Are you a social CEO?
If not, then it is time for you to be one.
As technology continues to advance, so does our ability to gather information and communicate.
Social media is playing an increasingly important role in how people share their thoughts and opinions.
People can now readily access information about a company’s performance on the internet on social media platforms, like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and many others.
And for the CEO and senior executives, social networking is about more than staying up to date with the latest memes.
The activity of the most influential leaders on social media increasingly reflects emerging leadership practices which will likely define the future of management. Not only does it provide compelling insights on how leaders are followed and admired today; it also paves the way for what the organisational structure of 21st century might be: more local and more distributed with a leader in sync with the company customer ecosystems.Prof. David Dubois, insead professor
It’s about staying in touch with what’s happening, listening to what people are saying, and making strategic decisions that benefit the company.
As the experience of B2B customers and lead acquisition changed with the advent of digital marketing, so should the way leaders lead their company.
New wineskin requires a new way of doing things.
Why CEOs should be on social media
The benefits of when CEOs and executives are active on social media go beyond personal branding.
Here are some benefits for the company of having a social CEO for the company.
Transparency in business can be measured by the degree to which corporate activities are observable by the public.
A study shows that eighty-six percent of Americans say that business transparency is more important than ever before.1
It is so hard to believe what people say online with so much fake news – and self-proclaimed experts and VIPs. People have become more and more cynical and distrustful of those that they do not know–and what companies are pitching.
There is a way to allay this distrust: the social media. It is the most transparent and accessible forms of communication with clients and the public.
It is a means by which the social CEO can use to help protect – and elevate – the public’s perception of the company or brand.
There is a strong correlation between transparency and customer loyalty; this takes us to the next point…
Increase trust and loyalty
Companies that enjoy a better customer retention rate and loyalty score were found to be run by a social CEO and executives who engage with the public – either through their own posts or by following and responding to customer interactions.
The social CEO creates a bond with customers, and survey reveals that for companies with social CEOs, “ten people are more likely to give them second chances after unsatisfactory experiences and 85% are more likely to stick with them during crises.”2
Nothing creates goodwill better than when hearing from the CEO on social media, right?
Solid insights directly from the field
The Chief Executives who do not use social media are not only missing out on important opportunities to build connections with customers and develop trust, they’re missing out, also, on the opportunity to gain access to reliable information.
As the social C-Suite keeps engaged – with the customers and the industry – sooner or later he/she will discover find these gems:
- the needs and wants of the target market
- a better understanding of consumer trends
- the consumer satisfaction levels of the products/services
- a peek at your competitors’ activities
- the effectiveness of your team’s marketing efforts
Such CEO first-hand information helps the company:
- fine tune its offerings
- develop strategies that better resonate with customers’ interests and preferences
- determine future business decisions
- new product development and
- re-align company direction
Amplify your company’s visibility
Brand awareness is oft-cited benefit for companies.
Social media can be a powerful tool in the hands of a CEO.
Per Hootsuite and LinkedIn’s white paper on social executives – VP seniority and above – says that compared to other content posts, executives get:3
- 10.8x more engagement on long form posts
- 7.4x shares of content published
- 14x more engagement on content shared
- 8.5x more views on long form posts
Also, many research has shown that CEOs who have a social media presence have a higher likelihood of being followed by people in their industries.
Support social selling campaign
Today, social media marketing is considered as a critical component of many B2B lead generation campaigns.
What a social CEOs can do is that they can take the company beyond brand awareness, push it down the buying cycle, bringing better quality leads through improved reputation and consistent and deeper engagement.
According to Hootsuite and LinkedIn’s report on the impact of social executives on sales, for companies that adopted “social media are 51% more likely to reach their quota, while 78% of social sellers out perform their peers who aren’t on social media.”4
With a social CEO and senior executives, credibility is increased, effectively increasing customer faith in the brand, therefore boosting profitability and business success.
How often is it that we hear about a company that has caused a Public Relations crisis and needs to use social media strategically to quell the situation?
