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CEO Twitter Lessons from World Leaders

May 18, 2011 | By | No Comments

Barack Obama does it. So does Israeli’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Australian P.M. Julia Gillard does, too. They all tweet—or at least their staff does. In a guest post on Brian Solis’ blog, Matthias Lufkens, Associate Director of Media for the World Economic Forum, analyzes how world leaders and their governments have used Twitter to connect with the masses. Out of his analysis, he gleans Twitter tips for world leaders.

Most of us aren’t world leaders, but Matthias’ tips do have value for CEOs and other C-suite or senior management tweeters. Here is a recap of tips to consider:

  • Get in the mix: Twitter is all about connecting. Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had regularly invited followers to ask him questions via Twitter. (Although after this week’s revelations, I wonder if he’ll be inviting questions anytime soon!) South African president Jacob Zuma also asked for social media input for his 2011 State of the Nation address. He asked: “How can we improve the lives of all South Africans? This is your platform, the President is listening.”
  • Be yourself. CEO tweets shouldn’t read like a barrage of press releases. Matthias suggests peppering news feed with personal or even playful messages. Can you share a relevant trivia question sure to stump followers? What do you think of that new tech toy you picked up? He also recommends using photos to liven up the feed. For example, @whitehouse posted a pic with the description: “Photo of the Day contest: Name who Obama is talking to. Bonus for the tuft of hair. Prize: Nothing.”
  • Be clear about who is tweeting. Prime Minister Julia Gillard signs tweets she has authored with JG. Messages sent by her staff are signed JGTeam.

What CEO tweeting tips can you share?

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