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“Role of Social Media Marketing

in the growth of Online Startups”

Summer Internship Report Submitted in


Partial Fulfillment of Integrated B.Tech+ MBA Programme
2016-17
By
Nikita Singh
12/IEC/027
Under the guidance of: Dr. Subhojit Banerjee

to
School of Management
Gautam Buddha University
Gautam Buddha Nagar- 201 310
Declaration by Student

I Nikita Singh Roll No. 12/IEC/027 hereby declare that this project work is the result of my own

research and no part of it has been presented for any other degree in this university or elsewhere.

I am solely responsible for any error found in this work.

Date: …………………….

Place: ……………………..

Student Signature: ………………………………….


To Whomsoever It May Concern

This is to certify that NIKITA SINGH, student of Integrated MBA 7th Semester at School of

Management, Gautam Buddha University, Greater Noida has done a project work entitled

“Role of Social Media Marketing in the growth of Online Startups” at our organization from

1st June 2016 to 22nd July 2016.

Signature of Co-Supervisor

Name and Designation of the Co-Supervisor


Certificate from the Faculty Guide

This is to certify that the project titled “Role of Social Media Marketing in the growth of Online

Startups” has been done under my supervision by Nikita Singh of Integrated MBA IX semester.

Name and Signature of the Faculty guide


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The success and final outcome of this project required a lot of guidance and assistance from
many people and I am extremely fortunate to have got this all along the completion of my project
work. Whatever I have done is only due to such guidance and assistance and I would not forget
to thank them.
I am using this opportunity to express my gratitude to Dr. Subhojit Banerjee my mentor guide
who supported me throughout the course of this project. I am thankful for his aspiring guidance,
invaluably constructive criticism and friendly advice during the project work. I am sincerely
grateful to him for sharing the truthful and illuminating views on a number of issues related to
the project.
I respect and thank my company supervisor - Mr Pranay Chaudhary, for giving me an
opportunity to do the project work in Healthzen Pvt Limited and providing me all the support
and guidance which made me complete the project on time . I am extremely grateful to him for
providing such a nice support and guidance though he had busy schedule managing the company
affairs.
I heartily thank my co-supervisor Miss Kalika Sood for her unlisted encouragement and more
over for her timely support and guidance till the completion of our project work.
I would not forget to remember Zarah Khan, Anushree Gupta and Shambhavi Singh my fellow
interns for making my work so much fun. Without you people this project would never have
been possible.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Over the past few years, an interesting transformation has occurred in the business world. Social
media has become less of an optional marketing opportunity and more of a priority. In fact,
platforms like Facebook and Twitter have become integral parts of brand awareness, content
distribution, lead generation, and customer acquisition strategies for businesses. This is
especially true for startups working with smaller budgets and grassroots campaigns. However,
despite its importance, very few startups and new ventures understand how to maximize the
potential of social media.

Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social
media sites. Indian marketers are moving at a fast speed to tap the ‘new normal’ opportunity.
Social media has gone mainstream. And for businesses it represents an unprecedented marketing
opportunity that transcends traditional middlemen and connects companies directly with
customers. Customer acquisitions remain to be the prime goal of Indian marketers. According to
leading marketers of India, the top three online investment channels for 2016 are Social media,
Email marketing and Search marketing. According to the top marketers it is extremely important
to integrate email marketing and social media. This is why nearly every business on the planet is
exploring social media marketing initiatives The focus of marketers is shifting from ‘sending the
message out’ to ‘start engaging with customers’. In this context, the role of a marketer is
changing from ‘batch and blast’ processing to creating ‘listening posts’ and ‘dialogue hubs’ in
customer communities. A shift from isolated pure play traditional platforms to an integrated
multi-channel approach is helping the marketers address the challenge of new consumers’
expectations across many devices and channels. Indian marketers are leveraging the power of
various communication channels and technologies- be it Email, SMS or Social Media in their
portfolio.

Here we will see the main trend of Social media marketing in India, how startups are using it for
their growth and sustenance and what else can be done in this emerging marketing field. This
report consists of everything about Social media marketing from scratch. Here we will be dealing
with various social media marketing tools available and how startups can make their marketing
strategies centrally focused around them and how it will help in their current and future growth
prospectus.
TABLE OF CONTENTS

S.No. CONTENTS
1. Introduction
2. Organizational Overview
3. Literature Overview
4. Objectives of project
5. Study and learning
6. Research Methodology
7. Data Analysis and Interpretation
8. Findings and Conclusions
9. Managerial Implications
10. Need for study
11. Suggestions and Limitations
12. References
13. Annexure
INTRODUCTION
Social media marketing is always evolving and for businesses especially the startups it has
become an important pillar. Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create
content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks. A
corporate message spreads from user to user and presumably resonates because it appears to
come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand or company itself. Hence, this
form of marketing is driven by word-of-mouth, meaning it results in earned media rather than
paid media.

Social media has become a platform that is easily accessible to anyone with internet access.
Increased communication for organizations fosters brand awareness and often, improved
customer service. Additionally, social media serves as a relatively inexpensive platform for
organizations to implement marketing campaigns but it involves few factors such as:

Marketing on a limited budget


There is an incredible burden on startups to maximize revenue without compromising quality.
It's a fine line, and one that not every entrepreneur understands. On one side, you're being told
you won't succeed unless consumers know your products and services exist (which take a heavy
marketing and advertising investment). On the other, you understand that you don't have a large
budget and spending too much on a launch campaign can doom you from the start. However,
somewhere in the middle there is a sweet spot that should allow you to reach a large audience
with a conservative budget.

Over the years, that sweet spot has changed--but the concept has remained the same. Word-of-
mouth marketing has always been a startup's best chance of success when working with a limited
budget. Thankfully, the internet has significantly accelerated the pace at which word-of-mouth
marketing takes place. Specifically, social media has made it possible for small startup
businesses to reach millions of consumers with the click of a button.

The state of social media


If you're looking for concrete proof why social media makes sense for your startup, it can
certainly be found in the numbers. Just consider the fact that Facebook is now responsible for a
whopping 15.8 percent of total time spent on the internet. You may also want to consider some
of these statics:
 Nearly one out of every seventh Indian receives their news through Facebook.

 40 percent of people socialize more via social media sites than they do face-to-face.

 The average Twitter user spends 200 minutes per month on the site or mobile application.
 The average social shopper spends an average of $140 when coming from Pinterest and $60
when coming from Facebook.
Clearly, social media has a solid foundation and is poised for continued long-term growth.
The question startups should be left asking is, "How can we maximize our potential with social
media?"
ORGANIZATIONAL OVERVIEW

Name : Actozen Pvt Ltd, Delhi, India

Office: House No. J 17 , South ext. 1, New Delhi

Founded by: Pranay Chaudhary and Vaibhav Kaushal in the year 2014

Deals in: Healthcare and Women wellness

Market :B2C

Products/Services offered: Actozen.com

Clinic Manager

Zena- woman health consultant

Future Plan : Actozen App

Main Competitors: Practo, Helping Doc, Ziffi

With technology, web being more prominent, touching almost every aspect of human life it
should not come as a surprise if we’re told that we can be diagnosed by a doctor over a video
chat or even better, we can find the cure of an ailment all by ourselves.

Actozen, a Delhi based start-up, aims to channelize this influence of the internet over its users to
solve a problem which we at one point or the other have faced in our lives, which is lack of
engagement with our respective doctors. Actozen makes healthcare more accessible, effective
and collaborative. Actozen helps patients through their entire healthcare management cycle.
From providing them with the initial knowledge of ‘What is this ailment/condition’, supporting
them with doctor-verified facts, helping them connect with other patients and doctors, and finally
to a stage where the patient has consulted a doctor and is cured.

