Using social media effectively and achieving ROI was discussed at
length at the India Social Media Summit 2009. The Summit, held in
Mumbai on March 27, was organised by exchange4media.com in association
with Blogworks.in, and presented by BigAdda.com. The event saw
industry experts discussing at length the growth, impact and emerging
trends of social media in India.
Welcoming the delegates, Anurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, exchange4media, said, “This event is our offering to a community that is in the making in our country now.”
The keynote address was delivered by Suhel Seth, Managing Partner, Counselage. Rajesh Lawani, Founder & Director, Scenario Consulting Pvt Ltd - Pitchh.com; Blogworks presented the Social Media Survey 2009 Report.
The first panel of the Summit included Prasad Narasimhan, CMO, Virgin Mobile; Hari Krishnan, Country Manager, MySpace India/ Fox Interactive Media; Atul Hegde, CEO, Ignitee; Faisal Farooqui, CEO, Mouthshut.com; Dina Mehta, MD, Mosoci; Shivanandan Pare, COO, Bigadda.com; and Parminder Singh, Business Head, Google India. Rajesh Lalwani was the moderator for the first session.
Prasad Narsimhan commenced this session with a case study presentation on Virgin Mobile’s online initiative to create better brand awareness among the consumers. Explaining the various reasons for adopting social media marketing, Narsimhan said, “It is a good time to start reinventing one’s brand image. We cannot continue to get our message across by interrupting the consumers. And more importantly, social media marketing should not be treated as an alternative to traditional media, but as an important component of the media plan.”
Giving a suitable answer to the question of the session – ‘How can marketers use Social Media and how to achieve ROI’, Narsimhan said. “There is no benchmark to judge whether the results are good, bad or ugly. But ROI can be viewed at a qualitative level and from the long term and short term perspectives.”
Session moderator Rajesh Lalwani said, “Research professionals see social media as a source of insights while advertising professionals view social media in terms of virals and reach.”
According to Dina Mehta, “In order to achieve ROI, let us evolve a method to evaluate the conversations that take place on the social media platforms and where those conversations are happening. This will lead us to the fact that ‘listening’ is a big aspect in social media advertising.”
Hari Krishnan noted, “Most of the innovation on web is driven by social media. Methods such as Apps and social rich media, hyper targeting and consumer insights dashboards are effective in achieving ROI. But, one definitely has to customise as to how ROI will be achieved.”
Stating that advertisers in India were yet to get savvy about social media advertising, Atul Hegde said, “We work for a domain where clients are not sure of what to achieve, and as an agency, it is up to us to create an expectation from the medium and to set the initial blueprint of success of social media advertising for the clients.”
Shivanandan Pare, COO, Big Adda, reiterated that every marketer’s dream at the end of the day was to create fads. According to him, social media was a medium that created fanatics around them.
Of brands and social media
Taking a passionate approach to the discussion, Faisal Farooqui of Mouthshut.com got the crowd engaged by asking them to ponder over the simple magic of ‘love’. He said, “It is when a brand shows its love for its consumers and listens to them and talks to them in their language that the brand effect begins.”
However, Hegde pointed out here about the disadvantageous situation for a brand and how to let go off a brand in social media.
Comparing social media to social clubs, Google India’s Parminder Singh said, “The success of social media advertising lies in letting the consumer stay in the club and giving him reasons to be in the club.” Citing the FPFB method, that is, Fun, Pride, Feedback and Bonding, Singh explained, “If the club, along with the branding, can be made fun to stay, if people associate the brand with pride, if people get to give feedbacks, and if here is a sense of belonging, then the branding is sure to work and ROI gets achieved.”
Hegde pointed out, “The smaller the gap between message and product, the better the ROI. And if the marketer manages to bring the consumer out of the club and makes him listen to what he has to say, that is when the entire campaign is said to have worked in social media.”
The session ended on a clear note that ROI could be measured with quite a few tools available now, that there was still a lot of scope for research and development in this field. The panelists unanimously accepted the importance of qualitative evaluation that played a major role in measuring ROI and using social media for brand building.
e4m India Social Media Summit: 'Social Media is like a tribe and one needs to be its tribal chief'