Before you jump in and open social media accounts for all of the platforms below though, take some time to think about and work out where your customers are. If you are targeting Enterprise companies then chances are LinkedIn is for you. If you are chasing journalists then Twitter is probably the best place to be active on. You need to decide what platforms are best in relation to your specific customers and influencers.
India is the third largest market for Facebook. Monthly active users in India doubled to 78 million in Q1 2013 compared to Q1 2012. Although it is a casual social network, it will help you connect to your target audience on a more personal level. You will be selling relationships and not services.
You can use your company’s Facebook page to promote your company, spread news of events, or offer customer support whenever needed. Since this transaction happens in real time, you will benefit in being perceived as an active and prompt service provider.
You will also find many businesses on Facebook so even if you are targeting B2B markets don’t discount it.
The social network that took the world by storm has made an indelible mark in the Indian market with somewhere in the region of 30M users. Tweets are essentially simple, creative one way communications of 140 characters, also known as Micro blogging. One’s tweets can be endlessly circulated among users, whether or not they ‘follow’ the source or not.
Communities are the most happening thing in twitter right now, where people of similar interests flock together and promote each other. Such concepts, being new in India, can be taken advantage of. Since tweets are short, they take very little time to read.
As a small business owner Twitter is a great way for you to connect with existing and potential customers, and start having simple, authentic conversations to share your expertise and build relationships, as well as getting your business promoted and shared via word of mouth.
The world’s foremost professional social network, LinkedIn, announced last month (May 2013) that it reached 20 million registered members in India, it’s second largest market worldwide.
What makes it stand apart is it highlights your professional achievements among peers and professionals from other domains as well as enabling you to be very targeted in your marketing and sales efforts.
LinkedIn allows you to target people by anything from Job description to an interest group that they are in.
It is a place where people with similar skillsets can discuss their work life. As a business in India, not only can you use LinkedIn to highlight your professional skills, you can also use this as a platform for gathering talent to join your team.
You can also create a page for your company and list your products, services, careers, status updates, videos and more. It is like having a mini website on LinkedIn.
As a small business you should aim to aim to join and participate in many group discussions, start your own discussions (and participate in any resulting conversations) and give away your expertise in the form of content such as free e-books & white papers etc which will help you with lead generation.
A picture speaks a thousand words, a video speaks a million. YouTube is a common household name in India, especially since people started uploading mega serials online. Most people can relate to it much more easily.
Use YouTube to upload small demos of your service and let your users know of your services. A video is far easier to grasp this will help you get connected to your audience.
You can also record videos of you giving away advice and expertise. Google India recently conducted a survey and according to the findings, a huge amount of Indian users of the platform either visit a website mentioned in a YouTube video, posted a comment about the video, or scroll down to read comments others have written, the survey revealed. This is a great opportunity.
After Orkut was pushed to the background by Facebook, Google decided to reinvent their social networking strategy with Google+. With the addition of circles, or categorizing your contacts by their relevance, Google has no doubt, hit gold.
You may have loads of friends from school, and you have some professional friends in the same profile. You DO NOT want to promote your business again and again to your school friend; you may run the risk of being blocked. Google+ offers the flexibility of choosing the audience in a much easier way.
Google+ is one of the most confusing platforms with personal pages, business pages, and Google Places (which is similar to a business page). As a small business owners is makes sense to have a business page for your company and keep it reasonably up to date with at least one post every week or two which will help with your visibility on the web.
It is safe to say, in a growing market like India, there is no hard and fast rule for success, and one needs to experiment in order to get success at his doorsteps. There is no defined approach, and the possibilities are endless.