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TODD SMITH: Ways CEO can build their company’s brands through Twitter

Twitter-icon_rgbThe chief executive officer of the United States of America now has a Twitter handle. Should every CEO and company chief have the same? Many CEOs already do, but are you using it effectively, in a way that benefits the company and builds the brand?

Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned tweeter, here are top goals to consider that can help make your Twitter strategy more effective.

1. Start by creating a social-media policy. Direct your marketing leader to draft a social-media policy that would apply to all company accounts and create boundaries between personal and professional accounts. Also, establish parameters for regularly auditing company accounts, advised Maura FitzGerald, co-founder of Version 2.0 Communications. “It can be challenging to navigate the boundaries of personal versus professional online personas,” she said.

2. Be where your audience is. Among the questions CEOs should ask themselves before deciding to tweet are: Are your key audiences and targeted influencers on Twitter? Having a large following on Twitter is like having eyeballs on your website. You want them to be the right followers. If your audience is more active on a different social media, then perhaps you should start there instead of here.

3. Go all in or don’t go at all. Do you have the time to devote? At least 30 minutes a day is recommended, according to Alison Ilg of Ilg Communications. Of course, it doesn’t have to be – and shouldn’t be – all at once. Tweeting is meant to be continuous, over the course of the day and week.

4. Get personal. Your followers want to see your personal side. Allison Matherly, coordinator of digital engagement at Texas Tech University, suggests tweeting about a favorite dessert or hobbies. Do you kayak, skydive, fly planes or mountain climb? The more interesting you are, the more people—even your customers—will be interested in following you.

5. Act quickly to neutralize criticism. CEOs who use social media effectively can stem attacks on their company or brand, Catriona Pollard, a New Zealand-based PR expert, told Stuff. “You can see that people are engaged,” she said. “It also stops the criticism.”

6. Don’t hide when the going gets rough. When AirAsia flight 8501 disappeared, CEO Tony Fernandes immediately took his apologies and condolences to Twitter, and used the medium for crisis management. Apart from being unable to find the plane, no one could have handled the situation better. Communicating in real time is expected during a crisis, and social media is a great tool for doing exactly that.



7. Use it to influence media. With Twitter, CEOs can more easily enter the realm of thought leadership by interacting personally with editors, reporters, bloggers and other influencers – perhaps under the watchful eye of their internal PR team.

8. What happens on Twitter is not private, even if it says it is. CEOs shouldn’t make the mistake of assuming that the service’s “private tweets” capability ensures those messages will stay private.

While each tweet can comprise no more than 140 characters, choosing to enter the world of Twitter can be an important decision for a CEO or business chief. Social media, while fleeting, can help grow your brand if used with deliberate thought and consideration.

3 Surprising Benefits of Scheduling Your Tweets
Scheduling tweets can free up your time and make sure your Twitter account is “on” when you need it to be. But there are other, less obvious benefits of using a Twitter schedule that you will begin to notice the more comfortable you get with scheduling.

1. Your brand voice will be stronger
Do you have a solid understanding of your brand’s voices? Is it fun and flirty? Slick and professional? Friendly and approachable?

Many marketers struggle to pinpoint their brand’s voice, especially if they are tweeting on behalf of a younger company. But by scheduling tweets, you’ll give yourself a significant chunk of time every week to work on this.

For instance, if you set aside one or two hours on a Monday morning to write your tweets for the week, you will also be spending this time crafting your brand’s voice. Because you are not just haphazardly throwing a tweet together at the last minute to make sure you send something that day, your attention will be on the content and the tone. This hour or two each week will not only help you push out content for the remainder of the week, but it will force you to sit down and look at your brand’s personality.

2. You’ll be more creative
Many marketers who have not yet taken the plunge into scheduling their social media content assume that the content will become repetitive. But, if done properly, that’s not the case – in fact, scheduling tweets can allow you to be even more creative than writing them on the fly.

Plus, by putting pen to paper for an hour or more at a time, you will let yourself get into a creative flow. You’re not just spitting out a tweet and moving onto another task. You are focused, dedicated to crafting content the entire time.

3. Your stress will decrease
It’s no surprise that your stress will go down if you’re not under the gun to come up with an amazing, witty, insightful tweet every few hours. But this is a benefit of scheduling that many marketers don’t realize until they actually get into a rhythm.

Golden Mic | CMA Festival galvanizes country music industry brand
When CMA Music Festival — then Fan Fair — moved out of the friendly, familiar confines of the Tennessee State Fairgrounds in 2001 and set up shop downtown, Nashville’s annual country music extravaganza brought in $15.5 million in direct visitor spending and narrowly failed to sell out its prime-time concerts at LP Field.
Fast forward to 2014, when the four-day festival generated a whopping $39.3 million in direct spending and sold out LP Field concerts nearly a year in advance. There is every reason to believe 2015 will set a new direct spending record and that the 2016 stadium concerts will again sell out long before the lineup is announced.
CMA Music Festival has become the city’s premier tourism event, a critical artist development tool for Nashville’s country music industry and a top-shelf corporate sponsorship opportunity that attracts the likes of AT&T, Chevrolet, Delta Airlines, Budweiser, Papa John’s and many others.

The festival is so successful from virtually every angle –it also produces a prime-time concert that airs later this year on ABC – that it has become a galvanizing event that continues to add luster to the country music brand!

It’s a chart-toping brand promise that takes this week’s Golden Mic!

Each week, The Spin Cycle will bestow a Golden Mic Award to the person, group or company in the court of public opinion that best exemplifies the tenets of solid PR, marketing and advertising – and those who don’t. Stay tuned – and step-up to the mic! And remember … Amplify Your Brand!

Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon.


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