06 Jan Executive Social Media Trends in 2023
In 2023, more marketers will be leveraging their company’s executive as a part of their digital marketing strategy. In addition to promoting the company’s brand on social media, C-suite executives have increasingly become an important way to reach key audience segments.
Elissa Liu, Influential Executive and Spark Growth CEO, shares her executive social media insights below. Keep reading to learn her perspective on the shifting executive social media landscape, whether we’ll see more CEOs use TikTok, and when is the “best time” for executives to start their own social media presence.
Jackie: Elissa, what are some social media trends you’ve seen over the past few years, particularly when it comes to executives and company leaders?
Elissa: We’ve seen a push toward more CEOs and executives establishing their social media presence, but doing so with a specific strategy in mind — not just posting for the sake of posting. Especially during the early days of the pandemic, more people were using social media and executives became the “face” of their companies. They humanized their brand and connected with their audiences. Executive visibility was an important component of communication during the pandemic.
In parallel, there has been a shift in B2B executives rethinking social media usage. It’s not just a platform primarily for B2C CEOs anymore, but a valuable digital communication channel for all execs. Challenges that a B2B company may have had with reaching their audiences on social media are now being resolved with their CEO to fill the gap.
J: That shift is very interesting. Do you believe that in 2023 and beyond, we’ll continue to see even more executives in the B2B space establish their social media presence?
E: Absolutely. What we’re seeing now is just the beginning. The executives who have already started thinking seriously about getting on social media or have already established themselves are ahead of the curve.
J: Next, I want to talk about one of the most popular and trending social media platforms: TikTok. It’s even inspired new video-based features on a lot of other well-established social media platforms, like Instagram and Facebook. Do you see TikTok as a viable space for executives in 2023?
E: The choice of social media platform will depend on a major question: what are the executive’s primary goals for being on social media in the first place?
From there, choosing the right platform(s) also depends on the executive. What type of content are they comfortable creating and sharing? Obviously, I wouldn’t recommend TikTok as the primary platform for executives who are camera-shy, but that’s not to say marketers should ignore it. We’ve seen how users really connect with executives through video. It’s a more engaging and dynamic content type, compared to reading a Tweet, for example.
I would say TikTok is a viable platform for executives who find it easier to say something versus writing something down. There are a number of ways to establish their thought leadership, even in a more “casual” space like TikTok. I do expect to see an increase in CEOs on TikTok over the next few years, especially as it becomes the primary platform for the younger generation of entrepreneurs who are already tech-savvy and understand the importance of being on social media.
J: I want to circle back to the growth of CEOs using social media. Based on research that the Influential Executive team completed last year on the 2022 Fortune 500 list, many of them do gravitate to one platform in particular. Of the individuals that were on social media, 97% used LinkedIn in some capacity.
However, a lot of executives who don’t have an active social media presence might still be on the fence. What would you say to those who do see the value of being on social media, but just aren’t comfortable launching their own online presence yet?
E: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.” In other words, the best time to establish yourself on social media is yesterday; the second best time is today.
One of the most important things to remember is that establishing a strategic social media presence isn’t a journey executives need to take alone. There are a lot of resources they can leverage, including their in-house marketing team or an external social media agency offering executive branding services.
The difference between an executive who sees middling results versus an executive who sees positive results on social media is that the latter is using social media strategically. They’re thinking about the types of content that resonate most with their target audience, the messages they want to convey, and other key aspects. What I’ve ultimately seen is that executives who do establish their social media presence strategically tend to think, “Why didn’t I do this earlier?”
J: That’s all the questions I have this time. Thanks for joining us, Elissa!
Elissa mentioned how companies leveraged their CEO as a way to convey authentic messages during the pandemic, but it’s not just during times of crisis that this becomes an effective strategy. Some industries must contend with low consumer sentiment — such as companies in the telecom space. However, leveraging an executive’s social media presence is an effective way to improve company standing.
We worked with the marketing team at a multi-billion dollar telecom company to help them position their president on LinkedIn. We established a strategic approach using a content mix to help boost the company’s reputation. Click the button below to read more!
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