Use Of Facebook In China And Recent Changes

If digital policy changes in China today, you will be able to see Facebook posts not only while out of China but while within the country.

Unfortunately as things stand now, the use of popular social networking sites in China is blocked by a firewall. However, participants at the Fortune Global Conference in Chengdu, China have been accessing Facebook and other social networks; the attendants are experiencing what it would feel like if the existing policy were to change.

The conference hosts 500 executives of high-octane Fortune companies in various cities. It has previously taken place in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Beijing. It is now taking place in Chengdu and this is good news for the little known city which holds a population of about 14,000,000 since it will be put on the spotlight.

Allowing use of Twitter and Facebook would portray China as a flexible country, one that has a positive attitude towards social networks. This would be a good gesture but it seems there is a lot to be wished for going by the access level permitted at the conference. According to the Hispanic Business report, access to Twitter and Facebook is limited to Shangri-La Hotel where the conference takes place. It is only inside the hotel where participants can post and log on. Participants cannot access Facebook while in other hotels or in their rooms.

All the people who can get their hands on Facebook and other social networks, the press included, are using them to the maximum to promote the global profile of the conference. For instance, on Twitter the hashtag #fortuneglobal has been created by the conference in a bid to spur a discussion.

One glance at the #fortuneglobal discussion will inform you that the discussants comprise foreign press members as well as members from multinational companies such as McKinsey. It is interesting to note that Chinese citizens themselves are not as active in this discussion. While hotel employees have access to the social networking site, they choose not to participate.

Chengdu is happy with the fact that foreigners can come and use social sites, bring in foreign currency and raise the profile of the hotel as well as that of the city. This however should not be interpreted as government’s change of attitude towards the US- based social networking sites especially when it comes to giving its citizens access to such sites.

In case you are thinking that this is the first maybe the last time Facebook and other social networks have found their way to China, you are wrong. During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the press was given access. It is also possible that during the 2014 Naijing Youth Olympic games, access to social networking sites will be allowed. If this trend gives you hope for internet freedom in China, sorry but these occasions look more like attempts to woo foreign capital than a cause for citizens’ web freedom.

There are several instances of Chinese censorship that point out the fact that this opening of Chengdu is just a performance for the benefit of foreigners. One of them is the fact that China censored Wikipedia, which prepared a Tiananmen Square anniversary feature a few days before the start of Chengdu conference. Another one is a recent instance where the BBC accused the government of China of blocking broadcasts.

We can only hope that things will change with time.

About the author: Mila Kassar is a tech blogger and writer from London. She is interested in various topics related to mobile phones, gadgets and technology in general. Currently Mila lives in Florida, US where she enjoys in blogging, hiking and shopping. She wrote this article on behalf of Mobile Shop.

Pakistan Idol Reaches Top 6

With an incredible 460 million viewers in over 150 countries worldwide for more than a decade, when television’s biggest ‘star’ maker reality show franchise came to Pakistan, eye-brows were raised and questions were hurled.  Over the past few months, Pakistan Idol has proven its worth by becoming a household sensation.

When the contestants took the stage, ready to woo the crowd with their heartfelt performances, the Pakistani audience was transfixed by their resonating voices. Now, Pakistan Idol has entered its Top 6 Gala Round where the air is alive with possibilities. Any one of the 6 contestants can win the title of becoming the first Pakistan Idol with a Rs. 2.5 million cash price, a brand new Honda City Aspire and a recording contract worth millions.

The ground is set for the contestants to battle it out. Without  further ado, let’s meet our 6 superstars.

Zamad Baig:

Flying all the way from Lahore, Zamad’s passion to follow his dream of becoming a singer and his focus on achieving these dreams has got him this far into the competition. Zamad has a raw element to his voice and  believes sufi rock is his genre, which often prompts the judges to compare him to the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

Rose Mary:

Being the only girl left in the all-male line up does have its perks, but Rose Maryhas won over the hearts of the public and the judges solely through her strong, mature and yet feminine voice. Rose is only 15 years old and aspires to be the first female Pakistan Idol. She prefers singing semi-classical and pop songs. Rose previously took part in the competition ‘Chotay Ustad’ where she came fourth.

Kashif Ali:

21-year old Kashif Ali from Lahore has learnt to take success with a pinch of salt. He shocked and disappointed audiences after he was eliminated from the competition earlier on, but managed to return to Pakistan Idol through the Wild Card entry. With his unique voice Kashif, has won hearts of the viewers who keep voting for him and saving him from elimination. His voice and singing versatility has often been compared to that of Kailash Kher.

