The Wizard of Wall Street joined Twitter May 2 during a CNN Money/Fortune interview at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. "Warren is in the house," he sent. The Oracle of Omaha followed later that afternoon with:
Read my new essay on why women are key to America's prosperity: http://t.co/sGCZoC3Lbm.
Mr. Buffett was off to a great start, as his followers quickly climbed into the thousands.
Buffett now has more than 428,000 followers, but he hasn't tweeted in the two weeks following the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholder weekend.
In contrast, friend Bill Gates tweeted 21 times since then to his more than 11 million followers. He even mentioned Buffett in a tweet on May 6:
Once again, @WarrenBuffett and I competed to see who could throw a newspaper the farthest. I'm getting better. http://t.co/En5fc64NuV
This was a missed opportunity for Buffett to respond with his wonderful sense of humor, but Buffett's new account remained silent. By leveraging his friendship with Gates, Buffett would likely have more than one million followers by now.
Although Buffett is popular on Twitter, his engagement needs work. I ran an Edelman Digital TweetLevel on Buffett's account, and found he has a relatively low 43.3 TweetLevel and is currently classified as an amplifier.
Influence - 43.3,
Popularity - 91.8,
Engagement - 22.5,
Trust - 62.2
Although it is humbling that Buffett quickly passed my number of followers in his first hour on Twitter, he needs to engage the audience to pass my 76.6 idea starter rating.
Buffett can easily do this by reaching out to his social network a couple of times per week. He's a great writer, and the thirst for Buffett's wisdom is unparalleled.
Buffett could start by following Gates and perhaps friends in media, such as Becky Quick of CNBC. She has more than 50,000 followers.
To show how this might work, I've written three sample tweets:
#ThankYou .@BillGates .@CharlieRose .@60Minutes for global health reporting. http://t.co/diADsVWRF8
.@BeckyQuickCNBC: I read your latest blog post, The 'Gatsby' Rally and Poopgate: Talking Squawk http://t.co/iCse6tqS7X
.@BillClinton: I may be a Twitter newbie, but I'm closing quickly on your number of followers!
Buffett should also reach out to friend LeBron James and his more than eight million followers. If Buffett just talks to his friends on Twitter, he has an opportunity to influence millions of new followers on topics, such as philanthropy, women in business and financial literacy. A little interaction will go a long way toward making Warren Buffett a force to be reckoned with in social media.