This is a guest article by Advit Sahdev, Founder of the Online Digital Marketing Agency ODigMa. They specialize in social media marketingin India with special focus on Facebookbusiness communities. Read more about Advit here.The world is changing and it is changing very fast & why talk about the world, even India is catching up. Just take yesterday's example. Twitter shows the Top trends around the world and 3 (Ayodhya verdict, Allahabad high court & #Ayodhya) were in there. This means that these were amongst the Top 10 most popular topics across the world & Twitter in India has not even captured 1% of the total population.
According to a recent study (Sep 2010), Facebook users in India are growing at 14.1% which is more than any of the big countries in Facebook. Facebook has also introduced city specific targeting where we can target people based on their cities.
Twitter is already getting popular with location based search (where you can search for tweets in a location, i.e. latitude and longitude).
Linkedin groups has revamped itself and I must say that it is really interactive now. It also shows you the "Top Influencers" in a group.
In short, the world is becoming more and more "social friendly" and so is India
The BIG question for all the marketers is how do we adopt? We have been used to traditional media and search engine marketing techniques, but how do we utilize and capture this new opportunity. Also, what can social media do for my business?
Well, I will make it simple for you. Here is what you should do -
1 - Understand and jot down your marketing objectives (long term, i.e. at least 1 year)
2 - Capture the cost of each and every marketing activity that you do today and its ROI (I know you cannot capture ROI in most cases, but do an estimate)
3 - List down top 5 marketing channels that you want to focus on or have been focusing and map them against - ROI, Brand awareness, Customer retention / loyalty, Customer service, Demand Generation and Thought Leadership. Draw a grid with rows as Marketing channels and columns as Marketing goals (Feel free to add more goals / channels)
4 - Mention High Medium or Low in every cell of this grid.
This is what is called the "AS IS Analysis". Now let us do the "TO BE Analysis", i.e. for each of these marketing goals, where would you like to be after a year (or whatever time frame you want to target on)
Now let us again draw the grid with Marketing goals as columns and rows as Social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, social bookmarking, blogs, videos and forums)
Once you have done this, you need to understand which channel is good for which marketing objective (for e.g. Twitter is great for demand generation, where as Blogs are great for Thought Leadership and Facebook for customer loyalty and brand awareness)
This activity will help you understand several things -
1 - Which social media channel to use and which to discard
2 - Focus on specific marketing goals for a particular channel (and not every goal)
3 - Create a long term strategy and that will help you monitor & optimize
Social media is definitely not the answer to all your marketing goals (like search engine marketing is better for immediate sales) but it is definitely much more than what you thought.
It can address brand awareness, thought leadership, demand generation, customer loyalty, increase life time value of a customer, sales and much more.
If you do this exercise with full heart, I can assure you that you will have a much better grip on your marketing (online or offline) and will have a new found love for social media.