Muhammad Shoaib:

Mouhammad Shoaib is a native of Kissa Khwani in Khyber Paktunkhwa and currently resides in Peshawar. He does not have any formal training in singing, but has managed to mesmerize the audiences and the judges with his soothing, husky voice. With his humble nature and sweet grin, he aspires to go really far with his singing career.

Abdul Rafay Khan:

Pakistan Idol’s youngest ‘barood’ has gained massive fan following due to his incredibly poignant voice. He is a trained singer from Karachi’s National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA). Rafay enjoys singing classical music and has proven himself in every stage of the competition. He remains extremely attached to his mother, which is often reflected in his song choices. Rafay is also the judges’ favorite as he reminds Ali Azmat of his younger self.

Syed Ali Asad Zaidi:

Heartthrob Ali Asad Zaidi has come a long way into the competition. His interest in music is as versatile as his singing abilities. He loves listening to Asad Amanat Ali, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Kishore, Mohammad Rafi and Michael Jackson, The Beatles and Queen. Upon entering the Gala Round, Ali has his eyes set on the prize and his heart set on singing the best of songs.

Top 3 Classified Ad Websites In Pakistan

The Internet has made buying second-hand items much simpler than it ever was before. All buyers need to do is visit a classified ad websites where they can find listings for whatever it is they may be looking for.

Classified ad websites facilitate shopping by providing a constructive platform for selling used or new items. For instance, if you want to sell your old smartphone you can post an ad for it online, and if any of the site’s visitors are interested in buying your smartphone they will contact you directly.

Classified ad websites are gaining popularity in Pakistan as well and three popular ones are Bolee.com, OLX, and Pakwheels.  Let us have a brief look at these.

1. OLX

When thinking of selling something online, the first website that will come up in minds of many Pakistanis is probably OLX, thanks to the brand’s recent advertising campaign. OLX is a free classified ad website. Although the website has local domains for many countries, the company itself is based in America and has a regional office in India. The website is quite user-friendly. For instance, it features search option which makes finding items much easier so buyers don’t have to spend much time browsing through different categories. It also allows individuals to write their own description of the listed item.

2. Bolee.com

Bolee.com is also a free classified ad website. It has been developed in Pakistan and is backed by the Ferozsons Publishing Group. The site allows users to place ads for almost anything, including phones, cars, computers, real estate, and home appliances.

Bolee.com distinguishes itself from OLX through its exclusive focus on the Pakistani market. It has many features designed to cater the particular needs of Pakistani community. For instance, if an individual wants to place an ad about selling Mehran or FX car, he can select Mehran or FX from the list of vehicles on Bolee.com. This option of selecting Mehran or FX is not available on OLX because its list of vehicles does not include these popular Pakistani cars, even though it includes many foreign cars such as Maruti, a car mainly used in India.

Cars  not the only category where Bolee.com offers Pakistan-specific options; the site also allows users to list local smartphone brands such as QMobile.

3. PakWheels.com

Pakwheels is yet another free ad website which is also based in Pakistan. As the name suggests, the website only includes ads for vehicles so it has a much smaller range of products than Bolee.com or OLX. The extra aspect of this website is that it also supports feature ads which are useful for those individuals who want to keep their ads on the front page of the website. Other aspects of this website are similar to Bolee.com and OLX. s.

When To Buy The Samsung Galaxy S5

Last month the Samsung Galaxy S5 was officially launched at the opening of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and will be available on April 11th.

Samsung’s latest smartphone is priced at a high level around USD 888 for the plastic version, while the exclusive metal version will start around USD 1092. So the question remains, when will it make the most sense to buy this phone at the right price?

Christian Schiller, co-founder of the price comparison website PricePanda , commented on the recent launch: “From the price development of the former Galaxy smartphones we have observed on our website, we believe that major price falls for the S5 will take place shortly. For those who consider buying the S5, we recommend to wait until May, as the phone should be about 24% cheaper than it is today.”

We analyzed the price evolution of the previous models on www.pricepanda.co.id . These developments can be seen in the chart below:

The price developments of the Samsung Galaxy phone range all follow a similar pattern. The price decline in the first quarter after the release is particularly interesting. This trend is more evident with each new Galaxy generation. Three months after their launches the previous Galaxy models were offered for a significant lower price by online shops on on PricePanda: the S2 was 13% and the S3 14% cheaper. Prices for the S4 show a significant drop of 18%. Similar developments could bring down the price for a new Samsung Galaxy around 24% only twelve weeks from now.

