During my research for our Hotelier Middle East Power 50 list — to come out in the September issue of the magazine — I’ve been attempting to follow some of the region’s top dogs on Twitter — to little avail.

I’m surprised to find that most of 2014’s top five most powerful hoteliers in the Middle East (I won’t name names — you know who you are!) have no presence on Twitter at all. It seems they rely instead on their companies’ corporate accounts spreading the PR message on their behalves.

I’m not sure if this is due to certain restrictions put in place by corporate office (surely not!) or personal aversions to social media, or a combination of both. Whatever the reason, it’s a shame, particularly as the hotel industry clambers to attract millennial talent into its teams, and millennial guests into its properties. To be an influential leader for the younger generations, it’s important to have a voice on Twitter and LinkedIn at least, if not some of the other upcoming channels. In Hotelier’s CEO interviews, we always ask for a list of five people that have inspired the interviewee – alive or dead — famous or not famous.

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Among the popular choices are Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King, Richard Branson and Bill Gates.

The first two have no presence on social media for obvious reasons, however Gates and Branson’s Twitter feeds are very inspiring indeed, and both of them manage to get the balance just right between work and play. In his Twitter bio, Branson, who has 6.12 million followers, calls himself a “Tie-loathing adventurer, philanthropist and troublemaker, who believes in turning ideas into reality”.

He is chatty, yet professional, and conveys business information with a touch of personality. He shares advice, articles he likes, and does plenty of retweeting of other innovators and thought leaders.

Perhaps it’s no coincidence then, that one of the more prolific hotel company CEOs on Twitter is Virgin Hotels CEO Raul Leal. His tone is very informal and would probably appeal to the millennial generation. He talks about music festivals, new restaurant openings in Virgin hotels around the world, and often retweets staff and guests.

In Forbes.com’s article ‘7 Traits Of Highly Influential Leaders’, it is suggested that for a leader to come across well on social media, he or she must be themselves, stay on message and of course, favour quality over quantity. The best advice offered, however, is to “have big fun”; the key being that for top leaders, the line between work and play is blurred because generally speaking, they love what they do.

So with Branson and Gates big hotelier inspirations, and social media gurus to boot, why don’t our Power 50 candidates take a tip out of their tweets and make their own voices heard online?

You never know, perhaps social media impact will be in the Power 50 criteria for next year.