Indian firms have new social opportunity

29 November 2011

NEW DELHI: A majority of companies in India are now using social media, but many are missing the opportunity to promote their corporate brands as well as their products, a study has found.

Ketchum Sampark, the communications agency, studied 200 firms and almost 150 brands from various categories, including aviation, consultancy, FMCG, energy, pharmaceuticals and software.

Overall, 82% of these operators were present on at least one of the four main channels analysed: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

More specifically, 72% of the organisations tracked had established a corporate presence on LinkedIn, the business-orientated social network, making it the leading property in terms of adoption.

Facebook, estimated to be India's biggest social network with some 38m local users, had only attracted 55% of the brand owners featured in the analysis at the corporate level.

Moreover, when considering all four social services, over half of official accounts were "inactive" or used in an "opportunistic" way to promote new products and initiatives, rather than for genuine engagement.

Similarly, a modest 6% of businesses were classified as being "very active" on YouTube, uploading video and multimedia to engage stakeholders from customers to investors and potential employees.

Elsewhere, the report found that 77% of brands were pursuing social media activities on at least one of the monitored sites.

Facebook assumed a lead position here, as exactly 75% of brands were using its pages to connect with internet users. YouTube scored 42% on this measure, ahead of Twitter on 28%.

The study also revealed that the brands which had decided to utilise Twitter were among the most enthusiastic early adopters.

This is because 79% of this group were either "very active" or "active", a total which fell to 69% for their counterparts on YouTube, and 63% for Facebook. Given the likely "explosion" of social media use next year, however, Ketchum argued this may change.

"There has been a distinct shift in usage patterns wherein consumers look beyond email and casual surfing to complete engagement and internet as the media of choice for information," said N S Rajan, Ketchum Sampark's managing director.

Data sourced from Ketchum Sampark; additional content by Warc staff