This one is for all digital marketers! Learn what’s trending and what’s not in the world of digital marketing. Every day, fresh trends, deals, reels, etc., surface. So how exactly does team upGrowth stay abreast of these trends? How do these industry experts curate and carry out effective digital marketing campaigns?
Listen to our industry insiders share digital marketing trade secrets in the brand-new podcast series: Growth Drivers of upGrowth.
In our first episode, we have Sahil – our Project Manager, in conversation with Avani – a Social Media Marketer. Hear out their stories of social media growth.
Sahil Khare: Awesome. So hi. Hello everyone. My name is Sahil Khare. I work at up growth as the project manager and growth marketer. Today we have with us Avani Awasthee. She’s a social media manager at upGrowth and this is the first video of our series Growth Drivers of upGrowth. So we are going to ask Avani some questions. We are going to pick her brain and see what a life of a social media marketer looks like. So, let’s straight away get into the questions. Tell me how you started your career in social media marketing. How did you get that craze or that liking for social media marketing?
Avani Awasthee: Okay, well, hi firstly. And thank you for having me here and I think it’s always a pleasure working together. When I was studying four, five years ago, social media, we didn’t ever have a subject called Social Media. You know, there’s no course called social media. We have something called as marketing and advertising, of course which I learned. And then I stepped out of college.
Avani Awasthee: The concept of influencer marketing, the concept of online branding, online marketing side started budding. Until then we were so used to seeing hoardings and boards and you know traditional marketing. But at that time I think we got more used to it. Also, the Internet became more accessible to us. And then we slowly started seeing you know, celebrities advertising more often.
And that for me was very interesting because I didn’t necessarily have to, you know, go on the Internet and search what the best product or service was like the way SEO works like the way Google works. You know, social media, the different platforms with its Facebook or that’s Instagram, LinkedIn. Twitter, all of these started becoming their own networking platforms.
Sahil Khare: Right.
Avani Awasthee: And I think the amount and the ease with which we could go on to an app every day learn new things and learn the new products that came up, I think became more interesting to me because it changed the entire branding concept for us. In that little amount.
Sahil Khare: Right.
Avani Awasthee: You are able to reach masses of people. Slowly, with the different changes, that thankfully, Facebook and these apps are coming up with. You can now see the vast audience we are reaching. Which we couldn’t ideally do with traditional marketing. For example, I think I have learned that you can’t exactly count back and see how many people have seen hoarding.
Avani Awasthee: Because of the changing world and changing technology, you can now sit down and actually calculate what is the amount of people that we have reached. And if we have not reached the target number, then you can change your campaign.
Sahil Khare: Right. Absolutely. So my next question is so you are into social media? You are using it day in and day out, so don’t you feel overwhelmed and overloaded with the content that is available on the Internet.
Avani Awasthee: Oh, every day! It’s an addiction. I mean, to be very, very honest, it’s an addiction and we don’t accept it. I think the first problem of addiction is that you don’t accept it. But there is so much content that goes out in media that we forget to analyze what quality content is.
Sahil Khare: Okay.
Avani Awasthee: But again it depends, you know. What counts as quality content for me might not count as quality content for you. It can differ from person to person which is why the concept of content creators and influences become so vast for me.
Sahil Khare: Yeah.
Avani Awasthee: maybe comedy is quality content because it helps me forget my busy day for you. Maybe watching a TEDx speaker is quality. So, I think what is extremely necessary for us is just to put a hard stop. Especially on scrolling because that’s what worked for me. I have now learned it. Thankfully, because of these smartphones that we have, you can put time out on every app.
Avani Awasthee: Put a timeout on every app and you can decide how long you want to scroll. So, once that timer is up I kind of shut down.
Sahil Khare: Oh, that’s nice advice for all the youngsters who are glued to social media.
Avani Awasthee: And of course, it’s like a parent and parental control but for yourself.
Sahil Khare: Let’s get into the social media side of things. So as a social media marketer, how do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and all these algorithmic changes that are going on?
Avani Awasthee: Oh, so I think, first of all, it’s extremely important to learn to identify what trends are. For example, people didn’t know how to identify trending audio on Instagram for the longest time. When you are on Instagram you see the audio name below.
There’s an arrow that is going up which indicates that it is trending audio. This is an indicator that if you want to make a new viral reel click on that audio. That trend of audio trends for almost 10 or 15 days. Then the other way of identifying is that when you click on that audio, it will show you the number of content videos that have been made on that audio.
