Be it politics, sports or television, Twitter is fast catching the fancy of Indian audiences. With its acquisition of ZipDial, Twitter’s content is no longer limited to users with a smartphone or feature phone. Clearly, Twitter in India is growing fast, and brands are where their customers are. Taranjeet Singh who came on board as Business Head, Twitter India in January this year talks about his role and partnerships with brands
By Henna Achhpal
Q] Can you tell us a little about your role at Twitter India?
My role is primarily to work with all brands and advertising agencies, helping them work on advertising solutions for Twitter and their communication needs. There’s a huge amount of traction in the market today, of brands who are want to do stuff in the social space. It’s natural because most of their customers and target audience are on social media. Twitter plays an important role from a brand marketer’s perspective because this is a live platform, it’s conversational and public. It makes it even more important for any brand to be present in this space engaging with their consumers on things which the consumers are interested in. From a marketing perspective, this not only helps them bring up their brand salience and brand preferences with their target group but also helps them get data points and know exactly what their customers think.
Q] How will a partnership with Twitter help a brand marketer?
Several clients are at different stages of using social media. While some are early adopters, some have recently moved a certain amount of their spends to social media, there are some who are still testing waters, and those who don’t have a strategy. From my team’s perspective, it’s all about educating the market on Twitter as a platform, how to participate in conversations on Twitter and where their customers are. We’ve had a fair amount of success with brands using Twitter, and now they’re only scaling their business with Twitter further. From Twitter’s perspective, we bring in the best practices and knowledge to our customers and brands in the market, how they should ideally be looking at Twitter, which are the things they should be focusing towards. Twitter is huge, so many conversations happen on it, it’s easy to get distracted so it’s important to have a plan that a brand follows which we help them make. We help them scale their communication to become more focused, use targeting capabilities whether in terms of keywords or followers. It also depends on the brand’s objective and what they want to achieve from a particular campaign. Clients are at different stages of their own marketing communication when it comes to social and Twitter. We are working with them to help fine tune it, and educate them on the power of Twitter.
Q] We’ve seen a lot of brand activity on Twitter during the recent ICC World Cup and ongoing IPL. How have the tournaments fared for Twitter in terms of revenue and user base?
We’ve met the targets we had set for ourselves for the World Cup and IPL. Both tournaments have been extremely successful in terms of revenue as well as user base. During the World Cup we had about 38 brands who advertised with us specifically around the World Cup, and received huge amount of traction. We did something called the Twitter Brand Index which was extremely successful, because brands value that. And now we’ve been doing that with IPL too. Brands want to know where they stand in the social space when they associate with these high decibel events. What we’ve been able to do successfully do is help certain clients use these kinds of high decibel events the right way. We’ve been jointly working towards coming out with solutions that bring high engagement to them from a brand perspective.
Q] How are you leveraging the acquisition of ZipDial?
We have been able to leverage ZipDial’s services of missed calls and sending out Twitter content which is primarily tweets through an SMS, when a person subscribes for the service by giving a missed call. Some of the brands we’ve done this with are Yes Bank and Kingfisher. These are people who want to subscribe to IPL related content through the brand and they’re not on a smartphone or probably not on the app. They get three tweets a day on IPL from Kingfisher which definitely extends Kingfisher’s presence beyond Twitter. It helps in reaching out to people outside the Twitter app. It’s helping most of the brands because it’s a 360 degree solution of people who consume Twitter content outside Twitter too.
Q] What are some of the challenges Twitter faces in the Indian market and what is the way ahead?
We’re in a good space because most of our clients and partners believe in us and want to work with us. The challenge right now is to scale it up as fast as we can, from our own capabilities to ensure that we meet and match our customer’s needs as soon as possible. I won’t comment on numbers but for us India is one of the fastest growing markets. We are consciously investing a lot on research, in helping people understand what certain categories of customers think about certain products and what are their fluent variables or segments. We’ve already come out with four researches across tech, telco, BFSI and auto segments. We’ve done another research on moms, which is a very important segment, as most of our clients are interested in and target mothers. Apart from that we constantly keep ourselves invested in getting more data from our client’s perspective.