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Twitter for beginners

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Marketing Strategy

Today’s guest post is by Mark Krasnow, CEO of BullsEye Resources. BullsEye specializes in making conferences and live events more valuable by creating executive summaries that capture an event’s essence.

Can senior leaders use Twitter to fundamentally change how they communicate with the people they lead and, in doing so, improve their relationships? Twitter Co-founder and Chairman Jack Dorsey says he believes Twitter gives leaders this capability– and much more.

I recently heard Dorsey speak at the annual meeting of the American Council on Education, held in Phoenix on March 7. Dorsey’s audience included college presidents and other senior education leaders — a self-admitted group of late adopters. Dorsey focused on how Twitter can be used to engage students. But in answering a wide range of questions, he conveyed the basics of what Twitter is and how those who lead organizations can leverage it. Dorsey’s comments focused on education, but the main ideas are broadly transferable.

Some of Dorsey’s key points included:

  • Twitter is a “communication utility.” Dorsey compared Twitter to water and electricity, calling Twitter an always-on utility. As with water and electricity, people can use Twitter for unlimited purposes. But unlike water and electricity, having a Twitter account is free, which surprised many in the audience.
  • Twitter is immediate, real-time and global. From almost anywhere in the world, using a basic mobile phone, a person can use Twitter to convey what they are doing in 140-character posts. They can use the platform to immediately communicate with family members, friends, co-workers or other followers. This provides immediate communication and is the ultimate in transparency.
  • Twitter is a conversation starter. Twitter provides users with a new way to share and gather information. At its core, Twitter is a form of a conversation and a starter of larger conversations. One person comments, another responds, and soon numerous people are all participating in the same conversation. Often conversations that begin via Twitter will continue over the phone or in-person.
  • Twitter humanizes leaders. Leaders can tweet to their followers. They can share what they are doing and thinking in an informal, off-the-cuff manner. This humanizes a leader and provides a real-time glimpse into their world. A university president can share with students (or an executive with employees) what they are doing. The leader can ask questions and get immediate feedback. This increases access, decreases barriers, sparks relationships and leads to sharing of ideas.

Twitter has the potential to change how everyone communicates — educators and students, governments and citizens, companies and employees, and companies and customers, he said. Dorsey encouraged late adopters to give Twitter a try. It is simple, free, and can change relationships and cultures.

A video of Dorsey’s presentation is available at the ACE Web site.

Image credit, Sander Crombeen, via Shutter stock