Presently, Actozen has a team of 9 members who have pushed it towards the success that it has
attained today. Pranay Chaudhary is a graduate from Queens University, who prior to venturing
into Actozen worked in the Business Development domain for a couple of Indian private banks
and leads the marketing team of Actozen. Vaibhav another co-founder is an engineering graduate
and has been associated with web technologies ever since he graduated.

According to the founder Pranay the idea came up when he was taking care of his grandmother
in 2013. He went through a lot of trouble getting credible information and the engagement with
doctors was also low. Being a caretaker, he had to assume responsibility of making sense of the
doctor’s words and relaying it to his family. There were a lot unanswered questions back then. It
is the problem of engagement that he is looking to address with Actozen.

This Delhi based start-up, aims to channelize this influence of the internet over its users to solve
a problem which we at one point or the other have faced in our lives, which is lack of
engagement with our respective doctors.

Actozen.com is a single platform for doctors and patients. Doctors can view all their
consultations (past and pending) from one unified dashboard. Their profile makes it easier for
patients to locate them and book appointments seamlessly (in their clinics as well as Video
Consultations for follow up). The doctors can also put up information on various ailments for
patients to read and be better informed. Lastly, they can also network with other doctors on the
system and share information and build leadership in their area of expertise. They post
informative content on various serious health related subjects. One can get information about any
particular disease, what to eat, how to exercise and which doctor to consult after going through
their content.

Zena is a women health companion provide by Actozen as a gift for all the women of India. Any
women can ask any health related query to Zena even anonymously and her secrecy is
completely maintained along with answering her back through the online platform.

VISION
"To be a globally recognized corporation that provides best health related solutions, delivered by
best-in-class people."

MISSION
To make women aware about health issues and to contribute wellness in the life of these life
givers because healthy is beautiful.

VALUES
 Customer Delight: A commitment to surpassing our customer expectations.
 Leadership by example. A commitment to set standards in our business and transactions based
on mutual trust.
 Integrity and Transparency: A commitment to be ethical, sincere and open in our dealings.
 Pursuit of Excellence : A commitment to strive relentlessly, to constantly improve ourselves, our
teams, our services and products so as to become the best in class.
Other two startups involved in the survey are:
- People for Paws
- Homigo
People for Paws is a People For Paws is a student run society which aims at animal welfare. It
caters to emergencies, sterilization of strays and provision of basic food items. This initiative was
taken by them to help the stray animals (dogs, cats, horses, cows and even monkeys). They are
trying to make a big difference. It's heart-dropping to see so many little ones either get killed in a
road accident or succumb to ill-health. As human beings our hearts go out for them. These
students welcome others to join in their attempts at making these stray animal lives a tad better.
Help the needy and shelter less animals. In case anyone finds any street animal requiring care
then these people ask them to contact the organization. It was founded in April, 2013.
They work with the mission of “There should be no animal without a shelter and no house
without a pet!”

Homigo is dedicated to its vision of raising the standard of living of bachelors who are moving
into a new city through their Homigo Houses.

Homigo is providing bachelors with fully-furnished houses on sharing basis with all the
necessary appliances in place.

Their major offerings include:

- Beautifully furnished houses with all the necessary appliances


- Freedom from brokerage and hefty security deposits
- Free relocation among Homigo houses across different cities
- Wi-Fi, DTH, electricity and other utility bills taken care of
- No end-term/painting charges while moving out
- No haggling with owners and brokers

Founders are: Aakash Verma Co-Founder @Homigo | Studied at @IIT Kanpur | Interned
at @Microsoft India R&D Pvt. | Research Experience at @Tsinghua University

Nikunj Batheja Co-founder @Homigo | Formerly at @Corporate Executive Board |


Studied @IIT Kanpur | Co-founded @AIESEC in Kanpur | International Internships | HPAIR
Alumni

Jatin Mitruka Co-founder @Homigo | Formerly @Kirusa | Studied@IIT Kanpur | Research


Experience @Texas A&M University
LITERATURE REVIEW
Today almost every internet user is familiar with social media irrespective of their profession,
nationality, culture, race or religion etc. This concept is only a decade old but has reached every
social and economic class of our society. Blackshaw & Nazzaro (2004) have beautifully defined
social media in the beginning of the era of social media, as the new source of online information,
where the information itself is – created, initiated, circulated and used by consumers for the
purpose of educating each other about products, brands, services, personalities and issues. Social
media marketing is a connection between the brands and consumers, that offers a personal
channel and currency for user centered networking and social interaction. The way of
communication has changed with the evolution of social media, and every business irrespective
of its size has a presence on social media. This review examines current literature on social
media and social media marketing. The focus of this research is to understand the current role of
social media marketing in the growth of businesses especially the online startups and finally
reach to certain conclusion. For the purpose of this research I have examined the literature
available on social media and its functional blocks in the beginning of the paper and then I have
studied the dimension of social media marketing tools. The purpose of study is to understand the
changing role of social media marketing.
Scott (2009) states the reasons for brand promoters preferring online web for marketing is that
the tools, techniques and content are constantly evolving. The buyers reward creativity by
responding to the online efforts like:

“If you are open to trying out new things, you can be first in your industry to use something new
to communicate to your buyers”.

Marketing in some social networking websites are still the most popular in their niche. Shih
(2009) says that there are hundreds of millions of active users across sites like Face book, Hi5,
Orkut and MySpace. 2.6 billion min are spent on Face book each day. These websites are
enabling brands to engage the right people in the right conversation at right time. Marketing the
brands through social media is becoming precise, personal, interesting, interactive and social.

Weber (2009) says promoting a community is just like as promoting a new brand product or
service to the consumers. Social media is used to communicate people in the promotional aspect
and inclined to involve the people. Traditional advertising and direct marketing in social media is
to send people to the digital community to be informed, entertained and heard. Users find
appealing, a value high enough to encourage them to participate.

Borges (2009) finds that today's buyers want to be engaged differently than in years past and
many traditional marketing tactics simply do not work anymore. Social media marketing is a
revolutionary way to build solid relationships with buyers. Low cost, brand building, staffing
advantages, loyalty and level playing field are key benefits of social networking sites as a
successful marketing media.
Zarrella (2010) says the roots of online social networking can be traced to the 1980s bulletin
board systems (BBS). These systems allowed the users to create personal profiles, helps to share
information by sending private messages, public messages and post events at low speed
connectivity. After emanation of social networking technology in the internet world, it grew
higher and popular among the internet user.

Lacy and Hernandez (2009) says Twitter gives the ability to share nearly 140- characters
thoughts in a split second, where user can easily share links to press releases and stories about
their business, service or product. Making tweets interesting and diverse, there is a more
possibility of increasing the followers, by consider with news sharing and stories about the
industry that they serve.

The rules of marketing had to change and the web has proved a catalyst in bringing the changes
forward and amplifying their scale. The sudden emergence of the Web 2.0 marketing techniques
demand additional approaches, while most marketers are still wrestling with the first generation,
savvy brands are exploring the landscape that social media and social networks create for
marketers. These techniques are allowing much deeper drivers in social change to be unleashed,
with a profound impact on planning customer connections. The new generation of relationship
marketing responds to the additional challenges of digital media literacy and in the right hands
can trigger a rebuild of the entire marketing mix through different strategies. Relationship
marketing for the Face book generation demands both thinking and acting differently (Chaffey
2003).

Stroud (2007) says that the ability of social networking sites to generate these huge volumes of
web traffic is proof of their huge popularity. Google, Yahoo and News International have bought
themselves a presence in the social networking arena. The detailed rationale for these
acquisitions differs but all have a common theme of wanting access to the enormous audiences.

Ricadela (2007) says, Coca-Cola has been running promotions on MySpace for the past two
years for brands including Cherry Coke and Fanta and has promoted Diet Coke and other drinks
on Google's YouTube.

