### About

Digital PowWow is a niche podcast on digital and social media with specific focus on how businesses can use these media to help grow their business. Every week, Kiruba and Amar, the co-hosts of the show, pick up a topic that is very relevant for business and dive deep. The show puts a lot of emphasis not just on discussion but on clear takeaways and actionable ideas for the listeners to implement. And now about the hosts…

### February 5, 2016

Introduction to Digital PowWow Podcast Episode 00


On this weekly show, your hosts Kiruba Shankar and Amar Vyas will discuss the tools, trends, techniques and resources that digital marketers need. Kiruba Shankar is a seasoned professional in the areas of digital and social marketing. He describes himself as a social media consultant, professor and an organic farmer. He is also the host of Kiruba.tv. Amar Vyas is an author and a podcaster, and is the host of MyKitaab, THE podcast on book publishing in India. He is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and the University of Illinois At Urbana Champaign with a 13 year corporate career behind him. In this conversation based show, we will learn how businesses can apply principles of digital and social marketing to achieve their business goals.

Key Discussion Points:

The word “Powwow” means a Native American Ceremony involving feasting and dancing. But we believe that it this podcast is a conference or discussion among friends.

Digital PowWow will explore how each one of us can get the best out of digital and social media by understanding the tools, techniques, trends that will help the listeners get better sales, marketing, better reach or better branding for their business and themselves.

The target listeners for this podcast are persons or businesses who plan to use digital and social podcast for their improvement. In other words, this podcast is for practitioners of digital and social media, but on a larger perspective, it is meant for students of this craft.

This will be largely a discussion based show, in future episodes we might invite guests- professionals who will tell the do’s and dont’s of this craft.

The hosts believe that there is a need to explain the concepts of digital and social media to the practitioners. Kiruba and Amar are passionate about this field.

There are many books, tutorials, articles and even podcasts on this topic, but majority of them are focused on the North American Market. That is why Kiruba and Amar felt that an India focused show was needed.

A new episode of the Digital PowWow podcast will be aired on Wednesday morning India Time, and the podcast can be heard via iTunes and Stitcher Radio.

Call To Action:

Listeners are invited to send in their suggestions, ideas for future topics, or share their experiences in this field.

Ways to Contact the Hosts :

Kiruba can be reached via email : kiruba at kiruba dot com or on Facebook: facebook.com/kiruba

Amar Can be reached via email : amar at amarvyas dot in or via twitter : @amarauthor

### February 5, 2016

Ratings, Rankings and Review Sites Episode 01


In this episode, Kiruba and Amar discuss the importance of review and rating sites such as Tripadvisor, Zomato and even Amazon. Amar shares anecdotes from his travels to different parts of India, and how the reviews on Lonely Planet and now Tripadvisor first came to his notice. Kiruba describes the importance of sites where customers or consumers can leave reviews, ratings for businesses or services. Sites such as Tripadvisor rank the hotels based on these reviews, which can then influence the popularity and business of these hotels. He also advises on what are some of the ways businesses can encourage their customers to leave reviews. Amar shares his experience with Amazon when he was able to remove a negative review for his book.

Key discussion Points:

Review, Ranking and Rating sites can make or break the visibility or reputation of a business today.

Amar narrates his experience from 2010 at a resort in Cherrapunji in notheastern India, where he and his wife (they were the only Indian guests) saw a very high footfall for a small hotel. The property was very highly recommended by Lonely Planet, which resulted in such a heavy traffic from guests at a place that was practically in the middle of nowhere.

Similarly, in 2015, Amar and his wife found a small hotel in Puducherry (Pondicherry) called Les Hibiscus, which had several 5 star ratings on Tripadvisor. The service offered by the hotel matched the reviews.

There are 350 million (35 crore) users on Tripadvisor. Every minute, nearly 200 reviews are posted on that site. 5.3 million businesses depends on that site.

