Social Media Day: From connector to brand biz - how social media has changed the game

June 30th is celebrated as Social Media Day after a leading US publication started the trend in 2010. Since then it has gained global traction among the digital savvy crowd across the world. Today, social media has changed the way people interact, conduct business, influence opinions and even shape the society at large. It dictates trends, creates mass movements and offers a platform that can lead to change for the better. 

On the occasion of Social Media Day, some leading digital experts share their insights on how social media has been changing the game for brands and marketers. 



Shrenik Gandhi, Co-Founder, White Rivers Media
Shrenik Gandhi, Co-Founder, White Rivers Media

Shrenik Gandhi, Co-Founder, White Rivers Media:
“World Social Media Day was launched by Mashable to recognise and celebrate social media’s impact on global communication. It is a good way to appreciate excellent and meaningful campaigns done over the year. Last year, we saw some path breaking digital campaigns like #TouchOfCare by Vicks India, #LaughAtDeath by IAPC and of course, Bajaj's #TheNationsBike for Bajaj V. 

In the past couple of years, Indian agencies have been creating some really good campaigns, both for Indian and international brands, and I look forward to some more campaigns in the coming months. 

While we collectively thank the creation and existence of social media today, here’s something that brands and marketers should make note of: Social Media is not the future. It is the present. Gone are the days of creating digital strategies for advertising a brand, it’s all about creating strategies for brands in the digital world. 

And when you are working in a digital agency, every day is Social Media Day. This Social Media Day, look back at the work that you have created with your team and pat your back and brace yourself for the future.” 

Gopa Kumar, EVP, Isobar India
Gopa Kumar, EVP, Isobar India

Gopa Kumar, EVP, Isobar India:
“Social media is an ever evolving subject; the way the audience communicates and interacts with each other has changed ever since the advent of the Internet. The trends in social media are also changing with each passing day. There’s so much on the horizon in the social media arena now and in future. Social media platforms have now been embraced on a large enough scale, and for a long enough time, Need of the hour is for brands is to figure the measurability and ROI of these social platforms. Time spent on social platforms is set to increase. Hence, this will always be platform of choice for brands. But how one sets out to engage and on what kind of content will be the key to a successful social media strategy. We are now seeing social media going mobile, chatbots becoming a norm, brands investing more in into social ads, video is still popular content type etc. Having social media will always be also about connection, relationships, and engagement.” 



Abdullah Basha, Co-Founder, Social Frontier
Abdullah Basha, Co-Founder, Social Frontier

Abdullah Basha, Co-Founder, Social Frontier:
“The dynamics of social media algorithms are constantly changing – which could prove to be both a blessing and a curse. While most of these updates focus on delivering experience that is more personalised and provide respite from irrelevant content and spam, it still impacts business strategy. While there may be certain hiccups, what is important for businesses to note is that these algorithms are necessary evils and inevitable, what with the ever-growing number of social media users and handles. 

On World Social Media Day, what needs to be understood is that for a brand, it is the affinity, loyalty and authenticity associated with them that matters. These are also probably the strongest assets in a virtual world becoming increasingly dominated by such ever-adapting algorithms. Algorithm changes also help pave way for the better quality content that will reach the right audience. Marketeers should ideally focus on smarter designs, content and staying true to their brand, to adhere to the “real interactions”. All this will be instrumental in helping brands/ publishers reach out to their relevant target audience – something that will be akin to word-of-mouth marketing albeit on a digital platform.” 

On a different note… 

N Chandramouli, CEO, TRA Research
N Chandramouli, CEO, TRA Research

N Chandramouli, CEO, TRA Research:
Social media, which began with a bang the world over a few years ago, has lost much of its sheen in current times. Privacy issues, unrestricted data collection, poor advertising standards, brands abandoning advertisers due to misplaced placements, fake news, spread of social unrest, obtuse online agreements, electoral scams and interventions, selective sharing, are just among a few. The trust in social media has diminished considerably and those who use it, only use it with little alternatives available to be connected to the larger world that came closer due to it. It is only a matter a time before a non-violative social media concept emerges that will cater to the needs of users and not use them so blatantly. Once advertising stops becoming the primary source of income for social media, perhaps a more acceptable model will emerge. Social media should be as it initially began, to be a social connector, not a personal disruptor.

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