Executive Twittering: Blogging Without the Time Suck

UPDATE: Best Buy CMO Barry Judge explains Twitter to Chairman Richard Schulze

BusinessWeek profiled 10 CEOs who Twitter. CIO considers it one of the four best things companies can do on Twitter.

Executives can generate substantial business value by posting their thoughts, resources, news and their ideas to microsharing tools like Twitter.

ROI vs. Blogging

Twitter’s much more practical, accessible and more easily integrated into demanding executive lifestyles. Blogging requires hours a day and a whole new skillset. Microsharing is easily done from the mobile devices executives already carry and use.

Done well, microsharing can generate even more value than an executive blog because the ROI equation is so much better. Twitter is deeply networked, so important ideas and information flow to and from your executives quickly. Ideas spread further, faster and it’s much easier for employees, customers and other stakeholders to follow. It’s so powerful that it can replace core responsibilities and functions for a net time gain.

Executive time and attention are valuable, and Twitter converts them into content and conversation much more efficiently than a blog. Here are seven reasons why:

  • Lightweight: content requirements and time commitment are both highly scalable.
  • On the Fly: ideas and observations are captured right when they hit. Resources are immediately passed along into and out of the professional network.
  • Fast: news, shared ideas, responses and innovation all happen essentially in real time. Executives can stay on top of breaking news and the day-to-day pulse of their brands.
  • Networked: microsharing is inherently networked. Blogs, for all the linking, are really not. Twitter is a de-facto social network or “human computer”
  • Easily consumed: one of Twitter’s greatest strengths lies in its many versatile access points (the user multi-face). You consume it the way that’s most convenient for you. It avoids that inbox-filling-up feeling that plagues email.
  • Pub/Sub: From JP Rangaswami (blog) coined I picked up the term “Pub/Sub.” The publish & subscribe model means that you have control over who you hear and who you talk to. Natural affinity groupings form on their own time and in their own ways, and nobody gets subjected to the torture that is an endless “reply-all” email chain.

Stories about executive microsharing will become an ongoing series for the TouchBase blog. We’ll talk to executives who are active on Twitter, FriendFeed, Plurk and other platforms about why they do it, what they’re learning and what advice they have for others giving it a try. Watch here for ideas, interviews, analysis, best practices and case studies that you can use at your company.

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