Fastrack from Titan Watches was one of the earliest to embrace social media including blogs, Twitter and such like for some time now. A handful of brands like Cleartrip have also been using micro blogging networks well. Of late, several Indian brands have jumped on to the Twitter bandwagon. They seem to be using one of the inherent benefits of Twitter – real time search – to track mentions about the brand. For instance, I wrote about the new Havells ad and I immediately got a response from them.
Marico Industries’ Saffola has started the HeartOKPlease campaign on Twitter. People have tweeted about having received their message and having no response to the brand mentions. Some brands have been fast to respond. According to this story on Mint, a Twitter user tweeted that he was ‘trying to decide between a Lenovo or an Acer laptop’. Lenovo swung into action, got in touch with him and helped him purchase a Lenovo laptop. There was also this oft-quoted example of Cleartrip’s CEO solving problems faced by Kiruba Shankar, thanks to micro blogging.
Cartoon source: Tom Fishburne
But by and large, brands use micro-blogging platform as another means of self promotion. Yes, even individuals do that – promote their blog posts, for example (yours truly included). But when brands do that and only that, it doesn’t help two-way conversation. Globally, brands like Dell, BestBuy and JetBlue have gone beyond tweeting about their mass media campaigns and used Twitter to make sell, solve consumer problems etc. In India, brands are still figuring out how to use – not surprising since everyone (not just brands) is still figuring it all out. Many of those who open a Twitter account simply open an account, write a couple of tweets, don’t know what to do next and then give up. Ditto with brands – Airtel Broadband’s Impatient Ones‘ last tweet was in June’09. Categories that are commonly mentioned on Twitter are typically service brands, consumer durables, retail outlets, gadgets – where the involvement is quite high. As yet, Indian brands in these categories haven’t embraced the micro blogging platform yet. And very few have figured out what to do with it. For most, it is simply just another box in the surround campaign list.