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The Game of Social Media: A Minute to Learn but a Lifetime to Master!

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Social media has added a new dimension and depth to the marketing mix of brands all around the world. From one-many to many-many communication it has been a great taste for brands to participate in the online communication of customers to get insights and communicate with their customers directly and thus build lasting relationship with them.

Recently Alootechie did an interview of Pradeep Chopra, co-founder and CEO, Digital Vidya who is also the co-founder of recently started social media agency dvBytes regarding his views on upcoming social media marketing trends & practices.

According to him Digital Vidya workshops will continue and dvBytes will be offering social media services, Facebook marketing strategies etc to brands. He’s also focusing on social media applications. He feels that social media conversations are best handled inhouse and hence he doesn’t see handling doing much of social media conversations for brand but focus would be on building engaging communities which can actually generate insights and business for the brands in the long term.

Quality over Quantity

Further he says that brands think that if they have 100,000 fans on Facebook, then their messages are being read. But they don’t realise that most of the content on Facebook is consumed through the news feeds and the truth is that not more than 10 per cent of the fans see the message. Hence if the content is not engaging and catchy people won’t see that content. Ching’s Secret, Pepsi, MTV, Vodafone ZooZoos are some of the brands that are doing this well as they are creating engagement through their content.

Ching’s’ Secret have recently crossed 700,000 fans on Facebook and there are posts which have got 2o lakh views. If an FMCG company even wants to target a fraction of that, they will have to spend a lot on any other medium. If with every post a day, the company is able to reach out to a couple of lakh people, over a month that will mean a huge number. The kind of content that works on Facebook is education and entertainment. So if the content is educative and entertainment oriented and still having a brand connect, that should definitely work well in engaging the fans.

Leveraging all Social Media Platforms

According to Pradeep, the biggest thing is how you can integrate them all in one place. Social media is all about generating good quality content and if you have content, you should look forward in leveraging that in multiple platforms. Another way might be making social media a part of you integrated marketing.

For example, if you are doing any sort of marketing campaign and driving traffic to your site, you can always have a stream of favourite tweets that people are speaking about your brand. In earlier days, there were testimonials which people didn’t tend to believe, but having that sort of Twitter stream on the site will definitely help. Similarly, LinkedIn has a company page feature and the recommendations can be integrated. So these are ways to think about social media apart from Facebook.

Knowing your Target Group is Crucial

Pradeep points out that we need to understand what sort of target audience the brand wants to connect to. A lot of people are there on LinkedIn and also on Facebook and there is a big overlap. But the behaviour of the same person differs on different platforms. LinkedIn’s audience is purely professional and any professional need like hiring, funding, getting business etc could very well be addressed on LinkedIn.

Facebook today is a bit of a hybrid with both social and professional and Twitter is largely youth oriented. SlideShare is again very professional and more oriented towards research. Flickr is for photographers and not so serious stuff. YouTube is again a mix of entertainment and tutorial. Similarly blogging is a great way to inform your customers and establish a thought leadership in your domain. So rather than having a fixed formula, knowing the behaviour of the TG is what a brand needs to figure out.

Future Outlook

Pradeep thinks that social media doesn’t have too much of an opportunity of media buying. Facebook advertising is there but it is still growing in India. So it is not easy to quantify the value of social media marketing spends. For him, time is the biggest investment in social media. Investment of time from high quality people is increasing and will continue to grow.

There will be a kind of bubble burst for Facebook from people who don’t understand the medium and they would say that Facebook doesn’t work. He is hopeful that DigitalVidya can bridge that gap.

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