Not long ago, when I tried describing to my friends and family about my interest in digital marketing which ignited through content writing and marketing, no one understood why I am so passionate about it (it was 2008). Even by 2011 not many were familiar with the terms like “digital marketing”, “social media marketing” and “content intelligence”. There were very few companies in Pakistan which were exploring the digital aspects and back then social media marketing was considered a fairly new thing, but many named it as the next big thing. Over the years, countless Pakistan’s brands have embraced social media marketing for extending their reach and are now inviting more customers to get acquainted with their services and products.
Let’s explore the role social media is playing in Pakistan for people and businesses.
Social Media In Pakistan For Masses
In Pakistan, mostly Facebook and Twitter are used in the name of social media by masses. There are some digital marketing and social media enthusiasts who are available on Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest as well, but the size is insignificant. If we watch closely then we’ll come to know that more than a half of the “Twitter Brigade” in Pakistan is interested in political and religious trends. This is one reason why in Pakistan the trending hashtags are from the same categories.
The rest are interested in media, entertainment and sports. It won’t be wrong to say that today people look at their Twitter and Facebook for news and recent updates, as compared to electronic media. (Electronic media has its strongest hold still, but there is a huge number of people who rely more on social media for unadulterated news updates)
Brands Climbing Social Media Ladder (Digital Campaigns)
Many reputed brands in Pakistan like Pepsi, Coke, FoodPandaPk, KFC Pakistan, Ufone, Zong and many alike have understood the importance of social media marketing and as a result they all have launched new campaigns targeting social media audiences. Those campaigns have been carried out with great passion over social media platforms. Initially it was Facebook and later on Twitter where the hashtags related to these campaigns were also promoted.
Digital Campaigns By Zong, Mobilink And Pepsi
A few years ago, Zong came up with an active campaign titled “Sab Keh Do” (Say It All). The campaign did amazingly well over all the mediums and over social media, specifically Twitter, the hashtag trended as well. Mobilink’s two digital campaigns over the last year were hugely discussed for different reasons. Those included “What Mothers Say” for Mother’s Day and “Aa Raha Hai X” featuring Nargis Fakhri.
— Scheff (@shafiqulhasan81) December 14, 2015
Pepsi initiated the “Exciting Abhi”, “Lighting Up Lives” and “Chand-Sitara” campaigns. Lighting Up Lives featured Hamza Ali Abbasi along with other celebrities and the concept was appreciated over Facebook and Twitter by target audience. On the contrary, “Chand Sitara” was a unique journey through Pakistan, seen through the eyes of our Chand Sitaras (main elements of Pakistan’s Flag) directed by Shoaib Mansoor. The campaign received appreciation as well as was demurred by some with different school of thought.
— Scheff (@shafiqulhasan81) December 12, 2015
— Scheff (@shafiqulhasan81) September 4, 2015
Digital Campaigns By Lays
Last year, Lays introduced 3 new flavors to its line, the campaign titled “Flavors From Around The World” was launched. Lays has headed many other campaigns like “Little Joys of Life”, “Plant A Pack” and “New Chip in Town” which featured Sultan of the Swing – Wasim Akram and Lionel Messi.
— Scheff (@shafiqulhasan81) January 12, 2016
Nestle, Engro and FoodPanda
— Scheff (@shafiqulhasan81) September 16, 2015
Even NIDO Pakistan came out with a campaign which ran globally “Different Times Same Love”. The concept was instantly loved by the masses. On Twitter, the hashtag trended and had a great outcome. Witnessing the power of social media platforms, Engro Pakistan also celebrated an event i.e. “Engro Turns 50”, sometime after its successful campaign “I Am The Change”. Food Panda Pakistan has always came up with unique and interesting ideas for their digital campaigns. “FoodPanda Turns 3” was one of the trends which received a good mileage over Twitter.
— Scheff (@shafiqulhasan81) September 29, 2015
— Scheff (@shafiqulhasan81) September 30, 2015
Ramazan Digital Campaigns:
Recently in Ramazan, several brands started their digital campaigns which fairly did well over social media platforms. Cadbury, Lays, Qarshi, National Foods, Fanta, Pakola and Horlicks etc. executed their digital campaigns which involved key opinion leaders (KOLs). Beside sharing awareness related to social responsibility, these campaigns also escalated the element which comprised of fun and user-experience.
Social Media Escalating Fresh Business Entrants
Pakistan, recently, has witnessed the rise of numerous types of “Chai-Walas” (Tea-houses). Apart from those there are also multiple cafes and ice cream parlors which are gaining much attention by social media users, particularly Facebook users. There are many food-based groups on Facebook where people share their first hand experiences which they have on such eateries.
There are pizza parlors, burger joints and cocktail shops which have gained huge recognition in just a few months’ time; thanks to Facebook groups and Twitter brigade for endorsing the food. Names like Big Thick Burgers, Burger Shack, Chotu Chai-Wala, Face-bhook, Hungers Pack, Noon Sey Nihari, Sattar Baksh and many others have tremendously been helped by such groups, one way or the other.
What’s Next For Digital Marketing?
A dash of uniqueness will always intensify the social media campaign because people like distinctive ideas and social media marketing is all about social acceptance. Other brands should embrace digital marketing practices because of following reasons;
- Huge Potential For Brands
- Customer Retention
- Higher Visibility
- Increased Engagement
- Direct communication
- Increased Awareness
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