It is not uncommon to talk with leaders each day who say they just don’t understand Twitter. They go to the site and see where someone is talking about the coffee they are drinking or their latest trip to the grocery store.
The reality is that this microblogging tool is gaining more and more users, and the momentum is high. CEOs from around the world are now using Twitter as a way to expand their brands and connect to their employees and customers.
If you are a leader of either a small, medium or large enterprise, there are 10 reasons you should use Twitter:
1. To build a sense of community. With our future leaders…Generation Y… a sense of community is critical for their ability to connect with your company and to feel a sense of belonging. And…a sense of community is just great for developing strong teams.
2. To get messages out quickly. As you probably know, your Twitter account can be connected to your cell phone and to the cell phone of your network. No reason to wait on folks getting to their e-mail or to an online forum to find out your news. By integrating your phone to Twitter, your Twitter network can receive a message by text in minutes.
3. To listen. There are multiple conversations happening on Twitter every second of the day. By listening to what people are talking about, you can quickly get your finger on the pulse of the most important topics of the day. As a leader, it is critical to know what the world is talking about. With a tool like Twist, you can follow the top conversations on Twitter and then look closely to see how this trend might be important or relevant to the decisions you make in your company.
4. To create a snowball effect. Twitter can be used to get out a message quickly and to have others spread your news to their networks. It just works!
5. To bring visibility to your blog. If you are a leader of an organization, I highly recommend that you look into blogging. A blog can give you a human touch, and you can then use Twitter to let the Twitter network know about your recent post. If you hosting your own blog on your own domain using WordPress, I recommend setting up an account with Ping.fm and then connecting your blog to Ping.fm using the plug-in WPing.fm. This little plug in will feed your blog to over 10 social networks, including Twitter. (If you only want to send your self hosted WordPress blog to Twitter, you can use the Twitter Tools plug-in.)
6. To get customer feedback. Putting out a question about your company on Twitter is a great way to get instant feedback. If you have a product roll-out, if you are brave enough, ask your Twitter network what they think about it and solicit feedback to improve your products and services.
7. To show your human side. As we all know, Twitter is a bit more personal than formal online social networks. Showing a bit of your human side can help you build rapport and fans.
8. To educate the public about your company AND your culture. Allowing people the chance to see a bit inside your company (the more personal/human side) and its culture creates connection with both customers and employees and builds trust over time.
9. To facilitate research and development. The Twitter network offers scores of opportunities for you to get questions answered from people who are eager to jump in and participate. Just try asking one question on Twitter, and sit back and watch as people bring forward their ideas and resources.
10. To learn the about the latest/greatest advancements in technology. Many of the people who use Twitter are not afraid of technology…as a matter of fact, they relish it! If you watch and listen closely enough, you will discover quick insights into the latest/greatest gadgets, software and web collaboration tools. As leaders, we all need to be out there listening and looking for what’s next on the tech edge.
This article was written by Bea Fields. Fields is the President of Bea Fields Companies, Inc. and the co-author of EDGE! A Leadership Story and the co-author of Millennial Leaders: Success Stories From Today’s Most Brilliant Generation Y Leaders.