How Social Media has Changed/ing My Life – Varun Agarwal

Social Media Week Bangalore Day 5
Thursday 21st February 2014
How Social Media has changed/ing my life?
Time: 4:00 to 4:30 PM
The Leela Palace, Bangalore
Speaker – Varun Agarwal

Varun Agarwal had his life changed by social media. The story goes something like this:
Varun realized one day, that if he had a video camera, he could actually show his thoughts to the world. So he set about making short films with whoever or whatever was willing to act. However, he was sent to study engineering. At the time, he just happened to come across YouTube and thought, why not? Well, it worked. The video went viral and and he started receiving appreciation from around the world.
This proved to be a stepping stone for him to go ahead and do a music video with Pentagram, another video with A.R. Rahman and a video with Preity Zinta.

In a drunken conversation with his friend, they just happened to discuss a business idea – selling customized hoodies to every school and college in the country. They started small under the name Alma Mater Store, selling to the students of one college initially, but they still lacked a platform to reach out to the entire country. That is when Facebook happened. By setting up a page on Facebook, Varun managed to reach out to the entire country.

Instrumental to Varun’s success, was his mother’s friend – Anu Aunty. Now Anu Aunty, was his greatest critique. When he sold hoodies, Anu Aunty referred to him as a T-Shirt salesman. Similar criticism about his videos also make for a comic narration. Varun decided to chronicle these incidents in a book titled “How I braved Anu Aunty and Co-Founded a Million Dollar Company.” Rupa Publications, the biggest publication house in the country published and distributed the book. As a result, the was being sold at every train station, every book store in the country. This proved to be a great marketing instrument for Varun’s company. The book struck a chord with the audience, and this endeared him and his company to the people he wanted to target.

Moral of the story, when building a brand on social media, your campaigns aren’t important and neither are your paid ads. What is important is how you tell a story and how that story relates to your target consumer. When it comes to reaching out for your dreams, as iterated by Varun, Don’t think, just do!

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