Interview: How businesses can develop a strategic Social Media plan

Rajiv Dingra, Founder and CEO of WATConsult shares with us some useful tips about how businesses need to look at adding a strategic social media plan to their arsenal of marketing weapons.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+
, Posterous, Quora….phew! The list is endless. Social Media seems to be the watchword these days. We get talking to Rajiv Dingra, Founder and CEO of WATConsult about how businesses can effectively use tools like Twitter, Facebook and develop a strategic social media plan. Rajiv Dingra runs India’s leading social media agency, which was founded in January 2007. A thought leader in the social media space, Rajiv has worked with 40+ clients across US, UK and India.

 At a very young age of 25, he has consulted and built several successful social media campaigns for clients across B2B and B2C verticals. Rajiv has furthered the Social media opportunity available in India by launching India’s first certified social media course in partnership with Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). Through this workshop he has personally trained many professionals, including CEOs across India in helping them meet their business objectives by integrating digital marketing. Known as a prolific tech blogger, Rajiv is the face of the best digital media technology blog - Excerpts from the interview:

MyB: Can you share some tips on how companies can decide where to start in social media marketing?
It depends on whether you are a B2B or a B2C company. B2B companies should start looking at LinkedIn seriously as it provides a great professional network to build your social presence. B2C should look at Facebook and twitter closely for their marketing initiatives.

How does a person decide if social media should be a core part of their marketing strategy?
If your brand has character, voice, something to add value that consumers like to have or read then it should consider social media marketing. If your consumers are young then definitely social media makes sense but even if your consumers are experienced professionals networks like LinkedIn can be of use.

Also how does one decide upon which online platform to start with?
It is based on your business objectives. For example if you want to reach to influencers then twitter is better than Facebook. Blogs may also be platform no.1 if your goal is to get product reviews. Facebook is great if your goal is to converse on topics that’s associate with your brand and inform and educate your target group.

Share some key trends of usage of Facebook advertising by brands in India?
Brands are using Facebook ads to grow their fan pages. The new ad formats like polls and surveys are being used to solicit user feedback as well.

What are your favorite tools for social media?
I really like and as they help us search the right target and manage multiple social media accounts.

What are the different advertising options available to a brand using Facebook?
There is a stamp ad and sponsored stories wherein each Facebook post can also be converted into an ad. There are also poll ads that one can run. Each can add a different value to a brand.

What advice would you give to a company just starting to use Twitter?
To be conversational. To read before you start tweeting. Follow key influencers in your space. Know them well before you start conversing with them.

Do you see social media marketing taking over and commanding a greater share over other mediums in the near future?
Most definitely as it have all the makings of driving a consumer from irate to happy, from a non believer to a believer and from a non customer to a customer in just a few steps. It’s a great medium to project as well as receive feedback for your brand. This is why so many companies are logging onto this medium.

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