Social Media Strategy Review: Philips India

This review is 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.

Having been in a slump for several decades, Philips adopts its own brand mantra ‘sense and simplicity,’ and early in 2013, moved out of the consumer electronic market to focus on healthcare, lighting, and consumer lifestyle products.

By shedding its unnecessary mass, which was dragging it down, the Dutch conglomerate is showing a new sense of agility, which reflects in its communication efforts especially on social media. In this article, I will analyze how the new slim-and-trim Philips fares in social media, which is one of the biggest indicators of how important a brand considers its customers.

Audience Analysis of Philips India

A shift in focus for Philips has redefined its target audience. The youth now constitutes a significantly large section of its target audience. An age-wise analysis of social media fans/followers of the brand reflects this conjecture, which shows that around 90% of its fans/followers are below 40, and almost 40% are below 30.

Philips India Social Media Age Analysis
Source: Simplify360 – A Social Media Analytics Tool

This also reflects in the way Philips is using its social media channels to engage its audience. They roped in Kareena Kapoor as their new face, and they’ve already had a campaign last year with John Abraham. Their popularity with Philips India’s young fans is the main reason for them to have been signed on.

Philips India Kareena Facebook PostPhilips India John Abraham Facebook Post

The results of these campaigns can be seen in the across-the-board positive remarks it received from its fans. As you can see in the following screenshot, Philips India’s audience has very little to complain about.

Philips India Social Media Response
Source: Simplify360 – A Social Media Analytics Tool

Overall Strategy

Through social media, Philips India wants to establish itself as a customer-friendly, fashion-and-lifestyle conscious brand. This is the new focus of the company which invented the audio cassette in 1963, and made the first videocassette recorder in 1972, and teamed-up with Sony to bring the CD in 1983, which later evolved into DVD and Blu-ray – both of the innovations were brought in collaboration with Sony in 1997, and 2006, respectively.

The overall social media strategy of the brand revolves around the idea of creating, establishing, and managing its brand image, which is of a brand that is all about fashion and style. You can view the new mantra of Philips in the following Facebook post. The brand is using several tactics to establish its new image.

Philips India Facebook Post

Philips India on Facebook

For a page that has 2.8 million fans, you would expect thousands of likes on its posts and a good deal of fan engagement, but this is not the case with Philips. On a manual scan of their timeline, I found that the number of likes, on an average, was around 300-500 and comments were below 50 with an occasional exception of 100+ comments. The average of likes and comments on posts in last 30 days is much below the number I found in the manual scanning of the timeline, as you can see in the following image. And even engagement per fan was abysmally low at 1 engagement per fan.

Philips India Facebook Engagement
Source: Simplify360 – A Social Media Analytics Tool
Philips India Facebook Engagement
Source: Simplify360 – A Social Media Analytics Tool

Even the total engagement on posts on a day-to-day basis was fairly low. Before June 15, it never crossed the 1000 mark, and even after that, the engagement graphs make a roller coaster like path (see the image below).

Philips India Total Engagement Facebook
Source: Simplify360 – A Social Media Analytics Tool

There have been some occasional posts (like the one with Kareena posted below) which got more eyeballs than the rest, but the overall performance of the posts have been mediocre. One of the reasons behind such a lackluster performance can be the prevalent monotony in the posts.Most of the posts are either about the current promotion, or about some style tips. There is a serious lack of variety in the posts. Things look pretty repetitive, both in terms of content and design on Philips India’s Facebook page, which is not a good sign for a brand that wishes to be recognized as a “fashion and lifestyle” brand. One positive that I can see on the page is the recent use of a custom hashtag, a new feature that Facebook has introduced.

Phillips India Facebook Post Kareena
Source: Simplify360 – A Social Media Analytics Tool

In an attempt to overhaul its overall its brand image, the brand has partnered with MTV, the undeniable youth brand, to create Philips MPower campaign which is getting a lot of attention from people all around (see the image below)

Facebook Post Philips India

The brand has also taken an initiative to not only change its brand perception, but to push sales. As you can see in the following image, the brand is pushing the sales of the “Miss Fresher’s Kit” by giving a lucky buyer to meet Kareena (see image below). I am not sure as to what extent this strategy will be effective, because the opportunity to participate in the lucky draw is a little costly, but then fans are not all that rational. When analyzing a campaign from outside, it is not possible to say anything with any degree of certainty.

Philips India Facebook Contest Post

Philips India on Twitter

Just a mere glance on the twitter stream of Philips India tells you that it is not very active on Twitter. The updates are so infrequent that, in terms of frequency of twitter updates, it can be said that the updates are done decades apart (see the image below).

Philips India Twitter Stream

Even when it is updated, it is mostly done to promote the things that happen on Facebook, as you can see in the following screenshot of Philips India’s twitter timeline. No wonder the brand has only 505 followers on twitter.Philips India appears to be focusing all its efforts on Facebook.

Philips India Twitter Timeline

Comparison with competitor

Panasonic, another brand which was very strong in the past but losing its luster these days, is one of the closest competitors of Philips India. But the focus of the brand is much larger than that of the Dutch giant. It is still about home electronics with a focus on health and wellness, a segment where Philips India is also active (see the first image). Although the number of total Facebook fans of Panasonic is less than that of Philips India, it is doing a better job in keeping its fans engaged. I found this both in a  manual scanning of the timeline as well as in the overall per post analysis of posts done in last 30 days by Simplify360 (see the second image)

Panasonic India Facebook Post

Philips and Panasonic Comparision
Source: Simplify360 – A Social Media Analytics Tool

The likes and comments per post on Panasonic’s Facebook wall have been much higher than that on Philips India’s wall. Even the Brand Ambassador of the former receives more eyeballs than the latter (see the image below), and understandably so.

Panasonic India Facebook Post Katrina

And the scene looks bleak when we compare the total instances of engagement of Philips India with that of Panasonic (see the following screenshot).

Philips and Panasonic Comparision Engagement
Source: Simplify360 – A Social Media Analytics Tool

Conclusion

For a brand that wants to establish itself as a lifestyle and fashion brand, Philips India’s social media profiles look pretty plain. It runs a risk of being termed as boring. With a large number of posts dedicated to the ongoing promotions, the page look more promotional than conversational or community-oriented. The brand needs to bring in variety in the posts it makes on Facebook, and if it wants to be known as the “In” thing, which any fashion and lifestyle brand would like to be known as, then a serious thought  needs to be given to content planning. The page lacks any effective content strategy or planning. And nothing can be said about its twitter activities, as there is almost no activity there.

Overall, Philips India has not set an example with the work it is doing on social media, and with such effort it looks unlikely that the brand will meet its goal.

Expert View:

Philips falters at many levels. First at the content strategy level where there is a lack of out of the box thinking and repetitiveness. It seems like fixed content buckets have been decided and then forgotten to be refreshed. One also feels, that given the multi-product nature of the brands and its focus across genders, one would see a more vibrant and broad content strategy.

Another level it falters at, is the visual imagery front. Facebook is fast becoming a forerunner in visual media and one needs to use images effectively, especially when one is trying to establish a fashionable brand equity.

In conclusion, much is left to be desired from a brand like Philips.

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

Analytics support courtesy: Simplify360

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