Similarly, reviews on Amazon matter for an author. Reviews on iTunes for a podcast can result in that podcast getting listed under “New and Noteworthy” which will result in greater visibility and ultimately higher downloads for that podcast.

Review sites can greatly influence the “Moment of truth” in a buying cycle.

For hospitality industry, Kiruba has done a lot of work recently for two of the biggest holiday ownership companies. This helped Kiruba understand how these ratings and ranking sites work.

Tripadvisor’s ranking algorithm is closely guarded (similar to Coca Cola’s recipe or Google’s page ranking algorithm).

There are three major factors that determine the ranking on Tripadvisor:

a. Quality of reviews (on a one to five start or “bubble” scale). The higher the number of bubbles, the better.

b. Quantity of reviews

c. Age of the reviews. In particular, the recency of the reviews can affect the ranking.

If there are two identical property with a similar number of reviews (say 20), their rankings may differ because of the above factors. A Five star review is weighted significantly higher than a 4 start review.

For a small property faced with the challenge of having their presence on other sites such as Zomato, Air BnB or Stayzilla, they should only consider Tripadvisor.

Kiruba shares his experience with a small hotel near Salem. The owner, Visu Cariappa, purchased on old colonial bungalow and renovated it. He has over 400 5-star reviews on Tripadvisor, higher than those received by Taj Hotels & the Oberoi!

The quality of service affects the Tripadvisor rating (positively), which in turn can affect the sales, and increase the chances of conversion.

In case of books, an author can make their pitch by mentioning the number of reviews or the average star rating of their previous books on amazon, for example.

According to Kiruba, a good review is an honest, straight from the heart review. Consumers should leave reviews for “Pay It Forward”. If the past reviews have helped in a customer make their decision to spend their time and money at a property (that is, make a purchasing decision), then the onus is on this customer to leave a review so that future customers can benefit.

In order to avoid ‘gamification’ of the ratings, sites such as Amazon and Tripadvisor value their frequent reviewers. Tripadvisor awards a badge to reviewers who leave a large number of reviews. This is similar to Amazon’s vine program.

Businesses have a way to work with the rating and ranking sites if a reviewer has maliciously left a bad review. Businesses should respond to the comments, whether positive or negative.

Amar received a 1 star review for his book on amazon when a customer ordered an ebook thinking that she had ordered a print book. In this case, since it was a customer’s mistake, Amazon removed the negative review.Recommended Best Practice:

Hotels, or other vacation properties should not push a customer to leave a review. Sending a Thank You card or a reminder email one day later will help in getting greater number of reviews from the guests.Call To Action:If you liked the format and the discussion in this episode, please leave a review for this show on iTunes or Stitcher Radio.Ways to Contact The Hosts:

Kiruba can be reached via email : kiruba at kiruba dot com or on Facebook: facebook.com/kiruba

Amar Can be reached via email : amar at amarvyas dot in or via twitter : @amarauthorDisclaimer: The hosts or this show has not received any compensation in monetary or other terms from any of the review and rating sites mentioned on this podcast episode.

### February 10, 2016

Can Businesses Benefit by Launching a Podcast? – Part I Episode 02


This is the first episode in a two part discussion: whether businesses in India should consider launching a podcast. Kiruba and Amar begin the discussion with the types of podcasts (audio and video), and how can businesses identify relevant target groups (customers, employees), thought leadership, or as a branding exercise. The advantages that a business can derive by launching a podcast include tracking the downloads by geography and device, customer connect and testimonials, employee engagement, and using podcasts as a recruitment tool. Finally, Kiruba and Amar talk about the issues that are preventing wider adoption of podcasts by Indian businesses, and conclude with what should marketers do in the coming year to build a strong case for their organization to launch a podcast next year.

Key Discussion Points:

A podcast is a series of audio or video files that users can subscribe. Similar to the newspapers being delivered at your doorstep, once a podcast is subscribed to, the new episodes get delivered to the user’s devices It is an on-demand versus “pushed” content.

