Today social media is power in the hands of the common man. The medium is not only about fans and brands; it’s also about those who report the changes that are happening or will happen i.e. the editors or the evangelists of the medium. So as the year comes to a close, we thought its a great time to speak to those who have either been the news breakers or have been debating about issues related to it.
Here, we have enlisted trends from a few who are not only active on social networks but have an opinion about the changing form of the medium.
1. Ashish Sinha, Founder of The NextBigWhat
“Companies will understand that ‘Like’ has no meaning unless it translates into engagement. And engagement again needs to move out of the social media platform and translate into something more meaningful.
Startups in this space needs to look at themselves as a platform and need not tie into one single social media platform. We all have seen how Facebook and Twitter have arm twisted some of their API partners who ended up building a competitive feature.” - @cnha
2. Anurag Batra, Editor in Chief at Exchange4Media.com
“It is oriental but available at every nook and corner, I believe that Social media is undergoing the same transformation as dumplings
have gone through as in they having become momos. Momo stands across India have mushroomed. From being a private island for the niche, somewhere in the Caribbean to a virtual heavily proliferated country for average Joes, social media as a platform has become a misnomer.
Brand knowledge of digital agencies for social media marketing is more like a taunt where B2B, B2C, C2C and probably C2B can be conceived by any user or brand dexterously. A place where shares, tweets and statuses can be used to impact the target in a 360 degree marketing manner, the average Joe social media expert does not understand the ABC of marketing or brands.
ROI on social media needs to be return on insights by brand specialists and not just geeks. Social media and analytics are turning a geek into a brand expert and a hobby into a profession.
Momos need to become dumplings again.”
2. Shradha Sharma, Founder at YourStory.in
“2013 should be year of rationalisation in the social media space; the frenzied ways in which we have seen communication from all corners being bombarded should slightly slow down. I think people will increasingly start questioning “the likes” “RT” and what does it translate to in terms of ROI and actual impact on business.
Quality Content will stand out and the appreciation for such content will increase.” - sharmashradha
4. Arun Prabhudesai, Founder at Trak.in
“It is interesting how Social Media trends have shaped up in India in last couple of years. While 2010-11 were the years when Individuals and celebrities came to fore on SM platforms, in 2012 Indian brands started understanding the importance of creating an “active” presence on Social Media platforms. Brands are now looking at Social Media as serious marketing and customer support channel.
2013 will witness more innovative Digital and Social Media campaigns from Indian brands. Also, they will be better prepared to handle negative as well as positive responses, unlike previously, when they had to face the brunt due to non-responsiveness and impulse reactions.” - @8ap
5. Sachin Kalbag, Executive Editor of Mid Day
“I believe social media is already becoming mainstream. This trend will continue in 2013, with more and more corporate houses leaning on social media to market their products, talk to customers and address brand concerns.
There will be a proliferation of Twitter accounts and Facebook pages of such companies. However, it would be pertinent for these firms to realise that social media presence does not mean opening up Twitter accounts or Facebook pages. There will have to be genuine interaction with customers, not pro forma replies to complaints alone. There has to be a person behind the “Wall” who talks to customers. And this person will need to be empowered to take decisions.
This will necessarily have to be part of the system, not an ad hoc decision by the CEO to improve the brand image.” - @SachinKalbag
6. Prasanto K Roy, Tech writer and Analyst
“2012 was a turning point for social media in India. It gathered steam and volume, accessed mainly on mobile devices. In fact it was the primary driver for mobile internet traffic overtaking PC-based internet traffic in India this year, ahead of the world.
Most of the social media use (in terms of traffic) was consumer-led. While there was extensive presence on Twitter (and to a lesser extent, on Facebook) by companies, their activity was more in the “read-only” domain: reach, watch, monitor, search; look out for mentions of their company. In a
minority of cases, companies put in place systems to take action based on their reading of issues in social media.
Almost all the companies who were active on social media outsourced their social media activity. But among them, a very few did a commendable job. Among those were HCL, where it was a planned strategy to project CEO Vineet Nayar though Twitter, establish a connect with people, using have a mix of outsourced team responses and his own responses to make it reasonably (if not perfectly) personal.
On the other side of the spectrum, Airtel did a poor to middling job of its social media activity, mostly responding to an explosion of user complaints with a bot-like “Pls DM us your contacts..we will look into it” while knowing that a Twitter user can’t DM them unless they follow him/her. For Airtel it was a lost opportunity to influence a small by key, influential, ahead-of-curve set of young people.
2013 will be the turning point in corporate use of social media, with an explosion of companies (or divisions of ad agencies and PR firms etc) offering their services.” - @prasanto
7. Raheel Khursheed, Director Communications, India, Change.org
“I see more and more people using social media tools to engage with the system to force more accountability. As more and more young Indians adopt online tools to break down information hierarchies, the shakedown of how information is created and consumed will continue. This empowerment will result in more transparency and the shrinking of spaces that powers that be use to hide behind. The online and the offline will keep converging to make the system more responsive. Online action and outrage will be driven by hyper local issues.” - Raheelk
2013 definitely is going to change the way we look at social media and the thoughts from these 7 evangelists sum it up really well. Brands will become more serious but at the same time the aggressive usage of the medium by the youth will lead to more transparency and power to the society.