[Interview] Rubeena Singh, Moneycontrol on social media marketing for publishers

Digital platforms are extremely generous to users of all genres alike and now with the upcoming elaborative features it is becoming exceedingly overwhelming, giving businesses a wider landscape to enrich their identities.

Rubeena Singh, Chief Operating Officer, Moneycontrol shares with Social Samosa the opporunities and challenges of marketing for publishers in an evolving social media space. Singh shares social media tactics that Moneycontrol has been applying and how other publishers can benefit from them.

What are the major issues faced by publishers on social media?

As advertising is the main source of revenue for most publishers, monetization is an important metric . One significant issue on social that publishers face is that the options to monetize are limited. Other than on Youtube, monetization on social is a big challenge. At moneycontrol, we have been creating some opportunities for our advertisers to reach our followers in the native form on our social platforms with solutions like “Sponsored Tweet/ Post” etc. However, more options need to be created.

Considering the large user base and dominance of Facebook in the social media landscape, limited reach within one’s own followers has also become a big challenge.  Since organic reach is extremely low despite good quality content,  we need to pump in lot of money to reach our followers.

With organic reach on Facebook being a big issue, how do you use the platform for content dissemination?

Because of this issue we have changed our platform strategy on social. We now use Facebook largely as a push platform and use it on key/contextual events by investing money to reach relevant audience. We are also using Facebook bot which gives our users option to access content “when they want”. In fact we were one of first players in Business and Finance category in India to launch the Facebook Bot. From organic reach and engagement perspective we are focusing more on twitter. We are also doing a lot of videos as they work very well.

What are you views on Facebook Instant Articles? Do you use it? How helpful do you think it is to publishers?

We have recently started using Facebook Instant Articles. Currently it is working well because of its benefits for both the user and the publisher. But it is still in nascent stage and we will have to give it some more time to understand its impact. From our perspective it provides us another content distribution platform.

BFSI is a comparatively serious beat. What kind of content hooks do you use to attract audience through social media?

Topical and  contextual content works really well for us.  We have also experienced that content formats play an important role in attracting audience. We use data visualization, graphical videos and info graphs a lot. This has helped us organically increase our followers and increase our reach on social platforms.

Between Facebook and Twitter, where do you see more engagement with your readers?

We’ve seen traction of our content on both facebook & twitter. However, from an organic perspective twitter works better as the organic reach is 100% and high quality content translates into engagement where as on facebook reach is ad spend dependent.

Pulse, Instant Articles, or Snapchat Discover – as a publisher, which platform appeals to you?

In line with our social strategy Instant Articles appeals to us more as we see it adding value both in terms of extended reach and monetization.

How much per cent of content discovery of the site happens through social media?

Our focus on social is to create unique & engaging content which is share worthy & appeals to our audience, not to drive traffic for content discovery on the site. Moneycontrol is India’s premier financial news and information platform and has huge brand recall and direct traffic.

What according to you should publishers keep in mind while making their social media plan?

Most of the social consumption happens on mobile devices. Thus, it’s imperative that whatever we put out should be visible on mobile devices. Also, it’s important to actively engage and communicate with the followers.

Between Google Ads and Facebook Ads, which yields better results for publishers?

The use case and objective of using Google and / or Fb ads is very different. From traffic building standpoint Google is better and from content engagement perspective Facebook. That’s how we use Google and Facebook for our campaigns.