India Social Media Study 2009


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This report presents unique insights on social media, that I believe will be of great value to social media practitioners and/or corporations planning for or executing social media activities, as well as to individuals who are interested to know more about this radical new form of interaction.

Published in: Business, Travel
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  • plz send it to me :
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  • Hi Preeti!

    Its a great compilation of information on Social Media, I am currently studying the social media scene in India, can you please forward this work to me on I would be grateful to you.
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  • Hi Preeti
    Love the preso. Could you please send me a copy?

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  • Preeti,

    This looks good. I head Weaving Magic, a movie production company and we are looking to invest significant effort on social media marketing. In this regards, I was wondering, if we could connect. Pls contact me on

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India Social Media Study 2009

  1. 1. This report may not be reproduced without the author’s permission              Social media landscape   in India                    September 2009  By Preeti Anand                Preeti Anand, 2009                                                                                          1 | P a g e    
  2. 2. This report may not be reproduced without the author’s permission  Executive Summary  Social media usage is rapidly growing in India and holds immense opportunity for Indian businesses to cost-effectively reach out to a large number of consumers. However, in this increasingly consumer-centric world, Indian businesses will need to spend a considerable amount of effort in studying the consumer behaviour to effectively reach out to them through this medium with the right benefits and value. While a number of social media studies have been conducted in Western countries, this field has been relatively unexplored in India. An oft sited issue surrounding the adoption of social media by firms in India is their low awareness on how this medium can be leveraged for business. This report consolidates the findings from 647 responses of an online questionnaire on social media, and seeks to provide a better understanding of social media usage patterns of Indian consumers. Key findings in the report are: • Social media users in India are young, predominantly male and have well paid occupations • The top five social media sites in India provide a near captive audience, a majority of whom are long-time and returning users • Motivation for social media usage in India is driven the most by the desire to build relationships • Indian consumers are turning to social media for guidance on buying decisions in a variety of categories • Social media users in India consider peer and professional opinion as more credible sources for purchase guidance than either of them alone • Indian consumers no longer wish to be passive entities but want to actively participate in collaborative marketing on social media • Indian users’ perception of value from social media sites is affected by frequently updated, quality content • Like with the Internet, privacy issues are of the biggest concern for the users of social media This report provides some interesting insights into social media usage and consumer behaviour, some of which challenges conventional understanding of social media marketing. This report can hence help businesses design more effective strategies, which are adapted to the Indian context, to tap into the target consumer base.   Preeti Anand, 2009                                                                                          2 | P a g e    
  3. 3. This report may not be reproduced without the author’s permission                    Preeti Anand, 2009                                                                                          3 | P a g e    
  4. 4. This report may not be r reproduced witho out the author’s p permission  Soci ial med dia user rs in India  Social media users in India are pre m n edominantly male, are between the age gr m roup of 21 and 40 years and have well pa occupation being d d aid ns, primari employed with the priv ily vate sector. Li ifestyle brands, especially t those for the youth, have a real opportu unity to use f focussed strategi and tactics through socia media to tap into this lucr ies al p rative market s segment.     INCOME     GEN NDER & AGE         PROFESSION       Preeti An nand, 2009                                                                                   4 | P a g e    
  5. 5. This report may not be r reproduced witho out the author’s p permission  Soci ial med dia usag ge patte erns, Sit tes visited  T social med sites Top dia in India are Orkut, n L LinkedIn and Facebook. Social N Networking si ites are th top prefere he ences in al age groups, though ll , th users in th 31-40 he he an 41-50 age group nd e pr refer profe fessional networking sites (LinkedIn) compared to the g users in th he 21-30 ag group who prefer ge o etworking site (Orkut, Facebook). personal ne es The top 5 s sites have a h huge share of t total the POPULAR SO OCIAL MEDIA SITES IN INDIA  A social medi users. Poor proliferation of other ia sites indica that there is little fragmentation ates in the Indian social m I media market The top five sites provid a nearly cap t. e de ptive audience making it ea e asier to conce entrate ad spe ends and reach th critical 3/5 impressions m he mark quickly. Preeti An nand, 2009                                                                                   5 | P a g e    
