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Published: July 3, 2010
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Seven out of the 20 top visited websites in Pakistan are social media websites

A few days ago some colleagues and I decided to have lunch together after Juma prayers. We stopped at a fast food restaurant in Karachi’s Khadda Market. When I started looked through the menu that the waiter had brought me, I noticed a familiar logo on the back: “Find us on… (logo of)Facebook.”

As an online marketeer, the menu got me thinking. In the west, social media marketing is the first choice for nearly every start-up business as it has the ability to reach the target audience at low costs. There are many companies who specialize in providing social media marketing services to businesses and earn huge revenues. It is a win-win situation. In Pakistan, the concept is still relatively new but potential is very high.

Facts show that 7 out of the top 20  visited websites in Pakistan are social media websites, of which YouTube is third, Facebook is fourth, Twitter is tenth and Linkedin is the sixteenth most visited social network. If we were to go further down the Top 100 we would find more social networks where niche communities could be found.

Big brands, political groups and media personalities are already leveraging social media to communicate directly to the public. However, most local small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), for which social media really holds the true advantage, are still largely unaware of the marketing these channels have.

Yet, when I saw that familar Facebook logo on the menu of a corner-side fast food restaurant, I realized that SMEs are starting to understand the real potential of social media, which will lead the new industry to thrive in Pakistan – sooner or later. If a restaurateur can understand the potential of social media for his small business, why can’t other businesses? Book stores, real estate agencies, cell phone shops etc any one can use these channels to brand their businesses and generate sales leads. Of course, the cost is minimal compared to print and other offline advertisement channels.

Besides businesses, the online marketing industry also stands to benefit. Marketing through social media could also become a lucrative profession for those in the industry. Online marketeers will soon find drastic growth in their careers and that would make internet marketing a profession of choice for every second individual.

I am very positive about the future of internet marketing generally and social media marketing specifically in Pakistan. Business owners, marketeers and students should prepare for the greatest shift in the marketing and advertising industry in recent years.

Khurram Zahid

Khurram Zahid

Head of online marketing at a background screening company in Pakistan, Khurram spends most of his time on social networking sites for business - not pleasure

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pracker S. Ali Raza

    man.. don’t let the judges of LHC read this!Recommend

  • http://sadaf-fayyaz.blogspot.com/ SadafFayyaz

    :))if you could read the latest job descriptions of blogging jobs….They require “Must be a social media expert, ability to post blogs on twitter, FB, Digg,, etc”….

    “Job Description:

    The ideal candidate for this position is a self proclaimed expert as an active user of social media sites like Facebook, Twiter and other web 2.0 platforms and using it for corporate purpose….”Recommend

  • Ibrahim Saleem

    Which social media website is number one? Which stands second if You Tube or Face book comes after?Recommend

  • http://basitonline.wordpress.com/ Basit Ali

    Nice writing, I never really got chance to read your articles, this is actually the first proper writing I got to read. liked the way you initiated a thought.Looking forward to see more of your articles…Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/innsocial Khurram Zahid

    Thanks all for your comments

    @Ali Raza, Judges already know that jobs of many people are intact due to these social networks, that is why they unblocked these networks…

    @Sadaf, you are right, and it has been increasing. But my point in this article that small businesses should realize the power of social media for marketing product/services.

    @Ibrahim, its twitter

    @Basit, thanks for your appreciation, i will try to come with more good articles.Recommend

  • http://pakistancriminalrecords.com/ Danish Thanvi

    This is a good article, Khurram!A good effort indeed.Recommend

  • Arsalaan Haleem

    An interesting article Khurram. It is true that SMEs have started finding social media relevant to their marketing needs.Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/innsocial Khurram Zahid

    @Danish, @ Arsalaan, Thanks indeed…Recommend

  • Abdul Wali Khan

    congratulations! dear keep it up, found really interesting, yaar having spent two years I could not get any clue about your writing skills, wonderful!Recommend

  • Fahed Gill

    Its really nice to see some true words .. from true observation.Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/innsocial Khurram Zahid

    @Wali, thanks buddy … along with writing, you don’t have clue of many of my other skills :P

    @Fahed, thanks for appreciation…Recommend

  • aftab alam

    dear you are very right and i agree with this because we are not living in isolation, change in glob with all respect does left impact on our socity as well. i belief early birds surly caught fresh air!Recommend

  • Fayzan

    tats an interesting article.
    Internet marketing is still in evolution . once SME’s are aware of its cost effectiveness , we will see a huge increase in online spend.Recommend

  • Mahmood Sadiq

    Intersting & thought provoking article.Which social media website is number one? Which stands second ?Recommend

  • Khurram Zahid

    @ Aftab, Thanks… I do agree that early birds catch the fresh air, but early birds need to be innovators as well to always be on edge with the changes…Recommend

  • Khurram Zahid

    @Fayzan, I do agree with your point of view, and that I want to prove through this article.

    @ Sadiq, Facebook is number one, and YouTube is second, and third is Twitter…Recommend

  • Nojeba Haider

    Very true. There’s this new food delivery service called ” room service”, they have made a very good name for themselves through facebook and internet marketing. I guess the government really doesnt think about the loss which businesses may suffer if they block these websites.Recommend

  • Khurram Zahid

    @Nojeba, you are absolutely right, not only businesses, people who are employed as a online marketer may also suffer a lot…Recommend

  • Farhan Iqbal

    seems to me a good article revealing the importance of internet marketing and hope that Mr. Khurram Zahid will flourish in the promotion of businesses through social media marketing in the current scenario.Recommend

  • Khurram Zahid

    @ Farhan, your appreciation is highly valuable for me, thanks…Recommend

  • Mahwish Ambreen

    Nice effort towards positive approach. social networking is extremely successful and social media marketing is very important to a business because of the millions of people access these sites regularly.Recommend

  • Khurram Zahid

    @ Mahwish, thanks indeed, students of business studies should know the importance of social media marketing, as they can use it for their own learning and for the business marketing in their professional life…Recommend

  • Ibrahim Saleem

    You mention Twitter to be number tenth in your article, thus, I’m still confused about the rankings; just list down the top 5 to make it more clear. Recommend

  • Uzma Mehboob

    em late in reading this article bt its nice effort…specially knowledgable and helpful for students who will surely enter into the market soon…nice writing khurramRecommend

  • http://www.innsocial.com Khurram Zahid

    Thanks Uzma for reading my thoughts …Recommend