Before Narendra Modi was elected India’s prime minister five months ago, Shishir Bajpai barely used his Twitter account. Now, he can’t do without it, as Modi attempts to reboot Asia’s third-largest economy.

“Every decision gets posted on Twitter,” the Mumbai-based director at IIFL Wealth Management Ltd., which has $10 billion under management and advisory, said in an interview. “There’s a lot of transparency now.”

While monitoring social media is nothing new for investors, it has become all but indispensable for followers of India’s $1.5 trillion stock market after Modi transformed the way official policy is announced by the oil and finance ministries. The government now uses the network more than any other globally, according to Twitter Inc. (TWTR)’s own data.

Bajpai is among a growing number of money managers using the microblog to understand how Modi is steering the economy. The 64-year-old politician and his ministers are sending dozens of tweets a day, including an Aug. 13 announcement of gasoline-price cuts that preceded the press release by 90 minutes and led to a 1.8 percent drop in Indian Oil Corp. shares.

ICICI Prudential Asset Management Co., India’s second-biggest money manager, is using social media to get a “handle” on the government’s policies, said S. Naren, the firm’s chief investment officer. Birla Sun Life Asset Management Co., India’s fourth-biggest money manager, plans to start looking at Twitter more closely, co-chief investment officer Mahesh Patil said in an Aug. 26 interview.

Brands have spent a lot of time and money working on their social skills. But in digital communities such as Facebook and Twitter, they can seem more like needy hangers-on than actual friends, jumping in on jokes and sometimes grossly misreading the tone of conversations they join, uninvited, in order to promote themselves.

Not surprisingly, consumers are not buying it. According to a study from analytics firm Chartbeat, people are much more likely to pay attention to material on Twitter when it comes from third parties – in other words, people talking about things that really interest them rather than brands promoting themselves.

I was talking recently with social sales expert and rockstar team member, Julio Viskovich about the impact of social sales on the opportunity for a company to really move the needle on revenue and bottom line profits.

Viskovich referred me to the August 2013 study by the Aberdeen Group indicating the success of social selling programs.

  • 72.6% of salespeople using social selling as part of their sales process outperformed their sales peers and exceeded quota 23% more often.
  • 46% of social sellers hit quota compared to 38% of sales reps who don’t.
  • 64% of teams that use social selling hit quota compared to 49% that don’t.
  • 80% believe their sales force would be more productive with a greater social media presence.

Aberdeen Group goes on to declare that companies who embrace content marketing and social selling experience:

  • 9% year-over-year increase in average deal size when using social selling.
  • 16.3% average year-over-year increase in total company revenue after adopting a social selling program.
  • Companies state that the buying process is more than 70% complete when buyers talk to reps after finding info online via social.

The importance of melding quality, content-driven marketing with sales–allowing sales professionals to enter the conversation earlier with quality, relevant, content to share with their personal, trusted networks cannot be disputed.

My still inspiring 2009 quote: “Social Media is here. It is not a passing fad. Be where your customers are: in social media” continues to resonate because people are still figuring out they might as well through in the towel like they eventually did with the rotary phone, the personal computer, and email.

Social Selling statistics according to Aberdeen Group