Video podcasts provide a rich experience but files are heavy and can take up a lot of bandwidth. The advantage of an audio podcast is that the listener can multi task while listening to the podcast: driving, walking the dog, running, or even while doing household work.

Podcasts provide a first mover advantage opportunity for companies because the market is very nascent. Podcasts are a great engaging medium.

Podcasts can help a company establish a thought leadership position. For example, a real estate company can start an informational program that covers topics such as Vastu, carpet versus built-up area, etc.

There are 680 million mobile phones in India today, and the number is expected to reach 1 billion by 2020. With increase in usage of 3G or 4G data.

Content on podcast can be easily re-purposed. For example, the audio feed from a video that is hosted on corporate site or YouTube can be extracted and released as an audio podcast. The transcripts can be converted into an article or a series of blogposts.

Podcasts enable a lot of analytical data. For example how many listeners have downloaded the podcasts, which countries they have listened the podcasts in, what devices they are using. Subscribers to newsletters can provide their email addresses, so there is a ready list of fans and superfans.

Types of podcasts companies can create: Thought leadership- e.g. interviews of movers and shakers in the sector of industry. Some firms can release customer stories in the form of audio podcasts, consulting companies can use a podcast series say for case based interviews (podcast as a recruitment tool). Podcasts can also be used as a branding tool. For example, a science fiction podcast called The Message was sponsored by GE. It has a very high quality of production, and the podcast was very well received and received great reviews.

Because of paucity of time or attention, audiobooks have become a means of consuming content for many. A service called Blinkist provides summaries of books. Podcast can be a substitute for a lot of content in print media- e.g. newspapers, journals, etc.

Podcasting is in a nascent stage in India, and very few businesses have adopted it as a medium. Companies can take advantage of this opportunity and launch podcasts and gain a first mover advantage.

Some of the reasons why companies have not adopted podcasts are: ignorance about the power of the medium. Second factor is the technology and limited reach.

The technological challenges are bound to be overcome in the coming years with the use of smartphones, podcasting apps and 3G and 4G networks. Cost of production of content as well cost of bandwith is reducing, which will help in spread of podcasting. For example, a 20 minute weekly podcast used to consume roughly 280 MB of data in the past for the listener. Today, the same podcast with equivalent audio quality consumes 80 MB.

In the current year, Kiruba recommends that marketers and brand managers should first subscribe to a few podcasts to understand the medium. They can begin with listening to podcasts related to topics of their interests. Secondly, understand what companies around the world are doing in this medium.

Indian organizations such as Flipkart and Infosys started podcasts- Flipkart’s in house podcast is called Studio 34. Ronnie Screwwala has started a production house which will produce content for podcasts among other things.

The production ecosystem is in place in India- for example, video production houses that produce YouTube videos for corporate. For podcasting to take off, the timing is right.

Call To Action:

If you liked the format and the discussion in this episode, please leave a review for this show on iTunes or Stitcher!

Links and Resources:

How to listen to podcasts (video on MyKitaab Podcast website)

The Message Podcast

Economic Times Article on Flipkart’s in house Podcast

Arre by Ronnie Screwwala

Ways to Contact The Hosts:

Kiruba can be reached via email : kiruba at kiruba dot com or on Facebook: facebook.com/kiruba

Amar Can be reached via email : amar at amarvyas dot in or via twitter : @amarauthor

### February 14, 2016

Can Businesses Benefit From Podcasts? Part II Episode 03


In this podcast episode, Kiruba and Amar continue their discussion on how can businesses benefit from podcasts. Specifically, they talk about podcasting for startups, small and large companies,breaking the language barrier in India, and podcasts for personal branding.

Examples provided in this discussion include Y Combinator and Stanford University’s How To Start a Startup Podcast, Professor Sidney Finkelstein’s video blogs at Tuck School of Business in the education space. For startups, podcasts can be a free PR, example being podcast called Startup by Gimlet Media. For small businesses, Kiruba and Amar talk about NPR’s Car Talk and the opportunity for companies like crowdfunding platform Wishberry. Finally, for personal branding examples of YouTube Celebrity Chef Sanjay Thumma and Robin Sharma’s podcast are discussed.

