Are You Active On Twitter But Not Gaining Positive Visibility? This Is What You Could Be Doing Wrong.

A few weeks ago, I did a Facebook live for Storified.Me where I spoke about How can we use Twitter to optimize our brand visibility as well as gain followers?

Following the talk, I decide to put down a checklist of what one must not do they their agenda is to gain more follower organically and extend their or their brand’s outreach to more people. I always encourage entrepreneurs to be more active on social media because this is the present and will the so for quite some time. Social media is where SMBs can undulge in the maximum advertising and at times, at the lowest costs.

This post is particularly for people who want to promote their brands/themselves and create an awareness about them, but are a little lost. It’s okay to be scared, the high speed of traffic on twitter can be intimidating. And of course, there are social media strategies to be implemented, but here is a checklist of things you can try avoid, so that you can concentrate on brand building and strategising.

* Following only celebrities – Followe selected few whose tweets would add knowledge to your feed.
* Not following handles which tweet on the topics you are interested in.
* Only stalking people you know from your real life.
* Indulging in trolling, fights and abuses.
* Not being regular on twitter.
* Not sharing related news.
* Not indulging in discussions; not retweeting other handles
* Buying followers.

If you are looking for someone to help you with social media marketing plan, strategy, implementation or content, you can get in touch with me through the contact form on this website.

Book Talk : Love, Whatever that Means……

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Hi. I am Tina. I have a fabulous, uncomplicated life. I was unexpectedly promoted at my job at a TV news channel. I have quirky, adorable friends and a Mr. Army guy who seems like the one. What can go wrong! Turns out, a lot! My boss is a pervert, the job is meh and no friend is single any more. Also, the special someone is too intense to be true. Help me, someone! A punch in the nose, deep romance, lots of over-analyzing, a steamy kiss and pure, crazy Tina makes this book a fun read. Laugh out loud or shake your head giggling – Love, Whatever That Means- will warm your heart.

Aditi has a way with words, specially if she is writing humour. She manages to be funny without having to try too hard. Love, Whatever That Means… in Aditi’s second book and true to her identity, she has included a good dose of the Olive Green in this book too.

This is Tina’s story. A media girl, Tina has just been promoted and though she cannot understand why her boss who hates her so much as promoted her, things start changing in her life – work wise and otherwise. Major changes happen in the media house she is working for and with that, happen things which leave Tina confused. The comic quotient is pretty high and you breeze through the chapters. Until the Army guy enters. And the tone of the story changes – no, the comic relief remains too.

The newsroom descriptions, the work culture, the intern attitude, the media boss attitude – everything has been portrayed perfectly with a twist of what Aditi does best – humour. Tina is someone most of can idenitfy with, as we can with her bunch of friends she has known since practically forever.

A fun, breezy read – ideal for flights and train journeys. Read it, you won’t be disappointed!

 

 

 

Akuri…and a pinch of hope – A Review

Last weekend, I got to watch a short film called Akuri…And a Pinch of Hope. Directed by Jamshid Roointon, this short feature, Akuri…And a Pinch of Hope is produced under Axis Jump Films. The feature is slated to release digitally by Humaramovie, on 20th March 2017 on Jamshed-I-Navroz.

About Akuri…And a Pinch of Hope

Akuri…and a pinch of hope to release on Jamshed-I-Navroz
Jamshid Roointon’s short feature, Akuri…And a Pinch of Hope, produced under Axis Jump Films, is slated to release digitally by Humaramovie, on 20th March 2017. The film features Darshan Gokani, Sushant Kandya and acclaimed veteran actor Firdaus Mevawalla.
The film revolves around two main ingredients of life – Happiness and Hope.
Jamshid Roointon, the director, is upbeat about the film’s digital release and says “Akuri…and a pinch of hope is a story full of hope and positivity, which reinstates our belief that life is not just a rat race. Sometimes, it doesn’t make sense, the short periods of time people come in our lives, or the outcomes from what they say or do. However, if one lets them in and allows things to happen, one will definitely see the Big picture thereafter.”
This is the story of one such experience for Sadiq Sheikh and Cyrus Irani, who are poles apart in their characteristics. What transpires between them makes up for the interesting plot that Akuri…and a pinch of hope is. Its story has been told not only with a lot of charm but also sensitivity, and we are sure it will resonate with the audience.”
Akuri…and a pinch of hope, has garnered appreciation and critical acclaim at many prestigious international film festivals, including Kolkata International Film Festival, Delhi International Film Festival and Banjara International Film Festival.
The melodious and hummable title song of the movie, ‘Hope Ki Rope,’ has been penned and composed by Shubhankar. Renowned singer Shaan has lent his voice for it.

