Social media is becoming an important part of business around the world, and companies in many regions are planning to increase their use of it in the coming months. India is emerging as one of the countries with largest number of Internet users. This has lead to a tremendous increase in the number of people who are accessing Social Networks like Facebook, Twitter etc. People socialize in Facebook with their friends in their real day to day life; this has led to a phenomenal spike in traffic and users for Facebook and other social media sites in India and globally.
Emarketer reports that for its “International Business Report,” Grant Thornton LLP spoke to senior executives from across the globe in August and September 2011 to determine how their companies used social media.
Companies in Latin America were the most likely to use social media, as 53% of respondents there said their companies currently do so and 78% said they planned to increase its use. Businesses in countries within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and those in Nordic countries also planned to increase the use of social media in the coming months, by 72% to 75% of respondents, respectively, according to the Grant Thornton report. Comparatively, 47% of the companies in North American countries currently use social media and 60% planned to increase its use.
As emerging markets grow economically and internet access has becomes more widely available in their countries, companies in Latin America and the BRIC nations like Brazil, Russia, India and China—are leveraging social media to reach their target audiences.
Meanwhile, businesses in Europe “are understandably preoccupied with the current economic difficulties, but they shouldn’t lose sight of the longer term opportunities social media offers,” said Mark Henshaw, Head of Media and Entertainment at Grant Thornton UK, in a statement about the survey.
Only one way companies worldwide are using social media to communicate with their customers. Overall, 53% of respondents used social media for advertising, 51% used it to communicate with customers and 43% leveraged social media for recruitment.
A recent study has found that an increasing number of Indian companies are using social media as an effective business tool, adding that 83 per cent firms in agree that without social media activity, marketing strategies cannot hope to be successful. Globally, 74% companies endorse the same view. It suggested that around two fifths (39 per cent) of companies globally and almost half in India (49 per cent) devote up to 20 per cent of their marketing budget to business social networking activity.
The global Regus survey findings are based on the responses of over 17,000 managers and business owners across 80 countries. According to the survey, the last year has seen a rise in Indian companies using social networks, blogs, micro-blogs and forums to win new business. In 2010 Regus found that 52 per cent of Indian firms were successfully winning new customers through business social networking activity. A year later, the proportion has risen to 61 per cent. The research also reveals that globally more firms are also using social media to connect and engage with existing customers than a year ago.
The study observed that there is a rise of 7 per cent in the proportion of businesses successfully recruiting new customers through social networks such as Facebook, while 52 percent of businesses globally and 64 per cent in India use websites such as Twitter and Weibo to engage, connect with and inform existing customers. In India 67 per cent firms encourage their employees to join social networks such as Linkedin, Xing and Video, compared to 53 per cent globally.
The phenomenon of Social Media Marketing is reaping benefits for Indian Brands in both Branding and Customer Acquisition perspectives. The Marketing Chiefs are excited to include Social Media Marketing into their Mainstream marketing Campaigns. Majority of Indian Brands has a presence in Facebook and Twitter. Social Media Marketing in India should blend Indian Culture in their creative mix, while engaging with their customers in Facebook or Twitter. This would enable the brand to cater to the localized preferences and tastes of their customers with whom they are engaging.
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