Social media marketing and social media marketing to regional audiences hold two different meanings; the latter being a different ball game altogether. This holds higher relevance in countries such as India, Brazil, Mexico, and Indonesia.
Giving a quick snapshot, almost 60 per cent of users in urban India access online content in Hindi, followed by Tamil and Marathi. 127 million Indians consume content in local languages and 88 per cent Indians are non-English speakers. On the platform front, Facebook accounts for the highest usage of regional language adoption amongst other social networks.
A wide market waits, provided you know how to tap it. The secret lies in the right mix of contextual content with niche targeting using precise filters.
Indian regional trends
41% of the Indian population is Hindi speaking followed by Bengali and Telugu. Local language users will increase by 42% by December 2016, amounting to 180 Million out of 328 Million active internet users.
Regional marketing will impact not just Facebook usage but also advertising in order to increase Google & SEO Ranks, providing content of higher relevance to different segments. Taking a regional course however, depends on various elements.
“The question is not whether the consumption of your brand is currently only by an English-speaking audience but whether you want to reach far out and wider across India,” said Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive. “One of the most important things to remember is that going regional route doesn’t have to involve a big change to have a big effect. The impact achieved by simply taking the time to consider local sensitivities and adapting your brand appropriately can be huge.”
If brands would like to increase their market share they must first increase their share of mind and share of heart of the consumer through a media or language which the consumer is comfortable with.
Going regional doesn’t only depend whether the consumption of your brand is currently only by an English-speaking audience but whether you want to reach far out and wider across India.
Coco Cola, for instance, took up regional content to recognise its superiority by reaching out to larger width of an audience. Coca Cola’s target base now includes rural markets also what with too many competitor agencies.
Coco Cola shares generic posts about coke and contextual topics such as their IPL sponsorship. The brand shares two to three posts a week and has 97528438 fans with an engagement ratio of 24.81 per cent.
Once you have your objective and strategy in place, you could sample regional content with a few posts and engagement activities, as opposed to a full-fledged campaign.
According to the IRS 2013 Topline Findings, Dainik Jagran is the most read newspaper in the world with an Average Issue Readership Survey of 16.37m. To mirror this on social media, Dainik Jagran has a Hindi only approach which seems to have worked wonders for the brand.
Dainik Jagran has 1,092,908 fans shares 15-20 posts per day with an engagement ratio of 11.61 per cent. Engagement is heavy due to local language usage and the implementation of print to digital copy being the same.
On Twitter, it has 195,025 followers with 10-35 tweets a day. The Twitter followers are active and keep a track of the headlines shared by Dainik Jagran.
The report so far suggests that the organic engagement of brands on social media is relatively higher when content is produced in regional languages. Also, Facebook is the primary platform for content consumption in a Regional language but other platforms are quickly catching up given the promising adoption India showcases.
Anyone familiar with the evolution of content consumption process on television will know how channels eventually branched out with regional content to cater to a huge chunk of an audience. Media conglomerates started applying multi-channel strategy to appease the niches.
Social media content consumption seems to be treading the same path and brands could stay ahead of the curve by adapting segmentation in their content approach. Once they manage to build an audience who has an appetite for regional content, marketers could consider divulging the audience to an exclusive regional language page.
Regional Marketing is going to be essential and crucial for advertising in the future and it’s time for brands to capitalize on it at the earliest.
The below report by MindShift Metrics gives further insights into how various brands are leveraging regional languages to crack the social media game.