it the quality (read as relevant and valuable information) of your tweets?

Is it the quantify (read as frequency) of your Twitter activity?

Is it having some Twitter activity every single day?

Is it a complex equation with all of the variables above?

What’s your view? Leave a comment to let me know

Feeling Low – 4 Ways Social Media Can Lift your spirits!

We all go through phases when we feel low. Sometimes we know why, sometimes we can’t put a finger on it…

And yet the one thing we all know is that the sooner we beat the blues, the better for us.

And from personal experience, I can say that Social Media can help lift your spirits.. Here are a list of ways that Social Media has helped me

1) Read a blog that makes you laugh or inspires or makes you forget the blues. For e.g.: I check this blog Worth a Read, and always find something which is an instant mood lifter

2) Login to FaceBook and look at the photos of friends and family. Most people tend to upload only the good pictures, fun moments or interesting events. So you get to see the “good slice of others life”; and it usually changes your mood

3) Pinterest – You will always find something to laugh about or something which will amuse or interest you on Pinterest. Click here for one example

4) Twitter – Go through the tweets of random people or someone your know or someone really funny, and your mood will instantly change. For e.g.: Check this list of 25 Twitter Accounts to Make you Laugh. And at least one of them will cheer your spirits

Has Social Media helped you beat the blues? If yes, leave a comment to let me know HOW?

Does Twitter have a memory?

“Does Twitter have a memory?” is something I have been mulling about… Going down memory lane to what I studied in High School Computer Science Basics..

Is it comparable to a RAM (Random Access Memory)? – Fast, Anytime Anywhere access, And somewhat random in user tweets, reactions and responses? (akin to human behaviors, which are many times random)

Is it comparable to a ROM (Read Only Memory)? – No option to “edit” a tweet, can only delete a tweet

Is it comparable to a PROM (Programmable Read Only Memory)? – Using Twitter tools, you can program your tweets so that you’re Twitter activity is continuous, and not really dependent on your “real presence”!

Is it comparable to an EPROM (Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory)? – Yes! You can erase tweets once they are published, and can take tweets away from memory. Even otherwise, with the continuous stream of tweets, I wonder how long people actually remember tweets (their own and others)

Is it comparable to a EEPROM (Extendable Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory)? – And you can extend your Twitter connection in Twitter, and beyond Twitter (to other social media platforms) or even to real life

Or is it really a little of all of the above?