The CEO. They’re the figurehead of the company and almost always have A LOT to say. Yet ask them to communicate via social media or blogging and it can often be a different story.
So how do you convince them to digitally engage with both internal and external audiences?
Of course, not every CEO is shy when it comes to getting their message across online. Look at Richard Branson – he’s dynamite on social and his LinkedIn articles are shared throughout the business community.
But sadly many CEOs don’t follow this fine example.
They may be happy to pay token lip service to communication, willing to declare its importance at the right time and listen to comms professionals over strategy for delivering key messaging to internal and external audiences.
However dig a little deeper into their mindset and the figures are not encouraging. According to Hubspot, only 20 per cent of CEOs have social media accounts.
Let’s repeat that one again because it’s a key figure: only one in five of chief executives have a presence on social media. The conversations are happening around them – but too many senior leaders are not listening or participating in them.
If you’re nodding in agreement thinking about your own predicament, then fret not. You’re certainly not alone.
It’s a shocking and somewhat disheartening statistic – particularly with the benefits of two-way communication on social being widely accepted – and shows the tough challenge facing many comms teams in 2015.
So what are the arguments for creating an online profile for your CEO? At Headlines – The Internal Commmunications Agency, this is a question that we get quizzed over on a regular basis.
Here’s our reasoning:
The human touch
People trust people. The social landscape is crucial for building that trust – both with customers and staff. Having a social media presence and interacting with others provide an insight into the personality of the CEO. It’s a huge opportunity. Indeed, trust is a massive issue.
According to PR Daily, a whopping 82 per cent of people are more likely to trust an organisation where the CEO and employees are active on social.
Open and authentic
Senior leaders with prominent social media profiles send a clear message: the CEO is willing to listen, respond and communicate.
It suggests an openness that businesses are always eager to portray. Don’t get bogged down in creating the perfect copy either. Of course, error-strewn content is not clever but the odd typo actually helps build a rapport with the audience, who appreciate the authenticity.
Spin, it seems, is so last decade.
The CEO offers a unique perspective for the company’s workforce and customer-base, offering a fresh perspective. This position provides the CEO with a ready-made audience – and most likely is the only person in the organisation able to provide such insight.
Such knowledge is a valuable asset. Don’t waste it.
Boost your brand
The benefits of using social to promote key messaging are obvious. The CEO is able to highlight issues that matter to them and then see immediate feedback that social delivers so well.
But there is another side too.
Insightful and industry-focused posting will be shared and discussed, promoting your brand to an extended audience in an organic and effective way. Such an approach takes time to cultivate but will pay dividends in the long run.
Below is a cool infographic produced by Groove Digital Media highlighting the benefits of a social CEO. Couldn’t agree more.