Tweets from the Top: 6 C-Level Executives On Twitter

By Michele Weisman Having the “top dogs” of your organization engaged in social media can be a huge asset to your company. More often that not, C-Level executives set the tone for the company culture. In order to instill a consistent social media strategy across the organization, C-Level executives should lead by example and participate in the conversations around their brand. Twitter has become an essential and effective tool for many C-level employees for a long time. Take a look at some specific examples from early pioneers.

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, was one of the first CEOs to join Twitter. Hsieh engages with his 1.8 million Twitter followers through the brand's account. Some C-Level executives are using Twitter to report breaking news. Jonathan Schwartz, former CEO of Sun Microsystems, one of the most high-profile technology companies in the world, announced via Twitter in 2010 that he was stepping down. He kept his resignation letter to 140 characters with this simple, haiku tweet. In fact, this tweet was so powerful, Twitter named it as one of the 10 most powerful tweets of 2010. Early this year Bob Parsons, CEO of GoDaddy, sparked outrage by releasing a video of himself killing an elephant.

There are a number of influential C-Level executives using Twitter to represent their companies and bring a friendly face to their businesses. Without further ado, here are 6 C-Level executives who are using Twitter right.

@ExpressLisaGLisa Gavales, CMO at Express uses Twitter to communicate with the retailers’ customers. Through her tweets, Gavales reveals behind the scenes of runways, photoshoots, top models, and on-set style. You can follow her every move as she travels around the globe. Gavales also uses Twitter to answer customer service issues.

@jasonfried: Jason Fried, co-founder and president of 37signals,  a Chicago-based company that are the makers of Basecamp and other web-based collaboration tools. Fried is also the co-author of Rework.  He uses his Twitter account to connect with his followers by engaging with them on a daily basis.  Fried doesn’t sell; instead he shares his stories through tweets. In fact, Fried believes that Twitter is “the new smoke break”, little bits of time off that people take during the day when they need a rest from working. Fried tells stories through his tweets.

@dens: Dennis Crowley is the CEO of Foursquare, the location based network. Crowley answers all of his 36,000 plus Twitter following’s questions regarding Foursquare. His tweets are very interesting ranging from tech events to sporting events to his favorite restaurants and bars. He regularly tweets where he is, what he’s doing and who he’s with. Crowley has a great sense of humor and is very transparent. He also is a graduate of Syracuse University. Go #cuse!

@DanKimRedMango: Dan Kim, Founder and Chief Concept Officer at Red Mango, has a Twitter following of about 130,000.  More often that not, Kim can be found tweeting pictures on Instagram, inspirational quotes and the new and hip flavor at Red Mango. Kim is also the face behind the @redmango account, where he answers fans and engages with them on a daily basis.

@RachelSterne: Rachel Sterne, Chief Digital Officer for New York City, shares NYC residents’ ideas for tech and NYC government.  Sterne is committed to excellence in the digital space. She often tweets about NYC hackathons, new and innovating apps and happenings in the NYC Mayor’s Office.

@Padmasree: Padmasree Warrior is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Cisco Systems.  Warrior commits to her 1.4 million followers by engaging with them on a daily basis. Her tweets are well written and she reveals her personality throughout her tweets. Warrior tweets pictures of her meals, sporting events she is attending, and her love of nature.

Bonus: @DaveKerpen: Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Media and author of New York Times bestseller of Likeable Social Media, is one of the most likeable CEO's on Twitter. Kerpen is extremely transparent. His 13,000 plus followers often read his tweets about his the latest news on Likeable and social media, his whereabouts, and often shares pictures and videos. Do you find Dave Kerpen likeable? We would love for you to nominate "@davekerpen" for Must-Follow Business Personality on Social Media in the Mashable Social Media Awards. Cast your nomination here.

From everyone in an organization, from the CEO down to the part-time employee, has the opportunity to use Twitter to help with the brand.

What C-Level executives do you follow on Twitter? What makes their Twitter account so great?