Winner interview Stefan K Persson, Precise Biometrics – CEO’S ON TWITTER, SMALL CAP
As tradition dictates, we end our annual survey and rank of the twittering CEOs with interviews with the winners. We present the interviews in the different categories included in the study, with contributions from Large Cap, Mid Cap, Small Cap, First North Growth Market, Nordic Growth Market (NGM), and Spotlight Stock Market.
Why map tweeting CEOs?
Since the start of Box Communications over 10 years ago, when the digital transformation was still in its infancy, we have followed how the new digital channels affect the communication of listed companies. With long experience from the financial industry, we could see that the listed companies and their CEOs live in a new exciting, and the somewhat unsafe environment when information is spread faster and faster to virtually all stakeholders at the same time.
The ongoing pandemic, which will hopefully be over soon, has further accelerated the digital transition. As more and more people get used to communicating digitally, whether it is via audio, video, film, or text, the pressure will increase on companies not only to be digital internally but to incorporate it into all communication as well. And to get quick internal acceptance and a significant external impact, the management must show the way, and Twitter can act as a starting point.
As we recently wrote in the text "The digital CEO shows the way into the future" (in Swedish) it will become increasingly important with authentic and genuine communication to break through the noise, and who is better suited to act as the company's influencer than its CEO?
We do this survey to highlight good role models who can hopefully be an inspiration for others to follow.
The Motivation - Winner Small Cap
Stefan K Persson (@StefanKPersson1), Precise Biometrics AB
Stefan K Persson took home second place last year and in our comments back then we wrote that the step up to the first place was not so big. What was required was a little more visibility and that is what Stefan delivered. In other words, Stefan lived up to Precise Biometrics corporate motto “You are the key” by being the key to his own success. Congratulations!
1) Can you briefly tell us about yourself and the company you are CEO of?
I started in the company in 2018 and have a long experience in the tech area, including in mobile telephony. Precise Biometrics is a global provider of identification software that uses our unique human characteristics as a personal key, enabling users to identify you conveniently and securely. Just as our pay-off says - "You are the key."
2) How did you get started with Twitter?
When I came on board, we thoroughly reviewed our communication and created an entirely new profile. We went from being a technology-focused company, where technicians talked to technicians to communicating directly with the end consumer. Twitter then became part of the new profile.
Our followers and shareholders want us to send press releases every day. But we have chosen a strict line on what we communicate via press releases, such as changes in strategy, management, and the board, or have a major financial impact. Other communication takes place in other channels, such as via the website and Twitter.
3) What was your biggest challenge?
In addition to time, the biggest challenge has been to get the entire target group on board. Some information that I share may be about biometrics in general or something else we have done that does not have a direct financial impact. Some think this should be in a press release instead. We handle it by being very consistent in how we communicate.
4) Do you see any business benefits?
It is a potent tool and an excellent channel to reach out through, and it is at the same time so simple. If you see something interesting, copy the link, add a comment and then send it out. It's furiously fast.
It is essential to be visible and take ownership of words and hashtags, as we have done with #youarethekey. This engagement has meant that more and more people follow us, both on the website and on Twitter.
Another important aspect is that we previously received criticism from shareholders that our information provision was too scarce, but this has subsided with Twitter as a compliment. It shows that we reach out with our messages.
You become more public, but at the same time, it is part of being the CEO of a listed company. However, you must be very clear about what boundaries you set. Sometimes I get some hidden threats and inappropriate questions, but I turn those users off. Despite this, I have tried to keep a good dialogue going, which has meant that many have returned. I even closed the account for a while and only had a dialogue with those I approved, but now it is open again. It must ultimately be about mutual respect!
6) How much dialogue do you have with their followers?
I try to answer all the questions that come up, but with that said, it must be kept at a healthy level. When there are nonsense or covert threats, then I am clear not to respond and then block.
7) How do you think the climate on Twitter is?
As I mentioned above, there has been a negative element with some smaller shareholders taking out their frustration via the keyboard. This frustration does not only apply to Twitter but can also appear via email. You must be clear about what boundaries you set and, in this way, ensure that you have a respectful dialogue.
8) How much time do you spend on your tweeting?
I do not spend many minutes every day, but it is enough for me to get the message out. I think many people have started to see this and follow me because they know they are getting relevant information from me. Just as I have followers, I follow others who share interesting and relevant information.
9) What are your best tips for the CEO who has not yet gotten started or just made a few small attempts?
Do not make it complicated; just start doing it. It does not have to be more difficult than sometimes linking to the website, posting something about financial reports and other published information. I do not use it privately but only to share information about Precise and our world.
As I said, reuse existing information and add keywords or phrases, as we have done with #youarethekey, and repeat them until you own them. Digital communication is so undeveloped that there is still time to take over and own words. A few minutes a day is enough; no more is needed.
Nowadays, all communication intertwines, so it is essential to be persistent and not forget that repetition is the mother of all learning. Messages need to be drummed in. I believe that there will be more and more demands on us CEOs, and I already see that we need to be more outgoing and visible. This is a clear trend, and Twitter can be a good tool in that respect.