There are more than 5 million people who know that T-Mobile’s CEO, John Legere, is on Twitter. This is just one CEO who has boosted the success of his company through having a strong and influential social media presence.
Social Media has become such a powerful marketing tool. Even so, there are many CEOs who are resisting this shift in marketing and branding. Company logistics become their main priority, as it should be. However, by avoiding social media, they are losing out on endless opportunities to create brand awareness and to ultimately increase the overall success of their company.
Forbes stated that 61% of Fortune 500 CEOs have no presence on social media at all. They prefer to work behind the scenes. However, there is a much smaller group of CEOs who are navigating their social media pages to create a powerful presence in their selected industry. I’d like to take a closer look at the major benefits of CEOs creating an influential social media presence and how to achieve the best results.
1) Potential for high Return On Engagement (ROE)
When someone has the word ‘CEO’ as their title on social media, then it will be viewed with a higher level of interest, meaning ROE is going to be higher. Having an influential social media presence does not mean investing a lot of time, it just means setting out a small out of time everyday to share content and interact with your followers.
e.g. The Conversation stated that Elon Musk is an expert at creating hype around his companies. He posts frequent, short bursts of content which entertains his audiences. In July of 2016, he tweeted “Working on Top Secret Tesla Masterplan, Part 2. Hoping to publish later this week” which received 14,000 likes, was retweeted more than 4,000 times, and received coverage from Vanity Fair, Fortune, Forbes, Reuters, and more.
HOW? Post consistently
Quality and quantity should go hand in hand. When figuring out the tone and content of your posts, keep your existing followers in mind and the potential followers you would like to gain. Make sure to stay active and engaging by being consistent with how often you post and when you post.
2) Create a positive corporate culture
A CEO who has a strong social media presence can control their image. The word CEO triggers employees to feel intimidated, and it triggers customers and potential customers to think of just a word and not a person. In a way, the CEO becomes the company, and not a separate individual or identity, who can add their own value to the company. A study by Weber Shandwick found that nearly 70% of senior professionals stated that when a CEO posts on social media it creates a more pleasant corporate culture. A big reason for this shift is that the CEO is viewed as human rather than an intimidating and unrelatable authority figure.
e.g. A good example of this is T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere whose social media profile is both very active and popular; witty and sometimes confrontational tweets to competitors provide his followers with an entertainment factor- often acting as free PR for the company too.
HOW? Include your personality
This is a great opportunity to humanize your brand and be a noticeable influencer for your company. Ask yourself: What perception do you want people to have of you? Everyone has a life outside of work, so be open to sharing about yours on social media. This will assist you in connecting with your followers on a deeper level and will make using social media more entertaining for you.
3) Be influential
A hard working CEO will almost always inspire his or her employees to put in hard work. Similarly, a CEO who takes social media management seriously can influence employees to as well. This will especially come in handy with Linkedin because the more involved your employees become, the more exposure your brand is likely to get. The results of this will be reflected not only in social media followers but also an increase in sales will also happen, especially if your sales team gets involved in social media.
McKinsey researchers estimate that $1.3 trillion in value stands to be unlocked by companies that can successfully apply social media technology. Not just as marketing tools, but in sales and customer service too.
e.g. The Conversation stated that Jack Salzwedel proves that no industry is too stodgy to develop a personality: Twitter gives him a direct-to-consumer channel which he avidly uses to build trust and resolve customer issues. A study by Domo pegged him as the world’s most engaged CEO on Twitter. He’s replied to customer queries eight times more and posted nearly 100 times more than his colleagues. When asked, he replied to Domo in a tweet: “My belief is social media is no longer something to consider. It is something C-level execs must engage in.”
HOW? Quality content
Your content is very important and can make or break your success on social media. Don’t just post or repost corporate news; share industry news and breakthroughs, and add your own opinions in. Also, publish and post content of your own. Your knowledge and expertise in the industry is guaranteed to keep your followers hooked.
4) Be more than just a name or title
Often, a CEO can go unnoticed. Not everyone in the company has direct or face to face contact with them, and as a result they can be viewed simply as a higher up person that is never seen or heard. However, once a CEO has that social media presence, they will appear more real to their workers and earn more respect.
Social media is a platform, which you can use, to call one giant company meeting. When a CEO is on social media, employees will feel a connection to them, ultimately making the CEO more likeable, relatable and respectable. The fear and intimidation they once felt towards the CEO can disappear with some words and the click of a button.
e.g. CEO of Twitter, Dick Costolo is well-known in the industry for his influential leadership abilities. Another reason for Costolo’s success is his social media presence. There is a very genuine tone in Costolo’s online conversation. He tweets back and forth with his fans, and this is the reason behind his personal twitter accounts success.
HOW? Interact with your followers
Interacting with your community is an opportunity to network. This will increase your personal brand as well as company brand. In addition, it will create business prospects.
In today’s world online influencers have a huge impact on the results of personal and corporate branding. The company’s own social media page can only go so far if the brand does not have backing from online influencers. Therefore, a CEO who can brand themselves as an influencer, can be a massive advantage.
Moreover, CEO’s need to think about their personal brand as well. Sometimes they may want to pursue alternative career or industry paths, and an impressive and influential social media presence can assist them on that journey towards success.
Thanks for reading; My name is Brizzo and I’m a digital marketer based in Shanghai.
My experience is on Personal Branding & Online Reputation on Social Media.
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Brizzo is a dynamic and energetic investor, marketing strategist, musician and online reputation specialist. He is the Co-Founder of AICY Create, https://www.aicy-create.com/, a leading marketing agency based in China, with expertise in Personal Branding and China Digital Marketing.