Why social media will succeed in India?


[tweetmeme source=”akhilsethi” only_single=false] Its been almost a month since i wrote my last post courtesy to my job and my personal life which made it very difficult. But today, i decided to write this post on the area that i love the most i.e. ‘Social Media”. To define social media, i would like to break the whole into two words, first one is the social and second is the media. Media means any type of instrument or a channel through which whole communication occurs and social represents its open nature, where anyone can contribute (read / write).

Why social media will succeed in India?I have been new to social media w.r.t my job, but always been quite optimistic about its future in India. We all know that social media is already established in the developed world (US or UK), but not quite in India. Companies in India are somewhat iffy or what i say confused about the ROI from it. One of the reason is that they don’t actually know what do they want from it or what objective they want to fulfill from it? I’ll not go into the intricacies of the ROI or the objective of the companies. My purpose to write this post is to show my optimism toward this “Social Media” industry particularly in India.

Today two things happened with me, which reinforced my belief for social media:

a) When I was coming back from work, I had to go to some place for which I decided to take a new route. After driving for some time, I decided to ask for some directions at a place where 4-5 people were standing. I stopped my bike & asked a person for directions and suddenly all of them came and began to discuss among themselves the shortest route to my destination & told me the same….. This thing stayed with me in my mind. It has happened with me so many times (and probably with you too), but I hadn’t looked at it the way I am looking at it now! Recalling the incident made me wonder: Is it that the people in India are always interested in what other people are interested in & whether they always want to see where other people are heading towards? Probably YES.

b) When I was coming back from that place, I offered a lift to someone. When I dropped that person at his destination, he thanked me and also told me where he put up in Delhi and why he was going to that place. He told me his reasons for visiting that place; things which I was totally uninterested in. Oblivious to this fact, he kept telling me everything. This incident also showed me that, people in India somehow think that others would also be interested in the same things as they are. When I compare this with social media sites like twitter, Facebook etc, it is very similar to the retweet or the share option that they provide respectively. For example, we do think that if we have liked a particular video, probably others will also like it & therefore retweet or share it.

The first instance shows that if I am interested in one thing, others will also get interested in it and the second shows that others also think that if somehow they are interested in a particular thing, I’ll also be interested in it. Such thinking results in propagation of news, video or any relevant link (with respect to social media).

Both these instances today (however small or irrelevant they look) made me feel that indeed people in India are very social in nature, they do like to know what the other person is interested in and also love to tell the same thing to others.

I have put a small reason to justify my optimism for “Social media”. What do you think?

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11 thoughts on “Why social media will succeed in India?

  1. hey .. U didnt define social.. in ur blog ..u started defining social media but u stoped at media n gave social a few words I think jus the words requires a lill more emphasis.. how does everyone in India contribute.. wht are the means.. I would love to hear ur defination of “social”..then talk abt social media establized in the US n UK … should be interestin.. r social media n internet interlocked..so tat one cannot do without the other..??? why is it when we think of somethin new in India we ony think of the SEC A n mayb B ..wht abt the others..

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    • Yes, abhishek i also feel that i could have written more on explaining “Social media” but that could have made this blog post even more lengthier.

      See in simpler terms, earlier when internet came into the picture, people were “only” able to read any article or information available, but as more and more advancement done in this field, people are now able to write also i.e. they can give their own opinions, give ratings to these articles and after that they can share it with their friends also. This era of internet which we are living in is known as Web 2.0 and social media just provides a tool to facilitate this thing i.e. giving your opinion as well as sharing it. It includes websites like twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs etc.

      These tools are used by companies nowadays for various purposes like brand awareness, redirecting users to their main website’s sales/landing page etc. Its all done by engaging the users for a longer duration of time, so that he keeps coming back again & again. “Sharing” which I emphasized on, therefore makes an essential part because companies wants to increase their fan base also, want more potential customers to know about their products.

      Lastly, media here means websites that I mentioned above like twitter, FB etc. and social because, if a company is having a fan page on facebook, anyone like me and you can become a fan of that page and can read / write anything on it.

      Hope it clarifies all your doubts. Will be waiting to see your response 🙂

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  2. Hey nice observation..! but media factor is less.. By the way sometimes I retweet or share things which I like because the others should not miss it ..!!

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  3. Thanks Neha! All the media factor is written in the above reply to abhishek 🙂

    And yes, i agree, people sometimes also feel a piece of information to be important for others, so they share it. My point is just that, it is we who feel that a particular thing will be important for others, while we cannot be completely sure about it.

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  4. This is really a nice vision on Social Media. Social Media has almost spreaded its wings in India with a positive impact on the youth.Now, why Social Media would succeed in India,if answered by me, would be because it gives a platform to say your words to the whole world and not to a particular group or a number of persons.The thing is that your words would be getting appreciated by some people who share the same view on that topic, which we say RETWEET in Twitter. One more example I want to put here which is practically felt by me.Before 1 year When I used to search my name on Google, it was only showing My college Website where my name was there.But being on the social media in internet for around 8 months, I can find my name on many websites due to Twitter,Linked-in, Facebook. It gave me a recognition, as I feel. But for me it’s not a fashion. The youth use this platform to make their voice louder.If Social Media in India has nothing to do then Super Stars like Mr. Amitabh Bachhan, SRK, Akhshay Kumar, Sachin and many more should not have been here. Social Media gives an opportunity to gather people of same mind, gives an opportunity to interact with people of different countries. It is helping us in increasing our knowledge, communication skill, making us brief(140 words in twitter). The last but not the least, many people including me have started writing blogs due to the big exposure in Social Media only. So, Social Media will have a big structure in India and will be hugely accepted by us, The Indians.
    Bhai, your lines always make someone think. This is the best part of your writing, as I feel, which inspires the others a lot… Have a nice time …

