IPL has not lived up to its expectations and I am running out of topics to blog about it. “Fake IPL Player” is doing a good job at it anyway. I have become a devout follower of his blog plus he has more insider information. He has got IPL live and kicking to some extent!!! So, back to today’s topic of interest – Social Networking
Off late @ work, I have been doing a lot of research on social media and how companies can leverage it. Businesses have started to take it seriously and they believe it’s not a fad. Social media is here to stay!!! Now this got me thinking (something I don’t fancy doing most often) “hmmm… really???”
I am not gonna talk about how businesses over here are leveraging it but rather why businesses in India are not making use of it! Social networks, in particular, Facebook, and Twitter have caught up well in India and are slowly replacing Orkut which to me is becoming more of “Porn”kut these days. You don’t believe me do you? I knew it. Being the professional that I am, I have data to prove it. Take a look at the chart above
The first graph dates back to 2007 and the other two are the present day stats. I don’t think I need to explain what the graph indicates. It’s pretty apparent that we have been caught up by the FB (facebook) and Twitter bug. Now looking at the larger scale of things, who is using FB and what kind of businesses could start leveraging it?
Yay!!! Some more stats for you. This is FB’s demographic stats for India. India has a total of 1.7 million active FB users and you have the rest of the demographic data on the chart below. Interestingly, 48% of FB users are Gen Y (18-24). I am sure most of you guys are going -- “Dude, so what’s your point?” So the big question is really “Dude, so what’s my point?” I took this information and tried to identify businesses that could be a best fit for using FB as a marketing channel. For a start, in India, I presume that youth brands should keenly look into this.
One company that popped up in my head instantly was Coffee Day. They have the ideal target group and an established customer base. So I logged into FB to check out their social network presence. I was happy to find that it had 44,158 fans. But, interestingly enough there is no participation directly from the company; I could only find user posts, reviews and user uploaded pics. I don’t understand why coffee day isn’t seeing this as an opportunity to connect with their customers and enhance their brand image.
Consumers have moved online and traditional marketing channels no longer hold good. For a start, businesses should at least get involved. If you don’t believe me this is how CCD’s fan page looks like. Just to let you guys know how active certain businesses are, I have also pasted the fan page of H&M, a clothing and accessory store. With over a million fan following, they are so current and up to date in the information they provide. Each tab is live and has some activity going on. They also have an online catalogue of their summer collection, videos, pictures and recent announcements.
Again the question is “Dude, so what?” Well, Ill tell you what --- The best part is its FREE. You can not only enhance your brand image but also use this as your PR channel - No costs involved. People are out there you don’t have to go looking fro them. Companies like CCD have an established brand image, so getting people to befriend you is gonna be a cakewalk. You get to listen to what customers have to say about you. Take the positives from that and showcase them, take the negatives and correct them.
I really believe this is a cool way to connect with your customers and customers would also feel delighted about the fact that companies are listening to what they have to say. I have been really impressed with FB after realizing the potential it holds. Twitter similarly has its own way of helping businesses enhance their image but I am not gonna talk about it cos I realize by now most of you are cursing me. I shall liberate you from my gyaan now.