CEOs come in all shapes and sizes. Every CEO has their own agenda, their own style, their own business needs. And so the social brand or digital brand of each CEO deserves its own custom plan and specific execution. Whether you are a CEO of a global or multi-national or a CEO of a mid-market regional business, you can benefit from a solid, well deployed and nurtured social brand. Benefits can range from brand protection to the tool to drive global sales for your company. Here are some essentials on what you need to know about building your own strong social brand. Read and share with fellow CEO colleagues as you see fit.
Defining What a Social Brand is and what it is not
So that you can have complete clarity on what a Social Brand means for a CEO, let me define what it is and what it isn’t.
- A CEO Social Brand is a useful tool for a CEO to develop a solid reputation in his or her industry
- A CEO Social Brand is how the CEO appears in social media circles or in his or her own social media ecosystem
- A CEO Social Brand is a way for a CEO to utilize personal branding online to drive targeted media attention
- A CEO Social Brand is NOT a way for a CEO to shout online to get attention
- A CEO Social Brand is NOT a replacement of the CEO in the media
Your Social Brand Can Set the Stage for Employee Activism
You are the leader of your organization. Your executive team and your general employees will follow you. Social Brands of CEOs that are well executed encourage proper social media activity of their employees. Examples of this include Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Dell and many, many others. If you want to ensure that you will gain solid marks from your internal people and, thus, retain your job position for the long term, you will want to consider investing in a social brand.
Your Social Brand Can Be Utilized to Develop Investor Attention
Even if you are not interested in being this totally social person online, a social brand when polished well, can help to encourage positive interest from investors, business partners, vendor partners and other business colleagues of interest. It is worthy for you to take at your current LinkedIn profile, for instance and assess if how it appears and what it states is in line with your own CEO personal branding goals.
Your Social Brand can be your Best Selling Tool
Dependent on the size of the company you lead, you may be the main salesperson or may have an entire sales organization under your direction. In either instance, by investing in a well-polished, strong, well nurtured social brand you can either directly or indirectly drive ongoing qualified leads to your organization. By delivering thought-leadership online to targeted circles and connections, your visibility and further, the visibility of what your company supports rises in rank, both in social media and, by proper signaling, in organic search results. If you are more of an active CEO in Social, you can create and develop strong relationships in social, known by some as “social selling.” These relationships can lead to direct or referred business. Some great social vehicles to use for social selling include Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Quora, Pinterest, Twitter and others.
What you need to Consider before Building Your Own CEO Social Brand
Before you start building your CEO Social Brand, you will need to outline your social brand position and goals. Some of the questions you need to ask yourself to determine what you will do include:
- How and when will I start in social branding?
- What resources do I have to support this?
- What resources do I need to find and deploy?
- How much am I willing to invest?
- Where does my audience live online?
- What do I want to accomplish and in what realistic timeframe?
- What is the focus of my social or personal brand online?
- Where will I invest online? Design, advertising, outreach?
- Do I need a personal website?
- How and how often will I measure my social branding results?
Your CEO social branding success has everything to do with the position you choose to commit to in the practice of personal branding online. This position, when supported well, can edge out your competition online and carve a niche for you where your target audience become viral marketers. Further, with a solid brand position and development of yourself as a thought-leader, you can earn the interest of business media and related interviews.
To do this, you must first determine that position. What do you want to be known for? Will you be the leader of the company and the main point of contact? Or are you more interested in being a supportive CEO, where your marketing efforts are more geared towards the development of your company brand. In this way, if you choose, your personal brand can be utilized more for thought-leadership and marketing, rather than the extrovert sales voice. This is critical that you determine how and where you will play in representing your own company.
Your CEO Social Brand, whether minimal or a large part of how you market your business is important for you to consider and understand in a digital era where your prospective clients, investors, partners and media are online, looking for stories about you and your business on a daily basis. By investing in your own strong CEO social brand, you are insuring the protection of your reputation and creating media interviews for your company as well as selling opportunities.
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By Jasmine Sandler, awarded digital marketing strategist, social branding expert, SEO trainer, LinkedIn trainer, and social media trainer.