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Project Management for Social Media Marketing Projects

Like any other project, the success of social media marketing projects too rests on good project management practices.

Usually in case of small businesses most of the tasks managed by the executive are either operational or tactical. But social media marketing projects are essentially non repetitive tasks which need to be addressed from a strategic stand point so as to leverage on the benefits. Each of these projects has a clear well defined task list with a clear end goal. Hence while working on the social media marketing strategy you would have to set up clear project objectives, goals while at the same time laying out the standard project process to be followed. Thus the Social Media Projects with focus on creating new posts is strategy based while the Social Media Operations will handle customer queries, complaints on the different social platforms.

Social media projects involve a two pronged approach -the first is to create different social accounts and attract visitors and followers to these accounts and the second step is to publish interesting content for your followers.

Setting up Social Media Accounts

There are many social media platforms to choose from, the approach for making the right decision is same as any project management process:

  • The scope – How many platforms to target and which ones to target?
  • Timelines – How much time to be allotted for setting up? How much time to be allotted for managing? How much should be the optimum response time to customers?
  • Project Cost – What should be the social media project budget? Should the publishing be handled in-house or should it be outsourced? Should social media monitoring tools be purchased or should the free tools be used?
  • Quality – Which are the best social media platforms that meet your project objectives, your business?
  • Communication – What are the communication channels to get your employees and customers on to the social media accounts? What is the promotion plan?
  • Project Risks – What are the potential risks? What are the pitfalls to avoid?
  • Project Team – Whether to have a diversified team from different departments taking care of the project or should there be a dedicated team? Who should comprise the team?

Social Media Content Creation

For successful creation of content which grabs the reader’s attention and prompts them to act, it is important keep the focus on the customer. The goal of the content is to engage the customer and build the relationship. For creating compelling content once again project management comes to the rescue.

  • Initiation Phase: This involves brainstorming, create a list of potential content topics for the project, collate connecting images, record customer testimonials, product offers etc. This phase helps in prioritizing the messages and coming up with the project schedule depending on seasonal promotions, holidays etc.
  • Planning Phase: Once the prioritized content idea list is ready, the content elements for each need to be planned. The videos, locations, employee photo shoots etc. all need to be planned. The details of the same to be shared with the project stakeholders. Content quality needs to be checked, facts verified and most importantly content needs to be written on schedule.
  • Execution Phase: This is a simple phase once your social media strategy is in place. It essentially involves publishing the content/ message.
  • Project Control: As for any project, measuring and monitoring is essential for social media marketing too. It is important to define both success and failure so as to measure the results against this.
  • Project closure: Any project has a beginning and an end. Social media campaigns too are driven over specific periods so as to review the progress against the project goals. In this phase the content quality in terms of gaining customer eyeball needs to be reviewed. The lessons learnt need to be collated and used in the subsequent projects.

This subject has been dealt in greater detail by by Rick Dragon in his article where he talks about using Agile Programming for Social Media Projects.

Why Visualize Data?

Irrespective of the business or function we are in, we come across a lot of data which needs to be analysed in a short time. The data can be from sources familiar or unfamiliar to you. In the latter case you might need more time to be familiarized with the data. Either ways it is important that you understand the data before you make your decisions.

This is where data visualization comes into play. And data visualization is not just about bar graphs, pie charts…

The best data visualization methods are those which showcase some underlying facet of the data and its interrelationships. Understanding the data interrelationships is essential for decision making. The Periodic Table is an excellent example for data visualization. It beautifully represents the features of the various elements and their correlations too.

There are many types of visualizations possible for each data set. The objective behind any of these visualizations is to generate ideas and provide information to the user. Visualizations can be done for exploring or explaining the data. Visualization for exploring is useful when the exact essence of data is not known and you are essentially trying to make sense of the data, the relationships and the patterns. In such cases the visualization should be done iteratively so that you can extract the correct relationships and make sense of the data.  When visualization is done for explain the data should be clean. This can be used when you actually know what the data is about but would want to explain it to someone else.

In the end it is important to remember not only is data visualization useful for you to make sense of your data, but it can be used to attract customers too – through nice infographics! With the advent of Big Data, data visualization has become even more vital.  It makes thus immense sense to recruit or train a design expert for leveraging on data visualization.

Introduction to Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt therapy is focused on the phenomenological method of awareness, in which perceiving, feeling and acting are distinguished from interpreting and reshuffling of pre-existing attitudes. The focus of the Gestalt therapy dialogue lies in the phenomenological perspectives and the goal is for the client to become aware of what they are doing, how they are doing and how they can adapt themselves and at the same time learn to accept and value themselves.

