When it comes to successful social media strategy, it can be easy to get caught up in the daily loop of trends, breaking news, and how to make your company come across in the best possible light.
But it’s also easy to get stuck – whether you’re struggling to grow a social following and increase engagement, bring in new customers, reach employees or create messages that resonate. A lot of content today, particularly from brands, is simply adding to the noise.
That’s why promoting executive visibility on social media – the sharing of interesting news, trends, ideas and stories through the voices of senior and rising leaders – is becoming increasingly important for companies. It both distinguishes a company in its industry for its level of engagement and gives human faces to the brand in the eyes of potential customers. And it’s not just about external communication, either; it also helps companies with the challenges of talent recruitment and retention. LinkedIn data shows that 80% of employees would rather work for a “social CEO,” meaning that the quality of executive engagement could make a key difference to attracting and keeping talented employees.
So, if you’re figuring out how to break through on social media and create a brand voice that resonates, start with the right voices – your leaders. Investing in executive visibility on social media can create huge success for your brand. But where do you begin? Or if you’re already doing so, how can you make sure you’re on the right track?
Audit your competitors’ executive visibility on social media
The first step in devising and implementing a strategy to boost executive visibility on social media, as in any other area of business, is to size up what your competition is doing. Take a look at major industry peers to see what their executives are doing and what performs well (or doesn’t). As questions like:
- What executives (if any) are posting on social media and how often?
- What do they post about?
- What themes and topics succeed or fail at getting engagement
- How well are executives echoing overall brand messaging?
- Are executives posting about interesting ideas and stories or just sharing company announcements and ads?
This is the essential beginning of figuring out what course you want to take, as every industry is different as far as what plays well to its distinct audience.
Identify your key people – and themes
The CEO is always a natural choice to serve as a brand ambassador on social platforms, but depending on the topics you want to highlight, you might choose your Chief Sustainability Officer (if you want to showcase environmental and/or social initiatives), for instance, or your Chief Information Officer (if the focus is on your cutting-edge technology). It also depends on what executives have the most ideal voice and public image, since you want content to be authentic. You may also want to empower middle managers and leaders who are more involved in the customer-facing work for further engagement.
It’s also necessary to ensure your executive content is actually interesting. This may sound obvious, but the point is to offer something different from the usual review of company announcements and brand promotions typically found on a company page. When executives do highlight those, there should be a deeper idea or reflection that draws in readers and shows customers and employees alike that your leaders are thinking differently.
Balance executive distinctiveness with consistent messaging and posting
As mentioned, executive visibility on social media should reflect the authentic voice and perspective of your senior leaders. That said, as any social media manager knows, consistent messaging is essential. If your goal is to promote a particular aspect of the company’s business or philosophy, make sure content ties back to that. Encourage engagement but advise executives carefully on how to handle critical comments. And finally, make sure that executives are posting regularly enough to keep the engagement going! Failing to keep up lowers engagement and ultimately buries your executives deeper in people’s feeds as algorithms fail to promote their posts.
Executive visibility on social media requires working with spokespeople and communications teams to drive value and project the brand. But it’s increasingly necessary in a world where companies are battling for share of voice on LinkedIn and other platforms.
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