Download this column on social media for your publication or website. FREE TRIAL for subscribers. Join Us
Terms and Conditions of use
EDMONTON, AB Oct 18, 2015/ Troy Media/ – It’s agreed: Social media is here to stay. Studies increasingly report that executives (76 per cent) would rather work today for a social CEO. MBA Central also found that three in four customers say a company is more trustworthy if its high-level leadership participates in social media. The proviso is that clients don’t like brash business styles and that “controversial personal opinions can turn off consumers.”
CEOs are being asked to write blogs that enhance their professional brand, frequent the company website, and self-author posts on social networks. And, oh yes, please be authentic; no more company platitudes.
How do you manage these new demands on your time and resources? We’ve detailed a list of things-to-do but, first, here’s four general guidelines.
- Find your own way to express, in words, the company’s vision, mission, and culture. Nobody wants to hear slick and packaged slogans, anymore.
- Developing your online brand requires that you first build distribution networks while you create and publish content to engage with followers. It takes time to build trusted relationships in person – and online.
- Please don’t vent on social media. You’re going to regret it later.
- Avoid talking hard-core sales in the networks. You can talk positively about your product and services but don’t offer fans, followers, and contacts 20 per cent off your products or get-rich-schemes in the networking platforms.
CEOs need to start doing this
Start listening online to monitor your name and brand. You can gauge how often your company is discussed, the sentiment (positive and negative) and the reach.
- Thoroughly complete your LinkedIn profile; reach for all-star status. By the way, your profile is not a resume.
- Read mentions about your company each week.
- Set up and grow your contacts on LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+. You will probably want assistance after the social media strategy is defined and approved.
- Write a blog in your voice. Sources of content for blogs are found in myriad places – either original or acquired to reflect your strategy. There are numerous tools to assist you with this task.
CEO executive assistants need to start doing this
Your right-hand person, your executive assistant, understands your business, comprehends your mindset, must be proficient in technology, and able to write. It’s a good idea for EAs to be trained to post to social networks, too, based on strategies designed to support your business goals.
- Your EA monitors your reputation using software such as Hootsuite or other social media management tool.
- Your EA helps grow distribution on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and FB, if applicable.
- Your EA manages your personal database and contributes to the company CRM for overall company database management.
- Once a week, your EA creates an event to report on Twitter or a Q&A with the CEO
- Your EA sets up an information funnel from the management team.
Sales and Marketing needs to start doing this
The above duties also could be assigned to an individual in these departments. We are seeing sales and marketing working more closely together these days as departments join forces when it comes to social media.
- Sales and Marketing needs to understands branding and storytelling.
- Sales and Marketing needs to manage the company CRM.
- Sales and Marketing needs to take photos at events, finds images, creates infographics, and writes ebooks to accompany posts.
- Sales and Marketing needs to join in the company sharing of social media content.
Hired Guns need to start doing this
The above duties also may be hired out to a specialist, maybe a team. A good content creator will be able to write blogs, create copy for better automated email opening rates, and manage event campaigns; another individual may know more about SEO. In addition to creating a plan, hired guns need to:
- help design social media policies.
- define personas to inform all forms of content published across channels.
- train and educate the c-suite and employee groups.
- establish an editorial calendar.
- recommend social media tools to speed up tasks.
- ask for an audit of all relevant content previously authored.
- write copy if sales reps push back saying they’re not good writers. Somebody must be available to create content for search engines.
- post, train employees to post, or sub-contacts to social media posters. By the way, Twitter is like a radio station – tweeting once a day is not enough. LinkedIn is a different culture that benefits a great deal from group participation and management.
Did we say that social media takes time? It is, but it is easier to manage with time-saving tools and worth the effort in this age of the personal brand.
Communications strategist Sharon MacLean owned and published a print business magazine for 21 years. She now works to assist clients in digital marketing.
FROM THE EDITOR: Troy Media has discontinued allowing anonymous comments. Please Submit a Letter to the Editor