I get asked this at least once a week, “How do I convince my boss to Twitter?” This is usually asked by an enthusiastic Twitter user whose boss thinks it is a complete waste of time. The Twitterer sees the value. They just haven’t been able to get their boss to see it.
Admittedly, not everyone should Twitter. A couple of decades ago, Bill Cosby had a comedy routine about cocaine. He says to an enthusiast, “What is it about cocaine that makes it so wonderful?”
The enthusiast responds, “Because it intensifies your personality.”
Cosby quips, “But what if you are a jerk?”
The same can be said of Twitter. It is an amplifier. If your boss is a jerk, boring, or self-absorbed, it will only make that fact more apparent. So, admittedly, not everyone should Twitter.
But let’s assume you are past that. You think your boss is interesting and a good ambassador for the company. You think that it would be great if they would Twitter. How do you convince him or her to do so? I suggest the following seven-steps:
- Make a carefully thought-out, structured pitch. Start by booking a meeting with your boss. Show up with an agenda. Don’t make the meeting too long. You can cover everything in 30 minutes.
- Ask them to watch “Twitter in Plain English.” This is a two-minute YouTube video introduction to Twitter. Bring your laptop to the meeting. Have it queued up and play it before you go further. Nearly everyone has heard of Twitter; few are willing to admit that they don’t really understand it.
- Give him example of other business leaders who Twitter. There are a number of very busy CEOs who Twitter. (Implied message: “Surely you are not busier that these CEOs, are you?”)
- Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com (1.1 million+ followers)
- Tim O’Reilly, CEO of O’Reilly Publishing (900,000+ followers)
- Guy Kawasaki, Alltop CEO (160,000+ followers)
- Richard Branson, Virgin Group Chairman (155,000+ followers)
- Mark Cuban, HDNet Chairman (92,000+ followers)
- It puts a human face on the company.
- It provides a “listening station” for monitoring your company’s brand.
- It will help create visibility for your company.
- It provides a platform for unveiling important news.
- It establishes them as a “thought leader” and early adopter.
- It is FREE marketing.
- It takes less than 20 minutes a day
Finally, I would encourage to keep it simple. Don’t make it too complicated. Don’t talk about PeopleBrowsr or TweetDeck. Don’t discuss the merits of yFrog vs. TwitPic. Forget all that. There will be plenty of time for that later.
Your mission here is simple: Get your boss Twittering. Everything else is secondary.