Social media marketing mistakes by brands in Pakistan

Social media marketing mistakes by brands in Pakistan

The whole world is now on the verge on converging into a compact ball, where the term “distance” and “physical boundaries” does not exist. Taking the example of Pakistan for instance, a trend has emerged through the eminent role played by the Internet and in particular “social media.”Yes, the term has been popping up in our ears, for some time, yet the real essence and the meaning are still miss-understood. Most of the time social media is regarded as the medium of networking, which is right to some extent but there is a fine line between networking and Media. To deeply develop an understanding what social media is, let’s first start by out-laying the definition of social media.

So what is social media?

Instead of defining social media into old boring cliché definition, let’s develop a better understanding of 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 feedback.

The term media means a platform that acts 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 a web-based platform of communication tool that enables and encourages the people to interact with each other and share their views and experiences.

Now since we had established the true meaning of Social Media? We can move to the next level, in which, we use social media as a marketing tool. Further more, with the pass age of time, social media has become extremely popular and hasengraved its roots into the life of its users, that the companies have started using this medium as a platform for interacting with their customers, now here’s the catch, social media is not a platform that creates communication chains between people, but amedium that creates a connection between the companies and their customers. Therefore, social media is going to be huge; manycompanies now attract the customer by using various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, snap chat or LinkedIn, to target their active audience to generate sales. However, in simpler terms, social media marketing is a tool, which uses the internet to tap onto different social media platforms to achieve branding goals and enhance market communication.

Now the question arises why the business have started focusing on the use of Social media marketing to market their product. The answer is, social media, marketing provides a large spread of a single message without any barrier such as culture, language or race. The medium has become so fast that within a matter of minutes, the viral factor could be created, expanding its reach tremendously, and engaging significant amount of customers’ at a time.

The issue arises when the companies fail to understand the mechanism of social media marketing and play the same role on social media platform as on the other mediums like TV, radio or billboard advertisement. The business lacks the vision to reach the different type of audiences, interacting on the social media platform, which is more heterogeneous in nature. Many times, the managers, lose the foresight to use social media marketing as a primary source to achieve their targets and enhance their brand image, brand presence and value in the mind of the customer. Before drilling deeper into the issues, let’s first discuss the trends of social media marketing in Pakistan.

Trends ofSocial Media marketing in Pakistan

In Pakistan, over the last few years most probably after 2012, the social media marketing has shaped and framed itself dramatically, incorporating turbulence caused due to the emergence of e-commerce. Which has, made digital marketing a key tool of communication, which will prevail in the markets of Pakistan. From 2012, a continuous growth can see in the digital marketing structure; many companies started using Twitter, Facebook, as a mean of generating an audience and thus profits. The major trend seven in the past few years in Pakistan are:

Quick videos- YouTube, Vimeo, and Daily Motion

Due to the emergence of social media, many brands used their short videos to increase their rate of engagement and presence on the social media. They posted a video on YouTube, Vimeo and DailyMotion to rate brand presence and target a more heterogeneous market, without any specific positioning strategy. But in recent times, many of the brands have shifted toward live streaming hosted by Facebook, to create the brand awareness in the market. The feature of Facebook “live” has enabled many brands to showcase their products live. Moreover, Instagram and Twitter have also emerged as the platforms for selling products. Many digital marketing managers have used their knowledge to incorporate snap chat, Instagram and Twitter to create 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 viral factor. Many hash tags trend and many post srelated to the advertisements were shared in 2016.The companies invested effectively in their paid marketing structure, to increase their reach as far as possible.

Purchases through social media

In 2016, many businesses identified the true potential of making these sales through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Many big brands changed their model from brick and mortar to e-commerce model, to target the customer from both ends. In fact, many small businesses popped up using Facebook marketing to make profits.

Paid likes

Yes, though it seems to be irrelevant to make sense in the business, yes, many businessesworks through paid Facebook likes and generate in organic likes. A perception of “having more like create more trust and authority “took hold of the market. Facebook and Twitter earned billions, by generating an in organic audience.

