As we explored more of social media adoption at various levels this year, we stumbled upon quite a few fascinating stories where social media has changed the game. Contrary to popular assumption that social media works only for the big brands, we were delighted to find small and medium businesses take equal advantage of the power of social media. Besides the local businesses, there were individuals, who made good use of social media to help spread the word about their ventures or build a community.

Here, we have compiled a list of social media success stories that enlightened us this year and, hopefully, should inspire you too:

1. Sandhya Varadharajan – From a blog to publishing her eBook

Sandhya Varadharajan is a class eight student from Chennai and a prolific blogger but what sets her apart is that she has published her first eBook. Having caught the reading bug two years back, Sandhya had started a blog to keep a record of all the books she had read. Upon being suggested to read the Harry Potter series, she got inspired to write the 8th part. In its stead, Sandhya weaved her own novel named ‘Wizile’- the story of two twins, Finn and Tyla Johnson who set out on a quest with their friends Max, Jeffer and Sandhya. Recently in a guest post at ‘Let’s Grow Leaders’, she had shared her perspective on leadership and how her reading has influenced it. Read more here.

Wizile_by_Sandhya_Varadharajan

2. Rajputana Customs – Getting business through Facebook

Rajputana Customs is a motorcycle outfit based in Jaipur that modifies existing bikes as well as builds custom bikes for you. The 26 year old founder, Vijay Singh had created it in 2010 when his first custom-made bike ‘Original Gangster’ got rave reviews at the New Delhi Auto Expo. As a follow up to the website, he created a Facebook page for his venture as an experiment and what began as an experiment with posting pictures of the bikes he was working on in his garage, soon created an exciting community of custom-made bike enthusiasts. The Facebook community alone brought him 50% of his business, at the time we had a chance to know about his Facebook story. With more than 54K fans at present, Rajputana Customs seems to be going strong with its Facebook content strategy. Read more here.

Rajputana Customs

3. Quizworks – Building a community of quizzers on Facebook

In 2009, Raj  Dam, a quiz-enthusiast had founded Quizworks – India’s premier knowledge services company that specializes in research, production and hosting of customized quiz shows for both the industry and academia. Passionate about quizzing but unaware whether it had a business model, Raj had continued with his endeavour and found quizzing to have a vast application in things involving a communication objective and a target audience. Believing content to be the DNA of any quizzing company, he has managed to build a quiz enthusiast’s community on Facebook as well as a dedicated Facebook group. Read more here.

I am a Quizzer

4. Krya – Creating one-on-one relationships through social media

Krya Consumer Products is a consumer products company based in Chennai. The brainchild of Preethi Sukumaran and Srinivas Krishnaswamy, Krya creates natural, environmentally sustainable products that can be used around the home. Keeping ‘consumers’ first, the duo have been building a sound social media presence to be able to understand their consumers wants and build conversations around them. It is interesting to note that Krya celebrates every new ‘like’ on their Facebook page by thanking the new member and informing them about the kind of content on the page. With in-depth detail in a blog and Facebook serving as customer service tool primarily, Krya has managed to successfully build a relevant community. Read more here.

Krya

5. The dog with the blog – Finding homes for homeless dogs

Dog lover Abhishek Joshi began writing the ‘Dog with the blog’ back in 2008 only to serve his passion for dogs and words. The blog has now developed into a full-fledged community of dog lovers and a lively Facebook page. The community celebrates birthdays, pays tributes to departed furry friends, shares adoption updates along with sharing their cute pet moments captured on camera. Ever since the blog created a presence on Facebook, it found a way to start a conversation with visitors and Facebook now serves as the primary platform to connect to dog lovers who want to adopt rather than buy pets. Social media has helped many stray dogs find loving homes. Read more here.

Abhishek Joshi: dog with blog

6. Our World Our Initiative – A student helps the homeless through Facebook

The Facebook page ‘Our World Our Initiative’ is an endeavour to help the homeless and needy. It was founded by Sufia Khatoon, a Kolkata student, when she chanced to meet 83 year old Shila Ghosh – who made a living by selling homemade fries – on the pavement near her college. Sufia along with her friends had bought all her fries as the first assignment. Instead of sitting on the net doing nothing substantial, Sufia has inspired many youngsters to start following their heart, with Facebook providing the right platform to connect with the youth.  The social cause initiated by her is now backed by NGOs and like-minded people who want to help the homeless and needy. Read more here.