This is the type of situation where social media is a powerful tool–and a social CEOs role is critical.
“Every crisis is an opportunity” is a phrase often used in business. With the far-reaching influence of a social channel reaching the attention of millions, the Chief Executive Officer of a company can use it to manage a crisis quickly or to get in front of it.
Even if other senior leaders are handling it, by interacting with your audience, you can gain their trust and gain insight into any areas of concern before it blows up.
By sending key messages as quickly as possible to reassure people and to correct inaccurate information, it can help avert a disaster or restore public confidence.
Humanize your company
Brands, companies and products are trying harder than ever to become more human and transparent, to build a better relationship and to connect with their customer.
People want to feel like they know the person behind the brand and social media is a great way to do this.
What social networks should CEOs use
There are many social media platforms out there, but the time and energy it takes to maintain and post on multiple platforms may not be worth it.
With so many social media channels to choose from, it’s important to focus on the right ones.
That said, I recommend social CEOs to focus on either of these three major social media platforms.
Best social media platforms for CEOs
- LinkedIn is the most popular platform for corporate CEOs. It is a business-focused network. Executives use LinkedIn to showcase their professional and company achievements and stay in touch with industry leaders.
- Twitter is the second choice for social CEOs. It is easy to set up and social CEOs can get direct response and real-time engagement with customers, fellow CEOs, industry leaders and prospects.
- Facebook isn’t just a place for people to post about their lives. It is a place for CEO and senior executives to post about their company and how they can help their customers. Also, let’s not forget that Facebook is the top social media platform in the U.S. So, although it is not LinkedIn, the CEOs are most likely also using it to connect with their friends and families. They are humans, after all.
Ultimately, the choice of social media platform you choose is up to you. Select the platform that best fits your company’s goals, personality, and other business realities.
Need a dedicated social media specialist for your team? Go here for end-to-end social media management.
Best types of social media posts for the CEO and senior executives
Whereas, traditional methods such as emailing, phone calls, etc. require additional effort on behalf of both parties involved. The power of social media lies in its simplicity: You post a meaningful content, someone else sees it, likes it, shares it, comments on it, responds to it, and then you get feedback. That simple cycle creates a powerful connection between two individuals.
But what exactly should the CEO and business leaders share on social media?
Should a CEO talk about their latest company news about the business? What about their personal life? What should a CEO do to take advantage of their position and help grow the company’s reach?
The vortex of the social media strategy of a social CEO and senior executives is to provide social currency. It should answer these questions:
- Engaging: Does it encourage conversation?
- Relatable: Does it demonstrate shared values?
- Helpful: Does it offer utility?
- Empowering: Does it motivate your audience (e.g. CEOs, employees, customers)?
Digital leaders that get the most attention for themselves and their brands on social media are those who share their personal causes, express their hopes and ambitions and engage with their followers.PROF David Dubois, insead
Regardless of who is posting on the social networks, whether it’s the CEO – or the in-house marketing team, or an outsourced social media agency – the post should look and feel authentic and personal.
Taking charge of the social media room
When done right, a social CEO’s engagement activity can be a tremendous boon to the company.
The social CEO can tap the power and reach of social media, and use it to create a positive, two-way dialogue with customer, employees and other concerned stakeholders.
He/she can harness it to promote company culture and create a dialogue that promotes education, innovation, growth, and more.
Do you need help on becoming a social ceo? Are your senior executives ready to turn your company into a high-octane social business? Let’s talk!
- “#BrandsGetReal: Social media & the evolution of transparency,” accessed September 9, 2021, https://sproutsocial.com/insights/data/social-media-transparency/
- “How Social Executives are Transforming the Financial Services Industry in Australia,” accessed September 5, 2021, https://www.hootsuite.com/en-hk/resources/transforming-the-financial-services-industry-in-australia
- LinkedIn, Australian Financial Service Professionals of VP seniority and above, September 2016