A few months back we started transitioning our Twitter and Facebook management over to our new employee Reece. It’s a perfect compliment to his customer service work. While Facebook has been a huge success for us, Twitter has been only a moderate success.
During a meeting that he and I had we discussed ways to better captivate the Twitter audience and take advantage of the immediacy of Twitter as a platform. A few minutes in he had an idea: what if every Thursday we do some sort of Twitter promotion and call it “Twitter Thursday’s.” We could do a variety of different things – product giveaways, contests, coupons, etc – and we could experiment with a variety of time periods ranging from really short (first person to do X gets Y) to the entire day.
I thought this was a really really good idea. My partners thought so too. So, we told him to start at it. Every Thursday he would come up with a promotion idea, run it by us (for now), and then go on Twitter and execute it. The first few worked OK. I suspected that the problem wasn’t the specials, it was our relatively small Twitter audience in comparison to our newsletter list or even our Facebook following.
I brought this up to my partners and we decided to give “Twitter Thursday’s” some extra attention. We adjusted our spring promotions schedule to add in this newsletter that went out last night (Wednesday) to everyone on our list:
We also posted this up to Facebook. By reaching our entire customer base with a few very enticing promotions, we hope to bring attention to “Twitter Thursday’s” and help Reece establish a loyal audience that checks @DetailedImage every Thursday for his promotion.
I’m writing about this because I think there’s a good management lesson here. There’s no surer way to have disgruntled employees than to ignore their good ideas. We’re firm believers that the best ideas come from the ground-up, not the top-down. Good companies and good managers create a culture where ideas for improvement are encouraged and embraced.
If “Twitter Thursday’s” doesn’t work I want it to be because our customers didn’t like it. Not because we didn’t buy in to the idea enough to give it any resources. When an employee has a good idea I think it’s critically important to give them every opportunity to make it a success. If they fail, it shouldn’t be because of you. As a boss, you should be empowering them, not getting in their way. All things being equal, I’d rather prioritize an employee’s really good idea over an equally good idea of mine solely because it gives you an opportunity to show them that you’re the type of employer who gets that.