We are in the era of new media with many social networking sites in existence having millions of members from all over the World. People are now spending a good amount of their time on social networking sites in their “online social life”. The global connectivity has increased to a great degree today. Just a decade ago there were only a handful number of social networking sites whereas that number has grown now considerably. The best way to define social networking sites is to say that they gives you an opportunity interact with people through texts, pictures and videos. All this by just a click on your electronic device be it personal computers, laptops, tablets or mobiles. Some of the best known Social Networking websites are Facebook, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn, Hi5, Flickr, Twitter, Academia.edu, MySpace, Vkontakte, Tumblr and Orkut etc.
The potential scope for Social Media in India is huge as it is the world’s 10th largest economy (in terms of GDP nominal as per IMF-2012) and also has world’s 2nd largest population. But when it comes to internet usage only about 13% of Indians are internet users and even less than that use any kind of social media but this number is rising steadily. In fact social media can be used in India very effectively in the fields of education, digital marketing, publicity, social activism, research, political awareness, governance etc.
Facebook is the world’s biggest social networking site and Indian business men needs to understand its value as marketing platform by creating their brand’s pages and promoting it on Facebook. There are other platforms also such as YouTube that allows you to advertise videos and even earn money from YouTube Partner Program. But brand managers and marketers needs to understand that there is much more to social media besides Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. As the economy is booming so does the purchasing power of Indian consumers and social media gives the best possible way to advertise and create a brand for any company.
In terms of education, different institutes and universities in west have made strong presence on different social media platforms. The same can be done in India also as more and more students now use internet and social media for information as compared to few years ago. Even political parties, pressure and interest groups are not too far behind in using the social media as it easily spreads your message across the country. Arab Revolutions are testimony to the fact as to what extent new media can be effective in shaping public opinion. With next general elections due in 2014 many political parties in India are creating their own social media teams so as to gain support of people. For social activism many activists are creating online communities and making online petitions related to different social, environmental and political issues. Keeping in mind the need for social media influence nowadays the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has announced the setting up of “New Media Wing”. It will help in informing the people about government policies and its working via Social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Google+ etc.
In the end it can be concluded that with the advancement of technology and higher literacy rate India would soon become internet savvy country.