The question of whether or not your boss should be on social media seems like a no-brainer. The head of any company can lend gravitas to their brand by actively engaging with customers on various social media platforms. Their words, if carefully chosen, can boost trust for a brand and raise its profile in the marketplace. Yet, according to a CEO.com’s 2014 Social CEO Report, 68% of CEOs have no social presence whatsoever on the five major social networks.
While it may be the case that certain industries do not lend themselves to wide open channels due to regulation or secrecy—pharmaceuticals, financial, defense, for instance—there are a number of benefits to having your CEO on social. It just needs to be done right.
At PR News’ recent Media Relations Next Practices conference in Washington, D.C., the topic of how to get CEOs involved in social in an effective way was discussed. Jeff Joseph, Senior Vice President, Communications & Strategic Relationships at the Consumer Electronics Association, shared some tips on how to make CEO social engagement more enjoyable and productive.
- Choose the appropriate platform. This can depend on your industry, but blogs for one tend to be a good place for CEOs to engage. Blogs are put together in a measured way that allows for careful thought and editing, whereas Twitter is immediate and can be more prone to factual errors or misunderstood messages.
- Share a balance of topics. A good mix of company news as well as the occasional message about something cultural keeps people informed but also shows the human face of your CEO and, by extension, your company. Stay away from controversial topics, and unless your brand’s mission calls for it, adhere to the “no politics, no religion” rule.
- Leverage social for other environments. This is where Twitter can come in handy. Using social to draw attention to a relevant newspaper op-ed or a trade journal article on the web widens the reach of your brand and can help establish your CEO as a thought leader.
- Don’t be a robot. Your CEO should be personable on social. After all, that’s what social is about. Don’t let all their communications be about data and company performance statistics. Bring some humor into the mix. Share a brief personal story. Make it real.
Follow Richard Brownell: @RickBrownell