Indian CEOs remain relatively inaccessible to consumers on social media compared to their European and US counterparts, a study conducted by London head-quartered ECCO International has found.

The study, which looked at the largest companies by market capitalisation in 21 countries worldwide, revealed that 58 per cent of global CEOs are active on LinkedIn, compared to only 20 per cent of Indian CEOs.

For Twitter, this figure is 17 per cent worldwide, and just 10 per cent in India. The study covered CEOs of the top 30 companies by market capitalisation in each country. As a result, several business leaders with large Twitter following did not get covered.

Uday Kotak, CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank, is among the leading CEOs globally with nearly a million followers on Twitter.

Some notable business leaders in India with large Twitter following include Ratan Tata (7.65 million), Anand Mahindra (7.2 million), Vijay Mallya (5.96 million), Nandan Nilekani (2.52 million), Ronnie Screwvala (2.13 million) and Harsh Goenka(1.53 million). Others include Snapdeal founder Kunal Bahl (249,000), Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal (179,000) and FreeCharge founder Kunal Shah (148,000).

The leaders

CEOs in France are the most active on social media. Denmark follows closely in second place, while Australia and the Netherlands share the third place.

As in 2017, USA CEOs still have by far the most followers, despite the country ranking only fifth for total presence on social media. Apple‘s CEO Tim Cook continues to top the chart worldwide with over 11 million followers on Twitter (an increase of 120 per cent since 2017).

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, leads the way on LinkedIn, with over 6 million followers (an increase of 300 per cent since 2017).

Preferred medium

Bhavya Doshi, Assistant Vice President of ECCO’s India agency Pressman, said that LinkedIn is becoming increasingly important, while most CEOs continue to shy away from communication on Twitter.

“On Twitter, the language is often more pointed, and the risk of backlash from consumers is significantly higher. With LinkedIn, this risk is lower — and more CEOs are recognising the opportunities this social media channel offers,” said Doshi. ECCO is a network of independent PR and marketing communications agencies located in over 40 countries around the world.