Indian firms using social media to get business

Dileep Athavale, TNN | Jun 8, 2011, 05.13pm IST

PUNE: There is a marked rise in use of social media by businesses worldwide as a tool to win new business, a recent study has found. An increasing number of Indian companies are using social media as an effective business tool, the study said, adding that 83 per cent firms in India agree that without social media activity, marketing strategies cannot hope to be successful. Globally, 74% companies endorse the view, it said.

Importantly, two fifths (39 per cent) of companies globally and almost half in India (49 per cent) devote up to 20 per cent of their marketing budget to business social networking activity, the study noted. The global Regus survey findings are based on the responses of over 17,000 managers and business owners across 80 countries.

Human resources and workplace solutions company Regus conducted the study which observed that rising awareness among business internationally about social networking which was a nice-to-have part of IT use till recently has moved close to centre stage and become a necessity.

According to the survey, the last year has seen a rise in Indian companies using social networks, blogs, micro-blogs and forums to win new business. In 2010 Regus found that 52 per cent of Indian firms were successfully winning new customers through business social networking activity. A year later, the proportion has risen to 61 per cent. The research also reveals that globally more firms are also using social media to connect and engage with existing customers than a year ago.

There is a rise of 7 per cent in the proportion of businesses successfully recruiting new customers through social networks such as Facebook while 52 percent of businesses globally and 64 per cent in India use websites such as Twitter and Weibo to engage, connect with and inform existing customers, the study observed. In India 67 per cent firms encourage their employees to join social networks such as Linkedin, Xing and Video, compared to 53 per cent globally.

It is still not the end of traditional media though. Indian (66 p.c.) and global firms (61p.c.) are also emphasizing the need for a balance of marketing media, confirming their belief that without a combination of traditional and digital techniques marketing campaigns will not work.

Madhusudan Thakur, Regional Vice-President, South Asia for Regus said, “As businesses emerge from the downturn they are increasingly reconsidering pre-recession working practices and opting for more flexible, competitive strategies. From supply chain management, to leaner working practices, to cloud computing, to increased use of video communications and mobile working no area of business is being overlooked. Particularly in India where Nielsen reports that 3 out of 4 social media users visit a social networking site at least once a day, and a discussion forum once a week, more and more companies are leveraging this channel to increase the loyalty of existing customers, and as a successful acquisition tool.”

Source taken from: Click here

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