Social Media: To Be Or Not To Be? Some people start to believe that if you aren't killing it on social media, then you aren't the 'complete entrepreneur package.'

By Kabir Singh Bhandari

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Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

Reality TV shows. Podcasts that talk about everything from business to movies and whatever lies in between. 'Motivational' LinkedIn posts. Fancy holidays with 'sun-kissed' photos showcased on Instagram. These days, entrepreneurs seem to be everywhere and doing everything, especially social media related. To the extent that some people start to believe that if you aren't killing it on social media, then you aren't the 'complete entrepreneur package.' Obviously something which isn't true.

The Quiet Founder

On the other hand, there is the 'quietly successful founder', who believes in content over form, which could be considered a rarity these days with being out there increasingly becoming a must have mantra. One solid example of this is Sahil Barua, CEO and Co-Founder of Delhivery, the supply and logistics platform. At a recent ASCENT event in Mumbai, he was in a fireside chat, dressed in casual t-shirt and jeans, and had jokingly opened the conversation by stating how he might have 'not got the dress code right', as everyone else was in the typical long sleeve shirts, blazers and shiny formal shoes.

Not active on social media and a very simple, down to earth person with no frills about him, Barua spoke about how it's the work which is done that is more important than becoming a brand probably. "From our point of view, we're building a fairly complex and difficult business. The reality is our customers are business. Our customers don't care about seeing me or seeing any of the other members of the management team. In fact, in our setting, our belief is if our customers need to see us that means we've done something which is terribly wrong. Ideally, I don't want our customers to ever have to call us. And I think philosophically the idea is also that the institution is more important than the individuals. The brand of the company is more important than the brand of management and that's sort of why in the business that we're in and these kinds of sectors, it's the right choice," Barua had explained.

LinkedIn As A Game Changer

Social media, however, is a great tool when used properly, so what matters is having the right balance in place. While some may not be on any social media platforms, others may sparingly use it when necessary. At this juncture what is also important to mention that while Instagram and Facebook are for those wanting to post about their life and keep in touch with family and friends, it can also be used for promoting your work. And when it comes strictly to one's profession, LinkedIn is without a doubt the best platform for networking and posting work related achievements. Saahil Goel, CEO and Co-founder of eCommerce logistics and shipping software solution platform Shiprocket, believes that in today's digital age, social media platforms should be leveraged by entrepreneurs to participate in insightful conversations that drive an impact not just for their brand but for the larger ecosystem. "In such a competitive landscape it becomes increasingly important to drive such meaningful conversations with your stakeholders. Hence, I choose to communicate directly with the people who matter the most – employees, customers, and investors. Occasionally, I also engage on strategic platforms like LinkedIn to share insights and connect with our community. Maintaining this balance allows me to foster valuable collaborations, gain valuable feedback and stay connected with the dynamic startup ecosystem. So, while I may not be active on social media, I am certainly present where it matters the most," he says.

Conversations And Staying Connected

So how do you describe yourself when you're not serially creating content, but at the same time aren't completely absent from social media? Gagandeep Makker, Co-founder, Pilgrim, the homegrown D2C beauty and personal care brand puts this into perspective for us.

"I believe in the power of being conversational rather than a constant content creator on platforms like LinkedIn. It's about staying connected to our industry, sharing valuable insights, and engaging in meaningful discussions. By participating in these conversations, we not only learn and grow but also build essential relationships with peers and experts in our field. While I may not post daily life updates or create reels, I see the value in leveraging social media for industry insights and professional networking. It's about being a part of a larger community, contributing to collective knowledge, and ensuring that we remain agile in the face of evolving business trends," he told us.

The B Factor

If we shift our lens to Bollywood, there are a few there too, some of the biggest stars who have shunned social media completely. Actor and entrepreneur John Abraham, during the trailer launch of his film Attack (2022) had spoken about how for his cause of protecting animals, social media is great tool, but personally, he doesn't know how to use it. Although he is on Instagram with 11.9 million followers, it's his team that is responsible for managing his account.

Ranbir Kapoor on the other hand, isn't there on Instagram at all, and when he was on Kapil Sharma's comedy show, had spoken about how he prefers to stay away from social media while most actors are so active on it. Kapoor elaborated by saying how it is a big responsibility as you need to constantly entertain people by creating reels and posting photos, something which isn't easy for him and because he considers himself boring. He jokingly mentioned how he would have to wish everyone on their birthdays if he was. One interesting point he made, however, was that he had an anonymous account via which he would keep himself updated on the app.

To Be Or Not To Be?

The bottom-line seems to be that if you enjoy social media and can promote yourself and your work through it, great. But if you don't, that's fine too, the world is full of enough examples of individuals from different fields of life, whether it be business or the glamour filled world of showbiz, and they seem to be doing quite well without the need to create dance videos on the latest trending songs.

The author can be reached at bkabir@entrepreneurindia.com and Instagram.com/kabirsinghbhandari

Kabir Singh Bhandari

Senior Assistant Editor

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