So, Not wasting more time I take you to the answers given by Mr. K Bhanuprakash.
Q1) How do you define social media to a not so internet savvy person who just has an email id as an internet usage or perhaps not even that?
Social Media is a different subject and needs to be dealt differently, hence if it is been communicated in a layman’s language with real life examples which can connect the concept of social media, I am sure anybody would understand it. Social Media is a Human like communication. For eg: You go to a party and say hello to anybody they would surely respond with a smile. In another example, if somebody is doing circus in the middle of the road, we all are curious about it and we watch it interestingly, similarly other people looking at our curiosity and listening to our discussion they also get influenced. This means there is a chain of influential publicity which is faster than any other Media. Similarly, the nature of Social Media is very similar to a human nature.
Social Media is all about Interaction, Participation and sharing information. It’s a typical Human nature. So it should be treated the way it is. Social Media is full of web technologies and one needs to be a part of technologies to easily relate to any Marketing campaign and explain it to others. In a nutshell, Social Media provides you technologies which help you spread information across the web.
Q2) Is social media just about Images/Video sharing, creating profile, adding friends only? What else?
No. Not really. These are methods of distributing information across the web. Social Media is all about news ways of communication with the target users. As the regular ways of Communication through TV, Newspapers, Radio are no more interesting and interactive. Social Media is all about understanding a Human psychology and then reacting to it. For eg. when we are in a Social gathering, we discuss, we participate in discussion, and we share knowledge, information about ourselves and people listen to and again re discuss amongst themselves and more people come to know about it, and the chain goes on…Hence spreading a word of mouth publicity. This is considered to be the best and the fastest than any other media and this is proven. There are reports and real success stories available.
Q3) Using Social media for PR is still in its early phase and it’s already so big!! What do you think of its impact on Traditional PR in Future?
Well, In India Social Media can not overtake traditional media, because of the Indian Mentality. Customers & Businessmen are not so web savvy and they always weigh the success of any product and then opt for it. They only believe in proven and successive methods of marketing. In India people are still not ready to digest virtual methods of marketing. So at least for the next 3 to 5 years Social Media will act as a value addition to Traditional PR.
Q4) Is social media helpful for established Brands/Products too??
Yes very much, but one has to understand how and in what way. Especially for FMCG, Telecommunications, Entertainment & Lifestyle, Aviation and other verticals where Mass public can be targeted for business communications. In India many brands are established such as Tata, Reliance, Godrej, Cadburys due to their old roots. But every Brand should be present in all kind of Medias, that’s the nature of any marketing activity. Of course one has to wait and watch now, as the implementations and anticipations are changing rapidly. As an example 6 to 8 months back nobody was talking about Digital Marketing & Social Media Marketing, within these 6 to 8 months people have started discussing about it. There might be few Web Technology companies who have been working in silos. But now the box of Pandora is open to every common man. Thanks to Google & other Search Engines.
Q5) Is social media only for celebrities, products related to lifestyle, luxury only?? What about other products/industry? For eg: Cement/Steel industry
As mentioned in my last answer, Social Media can be frequently used to target large number of users, so naturally large number of people can be targeted only if a service or product is consumable by everyone. Industries like Cement & Steel Industry have a very niche target of people. So they cannot measure success metrics. But Social Media is again an inexpensive media to communicate, so they can still adapt it for communicating their brand & business on the web without spending on typical Search Engine Marketing such as Pay per Click (PPC), Purchasing & bidding of Keywords for unique keyword hits & promotion on Google and other paid advertising on the web space.
Q6) Is the traditional Indian client (Who is in to established business) open to adapt Social media?
Currently it is also difficult to say because of the current recession in India where it is difficult to read the client’s mind as they are cutting down their marketing budgets. But in some cases they still feel that it is nice to have a Social Media presence rather than to have it as a default thing. But this again depends on what kind of industry we are targeting.
Q7) Social media played a very big role in recent US Elections. Do you think social media can also be helpful in Indian Politics?
