August 22, 2011

10 Biggest Social Media Myths Exposed.

Merriam-Webster defines a myth as "a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon."
It's been said all myths are based in fact. Whether or not that's true is debatable. What isn't debatable, however, is like society, Social media also has its myths. This article exposes what I consider to be the 10 biggest Social media myths.
1. Social Media is Nothing But a Bunch of Carnival Barkers
On the surface, it may seem like social media is a bunch of people with bullhorns shouting back and forth at each other. But if you know what you're doing, social media can be a very effective and profitable bullhorn.
For example, contests, sweepstakes and giveaways are a great hook and can be very effective when used in conjunction with social media. Want to know what else is very effective? Great content. If you have a great article or video on your website that has educational and/or entertainment value and you share it with others on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, it has the potential of becoming viral and can give you the kind of valuable exposure money just can't purchase.
2. You Have to Be on Every Social Network
What a bunch of malarkey! You can be on all the social networks in the world, but if you don't use any of them effectively and maximize their potential, you're better of being on none of them. No, it's not the number of social networks you're on that matters, it's how effectively you use them that's important.
My advice: Unless you're an experienced and skilled marketer, focus on one social network at a time. Maximize the potential of each network, before moving onto the next one.
3. Anyone Can Succeed at Social Media
One of my favorite TV shows is Forensic Files. I am absolutely fascinated at how scientists are able to solve crimes with DNA evidence...blood, saliva - even fingernail clippings! It's nothing short of incredible. But I couldn't ever be a forensic scientist. I simply don't have the mental aptitude for it. Forensic scientists have to excel at math and chemistry and science, and quite frankly, those are the subjects I'm weakest at.
The same can be said about social media. Despite how easy the experts make it sound, not everybody has the mental aptitude for social media. And while that may be a bitterly hard pill to swallow for many of you reading this, it's also a fact. Not everybody has what it takes mentally, physically or psychologically to succeed with social media. That's just the way it is.
4. Social Media Will Replace Face-to-Face Networking
Nonsense! People always have and always will prefer face-to-face communication over all other forms of communication. It's in our DNA. That's why organizations like the Chamber of Commerce and BNI (Business Network International) continue to prosper.
Networking online has its advantages - convenience being the most obvious. But it won't ever replace the need for human interaction and good ol' face-to-face networking.
5. Social Media Can Replace Your Website
Sorry to burst your bubble, but websites aren't a luxury, they're a necessity. And I am absolutely amazed at how many people there are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the other social networks who don't have a website - not even a blog. I think this is a mistake for a number of reasons.
First of all, search engines are content driven vehicles. And while you may have a nice profile on the various social networks, it's not the same as having unique content on your website.
In addition, you have complete control over the content on your website, as opposed to social network profiles which are limited and have user guidelines. Also, it's much easier to build your brand if you have a website. Think about it.
6. Blogging Doesn't Work
Blogging works, but just like any marketing tool, it has to be properly executed. Unfortunately, many marketers don't have a game plan when it comes to blogging and no matter what you attempt in life or in business, if you don't have a game plan, you will fail.
When it comes to blogging, the first thing you need to figure out is, are you doing it for fun or for profit? There's a huge difference. If you're doing it for fun, you don't need to take blogging seriously. You can fool around with it and post at your leisure without any pressure to generate any income.
On the other hand, if you're blogging for profit, you have to approach blogging much more seriously. You have to treat it like a business because that's exactly what it is - a business. That means you have to post often and refresh your content regularly to keep visitors coming back. It also means you have to figure out an effective way to monetize your website so that it's profitable.
For example, instead of monetizing your blog using Adsense, affiliate programs or banners, why not use any skills you have to create a product or service to monetize your blog. That way, instead of getting a slice of the profit, you get to keep the whole darn pie!
7. You Can't Measure Your Return on Investment With Social Media
That's only true if you are inexperienced and don't know what you're doing. However, professional marketers easily track and measure their social media ROI by using analytic software like Google Analytics. For example, GA will allow you to track visitors coming from social networks and the actions they took. You can do this by setting up "Goals" in Google Analytics to see which links you are tracking generate the most activity.
You'd be surprised at the number of sophisticated actions GA can perform. All you have to do is take some time to study the tutorials to see what's possible with GA. After all, that's what being a professional is all about.
8. Social Media is Time Consuming
Well, that depends on the individual and how disciplined he or she is. I use social media very effectively, and I spend less than 15 minutes a day combined on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube - but I'm disciplined. I do what I need to do on those sites and then I'm outta there!
Yes, I realize it's fun to hang out with your friends all day and socialize. But it's not the best use of your time. True professionals realize, there's a time and place for everything. It's all about being disciplined.
9. Social Media Isn't Right for Your Type of Business
Well, let's examine that statement shall we? Does your business need to generate new leads? Traffic? Build your brand? Strengthen your SEO efforts? Provide customer support? Give your customers a platform to give feedback and suggestions in real-time?
If you answered yes to one or more of those questions, social media is right for your business.
10. Create a Profile Page and Forget It
Do you know what happens if you create a profile page on a social network and don't promote it? Nothing. Absolutely nothing will happen.
Unfortunately, far too many marketers think all they have to do is create a profile page on the various social networks and somehow people will magically appear at their doorstep - credít cards in hand. Sorry, it just doesn't work that way. Creating a profile is only the first step. You have to constantly promote your profile page and actively participate in the social networks you belong to.

