Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Importance of Social Media For SME’s & Outsourcing Companies- Ignore At Your Own Peril!

importance of social media
With regards to a recent blog update which I read dealing with the Social Presence of Startups and SME’s in the Virtual World, I read through a number of comments/questions regarding the ‘Financial viability’ of such presence on Social Networking Sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Broadly speaking most of the questions relate to the vast diversity between the expenditure incurred to promote a business on Online Platforms and the financial gains or returns expected from such promotion.

A majority of people came up with the ‘dripping faucet’ of interoperability between Marketing and Finance in relation to the concept of ‘pay-per-click’. The constant loggerheads between the Marketing and the Finance division also bought out a point which was very valid; how many of the people who actually clicked on an advertisement were really interested in it, how many of the clicks were as a result of an error, the purchasing power of the people who were interested and the downfall spiral generated from the concept of ‘ogling’.

The first two are very simple and require almost no explanation. As regards to the issue relating to the purchasing power of the people; it can be broadly classified into two conjectures. As Facebook is an online social community which is free for all and has placed no discriminations regarding the social standing of its members, it is the perfect idea of a democracy. However this same democracy proves to be more of a bane than a boon for organizations which advertise their products online; especially regarding those whose product line involves an ‘aspirational product’.

A case in point would be the launch of the new product which ranks high on the factor of desirability. With a price point tagged at the outside spectrum, it would be outside the reach of most of the working-class people today. However it would still generate a lot of interest; especially amongst the youngsters. These youngsters would not be having any purchasing power of their own and their clicks would result into the company’s hard earned money going to waste. Sure as a means of Promotion and Brand Building, it would have its perks. But if the company is aiming to convert ‘interest/inquiries into sales’, it should not expect a lot from the online platform of Facebook.

The other related problem lies in ‘ogling’. Especially with aspirations products, people (mostly those who do not have the purchasing power to buy the product) will keep coming back to ogle the product. As soon as they see the Facebook Advertisement on the right hand side of their profile, they will quintessentially click on it and view the same pictures all over again. This has a typical cascading effect of expenditures and does not promote any financial viability.

It is for this, the concept of ‘Facebook for Business’ has been recently launched. I have been made aware of its finer points and its flashy attributes which basically reveal how connecting your brand with Facebook for Business can give you some extra leverage. This dedicated platform is basically a full fledged portal that will cater to the requirements of SME’s and Startups. It will come with many benefits which will help a brand incur less expenditure, while still being able to garner higher visibility. In essence, ‘Facebook for Business’ tries to overcome the shortcomings of the ‘bread and butter Facebook’ which I had pointed out above.

With a sizable chunk of Corporate Space operations in the online domain, the companies and brands will be in a position to tap fresh markets and acquire new customers. The ‘Worldwide’ network of ‘Facebook for Business’ ensures that especially for companies which are offering services (say outsourcing, advertising, agency), the connection with a potential client will be quick, intense and highly driven by competitive marketing dynamics. While a product may or may not have the capability of being sold in a foreign country, a service most usually will be able to.
 
It now depends on how fast you can latch onto the Bandwagon and how quick you can acclimatize and comprehend the changing scenario of online Social Presence. ‘Facebook for Business’ surely is one of the most elite marketing/branding tools available online and it is up to the companies and organizations out there to use it in a way which is most effective. The rule of the Jungle still prevails; Eat or be Eaten. I see the bona-fide advantages of this new portal and its integration with other social media platforms to be highly effective and it will surely revolutionize the way Virtual Branding and Corporate Social Presence online is perceived to be.

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