An Interview with Vikas Chawla, Co-founder Social Beat

Vikas Chawla is Co-founder Social Beat India’s leading digital marketing agency,. He has tons of great experience in Internet marketing. He is also an inspiration for people like me, who are just starting out. Get ready to learn something new with insights and endless positivity from Vikas.

Interview With Vikas Chawla, Co-founder of Social Beat

1. Please Tell Us About Yourself and How You Got into Digital Marketing

I started my career HR and talent management but shifted to strategy and marketing after a few years. My last corporate role was head of digital for TI Cycles and brand manager for premium bicycles of Hercules. In 2012 we started Social Beat as a full service digital marketing solutions company and its been an exciting journey of scaling up the startup and at the same time learning the nuances of digital. 
With over 15 years of diverse experience, I have co-authored 2 books on digital marketing and have been a contributor to multiple business schools, media schools and industry associations, apart from contributing to our blog and YouTube channel.  I am also a member of the Facebook India SME Council, recognised as Top Indian Content Marketer by Linkedin & PaulWriter, Social Samosa 40 Under 40, Top 100 Digital Marketers by Paul Writer/Pluralsight and awarded the Most Influential Digital Marketing Leader by CMO Asia.

2. Can you please talk about the journey of Social Beat

In 2012, we started Social Beat and the journey of building a start-up and scaling it up has been extremely rewarding. In less than 7 years we have become a leading digital marketing solutions company with a 150+ member team across 4 cities and 75+ marquee clients across the world. We are a Premier Google Partner, Times Internet Gold Partner and a recommend Facebook Agency. With our expertise in media, we have been the only agency to have been awarded by Google for 2 consecutive as an innovative premier partner. 
We were one of the first few organised players in influencer marketing and building our own product and app has helped us grow our product business. We took a decision to build strong expertise around media and customer acquisition and the ROI focus has helped us grow our clients and businesses with many clients continue to work with us for over 5 years. Our decision to be headquartered in Chennai has given us a strong expertise in the south with the capability to create and conceptualize campaigns and brands in multiple vernacular languages.

3. What’s your SEO tip to stay on top

Content remains the key and we focus a lot on being able to create amazing written, visual, video and interactive content for brands that can help in better discovery.
Technical On Page SEO is another key aspect that helps in ensuring that the right pages are optimised for the right kind of themes and queries.
Outreach for Backlinks and Guest Posts is the other area that helps drive quality links from influencers, industry platforms as well as news publications.

4. What Kind of Promotion Activities You Use for Social Beat

Our decision to practice what we preach has immensely helped brand Social Beat – right from leveraging video, voice and vernacular to having an active youtube channel with weekly knowledge videos, to having an active blog to leveraging Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) as far back as 2 years – we practice what we recommend to clients. We also organise our Digital Leadership Summit once or twice a year in different cities with industry leaders sharing best case practices and their case studies.

5. What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Digital Marketing industry

Practically implement all learning as there is a lot that keeps changing. Constant learning (and often un-learning) and implementation is the key to success in digital.

6. The secret to building a profitable digital marketing agency

Running an agency is always challenging. A key aspect of scaling up is to create processes around key activities, allowing the team and client to move towards their marketing and business goals seamlessly. And this needs to be done, whilst still maintaining creativity.
Another area would be around learning and knowledge – since this is a key challenge in the digital space. With an internal knowledge repository of videos, presentations and content one needs to ensure the skills required are consistent across our teams.
Finally, a strong culture of transparency, idea sharing and amazing storytelling can help scale an agency.

7. Vikas best tips for hiring great talent

We look at three key aspects when hiring. First is to look at where they are in line with the values of Social Beat and in specific whether they have the humility and ethics.
Secondly, the hunger to learn and grow. With digital being an ever changing space, we look for individuals that can quickly (and consistently) learn, unlearn and relearn.
Lastly, we look at individuals who are creative in their approach – in whatever field they are in – even if its technology.

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