Just like American and European markets have shown a healthy response towards social media growing trend, Asian markets have come out as a surprise package, generating one of the greatest demands for social networking industry.
For a majority of online Indians, spent time on the social media sites has now become part of their everyday life, according to a study on social media usage by The Nielsen Company conducted in collaboration with AbsolutData. Nearly 30 million Indians who are online are members of social networking sites, and about two-thirds of them spend time on these social networking sites daily. More importantly, they spend more time on social media than they do using personal email.
“Social media is now ingrained in the way tech savvy Indians live their lives. With its ability to play multiple roles in an individual’s life by enabling shared experiences, creating linkages between communities and satisfying the need to be networked, its role in creating a deeper engagement is a boon to marketing,” said Adrian Terron, Vice President of Global Communications and Marketing for Nielsen.
“The social web appears to have gone beyond supplementing communication. Online Indians today are using social media to help activities that range from leisure like entertainment, improving their livelihood through job searches and researching prospective partners,” said Suhale Kapoor, EVP, AbsolutData.
In a related survey, Nielsen found that three of the seven biggest global online brands are social media sites – Facebook, Wikipedia and YouTube, close to three-quarters of the world’s Internet population (74%) have now visited a social networking/blogging site, and Asia-Pacific Internet users are spending an average of almost six hours per month on social media sites.
When making purchase decisions, in Asia-Pacific, social media is having an increasing impact on consumers’ purchasing decisions – online product reviews are the third most trusted source of information, behind family and friends. This made me think about why Bing Apply the Same Principle to Search.
In India, there are nearly 40 million members are using online reviews to tell purchase decisions – 67 percent of Indians who are on the web use online reviews to help them make purchases. Beside that, they also want brands to communicate with them using social media. 60 percent Indians who are social media users are open to being approached by brands, they indicated that social media can change the dynamic between brands and consumers who are typically time-starved.
As personal opinion gains currency on the social web, India online users are seeking various outlets to express themselves as well, be it blogs or social media sites.
Based on the current rate of growth and the intention of online Indians to take part in social media, the study estimates that over the next six months, each day, there will have 45,000 online Indians join social networking sites, and the awareness of brands intend to growing as well.
It is really interesting to see how social networks have changed user’s perception and habits towards online communication. It all started with small communities, which slowly and steadily expanded over a period of years and ballooned into a full-fledged global interaction space for people to get connected to each other.
Due to high level of competition and existence of several local players, surviving in the Indian market is going to be difficult for the social networks. If you are one of the social networking players, I think a localization strategy would play an active role, you really need to adapt to the highly rich culture of the nation.