Top 10 Insurance Companies Of The World 2011

The financial crisis of 2009 caused a lot of ups and downs in the insurance industry. It was not easy to maintain the rate of growth of these companies had before the recession. But insurance is after all a matter of trust. We all want to invest in a company that stands by us in difficult times. Investing in a finance company with a brand value of good large market share creates a sense of security in our hearts. Therefore, it is always good to know that who are the world leaders in the field.

Below is a list of the top ten insurance companies based on market share.

American International Group (AIG)
Country: United States
Market Value: $172.24
American International Group, Inc. (AIG), a global leader in insurance and financial services,is the leading international insurance organization with operations in over 130 countries and jurisdictions. AIG companies serve commercial, institutional and individual customers throughout the world largest property and casualty and life insurance networks of any insurer. In addition, AIG companies are leading providers of retirement services, financial services and asset management around the world. AIG's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the stock exchanges in Paris and Tokyo.

       AXA Group
 Country: France
  Market Value: $66.12 billion
In 1980, AXA did not exist. Over the next 20 years, the group would become a great international success with his running player.AXA external growth strategy: a consolidation of the ongoing operations of AXA, buying 50% stake in AXA Oyak, 2nd turkish Insurer, for $ 525 million and the prevalence of high growth potential through the acquisition of 100% of 3rd Mexican insurer ING Seguros (which amounts to 1.5 billion dollars). Today AXA takes place in geographically diverse markets, with operations concentrated in Europe, North America and Asia.

 Allianz Worldwide
 Country: Germany
  Market Value: $65.55 billion 
The Allianz Group is a leading provider of integrated services across the financial world. With about 155,000 employees worldwide, the Allianz Group serves approximately 75 million customers in about 70 countries. Insurance on the side, Allianz is the market leader in the German market and has a strong international presence.

      Manulife Financial
Country: Canada
Market Value: $50.52 billion
Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian financial services group serving millions of customers in 22 countries and territories around the world. We provide financial protection and wealth management products and services, to individual and group customers in Canada, the United States and Asia. These products and services include individual life insurance, group life and health insurance, long term care services, pension products, annuities, mutual funds and banking products. We offer reinsurance services specializing in retrocession life and property and the victim of reinsurance, and to provide management services of the Company and segregated fund assets and mutual funds and institutional clients.

      Generali Group
Country: Italy
Market Value: $45.45 billion
The Generali Group is one of the most important participants in the global insurance and financial products on the market. Group is leader in Italy and Assicurazioni Generali, founded in Trieste in 1831, is the parent company and main operating company.

In recent years, the Group achieved a significant return to central-eastern European markets and has established offices in key markets of the Far East, including China and India.

 Prudential Financial
Country: United States
Market Value: $39.70
Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a leading financial services firm with approximately $ 580 billion in assets under management at June 30, 2009, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America. In its heritage of life insurance and asset management, Prudential is focused on helping approximately 50 million individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth.

Country: United States
Market Value: $37.94 billion

MetLife, Inc. is a leading insurance and other financial services to millions of individual and institutional customers in the United States. Outside the U.S., the MetLife companies have direct insurance operations in Asia, Latin America and Europe.

Country: United Kingdom
Market value: $33.10
Aviva is a leading provider of life and pension products in Europe and are growing long-term savings businesses in Asia and the United States. Their main activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance

      Munich Re Group
Country: Germany
Market Value: $30.99 billion
Munich Re Group is one of the vectors of global risk. These activities cover the entire value chain of insurance and reinsurance.

Country: Netherlands
Market Value: $26.40 billion

AEGON is an international company, providing life insurance, pensions and other long-term savings and investment products to millions of customers worldwide. The company has significant operations in the United States, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom and other companies in Asia, America and other parts of Europe. AEGON is listed on stock exchanges in Amsterdam, London, New York and Tokyo.