The basic concepts of Gestalt theory are:

Holism: The idea that individuals are growth oriented, self-regulating and only understandable within the context of their environment.

Existentialism: The focus is on what and how of the behavior and not on why; it works by integrating the fragmented parts of the personality and focuses on completing the unfinished business of the past.

Balance: Balance between individual needs and environment to reflect creative adjustments.

The focus of Gestalt therapy is more on process (what is happening) than content (what is being discussed). The emphasis is on what is being done, thought and felt at the moment rather than on what was, might be, could be, or should be. Gestalt theory recognizes that the background and the forefront change fluidly, in this therapy the patient’s problems are regulated to the background and brought to the forefront through the therapy.

 

Long Path Tool- the magic solution for long file name issues

Many a time while working on our PC/ laptop we come across situations where we are not able to open a file, save it or copy it. Many a busy computer user’s major irritant is seeing messages such as ‘Error cannot delete file, the source or destination file may be in use, cannot move folder etc. This is where the Long Path Tool comes to the rescue. It can handle issues which Windows Explorer/ FAR cannot when it comes to pathnames more than 256 characters.  The Long Path Tool can handle pathnames up to 32,000 characters – the internal Windows limit.

Long Path Tool can be used if you face problems deleting or unlocking or renaming or even copying files which have long filenames.  The tool helps by simplifying file names which are categorized as long filenames. This tool can be used in any Operating System without any hurdles. Not only does it help in working with files with long names but can also address common error situations such as:

  • Inability to read from source file or disk
  • Sharing violations
  • Unable to delete a particular file or folder
  • Invalid file names due to length of characters
  • Source or destination files currently in use
  • Etc.

The tool has been developed to ensure such problems are effectively addressed and your computer time is efficiently used. Thanks to this tool many users are able enjoy smoother computer operations without having to break their heads on different file errors.

Using this tool is very simple. The software can be downloaded online. Follow the instructions of the download and save it to your computer. It can be run on any system whether it is Windows NT, Windows 2000 or XP or Vista and even Windows 7. To access the Long Path Tool, have a shortcut icon created on your desktop. Whenever you need to manage files with long filename, you need to click on the Long Path Tool icon. The tools will open a window which has all the files listed. In this window you can modify, rename, delete, copy, paste, move and open the files without any issues. With this application accessing files and folders becomes easy and instantaneous because of the simple interface which can be used by anyone. You need not be a computer whiz nor do you need any unique specifications to utilize this wonderful tool.

Advantages of the Long Path Tool

  • Easy to download and simple to use. It has a user friendly interface and is flexible enough to be used in multiple situations
  • Searches out long path files and folders very fast
  • Does not require any special system specifications. It can work on any Windows version ranging from Windows NT, Windows 2000, XP, Vista or Windows 7
  • Files which are system locked can be deleted.
  • Files from mapped network folders can be deleted
  • Provides a list of files and paths with file path of more than 200 characters. This would help you deciding the course of action
  • It can close the application using the file
  • The locking process can be unloaded
  • Provides the ability to copy/ delete or rename files and folders
  • Enables deletion of file or folder after rebooting
  • Can omit file names specified by the user as not valid or of long file names
  • Future versions absolutely free. Hence you will be able to upgrade at no extra cost whenever the latest version is available for general use

It makes complete sense to download this tool online so that you can fool proof yourself from not only your current issues but future problems too.  It is the tool to go in for if you want a better and error free file management experience. The Long Path Tool is fast, effective and efficient while being simple to use. This is in fact the most popularly used tool online. For more details on the tool and its features you can visit: www.longpathtool.com.

Wrike Online Project Management Solution

Wrike’s patent pending intelligent email engine is an amazing online project management solution which changes the way one works by simplifying the tasks and enhancing collaboration. Wrike’s product essentially is a My Yahoo! Application which helps the users track changes, allocate tasks, manage schedules etc online in collaboration with the project team.

Wrike’s provides the users the ability to know the modifications, edits, task statuses, re-assigns in real-time thus helping them to stay in loop. One just needs a personal My Yahoo! page to create, assign, and organize tasks while collaborating and tracking status.

