Arun Srinivas, Meta shares insights on the changing tides of web-based services, adopting new consumer inclinations, the prowess of social networks, and the potential it holds for brands and advertisers.
Arun Srinivas, Director - Global Business Group (India), Meta shares his learnings derived from over 25+ years of experience in managing consumer-tech industries, and companies from various sectors.
The Evolving Meaning Of Social Media
Social Media has evolved and transformed at an accelerated pace since its inception and the pandemic has fast-forwarded consumers to the future. Arun shares his thoughts on his usage of social media as a user and a professional through his experience.
He shares the first time he logged into Facebook was in 2007, to stay in touch with his friends and family, keep up with what they are doing, and share pictures, and life moments. Now social media has also become a source of what's happening in the world and consumption of news on social media has also risen above the TV and print outlets.
Social media has become a part of our world, and it has become the primary mode of communication for the next generation; he shares it is difficult to keep pace with his both kids who are on Instagram, even as a person working for Meta.
The Core Proposition Of Meta
The foundation of any social network is made up of the users, this core of social networks will fundamentally decide the potential target audience for any marketing campaign. As Meta-owned platforms have the lion's share of social media users, Arun shares a few statistics on what the audiences at Meta look like and the core proposition offered by Meta to tap this audience.
He states that the platforms started off as a tool to stay connected, but it has gone through an evolution and has also supported technological advancement such as smartphone penetration. It holds a massive audience, as 40 Mn people in India use Facebook every month, which is 1/3rd of the population of India, and 60% of those use the platform every day.
Talking about the regional reach in India, Arun shares that 50% of users held by the Top 100 most followed Pages on Facebook hail from non-metro cities, and only 30% of the audience on Instagram are from the top metros.
Arun describes the core proposition of Meta platforms as the "most powerful discovery engine in history". Brands would not be limited by the users' network and what they follow, they can also reach the audience basis on interest.
The discovery system is powered by an AI-generated potent combo that will show users ads based on what they like, and enjoy, as opposed to several categories of ads of no interest.
The Metaverse At Meta
Arun shares that the metaverse is the third generation of the Internet, the first being the age of information, wherein only basic info could be shared or exchanged, second, being the age of interaction wherein users could like, share, comment, and the third generation would be the age of immersive experiences.
Users would be able to attend concerts and feel a part of the crowd, attend classes with teachers and students being in the same room, and carry out fitness routines and other social activities through a dynamic and real-time medium, where shopping and gaming would also be immersive and real-time.
Marketing In The Metaverse
Arun states that different businesses will follow their own curve, but marketing in the metaverse will be far more immersive and in a 3D medium. Companies in the auto industry and fashion space have already experimented with AR try-on and virtual test drives.
His suggestion for brands dabbling with metaverse is to use a lot more of the immersive experiences, the bridge transitioning into metaverse will be much simpler. He also adds the advent of the metaverse, does not mean a decrease in consumption of other formats, short and long-form videos are also here to stay, as 50% of time spent on Facebook is built by the consumption of videos.
Marketing On Meta Platforms
Arun describes the primary problem of a marketer as reaching a large number of consumers with the right messaging. He shares the example of Marico's campaign introducing Veggie Clean during the peak of the pandemic.
The brand targeted digital-first audiences with video ads and created brand awareness among millennial women, this campaign helped the brand reach the set of high-intent audiences who would be more inclined towards the habit of cleansing vegetables.
Sharing another example, he described the campaign by Eno in collaboration with the animated character Chacha Chaudhary. The brand focussed on Hindi belts, with Chacha Chaudhary delivering the messaging, this resulted in a sales uplift and high ROI.
Sharing closing remarks and a piece of advice for marketers, Arun states, "Social media is here to stay and will continue to grow. Fish where the fish are."
Arun Srinivas shared his thoughts at the 6th edition of #SMLive, Social Samosa's marquee annual conference, organized on World Social Media Day.
You can watch SMLive Sessions here!