Director Jamshid Roointon with Executive Producer and editor, Shankh Rajyadhyaksha

Director Jamshid Roointon with Executive Producer and editor, Shankh Rajyadhyaksha

Review

I was supposed to watch the movie alone but my husband joined in. So this is a review from two perspectives. what I loved was how detailed oriented the movie was right from the beginning, my husband who is a new entrepreneur, loved how the director derived hope and positive from something as simple as what we know as anda bhurji.

Akuri is the Parsi version of anda-bhurji and as the recipe is, lots of ingredients go in it. As is life. The director has compared Akuri with life and portrayed one of life’s most important lessons beautifully. Set in an Irani cafe filled with people unknown to each other, two strangers share a table. One of their life is about to change and neither of them know about that.

Actors were quite pro in their craft and the dealt with the plot very effectively. I am glad that such short films are getting made. Twenty minutes long, it got over very soon but left us wanting for more – I am not exaggerating. About from the brilliant acting and very good direction, the message the feature is trying to relay is also something noteworthy. A message in a story, revolving around Parsi food and culture – what is not to like in it. Akuri … and a pinch of hope has all the ingredients of a feature that leaves people thinking, inspired and smiling positively.

What do feminists want? Equality or Superiority?

(C) 123Greetings

(C) 123Greetings

Feminism, the term and the concept, both have been drawing a lot of flak of late. Well, everything good has always drawn more negativity than it should, but recently I have been noticing that both men and women have incorrect perception of feminism. A certain Bollywood starlet had said in an interview, some time back that she is not a feminist. Well, that is a shocker because an independent woman who is surviving in a male dominated industry, obviously supports equality of the sexes. Then why is she not a feminist?

Even before I was born, my parents had wanted a girl child. After they had me, they didn’t want any more, just in hope for a boy child. I’ve never had to compromise on anything (except curfew timings for late night parties) because I am a girl. Some might think that I am the wrong person to be talking about this. On the flip side, there are risks I have not taken, permissions I have not bothered to even ask for, destinations I haven’t travelled – because I am a girl. Around me, I have seen women being judged for every decision they take. Depending on where the stork had dropped us, we have all had our share of compromises which were made purely because of our sex. I don’t think any of my male friends, cousins or others can boast of this.

A woman is judged for having a career, and not having one. She is judged for keeping her maiden surname, for taking up her husband’s surname and even if she uses both! She is judged for balancing work and home, and leaving from work at the time she is supposed to (after finishing all that she had to). She is judged for being a mother and dividing her time between her children and her work. She is judged for not having children. She is judged if she has never dated, and called a slut if she has. None of these are an issue in a man’s life.  And this happens world over. But then these are very mild examples of inequality. There are sections of the world society where women have to undergo genital mutilation, are married off even before they can read, are used and abused, are not allowed to be educated and even if educated, not allowed to be independent. Why go far, we have parts in our own country where women are not allowed to be born! And yet a major part of the society thinks that feminism, or equality, is unimportant?

Amazing_international-womens-day-quotes

Feminism – in theory and in practice, seems to have created a wide gap in understanding. In practice, it seems to have become everything it shouldn’t be. Because women had (and in most parts, still are) been so downtrodden and need to be lifted to equal status as men, this revolution was brought into consideration. In no way should it mean women are superior or men, inferior. I am a feminist and I love men. Now when we talk about equality, let us understand that there are things women cannot do. We lose blood every month, so we might not work as much on those days. We are not physically strong, unless trained. But men too are incapable of a lot of things which women are. That is how we balance each other. Not by doing the same things always, but at times, giving a helping hand to the other.

It being women’s day today, I decided to touch base with few of my friends – women who are slaying all stereotypes, are strong and independent, and asked them what feminism is according to them. I bring you a spattering of an author, a lawyer, a marketing professional and a trainer.