Avani Awasthee: It sometimes shows that 100,000 videos have been made. Sometimes it shows us 15,000. But the hack is that if the audio has been used only below 15000 times, then you should make it. If it has already crossed 15,000 times, it may not trend as much. So you have to keep reeling to learn these trends. There are wonderful courses. These days online they teach you how to identify these hacks.
Everyone keeps complaining that Facebook, Youtube, or Instagram is not pushing my content. It’s because the algorithm is changing. But that’s obvious. Social media marketers have to learn to identify a change in social media marketing angles.
Sahil Khare: All right.
Avani Awasthee: You have to read and keep talking to people. Sometimes the trends are cringe, of course, but then it depends on what you want, it depends on what audience you have.
Sahil Khare: Absolutely. So this was something new. Thanks for sharing. Yeah, my next question is, you yourself are an influencer on Instagram and on different platforms. Can you tell our viewers about it? And how can brands these days make good use of influence and marketing? What they should and shouldn’t do?
Avani Awasthee: Sure
Avani Awasthee: Influencers have got such a negative connotation that a lot of people don’t want to be associated with them.
My aim was not to be an influencer. I just happened to be one because of my content. I realized that the audience liked my content. But there was a period in the middle where I couldn’t understand why. You know, if I have, say, 20,000 followers, why am I getting only 500 likes?
Also, try to understand that as and how your followers go up, sometimes your engagement also drops. Just because you have 60,000 followers or one million followers does not mean you’re going to get one million likes on every picture.
Avani Awasthee: You need to identify your audience. If I’m talking about fashion or if I’m talking about beauty, I cannot expect someone that is passionate about bikes to come and follow me.
They are not my target audience, and you have to identify this. If your target is to get parents to watch your content, start making content around kids, toys, or healthy food habits. That’s how I’m going to get that kind of audience.
Secondly, it is not true when people say you have to post every day. What you can do is probably put out stories every day.
Avani Awasthee: Also, people don’t realize that sharing content is great, but people follow you for what you do. People follow you because they want to see what your day looks like. It doesn’t mean that people want to be like you. They just enjoy it.
We just enjoy your content. So once in a while, wake up in the morning and put out a very unfiltered video. Like, ‘this is my day,’ and it’s okay to talk about how uncomfortable you are. People misunderstand that. What I put out on social media is what I really am. I have nice days and I have bad days. Influencers have their days. People appreciate the unfiltered side.
Avani Awasthee: So, you must be more comfortable in your own skin.
Sahil Khare: Right. And so let’s say I’m a fashion business, I have my own fashion business and I want to go about, you know, selecting influencers for my business.
Can you just shed a bit of light on how a business should go about picking? An influencer? When is the right time to do that? Or what are the things that integrities involved in in this process?
Avani Awasthee: Daddy first is a brand, it’s very important for you to identify or what your price point is. What is the amount that you are spending? What is the age that you’re looking at and what are the genders that you’re looking at?
Avani Awasthee: Potato. Once you do that then it becomes a easy for you to hashtags are there on instagram on Facebook or YouTube for a reason. Because when you search a hashtag and say and in as an influencer I put down a hashtag,…
Sahil Khare: Here.
Avani Awasthee: I will be able to tap into that Influencer. I put out a hashtag or you can even Google it seeing. I want to look for these influencers, fashion, influences, and that list automatically comes up. What is also important is what locality you’re in. Are you a local brand? Or are you a national brand? Or are you a statewise brand or even international brand? If you’re an international brand, you can, oh, reach out to international people, influencers, and send it to them. If you’re a local brand, you can reach out a local influences. And it’s, I think it’s very important to take a professional approach in the sense that these days, anyone gets random dms and random messages. Your message has to be very professionally written, or most times influencers have an email ID that is given reach out to them.
Avani Awasthee: To an email ID, write very specifically what you want to cater to and also remember that most of the influences these days, it’s a business for them. Also, you cannot always go up to influencers and go with an approach of.
Sahil Khare: You.
Avani Awasthee: I want to have a collaboration with you. The minute as a brand you go up to them and say I won’t have a barter collaboration or a free collaboration with you influences, take a back step. Because they start taking the brand a little likely. Of course, the concept of vocal for local is coming up, which is great. But your approach, um, towards influencers, sometimes influences feel like we’re not being taken seriously. So as a brand that wants to go out seriously needs to approach them very seriously as well and…
Sahil Khare: Right.
