As a social networking tool, Twitter has led the way for more information sharing from leaders around the world. However, not all of the world’s leaders have a solid grasp on the responsibility that comes with sharing this information in such an open forum. We’ve all heard the horror stories of CEO’s, celebrities, and politicians airing their dirty laundry via Twitter – with serious consequences and bad PR following.
An interesting article on Forbes focused on this concept in a very real way. Yes, What You Say on Twitter Really Does Matter, by Erik Kain, demonstrated the pitfalls of not filtering what is stated for all to read on Twitter. Just one word taken out of context, or perhaps said in jest, can have the effect of upsetting a lot of people, sometime prominent people, in real time.
So, what are leaders to do when it comes to using social media? Should they be banned from uttering anything on a personal, down-to-earth way? If you are a leader, or a future leader, what you say on Twitter can and does come back to bite you if you are not carefully considering the way in which you present yourself.
Using Twitter Wisely as a Leader
Read on to learn how to manage this powerful medium, while giving the right kind of impression as a leading mind in your field.
- Use a professional profile – How you present yourself on social media has as much to do with the way your profile looks to others. Does yours look ametuerish or is it more professional looking? Does it brand your company with a certain look? Take the time to have your social media profile and background developed by a pro before you start sharing any ideas on Twitter.
- Keep posts informational – While it’s tempting to share your every thought on social media, this is not the place to air your personal information. As a leader, your job is to share information that will make you an authority on the industry or niche you are in. Try to share at least one helpful piece of information daily.
- Avoid hot button topics – Contrary to the way some people discuss things on social media, Twitter is not the place to air opinions on topics such as religion, politics, social ills, or other matters. Instead, use your Twitter time to share ideas that can better your industry, such as new technology or advances.
- Follow other thought leaders – It is a courtesy to follow others who befriend you on social media. However, take the time to also seek out Twitter accounts for people you want to learn more about and who display leadership ability through their posts. Leaders should associate with other leaders.
Want to learn how to be a better communicator on Twitter and other forms of social media? Why not consider the advantages of taking a Dale Carnegie course on business communication? Classes are enrolling now in your area and online.