There’s plenty in a name-Word Play

Could someone identify the people who give nifty names to shops, hotels and roadside inns? While travelling by the Jaipur-Delhi highway on a freezing, foggy morning, when the car felt like a spaceship advancing through eggshell white clouds, we suddenly saw a white signboard with red letters, ‘Jungle Babbler’. It was the name of a hotel reminding us that we were on terrafirma. A hair salon in my city is called ‘Appearance’. Never mind the spelling, the name stumbles upon a profound truth that uneasy lies the outer shell, if a black glory is not crowning it. A hotel at a bus station in a vacation city was metaphorically called ‘Traffic Jam’. In a small town in Rajasthan, at a swarming market place, we heard music blaring from a shop that sold cassettes and music systems. It had an onomatopoeic name, Jham Jhoom Enterprise. A few lanes farther down a beauty parlour proved it’s utility through it’s name, ‘Magazine Girl’.

Bhowali is stillness personified with it’s mute mountains and soporific roads. Even the soft drone of cricket jars on this quietitude. In sync with that, a small eatery called ‘Tranquil Restaurant’ snugly nestles at the foothills. While driving from Bhowali to Nainital in June we were faced with a highland shower. The gorge and the mountains on either side were veiled in white vapour. Our adventurous driver inched forward through the miasma following a truck’s taillight. Came a signboard, ‘when life gives you an unexpected turn, expect your only friend, the L.I.C. Yellow cosmos, Scarlett poinsettias.’ Came another sign, ‘the road is lonely, barren and steep and I have miles to go before I sleep.’ Sums up our life’s journey in a couplet, doesn’t it?

Give with an open heart and without expectations!!

Life is beautiful once, twice, thrice, always, forever!!!

Why should we be good and do good when others don’t respond the same way? What is the use of showing compassion? To help others is a humanitarian attribute, a compassionate nature is proof that you’re human. You know this. That’s why you’ve expressed doubts over the relevance of the ‘be-good-do-good-feel good’ principle. Maybe someone you trusted broke your heart. If your intention is to really help others, then your entire concentration should be on the word ‘others’. There would be no scope to think about yourself. The idea of helping others is not a barter transaction, wherein you give something in exchange of something. It is just giving, pure and simple and not taking. If we entertain the selfish idea of receiving something even a warm thank you, the idea of helping loses it’s charm. Then it will be just like any commercial transaction. That’s why, we’ve told . Do a good deed and throw it into the well. It means do good and forget about it. Don’t expect even a smile of gratitude in return.

One afternoon. Jesus Christ cured 10 lepers. But only 1 remained to show gratitude. Read the account of Luke in the Bible, it says that Jesus turned and enquired of his disciples, ‘where are the other nine? ‘The disciple answered, Master their selfish desire is fulfilled and so they have gone from here. Do good unto others. Even the messiah who gave a fresh lease of life to others, had to taste bitter ingratitude of the selfish. What then can people like you and me expect? So let us make a motto. To help others not for any commission but just to enjoy the inner feeling of indescribable joy. Help for the inner joy of helping. Nature never leaves you empty handed. There was a farmer named Fleming in Scotland. One day he heard a call for help. He saw a boy sinking in quicksand.

He pulled out the boy and affectionately patted him and told him to go home. Then he returned to his farming job again. Next day, a well-dressed gentleman arrived at his hut. You saved the life of my son. I wish to present you with a reward. But Fleming said, he had done only his duty. The gentleman took the responsibility of educating the farmer’s son. Years later the farmer’s son became a scientist, Alexander Fleming. He became renowned for his invention of Penicillin. A few months after the invention, the boy who his father saved got a severe attack of pneumonia. And his life was saved this time by Fleming Junior’s invention. What goes around does come around. Nature returns everything with interest. Jesus would say, happy are those who long to be just and good for they shall be completely satisfied. Don’t tell your left hand what your right hand is doing. And your father who knows all secrets will reward you.

Satsang by Ashutosh Maharaj

Asthma and LABAs

As we all know asthma is a common inflammatory condition that affects the lungs and airways in both children and adults. And there are medications like LABAs which can help with it’s symptoms. According to the American Lung Association over 25 million people in the United States have difficulty in breathing because of asthma. There are mild to severe symptoms in this health condition.

LABAs are long-acting beta-agonists, a form of medication which is used by doctors to relieve asthma symptoms. They work by relaxing and opening the airways.

What are LABAs?

Long-acting beta-agonists(LABAs) are inhaled medications that are used by doctors to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD). An inhaler or nebulizer device is used to deliver LABAs directly into the lungs. LABAs improve breathing and lessen asthma symptoms by acting as a relaxer for the airway muscles. As the airflow increases the symptoms like coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness decrease. Doctors use LABA primarily to treat asthma exacerbations.

LABAs can increase the chances of getting an asthma attack. So the United States Food and Drug Administration recommends using this medicine in combination with inhaled steroids.

