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Having spent the last couple of weeks reading & analysing the tweets of those who head large multinational corporations, it is my opinion, that many open the curtains to the windows of their life only to show us how they sit and watch paint dry!

On their twitter profiles, they describe themselves as having interests and hobbies that include mountain climbing, fishing, photography, sailing, golfing, sky diving as well as being proud parents of an x number of children; In a nutshell, they describe themselves as fun-loving rounded human beings and then do nothing but tweet randomly about the organisations they run!

Their tweets if favoured or shared are mostly favoured or shared by readily eager to please employees and they almost never answer to ‘replies’ even if they only have a triple digit following. They do know that ‘engaging’ seems to be the buzz word and yet they are seemingly ‘disengaged’.

Essentially it seems that these rounded human beings are only an extension of their corporate brand and have somewhere lost the ability to communicate about other interests. Their brands have a Twitter account that we can follow, this is certainly not why we follow them!

People follow CEOs for the love of curiosity of what it’s like to run a large corporation, what they do for fun and mostly how they really are just humans like us! They have families and picnics, they play sports and go on holiday, they have controversial thoughts and bad days at work, they are just like us. Showing people the human side is precisely what makes CEOs interesting which in return reflects positively on their brand in the subconscious mind of the follower.

Traditionally, these people have been told to embrace privacy which I believe is the reason for them playing ‘safe’ on Twitter, but social media simply is not about pushing your corporate message its about being social.

In fact many in the digital marketing industry have started to refer to Twitter as an online cocktail party; being on twitter and not tweeting or tweeting generic information only about your company is the digital equivalent of going to a party and either sitting awkwardly in the corner or basically spending the whole time telling us one story after another about the organisation you run! If that’s the case, its best to have an early night in and leave partying to those who enjoy it!

One leader who seems to have got it right is Richard Branson, he frequently tweets about people he met, lessons he learnt from various failures, his love of adventure and posts many photos of him engaging in ‘human’ activities.

Social media is throwing a lot of people off balance, its important to get it right otherwise it ends up giving off exactly the opposite message one is trying to portray. I cannot put this any better than the American writer and futurist Alvin Toffler who has said “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.

Conclusively, If you run a large corporation the chances are you have spent decades of dedication and hard work into successfully perfecting your game, we know your company, we now want to know you!

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