Shaiju Mathew , the Social Media whiz at Furlenco talks about emerging trends in social media marketing. He is one of a new breed of marketing people in India that are betting on the power of content to create a network of digital influencers and promoters. We talked to him about how Furlenco is using social media and community to drive marketing and sales for the business.
What are some general strategies you'd recommend in thinking about content, community and commerce? How do you think about useful content for users that enables building a community around it?
Content generation, distribution and marketing is brand specific. What might work for one brand might not work for another. However, content marketing is one of the strongest way to engage with customers. It not only provides expert knowledge to your customers but also help them during their buying process. According to industry experts, in 2015, content marketing is expected to be the most commercially important digital marketing trend.
Now coming back to content, it can be anything from written content to audio pieces, photographs, infographics, videos etc. Based on each content type there are various content distribution channels eg; Social Media Platforms, Content Discovery Platforms, Video Distribution Platforms, Blogs etc. Also content can be classified under Owned, Earned and Paid. Owned content is any content that you make it available online via your company website, blogs, social media channels etc. Earned content is again connected to your owned content where your audience like, share and engage with it if the content is nice and informative. Paid content is anything that is distributed by you through paid content distribution channels which is again a very good way to reach out to those audience who is your prospective customer as well as those who might not have any idea about your brand.
Content marketing aims at helping your prospects as well as your customers with necessary information and therefore building communities around your content is a great way to engage with them.
I think #escapethebrozone was your most successful twitter campaign and trending on twitter. Do campaigns like this generate leads? What kind of metrics do you use to measure success?
#FurlencoIMakeMyBed was one of our most successful twitter campaign which trended for two days. Since then we have also had couple of other trending campaigns like #FaydaKyaHai and #FurlencoHappyHours. These kind of campaigns do help as it not only creates brand awareness but also help prospects to connect with your brand. The metrics to measure such campaigns would be the reach of the campaign and traffic generated to your website via such campaigns.
However, campaigns are run for primarily two reasons; one brand awareness centric and two lead generation eg: #FurlencoIMakeMyBed, #EscapeTheBroZone was brand awareness campaign while #FurlencoHappyHours was for lead generation.
Also, one has to understand that social media campaigns are not primarily run for ROI and conversions are always considered as a bonus.
Is social going to be one of the biggest drivers of ecommerce in the next few years or is it still very early days in India?
It is very early days in India however, steps are being taken by almost every brand to drive engagement through their various social media channels, as people are slowly moving towards social commerce where a personal connect with a brand is created with a referral. Ecommerce companies are slowly moving towards social personalization eg: Ping feature in Flipkart app.