Several businesses have been adopting the use of social media. Professionals view social media as an initiative that can undertake to increase the interest of individuals on particular products or services. In the recent past, the web and internet have brought about considerable changes in business and culture. Several investors in India have been up to the task in implementing new technologies in marketing of their products and services (Pande, 2008, 17, 22, pp. 96-100). The most promiscuous utilities majorly used in the marketing of these products and serves include Blogs, Facebook and Twitter.
The social media is distinct from other types of traditional or industrial media in the essence that people can acquire information about the products in the market. the clients can also get educated through these social sites and obtain data in electronic form from different sites on the internet.
Most of the consumers of these products and services in India also use these social sites in connecting with their service providers. Media has played a great role in defining the brands of these products and services and influencing reputation of the producers. Customers in India can either increase profitability or reduce it depending on the means in which it is used. The several utilities of the social media have made marketing an interesting phenomenon in India and several other countries (Krishnana, & Narayanakumar, 2010, 23, pp. 505-514). The major question that lingers in the minds of producers is how and what to publish in the social media in order to improve their companies’ image and increase profitability by motivating the clients to accept their products.
Several research studies have established that India is the seventh leading country in the world in the usage of internet facilities with a population of close to 60 million people using the internet. Of this population, approximately 47 million are regular internet users and 13 million are considered occasional users. This population is averagely 81% of the total population of the country. Males are considered to constitute a higher percentage of this population at 82% while women only constitute 18% of the internet users. Most of these internet users-around 90% belong to the ages ranging between 18-45 years (Davis, 2012, p. 56). This age group is considered by marketers to hold high purchasing power due to their high disposable income. In India, a typical internet user spends 110.4 minutes on the social sites and makes 10.4 visits per month to a social network. Due to these statistics, internet marketing in India has been rapidly growing approximated at a rate of 11.2%.
The main aim of internet advertising is to create a two-way interaction relationship between the customers and produces. The Indian producers publish their products on the social sites such as Facebook and Twitter and the customers post their comments on the same sites. The mutual producer-customer relationships help in creating proper distribution channels. The customers help shape the brand via the social sites (Alex, 2012. , 9, 2, pp. 29-43). The marketers in India have established that the customers have proper usage of internet services; therefore, they create well-timed advertisements. In order to catch customer attention, they create relevant advertisements and strive to make them interesting. The platforms increase participation that is aimed at increasing sales and profitability (Butalia, & Balasubramanyam, et al. 2009. 18, 14, pp. 44-54)
Facebook has several features that help the producers in India in marketing their products. The customers in the market also frequently use these tools.
Indian producers and buyers commonly use this tool. When creating awareness of a new brand in the market, the producers post their new products on their walls. They also write on their timelines any issue concerning their products and services. The customers read these status updates and comment on them in expressing these views concerning the status updates. The customers also update their status in expressing their views on the products and services they receive from the producers. This double communication helps in informing the producers on the needs of the clients and informs the clients on the products and services available with the producers.
The producers, as single entities or as groups create pages that are liked with the customers. The fan pages also as the status updates, help in building product image. The fan pages provide information about the producers at a glance. Through them, the customers can know about the products that the producers have and the channels of distribution.
Several Indian service and product providers utilize this tool especially when they organize events. The events tool is aimed at informing the customers of the producers locations at different times in order connect in a platform. The producers invite the customers to their events using this tool (Ramaprasad, 2007, pp. 11-12).
Other important Facebook features include comments, likes, and sharing of information. Customers also use several links provided by the producers. The most commonly used features by marketers are the BeFriend New People, which is usually useful in adding value and the group discussion feature.
Twitter tools that shape customer behavior in India
Based on current growth rate and the willingness of Indian consumers in participating in social media, it has been established that in the next six months, over 45,000 million Indians intend to join social sites daily. A quarter of the online consumers are able to recall brands using the social media. The number of consumers following brands on these social sites is increasing rapidly in India. It is also clear that there is no monopoly in the social space, therefore, brand marketers and producers maximize the opportunities on these sites to maximize productivity.
The customers follow service and product providers on their Twitter handles in obtaining product information. The customers retweet the producers in expressing their views. Customers also order for these products and services via their Twitter handles. Twitter is a proper conversation platform that strengthens consumer-producer relationships. It helps in improving communication channels between the producers and customers. The customers and producers share their opinions and facts about the services and goods they procure (Kumar, & Sarkar, 2008. 13, 2, pp. 204-226)
In conclusion, social media is a common tool in advertising in order to shape buyer behavior. This has been an important tool in increasing the quantities demanded of a product. It creates proper communication channels and helps in product branding. Social media also reaches several buyers at reduced cost, which is beneficial to the producers . The most disadvantageous thing related to social media is that when wrong or inciting information is published on the social sites, several buyers might access this information, but convincing them otherwise would be very difficult since the Indian buyers are not easy to persuade against the information they receive from the social site. The major gap in the social marketing in Indian market is the inclusion of Producer Corporation in the social sites. The producers need to come together in advertising products as a union especially in industries that are interrelated.
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Ramaprasad, J 2007, 'marketing social causes in india', American Academy Of Advertising Conference Proceedings, pp. 11-12, Business Source Complete, Ebscohost, viewed 25 February 2013.
Pande, S 2008, 'Social Networking Waiting to Explode', Business Today, 17, 22, pp. 96-100, Business Source Complete, Ebscohost, viewed 25 February 2013.
Mitra, K, Shamni Pande, R, Sachitanand, S, Kumar, S, Butalia, A, & Balasubramanyam, K 2009, 'India Inc. Wakes up to Social Media. (cover story)', Business Today, 18, 14, pp. 44-54, Business Source Complete, Ebscohost, viewed 25 February 2013.
Kumar, R, & Sarkar, A 2008, 'Psychographic segmentation of Indian urban consumers', Journal Of The Asia Pacific Economy, 13, 2, pp. 204-226, Business Source Complete, Ebscohost, viewed 25 February 2013.
Alex, N 2012, 'An Enquiry into Selected Marketing Mix Elements and Their Impact on Brand Equity', IUP Journal Of Brand Management, 9, 2, pp. 29-43, Business Source Complete, Ebscohost, viewed 25 February 2013.