And you thought it was over!!!
After a drought of blogposts for almost 4 months, I’m back – boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen – with the most happening issue of the decade – IS SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING A NEW AVENUE TO EXPAND BUSINESS? – It feels like HOME!!!
The following write up was also presented at National Convention for CA Students.
I have bifurcated this article in 2 parts. The first part that you will read below hints at the changing medium of advertisement expenditure made by marketers. In the second part, (will be released on 1st March, 2015) I will present before you the most tried and tested ways to expand your business on social media.
HERE COMES THE FIRST PART:-
Think Social Media and what comes to mind? Socialising – chatting with friends, relatives, near and dear ones, expressing views, posting selfies and the like. But this is now much of an old hat. Social media has become more of an advertising platform than just a virtual world where people meet. And this is very much supported by the below mentioned facts:
- Today 24 out of 25 largest newspapers are experiencing declines in their ad revenues because the news reaches readers in other media i.e. Social Media.
- 64% of the advertisers are expected to increase their social media advertising in 2014.
It is very difficult to describe social media. We cannot give a certain defined explanation to social media. Any medium that connects people to people online is social media, where people hangout, share, chat and share anything is social media.
WHY MARKETERS SPEND MORE?
- Have you ever thought why the advertising platform or should I call the battleground of the marketers have changed?
- Why they have migrated from the traditional forms of advertising to modern medium?
Well the marketers have migrated because their targeted customers have started spending their time more on social media. Therefore the marketers targeted their customers and prospective customers where they are present, the most i.e. unarguably SOCIAL MEDIA. The above articulation is ably supported by the numbers mentioned below:
The numbers tell the story
- Facebook, the daddy of social media, commands 114 billion minutes of user time a month in US alone.
- Instagram gets 8 billion minutes.
- Twitter gets 5.3 billion minutes.
- Twitter has 232 million active users.
- WeChat has 396 million active monthly users.
- LinkedIn has 259 million users.
- WhatsApp has half-a-billion users.
“Source: A Pew Research Report quoted in OurSocialTimes”
What is the “Takeaway” from this?
It is this amount of time that people are spending on social platforms that makes them an irresistible lure for marketers. Therefore marketers are spending billions of dollars on these platforms to reach out to their target customers and to support this – Facebook reported a 72% increase in revenue at $2.5 billion for the first quarter of 2014 as compared to 2013’s last quarter, whereas the revenues were falling for the same quarter from NewsCorp: The leader of old school media owned by Rupert Murdoch.
Now it would be completely naïve on my part to keep bombarding the data. I would therefore present the successstories of social media to substantiate the fact that social media advertising is in fact the new avenue to expand business.
There are more than 15 million brands on Social Media who wants to grab the eyeballs of the users. Facebook has given birth to so many success stories.
- It is one of the earliest e commerce players in India and it has managed to build a thriving business with a strong push on social media. Chumbak gets 30% of its online revenues from Facebook. It also claims that it gets 5 times of what it spends on advertising and 35% of its traffic from Facebook.
- An online travel company is another venture that has immensely benefitted from Facebook; it drives more than 1,50,000 users every day to the travel site.
- It is an online store for canine care. RanaAtheya, the owner, says it all started as a blog. He is a dog lover and used to blog about dogs. He saw a lot of engagement from readers on his knowledge about dogs. Therefore he decided to venture into e-commerce; DogSpot is now a thriving venture-funded business.
- NGO POST
- It is a social networking site that allows individuals and NGOs to share and discuss various social welfare issues. This website is funded by a charitable trust named SewaBhartiNidhi, NGO Post’s revenue model is has been self-sustaining for the past seven years.
- SPORTS WAVE
- It is a great platform for sports enthusiast. Members who are interested in playing sports have to pick one sport, specify their skill level and availability and the rest is taken care by the SportsWave. From sports equipment to playing grounds it makes arrangements of everything. The member has to just show up and play. Some companies now use this platform to organise corporate tournaments. Started in 2012, the Gurgaon based sports company has more than 50 corporates using its services.
These were some of the million success stories of companies in INDIA. It is just like a drop in a sea. There are many such success stories. Not to forget they all share many a things in common, namely knowing what they do, knowing their target customers, knowing their niche and the like. But there is one thing that is strikingly similar in them i.e. they all talk through visuals… they let the photos and the videos do the talking…
On this premise I present the next part of my paper which outlays that visuals are certainly the king of social media. It attracts viewers who thereby turn into customers. It simply goes on to show that words aren’t always necessary to communicate.