Mashable’s Social Media Day: discussions and orations

For the fourth consecutive year, the Mashable Social Media Day 2015 (SMD), took place at Premier Park, Excel World. Because of the annual event’s credible agenda, which includes in-depth discussions and a well-planned oration from distinguished speakers and industry experts with links to social media, Sri Lanka has been recognized and chosen amongst the top five global SMD events to attend. The event was held in conjunction with Etisalat Lanka.


Social media in Sri Lanka has seeped into our day to day lives. Statistically, 20% of the Sri Lankan population has access to the Internet and 30% of households own a desktop. So, why not dedicate a whole day just for social media where people from the field and enthusiastic users can get to the bottom of what’s changing in the social media landscape and expect what to  look forward to in the near future?


Some of the speakers got into animated and interactive discussions about mainstream mediums and how social media has effectively made its way into Sri Lanka’s tech infused mini-world. Amongst the speakers was Nuwan Chinthana, the man behind He related with the audience and talked about his journey as an accomplished digital entrepreneur during a time when digital media did not even make its way into the local lexicon.


Nuwan advised any future social media professional to stringently keep up to date with the Internet and the ever-evolving constituents of technology in the 21st century. “You have to keep up with quality content and at the same time work selflessly to give back to your field of interest without focusing on self-gain alone. Platforms such as Social Media Day are a great opportunity to learn a lot, interact and forge relations with people from the field,” he said.


Following on was Amitha Amarasinghe, head of Neo@Ogilvy, speaking on the topic, ‘Your customers are talking. Are you listening?’. He focused his discussion on the marketing and branding fraternity who attributed social media into their work.


He reiterated on the angle of a social media crisis and what triggers this issue. It was noted that 75% of Social Media Crisis (SMC) could have been diminished or averted had companies prepared properly. At times, when a brand or product is criticized negatively online, the best strategy for a company to take is to address the issue professionally without avoiding it. Amarasinghe further said that all brands need to be prepared for any SMC.


Delving further into the event’s proceedings was a panel discussion that stepped into the subject of ‘The Role of Social Media in Human Resources’. “Social media in HR is nothing new,” said Niranjan Perera, director Human Resources at Hemas Consumer Brands. “We believe that for a company to be able to make an aimed leap forward, its employees need to be ingenious, imaginative and tech-savvy,” Perera added.


Hemas had initiated a social media campaign where the medium can be used as a platform for recruitment. To see this through, Hemas had come up with an online game; Hemas Hotshot – Season 1. After it was revealed that 60% use online gaming in Sri Lanka, this first-of-its-kind approach was initiated in the hope of enticing youth to use the game as a way to creatively become job candidates.


“So far, 900 plus people have played the game. It has three stages of a quiz related game. And of course, there is an assessment process that goes with it and we hope to filter up to 14 people in the end,” Perera acknowledged.


Meanwhile, Facebook has been recognized as an online personality resume. It had been proven that Facebook allows for a reference-based background check as well as helping recruiters to catch a glimpse of the type of person they will be hiring.

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