Companies in India are now switching gears towards social media bandwagon as they are enhancing their digital media spending budgets to promote brands and products through online networks. On 14 March, Ching’s Secret, a Chinese cuisine brand, crossed 100,000 fans on its Facebook page, prompting 42 “likes” and 26 congratulatory messages on the social media site that is increasingly drawing the attention of companies as a way to reach out to the next generation of consumers.

And when General Motors India Pvt. Ltd launched its new small car Beat in the country, it first made the announcement on Yahoo, said Nitin Mathur, director (marketing) at Yahoo India. As firms in India jump on to the social media bandwagon, they are increasing their digital media spending budgets to promote brands and products through online networks such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

“Social media has now become an entry point for most marketeers to foray online,” said Atul Hegde, chief executive officer, Ignitee Digital Solutions Pvt. Ltd, a digital media marketing company. In the past six months alone, Hegde said the firm has seen the number of its clients looking at social marketing actively as a part of their online digital marketing plan grow from 10 to 45.

India has 60 million Internet users, according to a December report by the National IT Task Force, a government body. Facebook has at least eight million users in India, while Google’s social networking site Orkut has at least 17 million. It is this population that companies are trying to target aggressively to promote their brand and services.

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