The UTVi Group has a presence on FaceBook, YouTube, FriendFeed and Twitter. I wanted to ask them why they jumped onto the Social Media bandwagon and what have they learnt so far. So without further ado, here goes:
1. How did the @UTVi_News account begin? How did you convince the decision making authorities to go in favour?
UTVi.com was gaining popularity with the business and investing world. However, we wanted to get others to visit the website as well, as UTVi.com has a lot more to offer than just financial news. In order to do so, we realised that a presence in the social media space was important. Twitter is just a part of our entire social media initiative. Hence, there was no question of having to convince anyone about getting on to Twitter. It was always a part of the plan.
2. You mentioned UTVi has a ‘Social Media initiative’. Could you explain that a little?
UTVi’s social media initiative is part of UTV Group’s recognition of the growing power of the community. UTVi has consciously decided to empower the people who are active in the social media space with timely news updates on India’s business and market activities. Currently, we are present on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Our strategy is fairly simple. We want to give relevant news, information and views so that the community. We use Google Analytics to measure our success in terms of traffic, time spent and unique visitors.
Note: Personally, I don’t see how they can use Google analytics to measure traffic, time spent and unique visitors on their Social Media properties. Maybe they meant those who come to their site from these properties.
3. On Twitter, you guys clearly have a policy of not replying or retweeting any news source. Why is that so?
We are using Twitter as a platform to give out news present on our website. It is strictly a news stream and hence we have restricted ourselves to tweeting the latest headlines and breaking news on the website and our channel. However, we do reply to direct messages sent to us.
4. What metrics do you have in place to measure the success of your account?
As mentioned earlier, we use Google Analytics. It also tells us how many people are coming on to UTVi.com through our Twitter posts. Though it is early days, the numbers are encouraging.
5. I notice you exclusively use bit.ly to promote your stories. What interesting data can you share with me on that?
Bit.ly is an interesting tool that we use. News related to jobs and job cuts, etc. receive maximum hits from the US while any news on education gets the maximum hits from India.
Market news gets equal attention from both India and the US. However, our Stocks Editor – Rahul Arora’s morning predictions are followed keenly by readers in the US!
6. Do you have a plan in place to get anchors of UTVi etc on Twitter?
Our anchors are already on Twitter and we are training them to use Twitter more effectively to connect and interact with other tweeters. All our anchors and journalists have their Twitter accounts now and have been tweeting regularly.
To be perfectly honest, we feel that the FriendFeed property is really not being used correctly by UTVi. Its just a profile that imports their Twitter RSS feed. What do you think could make it better?