CEOs: Drop the Excuses & Get social

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  • 6/8/2016

    Think about all of the ways that your customers might find your organization, and especially how they can stumble across it online. Of course, everyone first thinks about their own company or brand's website, and a customer may also go to your organization's social media outlets; but what else is being researched?

    For brands with some sort of B2B (business to business) application to their business, an early step is to research the people that you are thinking about doing business with. My hunch is that the CEO and other leaders make the list of people that potential customers want to learn about.

    Five years ago, if you could not find the CEO on social media, it may not have been a big deal. Today, with the ease of searching for people (hello suggested and related search results!) it's a red flag. In fact, I'm suspicious when I cannot easily find a leader of a business I'm considering working with.

    Most CEOs I speak with know they should be doing this already and worry that they don't have anything to add. As the de facto spokesperson of your organization, I argue that you better have something to say. Then, there is typically some sort of excuse about why they don't get around to it.

    Here's what CEOs don't have to do with their social media:

    1. Post every hour
    2. Be controversial 
    3. Be a social activist
    4. Share inside information 
    5. Be on every social media platform (my recommendations: LinkedIn & Twitter)
    6. Reveal personal information
    7. Be perfect—authentic is best!

    Some recent conversations have proven just how much professional norms are changing. Potential customers have acknowledged that they were glad to see the thunder::tech team looking up their profiles on LinkedIn before meeting with them. Just a couple of years ago this may have seemed like a form of stalking, and now today these potential clients are seeing it as a transparent way to see that we are doing our homework.

    CEOs, there are no more excuses to not be on social media and have an active presence. It's free, and a leader can usually build a following quicker just by their title within the organization. If you look within your own organization, there's plenty of ways to share information without taking much of your time.

    Here are some easy social posts that every executive can make on a regular basis:

    1. Share content on new hires
    2. Spread job posts from your organization
    3. Repost corporate press releases 
    4. Share photos from interesting places your business travel takes you
    5. Share articles you read about your industry
    6. Promote your corporate philanthropy
    7. Praise your team for recent accomplishments
    8. Show off new product, equipment, etc.
    9. Comment on the trade shows you are attending
    10. Thank customers
    All of these types of content are starting points. There are enough of these types of posts to keep you active at least a few times per week. By combining the power of your role and social media, you have a platform to elevate your organization. So, take the lead in creating opportunity online by meeting your customers where they already expect to see and hear from you.
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