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.
In a market that was flooded with budget Android smartphones that came from Micromax and Karbonn, often the premium smartphone experience came when you shelled 30k or more on a Samsung or an HTC. The gap resulted a tie-up between Lava and Intel that produced a manufacturer labelled XOLO in 2012. With ‘Intel Inside’, the brand promised a premium smartphone experience. Do their hardware promises live up to in the social media sphere? Or are emerging brands such as Gionee and the high-end smartphone market giving XOLO a run for their money? We figure out in this review.
Spread over Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, XOLO’s social media strategy is centred around the product in offering.
XOLO on Facebook
As you open XOLO’s Facebook page, you notice that the brand is nearing 1.6 million fans and the cover has a photograph of Liverpool. It says they are the official handset partner of Liverpool Football Club in India. So far, so good.
As you scroll down, apparently the brand does not allow people to post on their timeline. A technological consumer based product that does not allow people to post their queries on a social media platform is serious bad news. As a result, all angst is meted out in the comments of their posts – one reason why there is a decent number of comments on each post.
Though there are responses from XOLO, most of them are standardised answers that don’t take the service any further.
In terms of content, there is a lot of originality to drive engagement. Tech Tuesdays are a favourite with one hour of query answering sessions about any ‘tech topic’. These range from Processors, to specific XOLO phones or HD Displays. With a huge amount of existing utopia around technology, it is a smart way to engage with the consumer. Using terms such as ‘Ask our Expert’ in the process, also help XOLO’s case.
Then they answer queries with regard to the features of their phones, alongside bashing the competitor.
Maximum engagement on the Facebook page is observed in the form of likes, with 4.9% of the total interactions being comments and 2.5% being shares.
Overall on Facebook, XOLO is talking about their phones, myth busting technology and Liverpool.
XOLO on Twitter
XOLO doesn’t wish to talk on Facebook, got it. Why not use Twitter as well? There is no conversation and an extremely low frequency of posts. In some ways, Twitter is also used like Facebook – too many images, very less text. Put a phone, make a creative and post on Facebook and Twitter = #XOLOlogic. The Tech Tuesdays are not extended on Twitter whereas it is a concept that would rather do well on the platform.
On an average, one tweet goes up every day. As mentioned earlier, these follow the same pattern.
Despite the fact that young Twitter users are mentioning the brand on Twitter, not many retweets are observed.
They are not retweeting or favouriting even positive tweets about the brand. The following tweets came from a journalist and Liverpool India’s official Twitter account. Yet, no retweet/favourite.
We were talking of standardised responses on Facebook. That concept extends to twitter as well.
This one did get retweeted. Not that bad then. But the opportunity could have been used to congratulate a consumer or engage in a conversation.
Apart from Facebook and Twitter, XOLO is present on YouTube.
However, the number of subscribers and the number of views are nothing to boast about. In terms of content, it is mostly restricted to TV Commercials. Although the platform can be used for a lot – explaining product features (using annotations) or promoting customer/media reviews of their products, it is not being used for the same.
Comparison with Competitor
One of XOLO’s major competitors is Gionee, again a smartphone manufacturer with products that fit in a similar price and features segment. Originally a Chinese brand, Gionee has been able to market their products rather well since the past two years. Is Gionee’s Social Media strategy bad news for XOLO? Yes. Not only is Gionee more active and open on the platform, but they have also gone ahead and explored different platforms. At present, Gionee is present on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and Instagram. In community size comparison, XOLO is way ahead on Facebook with 1.6 million fans as opposed to 3.5 lakh of Gionee. However on Twitter, it is Gionee that leads with over 3k followers, while XOLO is somewhere is 2k – none of which is praiseworthy.
Adding to the cross media presence, Gionee is combining social media engagement with physical engagement – perhaps, the best way to reach out to your consumer. For instance, they leveraged the Global Indian Music Awards for which they are the title sponsors recently. They brought live tweets from the event.
Other than that, they are also providing smartphone tips and answering customer queries. Check this:
And they are also sharing reviews/liking them on YouTube (and a Lumia 520 review as well) and retweeting them on Twitter. What more can we ask for?
For a smartphone manufacturer that has to portray the idea of being a premium handset manufacturer, XOLO is not putting its best foot forward. Keeping in mind the kind of competition it has, the product needs to solve customer queries out in the open and only then can they rectify the ruined brand image about their services that one notices on their page. The negative sentiment is extremely high, and can be highly damaging to the product. Moreover, they need to engage more on both Facebook and Twitter and delve in conversations. Simply posting product creatives is not effective social media strategy. More activities are required such as the Tech Tuesdays or perhaps even a contest might do. Taking a cue from Gionee and interacting with customers and media portals about their reviews might also be a good idea.
XOLO has fallen in to the trap that most myopic social media strategies land up in. The utter and distant lack of an effective CRM should and must have cost the brand some much needed credibility. Social media platforms are forcing businesses across the globe to throw out the old and bring in the new approach of transparency.
XOLO also needs to replicate their content strategy on Facebook to Twitter as well. At the moment, it seems as if both are being handled by different parties. There needs to be consistency on social media failing which, the audience might get disenchanted with the brand.
Having a huge community is immaterial if you fail to communicate with them in a humane and the quicker Xolo understands this, the better will be its business prospects.
Expert View by Rajiv Dingra Founder & CEO of WATConsult – An Award Winning Digital & Social Media Agency.
Analytics Support: Simplify360