Some thoughts on social media and why executives should consider taking a more active role in the process.
Today, many companies continue to invest more and more money on their social media campaigns. New employees are brought on to communicate information on behalf of the company. Social media campaigns are typically ran by a few individuals or a small department who try to incorporate sales, customer service and public relation comments as a part of a campaign.
I look at social media just like I do trade shows. When it comes to trade shows, I want to send someone who has knowledge of our company’s service offerings. I would never send a new person off the street to represent our company at a show.
Many executives are concerned about risks associated with social media. As far as responsibility, I would rather have a few key people be in charge of posting information about the company and work on communicating a short message that will grab people’s attention. I think an effective mix from personal profiles and company profiles is the way to go. People need to see your company brand on social media and at the same time be able to tie the company to a particular person.
Professionalism is really at the heart of building a loyal following and having a presence on social media. People need to better understand what your company does and what it stands for. I follow this motto and it helps keep me out of messages being questionable or confusing.
In addition, I try to share information that people can take and use. I try to stay away from telling stories. People don’t have time to read stories every day. Most people are looking for answers to questions or looking at topics to try and learn something. When I write with the reader as the focal point, I typically see a much higher view rate.
Every day, I look for ways to find value in this process. The most value I have found from social media is that organic growth will occur over time if I stay active each week on social media sites like Linkedin and Twitter. Facebook even a little less.
The second part of this equation is where the most value can be found. I have found the best return on social media has been the result of posting blog articles for the company as well as professional articles which speak to the heart of what I do each day as an executive of a company. People connect with people. If you want people to be aware of you and your company, you need to be more transparent.
One of the biggest results I have seen is the quality of people I connect with. Since I became more active on Linkedin with their blogging tool, I have witnessed an increase in the number of followers to our company and higher amounts of “word of mouth” results I have seen from new accounts we have added.
In addition, I frequently receive comments from people at conferences who will tell me they read my articles on Linkedin and they can relate to the information that is posted. I still put this information on my local blog site, but the reality is people would rather go to Linkedin and Twitter for their information versus a website. As long as I know the rules, I will continue to adjust.
Social media platforms are excellent channels to share information about services affecting your clients. For me, social media is an investment in time and I expect to see results from my efforts. Some days are good some days not so good, but for me it is a way of life that I would not change because I see results from more new accounts, additional questions from clients and it helps bring the right exposure to our company.
For this reason, I think executives should be the people who should invest time in social media. Over the years, I’ve cut the time I spend on social media by 75% or more. As a result, I use social media for a purpose and it I think about it a lot more before I use it. This approach has worked well and people will appreciate good, solid content over a bunch of rambling information, repurposed content and automated information.
I think the companies that really make a difference today have executives who are closer to their marketing efforts than those who leave it to someone else to run.