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Twitter can be used by any C Level Exec including a CEO in a number of ways to drive personal/corporate brand, engage with customers/business partners, add a broader social voice to the company, use social media as a leadership tool to motivate and inspire the company and more. Some caveats:
Critical to understand Twitter like any social media platform is transparent and your building an online personna that will live forever (to certain extent).
Good to have some sense for what marketing and/or other stakeholders within the company are doing and saying via social media marketing. Enabling you to amplify and/or reinforce messaging; or not, depending on goals for your account and/or your in-place social media marketing strategy for your company.
You must understand Twitter’s social mores and follow them, or risk looking foolish.
Be aware of time commitment required to be effective with Twitter or any social media platform.
Many savvy Twitter Followers could care less about where your hanging out and what you are doing. Foursquare check ins are boring to say the least, not to mention could be a security risk. Be authentic, engaging and convey a social voice that adds something to the mix.
Be aware Twitter is a great tool for competitive analysis and your competitors are probably listening to what, when, where and how you say things. Turn about is fair play, follow other executives in your market niche to get a handle on their activities.
If you get on Twitter then stick to it. Creating an account and then abandoning will make you and the company look foolish.
May want to “listen” to the social conversation to get up to speed before jumping into the digital pool. I’d suggest Following other CEOs in your industry to understand what they are and are not doing. Although what others are doing or not doing shouldn’t drive your social branding - at the end of the day your presence on Twitter should be unique and fit your personality.
Twitter is a great tool for facilitating relationships and making critical introductions. You can easily network strategic partners and/or customers together via Twitter, which might save you time and resources.
Critical to understand Twitter is an engagement platform, broadcasting PR, wins in the marketplace, accomplishments, etc. are all good. But, you want your Twitter stream to be more than this - engagement will generate good things for your personal and professional brand.
Don’t worry about Follower accounts. If you follow basic rules of the road via Twitter then Followers will come.
I can’t comment on Sarbanes-Oxley disclosure and/or SEC regulatory issues that relate to social media, let alone Twitter. But, am sure others on this dynamic platform/forum can address these. I don’t think you can go wrong adhering to what in-house counsel’s directives are for PR and/or other public facing marketing activities.
I use Tweetdeck as my Twitter client of choice. But, HootSuite is certainly very popular. Tweetdeck runs on Adobe air and I find the interface bit easier to use than HootSuite. But, HootSuite incorporates very basic analytics.
Set up Google Alerts for your name and company, enabling you to track what is being said about your corporate and personal brand. These can also be used to help you come up with ideas for content that you want to reference in your Twitter stream.