Social media is a computer-based technology that facilitates the sharing of ideas, thoughts, and information through the building of virtual networks and communities. By design, social media is Internet-based and gives users quick electronic communication of content.
Today Social Media is the go-to place for every netizen. This phenomenon is about a few years old and now in this pandemic, lockdown Social Media has become a necessity for all. Most people use it to be in touch with friends and families, get news and other information. In the last year of the pandemic and lockdown, many businesses have used Social Media to the fullest. Social Media Marketing is widely used by brands to target specific consumers by using content and influencers.
But there is a fillip side to this excessive use of Social Media, a lot of fake news, misinformation is also generated. The Government of India’s New Intermediary Guidelines for the Information Technology Act (IT Act), ASCI’s guidelines for Influencers to curtail the misuse of Social Media.
Today on “The World Social Media Day’ we spoke to various Digital marketers on the growth of Social Media in India. Mohit Ahuja, Director (Brand Strategy and Client Services) at Mirum India, Sahil Shah, Chief Business Officer, WATConsult, Chirag Gander, Co-Founder, The Minimalist, ArchitAgarwal, Reputation Architect, Digital Specialist, The Mavericks India, Amit Banka, Founder & CEO, Wenaturalists, Akshay Saini, CEO – Tring, India’s largest celebrity engagement platform & Kyle Fernandes, CEO & Co-founder of MemeChat App.
Mohit Ahuja, Director (Brand Strategy and Client Services) at Mirum India.
Social Media has had an impact that a few years back was unimaginable. Even a couple of years back, one would proclaim that you surely need to look beyond social to maintain or create brand stature and social could look at the DM aspect. Today, this is not necessarily true. We have seen brands grow only on social. Having said that, I think it is important to refrain from posting on every moment and occasion, a trend that is only growing. Brands comment on almost everything, hoping to ride on the created hype. We must comment only when we have something really interesting to say. Thou shalt not post on everything, should be a new maxim.
Sahil Shah, Chief Business Officer, WATConsult
Looking at Social Media from a global perspective, top economies of the world like the US and Europe are having their own share of privacy concerns. On the other hand, India is consistently dealing with fake news hassles, while the east is leveling up with super apps where social commerce is a thing. We’ve all observed the mother brand; Facebook acquiring or knocking down competition for years now, yet short format apps like TikTok are out there advancing their platform and extending their reach massively, while Twitter has been successful at sustaining their own niche.
The screen time and audience traction across platforms without a doubt will escalate, courtesy, the consumption behavior of ‘seek more & seek new’. I do believe that we will witness more transformational outcomes on social media in the years to come.
Chirag Gander, Co-Founder, The Minimalist
The shift from traditional media to digital has been drastic due to the pandemic. When the circumstances forced the world into physical seclusion, individuals turned to digital media to reach out and connect with each other, express their views and display their talents. Digital platforms started thriving with voices belonging to people from all walks of life. And when this happened Brand made it their mission to deliver content that could reach out to the hearts of billions around the world. Moment marketing, Social awareness, Meme culture, Influencer Marketing, and Inclusivity became the New Normal of Marketing.
Archit Agarwal, Reputation Architect, Digital Specialist, The Mavericks India
In this last year, social media saw a huge shift. We moved from content marketing to message marketing and that’s really important. The pandemic forced us to listen deeper and watch without distractions to extract a nuanced meaning to everything rather than focus on the quality in which the content was delivered to us. I hope that this nuanced shift stays with us for the long haul.
Amit Banka, Founder & CEO, Wenaturalists
“A 2014 Pew survey found that 91% of Americans believe they have lost control over how their personal information is collected and used. Industry players are now practicing responsible sharing and we have seen an increase in social networks that can act as gatekeepers and yet maintain autonomy for their users.
Let’s not forget that self-regulation is the key – being responsible for your network and working towards ensuring that it’s not invasive or a threat to our constitutional right to privacy is essential. And that’s why, from the beginning, responsible networking has been the cornerstone of community building at WeNaturalists. Our guidelines are drawn from the naturalist community, which is itself extremely conscious of its responsibilities.
More than ever, it’s become a necessity to support these basic needs of our consumers. The key differentiator will be that the social media platforms will have to stop using their members/ users and their data as the product. They have to evolve and provide a real value proposition beyond just a networking platform.”
Akshay Saini, CEO – Tring, India’s largest celebrity engagement platform
The most popular and common medium preferred amongst millennials and Gen Z is Social Media platforms. At TRING, social media plays a key role in giving social validation in front of their peer group, especially when a user receives a personalized message from a celebrity. The message is personal and emotional and it makes them feel extra special. A key raison d’etre for celebrity engagement platforms, which are the new-age virtual gifting platforms that allow fans to directly engage with celebrities for personalized interactions through various mediums especially social. We receive thousands of requests every month, most of which are for celebrities to share personalized wishes. We see that getting great traction on Social Media as well”
Kyle Fernandes, CEO & Co-founder of MemeChat App
Memes are one of the hottest trends in social media communication today. Already popular with many millennials and GenZ users, we saw a sharp uptick in its usage during the pandemic. At MemeChat, we have seen a massive jump in less than a year, from 170+ monthly active users in June 2020 and a 900K + MAU user base in June 2021. This manyfold increase in users is also indicative of the rising popularity of memes as a medium for communication. Not surprisingly, more and more brands are joining this bandwagon with innovative campaigns. We have seen our own campaigns becoming viral in a matter of minutes with new ideas picking up fast. We see this trend becoming stronger as social media usage steadily increases and more people use memes to communicate.
Paul Yang- Founder & CEO, Lomotif:
Social media has brought the world closer and especially so, during the pandemic. We have seen users, especially Gen Z and millennials from Tier 2 & 3 cities, at their creative best during this lockdown, spending most of their time on video-sharing platforms. The ability for users to showcase their talent and creativity while at the same time monetizing their content to an extent is a huge draw. This has been established with our recent community-driven and fan-based talent challenges like DanceOff where the first/first-place winner was from Gwalior city. Add to that, one of the other key trends we notice in the post-pandemic world is how people are becoming more comfortable with the vertical format of videos that they consume.
Joji George, Founder of, Gonuts said that “The real world and virtual world have now collided to create the market in marketing and public in PR. As Asia’s largest and most influential platform for human connection and celebrity commerce, social media is an extension of getting fans to amplify their emotions on receiving a personalized celebrity message that they can share with their circle of family and friends. Artists are avatars of us and social media has now made celebs co-creators of content. A platform like Gonuts helps build a two-way engagement rather than one-way communication. These celebrity videos help create powerful memories, amplify the recipient’s emotions and deliver a unique experience in gifting like none other.”