Social Media Marketing Mistakes by Brands in Pakistan
The whole world is now on the verge of converging into a compact ball, where the terms “distance” and “physical boundaries” do not exist, or if we take the example of Pakistan, the trend is emerging through the eminent role played by Internet and particular “social media”.
Yes, the term has been popping up in our ears, for particular period of time, yet the real essence and the meaning are still misunderstood. Mostly social media is regarded as the medium of networking, yes it is right to some extent but there is a fine line between networking and Media. To deeply develop an understanding as to what social media is, let us first start by outlaying the definition of social media.
So what is social media actually?
Instead of defining social media in to old boring cliché definition, let’s develop a better understanding about social media by breaking the term into small parts.
The term social means “interacting with other people by sharing knowledge, and receiving a response in the shape of a feedback.
The term media means: a platform that act as a medium of communication e.g. TV, Radio and newspaper-the traditional forms of media and communication.
So from these two terms,the collective meaning of social media is that it is a web-based platform of communication tool that enables and encourages people to interact with the works without any boundary and sharing their views and information.
Now since we know what actually Social media is, we can move to the next level of social media which is social media as a marketing medium. With the passing time, the social media has become so popular and has engraved its roots into the life of the consumer that the companies have started using the medium as a platform of interacting with the consumer.Nowhere is the catch, social media is not a platform that creates communication between people, but rather it is a medium that creates a connection between the company and the consumer. so social media is going huge. Many companies now attract the customer through the use of social media platforms, be it Facebook, Instagram, snapchat or Linkdin to name a few, to target their active customer sin order to generate sales. In simple terms social media marketing is a tool, which uses internet and tap son to different social media platforms to achieve branding goals and enhance market communication.
Now the question arises as to why the business should focus on the use of Social media marketing to market their product. The answer is that social media marketing provides a large spread of a single message without any barrier of culture, language or race. The medium has become so fast that within a matter of minutes, a lot of users are aware of the trend.
The issue arises when the companies fail to understand he mechanism of social media marketing and plays he same role on social media platform as on the three mediums like TV radio or billboard advertisement.The business lacks the vision and the type of audience interacting in the social media platform are different and in fact more heterogonous in nature. Most of the times, the mangers lose the foresight of using the social media marketing as a mean of ultimate source that create brand image, brand presence and value in the mind of the customer. Before going in-depth to identify the issues, let us first discuss the trends of social media marketing in Pakistan.
Trends of social Media marketing in Pakistan
In Pakistan, over the last few years, most probably after 2012, social media marketing has shaped and framed it self dramatically and drastically, incorporating turbulence caused due to emergence of ecommerce, which has, made digital marketing a key tool of communication which will prevail in the markets of Pakistan. Since 2012, a continuous growth has been ob served in the digital marketing, as many companies have started using Twitter, and Facebook, as a mean of generating audience and thus,profits. The major trends in the past few years in Pakistan are:
Quick videos- YouTube, Vimeo and Dailymotion
Due to the emergence of social media, many brands use their short videos to get create their recognition on the social media. The said entities posted videos on YouTube, Vimeo and Dailymotion in order to rate their brand presence and target a more heterogeneous market, without any specific positioning strategy. However, recently,most of the brands have shifted towards live streaming hosted by Facebook to create brand awareness in the market. The feature of live streaming on Facebook has enabled many brands to showcase their brands live and create custom trust. Moreover, Instagram and twitter have also emerged as the platforms of generating sales.Many digital marketing managers have used their knowledge to incorporate snapchat, Instagram and twitter to create their presence and engagement on social media.
Paid twitter and Facebook Content
Yes, Facebook and twitter made huge sales in 2016. The brands paid Twitter and Facebook to generate an organic audience which could buy the product and create virility. Many hash tags trend and many posts related to advertisement were shared in 2016.The company used the numbers effectively in order to increase the reach as far as possible.
Purchases throughsocial media
In 2016, many businesses identified the terms of making these sales through Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram. Most large brands changed their model from brick and mortar to eCommerce model, in order to grasp the customer from both means.In fact most small businesses popped up using Facebook marketing to generate more revenue.
Yes, even though it seems to be irrelevant to make sense in the business, but yes, many businesses work through Facebook likes to generate inorganic likes. The perception of having more likes create more trust and authority took the hold of the market. Facebook and Twitter earned billions by generating inorganic audience.
