Why Anand Mahindra is one of the Top 30 CEOs on Social Media

anand mahindra

Social media is an equalizer of sorts, bridging the gap between incomes, occupations, organizational and social hierarchy, as well as geographical locations. In a series on posts on Indian CEOs on social media, I’ve taken you through Indian CEOs on Twitter, Facebook and blogs.  So when the inaugural WorldofCEOs.com ranking of the ‘Top 30 CEOs on Social Media’ was out a couple of days ago, it was announced that Anand Mahindra, auto tycoon was ranked at No. 3 behind Virgin Group chairman Richard Branson at No. 1, followed by Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn. I believe it is time for us to decipher what it is that Anand Mahindra is doing right on social media.

anand mahindraWhy?

The Mahindra Group chairman is the only Indian to feature in this global ranking, which recognises CEOs who have taken to social media early. With Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer coming in behind Mahindra, there has got to be something he’s doing better than the rest, right?

What is also worth noting, is the fact that this is the second time Anand Mahindra has been ranked globally on social media, in 2013 alone. In May, his Twitter account was ranked fourth in the ‘Top 25 CEOs to Follow on Twitter’ listing by the ‘CEO Guru’ blog.

How did Mahindra fare in the rankings?

The ranking was based on the WorldofCEOs.com using media analytics firm Klout’s metric-based measure, Klout Score, to calculate the rankings. Klout looks at followers and engagement across multiple social networks, including Twitter, LinkedIn and CEO blogs, to conduct these rankings.

Mahindra’s Klout score was 81 out of 100, a notch above his previous 76. His Twitter handle, @anandmahindra, has over 838,000 followers and he follows nearly 133 people and companies.  The people and companies he follows on Twitter range across diverse fields, considering he follows Ratan Tata, Karl Slym, Dia Mirza, Aamir Khan and the Tata Group. His tweets are intelligent, lively, while also including a flavor of regional dynamics and emerging markets.

How is Anand Mahindra More Effective on Social Media?

Mere tweets, blog posts and ramblings are not enough to establish a strong online presence. Effective CEOs must use the power of social media to make a difference beyond the board room. Mahindra has not just engaged in conversations and expressed opinions, but he has gone out and done something different.

In December 2012, the world, the web and social media was abuzz with angst over the Delhi gang rape case. Mahindra too was participating in a Twitter conversation about the event when a user suggested that a TechMahindra app called FightBack may be useful for the public at large, widening its reach beyond Mahindra employees.

Within a couple of hours, Mahindra responded to the user by getting Group firm CanvasM to make the application that tracks a user’s location and sends SOS messages to selected contacts in case of an emergency, available as a free download on the company website. This move made a smartphone application to seek emergency help available for public use.

If you think Mahindra’s tweets are all serious and business related then you are wrong.  His tweets are full of humor and guaranteed to make anyone smile when he talks about getting moustache fertilizer or his take on the rapidly fluctuating Indian stock market.

He also gains insights from surveys and shares these results publicly.

Social aspects like the Indian army’s role in the rescue operations in Kedarnath and lauding the entrepreneurial efforts by new business owners indicate variety and depth in his tweets.

Retweets by Mahindra

Mahindra group’s PR news is amplified through Anand Mahindra’s profile. If he retweets something there is trust, relevance, authenticity and a wider reach. When he retweets something, it indicates that he is listening and closely watching what is happening.  Even if he doesn’t respond the tweets, he retweets them. Imagine how the employees would feel if the CEO retweets their tweets?  Such a move makes him more accessible and a leader in the true sense of the word.  He retweets tweets on Mahindra campaigns, internal news, employee tweets, latest TVCs, mergers, awards, CSR activities as well. His twitter profile curates all news under Mahindra’s ambit.

What other Indian CEOs can learn from him?

Make time for social media. In this “connected” world, this is the space that empowers you to reach customers, shareholders and stakeholders.  Use it to your advantage. Be yourself, reach out to global audiences and make a difference where you can.

Mahindra has promoted its company’s initiatives, acknowledged positive and negative feedback. He is known to have directed his executives by his tweets, to look into complaints very often.

All his followers are friends and get glimpses of the pictures his daughters have sent him. His homegrown approach to social media has won him global recognition.  So there is a lot one can do if one sets out to tread the social media path.