Click Asia Summit in Mumbai, India: Social Media Edition

The first post is here.

I was less impressed by sessions that were more of a product demo or a sales pitch. I’m going to take an easy shot here at the session by LinkedIn’s Sandeep Suvarna that was ostensibly about “B2B social media” but was only about LinkedIn. Really, if you use LinkedIn more than casually, you know of the existence of LinkedIn’s Company and Product pages. It might be more efficient for LinkedIn to make videos demonstrating these features instead? However, I did find a few things to work on, so I definitely wouldn’t say this one was a waste.

Apart from LinkedIn, we also had special sessions for Facebook and Twitter. Both were conducted by Pradeep Chopra from Digital Vidya, and both focused on strategy and tactics as opposed to features. The one on Facebook, in particular, was extremely interesting, and Pradeep used several case studies to drive his points home.

Here were some of his tips for driving engagement from your Facebook fans by tweaking content:

  1. Use humor.
  2. Start debates.
  3. Ask questions instead of making statements.
  4. Break news. (That one’s not easy!)
  5. Crowdsource. (For example, ask for feedback on your poster: that’s what Digital Vidya did.)
  6. Use sensationalism.
  7. Use challenges, contests or puzzles. (Digital Vidya frequently put up puzzles on their Facebook Page.)
  8. Use rich media.
  9. Use apps and/or FBML.
  10. Be social: participate as a peer.

(And hey, if you haven’t liked our Facebook Page yet, what are you waiting for?)

I also loved this session by Mahesh Murthy, who gave us 24 new rules for brands and digital marketing. Contrary to some sessions where the speakers rambled on and told barely-related anecdotes, Mahesh jumped from point to point, speaking rapidly and concisely. (Too rapidly for me, really: I couldn’t take down all his points.) Here are some of my favorites:

  1. Digital is not niche. Digital is not mainstream. Digital is bigger than mainstream. According to him, India now has 100 million internet users, over 84 million desktop internet users and 40 million mobile internet users. (No, I don’t know where he got the numbers.)
  2. The true change is deeper than the numbers. The qualitative aspect, the consumer trust of the medium (as evinced by the popularity of social networking).
  3. The top three media in terms of trust are recommendations from people known, consumer opinions posted online, and brand websites (Nielsen study, not India-based).
  4. People don’t trust editorials. People trust their friends.
  5. It pays more to invest in unpaid media than in paid media.
  6. Brands need to move from advertising to editorial. If newspapers and media are vacating editorial, it’s an opportunity for brands to take over. Build “transparently biased” editorial around your brand.
  7. This actually changes brand management inside out. Can you keep pace? Some marketers are still touting the 4Ps. Let Kotler retire!
  8. There is a new world where perceptions change much more rapidly than they ever used to. “Products are made up of atoms, brands exist in neurons. People buy brands, not products.”
  9. Brand management is like air traffic control, with different screens for managing all your campaigns. It’s an around-the-clock process, and there’s no time to sit back. “We’ve come from a world from which we had three months to do creatives to where a product lasts less than three months.”
  10. Run ads based on what’s trending: there are huge opportunities with consumer demand. Is there an opportunity to market here that your brand is fast enough to take advantage of?
  11. The new process starts with research, but with live research: active listening. Listening isn’t tracking. Google Alerts is not tracking: it tracks <0.5% of mentions of your brand typically.
  12. The new process continues with action. Respond to consumer negatives first. Integrate Customer Service into Brand Management. Customer service is now the first step of brand management.
  13. The third step is planning and analysis.
  14. The last step is the deployment of communication.
  15. For a coherent voice, integrate customer service, corporate communication, brand marketing, product marketing and employer branding.
  16. It’s different strokes from different folks. Every communication about the brand has to look, sound, feel, taste different. But give the brand a cohesive identity.

But it wasn’t all work at the Summit! One evening, I went up to the rooftop of my hotel and watched the sun set over the city.

The sun setting over Mumbai

Then I spent an hour by the pool, looking up at the full moon.

The pool on the rooftop of the Holiday Inn in Mumbai

I was also delighted to meet a lot of interesting people at the Click Asia Summit: some are marketers like me and others work in marketing or SEO agencies. I have always worked in small marketing teams and was usually the only member in India, so meeting a whole bunch of Indians who speak the same language (Marketing, not English!) was exciting.

About Unmana Datta
Senior Marketing Manager at Affinity Express, Unmana is an obsessive consumer of blogs and social media, and fascinated by their use in marketing.

7 Responses to Click Asia Summit in Mumbai, India: Social Media Edition

  1. Anirban Dutta says:

    hey Unmana,

    I’m so glad to have an opportunity to compare notes here – great job, thanks for sharing your insights.
    Looking to subscribe right away.


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