echoVME’s Social Media Bonfire – exclusive inaugural session!

echoVME’s Social Media Bonfire – exclusive inaugural session!Bonfire’s inaugural session – a grandeur success:

Right from last minute shopping, threat of power cuts, the regular projector vendor sold out, the printer messed up the new tag line, sailing through all this echoVME crossed yet another critical milestone on July 9th 2011, the inaugural session of its social media knowledge sharing session – Social Media Bonfire!

A beautifully decked up office,  jam-packed hall full of enthusiastic audience, and two amazing, knowledgeable, seasoned speakers who shared valuable insights on social media, needless to say, the event was a grand success!

Customary #echovme tweets activity:
The event started with customary echoVME style, as the guests entered echoVME, they had to sign into their twitter account and had to tweet something about the bonfire with #echovme. Everyone had label with their twitter handle like a social id card! We would soon announce the best tweet, let’s see who wins!

Smile for shutterbug activity:
The shutterbug activity was fun-filled and every guest had to pose with echoVME’s new logo and say aloud the new tag line – “GO Live Go Social” in their own unique creative style! we are yet to evaluate the best one! These photos will soon be available on Facebook for your download..

Social Media Insights from the event:
Regret that you had missed the event? Here we come to share key social media nuggets from the expert speakers!

The new Influential customer:
He spoke about the changing paradigm, the new empowered customer!  Arun defined influential customer as customer who could share their experience with a brand on twitter, facebook or their blog.

If a customer has a bad experience, all he has to do is tweet it with a # tag and this will pull more people to join and bad mouth the brand. Any consumer can become an “Influencer” by having a bad experience and having their tweet go viral, so companies need to be prepared for the “social media effect” on the front-end with the organization that deals with customer complaints: Customer Service.

Arun strongly recommends brands to take a stand and respond instead of ignoring or shying away.  He says “the brands like it or not, people are talking about them!”

What do customers talk about the brand:
Arun busted the traditional customer service myth – customers only complain on social media when he shared interesting facts from Global Customer Service Barometer survey, American Express

  • Customers are spreading the word willingly and widely when they experience good service. In fact, contrary to conventional wisdom, customers are more inclined to talk about a positive experience than complain about a negative one.
  • Three-quarters (75%) are very likely to speak positively about a company after a good service experience in contrast with 59% who are very likely to speak negatively about a company after poor service.
  • 58% of consumers wants the company to respond to comments if they had tweeted about a bad experience

Brand has to respond to customers:
Arun adds “Communities are formed everyday that interacts with each other on an ongoing basis, talking about your brand.”

When a customer is talking about a brand – the least a brand can do is to respond to it.

If there is a negative comment from a customer, a brand has to step in, respond to the customer and bridge the gap between the brand and its consumers.

An inviting stats pertaining to India: 40% of Indian consumers are using social networking websites to air their problem – Economic Times, research firm Ovum

Arun’s theory of 3E’s of Customer Service

    • Ear to the ground

Listening is the key to great customer insights, knowing what customers think about a brand can help the brand better itself.

  • A brand needs to listen for Complaints, questions, concerns, ideas, suggestions. Gauge the sentiment.
  • A brand needs to listen to Prospects, customers, fans, competition, influencers.
  • You need to listen at Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Communities/forums, Youtube, Linkedin
  • You can Compile keywords about your brand from the social universe and listen to it weekly once or once in a month. You can get amazing feedback.
  • Re-iterating the power influencer on bad customer service, Arun says that an influencer has got the power to amplify the effect, so the brand needs to step in and diffuse it
  • Engage – Acting proactively on what you have listened
    • Do not wait till the issue is blown out of proportion, act proactively.
    • Get the best customer service executive – as social media is a transparent platform, the customer service exec must be diplomatic, mature and genuinely concerned about his customers.
    • These interactions demonstrates that people behind your company are genuine and care for their customers
    • Create more touch points such as tweets, facebook postings, forums, community boards
    • Respond in the same medium in which the customer has raised a query
  • Energize – create evangelists

Its vital to turn loyal customers into evangelists.

He shared his own experience with flipkart and explained how brands can convert detractors into evangelists.

Once when Arun ordered a book through flipkart, he did not get the delivery on time and complained on twitter, the brand replied with a tweet that was a resolution to the problem and resent the book to Arun. This quick customer service won a brand evangelist.

Interesting insights from audience interaction:

A though provoking question from the audience – “I know honesty is important when a brand enters social media but how to make a client understand the significance of being transparent and honest?”

Arun responded saying, “that’s what exactly is the role of a social media consultant, you need to make the client understand the power of social media and the repercussions of not being honest.

Offline social media practice to leverage Word of Mouth:

A saree shop in the city is doing a smart offline promotion; the shop sends people carrying a saree in custom branded bags (with the shop’s logo and address) on trains and buses during peak hours and asks them to talk about the shop.


Social Games for Brand Engagement:

Emphasizing the significance of the brands being on Facebook, he said 18-34 years people are the Prime Buying Customers and they are on Facebook.

He said the Top 3 Indian brands on Facebook are Tata Docomo, Vodafone Zoozoos, Mumbai Indians.

Facebook restricts promotional activities:

He told that the promotional activities and messaging is restricted on Facebook and this poses a bigger challenge for the brands. On similar grounds, facebook pages of  Cadbury and FCUK were taken off in India.

He added most number of daily active Facebook users play games and that’s where the brands have a greater chance of promotional activities.

He shared few industry reports that said:

  • “Social games audiences are now larger than both Daytime TV & Primetime audiences” – Deutsche Bank
  • “Future of brand engagement is to create branded entertainment and leverage influential voices who in turn can reach others. Customers respect meaningful, entertaining and rewarding engagement over everything else.”  – David Armano, SVP, Edelman Digital, (Social Media Visionary)

Social games- a channel for promotional brand engagement:

Swami said that few Indian brands have launched their own games but they were not successful.

Re-emphasizing the significance of brands being in a place where there are the right target audience, he said, “brands can opt to engage the audience through already successful games developed by gaming companies.”

He said brand can engage their target audience through a game by:

  • In-game advertisements
  • Performance boosting and other virtual goods
  • All branded facebook postings
  • Active Brand Engagement

Introducing his game, allrounderz:

Swami spoke about how cricket is a religion in India. Swami clearly explained the shift in the trend from playing gulli cricket to playing social games and he introduced his cricket game Allrounderz to the audience.

His game has 25000 active players through which he says brands can leverage 13.75 million Views on Facebook

Facebook ads:

Swami spoke about how we can specify the target audience while creating the Facebook ads. You can specify clear demographic specifications like age, gender, marital status, interests, location.

He said there are no set rules for the budget; you need to test the ads with a small budget and identify what works for brand. Close monitoring of the ads will give valuable insights.

echoVME’s new blog unveiled:

Sorav officially unveiled echoVME’s new blog, do take a look at the interestingly lined up categories on this blog!

Arun Nair launched echoVME’s office culture video:

A short video showing the work culture at echoVME and  echoVME’s new logo was launched by Arun Nair.

The next social media bonfire is on 6th August 2011.

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