August 5, 2021

Elon Musk: Twitter, a powerful (and dangerous) weapon for managers | Fortune

Elon Musk: Twitter, a powerful (and dangerous) weapon for managers | Fortune



Twitter was the best speaker that Elon Musk could have to announce Tesla. Through this social network got a significant number of supporters of the revolutionary project of the car manufacturer. In fact, it has more than 22.8 million followers, a significant figure compared to the 2.97 million people who follow the official account of the US company, of which the executive has 22% of the capital, although it has a higher percentage in terms of voting rights at shareholders' meetings.

So far the glory of this 47-year-old entrepreneur, that last weekend was severely damaged by the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States (SEC), precisely because of a string of messages launched this summer, in which it assured that it had financing for the company to leave to quote on the Stock Exchange. A fraud, as ruled by the stock supervisor, which has cost him a fine of 35 million euros, in addition to the position of executive in the company, which will remain linked as CEO, but with the supervision of two independent directors.

Musk has happened to other executives, something that actors, athletes or celebrities are not exempt from, "That underestimate the reach of a social network, which reaches many people, and everything they say there colloquially leaves a trace", points Franc Carreras, professor in the area of ​​marketing management and expert in social networks of Esade, who considers Twitter a powerful communication weapon to reach investors, customers, employees or sponsors. It is also dangerous, since it is difficult to detract from the exposed in those 280 characters. Another example of misuse of social networks was made by the executive Justine Sacco, fulminantly dismissed from her position as communications director of InterActiveCorp, after tweeting: "I'm going to Africa. I hope I do not catch AIDS. Just kidding. I am white!".

One of the latest directives in Spain to join, last February, the phenomenon of Twitter has been Ana Botín. The president of Santander, which currently has 25,600 followers, debuted with a statement of intent: she wanted to use the social network to learn from others and share their opinions. And he announced that in addition to finance and Santander "I have other interests that I will tweet about: education, entrepreneurship and the future of work, the transformative capacity of digital technology, inclusive growth, sports, yoga … and even the tea". The executive does not hesitate to comment on relevant issues, such as the sentence of the Pack, which scandalized Spain, and which he said was "a step backwards for the safety of women." He received the applause of thousands of people. A few days ago he published a photograph with the oak dedicated in the City of Santander to the golfer Celia Barquín, murdered while training in the United States. "It's a way to discover the personality of the people behind a company," says Carreras.

The problem is the manager, not Twitter, aims Enrique Dans, professor of innovation at IE. "It is a good asset and should take advantage of the opportunity it offers, and that allows us to delude and inform of what is done in a company and generate empathy," says this expert, who cites as a pioneer in the use of this social network to Marcos de Quinto, the Spanish manager of Coca-Cola, promoted to executive vice president and global marketing responsible for the multinational. "He had a fresh vision of what communication is, and this served him for his international promotion," says Dans. Little by little, other accounts open up. Fresh air, like the profile of the president of Telefónica, José María Álvarez-Pallete. "His tweets reflect how he is, he does not offer an image or agency image".

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