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Wednesday, 13 April 2016

How to Growth Hack your Social Media Engagement

Hello friends, We all use social media for personal & professional reason on a day to day basis. We all love posting interesting stuffs, selfies, articles, videos, snaps  and many more thing, but what if we can get 100 likes instead of 10-12 likes. We can surely increase this in short time, but social media engagement is a long-term strategy which is based on real one to one conversations.

How to Growth Hack your Social Media Engagement

This week on 12th April 2016, I was the guest host on weekly #Rubhusocial  Twitter chat  hosted by Akathma Devi. We have discussed, "How to Growth Hack your Social Media Engagement." This is not a rocket science, you need consistency in your content and have to be there to engaged in real time to get long term Engagement.

#Rubhusocial is one of most engaged twitter chat in India around Digital Marketing & Social Media.

How to Growth Hack your Social Media Engagement

Here is Q&A done on #Rubhusocial -

Q1 What is Growth Hacking and can it be applied to social media Engagement. #Rubhusocial

A1 #GrowthHacking a/c to @aginnt, one whose passion & focus is pushing a metric through use of testable & scalable methodology #Rubhusocial

A1 #GrowthHacking is all about implementing data backed #marketing Strategies for Growth, which is well suited for #SocialMedia #Rubhusocial

Q1b before we dive in, what is social media Engagement. #Rubhusocial

A1b #SocialMedia Engagement is about consistent long term
Relationship with customer’s #Rubhusocial

A1b This is not about getting 1000 likes on one post & nearly zero Interactions on next post. #Rubhusocial

A1b Consistent Engagement through real Conversation is the real metrics for #SocialMedia Engagement #Rubhusocial

Q2 What is the real reason for low social media engagement?

A2 Several reasons, mainly boring content, content without context, not targeting relevant #Niche segment #Rubhusocial

A2 lack of Consistency in the post's quality is one of many reasons. Always add value with humor (w/o Troll) to Increase Engagement #Rubhusocial

A2 Monotonous tone is another big reason, always have friendlier conversational tone to be engaged #Rubhusocial

SocialMedia is the place to be Social, 
don't bring board rooms formalities in your social media posts. 

Q3 Which are the best practices to Growth hack your social media Engagement. #Rubhusocial

A3 Think as a customer, what makes a social media post more
Engaging, you will get the answer #Rubhusocial

A3 stunning visuals but has to be relevant with the text of post. Short videos, #LiveStreaming like #blab & #periscope, quizzes, giveaways #Rubhusocial

A3 Contests - best way to involve customers to Increase Engagement & getting lots of User-generated Content to be used further #Rubhusocial

A3 These users generated content will be helpful to Increase further Engagement in long-term #Rubhusocial

A3 Reciprocity and exclusivity is the best tool to Growth Hack your social media Engagement #Rubhusocial

A3 Share the posts of your most engaged customers; give them the shout-out and exclusive gifts/perks. #Rubhusocial

Q4 How to measure social media Engagement. #Rubhusocial

A4 Social Media Engagement is a long-term metrics; you can measure by repeat customers, up-sells and conversation details #Rubhusocial

A4 On day to day basis likes, shares and other metrics can help but not a real metrics to be excited for #Rubhusocial

A4 Various marketing automation software, Google Analytics helps you to measure social media Engagement #Rubhusocial

Q5 Which brand or companies are a good example for Growth hacking their social media Engagement. #Rubhusocial

A5 having a million followers and only 10k engaged means, only 1% Engagement #Rubhusocial

A5 Highest % of engagement were received by @3mNews w/ 77.1%, @Pampers w/ 60.8% & @Coronaextrausa w/ 60% #Rubhusocial

A5 @Natgeo @WWE @Huffpost, all measure sports, and fashion brands. #Rubhusocial
Q6 Which platforms are best & future for social media Engagement. #Rubhusocial

A6 All visual platforms are the present & future of social media
Engagement. #Rubhusocial

A6 #YouTube #Instagram #Facebook #Snapchat and #LiveStreaming Tools #Blab will grow bigger & get a major chunk of social media Engagement #Rubhusocial

A6 Future of social media Engagement is also on chat apps like
#Messenger, #Whatsapp, and #Hike #Rubhusocial

SocialMedia Engagement is a long-term investment like SEO, don't expect a quick fix. 
Be engaged to get Engagement. 

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Best blogging tool for bloggers and freelance writers

What are the biggest problem bloggers and freelance writers like you and me, face in our day to day blogging or writing job – Quality of blog post or writing.

