Five Ways to Get CEOs to Get Social Media

In yesterday’s post, we looked at how the majority of CEOs are not using social media. There are many reasons why this isn’t a surprise, although those reasons will likely disappear in time as more senior executives become savvier about social media and the role it can play as a communications and thought leadership tool.

In the meantime, how do you get CEOs more engaged with social media? This can be a challenge given it isn’t part of how they currently operate, they may not think they have the time, and the ROI can be difficult to articulate given there can be hard and soft metrics.

Nevertheless, there are some compelling arguments to be made. Here are some suggestions:

1. It can be a great way to establish thought leadership and domain expertise. One of the key roles played CEOs is positioning themselves as industry experts. This is an effective way to attract attention from existing and potential customers, employees, partners, suppliers and investors.

2. It doesn’t have to consume a lot of time. From the outside looking in, it can appear that social media can be a time-suck, particular for time-strapped CEOs. The reality, however, is CEOs can do be effective at social media by being realistic about how much they can do, and be consistent about their activity. For example, they could establish a solid presence by doing one blog post a week, or by tweeting a few times a day.

3. Social media isn’t that difficult. It’s not rocket science; it’s just a matter of having a plan of what you want to do, and then making it happen on a consistent basis.

4. It can be a team effort. Rather than having a CEO do all the work, they can get help from other people – and we are not talking about ghost-written blog posts. Instead, it could be doing a five-minute video of the CEO talking about a specific idea or topic that can then be shared on Twitter, the corporate blog, Facebook and YouTube.

5. Sooner or later, it’s going to be part of the job description so a CEO could get ahead of the curve by jumping on the bandwagon now. CEOs build their profiles by giving speeches and presentations so using social media will just become another tool to enhance their profiles.

Any other thoughts or ideas?

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