Smith (2010) says that Face book is becoming one of the great internet communications of
people time now days. Whereas many companies have tried to emulate Face book’s success or
challenge it in one geography or another, Face book has proven that the core asset on which all
of its services are built - the social graph - is much more defensible and powerful than many
others once anticipated.

Visitors to social networking sites are significantly more likely than average to visit leisure-
oriented retail site categories, such as music, jewelry/luxury goods/ accessories, consumer
electronics and apparel. Heavy social networking visitors are defined as the top 20% of visitors
based on time spent on social networking sites. People typically enjoy sharing their experiences
with these products, whether it is to talk about their new iPhone or the pair of designer jeans they
just bought. Social networking sites offer the venue for those conversations to occur. Social
media advertising is ideal for promoting brand recognition, although click-through rates are not
so strong. Still, there is no doubt that advertising via social media sites is an effective way to
increase your overall revenue stream (Brinlee, 2007).

Honeycomb Model

Honeycomb model of Smith (2007) identifies seven functional blocks of social media websites:
identity, conversation, sharing, presence, relationships, reputation and groups.

Each block allows us to understand the structure of the social media site based on the facilities it
provides to its users. This study attempts to understand the functions of the social media websites
and their role in social media marketing. These building blocks are not mutually exclusive and
also they are not part of every social media site. These building blocks are the constructs which
helps us to understand how different levels of social media functionality can be configured.
Identity

The identity dimension is about the extent to which individuals or organizations make their
identity public by disclosing personal or corporate information (i.e. name, age, gender,
profession, location) in a social media setting. Individuals also tend to reveal other information –
consciously or unconsciously – about themselves that makes them portrayed in certain ways
through ‗self-disclosure of subjective information such as thoughts, feelings, likes, and dislikes.

Conversation

The conversations dimension of the Honeycomb Model is about the extent to which each
individual communicate with one another in a social media setting. Most social media sites
primarily purpose is to facilitate conversation among individuals and interest groups.

Sharing

The sharing dimension is about the extent to which an individual ex-changes, distributes and
receives content in a social media setting. As the term social implies exchange between
individuals is a crucial functionality on social media sites. At the end of the day, social media is
about people sharing their identities and lives by sharing relevant content (i.e. groups, text,
videos, pictures, audio, links).

Presence

The presence dimension is about the extent to which an individual can know whether his/her
peers are available online. Presence dimension includes information as to where each-individual-
in-one’s-network is in the virtual world and/or in the real world. In a way presence dimension
functions as a bridge that connects the real and the virtual realities.

Relationships

The relationships dimension is about the extent to which each individual can be related to other
individuals in a social media setting. The word relate„ is used to indicate the type of association
formed between individuals (i.e. befriending, joining groups, co-presence on a social media site)
which in turn may lead to conversation and shares.

Reputation

The reputation dimension is about the extent to which each individual is able to identify one’s
relative position (including one’s own position) in the society in a social media setting. In social
media, reputation is not something granted to people through their disclosed identities but it is
something that can be earned through shared content, expressed thoughts, likes and dislikes. The
same is true for organizations seeking to build or strengthen their reputation through
implementing social media strategies.
Groups

The Groups dimension is about the extent to which each individual can form communities and
sub communities in a social media setting. The more social a network is, the higher the number
of groups, communities, followers and contacts.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is a new marketing strategy which almost every business is adopting to
reach their consumers on the virtual networks. If you have an idea and you want it to reach
millions, at a very little cost, then social media is the only way-out. Entertainment companies
were the first to adopt the social media as a promotional tool. Weinberg (2009) has defined
social media marketing as the process that empowers individuals to promote their websites,
products, or services through online social channels and tap into a much larger community that
may not have been available via traditional channels. So if we keep it simple, social media
marketing is the process where organizations use social media websites to build rush on their
company official websites.

It does not stop here but organizations also inform the potential customers of happenings in the
organization, launch of the new model or product and latest news about the organization through
social media applications. Gordhamer (2009) has related social media marketing to the
relationship marketing where firms need to shift from “trying to sell” to “making connections”
with the consumers. This explanations of social media marketing takes us to the other side of
marketing, where building relations with the potential consumers is the key to repeated purchases
and enhanced brand loyalty.

Social Media is an innovative tool that organizations use for creating a very strong public
relation with the customers on the virtual networks. Maintaining public relations through social
media has become easy because a large number of potential consumers are available on the
virtual networks. And making connection with consumers using social media is only some clicks
away. Today’s customers are more powerful and busy; therefore, companies should be reachable
and available in every social media communication channel such as Face book, Twitter, Blogs,
Forums at any time (Gordhamer, 2009). Exploiting the opportunities provided by the social
media communication channels is important for every organization.
Dimension of the Social media marketing

There are five dimension of the social media marketing, which means these five things are
required to create connections with consumers or to building traffic to company websites.

Online Communities: A company or business can use the social media to build a community
around its products/business. Vibrant communities create loyalty and encourage discussions,
which can contribute towards business development and improvement.

Interaction: A Facebook page or Twitter account can notify all its followers of specific subject
quickly and simultaneously. Social networking sites enable greater interaction with the online
community through broadcasting up-to-date, consumer relevant information.

Sharing of Content: The sharing dimension is about the extent to which an individual ex-
changes, distributes and receives content in a social media setting.

Accessibility: The social media is easily accessible and takes minimal or no costs to use. Social
media is easy to use and does not require any special skills, knowledge to use.

Credibility: It is all about delivering your message clearly to the people, establishing credibility
for what you say or do, connecting emotionally with your target audience, motivating the buyer
and generating loyal customers. The social media provides a very good platform for all
businesses (big or small) to network and reach out to their target audience, connect with them
directly and generate trust by listening to what they have to say.

Social Feedback Cycle: This loop—from expectation to trial to rating to sharing the actual
experience—is now a part of almost every purchaser conversion process. Whether consumer-
facing, B2B, for-profit or nonprofit, people are turning to people like themselves for the
information they need to make smart choices.
OBJECTIVES
 To study social media marketing role in any organization especially startups.
 To study the changes in the methods of social media marketing.
 To study the Impact of social media marketing in the sustainability of an organization.
 To learn about the different ways of implementing various social media marketing
strategies which can prove beneficial for online Startups.

SCOPE OF PROJECT AREA


 To study the role of social media and its impacts on branding.
 To study the challenges being faced by startup companies using social media today and
how they can be managed or minimized.
 To outline the traditional advertising channels for branding and determine whether they
are still relevant today in the era of social media
 To determine whether social media networks are the best tools for creating brand
awareness.

RATIONALE OF THE STUDY

In the last couple of years, different kind of social media networking services have
emerged and currently there are innumerable social media channels that connect people
to each other. The most popular social network sites that are widely used are; Face book,
Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram. In fact, Facebook, twitter and YouTube are
the most common channels companies use in their online marketing for creating brand
awareness or just engaging with the customers. Rational of this study is to show what role
social media marketing plays in the growth of online businesses. It deals with the
problems related to social media marketing and how a startup can cope up with them to
maintain its sustainability and growth.
Role of Social Media in Organizations

The array of social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and YouTube can
be overwhelming to navigate. Before you start using social networking and media, decide what
you want social media to do for your organization. Social media often plays a marketing role in
organizations, but it can do more than that. Social media can bring in new customers or clients
and help you better serve your current customer base.

Marketing

Social media provides ample opportunities for marketing products and services. If you only post
advertisements, though, your audience may stop following you altogether. Rather than hitting
your customers over the head with advertising, give tips for how to use your product or service.
If you’re a clothing retailer, for example, write a blog post on how to put together a business
casual look. Give your customers a reason to keep reading.

