If the medium is, in fact, the message, then these cool cats are telling the world that they are among the world’s most forward-thinking marketers. There’s a brand new list out of Chief Executives and other C-Level executives who are actively using the micro-blogging site Twitter. The biggest name on the list: Virgin’s Richard Branson, who certainly qualifies as a forward-thinking marketer.
It seems shocking (to me, anyway) that someone who has the responsibility for dozens or hundreds or thousands of employees and customers could spend time trying to figure out the right hashtags for his or her latest tweet. Taking it to the extreme, can you imagine if well-known Blackberry devotee and communication-aholic President Obama got on the Twitter bandwagon and started tweeting away from the Oval Office (“Sec. Clinton just checked in from M.E. Things looking good! Time for lunch with Geithner. Ugg.”)?
When it comes to our Chief Executives, it seems that there could be such a thing as being too connected. CEOs should be executing, not commenting. And certainly not dithering. I suspect that a CEO who is on Twitter all day would soon be explaining a big drop in the company stock. (That is, if they weren’t all plummeting already.)
But just as obviously, Twitter holds great communications promise for those who can figure out how to utilize that potential. The best example so far – The Israeli Consulate in New York holding a global news conference via Twitter to discuss its December battle with Hamas.
So, as with any tool, the possibilities for using Twitter and other social networking sites for business seem magical. The key for any organization is to not get carried away by the technology, and figure out how to apply it (probably sparingly) to better communicate to your audience.