Zomato reveals its secret recipe that makes its social media posts go viral ever so often

File photo of Zomato celebrating 3 years in LebanonZomato Facebook
  • In an interview with Business Insider, Gaurav Verma, Chief Marketing Officer, Brand at Zomato, spills the beans on how they brew viral posts.
  • Zomato with 1.4 million followers on Twitter (in just one handle), has been leading the social media game with its viral content.
  • Business Insider decodes what goes on behind the scenes of the virality.
It was just another July afternoon, well until a tweet appeared on Zomato’s timeline – Guys, kabhi kabhi ghar ka khana bhi kha lena chahiye (Guys, sometimes you should have home food too).

Coming from a foodtech unicorn – valued at $2.6 billion at last count – which takes in millions of orders for home delivery from restaurants, the tweet went viral and invited several other leading brands – YouTube India, Amazon Prime, Fox Star, Jio Saavn and many more – to join in.



The ‘anti-marketing’ post, not only worked well – the sheer scale of its virality was surprising even for Zomato. “When we made that post, we were on our way to hit 500 cities with our food delivery services. And the order volumes were going through the roof. For us, the ‘ghar ka khana’ post was more of a pause to celebrate, and the tweet was just a reflection of what we felt was a good message to dwell on,” said Gaurav Verma, Chief Marketing Officer, Brand at Zomato.

And that is exactly the secret of Zomato’s success on social media.

There’s no one set formula or frequency that works on social media. The trick is to try relatable posts with an element of surprise. “In the last 6 months, their followers and engagement has doubled,” Verma said so much so that they had to change their internal metrics of evaluation. The food delivery service’s India handle now has 227K followers on Instagram, 1.4 million on Twitter, and 1.9 million on Facebook.

In July 2019, Zomato tied up with Tiktok - an immensely popular platform for short videos, especially, in smaller cities and towns – to “ spread the message on food wastage.”. With just 582 followers in a month, the TikTok influence has been tepid so far.

Life as it happens

A young team deliberates over social media posts everyday. There is no set pattern or strategy – just a bunch youngsters reflecting on life as it happens. “There’s no one brain churning out awesome ideas - it’s a small team of dedicated individuals who are keen on experimenting and close-knit enough to democratically work together,” said Verma.

And it works. Almost every other week, a social media from Zomato post hits goes viral, whether it is a post about chai (tea) or memes on food. They are so effective even other brands, often, ride the wave. “This was an interesting development as brands wouldn't have proactively collaborated in such an unscripted or un-initiated banter, let’s say, two years ago. We did not expect other brands to join-in, but it was very warm of them to do so,” said Verma.

Zomato’s building a case study for other brands to follow – everyday conversations can make a difference. “Our ideas tend to be relatable because they speak directly to the masses. So if you notice the language we use across our platforms, you’d find it very approachable. Our aim is to not always go viral but to stay relevant. And in most cases, this relatability factor drives the overall engagement,” shared Verma.

Trigger happy trolls

However, it’s not always fun. Zomato recently shutdown a bigoted customer, who refused to take an order from a delivery guy of a different religion. Zomato replied, “Food doesn’t have a religion. It is a religion”, while its co-founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal said he wasn’t sorry to let go of any business that comes in the way of their values.

The team at Zomato decided to take a stand on the matter and strongly felt the need to respond in the way they did.

The post got a slot in the primetime news television with debates on social media and even trolls making their way to Zomato’s social media.

“If given a chance, would we have done things differently - absolutely not,” said Verma.

See Also:
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Zomato CEO reveals the real reason for the Howrah protest
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