Tweet me, Like me, Buy me

Tweet me, Like me, Buy me

Pradeep Chopra, Co-Founder and CEO, Digital Vidya

Pradeep Chopra has established himself firmly in the digital marketing space in India. Having been a part of the Internet Industry since 1999, he co-founded Whizlabs, an information technology education company and later OMLogic Consulting, a digital marketing company. And he helped both these companies to leverage the digital medium in establishing their brands. Having seen the role digital media, especially social media, plays in a brand’s development, he decided to impart the same knowledge to others. A graduate from IIT Delhi, he co-founded Digital Vidya, a company that imparts training on digital marketing. The company has differentiated itself from other competitors by being among the first to hold workshops on social media marketing. Chopra, a principal trainer for the company, is one of the most sought after speakers in digital marketing and he has been invited to speak at Search Engine Strategies in the U.S., World Social Media Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Global Youth Marketing Forum and NASSCOM India Leadership Forum. He writes on entrepreneurship and digital marketing for many business publications.

Unfortunately, a number of business owners believe that if they go live on social media they will have to deal with negative conversations. The reality is they don’t have a choice about what and when their customers are going to speak about them on social media. By not being on social media they are only putting their reputation at risk.

Chopra defines social media as any media in which user generated (vs. editorial) content dominates the page. There are hundreds of social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, SlideShare, Pinterest and Flickr. He shares with us his views on how a company can leverage social media effectively. 

A two–year old company with a total staff strength of 15 wants to start a marketing campaign through social media. While the company does plan to expand its scale of operations in the next two years, it is currently willing to hire one dedicated resource towards this marketing campaign. How should it develop and execute a successful social media marketing campaign keeping its future plans in mind? Ideally, what should be their budget allocation towards this activity? And how do they integrate this with the mainline marketing strategy of the company?

Social media can be used to fulfil various business objectives that go beyond marketing. The company needs to have clarity on the key objectives for which they are interested in leveraging social media. It could used for brand building, lead generation, customer acquisition and customer relationship management. Then, based on the target audience, they should choose the social media platforms they want to leverage. For example, if their objective is lead generation and they are targeting IT professionals, it makes sense to leverage LinkedIn. For budgeting, they need to look at resources, especially people, who are going to participate than just looking at monetary investment. In this case, leveraging LinkedIn for B2B lead generation should be a part of overall sales and marketing strategy.

A consumer products company wants to hire a person dedicated to handle social media campaigns. What should be the skill set that they should look for in this person?

If they are looking at building a community on Facebook for customer engagement, the person responsible should have strong communication skills as the basic skill. However, if the objective is to do lead generation or sell their products using Facebook advertising, the person should be good at writing advertisement copy and must have good analytical skills.

Advise a startup entrepreneur to plan out how to use Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. What is the broad level purpose to use each of these platforms? 

Almost all of these can be used to achieve varied business objectives. However, Facebook is best suited for creating visibility for the brand and to engage with its customers. In case of an e-commerce business, Facebook advertisement can be used for direct sales as well. For example, Chumbak, an Indian souvenir product company, generates over 25 per cent of its revenue through Facebook. For further details, check out https://www.facebook.com/advertising/success-stories/chumbak.

Given the professional nature of LinkedIn, it is best suited for B2B lead generation including partnerships. Twitter being an interest network is a great platform for building thought leadership, performing market research and can be a great channel for lead generation for a number of business verticals. To share an example, in our recent social media workshop in Mumbai, a participant, who runs a web development startup generated three business leads from Twitter during the workshop.

The marketing manager of a five-year-old food products company has been trying to convince the founder to make social media campaigns a part of the company’s marketing strategy. But the founder is apprehensive about the open negative feedback from this platform. Can you help this entrepreneur understand why it is important for him to leverage social media and how to handle negative feedback?

Unfortunately, a number of business owners believe that if they go live on social media they will have to deal with negative conversations. The reality is they don’t have a choice about what and when their customers are going to speak about them on social media. By not being on social media they are only putting their reputation at risk.

There’s nothing wrong in having negative feedback unless it’s extreme in which case there must be some fundamental issue with the product or service. If the company can address the negative issues in public, they are not only addressing the concerns of the people who have shared their feedback but also addressing the concerns of many others, who have not shared their feedback but are undergoing a similar experience. It begins with taking responsibility and just by acknowledging the situation. Almost 50 per cent of the problem gets resolved as the dissatisfied customer feels that someone is looking at his or her feedback.

Trudy finds that his company’s ice cream brand’s Facebook page has one lakh likes.  How does he convert them into customers?

There are a number of ways. They can make regular announcements about the launch of new flavours, new stores and special offers. They can run contests and connect them with an activity at their stores. Cocoberry in India is a good example to refer to. Find more details about their Facebook presence at http://www.facebook.com/cocoberryfrozenyogurt.

In our case, we are able to leverage the cover photo of our Facebook page to announce our upcoming special 100th social media workshop across India. You can have a look at the same at https://www.facebook.com/digitalvidya

Vaibhav, the marketing officer of Triple Home Security Solutions, finds that the company’s Facebook page is active only when there is an email newsletter sent from his company on a fortnightly basis. How can he otherwise keep the interaction with his customers alive on a daily basis through the social media pages?

They need to answer the fundamental question, ‘What’s in it for their fans to participate in their Facebook page on an ongoing basis?’ Accordingly, they need to plan their content calendar and then regularly engage with their fans. ‘Social Media for Business – Powered by Dell’ is a great example of how a brand is looking at offering value to its fans than just directly promoting their products and services.  It has created a series of social media guides to help small and medium businesses effectively use these tools to grow. Find more details at https://www.facebook.com/dellsocialmedia

The Facebook fan page of a comic book brand has 5000 likes. Can it get to 100,000 likes and what strategy can it adopt to make this happen?

Unless they have some other media to reach out to their potential fans or they are able to create an exceptionally powerful viral campaign, they don’t have a choice but to use Facebook advertising to expect this kind of inorganic growth.

How does a quick service restaurant owner measure the success of his company’s social media marketing campaign? Is there any way to measure the return on investment of such campaigns?

It depends upon the objective the restaurant wants to fulfil using social media. For example, Gun Powder restaurant, with little more than 5000 fans on their Facebook page, is able to leverage it for generating table bookings on regular basis. Here’s more about them at https://www.facebook.com/gunpowderkitchen. Similarly, Faasos, which makes and delivers wraps in Pune and Mumbai is able to creatively leverage twitter by offering Tweet 2 Order system. More about it at https://twitter.com/#!/faasos

Figment Solutions is a two-year-old IT services firm. How important is social media for them? How does any B2B business leverage social media?

LinkedIn can be a great source of lead generation for the company. A number of Indian companies are using LinkedIn for incredible amount of business generation through the participation of their key sales executives. Evalueserve in India is one of the best examples of a company which has used LinkedIn for B2B lead generation. Through our social media workshops, we’ve worked with a number of IT companies across India to help them leverage both LinkedIn and Twitter for B2B lead generations. 

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