The features that make this online project management solution cutting edge are:

  • Patent pending Intelligent Email Engine: This makes it possible for the different teams and individuals to integrate the email communications into their project planning for higher efficiency. Due to the Flexible Structures the coordination is better hence the managers and the team would be able to gain clarity over tasks and schedules while handling multiple projects.
  • Project Management: 360 degree insight possible. Ability to view the progress, team efficiency and productivity, thus making managing projects easy. The Dynamic Timeline helps in scheduling, reassigning and updating – all in the click of button.
  • Collaboration: Due to the merging of email communications to the planning process, collaboration becomes easy and efficient. The ability to edit tasks and track versions is a great feature especially in case of distributed teams.
  • Enhanced productivity: It does not just simply project management; it increases the productivity of each team member by reducing routine tasks like sending reminders, checking for updates, comparing versions etc.
  • Projects dashboard: Ability to view to different projects, data and the linking documents from one single screen. One can drill down into different details if required at the click of a button.  It also has a role based and secure access making the application safe to use.
  • Plans visualization: The application allows for creation of interactive Gantt Charts to interpret the project plan and tasks, thus providing instant information to all the stakeholders.
  • Ease of tracking: Wrike has a built-in time tracker which makes it easy for payroll processing  by giving accurate information on the time spent by each member for the project.
  • Mobile friendly: The application has been designed to work on different handheld devices like the iPhone, Blackberry, Android etc. This makes it highly useful and easy to collaborate even when travelling.

With all these interesting and highly useful features Wrike’s project management solution is set to take on the markets on fire.

Common Reasons for accounting discrepancies

Most often the difference between the cash book and the bank pass-book is due to the difference in the time period. This is because the time period of the bank posting the transactions in the bank column of the cash book might not march to the period of the firm’s pass book posting. Some of the reasons for these differences are:

  • Check issued by the firm not yet presented to the bank: When a firm issues check, they are entered in the credit side of the bank column in the cash book. But the person who receives the check might not present it to the bank until sometime later. Hence the bank will debit the firm’s account only after the check is presented. There is a time-lapse between the issue of check and the presentation to the bank which might cause difference in the balance in both the books.
  • Check deposited in the bank but yet to be collected: The firm enters the check deposited in the bank in the debit side of the bank column in the cash book. But the banks will credit the check in the firm’s account only after the check amount is realized. This again might cause difference in the balance in both the books.
  • Direct deposits to the bank account: Sometimes money might be deposited in the firm’s bank account directly which transaction, the firm will be aware of only when they receive the bank statement. Hence the balance in the cash book will be lesser than the balance in the pass-book.
  • Bank charges: The firm might not be aware of the bank fees or commissions for the different services provided till the bank statement is received leading to imbalance in the books.
  • Interest and dividend received: the interest on the debentures or dividends on the shares held might be deposited directly through Electronic Clearing System. The firm will realize this only when they receive the bank statement. Hence the balance in the cash book might be lesser than the balance in the pass-book.
  • Direct payments to customers: The bank makes certain payments as per standing instructions like – telephone bills, insurance premium, taxes etc. These are paid directly from the firm’s account which the firm realizes when it received the bank statement.
  • Dishonor of Check/ Bill discounted: A check deposited by the firm or a receivable discounted with the bank is dishonored, though the amount is debited to the firm’s account, the firm will be aware of it only when it receives the notice from the bank.
  • Transaction recording errors by the firm or the bank: Errors by the firm or the bank in recording transactions can also lead to the discrepancy between the cash book and pass-book balances.

Rational Decision Making Process

The rational decision making process primarily involves:

  • Problem/need recognition: Consumer recognizes a problem or need.  The need is triggered by internal stimuli when one of the person’s normal needs rises to a level high enough to become a drive.  Hunger-Food.  A need can also be triggered by external stimuli (such as advertisement) i.e., see a commercial for a new pair of shoes, stimulates your recognition that you need a new pair of shoes.
  • Information search: In this stage the consumer is aroused to search for more information; the consumer may simply have heightened attention or may go into active information search.  This is usually done on higher ticket purchases such as cars, pianos, computers, etc.
  • Evaluation of alternatives: The consumer uses information to evaluate alternative brand choices.  Different process for every consumer, involves weighing product attributes and their ability to deliver benefits.
  • Purchase process/decision: Choose buying alternatives, includes product, package, store, method of purchase, etc
  • Post purchase behavior: Outcome; Satisfaction or Dissatisfaction.  Cognitive Dissonance, have you made the right decision.  This is the buyer’s doubts shortly after a purchase about whether it was the right decision.  This can be reduced by warranties, after sales communication, etc.

Consumers evaluate the product on the basis of their usage and this evaluation results either in consumer satisfaction or dissatisfaction.