Srihari Palangala, Country Marketing Manager, Adobe India – LinkedIn
I recently attended a networking evening here in Mumbai, and it was great to spend time with fellow digital and social media marketing experts from various industries. It didn’t take long before someone raised the hottest topic right now: social media marketing and how it’s unfolding in India. It was great to hear multiple perspectives and ideas on the subject. I gained some very interesting insights from this group, including some wise tips and tricks the best ways to use social platforms in India.
Dipping your Toes – The Opening Game:
Social media marketing is still far from being integrally woven into the marketing mix for most marketers. Based on this group’s feedback, one of the biggest challenges is to move social media marketing (and to some extent digital marketing too) from being an isolated, one-off campaign to instead delivering and executing in a sustained, predictable and mature way. Uncertainty about the best strategy and tactical execution means social media marketing is still underrated in the country. The fact that there is often a struggle on who ‘owns’ social within the business does not make things easier: it seems that marketing will often be held accountable, but with only powers to influence the outcome at best! By and large in India, social media marketing still remains a relatively smaller percentage of the overall marketing spend to reach audiences.
Staying Afloat – The Middle Game:
As you tread further on the trail of social media marketing, you will find that your goals can be extremely varied: from ongoing nurturing (engagement or keeping interest alive, improving the quality of followers), to growing the base (acquisition, increasing the quantity of followers) or around conversion (registering for a product trial, signing up for an event or subscription). Deep engagement and success around any goal requires creating intriguing and up to date content. It is always vital that the marketing message and content delivered through your social platform is relevant for your audience. Take the time to study your social platform and understand the ways your customers interact. This will allow you to respond in engaging ways and push out relevant content that will help retain followers and gain new ones. The challenge, however will be getting the right talent for social media marketing (either in-house or contract) to meet the above goals. Niche marketing agencies might work better in this case – you are probably better staying away from the generic marketing agencies that claim to also do digital.
Winning the End Game:
Social engagement can generate a LOT of buzz – and the key will be to filter out what are genuine business feedback/considerations vs. ‘other noise’ in the system. If you can find intelligent ways (or tools) to do that, social can provide with direct access to genuine customer feedback.These feedback and comments can then be used for product enhancements, new lines of business, or enhanced services and support. In turn, this will allow you to create active and relevant social communities in adjoining and similar areas, giving you a variety of avenues to understand yours customers’ needs and growing your brand further.
What are your thoughts? Where are you in the journey and how have things played out for you? Do drop in a comment and let us know