Aditi Mathur Kumar

IMG_20160214_141218584What do I think feminism is? Well, Women Empowerment – plain and simple. Welfare of the girl child, young women and ladies – making them empowered citizens of the world, as opposed to the weaker sex, the oppressed gender. But for me, feminism and equality go hand in hand, and THAT is what I always try to make people understand. Feminism is not men bashing, feminism is not the quest to be crowned the better gender, and feminism is not playing the gender card when it’s convenient. I hate it when we say that we women are equal to men in all ways, except when we are special and then equal doesn’t count and is unfair and won’t everyone please remember that men suck? Not the right attitude for a feminist, believe me. For me, feminism means getting equal pay as my male counterpart, about being able to wear anything I want without being called a slut or body-shamed for being too thin or too fat, about being able to enjoy equal opportunities while I pay the bills, run errands and not expect the man of the house to take care of things that men are supposed to do – because by saying that, you fail feminism big time. Feminism is about asking for equal status, it’s NOT about asking for special treatment. So, in short, I think that feminism is about being treated as equal, where I do my own thing, support the cause of Women Empowerment to all my capabilities, but simultaneously also doing my bit as an empowered women.

(Aditi is the author of ‘Soldier & Spice: An Army Wife’s Life’. She is a Travel & Lifestyle Blogger, a Digital Media Professional, a Social Media Strategy Girl, An Army Wife, A Mother, an Entrepreneur, an eavesdropper, and many things. Her next book will be out in April 2016. Stay tuned.)

Bhargavi Dev K

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What does feminism mean to me? To me, the word means what it actually stands for– equal political, economic, cultural, personal, and social rights for women.
Equal. Not better or supreme as is made out, these days, specially on social media. Rather unfortunate, don’t you think?
When I say Feminism means being equal, I do not mean that men and women are equal. We are different in a lot of ways and I celebrate the difference. However, what I ask for is that we have the same political rights, same economical rights and same social rights.

What I want as a feminist is that the oppression of women in the name of culture, religion, social structure, societal norms, etc be stopped.

It is difficult for the privileged and/or protected to see the glass ceiling, more so, when you find so many independent women around you. However, it does exist. Read, watch and learn from the lived experiences.

However today, I want to talk about something else. I want to talk about how the word Feminism is being abused on social media. How the whole meaning of the word is twisted and is made to sound like it is the filthiest thing to exist. It has been used in such a derogatory manner that some of the girls shy away from being associated with it and loudly proclaim, “I am not a feminist.” Is that not akin to saying, you want to be treated badly?! This breaks my heart. They even take offence if they are called a feminist.
I wonder how did we end up here! I am no sociologist but I think I wouldn’t be wrong to presume that these girls want to disassociate from feminism because of the twisted meaning the word is given. A lot of men on social media, especially on twitter, are always taking pot shots at feminism. They propagate a wrong idea that feminists hate men.
And then there are some who say feminists are ugly or even that they aren’t loved so they spread hatred in the world.
Seriously? Feminism is a fight for equality where all men, women, transgenders, cross-dressers, gender fluid people and everyone is treated as an equal and has equal socio-political rights. Since when did this movement equate to hating men?

BOYS, NO WE DO NOT HATE YOU. WE LOVE OUR MEN.
So what I really really want immediately is that the world be taught what feminism truly means.

(Bhargavi is a practicing lawyer, who is not very vociferous of her opinions on social media for she believes that one should argue only when one is paid for it. 😛 )

Sangeetha Shreekar

IMG_8048Feminism – I had to to google the word to ensure its real meaning. Happens, when you get to see every celebrity and politician making a statement on feminism. It is not equality which I was unaware or unconcerned about, but the meaning of this oft used word which seems to have different meaning for celebrities.
If feminism is equality to all sexes in social, political, economic and cultural aspects, I would say it’s ideal. However, I am not sure of how realistic it is in given scenario. I am a mother to a three-year-old, I work, I earn equally to my husband, but I do more than what a man can. Run the house, do the chores better, manage money better, and I have never felt that it’s an issue I need to raise my equality in not doing/ignoring chores like men do. I believe we women were made superior with inner strength but instead indulge in a war of words to be equal to men.

