Climb up the social media ladder

Over the next five days, social media experts from across the world will discuss, dissect and question the role that social media plays in daily life

  India is home to more than 160 million smartphone users and 22.2 million Twitter users. It has the world’s second largest number of Facebook users (112 million), and a Prime Minister who wants more people to join in. But it also is one of the few countries that has failed to create a law to protect citizen privacy in the digital age.

Mumbai has shot into the social media spotlight as one of three cities to host the fifth edition of Social Media Week (#SMWMumbai), which is being touted as the world’s largest gathering of social media experts.

Rohit Varma
Rohit Varma

Now, one would expect some sessions to highlight policy concerns but this doesn’t seem to be the case. “We do not want to look into policy matters as yet,” reveals Rohit Varma, director, Social Media Week, also the man credited with bringing the international event to India. So, what can we expect? “Anything and everything about social media,” he replies.

SMW will have a popular TV host speak about responsible journalism in the age of social media. It will also have experts discussing how brands can improve their strategy to reach out to more audiences and ways to evaluate and measure return of investment on social campaigns that go viral.

SMW is a five-day bi-annual international conference, and will be held in three cities simultaneously; Chicago and Santiago are the other two venues. This year’s theme is Upwardly Mobile, and will look at how social media impacts us socially, culturally and emotionally.

“We have sessions on how social media impacts the society, culture, entertainment, food, etc. Doctors and social welfare professionals will conduct sessions on how it can also help bring about a medical revolution in the country,” he shares. Verma believes that SMW also serves as a platform for those looking at social media as a career, adding, “Many popular names across travel, food and other industries will share stories and challenges in their respective fields. It serves as a good platform to receive career advice.”

Look out for a few engaging sessions in the schedule, including Richard Luie’s talk on artificial intelligence in social media, and four-time TEDx speaker Bobby Umar’s session about how social media monitoring tools can help your business.

Till: November 20
At: ISDI Parsons, fourth floor, Tower 2A One Indiabulls Centre, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel.
Price: Rs 1,000 onwards (per day)
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Must-catch events at #SMWMumbai

Bobby Umar
Bobby Umar

Nov 16: 5.30 pm to 6 pm Next Gen Social Insights: Technologies and strategies to connect authentically with Bobby Umar
Nov 16: 8 pm to 8.30 pm Cult Brands 2.0: How today’s top brands breed loyalty and fanaticism with Suhel Seth
Nov 17: All day Track MEP: Innovations in media and entertainment products
Nov 19: 5.15 pm to 6 pm Track Mix Bag: Rare Diseases, Mobile Health & Social Media
Nov 20: 4.45 pm to 5.15 pm Artificial Intelligence in social media with Richard Luie and Venkat Nagaswamy
Nov 20: 6.30 pm to 7 pm Not Social Sanchar Campaign: #MySafetyMyLife with Milind Bharambe, JCP (traffic), Mumbai and hosted by VCan
Nov 20: 7.20 pm to 8 pm Not So Social Side of Social Media, a panel discussion hosted by Culture Machine

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