As the number of active users on social media channels spikes, brands are taking to Facebook, Twitter, Vine and the blogosphere to connect with their targeted publics. Having a presence on these various social networks has been proven to drive more awareness and generate more leads for many brands. This cannot be accomplished by simply leveraging the corporate brand alone – the most successful brands on social media also leverage their most senior leaders in the company to drive thought leadership and credibility. This is best accomplished by encouraging your C-level executive team to be more social and own content through their own channels. However, convincing your CEO to tweet or blog is no easy task – Cisco’s senior manager of social media, Autumn Truong, takes us through the necessary steps to convince an executive of a big brand to go social.
Click through for five tips on how you can get your c-level execs involved in the organization’s social media strategy, as identified by Autumn Truong, senior manager of social media at Cisco.
Social media connects your company to customers and influencers, but how do you convince your c-level executive to buy in? It’s all about showcasing the data and your small wins. For example, the data should show not just volume of engagement and sentiment but potential leads and increase in share of voice. Showing numbers and how it potentially contributes to the bottom line will make for an easier conversation.
Assess the right social mix for each of your executives. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Vine all have different audiences and not all are going to apply to your corporate social strategy. With that in mind, you can then assess the most appropriate social platform for your executive. Start small by identifying one social platform that is most applicable. Blogs and Twitter are generally the best platforms for executives to start. Be clear on the objective and content strategy for your executive. Just because you got the buy-off, doesn’t mean you should let them loose, and remember, you will need to report on how their contributions impact the company. Think of it as an “or,” not “and” approach to avoid adding too much too soon.
A main key to transitioning your executive team to social media is to place an emphasis on the value of existing content. Items such as bios, editorial calendars, press releases and event schedules can be used as fodder for new content – and can also be combined to create a company-owned social platform. In this industry, content will always be king.
The last slide was about aggregating content, which is a perfect transition into touching on social bios. Think about how often your executives are Googled, and how many people read their bios on a daily basis. Reporters, shareholders, fans – the list goes on. Creating a “social bio” and putting all of the information about that executive in one place is an easy way to embark on the social media conversation with your executive, and it won’t involve any work on his or her part. For example, take Cisco CEO John Chambers. On his social bio, people can find his Facebook updates, Twitter feed, a list of his speaking engagements and news articles – essentially anything anyone could want to know, and it’s all aggregated in one accessible place.
Regardless of any other platform that you and your executive team agree on, blogging is the easiest way to create thought leadership and build credibility for your executive. Currently, there is a plethora of ways to measure the impact of your executive blog, including references in third-party blogs and press articles, total views and social shares (on Twitter, Facebook, Linked, etc.). Tools such as Radian6 and Sysomos can help you measure this.