In the Socialising Your CEO 2013 study released yesterday, Weber Shandwick found that while online sociability of the world’s largest company CEOs rose dramatically over the past two years, social networking growth remained low. It found that CEOs in Asia were particularly resistant to building a presence on social networking sites.
However, the study recommends that as the world increasingly becomes more connected, CEOs must embrace technology and use it to navigate the seas of change coming their way as digital, social and mobile rapidly converge. So how best for CEOs to become more socially engaged? Here are seven tips to helping your CEO become more social.
- Develop a social strategy and take the conversation online. CEOs are part of the online conversation whether they choose to engage or not. They do not have to go all-out socially, but having some social presence is beneficial. A truly effective social strategy would fully integrate social into its executive corporate communications processes
- Start small. Quality of engagement is more important than quantity of social accounts. CEOs might simply start with a LinkedIn page, private Twitter or Facebook page.
- Give the company a human face. Something as simple as a picture makes the CEO a more familiar, human figure and a CEO message on the homepage has the potential to spread executive communications to a wider audience. Remember that CEO sociability is more about enhancing CEO credibility than celebrity.
- Encourage CEO social listening. CEOs should be encouraged to use social media by listening, watching and gathering business intelligence. Social media is an excellent way to gain confidence and real time data on customers, competitors, the industry and other stakeholders.
- Continue to take advantage of video. Video offers CEOs a big leap forward in getting social. Video humanises executives and unlike most traditional communications, allows CEOs to show emotion. Repurposing CEO communications is ideal for video.
- Monitor your CEO’s Wikipedia page. CEOs are more widely represented on Wikipedia than any other platform, although we did not include it as a measure of sociability. CEOs and communications teams should be at least aware of what is being said and if there is misleading or incorrect information, follow the strict guidelines for requesting content changes from Wikipedia editors.
- Phony CEO social network profiles are abundant – be vigilant. It’s not always easy to tell the real from the fake social network profiles. Be on the lookout.