In October 2012, India reached 60.2 million active monthly users for Facebook which makes it #3 in the ranking of all countries. If we thought 2012 was a high growth year, wait and watch what 2013 has to offer! Brands, which have stayed away from social media so far, will finally plunge in and those who have been present actively will dare to invest more and innovate further too. We will see spends being invested in new campaigns, ad buy-ins, cross platform outreach and adoption of applications for the web and mobile. The increased spends will come through spends that have been allocated to traditional marketing.
Social Influence will be a key to social media marketing strategy that will help in creating brand evangelists. Influencer outreach has become a core approach in today’s marketing and provides new options for brands to identify and interact with opinion leaders and industry experts who have the ability to influence others to take positive action. Brands will turn to influencers of their products or services, towards building a relationship and nurturetheir association.
Mobile will support social media greatly: With most users accessing their social outreach over their smart phones, social media campaigns, applications and commerce will be made mobile-friendly to ensure accessibility at all times. Mobile phones give freedom and privacy that laptops and desktops can’t give and users are going to be bolder and freer in keeping their eyes on the Trending Apps list and trying out new stuff. This is one area that is likely to bloom. Apps are going to be more and more exciting and innovative. Brands and organizations who have continuously worked towards building big applications and investing big monies, will continue to do so but will get smart about it and seek insights onto what really works for their brand and how they can go beyond just engagement.
Importance of monitoring media trends: Brands will hire specialized agencies that will help them monitor and gauge what audiences have to say about their businesses and convert consumer perspective into higher positive experiences. The sentiment analysis that is gained through the metrics tool will help brands achieve deep insights on consumer towards sustaining powerful Social media presence and achieve a target of overpowering their competition. With higher investments in social media, brands would rightfully need detailed insights on how they are impacting their fans and followers, how many convert into consumers and the true impact of each application or communication they disseminate via each platform.
While Social Commerce isn’t new, the advent of Facebook Gifts and storefront solutions will bring about a spike amongst not only e-commerce and classifieds portals but also the smaller businesses. Ease of access taken to another level is a sure shot success guarantee to be seen in the coming year. Innovative retailers will integrate social functionality directly no their sites beyond simple sharing enabling consumers to choose from their favourite brands.
Customer relationship management on Social media will augment encouraging more brands to leverage platforms in order to create brand evangelists. Brands will trust and bestow Social CRM onto agencies with a close knit association in-house to merge expertise from both ends. Handling relations will become a core driver of engagement and, in turn, customer retention.
While integration of social media in marketing and communication campaigns is a given today and slowly more and more organizations will start looking at social media for internal communications, recruitment, business planning, etc. Social media strategies will get refined and the current ‘me too’ approaches will evolve and organizations will look hard for return on investments. Social media optimization will be taken seriously. Brands would need to be educated on the impact of optimizing their social media presence in a fashion that they are SEO friendly and capitalize on the money they spend on social media marketing. 2013 will definitely see brands evolve maturely into adopting social media platforms that are apt for them versus trying to be all over the place.
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