One of the reasons businesses set themselves up on Twitter is to show that they’ve got personality - that they aren’t just another faceless company. But is it a good idea to let the bosses loose on Twitter? There is the opportunity to strengthen the brand, but sometimes it can go a little pear-shaped…
Don't Be Shy
It feels like every day someone is embroiled in a Twitter scandal, so it will come as no surprise that just 10% of the chief exec's of the world’s 50 largest companies are active on Twitter. When they are in such a high profile position, perhaps they just don’t trust themselves to behave on such a public forum! The BBC run down some of the biggest Twitter “fails” from bosses, and it ain’t pretty.
Putting Your Foot in it
Take Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary. During a Twitter Q&A (never a good idea) Michael sent a series of controversial tweets. It wouldn’t be too much of stretch to think that he had planned this all along. Q&A’s are notorious for negative comments and questions, and O’Leary took them and seemingly made them worse on purpose! Not all bosses can get away with this type of behaviour though (and to be honest, it’s not really clear whether Michael O’Leary did either)…
Bosses can get it right on Twitter too though. Apple are famously inactive on social media however CEO Tim Cook is very vocal on all sorts of issues, some of which are delicate subjects, yet Cook uses his position to start discussions and place himself as a thought leader. Apple stay “faceless”, but are represented through their employees. Researchers at Harvard and Duke Universities have found that “[Tim Cook’s] statements about the law had a positive impact on consumer sentiment for Apple”.
Think Before You Tweet
It’s evident that how bosses and CEO’s present themselves on Twitter have repercussions against their companies. Are you confident enough to represent your business well enough? You Say Social specialise in social media management and digital engagement. Drop us a line if you’d like advice on how to avoid a Twitterstorm!