News of Sarah Robb O'Hagan leaving Gatorade to become the first president of Equinox leaked last Wednesday night on Twitter. When that news was officially announced the next day, several people on Twitter sent congratulatory tweets to Robb O'Hagan. And, in the days since the announcement, Robb O'Hagan (aka @SarahRobbOh) has personally sent several responses.
Interaction on Twitter from fitness club industry executives is becoming a growing trend. Earlier this summer during the Olympics, 24 Hour Fitness President and CEO Carl Liebert (@C3hoosier) sent out tweets and posted several retweets from London. Anytime Fitness CEO Chuck Runyon (@ChuckRunyon), an active Twitter user, responded to Twitter followers during and after his appearance on ABC's "Secret Millionaire." Recently, EvanCarmichael.com ranked Snap Fitness CEO Peter Taunton (@PeterTaunton) No. 27 on a list of Top 100 franchising experts to follow on Twitter.
Twitter can be a source for personal news as well. Late Tuesday night, RetroFitness CEO Eric Casaburi (@ECRETRO) chose Twitter to announce the birth of his son, Andrew Robert, No. 4 in the Casaburi clan.
Bryan O'Rourke (@BryanKOrourke), industry consultant and CEO of Integerus, is a frequent Twitter user, with more than 15,000 tweets and 68,000 followers to his credit. O'Rourke says many CEOs remain hesitant to engage in social media.
"From a business standpoint, social media is currently the least-utilized method for connecting with an audience," O'Rourke says. "The hierarchy of connecting is typically face-to-face, websites, channel partners, call centers, traditional media, advisory groups, and then, social media."
Citing a recent IBM CEO report, O'Rourke says only 16 percent of the more than 1,700 CEOs interviewed for the study participate in social media. However, according to the IBM analysis, that percentage is expected to grow to 57 percent within the next five years.
O'Rourke is impressed so far with Robb O'Hagan's prowess on Twitter, especially after she immediately responded with a thank-you reply to his congratulatory tweet.
"This means she is going to be able to be a real potential influencer in the space and a good influence on her organization for the future," O'Rourke says. "I think her attitude and use of social media reflects her being a new age thinker and leader who will make a big impact on the Equinox brand."