Interviewer’s Note: Serendipitous things are one of the wonderful things about Twitter, and today’s interviewee, Vinoth Chandar, is no exception. In fact, due to his social media prowess, he was selected by Ford to take a sponsored vacation to his dream destination. Given that, he had some great stuff to share about social media and Twitter.
Hello Vinoth, welcome to the Pluggio Blog! In a nutshell, how do you describe your business?
Our company, Buddies Infotech, is bifurcated into three departments. The Mobile team develops mobile apps/games for iOS, Android, and develops games for Xbox and PC as well. Our web team takes care of the outsourcing services like web design and development. Our marketing team takes care of the social media marketing works of our customer brands as well as our own brands. We have many clients around the globe who gives us regular work. Our main clientele is from the United States of America.
How did you get started?
We started as a group of friends who wanted to do something great by being together. That’s why we named our company “Buddies” Infotech.
What role does Twitter play in your business?
We use Twitter for promoting our own business as well as promoting the business of our clients. I am a photographer too, so I also use Twitter to promote my photography.
What impact or change have you seen due to Twitter/social marketing? How do you use it?
Reaching targeted customers and letting customers know what we are doing has become easier with Twitter. If targeted properly, we surely can get good business just through Twitter alone. Customer support is the other thing which we regularly do through Twitter. We listen a lot about the brands we manage. Then we share the customer’s views with the brand owners and we send appropriate response to the customers.
Are there any of your accomplishments with social marketing that you are particularly proud of?
I have been involved in creating a very useful product where our customers can maintain all their social media from one place. I maintain many of our customer brands online and have driven lots of traffic to our customer brands through social marketing.
Also, I was recently selected as a brand ambassador by Ford India for their newly launched Ford Classic car. They selected me based on my influence on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks. I was sent to my dream place – “Hampi” in Karnataka to pursue my passion which is photography.
Ah- that was where you doing when I originally contacted you! (Note: when I wrote to Vinoth to conduct this interview, he was about to set out on his trip). How was it?
Great! Here is a short intro video about my journey.
Very cool; I can’t wait to see the shots from it; it’s really cool that your proficiency with social media lead to some unexpected rewards like that.
A short movie on my complete journey is under production.
Okay, back to the questions: How did you build your following? What kinds of people/businesses are they?
I built my followers by sharing some interesting things which people like. I share stuff in the field of technology, art/photography, social media and I also share some inspiring quotes to inspire my followers. I never directly tweet about my company’s services or products. I don’t present myself as ‘my company’; instead, I present myself personally as an interesting person. I will certainly share about my business occasionally when required, but I just don’t shout about my company or its product, which I feel will surely make my followers go away.
How will you choose who you will follow? What do you look for in a follower?
I look for interesting things in my followers in the field of technology, photography, travel etc. I don’t mass follow which I did when I started using Twitter. Nowadays I manually handpick interesting people to follow.
If you could go back to when you first began using social media, what is one thing you would have done differently?
I would avoid mass following.
What does Twitter do for you that nothing else can do?
It keeps me engaged both professionally and personally. It gives me all the latest news from everywhere and from every field. It gives immense satisfaction if I see a mention from any of my followers It’s definitely a great feeling.
What lessons have you learned about Twitter and online marketing?
Twitter is here to stay. Twitter, along with Facebook and other social media networks, are the future of marketing.
Where do you predict it will go?
TV and paper ads will die. Creating YouTube videos, writing blogs and sharing them to social networks through Twitter and Facebook pages will be the way to go. It has already started and it will soon take over the traditional marketing. One more important thing which I want to mention is that all these things will mostly be done on mobile devices/smart phones. Smart phones and tablets will soon replace laptops and desktops.
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