Best blogging tool for bloggers and freelance writers


This is the biggest concern; any blogger or writer faces every day. Quality may depend on many factors like knowledge of the topic, research on the topic, data available, storytelling and ability to write.

You may be thinking, why the hell, “ability to write”, is a factor here. Here ability to write is related to, “Grammatical error free writing” and this is more important if you are a Non – Native English writer like I. Grammar is the soul of any Language. It shows the richness and diversity of language. Grammar gives us the ability to express in the correct manner in that particular language. Here English is that language.

There may be several times, you might be confused between American English and British English.  For example - Favorite and Color (American English) or Favourite and Colour (British English), very simple difference but very confusing every time you go for writing.

So, what is the solution of this big problem – Grammarly App.

Why Grammarly – According to their about us page on their website

Grammarly is the world’s leading automated proofreader. It checks for more than 250 types of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, enhances vocabulary usage, and suggests citations.

You may have heard this before and quite possible some of you may be using this simple but powerful proofreading tool. It is not only helpful in grammatical error checking but also, a great tool for Plagiarism checking.

This tool is available as a chrome browser extension and also as a native app for Windows operating system. The Tool is available for free to perform basic correction of the grammatical error with weekly performance report by mail. 

Grammarly tool has a Premium version too, which performs advanced actions like:

1.      Grammar Check – This is the best thing for non-native English writers like you and me, we don’t need to worry about grammar instead we can focus on the quality of content.

2.       Plagiarism Check – We all know the consequences of plagiarism and the bad name it will bring for us. This may happen due to ignorance also, better to check it for plagiarism before posting.

3.      Spell Check – This is the most important thing in writing; a single letter can change the whole meaning of a word or a sentence.

4.      Proofreading Tool – This is an overall tool which checks for more than 250 advanced errors due to various combinations of grammatical errors.

An online proofreading tool like Grammarly is the best tool available for bloggers or writers to focus on writing instead of grammars or any other errors.

You can get a free Grammarly account or if you have a free account, get the free premium account to check, whether it’s useful for you or not.

Over to you:

Do try & share your thoughts on its usage and capabilities. Do you use any other proofreading tool; tell about that in the comment section or on Twitter.

If you like this article, please share this with your friends and community members.

Thank you! 

Monday, 28 March 2016

Growth Hacking and SEO

Hello Friends, on 21st March 2016, I was discussing Growth Hacking and SEO with my friend and #SEOTalk (a weekly twitter chat on Monday, 8.30 pm IST / 3.00 pm GMT) host, Malhar Barai 

Here is a transcript of Q&A on Growth Hacking and SEO discussed during the chat.

Media preview
Growth Hacking and SEO 

Q1. What is Growth Hacking? And can it be applied to SEO.

A1 #GrowthHacking a/c to @aginnt, one whose passion & focus is pushing a
metric through use of a testable & scalable methodology #SEOtalk

A1b #GrowthHacking is all about implementing data backed marketing strategies
for Growth. This can be applied to SEO. #SEOtalk

A1c For #SEO, off page optimization is the best place where we can try
#GrowthHacking but never ever indulge in grey/black hat SEO #SEOtalk

Q2. What are some growth hacking strategies for SEO.

A2 #GrowthHacking activities for #SEO can't be done in silos, it has to be aided by
#contentmarketing & #smm #SEOtalk

A2b Getting quality Backlinks, ranking for certain keywords and domain authority
is the main goal. #SEOtalk

A2c Guest blogging is the best way to get quality Backlinks, Joel from @buffer did
150+ guest blog in 9-month #SEOtalk

A2d long tail keywords are key to get top SERP ranking in contested market, All of
this going to affect domain authority too #SEOtalk

Q3. Are there some tools to help SEO growth hacking?

A3 for long tail keyword research @semrush, @moz open site Explorer,, @epictions, @buzzsumo #SEOtalk

A3b Monitor Backlinks,, ahrefs, Google Analytics (yes it works and free
too), kiss metrics #SEOtalk

Q4. How do you know, your SEO growth hacking strategies working or not.

A4 Three metrics 1. Domain Authority 2. Page Authority 3. Quality Backlinks from

Top Domain Authority Will decide, whether your strategies working or not

A4b DA & PA, you can check on various tools, any score above 50 on a 1-100 scale
will be quite good #SEOtalk

A4c 1 Backlinks from Top DA site like huff post is more valuable than 5 Backlinks
from low DA sites #SEOtalk

Q5 What are your personal tips on SEO growth hacking.

