Should The Government Of India Care About @India?

Burson-Marsteller, has reported that India is missing out on a huge opportunity to promote itself on Twitter because it doesn't even own the @India user account. We dig into the story.

If you care for your brand then don’t be late for the social media game – you must have heard this statement from most of the self-proclaimed social media gurus. Apart from missing out on a lot of things, you may lose your brand name which has been taken by someone else - a situation that is being faced by the Indian Government on Twitter. The Twitter handle @India or the account is owned by an Indian person who is living in Guangzhou, China reports Burson-Marsteller. ((According to TOI))

Burson-Marsteller, a public relations firm found this while performing a study called Twiplomacy that looked at how governments in various countries are using Twitter to communicate to the rest of the world. The study found that along with India there are countries like UK, Sweden, Israel, etc. who face a similar situation and are definitely losing in terms of promoting themselves on Twitter.

The @India Twitter account is managed by a person who goes by the name of SnapDel with more than 13K followers. The account was opened in 2007 and initially it was all about domain buying but now it has interesting stuff.

Should Government Of India care about it?

Social media plays a big role and by now the Government is well acquainted that good or bad this medium can’t be avoided anymore. However if one does a quick search, the Indian Tourism website supposedly has no active social presence. Incredible India, the wing to promote tourism in India, had previously announced about starting a social media campaign but seems to have missed out completely.

Now if we compare to other countries, SouthAfrica, Spain, etc. are doing an excellent job promoting their countries as the perfect tourist’s destination via Twitter. So what is stopping us?

The Government of India’s Tourism department should take this matter seriously - get itself on social media and get hold of the country name which would be helpful for nation branding as well as for the netizens to find and track. The story remains same for the Vanity URLs on Facebook too. But then, there are provisions by the Internet giants wherein you can request them if the accounts have been taken up by someone else and being misused.

I sincerely wish to see some action from the GOI like the way it did to block 5 parody Twitter accounts some time back.