News and Updates

Kiruba was the co-host and presenter at the India Digital Summit 2016 in New Delhi, held on Feb 9th

Amar’s other podcast MyKitaab, THE Podcast on Book Publishing in India, featured in iTunes New and Noteworthy not only in iTunes India but also the iTunes US store.

Discussion Points

Podcasting for education

Professor Sidney Finkelstein from Tuck School of Business has a video blog on leadership – where he provides examples of leaders that succeeded and leaders that experienced failure. This material is available to the students as additional reading. He has written a book titled Superboss, based on his work.

Y Combinator and Stanford University have a podcast called How To Start a Startup, where students receive first hand knowledge on how to pitch to investors, how to build a team, etc. from the likes of Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn) and venture capitalist Peter Theil.

Cost of producing a video podcast that too in several languages can be substantially lower than creating an e-learning module.

Education companies can use podcasts as a marketing tool or lead generator for reaching out to potential students.

Professions which have continuing education requirements can benefit through podcasts. For example, Amar is a US Green Building Council Accredited Professional. He is able to complete his continuing education requirements for maintaining his credential by listening to or watching podcasts.

Students can also develop their own podcasts, which will help them in developing better presentation and listening skills.

Podcasting for Startups

Satartups that launch their own podcasts or appear as guests on podcasts can get free PR.

Gimlet Media’s founder Alex Blumberg has been able to use this idea very effectively.

Kathy, co-founder of Webs Yarn Store, has hosted over 200 podcast episodes on the topic of knitting.

5 or 6 out of the top 20 podcasts on iTunes India are on the topic of Entrepreneurship. Founders of startups can contact the hosts of these shows to get interviewed. Kiruba was a recent guest on the Rocking Entrepreneur podcast.

Kiruba has two great stories to share how he was able to benefit by launching a podcast. He interviewed Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia for Kiruba.tv, and their mutual interest in Creative Commons Licenses led to Kiruba attending a conference in Japan, which was a great learning experience for him.

Kiruba interviewed Anand Mahindra, Chairman and Managing Director of the Mahindra Group, for his show. This resulted in one of the biggest social media consulting engagements for his company.

Podcasting for Small Businesses

Organizations like Wishberry, which is a crowdfunding company similar to kickstarter, have very good tutorials on how to raise funds using crowdfunding, They can convert this content into a podcast.

Legal firms, Marriage Bureaus and consultants can launch podcasts in niche areas, and they may even get sponsorships for their work .

Amar gives the example of NPR’s show Car Talk, which became the Go To show in the United States for peole who had queries regarding their car. The hosts, who had a car garage, received a lot of walk in customers because of the podcast.

Podcasting for Large Business

Kiruba was a co-host of the India Digital Summit in New Delhi, where Rajan Andan, Managing Director of Google India, noted that 95% of the video consumed by urban Indians on YouTube is in regional languages.

Next growth for consuming content will come from the Tier III or smaller cities. Digital content in regional languages is expected to grow exponentially.

Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has made a headstart in connecting with the rural population through its initiative called Kan Khajura Tesan. Listeners can call a toll free number, and for 30 minutes they can listen to news, jokes, etc. This is general information content similar to broadcast radio, but the difference is that it is on demand. HUL can very easily make this into a podcast as the data connectivity and smartphone usage in rural areas increases.

Podcasting for Personal Branding

Amar and Kiruba discuss YouTube Celebrity Chef Sanjay Thumma and Robin Sharma’s podcast as examples of personal branding.

They recommend that the common persons (like themselves!) should start podcasts of their own, and iterate and improve with each episode.

Call To Action:

If you liked the format and the discussion in this episode, please leave a review for this show on iTunes or Stitcher!

