3 Major Hurdles In The Indian Social Media Space

A list of 3 major hurdles in the Indian social media space

social media bottle_neck

social media bottle_neckEight months have passed and social media in the Indian space is evolving at a quick pace. There are numerous social media campaigns that are topnotch but at the same time, there are loads of them who are still following shortcuts.

Also, I have observed that most of the social media campaigns have a great idea but fail during the execution process or are not able to move to the next level.

Over the time, I have come across three major hurdles that are still stopping our high paced growth in the social media space:

1. There is no call to action (CTA)

Call to action is the core of any form of marketing. You get it right only when you have a clear objective defined. However, most of the brands run campaigns or marketing activities on social media without having any call to action. Whether it is running a contest, running a Facebook ad or be it a content that is posted on the page, thinking about the call to action is a must.

For example, the objective of Facebook ad is to attract a Facebook user and drive her to a certain location. If I am running a contest then driving a user via a Facebook ad makes more sense. However, I have seen a number of times when the brand is running Facebook ads and landing the user on the timeline.

In doing this, you have left the user clueless. For the brand, the idea is to create awareness and increase the number of likes here. However, with the new design of Facebook brand pages, the chances of a user liking a page has reduced. Moreover, a user doesn’t need to like your page to participate in a conversation now.

Similarly, the content that is shared by brands needs to have a call to action. Wouldn’t it be great that out of 4 contents that I post on my Facebook page, 2 of them drive the user to my blog. For bigger brands this may not matter but for a SME this would be a way to convert fans into leads. Hence, call to action is an important aspect that needs to be brainstormed along with the social media strategy.

2. Gap Between Online and Offline

Social media is a part of your communication and it is just one piece of your entire 360 degree marketing effort. Additionally, the objective should be around bridging the gap between online and offline. If a brand can do this then it can surely see an increased ROI in terms of sales.

Recently, we had reviewed the presence of BIBA India page. The page was listed as one of the top pages driving excellent engagement, however, I noticed that there was a gap between the offline and online presence. The brand had been posting content about the clothing that it was selling in the stores.

The content was amazing but the conversation stopped there. If I am interested in buying then I would have to copy the code and remember to take it when I go to the store. The question that the brand should ask itself here is - how can I get that customer into my nearest store next morning. A fan would only do this if the gap between online and offline is bridged and clubbed with an exciting incentive.

One of the ways today is to use Facebook Offers. Not only do you bridge the gap between online and offline but you also give the fan an incentive to walk into your store. In addition to this you can measure, how many people walked into your store and how much sales the initiative brought in.

The intent should be finding ways to make a fan’s life easy and get her to walk into the store and vice versa. However, when doing such campaigns make sure that you test it properly. BMW India had an exciting 360 degree campaign for the launch of ULTIMAT 3. It had created a great online presence but at the same time it thought of bringing the offline customers to online. So it created a QR Code that was placed into a leading newspaper.

The initiative to drive a fan to a microsite about the contest was good  but it was not tested properly. It landed the user to an erroneous page. I am not sure if  BMW India might be aware of it but can a SME afford to do this. It’s not about money but in doing this you may have lost some good leads.

3. Campaigns are not integrated 

Another major problem that I see common in social media campaigns. It is good to see brands betting big time and investing money into social media. However, I fail to understand why they are not milking the campaign by integrating it within all of their social networks. This integration if done smartly won’t increase the costs but will create maximum buzz in all networks and get more response.

The Samsung Useless Bid was an impressive campaign and one of the reasons was that it was an integrated campaign. The brand chose to do the promotion via YouTube in an interactive way but made sure that it created the relevant buzz on its other networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

Similarly, Reliance Communications had launched a unique treasure hunt for its latest tablet, the V9A in a 5 days-5 cities campaign called ‘Tweet-a-Tab’ where fans have to locate the tab in a Google Map that zooms in, with the growing number of tweets.  From an awesome concept to a well-crafted campaign, it married the online with the offline; Tweet-a-Tab was a beautiful integration of Facebook, Twitter and Google Maps.

However, there are many other brands that are yet to decode the worth of integrated campaigns. “Soak No More” was a blogging campaign launched by Surf Excel to promote the new Surf Excel Matic. The brand promoted well on Indiblogger but couldn’t integrate it effectively with Facebook and Twitter. On Twitter it was asking bloggers to tweet with a hashtag when it was itself not active on Twitter.  So brands need to brainstorm well as integrated campaigns are good for them foremost and then for fans.

Do you face any other hurdles? I am keen to know if you have more to add to this list.