If you’ve ever stayed in Bangalore, you’ll know full well how the weather and peace of this city makes it a very difficult task for a person to actually get up from his nice table, chair and chai and go somewhere. But Social Media Week 2015 Bangalore was one of those events for which everyone in the digital space should make an exception. So did I. Now, for those of you who don’t know, Social Media Week is one of the largest conventions in the world on Social Media, and happens in several major cities across the world, including Los Angeles, Sydney, London, Chicago, Johannesburg, among others. It is one of the highest attended events on the social media circuit, therefore everyone, including individual, agency, and brand that has ever done anything in social media, will be there. The Bangalore leg of the SMW had over 80+ events and speakers covering a range of topics.
For me, social media conferences like SMW are more about sharing and learning. The theme for this year’s Social Media Week was Upwardly Mobile, so I chose a very mobile-centric topic for my session – Social Media & Mobile: Made for Each Other.
Now this topic is also close to my heart because social media and mobile integration is something I’ve been working with my line of work, and I’ve really seen its potential for success. So excited as I was, I reached the venue about 15 minutes early, only to be reminded of the fact that we talked about earlier – Bangalore weather makes you SO lazy. But I was glad to see the place filling up quickly, and the place was jam-packed by the time we were to begin.
Now, here’s a pro-tip for all you people aspiring to become public speakers – the first thing you NEED to do before you begin your session is to grab the attention of the audience. Easy as it may sound – believe me in this world of many screen-based distractions, it can become very difficult. Which is why I always like to begin my sessions with some pieces of data that are there in the public domain, but we never pay much attention to. For example, did you know that 50% of all traffic on E-Commerce comes from Mobile? And that 60% of all mobile users their Mobiles as their primary device for Internet access? If you put the numbers into perspective, and also the fact that companies like Myntra have decided to move their entire portfolio and business model to Mobile, you know it’s something you need to watch out for. From the moment I made this case, I had the audience’s rapt attention while I spoke about the building blocks for an effective mobile strategy: A Responsive Mobile Website that is made for Mobile, Native Advertisements in Apps and Social Networking Websites that allow users to take actions within apps, Deals & Discounts associated with mobile/app use, Location-based services which can help you target users, and ability to personalize advertisement and engagement. Platforms such as the ability to pay through Mobile using things like Google Wallet and Apple Pay are also changing things rapidly, and this is fast making Mobile the best place to make an impression and influence a purchase. A session is never only gyaan, it’s always got to have examples and execution – which is what got the crowd to really start participating.
My key takeaway from the session was that most people are excited about the capabilities of the mobile platform for social media marketing, and everyone wants to learn about it, but it’s still a mystery to most of them. It’s quite similar to the situation that web/online was going through 6 – 7 years back. It’s very exciting to be in this space at this time when growth and innovation is at its peak; and I’m looking to participate in this growth story in my own small ways.
At Social Panga, we are investing our energy into this mobile platform in a lot of ways, because we as a company are always interested in pioneering new things and new fields, and it was a humbling experience to see so many other people agreeing with our philosophy as well.
I got a lot of appreciation from the audience, and there were over 250+ mentions about it on Twitter in just an hour. It was an amazing experience and I’m looking forward to participating in it the next year as well!