This is up from 78% organisations in 2013. The top three objectives to be present on social media for brands were building brand awareness, building a community and customer engagement
BestMediaInfo | Mumbai | February 23, 2015
Companies and brands have significantly increased their social media spends even as they find it challenging to measure the effectiveness of their social media engagements finds EY’s second annual ‘Social Media Marketing India Trends’ study. The study analyses how Indian marketers and organisations have been using the various social media platforms and how they go about tracking the performance of their social media initiatives.
The study found that about 90 per cent of organisations reached out to are planning to spend as much as 15 per cent of their annual marketing budget exclusively on social media, up from 78 per cent organisations in 2013. EY notes that the top three objectives to be present on social media for brands surveyed were building brand awareness, building a community and customer engagement.
Meanwhile, the top three challenges were: not being able to successfully measure effectiveness of engagements, sustaining or increasing engagement rates and creating/ curating content. Even as engagement, social reach and visitor growth rate were the key social media metrics tracked, the brands surveyed were looking to introduce Social CRM and social commerce as priority items on their agenda, followed by customised ads/ campaigns and gamification.
Speaking about the study, Dinesh Mishra, Partner and Customer Practice Leader (India), Advisory Services, EY, said, “Through this study, we reached out to India’s top social and digital savvy brands from the third quarter of 2014 to January 2015. It is our observation that while brands have invested financially and in processes, there is a need for holistic customer engagement and strong community building strategies through the use of social media. That, in my mind, will strengthen the brand and allow for innovative and meaningful interactions between communities, as well as between the company and the community.”
He further said, “About 32 per cent of digital-savvy brands in India depend on the internal core team for strategy, but the average team strength is small, varying from 1-3 people. Given the mass reach and quick response time in social media, ownership plays a critical role in success. Every organisation irrespective of size must focus on developing capabilities and creating a strong internal governance framework.”
The study further revealed that digital and social media presence is a key element in the marketing mix of most brands. About 23 per cent respondents stated that their social media budgets were in excess of Rs 1 million per annum and 14 per cent of the brands spent Rs 10 million- Rs 20 million on social media in 2014. There was a decline in the number of brands that spent in excess of Rs 20 million from 17.1 per cent in 2013 to 14.3 per cent in 2014 indicating that brands are exceedingly cautious on the returns and are optimising spends. As integrated campaigns are reckoned as effective, being able to correctly attribute leads, attain conversions and returns to channels, campaigns and devices will determine how budgets are allocated going forward.
In 2013, the study also found out that social media is being increasingly used for thought leadership and internal communications, recruitment, and CSR in addition to marketing. About 35 per cent of the organisations said that they use social media for thought leadership and around 27 per cent said they use the medium for CSR. Increasingly, the HR department is leveraging social media for internal employee outreach through unique platforms, the study found.
Click here to access the complete study.