How can you manage your social media as an executive?
While social media surrounds us in today’s world, only a small portion of the population knows how to strategically use these platforms to reach their personal and professional goals. The social media presence of executives and C-Suite leaders plays a crucial role in achieving business goals and higher levels of success. The most impactful executives’ social media accounts are those that cultivate a personal brand while aligning with their company’s broader marketing strategy and overall mission.
As a C-Suite executive, establishing yourself as an industry thought leader is essential to building brand awareness and credibility. An established personal brand will continue to gain recognition for your career and organization. An executive social media strategy is one of the best ways to gain industry exposure, build engagement, and establish trust with a targeted audience.
As an executive, you have a unique positioning on social media to interact with customers, addressing their needs and feedback in alignment with industry market messaging. Through this position, you can establish your role in the industry and showcase your impact and performance. As you establish yourself as a known thought leader, the best of the best top talent will find you.
Here are 7 areas to kickstart an effective executive social media strategy.
1) Develop a Brand Identity
A brand identity is the distinguishing factor of any executive or company. Personal branding isn’t solely based on looks – it steers the messaging of your company and your professional lens, the values it upholds, and strongly impacts the emotional response of the consumer.
Certain brand elements, including your name, tagline, logo, and design, are imperative to establish when placing your business in the digital world and establishing a competitive edge. Your brand identity goes far beyond any visual aspects and is responsible for creating the building blocks to revenue and reputation, such as the executive’s personality, authenticity, credibility, and motivation to purchase. It is the foundation that will thread together actions and communications to find greater competitive advantages, increased quality in products and services, and operational efficiency.
2) Execute A Solid Brand Strategy
Brand strategy delivers the value of your leadership to a target audience. The creative elements, along with the copy, reinforce the human connection in your brand and establish its place in the market, as well as a relationship with consumers.
Your brand is at the heart of your overall business strategy and requires an in-depth understanding of your audience’s preferences and your competitors’ positioning. By deploying the brand strategy across digital media, you can successfully bring your unique value proposition to the market.
3) Play Offense On Social Media
In today’s fast-moving market, it is important not to be reactive with your professional social media presence. Reactivity in marketing signals a weak personal brand foundation, often leading to frequent brand reinventions that can be exhausting. This not only results in below-average marketing performance metrics but also causes confusion among your target audience. Your network, potential customers, and the company’s employees may feel a sense of detachment due to the perception of engaging with different content each time. As a result, your audience may choose to engage with others who appear more dependable and consistent.
Given the abundance of available social platforms, success in using social media requires recognizing that not all contribute equally to reach and revenue. Select a few primary platforms that align most effectively with your overarching strategy, considering factors such as the target audience and the nature of the intended content. For those seeking to forge connections with potential partners and customers, starting with LinkedIn is recommended, as it is commonly utilized by B2B executives.
4) Establish Executives As Experts In The Industry
A great question to ask yourself, as an executive establishing yourself as a thought leader is, “What are people not talking about in your industry?”
Take a step back and find specific points that you believe in where others fall short or have different perspectives. You offer something unique and your branding is where you make this clear. This will enhance your profile in key areas and remain focused on your specific objectives, so your target audience knows exactly what to expect from you. Be sure to consistently engage in these conversations by sharing interesting content, following relevant hashtags, and articulating expertise by discussing personal experiences through posts and comments. This proactive approach contributes to establishing yourself as a thought leader in your field.
An important concept to understand is the value proposition. This describes the intersectionality of what you offer your audience specifically, something they can’t get from other companies, and your skills and expertise. Develop a clear statement that captures the unique value of your brand, your company, and the services or products you provide for your customers.
A unique and clear value proposition focuses on the critical dimensions of your products and services – where your company excels. Once you draw attention to your unique qualities, you become the best choice for your customers that need the advantages your company can give them.
