11 Commandments of Corporate Tweeting

The Pentagon’s ostensible support of social networking is particularly remarkable when you consider that corporate America, and the rest of the corporate world, for that matter, finds Twitter and the like so vexing from a corporate-policy standpoint. Recent surveys show that a full seven out of 10 American companies—and nearly eight out of 10 British firms—still have yet to address how the company and its employees are to utilize social media—if at all—in the workplace.

With this in mind, I decided today to update some advice that I delivered last spring to executives pondering a Twitter strategy. (Yes, the advice focused on Twitter, but any company that addresses Twitter correctly can easily adapt this across all social-media channels.) Here goes.

Should the company be tweeting? Only if it can live up to these 10 (um, now 11) Commandments:

  1. We can articulate the company vision in 140 characters or less, minus PR puffery and cliché.
  2. We are willing to give credit to cool, innovative, or thought-provoking ideas, even if coined by someone else.
  3. We are willing to challenge a potentially destructive position even if our position generates criticism.
  4. We are willing to listen to and engage with others, even if “others” = employees, customers, or activists.
  5. We will not get carried away, never tweeting about a fresh “cuppa,” or worse, some banal corporate achievement.
  6. We will dedicate time each week to reading what others have to say and promise to retweet (“RT”) the most clever, valuable, and even humorous.
  7. We will never include in a press release, speech, or annual report our “Twitter followers” figure, no matter how tempting.
  8. We actually have something meaningful to say.
  9. If we don’t have something to say, we’ll find the person in the organization best suited for speaking/tweeting on behalf of the company.
  10. If we cannot live up to these commandments we will reflect on whether corporate marketing is the right role for us.
  11. We will use our Twitter channel not just to bump out cheery news, but to keep customers informed in the event of bad news (i.e., a product recall, a hostile take-over, a PR crisis), too.

Good list of rules 🙂 Would you add any to the list 🙂

Posted via web from Miscellanous


About Gautam

Gautam is a HR professional interested in how emerging technologies are impacting work, careers and organizations.

Posted on April 12, 2010, in blogging. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Love this list. I think #10 is the most important: If you can’t do it, please, don’t.

    Also, one more thing to consider might be to discover where, precisely, their audience is online. Are they on Twitter? If not, why do they have a Twitter account? This isn’t to say they shouldn’t be, but to at least be aware of what the landscape looks like to make the most of it, I think, is important.

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