4 Reasons Why Your Leaders Should Be on Social Media
Did you know that 82% of consumers are more likely to trust a brand whose leadership teams actually engage on social media?
After reading that brief statistic, you're probably doing one of two things: patting yourself on the back because, duh, your brand already highlights its leaders on all platforms or you're beginning to sweat because, suddenly, you've realized your leaders are nowhere to be found on your company's social media accounts.
If you're one of the few thinking it doesn't matter whether or not leaders actually engage on their company's social media platforms, you might just be missing something ;) You may overlook the fact, for example, that millennials represent about $200 billion in annual buying power for consumer brands. Smart business leaders recognize the benefit of engaging with those followers and audiences that make up much of their consumer base.
But it's not all about the money; for the most part, you likely created or work for a company that had an initial mission of providing people with something important. Something you or the founders of your company felt could make a difference in people's lives or businesses. It should follow, then, that having a brand's leaders engage on social media isn't just about increasing sales or web traffic; it's about knowing the company's audience and showing authenticity. Let's take a peek at 4 reasons why your brand's leaders should start engaging!
First, it helps your company position itself as a figure of authority within your industry
You probably want your brand or organization to be considered somewhat knowledgeable about the industry or field in which it operates, right? Speaking engagements and blog posts are great, but for the most part, the people actually vying to communicate and interact with your company can be found on social media. That's probably why 82% of people believe that leadership presence on social media showcases expertise and authority. Huzzah!
Second, there's the simple matter of trust and transparency
In our day and age, there has never been a more turbulent time to be a leader. Sure, being a Roman Emperor probably wasn't all that relaxing, either, but with the advent of social media came the uninterrupted, intimately familiar proximity stakeholders (that's us!) could have with organizational leaders (perhaps you're one of those reading this right now!). In 2017, the Edelman Trust Barometer noted that trust in leaders had fallen to an all-time low - that's not good news! Who wants to buy a product from, or work with, a company whose leaders aren't seen as trustworthy or transparent?
But don't despair; social media may make it easier than ever for people to troll your brand, but it also affords leaders the unique opportunity to build trust with their audiences and consumers. You have the ability to show that your care about your stakeholders, their opinions, and their welfare. Maybe that's why 80% of customers are likely to trust companies with leaders who are active across all channels...
From young startups to seasoned CEOs, engagement matters
Regardless of whether you're an ambitious millennial who just founded a startup, or a seasoned CEO who's done business with the best of 'em, engaging with your audiences matters
Third, it can improve your company's crisis management strategy
Whether you're a CEO, manager, organizational leader or part of a company's communications team, you've probably experienced some sort of crisis or issue which challenges the ways in which stakeholders view your organization. That's where a crisis management strategy would come into play; however, there is little insight as to how leaders utilize new media like social media to handle organizational crises. What is clear is that these tools can be used to communicate goals, missions, and initiatives a company can take to develop solutions for dealing with a crisis. Because of the nature of corporate social responsibility and public consultation, social media can allow leaders and their teams to better respond to stakeholders when a crisis comes knocking.
Fourth, leaders can showcase their personalities
No matter how large (or small) a company is, many consumers are interested in knowing who, exactly, the "wizard" is behind the brand's curtain. This doesn't mean that leaders have to manage all social media activities, or focus all content on themselves; rather, leaders should take the opportunity to be themselves while showcasing their own personalities and letting their consumers know that there are people behind the company. It could be as simple as responding to a Tweets each day, engaging with consumers through Instagram, or responding to comments on LinkedIn articles that the company posts. The main takeaway should be that by showcasing your personality, you as a leader can also show you as a human.