Online Media Management Strategy for Ayurnava
The report will produce a strategy that would define an initiative for Ayurnava to create an online presence to engage, interact with people and promote their business through social media channels and online spaces.
Overview Of Ayurnava
Ayurnava is a traditional healing and treatment center following authentic Ayurveda, therapies and yoga. It is a hub where “the ancient wisdom meets the comfort of the modern without compromising on quality prescribed in the ancient texts. The center is a blessing for those who seek treatment modules for various illnesses” (AyurNava, 2014). Ayurnava is established in Gurgaon, India and rated as the best Ayurveda treatment center in Delhi NCR, India. With the expert ayurvedic doctors, latest modern facilities, and in a rejuvenating ambiance, Ayurnava provides genuine ayurvedic treatments. Including Panchakarma (Detoxification), paralysis, weight loss, Rasayana (anti-aging), yoga, meditation, and ancient time tested, side-effect free therapies for curing many chronic ailments and maintaining healthy body and mind. Their aim is to encourage social, spiritual, emotional and psychological well being.
Ayurnava is a two-year-old business entity with almost no social media presence except for a website and email. However, they do have a Facebook profile instead of a Facebook page, with no activity except for a picture (Ayurnava, n.d.). Moreover, their Facebook profile is not integrated on their website so one would not even know if they exist in social world or not.
And so, as a current media strategy, Ayurnava uses their website to promote their brand and engage with people. Their market segment includes mostly people suffering from illnesses which have no cure in allopathic treatments, people looking for a natural cure with no side-effects for mental stress and physical pains, which in today’s world is almost everybody. And so their target audience comprises of all age groups but mostly ranging from 30–90 years.
There are many competitors for Ayurnava in the Indian market. However, most of them are not so active on social media simply because their setups are not too big and in many parts of the country, people do not have access to internet and technology. According to internet statistics as of July 2016, out of the huge population of 1.326 Billion only 462 Million people uses the internet in India (InternetLiveStats, 2016). The users may increase to 500 Million by 2018 which means a lot of opportunities.
In the international market, however, there is much competition and hence, the author chose to select below-mentioned competitors in the similar field as Ayurnava-
· Santhigram Wellness, an organization, established in 1998, currently located in India and USA (Wellness, 1998). They are very actively present on various social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Linkedin and Google+ in both the countries.
Moreover, they have a separate Twitter account for both the countries, and the US account seems to be less active in comparison.
· Ayurwoman an Ayurveda Clinic, based in Melbourne, Australia (Ayurwoman, 2016). The social media channels they use to promote their business and communicate with people are Google +, Facebook, Youtube, Vimeo, and Pinterest. However, they are not so active on social media platforms and do not have many followers which indicate that they have not used these channels efficiently.
Keeping in mind that the client’s organization is not very old and caters to a wide audience in each segment of society because in the modern world, Ayurveda is the need of the hour. The author initially, would recommend Ayurnava to create their presence among the local as well as the global audience. It could be achieved by conducting online and offline campaigns; various online campaigns could be to offer free diagnosis and treatment online by experienced Ayurvedic doctors. Ayurnava could arrange some monthly or weekly, online counseling sessions on mental health and well-being on their website for free and share these videos on Youtube, etc. They could also add a “buy now” feature to sell ayurvedic medicines all over the globe through their website. Adopting such campaign methods would pull people’s attention to their website and from website they could route their audience to various other social media channels which are integrated on their website. These channels could be incorporated vertically on the extreme left of the page, for the user to access them anytime they want while going through the website. For example the below illustration:
Once people start paying attention to Ayurnava by accessing their website for various reasons. It would result in a creation of a brand community (Muniz Jr & O’guinn, 2001), then is the time to move their attention to other active social media platforms discussed later in the report, through sharing the posts, tweets, pictures and videos from online spaces to their website and vice-versa.
Social Media Channels
There is a whole lot bunch of many social media platforms, and many new ones appear almost every day. For any business entity, it is not feasible and possible to participate in all social media applications because these social channels require time and if the channel is not active, it dies very fast. To choose the right medium can be confusing, and the choice depends on the target audience and the kind of message to conveyed. Ayurnava would attract adults, middle-aged and elderly people and family groups.
Some channels may offer a specific feature that may be effective for a business entity to communicate its message, which other channels might not. For instance, some channel provides supervision on posted messages or comments from the user (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010).
Understanding the different characteristics of various social media platforms the author recommends the following social channels to Ayurnava:
The first choice is Facebook because it caters to a wide audience of all age groups, therefore, allows Ayurnava to reach out to a large mass of the population all around the world free of cost. Although with a wide audience, there could be a viral capability for negative comments. Facebook allows creating fan pages, groups, events, etc. which brings more traffic and is handy for any promotional activities and campaigns. It is one of the best mediums for communication as it allows the user to post text, images and videos; it also allows to share and embed content. Ayurnava’s type of audience is not of a herd or a crowd, but is that of a community and hence, Facebook would be an ideal platform for them to interact with people and promote their brand. Facebook global active users are 1.59 Billion (Statista, 2016). And another advantage of using Facebook in India is that it is the most browsed social network site in India, with more than 100 Million users, of which 80% access it via smartphones.
