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The Top Five Twitter Habits of Very Effective CEOs


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Written by: Valentina Ciampi 

Forget I’m OK, you’re OK. Because if you really want to know how to win customers and influence stakeholders then it’s time to give social media more prominence in your marketing and communications. And getting the CEO onto Twitter is a great place to start. It’s all about the power of now.

If you’re still unconvinced about the very real imperative to get your financial services organisation in general, and your CEO in particular, with the social media program, then look no further than here.

But even for those who’ve joined the ranks of the converted (a.k.a. the 21st Century), some tips on what works best to build genuine engagement in the social sphere probably won’t go astray.

We’ve taken a look at what works for business and other leaders in the Twittersphere and compiled these suggestions to help you get it right first time.

1. Make it easy for people to identify you, especially if you have a common name. How?

  • Include your company name in the handle if possible like ANZ’s Mike Smith (@MikeSmith_ANZ )
  • Refer or link to your company or LinkedIn profile in your bio.
  • Display your company logo or branding in your banner (see Perpetual’s Geoff Lloyd (@GeoffvLloyd).
  • Have a clear and visible photo, preferably a head-and-shoulders shot.

2. Use your Bio

Be clear about the purpose of your Twitter account and whether you only tweet about company news or if there other topics you’re passionate (and willing to tweet) about. Examples:

  • Mike Smith’s bio reads, “Group CEO Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Limited. International banker, Asia-phile, adopted Aussie. Passionate about our customers, diversity champion.”
  • Craig Keary – “Senior Financial Services professional looking to make a difference to people’s lives, Husband and Father, PhD student, Runner, Focussed on Innovation.”

3. Follow the right people

This dictates the type and quality of content you’ll see. Consider following peers, colleagues, clients, brands in your industry, industry associations, brands or individuals you admire, competitors, key media publications or journalists, to name a few. Twitter is the best way to stay on top of breaking your news and of-the-moment happenings, so be discerning. If you’re looking for suggestions, take a look at the Financial Standard’s #FSPower50.

4. Create lists

A list is a curated group of Twitter users with similar interests or characteristics. You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others. If you create your own you can make it public or private. Viewing a list timeline will show you a stream of tweets from only the users on that list – a great way to get your news in a segmented way. For instance the AFR Twitter account lists its journalists – good to help you stay in touch with financial news in Australia.

5. Engage with your audience

Having a Twitter account with no activity isn’t enough. You need to be active and provide useful and relevant information to your audience. Remember:

  • Listen before you engage, don’t just jump into conversation without knowing the context.
  • Don’t just ‘broadcast’. Respond, reply and engage.
  • Keep it consistent. Make sure the content you share aligns with the purpose of your Twitter account and bio. And that means making sure you’re not absent from Twitter for long periods.
  • Make sure you respond to people who engage with you in a timely manner. Ensure your notifications are set appropriately so you can respond in real-time.
  • Aim to add value, don’t bombard your audience with meaningless content. Quality over quantity.

We’re not pretending that launching into the Twittersphere is without complication or effort. But what is clear is that there are some set guidelines for doing it right. 

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