As mentioned in one of my answers that in INDIA we are still struggling with Internet Bandwidth issue and also the knowhow of Internet and its usage. On top of that Our Literacy rate is not that great at all. There are so many entrepreneurs who still do not or don’t feel like to update their websites, because they lack exposure towards the importance of updating their company’s information online. We all know how many politicians are at least educated or graduates. Well US is far – far head for all this. So they have tried out all possible communications and hence just updating themselves with new media. Yes, Indian Politicians can use Social Media for campaigns as it is the most inexpensive media to inform, interact and promote anything. The politicians can start using Social Media to promote themselves as the outreach is tremendous and results are swift. But the effects are very minimal.
For eg: After the current attacks in MUMBAI which is now knows as 26/11, lot of politicians have been discussed and scrutinized on Social Networking, Blogs etc. This actual reflects that people do discuss a lot on Politicians and their movements.
Q8) Can social media be 100% successful? Is there any chance of failure too?
This is a very difficult question to answer, but yes if tried and planned well, chances of failing is minimal and chances of gaining success at an average level is naturally higher. It depends how you plan a Social Media campaign, as knowing about social Media completely, the way people would react on these platforms. Again there has to be an effort on knowing social media completely, experimenting dummy projects online, doing a complete survey and a complete analysis to be carried on a product, service, celebrity, Company, Brand etc.
Q9) What are the points you keep in mind to develop social media strategy? What are the steps you follow?
Firstly it depends on the character of the Brand, If the Brand is People oriented Brand and how it can make difference to anyone, then the past communications which a Brand would have carried out using other traditional media, which actually would have reflected the reputation of a particular Brand in the online space. Also identify if there are already any social media presence, it might be user generated etc or any employee would have formed it. Also a complete analysis has to be taken out for a particular Brand in the online space. This will give a clear picture on what kind of Social Media Strategy should be used.
Q10) How do you Deal with duplicate Profiles, Groups other than the official ones.
You really cannot help with duplicate profiles. But practically duplicate profiling does not affect you anywhere. The entire Social Media revolves on the credibility of the information you provide, the way you interact, communicate, type of information you share. That’s a credibility which will drive users to you. People can create duplicity in the profile names, group names, but the kind of information will be shared, only a real person, or a genuine user would share it. So, it’s all about the credibility of the information and not the profile names.
Q11) What’s your decision making process for testing and implementing social media?
Referring case studies of other Brands help sometimes, but every Brand will have a different experimental approach based on the Brand reputation in the market. Well but it’s been clearly communicated to the client about the approach. Though we plan all possible exercises, brave businessmen would still opt to try social Media.
Q12) Do social media strategies tend to saturate or die after some time?
Yes, as the time passes they do saturate, you cannot engage any campaign for more than a month or two, unless and until it’s really an extraordinary idea. That’s also one of the specialties of Social Media and that is where one needs to work hard to engage users with creative ideas, content etc
Q13) I had a talk with a celebrity who was looking for the monetization of the (his/her) personal Blog? Can Social media be monetized? What are the issues with it?
One thing everyone should know clearly that the concept of Social Media never occurred with the intention of gaining money or any kind of rewards. This concept is been built for creating a democratic channel of communication. What ever mentioned on Social Media such as Social Networking, Blogs, Social News are all an individuals’ views and creation. Its one of the motive which abides an individual to get engaged to it. Hence at this point of time it can be considered as an awareness and Brand Building program and nothing else.
Q14) Please share some of your resources for the readers which can help them to stay on top.
Please Read My Blog. ha ha ha. . There are some informative sites such as Social median, Bloggers like Chris Brogan, a Social Media guru – he is on Twitter also, Jeff Johnson he is also on Face book, Twitter and he has his own Blog. I refer them regularly. But it all depends how you perceive after reading them.
Wo!! That were some great answers. Thats all for this session. Feedback and comments are most welcome. Still having some doubts, Mr. Bhanuprakash can be contacted on: