Social Media in a very short time has become an indispensable platform for Marketers. Infact, it has gone so mainstream that it now commands between 30% to 40% of overall marketing budgets on digital media according to the recently released ASSOCHAM findings.
In a study titled ‘Explosion of Social Media: Transforming The Corporate Business Scenario,’ by ASSOCHAM, Indian companies are spending over 1200 crore rupees purely on Social Media Marketing.
Unlike a few years back, Indian audience are now getting comfortable in buying goods online, which has seen a sudden growth spurt in the E-Commerce start-ups of late. According to Ebay India head, Deepa Thomas, India is set to become one of the top 10 ecommerce markets in the world by 2015. Given the huge potential of Indian Ecommerce market, early ecommerce startups like Flipkart are commanding estimated valuations of a Billion Dollar!
Social Media sites play an important role in the success of an Ecommerce startup or any other product or brand for that matter – There have been many studies showing online purchases are largely governed by friend reviews, referrals and word-of-mouth publicity. Consumers let their heart out on platforms like Facebook & twitter – They talk about their latest purchases online and about how good / bad their experience was while buying it. So it has become extremely important for companies to create a compelling social media presence to closely watch the feedback of consumers online.
Additionally, with majority of Indian netizens joining the Social Media bandwagon, it becomes a very attractive advertising medium not only for online companies, but for all all kinds of products and brands.
The report released by ASSOCHAM is based on their interactions with over 1,400 directors, CXOs, and senior executive from sectors as diverse as BFSI, auto, FMCG, manufacturing, IT, telecom, biotech, education, infrastructure, consumer packaged goods and healthcare to ascertain the extent of their spending on online activities and about 75 per cent of them said that they have doubled their spending on social media this year.
Although, it is difficult to gauge exact Social Media RoI, companies are seeing lot of positive results by increasing their Social Media presence. Most of companies are now having dedicated team of people who track conversations, blogs, discussions, chats on social networks to ascertain the consumer preferences and perceptions towards their products and services.
There is one other reason why Social Media is becoming an attractive platform for brands and companies – Unlike traditional TV and Print Media, the marketing costs are low and the efforts you put into social media have a far longer shelf life!