Top Reasons Why CEOs Should Engage
With the U.S. President Tweeting daily, you might be wondering about the usefulness of Twitter and in particular its value for you as the top executive of your company.
In this arena, actions speak louder than intentions. Some questions to ask yourself:
Are you pro, con or indifferent to social media? Do you have well-maintained social media accounts? Are you actually posting and sharing? Do you have a strategy, and if so, what is that strategy? Are you following through on it? Or are you abdicating this responsibility to your social media department?
According to the Social CEO Report from CEO.com in 2015, 61% of CEOs have no social media presence whatsoever. I suspect that number is higher by now, mostly because the young and coming executives are using more social media. Nonetheless, social media is often just viewed as a distraction rather than an underutilized opportunity.
So why is it imperative for you to be on social media?
As Chief Executive Officer, or any C-Level for that matter, you are a role model for the rest of your organization, your industry and even your nation. Here are some of the benefits for being on social media:
By targeting your stakeholders directly, you can increase brand awareness and brand loyalty. People will associate your name with the name of your company. It’s not about EGO, but about genuinely contributing to the advancement of mankind.
More Sales Leads
If followers can relate to your message as the head of the company, they are more likely to research your products and services because they want to be more like you.
Your number one priority as the leader is to create a high performing team. Finding good talent and recruiting the highest performers is essential to your success. If people can relate to what and how you are engaging on social media, they will be attracted to work with and for you.
Regardless of whether you are looking for Angel Money, Venture Capital Funding or are responsible to shareholders of your publicly traded company, if you are interested in helping to shape public policies or are looking for companies to buy, merge or partner with, your stakeholders are watching you and your space. They want to hear from you. They value transparency and authentic leadership.
Oftentimes, following and commenting on your posts and Tweets is the only way for one of your stakeholders who is not in the public limelight to actually get to speak with you directly. Engaging in the conversation and listening to concerns and ideas is a useful way to stay grounded. It’s a great opportunity to hear directly from people outside of your inner circle.
Last but not least, you get to shine as the visionary. Being out in front, you get to create and shift the conversation. You have the opportunity to ask the questions no one else is asking or dares to ask.
CEOs on Social Media
Some CEOs who have consistently been role models on how to use social media are Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Arianna Huffington, Jeff Weiner, Marc Benioff and Elon Musk. Here’s what these CEOs provide that others don’t:
1) They add true value content for followers.
2) They actively and consistently contribute to a leadership agenda.
Here’s what they don’t do that others do:
They are not overly self-promotional, too formal, or they do not appear to be creating their own content.
As CEO you are very concerned with managing risk, and rightfully so. Too many CEOs have been under the magnifying glass of public interest. But if you are an authentic leader who adheres to ethics and moral values aligned with your followers and the public at large, you have nothing to fear. All it takes is a bit of courage to put yourself out there. Just write from a thoughtful place and hit ‘publish.’
If you want to brainstorm about what would add true value and increase your thought leadership, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you know someone who might benefit from being challenged to engage social media, please pass on this article. Thank you in advance.
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