Though companies used the social media marketing as the traditional marketing platforms, yet there is a significant difference between the two terms, which the businesses had understood, to generate effective results from social media marketing. The trend of marketing is again shifting to total social media marketing.

Difference between Traditional Marketing and Social Media Marketing

The passage time has shown a great difference between traditional marketing and social media marketing. There are certain factors that distinguish the social media marketing and traditional marketing:

Evaluation Matrices

In traditional marketing, there was no proper quantification of the success a single advertisement has brought, but in social media marketing, the insights can be quantified using the insight tools. In fact,Google offers such extensive plans that offer the managers to analyze the traffic and insights regarding particular advertisement.


The most pertinent factor that distinguishes the tradition marketing and social media marketing are the expert of reach. Yes, in traditional marketing, the brand manager focuses on positioning itself for a particular market. It designs the strategy in a way that taps the attention of the particular demographics. While the social media market is an open gateway that targets the whole world through a single platform. Here the brand manager makes mistakes I effective utilizing the medium. The factors would be discussedat the end.

Spontaneous Reaction

Classic marketing campaigns are designed taking along period, which may generate the demand in the market. The advertisements are longer because the idea building takes time in the end customer mind however the social media marketing can use small spontaneous advertisement to generate engagement. Here again, the marketers makes mistake of using the same strategy for both approaches or platform

What are Brands doing in Pakistan?

With the emergence of e-commerce platform since 2012, many brands tapped into the word of social media to generate sales and profits. The aim was initially o tap the maximum number of customers residing within the domain of Pakistan. Hence did not focus on the broader picture that social media marketing posts. Almost every brand, be it Nescafe, outfitters, khaddi, kolache you name it, used social media marketing to generate the presence and target greater audience. You might have experienced while paying the bill at kolachi; themanager asks you to publish your experience on the page of kolache. Why they are doing this, the answer is, now the paradigm of marketing has shifted. People are more willing to trust what was portrayedin the social media than the physical atmosphere.

But the point here is, social media is not just posting and commenting, the platform can do more if we understand the effective utilization of it. What brands does not see, is the fact that social media and TV acts differently. The brand manager cannot expect that a single advertisement of Tulsi starring Mehwish Hayat and Hamza Ali Abbasi on TV world create the same level of engagement on SOCIAL media. Here the brand managerslose the sight that on SoCal media, a quick, spontaneous content that could trap the attention of the customer 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. But in actual it is not. A social media marketing requires proper allocation of resources and expertise which can effectively fit the content with the minds of the customer. Many brands believes that it is just maximizing the SEO and reposting of the same advertisement that was planned for TV or other channels and thus ultimately ends up standing nowhere socially on platforms.

  • Quantification of results

Almost every bad operating in Pakistan loses the sight to quantify the investment and its return putting up a certain Advertisement. The brand managers don’t naked or quantify how much reach or engagement certain a version has created, and through that engagement how much business has been created.

  • Reaching the right audience

In the current scenario, many brands take social media marketing as just as a personal social account. Which implies they don’t know, whether the content created to tap the customer, reached the right customer or how much of the investment has returned, on the increasing customer base. The companies don quantify those results. Thus investing and wasting money and time without any proper analysis of the customer base engagement.


  • Role-playing Marketing

Before discussing the mistake, first, understand what role is playing stereotyping is.In Pakistan, all house chores are supposed to be the responsible of the female which Is why all washing chemicals portray women in the advertisement. Similarly another example, of showing male engineers working in the field, thus fixing the role for a particular task. In many markets, the stereotyping of role play still hold 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 the21s century did such stereotyping. The multinational like Nestle, Unilever, P&G makes a universal advertisement that could cater the all the markets with effective positioning. The concept is wrong, because, in Pakistan, the role playingto stereotype is coming to an end, o have stood to diminish. The brand managers here does not foresee the trend and males a unidirectional campaign to target the customer in social media, resulting in less engagement and thus the success. The trend exerts such great impact on the campaign because, in overall world, the females are outnumbering males.



