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Levick Daily. Thoughts. Perspectives. Insights.

Social & Digital Media

C-Suite Social Media

According to Forbes, global CEO social media engagement has grown by over 30 percent since 2011. More and more of the world’s top executives are seeing the benefits of actively participating on social media, including increased personal brand awareness and improved website traffic. For those of you who are still slightly hesitant to join the rest of us online, here are a few more impactful reasons to participate:

CEOs on social media may raise awareness of brand and build brand loyalty.

A survey from Brandfog reveals that 80 percent of respondents believe CEOs using social media can build brand loyalty. The respondents are right. The survey also showed that 77 percent of consumers are more likely to buy from a company whose leaders have a strong social media presence. Perhaps consumers trust those who put themselves in the public eye, available for both praise and criticism.

Social media can help you establish yourself as a relevant and present leader.

Though, legally, there is a limit on what you can share online, some form of transparency is necessary and beneficial to your image and the image of your company. Similarly, according to the Brandfog survey, nearly 70 percent of all employees believe that leveraging social media makes executives “more effective leaders.” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings took to Twitter to disclose information about his customers’ Netflix usage on Facebook that had not been publically announced. The U.S. Securities Exchange Commission investigated the act, and ruled that Hastings did not violate any fair disclosure rules. They even announced that it is okay for companies to reveal this information online if investors are told were to look in advance.

Careful, though. If your company built a reputation of being very non-transparent, social media may not be your best friend. Do you remember how J.P. Morgan’s #AskJPM campaign ended? Click the hashtag if you need a reminder (#trainwreck).

See and hear what users say about you and your company.

It may be more fun to have your head in the clouds, but it is more important to have your eyes and ears on the streets. Seeing and hearing what your customers say about your company can give you great insight into your company. If you have someone monitoring mentions of your company online, keep a look out for mentions of yourself. Making simple changes to your communication tactics and engagement can turn those dissenters into fans.

Are you ready to get started? These are some simple things you have to remember in order to win the social media game as a CEO.

  • Be genuine – CEOs like Richard Branson get so much love online because they invite their followers into their lives via social media. Take a photo of you enjoying a work sponsored event, or enjoying your peers and share it on Instagram!
  • Join the conversation – If you see users praising, or even complaining, about your product, show them that you care by shooting them a tweet or comment in response. They will appreciate it and it will demonstrate that you’re paying attention to your customers.
  • Keep it up! – Don’t limit yourself to one or two tweets a week. Users don’t always want to hear from brands, so tweeting more frequently with your personal account can allow you to connect users with your brand indirectly.

CEOs and other executive should be wary of using social media improperly. Several of these executives suffered the consequences of saying the wrong thing online. These posts cost them fans and their jobs.

  • Pax Dickinson – Though users like to read a CEO’s genuine thoughts, sharing too much can be detrimental to your image and your company’s bottom line. For example, Business Insider Chief Technology Officer Pax Dickinson was fired after users shared the racist and sexist tweets he made last year. Business Insider decided to distance the company from the man and his posts.
  • Justine Sacco – Justine Sacco, director of corporate communications for IAC, the company that represents brands like OKCupid, was fired after sending a tweet before boarding a flight to an African nation. Rumor has it that she had been fired before even stepping off the plane. #smh, Justine.

If you are looking to venture into social media, but don’t know where to start, discuss your ideas with your digital communications department. If you trust them to run multi-million dollar accounts, they should have a good idea about how to get you more active online. It’s a move that will amplify your professional profile and provide you with hours of entertainment. 

Peter LaMotte is a Senior Vice President at LEVICK and Chair of the firm’s Digital Communications Practice. He is also a contributing author to LEVICK Daily.

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Chief of Digital Engagement

Peter LaMotte leads the award-winning digital team at LEVICK, bringing the richest, most diverse digital talent and resources to bear on behalf of firm clients worldwide. A proven digital marketing and strategy leader, Mr. LaMotte is well-known...