On one of my accounts, the CEO has become pretty obsessed with Twitter as of late. I’m happy that he was into it because I’m all about engagement and transparency and other great perks of swimming in the Web 2.0 ocean, and I’m not yet very good at convincing clients that a 140-character blurb every now and then is worth their time, so I’m glad that not a lot of prodding was needed on my part. Also, it was nice because, while I manage and maintain the Twitter activity for the company feed, when people have issues with a product, I often don’t know enough about the technology behind it or the industry itself to answer these properly – the CEO, though, can do it very well. It’s an awesome combo – CEO personal Twitter used in conjunction with the company’s…
I was asked, however, to create a little guide for his Twitter activity and realized — People, this is the age of CEO 2.0. What have we progressed to when the CEO is no longer a suit behind closed mahogany doors and on executive planes and golf courses? When they actually interact with the users, no matter how influencial, to trouble-shoot, discuss the product and the industry, or respond personally to reporters. It’s a beautiful thing.
That said, I wanted to pass along this outline for your CEO to start his very own feed. Below are some tools and examples of a Twitter feed done WELL (some of these are review from an earlier post -@JetBlue, @MightyLeaf)
Desktop app: Twhirl
- Gives you the updates on the feeds you follow, and functions like the Web page.
- You can follow, send messages, @replies.
- The nice thing about Twhirl, though, unlike the traditional service which only lists the @replies that are in the beginning of posts, Twhirl, lists all @replies that are called, no matter where they are in the post.
Scheduled Posts: Future Tweets let’s you schedule Tweets ahead of time.
Regional Interest: http://www.twitterlocal.net
Conversation/Thread tracking: Tweader.com
Trends on Twitter: http://www.twitscoop.com/
Successful Business Twitter models:
Jet Blue: https://twitter.com/JetBlue
- Their 7,500 followers are resulting from updates about their flight schedules, flying/travel tips and steady responses to customers and other Twitterers.
- A steady flow of updates keeps you on the feeds of those following you.
Mighty Leaf Tea: https://twitter.com/mightyleaf
- They’re not tech, but they come up with useful ways to discuss their products over Twitter and currently have nearly 1000 followers.
- They post “relevant” issues and articles and are engaged in their industry beyond just their product, engaging in current events and eventually bringing it back to them.
- This feed is devoted solely to addressing customer concerns and directing them to new services and solutions.
- They’ve got 18,000+ updates which illustrates that this is their new customer care model.
- “Can I help?” is a common @reply to some customer’s venting their concerns.
- Evernote is a great example of how a small company can leverage Twitter, though their model is more centered around updates and announcements rather than industry news and they don’t engage with with @replies. They probably Direct Message everyone who starts following them. Another great way to engage without crowding your feed with @replies.
- They have over 6,000 followers because they incorporate need-to-know information in their updates so that users can maximize their use.
PLEASE NOTE: Comcast is an extreme model, but it’s the truest when it comes to customer engagement. JetBlue and Mighty Leaf engage with customers, but they also focus on industry news as well. JetBlue even features a “Tech-travel Tuesday” weekly tweet devoted to how technology is having an impact in travel.
Executives On Twitter
Tony Hsieh of Zappos.com: http://twitter.com/zappos
- This is more of a daily log of activities, interactions with other journalists, and daily goings on at Zappos. But it does a great deal to humanize the company and they have nearly 20,000 followers because of it.
David Sifry, Chairman of Technorati: http://twitter.com/technorati
- He recently did an interview on his Twitter engagement: I subscribe to lots of people who say interesting things, and I listen [and] read a lot. I find that these people become a sounding board for ideas, and I learn a lot from them.”
- Many CEOs are finding this a good window into current events and insights into their industry.
It’d like to reiterate that, it does help if you garner some of the nuances of Twitter, blogging and other Web 2.0 engagement tools for your personal use – SEO, Web presence, visibility before you attempt to do the same for your client.
Have at it.