It’s a waste of time. It’s an unstoppable barrage of information. It takes too long. Who’s in there, anyway? All of these statements have been made at one time or another by clients, colleagues, friends – and if I’m being honest, by myself.
The industry has a way of going in circles on this – with the shiny new platform (Pinterest, anyone?) attracting huge attention and tons of buy in, followed up by people taking a step back, reevaluating priorities, and either shifting attention elsewhere or shifting responsibilities to a more fitting group within the organization. Just last month, there was a study showing that many companies have even been pulling back on their blogs, thought it looks that Twitter use is still increasing.
I’ve recently been thinking about the role of social media – and Twitter specifically – for the CEO and other C-level executives. There was a time when this was a big publicity play – a way for companies to show that they were open and modern and cool. There were profiles and round-ups on these cutting edge CEOs and the value they were getting out of the platform. But how many are still at it?
From the looks of it, many are still at it. And their level of interest, engagement and enthusiasm is enough to support that for some the platform holds tremendous value.
Jay Steinfeld, the CEO of Blinds.com talked about the benefit it has had for his relationship with the media in a recent Inc. Magazine article, saying:
“Reporters and bloggers want to speak with you directly, and Twitter is a great platform for that. It’s also the ideal place to compliment them on a great article … and it’s a great place to throw out potential article ideas that pertain to your business. Sometimes they even get picked up!”
Diane Hessan, the CEO of Communisapc (who I had the pleasure of meeting in a pitch some years back), is a great example of a CEO using Twitter to “walk the walk” for her company, position herself as an expert, and show off an honest an open personality (we’ll forgive her for all the Boston fan-dom). She wrote and article for Forbes about her Twitter experience back in 2009, and it’s clear those same things are true for her today, when she said:
“Twitter has brought me new ideas and new friends, and it has connected us to a world of people who are trying to be adventurous and innovative. I have gotten free consulting, new clients, new alliance partners, lots of PR and a vehicle for getting our insights out into the marketplace.”
((Image courtesy of Getty Images))