Avani Awasthee: it’s to let them know that I appreciate the work that you’re doing. But this is my audience. This is what I want to cater to and there are two types of influencers one that can help you get sales and second that can help you get. Attraction. So you need to identify through your campaign. Do you want to get sales or do you want to only get eyeballs? And then depending on that the ones that want to get sales, you can go to the entrance and say that this is your code, put out your video, put out your post and let people click on this and through your code, they can get a 10 or 20% discount through that link.
Sahil Khare: and,
Avani Awasthee: You can backtrack and see this influences and help me get 10 new. Purchases. That is the influence you want or then like me. I don’t promise any sales but I promise traction, I can promise you that people will come and follow you. So, you need to identify, that is how you should also invest in. Don’t just invest because everyone is seeing influencer marketing is great. Sit down, cut down into 10 influencers, say to influencers I want for sales to influencers, I want for attraction and the other influencers I just want because I want to be the talk of the town.
Avani Awasthee: So I think that’s how you can identify who you want and it’s also important. What is reputation and influence that comes with
Sahil Khare: Great, great, thanks for all those insights. I think we’ve got some inner details about how Influencer marketing works in the Influencer world,…
Avani Awasthee: Yeah.
Sahil Khare: if I can say that. Yeah, and…
Avani Awasthee: Yeah.
Sahil Khare: so let’s move to the next questions. Now, let’s say, Can you give some tips? Let’s say, Can you give four tips you know to our viewers to ensure that their content gets the most engagement?
Avani Awasthee: I think one is, oh, Make content only according to your audience, You know, if I’m a dancer tomorrow, I’m going in putting out a singing car video that I know nothing about, people are not going to appreciate it. Know your audience either, take some time to identify what your audience is and cater to that audience. Don’t run behind brand deals all the time because it might help you get money. It will not help you get traction. And the image that people get is that, oh, she’s also become one of those that just wants to do brand deals and just wants money and doesn’t care about what you know, we like Second is it is extremely important to engage with your audience. If someone has taken the time to come and comment on your picture or your post or your video,
Avani Awasthee: If you don’t like the comment, let it go or delete it or. But if you do like it, make sure you respond to them and let them know that you are. Appreciating it. That way,…
Sahil Khare: and,
Avani Awasthee: people tend to share your content more people will come back for your audience. So, I think third and the most important, as I said, is trying to be as unfiltered as you can. It’s okay to let people know that or maybe you’re sick or you don’t want to put out today. I just don’t feel like getting out of bed or today. I’m having a bad day and let people know you are one of them. Don’t put out a celebrity status, that creates a gap between you and your audience. The more real. You are the more you let people know I have over eaten today or I’ve put on weight and I’ve lost weight, I don’t, you know, emotionally I’m not. Okay. People will want to reach out to you and you know, want to be there for you. and I think lastly, is that just, Don’t create a content because you just want to create content.
Avani Awasthee: You know, sometimes if you don’t feel like putting on something, sometimes you think that I don’t have anything to do, it’s okay. It’s all right. Take a break to take a social media break, but just let people know. You know, I’m what I’m going on. A social media break, Don’t psych yourself up with the fact that just because I have 500,000 followers on Instagram. That means I’m a celebrity. You please take grounded. Stay real for yourself because God forbid one day. See, Instagram takes time. Account of Facebook takes, turn your page. Then you are going to hate reality. There is a big difference between your reality and what you show on social media. So don’t let me get into your head to a point where if you don’t have it, you can’t live without it.
Sahil Khare: Good. Thanks so much for that. You you are There was a point where you mentioned, you know, being unfiltered on social media. So how can brands be, you know, remain unfiltered. How can they connect with the audience better by remaining unfiltered or, you know, showing a bit of transparency, Do the audience, do audiences, appreciate this. So can you just tell a bit more about how brands can be remain unfiltered and promote themselves or their products?
Avani Awasthee: It definitely do, I think these days because of social media, the entire concept of having a standalone store, also as an exist you as a brand can be selling completely online. And what happens is, you know, usually when brands have standalone stores, we know that they have invested, which means they have good amount of money, which means we assume that their products are being held handled by properly. But with stores or with brands that are, oh, you know, completely online. We don’t know what is happening behind the scenes, which is why. When I speak to brands that I speak to people. I like to tell them to let let your team be known to people. Let people know who your team is. I think very likely as what we’re doing today.
