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Facebook To Reach Untapped Indian Audience Through Digital Advertising

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Facebook is a big name in the Social Media Space. Anyone having account on the social media sites and not on Facebook is indeed a rare phenomenon. In India 252 million people use internet out of which 132 million are active Facebook users. Of the 132 million people 90% also access through their mobiles. India has a population of over 1.3 billion people. Plenty of scope for expansion for Facebook. Through its initiative, which was rolled out in August 2013 Facebook plans to help connect 2/3rd of the world without Internet access. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a vision of Digital India. He also provides all updates about his government’s initiatives through Facebook. His page is liked by more than 30 million users and growing day by day. This is a positive sign for Facebook.

Facebook has 1.49 billion of monthly active users as of second – quarter fiscal 15’ and it has robust plans to increase its global market share. India being its biggest market, second only to US, has a lot of potential for growth. Sheer size of the untapped population gives an encouraging picture. However Facebook earns just 15 cents per quarter per user from the Indian market as compared to $8 that it earns in United States which means that it is unable to break revenue in India. According to Neil Shah, an analyst at Counterpoint Research Comparing in Hong Kong, the revenue which Facebook extracts from India is 15 million per quarter, while Google pulls $350 million per quarter. This is mainly because Google has a 6 year head start in India against Facebook. Market is more familiar with the digital ads and its results.

Indians are yet to be digital savvy, in the way the western world is. Conventional Media is still the main medium of advertising. Indian Corporates prefer television ads, in store advertising, outdoor advertising and so on as it provides them more reach and also help to achieve their marketing objectives. Social Media as a concept of advertising is still new in India. Mr. Mohit Khattar, Managing Director at online grocery company Godrej Nature’s Basket began advertising on Facebook recently. He said since his customers have an online presence, they are online. However he still prefers advertising in store events and sales as it helps attract customers.


Facebook is working hard to change the rules of the game in India. It also realises that apart from big corporates,  small and medium sized businesses are its most potential customers. We now see a lot of Brand and Product pages on Facebook with substantial likes by the target audience. So Facebook has come out with new and interesting ways to attract the attention of the users. It designed a new type of ad specifically for Indian audience known as “click to missed call ad button”. In this user click on the button on the ad triggering a call to advertiser. The user then hangs up to save him the charge of the call. Advertiser then calls up the user with a pre – recorded message. Garnier Men, a health and beauty related company in India successfully used this innovative concept to see its online sales more than double according to Facebook and the company. There is a need for Corporates to warm up to Social Media advertising, understand the new age advertising, along with its positive implications on business. Facebook is trying to help through its free email for support feature, for questions about advertising and advice on increasing sales in an effort to boost revenue from its second biggest market.

In its efforts to make things easier for Indian users who accessed Facebook through mobile, it launch a lighter version of its app called Facebook lite as the earlier app was using more data than most customers were able to pay.

China is not open to foreign tech companies like Facebook, Twitter and so on due to concerns over control of information. It has a communist approach towards the foreign media. Since Chinese government kept a tight entry on Facebook, Twitter, EBay and Yahoo, Facebook cannot eye the big Chinese market for its expansion plans. Indian market, Facebook’s second biggest market is therefore very critical for its expansion plans, primarily because of the sheer size, extent of untapped market, pro digital friendly government and growing economy. Facebook plans to replicate its India strategy in its other growing markets like Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico, its 3rd, 4th, and 5th largest market in terms of user base. This will help to increase its revenue base of $ 6 billion. For the second quarter of fiscal 15’, 51.3 % of the revenue came from outside the United States and Canada. India push will definitely help to increase the profits.

Thus with these new initiatives like “click to missed call Ad Button” and Facebook looks forward to increasing its ad pie through semi urban and rural areas.

Image Credits: Google

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