A5 Always check referring links & build good relationship with them, provide

more data about you to get more Backlinks #SEOtalk

A5b Use #Influencers outreach to get mentions and Backlinks #SEOtalk

Q6. What expert or blog is a great resource for SEO growth hacking.

A6 The original #GrowthHacker @seanellis and his @growthhackers, Growth

Marketer of @uber - @andrewchen #SEOtalk

A6b some great resources from @neilpatel @sujanpatel @kevanlee @moz

Bonus Q7. On Twitter's 10th birthday, does twitter has a place in your seo
growth hacking. #Twitterlove.

A7 #Twitter has a special feature, pinned tweet, through which you can get

sustained quality referral traffic #LoveTwitter #SEOtalk

A7b #Twitter is that place, where you can post your #content several times to get
clicks & quality Traffic. Use this wisely #SEOtalk

Over to you :

Which resourced do you find most valuable on Growth Hacking and SEO, do share in the comment or on Twitter :)

Follow @DigitalVK


Sunday, 17 January 2016

How to get inspirations from Startups in Blog writing

As blog writers, we are always under pressure to write more blog posts but with quality.

There are always pressures from content managers or blog owners on you to bring fresh and engaging content.

So, how can we get inspiration to write more blog posts?

Blog writers like you and I can learn lots of things from modern age startups. We have various similarities, by which we can take inspiration and enhance our blog writing.

Let’s explore it  :)

How to get inspirations from Startups in Blog writing

Startup – This is a big buzzword in business world nowadays, especially in the US, India, and China. These three countries are top 3 places in the world for startup activities. 

“Startup” word was 1st used by Forbes magazine in 1976. According to Wikipedia,

“Startup is an entrepreneurial venture or a new business in the form of a company, a partnership or temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.”

Let’s explore; how startups work. Here we will not go in details, why some startups grow or why some startups fail. We will only seek inspiration from their best practices.

Generally, startups focus on following practices –
  1. Solution of a specific problem
  2. Cost Effectiveness 
  3. Target a Niche Market 
  4. Scalability

Let’s discuss; what you can learn from this.

1. Solution of a specific problem -   Most of the successful startups in the world are focusing on a specific problem of our day to day life activities like Shopping (Amazon, E-bay, Alibaba, Flipkart, Snapdeal etc) or Commuting within city (Uber, Ola) or Hotels (Oyo rooms) and more like this.

Blog writers too can focus on a specific problem in their blog writing about their target audience or industry. You can bring those problems in light and can suggest solutions & best practices based on your experience or industry research data.

Do some research, on topics before you start writing blog posts. If you are facing or have faced similar problems of that particular industry, you are the best person to write on that particular topic.

2. Cost Effectiveness – Startups are always trying to bring down the costs of their products/services to achieve cost effectiveness and to make it affordable to the consumers.

What is the significance of this in blog writing?

Good question; let’s try to find the answer.

As a blog writer, you know, we all need several tools to do topic research, video/photo editing, writing & publishing tools and many more.

Whether you are a freelance blog writer or works for a big brand or agency, you don’t want to exhaust your content marketing budget on blog publishing only. You all want to save money, so how to bring cost effectiveness in your blog writing.The solution is at your fingertips, just search the web and you will get lots of free and affordable tools to help in your blog writing or content production. You can outsource some of your projects on sites like freelance or Fiverr for as low as $5 to save some time and big money on costly tools (if you can’t afford these tools or you required them for one-time use only). Try them!

3. Target a Niche Market – Most of the startups even the Unicorns (startups having a market valuation of at least $1 billion) started their journey by targeting a Niche customer segment of a particular industry.

So, what does ‘Niche’ means! According to Wikipedia, “Niche market is the subset of the market on which a specific product/service is focused. The Niche market is highly specialized, and aiming to survive among the competition from numerous super companies.”

What this means to you as a blog writer.

Choose your blog’s topic by selecting a particular segment of an industry. Let’s say, you have a marketing background and you write marketing industry-related blogs. But, you know the marketing industry is a very big field having several segments like Advertising, Branding, Digital Marketing, Rural Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Influencer Marketing and so on and even these segments consist of various sub-segments individually.

So choose your sub-segment or your niche segment and become an expert writer of that field, to gain authority and make an impact among your blog writers.

 As you may remember Alibaba’s founder and chairman Jack Ma once said to Forbes magazine,

“EBay may be a Shark in the ocean, but I’m a crocodile in the Yangtze River. If we fight in the ocean, we lose, but if we fight in the river, we win.”

So it’s better to cater a niche market rather than fight in the bigger market and lost in the deep ocean.

