using social media
By Karthik Srinivasan
@beastoftraal on Twitter
▪ Did you notice my Twitter handle in the first slide?
▪ It is ‘Beast of Traal’, something most people do not
understand (its context) but still remember at some
level because it sounds so unusual.
▪ I chose it intentionally as against my name or variants of
my name (there are numerous Karthiks on Twitter btw!).
▪ If you Google it, you’d get a sample of my interest in 2
topics that are close to me… 2 topics that I want to
define me – science fiction and sense of humor.
newphone ▪ I recently retired my 2-year-old Nexus 6P and bought a
▪ Before I could decide on the OnePlus 5T, I went through
a process any other person does.
▪ Looked at all the smartphone models available in the
▪ Read reviews, watched reviews. Saw the product pages.
Spoke to people.The usual.
▪ Then, I decided that I wanted the OnePlus 5T with 8GB
RAM and 128GB storage space.
▪ (It's awesome, by the way)
▪ Now, just consider the sources of information I utilized
to arrive at my decision.
▪ I looked at what others were saying about the product.
▪ And what the brand itself had to say about its own
▪ Imagine - if you are a brand (while being a person, that
▪ What are people saying about you, online?
▪ What are you saying about yourself, online?
▪ For the former, you'd quickly think - LinkedIn
▪ For the latter, you'd quickly think - LinkedIn profile +
Twitter + Facebook + Instagram.
▪ You are not wrong.
▪ But, have you ever considered what 'your' takeaway
would be if someone were to search 'you' online?
▪ We are all products, whether we like it or not.
▪ Before you meet somebody for the first time, you search
them online. (besides asking others)
▪ From their social media footprint, you arrive at some
▪ But that's based on what you read from their last 10 odd
tweets, their LinkedIn profile, last 2-3 posts on Facebook
if they have posted public updates.
▪ Usually, it's a combination of static things (LinkedIn
profile, rarely updated) and live updates (tweets,
LinkedIn posts, Facebook posts), Instagram pics.
▪ These end up as your life book's back cover.
▪ Imagine how you pick up a book, to read. Or, how you
decide on a film.
▪ If you are at the bookstore, or on Amazon (browsing),
you look at the summary/notes about the book - what is
usually published in the book's back cover.
▪ For a film, you see the trailer.
▪ Now imagine if your life's back cover or trailer having a
live update option that can change every day, many
times a day.
▪ That's literally what social media offers you.
▪ But most of us do not think of it that way.
▪ That book back cover is carefully planned to ensure it
attracts the right kind of people to buy it.
▪ The trailer is edited in a way it attracts the target
▪ So, have you considered planning your social footprint
to help you with an objective?
▪ You can.
▪ You should.
▪ How do you go about that?
▪ Start with the objective.
▪ What do you want people to think about you?
▪ If you said, 'smart, intelligent, handsome/pretty,
successful etc.', let's get a bit more specific, shall we?
▪ Take a blank page (online/offline) and draw a line in
▪ The top is you, the person.
▪ The bottom is you, the professional.
▪ Now, you simply write specific things that you want
others to know and remember about you.
▪ Be realistic. Be authentic. Dig into your own strengths.
▪ You cannot fool people in the long run (or even the
short term, on social media)
▪ For example, I had, on top - music, science fiction,
quirky sense of humor, creative, parent, fair, attention to
▪ As for the professional side, I had - social media, public
relations, digital marketing, start-ups, ideas, creativity,
▪ Everything I do online, everything I post online is
usually guided by one or more factors listed here.
▪ There are many things I have considered sharing online
but pause before I do, and wonder if it adds value to the
online perception I'm building about myself and then
decide whether I should share it or not.
▪ All this is not new at all. Every communications function
- advertising and public relations - works on this
▪ Objective. Boundaries. Communicate. Consistent.
▪ Once you know what you want to stand for, to be known
for, it becomes easier to find things to share
consistently within those boundaries.
▪ In my example – music - I look at what I want to do with
music. I haven't learned music at all. But I LOVE music.
To augment that interest, I blog about music. I have
been writing on music since 1999 and have been
blogging on new music since 2005.
▪ Science fiction - I share very often what I gather as
perspectives, from the many science fiction books I
▪ Sense of humor - I try my hand at puns and jokes
occasionally and sharpen them based on feedback and
▪ Parent - I comment a lot about what I'm observing with
my 2 kids and add a larger point, where appropriate.
▪ Curiosity - I use the word 'interesting' for a lot of things I
notice around me. I do not jump to likes or dislikes and
leave it at 'interesting' mainly because I don't know
anything more about those subjects to jump to a
▪ Creativity - I share a lot of nuances I notice on things
around me and remember to applaud creativity when I
see it, the way I see it.
boundaries. ▪ The point is - these boundaries and what they entail is
not written in stone.
▪ They are fluid.They should be.We, as individuals,
cannot be so narrowly defined.
▪ But, when they are expressed for public consumption,
we can, and should, consider what they are saying
about is, as an aggregate.
▪ We seldom plan things that way for our personal selves,
but do so, all the time, for the brands we work on.
▪ Start thinking of your own personal brands!
▪ When you narrow your boundaries of expression online
as topics and sub-topics, then it is even more easier to
produce a steady stream of content to augment and
build your brand.