Asthma exacerbations

Asthma exacerbations are increases in a person’s asthma symptoms that are significant enough to change their treatment. Even with the best possible care and management around 10% of of people with asthma experience a severe kind of exacerbation which means they need oral corticosteroids, visit to the emergency department or hospitalization once a year. The asthma exacerbations can lead to a progressive decrease in lung function. If a person reaches this point doctors may add a LABA in their treatment plan.

The best way to prevent asthma from getting worse is to carve out an effective asthma action plan that gives details of all the medications a patient needs, the amounts of dosage and the time. The commonest medicines that doctors use to treat exacerbations are inhaled corticosteroids(ICS). Combining ICS and LABAs is an effective form of treatment.

Can LABAs cause asthma attacks?

It was noted in 2010 that some people who take LABAs alone have a higher risk of severe asthma exacerbations as compared to those who do not use them. And so it was required by LABA manufacturers to have risk management programs. Then in 2017 it was reviewed and FDA concluded that there was not much risk in using a combination of ICS and LABAs. So people should use a combination of LABAs and ICS to avoid an increased risk of severe life-threatening asthma attacks.

Uses of LABAs

LABAs are one treatment that can reduce asthma exacerbations. These are recommended for short term use by the doctors as using it by itself is dangerous. And combining LABAs with an ICS is the safest way to use LABAs. The purpose of an ICS is to decrease the inflammation in lungs. Because if left untreated it can lead to breathing problems. LABAs help in muscle relaxation in the muscles surrounding the airways in the lungs and lessen the symptoms like wheezing, chest tightness, coughing and shortness of breath. The FDA does not recommend using LABAs by themselves because of the increased risk of asthma-related deaths.

Alternatives to LABAs

There are few alternatives to LABAs. The most popular out of them are inhaled corticosteroids(ICS). ICS help reduce asthma exacerbations and improve asthma control. Some other such options are leukotriene antagonists and tiotropium. Leukotriene antagonists reduce asthma exacerbations in both adults and children but they are not as effective as ICS.

Tiotropium reduces the frequency of asthma exacerbations in people above 6 years of age or older who cannot control their asthma with ICS.

Other alternative ways are non-medical and involve environmental control to remove allergens like dust or pet hair or some other triggers like tobacco smoke. These methods are though best for those with a severe allergy to a single allergen because it is difficult to remove entire traces of more than one allergen altogether.

Conclusion

25023956 – asthmatic arab woman breathing from a inhaler isolated on a white background

Long-acting-beta-agonists(LABAs) are a type of medicine for asthma. When a person uses them in conjunction with inhaled corticosteroids(ICS) they can reduce the asthma exacerbations safely. LABAs do their work by relaxing the airway passages making it easier to breathe. LABAs should not be used by themselves because it increases the risk of asthma-related death.

You are your best friend!

You really have to look inside yourself, find your own inner strength and say, “I’m proud of what I am, who I am and I am just going to be myself”-Mariah Carey.

After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul. And you learn that love doesn’t mean learning and company doesn’t mean security. You begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts, presents aren’t promises. You begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes open. With the grace of a man, not the grief of a child and learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans that future has. A way of falling down in mid-flight. After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you have more of it. So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers. You really are strong and you really do have worth. You learn and learn with every person you meet or employ. With every friend or lover you learn, with every goodbye you do too.

