You’ve probably heard before that “everyone’s on Twitter these days and you should be too,” but didn’t believe it. Well, now it seems to be true; Pope Benedict XVI has just started his own Twitter account. And of all people, you don’t want the Pope getting ahead of you on technological advances.
Pope Benedict will start tweeting in six different languages under the name @Pontifex on December 12th. As of right now, he has over 200,000 followers and climbing, and he hasn’t even tweeted yet.
What does this mean for public figures and business leaders who still haven’t embraced social media? It may be about time.
Even if your company has an account, having the CEO or other company leaders also managing their own accounts is beneficial in that it personifies the company; consumers can relate better to a face and name than an organization, thus leading to stronger trust.
An interesting guest post on Forbes over the summer goes into more detail about advantages, but it’s worth noting one statistic mentioned: only about 4% of Fortune 500 CEOs have opened Twitter accounts. That number is incredibly low, considering they probably have great insight and valuable information to discuss. And the public is looking for it; these days, it’s almost strange to be hiding from social media. Some consumers see it as a warning sign, as do investors. A company is at a disadvantage in the market if it doesn’t stay up to date on such a revolutionary technology.
This doesn’t apply just to big business, either. In the modern age of social media, everyone is their own personal brand. Building that brand is important, as you’re essentially selling it when finding a job. Having online profiles shows your ability to keep up with various modern technologies. This applies even more to communication fields, especially public relations; how can you build a brand for your client if you can’t even build your own brand?
Take this as a message from the Pope: if he can do it, you can too. Social media is a huge step in technology for the generation, and no one should be left behind.