Decoding Consumer Sentiments

As the fastest growing economies in the world, India is making its presence felt worldwide within the online industry as the third largest country in terms of internet users with over 112 million users as of September 2011. Out of this, 78% (88 million) are from urban cities compared to 22% (24 million) in rural. Analyzing the trends, a growth rate of 13% is estimated over the coming years. Insights from the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) estimate businesses investing approximately 1200 crores onto social media. Forecast shows growth at about 1.35 Lakh crore by 2015, with India’s share likely to cross Rs. 10,000 crores. These figures suggest that in the next two years, India shall overtake USA.

Evolution of digital as a medium is complimented by leveraging the potential of social media further in terms of usage in advertising, product launch decisions and direct engagement with consumers. While this progression is a necessity, it is increasingly important for businesses to translate their social media efforts into understanding consumer sentiments and scan competition.

We put together certain metrics to convert vast amounts of data available over social media, converting it into insights that help impact businesses positively and create a sustained presence online. As Formula 1 made its debut in India, MindShift Interactive gathered insights on consumer sentiments and brands associated with Formula 1, on social media. While putting our metrics together, a large number of negative conversations were seen but as brands, teams and organizers announced their associations, a MindShift was seen in the report concluding upon a positive Sentiment Analysis of 76% of the overall conversations tracked. This displays that the shift created by brands, organizers and others involved in Formula 1 lead to a happy state of mind.

Airtel, with three campaigns and a direct association with Formula 1, lead the way with 270 conversations, showcasing a heavy Social Media Outreach. 86% conversations were generated around the Airtel Simulator Challenge, followed by 64% through Sahara Stake Buyout and 61% of the Red Bull Racing Event, Delhi. MindShift Interactive concluded upon the insight that brand associations played a heavy role in creating awareness as well as influencing events, and in turn, the consumers attached to it.

Another MindShift in social media, we wish to inculcate is “One size does not fit all”. Customization is a key to engagement whether it is the content, contests or platforms you create for a specific business. The Formula 1 report throws light on this with insights showcasing that while Facebook was a platform with maximum investment and brand associations, Twitter dominated in terms of engagement with 700 conversations. It is important for businesses to gain insights on their consumers and competition to truly leverage a social media presence for them.

When you analyze consumers, it is seen that the sport was dominated by male audiences with 84 conversations created by them. An interesting insight from this research displayed that while only 16 % of the conversations were through females, they used social media to write news articles, blogs and twitter, with a heavily positive tonality as compared to the male audience. 3 % females attended the event vis-a-vis only 2 % of the male audiences, showcasing a higher conversion amongst females. A definite interest in the sport is seen by women and we believe if marketers create customized strategies that cater to women separately, engagements and possible conversions could see a higher spike.

Overall, while it is evident that the associations helped increase buzz about Formula 1 and kept the excitement alive among the audience, a lack of consistency in keeping the engagement alive was evident throughout. It is important that engagement is sustained and measured at all times to help predict and iterate when required. This will help businesses convert their fans into influencers.

At MindShift, our desired goal is to recreate brands in a truly social environment by gathering insights not only from the outlook of the people affected by the actions of brands, but also from a business viewpoint.

(Excerpts from Social Media Study 2011 on Consumers Sentiments & Brand Associations by MindShift Interactive)

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