Why Your CEO Should Communicate on Social Media
… and tips on how to do so effectively
They influence company culture, spearhead change and enforce performance standards enterprise-wide, and yet some 61 per cent of Fortune 500 CEOs still fail to strut their stuff before the most important constituent of all—their online customers who use social media. Not posting to social channels may stem from a period when social media was seen as frivolous and a time-waster and not the important business tool it’s become.
Two things have changed since that time.
First, millennials now have the most purchasing power of any generation. Each generation is unique in some form or another, and impose unique demands on the marketplace. This generation wants to communicate, learn and buy online. A company has to be online with them. That’s a given. But a CEO who is online with them is more credible and given props for being one of a rare breed.
Second, social media has evolved a unique set of unveiling properties. Traditional marketing formulae don’t always work well in this space, giving consumers unified and unprecedented power over marketing influence. Innovative, brand-transparency strategies are now key to capturing this audience and maintaining or growing market share. A candid CEO, using social media to comment on issues that face the company and the wider industry as a whole, will gain invaluable traction with this crowd.
So, should CEOs be representing their companies on social media platforms? You might be thinking that social media is all about fitting in and is no place for a leader who must bear the burden of making tough decisions and ultimately standing out. For CEOs who do decide to take to the feed, here are some helpful tips.
Be a Trendsetter
Be a leader. Be outspoken. Don’t be afraid to weigh in on timely issues. Millennials admit to being more likely to buy from a business that is associated with a certain stance on socio-political topics. Just make sure you aren’t alienating half of the market by offending those who hold different opinions. Highlight the positives rather than the negatives. It is hard to criticize a voice of hope.
Social media can take customer service to the next level. Nothing says “we care” like a direct response to customer concerns straight from the top. Of course, you can’t respond to everyone. But just addressing one customer on social media will show the rest of your following that you are both capable and motivated to satisfy consumers’ needs as well as open to feedback and criticism.
Show a little personality. Poke fun at your competitors. Be playful rather than harsh. Know your audience and be relatable. That might even mean consulting your children if you have them. They could provide valuable insight into what makes the younger crowd tick. Comedy is all about timing and you don’t want to seem dated.
Focus Your Energy
Allocate all your social media resources towards a single platform. Become a master of one rather than a novice with all of them. Each platform is different, so identify the one that is right for you and stick to it. Instagram is visual and twitter is textual. What suits your company better? Visuals are typically more effective with younger audiences.
Don’t hesitate. Start crafting your transparency strategies today.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer