Social Media is rapidly
becoming a depository of voice of people and their opinions about numerous
products, services, events, ideas, other’s opinions and so on, basically anything
and everything. The level of convenience offered by such platforms has allowed
the customers/users to share their feelings, emotions, likings, dis-likings or
any type of comment about any product or service they consume on such platforms
rather than other feedback mechanisms. This is where the opportunity exists to
co-innovate and co-create new product/service offerings since many customers
are keen on participating in such discussions.

Social Media Marketing: Organizations are now realizing the merit in using social media as a
communication tool to build strong relationship with the customers 1.

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Marketers and consumers can utilize this platform as a medium to interact with
each other 2. There has been an addition of 5th ‘P’ in
4 P’s of marketing which is ‘Participation’ and it has been introduced with the
advent of social media 3. Brand satisfaction is found to be
increased by participation of consumers in such community forums created by
marketers on social media 4. The use of social media is found more
prominent for sales promotions and short term engagements with consumers. This
creates a need for usage of this technology for long term engagements and
sustainable business gains 5. The type of industry influences the
adoption of type of social media and social networking sites. Another finding
was that the global brands prefer global social networking sites rather than
local ones 6.

Social media has become a
key component of the marketing budget for many companies these days, which
makes this investment decision a critical one. Companies are redefining their
traditional budgets to incorporate digital advertisement and social media
marketing 7. But still the companies are not utilizing the social
media effectively and not allocating appropriate resources required for social
media marketing. Companies are treating it as their ‘stepchild’ 8.