The Digital CEO: Using Twitter


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While many senior executives have taken to our digitally connected universe like ducks to water, others haven’t. And if that statement resonates – then this document is for you.

Welcome to the first in a series of documents specifically designed for the CEO – or senior executive – who wants to know more and how best to join the party.

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The Digital CEO: Using Twitter

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  2. 2. Web sites. Ecommerce. Mobile. Tablets. Facebook. Twitter.Pinterest. Instagram. The list goes on.But while many have taken to our digitally connecteduniverse like ducks to water, others haven’t. And if thatstatement resonates – then this document is for you.Welcome to the first in a series of documents specificallydesigned for the CEO – or senior executive – who wants toknow more and how best to join the party. 2
  3. 3. First thing to know: You’re not alone!According to, only a fraction of Fortune 500 CEO’sparticipate in Social Media:Just 7.6% are on Facebook.Just 1.8% use TwitterAnd 70% have no social media presence at all. 3
  4. 4. Reasons you’re not alone might include:Not knowing how to use technologyWorrying about making a public mistakeOverwhelmed as to where to startNot enough time to get started and / or engageWhatever the reason, this series of documents will helpshed some light on some of these new digital touch points,and give you some insight on whether they’re right for you.Ready? Introducing Twitter. 4
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  6. 6. Officially, Twitter describes itself as:“A service for friends, family, and co–workers tocommunicate and stay connected through the exchange ofquick, frequent answers to one simple question: What areyou doing?”Or, put another way, Twitter is an online tool that allowsyou to share and listen to those around you and / or yourbusiness. 6
  7. 7. The primary difference between Twitter and other onlinetools is that Twitter posts (tweets), are restricted to 140characters or less.Twitter enables you to share real-time experiences, withlinks, conversations, topics, photos and – from the CEOperspective - real-time accounts from those in the know. 7
  8. 8. So, if you’re already sold on using Twitter and you take onlyone thing away from this document, remember this:Twitter is a conversation. Take time to listen to what’s goingon and respond. Don’t just talk at people. 8
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  10. 10. As with many new online tools and services, Twitter hasdeveloped its’ own vernacular.To help clarify, here’s a summary of some key terms youmay find useful - as well as some key online vernacular thatmay appear in Twitter conversations or responses: 10
  11. 11.  Tweet A message using Twitter, containing no more than 140 characters. ReTweet or RT A Tweet that’s been shared by another Twitter user. MisTweet or MT A Tweet that’s been sent in error. DM A direct message between you and the sender / recipient Dweet or DT A Tweet sent under the influence. (Can have lasting consequences because all Tweets are searchable!) FF Using #FF (short for Follow Friday) along with @user names is a recommendation to follow those people. 11
  12. 12.  FWIW “For What It’s Worth” – an opinion expressed by another. Also… IMHO “In My Humble Opinion” – an opinion expressed by another. OH “Overheard” Used to anonymously share something overheard by another. @ Sends a message to another Twitter user. # (Hashtag) Prepending a # to words in Tweets to categorizes them for others so users can see other similarly themed tweets and find yours in search. 12
  13. 13.  Tweeps Refers to the Twitter community as a whole. Tweetup A pun on meet-up referring to a gathering of Twitter users organized through Twitter. Twinfluence Refers to influence created by Twitter (number of followers or re- tweets) TwitPic TwitPic lets you upload a photo on Twitter. Twitterati Twitters perceived A-listers. 13
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  15. 15. Creating a Twitter NameA good username is typically the same or similar to yourown or company name.And because Twitter names have influence on searchengines consider using a valuable keyword as your Twittername.Be aware Twitter limits user names to just 15 characters toleave room for message content. 15
  16. 16. Creating a Name and a BioBecause Twitter imposes a 160-character limit, profiles mustbe composed with great care.Profiles are searchable in and outside of Twitter, so usekeywords.Convey who you are, what you do, a key benefit you offeryour followers and yes, some personal information thatmakes you “human”. 16
  17. 17. Uploading a PictureUpload a picture that reflects the personal image you wantto convey.Just as you chose your bio carefully, choose your picturecarefully too. 17
  18. 18. Background DesignsTwitter backgrounds let you communicate your personalityor reflect your company’s identity.If you create a custom background, use it to convey abranding message, and provide contact options.Keep it simple – the focus needs to be on you and whatyou Tweet – not what how your background looks. 18
