Travelling 20 kilometers in an autorikshaw so early in the morning in Bangalore at this point of the year is not what one would like to do on a weekend at least. But I did with lots of others as we were heading to Akshaya Patra’s two day Social India conference at Royal Orchid Hotel. I was on time and by 8:30 am the crowd started pouring in and by the time the conference started, it was running a full house. Taking my kit, I sat with a bottle of water as me (Lighthouse Insights) was covering the event.
The event started with an inaugural speech where small anecdotes were shared with participants as how Akshaya Patra is trying to make a difference. One such fact is that today Akshaya Patra Foundation feeds 1.3 million children which calls for a big round of applause.
As the day proceeded we were made aware that there will be some changes and Stefan Kolle, Founder of FutureLab occupied the dais instead of Eric who was suffering from a bad stomach.
‘Don’t Try This At Home’, was the theme of Stefan’s presentation. Stefan started the presentation with a very blunt fact:
“Nobody knows what social media is, not even the US”
However, he said that he had some learnings on social media which he was keen to share with the audience. He shared some staggering facts about social media in India and then moved on to what brands should be doing on social media platform. One very interesting fact Stefan shared was,
“India has the highest awareness and engagement and also the highest percentage of people who are aware of brands on social media, etc.”
After sharing some facts, Stefan discussed about the cheap tactics derived by brands to get likes. He also added that once one gets them marketers try to bombard people about offers, deals, etc. The message was quite clear from one of the quotes that Stefan shared:
“Advertising has become like sex, only losers are paying for it.”
Stop being noise was the strong caution and he shared that having a thousand fans by itself doesn’t give anything other than an ego boost. Stefan added that having a ‘like’ doesn’t mean anything and his personal quote explains all:
“If I tell my Facebook friends about your brand, it’s not because I like your brand, but because I like my friends.”
Stefan made sure that he shared a lot of case studies while he was moving ahead. To have a look at all of them, you may click here. The presentation started from level zero and went on to explain marketers, brands and social media managers how one should act on social media. However, I would have appreciated it if he could have given some Indian stories.
With this the floor was open for questions and one very interesting question was that how can one engage with people on healthcare. Stefan advised,
“Find out first what can be done and what are the regulations. Once that is done, try building a community.”
One more interesting question from a social media manager was about how he could reach out to all the thousand fans on Facebook. Stefan replied,
“It is impossible and you make people who talk to you as your champions, they will do wonders for you.”
The session really set the pace for the day and it was over to the next speaker to keep up the pace.