Social Media has gripped the world’s largest democracy like never before. Celebrities, normal people and now even brands are moving onto web 2.0 and social media like as if it’s the next best thing. PR, marketing their products, ecommerce or just plain talking about things ranging from girlfriends to talking about enjoyment with friends – people are using social media for everything.
But then from paedophiles to terrorists to people getting killed / kidnapped because of this medium, the ills of social media are also coming to the fore.
From celebrities to brands
Though social media in India started from Orkut and moved on to Facebook and Twitter, it was mostly the area for normal people like you and me. But Twitter with its uniqueness became a fancy for celebrities and brands alike to connect to their followers.
Be it Preity Zinta giving a “muaaah” to her followers or Tata Docomo asking its customers to convey their problems, the meaning of social media had changed in India.
Digital marketing increasing
2010 also turned out to be the breakthrough year as more and more companies like Jet Airways, Pizza Hut, Shoppers Stop etc. started using digital marketing techniques from YouTube to Facebook to Twitter to even online contests to come closer to their customers. The fact that more than 90% of them still don’t know what they are doing is another matter altogether
Facebook overtaking Orkut
Orkut began the social networking journey in India a couple of years back. But problems related to privacy, lack of interesting application and Facebook’s growing rise in India stopped Orkut in its tracks.
And this year finally Facebook crossed Orkut in India in terms of the number of users and also unique monthly visits leaving Orkut as the leader only in Brazil in the social networking world. An era seemed to have come to an end!
Social Gaming on the rise
From Farmville to Mafia Wars, social gaming has suddenly turned into a craze. It is the next big thing in social media and is expected to exponentially rise as we move forward
Mobile social networking
More and more people in the country are accessing the web from their respective mobile handsets. And therefore today’s handsets as well as service providers are coming up with specially enabled / inbuilt social media apps. A way to attract their target crowd, is it?
Proliferation of social media agencies /jobs
Hundreds of agencies which promise to do the entire social media campaigns for various brands have sprung up across the country this year. Most of these are run by entrepreneurs or those with limited knowledge of what they are exactly doing.
And similarly there is also a high demand for jobs in companies for people who would do the online marketing campaigns. But does anyone really know what they are doing?
Competitions at colleges
Avalon Consulting, IIMs, Goa Institute of Management, Directi – what is common between all of them? All of them have organized social media competitions this year based on designing a strategy and what not for various companies. With the growing importance of social media, looks like companies need more management graduates for making strategies.
Employee social networking / policies – Infosys
with its social media policy and then Wipro with its blogging policy have taken the lead in introducing social media policies for organizations in the country. Rather than taking this is monitory ala China style, this should be taken in a way that today organizations in the West have a social media policy. And actually if a company does design one that means it considers it an important thing.
On a different note, many IT giants have introduced internal social networking platforms like discussion boards, podcasts, wikis etc. to encourage new ideas, networking and collaboration.
Wikileaks, Modi, Tharoor, celebrities
If it was not for social media and in particular Twitter, controversies such as Wikileaks, Modi and Tharoor’s spat, Tharoor’s resignation, celebrities nonsense gimmicks nothing would have received as much attention as it is receiving today
Location based social networking as well as Wikipedia meetups
Foursquare, Facebook Places and other location based social networking platforms moved another step closer to invading our privacy. They allowed a person to give his location at any place in real time.
Wikipedia meetups became a common happening in the country. Since Wikipedia contributors in the country are across more than 10-15 different languages, this gave a different platform and meaning to crowd-sourced content
Only the tip of the social media iceberg has been decoded across the world! So imagine how long it’s going to take before they decode the tip itself in India!!!