Shyamsunder Panchavati

Shyamsunder Panchavati
Linkedin now a follower of Shyam on twitter

Friday, January 22, 2010

Influence of social media in Life and Business

Growing influence of social networks???

Social networks have always been there from the time immemorial. Only change is they are online now. the synergistic effects of togetherness manifest themselves in the form of increased social responsibility that  togetherness breeds and brings.

Flocking together for survival and growth is a trait that comes naturally to the members of the Animal kingdom. Human race being the most intelligent among them has taken it beyond the growth and survival aspects.

The nomenclature to describe this flocking together for mutual benefit has changed with times and now we call it social media. Previously the social media for networking were the places of worship and congregation, now the media is virtual. The advantage of this virtual medium is that the congregation is beyond faiths religions and beliefs sans geographic borders.

A human being by birth is endowed with diverse talents. Some of which he uses for professional fulfilment. Other talents remain dormant in him. Social media networking helps in harnessing these talents for the benefits of other members of the society. Social media also helps an individual to keep himself abreast of the new developments in the technology related to his work sphere.

Social media can be used in any which way you can, and it is not surprising the power, spread, and influence is being used to spread negative virtues amongst the populace.

Now coming to the aspect of security and privacy of the personal data, the technology developed to ensure security, will always be outsmarted by the technology to hack it.

So participating in social media networking is in itself a process of un-privatizing yourself. Social media networks by and large are responsible and do their best to protect the data, but cases like what happened at Facebook are inevitable.

Social Branding and the Social Ranking

There is a trend now to evaluate the social influence of an organization along with its business influence.New ranking institutions have emerged with advanced algorithms to measure the social influence.Most popular among them are Klout, Kred, Peer Index.These organization rank the organizations and individuals on the basis of their activity and influence on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin & Google+.

Organizations recruiting people for social media related jobs are  taking Klout scores into consideration for recruitment. Marketing Grader a tool from a start-up Hubspot grades the marketing influence of a website or a blog. It is a guide for the advertisers to select the correct website for placing their ads.

Coming to marketing, social media has now become an essential part of any media campaign. The vast impact of social media is being leveraged by organizations & individuals

So Why not marketing?

Social Media's contribution to Marketing domain is bound to grow many folds specially in India & other South Asian countries.This, because the growth in social media usage is directly linked to the growth of internet users.which is projected to grow tremendously, and in South Asia. 

By 2015, India is projected to have largest number of internet users, even more than those in USA as per the market research report of Mckinsey &Co

The Internet’s potential contribution to India’s gross domestic product by 2015 may leap to $100 billion by 2015, from about $30 billion in 2011, according to a new a study by McKinsey & Co.

The global consulting firm says this is because the number of Internet users in the country is expected to reach anywhere between 330 million and 370 million by then. “India will add more Internet users than any country in the world over the next three years,” said the report, explaining that 28% of India’s population is set to have Internet access by 2015.

Currently, only 120 million people – or about 10% of India’s 1.2 billion population – use the Internet.  By 2015, McKinsey projects India will overtake the U.S. to become country with the second highest number of Internet users after China. Globally, about two billion people currently use the Internet. In 2010, the Internet contributed $1.7 trillion to the world economy, according to McKinsey. That’s roughly the current size of India’s economy.

But most people who will access the Internet in India by 2015, will do so on mobile devices such as cellular phones or tablet computers: “three out of four users from India will be mobile-only users,” says the report.  An increase in Internet users could create 22 million jobs by 2015 from about six million now, the report added.

For growth to happen, McKinsey Global Institute’s Anu Madgavkar says telecom operators should roll out high-speed Internet networks, and that the central government should extend the national broadband network. More content should be available in a greater variety of Indian languages.

Other factors that will help increase the Internet user base are lower prices of mobile-telephones and tablet computers, Ms. Madgavkar said.

The report says the number of Internet users by 2015 could reach as many as 500 million people, depending on how fast its popularity spreads in smaller cities and rural areas. At the moment, the report says this is unlikely to happen: “Even by 2015, with overall internet penetration likely to reach 28%, rural penetration is likely to be just 9%,” it says.

New jobs could come from e-commerce websites as well as from sectors such as logistics that support online shopping websites, which are heavily dependent on courier companies to deliver their services.

On average, Indians spend about 20-25 hours in a month online, including for shopping. This is far below figures in South Asian countries like Vietnam,  where the average is 96 hours in a month, or in Singapore, where users are online for about 81 hours in a month.

The enthusiasm for the social media is justified, however it is essential to have clarity on how you are going to position your business in relation to social media. The outlook cannot be just ROI oriented. Social media is a soft power enhancing tool and the measurement metrics are accordingly different. It is essential to understand social media caters to the breadth of the business objective, much beyond the marketing aspect. It value adds to the brand equity related to the organization and products and significantly adds to the non financial bottom lines of organizations. Hence it should not be limited to the marketing department. All support teams should be able to manage and measure the returns. When applied across the breadth of the organization, across departments, even the ROI will be on the positive side.

The organization should be very clear on what it is trying to accomplish, and the business should leverage its social media program in specific ways to impact those goals, This way measurement becomes relatively simple. Once you see how all the pieces fit, it’s just a matter of putting in the work.

 Tail Piece :

Social media is a medium to bring people together bind them and make them responsible.Now the latest news is that Facebook is responsible for breaking up of one in five marriages in US.

How do react to it.?

Best wishes,


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