Despite a lot of advancement of technology, only about 60 million people across the country have Internet access. But the silver lining among this is that 72% of this population are school and college students and youngsters in the age group (21-35). So Younger population is embracing Internet whole-heartedly.
Youngsters are the biggest users of social networks. This has resulted in the development of a flurry of social networks among the Indians – 16 million users on Orkut, 15 million users on Facebook and 2.5-3 million users on Twitter.
Seeing this trend, are the B–Schools to be left behind in this race to join social networks?
The answer as we all are seeing is a big NO!
“Day Zero placements are done”, “MBA I has completed their certification course in Industrial Economics”, ‘PGP – I has a beautiful incoming ceremony! Words or sentences like these may seem odd to some normal human being but they are everyday ‘lingo’ at B–Schools across the country as it encompasses their everyday happenings.
More and more B–Schools are taking the community perspective into the virtual domain. Be it placements, seminars, conferences, achievements of the students or faculty, they are tweeting just about any information. Most of the IIMs as well as other top B–Schools like Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM), Indian School of Business, NMIMS, MDI and Goa Institute of Management (GIM) have caught the social media bug. A student blog, an official Twitter ID, a Facebook Page and also Flickr and YouTube IDs are becoming popular.
Some institutes like MDI have two Twitter accounts – one for reporting formal events and other for interacting with the alumnus. SIBM Pune has as many as 5 Twitter accounts to report different events like Co – Curricular, Corporate Interactions, IT events etc.
Having accounts on different sites is ok. But what to do after that?
- The most important part is interaction and engagement with the public. Giving one way information to the public is not what will take you places
- Solving the problems of the aspirants, helping them in the admission process and also attracting potential aspirants is the most important part of this initiative
- One credit courses in social media have been introduced in different colleges across the country. But the purpose of these courses should be understood from a practical perspective
- Different Indian social media success stories such as Gang of Girls, Jaago Re, MTV campaign etc should be popularized among the students so that they know how it can be utilized in the real world
- For students who are interested to work in this domain, the colleges should look to offer them jobs in this sector
I would just like to end by saying that until we realize the “REAL POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA”, it will just be considered as nothing more than a “FAD” at B–Schools.