‘Share’, ‘Like’, ‘Follow’, ‘Post’, ‘Chat’, ‘Status Update’, ‘Circles’, ‘Hangout’, ‘Connections’, ‘Groups’, ‘Profile’, ‘Privacy’, ‘Upload/Download’, ‘Events’ etc. are some of the few keywords, out of unlimited repository, which makes every youths’ life. FaceBook, Twitter, Linkdin, YouTube etc have surrounded us like AIR, which has both Oxygen and Carbon dioxide. But what exactly is SOCIAL MEDIA?
“Social media includes web-based and mobile based technologies which are used to turn communication into interactive dialogue among organizations, communities, and individuals.”
Huh!!Technical definition, difficult to comprehend. We were puzzled as to what society thinks of social media. This led us to do a small primary research among different groups as to know what according to them social media is. The answers popped up really interesting. Here are some excerpts:-
When we asked from different employees of different companies, all have different interpretations in their mind.
- “Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media sites.”
- “Social media is a medium of increasing visibility among the users of your Brand. This is not just sales promotion but one step beyond that (I wonder).”
- “It is a very effective tool for viral marketing.” Also it is an easy and fast connect with our customers. You get to know the popularity of any advertisement of new product through customers’ comments and ‘likes’.
Students Community (Doing MBA & B.Tech)
When we asked my friends and other MBAmates the ‘positioning & perception’ of social media was entirely different.
- “Social Media is a platform through which you do variety of activities like making friends, chatting, blogging, photos upload etc.”
- “Through Facebook we can easily make ‘special’ friends but earlier we were hesitant to talk directly (J J)”.
Our Elders and Parents
- “Social media is something through which you talk to other on computer without phone. This is leaving a very bad impact on society.”
Auto rickshaw walas
- “Sir we don’t know about it. But I have heard from one of my lady customer, talking about it”
There are different interpretations of different persons. But what is ALARMING (pun intended) is that the changing perception of society towards the networking sites. Slowly and gradually every molecule is becoming aware of it. This led to think that
“WHAT WILL BE THE FUTURE OF SOCIAL MEDIA?”
In other words how society will look after 30 years fully clinched with social media. Is it imaginable now or impossible to think! Will social media remain or vanish? We thought to imagine it and will present in form of a movie which contain only cartoons and few dialogues. Although each scene has a deep meaning and interpretation (left to the reader to interpret). So let’s start watching (with less reading) the movie called as ‘f’ALMISTRY of Social Media.
Scene 1: Social media ‘as if now’
If one thinks of social media the few sites which glued on consumers mind are FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ etc. But these different platforms have different types of images.
FaceBook is perceived as most social website and usually for all age groups. ‘Fun’, ‘Friends’, ‘Chatting’, ‘Photos’ are few keywords which become GREEN when we think of Facebook. On other hand LinkedIn is perceived to be for professionals (& indeed it is). ‘Profile’, ‘Jobs’, ‘Resume’, ‘Recommendations’ are few keywords that is associated with it. Twitter has long lasting relationships with celebrities. They tweet anything, everything which can give them publicity (of course ‘cheap’) over Internet. Be it a birthday wish or asking for apology, twitter welcomes all. Google+ is a baby who is just born and struggling to grow. Its metabolism doesn’t allow him to grow at faster rate so let’s pray for him.
Social media is becoming new normal concept. For the past few years adding a word ‘social’ in front of anything has become a fashion. From media to commerce, gaming to CRM, business to consumerism, it’s clear that we have reached at top level of hype curve.
Scene 2: Social media in Companies
Global revenues from social media are expected to hit $16.9 billion in 2012, a 43.1% increase over the previous year. The advertising will contribute $8.8 billion. Social gaming is next at $6.2 billion and subscriptions account for another $278 million.
Today every big company talks about digital marketing, social media marketing, viral marketing etc. They song ‘Why this Kolaveri Di’ is a perfect example of viral marketing. Lots of websites are flooded with the tools and tips of implementation of above jargons. As social media marketing continues to mature, what are marketers planning to do? According to research by Awareness, Inc. and reported by eMarketer, 70% are looking to expand their mix of platforms.
When it comes to social media platforms, the marketers’ top five social media choices are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, and YouTube (and other video) as reported by both Awareness, Inc.’s research and Social Media Examiner’s 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report. But the question arises ‘Are the companies able to implement Social media marketing efficiently?’ Do they have proper skill set to do that?
Surely tomorrow’s answer will be YES. Today the hottest upcoming field in marketing is ‘Digital marketing/Internet marketing’ which includes many others in its kit.
Obviously the toughest task for HR in near future will be to recruit marketers for Digital/Internet marketing campaigns. It will be interesting to see what will be the exact job requirement apart from soft skills. How the textbooks in MBA classes will incorporate these is also a matter of concern. Why? For a simple reason no book can inject a worm of ‘craziness for social media’. I think (may be wrong also) the kids/youths who are criticized for being totally embedded in the addiction of facebook will be the highest salaried persons in future. Let’s wait and watch.
Scene 3: Social media in day to day life
Statutory Warning: – If you feel that above figures are over hyped then I am afraid to say that you are not a Social Element.
Above scenes are not trying to make you understand the meaning of the word ‘Hyperbole’ (because they are not). This is just an attempt to understand or to imagine the strong roots of social media that it has not left us even in some our ‘Private Biological Rights’. If you are able to think of more examples (I am sure they might be going through your mind) you can think.
Jokes and Fun apart but those days are very near when FaceBook, You Tube videos, Twitter etc will become an unavoidable part of our life. The concept of ‘Personal Branding’ is not new but how many of us are aware is a matter of concern. But very soon this will become a common norm.
Scene 4: Bollywood in arms of social media
The clouds of social media were very dark & dense and it poured down heavily in a film known as ‘Mujhse Fraaanship Karoge’ which was produced by Y-Films. The plot revolves around the maze of FaceBook where all tries to fake their original identity. Although not a big blockbuster hit, the film received a good response from most of the critics.
In future there is high possibility that bollywood will try to increase the involvement of social media to connect closely with the youth generation.
Even the ‘Rahu’ & ‘Ketu’ of social media are favoring it. None of the stars are bad and has very strong Lifeline.
Experts say that social media will eventually enter in every field that we can think of. They believe that in the future, social media will be like air – it will be anywhere and everywhere. Social media has grown at a rapid pace in the past decade. More than 300 million people are on Facebook now, and Twitter is growing at an even faster rate. There can be some extinction of the platforms but new and enhanced platform will eventually emerge. We might see more use of platforms like YouTube. More Marketers will be leveraging it as part of organization strategy. A picture is worth a thousand words. But a video is worth millions of pictures. With all the Users are learning, adapting and growing more aware of their surroundings. Photos and video are playing more dominant roles in how we communicate. Job seekers are learning LinkedIn in a better way. Eventually in future awards, recognitions, recommendations will play the vital role in job search. Consider for a moment what social networks do: they bring together the traditional features of a person’s personal life – friends, family, events, memories, conversations, fun and games – and centralizes them in a convenient dashboard that enables us to interact with anyone we know, at any time, from almost anywhere on the planet. We should not be stunned if in future a new subject called as F2F marketing (inspired from B2B) evolves.
The cartoons are made created from images taken from various sources from internet. The situation depicted from the cartoons is the creativity of the author.