The second choice is Twitter with billions of registered users. Like other social networking sites, Twitter also provides free service to its users. However, they have started some paid services too, which are not compulsory. Most of the famous people, celebrities, and stars use Twitter, so it is easy to connect by simply following them. Ayurnava could use Twitter to build relationships with its customers and partners using handle “@” and hashtags “#.” However, they can not tweet more than 140 characters, and Twitter is not much effective for visual content as it is more link based. Twitter provides various services like SMS service to get instant notifications and third-party application like hoot suite enables to update the tweet automatically. Another application is Tweetdeck, a social media dashboard that allows more than one member of the account to manage and monitor their Twitter account (Sump-Crethar, 2012). The monthly active users of Twitter worldwide as of 2015 are 310 Million, of which 33 Million users are in India (Statista, 2016).
Instagram is all about photography and community (Linaschke, 2011). A picture is something that speaks a thousand words to its customers, and it is something a business owner can not do by writing posts, blogs, and articles. Instagram is one of the most popular photos and video sharing mobile app which makes sharing online pictures easy and quick. For Ayurnava, being a holistic treatment center, it is handy to capture immediate pictures and share them instantly with their audience. For instance, Santigram shares below picture (Santhigram, 2015) with their audiences:
Ayurnava could connect their Facebook account on Instagram and use popular hashtags to engage with more and more people. Ayurnava must be aware, that it can also buy Instagram followers, therefore, they must produce professional pictures. The statistics show that as of 2015, the Instagram has reached 500 million as monthly active users worldwide and “this figure is projected to surpass 111 million in 2019” (Statista, 2015, p. para 2).
Youtube is a content community website that allows the user to generate a variety of videos, business media content and share it online with public, free of cost. It is the best platform for Ayurnava to share interviews with Ayurvedic doctors, video clips demonstrating panchakarma procedures, videos guiding yoga and meditation techniques, health tips and much more.
Youtube offers a feature to share private videos as it allows its “participants to broaden or limit physical access to their videos and thus create larger or smaller media circuits by using technical features such as limited “friends-only” viewing or strategic tagging” (Lange, 2007). Also, each Youtube video is “accompanied by an HTML markup for embedding it in another page unless the uploader chooses to disable this feature” (Cheng, Dale, & Liu, 2008). Hence, Ayurnava could push their videos from Youtube to its accounts on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook just like Santhigram has done below (Santhigram, 2016 ).
Creating Social Media Presence
After identifying the various social media channels, the next step is to bring these channels in action. The first step in doing so is to register on all of the four above mentioned channels through a single email account because it will be easy to manage, say for example, “email@example.com.” Once registered, the next step is to develop their business profiles with company picture or logo, brief description, location, important information, etc. on each channel, the key here is to be consistent with the information provided on every channel.
At this stage, all four channels are functional and active. So the next step will be to follow people, add and invite friends on these channels and start communicating their messages through Facebooks status, tweets, pictures, and videos.
Aforementioned social channels would help Ayurnava to expand and engage with its audience. However, let us not forget that social media is constantly changing and fast-moving domain. What maybe latest or up-to-date in the social “virtual” world today might vanish completely tomorrow. Therefore, the author would recommend Ayurnava to follow few set principles that could be applied to any form of social media. These, for instance, could be: -
To keep the content fresh and new. To engage people in new discussions because people on social media channels are passionate to engage actively and “to become both producers and consumers of information, so-called prosumers” (Toffier, 1980 cited in) (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010, p. para 4.2.1). Be active in responding to the comments (especially negative comments) because of delay in replies people may get frustrated and leave the community. Also, the too quick response may seem like an automated reply. Therefore, comments must be timely responded. Another principle is to be transparent in communicating the desired message, be polite and do not use formal speech because participants on social media are in an interactive and friendly mood. To sum up in short, the basic idea is to be a human being with common sense, emotions, and awareness because relationships on online spaces are as real as a relationship in real life.
Another big challenge faced by businesses having different social media platforms is to manage and monitor them. Usually, a business does not have enough time to manage social media, and various challenging questions could cause a migraine. For instance, “what is the best time to tweet?” “how do I know if am doing right on my social media channels?” “what type of content is more popular among people?” and much more.
Therefore, the author would suggest three options for Ayurnava.
1. To hire a social media strategist-
Pros: Saves time, provides professional expertise, fast response, and timely reports
Cons: Involves cost, the risk to harm brand reputation because the strategist performs activities under the company’s name.
