Tell us a little bit about yourself. What makes your handle worth following? Any particularly viral moment we might remember your work from?
I've been a foot soldier who has evolved with the rise of social media in digital news publishing. You could say we are contemporaries; we have quite the relationship. With changing algorithms, I always have an eye on the feeds – at NDTV we keep experimenting, engaging, and trying out different things to stand out in a crowd of some fabulous accounts.
NDTV is news. News you can trust. As a brand, we owe our engagement to our readers, followers, and viewers – each Tweet is a responsibility. NDTV has 15+ active Twitter handles with @NDTV being the parent handle, which recently crossed 13 million followers! The beauty of social media is it’s a two-way street. People can reach out to us, and we take feedback very seriously. It's our standard for us to track and communicate all constructive feedback.
What does it mean to be a social media manager in 2020?
It’s a roller coaster ride for all of us! I think it's a fascinating job, and I couldn't imagine doing anything else. Tracking multiple feeds, verifying [facts], coordinating with several departments, writing, creating, copy-editing, fact-checking, designing and putting content out on social in a matter of five minutes or less is no easy feat. It is a team effort, depending on organization sizes and the number of social accounts. My personal mobile phone has about 12 Twitter accounts logged in at any one time, and I have notifications set for all of them — it’s like a party on my notifications throughout the day.
How long have you been in social media? How has the industry changed since you started out?
I've been in the industry for a little more than eight years, but based strictly in social media for the last six years. It’s been very mutual — as social media has evolved, my journey has also evolved. I think that's why it's so fascinating for me. Mainstream news media getting onto the bandwagon of social media started about six or seven years back — I’m talking about the Indian landscape here. That's when brands started wanting to be on these platforms, and be new sources. It’s great to see that brands are eventually now getting interested in advertising content; it’s a very healthy sign when we see brands being interested in our social media campaigns.
Describe your relationship with Twitter.
It's a very close bond. [laughs] I’m a Twitter addict, and Twitter is very much in my personal space, because if I’m not tracking, I am scrolling through the feed and reacting [to Tweets]. It’s not just news — I consume a lot of the anecdotes that people share, their thoughts, their poetry. Especially during COVID-19, it’s nice to look at the feed and see people reacting and being very human and very normal about their emotions, which are so real. It’s a powerful thing to see that, as a platform, it has the power to unite so many voices together.
What's the most underrated Twitter feature?
Personally, I’ve grown to love Twitter Moments. At times there's so much content to see on the feed, and for us, we understand verified handles, we know what new sources [are credible]. But for someone else, perhaps only following one particular news account, it's great to provide a curated thread for them at the end of the day, for example.
And if we could grant wishes, with the exception of the edit button, what’s the one feature you’d ask for?
It would be great if we could have video carousels. I know we can attach multiple photos [to a Tweet] but it would be great to have that for videos as well. That is something important, and also if we could thread videos. So for each video we make using Media Studio and LiveCut, we can’t Tweet the videos into a thread — we have to send them as individual videos.