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Case Study: How a CEO Uses Twitter to Convey the 'Sole' of His Company

by Nettie Hartsock  |  
July 15, 2008

Company: Zappos
Contact: Tony Hsieh, CEO
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Industry: Retail, e-commerce
Annual revenue: Confidential
Number of employees: 7000

Quick Read:

The call these days for let-it-all-hang-out social media initiatives from the top down is one of the toughest challenges to tackle if you're the CEO of a leading online retail company.

What are the best ways to connect and communicate while growing and fostering a company, and should a CEO communicate directly via social media tools?

While others are still hashing out whether their CEO should be Twittering, blogging, or Plurking, Tony Hsieh, CEO of has been using Twitter for over a year with authenticity and real-time tweets consisting of responses to fellow Twitterers, announcements of company news and even replies to a few customer complaints.

Moreover, Hsieh's company now has nearly 450 employees on Twitter—more than 6% of his employee base.

With his constant twittering, Hsieh continues to garner accolades from the social media universe, as well as from twittering customers who have provided a resounding "twittering thumbs up" for Zappos from around the world.

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  • by terri Thu Jul 17, 2008 via web

    I especially like that he touches on the fact that this kind of online experience is meant to be social. The in your face self promotion is not going to be accepted or acknowledged well.

    I really love the fact that he was able to connect with his employees and customers - a challenge in a company this size.

    I am already a zappos fan - this makes me more so!

  • by John Antonios Sun Jan 24, 2010 via web

    The story of Zappos CEO is inspiring and should serve as an example to all companies still worried about being exposed over the social media network. Ironically, the latter don't realize that customers and employees will talk about it anyway, whether they ban it from the work environment or not - so why not encourage it and tap into the different insights early on!
    Great post - thank you!

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