Fact Galleria

  1. Brave the odds for a taste of the exotic.
  2. A pap smear is advised every 1 to 3 years if sexually active or older than 21 years.
  3. Pure perfection is simply a misinterpretation of our possible calibres and leads to idiotic consequences and weird thought patterns because perfection is an incomplete word in itself as life is all about something half-correct, imperfect bliss and many times about the ‘is’ without the dot and words with no meanings-Ambika
  4. A planet has been found like Neptune orbiting the star Gliese-436. It appears to be covered with hot water in a most unearth like chemical state because of the intense pressures on the planet. This planet is 50% rock and 50% water with small amounts of hydrogen and helium. This planet has a rocky core and a giant thick envelop of water. The structure of the extrasolar planet is intriguing them. Milky way galaxy has 200 billion stars out of which 10% are habitable. There are hundreds of billions of galaxies.
  5. Obesity is bad for the bones. The general belief that obesity increases bone mass and is therefore good for bone health is wrong.
  6. Calcium, vitamin D cut cancer risk.
  7. Young women can cut the risk of breast cancer by eating extra calcium and vit D. Foods rich in nutrients, milk, oily fish and vegetables could be the latest weapon in the fight against the disease.
  8. Phone makers have developed a phone which can alert the user to the threat of a lightning strike by sounding an alarm telling the person to move to safety. The new handset detects radio waves given off by lightning up to hundreds of miles away.
  9. A glass of apple juice a day can keep asthma away. Drinking apple juice a day, not eating raw apples and bananas can halve the risk of getting cancer.
  10. Increased exposure to ETS(Environmental Tobacco Smoke) can produce asthma.
  11. Global warming is linked to hurricanes.
  12. Americans should bulk up on whole grains like oatmeal, barley and brown rice to help lower risk of clogged arteries, heart attacks and strokes.2.5 servings of whole grains per day would shed the idea of contracting this disease.
  13. Whole grain consists of bran, germ-rich in fibre and nutrients. Endosperm contains starch and proteins. Highly processed grains like white bread or snack pods are stripped off the bran and germ.
  14. Soft drinks can wreck children’s DNA.
  15. A commonly-used preservative can even cause Parkinson’s disease or Liver Cirrhosis. E211 found in drinks sold by leading cola makers can switch off vital parts of DNA causing serious damage to cells. Sodium Benzoate damages an important area of DNA called Mitochondria. This carcinogenic substance is found naturally in cranberries, prunes, greengages, cinnamon, ripe cloves and apples.
  16. Waterpipe smoking or Shisha, a mixture of tobacco, molasses and fruit flavours may possess the same health risk as cigarettes according to WHO. UN health agency has issued a strong policy to ban smoking at indoor workplaces and public buildings. Tobacco use is world’s leading cause of death accounting for 10% of adult fatalities, 5.4 million deaths each year.
  17. Japanese martial art of AIKIDO is a peaceful martial art about the coming of mind and body together. It paves the way for harmonious spirit. It is developed from the elements of Jujutsu, Samurai.
  18. Art of Kenjutsu—It’s aim is to immobilise rather than kill or hunt, finding harmony in conflict.
  19. Walk the fire with gusto.
  20. Play any role with ease, don’t react to ill fate’s tease.
  21. Power girls have got powers to make things from bad to good.
  22. Don’t get typecast in any role, dabble in various genres.
  23. Sugar cannot undermine the importance of lime.
  24. Do not pigeonhole yourself into wrong frames.
  25. APJ Abdul Kalam was the son of a boat owner in Tamilnadu. Dhirubhai Ambani, one of the most enterprising Indian entrepreneurs presents the typical rags to riches story. He is the one who rewrote India’s corporate history and built a truly global corporate group. Dr. Vikaram Sarabhai father of the Indian Space Program was a great innovator, industrialist and a visionary who made his dream of making Physical Research Laboratory and ISRO come true. Some want to retain in their own independent identity as they get ready to chase their dreams.
  26. Gimme more and make it exclusive–Good is not just good enough. Young Indians demand better than the best now. Luxury, according to the well-heeled, globetrotting Indian is passé. He/she demands nothing less than super luxury and is ready to pay for it.
  27. Can staying up late raise cancer risks-Startling new evidence says that women who worked at night shifts had a 48% greater risk of cancer than those who didn’t. Evidence indicates that watching TV or sitting in front of the computer till the wee hours can produce the same results.
  28. Beware of social cuckoos-There’s a new trend of thieves on the loose. They don’t go for valuables or cash. They steal your friends and social life. Welcome to the world of social cuckoos who are ruffling society’s feathers.
  29. Caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee lead to dehydration. Tank up water and other healthy fluids like milk and fruit juice.
  30. Green tea may help reduce risk of HIV-The benefits of drinking green tea have gone beyond just cancer and heart disease for it has been found by research that a component in it may also help keep HIV at bay. According to research a component called Epigallocatechin Gallate(EGCG) helps stop HIV from binding to immune system cells and beating the virus to the cells leaving no room for them to hold onto.
  31. Calcium wards off colorectal cancer-People who consume relatively high levels of calcium and dairy products and take Vit D supplements seem to be protected against colorectal cancer. It is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancer and dietary factors are considered to be important in it’s risk.
  32. Sedentary ways linked to blood sugar-People who tend to be sedentary as indicated by the amount of time they spend watching TV are likely to have high levels of glucose in their blood, even though they may not be diabetics.
  33. Type 2 diabetics increases Parkinson’s risk-Patient with type 2 diabetes are most likely to develop Parkinson’s disease because of excess body weight. Being overweight and not exercising enough are linked with type 2 diabetes.
  34. Burning away lung tissue to fight asthma-Drug free treatment that helps asthma patients breathe easier has been developed by British scientists. The heat therapy which burns away lung tissue blocking the airways is said to offer significant improvement. The therapy is known as Bronchial Thermoplasty, uses tiny probes on wires placed inside the lungs which emit radio waves. These waves reduce the lung tissue which has been thickened by asthma attacks. More than 5 million Britons suffer from asthma including 1.4 million children.
  35. Mammals took their own sweet time to flourish.
  36. Greener buildings can slow warming-Better architecture and energy savings in buildings could do more to fight global warming than all curbs on greenhouse gases agreed under the UN’s Kyoto Protocol. There must be blinds to keep out of the sun switching to energy efficient light bulbs, better insulation and ventilation.
  37. A biodegradable plastic has been invented which can be dissolved into nontoxic components in seawater and which is environmentally safe to ditch disposable forks, spoons, wraps and other waste overboard.
  38. Storytelling plays an important or essential part in the development of a child’s personality. It helps them to develop language skills.
  39. Playful days unfold themselves into thoughtful nights. Reading nurtures the imaginative and creative side of the human mind.
  40. Storytelling sessions give various dimensions to a problem and make children especially teenagers open to a number of possibilities.
  41. You may have tangible wealth untold, caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I, you could never be. I have a mother that read to me.
  42. Defend life as you live it on your own terms.
  43. Awareness is a key to better understanding.
  44. Stars are performing ilk.
  45. Only a lack of imagination saves me from immobilizing myself with imaginary fears.
  46. Perverse version of coffee is instant.
  47. Get things rolling, temperature of enemies boiling and unwanted efforts spoiling.
  48. Locals have the power to go and rock global.
  49. Work hard, feast harder.
  50. An empowered woman is a subject of a good conversation.
  51. Every woman who strives to create a balance in her life playing varied roles of a daughter, daughter-in-law, mother, wife.
  52. Move over spoken English, mental Maths is here.
  53. Desktop pet robot ‘ROCOBO’ changes faces to express their feelings on the LCD display, flap ears, swing bodies to react to sounds and touch in demo session in Tokyo.
  54. Omega 3 acids could protect from blindness-Increasing the dietary intake of Omega 3 fatty acids found in some fishes, nuts and vegetable oils may protect from blindness. Because it helps in the growth of blood vessels in the eyes.
  55. Mushrooms are an eco building source-Eben Beyer grew up on a farm in Vermont learning the intricacies of mushroom harvesting with his father. Now he sing that experience to create an organic insulation made from mushrooms.
  56. Japan takes it’s battle of the bulge to boot camp-Sweating, panting and some groaning, 400 Japanese worked out on Sunday with US fitness guru Billy Blanks whose military style exercises have become a huge hit in a country where waistlines are bulging. Overweight adults are far rarer in Japan than in US but government says millions of Japanese suffer from metabolic syndrome a condition characterised by excess fat around the abdomen, high BP and high cholesterol. Worries over ‘Metabo’ grow. People are getting conscious. Fans say the appeal of the workout is not only in the fast paced combination of kicks, jabs and squats set to thumping music.
  57. Everyday medicines can fuel obesity-Patients taking prescription medicines for everyday conditions are gaining dramatic amounts of weight as an unexpected side effect. Drugs handed out for common ailments like diabetes, epilepsy, depression, heart disease and high blood pressure are responsible for Britain’s obesity epidemic. Some patients put on 22 lb a year because of medication. Olanzapine and Clozapine, 2 drugs used for psychiatric conditions resulted in lot of weight gain. Insulin increased weight by upto 13 lb per year.
  58. Things about space travel-Astronauts are not allowed to eat beans before they go into space as passing wind in a spacesuit damages them.
  59. First woman in space, Valentia Tereshkova was on the Vostok 6.
  60. Puffy head bird legs syndrome occurs when sinuses swell and blood shifts from the legs due to microgravity. The liquid hydrogen in the space shuttle main engine is -253 degree celsius, the second coldest liquid on earth.

