BASF : Executive tweeting for employees

An executive uses the external channel to communicate primarily with employees 

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The feature

Markus Kamieth, a senior executive at German chemicals giant BASF, joined the company’s management board earlier this year, and also joined Twitter in July.

His stated aim in joining the channel was to ‘get in touch with colleagues’, although of course anyone can sign up to follow him. He tweets every few days to his 338 followers, many of which are indeed BASF employees.

His subject matter is often about his busy travel schedule– to BASF offices in San Diego, meetings with investors in Paris; customers in Asia, etc; And lots of retweets of BASF news. He usually adds informal shots of himself with whoever he is meeting, eg, from August 30th, a selfie with the head of health and nutrition in North America.

The takeaway

Mr Kamieth’s approach to Twitter is another model for how executives might use social media – soft launch, low-key and employee-focused; although you could see the value in investors or journalists keeping one eye on the feed. Those doing research also might find his tweet history useful to see what the company has been up to in the last few months.

The words in his tweets are often bland, but no more so than most public statements by executives. The photos he attaches are more interesting, with the selfies and amateur shots of the places he has been showing a refreshing informality.

It is an interesting contrast with the way many CEOs use the channel to influence the mass media. See our recent tip on Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein’s sparse but high-profile statements on controversial topics.

So far Mr Kamieth is keeping a relatively low profile on the channel, considering his following is a tiny percentage of BASF’s 114,000 employees globally; and which suggests his Twitter presence is still experimental.
First published 13 December, 2017
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