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March 5, 2013 Transcript of #CommsChat on corporate social media strategy

Last week, the @Pontifex account deleted all of the pope’s existing tweets, stating that it reflects the fact that the papacy is currently vacant.

On #CommsChat, we explored the impact of leadership on corporate social media strategy and what role the CEO should take in shaping that strategy.

Some of our choice tweets:

@AndrewGirdwood After Pope Celestine V resigned he fled, was captured, arrested and mysteriously died. I think archived tweets aren’t so bad.
@mattlawrence The majority of tweeting shoudl come from PR folks, but the occasional tweet from CEO is great for company image.
 ‏@ruthseeley If a CEO isn’t required to write all his/her own speeches, just deliver them, why do they have to write all their own tweets?
@steve_murg Hate it when senior leaders show apathy and lack of interest, you immediately lose other people as they don’t believe
@ShulaGillam CEO’s should tweet about industry issues too to reinforce rep as strong, knowledgeable, finger-on-the-pulse leader.
And the full hour:
  1.  I think some senior managers take themselves too seriously and aren’t willing to let guard down in public platform

  2. RT : take a look at our Facebook pg, &help us decide which cover to go for  ->crowdsourcing 

  3.   Do you think it could be for lack of time, experience, both? 

  4. Incidentally CommsChatters, take a look at our Facebook pg, &help us decide which front cover to go with 

  5. Thanks so much for the thought-provoking tweets, tips, etc. Really enjoyable this one. 

  6.   Completely, the ability to interact is probably the biggest weakness I see from senior leaders on SM

  7. +1 RT : How can you be an effective, modern, forward looking CEO if you can’t even handle tweeting?

  8. Night all, thanks  and hello to newbies – do come back again 

  9. Really enjoyable  – got ideas, reading material and a few things to ponder! Thanks everyone. 

  10.  Plus, they might not be the right person to be CEO!

  11.  Depends on the content they’re tweeting. If it’s all Beiber and 1D then you know why they have the high numbers

  12. Great  tonight – some very interesting points and opinions

  13. Thanks  et all. Interesting debate, good topics.

  14.  Thanks so much to you for hosting & to all the smart & thought-provoking tweeps who participated. 

  15.  Hmm, that might be true. Something like followers on LinkedIn. 

  16. Good  tonight, always love a good debate!

  17. I’m off now, but if yrenjoying yourself feel free to carry on. As always, the transcript will be up on CommsChat site tomorrow. 

  18.   Perhaps comes back to quality/level profile and image developed through SM, rather than just raw numbers? 

  19.  Demonstrates relevance and competence. My criteria, of course. 

  20. There we have it, the big hand is at the top of the hour, which means we’re through fr tonight. A big thanks to all who took part

  21. RT  I think both can tweet but different styles needed. Broadly speaking, B2C about engagement, B2B about positioning.

  22.  If we’re talking in the hundreds of thousands and you’re a CEO then you are doing something right. 

  23. Will be interesting to see how many brands survive without social media. Can traditional still cut it? 

  24.  depends why you want to find them there and what they’re doing with LinkedIn. Needs to be purpose

  25.  Savvy CEOs should create fake social media accounts to test & challenge their own social channels & customer service! 

  26.   Still, that’d be silly. It’s not the quantity, it’s the quality? 

  27. MT  CEOs should have their own identity on Twitter, yet represent core values & corporate style of their company.

  28.   Agreed. I doubt there will be many more Tony Hayward-style CEOs. 

  29.  I think both can tweet but different styles needed. Broadly speaking, B2C about engagement, B2B about positioning.

  30. …No hard sell – just take a look at the reviews and ratings on Newsstand or the App Store. 

  31.  We might find some soon if not now. Might do a little search. Guys, any case studies available? 

  32.  What better than a bio that shows the ability to connect with people. Go Linkedin. 

  33. Wishing all my tweets had verbs. 

  34.  Think there will be a strong case. If you have huge followers on twitter you’ll be more attractive prospect than none

  35.  true! My point was re: choosing what’s right for their style 🙂 

  36.  CEO’s should tweet about industry issues too to reinforce rep as strong, knowledgeable, finger-on-the-pulse leader.

  37. With 5 minutes to go – a quick word from Communicate magazine, tonight’s sponsors, on their iPad edition…. 

  38.  depends how 45 mins is used. could be really valuable. You wouldn’t ask that about 45 mins spent on the shop floor 

  39.  Will be interesting to see if next generation of CEOs move into roles at least partly based on their SM profiles….

  40. RT : Subset of Q5: is there a difference between a B2B CEO shld tweet vs a B2C CEO? Silly to have duelling corp. accts

  41.  I look forward to reading the transcript, sounds juicy!

  42.  Agreed! However CEO’s should be able to devise 140 character tweets if they can sign off on million pound budgets!

  43.  I’d expect CEO’s of the future to be SM experts so will have a bigger interest and more influence. 

  44.  I would – most of the time, depending on the company/industry. 

  45. Subset of Q5: is there a difference between a B2B CEO should tweet vs a B2C CEO? Would be silly to have duelling corp. accts.

  46.  Evening, you missed all the pope chat. We didn’t get started on any religious debates thankfully 

  47.  right platform, right message for right audience – 3 in the recipe – conversation works both ways

  48. Other sectors e.g. finance require more discrete image, with customers seeking reassurance rather than affinity. 

  49.  For the next few years they need to be included, onboard + supportive. Not necessarily part of it, if not appropriate

  50.  They could be. I’d still ask my question, though. There’s nothing to Twitter that a CEO who gets Facebook can’t do

  51. Erm – absence. See – that’s a tweet I should delete to correct a typo. But I won’t. 

  52.  also that many brands use twitter as part if their customer service offering

  53.  maybe depending on their style but also allows staff access to them which can be good for engagement 

  54. How a CEO tweets can be linked to sector. Some e.g. gambling, mean CEO can tweet same experiences as customers, build affinity.

