Social Media Strategy Review: Asian Paints

This review is a part of our ‘Social Media Strategy Review’ series where we do a 360 degree analysis of a brand’s entire social media activity. You can read the reviews of more brands here.

From Sunil Babu, in whose ever-changing world, only thing that remained unchanged for years and years was the look and finish of his house to helping younger brother sound more intelligent to hurt-and-self-proclaimed-more-intelligent elder brother in a Deewaaresque dialogue, Asian Paints have created many memorable multimedia content to promote its brand on television.

From the time of Har Ghar Kuch Kehta Hai, Asian Paints advertising has a cult-like following, so in the age of the Internet, it is worthwhile to spend time to analyze how effectively the brand has translated that kind of a fan following into social media advocates or simply fans and followers. This is the task I have assigned to the paragraphs below.

Audience Analysis of Asian Paints:

A gender-based analysis of total fans and followers of Asian Paints in social media brought a picture that closely reflects the emphasis the brand makes in its television commercial, which is primarily targeted to men.

Asian Paints Social Media
Source: Simplify360 – A Social Media Analytics Tool

And the focus of its social media efforts is also primarily geared towards the buyers, who pull out their wallet to pay the bill, than towards younger members of a family who might have their way in terms of color, pattern, and other choices, but do not make the final purchase. You can see from the following image that only 13.29% of its total fans are below 20, and actually it’s people in age groups 31-40 and 40+ that make the two largest section of the overall pie.

Asian Paints Facebook Fans
Source: Simplify360 – A Social Media Analytics Tool

The brand’s target audience, which is the homeowners, also does not speak negatively about the brand. There are a slight discontent expressed on social media, but not so much to lose sleep over, at least this is what a peripheral analysis of its fans suggests. We will see how it actually did when we do a detailed analysis in the paragraphs below.

Asian Paints Facebook Trends of comments
Source: Simplify360 – A Social Media Analytics Tool

Overall Strategy:

Color is what Asian Paints is all about, and it is, to an extent, the central theme around which the social media strategy of the brand revolves both on Facebook and Twitter (see the first image to understand how the brand is using color). To some extent, the brand also focuses on home décor, which is a natural turf for the brand (see the second image). Overall these are the two coordinated around which social media activities of Asian Paints revolve. In order to get a clearer understanding of what these activities are and how they perform on these two coordinated, let’s move further and do an independent study of Asian Paints activities on Facebook and Twitter.

Asian Paints Facebook Post 1 Asian Paints Facebook Post

Asian Paints on Facebook:

For a page with more than 90,000 fans, an active engagement of 1,458 people is abysmally low. And for a brand that has so much scope, it cuts a sorry figure. But the question is why it is so low? Is it because of the age groups the fan belongs to? Or is it because of the half-hearted effort of the team? The lack of interest in the brand’s fan can be felt in the following image where it is clearly visible that average response for the posts made on the brand’s wall is seriously low.

Asian Paints Facebook Likes and Comments
Source: Simplify360 – A Social Media Analytics Tool

More than anything the reason behind such a lackluster performance appears to be the content plan that the brand has put in place. Despite having such a powerful cue in the form of color, the team has failed to use it to its full extent. The lack of imagination in content creation is evident in its attempt to appropriating too-much-shared-and-too-old content piece like the following:

Asian Paints Facebook Post

The concept was very good when it was used for the first, second, third, or even the tenth time, but by now it has been done to death, and except youngsters, who have seen less of the world, and people living under the rock until now, everyone has seen such thing. Expecting an engagement with that kind of content is hoping to have a more generous audience.

Even the quizzes that the brand created were Hebrew to the English speaking community. For example, in the following image, the admin asks a simple question about the kind of emotion evoked by the color. So far it was brilliant, but then what this disclaimer was all about? Why it needs to put it up there? What the brand is afraid of?

Asian Paints Facebook Post

Asian Paints appear to have forgotten the basic K-I-S-S principle of social media participation. Many a time on its wall, the brand has made the posts and quizzes so complicated and uninteresting (because of improper use of language) that fans have gone away from the brand, which is evident in the following image.

Asian Paints Facebook Engagement
Source: Simplify360 – A Social Media Analytics Tool

It is a known truth that things should me made so simple on the web that a person gets the gist of the message just after giving a cursory glance on the piece of content. The lack of it caused the low-level of engagement, as evident in the above image.

Asian Paints on Twitter:

On twitter, Asian Paints have a mere 990 followers – a number which is not impressive by any standard, though the content created here is relatively better than the one created for Facebook (see the following images).

asian Paints Twitter Tweet1 asian Paints Twitter Tweet

In the second image above you can see how nicely the brand has used the emotion expressed by the colors to announce the Father’s Day contest. This is the kind of content that is missing from Facebook.

Asian Paints have also used twitter to offer free giveaways to its fans (see the image below), a strategy which again should have found its place on Facebook. The giveaway, one room paint makeover, has caused some buzz, but not sufficient enough.

Asian Paints Tweet

Two things the brand missed out on was proper use of a hashtag. Can you tell what is the official hashtag of Asian Paints? Another thing that the brand missed out on was the proper use of the bio section. In the place which could be used to build trust, Asian Paints thought of flexing muscles. I failed to understand how much impact does showing number in the bio section of twitter will have on building community on social media?

Asian Paints Twitter Profile

Comparison with competitor:

Nerolac Paints is the closest competitor of Asian Paints. It may not be the largest paint company in India, but in terms of social media presence, it is well beyond the leader of the market (see the image below).

Nerolac Paints Total Fans on Twitter

The engagement level is also relatively high, but the page trails behind Asian Paints in the average number of comments it gets on each post. In terms of number of likes it is way ahead Asian Paints.

Social Media Engagement Comparision

More than the brand following, the reason behind relatively high-level of engagement for the brand is the type of content it shares. For example, in the following two images, the brand has not talked anything about color, but about styling and architecture (of which color is an integral part). This way the brand has opened up its horizon, unlike Asian Paints, which adopted a very narrow viewpoint.

Nerolac Paints Facebook Post

In terms of percentage of fans actively engaged with the brand, Asian Paints has done better than its competitor, but overall engagement level (in terms of volume) is high of Nerolac.

Conclusion:

Color is a powerful theme to build one’s social presence around. It has many meaning and it can offer myriad ways, should one care to look for. Failing to use such a strong theme, which is the core of the company, to generate online buzz is sad. Asian Paints should do some serious thinking on its social media plan, particularly on the content part of it because on this front the brand needs to work a lot harder. The brand also needs to drop its logo from the bottom of all the images it posts on social media. It looks awkward.

In conclusion, I’d say that the brand has failed to capitalize on the opportunity provided by the number of dedicated fans it has and the theme it could naturally use. The team needs to look back to social media fundamentals to strengthen its presence.

Expert View:

It is clear that Asian Paints social presence is at best average. It lacks innovative thinking even though its segment is colours which is a very broad opportunity. Asian paints seem to be doing the basics but nothing that will engage their consumers in a more interactive and brand centric manner.

Paints also don’t only mean color. They also mean décor. The page hardly has any elements that touch upon the larger context of décor. One of the things a consumer would look for was how he or she can use interesting colors to change the mood and feel of their homes.

In short a lot of gaps in the social media strategy for Asian paints and a need to rethink.

Expert View by Rajiv Dingra Founder & CEO of WATConsult – An Award Winning Social Media Agency.

Analytics support courtesy: Simplify360

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