In a recent wired.com article titled “Kremlin 2.0 Russian Prez Discovers Social Media” evidence of social media adoptions has shown itself through that of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his online blog. Medvedev is intrigued by the attention his blog has gained, and more impressed with the online discussions his blog enables about various current issues.
Russia is one of the fastest growing Internet markets in the world with social media networks making a gaining huge popularity. Currently, the social media landscape is dominated by social networking sites – two of the largest Russian social networks, Odnoklassniki.ru and Vkontakte.ru are common social networking sites that rival with U.S. based Myspace, Facebook and Twitter. Google, too, has become an online media staple in Russia.
The most interesting aspect of these social sites is that they enable Russian and other global companies – including the U.S. – to engage in outreach and communication using popular sites that reach millions of people.
Despite the growing amount of traffic, and growing popularity, companies will need to learn how to best utilize social networking sites as a receptive and responsive outreach tool to position brands, create consumer advocacy, and in turn create consumer brand loyalty.
Social media marketing should be used to attract, retain and increase the value of current and future customers and stakeholders. Harnessing the power of social media marketing to encourage customer advocacy will become a staple in all markets, especially Russia where internet and social marketing can be more effective with increased consumer usage of these networks.
Launching on-line viral campaigns, and forming and participating in niche on-line communities can spur customer advocacy and word-of-mouth which will result in increased brand awareness and loyalty. The various approaches to adopting social media marketing will also enable companies to glean valuable customer insights from consumer-generated content which can help measure progress of social media campaigns and help project and forecast efforts to develop future social media marketing campaigns.