I don’t deny we compromise on a lot of aspects, which we deserve. Raising a daughter I try to instill in her that she is a confident and capable person, I never use the term girl to make her realise what she is or can be. However reality strikes, when I deny her requests to stand and do wee-wee because that’s how her best friend (a boy) has been potty trained!

This women’s day I only wish we realise what our potential is and fight for what we deserve based on it rather than fighting just because we want what men have without the credibility.

(A marketing professional from Bangalore, Sangeetha currently resides in Dublin, Ireland with her husband and her daughter.)

Let’s understand and accept this – men and women are different. But both should be given equal opportunities – to succeed or not, is up to the individual. But do not deny a job to a person just because she is a woman. If she is qualified and has the experience you desire, then she is eligible for the post! Give it to her. If she falters, take her case, as you would of a male employee. No, women don’t want special status. Women want equal status. Yes, there are tons of women who play the gender card, expect men to pay for everything, hate men and in short, make the lives of men miserable. But then there are many men who are rapists, vulgar and perverts. Doesn’t make all men that, does it? Then why judge women based on how some of them behave. Yes, this is the generalisation we want to stop. If all men are not perverts, rest assured, all feminists are not there to make lives of men misreable. 

If a woman is making your life miserable, she is probably doing so for two reasons – you did something to her, or she is plain mean. It would be interesting to know that a non-feminist woman can also make your life miserable, but it wouldn’t bother you that much. Probably ‘coz she doesn’t want equality.

Coming to women who claim to be feminists, do understand that it is more than treating your men as servants and not believing in your role of the wife/sister/mother/daughter etc. It is about being what you are and more. If we want equality, we have to work hard too. Contribute to the income, pay some bills, pay for some vacations maybe – in short, understand that equal accountability of running a house, office or anything else, lies with you. 

Long story short, this post was not written to strike any conversation or debate. It was to put across a few points about feminism –

  • Feminism doesn’t mean women are superior.
  • Feminism doesn’t mean men are to be hated.
  • Feminism expects equal rights to men and women. 
  • Feminism doesn’t mean giving special preference to women.
  • Using the gender card is uncool.
  • Feminism means women should also come ahead and share responsibilities. Equality, you see.
  • Each one of us who believes in equality should be a feminist. There is no pride in not being a feminist.

Understand what feminism is, before trashing it.

Books I Love

 

Growing up, books were a major constant in my life. My mother had grown up as a voracious reader, and the habit got passed on to me genetically and by example. I was introduced to all my favourite authors by my mother, and I had even learnt to read Bengali so that I could read more stories. So, yes, the love affair with stories and the art of story telling goes way back to the time when I couldn’t read and was read to. Most authors still remain in my life though a few have made a mark in my life, and not just because they were great stories.
Two such books are Chief Vasily and Little Women.

Chief Vasily was a limited edition book translated from Russian. It was about Peter, a Muscovite who went to the village for his vacations where he met Vasily, a local boy. Peter and Vasily started off as rivals, as Peter was being a typical city snob. Soon his edges get rubbed by the village kids and he found great friends in them. I keep this book asa  priced possession and keep going back to it from time to time – for various reasons.

Little Women is a much-loved story about four sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March. All four March sisters had very strong characters but ever since I’d read the story the first time – I’ve identified with Jo the most. Since then, I’ve read it at least 30 times and every time I find myself relating to her even more. I’ve fancied meeting her, talking to her, accompanying Laurie and her to skate on the ice, reading her scripts and secret notes, travelling with her, falling in love at the same time as her, and being fiercely protective of family, just like her. Everything Jo has done, I have done. Never copied her, but growing up I realised life was moving ahead as if parallel to Jo’s.

This post is for Blogchatter’s prompt – BOOK(S) I LOVE

Four Things Everyone Who Wants To Be An Author Must Do

More than a decade ago, when Chetan Bhagat had written Five Point Someone, it’d brought about a change in the reading habit of the country. Whether one reads his books or not, one cannot deny that Bhagat has single-handedly driven the youth of the country to read more. And if you ask me, the main reason behind this is that he had brought in to the market, stories which Indian readers identify with.

Another thing that has changed in the Indian literary scene recently is that the number of people who want to write has increased manifold. Between 2011-2013, I had spent a lot of time reading fiction written by Indian authors, most of who are still unknown. What was both fascinating as well as disappointing, is that there are so many good stories out there, but not everyone can tell the story very well.