The popularity of the older Galaxy smartphones with record sales of up to 50 million creates high expectations for the new S5. In 2011, Samsung took over the leading position on the smartphone market with 32% market share from Apple which covers 21%. With its vision in the smartphone market and the launch of the first iPhone in 2007 Apple kept the lead for a long time. Since Samsung passed Apple it has built up a great prominence to its competitor, which it steadily develops with each new Galaxy phone generation. In years to come, the smartphone market will no longer be all about Apple, but more and more about the South-Korean Samsung phones.

Take It To The Max: Maximising The Results Of Your Leaflet Distribution Campaign

In today’s world it is easy to think that direct marketing strategies like leaflet distribution are something of the past compared to the new online mass marketing techniques. But experienced marketers know that a flyer campaign might be one of the best marketing techniques for small businesses who want to profit the most from their marketing investments.

Having decided to use leaflet distribution for your latest advertising campaign, there are several things you can do to help maximise the impact and results that the campaign can bring to your business.

Research and planning
Conducting a little market research (either yourself or using the services of a market research company) as part of your planning phase may seem a little costly or time consuming, but it’s certain to inform both the content of your leaflets and the areas that you target in delivery.  Of course, this is key in getting your leafleted message out in the way that you want it, directly to your customers.

Relevance
Research and planning in advance of the production and delivery of your leaflets will also help you to ensure that your leaflet content will be relevant not only to what you want to gain for your business (new customers, repeat custom from existing clients, introducing your name or brand to a new territory) but, importantly, to the households which will be receiving them.

For example, if you are advertising your gardening services but two out of three possible postcodes for delivery in the immediate vicinity include social housing blocks of flats, then your research will have shown you that your services are just not relevant to these communities.   Similarly, if you want to introduce your dog-walking service to new areas, you might make your leaflet more relevant to each new area by varying the images used, to include photographs of the parks most local to certain post-codes.

Trade on testimonials
Similar to relevance, this is about making your message heard with a “customers like you …” echo.  If you are already an established business, or at least one which is just beyond the start-up phase, thinking about the customer demographic you are targeting your campaign towards will almost certainly bring existing customers to mind.  If you can get testimonials from happy clients, to include on your leaflets, add to this benefit by matching those testimonials to the demographic you are aiming for.

For example, if you’re a café owner hoping to gain a niche from the student market and are targeting your leaflet distribution towards student-based house shares, the local college or university campus, then include a special offer for students and get some images and testimonials from your existing student customers, to help endorse your message and service.  You are not only using both relevance and testimonials to help maximise your chances of success, but this method also appeals to the basic instincts of wanting to be ‘in’, so a ‘join in …’ message endorsed by relevant testimonials can be very attractive to potential customers.

Dare to be Different
Most of us would agree, that we probably couldn’t tell the difference from one take-away leaflet that comes through the door from another.    The bad news is that the take-away industry is not the only trade this sea of ‘sameness’ applies to.  So, if you are in a highly competitive business where ‘look-alike’ leaflets are a problem, try to maximize the results of your campaign by emphasising what’s different about your business and demonstrating this in the format of your leaflet.

About the author: Paul M. Moore is a CWTadvertising.com Marketing Specialist with over 15 years’ experience in the Marketing field and Direct Marketing Techniques. 

Muslims In Football: Papiss Cisse, Sponsorship And Wonga

Newcastle United is currently in the midst of a very public spat with their Senegalese striker Papiss Cisse over a shirt sponsorship deal with money lending company Wonga.

According to the Guardian, Cisse pulled out of Newcastle United’s pre-season training camp last week after refusing to promote the money lending company for religious reasons. The forward has offered to wear an unbranded shirt or one promoting a charity for the next season. Newcastle are said to have reacted unfavorably to his request, particularly since his Muslim teammates Cheik Tiote and Moussa Sissoko do not appear to share his apprehension with the new shirt logo. It is rumored that Cisse is now to be sold to another club, with several clubs from France and Germany and Russia interested in the powerful striker’s services.

The 2013 – 2014 football season will kick off with nearly 40 Muslims in the English Premier League and English clubs, and the League authorities have had to adapt to accommodate footballers of different faiths.

The Premier League has shown remarkable sensitivity regarding multi faith acceptance and adaptability. Until fairly recently the Man of the Match for a league game was presented with a bottle of champagne as an award at the end of the game. When Manchester City’s Yaya Toure, a devout Muslim, politely declined his award on religious grounds, the game’s administrators sat up and took notice. The Man of the Match is now presented with a small trophy for his achievements, thus showing the willingness of the men in charge to accommodate players and managers of different faiths.

