In the ever-changing world of technology, companies must constantly adapt in order to keep themselves relevant. The individuals in charge of these companies are responsible for finding new and exciting ways to compete in new market places. Specifically, the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, is the individual that is tasked with this. If the CEO wants to keep his/her job, he/she must find an effective way to keep the company profitable. One way to do this is by analyzing data. An increasingly popular method for CEO’s to monitor data and other applicable information is Twitter.
Most business executives today, especial tech-savvy executives, would agree that Twitter is almost a requirement of business. Some famous CEO’s are taking this belief one step further and creating their own personal accounts. For example, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer uses her twitter account to post photos and news developments while even providing a slight insight into her everyday life. She would describe her style as casually providing a behind the scenes look without giving away too much. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, uses Twitter to provide insights about happiness and business that go along with Zappos’ vision. George Colony, CEO of Forrester Research in Cambridge, stated in an interview that if, as a CEO, one does not have a Twitter in five years then he/she should not be a CEO.
Colony feels this strongly about Twitter’s usage in the professional sphere because of its many advantages. For example, Twitter offers a company and its CEO a unique avenue to connect to the consumers as well as its own employees. One CEO described Twitter as not a social medium but a powerful broadcasting tool that allows one to engage in global conversations. Another advantage of CEO Twitter use is for the executive to monitor the energy and momentum of one’s own company and others. Finally, another executive agreed that it is a good way to gauge the interest of others in what the company is doing. The amount of a CEO’s or company’s followers, people who are genuinely interested in what he/she has to say or does, provides a good amount of data about the consumer.
In present times, everyone knows who the big money-making CEO’s of major companies are. It is also possible that consumer could hold a grudge with these individuals because of the amount of compensation they receive. By using a personal yet professional Twitter account, CEO’s can create a personality behind their public perception that could be beneficial to the well-being of the company. A recent survey suggests that both customers and employees place greater trust in social media savvy Twitter using CEO’s. The corresponding numbers are 77% of consumers and 82% of employees trust or view favorably a more visible CEO. Regarding employees, a CEO’s Twitter account is a very effective and easy means of communicating with one’s employees. A properly used Twitter account would follow in the footsteps of Zara’s and Netflix’s data collecting processes. By paying attention to the consumer’s tweets, a CEO can gather data on what the consumer wants and become better equipped to react to their changing needs, as Zara does.
Recently, I was having dinner with my roommate’s father who is an executive at a regional energy company. He asked me about something I had read that day, and I responded that I had read an interesting tweet about a story, but had not actually read the entire story. He proceeded to bash Twitter and our generation for “not reading enough.” But, as technology advances, Twitter is become more and more relevant and it is clearly something he was not well-versed in. In conclusion, business executives must learn to adapt to this new technological advancement or they will not be executives anymore, like Gap’s Micky Drexler and Paul Pressler.
You can find a slideshow of 50 great executives that use Twitter here.