Nepali businesses jump on social media bandwagon

- SUMAN BASHYAL, Kathmandu
Nepali businesses jump on social media bandwagon

Aug 15, 2014-

With increasing users of mobile phones and the internet, social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, among others, have become the new platform for companies to reach out to customers with their products and services.

From big corporate houses to small business enterprises, companies have been using social networks to inform customers about their products and services. The more companies engage in social networks, the more chances of getting likes which help them to reach out to a wider mass of users. Companies believe that active use of this form of advertising also boosts their brand image.

Currently, communication service provider Ncell is the number one brand which has 611,589 likes on its Facebook page. Sparrow SMS, Ace Travels, Yeti Airlines, Samsung Mobile and Asian Paints are among the top 10 brands who have the maximum number of fans on Facebook, according to social media tracker socialbakers.com.

Likewise, on Twitter, Ncell tops the chart with 11,798 followers followed by Explore Himalaya, Team TechSansar, Ekendra, Aakar Tech, merojobs.com, softNep Private Limited, Bizzoo, GloriousHimalaya and phalanoluga in the top 10. The presence of companies on Twitter is relatively low compared to Facebook.

“As Facebook has become an integral part of people’s lives, companies have been increasingly shifting to the social network for marketing and launching

promotional campaigns. So it has become a new trend in the advertising sector these days,” said Raj Kumar Bhattarai, president of the Advertising Association of Nepal (AAN).

Most brand experts say social media marketing is cost-effective as any company can create a fan page for the company or product on Facebook. Twitter offers the option of making 140-character posts that users can follow. Many companies are posting on their fan page and users like or share the posts. Marketers said that the social media marketing had been complementary to other forms of advertising.

Ranjit Acharya, chief executive officer of Prisma Advertising, said that around 20 percent of the companies were using digital marketing these days which was almost zero two years ago. “Around 20 percent of the promotional campaigns of various companies are being conducted through Facebook. Such a trend was zero two years ago,” he said, adding that advertising through social networks was quick and cost effective.

Similarly, Ujay Shakya, managing director of Outreach Nepal, said that digital marketing was very effective for targeting not only youngsters but households too. “We are conducting various promotional activities for Asian Paints which have been very popular among households,” he said. Many companies have started making massive investments in social media marketing these days. There are two approaches to advertising on Facebook including paid and unpaid, and most Nepali companies have been using unpaid advertising by creating pages and posting information. “Only a very few companies are using paid advertising on Facebook through various agents as there is no arrangement for using international credit cards in the country,” said Acharya.

Shrutika Manandhar, brand manager of Pashupati Trade Link, the authorised distributor of Micromax in Nepal, said that they had been receiving many queries from customers as they post information on their profile regularly. “If you want to market your products among the youth, social media is very quick and effective,” she said.

Micromax Nepal posts information about the latest smartphones, their features and prices every 2-3 hours daily. It maintains separate team for handling the social media. “It has been quite effective for us as most Facebook users are smartphone users, and we promote the product among them,” said Manandhar.

Published: 16-08-2014 09:53

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