Ways to Contact The Hosts:

Kiruba can be reached via email : kiruba at kiruba dot com or on Facebook: facebook.com/kiruba

Amar Can be reached via email : amar at amarvyas dot in or via twitter : @amarauthor

Image Courtesy Abhijit Naikdesai

### February 24, 2016

Should CEOs Have a Presence on Social Media? episode 04


CXOs having a presence on Social Media sites can have several advantages. At the same time there are several options available today where a business can have its presence. Which brings several questions to mind: Which are the top three social sites that CEOs (and CXOs in general) should have a presence? What are some of the do’s and dont’s for businesses to consider? Why are we specifically recommending LinkedIn, Quora and Twitter as the only resources?

We provide some specific examples where executives have been able to use Social Media (Richard Brandson, Anand Mahindra) for building their brand. The podcast episode concludes with our suggestion: why companies should set up an account on multiple sites to prevent misuse or squatting.

News and Updates:

The Digital PowWow Podcast with Kiruba and Amar includes a new segment: Question of the week. Every Wednesday, we will ask the listeners one question related to Social or Digital Media. Listeners can respond over email, or by commenting on the website.

Discussion Points:

There are nearly 20 major platforms or social media websites where businesses in general and CXOs in particular can have a presence. It is therefore extremely important to choose the site(s) or channel(s) that will help in optimizing the company’s resources.

CXOs’ time is the most valuable resource any organization has. While CXOS who have a presence on social media are considered tech savvy and approachable, being present on social media is not the ONLY role that a CEO has to play.

CEO is in many cases the face of the company. Richard Branson is a classic example of this phenomenon.

Twitter is the third largest search engine today, and journalists prefer Twitter these days to reach out to CXOs for interview, industry information, etc.

The general rule of thumb we recommend is:

“Be present where your customer is most likely to be present.” For example for food and hospitality industry: Tripadvisor and Zomato are the go to places.

For consumer companies, (B2C) it is prefereable to have a presence on channels where metrics such as engagement with followers can be tracked.

LinkedIn is a site where most CXOs should and must have a presence. It is not just a networking site but with LinkedIn Pulse, they can also blog or share industry articles that will help in building their individual brands.

There are two excellent episodes from the Write With Impact Podcast that explain how LinkedIn Pulse works.

Twitter can allow the CXOs to feel the pulse of the customers first hand, instead of getting reports from the marketing or customer service organizations within their companies.

Anand Mahindra, Chairman of Mahindra Group, uses Twitter very effectively right from personal connect to new product launches to helping in resolving customer complaints. Amar mentions news article in which a tweet from an unhappy customer to Anand Mahindra led to the customer’s problem getting solved in record time. This customer is now a fan.

The downside can be that the CXO’s account can get flooded with complaints, even worse; a mistimed tweet can result in backlash. Mark Andressen’s tweet about Freebasics in India and Rahul Yadav( former CEO of Housing.com) are two examples.

Quora is a hidden gem according to Kiruba and Amar. It is the only social networkig site where the highest number of users are from India.

Kiruba narrates the example where Jimmy Wales , founder of Wikipedia, answered some questions about his past professional career. He was able to nip a potentially unpleasant situation in the bud.

Kiruba mentions Mahesh Murthy as an exmaple of an influencer on Quora.

Amar mentions a news story where there was literally a pitching war between the CEOs of Snapdeal and Directi to hire a potential employee. This ‘war’ took place on Quora past midnight.

Other sites or channels such as corporate blogs, Youtube, Slideshare and Pinterest are also mentioned in the discussion though we have not talked about them in this episode.

We conclude the discussion with our recommedation: companies should go ahead and create accounts on multiple social media sites and divert all traffic to one or two channels (for example facebook page or corporate site) from these sites. Also, they can set up accounts in the names of their exeutives.

Question of the Week:

What is your organization’s view when it comes to Snapchat or Periscope? Are you ready to embrace them, or are you in a wait and watch mode? Or simply put, you do not see them relevant to your business for the near future?You can write your response in the comments below or email Amar at amar at amarvyas dot in or Kiruba at: kiruba at kiruba dot com.