  19. 19. Setting up NotificationsDirect messages (DMs) from other Twitter users are privatemessages and can be essential windows into what’s goingon in your business.Always receive email notification of direct messages sentto you.Email notification of DMs helps ensure you don’t overlookthem. 19
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  21. 21. While there’s no official “handbook” for Twitter, there aresome basic principles that form the basis of best practices.Here are some do’s and don’ts to give you a guide on howbest to engage on Twitter: 21
  22. 22. 1.Share. Followers come to Twitter to see and share thelatest - so, share (responsibly). If you can, share somebehind the scenes information and pictures that yourfollowers will find interesting.2.Listen. Always monitor Tweets about you, your company,staff and current issues.3.Ask. Think of Twitter as a free focus group - ask questionsof followers to help uncover insights and show you and yourbusiness is listening. 22
  23. 23. 4.Acknowledge. Respond to complaints and complimentsquickly.5.Show Broad Industry Knowledge. Share news, articles,insights around the broader picture of your business.6.Develop a Community Voice. Think about a tone that’sright for you on Twitter and create a likeable voice.4.Always use a URL shortener. When sharing web links, usea shortener (search “link shortener” in Google to find oneyou like) for ease of sharing. 23
  24. 24. 8.Correct Mistakes. If you make a mistake – be upfront andsay so. Transparency and honesty go a long way todeveloping trust.9.Honor Promises. If you make a promise – keep it. Soundssimple, but if you put a timeline on your promise – keep thattoo.10.Maintain Confidentiality. Know where sharing ends andconfidentiality begins. Even if you qualify your remarks,you’re on the hook if you break confidentiality terms. 24
  25. 25. In the same way as there are rules of the road for how bestto Tweet, here are some examples of pitfalls to avoid. Soplease don’t:1.Spam (bulk messages). Using Twitter as an alternative toEmail or as a spam mechanism will upset your followers.1.Ignore Questions or Complaints. Ignoring questions orcomplaints you’re asked will only make the issue worse.Address issues or questions head-on.2.Be “wooden”. Be you! And use your own voice. 25
  26. 26. 4. Ignore your profile. Ignoring your Twitter profile or Tweeting irregularly will ultimately leave followers cold and perhaps asking “are you asleep at the switch?”5. Be longwinded. Aim for 100 characters less - people are more likely to read or Re-Tweet shorter tweets.6. Overuse abbreviations or jargon. Make sure followers can easily understand what you’re talking about!7. Use capital letters. Overuse capital letters and followers will think YOU ARE SHOUTING! 26
  27. 27. 8. Get into an online fight. It’s fine to correct a mistake, misquote or rebut an issue – but know where to draw the line.9. Forget to check your spelling. Obvious perhaps, but don’t be the CEO who can’t spell!10. Forget to see what you’re peers are doing. Twitter is public, so go ahead, take a look at what your peers and competitors are up to. May be you can do better? 27
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  29. 29. Getting yourself on Twitter and Tweeting is half the story.The other half is managing your Twitter account –something that will take time if you’re serious about yourTwitter activity.Here are some things to consider before you get started, tohelp manage yourself and your Twitter activity: 29
  30. 30. 1.Who /what resources will you use to help support Twitteractivity? Consider that Tweeting will include checking facts,addressing issues and keeping abreast of what followers aresaying about you and your business.2.Do you need an escalation procedure in the event an issuecomes up that becomes a broader communicationschallenge? Remember – Twitter doesn’t sleep and is active365 days a year. 30
  31. 31. 3. How do you want results and effectiveness of your Twitter account measured and who will be responsible?4. You need to know who your followers are – particularly if some use unrecognizable aliases and may be competitors, journalists or investors. Keep abreast of who’s following you and special note of key influencers.5. You need to be aware of trending topics on you and your business so your Twitter feed demonstrates you have your finger on the pulse of what’s going on. 31
  32. 32. Your support staff must be senior enough and have regular,unencumbered access to you (and your executive team).They must be able to:1.Advise you and / or your Executive Team of feedback /urgent issues 24/7.2.Find answers / propose workable solutions with a sense ofurgency.3.Be empowered to cut through internal barriers to be ableto provide timely answers and solutions and get promisesacted upon. 32
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  34. 34. Research suggests customers are more likely to trust acompany whose CEO and executive team engage in socialmedia.Following the guidelines contained in this document will goa long way to setting any CEO up for success whencontemplating using Twitter.And above all, remember:Twitter is a conversation. Take time to listen – don’t justtalk at people. 34
  35. 35. The Argedia Group is an independent SearchManagement and Evaluation consultancyenabling clients to maximize value fromsuppliers through:Agency SearchIncumbent Agency EvaluationContractual and Dispute ResolutionFind out more at 35