5 ways Executives can grow by tweeting

Bird holding a hashtag

© Tweeter Linder 2016 – All rights reserved. Photo by iStock

Executives with a low to medium digital literacy often opt out of using Twitter. LinkedIn is the default professional social media platform choice and Facebook the private one. This post is about providing you as an Executive with 5 arguments why you should consider tweeting. An expansion of your your personal digital leadership skills.

Tweeting leaders are active in developing your business’ customer discovery journeys

57% of the B2B customer buying process take place in digital domain. Interactions with your sales team happen only the last 43% of the journey. A central challenge is thus the definition and implementations of digital discovery journeys. The digital journey where customers learn from you in steps without talking to your staff. Crafting these journeys is a new art your marketing team need to master.

Twitter is a great tool for connecting and communicating with people you have not yet met. Twitter work great as a store front for promoting your deeper digital stories. Twitter is a real-time channel where you get red when you post, making timing of postings important.

Executives who engage on twitter get curious in understanding your business’ digital discovery journeys. In which steps you support the education of your customers. Up to the point when customers are ready contact your sales team.

Tweeting executives take an active role in shaping future eco-systems

In the past we thrived in a well-defined industry. We knew our customers and their key people. We knew our competitors and we knew our business models. All leading to focused efforts in a tight knit community.

As part of the digital transformation, the role of new eco-systems grows in importance. These new eco-systems reach across industry borders and are complex in nature.

Executives can influence these eco-systems. Someone need to form and communicate the vision for the new eco-system. When you tweet opinions and engage around eco-systems you signal you lead from the field. The alternative is to keep the bench warm. Following is not wrong but it is a different choice than leading and shaping an eco-system.

Employees follow the examples of their leaders and start tweeting to

Customers trust people more than they trust companies. As a consequence, it is critical for your brand to activate high trust employees.  They are an important channel for information to customers and eco-system stake holders. Rather than the lower trust your corporate communication enjoys. The voice of 1 000 employees is stronger than 1 voice of a company with 1000 employees.

The digital courage you show as an Executive set the tone for the rest of your organization. Do you see digital leadership skills as important? Are you prepared to experiment on your way to digital literacy? Does your digital communications signal transparency and sincerity?

LinkedIn and Twitter play a central role as channels in any employee advocacy program. But don’t expect your employees to be skilled, active and engaged if you as an Executive is absent. Not all Executives need to be active. You need 1-3 digital rock-stars and trail-blazers for the digital activation of your company. A job starting at the top.

Tweeting leaders deliver better one-liners in their speeches

Executives have great communication skills and are comfortable with being on stage. But the audience has shifted. The audience used to be in the ballroom when you were speaking. Now the lion share of your audience is outside the room and reached via digital channels.

As a consequence, the bar for your wordsmithing has been raised. Your speeches need to be both informative and entertaining. It is hard to get across with acronyms and buzzwords carrying the messages in your speech.

Your speeches become better when you have tweetable sentences in your scripts. When you tweet on a continuous basis you become better at articulating <140 letter long punch lines. Tweeting Executives become creative partners to their story writers.

Tweeters executives build relations outside a network of people they have met

Connecting through mail and LinkedIn is great but not enough. These digital communication starts with you knowing the other person from an interaction in real life. Restricting your digital reach to people you have met before represents a severe reach limitation.

Twitter works great for interacting with people you have not yet met. And perhaps will never meet. A digital tool to expand the reach of your personal network beyond physical contacts.

You have an opportunity to expand reach of your business. By connecting to new industry influencers, eco-system partners and potential customers via Twitter.  It might serve the simple purpose of reaching more stakeholders in customer organizations. With a growing number of customer stakeholders in buying decisions you need to cast wider nets. And cost of developing them is greater if you opt out of digital and aspire to reach them with leather shoes alone.

Questions to ask yourself

  1. Why am I motivated to start tweeting – It is an activity eating into your daily time.
  2. What role do I want to play in inspiring my company – All companies need 1-3 tweeting Executives in order to get employees engaged.
  3. What has been holding me back from Tweeting so far – Twitter is a 10-year old innovation most Executives have not taken advantage of.
  4. What will my ability to tweet be constrained by – Expect a mix of personality, position, language skills and twitter tool maturity to be in play

Additional readings 

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