Azaan Feroz Sait
The pandemic might have brought the travel industry to its knees but a new form of currency exchange is thriving in an increasingly virtual world. Let’s talk about these three types of currencies — fiat, time, and social currency.
Most people spend their whole lives investing their time currency into growing their fiat currency. Some have successfully invested their time and fiat currency into building their social currency and then have gone on to build a business leveraging that social currency. I like to call this ‘the cycle of the currencies’. For instance, Ryan Reynolds built an iconic gin brand playing off of the success of his acting career. That is a great demonstration of the power of social currency.
So how do smaller brands and entrepreneurs leverage the power of social currency for something bigger?
Social currency is the quantifiable impact of word of mouth — our audience, our lifestyle, the clicks on our posts. The entire creator economy is built on the power of social currency. Increasingly, creators are asking brands if they accept social currency as a mode of payment and you will be surprised to hear how often they get a ‘yes’! Modern brands understand the value of having a strong social media presence. The growing importance of user-generated content and creator-led campaigns is proof enough that brands acknowledge the credibility that it adds.
So founder or creator? How about both? Entrepreneurs today need to be great storytellers to stand out, while creators around the world are learning the importance of building a strong business around their personal brands. It is an underestimated opportunity for founders to use their social presence and the social currency of their brands as a point of leverage to recreate the way deals are structured. This can be used in everything from buying software subscriptions to talent acquisition tactics, and even collaborations with partners.
More entrepreneurs should start paying close attention to their social presence, and build a strategy around deploying their social currency to help them meet their business goals.
Let’s paint a picture. Your LinkedIn newsletter sheds light on insightful topics such as aspiring brands, thought leaders, vital tools, growth hacks and the likes. If you then build an efficient strategy to distribute this content to relevant masses and not mass distribute, over time you start to build a strong community of peers. This happens because your content has been a value add in their lives. This social currency that has been garnered through good content can then be strategically utilised to acquire business development opportunities.
Savvy entrepreneurs are unlocking new levels of growth by leveraging their personal brands and social currency to amplify their company’s marketing efforts.
If you are able to trade up the cycle of the currencies successfully, your brand has the chance to ride a massive tailwind with you. This is exactly why creators today are becoming entrepreneurs, actors and even politicians. The more entrepreneurs understand the power of social currency and start implementing it in their lives, the more opportunities it opens up for growth.
The author is founder, The Hub Bengaluru