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aardmaan blog - CEO right to ban twitter?

CEO right to ban twitter?

Published October 21, 2009 by Gillian Hunter

Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are almost derigeur in business today. Businesses that don't use social networking in some way of other are the exception rather than the norm.

However, some businesses are resisting the temptation to join the social networking maelstrom. Some are not as convinced by the benefits.

A CEO of a local tech company tells me he has banned his staff from using twitter, facebook, linkedin, myspace, youtube ++ during working hours. He thinks it is a waste of time - and destroys productivity. Even if they use social networking for business purposes.

Twitter say there are plenty of benefits for business users. Not everyone will benefit though. It is down to the individual business. You really need to ask yourself: Are our customers on twitter? What do we want to achieve?

If your customers aren't on twitter and don't expect to or want to see you there - forget it. If your customers are - and they are keen to engage in a conversation with you - get cracking.

And, then there is the issue about what you want to achieve - what's your objective? Even twitter suggests getting the planning and strategy right first. They also keep stressing that it is "a way to have friendly, public conversations with your customers". Not a branding exercise.

A quick glance at the brand name users of twitter, and it is soon evident that it has already become a specialised communications vehicle.

Pepsi, for example, employ two agencies to run their twitter communications, with full time twitterers. However they are keen to ensure tone of voice is consistent with other media used. Conversations with a professional edge.

So, our friendly local CEO may be right - it may be far too onerous on his business to start and maintain a conversation with his customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders.

On the other hand, he may be missing out on some valuable and profitable conversations. As they say, you don't know unless you try ...