How Can Social Media Be Used For Social Good? This IIT D Entrepreneur Has Answers

Posted on September 26, 2016 in Entrepreneurship

By YKA Staff:

Pradeep Chopra, an IIT Delhi graduate, has been working in the digital sector since 2000. He is the co-founder and CEO of Digital Vidya, that offers digital marketing training to professionals. In a conversation with Youth Ki Awaaz, Pradeep shares his thoughts on the impact of the digital medium and social media, especially on India’s youth.

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We have a lot of young people on our platform looking to create impact of some kind in the world. How do you believe the digital medium can be leveraged to actualise this?

Digital Medium offers multiple advantages over traditional mediums of communication. Here’s a list of key reasons which make digital medium a very powerful channel to fulfil various objectives including creating social impact:

1. Global Reach: Digital medium offers access to global audience and that too at a fraction of cost compared to traditional media.

2. Targeted Audience: In addition to global reach, digital medium allows one to target specific audience. For e.g., one can target users based on age, gender, location, education, social connection, device and much more through Facebook Ads.

3. Virality: Given the viral nature of this medium, digital media allows much wider and faster impact.

4. Ability to measure: One can measure the effectiveness of a campaign on digital media on real time basis.

The digital world is evolving so quickly. How can one stay on top of trends, as a professional working across sectors like – media, the social sectors and others?

The best approach to stay updated about the latest trends is to stay active as a user on all relevant digital channels. Subscribing to relevant online resources including blogs, apps, newsletters and social media profiles of influencers is another important aspect to stay updated on the latest developments.

I want to caution you about spending time on digital medium. If you don’t use your time wisely and with discipline, you can end up wasting enormous amount of precious time on these digital channels especially social media.

Have you observed any trends on how newer social media avenues are being leveraged to communicate and engage with social messages more, effectively?

Sure. Here are some of the key trends in the recent past about the adoption of social media avenues:

• Videos: Initially text used to be standard form of communication and it was followed by images. Thanks to increasing bandwidth and smart devices, messages through Video has become a very effective approach to reach and engage with your audience.

• Mobile: The real growth of communication through Social Media has happened due to penetration of Mobile. Today, mobile allows you to reach people in almost any corned of the country. For e.g., WhatsApp is a very powerful channel to effectively reach & communicate with your target audience.

How do you see non-profits using social media in multiple ways?

Given the nature of Social Media, non-profits are using it to fulfil multiple objectives especially:

• Raise Funds: Social Media is one of the best channels to generate funds for non-profit sector. A non-profit can ride on the popularity of influencers on Social Media to accelerate this process.

• Community Involvement: Social Media allows a non-profit to not just reach targeted individuals but to involve and build a community of loyal users. Leveraging a hashtag on Twitter is a great example of community involvement on digital medium.

Do you also see brands embracing the digital media for social good?

Yes, while a large set of brands have been using Digital Media, only the ones who’ve genuine intention for social good and understanding of this medium, are the ones who’ve been successful.

Any campaigns that have caught your attention, which have leveraged digital to create an impact?

There are many campaigns, which have leveraged digital media for creating an impact. For e.g., AAP’s victory in Delhi in Lok Sabha elections. Billion Hearts Beating by Apollo Hospitals is another interesting campaign. Tata Tea’s Jaago Re campaign is another interesting example.

How do you see young people using digital platforms in unique ways? What’s your advice to students on this?

Each one of us especially younger generation will continue to spend a majority of our time on digital platforms. GenX is born and brought up on digital media and thus can adopt this medium in more innovative ways to create impact in addition to fulfilling their personal goals. No wonder, channels such as Facebook are built by younger audience.

At the same time, Social Media is a double-edged sword. It can be a huge productivity killer if not used wisely. In addition to knowledge & understanding of digital media, discipline is the key to leverage such platforms. Having trained over 15,000 professionals and students on digital marketing since 2009, we strongly recommend students to pursue career opportunities in digital media. I can’t think of a better time than today.

Pradeep Chopra will be a part of the Webit.India Summit. Webit is a global event series on digital innovation that enables business opportunities at global scale and ignites further the growth of the local ecosystems, inspires and empowers them and creates a platform for dialogue between policy makers, enterprise and entrepreneurs. Supported by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and The Ministry of External Affairs, the event will be held on September 29 in New Delhi.

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