Elumelu, Awosika lead most active bank chairmen on social media
The chairmen of United Bank for Africa (UBA) and First Bank of Nigeria are reversing the apathy that bank chairmen usually display towards social media platforms by actively engaging their community thereby enhancing their brand visibility even better than the chief executives of their organisations.
Tony Elumelu who combines his role as chairman of UBA with chair of Heirs Holding and founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has the most prominent presence on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. According to a BusinessDay survey of most active bank chairmen across the three social media networks, on Twitter Elumelu account @TonyOElumelu commands a significant followership of over 259,000 reading his 5,628 tweets.
Elumelu’s pages on LinkedIn (Tony O. Elumelu, C.O.N) and Facebook (@tonyelumelu) have attracted 210,197 and 35,503 followers respectively. In contrast, the Twitter account of Kennedy Uzoka, CEO of UBA (@KennyUzoka) has only 625 followers on Twitter, above 500 connections on LinkedIn and 4,068 likes on Facebook.
Ibukun Awosika’s handle @IbukunAwosika is the second most active bank chairman on social media with over 19,600 followers on Twitter and 7,466 connections on Facebook. Three profiles on LinkedIn that appears to bear her name have no activities and could be fake accounts.
Other chairmen, who also maintain some visibility on social networks, include; Akinsola Akinfemiwa (Heritage), Mosun Belo-Olusoga (Access), Emmanuel Ikazoboh (Ecobank Transnational) and Olayemi Cardoso (Citibank).
The survey also noted the chairmen that do not maintain any presence across the three platforms. Those in this category include Otunbo Olutola Senbore (FCMB); Joseph Oladele Sanusi (Standard Chartered); Muhammed Ahmad (Skye); Jacobs Moyo Ajekigbe (Keystone); and Ernest Ebi (Fidelity).
Whilst the chairman and the chief executive are collectively responsible for the leadership of an organisation and for promoting highest standards of integrity and probity, there is a clear difference. Two key roles of the chairman is to provide leadership and governance of the board so as to create the conditions for overall board’s and individual director’s effectiveness as well as promote effective relationships and open communication, and creates and environment that allows constructive debates and challenges, both inside and outside the boardroom.
It is not often that chairmen of organisations have any direct linkages with brand enhancement. Usually the CEO leads the charge and the chairman sits back to massage the egos of the shareholders and other members of the board. But chairmen like Elumelu and Awosika are bucking the trend, leveraging on their massive public appeal to reach unchartered markets for their organisations.
The era of social media has made it possible for the chairmen who would often be behind the scenes to become ever relevant in the brand communication process of the organisation. They may not necessarily need to engage directly with the customers but their activities on the social networks can have positive effects on how the brand is perceived by the market.
Ibukun Awosika may not have be mentioning First Bank in all of her 2,892 tweets, but her activities which could range from high profile presentations at corporate events to success nuggets also rubs off the First Bank brand positively.