This review is a part of our ‘Social Media Strategy Review’ series where we do a 360-degree analysis of a brand’s social media activity. You can read the reviews of more brands here.
HDFC Life is an offering in insurance, whether individual or group from HDFC Bank. HDFC Life rides on the legacy of HDFC Bank’s brand image and thus has come around to be one of the leading names in insurance. Even though HDFC Life can look at a pre-established following on social media platforms, we will observe the ways and techniques followed by HDFC Life to lay claim on their rightful customers.
The overall strategy of the brand is to come across as helpful and approachable. The content seen across social media platforms is proof of that. Despite the fact that the TVC talks about honour with their ‘SarUthaKeJiyo’ tagline, the message isn’t carried forward on their social media, with an exception of YouTube.
The visual appeal of the content generated across platforms is sound. The content uses two primary colors seen in the HDFC logo. They regularly maintain their campaigns that revolve around providing health tips and infomercials that simplify insurance technicalities. A decent amount of cross-platform marketing is also seen. Although it is mostly videos being shared on other platforms.
The overall brand opinion stands at 38.84% with a positive emotion, which in my opinion is surprising. A whopping 50.82% with a neutral opinion is a fitting statistic to back the lack lustre performance of the brand on social media. Despite being a meagre 14.34% with a negative emotion the visual evidence of the emotion’s presence is fairly glaring on the internet; which again has been awarded no attention from the brand.
In the last month, HDFC Life has managed to engage 92% male customers and only a 8% of female users. However, this may be justified with the fact that they maintain a separate page for female users of financial products.
Considering they are an insurance brand, they have a fairly spread out following across age groups. While a major 41.62% belongs to the age group of 31-40 year olds, 25.38% belongs to the 40+ age group. They also have a surprising 18.27% of their followers belonging to the 13-20 age group of teens and a meagre 14.72% following amongst people aged 21-30.
The content rolled out by the company makes an effort to be thematic, organised and visually appealing. Campaigns are fairly timed and well received. However the written word with the image posts are dull and lack confidence or flair. The written post with an image stays limited to an uninterested ‘Click Here’ or the boring cousin ‘Click Now’ and matters get out of hand when the grammatically awkward ‘Understand by watching this video’ comes into the picture. I reached a point where the disgruntled user comments were far more engaging than the intentional contents of the page.
Despite the shortcomings, the audience response to all the page posts is forgivingly supportive. It should seem almost natural for HDFC Life to start conversing with their users. Opening a dialogue will help the brand raise its positive brand image faster than mercury on a hot summer afternoon.
HDFC Life is making a lucrative promise on Facebook but is failing to flesh out the intended character of the brand.
HDFC Life also has a page for women-centric financial products. The page is called ‘HDFC Life – Smart Is You’. This page displays similarity in marketing and content. However, as the page is directed at women it uses female-centric posts and updates. Yet again there is no conversation between the users and the page. They run repeated contests for women. They even announce winners for the contests but they don’t as much as acknowledge the response they receive on any of the posts. They use plenty of stock images and design their content around it. They could do with some original work to break the series of mugshots of different women. The content is typical and unimaginative. Despite targeting the modern woman they still discuss a limited concentration of archaic topics.
I would really like to know, why must Miss Health Freak or Ms Savvy be a brand ambassador on a page meant to advertise financial products for women? Wouldn’t a Miss Smart Investor be more fit? Why would a page selling financial products educate their prospective customers on health and cooking? Why not educate the customer with the nuances of your awesome product? Well if it is, that is. Who are the colleagues of Miss Savvy and Miss Health Freak on the HDFC Life page?
In addition to the obvious loopholes in content continuity and the complete absence of a Social CRM policy, HDFC Life leaves much to be be stumbled upon the internet. For example, we found a contest that was never mentioned on social media despite being a blogging contest!
HDFC Life is attempting to make a mark on Twitter as well. They use good hashtags but yet again fail to converse or open a dialogue with their tweeters. Not a single reply is sent from their Twitter account. Thus, they receive a limited number of mentions. The hashtag #HDFCLifeFunda is regularly used but does not seem to be catchy enough for the users. Another hashtag that they seem to use often is #LifeIs. With audiences viewing twitter from the smallest android to the largest desktop screens, keeping hashtags that will use distinct characters is necessary. ‘Life Is’ could easily be read as ‘Lifels’, I know I did.
They are in dire need of online reputation management. Here are images that save me words.
HDFC Life unlike most brands has a presence on Google Plus as well. The page is not as active as Facebook or Twitter and they have repeatedly shared posts from YouTube and information on claiming maturity. The rest of the page is crowded with seasonal greetings.
The HDFC Life blog is close to being a fully functional website with many tabs and an exhaustive navigation bar. The blog covers insurance related subjects and provides information right from quick tips to unlocking the secrets of buying insurance to understanding your needs before applying for an insurance.
The YouTube channel once again is crowded with tabs and drop boxes that lead us to information and buying options. Other than being populated with TVCs, the channel is also sporadically populated with self-help videos, unlocking the mysteries of insurance and financial products. The blog is updated once or twice every week.
Comparison with competitor: Kotak Life Insurance
However, if we were to compare the activity of Kotak Mahindra Insurance which is a competing brand then HDFC Life’s effort is progressive. While neither are interacting with their customer base directly, HDFC is a step ahead with their online properties in place. A look at the Kotak Life Insurance Facebook page and one can tell that the response on the page isn’t much. They attempt to engage their users with image updates on similar lines as HDFC Life but do not receive the kind of response that HDFC Life does.
HDFC Life has started a one way blast of information and needs to consider changing it into a dialogue. The brand only stands to benefit from making this change as their strategy, although unsure and messy, seems to be working in getting a response and following.
HDFC’s all-out strategy in converting nearly every social media platform to a website twin, comes across as unimaginative and outlandish. They blatantly ignore the nuances and opportune use of a platform.
Instead of directing their social media finances to customizing platforms they could do well with directing those costs to bringing into action an effective CRM. The brand cannot afford to turn a blind eye to the lack of online reputation management, and more so to the obviously and amply disgruntled consumers.
The content team at HDFC Life must indulge in writing engaging copy for their communication if they really want to pique the interests of their prospective policy owners.
Expert View by Rajiv Dingra Founder & CEO of WATConsult – An Award Winning Digital & Social Media Agency.
Analytics Support: Simplify360