Norbert Hanke: Connecting to People on Twitter

Recently Norbert Hanke, president and CEO, Hexagon Metrology, joined an exclusive club of top executives on Twitter at @norberthanke. I spoke to Hanke about his goals and expectations from this medium and social media in general.

AW: Congrats on your Twitter account. Why did you choose to be on Twitter now?

NH: Thank you! I read recently on a blog that “One tweet from a CEO is worth 100 tweets from staff.” While I don’t think it is to that level, I feel it is a great opportunity for those in leadership roles to connect, engage and amplify a message. I can convey our value proposition and innovative DNA at Hexagon Metrology to customers and our employees.

It also has been perfect timing to start my “Twitter career”, as Hexagon Metrology’s new identity is now fully in place. We now can really start to leverage the long history and respected heritage of each of our product brands in a new and unique way.

Overall, Twitter is such a fantastic way to get a lot of short and accurate information quickly. It is real time and dynamic and all in the palm of your hands! I really like it.

AW: Do you intend to tweet about personal or business matters?

NH: Mainly business matters, but it’s also about building trust with customers and within an organization and showing a face behind a name, so a personal connection is inevitable, albeit in a business environment. Twitter is a great way to network. I think that a CEO working for an innovative company should use the modern ways of communication! I do not use faxes anymore!

AW: What kind of insights do you expect to gain from your followers on Twitter?

NH: My goals are to engage myself with “my followers”, independent to the fact that they are customers, employees, media, students or competition. I will answer their questions and get to know what they really would like me to communicate, as well as hear about and discuss new ideas.

AW: Is the Twitter length limitation too much or too little for your thoughts?

NH: Just right! I guess the length of the tweet was a genius idea – get to the point. Give people a framework and they will stick to it. And the results are there to prove it.

AW: Who are some of the other CEOs or business leaders you like to follow on Twitter?

NH: I am only a beginner in my Twitter life, so I’ll need some time to get used to this new way of communication and get more into it. I am following Ola Rollén (@OlaRollen) of course, as well as a couple of others, but I am focused more on companies and our technology partners for the moment. Ask me again in a few months and I am sure I will have a lot more to share.

AW: Clearly social media is important to brands these days. How do you think it helps brands like Hexagon Metrology in the B2B space?

NH: The gap between B2C marketing and B2B is getting smaller and smaller. Social media offers Hexagon Metrology a unique chance to reach a wide audience, share our opinions, promote new products or start interesting discussions, all with just a few keystrokes. Social media is also where our customers and partners live. There are for sure a lot of our business partners amongst the 400 million tweets sent daily and the 4.75 billion pieces of content shared on Facebook every day.

AW: Thanks so much for your time and we hope to catch more of you in the Tweetosphere.

Connecting to people while conveying our value proposition in just 140 characters – that’s shaping SMART change. 

Anne Willimann,
Director Global Marketing Communications
Hexagon Metrology

Guest Blogger Profile:

Anne WillimannAnne Willimann is Hexagon Metrology’s global Marketing Communications Director. Dedicated to all forms of communications, she has a passion for corporate identity, branding and global strategy and enjoys working in an international environment. After graduating with a degree in advertising and communications and receiving a master’s degree in international management and marketing, she joined a Swiss advertising company. She later worked as a communications manager in the fashion industry in St. Gallen, Switzerland, and for a large retail company in Zürich before joining Hexagon Metrology in December 2005.

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