There was an interesting story recently in Business Week on heads of companies and their take on Twitter. Given the amount of information overload and the pressure on CEO’s to be efficient with time, use of Twitter makes a lot of sense given its 140 character limit and ability to give/ get instant feedback.
My favorite CEO to follow on Twitter is hands-down Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com if you haven’t seen his Beginners Quick Start Guide and Tutorial to Using Twitter its worth a read.
CEO’s Benefits for using Twitter:
- Feed reader: I monitor Twitter several times/ day to see whats happening. I know many people who no longer read news sites and gain most of their daily information from Twitter alone!
- Brand Building: abilty to communicate your company culture, brand and personality. Ability to raise visibility of the CEO and your brand.
- Focus Group: quickly reach people with news or questions – get instant feedback – 24 hrs/ day open feedback without filters. I frequently put questions out to my Twitter network and am always amazed at the generous response I get on everything from requests for stats to opinions on issues.
- Networking Tool: connect directly with others in a effective way. I have personally connected with journalists and executives on Twitter that way that would have been difficult to do otherwise. I frequently see CEO’s Twittering about where they are and inviting people to join them for coffee or discussion.
- Monitoring: spot trending or buzz around a topic or technology – FAST! If I want to know where the buzz is on a specific topic, I usually turn to Twitter first. Many social analytics tools now include Twitter in their monitoring of conversations.
- Drive traffic: to your website – Twitter community is ACTIVE! Post a popular post on Twitter with a link to your website and you will see a huge spike in traffic and usually an increase in your network of followers.
- Humanizing your communications: there are some who don’t like mixing the personal chatter with business on Twitter – while others believe that some element of this contributes to us seeing the human side of a business or CEO.
Over the past year I have been following the number of large enterprises and media companies that are using Twitter in their communications, as well as advising several of Crimson’s clients in their use of Twitter as an effective social media marketing tool. I find the most compelling posts from CEO’s to be those that expose their everyday activities as people. I hope to see more CEO’s embracing Twitter and I personally welcome more of this “human element.”