The CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are starting to get it: sociability matters. Social media provides a platform for chief executives to connect with their consumers, advocate for a cause or share their thoughts with fans and followers. Here are five of 2014’s biggest social media moments that are truly unforgettable.
“Unveil the D”
Elon Musk took to Twitter to tease the announcement of Tesla’s newest model, but his ambiguity and easy-to-misunderstand tweet resulted in a Twitter-frenzy. Musk responded to the comments concerning his tweet in a lighthearted manner, explaining that the interesting wording of his original tweet was unintentional.
The Uber Apology
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick tweeted out a 14-part apology for the comments made by Uber executive Emil Michael during a private dinner. Michael suggested that the company should hire a team of opposition researchers to dig up dirt on its media critics. Kalanick’s apology condemned Michael’s ideas and tried to ease the tension between journalists and Uber.
Ice Bucket Challenge
If you checked any social media platform this summer, then you were sure to see someone pour an ice-cold bucket of water on his head. This brilliant marketing technique by the ALS Association raised over $100 million throughout the summer, and some of the biggest-name chief executives took the plunge. Bill Gates, Satya Nadella, Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook were just a few to join the challenge that went viral.
Twitter CEO & Iranian President
Twitter is unavailable for use in Iran, and Dick Costolo hasn’t been too happy about it. While Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was in New York visiting the United Nations, Twitter’s CEO sent a snide tweet Rouhani’s way. This quick-witted tweet turned a political message into a business opportunity while gaining support of social activists. Well played, Costolo.
From Twitter to Resignation
PayPal Executive Rakesh Agrawal resigned earlier this year after he accidentally posted inappropriate comments on his Twitter account. PayPal took to Twitter to announce Agrawal’s departure from the company after the incident, although Agrawal argues that he resigned before his Twitter faux-pas. Learn from his mistake and don’t vent your own work frustrations on a public forum.