My take on social media – Dr Nasir Khan

Nasir Khan

Guest post from Dr Nasir Khan, Executive Chairman, Somra Group, Bangladesh.

Click here to see a list of the other posts in this series.

Socializing in cyberspace, in all its forms and nuances, is truly borderless, global, and hugely beneficial for an array of known and unknown (till date) purposes. Most importantly, one doesn’t necessarily need access to the internet in all cases. For instance, Facebook and Twitter have options for posting and engaging via SMS. So, in one way or the other, anybody anywhere in the world is welcome on board.

The key objective of “post, like, comment, share” – across major social media platforms – is to engage fellow humans, who could be family, friends, colleagues, current or prospective business partners, buyers of products and services, group of people sharing common interests or concerns…The list can go on until bots take over – my conscience tells me that socializing, despite all technological progress, must remain human (futurists please take note).
Coming to the point of how we can make the best use of social media in general, we need to draw a clear line between simply ‘talking’ (one-way) and conversing (both ways). If we fail to start a conversation, or do not participate in one, we would actually be advertising and selling ourselves (personal branding) or our products/services. Even if ‘free’, I have doubts about how many people are interested to pay any serious attention to one-way rants. In my humble opinion, a simple announcement should also have the necessary elements to spark engagement and conversation. If there’s no conversation, the very purpose of social media (socializing) is lost.

No less important is the purposeful choice of platform. Facebook, Twitter, G+, Instagram, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Blogs, so on and so forth, are unique as well as common in many ways. We tend to use these media more due to the commonalities by cross-posting (makes life easy?). Is this practice doing any good? I have my doubts. In order for us to successfully achieve our personal or business objectives, we need to be selective in terms of platform as well as the materials we share.

Now, focusing on my own belief and practice – I am a human being first, market researcher second. As a human being, I use Facebook (personal account, not considering pages), Instagram and Foursquare as media for fun with friends and family. Google Plus? (I thought it would take off well, given the huge number of people owning a google account, but rumor mills are already churning out news of its imminent death). LinkedIn is meant for professional and business conversations, and Twitter is for what it is – chirp anything personal or business. Accordingly, I enjoy these two media as a research professional first. I see Pinterest as a virtual ‘emporium’ – “show your products to your target market”. Unfortunately, MR cannot be showcased properly with a few pictures or infographics the way one can showcase bags, shoes, clothing, furniture, or even a country (for nation branding). Therefore, LinkedIn, Twitter, and specialized blogs are great places for MR.

Finally, what’s the future of MR on social media? As sources of data, all social media will become more and more useful. As platforms for development of the MR profession or business? I have a feeling (sorry, if I am wrong) that most people in the MR industry are “too busy” to even ‘like’ a professional post, leave alone comment, share, engage self and others (except a few MR groups on LinkedIn). If the current trend prevails, the future of MR on social media is a huge question mark.

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One thought on “My take on social media – Dr Nasir Khan

  1. Social media for purpose – now have an important role to play. This is important who is using which platform for what use and how much s/he understands the proper use of it. If I share my experience then I must second that I am certainly beneficiary of social media. Now the question – why and how would I use any of social media? If I know my target, expectations very clear then its simple and easy but if I am not clear about my purpose to use the platform then there is a mess I must say. I use linkedin, facebook and twitter for business and benefitted. Once upon a time I had a personal facebook account and I found it stole my time and also made my life complicated so I stopped using that account. I am clear that I wont go for social media for personal use. It helped me a lot. Personal use of social media also vary based on age…. certainly different in 60 years – 35 year – 20 years.
    Now there is no alternative of Data for conceptualizing or implementing anything. Social media is a big source of data again if we make it properly as contributor and on the other hand, getting reliable data from social media is a big challenge. So the challenge I assume the gap between data source and reliable data source. Mechanism? Must needed

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