As CEO, your title automatically qualifies you as one whom people are anxious and willing to listen to — so take advantage of your captive audience. People are intrigued by success and how successful people think.
The social landscape provides an unprecedented opportunity to engage others and provide the kind of thought leadership that will enhance your personal brand.
Recently, we pointed out a few chief executives who really know how to use Twitter. Whether they’re perfectly mixing business and personal in their timeline or creating buzz with controversial tweets, they’re finding ways to shatter the boundaries of their influence.
Being social certainly requires a certain amount of commitment on your part, but it is not as time consuming as you think. The ability to send a tweet from your mobile phone or iPad means that you can be spontaneous on the go.
Don’t feel like everything you say has to be smart, witty or game-changing. If you read an article you found interesting, just say so and provide a link. Simplicity is king in social.
So, where do you start? Here are seven basics for CEOs who are new to Twitter:
1. Define your audience
Before you even start, you first have to know who you’re targeting. Think beyond your followers — think about the industry/niche you want to reach.
2. Stay true to your voice
More than anything, keeping a consistent tone or voice will strengthen your brand. Being genuine is the best way to build your personal brand; write like you speak.
Some CEOs will have one or two employees who sometimes tweet on their behalf. If you choose to go this route, make sure you set up some sort of process where you have the final say on what gets tweeted.
3. Start with a hook
Your “hook” is some sort of actionable, interesting line. Think newspaper headlines. Use this to draw in your followers and entice them to click through.
If you’re linking to content, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the title of the piece. It should be the content from the piece that will resonate most with your followers/audience.
4. Don’t forget the #
Include commonly used hashtags or keywords in your niche/topic. Hashtags make it so non-followers who search for those keywords can see your tweets. But don’t use too many or your tweet becomes too noisy. One or two hashtags is best. Never use more than three.
5. Shorten your links
Shortening your links helps you fit in more of the good stuff. Bit.ly is a great tool and provides analytics as well, including showing you how many people are clicking on your tweeted link.
6. Leave some off the end
Leave out 20-30 characters at the end. This lets people retweet you, word for word.
7. Make sure you won’t regret it
Once something is said in a public domain, it is nearly impossible to retract (just ask Jack Welch). Before you send the tweet take the time to briefly review what you say and how you say it.