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Edtech platforms using Facebook and Instagram to create fresh virtual experiences

Archana Vohra, Director, Small and Medium Business, Facebook India shares how the pandemic and the lockdowns have altered consumer journeys for edtech companies, who are now leveraging the Facebook family of apps for building long-term brand salience and creating new experiences for their users

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How are edtech startups leveraging social media platforms like Facebook, for greater engagement with their audience and also as a business strategy?
Covid-19 and the ensuing lockdowns have forced educational institutes across the country to shut-down, bringing a sudden halt to education and learning avenues for millions of students. At a time like this, edtech platforms are proving to be a ray of hope by providing educational continuity and learning opportunities.

The pandemic and the lockdowns have altered consumer journeys, and we see edtech platforms building for the new consumer journeys by leveraging the Facebook family of apps for building long-term brand salience, creating new experiences for their users, and reaching out to the right audience.

People are spending an unprecedented amount of time online these days, and creators and celebrities have taken to social media in innovative ways. Edtech platforms are leveraging this massive engagement on digital to drive meaningful content, and build a deeper connection with their followers and users. The wisest marketers know that being salient builds long-term brand imagery, which is essential for consistent growth. For instance Vedantu started the #VedantuLearningChallenge, calling upon their audience to post videos of a new skill they may have learnt while staying at home. They posted videos from their followers, and also from Sania Mirza, Shikhar Dhawan, and Hrithik Roshan.

Edtech platforms are using Facebook and Instagram to create fresh virtual experiences for people. upGrad for instance is hosting webinars with thought-leaders such as Nandan Nilekani, and posting videos by renowned professors and celebrities. CueMath is using FB Live in their communication.

Lastly, edtech platforms are also using Facebook to reach the right audience, and for customer acquisition and new app installs. They are seeing new customers come in that are driving value for them in these times. For instance, Paper Boat Apps is using our platform to reach parents for their pre-school app Kiddopia, which has witnessed a surge in usage in recent weeks.

What kind of business opportunities do you see from the edtech segment in India?
The edtech sector was already growing in India, and Covid-19 related restrictions are going to propel it further. I foresee three key trends for edtech platforms in the coming months.

While offline learning and education will remain crucial, the lockdown-induced need for edtech has suddenly exposed people across generations to the benefits of online learning. I see more edtech and online learning platforms coming up in the near future.
Second, Covid-19 has accelerated people’s adoption of digital in an unprecedented way. We recently announced that for the first time ever, there are now more than 3 billion people actively using Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Messenger each month globally.

Edtech platforms will be leveraging the Facebook family of apps and other digital platforms significantly more in the coming months to reach the right people in the right geographies, especially given that different parts of the country might be under different stages of lockdown and restrictions.

Covid-19 has also forced a lot of educational institutes to start online courses and classes, and they’ve done a great job of ensuring this in record time to maintain educational continuity. But in the coming months I foresee more offline educational institutes pivoting towards digital in a more structured and comprehensive manner.

How will this help students and education institutions / young professionals and corporates in times to come?
Education is not just a necessity in India, it’s also an aspiration. The emergence of edtech platforms will take learning to people’s fingertips, and help fulfill personal and professional aspirations in these challenging times.

There is a massive skilling gap in the country, and edtech platforms can contribute towards closing that gap in these times of uncertainty and disruptions.

Most importantly, as people turn to virtual experiences for every facet of their life, it becomes important for brands to engage with people where they’re already present. Simplilearn using FB Live effectively on relevant themes such as Machine Learning and has also been hosting regular webinars. The biggest benefit for students and learners is that they’re getting up-skilled and are learning on a medium that they understand and enjoy.  

Views: Edtech companies 

Are social media platforms imperative to your business? How are platforms like Facebook, helping you to reach your target audience and client segments ?
Mark Moran, CMO, Simplilearn: A crisis like this pandemic forces each of us to prioritise and think big-picture about how we provide for ourselves and our families. Search volumes for “online training” spiked fourfold as stay-at-home orders swept the globe. At Simplilearn, we’ve scrambled to meet this surge in demand and provide more of our training content for free, both on our mobile app and social channels. Our organic and paid campaigns on Facebook have allowed us to cost-effectively reach the truly global audience for our online courses.

Anshu and Anupam Dhanuka, Co-founders, Paper Boat Apps of which Kiddopia is a part: Downloads and subscriptions for our preschool learning app, Kiddopia have increased by more than 100 per cent as compared to the pre-lockdown period. Kiddopia is now among the top three kids apps on the app stores. Facebook ads has been a great channel for driving this growth. It has helped us reach parents of preschoolers who are looking to meaningfully engage their kids during this lockdown.

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