When Himalaya Herbals’ Facebook page - Himalaya Herbals India - went live in November 2011, their main objectives were to converse with their customers directly and engage them in a more personal interaction with the brand.
A spokesperson from the company remarked, “Apart from sharing information on our products and new launches, we are also talking to our customers about the Himalaya brand and values that our close to our heart. We want our customers to know us better and we want to get to know them better as well. Social media is an ideal platform to have richer conversations with them.”Faced with the challenge of building and engaging the online audience on a page that was just one and a half months old, Himalaya started updating the page with regular status messages about the brand. They also shared product images with short write-ups and hyper-linked it with the Himalaya website.
Initially, they also sent out few internal invitations to friends and colleagues to join the page, but the turning point for Himalaya Herbal to have a more personal engagement with their customers came with the installation of a simple app for ‘The Himalaya Lip Butter’ contest on Facebook. The contest is a part of the marketing campaign for Himalaya’s newly launched product, Lip Butter, and they wanted to use the online medium to build awareness for this product. The app triggered the campaign to spread faster virally across Facebook. They started getting about 3-4 entries a week, when the app was first launched.
He added, “Contests definitely help build initial enthusiasm and increase fan base. They are a great way to introduce products to customers. After launching the Himalaya Facebook page, we saw a gradual rise in the number of fans. Shortly, thereafter, we announced the contest and saw a spike in the number of fans. In just one weekend, we saw the numbers increase by 3000! Presently, we have over 4000 fans and despite having closed the contest, fans are still engaging with us.”
The Himalaya Herbals page which had only 68 fans as on December 16, 2011 was able to accumulate more than 3500 ‘likes’ on the morning of December 19, 2011. The page appears to be growing at a rate of 10 fans in two hours at the moment. Though the initial plan was to run this campaign for six months, phenomenal results were achieved in just two days time.
The contest involved getting customers to respond to a few simple queries on the Lip Butter. Those who got all the answers right, won a Lip Butter, and those who didn’t get all of them right, still enjoyed a 30 per cent discount on the product in the online store.
Even though the campaign didn’t lead to exponential sales, it created more online visibility and a huge spike in the number of hits on the website.
After the success of the Lip Butter campaign, the company has planned out a number of activities for the following year, which will highlight not only their product-centric initiatives, but will also focus on the company.
After the success of this online campaign, the company has many more contests lined up in the near future. He said, “Yes, we will continue our initiatives in the online space with more campaigns which will be supported by offline activities as well. For the New Year, we ran a contest which generated over 300 entries in just 3 days. This contest required our Facebook fans to share information about a Himalaya product they would want to carry with them for their New Year Eve’s party. Through this contest, we were able to give out our special e-gift cards for the lucky winners,” said the official.
Hanmer MSL handles traditional PR and Digital communications for Himalaya Herbals. The Facebook campaign was ideated and was run in collaboration with them.
On whether Himalaya is planning to launch any of its products online, the spokesperson affirmed, “The online medium is certainly important and it will feature in our product launches. Of course, it is equally important to integrate online with offline activities for a broad-based reach. As for new campaigns, we are exploring campaigns for our star products in the personal care range. We will certainly roll out fun, exciting and engaging promotions, both online and offline.”