Since yesterday, there has been some blog chatter about Google CEO Eric Schmidt joining Twitter and the two auto populated tweets his id seems to have generated since yesterday. What’s even more odd are the tweets he’s following on Twitter: Heidi Montag, Diddy, and the Dixie Chicks, among others. Wow!
But, I digress. As you know one of the most popular posts on this blog; actually the post that got Marketing Nirvana initial recognition was a Top 10 CEO blogs post I did. I followed that up with the equally popular Top 10 Corporate blog series. And, I’ve wanted to focus on the next avatar of CEO communication – CEO Twitter ids.
Which CEOs have been naughty or nice on Twitter in 2009?
We have two types of “CEOs who Twitter”. Those famous for utilizing social media the right way – as a means to engage with their users (think @zappos) and on the other hand you have the already famous CEOs who may just be creating another channel to broadcast their “message” to users (think @ericschmidt) as TechCrunch suggests here. Irrespective of the rationale behind their joining, the correct way to tweet is to share your personality and engage in real conversations with your audience (think @padmasree). And, if a CEO’s twitter channel doesn’t possess these traits a twitter channel is nothing more than a meaningless personal billboard.
A final caveat: Before we get into the popularity contest, let me warn you that this ranking is far from accurate partly because it’s comparing apples and oranges. Some of these Twitter ids have had preferential treatment meted out to them, thanks to the much hated suggested users list. So, for what it’s worth – this list should be something you bookmark if you’re interested in checking out the state of CEO communication in social media. And, now, I give you the Top 20 CEO Twitter ids (based on the # of followers).
- Pete Cashmore – @mashable
- Tony Hshieh – @zappos
- Biz Stone (Twitter) – @biz
- Jack Dorsey (Twitter) – @jack
- Tim O’Reilly – @timoreilly
- Padmasree Warrior (CTO, Cisco) – @padmasree
- Evan Williams (Twitter) – @ev
- Kevin Rose (Digg) – @kevinrose
- Richard Branson (Virgin) – @richardbranson
- Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks) – @markcuban
- Jason Calacanis (Mahalo) – @jason
- Loic Le Meur (Seesmic) – @loic
- Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) – @finkd (Facebook fan page)
- John Battelle (Federated Media) – @johnbattelle
- Michael Arrington (TechCrunch) – @arrington
- Marissa Mayer (Google) – @marissamayer
- Bob Parsons (GoDaddy) – @drbobparsons
- Eric Schmidt (Google) – @ericschmidt
- Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn) – @quixotic
- Jonathan Schwartz (Sun Microsystems) – @sunceoblog
Executives across the globe are slowly beginning to see how Twitter is easier than corporate blogging (as I’d recommended here) but also demands caution now that SEC regulations will be extended to this corporate social media tool as well. Stay tuned in future posts, for best practices on how executives can adapt their personal and company brand to emerging social media channels like Twitter. In the meanwhile, feel free to follow this CEO Twitter list I created with the above CEO twitter ids.
Question to you: which of these CEOs above are using twitter the right way, and who are not? It’s your chance to separate the naughty and the nice. Leave a comment.