Pain management: How to combat excruciating pains on way to worthy gains!!!

How to manage pains 24/7 efficiently and effortlessly

Many times in life we get surrounded by diseases, bad, traumatic experiences which give us the gift of unwanted pains. The pains can be from any disease or injury but one thing that they have in common is that they all hurt bad and give an uncomfortable feeling. So here are certain measures to pursue to get relief from these pains and feel better. All the methods are simple, routinely and can bring about a great difference in cutting out the pain factor from your life.

1.Stay active-Simple and manageable things like regular activity can make a big difference to ease out pain. You can try walking, water aerobics and yoga. They can ease out joint pain helping with balance, flexibility and strength. You should aim for 30-35 mins for 3 or 4 days a week even if it’s something light like stretching or gardening. You can take the help of a doctor or physical therapist to make out the best plan for you.

2.Sleep well-After a good night’s sleep one feels better and the rejuvenated body can fight through all the pain more easily. And if you don’t the pain can get worse. A proper bedtime routine can help to give you the rest that you need. You should though not read or watch TV in bed. You can skip the nap. You should sit in a quiet, comfy bedroom that makes you sleepy.

3.Ask for help at work-Some days the pain can make your job harder. Because of the Americans with Disabilities Act your employer should make changes to make the situation better for you. If possible you can work from home for some days or take even longer breaks. And not to forget, it can also help to sit on a more comfortable desk or chair.

4.Take the prescribed medication-Your doctor may give you drugs to ease out the pain and sleep too. So you must know what they do and the quantity that you are supposed to take. If you have side effects you can see your doctor to clarify your doubts.

5.Find out the things you like to do and which are fun to you-You can keep your mind distracted by getting involved in creative and fun filled activities like colouring, painting, easy to make crafts, sewing, stitching, knitting, cooking or anything in a daily routine that you find interesting and fun. You can juggle between your favourite indoor and outdoor games and pass your time in a better way by keeping engaged in these activities.

6.Prep up for flare ups-It happens that the pain gets intense sometimes. It means to change your present activity levels or adjust the medication dosages and use heat or cold packs. You can also keep a track of the trigger point of your pain flare-ups and take the help of a doctor to know more about your condition.

7.Eat healthy-All that you eat reflects out in how you feel. So a balanced diet can help the body be in the best form to fight pains. You should eat lot of fruits and vegetables, whole grains an lean proteins. You should also try to avoid processed foods and items rich in sugar, salt, fats. And you must drink plenty of water. You can consult a nutritionist to make a healthy diet plan to be followed.

