How Carl Icahn could be better at Twitter

Carl Icahn's Twitter effect.

"Follow me on Twitter."

That's how billionaire investor Carl Icahn wraps up his television interviews these days.

With more than 90,000 followers, Icahn is the latest figure in the financial world to hop onto the social media messaging site. The legendary hedge fund manager -- who goes by @Carl_C_Icahn -- told CNBC he hopes to share his stock ideas with others in 140 character posts.

Since joining, the markets have taken notice.

Icahn's tweets have already shaken the shares of Apple, Dell, Talisman Energy and Nuance Communications.

Three of those posts—along with an appearance on CNBC—moved $18 billion in Apple, according to some reports. His other tweets have moved millions more.

While off to a good start, we've drawn up five ways to help Icahn enhance the experience for himself and his followers.


Of Icahn's 39 tweets so far, 25 mention publicly traded stocks. Since shareholders of those stocks often search Twitter for their respective cashtags—ticker symbols accompanied by a dollar sign, like $GE—it would be wise for Icahn to include them.

This means Icahn's tweets will show up in a Twitter search for these symbols. That'll speed up the process of getting this information to followers and non-followers alike, and he'll look more social savvy doing it. Cashtags are considered to be hashtags for the financial industry.

[See Twitter's $GE Tweet]


One of the most unforgettable interactions on Twitter took place between billionaire Boone Pickens and millionaire rap star Drake.

"The first million is the hardest," the 25-year old artist posted to Twitter in May 2012.

"The first billion is a helluva lot harder," Pickens shot back.

The response went on to receive 21,000 retweets and has forever placed Pickens in the social media history books – all because of a simple interaction.

[See Boone Picken's Tweet]

Icahn, who isn't afraid to speak his mind, would really up his social game by responding to tweets from his followers and other financial titans. Unfortunately for those looking for a repeat of Pickens-Drake, Icahn can't converse with investor Bill Ackman on Twitter; Ackman doesn't have an account. Yet.


What is Icahn reading these days?

Aside from sharing his latest investments and upcoming TV appearances, Icahn could share a few of his favorite articles and books each week, giving the world a peek into what's on his coffee table.

Behind-the-scenes information goes a long way on Twitter. We'll even take an Instagram-filtered snaphot of his lunch… occasionally.

(Mr. Icahn, if you are reading this piece, feel free to share it, too.)


Currently, visitors to Icahn's Twitter feed are greeted by a snazzy profile picture, a witty bio and a link to Icahn Enterprises' web site.

What's missing are relevant background and header images.

To help better give potential followers a feel for who this man is, Icahn may want to add a background image that reflects his favorite stocks, promote his firm or includes his contact information.

The header image could feature a family pet.


More than 50% of Twitter users don't tweet. That means folks are flocking to the service to consume information. While Icahn has what to share, he may find the platform to be even more useful if he followed more than nine people.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, another recent Twitter sign-up, follows 32 accounts, ranging from Kickstarter to Duke Basketball.

Whether Icahn is managing his Twitter account alone is unclear, but if he does have a tab open on a browser on his computer—all of his tweets have come from the web—the "Follow" button is his friend.

By CNBC's Eli Langer. Follow him on Twitter at @EliLanger.