Over the last few years, Indian DTH players have grown in popularity; hampering the business of local cable operators.
Thanks to effective marketing activities on TV & Print – leveraging catchy jingles & celeb brand ambassadors – players like Tata Sky, Dish TV & Airtel have become very popular among the masses.
But are they making use of social media platforms in the same way? In this review, I will be dissecting the social media activities of the following DTH operators:
- Dish TV
- Tata Sky
- Reliance Digital TV
- DD Direct Plus
- Videocon D2H
As much as I’d love to review Airtel Digital TV & Sun Direct, I can’t because they don’t have a social media presence. Airtel is marketing its Digital TV service via the Airtel India page where it talks about all its services, so it will be difficult for us to put it in the same bracket.
Let’s dive deeper in and see how these five operators are leveraging Social Media.
I was surprised to find that Tata Sky has no active Facebook page, but has a presence on Twitter. Being one of the biggest DTH players, I thought it would be natural for me to find it on Facebook.
On Facebook, Videocon and Dish TV have made efforts to grow their communities to a good size; but on the other hand, Reliance & DD Direct Plus aren’t all that serious about building a community.
Both of these brands seem to be wary about investing in Facebook Advertisements, and hence are losing out on building brand awareness to a huge set of audience.
But even Videocon and Dish seem disinterested in growing their community size. Dish, which has almost half the community size of Videocon, should actively build its community and get as much reach as its competitor.
Not everything is rosy at Videocon’s end, however. I came to know that more than 90% of its audience is below the age of 21 – the age group which is usually not the decision maker in the family.
Videocon needs to focus on building a stronger set of audience in the 21-30 and 31-40 age brackets if they want to drive sales via social media.
The scenario is a little different on Twitter though. Here, Dish TV is leading Videocon with a community that is double its size. But leading them all is – *drum roll* – Tata Sky!
Reliance, just like on Facebook, is trying to find its feet on Twitter and DD Direct Plus has no presence on Twitter whatsoever.
Even here brands don’t seem to be too keen to grow their community. With a small Twitter presence, at least Reliance should make some attempt to garner more followers.
Dish TV, however, managed to add 200 odd followers in 3 days (March 21, 22 & 23) thanks to its Twitter contest around the World Cup T20.
Frankly speaking, the content shared by the DTH operators is not interesting. They have tried to leverage Bollywood, TV shows & Cricket but the effort seems to be lacking somewhere (read “Catchy Ideas”).
Let me take you through the content strategy of each of these channels separately.
Reliance Digital TV
The content strategy of Reliance Digital TV revolves around popular TV shows being aired to various channels. I can understand that they are trying to engage users by trying to leverage programs that users watch, but it has failed to drive any engagement.
While I appreciate the fact that it is low-key with self-promotion, it really needs to start posting more than once a day and focus on creating catchy creatives, the current ones won’t catch anyone’s attention on the news feed.
Twitter has been restricted to only customer service and no proactive broadcast content is being shared over there. Nor is Reliance trying to engage with anyone there.
Tata Sky has no presence on Facebook, but is highly active on Twitter; which is being used as a customer service channel. The brand is highly active and responds to scores of people in a day.
However, they usually don’t follow a conversation thread on Twitter. If a person complains about anything on Social Media, they reply with a new tweet instead of replying to the same Tweet, which seems a little strange to me.
For Dish TV, most of the content revolved around the two things Indians love: Cricket & Bollywood. But none of them are interesting or creative.
There were few updates by the brand that sought people’s support to abolish entertainment tax but even that didn’t find too many takers.
On Twitter, Dish TV is engaging with people this cricket season with its #DishTwicket contest. The contest is highly popular and engaging.
Apart from the contest, Dish TV is addressing customer queries and cross posting content from Facebook (which it needs to stop at the earliest).
Videocon D2H’s Facebook timeline is full of Bollywood updates, celebs & TV shows. Unlike Reliance & Dish TV, Videocon’s updates have managed to get some decent engagement.
In the period studied, the brand was hardly self-promotional.
Twitter is, again, being used for customer service and also for sharing the same content it is putting up on Facebook (Not cross-posting though.)
DD Direct Plus
DD Direct Plus’ presence is limited only to Facebook where it hardly shared any content. The handful of updates it did publish were regarding the cricket matches being played by India right now and nothing else.
It doesn’t appear to be trying to engage nor is it marketing anything.
As I mentioned before, Videocon’s content on Facebook is engaging people very well. While I can’t say how much of this engagement is driven by Facebook ads, but its huge community is surely helping it get good number of interactions on its updates.
Dish TV, even with half the size of Videocon’s Facebook community, sees a just a fraction of its engagement. I have no doubt that a better content strategy will boost its fortunes!
But Twitter sees Dish TV as the most engaged brand with more than 6500 mentions. Reliance has not managed to leave any mark but Tata Sky and Videocon have a long way to go and catch up with Dish TV.
The reason why Dish TV managed to get so many mentions during this period was thanks to its #DishTwicket contest. The contest saw Dish TV asking questions to people about the matches being played at World Cup T20, and a lot of people participated in it.
As you can see from the chart below, most of Dish TV’s mentions have come from hash tags around cricket.
But is this a sound strategy to engage with people? I personally don’t think so. The brands need to engage with people by creating content that aligns with their brand. And cricket, being an interest of masses, is being leveraged by every other brand out there and hence, Dish TV fails to stand out.
I appreciate the fact that these brands are actively using Twitter (barring Reliance and DD Direct). While they respond to thousands of mentions in a month, I would really suggest them to quicken their process of addressing these queries.
Ideally, they should respond to customer queries in minutes. But the current scenario is not good. Maybe they can begin with bringing their average response time to less than 1 hour.
However, I like the fact Tata Sky and Dish TV are responding to queries at all times of the day. You usually don’t see service-focused brands responding to tweets after 6 PM or early in the morning. But these two brands are doing that.
On Facebook, they don’t seem to be customer centric except for Videocon, however, there is still some room for improvement and it should look at responding to 100% of the wall posts as opposed to just 75% because you never know which one might escalate to a crisis.
Reliance and Dish TV, on the other hand, should take a leaf or two from Videocon’s book and respond to all of the queries at the earliest.
The sentiments for DTH brands on Facebook is fairly positive. DishTV & Reliance can afford to iron out some of the negativity that it sees on its wall posts, which is why it becomes imperative for them to address all of the wall posts that users post, and that too with a quick turn-around time.
The negativity on Twitter is marginally higher compared to Facebook but on the flip side, the positive sentiment is higher too. Understandably, they need to continue addressing all the mentions that come their way and work on improving the average response time.
I can see that these brands are not viewing social media as a marketing channel. Their primary use is to address customer queries and they are doing a good job at it.
But they need to realize that social media can be used as an effective marketing platform when coupled with good content.
They seriously need to create good content (both copy and creatives) that engages people and generates interaction.
I would also love to see Reliance Digital TV and DD Direct Plus take social media more seriously and start building a community around themselves. Even Tata Sky should join Facebook and start engaging with people instead of limiting itself to Twitter.
Analytics Support Courtesy : Unmetric