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  5. A very good thoughtful observation Akhil…. I think you are absolutely correct when you say that Social Media can be a big thing in India… SM in India can be used for mobilizing people for social issues like we have seen in Jessica Lal case in the recent past and currently the Bhopal Gas Tragedy… like minded people agitating for issue to wake up the govt into action… apart from that SM can also be used to promote social causes like teach a child program… as far as Marketing is concerned we have seen in past that even conventional marketing strategies which were successful in the west didnot do well in India for ex. Kellog’s Cereals… so if companies are looking to adopt SMM in India they must not copy and paste strategies straight from other markets… instead they must change the strategy first as per the Indian market…. SM cannot function alone… it has to be used along with other media… and as we all know SMM is not about selling its about engaging… so the brands must look to listen, engage and hence retain… keep writing 🙂

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    • Thank you very much for the appreciation and sharing your opinion Vivek 🙂

      Yes Vivek, using social media for good causes can be a very good idea because when things are social (open), people do like to associate themselves with good cause! Also social makes this thing viral also, people do tend share it with others and others get encouraged & get associated with it.

      Nice point their vivek, since even the conventional mktg. strategies do not work sometimes. I being a part of Indian digital world, could only say and second your opinion that companies need to understand the Indian market properly before copying what has been done in the west.

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  6. first of all, i think that Indians have always been very ‘social’ as a group of people. almost to the level of not having ‘a respect for an individual’s privacy’ at all! on the other hand, the western civilization has always been individualistically private.

    second (and that stems directly from the first), what is social for a westernized individual i.e. facebook may actually be anti-social for an Indian individual or his peers!

    taking the inference from the second point, as our own society becomes more n more westernized, as our society loses the ties that bound itself together, it’ll latch on to more n more of these so-called ‘social media’ sites to fulfill that latent need for human company.

    of course, marketers will always be ready to tap this changing shift in culture n usage behavior. therefore, there is a huge ‘potential’ and till now, only a potential when it comes to social media in India.

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  7. Yes Adee, i second your opinion that we Indians are very social in nature & not even sometimes respect the other person’s privacy. Yes, their is a culture shift or what you say a shift in the behavior of people when it comes to share things online. It becomes all the more obvious for a marketer to latch on these opportunities and engage people with the brand.

    Thanks for sharing your opinion Adee 🙂

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  8. Ofcourse, Indians being social in nature like to share stuff happening with them,be it a bad experience at a newly inaugrated hangout in the city or meeting a celebrity. People like to share things this way. Also, SM is truly dominating the marketing arena. On the other hand, talking about India, SM has contributed largely to raise often ignored social issues. I personally, retweet the link which i like and which i want others to know about.And i guess, others also do the same.
    P.S loved the way you explained SM.

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  9. hey.. thanx for the explaination of “social media”.. nice bottle… but still u still didnt answer all my questions…neways u are talkin abt web sites and the internet… and usage of social media sites.. I am sure u knw tat the internet penetration in india is roughly 7-8% whereas in the US it is abt 80%.. NOW where is the relevance of social media when only 10% of your population uses it.. according to me it will take years for there to be any real relevance to social media in India. That is why I asked ..when we think about something new in India why do we always tend to think of the top of the pyramid. I acknowledge that the internet is an incredible database.. its difficult to imagine a life when you dnt have every kind of info on your fingertips.. but the majority of ppl in this country exist like that..I dnt know but I could wager that the people who were giving you those directions on the road didnt use internet..nor social media websites…everyone we know of uses the internet n social media.. but mayb we should realize .. we are the elite of this country..and we know the other elite only.. I dnt mean to sound arrogant or nethin but we are.. we have had the best privleges and the best of facilities all our lives.. even those who have struggled financially to get to where you are.to get to write or read this blog u have been very lucky..remember tat is only less than 10% of this country’s poppulation..sure the new is mostly driven(initially) by the elite and by ppl who are on the top of this crazy pyramid..but it is always ..always fed by the rest..talking abt how social Indians are well ..I think its an acknowledged fact the world over that Indians can the the most social of animals(according to their own unique defination) n mostly they dnt even care wht the person at the recieving end of this civility feels.. so they would probably lap up nethin like these websites given the oppurtunity.. the key word here is oppurtunity.. will they get that …n when..is the answer which will show us the sucess of social media… at this moment the relevance of social is absurdly negligible.. even taking the fact into account that the 10% internet users in numbers is larger than the 80-90% users in the US 🙂
    maybe someday in future we can make ful use of this fantastic technology.. U knw my mom once told me of a theory which says..Kalki the next avatar is actually computers…internet.. might jus b rite…not the god part of it but certainly the relavance.. but here in this country it will take years n a culmination of a large number of factors ..(almost like evolution of life)to get the right mix to make social media relavant and a sucess..marketers use SM because they can only sell to ppl who have money..and it is us the elite who have the money and the access..but SM is an entirely different animal..u used the word anyone like you.. in reference to social media that anyone is still a very very small number of ppl..Sure it will suceed in India .. but not now and not yet..mayb in the next 15 years..atleast a decade…we might jus find the answer to tat…that too if we are able to find answers to a lot of unanswerable questions by then..
    love the answer adee?? gave social media also leads to a disintigretion of the present societal norms.. there are ppl in the US who spend their whole lives on couches living a virtual life..wouldnt want to go there..:)too long an answer again n i think i might have wrote somethin a lill diffrent frm wht u asked or wrote abt.. consider this a blog answer…lol

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