TiE Mumbai’s Workshop on Getting Your Business on Social Media

Last week, on 28th July, I had the opportunity to attend TiE Mumbai’s workshop on ‘Getting Businesses on Social Media’. The primary focus was on ways to help businesses get started on Social Media.

Held at The Orchid Hotel, Vile Parle, the workshop had people from all kinds of different niches attending:  Ecommerce sites to Mobile Apps to Real Estate to Healthcare. But what surprised me was the presence of students and fresh graduates eager to learn about social media.

The workshop’s panelists were Mr. Pratik Gupta (Co-founder, FoxyMoron), Mr. Suveer Bajaj (Co-founder, FoxyMoron) and Mr. Samit Malkani (Creative Head, Jack in the Box Worldwide).  Coordinating the panelists was TiE Mumbai’s very own Mr. Lavin Mirchandani.

TiE Mumbai Workshop - Panelists
(From L-R) – Suveer Bajaj, Pratik Gupta, Samit Malkani and Lavin Mirchandani

The workshop started with Pratik Gupta talking about how different facets of Digital and Social Media fit into a brand’s strategy. He also took the attendees through some interesting statistics about the Indian social media scenario. Some of the most interesting stats that caught my eye were:

  • Facebook – 55 million users. Twitter – 16-17 million users. LinkedIn – 14 million users.
  • 20 million Indians use the Internet daily.
  • 59% Indian Internet users use mobile devices.
  • 70% of Indian Internet users are male.
  • When FoxyMoron started out, there were 4-5 social media agencies, today there 450+ agencies.

He then introduced the big three social networks (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube) to the audience. Touching upon Facebook Pages, Facebook Ads and Contests, he delineated  how best Facebook can be used by brands. He also explained how Twitter can be an effective platform for building interesting conversations and creating a buzz around the brand.

The following session was a group activity where the attendees were required to create their own Facebook Business Page and a Twitter Account. Suveer Bajaj took the attendees through a step-by-step process for creating a business page and he also shared some effective Fan management tips about the page content and how to communicate with fans.

After Facebook, Suveer helped attendees get the basics of Twitter. He went through the concepts of Follower-Following, Hashtag and ReTweet, and gave tips on how to engage with Twitter users. By the end of the workshop, the attendees were well versed with Twitter and started tweeting on their own. And by lunchtime, #TiEInstitute (the workshop’s hashtag) was trending in Mumbai.

The post lunch session was helmed by Samit Malkani who delved deeper into the most important topic: Content.

Using MindNode he taught people about Content Strategy. Taking a watch brand for example he went on to come up with 20+ angles to approach its content marketing. It was really surprising to see that the content of a brand can have so many facets to it. From there on, he went to explain what type of content works best on Facebook and Twitter and how a brand can maximize the reach of their content.

He also emphasized the importance of being entertaining, informative and useful on Social Media as these are qualities that work best with the audience. Giving examples of brands like Hippo, he elucidated how a brand should evolve a distinct personality and a tone of voice on social media platforms.

Talking about how one can avoid negative criticism on social media, he shared his personal experience of how his blogpost resulted in a massive Twitter backlash for BurgsIndia.

The final session of the day post tea started with Lavin Mirchandani introducing Hootsuite and Trendsmap to the attendees. He showed them how to create and follow lists and how to track twitter search terms. After this, the attendees were divided into groups with similar niches and were given the task to take up a real/fake brand and come up with its content strategy. The activity saw the groups come up with some really innovative strategies and  some valuable inputs from the finalists.

Overall, the entire workshop was well organized and the attendees I spoke to after the event were not only highly satisfied but also eager to put all that they had learned into action.