By: Kyrsten Cazas, Community & Visibility Specialist
When the more tech-savvy constituents of U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) want their senator to know how they feel about a particular issue, they don’t make phone calls, send letters or emails anymore.
They take to Twitter.
No matter what issue they want Toomey’s support on, these voters know that a tweet posted to Toomey’s feed will go straight to Chief of Staff Chris Gahan’s TweetDeck, where their message will be seen far more quickly than if they’d sent an email or sent a letter. The senator’s office gets 20,000 of those every week.
Regardless of what opinion I or anyone may have about Toomey’s Tea Party political views, it’s clear that he and his staffers understand that, as Maddie Grant of Social Media Today put it, “One tweet from a CEO is worth 100 tweets from staff.”
Of course, there are some CEOs, such as Virgin Group’s Richard Branson, HDNet’s Mark Cuban and Mashable’s Pete Cashmore who have long recognized the value of having a presence on Twitter. But, little by little, chief executives are realizing that Twitter, which went live in June of 2006, isn’t just a domain for the Kardashians, Gagas, Biebers and Kutchers of the world.
Forbes recently ran an interesting article about how Twitter is becoming a dependable communications tool for CEOs who recognize the 140-characters-or-less social network as a potentially valuable tool for business. They don’t go on Twitter to indulge in water-cooler chat. Today’s Twitter-savvy CEOs are using the service as a way to connect with employees, customers and industry peers. They’re also using it to connect with reporters who cover their industries and to keep abreast of the latest news that shape our world.
Over the past few years, Twitter has emerged as a breaking-news powerhouse. The most famous example of news breaking on Twitter came at 9:45 pm on Sunday, May 1, 2011 when journalists at major TV outlets reported that the president was about to make an announcement on an unspecified topic. Long before the news of Osama bin Laden’s death became official, those connected to Twitter already knew.
Forbes contributor George Anders points out that CEOs are increasingly using Twitter as a way to connect to others in their industry and to watch trends that could lead to the next big idea that moves a company forward. They’re sharing ideas, giving props to the best in their fields, promoting their brands and forming networks of potential future business partners.
So congratulations to the once-reluctant corporate execs who are finally embracing this important social network. Considering all the sharp wits and top talents who have a presence on Twitter, this could be where the next Big Game-Changing Idea comes from. In today’s challenging economic climate, we need to be taking advantage of every last tool at our disposal.