SMM Popularity drivers in Russia

SMM (Social Media Marketing) has been long gaining respect but only by the end of 2010  and the beginning of 2011 its mass popularity has become obvious: the number of vacancies for positions of SMM-managers is speaking for itself and another important clue is that such conservative “dinosaurs” as Sberbank are now entering the social media market.

Why is SMM so fashionable right now? Ashmanov and Partners company suggest a number of reasons:

  1. Russian Facebook population has grown significantly. Before now businesses would  associate SMM with Vkontakte.ru only, and the associations were not in its favour as it has been viewed as a “teens’” network until recently. Facebook tends to seem to them more respectable, “more western” and “for adults”, which  allows to reduce the emotional barrier for new SMM investments.
  2. Vkontakte.ru introduce new trends. This most popular Russian network has found common grounds with Yandex and got integrated with such services as Yandex.Maps and blog search. New marketing tools have been added: wishlists, goods search, geolocation, surveys. In September 2010 a new widget for webmasters appeared and they can now use it on their websites to implement Vkontakte users’ comments. In January 2011 official pages for organizations were launched.
  3. PR campaign for Vkontakte.ru has been developing fast. Vladislav Tsypluhin, an official representative for the company, started giving out commentaries for mass-media and participate in various conferences in spring 2010. By the start of December 2010 journalists already knew who to turn to for new info about the netwiork. Before that all public activity of Vkontakte was scarce: the only speculations were about the mysterious Pavel Durov who never showed up in public.
  4. The so-called “death of blogs and livejournal”. According to the statistics of VCIOM (All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center) social networks now have 52% of all Russian internet users whence blogs are uses by 7% of them. The percentage of active regular bloggers is even less than that. Companies that used to have their corporate blogs and develop communities in livejournal are now migrating to social networks and set corporate twitter accounts. Hand-made goods sellers who used to have their businesses in blogosphere now register their shops in Vkontakte.ru.
  5. Social Reputation monitoring tools are now booming as never before. Brandspotter, Buzzware, IQbuzz, Kribrum, Monitorix, Semanticforce, Wobot,  Youscan – that is the shortlist of popular services. More than 150 western services are now looking into localizations of their products. Though it’s hard to call these attempts very successful: some of them just translate their interfaces without even indexing runet websites. These monitoring tools help businesses take SMM as something measurable, respectable and real.
  6. IPO Mail.ru Group developments. Social networks Odnoklassniki.ru and Moi Mir (mail.ru) belong to this company together with share packages of Vkontakte.ru and Facebook and some other assets. Due to this accumulation of leading social networks in one ownership they are now able to be developed in diverse ways but within a common strategy. Besides IPO is able to invest in social media integrating them with popular services like Groupon which is already now in Ondoklassniki.ru and soon is going to show in Vkontakte.ru.
  7. Growing popularity of social sharing. These buttons are now everywhere: you can share content within most popular social networks. Yandex also has had its share in this share boom.
  8. Accumulating of SMM experience. SMM pioneers have worked with various companies and diverse tasks so now the newcomers have enough info to apply in their future SMM campaigns.

Translated by Vi
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