AgVoice | The Year of Social Media Integration!

Internet usage in India has touched 212 million users in 2011 and is expected to grow. Today, 30%-40%marketing budget of Indian companies is allocated to Digital, leading to a spending capacity of them to 1200cr. Impact of marketing communication increases when Digital Media is integrated. Social media promotion is the fastest way to spread a brands message and increase talk ability. Whether it is the Marketing, PR, HR or even Finance department, they realize this medium allows them to understand their consumers, interact with them and also be able to work on forecasting future trends. These days' social media strategies often include integration with major social networking portals, and for good reason.

Integration is the sync of social media with other marketing channels adopted by the brand. Nescafe who ran teaser campaigns on television, leading users onto the Facebook page used integration successfully. Anti- repellent brand, Hit created a full page ad in a newspaper raising curiosity amongst users to get onto their social media presence for more. One of the greatest powers of Social media is that it allows customers to give instant feedback on products and services. The vast amount of data available, a direct connect with the youth, ability to customize and recreate are some of the reasons for marketers to get serious about this medium.

There are over 140 million users on Facebook and Twitter's visitors view an average of 3.7 unique pages per day. When a new Television commercial releases, the first spot where reviews and opinions are shared is social media. When you see a print advertisement of the latest mobile phone, you tend to head towards the Internet to know more about it. While one should build a Facebook Application or a LinkedIn page, the real challenge is to understand why a brand would want to and how it will benefit the organization.

Consumers will increasingly start realizing the power they have towards tarnishing the reputation of a brand with their feedback and hence managing reputation, tracking what consumers are saying and converting these insights into sustainable strategies that understand the consumer pulse will become increasingly important. This shows the required integration between customer care and social media teams to ensure seamless flow. After all, the ones that react the fastest will gain ability to engage their consumers more positively.

Augmented Reality, video marketing, smart phone apps will see greater introduction in 2012 within social media. Augmented reality (AR) is the integration of digital information with live video or the user's environment in real time. Basically, AR takes an existing picture and blends new information into it. Example of great integration is MTV roadies, the reality show by MTV which has used mediums such as Facebook UID to engage participants' offline whilst updating their status on Facebook on every activity done during the selections. The on-air version of the show allows only 13 consumers to participate, but by extending to the online platform they had the opportunity to take this show live and open participation to 50 million internet youth in the country. The campaign used a mix of TV, online and in-channel promotions & offline initiatives to popularize the initiative. Online Media was the primary platform to drive engagement with the Digital Show.

Total no of mobile internet users in 2011 was estimated at 30 million. This number is set to go up to 237 million users by 2015. As Smartphone users continues to grow year- on- year, it is necessary for brands to understand the need of integrating mobile with online marketing. Creating mobile applications and consumer engagement initiatives is the need of the hour for brands so as to successfully integrate social media platforms and other marketing tools.

Ability to identify the consumer pulse and study it in depth is possible only when you merge your automated tool along with experts in the field of Social Media, research and sciences. Social media integration ensures that genuine interest is sparked by real people around a brand and it is up to each brand to take the onus of understanding their consumers prior to marketing to them. Building a community of repeat customers will help a brand gain in social finance and create a credible social name among consumers in general. That is what would truly give Business a holistic, integrated strategy and will be born and acknowledged in 2012. | By Zafar Rais, Founder & CEO, MindShift Interactive

About the writer:

Zafar Rais, Founder & CEO of MindShift Interactive has +10 years of Digital Marketing with Startups and Products in Marketing, Advertising, Research, Operations and Sales experience. Rais is an early adopter and Influencer of social networking platforms. He is also an avid traveler and highly passionate about creating a MindShift across the globe.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not reflect in any way of Adgully.


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