Real-time Updates

Social media allows you to communicate with your audience quickly. Food vending trucks, for
example, use Twitter to communicate where they are going to be that day and when, along with
any last-minute scheduling changes. You can have a last-minute sale or let your customers know
you’ve run out of a popular product. Consider providing other news your clients may find
relevant; if you hit a traffic jam on your way home, Tweet it to your followers using Twitter
(when you’re not driving) to warn others to avoid the area.

Relationship Building

Social media can build relationships between your business and customers. Your customers can
comment on your posts and you can also give a glimpse (an appropriate one, of course) into your
personal life. A pet food store owner, for example, may post about his own pets and post pictures
of clients with their pets. This can help build your business into a community, increasing the
likelihood of repeat business.

Thermometer

Social media also helps you know what your customers think about your product or service.
Invite people to post reviews and resist the urge to be defensive if the posts are negative.
Apologize, post a brief response and improve. See what’s hot with your customers and what isn’t
drawing their attention. Ask your customers what they think of potential business ideas, perhaps
avoiding potential flops or missteps.
Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention
and encourages readers to share it with their social networks. A corporate message spreads from
user to user and presumably resonates because it appears to come from a trusted, third-party
source, as opposed to the brand or company itself. Hence, this form of marketing is driven by
word-of-mouth, meaning it results in earned media rather than paid media.

Social media has become a platform that is easily accessible to anyone with internet access.
Increased communication for organizations fosters brand awareness and often, improved
customer service. Additionally, social media serves as a relatively inexpensive platform for
organizations to implement marketing campaigns.

Social media marketing tools:

Besides research tools, various companies provide specialized platforms and tools for social
media marketing:

 Social media measurement


 Social network aggregation
 Social bookmarking
 Social analytics
 Automation
 Social media
 Blog marketing
 Validation

Different Methods of Social Media Marketing

Social network marketing is popularly called as Internet marketing. Today you can find many
ways for internet marketing. Many people who enter this online marketing are less worried
because of its guaranteed success. If you see in Internet totally all types of products has been
marketed online without much effort. Internet attracts many business people to promote their
business online. Social network marketing is grown to such a height that today many people can't
earn without it.

Some of the most recognized network marketing tools are Face book, My Space and LinkedIn.
Twitter became regular place for people who have newly entered the field of social network
marketing.
1. Blogging: When you start Blogging or posting your data about any product, you can see less
response from clients. Later it will become big business via blog. Websites and blogs are most
powerful tools for social network marketing when matched with other networking tools. Blog is
an amazing tool which provides many other facilities in addition to just marketing your business.
It also helps you to communicate with other clients in case if you have any problems.

2. Personal website or blog: It is important to have private website if you are a freelancer. Your
website will help your clients to know about you and it will make them clear that you are a
serious freelance marketer and help to make huge revenue via online marketing.

3. Article selling: It is also best and cheap internet marketing method. It is a mode of advertising
our trade just by writing articles and attracting endless number of users across world. We usually
sell our articles to different article database websites and article directories. Today it provided
free business to many advertisers and publishers and they are really benefited through their
articles.

4. Email sending: Electronic mail sending is the best way to marketing. Collect list of email
addresses through portfolio websites and email about your business to all internet users. Your
Email should be attractive in such a way that your recipient will be impressed to get back to you.

5. Use social networking websites: Social networking websites like Twitter, face book can be
used to promote your sales. These provide best platform for all who are thinking of online
marketing.

6. Video promotion: Use several video distribution websites for your marketing. These websites
uploads your service to the whole world. All that you need to do is film a video about marketing
and send it to video uploading sites like You Tube. It seems it is the easiest way of marketing
than any other modes since many people will be interested in viewing videos rather than word
form of advertisement.

7. Press Release or media release: It attracts several public clients and increases relationship
among them.

8. Search Engine Optimization: It improves the traffic to your website by providing quality
web content. It uses RSS feeds and many SEO techniques.

Social networking websites and blogs:

Social networking websites allow individuals to interact with one another and build
relationships. When products or companies join those sites, people can interact with the product
or company. That interaction feels personal to users because of their previous experiences with
social networking site interaction
Social networking sites and blogs allow individual followers to “retweet” or “repost” comments
made by the product being promoted. By repeating the message, all of the user’s connections are
able to see the message, therefore reaching more people. Social networking sites act as word of
mouth. Because the information about the product is being put out there and is getting repeated,
more traffic is brought to the product/company.

Through social networking sites, products/companies can have conversations and interactions
with individual followers. This personal interaction can instill a feeling of loyalty into followers
and potential customers. Also, by choosing whom to follow on these sites, products can reach a
very narrow target audience.

Engagement

In the context of the social web, engagement means that customers and stakeholders are
participants rather than viewers. Social media in business allows anyone and everyone to express
and share an opinion or idea somewhere along the business’s path to market. Each participating
customer becomes part of the marketing department, as other customers read their comments or
reviews. The engagement process is then fundamental to successful social media marketing.

Implications on traditional advertising:


Minimizing use

Traditional advertising techniques include print and television advertising. The Internet had
already overtaken television as the largest advertising market. Websites often include banner or
pop-up ads. Social networking sites don’t always have ads. In exchange, products have entire
pages and are able to interact with users. Television commercials often end with a spokesperson
asking viewers to check out the product website for more information. Print ads are also starting
to include barcodes on them. These barcodes can be scanned by cell phones and computers,
sending viewers to the product website. Advertising is beginning to move viewers from the
traditional outlets to the electronic ones.

Leaks

Internet and social networking leaks are one of the issues facing traditional advertising. Video
and print ads are often leaked to the world via the Internet earlier than they are scheduled to
premiere. Social networking sites allow those leaks to go viral, and be seen by many users more
quickly. Time difference is also a problem facing traditional advertisers. When social events
occur and are broadcast on television, there is often a time delay between airings on the east
coast and west coast of the United States. Social networking sites have become a hub of
comment and interaction concerning the event. This allows individuals watching the event on the
west coast (time-delayed) to know the outcome before it airs.

General Social Networking Statistics:


 62% of adults worldwide now use social media
 Social networking is most popular online activity, with 22% of time online spent on
channels like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest
 65% of the world’s top companies have an active Twitter profile
 90% of marketers use social media channels for business, with 93% of these rating social
tools as “important”
 43% of marketers have noticed an improvement in sales due to social campaigns
 72% of marketers who have worked in social media for three or more years said that they
saw a boost in turnover due to social channels (the longer you’re working in it the better
you get)
 91% of experienced social marketers see improved website traffic due to social media
campaigns and 79% are generating more quality leads.
 The average time spent by marketers on social media is 1-5hrs per week for those just
getting started and 6+ hours per week for those with 3+ years of experience
 The most popular social networking tool for marketing is Facebook – being used by 92%,
followed by Twitter (84%), LinkedIn (71%) and blogs (68%)
 LinkedIn is 4X better for B2B lead generation than Facebook and Twitter
 Only 10% of marketers are actively monitoring social media ROI
 Only 22% of businesses have a dedicated social media manager
 23% of Fortune 500 companies have a public-facing corporate blog
 58% of Fortune 500 companies have an active corporate Facebook account, 62% have an
active corporate Twitter account
 47% of customers are somewhat likely to purchase from a brand that they follow or like
One of the keys to a successful social media marketing platform is knowing your own business.
A large corporation is going to have needs and attributes which require a very different approach
to social media marketing than a small, local business will need to be successful. Play to your
strengths—if you’re a larger company, focus on using social media to connect with a larger
audience in order to get national exposure for your brand and products. If you’re a small, local
business, use social media to build a dedicated, loyal customer base by offering the personal
touch that only a local business can provide. If your business has a product or service that is
primarily used or purchased by other businesses, use social media to network with other
businesses in order to increase your visibility in the commercial marketplace. If your business
offers a product or service which is primarily used or purchased by individual consumers, aim to
use social media as a way to develop a pool of customers who see your brand as quality, hip, and
available. No matter the size or nature of your business, knowledge of your company’s strengths,
target market, and product or service niche is an essential part of any successful social media
marketing platform.

