Panelist: Abdul Khan, Kirthiga Reddy, Robert Holdheim, Santosh Desai, Shruti Verma Singh (Moderator)
Let’s begin with asking what is brand and what is social media?
The audience shares what they do on social media. Aditya here says that when he has to buy a product, he uses the test of six degrees of separation on social media. So he visits his friends page, and then his friend’s freinds page and checks out what each one has to say about that brand.
The panel discussions begin with the question, how fair or correct is the comparison of social media with television as a medium. Abdul Khan shares his experience with the TATA Docomo social media campaign. He mentions that first you have to engage, engage meaningfully – Go beyond fans and likes, co create social media TV, do not be too corporate talking and finally, have a point of view.
Robert Holdheim, Managing Director, Edelman India once again puts emphasis on the use of social media in business. He mentions that a lot more has to be done by the Indian brands, since they are still trying to use social media as a one way communications, a lot more engagement is required. He further mentions the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty.(see video)
The panel debates the question – Are online communities driving purchase decisions in the physical world?
Kirthika thinks it does, but not as much as it could or should. Santosh thinks they’ve begun to do that.
What is the big idea?
Kirthika says its the content really, finding areas where you can readily engage. The Delhi Traffic Police social media presence is a great example. Abdul Khan says that actual mind space and money spent on social media is what is significant. However, Santosh Desai says that whether people will take you seriously or not doesn’t depend upon the money spent. People will talk, there is no choice about that. Its a reality.
It is not a matter of choice between television, radio or digital. Social media has to become a part of every marketing campaign. The big question ‘are brands in India using social media?’ Reputation management is not something done by many Indian brands, a mass movement in social media is needed to change that.
Discussions on using Facebook in vernacular languages. The activity is very less, reason could be because of desktop limitations.
To conclude, it must be said that there are no one solution or answer to the questions often faced by brands.