How to Build Loyal Fans.

Written by Praneetha Aniruth on . Posted in Social Media, Strategy


It seems like social media is becoming more like an ocean and less like a stream every day. Where are my fans? How can I reach them? What channels should I be on? What should I be posting? How do I get my content seen in the Facebook news feed?

The name of the game today is learning how to build loyal fans.  For growth that matters, we have to deliver content that matters to our fans. In order to differentiate ourselves and be seen, we need to know what our audience values.It’s all about help, not hype.

1. Be the Media. We are the only ones that can tell our story and deliver value at the same time. And social media puts us in the driver’s seat.

2. Shown some skin.You don’t have to be afraid of being human on social media.  Remember, you have control over what you share—it doesn’t have to be everything. Humans connect with humans, not logos.

3. Unmask Your Motives. Risks are necessary to make a splash. The goal is not to sell what you have, the goal is to connect with people who believe what you believe.  Share your intent (why you do what you do).

4. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Finding out what your audience wants requires a couple things: audience research and getting out of your comfort zone. We all like to talk about what we’re familiar with. But what does your audience value?

5. Ask for forgiveness rather than asking for permission (but make sure you take your results along when asking for forgiveness).  Take risks and fail early so your best practice experience begins when others are just coming on board and learning to fail. Know how to succeed when everyone else is just figuring it out.

6. Consensus is the true authority.  Listen louder—find out what your audience is saying and alter your message to their needs. The social media space is alive, it moves in real-time. Keep up.

7. There’s a new ROI in town.  Impressions don’t always convert, but influence does.

8. The act of good can be scaled. Social media is linked to good because it provides a place for accountability and transparency. Social media channels are open networks with low barriers where anyone can participate. Reputation and social responsibility are assets that can be built with social media.

I Love Durban Launch – Bringing the world to Durban

Written by Praneetha Aniruth on . Posted in Business, Social Media

The hottest growing community in South Africa, a 6-month-old campaign called “I Love Durban” was launched, by award winning company Carver Media, at a bespoke function last night. The I Love Durban Facebook Fan page has over 116 000 fans and a reach of more than 8 million people. The I Love Durban platforms include a website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube. CEO, Avilash Aniruth’s dream to take Durban to the world and bring the world to Durban has come true.

“Durban is an iconic world class city that is often overshadowed by Johannesburg and Capetown. I Love Durban was created to take Durban even further in promoting community pride in Durban and highlighting economic development, tourism, infrastructure, employment, entertainment, youth and more.”, he said.

The beautiful five star Beverly Hills hotel was the venue with a never before seen spectacle that saw the internationally acclaimed fashion designer Gavin Rajah team up with creative Cape Town food genius Annalize Buchanan to provide the fabulous food and a live fashion show.

The announcement of the “I Love Durban” corporate partners was received with tremendous applause as they all share the same vision to position Durban as a world-class global destination.

The event created a social media frenzy, as bloggers, guests, celebrities, fans and the community took to the platforms to share their excitement and support. Programme director for the evening model, actress and presenter, Kajal Bagwandeen, kept the proceedings in motion introducing all important,invited speakers who came to share messages of support and admiration of the brand and its purpose. Speakers such as The Head of Durban Tourism; Phillip Sithole, City councilor; Logie Naidoo and Canadian best selling author of book, Mind Power; John Kehoe. These speakers were amongst other valued partners to the brand, which included Durban staples; King Shaka International Airport, Durban ICC, Tyson Properties, Durban Tourism and Transnet, The Durban Chamber of Commerce and The Mercury.

“We welcome other partners who want to join us in our vision to make Durban a leading, innovative, global city”.

The exciting announcement for the evening was a 2014 Travel Guide to be launched next year with Gavin Rajah as guest Editor and Curator.

Avilash Aniruth, Co-Founder of I Love Durban and CEO of Carver Media shared his gratitude with his guests at the end of the night’s formalities. Speaking on his vision for the brands future and the importance of the message behind the I Love Durban brand in the city, he went on to thank his wife, ICT entrepreneur of the year award recipient, Praneetha Aniruth who is also the Co-Founder of the I Love Brand and played an important role in the growth of this online brand which has reached 8 million people to date, on its Twitter (@ILuvDBN) and Facebook (I Love Durban) platforms.

