[Interview] LK Gupta sheds light on CarDekho's social initiatives

Saloni Surti
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[Interview] LK Gupta sheds light on CarDekho's social initiatives
Social media marketing for start-ups needs to be multi-dimensional. From lead generation to brand building, social media marketing strategy of a start-up needs to cover it all. LK Gupta, CMO, CarDekho speaks on how the brand pursues social media marketing, while giving out tips for budding start-ups.

As a marketer what is your objective from social media?

Our objectives from social media are many - from brand building via engagement to traffic building to app installs to lead generation and short-term sales. Depending on which business vertical we're talking about different objectives can take precedence at different points of time.

How much percent of your marketing budget is reserved for social media? 

Considering we are primarily an Internet-based company, we have a significant focus on social media and more than 10% of our digital budget is dedicated towards social.

Cardekho has a dedicated agency of an in-house social media team? 
We have an in-house digital team, that consist of designers, social media team, search team, email marketing team, however, we do make agency collaborations to extend operations within these verticals.

Do you use social media for lead generation? If yes, what are the strategies for the same? How much per cent of your traffic and reveneue is derived from social? 

Facebook and other social media platforms play a role for lead generation, the focus being giving value to users by helping them in the process of buying a vehicle. The quality of our content and brand image makes sure we get the information about the right people who want to buy cars.

What kind of a role did social media play in establishing brand CarDekho? 

Social Media has been very important for us. Buying a car is a significant milestone for any individual, and establishing yourself as a trustworthy partner who could help you out while making the decision of which car to buy comes only with honesty. This is where social media helps us establish this one-to-one direct connect as a friendly advisor with the pulse of the consumer.

E-commerce sites require the most dynamic social listening skills. What is the social listening process that you follow? Any tools that you would suggest? 

We do understand the importance of Social Listening and for the same reason, a dedicated interaction team is equipped with social listening tools is in place.
The best part of being online is the amount of data it generates. Unless we are making the sense of the data there is no point. We have an in-house data analytics team that comes up with significant insights about the decision we must be making at the right time.

Brands often tend to ignore the importance of content strategy in social media marketing. How does CarDekho approach content on social media? 

If you are good at something, it will automatically come out as a strength. Auto content is the real value we provide, and we are very particular how this reflects on social. As we have a dedicated content team, the voice coming out to our social channels is authentic and trustworthy.
It is also about how you talk to or present the content to people on different platforms. So Facebook would be different from Instagram, and Twitter, and LinkedIn, however, the essence would be same.

How do you plan to leverage peer to peer platforms such as Snapchat, Periscope and Instagram? 

Every visual SM platform has a different approach vis a vis the audience. Therefore, every visual platform such as Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest needs to have a dedicated strategy to engage and present. Keeping the brand parity in mind and diversifying within brand guidelines, our content is broadcast on different platforms with significant visual appeal.

While Mr I know campaign hit the bulls eye on television, it didn't perform as well on social media. What according to you could have made the campaign a social success? 

The idea behind Mr.I Know was to take up the mass audience on television and make impact offline. While there was a huge buzz on the Social Media Platforms, the prime focus was to go all out with conventional channels.

5 social media marketing tips that you would like to give to budding startup entrepreneurs 
1. It is a two-way communication, so one must not keep it one-way.
2. Only trustworthy and authentic communication works best.

3. There are different platforms for different purposes, so don't copy-paste from one to the other.

4. You cannot talk the same things everytime, so evolution becomes a significant.
5. Everybody comes to Social to be surprised, informed and entertained; if you can crack this combo, great job!
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