Lessons we can learn from Indian Brands on Facebook

vodafone, facebook page, marketing

Facebook has made a huge impact on the way we organise our social as well as professional life. Today, it has become one of the most influencing online medium to promote Brands and Products. The site carries a huge potential to lure the consumers into boosting the sales of a particular company, in the form of online promotions, contests and polls. As of October 2011, Facebook users in India have crossed the mark of over 37 million base and with these kinds of figures, it is fairly easy to predict that how easy a medium it is, for marketers and advertisers to spread the word.

But one should remember that the sales through Internet marketing have very less to do with the number of likes or any other statistical data; it is largely dependent on the tactics employed by marketers and advertisers in order to rightfully catch the attention of a consumer. While brands like Tata Docomo, Vodafone Zoozos and MTV India are currently topping the charts in marketing on Facebook , there are some 200+ other brands too that are competing to be in the race. If you are an advertiser or a marketer, looking to build up an online profile for your brand and products, here are a few quick guidelines used by well-established brands on Facebook, in order to create an effective and productive brand presence on Facebook.

Indian brands on Facebook : A Zoozo post on Vodafone Facebook pageBe Active: One of the most important lessons we can learn from brands that are promoting themselves really well on Facebook is to Stay Active.  A lot of brands created official pages on Facebook, but hardly ever bother to update the page. The content is usually stale, the membership is low too; this certainly leads to creating a negative reputation on the brand’s side, considering how technology dependant consumers are these days. On the other hand, brands like Tata Docomo, which more than 4.4 million ‘likes’ mark on Facebook, and Vodafone Zoozos with over 2.4 million likes, have regularly been updating their official Facebook pages with interesting and eye catching content in the form of promotions, contests and regular news updates on their products and services.

User engagement:  So now you have an official brand page, and you update it once or twice a day. But are you leaving enough room for consumers to engage with your brand? User engagement is one of the key features in the branded world. The more opportunities a brand gives to it users to engage with their products, the more beneficial it would for the brand. Fortunately, one of the biggest assets of Facebook is its user friendly application plug-ins that allows people to share content, and play games.  Increasingly, advertisers and marketers to are making use of such plug-ins to create news of brand promotions and awareness. Food and Beverage giant Kingfisher, which currently has over 2.4 million Facebook likes, have created a unique way of user engagement with the help of ‘Kingfisher Radio’ that allows its users to get exclusive sneak-peek into the latest news and events on Kingfisher. Also, during the Diwali festival time, Vodafone Zoozos came up with an interesting application of ‘Super Greetings’ though people could send Diwali, birthday and Thankyou cards to their friends and relatives.  By creating this strong relationship of engagement and interaction, these brands are gaining a lot of positive incentives from customers. Other Applications such as ‘Questions’ and ‘Polls’ help in building a two way relationship between consumer and the brand, where the former gets to know more about the brand and the latter gets the advantage of building a customer friendly environment.

Indian brands on Facebook : A post on Tata Docomo Facebook page using a movie poster for promotional activity.Innovate: Facebook is all about sharing content.  But if you are a brand looking to establish itself effectively on it, make sure you communicate with your consumers innovatively. If the content is boring and dull, a consumer is likely to avoid it, because of sheer volume of data that gets posted each day, on each single person’s news feed. Find new ways of promoting your product, use catchy lines, be in touch with what is going on with the world and update accordingly too. Ranbir Kapoor starrer Rockstar tied up with Tata Docomo by holding interesting promotional tactics such as on every song of the film, when downloaded, users would get a chance to win free Rockstar merchandise. An interesting strategy applied by youth oriented retail brand Fastrack is that for people who do not follow the brand on Facebook, they create unique, ‘like it to know more’ tabs to pull in more crowd online. In a cricket crazy nation like India, anything to do with this sport sells like crazy too.  With over 2.2 million Facebook likes, IPL team Mumbai Indians (MI) is currently the only team that features in the top 10 list of Indian brands on Facebook. With their fan page, the brand has managed to sustain their professionalism with the mix of interaction and engagement with its consumers. One of the coolest features on this page is the Graffiti section, where fans can create graffiti and post them on the page.  The application ‘Welcome to the PALTAN’ is also equally cool, and provides a brief introduction on each of the MI player.

Indian brands on Facebook : An engaging Fast Track Facebook page.Customer service: For a brand, serving their customers with right knowledge and feedback is of utmost importance; and now with the help of Facebook, they can easily fulfil these demands and provide a better customer service experience. Brands like Kingfisher and Vodafone Zoozoos have a special application called ‘Reviews’ where customers get an opportunity to post in their reviews on the services of these brands. Similarly, Fast track’s ‘Reach Us’ application gives it customers an opportunity to file in complaints or queries, online. All these measures are an effective way to build better customer service with the consumers. Also, due to the ease of the usage and better connectivity, consumers find it easy to post their issues online through these official brand pages.

Too much of everything is bad: While it is good to constantly update the page and innovate with the content, it is also advisable to be aware of the fact that too much of everything is bad. Social media experts often stress on the fact that constantly bombarding users with the information on your products could lead to consumers being annoyed and irritated. Strategise your content keeping the demographics in mind and post accordingly.

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Zenith Sahai has recently completed her Masters degree in Media and Communication from Brunel University, West London. The field of Social Media and the wonderful opportunities it holds intrigues her, and for that reason, her Masters’ dissertation thesis was also based on the topic of Social Media, titled: Personal Branding through Social Media: A case study on Bollywood Celebrities. Prior to that, she has also worked as an Entertainment Journalist with Sanskriti Media and Entertainment, Mumbai. Follow @_nonesuch_ on Twitter.
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