One Social Media Agency To Go, Please

donna carlssonBlog post written by Donna Carlsson, who is a former student at AcadeMedia Masters and now works as the responsible education manager for Creative Marketing. She has previously worked at Media at Inter IKEA Systems in Sweden. Her main focus is personal branding in social media.

Due to the financial crises back in 2008, many companies have been forced to cut back on expenses, budgets and more specific the marketing budgets. Not the best thing to do in a recession according to me personally, but most understandable according to the auditor probably. Almost every company has done so. An effect of that has been an increase of social media demand. It is free, it doesn’t cost anything but that isn’t true – it is just the currency that is different – time. And thoughts take time.

It is not an easy task to choose a social media agency, there a lot of them out there and the market is relatively new and it is easy to become blindsided by great offers, fantastic numbers and impressive figures.  My advice is to do as you would do with everything else when it comes to purchasing; shop around!

Here is a small list to think about:

• The agencies own social media presence. Do they follow their own advice? How do they brand themselves?
• Talk is cheap, action is everything. What kind of clients does the agency have right now? What can they show for themselves? Besides statistics and figures?
• Look at the agency as a partner – not a provider. You are going to work together with them for the best result.
• Recognize that this will take time from your own work. A lot in the beginning. The more you give the more you get out of it.

Remember, it is not in the what, but in the how that will make all the difference!

The Importance of Local Activation on Social Media: India


Our ever-growing global network of Local Social Media Managers around the world helps us ensure contextually relevant content through social listening, content production and response management. It’s a network filled with talented people who possess great knowledge of social media in their local context – one of them being Khyati Gandhi  from India who shares some of her great insights on the topic below. 

 

 

India surely is a developing country but when we see its growth on the digital front, it is incredible. Recently, the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Modi, pledged to bring about a digital wave in India, launching a campaign called Digital India. India has the 2nd largest audience on Facebook, with a 9% user base (USA being no. 1 with a 14% user base). Statistics from Internet and Mobile Association Of India reveal the growing number of India’s population using social media.

 

Internet Users:

  • 350 million, +44% since July 2014
  • Social Media Users: 134 million, +26% in the past year
  • Unique Mobile Users: 590 million – a penetration rate of 46%
  • Mobile Internet Users: 159 million – 45% of all internet users
  • Mobile Social Media Users: 97 million, +5% since July 2014

Here in India, Facebook is the most commonly used social media platform followed by Whatsapp, Google+ and Twitter. The growth of Facebook has been accelerated by Mr. Modi’s campaign and supported by Mark Zuckerberg, with Facebook facilitating state-run BSNL in setting up 100 Wi-Fi sites in rural areas of western and southern India. Facebook are investing Rs 50 million per annum in 100 Wi-Fi hotspots across the country. This investment, along with stronger Wi-Fi and 3G networks has led to huge growth in users accessing Facebook remotely from their smartphones.

 

Content Sharing

The majority of content shared by users in India reflects current events and the need for change – from messages that motivate and encourage positive change, to awareness of possible danger. During this year’s festival of Diwali we saw content shared promoting awareness about not bursting crackers to help people stay safe during the holiday.

Many people also love to share content related to their favourite TV shows, movies and songs as well as the events they attend. Content such as interviews of their favourite celebrities, Dubsmash videos and blog links make up the majority of shared content. For example the recent release of the film Prem Ratan Dhan Payo has been shared across many platforms thanks to the success of its social media strategy, where the lead actress of the movie, Sonam Kapoor, asked everyone to share a dance (Dubsmash) to the title song from the film and shared the best entries on her Twitter and Instagram accounts. The response was overwhelming, with fans of the film getting involved in the activity, giving Sonam Kapoor further exposure and the public the tools to promote the film.

 

Different Reactions

Social behavior varies across demographics. Teens tend to share content about friendship, movies and game requests – the most popular played game being Candy Crush. Their main use of social is to stay in touch with friends, post photos (including selfies) and share pictures of cute animals. People in their 20’s, 30’s and older will typically share content which spreads social awareness, discussions and debates on political issues.

 

International Connections

International news and events from abroad impact social conversations within India to a great extent. For example, the Prime Minister of India’s visit to America or Britain, the birth of the British Royal Baby or the Nepal earthquake. In terms of entertainment, the online community is selective when it comes to international stars, only choosing to discuss certain celebrities they admire or feel strongly about – Kim Kardashian being one of them.

 

Brand Failure

While global brands lack of local market knowledge can sometimes lead to social meltdown, local brands fail due to the effects of changing local mind-sets and the lack of understanding the impact of Western thought on Indians through social media. When Flipkart, an online shopping site in India sent emails out to their female customers to promote its cosmetic range, claiming ‘beauty breeds success’, the reaction on social media went viral in a matter of hours. This is the text of the email Flipkart sent to potential customers:

“Research shows that beautiful women are more successful in their lives. This is because when women improve their appearances, they get noticed, listened to and eventually respected for their opinion. Such women not only become confident but also remain motivated to perform even better in life.”

The Company was forced to make a speedy apology and promise a detailed review of their content strategy.

 

Brand Advice

Brands looking to achieve social media success in India need to focus on emotional touch points. Emotional content that includes much-loved local or international characters is the key to successful marketing in the country that celebrates emotions.