Key Takeaways from #TSC2015

Social Media

It was the ‘World Social Media Day’ on June 30th. I was super excited & prepared to learn & understand more into the world of social media. Right before taking a flight to Bangalore(which welcomed me with an awesome weather), enthusiasm was pumped in with the pre-buzz generated by the Team ‘The Social Conclave’.

Landed in Bangalore on time, I was thrilled to reach Christ University (The event venue for #TSC2015 ). I was welcomed by the team with happiness & smiles & got a superb surprise that I am in the social media team of ‘The Social Conclave’. Exciting yeah! 🙂

Just before I forget, I knew & had interacted with most of the speakers either on Twitter or Facebook but meeting them again & learning from them is a privilege.

The event began with some pre-buzzers from the host Manasi from WMA(Web Marketing Academy) which kept the crowd engaging. She is a communication maestro, trainer and digital marketer. The audience out there was a mix at Christ University from digital marketing enthusiasts, practioners, Christ University students, WMA alumni & students. The topics & speakers were mix as well ranging on a variety of topics.

Rohit Varma, Consultant & Partner at R SQUARE Consulting Services started the auspicious day at the event. He has passion for nature & wildlife photography too. He shared some key points on social media talking about ‘How to stay relevant on social media’:

  • Brands must know how to follow you
  • Customer segmentation is key
  • Current social media implementations suffer from gaps- It included pointers like improper strategy, lack of topical thought leadership and value

Next speaker on the stage was Shakthi Vadakkepat, Creator of & a social media analyst & a tech columnist. For him, social media is just beyond communicating with others. He spoke on: Social for Good: Making the Change & Being a Change. He shared three examples which were inspiring to me:

  • A potato farmer who educated his village on farming methods by getting information from the internet from a computer in a far off place in Kenya.
  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s 80th birthday celebration in South Africa that Dalai Lama was restricted from attending – they used Google Hangout for a heartwarming session instead, an event that was followed by 8.5 million viewers at the time.
  • John Butterill’s nature photo walks that helped a woman suffering from multiple sclerosis rediscover the joy of the forgotten outdoors.

He also pointed out that these sort of engagement lacks in India & people should be encouraged to help out for causes like weet for Blood @TBNIND, @BloodDonorsIn, etc where people engage & interact but it should be leveraged efficiently.

He also spoke on social media front highlighting these pointers:

  • Look for the right things to do.
  • Focus on consumer analysis – move to content design – select channel – and get going.
  • Use the 140 character limitation of Twitter wisely and creatively.

I must say Shakthi’s session was informative, inspiring & a lot to learn more from him. He also mentioned that he responds to almost every tweets attributed to him (Off-course relevant ones).

Suresh Babu, Corporate Digital Marketing Trainer & Coach, Founder, CEO-Web Marketing Academy took the stage & made us feel connected to us socially(in person) not just virtually. His session was more of interaction with the audience present in the hall which made us felt personalized. He started his journey from introvert inhabitant of Ooty to cook on two cruise lines to cashier in the US to blogger to corporate professional to Founder & CEO of Web Marketing Academy.

He shared some hard-hitting truths with us that actually motivated me:

  • the time he was reprimanded by a friend for having an inferiority complex,
  • the effort of facing up to stage fear as well as lack of confidence,
  • and the joy of receiving appreciation for sharing knowledge to an audience he believed was well above him

Ritu David, Founding CEO at Ritu David Consulting who is an active user on social media, a big data lover & a wonderful person too. I did meet her earlier at #SMWBangalore in February this year & she has ample amount of knowledge.  She is my personal favorite as well! She took the stage & shared some brilliant pointers on application of social media across industries.

Some of her suggestions are below:

  • For production chain – get employees on a social hive for higher engagement, transparency and participation.
  • For HR – connect with candidates on social media and check them out on personal and business pages; look for thought leadership, attitude, and behavior signals.
  • For manufacturing – mine product forums for feedback; check out social media networks such as Fiverr.
  • For optimization – Use your social data for insights; move offline resources to digital.
  • For crisis management – Crowdsource solutions; leverage your fan base for support and ideas; talk about a larger problem in the industry to divert attention from a specific brand.

Crisis management is my favorite too. She did also mentioned about exploring other product forums, Quora; blog comment sections etc. are also an important part of the journey just apart from social media.

Wow! That was an amazing 1st half before we ran for some delicious lunch 😉 😛

As the session began for the 2nd half, it started with some magic! Yes, the magician Nakul Shenoy. He is a Magician, Hypnotist & a Communication Scientist.

Nakul began with some of his insights on social media & about his journey started with He is magnificent. His mind games were fabulous! Hats-off to you, Nakul!

One thing he said about the brand presence on social stays with me: Whether you are there or not, others are going to talk about you.

Ganga Ganpathi, VP at Ogilvy was next on stage discussing on ‘Why does Social for Business have to be so hard?’

She talked of:

  • Micro-level interactions of choice that define user behavior on social.
  • Transference of ownership.
  • Need-gap fulfillment.

She mentioned this valuable pointer: ‘Comments are most valuable to brands because they are stronger signals of engagement and interest.’ She emphasized on how brands must work on building trust, empathy and friendship on social rather than always pitching their products or services. ‘Content is king, but conversation is key’ is the way she concluded with.

Dr. Falguni Vasavada Oza from MICA, Ahmedabad was on stage. She is a charismatic personality; her session was stupendous filled with knowledge & humor.

She began with- “The world is emotionally fragile” was her take on how brands are able to engage target audiences via videos and other formats that appeal at emotional levels. A case in point was the Salty character from Knorr campaigns. She advocated reinvention of content to keep audiences engaged, without losing the thread of familiarity and comfort – heritage value. “Fascination leads to familiarity which leads to fatigue.”

She also talked about the social consumer patterns of today:

  • Content consumption – anytime, all the time, online and offline.
  • Conversations – across platforms, virality, quick and easy access to peers.
  • Tokenism – 5 minutes to fame, word of mouth.
  • Feedback – instant and immediate, positive and negative.

When it came to revisiting marketing with the 5Ps, her emphasis lay on Pace versus Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Response time is the most important factor that helps brands build and retain relationships with target audiences today.

Last but not the least was from Prasant Naidu, Founder at Lighthouse Insights. It indeed was the most awaited session as I am avid reader of too.

His talk was majorly around good and bad aspects of strategies and the attitude of many Indian players to go only with the tested and tried. He walked us through the campaign run by brands such as Lenovo, Mountain Dew’s “Naam Bante Hai Risk Se”, Mahindra Gusto, #RCBInsider, #Taxiforsure, and others.

In the end he quoted with this: “People are very smart. They want real stories of real people. That’s what works.” His powerpoint on Slideshare.

Phew! That was one nice day with so much to carry back home from these speakers before we spent some time interacting more & networking over eChai.

It was a splendid day post which it was time for selfies, interactions, and smiles around & most importantly- ‘I learned once again’ at the 2nd edition of The Social Conclave in Bangalore.


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