Selfies are the Next Big Marketing Tool for Entrepreneurs Share the photograph, but don't brag about it

By Sanchita Dash

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Entrepreneur India

Open any social media platform today and it's flooded with pictures. Let's correct that. It's flooded with selfies. No event or party today is complete without a selfie session which then finds its way into the glorious world of social media.

Entrepreneurs too aren't far behind in the selfie craze. Instead of just taking pictures, they have found a new way to market their business or themselves - through the selfie. From taking selfies with influential entrepreneurs or businessmen to pictures with celebrities, entrepreneurs are using the selfie as a way to project themselves better on social media, or better yet, build a brand for themselves.

The biggies in the start-up ecosystem too aren't shying away from it. PayTM founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma is known to put up pictures with the many influential people he meets for business. From selfies with ministers and dignitaries at prestigious events like World Economic Forum to pictures with the ones who have shaped the start-up world globally like Travis Kalanick, Sharma takes to Twitter to often share his moments with the influential. Not too far behind is Manu Kumar Jain, Managing Director, Xiaomi India, who makes it a point to communicate with pictures on his social media.

We spoke to start-up founders who are in the fad and even those who observe it from a distance about how the selfie mania is the next big tool to market yourself on social media.

Gain More Visibility

Today, social media platforms are not just limited to news, pictures or statuses about your whereabouts. With every other person you meet having a good social media presence; it has become the place where discussions are carried forward. Trishneet Arora, founder and CEO, TAC security, believes that when you interact with an entrepreneur or investor and follow it up with a social media request, they will obviously go to your profile. "When they do go to your profile, it's good if your profile shows your connections and work," said Arora.

Arora said that being active on social media and posting photographs from his meetings with influential people, has also brought in a lot more client references.

Recognition and Admiration Through a Selfie

Shubham Rai, Founder & CEO of Nodd App, has observed at numerous events that entrepreneurs take selfies with their peers or seniors for two reasons - they want recognition from that picture or they really admire that person. "When a young entrepreneur meets an experienced businessman, you can easily make out if it's just a pure fan moment or something to brag about," said Rai. When selfies are about admiring the person you are taking the picture with, it's not just about that photograph but the experience of meeting that person believes Rai.

Share, Don't Brag

Everyone in the start-up ecosystem believes that there's a stark difference between sharing a selfie and bragging about it. Rai at his company is even toying with the idea of using selfies to analyse a person's personality, a concept which is being tried out internationally as well. "It's the future of how data will be analysed," he said.

Professor Ramesh Loganathan, a start-up evangelist, says it all depends on how the entrepreneur talks about the selfie. "It's not okay to just talk of it in a matter of fact way neither should they brag about it," he said.

The selfie should be shared in a subtle manner and explicate the context of the discussion between the entrepreneur and the influential person. "It makes sense to share the picture if you are also adding value through it. Talk about the advice or strategy the person shared with you which can be beneficial for others or the topic of discussion, which will show that it was a meaningful dialogue," he said.

Sanchita Dash

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

In the business of news for 5 years now. Making my way across India thanks to my career. A media graduate from Symbiosis, Pune, I have earlier worked with Deccan Chronicle (South India's leading English daily), T-Hub (India's largest incubator) and Anthill Ventures (a speed-scaling platform). 

Stories, movies and PJs are my thing. 

If you hear 'The Office' opening score randomly, don't worry it's just my phone ringing. 


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