Many top executives in companies avoid social media and its network. To them, it is a distraction and an unnecessary way of exposing their personal lives. The Social CEO report uncovered that about 68 percent of CEOs are not on any social network. The ones on social media sites are members of only one, out of the five existing ones. Mark Zuckerberg happens to be the only CEO of a Fortune 500 company, with membership to all the five social sites.
The present business world demands that CEOs should stop this misconception. While social media may have its downside to CEOs, they should be focusing on the gains. They are critical for the growth and well-being of their companies. CEOs could also achieve a lot by having a social media presence.
Here are some convincing reasons why CEOs should utilize social media and build a strong presence.
Every CEO is the face of the company’s brand. Creating brand awareness is a process that takes time and effort. CEOs should not expect that building the company’s brand is an obligation for the marketing department only. This duty belongs to every member of the organization, the CEO included. He or she should lead this mission and teach other members how to represent the company.
Spreading the awareness is how social sites come in. These platforms have millions of members throughout the world. These members are suitable and potential stakeholders to companies. They could be customers, suppliers, employees, investors or other individuals that could add value to the company. CEOs participation in social media will capture the interest of these stakeholders and attract them to the company.
Brand awareness also entails creating excitement and a positive image of the business or company. CEOs could do that by sharing company stories on Facebook, tweeting or re-tweeting news and sharing exciting photos on Instagram. Sharing information and news about the company makes the audiences feel they are a part of the company. When the news and stories are from the CEO, it increases credibility and essence to the audiences.
Before people involve themselves with a company or business, they want to know who is they are associating with. Social media is a suitable way for CEOs to display their personality and show potential stakeholders what the company is. Social sites are about interaction and knowing each other beyond the images people post on the sites. CEO can use this opportunity to open forums and discussions with people.
While having these interactions, the CEO will portray the company as well as his or her personality traits.Many factors influence consumer behavior and how they perceive different companies. One of these determinants is the leadership of the business or company. Products and services of a company could be excellent, but some consumers will dislike them because of the reduced image of the company leaders. The vice versa could also be true. Consumers will like the products or services of business because of the positive image the leaders have created.This fact can easily be managed through social media. CEOs have the power to change any negative attitude, or perception consumer may have. By interacting with people via social media, these CEOs will eliminate these misconceptions and enhance relations with the people.
Occasionally, companies and business find themselves in crisis and problems. These situations could be detrimental to the image of the company. Many companies have failed or regressed because of poorly managing a crisis that occurred in their company. It was probably not a significant problem, but lack of a strategic management approach cost them a lot. While companies formulate a damage control technique with their publicist, they should include the CEO and social media.
The CEO could be updating people on the development of the issue and how it is being resolved. In times of crisis, people prefer a voice of authority addressing them. A CEO increases people’s confidence and affirms them that the trouble is being neutralized. The CEO should also be honest with the people, especially in areas where the company was evidently at fault. People trust honesty and respect CEO who accept mistakes as they work hard to rectify them.
Sometimes the crisis could be a natural disaster that has caused damage. The CEO has to update the people and let them know about the recovery efforts. When a company’s leadership keeps a consistent flow of communication with the people, they feel recognized and part of the company. The people also get a chance to offer assistance and support in the recovery efforts.
Knowledge and Learning
Social media is not just a platform for social interaction. It is a hub for knowledge and learning concepts that are happening among consumers and other spheres of business. The CEOs have direct access to unlimited information and insight from other people. For example, social sites are a suitable method of learning how the company products and services are performing in the market.
Through feedbacks and queries from customers, the CEO gets first-hand information and decides how to respond. Social media is also excellent at displaying consumer trends. This data or information is crucial in delivering according to customer expectations. The information is also useful for innovators because it will inspire their line of thinking. In other words, people are teachers while CEOs are learners.
Sites such as Facebook have provisions for forming groups and pages for events. CEOs do not have to wait until a conference or seminar is planned. This online provision is an opportunity for CEOs to come together and interact. They can share ideas, discuss challenging issues and derive solutions, celebrate achievements together and do many other things. Some CEOs may think interacting with competing firms is ill-advised. This misconception is misleading and should not be tolerated. CEOs from competing firms can interact and still have a healthy rivalry. They have a lot to gain from each other and the people around them.
