Business entities in India have significantly increased their spending on social media marketing even though it’s challenging for them to fathom the effectiveness of their social media engagements. According to Ernst and Young’s annual Social Media Marketing India Trends Study,nearly 90% of organizations reached out to, are planning to allocate around 15% of their marketing budget to social media, up from 78% organizations in the year 2013.Social media presence is a key element for most brands.About 23% stated that their social media budgets were more than Rs 1 million per annum and 14% spent Rs 1-2 crore on social media in the year 2014.There was a downfall in the number of brands that spent in excess of Rs 2 crore from 17.1% in 2013 to 14.3% in 2014. This indicates that brands are becoming cautious on the returns and hence, are optimizing spends.
Social Media Marketing- Trends and Brand Adoption
The study was conducted to analyze the social media behavior of the top brands in India. It clearly brought to light some important insights and changes that the Indian industry has gone through between the years 2013 and 2014. Following are the key findings of the E&Y’s recent study:
- Building Brand Awareness and Community is the primary objective of companies spending on social media marketing.
- About half of the brands participated in the study claim their investment is 10% of their annual marketing budget.
- 86% brands interact via multiple online platforms at least once a day and 53%, twice a day or more.
- Only 14% of brands spend between Rs. 1 Crore and 2 Crores (200,00USD – 300,000USD) on social media marketing, 23% spend less than Rs. 10 lakhs (32,000USD) annually on social media marketing.
- 27% of brands have an in-house team for social media strategy, planning and implementation while 11% brands outsource these activities to other agencies or firms.
- 79% of brands in India rely on agencies for their social media requirements during implementation and roll out of campaigns.
- 61% of brands leverage social media listening tools to track their brand sentiments.
- Radian 6 and Meltwater came up as the most popular tools for social media monitoring and for tracking of sentiment analysis
The study also tried to examine the adoption and popularity of new platforms that have been introduced to social media users in India. Google+ was the most adopted platform (40% brands introduced Google+ in 2014) followed by LinkedIn (30%) and Twitter (25%). New platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram have also made an entry to this list. It is also interesting to compare the main goals of social media strategies in the years 2014 and 2013. Evidently, companies not only continue to focus on traditional objectives like brand awareness, community building etc. but also leverage social media for other objectives such as reputation management and thought leadership. This shows that brands are constantly tracking how their followers are reacting to their content (Reply, Like, Share, Retweet, etc.) on social platforms. They are even monitoring what people are saying about them with the help of social listening tools like simplify360, Meltwater etc.
Indian companies have realized the power of social media channels and therefore, they are hiring specialized social media managers to enhance their brand’s visibility online. Over the past few years, impactful social media marketing has generated quality leads for a company and has helped different brands in building relationships with their clients. Following are some of the renowned Indian brands that actively engage in social media marketing.
Flipkart: Flipkart promotions are ubiquitous. The company actively engages in social media marketing and has successfully built a client base out of major chunk of loyal Indian customers. Apart from generic updates, brand promotions etc. , they conduct contests for their followers that encourages maximum customer participation.
Vodafone India: Vodafone India has an exclusive Vodafone India page apart from a Vodafone zoozoos page, which is a fun activity based page. They leverage their Twitter handle mostly for customer service.
PepsiCo India: PepsiCo India uses social media networking in their real time marketing strategy so as to develop relationships with their customers and improve their brand equity.
Tata Nano: Tata Nano launched a social media campaign that was geared towards the youth. It consisted of youth centric images and slogans. The campaign was an instant hit as it successfully reached to its target audience and the objectives of the campaign were fulfilled.
Myntra: Myntra is a leading e-commerce company in India. Their persistent social media activities have helped them garner several loyal customers. Myntra’s social media campaign based on treasure hunt introduced in March, 2014 was a big success.
P&G India: P&G India is a social media savvy organization that uses different social media channels for enhancing customer engagement, workforce motivation and stakeholder interest.
Uber Cabs: The general manager of Uber cabs, Mr. Gagan Bhatia, took to the social media platform Twitter in order to recruit suitable candidates for his company.
Oreo India: Oreo India’s #Dunkathon encouraged fans to get their own customized ‘dunk.’ All they had to do was share something close to them – any beautiful memory and Oreo would give it a twist. This social media campaign helped the company achieve positive branding through customer engagement.
The ITC Grand Chola: The ITC Grand Chola actively indulges in social media marketing. They garnered a lot of enthusiastic followers with the help of their photography contest. They have a Facebook app that directs the users to their website where they can upload their pictures.
Star Plus India: They organized a lot of social media activities during the time when the ‘Mahabharata’ series was launched. The author of the epic series, Mr. Devdutt Paitnaik was even involved in a Twitter chat with the followers of the channel. Furthermore, there was a social media game based on the series.
The future of social media marketing for India looks very bright. The business industry is huge and growth rates are quite impressive. Year after year, social media strategies are changing for the better and this is a testimony to the dynamism of the industry. Companies are open to experimentation and realize return on investment (ROI) through alternate means. This makes studying social media marketing all the more intriguing. Moreover, social media platforms themselves are going through phases of rapid innovation along with exciting new features. Brands certainly look forward to leverage these innovations and reach out to their potential and current customers.
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