‘Social media is an explosion’

17 Oct,2011

By A Correspondent

Companies in India have gauged the might of social networking and are currently spending over Rs 1,200 crore with 30 to 40 per cent of marketing budget on digital media according to the findings of a study titled ‘Explosion of Social Media: Transforming The Corporate Business Scenario,’ by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).


Releasing the highlights, Assocham secretary general DS Rawat said, “Goods and services worth about Rs 23,000 crore are traded currently on the social networks across the world and the figure is likely to swell to about Rs 1.35 lakh crore by 2015 with India’s share likely to cross Rs 10,000 crore mark during the course of next three to four years.”


It was observed that majority of start-ups, leading national and international companies operating in India are embracing the social media to enhance their business and on an average spending anywhere between Rs 2 lakh to Rs 50 lakh a year on social marketing campaigns.


A large number of national and multi-national corporations in India are using the services of social media management companies that help small, large brands to manage, heighten their social network presence and maximise their exposure in the newsgroups and newsfeeds of the people logged on the social networks.


“The significance of social media in the current scenario can be gauged from the fact that the department of information technology (DIT) has recently advised all government departments to make the most of social media in their day-to-day work and communicate with citizens effectively,” said Mr Rawat.


Assocham interacted with about 1,400 directors, chief executive officers, chief financial officers, chairmen, managing directors, executive directors et al from sectors as diverse as BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance), 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.


“Companies both large and small are turning to social media platforms as the percentage of internet users on social networking sites continues to climb,” said Mr Rawat while releasing the survey that was carried out in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune between April and August. “Brands today cannot afford to ignore the significance of social media as a key medium to target their identified customers and connect with them,” said Mr Rawat.


Companies are taking advantage of social media to advertise, launch new products, study consumer behaviour pattern and communicating, interacting directly with their customers and wooing new clientele. Assocham interacted with 200 representatives of various companies in Delhi and about 60 per cent of them said that they have a dedicated staff who work round-the-clock and are constantly plugged into the web to monitor online traffic on their web portals.


As many as 110 respondents said that they have hired employees specially for their social and interactive media cell who perform the task of tracking conversations, blogs, discussions, chats on social networks to ascertain the consumer preferences and perceptions towards their products and services. Nearly 40 per cent of respondents in the city said that started their campaigns on social networking websites with a tiny budget and clocked revenue of about three to four times their budget in a span of about five to six months terming it a successful venture.


Almost all the respondents said that their dependency on traditional print media for advertisements has reduced drastically and people logged on social networks are their core target group and social media allows them to directly interact with consumers Currently, there are over six crore mobile internet users and about eight crore users using internet across India.


Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Linkedin, Orkut, Hi5, Friendster and BigAdda are certain popular social networks used by companies in Delhi to carry out their social media campaigns. “Low cost coupled with higher visibility and wider reach on social media is the grave reason behind this surge in number of companies cashing in on inevitable social media platform to reach young customers as highest number of active social media audience in the country is in the age group of 15 to 25 years,” the Assocham study emphasizes.


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