CEOs are leaders of their companies and other people who look up to them. These people include customers and other stakeholders of the company. There is no better way of reaching out to other people outside the company than through social media. CEOs have a chance to exhibit their leadership principles and concepts.
They should also show their values and what they believe in. Many stakeholders do not want to follow a company blindly. They want to work and support a company that has ideal objectives and goals.The CEO should reflect the vision of the company to the people. He or she could also use social media to account for how far the vision has been achieved. Sharing such information with the society indicates transparency and accountability.
It also shows that the CEO has a high level of integrity. A CEO can also share with the people the company’s business model and practices, especially those that are sustainable and socially responsible. CSR is becoming a vital part of companies and an expectation from the community.
Top executives such as the CEOs are known to be unavailable and busy people. Their rarity increases, especially if they are from Fortune 500 companies or other global entities. This culture ought to end because the social media can resolve this situation. It could be impractical for such CEOs to meet everybody seeking an appointment. However, the social media is a convenient place to interact with people despite the location.
CEOs can encourage their followers to contact them via social pages and express their concern or queries. Social sites also have messaging and chatting provisions for real-time communication. Though people may not be seeing the CEO physically, they will feel the attention through chatting or messaging. People do not have to struggle with appointments anymore for issues that can be resolved online. Nonetheless, CEOs should not entirely replace physical meeting with online interaction. They need to establish a balance between the two.
Identifying New Talent
Companies no longer wait for candidates to apply for jobs and then recruit them. A lot of talent and rich skills lies among the people. However, not all of them will line up to be hired by companies, yet these entities need them. Social platforms are a brilliant place to search for top talents. CEOs have a chance of viewing their profiles and evaluating them. Since these people do not know that they are being screened, the CEO will get a reasonably accurate picture of their capability. Further information can be obtained after these recruits are invited for an interview.
Social media is also an excellent place to identify suitable candidates for head hunting. CEOs can choose potential employees from the vast array of the network on social media. Also, other services such as contractors, suppliers, tenders and other services can easily be found on social media. No more struggling to look for suppliers and contractors. CEOs can easily find their contact information online and contact them for quotes. The social sites give companies several options to select.
Before social media was invented, the only means of marketing were traditional methods that were costly. Companies had to allocate specific funds for promotion. Since marketing is the core of any business, forgoing it was not an option. Today, that challenge has been mitigated by social media. Companies do not need to spend as much as they did initially.
CEOs can take advantage of the tool available on social media to promote their companies and brands. Sites such as Facebook have advertising programs that charge minimal costs to advertise. Users are at liberty to choose a budget that fits them and configure the advertisement to target relevant audiences. The site increases brand awareness for products and services. It also assists personalities to gather a large following. This provision is essential for CEO when they are building their brands by attracting a massive audience from the people.
Social media may be useful in awareness and costs, but it should not be the only means of promotion. Maximum impact entails combining both digital and conventional marketing. Although conventional methods are costly, companies understand that they have to pay the price for success. Social Media Daily is a qualified entity that assists companies in maximizing the capabilities of social media marketing. A consult is necessary to help business and companies in getting the most from social sites.
Most of the companies that have enjoyed success and growth for many years have a particular company culture. It entails practices, philosophies, and principles that govern the operations of the company. CEOs can use social media to enhance this culture. It tells the society that the company runs on a specific system, which is dependable and has been fruitful for many years. The company culture is a heritage and identity of the company. It ought to be advanced and passed on from old retiring members to new ones who are taking over.
Increasing Conversion Rate
The company pages on social media may be having millions of followers. This achievement is not enough for the company or business. The main aim of amassing these people is to convert them into customers. CEOs have a vantage point of influencing followers to purchase company products or services. Followers would feel privileged being addressed by the CEO. They would also feel a sense of acceptance and that the company cares for them. This feeling will draw them to become part of the company by being customers or any other form of stakeholders.
The online world is proliferating in every way, and social media is just a part of it. CEOs have so much to learn and benefit from social media. However, they need to stop considering it as unimportant. Although the marketing department should be the primary users of social media, CEOs should also be a part of it. Every day, more opportunities to profit CEOs and their companies are emerging in the social media. They should take advantage and make the most out of those opportunities.Track Latest News Live on CEOWORLD magazine and get news updates from the United States and around the world. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of the CEOWORLD magazine.
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