How to Convince Your Boss to Twitter

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.

A Twitter User Trying to Hatch

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?”)
  4. Give them a solid business rationale. I recently surveyed my readers on this. Here are the top seven responses to the question, “Why should your boss Twitter?”
    • 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
  5. Encourage them to “try before they buy.” When I first heard about Twitter, I thought it was the dumbest thing I had ever heard of. However, my friend, Randy Elrod, challenged me to try it for 30-days. I would recommend your boss try it for 14 days. If he still thinks it’s a waste of time, no problem. At least he will know have first-hand experience and be able to speak from a position of first-hand knowledge.
  6. Get him signed up. Don’t leave this to chance. Strike while the iron is hot You can sign him up right in his office. It only takes 60 seconds. While you are at it, show him how to follow a few key people, starting with you. Get him to make at least one update.
  7. Ask him to read a quick introduction to Twitter. This is precisely why I wrote “The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter.” I assume nothing in the post. It will answer all the questions he is too embarrassed to ask. It is very basic.

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.

Question: Is your boss Twittering? If not, why not? If so, how did you get him or her to start?

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