Friday, April 24, 2015
Growth of Social Media in India
It has been interesting to learn more about social media this semester, especially with the added perspective of my colleagues from around the globe. Our group project research for the Food and Drug Administration in the state of Maharashtra, India, has been particularly illuminating. I have been able to see some key differences between efforts to integrate Web 2.0 and social media platforms in the US and developing nations.
First, although India has some of the highest growth rates in the adoption of PC and mobile computing, currently, the majority of that growth is focused in the major urban areas, while the rural areas lag far behind. As a result of this technology gap, there are some real hurdles to overcome if an Indian agency located in rural areas wishes to use social media platforms to reach out to its stakeholders.
The good news is that these trends are projected to change over the next few years as internet users in India will be older, more rural, more gender balanced and more mobile. This means that agencies using social media tactics to interact with the public will be able to reach a much larger, more diverse audience than they currently can.
Of particular note, our research has indicated that it will be important to craft creative messaging that appeals directly to female users, as some of the more traditional gender roles mean that women are the primary consumers and purchasers of household goods. So, for the Maharashtra FDA, this means that messaging concerning food and drug information should keep their female followers in mind.