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Social media – Bane or Boon?

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Today there is an increased awareness as well as great hype around social media. Majority of the large companies have joined the bandwagon with active social engagement and are utilizing big data. Some are sitting on the fence and contemplating whether it would add value or be a waste of time, energy and money. A larger section, predominantly medium or small businesses, is completely oblivious to this world.

Many of those who have jumped in, are still grappling with the questions of what to do and how to get returns from their investments. In other words, a high number of companies have presence for the sake of it, certainly a bane for them resulting into sheer wastage of time, money and effort.

It is therefore essential to know why social media has become a go-to world;

  • Globalization & internet is shrinking the world, leading to a global village
  • Nuclear families are creating an urge for people to talk and share in the virtual world
  • After exchanging initial pleasantries people tend to talk about their day to day life experiences and aspirations. They end up asking opinions, sharing experiences about products, services and their wish-lists
  • With information explosion people are becoming more aware and hence demanding more and better features, rich experience and value for money
  • Technology and many other products are becoming ‘commoditized’ and across majority of businesses it is turning out to be a buyer’s market. The good part being customer choices, preferences, likes and dislikes are available and can be captured online

In a nutshell, there is an opportunity for companies to leverage loads of information shared by prospects and customers alike. This can be used to draw insights, improve their current offerings and build wisdom to innovate futuristic products, services and channels.

What is in there?

Pulse of the market – Social Platforms are a better medium to understand the pulse of customers and prospects. You get to know what they like and dislike, what they aspire, what are their problems and challenges. This can then be addressed through changes, improvements and innovations.

Connections create value – Network of connected people with shared interests and goals create ways that can produce returns for any company

Power in the hands of the people – Social media has given people power of expression. Communities of interests produce more ideas and solutions than any individual. Social platforms help people to come together as a community. The open source movement has demonstrated the ability of communities of interest. Organizations should leverage such communities rather than finding solutions all by themselves.

Collaboration creates – Good ideas can emerge from everywhere. Social platforms provide option of collective ownership, distributed inputs, decisions and contribution. It is better than the traditional set-up where the power of decisions is centralized or hierarchical.

And all this comes at a fraction of total marketing spend. It doesn’t eat too much into the marketing budget till such time that the company decides to venture into targeted marketing. The social engagement increases when people share their feedback, challenges, and issues. Subsequently companies can then decide on appropriate steps to capture the BIG Data, invest for target marketing and more.

Go social, go global!!