25 Jan Why Executives Should Be on Social Media
Executives may be wondering if it’s worth it to have a personal social media presence if their brand already has one. In this article, we’ll discuss the various benefits executives will gain through a personal social media profile. To offer us some more insight on the topic, we’ll be speaking to our copywriter and social media coordinator Jackie Le, who specializes in developing organic social media strategies for executives and brands.
Thanks for joining us today, Jackie! First, can you tell us the main difference between the goals of a brand’s social media and executive social media?
To define the goals, let’s first define the primary difference between a brand’s and an executive’s social media in the first place. At a glance, the biggest difference is that when we’re looking at a brand account on social media, we don’t know who’s behind it. The content is posted from the company as a whole so it’s not attributed to any one person. On the other hand, with an executive social media account, it’s clear where the content is coming from and who is speaking. Because there’s an identifiable person, this naturally makes an executive’s social media account more personal and relatable.
This in turn can lead to different types of content that are more effective when shared on a brand social media account versus content on an executive’s account. In many cases, the content on a brand page is more focused on promoting the company and its products. With executives, you might see more personal content, like social causes they’re involved in, a behind-the-scenes look at their company, or a personal message on their company’s values.
One common goal for executives on social media is establishing their thought leadership to position themselves within their industry. Another goal includes increasing brand awareness in ways that’s different from what the brand account is doing, like the example about company values.
What are the benefits of having an executive social media presence?
The biggest benefit that comes to my mind is that because the social media presence for a brand account versus an executive account can be so different, marketers can build up both to achieve different goals or make an even bigger push towards a similar goal.
For example, while your company’s Instagram account might be posting a lot of photos about your products, promotions, and other content that drives sales, your executives on LinkedIn might be posting about the positive workplace environment, or social causes the company supports. In this case, the brand’s social media drives towards revenue while the executive’s presence emphasizes brand awareness and transparency.
Going back to the idea of the executive being an identifiable person on social media, they help give their company a public face, which effectively humanizes the brand. When CEOs build up a positive reputation online through social media, this translates over to their company. On a personal level, executives can use social media to establish their thought leadership and position themselves as a knowledgeable leader within their industry. You see this a lot when executives chime in on current trends and provide their own take, or post articles on social media.
What are some content topics that we recommend executives share on their social media?
One of the most common topic areas that executives on social media will gravitate towards is talking about their own company. The more effective profiles don’t just copy and paste everything their brand social media account is sharing, but they add their own unique flair, whether it’s making an original Tweet or posting a video of themselves on Instagram.
The team here regularly analyzes executives on social media, not just to keep our clients updated about competitors within their industry, but also for our Executive Spotlight article series. What we’ve found is that executives who showcase their personality and have a strong social media strategy are the ones that truly stand out and accomplish the most for their company. Executives like John Legere and Jason Fried really know how to create engaging content that makes them seem more relatable while still having strong leadership skills.
Lastly, to help executives better understand which social media platform will work best for them, what are the main advantages of each platform?
Our CEO, Elissa Liu, did some research into what social media platforms Fortune 500 CEOs were using the most and it’s no surprise that LinkedIn comes in at #1. Because the platform’s more business-oriented, a lot of executives use LinkedIn for professional networking. I think LinkedIn is one of the more effective platforms for executives to build their thought leadership content since they can post long-form content in LinkedIn Articles.
However, Twitter continues to be popular because the short-form content is easier to manage for executives who might not have time to create long content. The main advantage of Instagram is that visual content really takes center stage here. Eye-catching photos and a variety of video formats allow executives to get creative.
Lastly, Facebook is still a solid option for executives who want to reach a large audience made up of different demographics. We always hear about how apps like Instagram tend to have younger audiences. On Facebook, you’ll definitely be able to reach out to the older demographic.
Ultimately, knowing which social media platforms to use comes down to what the executive wants to achieve with their online presence.
Thanks for sharing your insights with us, Jackie!
Now that you’ve learned about the importance of an executive social media presence, is your leadership team ready to make the transition? Our social media experts can help you get started. Schedule a conversation with us today to learn how you can build a strong executive presence online! Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for leadership insights.
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