Due to the wide variety of flavors and the economical price, biscuits have become an intrinsic part of our daily lives and are the most preferred snacking choice and fast food today, across various age groups in India.
The Indian biscuit industry, with its annual production of nearly 3 thousand crore rupees has three dominating players - Parle Products, Britannia and ITC. There are multinational brands like Cadbury (Oreo) also entering the Indian market. Since the confectionery market in India is not standardized, different consumers want different products at different prices.
This article provides a concise overview of the social media presence of the following 6 leading biscuit brands in India within a 1-month period (between the 1st to 28th February 2014).
- Oreo India
- Sunfeast Dark Fantasy
- Sunfeast Dream Cream
- Parle G
- Britannia Good Day
- McVitie’s India
Oreo India has the highest fan base when compared to other biscuit brands in India. At one time it was one of the fastest growing Facebook pages in world, however it has since slowed down considerably as it switches focus from community building to community engaging.
Parle-G, Sunfeast Dream Cream, Sunfeast Dark Fantasy and Oreo India are all growing very slowly at less than 2%. McVities India is slightly ahead with a 5% growth which could be due to the fact that it is a relatively new entrant and doesn't have as many fans yet.
With a growth rate of 21%, Britannia Good Day enjoyed the highest fan growth among the 6 biscuit brands.
It is interesting to note how it has managed to achieve a 6.0% higher growth rate when compared to the average food/beverage Facebook pages in Asia.
As you can see, Britannia Good Day’s fan growth has gone up from January to March but their engagement rate is going down. There is a possibility that the brand may have been using Facebook ads during the given time period.
Moreover, the brand has not been posting consistently during this time, with only two Facebook updates in the month of February.
Meanwhile on Twitter, with a growth rate of 12%, McVitie’s India enjoyed the highest follower growth rate among the 4 biscuit brands. It’s a pity that the other two Sunfeast brands do not have any Twitter presence.
On average, 21% of the content posted by admins on the Facebook pages of these biscuit brands was ‘brand related.’
Of all these brands, McVitie’s India and Sunfeast Dark Fantasy shared the most number of updates in a day.
Also, note that ‘picture sharing’ is where the social media action is this year, especially for the confectionery industry, owing to the impulsive nature of the category.
These brands develop ways on social media to encourage a spontaneous desire to make a purchase. While the strategy has emotional appeal, pictures that stimulate the appetite also motivate customer’s buy biscuits. Food cravings are carefully engineered by the biscuit industry on social media with irresistible photos.
Pictures have made their foods so attractive to us so that we find them irresistible. Take a look at the following examples.
Parle G takes forward the brand proposition of ‘G mane Genius’ on social media with interesting brainteasers whereas Britannia Good day acknowledges that small acts in our daily lives can spread a happy good day message.
On the other hand, the content strategy for McVitie’s India revolves around positioning itself as a healthy tea-time snack.
Oreo’s core proposition is the original cookie front with a creamy centre. Sunfeast also tries to make the proposition of indulgence in Rich chocolate.
They also make clever use of social media to spread cheer using puzzles, spot the difference games, biscuit recipes, etc.
Utter disappointment on Twitter!
Good day, Parle as well as Oreo are only cross posting Facebook posts on Twitter.
As you can see, most of their tweets are proactive tweets or broadcast tweets.
Only McVitie’s India has a better Twitter presence, as it manages to interact with people who are mentioning it. Its tweets are a mix of proactive tweets, replies as well as retweets.
But Oreo and Parle-G are very reticent when it comes to engaging their community. They are using Twitter simply as a platform to push out brand messages while ignoring the fact that Facebook and Twitter are different platforms so brands must plan different strategies for them.
Brands looking for success on both these platforms should invest time and effort in tailoring customized strategies for them.
We have previously seen how Oreo has done a wonderful job with the content on Facebook, but it has not been able to sustain this high level of engagement on social media.
As of now, it has been using different days of the week to post different types of content for example, ‘Twisted Wednesdays’, ‘Morning Dunks Mondays’, ‘Cookie Cooking Saturdays’, etc.
But this kind of content is not fetching much engagement.
As you can see, their engagement for admin posts was below average.
Updates with tempting pictures also seem to work quite well from Sunfeast Dark Fantasy –
It is interesting to note, however, that Sunfeast Dark Fantasy has a really huge engagement rate with an average of 1,200 likes on every post even though it has a smaller community size as compared to Oreo.
It is difficult for us to pin-point if Sunfeast Dark Fantasy is using Facebook ads or not, since that data is not shared by Facebook.
Engagement on Twitter
@McVitiesIndia was re-tweeted the most and had the maximum number of replies. But having said that, the other three brands are inactive on social media.
There is no engagement data available for @GoodDayCookies during period from Feb 1, 2014 to Feb 28, 2014, as they have hardly tweeted during that time.
Oreo and Parle-G also receive very few mentions on Twitter even if they are merely cross posting updates. I think they have immense potential to engage their followers with engaging content customized for Twitter.
Cover Photos and Applications
The biscuit industry has been very creative in the use of their well-designed cover photos and Facebook applications.
All the brands, except for Britania Good Day, have around 6-10 applications on an average.
With more than 400 monthly active users, apps by McVitie’s India have found a decent numbers of takers. However, Parle G, Sunfeast and Good Day hardly have 5-8 active users on their Facebook applications which had been created for their past campaigns. There are no fresh campaigns running on the pages as of now.
Sunfeast Dark Fantasy had the most (net) positive sentiment. The other indicated brands have sentiments that are more neutral. However, Parle G has some negativity floating around them which they should try to address as soon as possible.
The confectionery market is based on the feelings, experiences, and impulsive purchases of people.
They should be more proactive in engaging in two-way conversations with their customers in real-time, rather than just giving out messages like any other broadcast channel.
Social media is not a platform to broadcast messages, it is a platform for meaningful conversations. The biscuit industry is not leveraging it in an effective manner.
Britannia Good Day has no active presence on social media. Having a mere social media presence with a growing fan base does not mean that a brand becomes more trusted on social media.
I strongly recommend that biscuit brands consider Twitter to be a significant platform for the confectionery industry.
Why can’t the Indian Social Media Industry have an awesome Twitter presence that makes out of the ordinary Tweets like the Oreo’s Superbowl black out?
Analytics support courtesy: Unmetric