Something I’ve really been harping on lately is how important I think it is to have your executives on social media. You may have seen me mention it in other posts, or on LinkedIn, or heard about it on my podcast. It’s that important.
And I don’t just mean throwing your CEO’s headshot on a Twitter account and having some intern retweet company news from it. No, your CEO, your founder, whoever the face of your brand is needs to be a vocal presence online themself.
Why? Well for starters it puts a face to your brand. The big dogs like Coca-Cola, Nike, Apple, etc. can afford to be anonymous online because, let’s face it, you know who they are. You don’t need the CEO of Coke to host a weekly podcast for you to hear about and buy Coke products. But for the majority of us who don’t work at a universal household name, personality is all the more important. Having a real human represent your brand online makes you much more authentic and approachable.
But that’s not the only reason to get your CEO active on social…
Direct to Consumer Interaction
You know what direct-to-consumer (DTC) is. It’s cutting out the middleman. No third party retailers, just an instant business to customer relationship.
But here’s the interesting thing with DTC — we only ever really see it in the context of B2C. For instance, I’m messing around on Instagram as I’m one to do, I come across an ad for golf polos, I click it, buy one, and now I’m ready to play 18. Boom, easy, done. It’s a great buying experience that shouldn’t just be limited to consumer brands. A B2B SaaS brand can just as easily go direct-to-consumer because their buyers are already online.
We’re way past the days where you have to hope your PR person gets your CEO featured in the WSJ or interviewed on CNBC just to get some exposure for your business. (Although that does help, shoutout to my PR people out there). No, now you have an instant and FREE path directly to your potential buyers. Any idea what it might be? Hint: it rhymes with shminternet.
Your CEO has an obligation to be online, on social media, engaging with the masses and getting the brand out there. There’s simply no excuse for passing up DTC interaction especially when you can get it so easily. If your CEO won’t take advantage, your competitor’s CEO will.
Grow Your Audience, Grow Your Revenue
Having your execs on social is obviously a brand play — we’ve established that much. But like all marketing activities, it all has to come back to revenue somehow right? Well, have no fear. Once your CEO is online, they need to ramp it up quickly. One post here and there isn’t going to cut it. I’m talking daily tweets, LinkedIn posts, regular blog updates, a weekly podcast, new YouTube vids. Anything and everything that puts you directly in front of your consumers.
These aren’t just vanity marketing channels. They’re a way to meet your buyers where they already are and start building an audience. And no, you’re not going to see immediate ROI because someone followed your CEO on Twitter after he tweeted out a Dogecoin meme. But the larger and more loyal your audience, the larger your potential customer base. They’ll go from reading the tweets, to listening to the podcast, to checking out the blog on your site. Before you know it, they’re just browsing around your site, looking up the company with the cool CEO and realizing, “well shit, my business actually has been looking for a service like this.”
Now you’ve gotten them into your funnel without having to do a thing other than put out your usual content. No marketing campaigns, no planning decks, just some Tweets.
The Ultimate Recruiting Tool
Think about it. Let’s say every time your CEO posts a marketing learning on social media, the same person replies with a smart response, or a comment that furthers the conversation, or even challenges your CEO. That right there is a potential hire. No search firm, no reading through a bunch of exaggerated resumes where everyone is apparently proficient in Excel. Now demonstrated knowledge and brand building ability is just a DM away.
Plus let’s face it – no one wants to go through the trouble of sending their team across the country to set up booths at college career fairs and interview a bunch of nervous kids in their dad’s old blazer (personal anecdote). If you want to find a young marketer who knows how to generate engagement and excitement with their content, just look at the Tweets that are generating a lot of engagement and excitement. The talent is out in the open, you just have to identify it.
And on the flip side, a socially active CEO helps attract young talent to your business. Take Dan Price, CEO of Gravity Payments for example. Odds are you’ve seen him re-posted on social at some point. Check out one of his recent LI posts:
Like I said earlier, putting a face to the name makes a brand more approachable. But it also allows you to more clearly state your company values. Dan demonstrates that he’s someone who understands the value of his employees. If a job seeker sees a CEO that takes public actions to support their employees or speaks out clearly in support of them, that strikes a chord with people and makes them more inclined to work for your business.
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