Pradeep Chopra has been ruling the world of the internet since 2000. Let’s just say that he logged in, he surfed, and then he conquered; a pioneer in digital marketing. A graduate of IIT Delhi, Pradeep has been his own boss for 15 years now. He’s the Co-Founder & CEO of of Digital Vidya, Asia’s leading Digital Marketing training company. Given his vast knowledge and experience, it comes as no surprise that Pradeep is the most sought after international speakers on Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship.

Team Panga : How should a company determine whether it needs social media marketing or not?

Pradeep : Based on the company’s marketing objectives and target audience, they should check if their audience is present on various Social Media. If they are present then it makes sense to leverage it. If not (which is unlikely except for few industries) then they can wait till their audience gets onto the medium.

Team Panga : Is social media marketing really more effective and economical as compared to traditional media and marketing channels?

Pradeep : If executed well then surely the ROI of Social Media can be much better compared to traditional marketing channels. Moreover, for large brands, it makes sense to look at integrated marketing strategy.

Team Panga : Why should a company undertake social media marketing? What are the major benefits that a company can derive from social platforms?

Pradeep : An organization can use Social Media today to fulfill multiple business objectives ranging from employee hiring to customer acquisition.

Team Panga : How to identify a target audience for a social media marketing strategy or campaign?

Pradeep : Target Audience identification should be based on the marketing objective. For e.g., if lead generation is an objective then one should segment the prospects and then look for relevant Social Media channels where they are available.

Team Panga : For a company or individual just entering into social media marketing, what are some of the best tools that can be leveraged?

Pradeep : There are various Social Media tools used for listening, publishing and analyzing. Some of the popular tools include TweetDeck, Buffer, HootSuite. For large corporations or to monitor the performance large scale campaigns, one can consider Radian6, Adobe Social or Simplify360.

Team Panga : How to measure the Return on Investment (ROI) of a social media marketing campaign? How to measure intangible benefits such as brand value? What are the major metrics to determine the success of a social media marketing campaign?

Pradeep : ROI measurement is a function of objective. If brand building is an objective then one should look for metrics such as Views, Visitors, Engagement. In case an organization is using Social Media channels for lead generation then one should measure No of Leads, Cost per Lead, Lead to Sale conversion %.

Team Panga : Is social media marketing better for a B2B or a B2C scenario? Does social media marketing work in a B2B scenario?

Pradeep : While more B2C players are using Social Media compared to B2B, it’s relevant for both. The growth in terms of adoption among B2B players is even higher and the earlier mover advantage is even more in case of B2B. At the same time, Social Media for B2B is more complex and require longer & deeper engagement to be able to produce results.

Team Panga : As per your experience, what are some of the major challenges that businesses typically face with social media marketing?

Pradeep : In our experience, key challenges related to Social Media include:

  1. Underestimating the importance of Content
  2. How to create engagement?
  3. How to measure ROI of Social Media?

Team Panga : Marketing on social media platforms is very direct, and there is the possibility of negative comments and bad publicity. How should a company handle such a situation?

Pradeep : Even if you are not present on Social Media, you can’t stop your customers to talk about you. In that sense, no organization has a choice to ignore this medium. If an organization has a really bad product or service they are going to have tough time. Otherwise, some level of negative conversations is expected. The best way to handle such situations is to promptly acknowledge to the customer, promise a resolution, resolve the problem and close the same on the medium so that it’s complete for others who might be just observing.

Team Panga : What according to you are the major DOs and DON’Ts that a company should be aware of when starting its social media marketing journey?

Pradeep : understanding the customer and effectively engaging with them is critical to success. For the same reason, the results through this medium are likely to be more intangible and are going to take more time compared to other channels.
At the same time, opportunities such as advertising on Social Media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can be used to produce prompt and more measurable results.

Team Panga : What are the current popular trends in the social media marketing industry and how do you expect this industry to grow or change in the next 10 years?

Pradeep : Popular trends include:

  1. Social Media Marketing becoming integral part of overall marketing
  2. Mobile driving the future growth
  3. Adoption among B2B Players
  4. Growth of Advertisement opportunities such as on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

Thank you Pradeep for sharing your story with us. From your experience we’ve realised that hard work, wits, and humour will take one to great heights!