Social Media Strategy Review: Star Movies India
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.
Star Movies India is an Indian television channel focused on screening Hollywood movies. The programming on the channel centers around English movies including those produced within the continent as well. The channel has also tied up with international film events such as the Oscars.
The channel also offers HD content through Star Movies HD, which is a subsidiary of the popular Star India media group. The media group recently unsubscribed from TAM, the most popular tool for measuring viewership in Indian television.
Audience Analysis of Star Movies
Star Movies has a young audience and on Facebook as well, the same audience demographic is present on the page. The highest percentage of fans at 34.43% falls under the age group of 13-20 while the second highest at 29.51% falls under 31-40. The least, which is 16.39% is the 40 and above age group. A large disproportion in the male and female ratio has also been observed, since the page is mostly male dominant.
Star Movies has a community size of over 2 million users, with a total of 340 admin posts and 562 fan posts. The brand engaged with 56% of fan posts, with an average reply time of 19 hours. The content type is primarily in the form of photos.
The average response per post depicts that the page receives a decent engagement, but is still low when it comes to overall engagement.
Considering it’s the brand page of an audio-visual outlet, the posts are highly visual in nature, with a lot of images being used in the posts. As a ‘television channel’ there is one vital element missing- videos. The fact that a platform for moving pictures does not incorporate much of it, if any, in its online strategy is surprising.
The posts on the page are mostly along the same lines. They revolve around trivia and what we see as an attempt towards engagement (mostly not quality engagement). There are vague questions asking, “Other than green, the Hulk would look best in which colour?” This isn’t termed engagement by a majority, but will look at it as a random post–which is something that the page does in excess.
The channel attempts to include engaging questions as a part of their content strategy by having variations in the images rather than the copy. It usually takes a particular question and associates it with different actors in it. For instance, rating ABZ on the basis of XYZ hardly adds any kind of value to the user or to the brand. However, in contrast, it also engages users with content related to the movie with nice concepts.
The channel also indulged in a chain of posts showcasing four different actors/actresses asking who their favourite was. These saw better engagement levels. In one of their copies, the channel used “Kiss-a$$,” attempting a slang, but fails at being casual. It does not sound cool, and can actually be considered mocking.
Though it does not follow a regular posting routine, on an average, they update 4 posts a day which is enough to keep the users engaged.
Star Movies India runs promotions for various new releases in the theatres. During the duration of the analysis, the channel did this for Ironman 3, Thor – The Dark World, Fast and the Furious 6, Star Trek and Oz- the Great and Powerful. This was done using posters, photos and finally, video trailers! On one side, they have begun posting videos, but on the flipside, it has nothing to do with the brand at all.
There are a lot of posts wishing celebs on their birthdays, most of which attach a statistical question. In such posts, asking the user which Jackie Chan movie is their favourite makes sense, but asking to rate someone on their hotness quotient, not so much. This also reminds fans about the birthdays of their favourite stars.
It is interesting to see that the channel has branded the content on Facebook with its Twitter handle. It is a great way to build their Twitter community.
The responsiveness of the brand towards fans’ posts is fairly decent. They earn brownie points considering that they respond to both negative and positive comments alike.
During the duration of this analysis, the page had a Chill Out Nites contest. It offered a ‘party’ for up to 15 people as gratification (with their favourite movie of course). The contest was conducted through a Facebook application, and promoted through interesting posts on the wall.
The page changes the cover photo very often and it is mostly related to upcoming movies. For a movie premiere, the brand first posts a teaser image which does not mention the date. As and when the date is closer, the channel changes the text, revealing the date.
The creatives are well designed and of high quality, increasing the appeal of the post among users. Efforts are also put in when a post needs to be designed.
Use of Applications
Being a multimedia outlet, the tabs on the page do have applications, but most of them are not updated. The main tabs that are set to appear on the top of the page include Blockbuster lists and movie schedules. These provide information about their services, so that’s a plus for the brand.
Previous applications are not disabled, leading the user to open tabs with broken HTML codes, and even outdated movie screening details. An Avengers tab is still visible, even though it was meant to promote a screening in January. There are hardly 15 monthly active users which accounts to no reach among fans.
‘You Pick the Flick’, is an application the brand has created on Facebook through which you can vote for the movies that you wish to watch on the channel. Based on the responses, Star Movies then broadcasts the movie. This is positive engagement and one that is in alliance to what your product does.
