Social Media clubs have been quite active in the metro cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, etc. but a city like Pune had missed out on this until last year. Last year around this time, Shikha Pakhide thought about starting the Pune Social Media Club out of sheer enthusiasm for social media. Being a marketer herself, it was a definite move. Shikha joined hands with Mr. Shri, one of the key influencers in social media to kick-start the club by organizing their first ever meet on 8th July, 2011. From then on the community has grown from strength to strength and is providing a space for like-minded people to mingle.
Shikha explains in an email conversation that the club’s objective for the first year was to create a presence in Pune. She adds,
“Our objective for the first year was to make our presence in Pune and let people know that there is a platform for marketing folks where they can interact and mingle with like-minded people. There are 290+ Facebook fans, 330 Twitter followers, 90+ on Meetup and 50+ on Google Plus. Now the next task is to engage and bring the conversations together.”
Indeed the club has grown with every meetup and I had the privilege to be part of the meetup as a participant as well as a speaker. Not only that the social media presence has been effective for conducting events and talking with fans. Thus in the course of the last year, the club has not only been a platform for learning and creating awareness among people about social media but has also provided a platform for networking.
To celebrate the 1st anniversary, SMC Pune has organized a get together at the Café Coffee Day in Magarpatta and everyone is invited to cut the anniversary cake.
“It’s going to be a casual meet on Saturday and we have plans in the pipeline to start social media workshops. Going ahead I plan to involve people in online activities as well as offline.” added Shikha when I enquired about the celebrations and the road ahead from here.
I wish Shikha all the very best for Social Media Pune Club and hope to see it expand more as a platform for social media enthusiasts in Pune. I believe that we would see more offline events well-integrated and promoted too, so that the word spreads far.
And if you are planning to start such a community in your locality then Shikha has a word of advice for you,
“Starting a club is very easy but sustaining and taking it forward is a challenge. We had a good start and have long-term plans for SMCPune.”