Although by qualification Pranav Kale is an E & TC Engineer; however, very early in his career, he shifted to Social Media Marketing.
Since then Pranav has worked with few organizations – from start-ups to a big advertising firm. His strength lies in the “hands-on execution” of the social media strategies across many sectors. He has also been fortunate to work with brands from very diverse sectors right from Education, E-commerce, real estate, entertainment, health etc. Pranav has had the privilege of working with brands like Ramoji Film City, Cox & Kings, Gaia, Phoenix Marketcity, Mahesh Tutorials, Zensoft, Suryadatta Institutes etc. He has worked with InnoServ Solutions as the Digital Marketing Head and currently, Pranav is associated with the same organization as a Consultant and a Digital Marketing Trainer.
As far as teaching is concerned, he has conducted corporate sessions, taught MBA Marketing second year (ICFAI Business School) and been a trainer with Digital Vidya since a year now. Teaching gives him a different kind of a thrill and it’s something that he wants to explore further in the near future.
How did you get into Social Media Marketing?
Pranav: Well… let me start at the start. By qualification, I am an (E & TC) Engineer and traditionally I am supposed to work in an IT industry. I tried doing that and I realized that I don’t belong there!
Fortunately, during the same phase I came across this field. The overall nature of Social Media Marketing really appealed to me. As I explored it more, I realized that it is one area where I actually felt at home. I made a career-shifting decision, got in the field, and it has been one hell of a ride since then.
What makes Social Media Marketing an essential subject for Entrepreneurs, Marketing Professionals, and Students? Please share separately for each of these profiles.
Social Media Marketing for Entrepreneurs –
Well, out of all the students that I have taught, majority of them have been entrepreneurs. In light of the rising “start-up” culture in the country, this number is bound to increase. Entrepreneurs are now aware of the long-term benefits of having a strong social media presence and hence are very motivated to explore this space. Brand awareness, leads and sales, ORM, etc. are just a few reasons which motivate them to master the social media space. Many entrepreneurs also explore this field to keep a close eye on the performance of their team (in-house or agency). They are uncomfortable with being in the dark about the essential social media activities being executed by their brand. They also aim to seek a high ROI and hence want to be closely involved.
Social Media Marketing for Marketing Professionals –
There is also a wave of professionals who have a strong base as far as traditional marketing is concerned, but are looking to secure expertise in the Digital Marketing domain. Traditional Marketing and Online Marketing can never operate independently; there has to be a strong sync between the two. This can only be achieved if the Marketing Managers are aware of both – The Traditional Marketing and Digital Marketing.
Social Media Marketing for Students –
I personally believe that we are in an era where students are starting to free themselves from the traditional career-making paths and are actually exploring unconventional steps. I come across a lot of “rebels” in my classes and honestly, it is quite inspiring to teach them! Students from various fields, a few of which are totally unrelated to marketing, are taking up this path.
As far as Marketing students are concerned, it’s more of a necessity for them to embrace Digital Marketing to make a positive impact on their resume.
Please share top 3 mistakes committed by organizations in leveraging Social Media Marketing.
Pranav: Haha! Well… here you go –
Making the marketing all about your brand
People don’t care about your brand! Period! They are on social media to have access to content from their families, friends, colleagues and a few of their favorite topics. No one really cares if you offer a state-of-the-art service. Many brands are still not adapting to this culture and it’s high time they realize that their strategies need to be around “people”, not themselves.
Not having a dedicated content strategy
I believe this area needs to be explored very early in your marketing activities. Unfortunately, many brands still don’t have a concrete content strategy in place, which results in their content being overlooked by the users. The volume of information on social media is so high that you have to have a kickass content strategy in place. The audience needs to be understood, and content should be built around enhancing their experience. Publishing a few “inspiring quotes” or a “Happy Weekend” post on a Saturday is just not going to help!
Not understanding the culture of every platform
People visit different social media platforms with a different mindset. I would not visit Facebook with a serious mindset, and I would not visit LinkedIn to entertain myself. This mindset needs to be understood and accordingly, separate strategies need to be devised for every platform.
Another mistake that brands make is that they want to leverage each and every social media channel without having a focused strategy for any of them! Each platform has few strengths, and brands need to find which ones suit their objectives and product, and then select the platforms wisely.
What are the key Social Media Marketing topics you cover in the training program that you lead at Digital Vidya?
My trainings are mainly from my experiential learning and less from a theoretical point of view. What I have observed is that students don’t appreciate too much “Gyan”; they are always looking forward to get a hands-on experience.
Formally we start with the need and culture of social media, exploration of important social media platforms, paid advertisements, analytics, ORM social media tools, etc. The social media platforms that we explore are – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Google Plus, etc.
During my sessions, I also share a lot of case studies based on my personal experience and at times we also have a brainstorming session to chalk out an end-to-end social media marketing strategy.
List top 5 takeaways of the Social Media Marketing course you lead at Digital Vidya.
- Hands-on learning
- Experiential based case studies
- Addressing each and every small query/doubt
- Detailed exploration of Social Media Advertising
- Creating a knowledge base of the whole concept, which ensures that the participants can start rolling out their social media campaigns.
In your experience, what are the key advantages of ‘instructor-led, online’ delivery format?
Pranav: Initially, I was skeptical about this format, but now I must say that it is a very effective medium. The online lectures enable participants to manage their jobs, studies, or any other commitment and still ensure that they complete the course with ease. The flexibility offered by this type of format adds a lot of comfort to the participants.
What challenges do you face and how do you overcome them while delivering an online course?
Pranav: At times, it can get difficult to understand the reactions of the participants while studying a particular topic. However, with time, I have started taking cues from the way they communicate.
What do you like most about training at Digital Vidya?
Training is my passion. My association with Digital Vidya enables me to follow this passion in a fun and flexible way!
Are you inspired by the opportunity of Social Media Marketing? Start your journey by enrolling for our Social Media Marketing Certification.