Monday, September 2, 2013

The Role of Social Media

Indian Politics and Social Media
Social media is not only confined to you and me but to politicians as well. Through different activities politics and politicians in India have brought social media into the limelight. It is expected that social media will play a huge role and influence the coming general elections to a great extent. The study by IRIS Knowledge Foundation and supported by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has indicated this fact. Social media will be real game changer with political leaders having millions of fans on Twitter and supporters on Facebook as well as Google+. In order to build a certain image, most of the politicians also have their own websites. A few examples:
All the recent lectures by Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi got huge social media attention. He even hosted a political conference on Google+ hangouts and this makes him the third politician across the globe to do this after Obama and Australian PM Julia Gillard. Ajay Degan hosted his Google+ Hangout in which the common man was free to ask live questions from him. He has a strong presence on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
Shashi Tharoor is very active on Twitter and his tweets are quoted in mainstream media.
Few months back, you must have seen a page on Facebook seeking Dr. Abdul Kalam as president of India.
Then there is Anna Hazare’s Social Media Campaign against corruption in India.
Many researchers have indicated that social media would be stronger and more persuasive than television in influencing people.

Social Media and Business
Role of social media in business and consumer market in India cannot be undermined. It is the change in consumers’ behavior that is changing the role of social media in India. With time, use of social media has seen a drastic change from just used for fun to fun plus knowledge and marketing. For business purposes, Facebook is the most important social media platform as there is customers’ engagement, followed by Twitter, YouTube and blogging. Social media is used by brands to build communities for interaction and spreading news.
So not only individuals but every organization, be it big or small, has an online presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube channels and other related social media platforms. 95.7% of organizations in India use social media to build communities, 76.1% for highlighting brand news, platform specific parameters such as number of likes, share, comments, people taking about the company are considered by 81% of the organizations to measure their success. As far as the budget is concerned, most of the organizations set budget below INR 10 million on their social media spending that makes 1-5% of their total marketing budget. Social media interaction provides useful information about the behavior of the customers to the organization on regular basis.

Social Media and Recruitment in India
Social media and recruitment go hand in hand with social media becoming an integral part of recruiting firms. These firms are using LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to find new employees and skills. So, gone are the days when for employment recruiters as well as employees used to rely on employment exchange and classified ads in the newspaper. Hiring through traditional media was based on gut feeling whereas through social media, it is based on interaction, communication and direct response. Most of the organizations have well planned strategies for talent acquisition through social media.
Social Media and IPL
Social media is also playing an active role in the Indian Premier League (IPL) by providing up to date and live information on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Youtube. Teams are in constant touch with their fans through social media and there is  great interaction. For IPL sponsors and brands, such an interaction and reach of social media is a boon. Thus there is no way to ignore social media for business and entertainment purposes.

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