How To Sell Twitter To Your Boss (And Yourself)

Filed in Twitter by on August 18, 2009 0 Comments


Why You Need To Sell Twitter To Your Boss

Your boss (or executives) stand between you and your organization using Twitter. Before you can get your boss to buy-in – you need to arm yourself with the facts.

Ask any professional or business owner why they use Twitter and you will get many different answers. Here are a few ways people are using Twitter.

Distribute Company Info

Every organization has information they need to get out to the public, employees, stockholders, or constituents. These include press releases, memos, news items, etc. Twitter is a great mechanism to use for these short, informal alerts.

Get feedback

Twitter can be used as a feedback loop for your organization. It is great for asking for comments and responses from clients, customers, and prospects in real time.

Search the current conversation

Twitter is a giant public text conversation. The text is short, concise, and searchable. When you have the power to search what millions of people are talking about right now, you wield power for your organization’s marketing and communication efforts.

Twitter automatically lists the current top trending topics on your main page. You can scan over these and begin to see trends and how they catch on with Twitter users.

Search your industry or competitors

You can bet that other businesses and organizations are harnessing the power of Twitter. Because of Twitter’s powerful real-time search features, you are able to keep track of your industry including your competitors. Also you can search for product announcements, company news, and key leaders in your industry.

What The Heck Is Twitter Anyway?


Twitter is sort of like a hammer

Much like a hammer, Twitter is a tool. It is an online tool for posting short messages (140 characters in length) to the internet. That’s it. Nothing more – nothing less.

But like any tool, Twitter can be used for various purposes. The same hammer can be used to hang a picture in your living room or build a house. The tool itself is neutral. It is inanimate.

Twitter is the same way. It can be used to keep in touch with friends or family, get on-the-ground breaking news from reporters, or be used to market products and services.

Watch a short video: What Is Twitter?

But Twitter is more than a tool – it’s a platform for leadership.

For the smart PR professional or marketer, Twitter is a PLATFORM that gets your ideas and thoughts to the world. Much like Oprah uses television to reach her audience or Stephen Covey uses books, you can use Twitter to become a thought leader in your industry. This is powerful.

Twitter Is A Distribution Platform

Simply put – Twitter allows you to DISTRIBUTE information to people who follow you. This information can be links, resources, tips, ideas, questions, etc.

Twitter Is A Discussion Platform

But Twitter is also a feedback platform. You can get response, in real time from those who you are connected to online.

How You Can Sell Twitter To Your Boss

You must first sell to yourself

It goes without saying, that you must first realize the power of Twitter before you can boast the virtues to others. Spend the time absorbing the benefits. Understand Twitter and its power for yourself.

Twitter is where the people are. That’s worth repeating. Twitter is WHERE the PEOPLE are. If your business reaches out to people – then this is the platform you need to be using.

Show your boss metrics (keep score and show the points)

Metrics are key to showing your boss the value of Twitter and social media. There are many tools that you can use to track Twitter click through rates – and online mentions.

Metric definition


Imagine having a superpower that allows you to listen when people talk about you behind your back. It is possible. Twitter Search will allow you to do just that. It is easy to work up searches that show your boss what people are already saying about your business or industry. People are most likely talking about you or your industry. Show your boss the data.

Highlight some key organizations who are using Twitter

There is nothing like good old competition that will motivate bosses at any level. Show your boss the competition and how they are using Twitter. Search for competitors and industry leaders. They are out there. Your boss won’t be able to resist.

Show your boss how people are engaged with online media

Don’t forget – social media is more about engagement than numbers. You may launch your official company Twitter and end up with low numbers at first.  But, keep in mind, the people who are visiting may tend to be targeted and more valuable. Plus when your audience is engaged, they end up becoming long-term readers and customers.

It is important to explain this to your executives. Success in online social media takes time and investment. Your biggest role as “social media champion” for your organization is to educate those around you. They may not understand the power and value of social media like you do.

You need to give them statistics, examples, case studies, and proof that social media is not a waste of time. In fact, in the current economic climate, social media may end up saving many businesses who can’t afford to advertise like they once did. Who knows – maybe you’ll be the hero who took some risk and saved your company. That’s worth a raise and promotion – right?


Consider risking your job for the sake of your career

If all of the above suggestions fail and your boss won’t budge, consider risking your job for the sake of your career. Most likely if your boss is that opposed to Twitter and social media, then he/she has no clue about how it works. So you can probably get away with posting to Twitter and they will never know. At the same time, you will be building up your company and your own career in the process. It is risky – but what good things in life don’t involve some risk?


Joel Mark Witt is a producer, author, and speaker who consults with businesses and nonprofits on how to use social media in marketing and communications. He is also the Publisher of Folk Media and author of 21 Days To Twitter Leadership Send him an eMail: joelmarkwitt (at) or follow him on Twitter.


Get the book “21 Days To Twitter Leadership” The Step-By-Step Guide To Get Twitter Followers And Position Yourself As The Leader In Your Industry In Less Than 10 Minutes Per Day.

*Hammer Photo By Darren Hester
*Tightrope Photo By frankh

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