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Power of CEO Social Media Presence

“It is essential for CEOs to have an active presence on social media, not only to act as an ambassador for their business, but also to strengthen their own personal brand and raise their profile as a thought leader within their industry.” - Nancy Elgadi (CEO Magazine)

Elgadi is Digital Director at Right Angles, a PR and reputation management consulting firm. She spends her time giving expert business advice to CEOs and celebrities alike. In short, she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to CEOs and their social media presence.

Elgadi and other experts agree: we are no longer living in a world where the president of a company can hide away at the top of their ivory tower and let a publicist take care of any hurdles the company might face. We live in a digital age where everything is recorded–and everyone has access to what’s going on in everyone else’s lives.

There is No Escaping Social Media

Social media can certainly be used for myriad purposes of a personal nature. It can also be a brilliant marketing tool for businesses to reach out directly to their clients, inviting them to peer inside for a glimpse behind the scenes. In the past, this might have seemed a frightening prospect to company figureheads who may not have wanted a lot of information in the hands of the public.

Today it’s the opposite. The more that clients feel connected to a company, the more they trust that company. Harvard Business Review reports, “Being social was once considered too risky, because CEOs feared that saying the wrong thing online would ignite a firestorm of antagonists, dissatisfied customers, and disgruntled employees, who could threaten the company’s reputation. Now, having a digital strategy integrated across multiple channels is the new mandate to neutralize criticism. It’s become more important to transparently tell the company’s story and join the conversation.”

Advice to CEOs

It’s time to open up those office doors and let some air inside. The virtual world is waiting for you with open arms. Throw the dog an informational bone once in a while–or it will find someplace else to play. “What’s most alluring about social (media) is that by increasing a company's online visibility, it can help establish trust and loyalty.” (PR News Online)

Understand that people are using social media apps on their mobile devices more than ever. Users are adept at finding information they seek within these apps. Social media has greatly replaced more traditional forms of marketing and business communication. “With users spending more time on social media, these platforms have become go-to sources for product and brand information. In short, if your brand is visible on your website only, you are doing yourself a massive disservice. Use social media to showcase company news, awards, events and acquisitions. Further, social listening is one of the most useful ways to get candid customer feedback. Use feedback to shape product development and marketing campaigns. Promoting genuine engagement, offering valuable content and being transparent will set your company apart.” (PR News Online)

The Revolution in Marketing

In years past, it might have taken just a few cartoon elves living in trees to sell cookies–or a giant vegetable man repurposing a phrase made famous by Santa Claus–to get your kids to eat their green beans. These days, the public is looking for immediate information about a business that answers important questions. Does a business offer quality products or services? Are these products and services affordable? Most importantly–is the business trustworthy?

Traditional ads are no longer the place users are getting their information about a business. The “Skip Ad” button is placed on YouTube videos for a reason.Nobody wants to spend much time trying to get answers to their questions. Social media is the modus operandi for obtaining information quickly and conveniently. Thus, a strong social media presence is imperative to gaining and building trust among clients–especially if things go awry. “In times of crisis, personal communications from a company leader can also go a long way towards restoring public confidence.” (The CEO Magazine)

The CEO of Every Company Should Have Significant Virtual Presence

Think of it like a celebrity responding to a fan’s social media post. Direct engagement strengthens the fan’s perception of their relationship. Personal responses feel…well…more personable. A PR representative can provide information. But when the owner of a company is actively engaging with the public, it can provide a personal touch that strengthens business/client relationships. “Becoming active on social media — whether it’s posting original material or sharing someone else’s — is a great way to engage your target audience, position yourself as an expert and drive business value…Your social presence has a direct impact on your company’s bottom line.” (Forbes)

The upshot? Personality sells: just ask Elon Musk! That’s exactly what your social media presence represents: your brand’s personality. It’s the ultimate way to connect to your base. Added bonus: it costs less than hiring elves who live in trees.

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