In case you’re wondering whether this is some story on how I spend my time on the social networking sites , then you’re (gladly) wrong. The Social Media here refers to the supporting category for a fest- more specifically for Tech Tatva and Revels, for which I’ve been a part of. Now what is so special about that? Well, read on to find out!
Being a part of my college fest was always on my to-do list on joining MIT. In my first year, I volunteered and took part in both the fests. But there is only little of work one can trust to put on your amateur hands! A better work and a reasonable experience can be gained only in the second year. The category you choose here was crucial. For if you plan to be a part of the core committee, you will have bigger chances in the category that you choose now.
I had none of those foresights. I simply selected Social Media (as my only preference) only because I knew there would be something in there to improve my writing skills and put them into good use. And plus, I used to watch a lot of You Tube videos, so maybe I can help with that too.
And that is how I became a part of this team. A team of 20-odd people in charge of handling the official accounts of Tech Tatva.
From the first day itself, we were being constantly told- “Social Media is more than liking and sharing”. And till the last day, we worked on justifying it. Tech Tatva, being a technical fest, always garnered a lesser fanfare than Revels. But still, it was upon us to keep people invested in it. Because, social media is literally the only place where the fest can exist before it actually commences. For bigger ones like IIT-B’s TechFest, that cannot be a problem. The fest in itself being a big brand, will automatically attract the crowd. Our facebook timeline has to be more active and interesting than theirs!
And we worked for it. Very hard. You Tube videos, online contests, blogs. We did everything. Some worked (the videos got a great response), while some didn’t (I myself had written some blogs which then somehow crashed!). Ultimately, we were rewarded with a 10k likes on the facebook page during the fest. Surely, we did some things right!
But then, there are those painful work like uploading the photos every night during the fest. For someone who thinks this is an easy job, here’s what happened on the first day-
There were over 66 events across 17 categories, which at least two photographers cover. We had one night, two laptops and thousands of photos. All the photos had to be sorted for the good ones, watermarked with the logo of the fest and uploaded in the right album with due credits. We didn’t knew of the storm coming, resulting in the last photo being somewhat uploaded at 3:30 a.m. Even facebook had crashed by then!
Lesson learnt. To make Day 2 go smooth, everything was organized to a T. But remember, the next time you see a photo uploaded by any fest, think of the sweat gone for not only clicking it but also bringing it to you!
So Social Media is all work and no play? Far, far from it. SM is dancing-on-the-benches-in-the-middle-of-the-night level fun. When we are not discussing about work, we become a bunch of friends locked in a room with nothing but jokes and selfies to survive on. The seniors (Category heads and the co-ordinators) always tried to keep the atmosphere tension-free, but also productive at the same time. By the end of Tech Tatva, Social Media became a lot more than just a category. Every team member came from a different background and branch (of engineering). There were hardly any mutual friends and hardly knew each other before. But with so many meetings, we gelled together so easily!
Needless to say, all wanted to be back in the same category for Revels. Such was the fondness that the team remained almost the same next time. I don’t know which other category can boast of that! With a cool cultural fest in our hands this time, we were all in to make the fest larger. The biggest thing we did here was try to cover everything-from Pre Revels to the ProShow, and bring live feeds for Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. It was a huge task and we had our share of challenges ( pathetic Wi-fi and an even pathetic data coverage was the major one), but I personally liked doing it. My work included watching and recording some talented performances live. Who wouldn’t love that?
We also learned from our last outing and improved on them. Sorting would have been a bigger issue here since the fest is much bigger. But the volunteers were put to good work which made our work a lot lesser. The trolling of candid pictures garnered the same kind of reactions and the interactions with ProShow artists not only made us happy, but also helped gain more eyeballs. The only grudge here was the lack of ideas from our side to come up with something that would further promote the fest. There were lesser videos and contests this time, even though a cultural fest had expanded our restrictions. Something to focus on the next time around.
I was proud and glad to be one of the facebook page admins both the times. The work includes posting any announcement or posters along with a catchy caption. You can anytime get a message about a new post to be made, and within minutes you need to come up with a caption and post/schedule it without any errors. Sometimes you get them easily, and sometimes you have too strain your brain a little too much! After all, all you have as a reference is just one poster with minimum details put in. But it became sort of an addiction. I used to visit the page more often than my own fb feed!
Apart from the work-fun balance, working here also made me love these fests even more. Somewhere, I felt I had some role in making the fest a success. I used to roam around with the organizer tag with that attitude! If not for the fest, I don’t think I’d be able to work for digital marketing anywhere else. Even with this experience. I can only hope to continue being a part of it next time around too. If not, I will still be checking the followers and likes on the accounts every now and then!
For every (current) first years out there- this may not look like a cool category from outside. There is work here from the very beginning and you will never be credited for it. But believe me. There is no other category where you can work, have fun and also participate in the fest. There is scope for creativity, and there are some labour work too. But all that is done at night when everything wraps up for the day. Which reminds me, you will have all-night perms too!
If asked to describe my college days in a few words, Social Media will be two of those few.