Clubs have also shown high levels of sensitivity. Clubs across the league offer their Muslim players a separate prayer area and shower area if desired. Newcastle United, who until recently had six Muslim first team players, became the first club in the Premier League to open a prayer room, where their Muslim players could pray the requisite five times a day. It is, therefore, surprising that Newcastle is the club that is being pushed to reconsidering their sponsorship agreement with Wonga on religious grounds.

There is no precedence for this in world football. The most widely publicized incident of an athlete refusing to promote a sponsor’s brand is that of South African batsman Hashim Amla. Amla pays a fine in every game he represents South Africa for refusing to wear the Castle Lager logo on his South African kit on the basis of religious grounds. Cricket South Africa were able to negotiate with Castle Lager to ensure that such an arrangement could take place but it seems highly unlikely that Newcastle United will adopt a similar stance in Cisse’s case. It does beg the question, should clubs consider what business their sonsors are in before agreeing a long-term, lucrative sponsorship agreement?

There has been widespread criticism of Newcastle United for entering into the agreement in the first place with fans and local politicians extremely critical of the club for engaging in a sponsorship deal with a company that charges exorbitant rates of interest on its loans. The anger has been barely contained in one of the more disenfranchised parts of Britain. As reported in the Mirror local MP Ian Lavery pledged to send his season tickets back if the deal went through. Should a similar attitude be adopted to companies like Wonga, who Lavery branded, “financial predators who make their money from people suffering from unemployment, low wages and in the greatest financial need”, as there is towards cigarette and alcohol sponsors? The debate is sure to continue.

4 Types Of TV Shows People Are Watching This Ramazan

When I was a young man,  the month of Ramazan had a completely different meaning from what it has now become.

In those days life was very simple; there was no  such thing as social media and there was only one TV channel, which of course did air Ramazan specials but transmissions were limited. Back in those days the programs were very informative, had more religious content and conveyed a real sense of value and ethics.

Forty years on, Ramazan has taken on a completely new dimension and with digital technology seeping into our lives and invading our privacy, everything seems to be in superlatives.

It would not be out of context to say that that religion for some has become an industry and the religious spirit is being exploited for commercial interests especially by our overzealous electronic media.

The leading light to shine in Ramazan on television is none other than our so called religious icon, TV evangelist and self professed scholar Dr Aamir Liaquat, loathed and detested by many while revered and loved by millions whose histrionics in his programs drives his fans into a religious frenzy and enraptures them.

To prove one’s point that TRPs and commercial interests are soaring let us review the current Ramazan TV specials being aired on the airwaves.

1. AMMAN RAMZAN

Aired on Geo Entertainment and hosted by Dr Aamir Liaquat, TRPS have shot through the roof and the media barons are rubbing their hands in glee for sponsorships and advertisements are flowing in big time. The setting is exquisitely and beautifully decorated and 500 people are invited daily both for Iftar and Sehri shows.  Moving naats are recited with the opening naat by the good doctor himself in his vocal and eloquent style.

This is followed by a religious quiz show where the doctor launches a flurry of questions and dishes away quality prizes at throwaway questions. His flamboyant style and demeanor sends the crowd into frenzy. Motorcycles, gift vouchers, detergents, cell phones, blankets and finally a car are handed over daily.

Charity is also dispensed generously. Destitute housemaids and people suffering various ailments are brought in and their woes narrated, which arouses sympathy and fear in the hearts of people.

I was always under the impression that charity should be shrouded and the left hand should not know what the right has doled out. However, it seems that TV rating take precedence and channels are falling over themselves to lead the charitable cause.

2. SHAN-E-RAMAZAN

Aired on ARY and hosted by singer-turned-messiah Junaid Jamshed accompanied by the anchor Waseem Badami, this show is competing with its rivals to enhance its ratings. Sehri and Iftari are served lavishly to the invitees and beautiful naats are rendered by the former Vital Signs lead singer.

Religious questions are posed and prizes distributed generously, sometimes bordering on the absurd like when a disabled person was gifted a motorcycle whereas his need was financial aid for medical treatment.

3. SHEHER-E-RAMAZAN

Remember Maya Khan, the lady in the park with the vigilante squad?  Well, to atone for all that she now hosts a Ramazan show alongside Dr Shahid Masood, presenting a charitable cause and dishing out  gifts just like the other channels. The ingredients are the same but the setting is different.

