Indian firms still to maximize social media benefits

Three Tata group companies, Dell India, and Bosch are among the top five performers in social media effectiveness, according to a recent survey.

Indian companies have a long way to go with respect to maximizing the benefits of social media, according to a nationwide study undertaken by social media and data analytics firm, Blueocean Market Intelligence.

The study noted that the key challenge for Indian companies is to understand exactly how social media interacts with consumers, enables product and brand recognition, and drives customer acquisition, retention and loyalty.

The study also carried results of its "2013 Social Effectiveness Index (SEI) 20" which assesses the social media effectiveness of 20 of India's most admired companies according to Fortune India-The Hay group survey. The study incorporated sectors such as IT-ITES (IT and IT-enabled services), BPO, oil and gas, automotive, apparel, FMCG, metals and mining, infrastructure, and auto components.

"With social media in its nascent stages, there is an undeniable opportunity for companies to create a well-established, customer-centric image," the study said.

The 2013 SEI 20 rankings revealed the following as top five performers:
1. Tata Steel
2. Tata Motors
3. Dell India
4. Tata Consultancy Services
5. Bosch

According to the study, engaging consumers across channels will work well to drive greater volumes of conversations, and effective campaigns. "Good chartered social media plans and strategies that are in sync with the core business objectives will have the greatest influence over customer experience," it said.

The study observed that greater volumes of conversations and effective campaigns which worked well toward engaging consumers across channels drove higher social effectiveness rankings.

Kumar Mehta, global CEO of Blueocean Market Intelligence, said: "The top performers truly understand how social media can be used to achieve business goals. Business of all sizes can benefit from their experience, and learn how to provide high quality customer engagement on digital channels by focusing on metrics that typically have the greatest business impact.

According to a statement, the SEI20 ranking methodology is designed to measure business impact by integrating analytics, measurement, and monitoring. It captures conversations across the breadth of social networks and online communities, and correlates their impact with key business metrics such as revenue and brand value. It also directly measures business to consumer interactions in social media, including how Facebook and Twitter drive site visitors and purchase behavior.