8.The relax schedule-It’s normal to be stressed if you are dealing with chronic pain. So then you must find out ways to de-stress and manage the pain. Something which can help you is slow, deep breathing, guided imagery and maybe taking a nap. You can also consult a doctor for any guidance.

9.Try to balance and pace yourself-Many times it happens that you have lots of energy and you feel like you can keep going. And at times the energy levels are low and the pain is high. At such times you need to take breaks. You should prioritize your tasks and if some things don’t get done on time it’s not that big deal. You can break large jobs down into small parts. And then you can see how you can manage the easy and harder jobs in a way.

10. Try to find time to talk to friends and family-You should make sure your family and friends know how you feel. You may be sad, angry or frustrated about your present dilemma that has affected your life. You can share those feelings and let people know how they can help too.

11. Find a support group-It’s great to have a family and friends to confide in but it can help more to join a support group with people who also are in the same situation like you. You can look out for a group that helps it’s members find good coping methods where the success of it’s members in trying to get control is celebrated more than dwelling on the negatives of being in pain. There are groups that meet in person and ones that do so online.

12.Do not smoke-Smokers can have back, joint and stomach pain. Smoking can make a person more sensitive to pain than otherwise because it can affect the healing process of your body. You have to find out ways to quit smoking permanently.

13.Set realistic goals-You can do things that you like to do each day. You need to know things that you would like to do and which you can do well. You don’t need to worry about setbacks. You will get back on tracks when you have more energy.

One can surely find worthy ways to put an end to your pains of any kind. And the above list is just that way. So do not frustrate, lose hope and fight back to win from the pain saga. After all life is not always about the sadist raga. It is more about colourful hopes, desires and sweet wishes which are free for all to have. So buckle up when in pain. You should know up ahead the painful road lies a world of fancy gains.

Effect of social media on journalism

Social media has drastically brought a change in the way journalists do their jobs by changing the way they get information and ideas to how they share their stories. Social media offers journalists increased access to content. Now because of social media journalists have unprecedented access to their audience taking them closer to the content that their readers/listeners care about. Now people do not passively wait for a news anchor to tell them the news they so eagerly want to hear. They have access to social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter which provide all the crisp, complete news, even in more details than can be provided by journalists. So people are getting  access to make more connections that help them know more about what they want to know and the news they care about. Social media has helped in distribution and gathering of news making everyone know things soon enough feeling equal, more aware and a responsible citizen.

Social media can be a helpful tool for journalists but can also have mixed effects on journalism too. Social media though has brought the news world closer to commoners and letting them get to voice their opinions too via comment sections it has also made the distribution of ‘fake news’ prominent and thus put the people in dilemma on trust issues. On popular platforms like twitter and Facebook there is lot of fake news to swallow especially because there are so many people who can share news now with smartphones. Because of so much amount of fake news the press is having trouble maintaining their credibility with the audiences. It can lead to negative relationships between the press and the public. Social media can be a difficult place to locate reliable news sources because many journalists publish without fact-checking.

The rise of social media has changed the nature of journalism drastically and given rise to citizen journalism. In a 2014 study of journalists in the United States,40% of participants claimed they relied on social media as a source, with over 20%depending on microblogs to collect facts. So it gives us the conclusion that breaking news nowadays comes from user-generated content including videos and posted pictures online in social media.69.2%of journalists agreed that social media allowed them to connect them to their audience but only 30% thought that it had a positive influence on news credibility. The credibility ratings of news outlets has reached a low phase.

The presence of social media has also brought in the ‘fake news’ phenomenon. It is the wrong, untruthful information spread by fake news websites and is often published to mislead readers to intentionally benefit a cause, organization or an individual. So we cannot be unanimous on the fact that social media has totally brought positive progress and overall advancement in journalism benefitting it in many ways.

Tools to enhance social media marketing

Social media is the new in-house favorite of the masses becoming a regular part of our lives.Marketers try to gather their audience by meeting them halfway on the social media channels.There are more and more brands today that use social platforms  to pass on the messages to their respective customers.Today more than 80%in the US have a social profile.But we are not together in a single social network.The audience is spread on a number of platforms.So the businesses are diverting their attention across an ocean of social networks to keep being steady and in touch with fans and audience.Companies have been developing 3rd party apps and tools for years to help marketers keep up to the challenge.The best social media management tools are always changing based on the social landscape but some are the must-haves which will help dominate the social strategy.

1.ANIMOTO

Managing and standing out  in social media is not a cakewalk.The popularity of social platforms depending on visual media(Instagram and Snapchat) gives an indication of how the audience may prefer to digest content.Video is a great way to capture the attention of the audience and Animoto can help with that.This tool gives access to a large volume of attractive templates,themes and a collection of stock music to add depth to video.It’s an added bonus that Animoto lets add text overlays throughout the video.85%of video ads are viewed without sound and so it can be a life-saving marketing tool.

2.GRUM

Instagram gives a lot of marketing potential and unique engagement with Instagram. But there is one obstacle which is that any content can be posted only from the mobile device. And GRUM offers up the perfect solution.

From a single dashboard on the PC one can—Post on Instagram from their PC.

