Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Ranjani Raghupathi from Unmetric, where she weighs the social media activities of four Indian mobile brands against four international brands for the period September 1 to October 31, 2013.
No more is it a surprise to see a rickshaw-wallah carrying a smart phone. The mobile phone craze has caught on to the techie and the common man alike. It’s not just social suicide when your phone isn’t in keeping with the times; you also miss out on most of the things that happen in your work circle and social groups. Mobile brands have identified this and have been quick to leverage the opportunity. To follow what they preach, and to seem as smart as the phones they make, these brands have become well acquainted with various social networks and carry out a lot of their marketing activities through this medium.
In its latest report, Unmetric weighs the social media activities of four Indian Mobile brands against four international brands that consumers can choose from to understand their social strategies and dig out anomalies. Focusing on a variety of metrics across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest, this report is a deep dive in to the social accomplishments of these brands.
Much like other Indian brands, all eight Mobile and Handheld brands have found their home ground on Facebook. With the exception of Karbonn Mobiles, all brands are active on Twitter. YouTube houses seven brands with HTC being the only brand without an exclusive channel for India.
Facebook growth of the mobile brands
[pullquote id=”lhipull” class=”right_pull]Nokia seems to be the country’s most social brand.[/pullquote]
Not only do they have the largest fan base on Facebook, largest follower and subscriber base on Twitter and YouTube, but they are also one of two brands to have a presence on Pinterest. As Nokia transitions from hardware to an entertainment company, these communities are sure to keep it in good stead.
The overall demographic of these brands on Facebook is 80% male and mostly under the age of 30. Nokia India has the largest fan base of 9.3 million people followed by Samsung India and Sony Mobile India. The award for the most new fans added goes to Samsung India which attracted over a million new fans in the time period analyzed. On further investigation, Samsung’s fan growth rate of 17.2% was found to be higher than the sector average of 13.8%, yet it’s miniscule compared to Xolo’s massive growth rate of 110%.
Over and above fan numbers, these brands have different content strategies in order to engage their fans. Over 80% of the content posted is brand related. Karbonn is the one brand that spoke the least about itself and focused more on current events. Though these brands collectively leveraged updates that urge a fan to Like or Share if they agree with the post, or as we call it, “Engagement Oriented posts”, what engaged best were posts related to promotions or offers.
To evaluate the content of these brands, Unmetric’s Engagement Score, which takes in to account the number of Likes, Comments, Shares and Estimated Impressions, to give each post a benchmarkable score that enables easy comparison, has been used. The average Engagement Score for the sector stands at 50, and Xolo was found to be most engaging with a score of 82 on its 50 Admin posts. What engaged well for them were promos combined with images of the cell phones. On the other hand, Samsung made 235 Admin posts, but only received an Engagement Score of 56.
Many sectors such as Aviation, Telecom Service providers and few others have exploited social media’s flexibility, which allows it to be used as a customer service medium, to their advantage. More often than not, replying to fan queries adds more credibility to the brand page. Though Xolo tops the chart on metrics such as fan growth and engagement, it is the only brand in the study that doesn’t allow fans to post on its page. Samsung India received the most fan posts and also has the top response rate of 70%. The brand replied to 2,497 of 3,581 of Fan posts in an average of 17 hours and 52 minutes per reply. Though Nokia India comes in second with a response rate of 50%, it has a better ART (Average Reply Time) that is close to 14 hours.
Twitter activities by the mobile brands
The stats on Twitter are almost a clone of Facebook, in terms of top brands and metrics. Nokia India again has the most followers followed by Samsung India while Xolo was found to have the highest engagement on their tweets.
Karbonn is the only band that is inactive on Twitter in spite of being active on Facebook. What is interesting though is that in spite of sending no tweets, the brand added 122 new followers. Sony Xperia India grew its follower base by 34% (the highest) while the sector average is 21.7%.
The average brand from the sector tweeted 13 times a day whereas Nokia India tweeted 32 times a day, and Lava and Xolo tweeted just once a day. While international brands tweeted more often, Indian brands score higher engagement in spite of tweeting less frequently. Xolo has an average Engagement Score of 889 and Micromax has 430. Both are high compared to the sector average of 198.
Nokia India was mentioned the most in the time period analyzed followed by Micromax which was mentioned over 14,000 times. Peaks in mentions for both brands occurred during a contest. Nokia also has the highest response rate of 9% and replied to 1,524 of 16,586 fan mentions in an average of 18 hours and 48 minutes. Micromax has the fastest fingers and an ART of 11 hours. Their replies are mostly plain texts or requests to view a link. Xolo is the only brand that doesn’t reply on Twitter, though it was mentioned over 1,600 times.
YouTube activities by the mobile brands
Nokia India and Micromax also found their way to the top of YouTube with the most views and subscribers. Though Micromax has 2.7 million views on its channel, the number is a distant second when compared to Nokia India’s 26.9 million views or even their 5.8 million new views. Nokia India also has the largest subscriber base of almost 21,000 people, again followed by Micromax that lays claim to 14,000 subscribers. Nokia India’s impressive metrics could be down to the total number of videos uploaded. They’ve uploaded 556 videos in total and 32 in the time period analyzed.
While the broad trend across brands is to only upload TVCs and rarely other types of videos, Nokia India invests time and resources in to creating a wide variety of YouTube specific content such as visual user manuals, things to do with the phone etc. The success of these videos is reflected in the metrics. Micromax’s views and subscriber base shot up after the ad featuring Hugh Jackman was uploaded.
Sony Mobile India also found its way to the top with the highest views growth rate, one that is 4.5 times the sector average of 12%. These views come from one ad featuring Katrina Kaif. The brand also had the second highest subscriber growth rate of 19.4%.
The average video from these brands are 2 minutes long. Samsung India makes the longest videos that are almost three and a half minutes long whereas Nokia India’s videos are just over a minute long and are the shortest. YouTube gives these brands the opportunity to explore video advertising beyond the 3o second slot.
Pinterest presence by the mobile brands
Nokia India and Karbonn are the only two brands to have a Pinterest account. Karbonn has hardly had any activity and the page could be said to be defunct. Nokia India has almost 500 followers and 700 pins. The brand’s linkage with Pinterest is what gives it that added fullness to its already well rounded social presence.
Though International brands are shadowing Indian brands on social media, Xolo’s growth rate and Micromax’s ART are indications that Indian brands are slowly but steadily catching up. Micromax’s tie up with Hugh Jackman and the spike in fan engagement following it point to the latent resources that Indian brands have and could be putting to use.
With the mobile industry developing rapidly, GenY has cultivated a thirst for the latest technology and is constantly upgrading mobiles. Even new brands that have entered the market in recent times such as Gionee have already invested time and resources in social media. The young brand already has over 250k fans on Facebook and a growing Follower base on Twitter. Such quick adaptations to social media have become crucial for these brands.
Disclosure: Unmetric is an advertiser at LHI.