Social Marketing / Networking:
People of all ages tend to find social networking sites that deal with the subject of their interest and follow the conversations happening there. Internet being a global phenomenon, you will find people from all over the world coming together to talk and share information about their particular topic of interest. It had never been easier that this to make friends and socializing over the internet. Marketers can learn a lot and get real feedback about their product and experiences from the customers online and besides initiate interest in others who are watching and following the topic.
Social media marketing is a phenomenon and this is a medium that no marketing Organization can afford to ignore or be absent from. In this back drop, the Social Media Marketing plays an important role in promoting and marketing products and services to customers as business firms think that they can make use of the Social Media Marketing as a real tool for reaching the customers or the touch points.
The difference between Social Media and Traditional News Media
- In traditional news media the readers or viewers are passive participants.
- In Social media existing customers and potential customers are actively participating and exchanging information, sharing experience, expressing their views, opinion etc.
- Social media network is spread across variety of channels and mediums covering very large territories.
- Print and News Media operate within limited channels and areas
- Social Media network is dynamic and flexible that keeps changing in terms of content, tools and keeps evolving all the times.
- Social Media network calls for different kind of participation from the marketers.
- In traditional media, marketers run campaigns and customized advertisement focused on a particular group or audience.
- Social media network enables the participants to make the marketer listen more than leading the discussion
- Social media network provides real and instant feed back from the actual users about the product and service.
Impact of Social Media on Marketing:
- Brand Recognition (a powerful tool for brand building)
- Community (the followers become a community)
- Repeat exposure(Reminding customer over and again about your products and services)
- Authority (helping organizations to establish authority in the concerned field)
- Influence(through the social media Organizations influence grows)
- Website Traffic (Influences large number of customers to visit the site to know more about the offerings)
- Ahead of the curve(Customers and prospect check through the sites whether the Organizations are there in the social media and their presence in the site boost the image of the Organization).
- Competitive advantages
- Big wins. Being present in the social media helps organizations to get connected with business opportunities.
A study was conducted by “Simplify 360” covering the Banks viz HDFC Bank, 1C1CI Bank, Yes Bank ,City Bank, Kotak Mahnidra Bank, ING Bank, Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank, and Public Sector banks viz, SBI, Bank of Baroda, PNB, Canara Bank etc. to find out among these banks who are more active in the Social Media Marketing. The study revealed that among the private banks, HDFC was found to be the most active one in the Social Media. And in the public sector, SBI was found to be more active in Social Media.
How Banks can use Social Media for marketing
Banking business being a completely customer driven segment, it is imperative that the
banks be in constant touch with their customers and Social Media Platforms can be used as great channel of communication for them.
The different ways bank can use Social Media is as follows : –
- Drive awareness about a new product or service,
- Engage with customers,
- Post job opportunities and attract high quality candidates for jobs,
- Gauge its performance in the industry, identify areas of improvement and foster innovations.
Use of quantitative tools like Ratings, Reviews and Recommendations as well as other scoring methods like voting etc are highly beneficial in engaging the customers as well as getting to know what they think about you and your products and such feedback can be highly valuable to any marketer.
Sites like LinkedIn, Face Book and Jigsaw etc, prove to be a huge mine of data and information on various contacts, specific interest groups, communities of experts etc. Marketers have realized the potential that exists in these business social networks and the community of professionals and have developed successful strategy to engage them for productive purposes.