Cheil Trendsters from Cheil World Wide South Asia has revealed the findings of a study that points out that consumers and brands are not engaging with each other on social media. Among other things, the study also highlights that consumers have started to interact with brands with greater intensity on social media, and are open to more and more interaction. It further adds that social media will start influencing brand choice, and even friend’s choice in the future. Moreover, television advertising continues to play a significant role in influencing behaviour and driving choice.
Explaining the thought behind undertaking the study, Naresh Gupta, national planning director, Cheil World Wide SW Asia said, “We all know that marketing and media landscape is in a bit of flux right now. We see the emergence of new media, but does it mean decline of traditional media? More importantly, if traditional media is powered by advertising, is the new media also powered by advertising? We keep hearing about declining credibility of traditional media in some markets, is the impact same in India. We decided to find these answers with the study.”
“We believe most brands don’t have a social marketing strategy. Being on Facebook on being on Twitter to being on YouTube does not mean you have a social marketing strategy. Like traditional medium it needs a engagement strategy, and unlike traditional medium social media requires a community curator.” he added.
The survey was conducted with 455 online respondents, across 20+ towns, of which 65% are males and 35% females and 58% are below 25 years of age, and 42% above 25 years of age. Some of the key findings from the study:
73% consumers don’t actively search for brands on social media, and they don’t find the experience of interacting with brands very engaging. Only 20% find the interaction enjoyable.
While the presence of brand on social media does have an impact on how its perceived, 35% change their opinion about a brand positively post-exposure to brand on social media as they add to the feeling of “knowing more”, which in turn makes the fans feel valuable. 55% of the younger netizens feel that being connected with brands makes them feel ‘valuable’.
Presence of a brand on social media has dual impact. It influences people form an opinion about their friends as well as about brands. 40% form an opinion about friends on the basis of the brands they follow, while 28% feel brands with more followers are better brands. Moreover, Over 40% feel that by being on social media, brands become more responsive.
Advertising on TV is the best way of influencing behaviour and driving choice. 60% of young consumers feel that TV advertising is the best way of knowing a brand, and TV advertising is rated higher than print, PR, web and blogs in its authenticity.
Based on the findings from the survey, Gupta concluded, “Almost all the brands today neither have a engagement strategy, and definitely don't have a community curator. In light of the findings, brands will need to craft a strategies that truly hand over the control of activities to community of consumers. There in lies the real challenge.”