As a manuscript editor and book publicist, I have interacted with a lot of story tellers who are trying to write a book and/or get published. However, I’ve noticed that they are not doing the basics. A doctor has to first take the required course(s), intern and only then can he practice, right? Every procedure has steps and if you are taking writing seriously, I’d strongly suggest that you include these four steps into the process:

Read a lot: Read what you like, but also try to read authors who are better than whom you already read. A lot can be learnt from reading the masters of the trade.

Write a lot: Before you get down to the main story, practice a lot. I’d suggest that you write every single day, even if it is flash fiction or an entry in your diary.

Know your grammar: I’m not asking you to perfect your grammar, but make sure that you are comfortable with the language you are writing in. You can express freely and your words will have the correct intent only when you know your grammar and its usage.

Write honestly: I agree, we all want our works to be famous. But if your work has heavy influences of another author, would the readers rather not buy books of that author? Learn from your idols, but write in your own style. Write an honest story, and not what is selling in the market. Who knows, you could be that bestselling author who brings a new revolution in how Indians read!

5 Things Every Entrepreneur Must Avoid

While the idea of entrepreneurship is not new anymore, being a founder still does hold a level of novelty to it. To dream of owning your own business, making a brand out of it and monetizing it, seems rosy but there are some very obvious things which if not avoided can crash your business before you can blink your eyes!

Here are five things you must be very careful about; they are small but go a long way in ensuring that your business  sustains.

  • Profits should not be your only focus. Yes, your business needs to churn out profits soon enough but keeping only profit as your target will only delay the process. A little investment in customer services, fancy  packaging, freebees, and specially, on marketing, would show big benefits in some time. Cutting costs in the product that you are delivering is never a great idea because once your customers are unhappy with your product, there is no way they are coming back to you.

  • Never ever ignore a single feedback or forget to reply. Treat customer feedback as a bible. As a customer to many other products apart from your own, I am sure you will agree that one has special fondness and loyalty for brands which listen to their buyers. Have a dedicated team or time set to attend to customer feedback, reply to them and attend to the complaints, if any.

  • Don’t try to micro-manage. Take help. It can get overwhelming if you are trying to grow the brand single-handedly. Not only that, it can take a downward slide rather than reach the heights you dreamt of. No shame in taking help, in fact it is better that you let the specialists of each department do their things and move together towards a common goal.

  • Never shy away from learning. There is no age to stop learning so never tell yourself – I know enough. You do not, because honestly, you cannot. The realms of business are ever-changing and a lot depends on trends which are evolving every single day. To take your brand up amongst the top players, never stop being a learner.

  • Don’t assume you will be successful immediately. Be prepared to face failures. Big or small, they will knock at your doorstep. And trust me, it is better to fail first and climb the ladder to success then to achieve success by fluke and then fall of the ladder when you are quite content with how things are progressing. Anything new has a teething process, so stay patient and don’t let failures disappoint you. Learn from them and turn them into chapters of your success story.

 

This entry was posted in blog.

What Is Love?

What is love?

Love can be damaging. Love can be demotivating.
Love can be hurtful. Love can make you cry yourself to sleep.
Love can be vindictive. Love can be untruthful.
No, love is not always great.

Love can be empowering. Love can be enlightning.
Love can be inspirational. Love can lead the way.
Love can break barriers. Love can heal wounds.
Love can make you smile again.
Love can make you scale mountains you never thought you could.

Love can be selfless. Love can be selfish.
Love can suffocate you. Love can open the world to you.
Love can be everything evil; it can be the happiest thing on earth.
Don’t tell me love can only be the nice things;
Because we love exactly how we are.
Look into the person and you will know
If their love is your kind of love.

 

#Hashtags, and how to use them on social media

hashtags

What are hashtags, and why are they important? For anyone who works on social media, this is not mystery. But for those who are present on social media because the entire world is, hashtags still remain a mystery. This is evident by how wrongly they are used.

A very prominent and audience-driving feature of the tech culture, the hashtag has long been added in the Oxford dictionary way back in 2010. Once just a key on the keypad of your phone, the hashtag is one of the driving forces on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Vine and Google Plus. So what does hashtag do? It categorises. It leads users to specific content and to content of common interest. A lot of social media advertising depends on hashtags as data entered accompanied by specific words tagged with the symbol, facilitate analysts to pull up relevant data.


