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Cracking Russia: consumer product approaches in 2011

Social media - watch this space

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Keep in mind that although social media is effective with niche or known groups, it is definitely not a mass media tool.

Looking for consumer products information online

Russians are among the most engaged users of social media, frequently using it to research purchases. This provides consumer products companies with opportunities to build insights and create new direct-to-consumer channels. With traditional media costs expected to rise dramatically next year, social media is set to become an ever more compelling channel.

Companies see direct access to consumers through social media as an opportunity for product creation and innovation, but all are experimenting to find the right model.

Keep in mind that although social media is effective with niche or known groups, it is definitely not a mass media tool.

Tips for social media success in Russia1

  1. Forget Facebook: Facebook hasn't taken off in Russia, but its local equivalents — Vkontakte.ru, Odnoklassniki.ru and Mail.ru — have. Vkontakte.ru, or "VK" as Russians call it, is the number-one social network in the country and currently has more than 98 million members — out of a total population of 142 million.


  2. Focus on blogger outreach: Blogging is big in Russia. There are 7.4 million Russian-speaking blogs with a readership of approximately 23 million, according to the Russian Association of Electronic Communications. Livejournal, the most popular blogging service, has almost five million registered accounts.


  3. Only use mobile if you market a luxury product: Although the number of smartphone and tablet users is likely to reach 18 million by the end of 2011, the mobile market offers access to only 10% of the population so it is best-suited for targeting the top end of the market.


  4. Offer exclusivity: There's only one thing Russians love more than luxury, and that's exclusivity. And it's no different when it comes to online communities. Forum.awd.ru is a social network of elite Russians often targeted by luxury goods manufacturers.


1Source: "Social media scene in Russia with case studies," wearemba.com http://wearemba.com/2011/05/12/russia-the-dreamland-of-social-brands/, accessed 7 July 2011



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