The article analyses the social media presence and strategy of traditional Hindi GECs with data from Unmetric, analyzing the broadcasters’ three month data, from September 01, 2016 to December 01, 2016.
FICCI-KPMG report for 2015, pegged the Indian Television industry to touch INR 975 billion in 2019. GECs contribution to this nothing less than spectacular, as every brand and marketer’s favourite choice. GEC ad revenues witnessed a growth of 15-16 per cent in 2015, with higher estimates for 2016.
The GEC battle has now grown much beyond the Silverscreen and TRPs, it is now about the attention space, the multi-screen domination, favourite characters.
Enter, social media! The new eyes, ears, and mouth of the GECs that until a few years ago, functioned on one dimensional communication axioms, with little or no insight on audience opinions. The time spent on television by users is dramatically decreasing and that on internet, sharply northward. According to the media report by Zenith Optimedia, in 2018, Television will account for 38 per cent of global media consumption, while internet is pegged to occupy 31 per cent of this chat.
As the GEC players’ social media game intensifies, we take a stock of the current scenario. In this feature, we use Unmetric, to compare and analyse the social media strategy of Star Plus, Sony Entertainment Television, Colors TV, Life OK, Zee Entertainment, and Sab TV.
Colors TV leads the Facebook followers count with over 1 million fans, followed by Star with 8 lakh followers, Sony Entertainment holds the third spot with 6 lakh plus followers.
However, Star Plus has garnered maximum followers – 2,50,031 in the last three months, followed by Colors TV and Sony Entertainment with 2,37,469 and 1,50,755 new followers respectively. Zee TV is the only broadcaster to have lost 273 fans.
All the channels amass maximum viewership from India, followed by Pakistan and Nepal. Colors TV has the most fans in India while Star Plus has the highest growth in India.
Sab TV holds the fort with 23.6 per cent to the total volume of posts and Star Plus aces in terms of Likes, Comments, and Shares pie by occupying 37.8 per cent of it. Colors TV has the highest engagement score – 221.
Mega properties such as Bigg Boss 10 and Sansui Colors Stardust Awards occupied a major chunk of Colors TV’s content strategy. Additionally, their posts revolve around sneak peeks, behind the scenes dope, and recaps of their daily soaps.
Star Plus has an active presence with GIFs, 360 degree images, and short videos. The channel promotes their existing shows, creating curiosity for the upcoming episodes and marketing new properties. Heavier focus on visuals seems to work well for Star Plus.
Sab TV on the other hand has a more character-centric approach. In addition to sneak peeks, the channel often gets their lead characters to share wishes and messages through videos. They also have separate hashtags for all their shows such as #TMKOC (Tarak Mehta ka Ooltah Chasma and #IchhapyaariNaagin.
Sony Entertainment Television mainly focusses on creating curiosity around the upcoming episodes of their daily shows. Dominated by videos, the content ends with cliff-hangers and engaging copies usually written in Hindi using English text.
Funky GIFs and crisp videos – Life OK’s social media strategy isn’t very different from that of other channels. Additionally, the package their show-related content with trending hashtags like #MondayMotivation or #MerryChristmas.
Zee TV follows suit, with backstage dope and teasers. The promotional trailers aim at creating maximum viewership for their television content.
On Twitter, an active strategy folds out by all the channels, except Zee TV which has over 14k followers and yet zero tweets. Colors TV leads the charts with 1,676,959 followers, followed by Star Plus with 1,246,824 followers. Sony TV and Sab TV have 844,640 and 815,688 followers respectively. Life OK stands with 325,346 followers.
While Colors TV has the most followers, Sab TV has the highest follower growth with 239,842 new followers in the last three months.
On an average 39 per cent of the tweets by the channels were replies – while Colors TV was the most re-tweeted, Sab TV had the most replies.
Twitter plays a very important role in terms of CRM for all these brands, request to view a link was the most popular type of reply across all brands was a request to view a link. Star Plus replies the fast and Sab TV takes the most time to reply to a tweet. Star Plus also, received the highest positive sentiment.
On an average, all the channels tweeted between 6 AM and Noon.
In terms of volume of tweets, Colors occupied the largest chunk of the pie with 38.1 per cent. The channel also dominated the Favourites and Retweets game.
Creating an almost mirror image of their Facebook strategy, all the channels showcase a dearth of creativity when it comes to Twitter. Apart from re-tweets and conscious tagging and hashtag-ging, the same creatives dawn Twitter.
While Instagram is a comparatively new platform, GECs seem to have managed to create certain buzz on the platform. In terms of followers, Colors TV leads with 1,044,301; close on the heels comes Star Plus with 942,923 followers. Next comes Sab TV with 162,971 and Sony TV with 91,127 followers. Zee TV stands at 63k followers. Life OK lags with 17,570 followers.
While Colors TV leads the race with the maximum number of followers, Sony TV records the highest follower growth with 33,323 new followers in the last 3 months.
Star Plus shows the highest engagement with a score of 409 and Life OK the least with 282. Colors TV however, aces Likes with a volume of 50.1 per cent and comments with 63.9 per cent.
Zee TV gets a breath of fresh air with a few funky creatives here and there. The creatives our colourful and usually have the characters at the centre of the idea. The CTAs mostly create appointment viewing for their shows.
Sony TV on the contrary, mostly has teaser snippets of their coming episodes with a few creatives. #repost was the most used hashtag by the channel and earned them an engagement score of 377. #SuperDancer was the next most used hashtag with an engagement score of 272.
In addition to creatives and teaser videos, Colors TV relies heavily on reposts of what the stars of their shows usually share. The broadcaster therefore, has the highest behind the scenes drama and vanity van dope. #repost and #JDJ9 are the most used hashtags by Colors TV with an engagement score of 351 and 269.
Life OK’s Instagram strategy is mostly about candid stills from their shows. The most used hashtags by Life OK are #instalike and #doubletap with an engagement score of 270 and 265 respectively.
Star Plus is a mix of snippets from the shows, behind the scenes candid shots, and direct creatives. The most used hashtags are #newshow – engagement score 343, and #starplus – engagement score 403.
Sab TV takes a slightly different route with their Instagram strategy. In addition to engaging creatives the channel has taken to image blocking for new twist in their show – Y.A.R.O Ka Tashan. The channel’s most used hashtags in the last three months are #sabkidiwali with an engagement score of 367 and #yarokatashan with a score of 397.
Television channels have managed to leverage the third arm called social media for basic marketing purposes. Nonetheless, most channels appear to be enjoying the following they have garnered due to obvious popularity without any major innovation or strategy for that matter.
While Colors TV and Star Plus maintain a lead with followers, Sab TV seems to be catching up fast. Zee TV lags behind with almost no engagement owing to lack of consistency or fair treatment to the platform. All the channels, mirror their Facebook content on Twitter and Instagram with a steep dearth of innovation.
GECs have amassed a wealth of followers, all that is needed is the right strategy with innovation.