When it comes to business best practices, every company knows they have to have a presence in social media. I mean, it’s 2018, folks.
But, it’s funny — while senior executives at every level of corporate America insist that their company have a vibrant multi-platform social media presence, they aren’t holding themselves to that same standard.
So, why the disconnect?
There’s actually not just one reason, but five. Fortunately, each is easy to overcome with a little time and know how. Let’s take a look.
- Social media is too time-consuming
While the company’s social media might require multiple hours each day, that type of time commitment isn’t required to create a strong personal brand. If you spend 5 minutes a day, three days a week – that’s just one hour per month total — you can give a great boost to your social media presence.
- I don’t know what to do on social media
The key to success in social media, just like in many things, is having a smart strategy. Look at your “big picture” goals and figure out how social media can help you get there. Once you have defined a purpose, the steps you need to take and the specific tasks become clear.
- There’s too much to learn about social media
When it comes to social media, there’s no reason to re-create the wheel. In fact, the easiest way to learn is by watching people who already feel comfortable with the medium and have had some success with it. Follow executives in your industry who have roles similar to yours. How often are they posting? What are they posting about? How are they engaging with their followers? The answers to these questions will give you quick insights into how you could use social media yourself. (Need suggestions? Check out our Executives to Follow lists.)
- What if I make a mistake?
You don’t have to dive head first into social media. Instead, just ease in and you’ll make fewer missteps. Start by liking posts or tweets by people you respect, as well as your company’s posts. Once you have a good understanding of the kind of things you’d like to post, try it out. If you do post something that isn’t ideal, know that social media is a rapidly flowing river and your mistake will be downstream quickly.
- I don’t have any reason to do it
There are actually many reasons for senior executives to be active in social media. It is a powerful way to build business relationships, gather real-time intelligence, and speak directly to your stakeholders. You also stay relevant and set an example for your team.
Ready to get started? Start with a social media action plan. This can be something as simple as your own personal posting schedule, or you can work with your marketing team to create a strategy for connecting the dots between what you’re doing as a company and how you’re reflecting that on social media.
Whether it’s looking for input from your customers, discussing topical issues, congratulating your team, or adding your voice to company news, social media brings a level of approachability and authenticity that, ultimately, creates connections.