Sufia with Shila Mashi

7. Keshav Chugh Photography – Business through social media

Keshav Chugh Photography, a business venture by creative director and photographer Keshav Chugh has seen many benefits through social media, especially Facebook.  Starting off with a lot of spamming, inviting and tagging photo-journal accounts, Keshav gradually formed a community that recognised his work. Two years on and more than 41K fans, the page has brought him fan queries regarding camera and equipment reviews, photo-shoot inquiries and requests to critique their work, apart from business queries for portfolio,  fashion and product shoots. Read more here.

Keshav Chugh Photography

8. Tender Leaves – More than just a library

Tender Leaves is more than just an online library. You can choose your books from the online list – they are delivered at your doorstep for free – whenever you finish reading them you can put them back into the Drop-box – the delivery guys come and take it. The brainchild of B. V. Harish Kumar, Tender Leaves also conducts workshops, story-writing contests, reading challenges apart from contests, polls and writing exercises. And to enable all this, TL uses a solid mix of social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and blog to help build a relevant community. So much so that TL receives a lot of sign-ups from its followers on social media! Read more here.

Tender leaves logo

9. The Raghu Dixit Project – Talking to fans through social media

Globally popular music band, The Raghu Dixit Project has built a fantastic community of music lovers that help spread its contemporary Indian folk music. The band looks at its Facebook page as a one-stop platform to talk to all of its fans. Having a few members quite active on social media, the emphasis has always been to make it a very personal engagement with fans. While Twitter keeps fans updated on the band’s activities, the band’s YouTube channel is a vibrant mix of live music and videos with instruction and behind-the-scenes. The band also makes use of a blog to keep a record of all the stories that occur during their shows. Read more here.

The Raghu Dixit Project

10. Jago Investor – From blogging to a business

Jago Investor is a financial planning and personal finance blog teaching stuff about money and how to manage your investments. When Manish Chauhan founded the blog back in 2008, his sole aim was to demystify myths regarding personal finance being rocket science. He was neither a certified finance professional nor someone seen as a ‘trusted’ source on the subject. But his passion to help others paid off and in four and a half years, his blog is amongst the top go-to sites for personal finance advice today. Manish has also created an active forum and uses both Facebook and Twitter to connect with his fans. Read more here.

Jago Investor book

11. Minimal Bollywood Posters – An expression of art and Bollywood

Akshar Pathak, a 22-year old NIFT graduate founded Minimal Bollywood Posters this February, with the sole intention to give expression to minimalism in Bollywood posters. Instead of action packed photo-manipulated images, Bollywood posters have been stripped down to the bare essential that forms the sole movie identity. Akshar has an open Facebook page where the community is free to share their own creations as well. Along with interesting contests and engaging content, MBP has built a strong community base and is continuing to receive accolades for his initiative. Read more here.

Akshar Pathak

12. Author Ashwin Sanghi – Actively promoting his books

After self-publishing his first novel ‘The Rozabal Line’ and then promoting his second ‘Chanakya’s Chant’ and third thriller ‘The Krishna Key’on social media, bestselling author Ashwin Sanghi has come a long way in discovering the power of social media. Learning about social media merely with experimentation and dedication, the author has built an extensive social media presence that purely focuses towards engaging with the community. Interestingly, Ashwin who was never into the numbers game has managed to build more than 473K Facebook fans and 121K Twitter followers on sheer community engagement. Read more here.

Ashwin_Sanghi

An established author and a budding one in the same list, speaks for the impact of social media and the visibility it can provide. Not everyone needs to be a Dell or an Intel to yield the most from social media, case in point are people who rose to instant fame through the power of social media alone like Fake IPL Player and Shraddha Sharma.

We are certain that there are hundreds of similar success stories happening in your neighbourhood that need to be shared. Do help contribute to share these stories with our community.

Vinaya Naidu

Co-Founder and Blogger at Lighthouse Insights. A student of life, art and building relationships. Love to read just about anything and strongly believe that books make a beautiful world.

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