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.

 

 

Why Oreo’s ‘Daily Twist’ is one of our all-time favorite social media campaigns

Few cookies have reached the same level of iconicity as Kraft Foods’ Oreo. Its round shape, blackish color and white cream stuffing have undeniably added to its success but as a social media agency we wonder: where would the crowd-pleasing, twistable cookie be today without effective social media marketing?

Let’s zoom in on one of their global digital and social media campaigns that reached millions of hearts (and mouths) and delivered proof that even cookies can provide endless food for thought. We are talking about the wildly successful ‘Daily Twist’ campaign that saw a 110% growth in fan interaction per social-media post only a few months after the campaign was launched. Even though the campaign dates back to 2012, in our view, it earned a spot among the best food branding campaigns on social media ever. Here’s why…

It used milestones and pop culture events to create engagement

2012 was the year that America’s favorite cookie turned 100. Needless to say, it was a cause for celebration.

Every day for 100 days, the Oreo was given a different “twist” – styled to look like Elvis, a panda bear or like the surface of Mars after the Mars Rover had driven over it. On the ‘Daily Twist’ site, users could suggest their “twist”. The campaign was driven on Facebook and also featured on Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest.

The Oreo twists were especially created to spark conversation and sharing, referring to milestones or pop culture events that people could relate to and share their thoughts about.

It had timely and shareable content combined with an element of surprise

While some of the cookie designs were planned ahead like the Olympics or Labor Day, others were more agile, tapping into events like the premiere of ‘Batman: The Dark Knight Rises’, the release of the iPhone5 and the birth of a Chinese panda bear. Monitoring trending topics and utilizing current events ensured the content was always relevant and timely. Couple that with the surprise of what each day would bring, and you’ve got a campaign worth tuning into.

They exercized strong brand values

The campaign kicked-off with the Gay Pride rainbow cookie in recognition of the LGBT community, much to the chagrin of conservative crowds.

The Facebook post set off a heated online debate that even led opponents of gay marriage to call for an Oreo boycott. But while supporters and opponents were fighting their online battle, the rainbow cookie doubled Oreo’s fan growth.

By having a strong stance and sticking to it, Oreo established itself as a courageous brand amongst its more liberal fans.

The campaign had an integrated marketing approach, combining the offline and online worlds

The campaign finale took place at Times Square in New York. They set up a pop up agency there, from which they designed the last ‘Daily Twist’, based on suggestions from fans. Earlier that morning, the brand had asked its Twitter followers and Facebook fans to offer ideas, which were going up live on a billboard. Creatives would select the best ones and three of them were then put to an online vote. The winning cookie, celebrating the anniversary of the first high five, was designed on the spot and was displayed on a big billboard.

A seamless flow between the online and offline worlds, and the mix of social and traditional marketing allowed for a greater experience and showed that Oreo mastered the integrated marketing approach.

It put the product in the center – without being self-centered

Oreo’s ability to put their product at the center of the campaign and still make the content relatable and entertaining for a massive range of users is (in our opinion) the most important factor in the success of the ‘Daily Twist’ campaign. The content was heavily branded, yet still relevant, timely and shareable – without ever begging for likes, comments and shares.

Lessons learned

The ‘Daily Twist’ campaign set an example of how important it is to create content that resonates with your audience. There are many ways to find out what moves your fans. For Lurpak®, we identified what kind of recipes the audience was searching for. As a result, we created content that we already knew people wanted to engage with. Read how we did it here.