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Winning the

PRIYANKA JOSHI

relationship game
E

Social media communication, unlike broadcast media, cannot be forced upon the consumer

ly to be turned off by dull or dated content. In fact, getting liked online in some form or another has become a de rigueur xactTarget, a global interactive marketing services of most digital marketing campaigns. But that does not mean consumers will never unfollow company, recently released the results of a survey in a report titled, The Social Break-Up. The brands. Too many brands focus on chasing fan numbers and big-but not surprising- take-away is that brands hitting the magical million mark and then forget to actually and their fans break up for three basic reasons: reach out to and connect with these fans. They neglect life after brands talk too much (frequency), they repeat the same infor- the like, and that alienates consumers. Its like being invited mation (boredom), and that there are other brands out there to a party only to find that the host is busy inviting others who do it better (relevance). rather than mingling with the guests that have arrived, opines Gulshan Verma, vice-president & country head at Komli Ashok Lalla, digital marketer, founder and author of The Media (India and North America) believes a good conversation Future of Digital for Brands. between a brand and a potential consumer can be broke down Social media communication, unlike broadcast media, as follows: 40 per cent of it would be about things that are of cannot be forced upon the consumer. Hareesh Tibrewala, interest to the consumer, 40 per cent tangential references to joint CEO, Social Wavelength, highlights that one may begin the brand and 20 per cent direct conversations about to follow a brand because of some incentive (say, the brands products and features. When Steve Jobs More than half a contest) while not being interested in that brand. However, later they realise that the content passed away, several autism societies talked about of the online the impact that the iPad can have on teaching chil- population in from the brand is not as clever or interesting. Hence dren with autism. Thats an example of good con- India is socially swiftly unfollowed. The only way ahead for brands, points Yashraj versation. They were often widely shared, he says. active in online Fans/followers unsubscribe if they find that top- platforms Vakil, COO of Red Digital, is study consumer preferences in advance of social efforts and continually ics are completely related and add no real value, adds Advit Sahdev, CEO & founder, ODigMa. Sahdev says, A monitor what consumers expect and want in a particular user on social media does not come to purchase. They come channel. He says, If you cannot bring in fresh ideas, new to socialise or get information. When they see posts that are contests or promotional offers on to your social pages like only related to sales and promotions, they unfollow brands. Twitter or, Facebook then dont push spam on to the users Why should brands be bothered with social media? In pages as that will always turn off the fans. The reality is that India, over 50 million users use Facebook, about 13 million customers can and will cut ties with brands that do not take users throng on LinkedIn, more than 15 million have Twitter their best interests into account. So how does a build a sustainable social media strategy? accounts. Indians generate the second highest traffic for Google+. Industry reports suggest that more than half What metrics do you use to measure social media in the first the online population in India is socially active on one platform place? Here, Shrikant Shenoy, media director, Lodestar UM, or another, making it an indispensable platform for brands offers some directions taking cues from the agencys study on and marketers. social media, Wave 6, which is among the longest running Research firm Gartner advises brands with a social media studies of its kind that aims to arm planners with the ability to presence need to ensure that their content is kept fresh so they devise a social media strategy as well as measure and compare instantly attracts the attention of consumers, as users are like- the value of marketing activities.