Thursday, 21 April 2016

“Dos and Don’ts on Social Media to Build Your Leadership Brand Globally” ―Professor M.S.Rao

“Social media are a catalyst for the advancement of everyone's rights. It's where we're reminded that we're all human and all equal. It's where people can find and fight for a cause, global or local, popular or specialized, even when there are hundreds of miles between them.” — Queen Rania of Jordan

People earn either quick fame or bad name due to social media. There are celebrities who intentionally exploit social media to hit limelight. There are people who kick up controversies by tweeting posts to get noticed. It is obvious that everyone wants to get noticed either for good reasons or bad reasons. Unfortunately, most people get noticed for wrong reasons which is not a healthy trend. Hence, social media is playing a crucial role either to create or destroy the image of individuals. It all depends on how people use it.  

Research shows that most senior leaders don’t have social media presence. It adversely affects their leadership brand. In the world of social media, the slogan is ‘be visible or vanish!’  When you look at leaders like Richard Branson and Jack Welch, they have a huge social media presence. When you look at film stars, they have a huge social media presence because they thrive on their brand image.  Therefore, senior leaders and CEOs must have their social media presence to make their presence felt that helps them build their leadership brands globally.

On April 18, an eminent Indian website interviewed me on social media. Here are their questions with my answers on this amazing online platform:

Q: What is social media quotient according to you?
A: Social media quotient is the ability to share your knowledge and impact with others. It is your visibility and credibility on social media platforms. I opened a blog in 2007 titled, ‘Where Knowledge is Wealth’ URL: and started sharing my knowledge. As a leadership professor, I realized the importance of social media in sharing knowledge with others more than a decade ago. Currently I have four blogs to cater to four kinds of audiences apart from LinkedIn:,  Facebook Page:  Twitter: Google Plus:   YouTube: and Amazon: Being strong in social media quotient helps you reach your messages to the right audiences instantly. Similarly, companies reach their customers and clients successfully with this powerful platform. Succinctly, social media quotient is a powerful tool that helps you hit the bulls’ eye.

Q: How to use social media well?
A: Social media is a double edged sword. It can be used for either for good or bad. We must use it constructively to share our knowledge to make a difference to the world. Instead of adding value to ourselves, we must add value to others. We must create more knowledge and disseminate it for the benefit of mankind.

Q: What are three must and three no-nos for social media usage?
A: Don’t overuse it. Instead, use it judiciously. Don’t think of boasting yourself. Instead, think of adding value to others. Take issues that are burning and unaddressed by others. Address them. Encourage dialogue and discussion. Tolerate dissent and respect others’ ideas. Don’t attack others unfairly and unprofessionally. Be professional in your approach and attitude. Don’t overstretch. Don’t make false commitments. Don’t post plagiarized content. Don’t present fake information. Don’t post the stale content. Don’t post the same content repeatedly. Appreciate the knowledge shared by others and share their knowledge for the benefit of others. Don’t be in a hurry to network with eminent people. Above all, work for satisfaction, not for recognition.

Q: Can you explain the impact, if any, that social media quotient has made on you personally?
A: I have utilized social media effectively to build my brand as an International Leadership Guru. I get offers globally to keynote their conferences and provide leadership development training programs to corporates. My books are sold online. It is all possible because I share a lot of knowledge free of charge with the world through my four blogs,,, and

Q: What are some mistakes you regularly see leaders make on social media?
A: Some of the leaders post stale content that brings down their image. The readers lose interest and perceive such leaders wrongly. Remember, first impression is the best impression. Hence, leaders must start with a good impression by posting quality content in their area of interest to arouse interest in readers.  Additionally, they must do intensive research and post unique content that was not covered by others.

Q: How do you encourage creative thinking through social media?
A: When you read quality content on social media in your area of interest, you get more ideas and insights. You will find the gaps in the present area and explore to close them resulting in creation of more knowledge.

Q: Do you set aside specific times to cast vision to your followers through social media?
A: I have crafted Vision 2030: One Million Global Leaders URL: My vision program was ranked as one of the Top 10 Finalists in the ‘Not For Profit’ category of Leadership 500 Excellence Awards 2015.   My vision is to build one millions students as global leaders by 2030. It is a nonprofit initiative. I have trained more than 30,000 students as global leaders so far. I opened a blog on it and share my knowledge regularly  I regularly invest some time to post articles on students to groom them as leaders. Whenever I get opportunities from colleges to provide free training programs for students, I deliver it free of charge.  

Q: What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
A: A good leader builds more leaders, not followers. I am building more leaders to make a difference to the world.  I do it through blogging, teaching and training programs.

Social Media is not a Sprint

Don’t consider social media as a sprint. It is a marathon. To be in the race in the long run, you must be a domain expert. Carve a niche for yourself. Over a period of time, you will have a specific set of readers and followers ready to read your online content. You must be patient and persistent to create your customers, clients and followers. Connect with your followers and respond their comments as far as possible. Cater some time to connect with your followers. In this way, you can also take their feedback to improve your content and build your brand gradually.


Social media is a powerful platform that builds your customers, clients, followers and fans globally. You must know how to use this amazing platform productively to reach your clients and build your global leadership brand. To summarize, although social media builds your brand with your consistent sharing of knowledge, you must consider building your leadership brand as a byproduct. You must keep your vision and mission in view to make your presence felt globally. To conclude, social media is a powerful platform to build your credibility and visibility. Hence, use it effectively to influence, impact and inspire others.

“We all have personal brands and most of us have already left a digital footprint, whether we like it or not. Proper social media use highlights your strengths that may not shine through in an interview or application and gives the world a broader view of who you are. Use it wisely.” — Amy Jo Martin

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Life is great!

Professor M.S.Rao, India
Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants India
Recipient of 10th International Prestigious Sardar Patel Award―2015

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