The posts should be prepared and scheduled to be posted later.

One can swap between instagram accounts without signing out and signing back in again.

One can process and edit photos including cropping images.

With GRUM you can drop your videos at any time like 2 a.m or any other time.

3.VENNGAGE

The creation of quality, engaging content is time-consuming. And this is very true of infographics. In it one have to source your data but one needs to compile it into an eye-catching design and write a great post to go along with the graphics. VENNGAGE is a popular tool for streaming a portion of that process. It provides lot of templates to help you put together the perfect infographic or presentation slides. One has complete customization options to add your brand’s style and also get access to a suite of charts that make building the graphic easy.

4.QUUU- 

To master social media the company has to know that their audience wants to hear from them.But they don’t always want to hear about them.The followers are looking for value.They want information and tips to pass along,entertainment,ideas,education and more.Instead of feeding the audience a stream of their content,one should curate quality content from around the web.And Quuu is an excellent tool for doing that.Marketers and influencers submit their content to Quuu for strict individual review and approval by its editorial team.When approved that content is sorted by topic or industry.Company selects the topics most relevant to the industry and audience and Quuu creates an automated queue of content that will be dispersed or send to your social account.It’s also a promotional tool to help you grow the reach and shares of your blogs and articles.Curating content establishes thought leadership which is the target goal of some 85% of marketers.About 83% of marketers curate or share content with their customers from 3rd party sources.It includes blogs,social media,industry publications,news sites.Quuu removes the manual sourcing of that content making you free to manage more critical elements of your social media.

5.BUFFER

There are plenty of tools for scheduling social media content but BUFFER allows to connect to multiple social accounts for scheduling content at different dates and times and you can set up the BUFFER plugin on your browser. The BUFFER plugin lets you buffer any page or image one comes across on the web adding it to your queue of scheduled content. BUFFER integrates with a number of other applications to help with content curation. The most notable option is Quuu. When the two are linked anything loaded to your Quuu account is automatically fed to BUFFER for posting.

6.IF THIS THEN THAT(IFTTT)

Everything done on social media is not scheduled.And there are plenty of manual updates to make on a regular basis.To help in managing schedules and minimize the little tasks of the day then IFTT tool should be used.Anything that helps you be more productive on social media is a smart investment.

7.CANVA

Visual content is really important.But if you are not totally skilled and you don’t have access to a creative designer it can be difficult to source the right images for your content and social campaigns.And so Canva is a very handy tool.It is a free browser-based design tool,ideal for non-designers who need to make attractive quality images.Canva offers many free and premium images,drag-and-drop design functionality,custom layouts designed for different marketing channels,beautiful designed text overlays and font selections.With CANVA one can create these kind of custom images like posts customized to social channels(Twitter,Facebook,Instagram),featured images for blogs,ebook covers,presentation slides,photo collages.It’s important to have visual elements in content marketing.They are key for boosting engagement in the entire blog content and they play a big role in knowing how often content is shared.By simply adding an image to a tweet it’s retweets will be boosted by 150% and more.

8.VIRAL CONTENT BEE- 

Marketers rely totally on social media for content promotion. One can use it to share your own content and the work of others and get influencers to spread the word about the posted content. VIRAL CONTENT BEE is a social promotion tool to help with getting others to share the content automatically. With this tool, you can put the content in front of social influencers who will share it across platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest.

9.FACEBOOK MESSENGER

Every social media tool requires a buy-in or subscription fee.As social media is becoming more and more personal customers are demanding more direct attention from companies.Facebook Messenger should be recognized as a business tool and for improving customer experience.  The coming of bots opens many opportunities and new elements like direct shopping and easy communication with customers tied to the Shopify platform will improve the way companies do business on social media.

10.BRAND 24

It is an ideal tool for tracking brand mentions.In a big world with lot of social space it is not possible to monitor manually all the conversations that are taking place among the customers and prospects.With BRAND 24 one can use the dashboard to see every person who mentions the brand on social media.It’s a simple and effective tool to stay in the race of both good and bad posts about the brands,products and industry.BRAND 24 makes sure that no customer-service issue tied to your brand is missed.

11.RIVAL IQ

To be able to keep a steady track of social insights can be time-consuming when you need to bounce between platforms,dig through tabs and take out specific reports.Rival IQ pulls engagement metrics in a single dashboard for you.This tool compares own social engagement rates and the best-performing content with competitors that you specify.

12.Bit.ly

Our activities online should be tracked and measured.And it has become far easier to do with social insights.Custom URLs with UTM parameters should be utilized.Bit.ly works to help you make your marketing efforts more traceable.Bit.ly is also known as a URL shortener but it functions beyond pretty links.It’s a great way to see which social channels are bringing the most traffic from the posted content.Such tools should be checked daily to monitor activity and growth works.

13.BUZZSUMO

BuzzSumo is one of the best tools to track what’s hot on social media and which topics are proper and which are not.With a few keyword searches you can discover the likings of the audience and start drafting new ideas for blogs and other contents to share. This tool can also be used for curating popular content the audience will find valuable.The best part of BuzzSumo is that you can trace the content back to the person who shared it,giving you the names of influencers to connect with you.Today about 60% of marketers find it a challenge to create nice content and this tool can eliminate the guesswork and timely research involved in finding better topics.

