More brands, businesses and executives are on social media than ever before. In fact, in the third Weber Shandwick report into the online engagement rates amongst CEO’s, we found the majority of CEOs have found their footing on social channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and the company blog in the last year.
Eight in 10 CEOs (80%) are now engaged online and via social media, a rate which has more than doubled since we began tracking the social activities of CEOs in 2010 (36%).
Social media can be an effective sales, communications and branding tool, and being present online can certainly help promote your thought leadership efforts, as well as personalise your organisation, bringing a face and voice to the name.
Social media can also literally help you build a network of partners, potential clients, influencers and business allies.
How can you make the most of your business network on social media? Here are some tips to help you, or your senior executives, network effectively on social media:
Be active & authentic: it’s not enough to just be on there, or only be broadcasting your own messages. You need to actively participate in the communities you are present in. By liking, commenting, re-tweeting or re-blogging others content, you’re participating in the conversation, and building a relationship with others online.
Commenting can make you stand out, and you’ll hopefully start to see a reciprocal engagement with your own content as a result. Keep in mind the level to which you are representing your organisation when you choose how and to whom you publicly comment, but don’t let that stop you from actively participating at all.
Network far and wide: Try not to limit your options with the accounts, people and pages you follow online. The beauty of social media is you can be in touch with people all over the world, in varied industries, positions and fields, and that variety can really add to your experience online. You never know where inspiration may come from, who might make an excellent business partner in the future or what influencers may become important to you over time, so remember that when you wonder about hitting the follow or like button.
Ignore the offline/online divide: Following the official hashtag at conferences and events is one way to get involved in the online conversation, and also make new contacts. Comment, reply and follow people using the hashtag – it’s a great way to find interesting, like-minded people. Of course, make sure you use the hashtag when you post any updates on the event too.
Join in! Sensing a get-involved theme to all these tips? It really does come down to active participation in most cases. Like online groups and discussions for example. LinkedIn and Facebook groups provide a perfect opportunity to get involved. Join relevant groups and then dive into discussions, share news, give advice.
If you can’t find the right group? You can always create it yourself.