August 21, 2011

10 Most Powerful People In The World.

In the Forbes list of World’s most powerful people,UPA(Indian ruling party) chairperson Sonia Gandhi  has overtaken leaders like Bill Gates, Nicolas Sarkozy, Steve Jobs to become the ninth most powerfulperson in the world. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is at 18th place. Reflecting China’s growing influence, President Hu Jintao dethroned Obama from the top spot. Even Zhou Xiaochuan, who is the governor of People’s Bank of China, also features in the Top 20.
1)      Hu Jintao
 President, People’s Republic of China
Age: 68
Salary: $400,000
Chinese President Hu Jintao, who rules over one-fifth of world’s population, has topped the list of world’s most powerful person. Jintao has been described by the magazine as a person who “unlike Western counterparts, can divert rivers, build cities, jail dissidents and censor internet without meddling from pesky bureaucrats, courts.”
2) Barack Obama
President, United States of America
Age: 49
Net Worth: $10.1 million
Salary: $400,000
Obama’s Democrats suffered a mighty blow in U.S. midterm elections, with the president decisively losing support of the House of Representatives, and barely holding onto the Senate. It’s quite a come-down for last year’s most powerful person, who after enacting widespread reforms in his first two years in office will be hard-pressed to implement his agenda in the next two.
3) Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud
                                                              King, Saudi Arabia
Age: 86
Net Worth: Literally owns the whole Saudi Arabia. The GDP of Saudi Arabia $443.691 billion.
Absolute ruler of desert kingdom that contains the world’s largest crude oil reserves, two holiest sites in Islam. State-owned oil producer Saudi Aramco has reserves of 266 billion barrels, or one-fifth of planet’s known supply (worth $22 trillion at today’s oil prices). Pushing for gradual social and legal reforms, while maintaining good relations with deeply conservative religious establishment.
4) Vladimir Putin
                                                          Prime Minister, Russia
Age: 58
Net Worth: $40 billion
Salary: $126,000
Prime Minister still more powerful than his handpicked head-of-state, President Dmitry Medvedev. Former KGB officer will likely replace protégé in 2012. In the meantime, has final say over one-ninth of Earth’s land area, vast energy and mineral resources. Declared nuclear power has veto on U.N.’s Security Council.
5) Pope Bendict XVI
                                                     Pope, Roman Catholic Church
Age: 84
Net Worth: The Pope is the head of the Roman Catholic Church, which has billions of dollars if not more . Vatican holds priceless treasures.
Highest earthly authority for 1.1 billion souls, or one-sixth of world’s population. Staunch traditionalist deplores secularism, consumerism and moral relativism, unbending on birth control, gay marriage and ordination of female priests. Despite major gaffes (including lifting the excommunication of a Holocaust-denying Bishop and quoting a 14th-century source that declared the only new things the prophet Mohammed brought were “evil and inhuman”), appears genuinely interested in healing old wounds.
6) Angela Merkel
                                                            Chancellor, Germany
Age: 57
Net Worth: $11.5 Million
Salary: $303,800
Most powerful woman on the planet. Chancellor of Germany oversees Europe’s largest economy. Renowned free-market champion and favorite of big business, boasts nine public companies with annual sales in excess of $70 billion. In all, there are 57 German companies on the Forbes Global 2000 ranking of the world’s largest public companies, with aggregate sales of $1.7 trillion.
7) David Cameron
                                                      Prime Minister, United Kingdom
Age: 44
Title: Prime Minister, United Kingdom
Net Worth: £30 million
Salary: £225,000
Youngest British prime minister in 198 years is product of privilege: Eton, Brasenose College, Oxford; is descended (illegitimately) from King William IV. Hailed by some as the second coming of Margaret Thatcher, Cameron shares the Iron Lady’s determination to slash government expenditures (defense, higher education), but as the leader of a coalition government he can ill-afford to repeat her brash divisiveness.
8) Ben Bernanke
                                                        Chairman, Federal Reserve
Age: 57
Title: Chairman, Federal Reserve
Salary: $199,700
Some argue Fed’s influence is at all-time high, given size of its burgeoning balance sheet ($2.3 trillion) relative to the underlying economy ($14.3 trillion). But Bernanke’s options have waned since peak of the financial crisis. He now has essentially only one arrow left in his financial quiver: quantitative easing–in layman’s terms, “printing money.” He last employed the technique in 2008 and is widely expected to repeat the move this month.
9) Sonia Gandhi
                                                 President, Indian National Congress
Age: 64
Title: President, Indian National Congress
Net Worth: $18.66 billion
Despite Italian birth, foreign religion (Roman Catholic) and political reluctance, Gandhi wields unequaled influence over 1.2 billion Indians. Recently elected to record fourth term as head of India’s ruling Congress Party, cementing status as true heiress to the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty. Handpicked brainy Sikh economist Manmohan Singh (also a listee) as prime minister. Inspired choice: Singh universally praised as India’s best prime minister since Nehru. But Gandhi remains the real power behind the nuclear-tipped throne.
10) Bill Gates
                                        Co-Chairman, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Age: 55
Title: Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Net Worth: $56 billion
Microsoft mogul, futurist and America’s richest person has, with help from billionaire buddy Warren Buffett, convinced nearly 60 of the world’s wealthiest to sign his “Giving Pledge,” promising to donate the majority of their wealth to charity either during their lifetime or after death. He is no longer the planet’s richest person, but that’s because he’s given away $30 billion to his foundation. He is calling for “a higher sense of urgency” in AIDS vaccine development and also pushing for better tools to rate teacher performance.