A foundational value proposition gives the why behind the decision your customer makes when choosing your business over another. Your value proposition statement clarifies the key reasons customers, old and new, will buy your company’s services or products. Using your brand strategy to appeal to the customer’s strongest decision-making drivers with an authentic tone and message, you are fully representing your brand and your value proposition in a way that gains the right attention from your target audience.
Your core values should never be compromised and overlooking them can have major consequences down the line. Consumers will notice if you are not adhering to these principles, putting the integrity of your personal brand in jeopardy and undermining the foundation. Take this into consideration as you move forward, as it is a key element in personal brand marketing that should not be underestimated.
5) Tell Your Story
Audiences want genuine connections. To build strong relationships with your audience members, you need to avoid awkward sales-y language that is often perceived as questionable and not truly effective. Instead, use language that demonstrates your understanding of focus areas through appropriate acronyms, shorthand, and even emojis. Be transparent by sharing your own stories, experiences, and challenges to offer real-life solutions that have been proven to work.
When addressing your audience, think of the specific person you know will buy your product or service. Identify the unique qualities of your offering and the advantages that result from using it. Create a statement that is clear and concise, showing your audience what they will get out of this experience when they buy it. Truly focus on the customer, using their perspective, what are they gaining from buying your product or service? Is it quality, image, price, convenience, safety, time? All of these aspects are important to show your customers why your product is the best for them.
Avoid overemphasizing the marketing of your products as this can undermine the core identity of your brand. People make purchases not only based on the product itself but also based on their liking and alignment with the brand. So instead, focus on prioritizing your brand’s personality and core values and effectively communicate why your customers should choose your brand over your competitors.
Once you find the words and talking points that resonate with your audience, stick with them. Consistency drives results. Once you develop your unique value proposition and the narrative that supports it, continue to use it throughout your branding and marketing material.
6) Track And Scale Influence
Look at the activities that indicate your audience’s engagement and commitment. You can evaluate your social media influence by three key metrics that are important for brand awareness.
Followers: Monitor the growth of your network instead of just looking at the follower count. Be strategic and recognize important individuals like thought leaders, potential clients, and key personalities in your industry that engage with similar content to yours.
Engagement: Keep track of the number of individuals who comment, share, and save posts. That way, you can measure the genuine investment in the content.
Website Traffic: Measure the number of people who click through your website and analyze what pages they explore to gauge their sustained interest. This is a good indicator of what is selling well and what isn’t.
7) Stop Over Analyzing And Bring In An Expert
“It is extremely difficult to perform at a high level and provide color commentary at the same time. Instead of risking burnout, let a trusted expert manage your personal brand. It is one of the best things you can do for your career,” offers Audrey Boyle, CEO at Social Proxy.
Brand management is essential to maintain a cohesive brand image. It not only gives your brand creative direction but it also ensures that your brand is a consistent reflection of your best aspects. The brand manager must be thoroughly educated and trained to ensure that the key messages align with the external communication. This can be as a member of your organization or hiring a 3rd party to give your team full attention with creating a sustainable brand strategy. Having brand managers consistently track and evaluate brand awareness, customer perceptions, and loyalty, will ensure the customers have an exceptional experience.
Keep it consistent – all facets of your brand should align. Inconsistency in brand development produces issues in the future. For this reason, it is highly recommended to consistently meet with a professional to discuss your company’s brand and keep a unified branding experience in every customer interaction.
Juggling all the expectations of running a company alongside the demands of social media is a substantial time commitment and rarely realistic. If you are having trouble devoting time to execute your social media goals effectively, consider delegating the responsibility to a trusted expert, like Social Proxy, who has the experience, time, and resources to turn your goals into a reality. You will never have to worry about inconsistent branding or missed opportunities for engagement. Instead, you can be confident that through the proper cadence and responsiveness, you will ultimately yield the desired business impact you deserve.
Leveraging executive social media is crucial in building your brand effectively for both your company and your professional image. This action cannot be done without an effective strategy. Without one, you will find yourself investing a considerable amount of time with minimal results.
How can you manage your social media as an executive?