References and Resources:

TechCrunch 2016 Awards “Crunchies”

Podcast episodes on How to Use LinkedIn Pulse:

LinkedIn Writing Strategies and Tips: A Chat wth Justin Bariso

LinkedIn Editor Isabelle Roughol on Writing Great Blog Posts

Title Image Courtesy By Brian Solis and JESS3 – theconversationprism.com, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16290038

### March 2, 2016

Why Should Quora be in Every Digital Marketer’s Toolkit episode05


In this podcast episode, Kiruba and Amar discuss how Quora can be an effective tool in a digital marketer’s toolkit. Quora is a site where users pose questions and experts provide responses. Founded in 2009, this site is a treasure house of information on a variety of topics ranging from technology to relationships. Marketers such as Updesk use this site for targetted marketing. Entrepreneur Jaya Jha, Co-founder of pothi.com, uses this site for reaching out to the community. Balaji Vishwanathan is a superstar on Quora and has created a personal brand. Executives such as chief learning officer of GE are very active on this site.

Kiruba discusses the history of Quora and the facebook connection of the site’s CEO. Amar and Kiruba provide their recommendations on why marketers should and should not be present on Quora.

Discussion Points:

Companies such as Updesk which serve niche markets such as standing desks are using Quora for targetted marketing. A representative from Updesk reached out to Amar when he had posted about standing desk on a discussion page in Quora

Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Pothi.com Jaya Jha is one of the most viewed contributors on Quora on Book publishing. She considers the site to be a great way to engage with the community.

Vijay Anand of the Startup Center provide answer related to entrepreneurship on Quora.

Balaji Vishwanathan is a Superstar on Quora. He has answered nearly 2,900 posts, has over 150,000 followers, and has over 95 million views for his profile. He has been able to build a brand and a tremendous following using this site. He has also authored 16 books on Quora.

The CEO of Quora, Adam D’Angelo is the fomrmer CTO of facebook. He posts his responses on his Twitter account

Quora can be a great alternative to Glassdoor.com, for users to get information on work culture, compensation and interviewing with multiple companies there. HR managers should watch Quora closely.

Chief Learning Officer of GE and founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, are very active on LinkedIn and Quora.

40 percent of users on Quora are from India. However, Indians use Quora to seek information, very few provide answers to the questions. Those marketers who post answers can differentiate themselves from the competition.

Top Three Resons Why Quora Could be a Useful to Marketers

Quora can be a great source for cross posting or repurposing content and amplify the message.

Posts on Quora rank very high on Quora

The site is a great way to track the conversation about a particular company, brand, industry, etc. This information could be very useful to company executives.

Two Reasons Why Quora Might Not Be Effective

If the answers posted by the marketers are fluffy and not really addressing the question asked or the issue. Focus on Depth of the answer versys breadth.

Quora is not a place to get quick returns in terms of sales. This site is about long term relationships and branding.

Above all ,this site is a social networking site. To increase influence and following, users should follow others.

Call to Action:

Links and references:

Amar’s post on Quora about standing Desk

Listeners please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher and leave us a review.

### March 9, 2016

Alphabet for Social Media Marketers episode 6


In this solo episode of the Digital PowWow with Kiruba and Amar, Amar talks about something that he came up with: The Social Media Marketer’s Alphabet. A couple of weeks ago, Amar was looking up some information on social media sites as a part of his research for the podcast. He noticed an interesting pattern- the names of the sites began practically with every letter of the English Alphabet.

He doodled up a little sheet which he called The Social Media Marketer’s Alphabet, and this podcast episode came out of it.


If one looks at the social media sites, one can notice something interesting: These sites practically represent every letter of the English language alphabet. Sometimes, the name of more than one popular site begins with a given letter. the list goes as follows:



Alexa provides analytical insights to benchmark, compare and optimize businesses on the web.


