Use of social networking sites can boost biz

MUMBAI: Three ad professionals have asserted that calibrated use of social media like Orkut, Myspace, Facebook and Flickr can skyrocket your business in quick times.

Samsika Marketing Consultants Jagdeep Kapoor and Social Wavelength Joint CEOs Sanjay Mehta and Hareesh Tibrewala were addressing a seminar on "Social Media for Corporate Communication and Marketing", organized by Indian Merchants’ Chamber. 
Kapoor said that the traditional mode of corporate communication through the print and electronic media was at best a ‘monologue’, ‘one-way traffic’.

The corporates had no easy way of getting feedbacks from their clients or finding out the consumers’ varied preferences, so as to review and redesign their market promotion strategies.

But with the advent of internet, especially web sites like Googles, Yahoo and Wikipedia, this situation has changed. The corporates could now intelligently engage in ‘a dialogue’ with their potential or existing consumers, so that they can send advertizing messages to the consumer public and get prompt feedback from them, all on realtime basis.

The sites like Ebay, Orkut, Myspace, Facebook, Flickr, Linked In, StumbleUpon, Digg, and Reddit could skyrocket your business overnight, if used intelligently as part of your market strategy.

"But, remember that the quality and other features of product and services which you are offering to consumers must be absolutely wholesome, sound and flawless. Otherwise, your entire marketing strategy may collapse catastrophically," Kapoor cautioned.
"Do you use an RSS reader like Google, Newsgator or Bloglines? Have you submitted content to a social network? Has your content become "popular" or hit the front page? Do you or a client of yours do social media marketing? This is an entirely new landscape with unlimited marketing potentials. It opens up great scope for building strong brands and finetuning one’s marketing strategies to suit the diverse interests of clients," he said.

The ad professionals in charge of the marketing strategies for the biggest Bollywood grosser 3 idiots successfully made use of the social networking sites for achieving success. A similar Social Media strategy was also being used for the launch of Ram Gopal Varma’s Rann.

"The social media offers us a superb opportunity to reccee, and be at it now, fast, contemporary. But, first doubly ensure that the direction of your direction is right, and your product is good, flawless. Otherwise, instead of soaring, the rocket may nosedive," he counselled.

Social media could also be used with great effect for launching election campaigns, raising social consciousness on critical issues and for achieving other wholesome social objectives.

Kapoor adds, "Social media is direct, and low-cost, and hence can suit small entrepreneurs’s budget. Its effect can be enhanced by integrating it with other media vehicles. The social message must remain consistent and must reflect the strong brand image of the corporate."

Mehta said that social media could be effectively used for advertising, selling, reputation management, listening, customer service, co-creating products and creating B2B relationships.

He cited the successful examples of multinationals using social media as a powerful marketing tool. Dell used it for offering exclusive discounts through Twitter. "

Tibrewala recommended that a social media strategy should have four key elements of Ps-- people, purpose, plan, and process.

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