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Establishing a strong online presence through social media may not be at the top of every CEO’s to-do list; it may be seen as an unwelcome time-sap, a diversion away from the job at hand, or even a high-risk area where one ill-conceived post on Twitter can spell disaster. And while it’s true that you should always ‘think before you tweet’ and invest time in building up a strong following, there are significant benefits and legitimate reasons why CEOs should engage with social media.
And it’s not just about raising your profile – although posting consistently interesting, intelligent and relevant content is an excellent way of building a reputation as a thought leader in your industry. It’s also a great tool for networking and growing your professional circle; at its best, social media (and we are including LinkedIn within that definition) can be highly democratic (small ‘d’!) with online introductions made easily and effectively.
Engaging with social media as a CEO can also have another surprising benefit – boosting the morale of your employees. According to research cited in this article from the Harvard Business Review, 52% of executives with CEOs who are active on social said it made them feel inspired, 46% said it made them feel their company was technologically advanced, and 41% said it made them feel proud.
Social media also provides a really versatile solution to building a more dynamic profile to complement your website bio. Video allows your voice to – literally – be heard be it in content posted to YouTube or the micro-short content of a Vine video. As I have written about on previous blog posts, we live in a highly customer-centric environment, with consumers demanding authenticity and transparency from the businesses they purchase from and interact with. Being able to see a CEO ‘in action’ on social media can really help tap into that authenticity.
So if you’re ready to brave the social media waters, here are a couple of tips to get started:
Look at what peers / people who inspire you are doing on social media – what do you find engaging, what makes their posts memorable, is there anything that irks you? In short, what can you learn?
While your social media posts should be ‘unscripted’, it’s helpful to be on message with the overall integrated marketing plan and if you’re unsure how to get started, having something concrete to comment about is a good way to go.
Having a presence on social media doesn’t mean having a presence on all available social media platforms. If your business is visually-driven, instagram might be a great fit, or maybe being laser-focused on LinkedIn will get you the traction you’re looking for.
While we all know that social media doesn’t always bring out the best in people, as a CEO, this is your opportunity to show your strong suit and shine.
If you’d like to discuss how we can help shape your CEO social media strategy, as ever, please get in touch.
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