Make social media work for your company in more ways than just a web presence.

Social Media isn’t just social anymore. It’s a powerful, revolutionary tool that can make or break your business. A few years ago, perhaps it may have been just another site to say hi’s and exchange flirtatious nothings, but today social media is your best bet to profits and brand building.

What started off as a means to connect and interact between youngsters is now a frenzied ground for budding entrepreneurs, just as it is for established megabrands. Social media is the biggest thing that’s happened since the evolution of the internet. It’s even bigger than pictures of women on the internet! And that’s saying something if you actually know that stats of adult sites on the internet.

Across the world, companies have been jumping into the social networking bandwagon ever since it first tested waters. Brands like Coke , IBM, Microsoft, and McDonalds have been paying significant attention to the ways of social media, and have seen great results. On the other hand, companies like Dell have learnt the hard way about having a mandatory interactive presence in the world wide web. Google “Dell Hell” to know what I mean.

In India, we’re just so stubborn and hardwired to the tried-and-tested ways of regular ad campaigns and branding activities that we don’t want to reach out in any other way unless everyone else is doing it. Does that remind anyone about the story of the Indian crabs? But people in India can’t really say they haven’t heard about the importance of Social Media. Posts glorifying social media and its advantages are all around us. But keeping an Indian perspective in mind, does anyone really know the real use of social media?

I’ve come across several people who tell me they know everything about social media, but they just can’t see a way to incorporate it into their company strategy. Putting prejudiced options and old advice aside, every Indian company has to ask itself a question. Who is its target audience? And where can it find them? Today, almost every audience had created an online presence in their niche. Everyone is using some form of social media.

While new social media sites like Foursquare (which I think is the hottest entry in the last year) hasn’t still impacted the Indian audience, we still have quite a few social networking sites that are used aggressively like Facebook, Orkut, Linkedin and a few others. Everyone has an account in at least one such site based on their interests. Unlike print media, television, or even a radio which can’t really cater to one specific proven audience, the networking sites target a company’s audience to the tee.  And what’s even better? You can use the networking sites for free!

You can reach and connect with your company’s audience in a manner that no other medium can reach. As a company, you can also interact with them and collect ideas straight from your customers or potential customers, and build a strong loyalty program. Summarising this medium, you can actually brand and promote your company, while retaining your present customers, getting new customers, exchanging ideas, reaching out to a bigger audience, and increasing brand recall and brand loyalty at the same time. For Free!

In this small world of social internet connectivity, it isn’t the big bait with wads of money that catches the fish. It’s the innovative one.

Makes you think why companies want to spend millions of rupees every day just to grab a potential customer’s attention, doesn’t it? In some of my other posts, you can see how you can use specific networking sites to promote your company.

A whole new world of opportunities lies ahead for the innovative company that understands the potential of social media, and uses it to its advantage.

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