May 26, 2010
Nothing on an average Facebook feed lasts more than a minute on top. It’s full of people: talking, sharing links and pictures and stories, taking random quizzes – making their presence felt. Social media has incredible potential in terms of presence – otherwise fulfilled by marketing and PR. Unlike other mediums of marketing, social media’s fabulous interactivity makes it invaluable in both customer service and brand value.
Social Networking on the web has caught on furiously. The fact that on Facebook, you can watch videos and have whacky conversations about them somehow makes Facebook so much attractive than TV to ‘Gen Y’. Youngsters watching 90210 log in to post “I <3 Navid” statuses ( or ‘Dil Mil Gaye’ and “I <3 Armaan”), people make political statements on status updates (short of standing up before an audience, there are few ways you can get a message across to 200 people at a time; and this is way more graceful) – basically everyone is there. Day and night.
Marketing professionals would have already identified the potential of Social Media, then – possibly greater than that of advertising, because of the huge extent of time and numbers involved. However budgets for Social Media Marketing are still planned hesitantly, with an air of dubious puzzlement. For some reason, belief in the power of Social Media seems tentative and shaky.
In my experience, this trend is more than a trend. The Indian Gen Y has higher self-esteem and more freedom than previous generations – they sanction and relish the exhibitionism of their lives on the web. Their obvious gratification in comments and conversation over any chosen facet of their lives tells me that Social Media is here to stay.
Social Media Marketing requires truly consequential attention and considerable budgets. Think of it as an untapped reservoir in a water-starved Bombay. Corporations – big and tiny – need to turn their consciousness to it. Social networking is now too big a media to be ignored.