Saturday, June 19, 2010

Social Media Marketing is like Teen Sex..!

This was what I’d read in some article some days ago and yes, social media has grown leaps and bounds to reach a stage where it’s now. But as the title says; it’s irresistible for organizations not to use social media marketing, but at the same time it has to be very careful and consented effort to make it a success. Social Media provides an effectual and cost effective platform for companies to connect to its customers and thus start the CONVERSATION. Although of its use and effectiveness it’s very dangerous if not carried out with suitable planning.

Let’s understand the pattern of use of Internet at an Individual level. I myself spend an average of 10 hours/day using Internet. Internet has become an indispensable part of my daily activity and lot of my work is dependent on it. The similar is true for lot of other people; be it students, professionals or any other person - internet now claims a major percentage of their time. So, where do Social Media and Internet Marketing stand here? Hmmm, I’ll just jot down my average time spending on internet –
i.                     An average of 100 Google searches a day (minimum)
ii.                   Half an hour on LinkedIn
iii.                  More than an hour on Facebook
iv.                 Almost 1-2 hrs on Blogging/related sites
v.                   Half hour on Skype
vi.                 Approximately an hour on my mail accounts- Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo Mail… etc
vii.                Half hour on news sites, entertainment sites, etc…

Internet and Social Media has easily replaced other mediums such as Television and Radio in many cases. Just imagine people can track real – life drama on Facebook, rather than daily TV sops. A friend of mine told that the primary reason of her spending on Facebook was to know the latest Breakups, the whereabouts, and just know who’s doing what…! And that’s as simple as it sounds; hence it has emerged as a major communication platform and allows you to search your friends who have not been in your contact for long.  In LinkedIn’s case many people have joined to just network with people and find better job and career opportunities online.

Just have a look @ some videos about Social Media - on its impact and evolution:

So, what does all these hoolah mean to marketers? It’s an OCEAN of opportunities if utilized well. After seeing the videos you would have realized by now that consumers prefer companies who have their profile in Social Community Networks. Recently even Indian Postal Service opened their Facebook account and has got instant attention of its users – who are LOVING it. Any queries, comments or discussions could be initiated there and; it’s quick and easy..!

If you are the marketing manager of a company and given the task of managing the brand then these should be the steps to consider –
Before venturing into the social media world, join communities and start talking about your company. Meet with your manager to learn the guidelines/process and find out how you can help.
And make sure you are receiving approvals; update your social network profile with work-related content, not just personal memos. If you work at a B2C company, you can promote a new product. 

If you work at a B2B company, you can update your followers/customers on projects you're working on or about accolades you win. This way, you're helping draw more attention to your professional identity while you promote your company. The funny thing is that the more you accomplish at work, the more seriously people will take you when you engage in online communities outside of work.

View the following case to look how Social media altering role of brand managers:
“Dan Okpara had an urgent question for Coca Cola. He had consumed some Coca Cola but was keen to know the sugar content level in the beverage. He requested the company for an honest answer. Less than 45 minutes later, Coca Cola responded with the specific measurements of sugar in the drink. Okpara was relieved.
His is simply a case in point. Social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and Orkut are being increasingly used for promotional activities that engage audiences for a certain activity in an effort to create a buzz and get feedback from the community. However, it is also being used by disgruntled customers to air their greviances, drastically altering the traditional role of brand managers.”

As trends emerge, many companies have formed their own Digital Brand/Marketing Teams that uses social media sites to its advantage. “Today’s brand manager’s job is like that of an air controller. He has to handle above the line, below the line as well as social media activities to navigate a brand. As a result, today a brand manager is far more important in an organisation.”, quotes Hareesh Tibrewala, Joint CEO of Social Wavelength.

Many companies in India, meanwhile, have yet to make their presence felt online. Social media marketing relies more on listening than broadcasting for good reason: Broadcasting doesn’t have the same impact as traditional media channels, and listening helps us measure and adapt to become more relevant to consumers.  As mentioned by Jim Farley, “You can’t just say it; you have to get the people to say it to each other.” Rightly said Jim, motivating people to talk about is the biggest accomplishment one can get using Social Media, and that’s the key…!

Some very interesting presentations to educate you about social media & marketing:


alex james said...

This is really an educative and interesting post; the post is excellent in all regards, I am glad to read this post.
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william doe said...

Blogs are good for every one where we get lots of information for any topics nice job keep it up !!!
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