Marketing City

Viral Power of Social Media Marketing Tool

By SiliconIndia   |   Tuesday, March 20, 2012
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Bangalore: The last two years have been a crusading period for many marketers as many have harnessed the viral power of social media to create hype for their products and services.

For upcoming entrepreneurs like Nadiem Makariem, the founder and CEO of GO-JEK, social media has helped project fledgling brands into the light. Launched in February this year, GO-JEK offers professional motorcycle taxi services, in addition to instant couriers, for on-the-go Jakarta citizens.
According to Nadiem, efforts to market GO-JEK rested solely on Twitter and Facebook, due to lack of sufficient funds for large scale campaigns. "We did not want to spend unnecessarily," said Nadiem.

To get the GO-JEK name abuzz on Twitter, he reached out to the "Twitterati", people whose accounts have thousands of followers, to spark early conversations on the brand. He got hold of several bloggers and Twitterati by giving them a few free rides just to test the product and fuel the talk.
Newcomers in the business scene were jumping on the social media bandwagon. A subsidiary of FMCG giant PT Unilever, capitalized on the medium to jump start its brand of Magnum ice-cream in 2010.

The trend for large corporations to use Facebook as a marketing touch point was pointed out in
the "Power of Like"; social media became crucial in supporting the massive advertisements and activation programs that Magnum undertook to reach out to their target market of "pleasure seekers"- digital savvy adults of 25 years and above. Every marketer should focus on how to use this medium as a marketing tool for better output. Twitter and Facebook allowed brands to engage directly with customers while above-the-line marketing focused on building awareness.

Magnum Indonesia has more than 2 million people on their fan page with slightly above 25,000 Twitter followers. In the country itself, Magnum has launched a campaign blitz, which includes prime-time television advertisements, celebrity endorsements and the opening of a Magnum Cafe in a high-end mall in South Jakarta. A strong market base in Indonesia has also led companies to make spin-off accounts of their regional or international accounts.

According to Audrey P. Petriny (a spokesperson of low-budget carrier PT AirAsia Indonesia), the company started to run its own social network account, in addition to regional accounts, to "push marketing activities through social media localization". Indonesia AirAsia (IAA) aims at a net 6.2 million passengers in 2012, a 24 percent increase on this year's figure.

Twitter followers for Air Asia is more than 275,000 and Facebook followers is one million, while its Indonesian counterpart has over 117,000 and 300,000 respectively. The airline also had established the necessary infrastructure to "handle all social media efforts internally" through a social media team. Most of their social media are online 24/7, allowing them to respond rapidly to queries sent by guests and fans based on the company's terms and conditions. However, managing social media internally was more of a low-cost marketing maneuver for Nadiem, who ran GO-JEK accounts alongside two colleagues. However, re-tweeting positive reviews from customers was probably the most important activity of all because these re-tweets were key in spreading the News. Messages posted by GO-JEK, he added, had to contain quirky, innovative ideas that appealed enough for followers to tweet or re-tweet.

According to Audry Social media communications went beyond passing information on low fare promotions.

They also used the media in crisis management. For example, when Mount Merapi erupted in 2010, they announced the [local] airport's closure through social media. Social media have also grown to be a useful tool in "keeping a pulse" on the needs of customers who could now send direct feedback on the products and services on offer. Once considered discontinuing the Kuala Lumpur- Calcutta route. However, guest and fan shouts on social media channels stopped from doing so.

According to marketers high following equal high sales; Meila also pointed out that Magnum Cafe experienced an increase in visitors throughout a campaign that was propped up by social media.

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