Talking Twitter with Sohini Guharoy of NDTV
4 min Q&A
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 news group.
#TrendingTonight | "The recovery rate is almost 40% and that is better than any other country": Dr Rakesh Varma, Additional Director General Of Health Services #COVID19Pandemic pic.twitter.com/6Wykkn2YOI— NDTV (@ndtv) May 18, 2020
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nay, it's not my/our style.
One hashtag, I think there should just be one hashtag.
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.
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.
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.