4. COOKING SHOWS

Cooking shows are very popular even on normal days. Come Ramazan they seem to go viral as every homemaker is eager to learn new dishes to serve at Iftar time and Sehri.  Zubaida Apa is one of the leading stars  in the cookery world and she  spices up her cooking tips with tips about life in general.

There are several other kitchen and cookery shows on almost every channel  providing food tips, offering mouth watering recipes and religious information and entertainment with celebrity participants.

It is not for me to judge whether such extravagant programs capture the spirit of Ramazan in its real essence but one can indisputably say that our TV channels have real given this Holy Month a really festive aura.

Rebranding: What It Means And How To Do It

Businesses sometimes have to take a step back and admit their brand needs a little help.  When this happens, businesses have the option to rebrand themselves and start over fresh.  Rebranding is a way for a business to update its look and attract more customers while continuing to cater to its existing customer base.

When a business chooses to rebrand, it means that the business will undergo a lot of change.  As Business Insider said, “A successful campaign requires more than a revamped logo. It demands a vision that inspires customers, investors, and others to see the company in a new light.” Rebranding means that more than just the design or colors will change; it means that the whole environment of the business will change.

Rescue a CEO asked some successful entrepreneurs what needs to happened in order to make a rebranding campaign successful.  They suggested rebranding through design as most customers are visual and remember brands which have great branding through their logos, colors, etc.  It is also helpful to create a strong idea of where the brand will be going before starting.  Without a clear plan, it can be disastrous after starting to have to back track on a rebranding campaign.  A final suggestion is to announce the change.  Customers don’t like to be caught off guard and rebranding can be enough to make loyal customers leave if they don’t receive a warning first.

One company that has very good branding is 12 Palms Treatment Center.  Currently, they cater to people with addictions that want a personalized touch in an environment other than that of a hospital.  Their brand is there to remind people that going to a 12 Palms is more like a vacation than that of a rehab center.  They have done a great job of making rehab seem less scary and more comfortable.

Empire CAT Construction is a family owned company that has been handed down through the generations.  Their branding reflects the foundation that they have come from and the core values they hold are obvious building blocks to their brand.  Empire-CAT shows they value the safety for their customers as well as the ability to provide them with outstanding construction equipment to help them get the job done.

Rebranding can be a tricky business and there are a few things that can lead a business down the wrong track.  According to ReBrand, a rebranding agency, businesses should avoid clinging to traditions and hire someone who doesn’t regularly work within the business’s industry so they can get a fresh perspective of what needs to happen with their brand.  It is also a good idea to do a lot of research before starting and imagine how customers will feel and react to a business’s rebranding campaigns.  Finally it’s advised that businesses hire a consulting firm, but also stand their ground and not get strong-armed into doing something with their brand they don’t want to.

Obviously rebranding is not something that is an easy task.  Taking a brand and creating a new spin on it while attempting to keep customers happy is a tricky thing to do.  With proper planning and avoidance of common mistakes, rebranding can be a useful thing for businesses to consider if their brand needs a little updating.

About the author: Courtney Gordner is a blogger/journalist with a passion for writing and the latest trends online. You can read more from her on her own blog or connect with  her on Google+

Why Did Eye To Eye And One Pound Fish Go Viral?

The purpose of a viral video is simple: it gets people to talk about it, both online and offline.

This disposition grows exponentially when a video is passed on to friends through social network applications such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and blogs. These portals have dramatically enhanced the ability of users to share and discuss videos or images that either tickle their funny bone or make them want to bang their head against the wall.

The YouTube ban in Pakistan has not diverted users from sharing unusual videos that are surfing around on the internet. Many users have bypassed the minor blockage of YouTube to blogs that discuss the videos that are hard to miss. Blogs have become a significant online network through which Pakistani users can find the most shared videos and images.

Taher Shah’s Eye to Eye
One such video that has really made waves on the viral landscape is ‘Eye To Eye’ by Taher Shah:

A response to Eye to Eye on ‘The News’ website was shared by over 4814 people, specifically 351 Facebook shares and 81 tweets.

The review was unsurprisingly followed by the launch of a parody Facebook page abundant with user generated content in the form of memes and more links to the video. All this buzz has resulted in Mr. Shah’s popularity skyrocketing in a very short time span.

One Pound Fish
A similar level of fame was attained by Muhammad Shahid Nazir in 2012. Commonly know as the One Pound Fish guy, Nazir gained popularity for the song he sang promoting his fish stall in London.


