5 misconceptions about Digital

In past 6 months I have been interacting with many folks and companies who want to build a strong digital presence. And this makes me thrill that more and more people want to grow digitally. But the problem is that most of them have many misconceptions about digital.

To clear some of this misconceptions, here I am sharing the list of 5 things – Digital is Not!

1. Digital is not just about Facebook

Digital is not Facebook

Yes Facebook is where all of us spend maximum time. But then going digital just doesn’t mean setting up a Facebook Page and getting likes.

2. I have a great looking website

Website without traffic is not useful

You have a new website, great! You have put the website address on your business card, email signature, letter head….but that’s not enough. Website needs traffic and you will have to do more than just printing the website address on your stationery.

3. Digital is Difficult

Digital is not difficult

Yes, it is not easy but everything new will always be difficult unless you are willing to learn. There are enough resources online to get you started.

4. Digital can be completely outsourced

Digital can't be outsourced

How can one expect somebody else to know your customers better than you. Digital agencies are required but then you also need to keep your skin in the game.

5. Digital is a futuristic thing

Digital is Today and not in future

Digital is no more a distant thing which will happen in future. It is already here and we better start paying attention to it.

There is no expert, no magic wand for digital. You will have to get into it, learn it and master it to rule it.

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The Facebook Problem

Just two years back there was a scenario where brands, atleast the Gujarat’s based brands were not too sure or excited about being on Facebook, but now I see everybody wants to be there – ‘Facebook page to hovu j joiya’, which is good but what is frustrating is that hardly any of them are getting it right and even if some are then they are faltering away in sometime.

In this post I am sharing about two Facebook pages and the ‘problems’ I see with them

  1. Havmor – one of the most popular ice cream brands
  2. City Shor – started as a Facebook page providing recommendations on food, home decor, travel, fashion and later evolved to be an independent website

Havmor

3.9 years on Facebook and Havmor has managed to get 2.0 lac+ fans – probably the maximum for any of the Gujarat grown brands. So what’s the problem?

These two maps from Havmor’s website shows the spread of no.of outlets Havmor has in Ahmedabad and Mumbai.

Havmor_map

With such a heavy presence in Ahmedabad as compare to Mumbai, you surely expect Ahmedabad to have more Havmor customers than in Mumbai and the common sense co-relation would be that the similar trend is there on Facebook, with Havmor having more fans from Ahmedabad. But there is a doubtable surprise!

Havmore_Fb

This screenshot from Havmor Facebook page shows Mumbai as the most popular city. For a brand like Havmor which is a household name in a social media savvy city like Ahmedabad, isn’t this hard to believe?

City Shor

Launched on December 15, 2012 – City Shor captured the imagination of large number of FB Amdavadis for their very interesting reviews about ‘lesser known’  restaurants, shops, travel places. With this powerful and genuine content they managed to surge pass 1 lakh fans just under 7 months on July 12 – adding almost 14,000+ fans every month, pretty extra ordinary!

CS_1lakh

That’s the good part of City Shor story and now the ‘Problem’ –

Since July 12 to September 21st i.e 2 months and 10 days City Shor has managed to add just another 12,103 fans, bringing down the their monthly new fan base average by -30%. This is a reverse trend to what I have been observing wherein the pages which cross 1 lakh likes start seeing improvement in the average number of fans added every month – the social effect, but here it is declining. Neither is their engagement improving with just about 5% talking about the page.

CS_likes

So where is the problem?

  • Losing the niche – City Shor was loved for it gave Amdavadis a chance to explore the unexplored – stuff we didn’t knew about or haven’t seen before. But as the months passed we started seeing the content which was not so amusing- new dishes at Dominos, Balaji Wind Park photographs, to the  discounts at the big brand stores – all this people are advertising loud enough for us to be aware of them,  so seeing them at a platform which is for the unexplored was disappointing
  • From being Social to Unsocial – Off late we have seen too many ugly arguments between the fans and the City Shor admins for the disagreement on the reviews posted by them. Also they have been copying the movie reviews from other pages and the worst thing has been that they started deleting the comments and blocking people with whom they were not able to argue enough. On Social media the power is with people and you cannot afford to fight against them or suppress their voices.
  • Getting desperate – people have liked City Shor for the reviews believing that they are genuine and non commercial in nature.  But they have now started inviting ‘businesses’ to get their reviews done – how am I suppose to believe their reviews any more?

CS_business

Havmor seems to have ‘managed’ to generate likes but are they of any value to the brand? City Shor managed to generate great deal amount of engagement by providing solutions to the Amdavadis dire need to know and explore new stuff but as they started to diverge from what they started out to do, the engagement has fallen significantly.

The brands who are getting on to Facebook need to realise that it is not only about ‘likes’ on Facebook, but more importantly it is about engaging with your audiences by talking to them, listening to them and solving their problems every single day.