From the Vodafone pug to the ZooZoos, I’m sure that anyone who knows them will not stop adoring them. In fact one of my reasons to wait for the Indian Premier League T20 cricket matches has been the cute out-of-the-box characters created by Vodafone India. Every time they have come they have captured our hearts.
“We Are Inherently A Social And Digital Brand.“
So when Vodafone India, the third largest operator in India decided to flex its muscles on the internet it had a smooth ride. “We are inherently a social and digital brand. The inherent linkage has been one of the reasons of not only being active but also being constantly active,” shared Anuradha Aggarwal, Senior Vice President –Brand Communication, Insights and Online at Vodafone India, in a telephonic conversation while talking about the early days of the brand on the medium.
Talking from her Mumbai office, she breezed through the brand’s laurels on social media. According to her, Vodafone India had a presence on social media before the major brands could think of it and became popular even before Facebook and Twitter could be in the country. “Our objective from the very beginning has been to be out there for our customers. We have a very symbiotic relation with our customers on social,” adds the proud brand vocalist, who has been associated with Vodafone for more than thirty months now.
Content strategy on Facebook and Twitter
Today Vodafone has two brand pages on Facebook – Vodafone India and Vodafone Zoozoos. The Vodafone India page was launched in the last quarter of 2009 and today has a fan following of more than 681K. The page represents the corporate brand of Vodafone. The content strategy over the years has been around business information, product information, etc.
While the Vodafone Zoozoos page which is today the largest Facebook brand page with more than 14M fans, has been the page for the consumers. The page is about the consumers and what they love. “Since the Zoozoos have been the talk of the town from its inception the page is all about them and the fans,” shared Anuradha, while detailing the content strategy of both the pages on Facebook.
“We Were The First To Provide Customer Service On Twitter.”
Twitter, the global town hall has again been a success for the brand. The Twitter handle – @Vodafone India today has more than 114K followers and it goes without saying that the brand is the largest on Twitter too. However, as the network has been adopted as a customer serving channel by most of the brands in the country, Vodafone follows the same.
“We have been resolving queries on Facebook as well as on Twitter. We were the first one to provide customer service on Twitter and we were the first ones to create a Facebook store that allowed fans to recharge and pay bills,” added Anuradha.
Walking on the same route of providing interesting ways of engagement, the brand recently tied up with Twitter India to provide the Twitter app service free for Android users. The campaign is on and will be running for a 90 days period.
Interesting social media campaigns
Talking about interesting social media campaigns, Anuradha shared about – Vodafone Super Fan and The Fancam again during the IPL.
During the IPL 2013, for the Vodafone Super Fan contest the brand gave 76 customers a life time experience where they got picked up from home in a luxury car, flown to the match in style, sat in the hospitality box, got goodies and of course a match ball autographed by the winning captain on Live TV. The campaign was largely an online activity.
In fact a similar opportunity, Vodafone Super Fan Junior was provided to 22 kids across India where they had the privilege to walk hand-in-hand on field with 22 of the world’s finest cricketing heroes competing at the Grand Finale of IPL 2013. Again the entire campaign was executed with the synergy of social and digital mediums.
The Fancam campaign was another interesting campaign during the IPL, where a 360 degree ‘Fan Photo’ initiative or the Fancam captures the live stadium scenes from the IPL matches, and allows you to tag yourself and your friends in the photo.
Social media monitoring and the road ahead
Anuradha also confirmed that the brand has invested in social media monitoring tools and real time monitoring is being done at all levels. Responses on Twitter are made in real time but she didn’t reveal the average response time as it differs from case to case. The integration of social and CRM was also not divulged.
Moving on I was informed that the biggest challenge for the brand is the desire to continuously engage with such a large community. “We want to continuously serve fans on social, listen to them, and engage while making the medium an efficient one,“ she shared.
However, she thinks that the medium has provided only basic metrics; it is yet to find answers on what huge communities like this give back to the brand, since the investments are huge and there are only hypotheses to answer at the moment. The big question today for us is:
“How Big A Social Presence Is Good For A Brand Like Vodafone India?“