Wednesday, September 2, 2009

CEOs Should Twitter

Do you want to become a more effective leader? Are you cut off from your most important constituencies; looking for a better way to communicate with employees, suppliers, and stakeholders or customers? Well, look no further. Savvy CEO's are embracing social media/networking and Web 2.0 platforms as an effective way to build customer-centric organizations that not only communicate, but also listen and learn from the interaction.

Today's modern CEO can clearly see how social networking can increase brand recognition and enhance their own credibility by communicating directly with key stakeholders. For example, I use this blog so that I can engage with you and have authentic, interactive conversations. Actively participating with informative blogs or listening to feedback from Twitter is a very cost effective way to find out what your customers or stakeholders think about your organization. A CEO can use Web 2.0 platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Blogs or any combination thereof to become a more effective leader by gathering information and instigating action based on real customer/stakeholder feedback.

Maxine Clark, Chief Executive Bear and Founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop is an active Twitter and Blog user and is a fine example of how to use social media to connect with your stakeholder/customer. In 2007, Maxine wrote her first book entitled "The Bear Necessities of Business: Building A Company with Heart." It is a fascinating book about how she built her company on the simple premise of making kids smile. I highly suggest that you go out and get it and read it!

Maxine's example of how a great CEO's use of social media to connect with customers is gaining loyalty and excitement. It certainly is with me! Maxine has 655 followers and Build-A-Bear Workshop has over 3,000 followers. Maxine makes it a point and tries real hard to respond to every follower post and every email. I sent a post about my daughters upcoming birthday this month at Build-A-Bear Workshop and Maxine immediately replied with a direct message offering any help she can provide to make my daughter's birthday a "PAWSOME" party. And, she thanked me "BEARY Much" for the post.

This is only one example but I am sure you can see the value. I will be a life-long fan of Build-A-Bear Workshop and I will tell this story to all that will listen. So, raise your effectiveness and adopt social media as part of your ongoing marketing plan. Learn from Maxine's shining example. Please share with me how you are using social networking/media to grow your business relationships?

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