The discussion surrounding businesses on Twitter mirrors the discussions around blogging just a few short years ago. The concerns are very similar: Is it useful? Is it secure? What do we say? What if someone says something they shouldn't?
A new article in the Financial Times says that
Twittering executives reveal too much. While many people do continue to argue that Twitter is a waste of time, most of those people haven't given it a real shot. Though you may be getting a very personal snapshot into someone's life, Twitter also has amazing potential as a business tool.
As Lucy Kellaway argues in the article:
I think it is potentially the best communication tool there is; the trouble is that most executives are making a complete hash of using it. Either they fill it with mundane personal detail, or they fill it with mundane professional detail – which is possibly worse. The first scores higher on embarrassment; the second on tedium.
Twitter is an incredible challenge to business: how to write something useful, interesting and informative... in 140 characters or less. Sure, it's also about personality - about connecting with a community - but for business there needs to be a balance between all the "you" stuff (yes, we know you love your cat) and your professional persona.
So, think about what you want to do with your Twitter account. What are you hoping to achieve? Will you tweet in your name or for your company? How much of your tweets will be about "you" and how much about your company? How willing are you to get involved with your followers? And, as with blogging, set down a "rules of conduct" policy about what your employees should - and should not - be saying on Twitter!
Are we on Twitter? You bet! You can find our tweets here: