Importance Of Your CEO And Social Media

Companies are quickly realizing how crucial it is to have a social presence and often the tendency is to think this should be expanded to top-level executives as well. However, when looking at the top 100 CEO’s of the world, there are zero currently active in the social space with their own profiles. In fact, there are even very few CEO’s of tech and social companies representing themselves online as well.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to attend Forrester’s Marketing Forum 2010 and wanted to pass along some of the insights I found most compelling. (April 22-23 in Los Angeles)

From a marketer’s perspective, it may seem backwards; wouldn’t you want your CEO to be an online influencer? Wouldn’t it build awareness, drive business, provide great opportunities for PR, etc.?

The general consensus of this presentation was that CEO’s who wish to engage on social platforms should enact a “social light” strategy, wherein the focus is quality over quantity and the goal is not to amass a large following, but rather to provide pertinent and compelling information as applicable.

Another issue that was raised at this conference questioned whether we are trying to be too many things to too many different people. I think this draws back to whether CEO’s should be engaging online or not. If your CEO has considerable time to devote to social media, including sharing knowledge and insights, answering questions and engaging with other influencers, then perhaps it makes sense. But for many top-level executives out there, this is not their primary function.

As social channels are modified and new ones are introduced, there may be alternative ways for busy executives to engage in the social space. However, unless there is significant time to donate and invest on these platforms, it may be worth taking a step back and enacting a “social light” strategy.

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