Getting your CEO to be more social

Having a CEO who’s active on social can do a lot for your brand, boosting your visibility and putting a human face and voice on it. There are things a CEO can say as a person that wouldn’t come across as authentically coming from a brand. On the other hand, a CEO active on social is open to attacks from unhappy customers, personal criticism and the possibility of dragging the brand as a whole into a crisis communication situation with a single errant tweet.

This fear holds a lot of CEOs back from participating on social, but with some solid guidance you should be able to get your CEO comfortable with posting on social and adding another dimension to the personality and accessibility of your brand.

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First: How resistant is your CEO to being on social?

Is it something they’ve showed passing interest in, but are afraid they don’t know enough about how it works or worry that they don’t have enough time for it? Figure out what the barriers are in place to increasing their social activity. Do they have accounts already set up but that they rarely use? Are they completely terrified of social media as a whole and no absolutely nothing about how Twitter works? Decide where they are on this spectrum so you can come up with a game plan to ease them into the social waters or give them the not-so-big push they need to get started.

Show them who is doing it well

Make a business case with a little peer pressure mixed in by showing your CEO examples of other CEOs on social and what they’re known for, plus what this does for the brands they’re associated with. Put together some research on how this kind of activity enhances and benefits a brand, plus a little on how your CEO’s social activity could specifically benefit your brand.

Have customers been asking if your CEO is on social or joining soon? Let them know there’s some demand!

Make social media guidelines and expectations clear

Your CEO might be resistant to joining social because they’re not quite sure what would be expected of them in that space, so walk them through it all: The basic company social guidelines, best practices for the C-level on social, how to maximize photos and any other kind of content that you share.

They can answer questions about the brand and products or direct questioners to the social care team as needed. They can share the latest industry news they’re already reading or anything else they find interesting. They can definitely share photos of their dog.

Just sit down and talk about what makes sense both for their personal brand, the company’s brand and all the different places those two things overlap and intersect. Make it clear they don’t have to be all business advocacy all the time; in fact it’s better if they also use social to show off their personality and as much of their personal life as they’re comfortable with.


Featured image via Unsplash