The overall sentiment on the page is neutral.
Star Movies India has a community size of over 15,000 followers, with a 20.11% growth rate. During the study period, the channel gained a total of over 2,000 followers.
Star Movies tweeted over 1,000 tweets in 3 months and received an average of 20 tweets per day. The average response time on Twitter is 3 hours and 30 minutes. I noted that most of the retweets are by the other Star channels.
- Are they favouriting user questions? No
- Are they replying to tweets from the audience? Yes
- Are they retweeting tweets from the audience? Yes
The good thing is that they are responsive and engaging, while a negative point would be their poor usage of the Retweet feature.
The Twitter strategy for Star Movies aims at doing everything the brand does on Facebook (and much more). Birthday wishes and trivia are a favourite, as are several engaging questions often addressed to the community.
The replies are extremely casual and informal which is good for the kind of service that the brand offers.
However, most retweets come from their own media channels. When hashtagging activities are happening and the brand is running campaigns, it is essential for them to use retweets – something the brand ignores to an extreme.
Moreover, there is an attempt to engage in conversation and that happens to be great social media strategy. Most often it is seen that users stop responding but Star Movies continues to engage with the user.
There is also a good memory and association with the user that the brand brings out. For instance, in the example above they associate with the active engagement of that particular user.
Queries are responded with appropriate answers quickly.
Star Movies conducted an online quiz around Superhero movies scheduled to be screened on the channel. At first all rules were laid down and then the quiz was conducted in an organised fashion.
#SuperheroQuiz was the hashtag that the brand went with to incorporate with the quiz. However, Star Movies India itself wasn’t using the same in every tweet about the competition. How would the hashtag trend if the brand itself isn’t using it?
Pinterest management for the brand is dismal with 6 boards and a mere 33 pins. There seems to be some activity from the Oscars, but that too with three boards that have around 6-7 pins on an average. Clearly, the brand has created an account with no time to pin or engage in any form.
For instance, a board labelled as “Oscars Red Carpet” has 5 pins. The channel definitely missed a huge engagement window here.
The channel created a separate board to publicise its Animation Domination movie series but how X-Men or Fantastic Four entered the board is beyond our comprehension.
The channel is still gaining momentum on Pinterest and the brand is trying to revive activity by putting in some effort. Two new boards were created later in July named, Bourne to Kill and Hollywood Premieres. There is no sustained activity by the brand on Pinterest and its carried out in random and irregular patterns.
During the duration of our analysis, the channel uploaded a total of 8 videos. For a duration of 3 months, that is too small a number. All videos were trailers and teasers of movies slated for broadcast on the channel. In terms of views, most videos have something in between 200-300 views which is no surprise following the channel’s strategy.
Comparison with competitor
Star Movies and HBO are locked in a fierce competition, growing more intense by the day. On Social Media too there is very close competition. While both have a male dominated Facebook page, HBO is slightly ahead of Star Movies, both in terms of engagement and fans.
HBO promoted the Great Gatsby which, unlike Star Movies, was done intelligently by integrating it with the television content as well as the YouTube Channel of the brand. They shared a teaser video of Amitabh Bachan asking fans to watch HBO at a certain time to watch an exclusive trailer of the movie. It’s not sharing random trailers from random outlets, they have created their own exclusive content.
More or less, the brands have a similar strategy in terms of content.
Overall, the approach on Facebook is centered towards engagement. While in some respect this happens to be a good thing, it also affects the ‘branding’ in general. Since the channel has an audio visual product they should use more of videos, linking to the Youtube channel.
Star Movies seems to be stuck in a strategy that is engaging but does nothing for the brand or its business. Engagement around movies is good but the next step would be for Star movies to somehow leverage social media to drive television tune-ins. The realtime nature of social media lends itself beautifully to social + Television tune in strategy.
Besides Facebook, the brand seems to be doing a better job on Twitter by being conversational and engaging. Youtube seems to be clearly a platform that they have under-leveraged. Much more is expected from a TV brand especially when it comes to another visual media i.e. Youtube. One reason for the lack of content may be the lack of rights.
On the whole, the brand presence of Star Movies is average and a lot of opportunities exist in taking it to the next level.
Expert View by Rajiv Dingra Founder & CEO of WATConsult – An Award Winning Social Media Agency.
Analytics support courtesy: Simplify360