Q&A | Talking Twitter
Talking Twitter with Sohini Guharoy of NDTV
Each month, Talking Twitter takes you behind the scenes of some of Twitter’s most interesting publishers with the social media professionals responsible for some of the platform’s standout Tweets and viral moments. This month we sat down with Sohini Guharoy, head of audience and social strategy at NDTV newsgroup.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What makes your handle worth following? Any particularly viral moment we might remember your work from?
Sohini Guharoy: 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?
Sohini Guharoy: 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?
Sohini Guharoy: 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.
Sohini Guharoy: 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?
Sohini Guharoy: 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?
Sohini Guharoy: 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.
Throwing friendly shade at other accounts: yea or nay?
Sohini Guharoy: Nay, it's not my/our style.
Including more than one hashtag: yea or nay?
Sohini Guharoy: One hashtag, I think there should just be one hashtag.
Using emoji to replace words: yea or nay?
Sohini Guharoy: Absolutely, yes.
Tell us about a Tweet so good, you wish you'd written it.
Sohini Guharoy: There are a lot of Tweets which I really like, and I wish I had thought of — clever ones that I see, often going viral, and so simple — but I think there's a very fun Tweet that Netflix put out, which a lot of brands started interacting with, about words used during sex that can be used while managing a Twitter handle. I thought it was really smart, really interesting, and there were lots of great responses to that.
What account(s) are a must-follow for you right now?
Sohini Guharoy: I love Urdu poetry, so I follow Rekhta. The Tweet Of God is also a personal favorite, and a sassy one at at that. Oh and Netflix, US Netflix and Netflix India, and I think the India handle does a very good job. Professionally, of course, there are a bunch of news agencies I have to follow. PIB Fact Check is a fairly recent account I really like. It’s an official government fact-checking account for verifying news and WhatsApp photos, things like that, which is a really great initiative.
Share a Tweet from your drafts folder with us.
Sohini Guharoy: In my personal drafts, it’s got to be from one of those emotional days where I just wanted to point out some lesson that I’ve learned, like a #MondayMotivation Tweet. I think it’s fabulous that all of us, from different parts of the world, collectively have the same emotions on a Monday.
Go behind the scenes with some of Twitter’s most interesting publishers and the social media professionals responsible for some of the platform’s standout Tweets and viral moments in the Talking Twitter collection.