  6. 6. This report may not be r reproduced witho out the author’s p permission  Soci ial med dia usag ge patte erns, Ex xperience e & Frequ usage   uency of u A large majority of s e social media u users have bee using socia media at lea for a year. The 21-30 ag group has the most expe en al ast . ge erienced socia media user A significa number o social med beginners are in the ol al rs. ant of dia lder age categ have now adopted the Inter gory of 41-50 years. Older age groups h 0 rnet and socia media al rathe than growin up in the In er ng nternet with social media all around them. ◄ The frequency of v visits to social media sites is an indicator of the active u l usage of socia media al ority of users visiting socia media sites at least in India, with a large majo h al once a day.► ► EXPERIEN NCE WITH SO OCIAL MEDIA  FREQUE ENCY OF USA AGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA TO OOLS  Long ti (have been using for mo than a year and returnin users (visit about once in two days) in an un-fragme ime n ore r) ng t n n ented market, is ideal for soci media mark ial keters. Preeti An nand, 2009                                                                                   6 | P a g e    
  7. 7. This report may not be r reproduced witho out the author’s p permission  Soci ial med dia tech hnograp phics  ‘Techno ographics’ ref fers to the lev of audien participation in social c vels nce computing rat ther than spec cific technolog adoption. C gy Creators create the user gene t erated content Critics and Collectors h t, d help dissemina it and Sp ate consumers of the content. Joiners pectators are c f specifically participate in social netwo n orking sites a play and all the other four roles in t context. that Most users are present i the “Spect in tators” and “J Joiners” category. T The significa ant number of “Creator rs” and uggest many active users in India. Th large “Critics” su he number of “Joiners” in ndicates the popularity of social f media usage. networking over other for of social m rms Before brand and online publishers att ds tempt to deplo social oy technologies they must understand th target aud s, heir dience - specifically its social “technographic” make-up - a only and then create a social media strategy. a   SOCIA MEDIA TECHNOGRAPHIC PROFILE AL       Preeti An nand, 2009                                                                                   7 | P a g e    
  8. 8. This report may not be r reproduced witho out the author’s p permission  Purpose of f social media usage People turn to social media for ful lfilling variou motives or n us needs. Indian consumer’s m motivation to u social med is driven t most use dia the by the desire to build relationship although many users see fulfillment of a multitud of other ne ps, m ek de eeds like netw working, learni ing, and entertai inment etc. Cl learly social m media is succes ssful at satisfy an individual social and psychological needs. y l’s l rity of the ty The popular ype of social media sites (social l networking, blogs etc.) is closely lin nked to the relative importance o the user ne of eeds. So for instance, the n need for relationships is identified as a user need and this is r s d, reflected in the popul larity of socia networking sites. These results al g e indicate tha the user m at motivation ca be an im an mportant indicator of w which social m media sites are adopted by th user.  e he Knowing the motives and needs of the target audie e d e ence can be an imp portant facto in design or ning the ma arketing communicati ion as a pu strategy s ull since its suc ccess is dependent o the volun on ntary particip pation of the target e audiences. H However marketers should tr read with caut tion; the user desire to build relatio onships indica that socia media ates al is a place f friends an not for corporations to intrude for nd PUR RPOSE FOR W WHICH SOCIA MEDIA SITES ARE VIS AL SITED BY upon. USERS IN INDIA S Preeti An nand, 2009                                                                                   8 | P a g e    
  9. 9. This report may not be reproduced without the author’s permission                                        Preeti Anand, 2009                                                                                          9 | P a g e    
  10. 10. This report may not be r reproduced witho out the author’s p permission  Guid dance o on buyi ing decisions Social media is used for guidance on purchase decisions in a variety of pr m d roduct/service categories. In nformation on certain categ n gories of ts/services lik Travel, Consumer electr product ke ronics, Media i.e. Books, M a Movies and M Music are mo likely to b sought tha other ore be an product t/service categ gories like Fin nancial or Heal lthcare. The top 5 categories – travel des stinations, electronic gadgets, res staurants, boo and movi oks ies, and auto omobiles fall into the search cate e egory i.e. pro oduct or servi with ice features an nd character ristics easily y evaluated before purchase, o experience category i.e. product or service or where prod duct character ristics are dif fficult to obs serve in advance, bu these chara ut acteristics can be ascertaine upon ed consumption Hence th n. hese product or servic ts ces are potentially m more likely to be looked u on social m o up media as compared to credence pr o roducts i.e. wh here it is diffi ficult for consumers to judge the quality or rel levant attribut of a tes product, like in financial s e services or healthcare. Businesses i these popul categories can be early a in lar adopters of social me marketing edia g. PRO ODUCT/SERVI ICES REFFERRED FOR PUR RCHASE GUID DANCE ON SOCI IAL MEDIA Preeti An nand, 2009                                                                                   10 | P a g e    
