Facebook is India’s most liked for engaging customers: E&Y

10 May,2013

 

Community building and highlighting company news are the top reasons for social media use by organizations in India. They are also increasingly using social media to generate leads, provide customer service, conduct research, get customer feedback, understand customer behavior and do competitive benchmarking, according to Ernst & Young’s new report titled ‘Social Media Marketing – India Trends Study 2013’

 

The findings of the report are based on a survey of 48 social media-savvy organizations in India as well as secondary research. Key questions that the study attempts to answer include what is the business objective for using social media, what are the commonly used strategies and measures, the average social media budget and its future prospects.

 

 

} 95.7% use social media to build communities and advocate usage, while 76.1% use it to highlight brand news

} 83% use social media ads, majorly to promote contests/campaigns or for brand awareness and 81% measure their success through platform-specific parameters such as’Likes’, ‘People Talking About This’, etc

} 41.5% spend around 1%-5% of their marketing budget on social media; most social media budgets are below INR10 million

} 76.7% have their marketing department handling social media with the rest being handled by a cross functional or PR/communications team

} For social media campaigns, 73.8% organizations have chosen standalone digital agencies as compared to PR/ advertising agencies and freelancers

 

According to the report, Facebook is the most popular social media platform in India with more than 62 million users, and is the favorite playground for social media savvy organizations to banter in everyday conversations and engage in promotions and contests for its fans. Additionally, almost half of the organizations surveyed are already using emerging platforms such as Pinterest, Google Plus, and Foursquare.

 

Dinesh Mishra

“Social media is fast emerging as a means of partnership between organizations and their customers, leading to continuous engagement and deeper loyalty. Many Indian organizations are already using social media in an advanced manner, even though there are ample growth opportunities. The future is looking bright with increase in scale and sophistication; however, social media savvy organizations need to analyze their maturity level and explore new opportunities. They can move beyond marketing and see which other departments can benefit from using social media. Clarity of purpose and engaging universally accepted approaches in calculating ROI from social media marketing will help organizations make bigger investments in this area.” said Dinesh Mishra, Advisory Director and Leader – Customer Practice, Ernst & Young.

 

More than half of the social media-savvy organizations in India, who participated in the survey, post two to three updates on their Facebook pages a day. A quarter of the organizations surveyed said that they post one update per day on their Facebook pages. About one-third said that they post more than 3 tweets a day on Twitter, while 28.9% said they tweet two to three times a day. On the speed of response – one-fourth of the surveyed organizations respond to fan queries on Facebook within an average of 30 minutes of the query being posted, which indicates a robust monitoring and response structure in place. On Twitter, 28% respond to their fans and followers within 30 minutes. However, 14% of the organizations still take 13-24 hours to respond.

 

 

With social media becoming a key component of the Marketing strategy for companies, the need to appease online fans comes as a natural extension. 64.6% of the surveyed organizations said they have organized exclusive deals for online fans and 20.8% said they are likely to organize such deals in the future. 83% of the surveyed said that they have used social media advertisements majorly to promote a contest/campaign or for brand awareness and 88.6% said they find social media advertisements beneficial in achieving their objectives.

 

Almost all of social media efforts in India are managed by in-house teams: 76.7% of the surveyed expressed that social media is handled by their marketing department with the rest being managed by a cross-functional team or by the Public Relations and Communications team. Other than using it for Marketing activities, 34.6% said they use social media for thought leadership while 26.9% use it to promote corporate social responsibility. A majority (70.2%) said they have an in-house social media expert in middle management.

 

Knowing how the social media governance situation looks like within an organization comes with many benefits such as recognizing strategic opportunities, enhancing competitive advantage, conducting efficient recruitment, cost reduction, generating revenue, creating valued relationships and controlling strategic, operational, reputational and legal risks.

 

“Social media-savvy organizations are very optimistic about the role of social media in their organizations. Organizations have realized that social media generates great insights and helps engaging with customers on a continuous basis, and in some cases also generates sales and leads. Social media has helped organizations to create their own communities of fans, customers and prospects. The huge growth and demand of internet connected devices in India is only going to further strengthen the influence and power of social media in customer engagement, and organizations may well look at meeting their strategic goals and business needs through this channel in future,” said Mr Mishra.

 

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