Internal Communications and Social Media - the India Perspective


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I recently presented at the 2011 World IABC Conference at San Diego, US.

The World Conference brings 1,400 business communication professionals from 40 countries to learn about the latest trends, issues and best practices in communication. Over 70 conference sessions were organized into seven tracks and presented by a global faculty of communication experts.

My topic: Social Media and Internal Communications - the India Perspective

Background: Social media adoption for internal communication in India is growing and employee engagement is one of the most important outcomes of this trend. In India social media adoption challenges include lack of business context, inability to decode cultural nuances and security concerns. Organizations need to revisit policies, build better controls and involve staff to fructify ideas for effective change management and improved decision making. Also vital are efforts at managing online reputation and averting crisis through an in-depth knowledge of social media. This presentation shares social media strategies for organizations working in India to improve internal adoption and demonstrate value.

Published in: Business, Travel

Internal Communications and Social Media - the India Perspective

  1. 1. Social Media and Internal Communications – the India Perspective Aniisu K Verghese 2011 World IABC Conference , San Diego June 14, 2011Image:
  2. 2. DisclaimerDue care has been taken while preparing thispresentation but the author cannot be heldresponsible for any misuse or misrepresentationof information. The views expressed in thispresentation are those of the author and do notreflect those of the organization he works for.Data for this presentation has been drawn fromvarious sources and is gratefully acknowledged.
  3. 3. Presentation Covers Context- The India the world probably knows- The India you may not know India’s Social Media landscape Current Challenges Strategies that work Three Cases
  4. 4. ContextThe India you probably know and don’t knowImages:http://www.indianholidays.annonline.com
  5. 5. The India the world probably knowsThe world’s largest democracySecond most populous nation(1.2 billion people)India to become worlds fastestgrowing economy by 2013-15The Indian InformationTechnology industry: 5.19% ofthe countrys GDP, is one of thebiggest job creators in India(2.5 million people)Half the world’s outsourced ITservices come from India,amounting to a $47 billiondollar industryImages:
  6. 6. The India you may not know Official Union Language: Hindi and mother tongue of 30 per cent of the people 21 other official languages English is the preferred language for national, political, and commercial communication. The Unique Identification Authority of India is currently creating the world’s largest database India created the world’s economical car – Tata Nano ($1,979 or INR 1,00,000) Will be the largest contributor to the worlds workforce —136 million people — over the next 10 yearsImages:
  7. 7. India’s Social Media Landscape Understanding social media through our country’s culture and interestsImages:
  8. 8. Social Media in India is growing at 100 percent per year Social Media in India is likely to touch 45 million users by 2012 (9X Denmark’s population) Nearly 30 million online Indians consumers spend about two-thirds of time on social networking sites daily. - bigger than Australias population! Facebook tops as India’s favorite social networking siteImage:
  9. 9. 791 million mobile subscribers = 2 X US population! But only 40 million access internet via mobile devices 60% of India web users access via Internet cafes 12 million in rural India access the internet 31% of India’s rural population are unaware of Internet’s existence 90 billion SMSes send via one network in a monthImage: USD 3620 million estimated value added services in 2011
  10. 10. Internet penetration low but growing exponentially India has the worlds third largest Internet users: over 100 million Almost as big as Mexico’s population! users Internet penetration in India 8% of India’s population is one of the lowest in the world Eight out of 10 people search for information online on brands and products before purchasingImage:
  11. 11. Indians now spend more time onsocial networking sites than e-mail
  12. 12. Sports 68 million viewers on TV – watch India’s 2011 World Cup victory Entertainment1000 Bollywood movies produced annually Culture Respect for elders, traditions Community Belonging, compromise, hospitality
  13. 13. Sharukh Khan: Popular Bollywood star has 9,32,000+ followers on Twitter 2.2 million views in a day of the winning World Cup cricket hit video onIn 2008, Newsweek named You TubeShah Rukh Khan one of the 50most powerful people in the Dhoni more influential than Messi Images: and Obama in Times 2011 listworld
  14. 14. “In society there is clear male-dominance, but it may also show that the female population gets more competitive as to be more independent.” Source:
  15. 15. India only getting started….‘Engaging employees with social media’ ranks #3 after customers and media- India Social Media Survey, 2009 “87% of Indian employees use the social media to find information about an organizations work culture.” -Ma Foi Randstad Workmonitor 2011
  16. 16. Current ChallengesIssues preventing adoption social media in Indian companies
  17. 17. India at ‘extreme risk’ on digitalinclusion Secondary school enrollment rate of 55% Adult literacy rate of just under 63%
  18. 18. India organizations rank low onsocial media governanceIn India, only 12 percent organizations have Social Media policies,lowest amongst all the nations, while nearly half of all Germancompanies have social media policies.
  19. 19. 96% of IT decision makers ban social media within companiesIncreasing (70%) numberof workforce being readyto share their personalinformation with theprofessional world.-Ma Foi RandstadWorkmonitor 2011
  20. 20. Strategies that workWhat Indian firms and MNCs do to engage employees with social media
  21. 21. Indian culture adoption“The Indian culture is acommunity-basedcountry, so social media can beeasily adopted into the Indian culture”.Source and images:
  22. 22. Leaders attempting to connect with Gen Y Vineet Nayar HCL Tech•We have the youngest population inthe world.•Half of Indias billion-plus people underthe age of 25.•A third of the Indian workforce will belongto the Net Generation in five yearsImages: “The boss is seen as the source of ultimate responsibility in business.” - Kwintessential
  23. 23. Connection and collaboration Cognizant Technology Solutions’ C2, a corporate version of Facebook has Twitter feeds, employee- written blogs, and chat. 60,000 active users, six million page views every month. Leading Indian telecom provider with 20,000 employees switched to an SMS based intranet based on an IBM tool called me-tize. Introduced a reverse mentoring program where Gen Y teach leaders IBM India recruits and helps manage diverse workforce with games on Second LifeImages:
  24. 24. Internal communicators associal media coaches “Only 1/3rd of companies have accurate data on employees” Managing Today’s Global Workforce – an Ernst & Young May 2010 study
  25. 25. CasesLessons from implementing social media for internal communications
  26. 26. Dialogue and co-creation of content “Where Asian companies are realizing the power of social media, they are not willing to experiment.” - Burson-Marsteller’s Fortune Global 100 Social Media Check-Up study13,638 impressions, 691 views, 71 likes, 9 comments!/video/video.php?v=10150311395106258&oid=104897406991&comments Indian media has been increasingly willing to integrate citizen journalism in its news coverage (Georgetown University, 2009)
  27. 27. I am aware of Indias role in Sapients success story: 95% This event and communication helped me connect better with the organization: 90% I am interested in contributing more to the organizations success: 83%Image: Source: internal survey
  28. 28. 33 Cities, 8,500 People
  29. 29. Facebook | Over 100,000 "Post Views", 18,000 "Wall Visits," 44 Photo Albums, 1600 Page "Fans"
  30. 30. SummaryIndia is at a unique position in the world stageIndia’s scale and diversity offers immenseopportunities in the years to comeSocial media needs to be seen from the lens of ourculture, entertainment, community andsports to be understood betterLeveraging leaders for social media adoption isimportantAppreciating local culture and involving GenY will increase adoption
  31. 31. Stay connected