14.POST PLANNER

BuzzSumo is used for finding most shared articles but it does not include social posts. POSTPLANNER feeds the most viral posts across Facebook and Twitter.You get a ton of topic ideas that you can use for status updates.And there are a lot of tactics for boosting engagement on Facebook,Twitter,Instagram and other channels..Each is useful in it’s own way.The content meat surely will have the greatest impact on boosting engagement.

15.REPLY

It is a software platform that falls under the umbrella of the Buffer team. The service links your social media accounts to your customer-care team for a very proper service experience. Instead of managing multiple logins and checking various inboxes all the social marketing and customer service efforts can be put together in a single environment.

CONCLUSION 

Social media tools are evolving constantly with new apps and platforms being presented regularly to improve social marketing efforts.Every tool maynot be equally relevant  and provide the exact needed functionality.

Tools to find and target the right audience

In the world of online marketing, there are hundreds of free tools to help you learn more about your target audience. These tools can help you identify average income, geographic location, psychographics, etc. Here are 6 tools to identify your target audience—

1.Google Analytics-Audience Tab– 

Google Analytics turns assumptions about your target audience into solid facts. In this Google Analytics Audience tab, you can quickly understand who your customers are and where they are situated with other stats too.

2.Google Analytics-Acquisition Tab-

Another important resource to use in Google Analytics is the Acquisition tab. Under the Acquisitions tab, click All Traffic, then source/medium where you will find how your customers and web traffic were referred to your site. The Acquisition’s Tab helps to identify—

1.What websites your target audience is from 

2.Platforms to advertise on 

3.Where to find potential customers

3.Keyword Research-

Keyword Research helps to find out what language and terms are being used to describe your business or product. By conducting keyword research we can find help in writing and creating strategic content designed specially to reach your target audience.It helps us to identify-

1.Popular topics for your blog 

2.Ideas for collateral marketing 

3. Related markets to tap into

4. Facebook Business Page Insights

It’s a fact beyond doubt that every business these days has a Facebook Business Page. You can take advantage of the easily accessible Insights tab to do quick research about your fans or audience. This tool helps you to identify-

1.Where your audience goes online 

2.Targeted Demographics 

3.Types of engaging content.

5.Consumer Barometer

It is another awesome Google tool to use. The Consumer Barometer lets you pick and choose from a range of topics and questions to understand your audiences better. This tool helps to identify-

1.Interests of your target audience 

2.Forecast trends

6.Subreddit Forum Search

Subreddits are a great place to find out what people are saying actually about a topic or brand. You can research what questions people have about a product or topics and use this information to drive content and marketing initiatives. These help to identify-

1.Areas of conversations

2. Questions people may have about your product or industry.

How to create a successful social media strategy

A social media strategy is a summary of the plans and actions that you try and get done on social media. It is a guide for those plans and gives stats about your wins and losses in it.A specific,concise plan is very effective and should not be overloaded with information to make it lofty and so broad that it becomes a burden to achieve.

These are the steps to create a social media strategy:–

1.SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING GOALS MUST ALIGN WITH BUSINESS OBJECTIVES- Set S.M.A.R.T goals::

The first thing to creating a winning strategy is to establish the objectives and goals.Without goals a company has no way to measure its performance and success and return on investment(ROI).Each of the goals should be—-S-Specific,M-Measurable, A-Attainable,R-Relevant,T-Time-bound. 

It is the S.M.A.R.T goal framework. It will guide your actions to make sure they give real business results.

TRACK MEANINGFUL METRICS-Certain vanity metrics like number of followers and likes can be easy to track but the task of proving their real value can be hard. Things on which the focus should be are engagement, click-through, conversion rates. One may track different goals for different networks or different uses for each network. For eg, if we use LinkedIn to drive traffic to your website, we will measure click-throughs. If Instagram is for brand awareness we may track  the number of Instagram story views. And if we advertise on Facebook, cost-per-click(CPC) is a common success metric. The social media goal should align with your overall marketing objective. It makes it easier to show the value of your work. 

2.LEARN EVERYTHING ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCEThe key to good business outcomes is knowing about your audience and their needs and wants on social media. Because then you can create content that the audience will like, comment on and share. It’s also useful if you want to turn social media followers into customers for your business. When it comes to knowing about your target customer, a business should know things like age, location, average income, typical job title or industry, interests etc. A company should get to know their fans, followers and customers as real people with real wants and needs and they should also know how to engage them on social media.

GATHER DATAA company should not make assumptions. Social media analytics can give a ton of valuable information about who the company’s followers are, where they live and how they interact with the brand on social media. These insights allow them to refine the strategy and target the audience. For eg, Jugnoo an Uber-like service for auto-rickshaws used Facebook Analytics to learn that 90%of their users who referred other customers were between 18 and 34 year old and 65%of that group was using Android. They used that information to target their ads resulting in a 40%lower cost per referral.