£1 Fish Man – One Pound Fish – O-Fish-Al Video by Leroidukitch

Nazir’s Facebook page is followed by over 33,000 fans and was active till this January.

When Brands Cash in on a Viral Trend
An interesting aspect about fame found by ‘odd’ means is that the ‘artist’ often gets noticed by major brands. Some brands even sign endorsements such as PTCL, who got Muhammad Shahid Nazir on board for their Landline Link campaign (sung to the tune of One Pound Fish, of course).


More recently, Mobilink’s official Facebook page shared this image featuring Taher Shah. However, it was deleted within a few minutes so it is unconfirmed whether or not this was an official celebrity endorsement deal.


Why Do Videos Go Viral?
Discourse around viewing a video that one loves or hates is a natural social instinct. Like One Pound Fish, Eye to Eye has also managed to hit platinum on the viral video chart. It was uploaded just two months ago and has already become one of the most talked about videos online.

It brings forth the question: what makes the video so share-able? What caused this video to transpire a phenomenal social wave of interaction? In fact various elements have been argued and deduced by scholars on the matter of viral videos and their ability to create a large social dialogue. The main conclusions are that videos go viral when they are specific to pop culture and have a combination of irony and hilarity.

It is widely recognized that viral videos are epidemic in nature for 18–25 year olds. This age group is the driving force in multi-sharing a video with a friend, colleague, acquaintance or relative.

The combination of irony and hilarity in Eye to Eye is quite easy to understand. It’s ironic because the love song is anything but genuinely romantic. The hilarity is the ambiance of the whole video: the glamorous background, the flashing lights and the constant close up on the ‘spectrum’ eyes.

Viral videos form a connection between social media users. They provide a passage for sharing opinions on a well-known article, image or video, even if it’s not informative. When the Eye to Eye sensation dies down, what could possibly come next?

Is Social Media An Influential Tool For Local Brands?

Social media is a powerful tool for brands if it is used effectively. As socialization becomes more digitized, consumers appeal to the idea of engaging with the product or service of a brand before purchasing it. It is a portal through which companies can engage with potential consumers swiftly and monitor customer feedback.

However, brands in Pakistan are not as powerfully integrated in social engagement.With internet penetration up to 12 percent since December 2011, Pakistan is still in its growing stages when it comes to using the social media for brand development. It is reported that there are over 8 million Facebook and Twitter users in Pakistan since April 2013.

There are three main social factors for effective use of social media by a local brand. These factors are:
1. Facebook and Twitter following
2. Brand response to consumer queries
3. Interactive promotional campaigns on social media

It has been noted that a handful of brands in Pakistan have managed to incorporate the above mentioned social factors to enhance their company. However, there are particular brands still in the process of understanding the influence of social media. Taking selected brands as examples of effective or non-effective use of social media, we shall deduct the influence of social media for a brand:

14th Street Pizza, launched in February, 2011

Advance Telecom, launched in 2001

Pizza Hut, launched in 1993

Ufone, launched in January, 2001

These companies have implemented Facebook marketing in their overall marketing strategy, which has led them to fruitful results. With the exception of Pizza Hut, the remaining 3 brands have also built a noticeable social presence on Twitter.

Facebook and Twitter following:

Brand Name

Facebook

Twitter

Following Talking About It Following Tweets
14th Street Pizza 1,004,113 45,744 797 2,191
Advance Telecom 524,650 30,944 893 4,800
Pizza Hut Pakistan 940,778 35,230 25 64
Ufone 1,281,417 91,263 12, 382 2,302

Date: 28th June 2013

Brand response to consumer queries:

Quick response to consumer queries is essential for a brand. An immediate reply conveys a brand’s interest in each customer on a personal level. It maintains a social relationship and gains trust. In this aspect, the above mentioned brands do not respond on their social media pages as promptly as expected but they still answer queries within 12 hours.

However, there are some queries that go unnoticed which can break customer loyalty:

Interactive promotional campaigns on social media:

Promotional campaigns on social media platforms are most effective when they engage consumers into sharing the campaign with others. A digitized version of word of mouth marketing is achieved, which reaches even those individuals who have not tried the product. Social media posts and shares are the quickest ways for brands to gain exposure. Here are some promotional campaigns that have been designed to interact with followers:

Social media is a useful tool. Once a company is able to grasp its mechanics, it can use it to build an influential digital portal for its consumers. The question is, when will brands in Pakistan realize this?