Written By: Matthew Hemmings – International Director
Today’s brave new—and exceedingly connected—world needs strong leaders that can navigate the social-media landscape. These days, it’s not enough that C-suite executives learn how to communicate through social-media platforms. They should also clearly differentiate and brilliantly thrive.
Accounts in platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even Snapchat need not be exclusively personal anymore. They should be a brand-centred beacon that reflects the leadership’s role in the larger organization. Whether you like it or not, as part of the C-suite, your social media should actively say a lot about who you are as an individual, and how this interplays with your role and values in your professional life. This then allows you to shine the spotlight on your brand and generate engagement.
Social media is here to stay.
Today, social media is becoming increasingly more dominant and ubiquitous. It has become one of the few most effective communication tools widely used by ordinary individuals, celebrities, public figures and brands alike. Social media, indeed, is a level playing field, and you can leverage it to your best advantage.
In fact, since it is also integral to marketing and communications, you can use it to boost exposure and spread awareness about yourself and especially your brand. The fact that the use of social media to drive home organizational goals is in almost every business agenda speaks volumes on how you should get in on the bandwagon, too.
Shape your brand with your presence.
Many companies and organizations these days rely on social media to keep their customers abreast on the latest developments about their products, as well as to disseminate relevant company information. The platforms we use today make it easy to even use social media to live-stream events, show behind-the-scene footages and share best practices as well as insights. And these are to name just a few.
Furthermore, social media is also your best platform for humanizing your company brass and building your brand’s reputation with every post, tweet or snap. The fact that it is you yourself who are creating the conversation through these platforms creates even bigger and lasting impact.
It’s networking on steroids.
You network and promote your brand on social media using your company’s official account. However, you as an executive can have a better grasp of your industry and can, therefore, better chime in—and in real-time—using your own account.
After all, traditional media can only get you so far. It allows you to get your message out there. However, it can’t directly respond to every individual’s concern. By being active on social-media platforms using your account as one of your organization’s key decision-makers, you bypass traditional media and directly engage with your network. This also allows you the tremendous opportunity to expand your network more than any other means, or any other representative of your company, can. From employees to target audience, key media contacts to potential customers, you can easily and directly reach them through your own social-media account.
Create genuine interactions with employees.
It’s not just with customers that you create interactions. As an executive, your social-media account can create a bridge that allows you to reach out to your employees. This is important especially if you’re a global operation, and most of your employees merely know you by your name or title.
With your own social-media account, you create an extension of your office and make yourself more accessible. You can potentially put a face and personality behind the brass plate. You can gain better insight into the lives and drives of your employees to whatever level of the organization they may belong. You create a direct line to hear them out as well as share your own story. In turn, these moves can even create policy changes and major decisions that reflect well on your brand. From the conversations you have with members of your organization, you show a progressive company culture on the digital and global stage, which can further translate to your brand.
Develop authentic relationships with customers.
Consumers use social media as a sounding board. It’s where they air their thoughts and reviews, good or bad. As a C-suite executive on social media, you can have a better grasp of what your target audience is thinking and saying, even witness events and conversations as they unfold. This said, you can use your social-media account to create valuable opportunities for getting up close and personal with your customers.
Furthermore, because you can chime in and create real-time interactions, you are showing that customer input is valuable to your company. Your customers will know that they don’t have to go through the whole corporate bureaucracy to get things done as they can always approach you, an executive in tune with your customers’ needs. With your open and brand-oriented social-media presence, you create a positive impact that transforms into effective brand communication. This, in turn, inspires customers’ trust and loyalty.
Create opportunities to be a thought-leader.
Your social-media account can also give you an opportunity to directly connect with top leaders of other organizations in your field. This will allow you to rise to the occasion and improve your own personal brand and portfolio—even be a leader yourself.
You can use social media to develop a strong voice and become a thought-leader in your industry. Your social-media account is the perfect place for you to share your ideas with the public. As you create engaging and valuable content about your industry, you elevate yourself as an expert in your field. Eventually, you can find that other people will look up to you for your insights as well as answers.
Simply put, having C-suite executives in social media creates a logical and practical connection to the fulfilment of your business objectives.
So, if you’re still wondering if you should be in social media, the answer is a big, resounding “yes”.