From discovering food in your city to a foodies network, from a startup to now launching itself in global cities, Zomato is going places. Last year, just before Zomato was about to launch the events section and 2011 was going to bid adieu, Saurabh Sengupta had called me to the new office in Pune for the Zomato story. The interview we did was quite an informative one.

More or less at the same time this year, I happened to invite Pramod Rao, VP Marketing at Zomato to Conversations. The 10 minute video that I generally plan to do with my guests had to change a bit since I had too many questions. Zomato has been very active on social media in 2012. So the call was to do an extensive video interview and then break them into small consumable portions. Here are the 3 parts:

Conversations part 1

The first part of the video focuses on what’s happening in Zomato along with Pramod’s introduction and as a marketer what is keeping him busy these days at Zomato. Pramod also shares the shift towards a foodies’ network and how has been the response so far. The good part is that Zomato has not tried to build another Facebook even though it is integrated with Facebook.

Conversations part 2

The second part of the discussion focused on Zomato’s interest of exploring new networks beyond the regular Facebook and Twitter. Pramod shares the objective to be on networks such as Instagram, Quora, etc. Another topic we discussed was about the Friday Twitter trends by Zomato and how effective has it been from the brand perspective. He did agree that it was cool initially but now the Twitter timeline is becoming little packed with other brands also following the same model on Fridays. However, he and his team at Zomato are brainstorming to make it better and keep the fun quotient, so we have to wait and watch what is in store in the coming weeks.

Conversations final part

The final part was about how important is producing original content, crowdsourcing – is it the chosen road by most of the brands including Zomato and will 2013 see social media being mainstream for Zomato. Pramod shared his candid thoughts on original content and stressed that the team can come up with fresh content along with vanilla content because they have an in-house team for social media. On crowdsourcing he emphasized that is not easy but startups should focus on it and 2013 definitely will see social media playing a major role at Zomato’s end.

Key takeaways:

1. Every network has a purpose; don’t just rush and join just because you have to do so.

2. Fun quotient added to the objective helps content to spread but then you can’t define viral. You can only wish!

3. Go for advertising on social media when you have tried all other possible options.

4. Producing original content is a must otherwise you won’t be able to engage with your fans in the long run.

The videos are extensive but then they could be a great reference for anyone to find out how a brand that is managing social media in-house, is continuously delivering and experimenting on social media.