Indian Mobile Brands Performance Review On Social Media

A look at the leading Indian mobile brands such as Nokia, Samsung, BlackBerry and Micromax on social media along with an infograph

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Mobiles are a necessity now. With the emergence of smart phones, the way we conceive the idea of being mobile has changed as well. From a call and SMS tool, we use the mobile for social connections, productivity, games and lots more. Have these changed how we perceive mobile brands as well? Certainly. Who would have guessed Nokia which was a leader in manufacturing cell phones a few years ago is now neck deep in competition with Samsung and Apple?

With the emergence of Android and iPhone, the way we define the term ‘Mobile’ has changed. A recent report by Economic Times has revealed that the tablet market has grown by 673%. And in a similar way, the brands communication and strategies in the online market has changed in leaps and bounds. And the way they do social has certainly helped them in making or breaking their online reputation/brand awareness as well. We compared four brands – Nokia, Samsung, BlackBerry and Micromax for their efforts across social media in terms of their presence, engagement and communication across different channels, using Unmetric (January 2013 data).

The outcome has been visually represented in an infograph with the help of easel.ly.

Infograph Mobile Brands on social media

Fan Growth

Nokia leads the overall presence among all the other brands with an overall footprint of more than 6 Million. The brand has a presence on almost every major social network. All the mobile brands have major presence on Facebook followed by Twitter and YouTube which now is more of a compulsion to showcase their ‘Social Quotient’. Micromax, being the new baby in the market, has the least number of Fans, although it has the highest “Fan growth Rate” in January, with more than 30% growth observed on Facebook over the past month. Micromax with their new budget friendly products such as Canvas II is surely attracting more eyeballs day by day and we can expect them to prosper more with their integrated efforts around social media through initiatives such as the #MicroMaxUGFChallenge.

Engagement

Blackberry with its new offering BB10 kept their fans busy with promotions and sneak peak into the new Blackberry offering and created quite a buzz on their Facebook page. The link posted on the social networks has got more than 34,000 click-through’s from the Indian fans (Source:bit.ly) and most of them are from Facebook. On the other hand, Samsung relying on their Galaxy Series Tablets and camera cracked the highest Engagement Score of 96 and topped all the other brands in January.

The posts though being self promotional about offers and features in their new products Galaxy Grand and Galaxy Camera invoked more than 800 shares per post thus increasing the virality of their content. Add to that the Samsung Galaxy Shot story campaign which the brand perfectly executed to leverage the ‘Shutter Bug’ inside their fans to reveal and promote their new Android supported Camera. The contest however was to be closed and the winners to be revealed on 21st January on their website (Read their T&C’s) but was then posted on their Facebook page 10 days later and was confusing to the Fans.

Nokia again, with their Lumia laden timeline photos are applying self promotional activities on Facebook. However, their ‘Ask Sid‘ activity on YouTube stands out which helps users get a feel about Lumia adding a human touch to the brand. This shows that the brand is keen on DIY type of support to its new smartphone categories and adoption by users rather than just throwing attractive pictures on their faces. Cross promotion of the same on Facebook and Twitter is also reaping great dividends to Nokia in terms of positive feel about the overall ‘Nokia Cares’ strategy.

It’s no secret that Visual Content works more on Facebook to garner more virality and conversations from the brand’s perspective and each mobile brand is heavily relying on rich media supported content on Facebook to deliver the results for them. So, no clear winner here in terms of a unique strategy adoption.

Nokia is the most active channel compared to the other two (Blackberry India does not have a YouTube presence as yet) when compared to the engagement activity for the last 3 months. The video strategy for them has garnered more than 1.4 M video views for the videos uploaded in the last 3 months. Samsung Mobile and Micromax have no exclusive content as far as YouTube is concerned with the TV content uploaded on the video sharing site as well. Nokia, on the other hand is mixing and matching its video content strategy perfectly to not only provide tips and updates but also to some social causes. And yes, they have sorted the videos in playlists format for easy view ability.

Nokia is actively maintaining its presence on Pinterest although there is hardly any engagement seen from the brand’s followers. A little cross promotion might be necessary to attract the Facebook oriented fans to the visual bookmarking site to encourage more active participation from them.

Activity

BlackBerry India does not allow its fans to post on its timeline which is totally not understandable and a crime if they are trying to be a social brand. And after saying it so many times, I will repeat it again ‘Social is a two way conversation and not only about the brand to consumers. I hope they do take notice. Nokia leads the activity here with more than 3,000 fans posting on their wall in January. Nokia is doing a pretty good job responding to the fan raves on their posts, although the response seems more like a copy pasted ‘Hi, thanks for sharing your feedback’ types for each post.

A more personalized touch would have gone better with the brand image. Although responding to so many queries/feedback at once is a challenge in itself, which any brand has to deal with more so in a semi automated way. Samsung Mobile, on the other hand, is responding in a more personalized fashion to their fans and the way they are responding (almost 62% of the fan posts have been responded to  in the month of January).

On Twitter,most of the activity is around 12 PM – 6PM with most brands tweeting and re-tweeting self promotional content. Brands are mostly using their Twitter handles for generating quick tips for their users (BlackBerry) and campaigns like #YourWishIsMyApp and #Switch2Lumia have also gained considerable traction among the Twitter verse in India. However, customer service has taken a back step here with no brand channel trying or responding to customer queries on Twitter.

I am highly disappointed with Micromax’s response team (Do they have any on Facebook?). The Brand is touted to be one of the upcoming ones and a challenge the heavyweights of the smartphone era. But their Facebook page tells a different story. With so many raves coming to their wall posts for Canvas II and their other offerings, atleast I would be expecting a ‘Thank You’ feedback template from them. There are many queries waiting to be answered on their pages about upgrade issues and Canvas II availability updates, but there has been no response by the brand to them. Either the brand is too busy manufacturing and meeting the requirements of the tremendous response for their new ranges or they are not serious about being a socially devoted company who also ‘cares’ about it’s customers.

Customer service and sentiment

The average response time can be a big game changer for brands in this fast moving social space. Customers expect quick answers to their queries and this can make or break your reputation as a ‘Socially Active’ brand. It is good to see Nokia and Samsung Facebook pages responding to customer posts under 8 hours which is a considerable time on Facebook. In terms of Sentiment Analysis, Nokia is pretty much right on top with a 12:1 (Positive: Negative) sentiment ratio for both the platforms which is commendable.

Conclusion

Mobile Brands cannot afford to be lagging behind in this race of being supreme on social channels. And although all the brands are doing a good job as far as engagement and buzz is concerned, Nokia takes the cake for being creative and responsive at the same time. The brands however, seem to push their more featured products all the time (Samsung promoting their GalaxyS and Note with Micromax sticking out Canvas II every other day). They can strategize something less self promotional and more value adding.

Which mobile brand do you prefer to converse with on social media? Do let us know your thoughts!

Slider image courtesy: socialmediamarketinguniversity.com