Cost of Inactivity

June 5, 2009

I would like to thank to one of my online friend – ISABELLE who has been actively discussing with me on this matter, The Best part of our discussion was coming up with a  new perspective to look at “Cost of Inactivity” rather than analyzing it through ROI, Cost per click etc etc.

Inactivity has been an important concern in the Social Media World especially in the Indian Markets. Social Media has been very successful in other countries. India has still yet to taste the response of Social Media. Yes there are many companies who have started using Social Media as one the mediums to engage people. But they are not completely in it. The current perception of the Indian market is still restricted to contests, Campaigns to engage users and not discussions, brainstorming and other Crowd sourcing activities. Indian brands are still skeptical to act transparent to the actual people and still looking at different ways to control these mediums in either restricting themselves on tools or content.

But Social Media is more than just sharing a company’s information, their operations, their expansion plans, service etc. Social Media is also, giving an opportunity to the people to participate in one’s brand conversations, such as brand enhancements and many more. It need not have to be specific to the brand but a relative activity of the brand. Ultimately what people look for is an opportunity to converse with people on different possible discussions, express their views, frustrations, ideas etc. where they would like make some value additions. The Best example of is the Idea Campaign, it does have an emotional connect as well as involve people in the brand’s Initiatives.

There is one more reason why Brands in India are not very keen in involving real people in their activities, as the fear of conversations going against them. But, its worth taking a risk.

It needs a long term strategy to develop good relationships with the real people. An ideal social media strategy should span across between 3 to 6 months. Social Media strategies are little time consuming, but in this case we are building a communication support to backup our promotional activities. It just like somebody approaching you with a product which has no history and future. Everyone needs some supporting, not just appearing it on Hoardings, Electronic media, but also adding some personalized touch to it.

Brands still look at one big Idea, than looking at simple strategies to support it. And this kind of practice is dangerous for a brand image. Moreover, just being listed on all popular social media services, will not be considered as being active on it. One has to talk to people, ask their reviews, involve them in the brand’s survey processes and also involve them in possible brainstorming processes. This will certainly place any brand to a customer’s expectation and also building brand loyalty. People wants their concern to be considered. So far we have been hiding and running away from their concerns, and naturally that leads a Brand Disaster in the coming future. Moreover, being active is so important as there is immense competition around the brands itself. Lets understand one thing, being inactive is far more expensive than being active. Here are some important aspects to look at it:

  1. Misunderstanding towards a Brand
  2. Loosing valuable customers without knowing
  3. Negative Influence
  4. Misinterpretation of the customers  expectation and hence ending up in a loose out
  5. Advantage for the competitors
  6. Negative conversations going out of control damaging the Brand Reputation
  7. Very difficult to convince and provide possible justification on a claim or an incident
  8. Loosing out good opportunities to connect with consumers directly and also understanding their expectations
  9. Spending lot of money on the research companies, with assumptive survey reports
  10. Unwanted Redirection of Valuable Conversations

Looking at so many possible disadvantages, Is Being Inactive Worth a try ?


5 Responses to “Cost of Inactivity”

  1. Good post, the problem as I understand is not that the Indian Brands don’t know what is social media space but they yet to focus on their engagement strategy, as you said being inactive is the worst thing one brand could do on social media after creating profiles, fan pages or communities. What I would like to see is our Indian brands to focus on identifying their social engagement need with a strategy on why?, how? and where? to engage with their target consumers instead of just trying to use tools like twitter, social network profile pages and corporate blogs (because everybody else at other side of the world is using it) for the sake of branding themselves as social organizations because it just helps a brand in getting rants from users/so called experts/analysts for not engaging properly instead of creating a meaningful impact.

    • Bhanu Says:

      @Vijay Rayapati…….. You are absolutely right. But i would like share some of my experiences. Even if we present it in (why?, How? and where?) format. rather it could be (what, why, Time, How). Clients are still skeptical whether it really works. The biggest problem is they still rely on Proven methods of marketing i.e PR and Advertising. As I have mentioned in my earlier posts also that we follow and not initiate.

      I truly agree to the fact that, in India people are still skeptical about tools or communications. It is certainly communication strategy and nothing else.. Tools only help to reach out instantly, but what we talk and how we convey is something one has to plan. 🙂

  2. Gautam Says:

    Here’s an interesting article you can ask businesses to read up about social media

  3. Belinda Byrge Says:

    Many thanks regarding the awsome article. I will keep an eye about your blog, i allready bookmarked it to own list 🙂

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