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How a mechanical engineer engineered his way into Social Media consultancy

Know everything about social media and why you should bring your business on it


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CoFoundersTown

3 years ago | 7 min read

The total worldwide population is 7.7 billion. The internet has 4.4 billion users. There are 3.499 billion active social media users. On average, people have 7.6 social media accounts. The average daily time spent on social is 142 minutes a day.

91% of retail brands use 2 or more social media channels. 81% of all small and medium businesses use some kind of social platform. Social media users grew by 202 million between April 2018 and April 2019. That works out at a new social media user every 6.4 seconds.

Getting your business on social media is no longer an option, it’s a necessity.

Let’s hear out how and why a mechanical engineer opted to become a Social media consultant.

Continue reading for all your social-media regarding concerns. We have got all of it covered in his exclusive interview with Faisal Anwer.

Tell us about your journey from a mechanical engineer to a Social Media consultant!

My journey began in a very conventional manner. As a clueless engineering student in Lucknow, I didn’t really know where I wanted to go.

But it definitely wasn’t into the technical field. It was when I went to pursue an MBA that I really realized how big the world is.

As I found myself fall in love with marketing, I eyed one field of study that was mostly taken lightly by all the professors.

DIGITAL MARKETING!

Largely, the Social Media aspect of it. As I entered the workforce as a sales guy, I found the rat race to be lethargic. The daily office routine wasn’t my thing. So I left my job in November 2018, shifted to Delhi, and started my social media marketing journey. Having seen the ground realities of sales, selling water purifiers all across my territory, I just found the idea of selling products through my laptop much more effective.

The customer is online, so why should I not be?

Can you recall that particular instance when you realised the power of Social Media?

There have been many. But it was during my tenure as a growth marketer in my mentor’s agency when I actually realized how powerful the medium is for sales.

The product was a flycatcher device, and the target market was farmers in East Godavari region. I honestly didn’t think that it was possible, but the team ended up getting a good sales number.

This gave me confidence about one thing.

One fact that I always abide by. Anything can be sold on Facebook, you just need to know the crucial basics of online marketing.

How much importance a social media presence holds for a startup/company?

I would say immense.

SEO takes months to give results, Google for advertising is damn expensive, to begin with.

But Social media ads, they are much underpriced, have an immense amount of eyeballs and critical mass to support your business with an inflow of fresh customers day in and day out.

I mean, you can run ads on Instagram with just INR 40 as well.

And the immense database these platforms have targeting is pretty easy, to begin with. My advice any day for startups would be to begin with Social media ads and then support their remarketing with Google ads.

Plus platforms like LinkedIn, TikTok and Facebook groups are amazing for an organic marketing and driving traffic.

At an initial stage, how should an organization decide the IDEAL budget for online brand building?

It depends entirely on their marketing budget. I always advise spending a good proportion of their marketing spend on social media advertising because it gives month on month results, which one can reinvest.

I have seen people spend just 500 to 1000 INR a day to get good leads as well. You can’t put a general number to it, however.

Should I ask my in-house team to devise a social media strategy or should I take help from a third-party?

I will give you an analogy for this. When a child falls sick, there are two options. The mother can give the medicines based on the child’s medical history, or by consulting a specialized doctor.

That is what I consider my job to be, that of an online business doctor specializing in social media marketing.

Third-party involvement is advised, either on a consultation basis to actual execution. As a business, marketing is just one of the pillars you need to focus on. Though, it is one of the primary revenue drivers. So if a specialist can do it better than you, hire their services.

There have been many instances of organizations complaining about Social Media being ineffective in spite of putting in huge money. What, according to you, can be the major reason for this?

Social is ineffective when done wrong for sure. Two major reasons for this.

Number one: Business owners try it without proper knowledge. It is like investing in the stock market without knowledge of it.
Number two: Poor hiring. Because of a low barrier of market entry anyone can come up to you, promising astounding social media growth. Hiring for an ads manager is something I usually have struggled with as well.

It is a field of deep study. As a marketer, your job is to make sure a customer, while gliding through Facebook, stops and looks at your brand, and purchases from you.

It takes a good understanding of online customer psychology and ad copywriting.

How should an organization decide the best platform for their branding purposes?

The platform can be decided on the basis of your brand’s message and the platform. If you want to sell shoes, do it on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Google, however, not on LinkedIn and Quora. Every platform has an intent.

My purpose of being on LinkedIn is pretty serious, and my purpose for being on Instagram is to have fun. This difference in customer mood on every platform is how you decide what your brand’s message can be on each platform.

One brand can sell on all platform, but the message needs to be contextual. Suppose Harley Davidson as a brand. If they were to advertise on Instagram and Facebook, they can show how their brand is an economical product one which people can enjoy a bike ride ( considering the millennial population on the platform ). On LinkedIn, the message can be that a Harley is a great ride for going to the office to make your peers envious, while on TikTok it can be that owning a Harley is like having a party all the time ( get a younger guy as a rider for the creatives). Platform contextual creatives work best.

Now adding on, Influencer marketing, is the biggest booming sector right now. Every platform has creators, and their content has a ton of following, usually in millions. Ergo, them sponsoring a product has the potential of getting a brand a ton of sales. It is booming day by day as marketers use influencers to collaborate, and get more sales. A brand can actually start their entire marketing activities with influencer marketing.

While hiring a social media consultant, how to find the right fit for my organization?

First comes the domain knowledge.

Has the person worked on other social media campaigns before? For this, previous case studies is a good enough indicative. I maintain a social media presence to keep a top of mind recall of my skill set. Actually, a good social media presence is an excellent way to judge someone’s services.

The other major factor is time management.

This job requires us to work in multiple time zones, and how eell you respect your client’s time is a good way to judge someone’s efficacy.

The last, and probably the most important is communication.

A lot of people take the project and vanish. They are hardly responsive on Slack or WhatsApp. I have always maintained, that we as digital marketers are responsible not just for running ads, but for the results the client’s, money is generating. If the client asks a question, it is my duty to answer is as soon as possible. I take failures in digital marketing very personally. That is why as soon as a client communicates with me, I damn well give them a response.

Speaking about social media platforms, why do you think LinkedIn has become so popular in the last 2 years?

Despite being as old as Facebook, LinkedIn wasn’t built for the millennial audience. Back when it was just a resume submission website, the tech-savvy generation was pretty young, fiddeling with Facebook. But as the millennials or the ‘App Generation’ grew, they became a much more active part of the workforce.

It was during this time when a much more focus on generating content for business was being practised on Facebook and Instagram. This readily translated to LinkedIn as well somewhere in 2016. And when video content distribution became an available feature on it, LinkedIn became a much more engaged platform.

Apart from that, its beautiful organic reach is something I marvel. Unlike other platforms, LinkedIn is already a paid platform. Which means, unlike Facebook that limits your organic reach, LinkedIn won’t force you to advertise for better reach.

If someone wants to make a career in social media, what would you suggest to him/her?

I would advise them, to actually work in an agency, where one actually gets to run ads and develop a brand. Be it an internship, or be it through one’s network. Work there, develop case studies and market your learnings.

Build networks that can actually help you learn, make your connections and start a career. Don’t waste your money on courses but to learn practical stuff.

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