Nokia, Reckitt etc outsource @Twitter to woo consumers

21 Feb,2012

By Shelley Singh


Abhishek Roy, a 25-year-old commerce graduate from Delhi University and a diehard believer in social media, has more than 100 followers to his Twitter account. But that’s not the only account the heavy-metal addict operates on the social networking and micro-blogging service. Mr Roy also tweets for a living.


As an employee of Bloggers Mind, a social media-focused start-up that promises to ‘multiply your brand buzz’, Mr Roy spends his working day putting out tweets that typically promote products and services of companies. One of the companies that keeps Mr Roy busy is Nokia, which has outsourced its Twitter handle to Bloggers Mind.


“A great app to become an amazing cook! Here’s a review of the app from @mynokiablog,” is just one of Mr Roy’s tweets that go out to some 15,000 followers of Nokia India.


In Mumbai, 26-year-old Upasana Sanyal’s typical day is no different. Ms Sanyal, who joined technology services provider Mahindra Satyam six months ago, sends out 300-400 tweets a month. A recent one was on the company’s quarterly results.


Q3, Re dip gains mixed; volatility high,” was the cryptic but crisp message to the twitterati following the company. “Tweets spike around results time or key announcements. It’s a good deviation from the mundane,” said Ms Sanyal, a consultant with Mahindra Satyam.


At Dell India, Suyesh Shankar, 39, a marketing manager for consumer and small- and mid-sized businesses, spearheads the US firm’s social media agenda, which comprises a Twitter team that sits out of the company’s Bangalore-based Social Media Command Centre.


Roy, Sanyal and Shankar are the communicators with the mandate to capture consumer attention in 140 characters. While Mr Roy is with a specialist social media services provider, the latter two are key members of in-house Twitter teams.


Across India Inc, Twitter has fast transformed from an individual tool into a key platform to create and sustain brand buzz. The communications range from customer feedback and new jobs announcements to customer grievances and no-holds barred promotional blitzes.


While companies such as Nokia India, Kotak Securities, Reliance Digital, Reckitt Benckiser and TripAdvisor outsource their Twitter handles, others such as ICICI Bank, Dell, IBM and Flipkart manage it in-house. Other agencies, such as Bloggers Mind, that provide third-party tweets include Convonix, Interactive Avenues and OgilvyOne.


Twitter for most corporates is one link in an integrated marketing chain. “Our Twitter team is an extension of our ‘khayaal aapka’ effort and brings to life our commitment to be where our customers are,” said Anita Pai, senior general manager, ICICI Bank. In a typical month, ICICI Bank monitors 200,000 social media mentions, out of which 70,000 are tweets.


Handset major Nokia India manages between 400 and 700 tweets a month via Bloggers Mind. “We use Twitter to engage with consumers on a real-time basis, share tips, information and address feedback or queries,” said Viral Oza, director (marketing), Nokia India. Bloggers Mind has a nine-member team for Nokia and four for Reckitt Benckiser.


Aditya Vaidyanathan, account director for Nokia at Bloggers Mind, said: “We have a weekly planner with clients as to what messages to send out and how to address queries.” This includes promotional trivia such as: “Did you know that 360,500 text messages are sent out from Nokia phones every second”; or answering queries like: “How do I add new dictionary words to Nokia Lumia?”


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