Srinivasan's book - Be Social: Building Brand You Online - is full of tips on how to build an individual brand and how to leverage each social medium to do that.
In this day and age, we are constantly surrounded by brands every which we turn. But have you, ever thought of yourself as a brand? That's precisely what Karthik Srinivasan's new book focuses on. Titled - Be Social: Building Brand You Online - the book is a handy guide on building and defining one's own personal brand. The book is published by Westland Publications.
Srinivasan is a communications consultant himself with over 15 years of experience working on the client and agency side. He started his career in the corporate communications team of an IT Company in Delhi and went on to work with the client (the likes of Flipkart) and agency side as well (Ogilvy, Edelman, Text 100.) He has also handled social media for brands such as Lenovo India, General Motors India, LinkedIn India, and IBM, among others.
He pointed out that the social media content that people post is not necessarily to promote themselves, but more or less to promote the place they are working for. In his book, Srinivasan argues that an individual brand has to be a reflection of personality and interests. At the beginning of his book, he uses his own interest in music as an example. He discusses how despite always having a career in media, he has always had a keen interest in listening to music and his social profiles have always reflected that hence, adding a layer of dimension to his personality.
Here are three key takeaways from the book...
1. Be aware of your personal brand
Srinivasan, in the initial chapters, points out that irrespective of a person's online activities or internet usage patterns, their presence is still felt, so might as well make it count. He also points out that beyond using the internet to connect and make an impression with people in immediate circles (friends, co- workers, family), it can also be used to connect with like-minded people and develop hobbies. His book talks about the fact that every single piece of content shared has an impact on this image and by extension, on the user's own credibility.
2. Leverage every aspect of the medium
Whether it is Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, it's important to be aware of the power of each feature that a social medium has to offer. For example, Srinivasan's book talks about the power of tagging people and likens it to 'e-mail on steroids,' pointing out that it is a great way to get visibility on the content posted and push it towards being seen by the right person/audience. He also speaks of the power of collaborative conversations via Twitter threads and how sharing relevant links and content can strengthen a virtual voice.
3. Habitual posting
Srinivasan's book also emphasises that while creating a virtual reputation is an art in itself, it is equally important to regularly post relevant content in order to build and maintain the reputation that the user has created. He talks about the concept of a content pipeline - a way to maintain a steady stream of posts on social platforms. His concept of a pipeline is a reserve of information sources that a user can refer to in order to express opinions and exercise their voice.
One of the more interesting parts of Srinivasan's book is that the basics of personal brand building only take up about half the book. He dedicates the rest of the book to one Twitter account - Anand Mahindra's. He uses Mahindra's account as an example of how a person can use social media to create their own brand while simultaneously using it to promote the company.
Mahindra posts tweets that are relevant to the economy as well, not just his company.
He also doesn't shy away from posting about the entertainment industry.
He uses it to show his commitment to the environment and the stance that his company has taken in that direction.
Mahindra doesn't hesitate to give his thanks or voice his emotions either.