Friday, June 12, 2015

SPJSM: Social Media v/s Traditional Media

The social media is extremely drastic change over traditional media as it signifies a paradigm shift, traditional marketing dabbled with one-to-many approach where the brand house created a messages which was transmitted across audiences. This built one-way communication with less focus on word-of-mouth publicity.  Research shows that word of mouth is the most powerful method for longer customer retention. Social media encompassing two-way communication helps to build just that. It is not a traditional sales medium but a relationship building platform. It focuses on engagement and not just on eyeballs. One change which has germinated from a shift in consumer behavior is that consumers don’t believe in brands anymore, and this might be one of the factors owing to which the one-way messages mightn’t yield the expected results.

Social media also helps in ideation via crowdsourcing and responding to the customer more accurately and quickly by being closer to them. Social media is inbound, while traditional media is outbound, this nature also gives ready-to-be-tracked matrices which are measurable in nature. This is also coupled by the fact that the marketers can spot trends early on using analytics and can take immediate steps to realign campaigns. All is not rosy in the field of social media, one of the sore factors is rapid dissemination of the impact created by the campaigns while the promotions via traditional media carry higher tangibility. For any firm, relevance is paramount and a proper social profile can help bump the relevance ratings on Google and Bing, but this closeness comes with a caveat as people can create and share content which might prove detrimental and the marketers have no control over it.

In conclusion I would like state that one can’t avoid the social media channel any longer as it has become the need of the hour, but one needs to enter into the space with a clear conscience and a willingness to collaborate and co-create to utilize it as a two-way reciprocal platform

~Submitted By
Vivaswan Pathak (PGP-14-155)

SPJSM: Social Media- Pitfalls and Disadvantages

Pitfall : “A hidden or unsuspected danger or difficulty”
Disadvantage:  “An unfavorable circumstance or condition that reduces the chances of success or effectiveness”

Like any other marketing channel the social media strategy has its own pitfalls and disadvantages. Let us first focus on disadvantages which are listed below:
1.       Time intensiveness:  Commitment is extremely necessary for two-way communication and hence it requires considerable man-hours which small enterprises mightn’t be in a condition to provide.
2.       Trademark and copyright issues:  The marketers should regularly scout for the correct usage of their intellectual property to prevent misuse which might hurt the brand.
3.       Trust, Security and privacy issues:  This is especially true for online-transaction oriented firms, the transaction via Facebook or the Pinterest buy button should be handled with utmost care with regards to the user data so as to prevent frauds which might lead to brand erosion.
4.       User Generated Content: Soliciting the user-generated content into the marketing strategy comes with a risk of incurring legal liability for the content generated by individual participants of the campaign.
5.       Negative Feedbacks: Consumer can create a negative or a positive pressure out of which the former is extremely devastating for the business. This is a major risk as there is nothing much which the marketer can do in this situation and ignoring isn’t an option.
As we have discussed the disadvantages now we move towards latent complications which might arise during the campaign. Sending a few tweets or posting a few times doesn’t spell success in the social media world. Some of the following pitfalls should be avoided to help in increasing ROI. Some of the common pitfalls are listed below:
1.       Disorganized Information: This stems from not having a plan and ultimately leads to the consumers being bombarded with all sorts of irrelevant information. A business needs to have compelling content associated with a planned content calendar, a clear social media policy and measurable goals.
2.       Low interaction with Fans/ Followers: A company can build a reputation of being a strong service provider by listening to the troubles of the followers and responding to them. This happens at a very low cost but still only 29% of customer queries receive a response globally.
3.       Not tracking KPIs: The tracking should be religiously done for the pre-decided goals and the metrics should be regularly updated. These analytics help in tracking user behavior, garnering feedback and analyzing the lead generating activities which can subsequently by utilized for fine-tuning the campaign.
4.       Treating all social-media platforms as same: Each platform has its own lingo, audience and culture.  Promoting same message across platforms would classify as spam, rather the culture should be understood to help connect on a personal level.
5.       Using social media as a sales platform: Social media is for relationship building not sales, forging a brand connection, provide content which the users want to see and the not the content which the company wishes to promote. The promotional content can come into picture once the personal connection has been established.

~Submitted By
Vivaswan Pathak (PGP-14-155)

SPJSM: Remarketing in Social Media

Remarketing is one of the most powerful tools that allow maintaining consumer relationships who have expressed prior interest in the product/service. Social media is a very powerful to track user preferences, behavior and to generate a personal connection. The inbound marketing can be effectively used effectively to generate impactful content. Remarketing also offers a chance to segment social media users and then reaching to them via targeted advertising.

The major reason which makes remarketing particularly useful in social media context is the number of times it assists in final sales. A lot of times these conversions are unreported but one should realize the importance of providing a hook to help in attaining final purchases.

To help target effective leads and to do accurate segmentation one needs to decide on what are the logical blocks of customers. This facilitates analytics, as the social referral traffic comes from a variety of sources. An example could be segregating twitter, facebook and youtube traffic. One should use Google URL builder to insert remarketing code into the website to collect data to facilitate social conversion.