In the last couple of years, different kind of social media networking services have emerged and
currently there are innumerable social media channels that connect people to each other. The
most popular social network sites that are widely used are; Face book, Twitter, YouTube,
LinkedIn and Google plus. In fact, Facebook, twitter and YouTube are the most common
channels companies use in their online marketing for creating brand awareness or just engaging
with the customers. Though LinkedIn is also widely used by companies, it mainly targets to
establish relationship on a professional perspective and slowly becoming B2B channel.

Facebook

Facebook was launched in 2004 and have over 900 million active users, of which over 550
million users access Facebook through mobile devices. An average Facebook user is estimated to
have at least 130 friends and is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events. There are
more than 70 languages available on the site. Its main use is to establish and maintain
relationships in work related situations, in political affiliations or just among friends and
families. Facebook has become the most powerful tool for marketing today. In April 2011, the
company launched a new service for marketers and interested creative agencies which is a form
of online platform (Portal) that allows marketers and creative design agencies to build brand
promotions on Facebook. Facebook is now a direct competitor of Google in online advertising
and this new service has made it possible for companies such as Financial Times and ABC News
to create dynamic commercial graphics or advertisement.
Twitter

Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that same year in July. Unlike
Facebook where one can have friends to share different things, with twitter one has to get
connected to the latest information on what they find interesting. One has to find the public
stream that interests them and follow in the conversations. Each tweet is 140 characters in length.
One can still follow the tweets regardless of whether they do not tweet at all, and also there is no
limit as to how many tweets one can send within a given day. Through Twitter businesses now
share their information or news faster to a large audience online following the company, and
from a strategic stand point, this has helped companies that uses Twitter to position their brands
and also gather business insight through feedback to boost their market intelligence in order to
accurately target customers with relevant services and products or enhance business
relationships. Twitter has helped lift brands, enhance customer relationship marketing and also
improved direct sales by reaching out directly to the engaged audience on the platform.

YouTube

YouTube was created in February 2005 as a video sharing website on which users can upload,
view and share videos as an informative and inspirational to others across the globe. The
company uses Adobe Flash Video and HTML5 technology to display a wide variety of user-
generated video content. YouTube acts as a platform for distributing contents by creators and
advertisers as well. Over 5 billion videos are viewed every day and there are more than 400
million views per day on mobile devices (2016). It is estimated that more than 800 million
people visit YouTube every month to watch and share contents. Just as the adage goes a picture
is worth a thousand words, pictures have an impact in creating an image in the mind of a person.
This has given YouTube a competitive advantage in online marketing; all in all more businesses
are now using YouTube for their marketing advertising campaigns. Various companies 19 with
outstanding video campaigns have had their breakthroughs in this form of brand marketing,
especially when the videos have gone viral. Most of these viral successes can be attributed to
expertise and creativity of the brand marketer to entertain the audience hence making the public
share the videos with others.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn started in 2002, but was officially launched on May 5, 2003. Many professionals have
joined LinkedIn in recent years to share knowledge and insight in more than one million
LinkedIn groups. The company operates the world’s largest professional network on the internet
with more than 135 million members in over 200 countries and territories. It is estimated that
more than 2 million companies had LinkedIn Company Pages (as of November, 2011). There are
14 languages currently available: French, Germany, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese,
Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, English and Turkish. In LinkedIn, companies have access
to a wealth of information that are mostly user provided through their profile data i.e. company
name, job title, size of the company and LinkedIn uses this information for advertising targeted
to towards members. Companies pay some fees to advertise their products and services to
particular LinkedIn members or affiliation groups on LinkedIn. The classic example is the
success of Cathay Pacific Airway through their LinkedIn company page sends messages to the
people who are following their company on LinkedIn asking them to recommend the company.
Through this, the company has been able to increase its brand awareness among target market
segment.

Pinterest

Pinterest is one of the very new and hot social networking site. It has so badly defeated other big
social networking giants like Facebook and Twitter. When it comes to amount of traffic or the
return on investment, Pinterest beats every other website on the planet. Even Facebook and
twitter are not capable of driving that much amount of traffic that Pinterest has driven to
websites.
There is also a success story about a guy who has earned millions of dollars just by using
Pinterest with some specific strategies. Although, Pinterest said that his account has violated the
Terms and Conditions of Service and thus Disabled that account but it an inspirational story to
give you an idea that what you can do on Pinterest.
If you don't have any idea about this new social networking website then here is a short
description for you. Pinterest is simply a website which lets you share your photos, images and
videos with others. It is just like a Timeline filled with Photos just like Facebook Timeline. You
can share your favorite images from your computer by uploading or by using some online
resource.

As its name suggests, it is a network where you can pin your favorite photos. The shared photos
or images in this website are called Pins. To help you categorize your Pins, there is a feature of
creating Boards. A board is like a Category or a list where you will share specific images related
to the topic of the category or board.
Like in Twitter, you have to follow other users if you want to get their updates, Pinterest has
implemented the same concept. But here is a little difference. In Twitter, you can get all updates
of that profile just by following him, but in Pinterest you also have the ability to subscribe to
specific boards. If you want to follow all the boards by a person then simply click on Follow All.
You can use Pin It Bookmarklet to instantly Pin some image from a webpage. Some websites
also has implemented the Pin It Sharing button so it is more easier to share photos from
webpages.
The main basic reason to use Pinterest is to Share your favorite images or Photos. But most of
the Marketers are using it for marketing purposes. The reason why Pinterest helps a website or
blog is when you share some image from a website, a backlink to the corresponding webpage is
also given on Pinned image's page so it helps in driving traffic to your website or blog.

Google plus

Google+ is the company's fourth foray into social networking, following Google Buzz (launched
2010, retired in 2011), Google Friend Connect (launched 2008, retired by March 1, 2012),
and Orkut (launched in 2004, as of 2013 operated entirely by subsidiary Google Brazil – retired
in September 2014).
Google+ launched in June 2011. Features included the ability to post photos and status updates
to the stream or interest based communities, group different types of relationships (rather than
simply "friends") into Circles, a multi-person instant messaging, text and video chat called
Hangouts, events, location tagging, and the ability to edit and upload photos to private cloud-
based albums.
According to a 2016 book by a former Facebook employee, some leaders at Facebook saw
Google's foray into social networking as a serious threat to the company. Facebook
founder Mark Zuckerberg instituted a company-wide "lockdown", signaling that employees were
supposed to dedicate time to bringing Facebook's features into line with Google+.
SWOT ANALYSIS: SOCIAL MEDIA
Strengths:

Large market reach or penetration and it’s Very useful if you are setting up a digital engagement
strategy (to new people, young people).Social media builds a conversation and converse with
others and build close networking bonds which share quick information exchange. It lets you
follow and connect with people/groups that interest you – but are not necessarily your friends (as
with Facebook). Authors, celebrities, co-workers, colleges, organizations etc. you can follow
anyone. The campaigns are generally Cost-effective in the sense most of the platforms are free.
They just demand time, there is a Human factor: Your “brand” becomes more HUMAN. Media
exposure can be strength of this. While Twitter is in a strong market position in micro-messaging
Facebook is the only real competitor here – and they attract users for different reasons. It helps to
build strong, long term relationships through online social networking, at a faster pace than just
relying on traditional face-to-face networking and Gets tons of publicity. The industry has
developers creating hundreds of applications around its API.

