YouTube made her a singing sensation, FB spread his fame

Viral video, social star

YouTube made her a singing sensation, FB spread his fame

Has social media humanised the corporate world? How has Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and a thousand social networking sites redefined delivery of education, revolutionalised travel documentation, and democratised music?

What next in this mindblowing explosion of interactivity, connections and hyper glocalisation?

The ongoing “Social Media Week” (SMW) had questions galore to debate, discuss and tweet about. But it also had thousands converge in locations across Bangalore to listen to social media experts, content creators and tech whizkids.

It had Jay Kannaiyan on a Google Hangout session, talk about his exciting motorcycle journey across the world, battlilng biking odds in South America, Africa and the Alps. It had YouTube sensation, Shraddha Sharma excited about her music videos, growing organically to stratospheric heights.

In the dog-eat-dog corporate world, intense competition had always been king. But social media overturned time-tested marketing strategies. As SMW speaker, Samar Singh Sheikhawat put it in his talk on “Building brands through social media,” corporate methods were definitely shifting: By building relationships with consumers online, by triggering conversations and even pushing social causes interactively.

Brands had to be collaborative, playful and not talk down to the highly informed consumers of today. Users contributed the names for a countrtywide beer game initiative last year. The company behind it crowdsourced the game venues through Facebook and Twitter. Sheikhawat drove home the point through videos that had an international footwear firm launch a barefoot day, where people walked without any shoes. Distributed online, the video built a brand but by raising awareness of a health hazard.

A Swedish brand had another enduring campaign, centred on a glass of water placed on a car dashboard and drivers eager not to spill it. An iPhone app developed on this concept had 90,000 downloads in no time. Drivers clocked a combined four lakh kilometers driving that way. Fuel efficiency skyrocketed, the brand had made its mark with resounding finesse.

One-way teaching is dead, long live interactive, multi-hued social media classrooms. Marketing professor Shekar Prabhakar said so for a reason: Teachers had no choice but to adapt to social media ways to engage the students with short attention spans. “Social media is where most students spend their time. If you are not using it, you are not where they are,” said Prabhakar. He knew making that connection would boost the students’ employability. B-schools had already shown that by linking up students socially with industry practitioners, by developing industry-academia curriculum.

If textbooks and blackboards defined “learning” yesterday, podcasts, blogs and wikipedia today, it had to be Facebook, Twitter and YouTube tomorrow. He knew the response when Prabhakar fired a salvo at that SMW gathering: “Anyone for a course fully taught through 140-character tweets?”

Shraddha Sharma

YouTube sensation, Shraddha credits social-networking for her stardom. Posting her first song on YouTube in April 2011, she had 20 lakh views by the time she uploaded her fourth song. Her videos had gone viral, and 1.41 lakh subscribers were waiting eagerly for more!

Jay Kannaiyan

Riding a 650cc bike across 33 countries, Jay had a story to share every moment in his momentous 1,195-day journey. Giving up his job in Chicago, he rode through Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa. Following his moves, his Facebook followers egged him on!

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