▪ For me - if music is a topic, I bookmark and gather
sources of my kind of music.
▪ Humor - I look at making puns and humorous
observations from everyday news in newspapers.
▪ Science fiction - I pick at least 2 sci-fi books a month, to
read and ponder upon.
▪ Parent - every day is a new day! :)
▪ Curiosity - I try and see multiple perspectives for
everything around me instead of only considering what
I feel about it.
▪ Our everyday lives offer us a lot of opportunities to
observe and add perspectives on many things.What
among them help us with our objectives is what we
need to consider.
▪ I also subscribe to a lot of websites for content I like
reading about - from the professional side of the page. I
use Feedly to gather content every day and read them,
and share them while also adding my perspective on
▪ Sometimes, I have nothing to add. So I simply say,
'Useful'.That usually gets most hits in terms of readers
because everyone's looking for something beyond the
normal, something useful to them.
▪ Be useful, to others. Be the person they can look up to,
for a particular topic.
▪ Be the person who is always curious about a topic (that
you have outlined for yourself)
▪ Be the person who always has a point of view on the
topic you identified for yourself.
▪ Where do I share? Personal - usually Twitter and
Facebook + blogs. Occasionally LinkedIn. Professional -
LinkedIn,Twitter and Facebook. Blogs.
▪ I consciously add separate notes to make the same post
seem personal on Facebook and professional on
▪ Be conscious of platform-specific commonly accepted
▪ LinkedIn = professional. Even if you are adding a Ugadi
greeting (for instance; it’s not a sin on LinkedIn), make it
▪ Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/blog = anything goes!
People I look up to
The way they build their personal brands online
▪ Anand Mahindra.
▪ You may be following him on Twitter.
▪ My favorite anecdote - guess how many LinkedIn
connections Anand has.
▪ Usual spectrum of topics:
▪ Mahindra (obviously)
▪ Social commentary, framed very appropriately
▪ Elon Musk is… well, Elon Musk ☺
▪ His usual spectrum of topics:
▪ Science Fiction that he can turn into reality!
▪ Blistering sense of humor!
▪ Krish Ashok is from TCS.Very funny guy!
▪ His usual spectrum of topics:
▪ Food. Lots of it.
▪ Manic attention to details.
▪ Massively curious.
▪ Music. Lots of it.
▪ Commentary on digital/social/media.
KirubaShankar ▪ Kiruba is a well-known blogger, podcaster, public
▪ His usual spectrum of topics:
▪ Farm life
▪ Tamil culture
▪ Public speaking
▪ Amit Agarwal is my inspiration to be a blogger.
▪ He lives in a B-town (Agra) and commands global
attention with his software products!
▪ His spectrum of topics include:
▪ His own products/services
▪ Tech tips that are oh-so-useful!
▪ App recommendations and reviews
▪ These are highly personal.
▪ Your top personal brands online may completely vary
depending on your own interests and objectives.
Follow.Engage. ▪ Besides saying things yourself, another great way to
attract attention—from the most appropriate people—is
to follow and engage with people online.
▪ 15 years ago, there was no way you could make an
impression on someone like Anand Mahindra. Now, you
▪ But, it is a highly competitive game.You’re not the only
one with that intent.
▪ To achieve your goal, you need to follow (not just social
media ‘follow’, but literally track) the person to know
their way of thinking.
▪ And engage when you have something meaningful to
▪ One of my favorite ‘commenters’ is Venkataraman
Ramachandran. (look him up on LinkedIn)
▪ He leaves his comment on many of my posts, and in
many others’ posts (on LinkedIn).
▪ Most of his comments are highly readable and
intelligent.They almost always make me think.
▪ I have got at least 15 book recommendations from his
Results ▪ Have simple, easily achievable KRAs for yourself.
▪ It works just like motivating yourself for a run, or
healthy eating habits.
▪ For example:
▪ I want the following 5 people to follow me on Twitter.
▪ I will leave 2 well thought out and meaningful comment on
at least 2 LinkedIn posts of others every week.
▪ I will strive for at least 3 Twitter reactions from <make a
list of people> every fortnight.
▪ I will share at least 5 perspectives on the top 2 topics
listed in my ‘personal’ and ‘professional’ objectives, every
▪ This webinar is 5% of my overall ‘Personal branding on
social media for working professionals’ workshop that I
usually do for clients.
▪ The usual, one-day hands-on session goes far deeper
into each aspect, with tangible outcomes for the
participants on getting the objectives right and
building a content pipeline to help nurture their
▪ You write your book's back cover.What would it say
about you the person and professional?
▪ Start with an empty page - 2 parts.Top and bottom.
▪ Write down at least 10 words/phrases that you want to
define you, together, per section.
▪ Be as specific as possible.
▪ Remember:‘personal’ is as important as ‘professional’.
It makes us human.
▪ Once you have 20 (10 + 10) phrases, order them in
terms of (your own) importance.
▪ Remove the 6-10 in each list.This final 10 should be
your personal branding objectives.
▪ Starting looking for sources of people and content
online and make a steady pipeline to learn, follow and
share content around them.
▪ The more consistently you do it, the faster you will be
making associations between your personal brand and