Weaknesses:

Tough to train or convince management team/group members on social media principles as a lot
of “Why Bother” from most mainstream (i.e. Facebook users) people are there. The industry has
low retention rate. There is concern about information leakage, liability, security, and
management also.

Effort vs results: Even if it is more measurable than other channels, it is difficult (especially for
small business operations) to balance the effort put on social media against the results obtained

Consistency: Engaging with your audience at a direct level means more efforts in terms of
keeping a consistent message/ corporate image

Making up for mistakes: The time-frame to correct errors that affect your audience is less.
Because you are heavily exposed, your company has to take action more promptly than if you
weren’t (especially if people are having conversations about your brand, you will have to engage
and clarify)

Blocked at many work sites: management sees it drops productivity; hurts bottom line

Opportunities:

 Creating/joining online presence on sites where the company currently doesn’t exist,
Great opportunity for individuals and organizations to connect and exchange information.
It opens a new target or niche markets that are untapped: students and the public.
 Partnerships with other groups, organizations, schools, government, etc
 Penetration into a new geographical market quickly
 Recruitment of interested new members, students, and public support allows you to build
short and long term relationships with prospects. It humanizes the ‘brand’ and makes the
recruitment process more personal.
 Can gain deep insights into real-time trends, news, and all of us; “be the pulse of the
internet” as said by Founder Biz Stone
 Integration into real-time games, media, and apps. We’ve barely scratched the surface so
far on what’s possible. Twitter as real time infrastructure.
 It may become the dominant way for businesses to communicate with their customers as
quick delivery, branding opportunities, and enhanced marketing opportunities are there.
 Being present where stuff happens: People research for info/products/services online and
value more the opinion of other individuals than whatever a company may say about their
own offer. If your company is present in an interactive environment like social media, the
opportunities for engagement, conversion and most importantly clarification of doubts
regarding your brand, are countless.
 Developing a following/ audience those auto-nurtures itself: Your efforts in Social media,
together with the effort of your following may mean that your audience becomes your
best sales people
 Talent coming your way effortless: Because of the possibilities of exposure that Social
Media allows for, interacting here may mean that future talent (in the shape of
employees, partners or, you-name-it) will come your way through the power of
connecting online!
 Reach out to certain groups that traditional media didn’t allow you to: Because Social
media is for everyone, sooner or later you’ll come across people you never thought of as
your client. This opens the doors to building new relationships but also to valuable
feedback that can help you develop your products or services more intelligently

Threats:

Competitor is going after the same space or same audience with similar campaign and the
question also arises whether the current campaign sustainable, can it continue? There can be
threat of Attitudes on privacy: while lately it seems everyone is willing to share the most intimate
as well as mundane details of their life – there could easily be a backlash against this trend.
We’ve all heard of a few embarrassing stories about over-sharing online, and a few high-profile
examples might make people rethink their habits. Micro-messaging may just be a fad. There’s
nothing inherently awesome about 140 characters. It got too much publicity in a short time. The
market doesn’t have solid revenue model (future advertisements?)

You never know what will click with the consumer and what not and your one wrong step can
ruin your goodwill and status in the market.
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

The research methodology means the way in which we would complete our prospected task.
Before undertaking any task it becomes very essential for anyone to determine the problem of
study. I have adopted the following procedure in completing my study report.

1. Formulating the problem

2. Research design

3. Determining the data sources

4. Analyzing the data

5. Interpretation

6. Preparing research report

1. Formulating the Problem

Research is an original contribution to the existing stock of knowledge making for its
advancement. It is the pursuits of truth with the help of study, observation, comparison and
experiment. The present study is carried out to analyze the impact of social media marketing
techniques in the growth of online startups. This describes research design, data collection
method, sampling design, data design, data analysis and finally limitation of the project.

2. Research Design

The research design tells about the mode with which the entire project is prepared. My research
design for this study is basically a discriptive research in which the study is based on a survey
done for observing the effect of variable i.e. social media marketing strategies on the other
variable that is Growth of online startups.
3. Determining The Data Source

The data source can be primary or secondary. The primary data are those for data which are used
for the first time in the study. Whereas the secondary data are those data which are already
available in the market.

 Sources of primary data:

 Staff of the company Actozen

 Latest Data of the company

 Other online startups: Homigo and People for paws

 Source Of Secondary Data:

 Internet

 Social media reach through social media content

 Scholarly research papers

 Previous Data of the company

4. Analyzing The Data

As no study could be successfully completed without proper tools and techniques, so for the
better presentation and right explanation I used technological tools and computer very
frequently. Basic tools which I used for project from statistics are-

 Technological Tools

 Ms Excel

 Ms Words
5. Interpretation of the Data

With use of analyzed data I managed to prepare my project report. But the analyzing of data
would not help the study to reach towards its objectives. The interpretation of the data is required
so that the others can understand the crux of the study in more simple way without any problem
so I have added the section of analysis that would explain others to understand my study in
simpler way. In this segment I interpret my findings in the form of graphs and charts.

6. Project Writing

This is the last step in preparing the project report. The objective of the report writing was to
report the finding of the study to the concerned authorities.

 SAMPLING PLAN

Sampling is an effective set in the collection of primary data and has great result on the quality of
results. The sampling plan includes the sampling technique, population, sample size.

 SAMPLING TECHNIQUES

In this study, cluster sampling is used to collect the sample. The respondents were interviewed
with structured questionnaires and the data of the company was used to analyze the situation and
the required research problem.

 SAMPLE SIZE

The sample size in this study is 50 who were questioned about social media marketing.

 POPULATION

The population selected for this particular study are the employees of three startups: Actozen
Pvt. Ltd, People for Paws and Homigo.
DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION

1) How important is social media to your marketing efforts?

14

12

10

8
Actozen
People For Paws
6 Homigo

0
Not at all Somewhat Very Important Our main
Important marketing

Interpretation: It’s clearly seen that all the three startups consider social media marketing as a
very important tool for the expansion of the business. People for Paws main marketing activity is
social media marketing while being a health startup Actozen considers social media marketing
very important but it’s not their main marketing activity because they are equally involved in
offline marketing. Homigo being a flat renting startup requires both social media marketing as
well as offline marketing.
2) What are your most preferred social media platforms for marketing?

20

18

16

14

12

Actozen
10 People For Paws
Homigo

0
Facebook Twitter Blog Google +

Interpretation: Almost all the marketers prefer Facebook over other social media platforms for
marketing purpose. Actozen being a health startup uses blogging for marketing its content while
Homigo being a apartment renting startup doesn’t go for blogging. People for paws main aim is
creating awareness about their startup through online videos and content.
3) What are your primary objectives behind using social media marketing?

20

18

16

14

12

Actozen
10
People for Paws
Homigo
8

0
Customer Ongoing Brand Customer
Acquisition engagement Awareness Support

Interpretation: Actozen team considers Customer Acquisition and Brand awareness as their
primary objective behind using Social media marketing. Being a two and a half year old startup
currently these two are its most focused areas.

Homigo is a flat rental startup where customer support and brand awareness matter the most
along with customer acquisition.

People for Paws being a not for profit startup focuses more on brand awareness and ongoing
engagement.
4) How often one should create new social media content for effective social media marketing?

12

10

Actozen
6 People for Paws
Homigo

0
Hourly Daily weekly Monthly

Interpretation: Marketing strategy varies from one startup to another as can be seen here.
Actozen prefers posting new content daily while People for Paws are more active in posting
content frequently and they almost post 10 items daily. Homigo post mostly weekly and
sometimes monthly as well. This all is because of the different customer segments and business
areas they are dealing with.
5) What is the purpose of your content?

