BookMyShow.com Premiers Social Media Plan to Packed Houses

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More and more companies in India are starting to dabble with Social Media in India.  To continue our series of interviews with such companies, we caught up with Rajesh @fartfree Bysani, Web Head at BookMyShow.com – a popular ticket booking website in India for movies and other events.

In this post, we will discuss how the company promotes itself online and what are its future plans.

1. What prompted you to start the @BookMyShow account on Twitter?

Most of us were early adopters of Twitter. While using it, we found a lot of people talking about their experience with various brands and services. A quick search on search.twitter.com revealed that we had our own share of fans. That’s when I decided to start a @BookMyShow account, primarily to interact with the our users and troubleshoot any problems.

2. We have noticed that on Twitter, you predominantly post info about new movie releases, events and reviews. Why is there suddenly so much focus on being on Twitter?

Correct. The biggest advantage of having a Twitter account is that when users tweet about any problem they have with our service, and we are right there to solve it. This helps in 2 ways: 

  • Helps in retaining a customer that might have otherwise gone away because of poor customer service.
  • Gives us instant feedback about any new aesthetic or technical change on any of our products. This is the best real time feedback system that one can ask for.

3. What metrics do you have in place to measure the success of your social presence?

Very clearly, we are not using Social Media as a method to reach out to new customers. We want to be in this space to reach out to our existing customers with one-on-one conversations. Hence even if we are able to clear the difficulty of one customer, that’s success for us.

4. You have a presence on FaceBook too. What is your overall Social Media strategy?

BookMyShow is an Internet service and caters to people who are Internet savvy. If you are buying tickets on BookMyShow, chances are you might also have a Twitter or a FaceBook account, or both. We want to be in the places where our customers are, making us more accessible to them. So, if you have a query about our website or service, you can ask on the platform of your choice, and we’ll reply back. We currently have a Twitter account, a FaceBook Fan Page, Orkut group, Flickr account and a FriendFeed account.

The overall Social Media strategy is to keep our eyes and ears open and listen to what our customers have to say.

5. You mentioned that you guys actively solve problems on Twitter, do you have a community manager of sorts?

We are a small company, cannot really afford to have a community manager. Right now everyone in the company is contributing in their own way to our Social Media project. When we come across a customer query, we try to solve it. 

6. What kinds of queries do you normally get on Twitter? Are users sometimes taken aback when you reply to them on FaceBook or FriendFeed?

Usually we get queries about movie release dates. But we also get queries regarding errors at cinemas, payment options that we support, and mobile application downloads. The queries are varied and manage to keep us on our toes. One thing that we have realised from our entry in Social Media is that our customers almost expect us to be on Twitter, FaceBook or Friendfeed. I haven’t yet come across anyone who has been surprised or taken aback if we replied to them. It’s almost like it’s a given that we have to be on all Social Media sites.

7.  On an average, how much time do all of you spend on you online Social Media presence daily, evangelising the company?

On an average we spend around 1-2 Hours per day on a weekday and 2-3 Hours on the weekend.

8. What are your plans for the future?

Sometime down the line, once we have a size able amount of followers, we might look at giving special online discounts, special screenings for tweeple, FaceBook movie clubs and try to bring together the movie loving community on online.

Conclusion:

What really struck us from the whole interview was that BookMyShow was on all the popular social networks out there. The days of customers filling out a lengthy complaint form on a website are long gone! Also, they plan to start promotional activities online soon 🙂

Now is your turn to interact. Do you think its better to employ a community manager so that the communication is consistent across different networks? Or empower a select few in the company to ensure that customers are replied to quickly. Also, is there anything that you would do differently?

Much love,
Asfaq

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6 comments

  1. I love BookMyShow. Sometimes their website crashes, but that’s ok. What I love best is that I can book the seat of my choice.

    Good job Asfaq. Another good interview. Super.

  2. Interesting Interview!

    To answer your questions – Yes it is better to employ/designate someone as a community manager. More than the communication consistency, which is a must, there has to be a few goals to be achieved by using social media/other avenue & when you have everyone jumping on the bandwagon, it leads to unpleasantness at times.

    Any method/channel/avenue that you use – promotion, emails, text, or the ubiquitous social media has to be proactive. This leads to a larger following in turn helps you plan your future. Reactive is just for the sake of “we are on the net” & we need to have presence kinda thing which one person thinks of, but what abt when he/she leaves?

    Enough freebie…..Keep a Case Tweetup & would be glad to participate over beer or coffee:)

  3. I wonder if bookmyshow twitter presence is just a lip service or once a bule moon fad.
    I ran into some problem while doing a ticket booking on http://www.bookmyshow.com . The transaction couldnt be completed , but at the same time I have been billed by my credit card company for the transaction.

    I tried reaching bookmyshow on their twitter account, and sadly no response to it. And the worst of all is the dumb IVR ticket booking system they have. The only menu they have is for booking tickets. No options to file a complaint or reach out to someone for help.
    There is no denying social media is powerful platform , but needs to be taken more seriously. Plain lip service like this will do you more harm.

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