Social Media in Action: A Look at How Indian Deal Sites Are Using Facebook

With the advent of Facebook as a powerful promotional tool, emerging businesses are rapidly taking to it as a potential means of getting closer to their customers. Is the Indian Daily Deal Industry fully exploiting the medium or are they lagging behind? We took up a comparative study of the Facebook Fan pages of the 4 leading deal sites in India to find out the answer.

Snapdeal : By far, India’s most successful or rather most popular daily deal site. Has a Fan Following of 1,54,453 (as on 12th Jan, 2012). Has dedicated city pages to specifically target local customers. Wall postings mainly focus on latest deals on the site. To engage Fans, it hosts several competitions and sweepstakes from time to time. Has integrated some interesting apps- Snapdeal Store– from where fans can directly buy a deal, Feedback- where Fans can directly post a feedback and SoundCloud- where Fans can listen to the Snapdeal jingle. Overall a fairly good use of multimedia (photos, videos, music, etc.) to create awareness around the brand. Snapdeal on Facebook

Koovs : Lately came into the limelight because of its association with some high profile events like The Great Indian Oktoberfest. With a Fan following of 1, 97,309 (as on 12th Jan, 2012), their Wall serves as the default landing tab. Wall postings generally consist of a mix of latest deals, questions, product photos and some celebrity birthday wishes to garner more interaction. Here too they have dedicated pages for different cities. The ‘Get Deals in ur city’ app directs the user to the dedicated page, while also giving them an option to directly sign up. The 5 photo Top Bar has not been utilized though.

Deals And You: At the time of researching for this article, their default landing tab is ‘Dateable Heartthrobs’- good foresight keeping in mind their core customer group and Valentine’s day being around the corner. Current Facebook strategy is centered on Valentine’s Day Date Contest and Cupid. With a Fan Following of 2,46,327, it has dedicated pages only for the 2 major cities- Delhi and Bangalore. One wall post that catches the eye is their initiative to help CRY- some CSR activity there. Though not too many apps are installed, they have an exclusive offer for Facebook Fans- Get 100 extra for registering on the site through Facebook. Here too, the 5 photo Top Bar has not been utilized and the latest photos show up by default.

MyDala : With a fan following of 1,05,144, MyDala’s wall page shows how social media can be a potential tool in the hands of a consumer to voice their concerns. Their wall brings to the fore several core operational issues which deal sites face in their day to day business- refund policy, delivery time, coupon expiry etc. Kudos to the team for allowing such comments to go on the wall. However, it remains to be seen what it does with those feedbacks ultimately. Wall postings are as usual-latest deals, polls, etc. The ‘Wheel of Deals’ is an interesting app to make more people ‘Like’ the page but as per user comments (refer their wall) it is generating more negative publicity than positive ones. They too have dedicated city pages which mainly focus around city-specific deal postings.

As it seems, deal sites in India are desperately trying to crack the Holy Grail of Facebook marketing but a lot remains to be explored in terms of user engagement and actually bonding with the people who matter the most. The lure of awards and sweepstakes might be helpful in giving the initial thrust but a lot remains to be learnt by us as an industry to fully exploit the medium.

[About the author: Guest article contributed by Shilpi Choudhury – she is a Blogger and Inbound Marketer at DiscountPandit.com, a deal search engine.]

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