Social Media Ramblings of the Celcos

As the economy took a plunge down the road, corporations around the world started finding low cost and more effective ways of advertisement. As conventional advertisement is too costly, companies are now concentrating on the web. In Pakistan, organizations are now trying to engage their consumers and extend their services to every citizen by the means of internet or what we call “Social Media”.

The two online social networks which are the basic source of customers for companies are YouTube and Facebook. And the most advertisement is done by our cellular companies.

Advertisement on YouTube just demand money, the more money you put in; the more clicks you generate on your ads. Such ads are operated through Google Adwords and companies hire Internet marketing firms to manage their Adwords campaigns.

But even advertisement on YouTube is not effective, as it is on social media, as experts opine. In last three years Facebook has become very popular, not globally but locally as well. There are more than 9 Lakh users on Facebook from Pakistan.

Now when we talk about why Social Media advertising is more effective than adwords, or YouTube, following are the reasons

  • You can specify your audience,
  • By Gender
  • By Age
  • By Interests
  • By Birthdate and much more…

The other thing good about Facebook is that if you make your community (They call it Page, let’s say a profile or a group) there, and grow it with time – it can become a zero cost way to advertise all your products.

Like in recent time Facebook pages became very popular, companies are building strong pages, often update them and stay in touch with their consumers directly. As all people love to use Facebook, this way they can send their updates about new products to thousands of people in mere seconds.

If you see the entire Facebook, Facebook page of CocaCola is an example for companies who want to judge the importance of these pages. It has 37 Lakh+ Fans and it is highly interactive page. It gets updated many times a day. CocaCola has set a way for everyone, if you see Facebook page of Pepsi, they just have around 2 Lakh+ fans but it is also very interactive page. Now these both companies have specialized people who are managing these pages and they know what they are doing. They promote all their new offers and drinks via these pages, and in this way people start sharing the news with others and soon the whole Facebook gets to know about them.

In Pakistan, companies don’t know much about the importance of Facebook. Here they just spend money on Ads. But Ufone has become a pioneer in building strong Facebook page. Ufone’s page is quite popular among the people, it gets updated almost daily and so the interaction level increases. They promote all their new packages through this page.

Ufone doesn’t spend money on advertising these packages on Facebook, rather they just advertise their page, get new fans and send updates to all these people in just seconds. This way they are creating a lifetime opportunity of advertising and engaging with their consumers by just paying for it once. There is no doubt that some highly skilled people are manging Ufone’s page and driving their social media campaign.

On the other hand all other companies don’t even know what wonders Facebook can do for them. Mobilink, Zong, Warid and Telenor – all these companies just advertise their packages on Facebook which then leads customers to their websites. But Ufone’s customers land on the page, discuss with other customers and in so way they get more motivated to try new packages.

Just recently, Telenor tried to make their own social media strategy. A month back, they launched Persona Weblounge service. As social media marketing is quite different than conventional marketing but the same marketing team of Telenor which was responsible for marketing it in print media, out door or event managers handled the social media campaign. Resultantly, the outcome was quite funny, at least for me. Rather than from creating a brand image of Telenor and then promoting Persona Weblounge through it – they first made a profile for Persona Weblounge so customers can add them and then interact with them. Now who in the world creates a profile for some brand. Moving on, they created a Facebook group for Persona Weblounge (groups are so ancient thing because they just don’t provide you options what pages have to offer) and then created a page for Persona Weblounge, and there they started advertising their page.

Apparently Telenor has got no idea about what they were doing, instead they just spent money with zero results. Time passed and their fans just touched 376 mark after so much advertising and a time of a month.

The funnier thing is that I asked Telenor if I can run a campaign for them and show them how to execute it in the right way so that they can get my help in running their Persona Weblounge campaign. I started a facebook page for Telenor and promoted it for a few days. I got 800+ fans in a few days with zero advertisement of the page. By the way i have given the admin-ship to Telenor guys – and the Page is sitting there where I left it.

So its about strategy, technique and experience – not the amount of money spent on advertisement.

So this is all what our celcos are doing. Facebook has proved to be very effective to many other people. Remember how viral the facebook page of Coke Studio got. But the thing is same in the end. You need right people, proper social media strategists to run such campaigns. Those companies who know this fact are benefiting from it and those who just pass it on are only wasting their resources on it.