  • Buying Paid Followers

One of the biggest mistakes the brands makes 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 the long rundoes offer any benefit to the company, yet again the bands in Pakistan are following the rituals.

  • Posting the campaign or content too much

Many brands operating in Pakistan believes “ seeing leads to selling,” which may be right in classical marketing, where the product is showcased in the eye level place of the shell to increase it’s probably of purchase. But the same strategy does not fit into social media marketing. Posting too much excessively on social media leads to ignorance of the customer towards the campaign. They tend to avoid it or some times block it because they don’t like it popping again and again. Brands in Pakistan do this severely which affects the results that were perceived to harvest as a result of social media marketing.

  • Ignoring ROI

ROI is are turn on investment. Now you will think how social media can have an ROI, or does it have any ROI, so the answer is yes. Social media marketing can measureregarding ROI. The time spends on planning, designing and executing hold a value which can quantifyregarding ROI. Man and in fact majority of the brands loses the sight to Measure The ROI. It is crucial for a business to see whether the curtain campaign is bringing the profits or becoming 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 announce any new offering. Although this is the primary focus of the social media marketing, thepurposes not only advertising. It has to do more which is engagement. The brands fail to create engagement of the customer, through effective content and meaningful collaboration with the customer.

  • Less Visibility

Many brands, in fact, all the bard’s operation in Pakistan feels shy to communicate with the end customer through social media marketing which is a great technique of creating engagement. Let’s say, have you ever seen Tepal’s brand manager communicating to the tea lovers through social media, NO. This approach leaves the end user in ambiguity whether the third party is the company or any third party player.


  • Outsourcing to any third PARTY

Yes, outsourcing is a technique to lower the burden of work from one shoulder. Many brands seek for outsourcing to reduce the cost. The mistake these brands makes is they hand over the platforms to any of the players in the market without understanding or analyzing the potential of the third party contractor. In fact, many times the third party contractor does not even know or understand the features of the product and end up creating ambiguous campaigns and engagement in social media.


These are some of the mistakes the brands in Pakistan makes while dealing in social media marketing. 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 needs to understand the value of effective content which is spontaneous and grabs the customer attention in a matter of seconds. The brand managers have to seek effective ways through which it could convey the main unique selling proposition of the brand in an immediate way.

  • Know your Market

Since the social media, the market does not segregate the market into different segment yet, the understanding of the core fundamental factors has to develop to tap the market effectively. In doing so, the brands has to portray the campaign with the incorporation of brand image that it offers a quick idea in a matter of seconds without any hindrance from factors like stereotyping or racism.

  • Uniformity of the Brand Image

The brand can effectively tap and target the respective audience through offering a uniformity in its content shared at different social media platforms. In doing some, the company’s has to devise and invest time and money in making the strategy that an offer a disruption in the form of innovation or creativity.


  • Outsourcing specialist

The brands which outsource the social media platform needs to hire or partner with such agencies which have prior knowledge of the social media marketing and know the value of the social content and the target market of the brand. In this way, the company can ensure the effective integration of the business strategy with social media marketing strategy.

  • Emotional Marketing Tactics

Know that Pakistani markets an emotional market, where the brand could use emotional content or tactics with a twist of an element that challenges the norms to create virility of the brand. This wouldgive thecustomer a reason to talk about the brand and thus word of mouth increase, which, inturn, affects the position and perception of the brand in the customer mind.

These are some of the factors and elements that can help the brand managers to tap the unsaturated and emerging markets if Pakistan through social media marketing. The effective utilization of the channel is the key to thesustainable 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 like (time, energy ) is crucial in developing a strategy that can take a form of numbers because at the end everything that value shall be weighed regarding numbers. Without quantification of the insights the pursuance of the strategy is useless in fact sometimes it keeps the business in the state of complacency that the third party (agency) is producing the right amount of traffic and reaching right customers with effective engagement which inmost situation is wrong. So invest wisely!

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