Social Media – A Paradigm Shift.

“In the digital world where buyers are in control of self-educating, the marketer’s job is no longer to find leads: it is to help leads find you”.

The above quote pretty much sums up the impact social media has. Be it FMCG products, Wellness products, Automobiles or even Healthcare, there is a transition that is taking place out there in the digital world and social media is playing a big role. Can we ignore it? Probably not.

According to one report Indian brands are expected to spend INR 1217 Crores on social media marketing in 2014 (up 74.3% from 2013).

So how does one go about developing a social media plan ?
At the very core is the WHY part?
This is the value preposition. One needs to seek answers to questions such as:
– Why do I need social media.
– Why do I believe that this is integral to my strategy (either for brands or categories)
– Why will it help me in the long run?

While interacting with many colleagues who are in the Social Media space, they share anecdotes of some clients who want to be seen as working on Social Media. They would want some traction in Facebook or Twitter, some random click analysis with a few videos thrown in. Such a short-term plan almost never works. The Mantra is to think long-term.
One found a nice acronym for this behaviour in an article. It’s called GMOOT (Get Me One Of Those)

The second part of the social media plan is the HOW part?
Active social media users in India grew to around 106 million and India is among the top three countries in terms of people using Facebook (100 mill + users) whereas Twitter is seeing an increased user base of over 33 million. With such a large and growing user base, key questions to be asked are :
– How do I know whom to address?
– How do I intend to get relevant people to come to my platform?
– How do I engage with them?

The answer to these questions leads one to the various means and tools required to activate : Own media, Paid media and Earned media. Each of these have distinct roles to play in helping leads find you.
The last part is the WHAT Part?
– What is my objective?
– What should my content be?
– What do I wish to convey and achieve?

One has to be very clear on the What part since social media is as open and frank as it gets. If content is not properly created, the target audience may not be engaged with the company or brand for long. What’s worse; they talk negatively about their experience leading to poor credibility of the company.

This brings us to the most important challenge everyone who engages in social media faces.
– How does one measure RoI?

Parameters such as Engagements (Likes, Favorites, No. of Posts / Comments), Social Reach (shares, retweets, visitors), Visit frequency rate are some popular metrics which are measured with respect to social media campaigns.

The Bottom Line
The more granular one gets to addressing the Whys, Whats and Hows,
more successful will be the output.

Social Media; Game On!