Over on the Enterprisers Project, David A. Bray, the CIO of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), was recently interviewed about his use of Twitter. The interview is a very nice read about how one CIO uses Twitter to engage and share information.
What I found most intriguing about Bray’s use of Twitter is that he’s not following an agenda set by his marketing or PR group. He’s using Twitter to truly engage with others and share information about what the FCC is doing within their IT operations. When setting up his Twitter account, Bray says that he “wanted to be able to engage, listen, and learn from the public and IT peers as we worked to modernize FCC’s legacy IT systems.”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people talk about creating a twitter account for the purposes of ‘building the brand’. Now, there’s nothing wrong with using Twitter for brand management and improvement, but there absolutely must be a human face and voice behind that account. Without that human voice, the account can quickly be relegated to the ‘noise’ on Twitter. From what I can see, David Bray has built his Twitter account and following by being nothing but personable and engaging with his own voice rather than the stuffy, buttoned up voice of the government and/or a PR machine.
From the interview, Bray shared these thoughts on advice for other CIO’s on Twitter:
When it comes to social media, pick a few channels to invest in, learn from, and monitor. You don’t have to be everywhere, because your hours are limited and you need to focus on your primary job foremost. Be open to inputs and ideas from the public, your peers, and other stakeholders. Social media is much more than “broadcast” – it’s about being open to ideas, learning, and listening.
Great advice….and advice that I’ve decided to remember on a daily basis when I use Twitter. For various reasons, I’ve gotten into the habit of ‘broadcasting’ on Twitter rather than engaging. I’m looking to change that in the coming days/weeks.
How about you. Are you broadcasting on Twitter or are you actually engaging?