image of person on laptop with title online reputation management on social media for executives

Online Reputation Management on Social Media for Executives

Social media is essential for today’s business founders and executives to build their reputation. Online reputation management requires a long-term and thoughtful strategy, similar to how brand building is accomplished at a company.

In this article, we will discuss how business leaders can use social media to help establish their personal branding and set them up for the future.


How Social Media Impacts Online Reputation Management


Unlike a brand’s social media account, executives’ accounts are directly tied to the individual, which of course, makes it more personal. Some business leaders focus on brand-related content, such as Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly. Other executives may utilize a completely different social media strategy emphasizing more of their personal interests, like Anand Mahindra. Whichever strategy an executive uses, social media platforms are public and offer executives an effective way to connect with their audience.

Because it is a public platform, executives can use social media apps like Twitter and LinkedIn to build their online reputation and influence by optimizing their profile, creating and posting content regularly, and being proactive in the online community.

More people are using social media as a way to learn more about a brand and its leadership staff. It is not just consumers who are following executives on social media, but employees also want to hear what their company leaders are saying. By being transparent and using social media as a communication and marketing tool, executives have more direct control over their online reputation management than ever before.


How Social Media Sets Executives Up for the Future


How does building and maintaining a reputation contribute to future opportunities and success? Where does social media usage fit into this?

Here are just some ways social media can benefit business leaders in the long run.


Establish themselves as a thought leader

Thought leadership is about establishing a leader’s credentials and showing others their deep expertise in their field. When executives position themselves as thought leaders in their industry, people are more likely to refer to the executive because they are a knowledgeable figure. This can lead to interviews with publications about a particular subject, invitations for speaking engagements, or even an offer for a position at a company. 

Executives can set themselves up for the future with a thought leadership program by using social media platforms strategically. One common example we have seen includes posting long-form articles on LinkedIn. Articles are an effective way to display how knowledgeable an executive is within their field of expertise.


Showcase their personality

Some executives may not have any plans to post personal content on social media, opting to post only brand-related topics. In fact, one of the top risks of being on social media is posting information that is too personal. There are ways to manage this, such as being more proactive about what is being posted online or working with an agency that understands how to mitigate these types of risks. You can read more about that topic in our article, Managing the Risks of Executive Social Media Presence. Executives should keep in mind that showing off their personality on social media does not necessarily mean posting personal content. There are many benefits to posting content that is not brand-related on social media.

For example, there may come a time when an executive leaves their current company. Having a strong social media presence that shows their personality and interests can potentially catch the eye of another business who is looking to hire new members for its leadership team. When executives are more relatable and approachable on social media, it is easier to see if they are a good fit for a new position in terms of how the individual will fit into the company culture.


Crisis Management

Social media does not just help set up executives for the far future, but it sets them up in current conversations as well. Thinking about present events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the #BlackLivesMatter movement, more C-suite executives than ever before are using social media to convey company actions and their personal thoughts.

Executives can place themselves at the forefront by clearly communicating with stakeholders and being more transparent and proactive. Depending on the actions taken, in the future, this may lead to improved consumer relationships, a healthier work culture, and a more positive opinion of proactive executives. In this way, executives are not just setting themselves up for success, but their company as well.


Online Reputation Management Leading to Future Success


A strategic social media strategy for business founders and executives is not just analyzing what should be posted now. It also looks at short-term and long-term goals. Online reputation management is a core part of this as it can use social media platforms to help set up executives for future opportunities.

Want to learn more about how thought leadership impacts business founders and executives online? Our digital marketing experts have created a free guide on thought leadership. Download your copy below: