How to turn your C-suite into social media all-stars
Having trouble getting your C-suite off the sidelines and into the social media game? Hubspot’s Jeetu Mahtani has this advice.
The world has changed dramatically, with consumers just 140 characters away from sharing their experience with your brand online, making it more important than ever for your business to be engaging on social media.
Recent LinkedIn-commissioned research results show the vital role of social media in driving growth for SMEs in Australia, with 89% using social media to build awareness and 72% seeing social media as essential for the future of their business.
Chances are your prospects, leads, and customers are on social too, so sitting on the sidelines can hurt your business and your brand. Getting your executives to engage with and listen to your followers on social media will make your company more authentic, helpful, and savvy.
Here are our marketing experts’ ideas to help turn your C-suite into all-star social media players:
1. Start with LinkedIn
LinkedIn at its core is a website for professionals to connect, so invest the time to ensure that your leadership team have updated and optimised LinkedIn accounts. At a minimum, this approach will show potential employees and customers about the talent and experience of your team at your organisation, and serves as a great complement to your LinkedIn Company Page, as an important resource for your employment and consumer brand as well.
Members can now publish through the LinkedIn Influencers program, so building up an audience for your leadership team on this social media channel positions you to explore publishing on the Influencers channel moving forward, should you choose to do so. Investing the time to create and update profiles will help you earn consumer trust over time.
2. Host a Twitter chat from your company account
If your C-suite is unsure about getting on social media personally, start out by hosting a Twitter chat on your company’s account. Doing so will provide a designated window of time during which people can ask questions of your team without putting undue pressure for executives to engage on a daily basis.
FedEx, Cisco and other huge brands regularly host Twitter Chats with their leadership and guest hosts and receive great traction from them. There are some great models from brands large and small to get you started.
3. Listen and learn
Most C-suite executives still think that social media is more social than business, so consider asking your C-suite to invest a few hours checking out two different social media streams.
One stream should be the tweets and interactions of your prospects: it’s remarkable how much you can glean from what your prospective customers are talking about on social. Once a CEO sees that prospects are legitimately seeking out business advice using those channels, he or she is likely to focus more attention to the channel.
The second stream is existing customers. Demonstrating that your customers are talking about their current levels of satisfaction with your product (or dissatisfaction, though hopefully that’s not the case) is also a stark realisation for your leadership team: it’s the most scalable and efficient way to scan for issues, delight your customers, and respond to their concerns or enquiries.
Warming your C-suite up to social media will not only support your efforts to create a leadership profile on social channels that aligns with your company’s brand presence, business needs, and customer expectations, but will give your an brand authenticity that only the C-suite can bring to the table.
Jeetu Mahtani is managing director of HubSpot International.