SHOW AND TELL

THE BOUND­ARIES OF PRI­VACY IN THE AGE OF SO­CIAL ME­DIA BOIL DOWN TO SELF-CEN­SOR­SHIP.

The Peak (Singapore) - - The Hot Seat -

Hat Sales­man. That’s how Elon Musk de­scribes him­self on his Twit­ter bio – even if the en­tre­pre­neur with dreams of cos­mic pro­por­tions is any­thing but. His ac­count has 16.6 mil­lion fol­low­ers to date, many of whom are only too ea­ger to retweet bon mots by the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla: “Pay­load will be my mid­night cherry Tesla Roaster play­ing Space Odd­ity”; “Sec­ond bor­ing ma­chine al­most ready. Will be called Line-Storm, af­ter the poem by [Robert] Frost.”

Musk’s tweets are es­sen­tial com­pany up­dates, ones clev­erly couched in equal parts whimsy and fu­tur­ist speak. With each tweet buoyed by thou­sands of shares, he clearly recog­nises the role so­cial me­dia can play in build­ing a cor­po­rate brand.

“Busi­nesses are of­ten cor­po­rate. But one of the great ways of hu­man­is­ing them is through peo­ple and what bet­ter way than to have a C-Suite ex­ec­u­tive be the face of the com­pany,” says Rika Sharma, man­ag­ing part­ner of ad­ver­tis­ing and public re­la­tions agency Ogilvy & Mather Sin­ga­pore.

With over a decade of ex­pe­ri­ence in ad­vis­ing clients on dig­i­tal strat­egy, the 35-year-old Sharma has en­coun­tered lead­ers who are wary about re­veal­ing too much of their per­sonal lives on so­cial me­dia. To that end, she has a word of ad­vice: “Sim­ply dis­close as much as you want to show.” Mak­ing your public profi le ac­ces­si­ble isn’t about shar­ing what you had for din­ner. Your thoughts on in­dus­try de­vel­op­ments can be equally en­gag­ing. At the end of the day, re­mem­ber that so­cial me­dia ac­counts – un­less com­pletely pri­va­tised – are not per­sonal. “It’s still business. You have the li­a­bil­ity of the com­pany on your shoul­ders,” says Sharma.

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