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Executive Social Media

Executive Social Media listening

Executive Social Media

Vanguards. Leaders. Innovators. Executives in your organizations are likely all these things. Except when it comes to leveraging social media. When it comes to executive social media, leaders are falling behind their staff and customers. As adoption rates for the general population continue to climb, 61% of executives are not on social media. “Fortune 500 chief executives aren’t the most social bunch.”. By Andrew Nusca,  January 25, 2016

“Should my organization use executive social media?”

If you are looking to answer the question “Should my organizations use executive social media?” look at your objectives and consider the following questions. If you answer yes to 2 or more, you should develop your plan to bring your executives to social media.

  1. Would you like to benefit from sharing your executives’ expertise and distinguishing them as global thought-leaders?
  2. Is there likely to be a time of crisis where it would be valuable for the leaders to speak directly to customers, media, staff or stakeholders?
  3. Is your company focused on being transparent, approachable and accessible?
  4. Do your executives take energy, direction, and inspiration from speaking directly with your customers? Would they benefit from hearing customers’ thoughts about your company in real-time and in their own words?

Platforms like LinkedIn have emerged as go-to channels for news and insights from professionals in specific industries. Some of the benefits of executives using social media include:

  1. Executive insights posted on social media go out directly to the audience without intermediaries like journalists.
  2. Executives can converse with customers directly on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.
  3. Social Media’s personal tone allows leaders to be relatable and accessible to those that are passionate about a topic.

Top tip: Make sure stakeholders in the organization know they can have a positive impact on the reach of a story by liking and sharing co-worker and executive content. It is valuable to make this part of company norms.

What are people saying about you? Executive social media is as much about listening as speaking

A common misconception is that if you aren’t tweeting, you aren’t on social media. In reality, as with any conversation, listening can be as valuable or more valuable than speaking. Monitoring and “listening” to social media in their spare time or when there is a crisis or opportunity is an excellent way for executives to quickly take the temperature around a certain issue.

The Benefits of Executive Social Media

  1. Makes your organization more relatable
  2. Gives your executives access to the real-time conversations about your products, brands or policies
  3. Provides a public communication channel to other executives, media or government
  4. Allows your executives to use their stature to amplify/launch important corporate communications
  5. Puts them in a position to increase the benefit of live speaking engagement, books, and media interviews by continuing the conversations online.

The Challenges of Executive Social Media

Even those in the C-suite (CEO, CFO, etc.) need to employ all the best practices of social media to get noticed and be effective. Here are some pointers to get the most return for the time executives are spending on social media:

  1. Use their stature to promote and share content from other leaders in the organization and industry, this does not mean reposting everything the brand account posts, but rather showing a second level of content that is genuinely interesting or valuable to them.
  2. Join existing conversations in which their distinguished opinions will be valued in. Another general rule of social media that applies to executives: It is always easier to join a conversation with an audience than to build an audience for your own conversation.
  3. Write for industry publications
  4. Consider video or podcasts

Triage participation in executive social media.

If speaking directly to stakeholders and customers isn’t a priority for your executives, there may be more to look at in your organizations than just social media. However, time constraints are the number one reason most executives aren’t active on social media so it is important to acknowledge that challenge and plan accordingly. Here are some tips to get get the best return for your time:

  1. Set up a listening-dashboard and flag conversations for leaders. Social media monitoring tools allow you to continuously surface mentions of your brand or products. Executives can scan this thread and join conversations where:
    1. Their perspective would be beneficial and appreciated
    2. Influencers with large amounts of followers are involved in the conversation
    3. The topic is one of particular interest or expertise for the executive
    4. There is an opportunity for a genuine connection with those in the conversation

Don’t unleash your executives on the world of social unprepared.

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 About Executive Social Media expert Trevor Jurgens

Trevor is an expert in brand storytelling for a socially networked world. He has helped organizations including the Olympic Games, Boeing, and Port of Vancouver develop policies to adapt and thrive in the age of social media. An educator and motivator, Trevor supports the development of executives and organizations into effective digital communicators that benefit from stakeholder amplification.

Among management consultants Trevor is known to achieve tangible transformatio. He has coached hundreds of businesses beyond theory toward behavioral change.

Trevor has been a journalist for the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) specializing in trend-spotting and pop-culture. He has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary. He speaks English, French and Spanish and has worked in digital media in North America, Central American and Oceania.

Contact Trevor to discuss Executive Social Media opportunities.

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