Though companies used social media marketing as traditional marketing platforms,yet there is pertinent difference between the two means, which recently the businesses have understood in order to generate effective results from social media marketing. The trend of marketing is again shifting to entirely social media marketing.
Difference between traditional Marketing and Social Media Marketing
The passing time has created a great difference between traditional marketing and social media marketing. There are certain factors that distinguish the social media marketing and traditional marketing:
In traditional marketing, there was no proper quantification of success that a single advertisement achieved, but in social media marketing, the insights can be quantified using the insight tools.In fact Google offers such extensive plans that allow the managers to analyze the traffic and insights regarding particular advertisement.
The most pertinent factor that distinguishes the tradition marketing and social media marketing is the extent of reach. In traditional marketing, the brand manager focuses on positioning the brand for a particular market. The manager designs the strategy in a way that taps the attention of the particular demographics, whereas the socialmedia market is an open gateway that targets the whole world through single platform.
Classic marketing campaigns are designed to take more time, which may generate the demand in the market. The advertisements are longer because developing the idea takes time in order to attract the customers, how ever social media marketing can use small spontaneous advertisements in order to generate engagement. However, in this case marketers make mistake of using same strategy for both approaches and platforms.
What Brands are doing in Pakistan?
With the emergence of ecommerce platform since 2012, many brands tapped into the world of social media in order to generate sales and profits. The aim was initially to tap the maximum number of customers residing within the domain of Pakistan. Hence, the companies did not focus on the broader picture that social media marketing posits. Almost every brand, be it Nescafe, Outfitters, Khaddi, Kolachi you name it, use social media marketing to generate their presence and target greater audience.You might have experienced while paying bills at kolachi that usually the manager asks you to publish your experience on the page of kolachi. They do this because the paradigm of marketing has shifted, as people are more willing to trust what is portrayed on the social media than in real.
The point here is that social media is not just posting and commenting, the platform can do more if we understand the effective utilization of it.What brands do not see is the fact that social media and TV act differently. The brand manager cannot expect that a single advertisement of Tulsi starring Mehwish Hayat and Hamza Ali Abbasi on TV world create same level of engagement on social media. In such a case,the brand manager loses the sight that on social media, a quick spontaneous content, which could get the attention of the customers through one glimpse, is important.
Top 10 social Media Marketing Mistakes in Pakistan
- Right Resource at right time
Businesses take social media marketing as a usual marketing which works by posting the advisement product, how ever in actual it is not. The social media marketing requires proper allocation of resources and expertise which can effectively fit the content with the minds of the customer. Many brands focus on maximizing the SEO and repost same advertisement which was planned for TV or other channels and thus,such brands end up standing nowhere socially on platforms.
- Quantification of results
Almost every brand operating in Pakistan loses the sight to quantify the investment and its return when putting up a certain advertisement.The brand managers do notes timate how much reach or engagement certain aversion has created, and through that engagement, how much business has been created.
- Reaching the right audience
In current scenario, many brands take social media marketing as just as a personal social account, which indicates that they do not know whether the content created to tap the customer reached the right customer or how much from the investment had been returned in terms of increasing customers base. As a result, such companies do not quantify those results, thus investing and wasting money and time without any proper analysis of the customers engagement.
- Role-playing Marketing
Before discussing the mistake, first understand what is role playing or role playing stereotyping. In Pakistan, all house chores are supposed to be the responsibly of the female which is why all washing chemicals portray women in the advertisement.Another example is that usually the male work in the field, thus fixing the role for a particular task. In many markets, the stereotyping of role play still holds very firm roots. But if we talk about Pakistan, the thinking about role-playing has shifted and in fact, many advertisements have become questionable in the 21st century due to such stereotyping. The multinational companies like Nestle, Unilever, and P&G have made a universal advertisement that could cater the all the markets with effective positioning. The concept is wrong because, in Pakistan the role paying stereotyping is coming to an end. The brand mangers here do not foresee the trend and tend to make a unidirectional campaign to target the customers through social media, resulting in less engagement and thus more success. The trend exerts such great impact on the campaign because in globally, the females are out-numbering males.
- Buying Paid Followers
One of the biggest mistakes the brands make in Pakistan is buying the paid follower. Remember the paid followers have no interest in your brand and will not offer the business to the company. Many brands immensely invest and focus on buying the paid followers which in long run does offer any benefit to the company, yet again the brands in Pakistan are following the rituals.
