The digital media landscape in India moving at light speed. While the reasons may be many, we can narrow them down to increased internet usage, better connectivity and growing social media users. And, every year shows a new development in this ecosystem as brands revamp their respective social media strategy. Because, with the shifting social media scenarios, their marketing objectives also evolve. From simply building communities, brands are aiming at building trust and credibility through personalized interaction and stronger communication, every time.
Indian brands and their social media strategy
About 33% of brands today are spending around 40% of their marketing budget on digital. In fact, the last few years saw many digitally native brands in India spend over 31% of their budget (marketing) on social media marketing. The year 2017 has been most noteworthy in the social space with the highest number of brands using social media marketing to spread their message.
On a business level, economic events were also a few important factors behind brands shifting more towards social media. Demonetization and introduction of GST, for example, reduced the spending power of marketers. As a result, they steered away from expensive traditional media and started leveraging the power of social media. Now, both traditional and new brands are optimally using all social touch-points to their best, in order to attract, engage and retain their audience.
With the changing society and social media trends, brands are also integrating an effective social media strategy for a successful digital presence. Through elements like long-form story-telling, native ads, and being ‘digital firsts’, the millennium brands of India have introduced an entirely new way of how users consume and perceive advertising. And, that changes with every passing year. But, this new approach to media consumption comes with its own challenge. The idea is not just to be present on multiple platforms and push creative content. Rather, it’s about being revolutionary and creating a long-lasting impression on the audience with a sustainable social media strategy.
Best social media marketing campaigns (2017-2018)
We have compiled a list of the most revolutionary Indian brands with a powerful social media strategy. They have taken the digital space by storm with bold messaging and impactful advertising. It took few campaigns for some of them to create a greater impact, while some hit the nail with one viral video or an ad.
10 Indian brands with the best social media marketing (at least research says so).
What works: Interactive hashtag campaigns, visually powerful images, and user-generated content
What we love: User-generated stories, creative video campaigns
The online furniture superstore has gone quite a length in attracting design bloggers, homemakers, aspiring interior designers or even casual internet buffs. So much so that they have successfully roped in makeover artists for DIY home improvement ideas which probably gives an edge to their social media image. Integrating their broadcast campaigns with their social media activities, Urban Ladder boasts a highly interactive social media strategy. With emotional storytelling and creative videos, Urban Ladder certainly hits the right note with the millennial urbanites.
What works: Millennium speak, easy communique, consistent brand persona
What we love: Uber-stylish creative, no-frill communication
A prominent name in online fashion Myntra has been a long-running player in the social media landscape. And quite rightly so. Treating aspiring fashionistas with ‘Fashion Lookbooks’, interactive hashtag campaigns and opinion driven posts, the brand ensures that they are never out of touch. Furthermore, in a recent campaign, while promoting their biannual sale, Myntra went a step ahead and featured a loyal customer in their campaign film. Being certainly the first ever e-commerce fashion brand in the country to do so, this strategy has added another feather to Myntra’s cap of ‘a great brand’.
What works: Emotional connect, subtle messaging
What we love: Contemporary take on conventions, feminine yet bold persona
Synonymous with classy ethnic wear for women, this homegrown Indian brand is changing the perception of the ‘traditional Indian woman’. Their social media strategy involves introducing a new take on Indian conventions aimed at women and denouncing orthodox beliefs. With fresh perspectives to our social norms, Biba has probably touched the right nerves of the modern female community of the country.
What works: Sophisticated yet bold messaging, use of contrast in creative and no-frill communication
What we love: Use of black and white with contrasting red in all brand creative. The classic-meets-contemporary voice.
Cool and quirky, this grooming brand for Indian men is all about being at the right place at the right time. Although the beard thing is a thing of recent past, Beardo brings a sophisticated and classy take on the subject to make it even more niche. Their content mostly revolves around styling ideas, user-generated content, and interactive contests. Furthermore, introducing a weekly live interaction on their social platform makes the audience stay hooked. Currently, as an IPL grooming partner for Royal Challengers Bangalore, Beardo is surely looking at a great social future ahead!