The following questions should be asked to analyze the role of remarketing in long-tail conversions and direct response:-
1.       Do FB/Twitter/Pinterest get converted more often owing to direct-response advertisements?
2.       In terms of social conversion, do content marketing advertisements have higher impact than direct-response ads?
3.       Do the social media followers prefer being converted to email/newsletter subscribers before the final purchase?
4.       Should the remarketing ads be aligned with the type of content in the link they originally visited on the source?

Previously there was a huge limitation that the remarketing list could only track first-party links. This was a huge roadblock as around three-quarters of the web-content shared belonged to third-party websites. Thanks to the continuous innovation in the social media marketing space it is now possible to track these links too  (Source: SME Digital and WebMechanix). This makes remarketing an even more powerful tool with broad implementation areas.

~Submitted By
 Vivaswan Pathak (PGP-14-155)

SPJSM: Calculating Social ROI

Let us first start with the formula for return on Investment.

ROI= Return- Investment / Investment
To measure return we need to make sure that we are we measuring. Now on how to calculate it, the following approach can be propagated.
Step One: Choose the goal – Some of the broad goals can be categorized below:
1.       Increasing brand awareness
2.       Increasing  sales or other conversions
3.       Increasing  traffic
Some of the sample goals to be set for effective tracking pertaining to conversion are given below:
(i)                  Recruiting new followers or capturing more fans.
(ii)                Registering on the site, subscribing for newsletters
(iii)               Asking queries or downloads of the target item.
(iv)              Online purchase 

Step Two: Tracking your goal – The above goals require associated metrics to be tracked. The above three campaigns warrant tracking of different measures which are listed below:
Campaign Type
Measure to be tracked
Campaign One – Brand Awareness
Impressions, Engagement, Reach ,Frequency 
Campaign Two – Conversions
Conversions,  Destination URL
Campaign Three – Increasing Traffic
Clicks, Keyword Performance, Clickthrough Rate
Google Analytics can be effectively used for setting goals and event tracking. The social media interactions (shares, likes, follows) can be tracked well using Facebook page insights.
Step Three: Assigning a monetary value
There are four major ways to assign a monetary value to help generate numbers and calculate ROI.
(i)                  Customer Lifetime Value:  This metric helps in estimating the average earning from a customer.
(ii)                Customer Lifetime Value * Conversion Rate:  This metric helps in tracking the worth of each potential visit.
(iii)               Average Sale:   This metric helps in tracking what is the average purchase through the web-portal or mobile platform
(iv)              Pay-per-click Costs: This metric can also be used to calculate opportunity cost or we can also track that how much would the firm/individual would end up paying if conventional advertisements to achieve the social media actions

~Submitted By
Vivaswan Pathak (PGP-14-155)

SPJSM: An analysis of unsuccessful social media campaign

India is a country with only 20.01% internet penetration which approximately translates to 243.2 million users and out of which around 106 million are active social media users i.e. 8.72% Indian population is socially online.  This gives an insight into how social media in India is there to stay. Now we talk about one unsuccessful I social media campaign - Mr. Lal Krishna Advani’s political campaign “Advani for PM”.

 An overview of the campaign:  
“Advani for PM” for the 2009 general elections was a 360 degree campaign with focus on Youtube, Orkut, Facebook, Blogs and Google Adwords. The total expenditure was in excess of Rs. 250 crores.
Objective of the campaign: The aim was to promote BJP ideology by creating a buzz and forging a connection with the youth. 

Benefits of the campaign: 
The ancillary benefit was increase in recruitment of volunteers which they were able to the tune of 7000+. The engagement drive with unofficial communities was also able drive significant involvement in terms of user interaction

Why did the campaign fail?
(i)                  The failure to understand the medium: The social media strategy had worked wonders for Barack Obama and taking this cue BJP adopted a similar strategy but failed to understand the cultural differences and internet penetration levels. In hindsight, launching a general election campaign targeted on social media is not expected to yield high returns on a voting-reluctant tech-savvy youth population.
(ii)                Disintegration:  BJP was highly active on cyber space and had also published a 30 page IT document but the engagement initiatives didn’t move out of the social media campaign office as majority of the heavyweights of the party threw their weight behind the campaign and failed to provide an omni-channel thrust.
(iii)               Wrong Target Audience:  India’s online audience generally consists of early adopters, professionals or techies. Most of them are equipped with well-set principles and aren’t gullible enough to be influenced with the advertisements, this resulted in very low conversion ratio.
(iv)              Change in Channel: The party didn’t have a comprehensive mobility strategy and hence failed to capitalize on the medium properly which encompasses around 30% of the target audience.
(v)                Lack of flexibility: The social media agency didn’t adapt well even after the sentiments of the people indicated by the sentiment analysis were turning negative.  The campaign should have been tweaked to generate positive promotion on a prolonged basis.
(vi)              Oversaturation:  The campaign bombarded the online space with advertisements to the point that even a search on Congress showed #AdvaniForPM as one of the sponsored ads.

BJP should have used the technological means to garner support from the grass-root levels and then it should have been supplemented by the social media. The focus should be on communication via advertising rather than just advertising.

~Submitted By
 Vivaswan Pathak (PGP-14-155)