Follow us at F-T-Y-B: Hareesh Tibrewala

04 May,2012

By Hareesh Tibrewala


While on a business trip to Delhi last week.  I happened to find myself in the midst of a traffic jam (so what’s new?) and while patiently waiting for the car to start crawling, my eyes fell on a large advertising hoarding. It was a well-designed hoarding for a luxury brand with some superlative creatives and the company web URL printed in the lower left hand corner. While everything on this 200 square meter hoarding looked perfect, what triggered my discomfort were four small colourful boxes in the bottom right corner, preceded by the words “Follow us on”.


The colourful boxes were the single character brand logos for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Blogger, and quite obviously the brand manager was trying to invite the reader to engage with the brand on these social networks. What I saw on this billboard is a representation of what one sees in others forms of communication as well. Lots and lots of social networking site logos and lots and lots of URLs. Does this really help?


Here are my thoughts


  • Simply putting colourful boxes with logos of social networking sites (without the full brand URL eg does not add any value to your communication. If at all, it only contributes to promoting the brand value of that social networking site.
  • Putting a half a dozen URLs in a communication serves no purpose either. No one has time to visit a single URL or click on a single link, leave alone click on half a dozen links. When I see a communication which has lots “Follow us on ..” links, frankly it is a bit intimidating
  • Just because you ask someone to “Follow” you is no reason to believe that that person is actually going to follow you.


So what should be done ?


  • Sure, social networking sites are now the default place where consumers engage with brands. Also the days when consumer went to content are over. Now content has to reach the consumer. Thus continuing the engagement with the consumer, from your bill board onto a social networking site makes all the sense
  • If your brand is present on multiple social networks, choose one where you think you have the best chance of building a community or engaging with the consumer. Promote just this one link. When the consumer reaches this page, you can always provide links to your other social media presence.
  • Display the link in full ( Chance of a brand recall is much higher compared to just saying : Find us on YouTube
  • Finally if you are putting out a link, see if you can build in a strong call to action. Try to answer the question, “why should the consumer follow my link”. And use that answer to trigger a strong call to action.


Hareesh Tibrewala is Joint CEO, Social Wavelength. You can engage with him socially at


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