February 19, 2013

#SMWSG - Social Media Week Singapore - Keynote


Social Media Week Singapore began with great fanfare and truly amazing discussions yesterday. I was all excited to hear @damiencummings of Samsung Digital, Asia present his keynote along with Laura Berkovich of Google!

Certainly similar to their combination in the business space, both speakers from Samsung and Google held the audience by presenting very key specs of information and most importantly to highlight what's the crux of the social media space in today's world. Thought I've researched a bit before coming to the event, about the market in Singapore, I may not be the best person to comment on how their presentation related to the scenario out here.

However was interested in knowing attributes that they presented from an overall global perspective. And from my past experience with working on various brands and in the social web space since 2009 I'd certainly relate to a lot of issues that they highlighted and how the Social Era of business is changing everything we see, especially with the expansion of Social/Digital/Mobile!

Also how brands are shifting their trajectory by being more personal to users is what I've always enjoyed to see. Glad to see so much of advocacy of that phenomenon showcased by both Laura and Damien.

Laura Berkovich of Google laid an important case on how 'Peer Reccomendation' and Communities are the key in today's Social Media scenario. How it is important that Social Search is becoming the key for people to connect and know or discover each other. More important is the smaller world that is giving opportunities of connecting with each other. She also shared with us insights on how she connected with an astronaut in Japan via Google Hangout and how Barrack Obama connected through Google+ with his

While of course all these aspects are making the world smaller and connecting is about being more open and connected, there were certain questions that raised concerns in my mind as well as others when they were asked by the audience. To which however, Laura said that she herself is a private person and that you have complete control over privacy via whatever sites that you do share your content on. So my concern of course was 'How Social Networking sites set privacy to a default share with all than giving custom options and how they are hidden out there somewhere...'

I also asked a question to Laura about how Social Search is going to affect / impact brands especially with Google+ and FGS coming into effect. To which her response was 'How people googled earlier and there wasn't any Social elements coming forth.' Today if people search for content, they expect everything to be out there for their perusal. How peer recommendation will impact most brands as well in this aspect.

Totally loved Damien's insights on how people like to connect with people rather than brands. Also how people are connected via social networks online and just have about 107 friends who they may not even meet actually. Key insights from his session were about how brands have to change their approach on Social Media and why it's all the more important to talk to people via their passion points and not just talk about your product. A key that we've always been NOT doing... At least not so much until 2012... in India...

Post the session I had a chat with Damien Cummings and had a bit more insights on what he had to say. One thing I relate to and agree with is the fact that Social was something that always existed right from the time of IRC, or in fact way before that maybe... But what's relevant today is how people are using social to connect with people and not brands so much. He also shared with me how brands would be more receptive by people if there's a face to it and a more human connection... To add to that I feel we have to Build our own community and stick to a niche, even if we are a brand, if we interest the passion points and share that occasional update that interests your community, then fair enough. Overall it was a great discussion and personally I'm glad I went to this session and #SMWSG kicked off in style...

I must commend AKA Asia and #SMWSG for thoroughly prepared and well co-ordinated start to the event, and especially for giving us the Nokia powered, Social Media Week App.

Some of the tweets for this event, in case you want more insights.

Srinivas has been a communications professional for over 10 years, and has been blogging since 2005. He has worked with the likes of Social Wavelength, now Mirum India, (A JWT Group Company) for four years and now Heads Learning and Development & Analytics at Social Kinnect: A Digital Marketing Agency in Mumbai. His passion for Advertising, Creativity, Social & Digital Marketing helps make a difference for the brands they work with. 

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