Why CEOs Need to Be on Social Media, and 3 Ways to Do It

CEOs social mediaLess than 50 percent of CEOs participate on social media sites.

Ouch.

That one hurts, especially since 81% of employees believe that CEOs who engage in social media are better equipped to lead their companies in the digital world. This is critical since virtual offices are a big part of the digital world, and if you’re utilizing virtual offices in any way, then social media is a must have in staying connected as a CEO. It would seem like an obvious move to use social media as a business tool, but many are missing out on an opportunity to lead in the digital world and to interact with others in a very personal way. Need a little help participating, and participating in a way that markets your company and markets you as the awesome, social-savvy CEO of your company? Then try one of these three ways to engage in social media:

Blog

If you’re company already has a blog (or two, or three), then make it a point to contribute a post every week or two. It shouldn’t be about anything that you or the company is doing, but a post that offers your potential customers the information they are looking for. How great would it be for them if that information came straight from the CEO? You could also write follow ups that covers a topic from the CEO perspective, or maybe discusses what you look for in hiring people, choosing great client, or what you think about your industry as a whole. If you’re feeling really bold, you can start your own CEO blog.

If writing regular blog posts is too much for you, then offer yourself up by allowing one of your marketing people to interview you and then write a post about that interview. Or, you could allow someone from marketing to follow you around for a day and write about that. Being more transparent about who you are as a CEO can also be beneficial to you and the company blog.

Twitter

Okay, of those CEOs who are on social media, half of them are on Twitter. Great! But, if you’re not on Twitter, consider this an easy and spectacular way to participate in social media. You don’t have to come up with a new 140-character saying every few hours, but use Twitter to connect with others, retweet what they are tweeting, or to share what others in your company are tweeting and retweeting. The point of getting on Twitter is to learn what others are talking about, what they are saying about certain topics, and the joining the conversation. With Twitter, you might even connect with customers and clients directly, and be able to answer their questions and learn what they think about your company first hand and in real time.

Hey, if Rupert Murdoch can do it, any CEO can.

Yammer

Yammer, if you don’t know, is essentially the social network you can create for your company. So, instead of your employees using Facebook or Gmail chat to ask each other quick questions (and risk getting distracted by their personal business), they can use Yammer. As CEO, you can use Yammer to connect with your employees, build and maintain an awesome company culture (and one that you’re a part of, and learn how different projects are progressing. It’s a much easier way to keep up with what’s happening in the company, and everyone would agree that a Yammer meeting would beat a normal meeting any day of the week.

Respond to Crises

You know what else hurts? A damaging article or social media post. However, more than 10 percent of organizations will not take any action when a damaging article or social media post is released about them. On top of that, 1/3 of CEOs don’t take social media reputation into account when making business decisions. As a CEO, it isn’t necessarily your responsibility or biggest need to generate leads or to network or to answer customer questions. But, it is your responsibility to be transparent in where reputation control is badly needed, and that’s where these previously mentioned social media tools and presences can help. You and your company can really take control of an online crisis if a blog post can be written in response to the crisis, and that blog post can be shared across Facebook, Twitter etc.

Overall, social media is just another tool in the CEO arsenal, something instrumental in leading a company as well as building the company’s brand and reputation, and building your own brand and reputation as a CEO.