What’s On

Is social media a luxury or a necessity

Did you just check your Facebook notifications or retweeted something? If yes, then you could understand the penetration of social media in our lives. Growth of internet and mobile penetration have acted as catalysts for the social networking industry. Around 7.1 billion people have internet access globally as of now, with around the same number of global mobile connections. In India, there were around 243 million internet users till June 2014, in comparison to 190 million till 2013.

Traditional to digital
From radio in 1891 to varied social networking sites on internet; the modern technology is much more sophisticated than its predecessors. People in India are heavily engaged with social media on Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn being the popular ones with around 100 million Facebook users, 70 million monthly active WhatsApp users, 55 million unique users a month on YouTube, 26 million on LinkedIn and 33 million on Twitter. Radio and television were very popular, but the engagement and interest they caused were very difficult to understand. However, in modern social media, we show our interests in a particular brand by either following or liking the pages of our favorite brand. Aren’t you following your favourite brands on Facebook? Most of us are.

Mobile industry
The revolution in mobile industry in the last decade has changed the dynamics of marketing altogether. You might be reading this article on your mobile phone right now, which depicts the growth and reach of mobile industry.

70 per cent of internet page views in India originate from mobile devices, while 87 per cent of all Facebook users access the platform through mobile. Many of us check notifications (whether Facebook or WhatsApp) on our mobile as the first thing in the morning.

Business perspective
In order to reach the vast pool of potential customers, businesses have started to focus on social media platform but it comes with both an opportunity and a risk. An opportunity to connect with customers and shape their perceptions; a risk of giving power to any individual of tarnishing the long-established brand name with a mere angry blog post or comment.

Importance of content
It’s not only about information but presentation. It’s about creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire an audience. According to Kissmetrics, posts on Facebook with photos get 53 per cent more likes, 104 per cent more comments and 84 per cent more click-throughs than text-based posts.

YouTube is the most popular medium for video sharing. Not only does it make video available and user-generated content on demand, it also enables comments, popularity ratings and easy sharing of sources. WhatsApp has also made the sharing of content very easy which makes videos, images, or even text based content go viral in no time. With the emergence of micro video apps like Twitter’s Vine and now Instagram’s video sharing feature, we’re seeing even more movement toward real-time video sharing.

Polls and questions also result in deeper connection with the customers engaging people to voice out their opinions or support.

Facebook and Twitter

From Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi’s (@NarendraModi) declaration of victory tweet in May to Rohit Sharma’s (@ImRo45) world record breaking score of 264 Vs Sri Lanka in November; got many retweets on Twitter. Even the people who don’t even follow these people got the news.
Brands are following a straightforward approach to create a neutral Facebook site to answer customer queries, whether about how a product works or where it can be purchased from. It’s done so that they could later expand its use of social media monitoring services so that that they are able to respond quickly to customer complaints.

In 2014, Facebook partnered with VivaConnect to provide ‘Missed Call Ad units’ which helped the customers to engage directly with the brands via ‘Missed Call’.

What’s the next level?
With many social channels on offer, picking the right one is essential. Since, there can be a difference in terms of users demographic on different social media sites, the brands should choose wisely. The stage is all set to be utilised and explored.

The write up is part of the DMA Annual Report ‘What’s Trending 2015‘.
To book your own hard copy of the Annual, write to marketing@digitalmarket.asia

Vikram Raichura

Vikram Raichura is the Managing Director at VivaConnect Pvt. Ltd.
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