The Highs (and Lows) of Letting Your CEO Manage Twitter for a Day

    by Brittany Leaning

    Date

    May 9, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    halligan-on-twitter-v2If you were following @HubSpot on Twitter yesterday, you would've noticed that our CEO and Co-Founder Brian Halligan had commandeered the account. And while all you social media and community managers out there are probably cringing as I say this, I bet the CEOs and Twitter users of the world are cheering and applauding Brian’s noble endeavor.

    Like Brian quoted in a tweet through the @HubSpot account: "'You need to upset the status quo ... it will upset people -- get over it' -- Sheryl Sandberg." Upsetting the status quo isn’t always easy, but it can be extremely rewarding.

    Although there were certainly both some highs and lows that came out of the experience (more on those in just a second), overall, I'd highly recommend encouraging your CEO to be more involved in social media (and even your blog for that matter!). Here are a few gems from our own experience.

    The Lows of Letting Your CEO Manage Twitter

    Social media/community managers, I challenge you to give the car keys over to your CEO for a day. Yes, it will be terrifying at first to give up control -- it could go amazingly well, or there could be some bumps in the road. Just make sure you're available for backup if needed, but let the events unfold as they will. You'd be surprised how lovable it is for your followers to have direct access to your execs. Of course, letting go also means letting things happen naturally. And those things could certainly be, well, not ideal. Here are some examples of the "lows" ...

    1) Breaking news before your company even knows about it.

    Breaking HubSpot News

    2) Getting picked on by investors ... and Dunkin Donuts.

    Screen_Shot_2013-05-09_at_8.37.45_AM

    3) Using the company account to get Gwyneth Paltrow's attention.

    Screen_Shot_2013-05-09_at_8.42.28_AM

    4) Making some Freudian slips. (Hey, they happen.)

    Screen_Shot_2013-05-09_at_8.46.11_AM

    Okay, so there were a few hiccups in there, but nothing too horrible. Our followers actually seemed to enjoy the little accidents because it was clear that there was a human behind the brand and not some unlovable Twitter bot. 

    The Highs of Letting Your CEO Manage Twitter

    I'd say the highs of the day certainly outweighed the lows overall. Our CEO certainly took my advice when I suggested he should keep the entire company's goals in mind when tweeting as himself. I noticed he was also very vigilant, thought of the bottom line, and kept calm throughout the entire day. Here are some highlights ...

    1) Considering the company's goals above his own.

    Screen_Shot_2013-05-09_at_8.49.02_AM

    2) Knowing the product, and using it well.

    Screen_Shot_2013-05-09_at_8.51.02_AM

    3) Being helpful.

    Screen_Shot_2013-05-09_at_8.56.05_AM

    4) Asking for feedback to help us improve.

    Screen_Shot_2013-05-09_at_8.59.30_AM

    Brian, I must admit: The social media team was very pleased with your work yesterday. Perhaps you should consider joining us full time. ;-)

    Have you ever let your CEO take over your social media accounts? If not, do you think you'll give it a try after learning about Brian Halligan's big day? 

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