2. Outsourcing the social media management-
Pros: Creates time for business, gets professional expertise knowledge.
Cons: Involve high cost, there is a risk of losing authenticity, creates a wall between business and audience.
3. Use data analytics tools
Pros: Free of cost except for paid services, no wall between business and audience.
Cons: Demands attention and time, some services incur costs.
The evaluation of success or failure of a social media strategy depends on the analysis of the data, and social media produces a huge amount of data which makes the analytical decision making difficult and slow. Therefore, the analytical tools came into existence. According to (Montalvo, 2011, p. 93) social media data analytics involves “translating data into dashboards, graphics, and metrics reports that management uses to evaluate the outcomes of specific strategies.”
The author would recommend Ayurnava to use the following data analytical tools:
It generates a report for the business page. The report measures “content viewed (reach), posts clicked (engaged users), the content being “talked about,” and total “likes” for the page” (Geho & Dangelo, 2012, p. para23).
It is another free of cost tool that gives a flexible view of multiple timelines on a single page that would help Ayurnava to sort and keep a track of tweets, retweets, direct messages, and mentions. Hence, saving time as it also allows to schedule future tweets and build tweet collections.
For instance (TwitterDeck , 2016),
It is a paid service that provides “a social media dashboard and scheduler that allows users to link their social media profiles to the program and manage their entire social media suite from one easy to navigate program” (Geho & Dangelo, 2012, p. para 30). Hootsuite ensures high security by securing logins and permission levels to keep the organization protected and allows to add multiple team members to share the workload.
Ayurnava. (n.d.). Timeline [Facebook page]. Retrieved June 09, 2016, from
AyurNava. (2014). About Ayurnava. Retrieved2016, from http://ayurnava.com/about_ayurnava.html
AYURVEDA, S. (2016). Retrieved from https://twitter.com/santhigram
Ayurveda, S. (2016). Retrieved from https://twitter.com/santhigramusa
Ayurwoman. (2016). Ayurwoman Ayurveda Clinic. Retrieved from http://www.ayurwoman.com.au/
Cheng, X., Dale, C., & Liu, J. (2008). Statistics and social network of youtube videosIEEE. Symposium conducted at the meeting of the Quality of Service, 2008. IWQoS 2008. 16th International Workshop on
Geho, P. R., & Dangelo, J. (2012). The evolution of social media as a marketing tool for entrepreneurs. The Entrepreneurial Executive, 17, 61.
Hootsuite. (2011, March 9). HootSuite Reinvents Social Analytics Reporting in Social Media Dashboard. Retrieved from https://hootsuite.com/about/press-releases/social-analytics-release
InternetLiveStats. (2016). India Internet Users. Retrieved from http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/india/
Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business Horizons, 53(1), 59–68.
Kissmetrics B. (n.d.). A Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Insights. Retrieved from https://blog.kissmetrics.com/guide-to-facebook-insights/
Lange, P. G. (2007). Publicly private and privately public: Social networking on YouTube. Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication, 13(1), 361–380.
Linaschke, J. (2011). Getting the most from Instagram: Peachpit Press.
Montalvo, R. E. (2011). Social media management. International Journal of Management & Information Systems (IJMIS), 15(3), 91–96.
Muniz Jr, A. M., & O’guinn, T. C. (2001). Brand community. Journal of consumer research, 27(4), 412–432.
Santhigram (2014, November 30). Register for Free Ayurveda Consultation in Houston, TX by Renowned Ayurvedic Physician from India #santhigramusa http://conta.cc/1xY3qRD. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/santhigram/status/538913780605136896
Santhigram (2016, January 18). I added a video to a @YouTube playlist http://youtu.be/-3pzUFcs4DE?a Santhigram Kerala Ayurveda Testimonial — Susan Numeister — NOV 2010 [Tweet]. Retrieved form https://twitter.com/santhigram/status/689304029948579840
Santhigram. (2016). Retrieved2016, from http://santhigramusa.com/
Statista. (2015). Some monthly active Instagram users from January 2013 to September 2015 (in millions). Retrieved 2016, from Statista Inc http://www.statista.com/statistics/253577/number-of-monthly-active-instagram-users/
Statista. (2016). Statistics and facts about Social Networks. Retrieved 2016, from Statista Inc. http://www.statista.com/topics/1164/social-networks/
Sump-Crethar, A. N. (2012). Making the most of the Twitter. The reference librarian, 53(4), 349–354.
Toffier, A. (1980). The Third Wave: The Classic Study of Tomorrow: New York: Bantam Books.
TwitterDeck. 2016. Retrieved from https://tweetdeck.twitter.com/
WebdesignerDepot. 2016. Retrieved from http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/about/
Wellness, S. (1998). About Santhigram. Retrieved2016, from http://www.ayurvedasanthigram.com/about-us/about-santhigram/