How CEOs Can Use Twitter

We are living in the Social Age.

The founders, CEOs, and executive leaders who embrace the hyperconnected, global, and mobile world of today will see their businesses prosper. Those who don’t will most certainly get left behind.

As a lifelong entrepreneur and business builder, with a diverse work career across several different verticals, I can empathize with the challenges business decision-makers face. Keeping pace in the Social Age is no easy task.

But it’s a necessary task you must not only take on, but master.

You may still be asking…

“Why is social still around and why do I need to be there?”

Why CEOs Need A Social Presence

Because social isn’t going anywhere and your customers, employees, and stakeholders expect you to have an active social presence.

A social presence today means more than sharing cute cat videos and a picture of what you ate for lunch.

Social media has evolved into a powerful tool all business decision-makers need. (click to Tweet)

Brandfog’s 2014 Global Survey reveals three top benefits of being an active and engaged social CEO:




Agree that executives with an active social media presence help raise brand awareness and establish industry leadership.



Agree that C-level executives active on social media build thought leadership and enhance credibility with stakeholders, press, and media.




Agree that socially savvy CEOs build better connections with customers, employees, and investors.

The Social Snow Leopards


Many CEOs and executives are what I call the “snow leopards” of social media: elusive and clandestine creatures who make connecting and engaging quite a challenge.

While the social activity of C-level executives is improving, there’s still a significant population of CEOs who don’t engage on social platforms.

According to  The 2015 Social CEO Report from Domo and ->

“61% of Fortune 500 CEOs are not on any major network.”


Twitter, Anyone?


LinkedIn remains the leader when it comes to the entry social media network for executives and CEOs, while Twitter is still the social underdog.

Of the CEOs with any social presence, only a quarter of them are on Twitter…and it’s pretty much a ghost town in Twitterverse:

  • 50 Fortune 500 CEOs are on Twitter this year…only 8 more than last year’s 42.
  • Only 62% of CEOs on Twitter are active -> meaning they’ve posted at least once within the last 100 days. That’s down from last year’s 67% of active CEOs.
  • On average, active CEOs Tweet about once every 5 days, compared to last year’s active Twitter CEOs who Tweeted every other day on average.

Why the push for Twitter?

“Twitter is ripe with opportunities for founders, CEOs, and executives to grow their network, build their funnels, and increase sales.”

I was late to the Twitter game when I joined in January of 2011. A pivotal shift was occurring in the digital landscape and I felt the urgency to understand how to navigate and benefit from the social network. Even as an experienced entrepreneur and business builder, I didn’t “get it” in the beginning. I floundered a bit before I had my Twitter “Aha” moment in October that same year:

“Twitter is really about making authentic connections with real people, not about re-Tweets and follower counts.”

Five years later, I’ve personally met or talked to hundreds of people from Twitter that resulted in amazing business, and perhaps more importantly, great friendships. It’s been a game-changer for me!

I want to share my experience and smart ways CEOs and executives can use Twitter to boost brand awareness, thought leadership, and generate quality leads for their businesses.

Here are my 7 smart ways CEOs can use Twitter today:


  1. Share your thought leadership and domain expertise about your product and market space.
  2. Connect with your peer network.
  3. Follow and engage your loyal customers, brand ambassadors, and content amplifiers.
  4. Participate in the social conversations at live events and conferences.
  5. Lead the charge on your employee advocacy efforts.
  6. Listen to what people are saying about your brand.
  7. Spy” on your competition and marketspace.
7 Smart Ways CEOs Can Use Twitter

1. Share your thought leadership and domain expertise about your product and market space.

Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich, shares her thoughts on the power of keeping a daily journal with her SpinSucks blog community. By consistently sharing her thought leadership and domain expertise, Gini has grown her audience to over 41,000 Spin Sucks fans! 

2. Connect with your peer network.

Jeffrey Hayzlett, Primetime TV and radio host on @CSuiteTV and @CSuiteRadio, connects with his Csuite peers by Tweeting a call out for business authors to contribute to the @CSuiteBookClub: 

3.  Follow and engage your loyal customers, brand ambassadors, and content amplifiers.

Think human-to-human #H2H like Bryan Kramer, CEO of @PureMatter. He is always generous, 100% authentic with his audience, and the reigning king of social-sharing selfies:

4. Participate in the social conversations at live events and conferences.

Ted Rubin is a master engager on Twitter. In fact, Rubin ranks 3rd on Leadtail’s Top Twitter Influencers for CMOs in 2015. Ted never misses a beat acknowledging his peers, integrating his branded hashtags like #RonR, and giving live events like the recent Swipe Summit in Ireland some social love: 

5. Lead the charge on your employee advocacy efforts.

No one does this better than “Dr. Yes” Richard Branson. He reminds us to consistently celebrate the people who make a difference to you and your business:

6. Listen to what people are saying about your brand.

People are talking about your brand on Twitter, whether you like it or not. There isn’t much of a social filter when it comes to people sounding off about a brand, whether it’s good, great, or downright ugly.

Actively listening to your brand provides a real-time experience with your audience. Being available to answer questions, follow up with a lead, and engaging with your audience will boost brand trust and advocacy. 

Let’s take CEO of Salesforce Marc Benioff. With over 202,000 Twitter followers, he consistently RT’s where his name and company are mentioned. A RT from a heavy Twitter hitter like Benioff goes a long way in gaining that coveted brand trust and loyalty:

7. “Spy” on your competition and marketspace.

On the other side of the listening coin is listening in on your competition. People are talking about your brand AND your competition. Who is talking about them? What are they saying? How can you leverage your competition’s audience?

Better believe that Salesforce has their social eyes and ears on the competition:

Twitter For The Win

Twitter for the win! When it comes to growing a thriving network, building robust conversion funnel and lead generation, and boosting profits, I still turn to Twitter as my number one resource.

Are you a CEO or executive on Twitter?

Still not convinced Twitter is for you and your business?

I would like to invite you to a FREE 30 minute consultation to let me apply my expertise and help you and your company take advantage of the many opportunities waiting for you in the Twitterverse.

Contact me to set up your consultation or Tweet me @MediaLabRat.