4. Scalability – This is one of the best things, we can learn from startups. Every startup starts its journey by focusing on a niche market segment and later scales their products/services to the bigger market to tap bigger opportunities.

As a blog writer, what you can do to scale or expand your blog writing skills to other segments. If you carefully analyze, most of the industry have some common problems like talent management, financing, sustainability, cost management, better allocation of resources, and so on. Can you relate some similar problems in the other niche markets with your market, if yes, research and co-relate and write on that particular topic. This will bring new light on that topic from an industry outsider.

“Don’t think about failures, you know how to swim in the river, now it’s time to explore the ocean.”

Conclusion – We all have hidden talent and resources to expand and grow like startups to produce a quality blog posts.

Just Inspire yourself by Nike’ tagline –

“Just Do It.”

Thursday, 14 January 2016

5 ways to creating engaging social media post

We all want to create engaging social media posts to get more likes, shares, comments and a close sale (many times). But, how often fail to do that effectively.

There are many ways to create engaging social media post; here are 5 ways to do that.

Let's explore it :)

5 ways to creating engaging social 

1. Shorter Post length - This is one of the most important factors to get more likes, shares/retweets, comments.
  • Twitter:  Use 100 - 120 characters in your tweets to get re-tweets and quoted by others.
  • Facebook: Use 120 - 140 characters in your posts to make it shorter and crisp to read and get more engagement.
  • Linkedin: Try to be short and concise (approx 200 - 250 characters)

2. Use Images/Videos/Gifs -  "An image is worth of 1000's of words", you may have heard this 1000's of time earlier. Nothing new in this, at the same time it is proven psychologically our brain is attracted towards visual. So, take the advantage of this and share your social media post with beautiful images. You can click images yourself or can use stock images available freely on the web.

You can use some easy tools/website to make beautiful images, videos, gifs even infographics.

Here is a small list to help you all:
Use images/videos/gifs to make engaging social media posts 

3. Use Hashtags/Keywords - Almost every measure social media platform including facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr Google plus supports Hashtags. 

But what is "Hashtag" - it is a simple keyword, which is written after "#" sign, for example- "#Socialmedia" is a hashtag.

Hashtags or keywords in your social media post help to reach more people and increases the life of your social media post.

Here are some tools, which will help you to find relevant hashtag for you -

4. Use Humor - We all are humans and we all love some humor and fun side. Social media is for making connections and igniting conversations. It is not like your official website or office workspace. Have some fun in your social media post. You can present boring messages into a funny image tweet or a shorter video.

Some brands even NGOs are doing it to raise awareness and making more connections.

for example -  A Govt agency tweeting in a humorous way! Try it!

5. Humanize your Brand on social media - Show your Brand's human side on social media.

Reply and thanks to those people, who likes, comments and share your social media post. This way you will provide a good incentive to the people to share your post and making it more engaging.

Now you have some cool ways to create engaging social media post. Use it in your next social media post and tell me your experience.

If you have some other cool tips, do share it in the comment.

If you like it.

Share it with your friends.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Twitter: 3 ways to gain followers and authority

Twitter is one of the best social media platforms for real-time marketing & monitoring and people often struggle to get followers and authority here. Initially, I also faced the similar situation but later on I learned how to get followers and build authority.
Here is an article from Social media examiner, in which author explains 4 simple ways to grow twitter following. These are, find and follow relevant people, tweet interesting stuff, engage with others and promote your twitter account through other channels. Engaging with other like-minded people around certain topic will increase your authority and help you to gain new followers. Tweet with images and see what your audience is talking about, join the conversation and build your authority.

Here is another article from Crowdfire, in which they explain 25 ways to gain twitter followers. Some of the important ways are having a proper bio, Tweeting at the best time, maintain tweeting frequency and participate in Twitter chats to gain follower and build authority. This article too says engage with your audience, reply your mentions and interact with influencers. 
Both of the above articles have common points to gain followers and build authority.
Top 3 ways are as follows:
  1. Follow people - Follow relevant people from your industry to get updated on your industry.
  2. Engage - Engage with your audience, influencers, reply to mentions, like or retweet the relevant tweets to gain more visibility.
  3. Twitter Chats - Participate in your industry related twitter chats to build you authority and gain followers.
These are simple tips for anyone who is new to twitter or want to get more followers and build authority.

What are your tips on growing twitter followers?

Share it in comments.

I am Varun Kumar from India. 
In Digital Marketing, Social media, Content Marketing, Blogging. 
I love to travel, photography and food.

Connect with me here:

PS: This article is written as an assignment for the 

Engagement & Nurture Marketing Strategies

by Northwestern University ( on Coursera.