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Social Media strategy for Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation (TNHDC) and Poompuhar Brand.
TNHDC has exploited IT tools to a major extent, like having an ERP that is end to end, from production centres to show room. We are also in the process of developing and launching an e-Commerce site www.tnpoompuhar.in. But so far we have not exploited the power of the social media in furthering our goals. Digital Media and Social Media have become a very crucial marketing and sales strategy for businesses. With increasing penetration of smart phones and spread of Internet connectivity, e-commerce has become extremely prevalent. So is the soaring popularity of social networks. Research report from Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) shows that over 96% of businesses have rated social media as a 'Must Have' in their business strategy. Every single company in the Fortune 500 list is active on social media.

Social Media can greatly help in the following areas:

Awareness Creation: With such a wonderful array of products, it is important to tell the world that we posses some of the finest handicrafts with great workmanship. Social Media can help in word-of-mouth targeted reach to let our target audience know about our products.

Marketing: Social Media is rated #1 among all marketing mediums. Social Media is the most cost-effective and offers the best Return-on-Investment (ROI) when compared to TV, Radio and Print.

Branding: Social Media is an excellent tool to help build the brand of Poompuhar. By smart storytelling and effective visual presentation, we should be able to build a compelling image building of our brand.

Sales: The biggest advantage of social media is the ability to micro-target to the right people. This helps in focused reach and avoids wastage that typically happens in print advertising.

Customer Service: There is no better medium than social media to get honest feedback. It also helps us to keep track of our various sales outlets and keep our customers happy.

Reputation Management: By timely response to customer feedback (be it positive appreciation or a critical complaint), it helps us to please the customer by being proactive. Since negative information spreads faster online, this greatly helps us to negative the bad news and helps us to take quick proactive action to keep the customer happy.

Here are the various Social Networking Sites that TNHDC should be actively present on.

Facebook: No brand can afford not to be on Facebook. It is by far the largest social network not just in India but also the World. There are 1.37 Billion active users on Facebook. There's a good chance that most of the prospective customers are already on Facebook and its imperative that TNHDC and Poompuhar brand must be there and must be very active.

Twitter: This is the world's second largest social network. This is also very popular in India and among the influential NRI community.

Corporate Blog: is an absolute must for any product company like TNHDC. A corporate blog is a powerful addition to the corporate website. Adding a blog gives us an official platform to say our side of the stories. It adds dynamic nature to the website thus boosting its Google relevance thanks to the freshness of content. This helps increase not only sales leads but also Google page rank which is a very important element in Search Engine Optimization. (SEO)

Linkedln: The most powerful business networking site deserves our full attention. We should focus on creating niche business owners and CXOs who are decision makers. It is also a good platform to reach out to decision makers who take purchase decisions. The focus will be on knowledge marketing and not any blatant advertising. This is especially critical to target Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) who will form a significant target audience. It will be a good place to target donors who will donate to Temples as well.

Pinterest: This is the fastest growing Social Network that revolves around the visual medium. (It is growing faster than Facebook and Twitter. Research shows that over 80% of the users are women and hence it becomes an important tool for us to be active on). This social network is also very popular in the west and hence a good strategy to follow to target NRIs and women influencers.

Flickr & Picasa: Photos are a powerful tool in order to convey our thoughts. If we can do a good job in titling, describing, categorizing and tagging each photo, it will be a powerful addition of new content. It not only helps in social media optimization but also in SEO.

SlideShare: What YouTube is for Videos, Slideshare is for Power Point presentations. It is a world leader in this space and it helps us establish our thought leadership by sharing information about niche areas of expertise. It's a good place to showcase our various products along with key description.

Google+ : Even though Google+ has not caught up with Facebook, it still holds very high importance. Google is heavily promoting G+ and hence presence here will result in high visibility in the Google search engine. We cannot afford to not present in this platform.

Quora: Its a world leader in Question and Answer segment. It is referred as the intelligent social network as people who participate are open to sharing their knowledge. It is a great place for us to take ownership of certain niche areas and establish ourselves as thought-leaders in that space. It's a great idea to integrate Quora along with Facebook and Blog.

YouTube & Podcasts: We know that audio and video are more powerful than mere text. It helps us to do a series of short, useful audio and video series on certain subjects. Thanks to the concept of RSS, it helps audiences to subscribe to our branded podcasts and they can view it on any device (smartphone, Tablets, Netbooks or PC). For audio, we will use SoundCloud and for video we will use YouTube.

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