It is easy to believe that social media is the missing magic ingredient in your marketing mix that will fill all the gaps and mysteriously achieve your all the marketing goals – brand awareness, positive sentiment generation, inducing trials,achieving conversations, repeat buys and so on. It is equally easy to fall into the illusion of its success in all scenarios, its ability to reach all stakeholders and its effectiveness in different industry verticals.
The Social Media Prism of Influence is a depiction of the ability to effectively reach different stakeholders. The below prism depicts what the most likely effectiveness case for a privately owned Bank could be.
Once can see that the ability to operate or reach is different for different categories of stakeholders. A privately owned bank may have just a handful of investors, a relatively larger customer base who are are active on the web, a comparable percentage of its employees may be active on the net and social. Your money may not yield as lucrative returns if you wish to target your vendors through social media. If it were a publicly listed bank with a large shareholder population, the graph would change accordingly.
Similarly, this graph would vary across various industry verticals and also by size. Lets look at some possible scenarios below.
Marketers in the consumer goods do not have to think twice before reaching out to their target groups via social media. Their ability to influence their vendors is relatively less though.
Running a Hotel or a Travel Agency? You got be the royal ignoramus not be working on social media. That’s because even if you are not active, your customer most likely are making or breaking your reputation on some social platform. The question therefore is not whether you should be there.
Selling industrial goods? At this point in the evolution of the market, it may not make too much of sense to sell cranes, industrial cutters or dyes through social media. However, social media presents you a good chance to engage your vendors and also society at large. Consuming lot of water or releasing effluents? Ignore social media at your own risk.
A cooperative society such as a Milk Producers society would have a different reach pattern from any of the above cases. As the investors in a cooperative society are quite close knit and fairly large in number, this case presents us an opportunity to reach them, unlike previous cases discussed above. And of course, the customers too. Not too may employees/associates. Since a cooperative society such as a dairy buys from a large number of suppliers, they remain within reach too, provided language issues are addressed.
What about IT/ITES?
In this industry category, achieving business benefits through social media is quite unproven. Its effectiveness, as seen by experience is quite suspect.
That brings us to the question. Do you agree to the depiction for Radio Station here?