Social media marketing is the new form of marketing which is in its nascent stage yet. If done right, can have a significant impact on brand awareness and popularity. However, many companies fail to utilize this cheap (and in many cases free) method of marketing. This is because either they are averse to try out new methods and techniques or resistance to change. I might start a controversy here but traditional mangers have vested interests when it comes to promotional expenditure. This expenditure is totally discretionary. So you spend more in times of boom and less during a downturn.
By looking at social media ranks for companies, and comparing it with mainstream media ranks for the same companies we can see which brands are taking advantage of this new medium and also draw conclusions about the effectiveness of social media.
A study from Immediate Future calculates social media rankings for different brands by comparing each brand’s “share of voice ranking”. This ranking is determined by how successfully the brand (or the company) has embraced various different social media or how social media has embraced the brand.
The different categories used are
- The Blogosphere (personal and professional bloggors)
- YouTube as a measure of popularity in online video
- MySpace and Bebo as measures of popularity on social networking sites
- Photobucket and Flickr as measures of popularity on online photography based networks Digg, Ma.gnolia, and Del.icio.us as measures of popularity on social bookmarking and socially driven news and content sites.
Online marketing is the best method to create a buzz about the product. The reach is wide and not focused on a particular geographical area. Since social media has a significant impact on brand awareness and popularity, this medium cares less about financial viability of a product and more about the product itself, its usability.
In India, it is largely available to the people who are slightly upper middle class. The broadband penetration being so fragmented, we can say that social media is largely a niche product. The targeted market should be tech savvy and draw heavily from the online information.