By Kristopher B. Jones, a serial entrepreneur and investor. Kris is the Founder of 2020 SEO Agency of the Year Finalist LSEO.com.
I like to think of CEOs as having their professional lives divided into two broad sectors: the day-to-day company leader and the public persona who uses their influence to engage with the public and ultimately build brand awareness. It's hard to imagine a CEO who didn't do the former, since daily nuts-and-bolts leadership is required from the head of an organization of any size. But what about the latter?
Are you a CEO who's been neglecting the social-media side of things? And I'm not talking about an entry-level employee handling your business's Twitter feed. I mean you, the CEO, getting on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and the like to communicate information about your brand to the public, engage with audiences, and build trust in your company and yourself personally.
As a CEO, your social feeds will be seen and relied upon by all kinds of groups, from prospective employees looking to join your company to investors who want to work with you.
With all that in mind, here are three reasons why CEOs should be active on social media.
You Can Create a Personality for Your Business
Yes, businesses are groups of people, human beings working together to achieve common goals, but the public doesn't necessarily see it that way. They see your logo and your brick-and-mortar headquarters, those faceless elements that don't exactly scream "We're human, just like you!" As a result, there's just not much chance for engagement there.
You, as the CEO, can combat this by getting on social media and having a personality. How? It isn't that hard. Start conversations about topics that are meaningful to you. Loop in your friends in the industry to let them voice their opinions. Share your company's approach to this or that current issue. In that way, you'll be letting the public know what your company is about and how people should feel about it.
You Can Be Where Your Audience Is
One question you may have at this point if you're just getting into social media is, "Which platform do I use?"
You should go where your audience is, but that can mean different things to different CEOs. Many CEOs use LinkedIn and Twitter. LinkedIn is the most professional network out there, so it's a good place for both B2B and B2C engagement, and Twitter is a lightning-quick and convenient way to get your thoughts out there to the public.
Fewer CEOs use Facebook and Instagram as their primary social-media platform, but it's up to you. You know your industry. Research where you can get the most engagement, and then go all-in on the most viable platform for your company.
You Can Handle Your Own Public Relations
A final reason why you should be active on social media is that it gives you a platform from which to manage your business's public relations.
If you have a decent enough profile on social media, you can use your renown to engage with influencers who may be able to help you, head off issues that could become problems and deal with actual PR disasters.
Statements put out to the press to address this-or-that-failure tend not to read that well. You get the corporate-type of language that just doesn't resonate with people. Instead, you as CEO can get out there in the public by taking to LinkedIn or Twitter to set the record straight on what happened, how you feel about it, and what you'll be doing to correct it. It's a classic case of "straight from the horse's mouth," and there's just no substitute for it.
That's actually the play with all of these points. No matter what your intention is, if you're a CEO who isn't using social media, you'll want to choose your platform and have at it. It could make all the difference for your business's public perception.