This week, I had scheduled a interview with Tinu Cherian a passionate tweeter who is very well know in Indian Twitter space for his influential reach and at the same time his engagement with Indian brands to help them reach out to mass. I believe you would have read about Tinu winning a Mercedes for Weeked in my last blog post on Learn How Indian Social Media Influencers Get to Drive Cars for Free: Case Studies. @TinuCherian has already experienced many brands using his influence on Social Media, this interview will take you through expert advice from Tinu and benefits he received because of his influential reach on Twitter.
Question 1 from Me: Can we call you the Social Media Celebrity for all the attention you get from brands?
- Tinu Cherian: I prefer to call myself a “Social Media Enthusiast” . Stardom or celebrity status if at all is just a by-product.
- Myself:ahh! Thats how celebrity reply 😀
Question 2 from Me: However, How do you define Social Media Influencer as? Which platforms make them an influencer or what activities?
- Tinu Cherian: An influencer is any1 who can influence others on opinions,suggestions or even buying decisions. Same in #socialmedia
- Unlike the popular perception, it is all out quality & engagement and not always about quantity and sheer numbers.
- Myself: I completely agree but also disagree as many of them run behind numbers! 😀 especially agencies to satisfy clients
- Tinu Cherian: Numbers are just suggestive.brands r now understanding the value of quality engagement & interaction than big numbers.
Question 3 fron Kunal Gawlani: How does one identify a social media influencer that is relevant for a brand? any insights?
- Tinu Cherian:An influencer w/ a passion for cars is a better investment 4a carbrand is better than some1 w/ just numbers.
- Myself: I agree with Tinu. Identifying niche interest of an individual is necesary 4 brands along with the acquired reach around it.
Question 4 from Me: Share how have you benefited by your Twitter influence? How have you benefited by brands? In what ways? share examples. How many brands have approached u? Names please.
- Tinu Cherian: Social media is still at its infancy and that allows us to try out new things like this. Some works, some backfires 🙂
- Brand engagement is also something that I have been experimenting these days.
- I received a Mercedes for Weekend to drive.
- I have refused many offers from many brands that doesn’t make any sense to me or the ppl who follow me.
- Frooti & Cinthol sent me home loads of their products… Ioved their gesture and I shared it. Nothing monetary
- Other brands that I have actively worked with are Cadburys , MaxIndia and 3mcarcare 🙂
Question 5: When you say you worked with Cadburys, MaxIndia and 3mcacare! You mean they paid you? Won’t ask how much!
- Tinu Cherian; Different brands, different kinds of engagements. Some monetrary, some in kind, some just the wonderful experience 🙂
Question 6:I believe u took personal efforts to get #Merc4Weekend story of yours get good PR? Is that your love for the brand? or may be that helped you position as influencer?
- Tinu Cherian: The fact is that if you are good influencer, you are also good in Public Relations skills too 🙂
- Working as a volunteer for PR & Media relations for the Wikimedia / Wikipedia movement taught me valuable PR skills.
Question 7: But, why so much of efforts only for Merc? Is that also because it positions you as influencer? 🙂
- Tinu Cherian: There is a reason why I was excited with the “engagement” with Merc. I always loved that brand & fancied getting one .
- It didn’t start as an engagement per se. Not going to the history of it as many know or read it already. But the fact is Merc as brand values my social media position and appreciates my passion for the brand & their cars.
- I am trying new things and every engagement is definitely a new learning experience. For @3mcarcare, I hosted the contest myself.
Question 8 by @Pal36: Most of the campaigns revolve around influencers/contest players and doesn’t reach targeted audience, your views?
- Tinu Cherian: But still there is a reason for them to be on social media and engagement. Sometimes it is also about brand visibility. For example: premium car-makers doesn’t need 2 sell via social media or twitter.
Question 9: Why do you think brands should consider social media influencers for their campaigns?
- Tinu Cherian: I still believe socialmedia is still at its infancy and there is neither a wrong way or right way. Only Best way.
- And brands should use the best way that gives more RoI for their investments.
Question 10: So that means hiring or involving influencers is a wise choice 🙂
- Tinu Cherian: Engagement with so called influencers shud b only a part of the effort and not the complete publicity & SM strategy.
- Ofcourse, social media influencers offer larger reach, isn’t the reason why brands approach real life celebrities too?
- Not to forget that too much of Tweeting for brand, many followers will consider it spam & will unfollow you too. But there is no substitute for ” Engage , Converse, Interact” if you want to be an influencer
Question 11:What’s your take on Tweet Endorsements for Brands by Celebrities?
- Tinu Cherian: As mentioned earlier, if it makes sense for both brands & (real life) celebrities, it is no big deal.
Question 12 from Karan Bujbal: How many times/ situations would you hav shown off ur twitter followers number? 😉
- Tinu Cherian: haha.. I haven’t approached any brands for engagements directly (yet). It all depends on mutual value & RoI.
The conversation kept going but these are some key take aways from the conversation that occurred between 4-5 PM today. We did see many spectators for this show. Our next session is going to be exciting. Let me announce it to you guys very soon.