3.KNOW YOUR COUNTERPART AND RESULTING COMPETITIONIt may be that your competitors are using social media before you which means you can learn from what they are doing.

CONDUCTING A COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS-A competitive analysis allows us to know who the competition is and why are they doing well or not. One will get a good sense of what’s to be done in the industry which will help us set our own social media targets. It also helps to spot opportunities. It maybe possible that one of our competitors is more dominant on Facebook, but has put little effort into Twitter and Instagram.

USE SOCIAL MEDIA LISTENING-Social listening is also a way to keep an eye on potential competitors. One should engage in searches of the company’s name, account handles and other relevant keywords on social media.

4.A SOCIAL MEDIA AUDIT IS REQUIREDIf a company is already using social media it can take stock of its activities and ask—-what all is working and what is not?

Who is your engagement?

What network is used by your target ?

Where does your social media presence stand in relation to the competitor’s?

The audit should give us a clear picture of the purpose of each of our social accounts.If the purpose of an account is not clear then we can think of these questions like—-Is my audience here?

If yes,how are they using this platform?

Can I use this account to help achieve my goals?

Sometimes during the audit one may discover fake accounts being used in the name of your business or the names of your products.These imposters can be harmful to your brand.So report them.

5.SET UP ACCOUNTS AND IMPROVE THE PROFILES-DECIDE THE NETWORKS TO USE-When you decide which social networks to use you will also be needed to define your strategy for each. A mission statement should be written for each network which is going to be a one-sentence declaration to help us keep us focussed on a particular goal.

SET UP THE PROFILES

When it has been decided about the networks to focus on then comes the time to create profiles.Or the existing ones must be improved so that they align with the strategy.Some points to keep in mind are—1.Make sure to fill out all profile fields.2.Include keywords people would use to search for your business.3.Consistent branding must be used like logos,images etc across networks so that your profiles are easily identified.High quality images must be used for each network.

6.FIND INSPIRATIONThough it’s important that your brand be unique but taking some inspiration from other businesses won’t harm anyone.

SOCIAL MEDIA SUCCESS STORIES

These can be found on the business section of the social network’s website.

AWARD-WINNING ACCOUNTS AND CAMPAIGNS

A company should look out for brands at the top of their social media game.

ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE BRANDS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Some questions that come up are why do you enjoy social media.What compels people to engage and share their content.Consistency also helps keep your content on-brand even if you have many people on your social media team.

ASK YOUR FOLLOWERS

Consumers can give inspiration to social media.Some questions that come up are your target customers and what they are talking about.What can be learnt about their wants and needs?On existing social channels a company can ask it’s followers about their wants.

7.A SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT CALENDAR HAS TO BE CREATED

It’s very important to have a plan in place for the time when the company will share content to get the maximum impact.Your social media content calendar needs to have a track of the time you spent interacting with the audience.

A RIGHT POSTING SCHEDULE HAS TO BE MADE

The social media content calendar lists the dates and times at which you will publish the different types of content on each channel.It’s a perfect place to plan all the social media activities from images and link sharing to blog posts and videos.The calendar ensures the posts are spaced out appropriately and published at the right time.

THE RIGHT CONTENT MIX

The calendar should reflect the mission statement so that everything being posted should support business goals.The things that have to be decided are-

50%of content should drive traffic back to your website

25%of content should be curated from other sources.

20% of content will support lead-generation goals like newsletter signups,ebook downloads etc.

5%of content will be about your company culture.

Putting these different post types in the content calendar will make sure that the right mix is maintained.If a company is starting from scratch and itis not sure about the types of content to post,it can try the 80-20 rule—80%of the posts should inform,educate,entertain the audience.

20% can directly promote the brand.

The social media rule of thirds must be tried according to which—-⅓rd of the content promotes the business,converts readers,generates traffic.

⅓ rd of the content shares ideas and stories from thought leaders in the industry or like-minded businesses.

⅓ rd of the content is  personal interactions with the audience.Once you have a set calendar a scheduling tool can be used to prepare messages in advance rather than updating constantly throughout the day.

8.ADJUSTMENT OF STRATEGY AND EVALUATION SHOULD BE DONE

The social media strategy is a very important document for a business and it can’t be got right on the first try.When we start implementing our plan and track the result,we may find some strategies that don’t work as well as your expectation while some may work better than anticipated.

THE PERFORMANCE METRICS

Alongwith analytics in each social network UTM parameters can be used to track social visitors as they move around your website enabling you to see exactly which social posts drive the most traffic to your website.

RE-EVALUATE,TEST AND DO IT ALL AGAIN

As the data starts to come in it can be used to re-evaluate the strategy regularly.This info can also be used to test different posts,campaigns and strategies against each other.Constant testing allows us to understand what works and what doesn’t so that the strategy can be refined.

Surveys are also a great way to find out the working of strategies.The company may ask it’s followers,email lists,website visitors whether they are meeting the needs and expectations of the audience and how can they update their standards.Social media moves and works fast and new networks emerge allowing businesses to go through periods of change as well.

The social media strategy is like a living document that can be reviewed and adjusted as required. It can be referred to stay on track. When we update our social strategy it should be made known to everyone on the team.