- Posting the campaign or content too much
Many brands operating in Pakistan believes in the statement “seeing leads to selling”, which may be right in classical marketing, where the product is showcased in the eye level place of the shelf to increase the probability of it being purchased. However, the same strategy does not fit into social media marketing. Posting excessively on social media often leads to wards ignorance of the customers towards the campaign; they tend to avoid it or sometime block it because they do not like it popping over and again. Brands in Pakistan do this severely which affects the results that were perceived to be harvested as a result of social media marketing.
- Ignoring ROI
ROI is return on investment. Now you will think how a social media can have an ROI, or does it have any ROI, but the answer is yes,social media marketing can be measured in terms of ROI. The time spent on planning, designing and executing holds a value which can be quantified in terms of ROI. Majority of the brands loses the sight to measure the ROI. It is crucial fora business to see whether certain campaign generates profits or becomes a reason for their failure in the market.
- Narrow Scope
Almost every brand operating in Pakistan uses social media marketing to advertise the product, or to announce any new offering. Although this is the primary focus of the social media marketing, how ever the purpose is not only advertising, as has to do more which is engagement. The brands fail to create engagement of the customer through effective content and meaning full collaboration with the customers.
- Less Visibility
Many brands that operate in Pakistan feel reluctant to actually communicate with the end user through social media marketing, which happens to be great technique of creating engagement. Let’s say, have you ever seen Tapal’s brand manager communicating to the tea lovers through social media, the answer is obviously no.Therefore, this approach leaves the end user in ambiguity whether the third party is actually the company or any third party player.
- Outsourcing to any third PARTY
Yes, outsourcing is a technique to lower the burden of work. Many brands seek for outsourcing in order to reduce the cost. The mistake these brands make is that they handover the platform to any of the player in the market without understanding or analyzing the potential of the third party contractor. Most of the times, the third party contractor does not even know or understand the features of the product and ends up creating ambiguous campaigns and engagement in social media.
These are some of the mistakes the brands in Pakistan make while dealing in social media marketing. In order to effectively use the medium, there are certain things that the brands have to keep in their mind. Some of them are listed below.
- Spontaneous campaign
The brands in Pakistan need to understand the value of effective content which is spontaneous and grabs the customer attention in matter of seconds. The brand managers have to seek effective ways through which they could convey the main unique selling proposition of the brand in a short time period.
- Know your Market
Since the popularity of social media, the market has not been segregated into different segments yet, as the understanding of the core fundamental factors has to be developed in order to tap the market effectively. In doing so, the brands have to portray the campaign with the incorporation of brand image that they offers a quick idea in a matter of seconds without any hindrance from factors like stereotyping or racism.
- Uniformity of the Brand Image
The brands can effectively tap and target the respective audience by offering a uniformity in its content shared at different social media platforms. By doing so, the brands have to devise and invest time and money in making the strategy that would offer a disruption in the form of innovation or creativity.
- Outsourcing specialist
The brands which outsource the social media platform need to hire or establish partner ships with such agencies which have prior knowledge of the social media marketing as well as those that know the value of the social content and the target market of the rand. In this way, the company can ensure the effective integration of the business strategy with social media marketing strategy.
- Emotional Marketing Tactics
It should be kept in mind that Pakistani market is a market which usually functions on emotions, where the brands use emotional content or tactics with a twist of element, which challenges the norms in order to create uniqueness of the brand. This gives customer a reason to talk about the brand and thus,this leads to an increase in word of mouth, which in-turn effects the position and perception about the brand in the customers’ mind.
These are some of the factors and elements that can help the brand managers to tap the unsaturated and emerging markets of Pakistan through social media marketing. The effective utilization of the channel is the key of sustainable competitive advantage of the upcoming brands. Moreover, the understanding of deep underlying factors and drivers of social media marketing is important which may lead the brands in handling the customer base from social media more accurately and effectively. Lastly, the quantification of each element involved be it tangible (money,equipment) or intangible (time, energy) is crucial in developing a strategy that can take the form of numbers because at the end everything that has a value shall be weighed in terms of numbers. Without quantification of the insights, the pursuance of the strategy is useless in fact sometimes it keeps the business in state of complacency that the third party (agency) is producing right amount of traffic and reaching right customers with effective engagement which, inmost situation, is wrong, therefore so invest wisely!