16

14

12

10

8 Actozen
People for Paws
6 Homigo

0
Deliver Promote Entertain Respond to Provide
Updates products request utility/
and offers solve
problems

Interpretation: Actozen is a health startup so its main focus is on promoting its products and
services along with increasing its list of followers by entertaining them and providing solution to
their problems.

People for Paws run various charity events so for them promoting their products and services is
important. Along with this they focus on providing solutions to various queries.

Homigo mainly focus on promoting the products, responding to requests and delivering updates
along with solving customer grievances.
6) How do you measure your success?

18

16

14

12

10

Actozen
8
People for Paws
Homigo
6

Interpretation: For all the three startups fans/followers/likes is the first measure of success.
After that comments and offline contacts are the most important measure of success for the three
startups. There different area of functioning also doesn’t affect it.
7) Do you capture demographic information (location, age, gender) about individual consumers
with your social media effects?

16

14

12

10

Actozen
8 People for Paws
Homigo

0
Yes No Don’t know

Interpretation: Actozen marketers believe capturing demographic information about individual


consumer helps in making social media marketing more effective. Same is the case with Homigo
but People for paws don’t capture demographic information. This all shows that marketing on
social media platforms captures demographic information depending on the area startup is
dealing with.
8) Which form of paid social media you use regularly?

16

14

12

10

8
Actozen
People for Paws
6
Homigo

Interpretation: This shows that Facebook ads are the most popular way of paid social media
adverting among all the three startups. After that they go for google ads, Instagram ads and
YouTube ads. As facebook has the highest reach any startup will prefer Facebook ads.
9) What are the benefits of social media marketing?

16

14

12

10

6
Actozen
People for Paws
4
Homigo

Interpretation: It is clearly visible that all the three startups believe that social media marketing
provides benefits like increased exposure, provides marketplace insight , reduced marketing
expenses, improved sales and generated leads.

Homigo being sales focused counts the benefit in terms of Improved Sales, People For Paws aim
for increased exposure and generated leads while Actozen wants to develop loyal friends and
increase its exposure. One thing is still common they all believe that social media marketing
reduces the marketing expenses.
10) What are the most commonly used social media platforms?

20

18

16

14

12

10 Actozen
People for paws
8 Column2

Interpretation: Almost all of the marketers believe that Facebook is the most commonly used
social media platforms for marketing. After that one can see that according to the businesses
startups are involved in their choice of social media platform is also varying. For ex. Actozen
and Homigo both have online forums where people can directly contact them and share any
query on their website but People for paws prefer snapchat over forum. Homigo has presence on
twitter as well. Instagram is slowly becoming everyone’s favorite. Linkedin in best for enhancing
the professional network and Homigo uses its customer diary videos on youtube to get more
exposure. This all shows the changing nature of marketing in present world. We are shifting
from traditional way to social media way.
11) Has social media marketing brought revolution in the field of marketing?

18

16

14

12

10 Actozen
People for Paws
8 Homigo

0
Yes No

Interpretation: According to all the three startups social media marketing has actually
revolutionized the way of marketing. Above presented data and graphs are a proof that craze of
social media marketing among the online startups is at its peak now. Marketers are using it for
different benefits but the ultimate aim is same that is increased exposure at lower cost and fast
growth of their organization.
FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

Finding 1: Growing craze of social media marketing among the present day business world

Through data analysis I found that craze of social media marketing has increased among the
present day business world. Traditionally, marketing efforts have focused on finding customers
through television, radio and print advertisements, direct mail, telemarketing, frequent email
blasts and so forth. The idea was, “throw a big enough net and you’re sure to catch some fish.”

Today’s businesses can take a different approach. Rather than hunting down clients, businesses
can now use social media to make it easier for their potential clients to find them. This approach
is less intrusive than older marketing techniques, and because social media relies on people
being, well, social, it can prove an effective way to spread your message across the Internet.

As with any business strategy, it is important to have an organized and thoughtful approach to
marketing and social media is no different. This research emphasizes the importance of having a
well-planned strategy, stating, “a good social media strategy can mean the difference between
engaging with your audience and simply adding to the noise.”

Small businesses can employ social media strategies to connect with and engage existing and
potential clients, providing intriguing content while spreading the word about their products and
services. As more people rely on recommendations from friends and family to make purchase
decisions, it is in the best interest of most small businesses to develop and maintain a vibrant and
engaging social media presence.

Finding 2: Facebook is the most preferred marketing platform for all the marketers

Facebook is a popular medium for social marketers both for everyday conversations and
organizations of engaging promotions and contests for fans. Facebook allows you to put a large
amount of content on its site through its posts, walls, instant messages, e-mailer, etc. The content
will be different from brand to brand, as well as the tone of voice used, but it should be factual,
relevant, timely and interesting to members of the target audience. Facebook offers its own form
of advertising with Facebook ads, which appear in the side columns on the Facebook site. They
include a headline with copy, an image, and a click-through link to a Facebook page. All the
Android and iPhone users can get official apps on Facebook to stay in touch with their social
community all the time. This allows constant interaction between the user and the brand even on
the go.
The three startups used in this research that is Actozen (a health startup), People for paws (a not
for profit startup) and Homigo (Bangalore based flat rental startup) all use Facebook for their
different business agendas making Facebook the most preferred marketing platform in social
media marketing.

Fig : Facebook an all in one package for present day marketers.

Finding 3: Social media marketing most common benefit is increased exposure at low
marketing cost

All the three startup firmly agree on the fact that social media marketing provides the benefit of
increased exposure at a very low marketing cost. Social computing involves the use of online
social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn to reach consumers in
innovative ways. Businesses of all types are getting involved in social media in an attempt to
reach to a new audience and reinforce their ties with existing customers. As one is starting a new
business, the major concern is with creating a product or service offering, finding first customers,
building partnerships to help grow more quickly and ensuring one has enough money to sustain
the company. The question in hand is, does social media play a role in helping one get their
business off the ground. Is it worth investing your time in social media early in your start-up? Do
social media really make a difference in marketing efforts? This all has been answered in this
project report.

All the marketers agreed that social media marketing has completely revolutionized the concept
of marketing. Now every business, be it a startup needs social media marketing for getting the
market insight, for customer acquisition, for increasing exposure, reaching the right audience and
developing loyal customers. Thus social media marketing comes with various advantages of
which increased exposure and low marketing cost are most noteworthy.

Finding 4: Role of social media marketing may change according to the business area a
startup is dealing with but it plays a very important role in the growth of online startups

All the three startups are using social media as an integral part of their marketing strategy but
role and usage of social media varies according to the areas these business organizations are
dealing with.

Actozen being a health startup which wants to provide reliable and accurate health and fitness
information to its audience use demographic information for creating and posting valuable
content almost daily. Marketers of Actozen use social media platform for customer acquisition,
generating leads and providing solution to their queries and health related issues. They mostly
use facebook for increasing their reach and alongside they are highly active on instagram, twitter,
YouTube and Google plus.

People for paws is a not for profit organization, they try collecting funds through seminars,
various events which they organize and by the sale of their merchandize. These funds are then
used for the homeless pawed animals, for their betterment purposes. To attract large number of
people in such events these people use social media marketing. They are highly active on
facebook posting content and videos almost hourly. Instagram is another powerful social media
tool which these marketers are using for gaining attention on social media platform. It’s
necessary for any startup to make feel of its presence on social media platforms and till now
people for paws has been quite successful in doing so.

Homigo is an online flat on rent startup, people who shift to new places for job or studies find it
very difficult to get the right place to live. Homigo helps them in getting the right place at right
cost. They even cover maintenance charges along with helping you with your bill payments also.
As one can see for such startup it’s important to reach maximum number of people especially the
last year college students and what can be better than social media tools for doing so. Eventually
social media platforms like YouTube help them in spreading their earlier customers’ satisfaction
diaries videos which help in creating a good reputation in market. They use social media tools
for customer support as well and their marketers accept that social media marketing plays the
most viable role in the growth of their startup.
MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS

1. Online social media and networks have a growing role in marketing, which has important
implications for how consumers, channels, and companies perform. In social media settings,
consumers provide online feedback about products, and this feedback is visible to other agents,
including other consumers, channel partners, competitors, and investors. The myriad
characteristics of online social media environments have effects on outcomes of interest to
marketers and implications for managerial practice.

