It’s coming..it’s coming..it’s gone! That’s the nature of social media for you! Ever-changing, it’s difficult to predict and pin down! So you can imagine my apprehension in outlining the current 5 popular trends in social media.
Shared below is the list of what I consider to be the hottest trends this season:
1) Integrating social into businesses
What might seem a no-brainer to some is actually an epiphany to others. So while some businesses go ‘Ofcourse’, others realize they better pull up their socks or they will miss the bus. Much of what Indian businesses are doing on the social front is aping their western counterparts. However, it’s not too off the mark to say that 2010 was the year that really saw social media pick up steam in India.
And cut to June 2011, we have Tata Docomo winning the Best Social and Digital Media Advertiser of the Year at the prestigious Indian Digital Media Awards 2011 (IDMA). What does this tell us, you ask?
- We Indians are quick learners
- Indian businesses now understand that social media is THE place to be for consumer connect. So we have a Timex , Pantene, Dove, Toyota Etios Liva, Sunsilk, Mahindra Verito openly flaunting their Facebook pages in their television commercials. Is it their ‘we have arrived’ moment? A look at their Facebook pages will tell you all.
2) Mobile is King
Given that we are a well-known ‘Mobile’ nation and predicted to lead the global mobile market by 2012, it is only obvious that mobile will form a distinct element in the social core of in India.
So we see more & more mobile sites emerging, ranging from news (Times of India/CNN) to social networking (Facebook/Twitter) to gaming (Zapak/Games2Win) to video sites (YouTube/Vimeo). The objective here is to reach out to that fat chunk of youth who are tech-savvy, games-obsessed and constitute atleast 70% of the total target audience. Any company looking to establish itself in the Indian market will not overlook them.
So you have mobile apps that promise to entertain, inform and generally make life less complicated for you. From travel to communications to entertainment to productivity to utilities, there is a mobile app just right for you. Not to forget the wide array of tablets available and you are spoilt for choice. Simply put, that little screen in your palm is the next pit-stop. So it’s not wrong to say that mobile computing is to watch out for. Also tying all of this together, we have seen another new phenomenon emerge known as Social Gaming (elaborated ahead).
3) Online Video is Huge
If I were to ask you, how many times in a day do you watch a You-Tube video, I’m positive the lowest count would be atleast 2. And now with improved internet connection, availability of mobile internet and 3G to 4G, that number is, safe to say, only going to rise. And what only makes video content more popular is the whole host of smartphones available.
Few years ago, video production resonated as expensive. Today, we have smartphones with in-built HD and share capabilities that is changing the rules of the game. And so we have citizen journalists, budding entertainers and interactive YouTube campaigns . It wouldn’t be far from the truth to state that the ease of creation and sharing has enabled video content to capture the attention of the masses.
4) Social Gaming
How many of you have played Mafia Wars or Farmville or the recent T20 Fever at one point in your social networking life? Chances are, all of you. And to that I say, welcome to the world of social gaming! Social gaming, as you would have figured by now, refers to games played on social networking sites. The social element here being that you play (read invite) your friends and receive gratification (ranging from game points to game gifts) in return.
In fact, it would not be wrong to state that social gaming is one of the key drivers for growth and popularity of gaming in India. And with 3G technologies being available, you can expect to witness a gaming revolution taking place here.
5) Social Commerce
Close on the heels of social networking, mobile technology and social gaming, we have social commerce entering the race. And so we have SnapDeal, Dealsandyou, Inkfruit, Snatchdeals, FashionandYou joining eBayIndia, FlipKart, MakeMyTrip, TripAdvisor, Indiatimes amongst many others. The logic being that someone has already bought what you want and they would love to talk about it.
And with social networking sites easily being integrated, you can order jewellery on the FashionandYou Facebook page or a book on the Dialabook Facebook page. However, social commerce is still in the process of gaining momentum. But the future looks exciting and something to watch out for.
What lies ahead for social media is hard to predict. But one thing is certain. Communications and Internet will never be the same again. And so I end this on the new-age anthem of today- Hail to the server! Long live the web! :)
Featured image: FreeDigitalPhotos