  55.  Ha – I hadn’t even noticed absent of guest. 😉 And I promised to be quiet and mostly observe this time around – oops.

  56.  I wondered where he was…poor show! Thank god we’re such a chatty bunch! 

  57. Topic 5 What role should CEOs take in their company’s social media strategy in the future? 

  58.  They could be dire at Twitter but awesome at Facebook – key is to choose what suits their natural comm style

  59. . yes. If the cheekiness is a conceit to get attention for a dry subject (case I am thinking of is public sector) 

  60. But we are into the last ten minutes. so let’s go for our final topic.

  61.  I ask myself that Q all the time as it relates to politicians – mayors are the CEOs of their cities. 

  62.   definitely – learning curve,helps focus on the real issues, sometimes hidden or too scared to be told to CEO

  63. Our guest hasnt turned up, but I’m loving it tonight – you folks are more than making up for it. You’re all such great value.

  64. Great topic today over  – How much of a role should top-level leadership play in social media? 

  65. A4) Not one size fits all approach as depends on CEO + nature of the org. Worst idea is to shoehorn them. Channel choice is key

  66.   brands need to be humanised for people to engage with them 

  67. RT : How can you be an effective, modern, forward looking CEO if you cant even handle tweeting?

  68.  there are plenty of examples of corporate accounts doing that too 

  69. How can you be an effective, modern, forward looking CEO if you can’t even handle tweeting? 

  70. (I’m thinking of cos like  (?) that have 24-hour, ID’d service accounts and are doing a great job at that aspect of SM.)

  71. A4) Would encourage personal account for CEO (in case they leave). Should be authentic, reflect their style + orgs values

  72.   I think that show is a great example of the gap often found between CEOs and front line staff

  73.  they should do what works best for them/org. There’s merit in both, social media doesn’t conform to set rules

  74. Let’s say CEO has account but only does some tweets. Corp tweeters can use acct to direct service inquiries to service acct.

  75.  If the brand is ‘cheeky’ and the CEO isn’t comfortable with that is he the right CEO? 

  76. RT : Interested to see CEO tweet from personal a/c from two competitive brands (following role change) –> any examples

  77. We’re concentrating on CEOs sending first tweet, how active are they expected tobe in replying?Thinking in terms of time/resource

  78.  so think that the messages come from the top down, being transparent and open to engagement 

  79.  e.g if brand is “cheeky”, audience expect certain way of talking to boss which boss may not be comfortable with. 2/2

  80.  they should be encouraged to take part – it’s like ‘undercover boss’ – they learn from the experience 

  81. Interested to see a CEO tweet from a personal a/c from two competitive brands (following role change) and how conflicted it was

  82.  I believe it’s more about profile, image where that value would lie. 

  83. RT : They should have their own identity on Twitter, yet represent core values & corporate style of their company.

  84.  I think I’d start getting quite worried if my CEO started showing signs of schizophrenia. Or even mild sock puppetry!

  85. I’m now in . Come and join in using the hashtag for the last 20 mins. Full info:  

  86.   agree, personal account shld mirror message of corporate.Humanizes cei, but shldn’t create controversy. 

  87. RT : CEO should have their own identity on Twitter, yet represent the core values & corporate style company.

  88.   Paid to write 140 characters? What would the pay per word be for that! 

  89.  both for full transparency but the 2 must align.

  90. RT : CEOs should tweet in support of org initiatives/strategy in their own words. Quality not quantity

  91.  If there are accounts for both CEO and brand, there is also an interesting dynamic when they talk to each other. 1/2

  92. Evening all, will read transcript tomorrow but here for the final 20 minutes. Great topic from what I can see so far… 

  93. CEOs should tweet in support of org initiatives/strategy in their own words. Quality not quantity 

  94.  I know, I think I posed a question I don’t have an answer to. One that fascinates/worries me in equal measure!

  95.  They should have their own identity on Twitter, yet represent the core values & corporate style of their company.

  96. Another saying to a senior journalist, ‘So who watches this show anyway, housewives?’ You can’t hit CEOs, you can only cringe.

  97.  Hate it when senior leaders show apathy and lack of interest, you immediately lose other people as they don’t believe

  98.  I take it from all the references to ‘they’ it’s assumed CEOs don’t pay attention to ?

  99.  shld do it from both. Company Acct is for company news, personal for own views but w some supervision from comms

  100.  God SEO rankings is just a tiny bit of the whole thing…

  101. I remember new CEO saying sarcastically after end of last-minute telecon, ‘Thanks to all 5 of you who bothered to dial in.’ Eek!

  102.  If that’s the case, then just don’t have them on Twitter. Don’t have to be, use a senior leader who is more natural

  103.   I guess youcould argue that in future it’ll be required skill of CEOs-otherwise they’re not right for job

  104.   People employ speech writers. Tweet writers just seems wrong 

  105.  Sometimes it’s worth sticking up for minority opinions 🙂 

  106.   most companies that have CEOs/Execs tweet do so with comms ppl in the room  

  107.  Because if I write a speech for the CEO, s/he sees it makes suggestions and amends to their style. 

  108. Topic 4 Should CEOs tweet from their companies accounts? From their own? Have both? etc 

  109. We’ve semi-covered Topic 4 already. But let’s put it out there anyway. 

  110.  I’d prefer to work w/a CEO who gets comms too, but one isn

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