Twitter – Why powerful executives should get on board

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Simple and Short

“With Twitter, thanks to the DM and 140-char message, I have found that I can reach certain key decision makers in my network. #lovetwitter”

Communication

The power of Communication

If kissing is arguably a cultural topic in the workplace, keeping it simple & short has never been more pertinent (on a worldwide basis) because of the proliferation and immediacy of communication tools. Keeping it simple and on target is truly a key skill.  Keeping it short is also important.  When you consider the many telephone calls (and voicemails), the hundreds of emails, multiple text messages and new social media messaging (Facebook messages…) we receive daily, keeping up with the communication — much less keeping abreast of the news and relevant information — is a very real challenge for pretty much everyone, at every level.   Communication is the lifeblood of any community — and is absolutely strategic for business.  Just ask anyone who has spent time in the military services.  It is in this context that I find Twitter has a real advantage.  And I am not just thinking of the role of Twitter in the Jasmine movement.

Privileged communication channel

There are many powerful reasons why Twitter is a great tool for executives.  To begin with, Twitter is a real-time source of news and information (which is already a major plus).  This is probably the number one reason for the use of Twitter at work.  But, the new observation I have made more recently is that, with the nearly 1,000 people I follow on Twitter, I use it as my unique method of communication with about 50 people.  That’s not many people, you say?  However, what is interesting about that stat is the profile of those people.  Among them are many influential people in high positions.  Not only do these people systematically reply to my direct messages, they do so quickly.  Why is this happening?

140 characters

One hundred and forty percent

In my opinion, this is because of three things:

  1. they can choose who they follow and, therefore, can vet who can send direct messages (and are happy to have the unfollow or block functionality)
  2. the messages they receive are never longer than 140 characters – the link is an optional click through.
  3. any response is just as short and, even as opposed to the 160-character text (sms) message that is from a mobile or smart phone, Twitter works on the desktop as well as on the smartphone (making it easier easier to type).

Presumably, there is also a novelty element to why some people are using Twitter with such abandon, but I believe the reasons above are extremely relevant for business in general.

Finding the right tool

Twitter is not for everyone.  Choices must be made in the tools one uses and it takes time to build up one’s Twitter network (attracting quality & engaged followers; building up qualified lists, etc…).  I have three takeaways from these observations about Twitter.

  1. You need to know how and why the people in your network communicate and adapt your style to reach them.
  2. Get to the core of your message right away.  Twitter’s 140-character message returns us to the art of writing, and in the form of executive summaries (notwithstanding having to learn a new Twitter specific vocabulary; e.g. #FF, RT…).
  3. If someone could unfollow or block your email address (as some applications indeed permit), would you still send it?  Your network’s strength depends on the integrity of your message.  Same applies to a telephone call/voicemail/text message.

Please do copy & paste the message below as a Tweet if you found this post of interest!

“With Twitter, thanks to the DM and 140-char message, I have found that I can reach certain key decision makers in my network” via @mdial

6 Comments, RSS

  1. […] I find greater appreciation for good writing, whether it is the pithy 140-character message on Twitter, a crafted bio on Linkedin or a tidy blog post.  And, yes, I think any good blog post should be […]

  2. […] quality and frequency of [latest] tweets — too many tweets is generally a problem.  Too many of the same tweet is a no-go.  Quality in a tweet includes the quality of the link. […]

  3. […] key is keeping it simple. Totally agree: that’s why I love Twitter. Posted last week: http://bit.ly/mfC83k […]

  4. […] I find Twitter a great communication tool among the people I follow and who follow me.  The 140-character message is by definition short and punchy — which is very refreshing compared to the endless emails one can receive.  I have, moreover, found Twitter to be a very effective networking tool with other Twitteratti.  According to your message, you can broadcast to all, cite specific people or send private direct messages.   I wrote up a piece here on why powerful executives should use Twitter. […]

  5. […] the handle.  Just as branding must get more personal in this internet-connected world, managing a Twitter account needs to be considered personally.  One’s Twitter account should be considered a […]

  6. […] I find Twitter a great communication tool among the people I follow and who follow me.  The 140-character message is by definition short and punchy — which is very refreshing compared to the endless emails one can receive.  I have, moreover, found Twitter to be a very effective networking tool with other Twitteratti.  According to your message, you can broadcast to all, cite specific people or send private direct messages.   I wrote up a piece here on why powerful executives should use Twitter. […]

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