Social media has grown to dominate many aspects of consumer relations and brand advocacy. As such, having a presence online has become a necessity for companies large and small.
However, what some organizations have yet to realize is that it’s not just the brand that should be present online, but the leaders as well. Here is a brief look into what having leadership and executive team members on social media can do for an enterprise.
At times, the notion of giving an individual a platform to act as the voice of the brand may be intimidating. It could stem from the possibility of a misconstrued tweet or posting seemingly irrelevant content on LinkedIn. However, research shows that the absence of leadership on social media is, in truth, more harmful to the brand and the business.
For instance, 93% of consumers believe that a CEO’s engagement on social media helps to better communicate the company values. The same survey showed that consumers see online presence as crucial in shaping a company’s reputation and displaying corporate leadership in times of a crisis. An executive’s social media usage also effects purchasing decisions, as 77% of consumers say they prefer to buy from a company with socially active executives.
CEOs have also found it to be advantageous in reaching out to employees as well as customers. Roughly three-quarters of CEOs on social media reported the top benefit of using a platform was speaking with employees. By the same token, 80% of employees say they’d rather work for a CEO who is engaged with people via social media.
There are countless other rewards on top of these. One of the foremost benefits of executives being socially active online is that they can establish themselves as thought leaders. While building executive thought leadership is no easy task, social media offers limitless opportunities to introduce a personal way of thinking. Executives can use this to their advantage by contributing to diverse topics in which they have experience and expertise. Such input — from an executive’s perspective in her or his own voice — is capable of resonating deeply with a target audience.
Another benefit of executive online presence is that it can help establish credibility and build trust. Achieving this while maintaining brand voice could look vastly different depending on the company — whether it’s shining a spotlight on company culture and sustainability initiatives or building B2B relationships on LinkedIn. However, by communicating openly, consistently and authentically these individuals can be fundamental in enhancing the brand.
To reap these benefits and others like them, many successful brands opt to incorporate their executive team into an existing social media strategy. Some may also reach out to expert advisors to better guide leaders onto the path of prosperous online engagement. In the end, the goal is to transform individual employees into brand ambassadors on a global scale.
For more insight into the importance of having higher ups on social media as well as some of the best practices, please see the accompanying resource.
Infographic provided by Stanton Chase, a premier global executive placement firm.