62 Million Indians on Facebook, more than 10 million on Twitter and another growing 15 million on LinkedIn. Numbers clearly indicate that Indians are getting active day by day on social media. However, the penetration levels are still not very handsome but with mobile taking over web in India, the growth seems to be building up.
The growth has also been noticed in the marketing budgets of brands going up in 2012. Though some pundits may still say it is yet to be mainstream but then the fact is that every brand wants to be on social media and not only that after the initial number games – it wants to set new benchmarks.
But what do the global influencers think about the social media marketing space in 2013 along with the Indian market. To dig deep, we spoke to a few social media influencers, as listed below:
1. Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs
“An increasing number of marketers have embraced the idea that they need to be producing content as a cornerstone of their marketing and social media strategy. They know they have to produce a blog, for example, or a podcast or video series or ebooks, and so on. But in 2013, they’ll be focusing increasingly on not just creating content — but in creating content worth sharing. Creating relevant, enjoyable, quality content that inspires your prospects and customers to share it means marketers reach not just their own audience, but they’ll reach their audience’s audience as well. And that’s what will drive business growth.” – @MarketingProfs
2. Liz Strauss, Founder of SOBCon, Social Business Strategist
“More than ever 2013 is going to be about sharp focus, clear messaging, and genuine ways to engage those who help your business thrive. Social media will continue to fall back into its true role as a tool — as opposed to a philosophy. Great businesses will learn to even more naturally use both online and offline opportunities to touch customers more often and more positively.” – @lizstrauss
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3. David G Larson, Founder at TweetSmarter
“Follow changes to ad products and strategies with the top 3-4 social networks closely! As each network refines what works, marketers who stay educated on what works and what doesn’t within the top networks will have a significant edge.
And while overall mobile innovation is growing at an ever faster pace, the top networks are becoming less innovative. So customize a news service such as Zite for mobile and social innovations OUTSIDE the top networks to give yourself a quick daily read on what’s happening and dig deeper on interesting developments.
The big guys know they can’t innovate fast enough in mobile, leading to events such as Facebook acquiring Instagram. Expect more rapidly-growing networks to appear, and to be acquired for their edge in mobile.” – @TweetSmarter
4. David Meerman Scott, Marketing Strategist and author of The New Rules of Marketing & PR
“In 2013 we’ll see many more Indian marketers take advantage of the power of real-time communications to grow business. In 2013, buyers instantly engage with brands on their Websites, talk back via social media like Twitter and Facebook, and follow breaking news in the markets they are interested. The old model of marketing built on a company timeline doesn’t work so well but after decades of “campaigns” planned way in advance, it’s difficult for marketers to change to a mindset based on speed. Clearly the opportunities to grow your business in 2013 and beyond mean real-time is key. Success comes from engaging your buyers when they’re ready not when it’s convenient for you.” -@dmscott
5. Mark Schaefer, Marketing Consultant, College Educator and Author
“One trend for 2013 is coming from a very unexpected place – podcasts. Although this technology has been around for a while, I look for podcasting to become more popular because soon these personal broadcasts will be as easily accessible as radio. And best of all, you can multi-task as you consume the audio content!” – @markwschaefer
6. Viveka von Rosen, LinkedIn Expert, Speaker & Trainer and Evangelist
“I think we’ll see a lot of our business and life relationships moving from URL to IRL (In Real Life) again. It’s all well and good to have a million fans and a hundred thousand followers, but let’s face it, the real communication (and business and life) happens when we interact with people face to face (F2F) and one on one.
I predict that we will begin to see many more applications that allow us to really engage with and manage our tribes. Tools like Skype and Facetime and Google Hangout are great, but I foresee apps that mashup both the communication and organization aspects. Like smart video enabled CRMs that make your time organized and your interaction personalized!” – @LinkedInExpert
7. Eve Mayer, CEO of Social Media Delivered, Social Media Strategist
“In 2013 platforms will continue to become more visual. As we saw in 2012, sites like Pinterest and Instagram are popular, and the trend is spreading to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.” – @LinkedInQueen
2013 will see social media maturing from user and business point of view and these exciting trends shared by the experts clearly state that. Will social media evolve more as a tool just than a philosophy in 2013 would be exciting to watch. Content will be a major role player in campaigns but will any network surprise us more will be worth watching. For now the above listed trends by the global experts could be a great beginning for marketers to ponder over.