What works: Bold messaging
What we like: Witty conversations and one-liners, social awareness with a twist
In a culture where the very mention of ‘condom’ used to be a taboo, brands like Manforce brought revolution. Although it was obscure in its initial years of business, Manforce slowly but gradually carved a niche for themselves through intelligent social media conversations. The highlight of the brand in the recent years has been their campaign on ‘safe sex’. Aligning with a pertinent social situation like ‘voyeurism’, they went out there with bold messaging on being ‘safe’ in all manners.
What works: Consistency in creative, easy-going youth speak
What we love: A simple sense of humour in all communication, vibrant posts
With almost 120,000 followers on Instagram, this 33-year old beverage brand has indeed come a long way from that black and white newspaper ad (when it was launched). Simple, humorous and colourful, Frooti has carved its own niche in the social media space on these principles. Furthermore, keeping the element of Mango in all communication across the digital space, Frooti proves to have a consistent social media strategy. And, that makes the brand instantly recognizable.
Samsung India (Mobiles)
What works: Smart comebacks on competitors, creative, emotional videos
What we like: Direct messaging, constant connect with the average Indian society
One of the leading electronic brands in the country, Samsung India has more than 1 million subscribers on YouTube for mobiles alone. Most importantly, they focus on keywords that help them rank against their competition and connect with users. While their constant repartee with iPhone appeals to its loyal audience, the technique seems to work as a smart social media strategy. Currently, the brand has taken on a more sophisticated approach to promote their next launch.
What works: Strong messaging, prominent faces on social media, female-connect
What we love: #IDYWithReebok &#Fittofight campaigns, forward-thinking content strategy
Yet another international brand which moulded itself to the socio-cultural scenario of India. Speaking up against stigmas like ‘women don’t’ or ‘women can’t’, Reebok has got it all right in the social media scene. Also, by creating dialogues with fitness-conscious female celebrities, they have become synonymous with women’s fitness in India.
What works: Emotional storytelling, creative messaging, constant and consistent interaction with the audience
What we love: #mombeagirlagain campaign, slice-of-life touch to every content
This is one brand that is omnipresent across all digital platforms. Their social media strategy has been simple- to become a household brand for every Indian. Therefore, they never sway from their brand image of being ‘Indian’ at all times. The highlight of Amazon lies in their native ads, which have an emotional connect at all times.
What works: social consciousness, responsible messaging
What we love: addressing current social behaviour with smart communication
When all smart device brands are talking about adopting their technologies and new launches, Motorola talks about ditching that life. Though a veteran in the mobile (and digital electronics) business, Motorola gained a point over its competitors with their recent social media messaging. With the #phonelifebalance campaign, they established themselves as a conscious brand that denounces heavy usage of smart phone to find a healthy balance. This might be a social media strategy or a genuine attempt to drive awareness among people. But, whatever it is, it seems to work in the brand’s favor.
Learnings from social media strategy of the best brands
Taking cues from these leading Indian brands, you can cull out the best from each. And thus devise a social media strategy that will take your brand far and wide across the digital space.
Here’s a quick checklist for what to do for a great social media strategy:
- Use simple messaging. People understand the no-frill language better.
- Keep the colors consistent. That helps people identify your brand across your all your brand assets
- Ensure visual appeal at all times. What looks good, stays in good memories.
- Make your content relatable to your audience. When in India, be truly Indian
- Focus on building memorable videos. Videos are the best shareable content today.
- Be bold when needed. People remember one strong statement more than thousand sentimental ones.
- Don’t shy away from social causes. That’s the real society that reflects on social media.
But more than anything, the secret to a great social media strategy lies in focusing on what you tell your audience and how. And, that’s why you need an expert to show you the right way and carve your own niche in this dynamic market space. Social media marketing specialists can help you build a brand story to reckon with. Because the benchmark of a great social campaign is not the number on your monthly reports but what your audience takes home.