2. Top notch executives and business owners have understood that social media can make or break
their business, so they have taken the opportunity to build a presence on social media sites like
Facebook and Twitter to do business.

3. Companies have started to give preference to the buyer’s participation in their online marketing.
They are creating polls and user generated hashtag campaigns, producing appealing podcasts and
making videos to promote their brands. Some hold competitions where the participants are asked
to submit or share ideas or content created solely by them; this motivates the buyer to purchase
the relevant product or service because now they know that their wishes are being valued.

4. Overall Social media marketing has changed the functioning of the market, now managers have
to be more careful regarding what public wants and what they are serving to them.
IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING ON BUSINESSES

Social media makes it is easier to get to know your audience. Tools like Facebook Insights help
you to know the dominant languages spoken among your target audience besides other specifics
like age and gender. You can use this knowledge to your best advantage and create/modify
product messaging to gain a healthy return on investment.

Geo targeting helps you to reach a specific audience depending on their location. If you would
like to send a post to people speaking French in Canada, then this is an effective tool for you.

On social media sites, you receive instant feedback. Create a platform here where customers can
file complaints and talk about their grievances if they have any while using your product. The
reviews provided by customers are of immense help too as they motivate you to perform better
and make quality products. This is much more practical and convenient than getting calls from
dissatisfied customers.

Hootsuite helps you to create search streams, which will give you insight about your competitors.
This kind of knowledge gives you an edge over your competitors because now you can make
effective business strategies based on what the competition is doing. (Do this sparingly as you
want to focus on what separates you from the rest)

Content can be shared much faster in social media. With just a click, your brand reaches out to
millions of people out there. But keep in mind that you need to entice and allure your audience
with good content so that they are interested to share your content with their connections.

Creating brand awareness and reaching out to a wider audience is possible only with social
media because here you will get all sorts of people from a stay at home mom to a working
professional to entrepreneurs. Traditional advertising methods can be very expensive and there is
no guarantee that the return will be fruitful. Many businesses hire community managers whose
main job is to act as a mediator between the brand and the customer in social media platforms.
This helps one to understand and analyze everything related to their audience and product, and
make changes accordingly.
NEED FOR THE STUDY

Social Media is the current big buzzword in the world of Internet Marketing, and with good
reason. It is already such a big part of the Internet culture. It is here to stay and should be ignored
by marketers, or indeed anybody, at their peril. It is important to understand WHY people use
these websites, as there is a broad demographic on these sites. Some people use them for
business purposes, to network and find new deals. Then there are others who use social
networking sites for purely personal reasons and are totally oblivious to the fact that there is a
business presence in the social networking environment at all.

It is fascinating to see that there are so many different things going on in one place, and even
more incredible that they seem to all work in harmony.

For effective business growth one needs to know:

 How diverse social networking community could be?


 Are we reaching the right audience, and if so, are we reaching them effectively?
 To know the effectiveness of branding and communication through social media
marketing.
 Is our content appropriate and is it communicating the right message to the audience? If
not then what can be done to improve it?
SUGGESTIONS

Thanks to their huge resources and manpower, larger companies often can easily keep pace with
the latest social media changes to reap a good profit. However, small firms and startups typically
struggle in this case due to a lack of money and business connections. Some suggestions for
startups are:

1. Create Your Social Media Strategy


Whether it’s big, medium, or tiny, every kind of business needs a social media strategy to
compete within today’s digital market. Having an outstanding plan can help escort your social
media campaigns to the highest height possible. First, you should think about your business
motives and brainstorm how social media can help achieve them.

2. Choose the Right Social Networks


There are so many different social media platforms now circulating the internet, but it’s
impractical to manage and update profiles on each one regularly. You’ll need to pick and choose
the right social media channels that are relevant to your business as well as your targeted
audience. It’s best to have social media profiles on a smaller number of networking platforms
because you can easily monitor them, keep them up-to-date, and interact with your followers
more closely.

3. Ask Your Audience What They Want


Years ago it was very difficult to ask feedback from millions of current and potential customers
without spending hordes of money on door-to-door surveys. Today, social media makes it easy
to get reactions from your customer base without leaving the office. Customers come directly to
your social media page, so take the chance to ask them what they like and what they hope you do
in the future. This is a cost-effective method for analyzing your customers’ needs and wishes.
Once you compile all of the feedback, you’ll be able to make important changes to your social
media business strategy to fit your customers’ requests.

4. Provide Customer Service on Social Media


It’s very important for your startup to communicate regularly with valuable customers.
Resolving your customer’s problems will help forge a healthy relationship between your brand
and your audience. Although you might be using conventional ways to provide support over the
phone or through email, you can also use social media platforms to provide effective customer
service. It’s a simple and money-saving method because you won’t need to set up a separate
team for calling customers or to buy telephone lines.

Note: Startup should never be afraid of experimenting. Thinking out of the box will always help
in being innovative and more customer engagement will be possible. Thus apart from following
the strategy one needs to be creative as well for attaining the desired growth in the business.
LIMITATIONS OF STUDY

The major limitation of this research is related to sample size. The case companies are initial
phase startup businesses, meaning it has very few employees in total. Therefore the findings
cannot be generalized to include all the companies that use social media, therefore these
findings in the study are only related to the small startups which are in their initial phase and
using social media marketing for their growth. Different companies use different social
networks like LinkeIn, Youtube etc, and also some might have social media strategy with
different objectives. However the findings might fit small startups which are working hard to
get tremendous growth in their business fields like the ones used for the case.
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1,2011)
ANNEXURE
Dear Sir/Madam

I am a student of Gautam Buddha University, Greater Noida and presently doing a project on
“Role of social media marketing in the growth of online startups”. I request you to kindly fill
the questionnaire below and I assure you that the data generated will be kept confidential.

Name:………………………………………………………….……………

City: ………………………………………State: …………………………..

1) How important is social media to your marketing efforts?

 Not at all
 Somewhat important
 Very important
 Our main marketing effort

2) What are your most preferred social media platforms for marketing?

 Facebook
 Twitter
 Blog
 Google plus

3) What are your primary objectives behind using social media marketing?

 Customer Acquisition
 Ongoing engagement
 Brand awareness
 Customer Support
 Customer loyalty

4) How often one should create new social media content for effective social media marketing?
 Hourly
 Daily
 Weekly
 Monthly

5) What is the purpose of your content?

 Deliver updates
 Promote products and offers
 Entertain
 Respond to request
 Provide utility/ solve problems

6) How do you measure your success?

 Fans/followers/likes
 Re-tweets
 Comments
 Downloads
 Referrals

7) Do you capture demographic information (location, age, gender) about individual consumers
with your social media effects?

 Yes
 No
 Don’t know

8) Which form of paid social media you use regularly?

 Facebook ads
 Twitter ads
 Google ads
 Youtube ads
 Instagram ads
 Pinterest ads
 Sponsored blog ads

9) What are the benefits of social media marketing?

 Increased exposure
 Developed loyal fans
 Provide marketplace insight
 Generated leads
 Improved sales
 Reduced marketing expenses

10) What are the most commonly used social media platforms?

 Facebook
 Twitter
 LinkedIn
 Youtube
 Google plus
 Instagram
 Pinterest
 Forum
 Snapchat

11) Has social media marketing brought revolution in the field of marketing?

 Yes
 No