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I often get questions like: do you think our CEO should be on Twitter? Do I need to blog? What if I don’t keep it up once I begin? What do you want me to do on LinkedIn? Those questions are all legitimate. Everyone and every company needs to use the right channels to reach out to relevant stakeholders and influencers; Twitter is one of them. To best serve the company you need a CEO that carries a clear profile which s/he lives and breathes. Channels come after conviction, messaging, metaphors, news angles and guts. So no need to do anything before you figure out what you want to convey.
Social is a no-brainer
There is no doubt that at some point using social channels is a no-brainer – to get messages out, information in, relationships started and going. And using them personally makes a CEO approachable. However, 68 percent of CEOs do not have social media presence at all the Ragan group in research recently concluded. They are without doubt missing out on opportunities to steer influencers and perception. When, what channel and what form CEOs should use differs every single time. So there is no one answer – besides that social channels are here to use not to be looked at with fear.
Equivalent of Twitter
Imagine a CEO 15 years ago asking ‘Do you think I should be talking to media’. This would be frowned upon as the answer is ‘of course’. If you want to influence the sector, your people, your potential clients, the world, you take a stand and make sure to be seen and heard. That has never changed, just channels have. Kennedy was the first ‘TV president’ and Obama was the first one to make Twitter and Facebook dance for him.
Always be out there!
I just reread Marc Benioff’s “Behind the Cloud”. In this book he shares, amongst other things, the profiling rules he lives by. Those coming from a CEO – not a Communications VP – make me wear a very wide grin while reading. I am more than convinced his personal view on communications and influence have played a crucial role in the incredible success of SalesForce. To have a CEO with such finesse in influencing the outside world is an asset without measure.