Harnessing the power of Facebook and Instagram, Ahana Gautam, CEO & Co-Founder, Open Secret, took six months to grow her cookie business to a critical mass of Rs 1 cr. Subsequently, it took just 3 months for her chips business to reach that level and less than a month for her nuts business to cross the Rs 1 crore milestone.
An astute and adept social media marketing practitioner, she has understood the power of Social platforms; they deliver instant feedback on products, enable an unimaginably expansive reach and, best of all, happy customers become brand ambassadors.
“Thanks to Facebook and Instagram, we are able to communicate with our customers across the country. More than 50% of sales actually come from outside top cities and that wouldn’t have been possible for a small brand, which is less than 2 years old. We even get orders from Andaman and Nicobar or Bharatpur and Mathura,” she says.
In the past, advertising was a one-way communication about brands and products. In her experience, Facebook and Instagram have changed that by enabling a two-way communication at speed and scale. She finds that this enables effective product innovation. “The beauty of being a B2C brand is that when we launch a product, we hear back from customer promptly. In fact, we believe that mothers are the Chief Product Officers at Open Secret. Their feedback was possible because of platforms like Facebook and Instagram.”
She shares that by constantly engaging with her customer, they resonate with the product and her purpose. “The biggest bonus is that when a customer loves your product, they go on various platforms and share it within their network to become your brand ambassador.”
An inspiration to many, her advice to young entrepreneurs is, “Be obsessed with data; it will enable you to understand your business better. Facebook really enables you to better understand your target, track your CTRs, etc. Be innovative and, most importantly, be authentic; these are platforms which give you the opportunity to tell your unique story. If you ensure that your narrative is genuine, your customers will not just love your products but your brand as well.”