With more than 450,000 twitter followers, Anand Mahindra, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra Group certainly seems to be leading the way in using social media to reach out to the masses. A quick look at Anand Mahindra’s Twitter page tells us that he has been reading up on an article regarding government defense procurement, interacting with TOI on Twitter, discussing the latest bribing allegations by Gen. Singh with some of his followers and re-tweeting a tweet from Mahindra Rise.
So where are the other biggies of the corporate world? Why aren’t we seeing the CEO bandwagon from the big industry houses in India tweeting and interacting with customers and clients on social media in their official capacity? One obvious reason for this could be that posting on social media may interfere with company guidelines. Companies and big corporate houses may be wary of taking the risk of allowing their top execs to take on the social media scenes.
CEOs may also attract the wrath of competitors in the form of negative replies and feedback on social media. Then there is the risk of an exec’s posting something against the CEO personally or against the company, jeopardizing the secrecy of a particular operation that the company might be undertaking. The possibilities are limitless and massive PR efforts would be needed to assist a CEO manage his / her social media presence in his / her official capacity. After all, in the world of things going viral, confidentiality and branding gets top priority, doesn’t it?
Despite the apparent disadvantages of CEOs and other top executives using social media in their official capacity, Sree Srinivasan, Dean of Student Affairs, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism believes otherwise. In an interview with ET, he gives tips to high flying executives on the things they should remember while managing their presence in the virtual world.
- Listen on social media, not just broadcast
- Connect with consumers
- Connect with your clients
- Use it to build value for your company
- Be a PR face
Jay Vikram Bakshi, founder of a niche communications agency Digiqom appreciated Anand Mahindra’s efforts and told Forbes, "The way Anand Mahindra is using Twitter at the leadership level to address issues ranging from consumer complaints to employee messages, his Twitter account would probably be the most valuable tool in his company’s perceptions armoury".
Looking at the rampant rise of how Indians are taking to micro blogging sites, blogs and other social media platforms, companies will surely be looking out to gain every edge they can over their competitors in terms of marketing, promotion and branding. Going by how Anand Mahindra has developed a strong presence and a larger than life following on social media, getting top level execs to speed up in the world of social media may very well be the next step in how companies woo customers and clients, putting up a solid brand image.
would be great to hear on your comments as to what you think!