To what extent is the CEO of a company expected to participate in, and shoulder the social media responsibility and representation of his company? Does the behaviour of a CEO on social media affect the brand’s image and vice versa in this day and age?
A CEO acts as a Swiss army knife. He/she is mainly supposed to keep a close eye on the company ensuring that all systems run smoothly and profitably on a day-to-day basis.
Now when I am talking about roles and responsibilities, do you think that social media activity should be yet another item on a CEO’s to-do list? Absolutely, Yes! After all, humans are social animals by nature and to be a part of the larger social structure, they have to be a part of the crowd. The rule applies everywhere, even in business.
If I recall a recent example of the ways in which social media can be used to communicate with, influence and even force behavior change from CEO’s is that the respective heads of Amazon, Google and Apple are getting pressure via gun-control advocates on Twitter to stop streaming NRA TV in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. I mean the social executive community isn’t a complete wasteland; I mean 80% of CEO’s around the world are adopting social presence. But at the same time, you will come across an untapped potential for chief executives who haven’t thought of bolstering their companies’ social media marketing goals, of course by getting personally involved. And more importantly, socially-active CEO’s can dramatically improve their company’s viability and awareness within their target markets in several ways.
Humanizing the company
There’s that great adage, “It’s not personal, it’s business,” but conducting an effective business has to be personal. With the increasing prominence of social media, people have started gaining and nurturing leads to a great extent. Being a CEO today also includes a core responsibility of maintaining an active profile on the biggest social networking platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. Besides, this has become a great way to imbue an effective social media marketing strategy featuring the crucial “human” factor.
For example, I have come across a CEO who sends such messages for personal engagement- “We’re a company that wants a personal connection with you.” Apart from this, you can also create an impression of being uniquely persuasive by using your individual knowledge of the company in order to engage with potential customers especially in forums and other social media discussions. This can be done in a few ways like:
Infusing her personality in social posts– A dry social feed comprising of outbound links reads like a robot, not a human being is a little passé’. All content should take the target audience into consideration, CEO’s should infuse their personality in social messages by honing an individual tone and occasionally sharing inspiring thoughts or personal anecdotes.
Sharing influencer-worthy content- Providing a balanced and varied feed in terms of both personalization and outside sources is good for a majority of social content. At present, most of the social media posts are comprising of outbound links. Tweets with links, for example- Gartner 86% more retweets than those without any. But at the same time, those links should be to powerful content with original ideas and calls-to-action.
Posting social messages that encourage engagement– Making statements isn’t cool anymore. So feel free to ask questions and invite commentary. After all, it’s very easy to demonstrate “humanness” through a willingness to learn. In the present scenario asking for comments or opinions has become an effective way for a business to increase engagement, especially if the social initiative is spurred by the CEO himself.
Following up– Use a social media marketing platform to “listen” for company mentions, taking brand sentiment into account. And make sure that you yourself as a CEO directly addresses such questions and concerns, especially the ones which are posted about regarding your company. This shows a commitment to earning trust. If simply put, a social CEO is the prominent human face of a B2B company making it easier and more appealing to do business with.
Connecting well with Customers
One of the main or should I say crucial priorities for any B2B marketing department is to forge strong connections with both current and prospective customers. A social CEO has the power as a “chief salesperson” of sorts, to persuade prospective customers to consider new ideas and solutions, getting more of them to respond to thought leadership content and enter the sales funnel.
According to several researches, half of all users are likely to buy from companies they engage with on the business-focused network, irrespective of the platform.
Always remember, a personal touchpoint initiated by CEO is the ultimate example of the dedication of providing great customer service. And they create goodwill among customers, leading to loyalty.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time for you to become socially smart as a CEO!