The need for corporates to shed their lexicon on Social

Neelanjan Dasgupta, Creative Director, Brand Strategy (Copy) at RepIndia, lists a few pointers that can be helpful while writing for a corporate brand on social media

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The need for corporates to shed their lexicon on Social

Neelanjan Dasgupta

I once had a colleague who mentioned the term ‘corporate patriotism’. I am not sure if such a term exists, but his explanation sort of made sense. It’s the mindset where you feel you are one with the company. You love your organisation so much that you start representing it at a personal level.

Which is why so many large corporate brands and multinationals have employees who stay for a long time, sometimes, their entire careers. And that’s indeed a great thing. They value their organisation, they want it to be better, they want it to evolve because they understand its legacy and the sense of pride associated with being a part of that legacy. The problem, though, arises when in that quest of evolution, the corporates decide to shift gears and move to digital; without completely understanding what they are getting into.

Being someone who has been on both sides of the fence, as a part of corporate communication teams of large-scale MNCs, and also a part of agencies that formulate corporate strategies for them, I can honestly say the transition process to understand that is a long one. However, given the breakneck speed at which some of the global entities are evolving, as direct competitors, Indian MNCs need to pace up that process.

While there is a general acceptance about the importance of a digital presence, there is also a lack of clarity as to how. Phrases such as “we are a B2B organisation”, or we need to be “mindful of our legacy” float around in virtually every digital strategy meeting. What a lot of them miss out on is, when they are putting themselves out there on social media, they are not talking to businesses, they are talking to individuals, as individuals.

I once had a client who insisted that for every Tweet that goes out about a corporate event had to mention the designation of the person present at the event. If you as a strategic agency are nodding to that in your quest to get a client approval and producing some inane content that appeases a company senior, you are not doing your job. It’s time Indian corporates worked with their content agencies to not treat social media as a communication platform for self-appeasement, but produce content that’s relatable and useful to a more universal audience.

Here are a few pointers that can be helpful while writing for a corporate brand on Social Media:

  • Try and personalise your tone. Do not speak like an organisation, but as an individual. Use a lot of ‘we’ and ‘us’ rather than a humourless ‘XYZ Group’.
  • While mentioning philanthropic and environmental contributions, concentrate on the impact, and not on the means. So instead of mentioning the number of oxygen cylinders your organisation has distributed, mention the number of people that have been reached.
  • Not everything should be mentioned. Not every contribution, celebrated. Understand when to amplify something, and when to be silent about it.
  • Please avoid glorifying your leaders on social media at every opportune moment, unless they have achieved something truly remarkable, or they are saying something that’s useful and insightful. You are addressing the world at large, and they want to know what your leadership thinks and foresees, they don’t care if your CEO is cutting a ribbon or planting a tree.
  • Do not shy away from appreciating competitors. Social media is a great place to grow a positive atmosphere between brands, and the audience loves when brands converse with one another.
  • Not every topical trend is worthy of your brand. So please stop joining that wagon. Even if you come up with a cheeky idea, see if it helps your brand’s story. If not, kill your darling.
  • Try not to sound self-important. The bigger the brand is, the more humble should be the tone, broader should be the vision, and more selective should be the topic of discussions.
  • Do not shy away from having conversations with your audience. Understand that this is and always was, a medium of two way communication. Become a brand which encourages feedback, and makes space for conversations.

When you put your stories out there, you are not merely announcing notices and updates; you are trying to start a conversation with your audience. Your partners, competitors, present and future employees. So think about the range of diversity that demography comprises.

If you want to be relatable on social media, you need to speak in its language, and the only reason you need to be on social, is to come across as relatable.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of and we do not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)

RepIndia Neelanjan Dasgupta