When approached with a solid strategic plan, Twitter is a powerful personal branding and job search tool.
Bruce Philip’s insightful piece last week on Mashable, 5 Habits of Successful Executives on Twitter, lays out best practices for CEOs and any leader to leverage Twitter for a huge ROI while balancing safeguarding their own and their company’s brand reputation with building evangelism for both.
In executive job search, I urge my C-level clients using Twitter to support and evidence their personal brands by following the same strategies Philips says the best CEO tweeters embrace:
1. They are their brand’s conscience
Consumers believe an ideal CEO makes sure a brand keeps its promises. Their platform on Twitter should be the same – skip the brand rhetoric and express their passion for the job.
2. They don’t sell – they share
“Twitter isn’t advertising, it’s a conversation.” CEOs should engage and ignite conversation, sharing things about their company’s corporate culture, their own leadership values, and the team of people who make the company great. “Each tweet should be a window into the life of the company behind the marketing, which will make the marketing stronger as a result.”
3. They are real human beings
“The best executive tweeters are real people and sound like real people — always.” CEO tweeters should open their followers to a glimpse of their personal lives. People will relate better to them, like them more, and trust them more.
4. They write well
Although Twitter is inherently informal and the 140-character limitation sometimes calls for shortcuts when tweeting, bad grammar and punctuation are not acceptable. “Confident prose is one way people recognize leadership in this forum. Nobody wants to do business with a sixteen-year-old CEO, and the best executive tweeters don’t write like one.”
5. They commit
By tweeting several times a day, at least a few days a week, they build community and connect with their followers. They establish a reliable personality, with running jokes and pleasant chitchat, that show they’ve joined the party. If they’re not prepared to commit time to their Twitter presence, perhaps they’re in the wrong place.
People will initially follow a CEO on Twitter to find out more about who the company is in a way that traditional media doesn’t allow. “But they’ll stay with you only if they like, respect and trust what they discover. Which, as any leader will tell you, is what leadership is all about.”