Effective use of social media is fast becoming a key tenet of business leadership. We take a look at 10 ways CEOs can leverage their own social accounts for the benefit of their business.
There are CEOs, business leaders and even presidents who tweet, some more successfully than others. For the social CEO, it's wise to put a few simple strategies in place – not only to help you capitalise on social media's benefits but also to avoid its pitfalls.
David Kirk, Senior Vice President at sales and marketing technology company Passle, recommends talking to your marketing and other internal teams first and says this is key to creating stronger content that will appeal to your followers.
“Developing a CEO social media strategy is not just about posting content; it’s about the user journey online. You should be aware of the conversations your clients and colleagues are engaging in, then understand what’s getting traction.
“As CEO you must work with your CMO and the heads of human resources and corporate responsibility to determine what’s important to stakeholders and people coming into the business, and how social media can help you appeal to particular demographics. Which pieces of social content are adding value to your business? If some aren’t, rethink them.”
Finally, honing your CEO social media strategy could be the perfect opportunity to lead from the front with your senior management team and employees.
Kirk suggests business leaders “provide greater guidance on social media usage to your employees, and encourage your senior executives to do the same. Gaining a better understanding of what staff are thinking and talking about, and getting them involved in decision making around social media, will pay dividends in terms of the quality of your content.”
Ready to begin? Here are 10 considerations before you press enter on that status update
1 Be clear on your ‘why'?
Knowing why you are engaging on social media is key to being a successful social CEO. Is it for gaining more of a presence in the market, or to promote your business? Is it to network, or are you simply looking to boost your image? The answer will determine your social strategy.
2 Always follow up
If someone shares content with you, send them a message. As CEO, responding to followers will be a key way of gaining a following online.
You are unlikely to get quick wins for your business through social media and networking platforms. Growing an audience takes time and effort. Have patience and keep at it.
4 Share insights
These can be short and punchy. If you’re sending useful stuff by email to your clients and customers, then it’s worth sharing on social media too. Don't forget to include a link to the content or insight.
5 Meet the need
If a client tells you about something that interests them in a meeting, write about it and ask them to share it on their channels. That both shares your expertise and builds traction.
6 Be authentic
Personal and business brands are intertwined, so be human and approachable, even if you’re not always 100% on message.
7 Monitor your activity
Make sure there’s nothing on your feed that could adversely affect either your personal brand or that of your business. Always think before you share!
8 Promote personality
Warren Buffet has only sent a handful of tweets since joining Twitter in 2013, but he has 1.3 million followers because his humour shines through.
9 Create value
Before posting anything, pause and ask yourself is content going to inform, educate or entertain – or will it do all three?
10 Alignment is key
Make sure what you’re saying during your day-to-day is in line with your social media messaging.