Monthly Archives: June 2011

My First Social Media Talk

I started using social networking websites since 2007. Since, then I have been following the domain as a researcher and always wondered how this new media could be used for the business purpose benefitting both marketers and customers at large. My curiosity to understand the domain increased day by day and that’s how I chose this domain for my PhD thesis. After moving to Gurgaon for my PhD program, I had couple of opportunities to attend social media conferences, tweetups and bootcamps, which helped me further understand this domain. Then arrived the most fascinating moment of my life, when I alongwith Vijayendra Haryal penned down first social media book from India, Social Media Simplified. This book, provided me the first opportunity to deliver a talk on social media.

I delivered this talk (last month, yes this is a much delayed post!!!) to about 20 National Management Programme participants of Management Development Institute. The participants had work experience around 6 – 7 years and were from some of the leading companies like Cognizant, Infosys, HAL, Lehman Brothers, TCS and Arvind Ltd etc. The participants were eager to know the importance of social media for business and professional purposes. The talk majorly covered following topics:
• Media Evolution
• Social Media Facts: Indian Context
• Consumer Buying Process in Social Media Era
• Common Myths about Social Media
• Case Studies

[slideshare id=8284168&doc=demystifyingsocialmedia-1307867943998-phpapp01-110612034107-phpapp01]

The case studies focused on varied business areas like –
• Distribution channel management – Hippo
• Crowdsourcing – SheepStop & Teesort
• Recruitment – Shell Careers & Capgemini India Careers
• F-Commerce – Farm2Kitchen, Tide & Gillette, PVR Cinemas

After the talk I could sense that still the understanding of social media is restricted to creating a presence on social networks rather than creating engagement with the stakeholders. Moreover, enormous potential of social media (beyond marketing) to enable varied business activities is unknown amongst many people.

It was my first talk, truly enjoyed it and made a few new friends!

A New Journey Begins

My blogging journey began in March, 2010 and since then have blogged around 10 posts. Inspite of the fact that, I have authored many research papers and case studies since 2005, I did face some early hiccups with blogging. I soon realized this stream of writing requires some special skills and dedication, unlike my earlier writing encounters. I started with blogger and been on the platform more more than a year or so. Well, during this period, many of friends who have been in blogging space since ages suggested me to shift to WordPress. I kept on delaying implementing their suggestion and just wanted to understand whats so special about WordPress and why can’t I still manage with Blogger.

Well, after building my digital identity on Twitter and LinkedIn, I realized there is a need to have an appropriate personal platform to express my views and hence decided to get a domain name for myself and get it hosted. So, finally with my domain name registered, I shifted by blog from Blogger to WordPress. The user-friendliness of WordPress impressed me this time and hence the transition was made.

Thanks, @socialsunil for helping me in this transition process.

How to evaluate social media case studies

Case studies in social media have been of interest to the social media enthusiasts, brand managers, entrepreneurs. IndiaSocial does a great job of highlighting best social media case studies from India. They held the first edition in 2010, and have continued their tradition this year with the 2nd edition. Recently, they tweeted:
I thought to respond this tweet, but held back as I felt there are many things to be considered which would be difficult to respond by series of tweets, hence thought to write a blogpost on this. After co-authoring the book, Social Media Simplified which included 30 Indian case studies, I could understand various parameters on which case studies could be evaluated.
Here, is the list of parameters which I think could be used to evaluate social media case studies:
Objective:
          What was the social media objective?
          How related was this social media objective with the broader business objective (could be marketing, sales, branding, crowdsourcing, recruitment, support etc.)?
Target audience:
      Who were the target audience (customers / prospective employees / influencers / market analysts etc.)?
          Whether end target audiences were targeted directly or were reached through influencers?
          How were influencers identified and motivated (or incentivized) to join the campaign?
Content Strategy:
          How relevant was content provided to target audience?
          In what form was content delivered – blog / videos / updates on social networks?
          Whether the content was sourced or produced in-house? If they were sourced, how much investment was made in them?
Platform selection:
          How relevant were the platforms selected to execute social media strategy?
          Whether paid versions of platforms were used? If yes, how much was the investment behind them?
Engagement level:
          How well was listening performed before brands started to build their engagement?
          What was the engagement level across platforms?
          What was the reaction time by brand to queries by community members?
          Did engagement help brand attain its ultimate objectives?
Applications:
          How relevant were applications to build engagement?
–     How much response was attained through applications?
          What was the investment in developing these applications?
Returns:
          How were the returns from engagement measured?
    Whether only quantitative parameters were used or any qualitative parameters were also used to measure returns?
   How was the time invested by manpower, investments made on platforms, content sourcing, applications accounted for?
     If brand outsourced their social media activity, how was the return on money invested on agency measured?
Learnings:
          What were the key learnings and how would they help the brand in future strategies?
It would be great if you could contribute some more parameters to the above list for the benefit of the community at large.