Single page where you can consolidate upto 8 different social media profiles. Here is Amar’s about.me page



Chinese webservices company (China’s Google??)



Twitter for audio- provides upto 24 second summaries of audio clippings. Listen to the Clammr of this episode By following this link



Discussion on news. Science Fiction included.


Digg features the videos, and original content that the web is talking about right now



Ad free alternative to facebook and twitter.com



No explanations required here 🙂


Online photo and video sharing, courtesy Yahoo. Kiruba has over 7,000 pictures on Flickr.


Google (Google Plus)

As some of my friends call it… Google Baba. Need I say more?



Social networking site


One of the many mobile based apps for chat, text messaging, voice calls, file and photo sharing, and more.



Site to share photos and videos, courtesy facebook.





Phone based app for voice, text chat, yada yada…


Chinese Social Media Site



The social networking site for professionals


Free voice calls, text messaging… yes, there are more such apps in this list.



Blogging site for individuals, professionals, companies.


Reviews and Rating site with a large user base from India.



Voice calls, text messaging, photo sharing.. you get the idea.





The world is my gallery. Create pin boards or collections of pictures.


App for live streaming of video. Twitter owns this company



We covered Quora extensively in episode 5 of this podcast.



Reddit was not in the original list due to oversight. Site for user generated news.


(Another) Chinese Social networking site



Video and photo sharing site with over 6 billion photos and videos generated per day???


Internet based calling’s original wonder boy app


This LinkedIn owned company is THE place for sharing slides of all shape and form.



Twitter..Twitter.. Little Star. Where the starts of all types, geographies, professions post little messages.


Microblogging platrofm to post videos, audio, blog posts and more. Courtesy Yahoo


Kiruba and I discussed Tripadvisor at length in episode number 1 of this podcast.





Site for posting ad free HD videos


Site for entertainment professionals featuring 6 second clips


Internet based calling, etc.. This Rakuten owned company has over 600 million users.



App to send text, make voice calls, forwarding messages, jokes, and videos that are often irritating.


Place to share and read stories


Twitter for China. Narendra Modi has a weibo account too!



Social networking site for Professional – focus on non English speakers, particularly in Europe and China.



I call it the online theather for the world.


Site for leaving reviews and ratings.



Reviews, look for food menus, ordering, rating…

### March 23, 2016

Why Are Corporate Blogs Still Relevant – Part I Episode 7


In Part I of this two part episode, Kiruba and Amar discuss why is blogging by Corporates still relevant in today’s day and age. and how can businesses use them for branding and customer connect. Kiruba provides a history of blogging, and how it has evolved in the present format. Amar narrates his experiences while working with the Marcom team of a Fortune 500 company four years ago. Kiruba and Amar narrate examples of companies both in India and abroad who have robust Corporate Blogs.

Discussion Points

Over 81 percent of people trust the information that is available on blogs, which in turn influence over 60 percent of purchasing decisions.

Blogs therefore are an important medium of building credibility, and building trust.

Blogs thus serve a similar function as podcasts- we had discussed Podcasting for business in episode 2 and episode 3 of Digital PowWow Podcast.

Majority of companies have corporate blogs, but quite a few of them treat it as a can do rather than a must do. Very few blogs provide a compelling reason to visitors to come back to the corporate site again and again.

Blogs help in increasing the number of repeat visitors and reducing bounce rate for websites. Inbound links also play a critical role for SEO as well as increasing the traffic to the site.

The term blogging originates from the word “Web Blogging” that was coined in the late 1990s. But Blogger, the company started by Evan Williams in 1999, popularized the term. (Blogger was eventually acquired by Google in 2003). Over the past decade, WordPress has become the dominant blogging platform, with over 50 percent of blogs and 26 percent of websites run on WordPress. There are sites such as Typepad which also provide blogging.

Blogging began as a text + image only format, but in today’s world blogging can take 6 or 7 types of content including video, audio, animated images, etc.

