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Social Media Marketing - a Pre Requisite for Companies Big and Small

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Social media marketing - a pre requisite for companies big and small

Internet is by far the most widely used source for information. Every brand today wants space here. This article aims to find out if the use of social media marketing is only viable for big business houses. Today social media has become a pre-requisite for the marketing of every organisation. A few big names use this medium and make noise in the media. But there are other small organisations/people who make use of this media and make their mark in the minds of the people. With a few big examples from both sides, the researcher learns that sales hike is not the only factor that determines the success of a company, it is also the brand awareness and visibility that one's producta get among the target market.


Back in the olden days a consumer was at the mercy of the brand, whatever the brand offered the consumer took. There was no scope for any interaction between the two parties. It was the brands that were in control of the situation. Today it is all about conversations. It has become an integral part of every human's life. Consumers have become smarter and look for various avenues from where they can extract everything about the brand. It was earlier limited only to the traditional form of media, television, radio and print. With the growing economy and everchanging forms of technology, the internet or the New media has today become an important pre-requisite for any marketers pitch presentation. Media plans across all media houses are not complete without a mention of the brand's placement in the new media. The social media is indeed the talk of the town in today's scenairo. Interaction has gone a step ahead and has brought the world closer with this new fad. Brands across the globe are now realising the importance of making their brand visible on this platform. This article aims to find out that perfect mix of social media marketing ingredients that makes a brand big or small a success. Let us first begin with finding the reason for this growing popularity over social media. Social media websites like orkut, facebook, Hi5, etc are a few with which everyone is familiar with. A study conducted by vizisense, Mar 2010, showed that among the above websites, Orkut had a unique userbase of 16.8 million users in India alone. Facebook was not far behind with 14.6 million. Websites like youtube scored a 14.5, LinkedIn was at 2.86 million and Flickr stood last at 1.70 million unique users*1.


This paper is a descriptive reseach of prior study done in the field of social media. A large part of the content in this article has been referred to from the book 'A handbook on social media', by Dentsu. Various websites for research on the topic were visited to gain additional information.

Analysis and findings

Social media at large provide the basis for people to connect with each other. When it comes to companies they provide a huge market for targeted advertising, and their massive userbase makes it an ideal place for great brand visibility. After all as the old hindi saying goes "jo dikhta hai wahi bikta hai". Barack Obama's election campaign was a huge success largely due to his presence on Facebook. With over 400 million active users, he was able to forge meaningful conversations with people from different states and win their trust.*[6]

Brands such as Accenture, Adobe,Chevron,Coca-Cola,Dell,IBM and many others have their own corporte blogs that are updated on a regular basis. Blogs are a great way to market your product. They are generally created by people who are opinion leaders and have a huge fan following. They inturn have immense influence over potential buyers of the product.

For instance Starbucks, allowed its customers to put in their suggestions through its "My Starbucks Idea" on their official website. Apart from their customer feedback, they also maintained a blog called "ideas in action" which was a platform for accepting customer sugesstions which they gave to the company. This was a humble effort by Starbucks to involve the customers in its family. Apart from the above it also uses Twitter to stream realtime customer opinions. [2]

Burger King had developed a Facebook application called "Whopper Sacrifice" that rewarded users for deleting their facebook friends. You just delete 10 friends from Facebook, and you get a coupon for a free Whopper. Unfortunately, that deal was not a huge success but it did give Burger King huge visibility on the internet for trying out something new and unique. Zappos an online shoe and apparel shop, based out of Nevada, made the most dynamic use of twitter by encouraging its employees to keep their accounts on this micro-blogging site and keep in touch realtime with all their customers. Zappos does not solely advertise on twitter as a retailer but also maintains constant conversations with tis customers by regularly updating them about the latest collection of shoes in the store.

The famous Sun Microsystems CEO uses blogs extensively to market the brand. Jonathan Schwartz makes his employess and customers to post comments on his blog. As a result of this in the year 2006, his blogs received 4,00,000 hits in a month. Inturn it helped gain the confidence of the market*.

The most widely used social networking website in Brazil is Orkut.com. India is the only country which has Facebook as the most widely used website with more than 24.5 million users. [1]

Social media should not restrict someone to only the personal space and comfort. This is the 21st century it is all about marketing and making your presence felt on the online front. Social networking is the most cheapest method of reacing millions of viewers at once while incurring no cost at all. Creating a Facebook page, Twitter account or a blog about you company/you only requires time and running of your brain cells. The biggest advantage that the new media has over tradiotional media like print, raido and television is the freedom of interactivity.

This is a survey conducted by 4 Ps Business and Marketing, where they found out that Facebook was predominantly the most widely used social networking website between the ages 18 to 35. More than Majority of that group (52%) belonged to the youngsters between the ages on 18 to 25. this shows that it is this



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