Twitter gives CEOs distinct voice and direct pipeline to stakeholders

Executives can use Twitter to communicate directly with a variety of different business stakeholders.
Executives can use Twitter to communicate directly with a variety of different business stakeholders.

Buried beneath much of the cacophony that Twitter can promote, CEOs and other business executives may be able to find immense value from that social media platform. Information travels at breakneck speed on Twitter, and executives who do not take part in the conversation could be doing their companies a disservice.

Employee interaction is perhaps best done through Twitter, if in-person meetings are not possible. In the past, we have reported on the need for executives to appear relatable and accessible to their workers, since employees respond positively to bosses with whom they are familiar. CEO Jay Steinfeld – a converted Twitter user himself – recently wrote for that social media can also be used in a somewhat schrewd manner to interact with the media. Journalists constantly monitor the Twittersphere for news leads, so executives would be wise to attempt to control the public narrative about their company somewhat by sending leads out to writers via Twitter.

At its core though, Twitter can provide executives with up-to-the-minute news on the goings-on of their particular industry. Twitter is, in many ways, a custom news feed that CEOs can use to supplement their knowledge.

"I enjoy staying up to date on their thoughts at important times, such as during a business conference or play-off game," Steinfeld writes. "Remember to retweet, too. Today, it's a form of social currency that is valued by employees, colleagues and friends. Be generous and link often. The gesture will come back to benefit you, too.

Although not every company needs a CEO who is familiar with mentions, handles, hashtags and other Twitter lingo, the importance of strong communication abilities should not be overlooked. To find executives who have previously displayed an ability to transmit and share ideas, companies may hire a retained executive search firm to lead a global executive search.