Amar narrates his experience from the time he worked with Schneider Electric– where he was given a set of guidelines for that company’s Corporate blog, including number of outbound links, wordcount, number of keywords among other things.

In today’s times, a well researched and well analyzed articles can help in differentiating the Corporate blog from other blogs. But in an era where content is consumed on the mobile phone screen, shorter format will be more important than a 3,000 word epic post.

Freshdesk (which is on its way to becoming a Unicorn) and Cleartrip are companies from India that have useful blogs.

In general, Kiruba recommends that while Corporate Communication or Marketing should “own” the blog, the content must be written by the subject matter experts or relevant departments from the company. e.g. a blog on sales must be written by the sales team, it can be polished by the corp comm team.

A combination of internally written blogs and guest posts can add a lot of value to the Corporate blog. Guest posts can be written by customers, employees, interns, etc. Typically, anybody who has a great relevance to the business of the company.

Individuals within the organization can be the “face” of the blog. A CEO can be the face of the blog, but it requires a lot of drive from the marketing team.

Kiruba recommends that a person from Corp Comm or Marketing team can record the CEO’s views on a particular topic, and then the same can be transcribed, the relevant links added, and the post can go live once the CEO has okay’s the post. Amar has practiced this method in his past professional life. He even used to go to the extent of speaking like the executive in question.

Amar recommends reading the World Economic Forum’s list of CEO bloggers.

Posts that are written on behalf of US President Barak Obama or even Donald Trump are written in such a way that the leaders’ personalities are reflected in the posts.

### Saanjay Sethi, Founder of Matrix Publishers On Books as a Digital Asset ep 09

April 13, 2016

In this episode, we talk to Saanjay Sethi, Founder of Matrix Publications and Leapfrog Publishing Consulting, on books in a digital format. Saanjay has nearly 3 decades of experience in the publishing industry, and he calls himself somewhat of a radical in terms of his thinking. We talk abdout digital coffee table editions, audio files embedded in ebooks, how professional speakers can use digital marketing alongwith speaking engagements to sell their books. We also talk about the concept of Guest Writing- extending the concept of guest blog to a full length book.

Saanjay can be reached at:

Facebook: Matrix Publishing Group

LinkedIn: Saanjay Sethi

You can listen to the podcast interview below

### April 20, 2016

Kyra Reed, Co-Founder of MTO Agency Part I ep10


Kyra is the Co-Founder of MTO Agency, a Social Media Firm based out of Los Angeles. She has spent 15 years working with dozens of companies of all sizes ranging from traditional to social marketing, including start-ups, mid-size businesses and well-known events such as the Monterey Pop Festival. You can learn more about Kyra here.

Kyra Reed, CO-Founder, MTO Agency

In this Part I of a Two Part interview, Kyra discusses The leading social media channels that companies should use. We also discuss about social media for startups, for B2C as well as B2B companies. Kyra gives examples on how businesses can use facebook, Teitter, Instagram and Periscope in particular.

Discussion Points

Social Media for Startups: Kyra believes that AirBNB and Uber would not have existed without Social Media.

Kyra recommends that businesses look at the various social media sites differently. According to her, every business must have a presence on Facebook. Twitter can be used as a tool for Thought leadership and connecting with influencers. Instagram can be incredibly powerful particularly for B2C (Business to Consumers) companies.

Among the newer tools, Kyra prefers to ‘wait and watch’ on how Snapchat is performing. But she believes that streaming video is the next big thing and it can help in overcoming the language barrier, which could be particularly useful in a country like India. For early adopters, Periscope could be a very useful tool.

For B2B (business to Business) companies, the same social media channels and tools can be used to interact with multiple stakeolders such as customers, vendors, journalists and bloggers, thought leaders and influencers, and even employees. Kyra cites specific examples on how businesses can leverage these tools with these stakeholders.

Engaging multiple stakeholders can have a transformational effect. Kyra cites the example of a 3 mile strip in Los Angeles that was revitalized using community engagement.

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