Say it from the top

The time for executives to be on social media has well and truly arrived.

Who is better placed to communicate an organisation’s message online, than the team at the top?

According to Edelman’s Trust Barometer, no one.

People within an organisation, and increasingly the wider public, want to hear from organisational leaders on issues that matter.

The key findings from the report:

  • 71% say “It’s critically important for my CEO to respond in challenging times.”
  • 64% agreed with the statement: “I will buy or boycott a brand solely based on its position on a social or political issue.”
  • 76% believe “CEOs should take the lead on change rather than waiting on government.”

A social CEO commands a level of integrity and humanity that corporate channels cannot match. And according to a Hootsuite report, executives agree.

Around 86 percent of executives in Australia, New Zealand, and Asia believe having a CEO active on social media is positive for a company’s reputation, and 76 per cent believe it enhances credibility in the market.

However, despite the compelling data supporting its value, most CEOs and executives are reluctant to engage online.

Embracing social media may not come naturally, but the rewards far outweigh the risks.

So how do we do it? Start with strategy.

Let’s take Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, one of the world’s top social media CEOs as an example.

In 2018 a Reader’s Digest survey named Walmart America’s most trusted mass retailer – and we know trust goes along way when it comes to making a purchase decision.

In an organisation that has 11,300 stores in 27 countries and 2.2 million associates, how can the CEO contribute to achieving that trust online?

Knowing your why is the most important first step – to be effective on social media you need to understand why you are there in the first place. What is the purpose of being on social media? Is it to inspire? Engage? Build trust?

If you review Doug’s socials, then Doug’s why could be to show that he is first and foremost… human.

He uses the channels to engage with and show his 2.2 million associates that whilst he may not be physically able to engage with each of them face to face, they do in fact matter.

You also need to know your audience – who are you communicating with?

The next question you need to ask yourself is what do you want to say? Understanding your audience will demystify the struggle of trying to figure out what content share and how to get people to engage.

To understand content, let’s look at an example a little closer to home – Founder and Director of Boost Juice Bars and Retail Zoo, Janine Allis

Of course, Allis is also an investor on Shark Tank, a contestant on the most recent Survivor AU and co-host of popular podcast ‘Superwomen We Ain’t’.

On Twitter, Instagram and with a whopping 547,285 followers on LinkedIn alone, this is a CEO that understands the power of social media.

Named in LinkedIn’s top 10 Power Profiles in 2017, Allis says her and fellow Shark Tank investor (and powerhouse social media CEO Naomi Simpson) use the platform as an educational tool and to talk about what is happening in their worlds.

“Hey this is what we’ve learned. Maybe you can avoid that mistake,” or “This is the way we think people need to think to be special,” says Allis.

Ultimately McMillon and Allis have both developed their own personal brand on LinkedIn, humanising their organisations and giving their audiences value.

Pesel & Carr has implemented multi award-winning social media strategies. You can reach out to to discuss how we can help you.