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AdAsia 2011: Where are netizens headed to?

A session moderated by VivaKi’s Rishad Tobaccowala discussed if mobile will be the new screen to consume media

AdAsia 2011: Where are netizens headed to?

A session moderated by VivaKi’s Rishad Tobaccowala discussed if mobile will be the new screen to consume media

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | November 2, 2011

The first evening session of Day 1 at AdAsia 2011 was interestingly titled ‘From Chat Rooms to Twitter… What next?’ The basic theme of this session was that chat rooms, till some years ago, constituted ‘the’ social networking platforms. The platform today has been taken over by the Twitters and Facebooks of the world. As technology keeps evolving, one will now have to foresee what the next destination for netizens will be.

Rishad Tobaccowala, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, VivaKi, who was moderating the session, said that ”though the platforms and the technology may evolve, people will continue to use social platforms to communicate and connect with fellow beings”.  Another important aspect of social media is that people are now sharing things they like with others on their network. Interestingly, the news items that are most shared are also the ones that are more read.

Earl Wilkinson, Executive Director and CEO, INMA, talked about the paid wall concept. He said that sharing some content over the social media will make that content free for the person who shares it. As an example, if New York Times has a paid article but if one happens to share it with their friends on Facebook, then the article becomes free to read for the sharer.

Kate Day, Communities Editor, Daily Telegraph Online, talking about the benefits and risks of sharing, said, “We generally tend to put stories that look relevant and more important to us but it is through sharing that we get to know what the consumers really think about them and what weightage they give to that event.” It helps in constantly evaluating stories and adding more details through more eyewitnesses who happen to connect over social networks that were not found through traditional channels.

She added that there is a whole lot of content that is now available but one expects to develop a sense of belonging through social media, comments and chats and thus build a more loyal audience, which does not jump out and not come back, and don’t even remember that the article was published in the Daily Telegraph Online.

Day emphasised the role that social media can play in increasing the popularity of content. She said, “There could be a person who does not know our sports correspondent or reads the coverage that comes out, but through his tweets or messages can be directed to the site and can then be a regular for that particular section and even engage in conversations that are going around about sports.”

She also shared that they were getting a lot of requests from advertisers to reach out and market to their social media audience. According to her, the reason for this was partially that the advertisers knew fairly well the demographics of these audiences as this information is open on a social network. Also, it could be partially related to the time at which they are accessing the media, as there are different set times that the consumer logs on to a particular site in a day.

With consumers spending a lot more time on social networking sites, marketers are already seeing it as a good opportunity to engage with their target groups and also look at ways to get people to talk about their brands. However, not all have been able to grab the right pulse, as Arvind Rajan, Managing Director & Vice-president, Asia Pacific and Japan, LinkedIn, said. According to him, there has been a constant debate on whether to target the consumer or the shopper. He said, “There has been a notion that the heavy users are also heavy influencers but data contradicts this. Also, there are two kinds of influencers, people who like you and the ones that don’t like you. So, a marketer will have to deal with both in a different manner.”

In the end, addressing the issue of mobile being the medium of the future, Tobaccowala said that in his opinion mobile will continue to be used more for utility that anything else.

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