“ Little did we know, an idea sparked sitting at the back of a taxi cab in New York City, would ignite a gigantic bonfire of love for the city of Durban. “\

Facebook Custom Audiences Now Available to All Advertisers

Written by Praneetha Aniruth on . Posted in Social Media

Facebook has officially announced that targeting via Custom Audiences will be available to all advertisers by the end of November. This means that all types of businesses can start targeting their customers on Facebook using this feature.

What is Custom Audiences?

Custom Audiences is a targeting tool that allows advertisers to find their offline audiences/customers who are on Facebook, using contact lists. Previously, this tool was only made available through Facebook’s Power Editor Tool.

A new added feature is MailChimp support. For the first time, businesses can use their MailChimp lists with the Custom Audiences tool. Using the tool is easy – all you need to do is upload your customer email list or MailChimp list. Once they’ve been uploaded, then these matched users can be targeted with ads for your Facebook page, website or mobile app.

What are the opportunities?

With the Custom Audiences tool, marketers have the opportunity to turn first time customers into repeat customers by targeting them with customized and personalized advertisements. At the same time, the tool also allows marketers to exclude customers as well (example: if your goal is to acquire new customers).

Facebook has already shared a success story: in an effort to sell tickets for a music festival, a live events company was able to see 28X return on investment for a campaign by using this tool.

Marketing at the Speed of Social

Written by Praneetha Aniruth on . Posted in Business, Social Media

Social marketing now drives a faster everything. In fact, social forces marketers to go faster, not the other way around. It’s for this exact reason that businesses are afraid to become a social business. Take Uber for example. Their vision was simple in creating a service that put the power of seamless ‘right now’ transportation into the palm of our hands. How about Apple? Steve Wozniak talked about how they originally set out with a simple vision to build a personal computer. They built the first personal computer that delivered a word processor. It turned out that the computer called for the networking, which quickly grew into the need for the internet. We needed a way to see the new clusters of information created on the internet, so search engines were born. And now, social commerce is enabled. Steve says “we did not build a computer knowing all this was going to happen, we started with a simple vision.”

As consumers, we all purchase something because a product or service solved a problem in a way that no one else has been able to solve. This also translates through experiences. As with Uber, it isn’t the fact that we want to take a ride in a nice black car, which frankly is more expensive than a taxi. What it solves for consumers is the ability to be in control of their transportation immediately. Everything else about the experience Uber delivers is just the cherry on top.

Socially businesses are few and far between, only because the complexities and data is so overwhelming. Becoming a business that perpetuates creative problem solving powered by social today means you first have to listen in order to keep up. It’s important that businesses use social to co-create ideas and innovation. We still need leadership and vision, but the power of one top-down voice is gone. Finally, it’s no secret that creating shareable experiences through storytelling has changed. Strategically speaking, giving your brand, product or service more shareable experiences means putting more thought into creative ingenuity like never before. Humans can detect carefully crafted and unique experiences through authentic storytelling. They respect it more!

Why Do You Need More Followers?

Written by Praneetha Aniruth on . Posted in Social Media

The point of this question is to get to the core of what the business really wants at the end of the day. Taking inventory of business goals is the best place to start the conversation around social media engagement.

Who do you want to follow you?

Understanding that audience composition is much more important than audience size is critical wisdom for any serious social media marketing campaign. Does your organization just want thousands of followers for ego purposes? Then go buy them. It is a dirty way to get a ton of followers fast, and might get you banned, but ego has driven businesses to do dumber things with their money!

Do you want a ton of real prospects in your market engaging with your organization’s branded content? Then a serious social media marketing campaign might be the best way to attract these individuals to your brand.

What will you do with your follower base?

Take the time to dig into exactly how your organization will extract business value from your follower base. Lacking a system to effectively drive business value and achieve goals with your follower base would be an injustice to both the business and followers. Lacking goals and processes is also a bad situation to be in when justifying marketing spend and effort.

How will you measure success?

Always know where your goal posts are throughout the project. As a service provider, understanding success metrics is critical since I want customers for life. However, the idea of establishing success metrics is just as applicable to an in-house marketer. Nobody wants to take on a challenge, only to find out later that the goals were impossible to begin with or out of sync with the business.

Social media marketers want successful campaigns that achieve the right goals and strengthen the business as time goes on. Don’t let the excitement of social media marketing blind a diligent goal-setting process. Ask yourself these questions before embarking on a social media campaign.