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Social Media Basics for Executives

By March 3, 2022No Comments

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We’re living in a world where social media dominates. It’s the connective tissue between your company brand and its target customers. 

Hundreds of millions of Americans use some form of social media, with many visiting these platforms daily and about half getting their news from these sources. And with business transparency becoming more and more important to employees, job seekers, consumers and investors alike, maintaining an authentic social presence is critical. By presence, I’m not just referring to the expected company Facebook or Instagram page. It’s also critical for corporate leaders to leverage their position as brand ambassadors on LinkedIn. If your top executives aren’t maximizing the varying levels of social, it’s time to start a conversation about it. Read on to learn why.

The Social Media Stats Speak for Themselves

Don’t just take my word for why CEOs need to get social. The findings of many surveys clearly demonstrate positive correlations to having an executive active on social media. Here are just a few:

  • 83% of people want CEOs to publicly speak out on societal issues (Edelman Trust Barometer)
  • 86% of Americans say transparency from businesses is more important than ever before (SproutSocial)
  • Employees would prefer to work for a CEO who uses social media by more than a 5:1 ratio compared to a CEO who does not (Brunswick Group)
  • 56% of professionals say that an executive’s presence on social media positively influences their purchase decisions (Qnary)

The Benefits of an Executive Being

Active on Social Media

If the stats don’t convince your organization to have a social CEO, maybe these benefits will:

1. Establishes Thought Leadership, Promotes Competitive Advantage

As a PR and integrated marketing professional, it’s my job to help build executive thought leadership. While media coverage featuring quotes from executives play their part in these efforts, nothing resonates more than digital content in the executive’s own voice. LinkedIn newsletters, articles and posts on timely topics relevant to the business and its stakeholders go a long way in building credibility and positioning a company leader as a thought leader. In fact, I have clients who have been contacted directly by the media as a result of their LinkedIn content. 

2. Connects with Stakeholders

The workforce and consumers alike want to see a business’s leadership have a social presence. Whether or not an executive is active on social impacts their purchasing and employment decisions. By engaging on social, executives can help boost the bottom line and attract and retain the talent the organization needs to thrive. The overarching goal is to create content that humanizes the company and generates connections. Being transparent and building connections, increases trust and loyalty.

3. Boosts Branding Efforts

There’s no question that engaging on social enhances branding. Executives can shine a spotlight on company culture, overall corporate vision and mission, exciting projects, ESG and sustainability initiatives, and more to bolster talent acquisition, entice investors, and build customer trust.

4. Bolsters Communication 

All stakeholders want to feel a sense of connection with the business. The best way to do that is through communication. And the best platform for that communication is social media. Executives can leverage social channels to speak directly to employees and prospective talent, to share updates with investors, and engage one-on-one with consumers. Openly communicating on social media helps build trust and identify issues that need to be addressed. 

5. Spurs Employees to be Company Advocates

We’re still in the midst of a labor crisis. Job seekers are carefully combing a company’s reputation before applying for, or accepting, a position. They want to know what it’s really like to work for a specific company. And what’s the best way to find that out? Through employees. When executives are active on social media, their workers are more likely to share information about the company – and as you can guess, prospective talent gives more credence to the information that employees are sharing.

Some Tips for Executives Looking to Get Social

Hopefully, the statistics and benefits have persuaded you to have a social CEO. If so, here are some tips I share with my executive clients:

  • Be yourself
  • Be consistent
  • Write about topics that will resonate with your target audience AND are relevant to your experience
  • Create an editorial calendar
  • Let an expert guide your efforts
  • Measure your results

If you’re an executive looking to build a presence on LinkedIn, download my Make Your CEO Stand Out on LinkedIn Tip Sheet


Julie Livingston

Author Julie Livingston

Julie Livingston is president/founder of WantLeverage Communications

More posts by Julie Livingston