Dear Readers and Friends,
I am very glad to share I have been working on a book in 2012 titled “Social Media for Business, Indian Edition” (Yet to finalize). The book shall give you a overview on how Social Media has helped individuals from different perspectives of businesses with Indian case studies, relevant incidents and the history of Media in India, factors favoring its growth. With my readers here, I am sharing a excerpt from one of the chapters.
Hope you shall like it!
PS: The book is under review with quite a few publishers and I am hoping it shall be released by August 2013.
Factors and Popular Incidents Favoring the Growth of Social Media in India
What Social Media is Today communication viz Media has been relentlessly evolving, giving us newer and wider options. We have been lucratively encouraging, emotionally engaging and precisely leveraging every media until today. There are various cultural, economical and behavioral factors that can be considered as factors favoring the Growth of Social Media in India. In India LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Orkut are not just sites but statements! We just don’t talk about them or use them we create possibilities that the audience on Social Media would enjoy. The new generations have started living on Social Media than in real life, they are socializing more on social networking sites than in reality. Social Media has given us freedom to be democratic, expressive, entertaining and responsible. Here are some reasons of social media’s rapid growth in India:
Be in News
For many of us, being in news channels or newspapers is always a fantasy but not all are able to succeed to reach there. Social Media has help people create their own news channel and have their network of known individuals as its subscribers. ‘Showing Off’ or ‘Flaunting’ has become part of these days. I still remember I got to know about my neighbor buying a car not because I saw him driving, just because he shared a picture of it directly from the showroom to Facebook (even before he drove it) it was brought to my notice. We are invariably becoming part of the new social culture that is compelling us to share more and be in limelight. People no more click pictures and give it for printing, they rather upload it on social channels and preserve, share memories with world around them. As a general human tendency, we love to flaunt (I know, many would contradict!) and Social Media has made is easier. Just observe your social network today and you will notice many of them sharing pictures from festivals they celebrated, places they visited, new thing they purchased, the review of movie they experienced – why so? Answer yourself!
In this book I have given few case studies that will showcase how some Indians have used Social Media extensively to highlight their talent and become popular in their area of expertise.
We love Gossiping!
If you are an urban Indian and are reading my book, do this task for sure! While you go to a posh restaurant or a popular food joint in your city, keep your ears really open to the conversations happening on the tables next to you. Listen to the conversations carefully and you will notice people talking about activities their friends do on Facebook, Twitter etc. I have always observed this and it proves me enough social media channels give us tit bits to gossip about people. If there are individuals flaunting, there are people gossiping and the ecosystem is well balanced.
We Follow and Get Addicted to Trend:
Orkut was the charm once upon a time when the ‘keeda’ of Social Media got into us few years back. We used to scrap, create albums, share videos and wrote testimonials to our friends. But, today not any would like to say that they are active on Orkut (even if they are, discreetly). Since that’s no more part of trend. Celebrities from India dominating Twitter encouraged more and more people from the rural parts of India join Twitter to get updates from their favorite celebrity. I have personally known many of my friends complaining about Twitter not being a good social network just because they don’t get responses when they tweet or communicate to people individual and only when I observed their tweets, I realized it was a question posted to a popular celebrity who has got lakhs of followers and gets thousands of questions each day. My mother is not a Facebook user, she is not at all computer savvy but whenever there is an event at home she insists to post pictures on Facebook – for the world to see! I always wondered how does show know how Facebook works when she is not a part of it at all? I just blame it to trend. A close cousin of mine is facing a ‘notification syndrome’ this comes soon after she posts a status update of pictures on social media channel. She often logins to see how many people liked or commented on the recent share and gets really upset when she doesn’t get enough responses! Social Media trend in the country has just started, if you are a urban youth and are not part of Facebook don’t even say this in public they shall give you a weird look and say ‘Jeez, you are not on Facebook?”
We love getting Entertained!
More than anything else, Social Media channels have become entertainment for us, Indians. With different features it innovates every day, people are getting glued to this medium more and more. On Twitter people love to gossip with the mass on a particular topic that is trending, on Facebook people love to share and watch photos, videos (The most entertaining activity), YouTube is becoming a compulsory tab on the browser while accessing to Internet, Instagram has made photo sharing sexier and easier, Foursquare is making travel experience more social and blogs are always busy establishing your brand in detail. Overall, Social Media a free medium, is just becoming a reason to spend some time with the world chit chatting.
Social Media Playing Politics:
Many politicians and political incidents in India have brought Social Media in the limelight, when leaders use this medium they acknowledge this to their fan base or followers and thus bringing various moments, movements and controversies for people to digest. Quoting some of the instances below:
- Narendra Modi’s strong Social Media presence with strong presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. His Google+ Hangout incident hosted by the bollywood actor Ajay Devgan allowing a common man to ask him a live question, it had hosted millions of viewers curbing mainstream media completely and directly connecting with people by means of social media and internet.
- Shashi Tharoor’s twitter activities quoted in mainstream media and statements such as mentioning an economy class travel as cattle class creating a whole lot of chaos.
- Digvijay Singh’s tweet on comparing Arvind Kejriwal with Rakhi Sawant going mainstream and provoking Rakhi Sawant to file a case against Digvijay Singh.
- Mamta Banerjee’s Facebook presence for seeking support to have Mr. Abdul Kalam as president again and further using this medium to share her views on different incidents.
- Kapil Sibal’s statement on censoring social media making Social Media population ferocious and create comic moment around him. I remember #IdiotKapilSibal was trending on twitter for consecutive 2 days, with some hilarious cartoons and tweets made about him.
- Opinions of public and conversations over 2G Scam, CWG Scam, Parliament Toilet, Coalgate, Robert Vadra DLF scam, Presidential Elections and more.
- Anna Hazare’s Social Media Campaign against corruption, the prime incident in Indian Politics showing the power of Social Media. The India Against Corruption activists hosts a splendid social media presence with every movement live updated.
- The arrest of a Pondicherry-based businessman for posting “offensive” tweets against Karti Chidambaram, son of Union finance minister P Chidambaram, stroking the free speech and internet governance debate.
- Arrest of popular cartoonist Aseem Trivedi who made cartoons on the Indian constitution and symbols, stroking the freedom of expression debate.
- On MK Stalin’s (DMK’s leader) 59th birthday there were posters all around the Chennai city with a logo of Facebook alongside Stalin’s photo stating he has got maximum friends on DMK’s Facebook page.
- The blocking and suspension of fake Prime Minster’s of India twitter account: PM0India spoofing tweets of the original account of PMOIndia
- The arrest of two girls from Palghar who updated their status against Mumbai Bandh during the death rally of Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray. One girl was arrested for raising her voice against the bandh on Facebook and the other one for liking the status update which went highly controversial.
Social Media and the Bollywood moves, Social Media and cricket strokes, crime disasters and quotes on Social Media, Social Media and India (facts) and social media for business (The story begins!).
I have tried my level best to relate Social Media from different business aspects such as: HR, PR, Online Office/ Virtual Meet Place, Innovation in Marketing, Market Research, Event Management and lot more.
I am currently working on the Social Media for Business, International Edition and there is a series of book that I have planned related to Digital Marketing to be released in coming years.
Must say, reading book was easy, writing a book is difficult but it definitely gives me a sense of relief after attempting one! 🙂