CEOs Get Direct and Personal On Twitter

October 15, 2012
executive twitter by uriondo, on Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License??by??uriondo?
Many chief executives are contemplating whether it?s truly effective and strategic for them to join Twitter to get closer to their target audience or if doing so actually exposes them more to risk. Jeffrey Immelt (@JeffImmelt), CEO of General Electric Co., decided to become a part of Twitter in September 12 this year to create a most credible source of information about the company, alongside tweets about his personal preferences and comments on specific issues. Heads of firms are realizing the benefits of providing a more authentic approach with the way they deal with customers, such as tweeting about their personal lives and activities. The goal is to make the executives more approachable and give their respective brands a more personal touch to target clients. According to Bill George (@Bill_George), former CEO of Medtronic Inc, any market needs CEOs that are real and authentic and Twitter offers a very fast, easy and convenient way to reach out to the most number of people at the quickest time. More CEOs and officers are quickly resorting to Twitter to communicate with their clients and add some meaning to the brands they represent.

Bosses Reaching Out To The Masses

... but not quite, just yet. To date, CEOs getting up close and personal on social media remains a growing trend. Seven out of ten Fortune 500 CEOs, or 70 percent, do not use social media, based on a report by Domo and CEO.com. Bosses who are catching up with the trend, however, prefer either Twitter or Facebook. About one-half of the group has Facebook accounts while one-third has Twitter accounts. Eight percent use their real names on Facebook while 4 percent use their real names on Twitter. CEOs who do have a social media presence share that the objective is to create a balance between the goals of the business, as well as their own personal lives. Marissa Mayer (@marissamayer), Yahoo! CEO, and Omar Ishrak (@MedtronicCEO), Medtronic, are some of the notable executives who have generated a huge following via the social network platform. Overall, while Twitter and other social networks do get the personalization part down pat, CEOs also have to be aware of what they can and cannot divulge online, how to maintain credibility and preserve integrity for the firms they represent.

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