  11. 11. This report may not be r reproduced witho out the author’s p permission  Sou urce refe erred fo or purc chase guidance on so ocial me edia  Majority of Social media users in India look for a c combination o user of and company generated in y nformation and not just use information alone. d er Consumers a evaluating the brand promise com are g mmunicated th hrough company pro ovides sources against the u s unbiased opin nions of other users, r to reduce the uncertainty in decision-ma e n aking. Peer opinion is considere a more cr n ed redible sourc than professional ce opinion on social media. Company p provided infor rmation is the least e referred sour for guidanc on purchase ◄ rce ce e. SO OURCE REFFERRED FOR PU URCHASE GUI IDANCE Indians repose les faith in th corporation on social media. A ss he ns major rity of the users are no willing to share their personal ot o r inform mation with businesses even in return for better service ► n r es. Onlin marketing communicatio campaign without som form of ne ons n, me consu umer involvem ment, is likel to be ineff ly fective in eng gaging the consu umers. The su uccess of onlin marketing campaigns wil be based ne c ll on its integration w end-user p s with provided feedb back. USER WILLINGNES TO SHARE PERSONAL SS E INFORMATIO FOR BETT I ON TER SERVICE FROM COMPA ANIES Preeti An nand, 2009                                                                                   11 | P a g e    
  12. 12. This report may not be r reproduced witho out the author’s p permission  Valu ue of Co onsume er‐to‐Consumer (C2C C) exchanges o on socia al medi ia  Informatio about a com on mpany or its p products/servi ices has a bear ring on consumer behavior wh hich ranges fr rom generatin interest abo the ng out company and/or its products/services to c customer adv vocacy   manifested through rec commending the brand to others. Whe this o en   informatio is mapped with user g on d generated or company gen nerated   informatio it is seen that C2C (co on, onsumer) exchanges onsumer-to-co   represent a powerful source of additio source of value creatio onal f on.   hanges are driv C2C exch ving a new tren of social sh nd hopping where e   indiv viduals recom mmend to other the produc and rs cts   serv vices that they brought or us The peer- sed. -   PRODUCT/SERVICE ON ACCESSING INFORMATION OF A   influ uence factor an visible feed nd dback channel in ls the f form of comm ments, online p polls etc. are CONSUMER ouraging peop to be more participative i the enco ple in social Web. ON SOCIAL MEDIA Soci media mark ial keting should imbibe a mix OR ON cons stituting “push (advertising and websit h” g tes) COMPANY and “pull” (inform mation from neutral, infor rmal IMPACT com mmunication) m marketing tactics to engage the e targe consumer b et base. Preeti An nand, 2009                                                                                   12 | P a g e    
  13. 13. This report may not be r reproduced witho out the author’s p permission  Soci ial med dia and collabo orative marke eting  Social media can pla an importan role in colla m ay nt aborative mark keting. Under the rubric of collaborative marketing, co r f onsumers beco ome co- produce i.e. empowered partici ers ipants in the process of both creation as well as co onsumption, r resulting in m more active, e engaged consumers. umers no long wish to be passive enti Indian consu ger e ities but want to ac ctively partic managing their own cipate in m consumption Consumers i India would like to most interact n. in d with a compa on social media for ne product ide The any ew eas. other top cat tegories are f feedback on p products/servic and ces, creating and maintaining relationships. rative marketi effort wit these co-pr The collabor ing th roducers can have a direct impac on a firm’ productivit gains ct ’s ty through bette customer en er ngagement, increased custom self mer service and d hence re educed costs s, better cu ustomer relationships, improved communicati ions and in ncreased MARKETING E M EFFORTS FOR WHICH CON R NSUMERS WO OULD LIKE transactions. TO T BE REACH HED ON SOCI IAL MEDIA     Preeti An nand, 2009                                                                                   13 | P a g e    
  14. 14. This report may not be r reproduced witho out the author’s p permission  Perc ception n of valu ue and service e expec ctations s   Indian consumers’ p perception of v value from so ocial media sites is affected by frequentl updated, qu d ly uality content. Consumers a no . are longer a passive audi ience but seek participation in active, eng k n gaging convers provides them with genuin value. One-way sations that p m ne marketi approache as seen in tr ing es raditional mas media mark ss keting, telemar rketing, promo otional emails etc., may pro to be ineff s ove fective to targe the new age consumers. ► et ENGAGEM MENT DRIVER ON SOCIA MEDIA RS AL Though most social media sites a free and open for partic h are cipation, consum mers have bas service ex sic xpectations lik protection of user ke informa ation, site ava ailability, and usability. Priv vacy issues ar a big re concern and consume in India de n ers rong sense of mistrust emonstrate str when c companies try to engage with them th y hrough social media. Compan nies will hen need to d nce lear values based on demonstrate cl MAIN CONC CERNS IN INT TERACTING THROUGH T openness, flexibility and an external customer fo ocus.◄ SOCIAL M MEDIA Preeti An nand, 2009                                                                                   14 | P a g e    
  15. 15. This report may not be reproduced without the author’s permission  About the author  Preeti Anand is a recent grad from the MBA batch of 2008-09 from Lancaster University Management School in the UK (ranked 27th in the global FT 2009 MBA ranking). This report is part of the work carried out for her dissertation on the ‘Impact of Social media on Consumer behavior’. Preeti has prior technical and managerial work experience of nearly 6 years in the IT industry in India, having worked for companies like Hewlett-Packard, EMC and Motorola. Currently, she works as a consultant with one of the world’s largest enterprise software companies to assist them on their social media strategy and has also authored several whitepapers for them on new age technologies, such as Cloud computing, Building brand equity on social media, Virtualization etc. Email: Preeti Anand, 2009                                                                                          15 | P a g e