Avani Awasthee: When as across, if we let people know that we are, the people that are going to help you market, people will have more faith in. You, people will know that you are a normal person. Like I am. Let them know the hard work behind you as well. See, I’m a cosmetic brand. Or am I have a lipstick factory where I have a whatever factory if you’re claiming that? You are an animal cruelty, free brand. Show people how If you are dealing in bags or if you’re dealing customized items show people the factory or the whatever that you have behind the scenes. Let people know that I’m also, I also sit down every day and package your bag and I tie it up and send it to you.
Avani Awasthee: Let people know the hardships that you are. Everyone thinks just because they’re running. A brand means You have a lot of money which means you have 10 employees under you. Maybe as a brand when I’ve started, I It was just me my parents that started. Let them know your story. Let them feel more connected to you. Be as transparent as you can because that influences people to then take their step. And this is, I think your past from, not only becoming a brand that people love, but that slowly starts giving your reputation in the market.
Sahil Khare: Right. Right. Absolutely. And there was another point regarding the comments.
Avani Awasthee: Yeah.
Sahil Khare: So let’s say if there are some negative comments A brand receives on something. So how do you feel a brand should address those
Avani Awasthee: I think. Not addressing that is the biggest mistake. Um, I have worked with so many brands, so many big brands that when I also put out posts, I have people commenting on my post saying, Oh, yeah, they must have good quality and all of that, but their customers services, not good. They don’t respond to our comments. And then what people do is, when they don’t get a response from the brand social media has make or break. You can very easily go on there. Comment section and tag something in type something and say that, you know, this brand is not good. Don’t run away from the problem. Accept the problem, go out there. If you have, if you have to give them a 50% discount, if you have to give it to them for free,
Avani Awasthee: You do what you have to do but do not let. Don’t neglect It, don’t ignore the problem. I think What is what I’ve learned from you also. But, you know, about how a brand it’s what we talk in our social champs, also that deal with it deal with your reputation management. Don’t let it go. Let them know that. That’s how we have seen it. We’re sorry. We apologize for this. We’re trying and working on your issue. Let people know. Let that person know that we understand. You may not be very happy with our brand, but we are trying to work through it. That’s all people. Just need to feel acknowledged. And then there are always a set of people that are having a bad day and will come in, comment something on you with which you can’t do anything about
Avani Awasthee: No matter how honest you are, people will always even today, I’m not a brand but as a person as so many people that come and write rubbish on your things and I used to wake up crying at one point of end time. Not understanding why people are doing this but it’s okay. Like the way you are having a certain day. People on that, side of the screen, are having a certain day. Some don’t take it to heart if you think you can change it as reputation management. Please go ahead and do it and sometimes just let it go.
Sahil Khare: That is very well said; last question. So, what advice do you have for budding social media marketers? Who are, you know, just getting started with their careers.
Avani Awasthee: I think. Now if you’re just getting started with your careers, fortunately there are courses online certification courses that you can start off with. I think we are the ones that kind of just learned through experience and got into this field. And thankfully we get had a lot of guidance and we had each other to run through it. But eventually social media, digital media is gonna become a very big agency. It’s gonna become a very big OH sector. So I said so I would say Oh if you’re already out of university or you want to get into it, start taking courses, just get a little certification course but also stay up to date. Read a lot of blogs speak to I think the biggest thing here is that we think just because social media and rich media are so strong that we tend to forget traditional marketing.
Avani Awasthee: I think the biggest way that I learned the pros and cons of social media is by comparing it to traditional marketing, don’t take away all the credit from traditional marketing, know that also and then because that will help you identify where a brand stands today. Learn about traditional marketing but learn about social media. Marketing is well read a lot and social media marketing does not mean instagram. There are various different platforms that are coming up. Oh, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube. And these days even Instagram today, has started monetizing people. Learn how to monetize, learn how to come up with it, but stay up to date. Do not let so much content drive you crazy. Take it one step at a time. But please read up and get educated if there are good courses.
Sahil Khare: Was awesome. Thanks a lot Avani for taking time out of your busy schedule and being with us here today. So to all our viewers, this was our first episode and see you all in the next episode. Thank you so much for tuning in goodbye.