Question: Give ONE tip for a CEO brand-new to tweeting/updating social media as him or herself.
"The most important tip for success on Twitter is to actually interact with other members. Many CEOs use Twitter as a personal billboard to talk about themselves. The most effective way of building a following and actually seeing success from social media is to make sure the conversation is two-sided. Talk to other users, share advice and actually create relationships. Interested is interesting."
Speechless? Share an Article
"If you're not feeling too talkative, one of the easiest things to do is post a link to an article you find interesting. It gives followers insight into what you're inspired by. Plus, articles are an easy thing to save up—you don't need to post them as soon as you read them—so you can keep a backlog of content for when you're short on 140-character witticisms."
Get Personal Now and Then
"Don't overdo the personal tweets and social media messages, but remember that you're posting as a human being, and that most people prefer to do business with other human beings, not faceless corporations. So do share updates that are more personal every now and then, but make sure you're keeping it helpful and on brand most of the time."
Provide Consistent Value
"Why would YOU follow you? If you can't figure out a compelling reason, then it's worth focusing on providing some kind of consistent value on some topic, obviously ideally in your company's industry. If you want to build the go-to company, become a go-to thought leader first."
Don't Talk About Politics
"This is one of the topics you should stay away from especially when your tweeting for your business. There are way too many opinions out there about the topic of politics and if you are strong for one side, it could be a huge turnoff to people. It's just something you should not mix with your business if it doesn't pertain to what you do. Don't lose an audience because of one political tweet."
Search Is Your Friend
"One easy way to start to understand the value of Twitter is to run and save a search about a topic you care about. It could be a hobby, an interest, an alma mater -- basically, anything that matters to you. Begin to interact with people talking about their search term. They'll quickly see the business use case after doing this on a personal search term."
Respect Your Critics
"As you're sharing, it's inevitable that you'll get some critics, so it's best to listen, respond when appropriate and adapt. Being the leader of a community makes it hard to hide, so be authentic and real with fans and critics alike. For a recent example check out the feedback when Square's CEO Jack Dorsey (@jack) unveiled an army of 13 male interns and faced the question, "Where are the women?""
Have a Conversation
"If your Twitter stream or other social media updates is nothing but links -- either to your own company or to other people's articles --there's no proof that you're not actually a piece of automated software. Have conversations with other people out there, even if it's just to tell someone that you think their recent article was good."
Ask for Help Early
"Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are a lot of CEOs who have come to us after they’ve already made efforts to create a social media presence. It would be easier to just start them out in the right direction, rather than having to rebrand what they’ve already done."
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.