Even on a smaller and individual scale, hashtags prove to be useful to users. For example, I am also a travel writer. So when I post my articles on facebook, I add relevant hashtags. Anyone else who is also interested in the same topic, can search for the hashtag and it will lead them to my article. The same goes for instagram, pinterest, google plus posts. 

So, what is the correct way to use hashtags?

incorrect-ways-of-applying-hashtags

What not to do:

  • Do not apply the hashtag before, after or in between every possible word. The purpose of hashtags is to made content discoverable, nd not everything in a sentence is worth discovering, to be honest.
  • Hashtag is applied to (in front of), specific key words.
  • Excessive number of hashtags make your post or sentence look silly.
  • Lastly, don’t spam with hashtags.

Hashtags have no relevance in private accounts. Because, your account is private.

Hashtags are here to stay, because social media is not going anywhere. With a lot of shift from mainstream advertising to social media marketing that has happened for businesses of all sizes, this platform is the present as well as the future.

By now, the unintiated must have got a clear picture of what hashtags are and how they should be used. Youtube as well as the rest of the internet has a lot of guiding notes and videos which can help you use them correctly to promote your posts, business and cause.

Tips To Get Your Children To Read

how-can-you-introduce-reading-to-your-children

Being in the profession that I am and always being surrounded by books – either for pleasure reading or for work, I’ve been approached by many parents who wanted me to introduce their children to reading. Some of these children were toddlers while some quite grown up and with busy lives, at 12 or 13. Honestly, someone who doesn’t spend time with them cannot really sell the concept of reading for pleasure to your children. People who read are perceived to be boring and uninteresting by most of those who don’t. And a child who doesn’t read would not be interested in hearing about the benefits of reading, from someone he is not used to taking instructions from. So here are a few suggestions from me, which you can try yourself, and you should be able to open the beautiful world of reading to your children!

  • First, you develop a relationship with reading. Your child is bound to follow the example you set. In households where at least one parent reads regularly, the children are known to follow suit. This happens mainly because of the example you set and also, because you are in the position to suggest and bring to them, titles they would enjoy to read. Let them see you reading; it’s okay if you are reading just a magazine.

  • If you child is a newborn, start reading together. Pick up age appropriate books, show them the pictures and you read the story. Don’t let their inability to understand bother you, with repeated and continuous storytelling, they will grow up with the habit of loving stories. Also, bedtime stories being read by parents make up for some of the fondest childhood memories when the children grow up.

  • Give your child a reading space. Maybe a corner of their room or any other room, where a shelf has their storybooks stacked together. A place where they can sit comfortably in proper lighting and read. Make reading an interesting experience.

  • Visit local book stores with them. What would be even better if you get a library membership together and make trips to the library frequently. Let your child spend time with books.

  • A child who reads cannot also watch a lot of television. Two reasons – doing both would harm eyes, and doing both would take up a lot of time. Soon, the child will be cutting reading time and spending more time in front of the televsion. If you want your child to read, play and do activites, the tab needs to go too. Maybe once a week to play games in, that is your decision.

  • If you are already a reader, pick your own childhood favourites and read with your child. Tell them stories about how you perceived the story, and ask they what they think it. Make it a fun activity. Perceptions will be different, there is an entire generation between your child and you. Exchange notes.

  • Having said that, please don’t force your child to read. The most you can do is, encourage them. But if your child is completely outdoorsy, there are strong chances that you cannot force them to stay indoors and read. It’s okay.

These were few suggestions of things you can do; they are not sure shot ways. Many schools have lately introduced reading periods, but those are only for junior classes. When the kids grow and are in senior classes, they get busy and move away from reading for pleasure. Don’t let that vaccum form. I am always open for dicsussion on further ideating about how to spread the love for books. Get in touch if you think I can help. Lastly, let your child choose the book. It is okay if one doesn’t like fiction, let them read about volcanoes or about cars. To read is what we want them to do, right?

Disclaimer: No, every child doesn’t need to read. This post is particularly for parents who want to try to get their children to read. Try, but don’t force, dear parents. 🙂