Why You Should Be Focussing More On Building Social Networks
In the wake of an information revolution, all the more business organizations are getting digital either to collaborate or reach a wider audience. Social networking serves as conduits of information-exchange and allows a business leader to become influential in virtual space. Riding over the business goals, an influential CEO has an upper hand to connect to scattered audience-segments that are homogenous, densely constructed and centred on familial relationships.
Not too surprising, big business organizations are spending more time on social networking to attract unmatched loyalty through brand-building on popular social networking platforms. Fortune 500 companies, for example, show whether it is distributing content through public-facing corporate blogs, or establishing a lasting communication with their audience, the trend over the years is to get more informal and personal in a social network space. Besides leveraging LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, business leaders also find their entry in visual-centric platforms such as Instagram, Youtube, and Snapchat, research reveal.
Why Do Business Leaders Need to be Social Magnets?
As a CEO yourself, you would never ignore your audience on social networks. Be it through Twitter or Facebook, you want to engage with them in an original and personal way. And we are not even talking about how important it is to be on professional social networks, without which you lose access to the most innovative talent force employees in your industry. To get the crux of it, here’s what social networking can mean in the work-life of a CEO:
- Outreaching with a click
A simple tweet, or posting an insightful opinion can help you reach wider ranges of the audience through multiple channels. This doesn’t only convince your loyal audience but also makes you popular among social network users, thus building your digital influence.
- Hiring to Collaborate
Unlike the old days when recruitment was more of an office thing, the workforce recruitment processes are now shifting to digital and quicker alternatives. By spending time on social networking platforms, CEOs can gain insight into the millennials and build a brand name across the industry and geographic locations.
An ideal social network allows for a meaningful connection between business houses and the talent force across the world. Whether you’re looking for potential employees, or have a plan for successful collaboration with niche professionals, social networking makes things so easy!
- Research and Personal Growth
After all, CEOs are very, very busy people on the planet, and spending too much time with family/friends is not a regular thing for them. By design, social media makes you familiar with experts, innovative practices, and insightful content-driven websites. Serving as the best education for growth, social network channels offer multiple learning opportunities that help you grow both in your career and personally.
- Employee Branding and Engagement
When it comes to smart practices and business innovation, CEOs can find ultra-quick growth and opportunity as employers. If your office requires cross-departmental collaborations, you understand the importance of keeping your employees focused and engaged in driving productivity.
What better than use your social network avatar to boost confidence among your colleagues?
And if you want to go a step further to making long-term business strategies, nothing is more insightful than using enterprise social media tools that recognize, connects and engages your employees. These tools will not just uplift the employees’ morale and focus, but will also reveal the new trends in employee sentiments
Social Networking: The New Only Way to Sustain Your Influence
Beyond doubt, consumer attention has shifted to social networks with progress in technology and bringing another billion on the internet. To address huge crowds of potential business opportunities, Business leaders and CEOs must hang out in digital form where their customers already are. And who isn’t? From Richard Branson, CEO, Virgin Group to Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, they have become influential in the large cyberspace with their social networking skills. Or take the example of Sallie Krawcheck, CEO of Ellevest who has used social network connections to drive business and advocate women rights in the workspace.
The idea is simple: to look and then capture avenues that allow your business and brand to take advantage of by creativity and distribution or endorsement of ideas.
Having said that, competition is getting fierce and without specific skills to manage your social networking avatar, there are chances of you getting lost in cyberspace, hugely congested with popular leaders and celebrities. So as a CEO, how do I break amidst them and get the audience to notice me? More importantly, how do I convert the digital interaction into a long-lasting loyalty towards the brand and ideas that I represent? Here are the essentials you should incorporate into your social media strategy
- Optimization is Maximization
The golden rule could be that if You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Improve It. Chalk out some insightful metrics that you wish to measure, and compile them in a monthly Key Success Indicator (KSI) list. Start from simpler KSIs like the number of tweets/day, or the number of followers/likes per day.
Over a few weeks, you will surely understand what things work, and what doesn’t. Add on now some complex KSIs like getting mentions or referral on social media platforms, or even driving traffic to your company’s website.
With comprehensive data like that, you will be able to analyze your social media posts in the right context. Besides having the fun of exploring the secrets trends of audience behaviour, optimizing your social media can lead you to predict why a particular post/tweet works than the rest, thus helping you set long-term business goals for your company. To bring a competitive spirit and the joy of winning, you can also compare your success with your business rivals and influential leaders. A double success of beating your rivals and staying relevant in a space of top-notch CEOs lies ahead by optimization.
- Bridging company website and your online personality
Take the case of Satya Nadella, the much-spoken about Microsoft’s CEO. Featuring from website to video, Satya is just killing it! If you want to strengthen your company’s reputation, you should get more involved in creating and sharing branding content using both your social networks and company websites.
Regardless of industrial differences, 8 out of 10 public company CEOs are visible on their company websites, in contrast to only 48% of private company CEOs reaching their websites.
This will also improve your company’s reputation as self-publishers of content, only to bring information-hungry traffic on site.
Surveys have found that adding a photo to your social network profile improves your engagement score exponentially. You can check the expert tips on how to improve your social media profile in a very relevant article by HootSuite.
- Driving engagement by Motivation
In a world of ever-changing market ethics and business morals, you could be the voice that millions want to hear. Use your creativity to motivate the digital world by providing them with information and opportunities that align with your company’s goals. Remember, you’re not persuading anybody, you’re just telling that everyone on your follower list can go places and you’re there to support ideas.
Just to get real connections with your audience, prefer a 2-way communication model. Most people want to get noticed and their ideas/opinions heard. One way of driving engagement is by asking questions to your audience. That’s what motivated Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky to dive deep into market research on Twitter. Beginning with a simple question: If @Airbnb could launch anything in 2017, what would it be? on December 25th, 2016.
Brian was able to derive actionable insights that structured AirBnB’s marketing moves in 2017. You can try that too, maybe giving your audience a chance to win goodies etc. Once you recognize the best-engaging user on your profile, you are sending an important message: You value those who associate with you. With a casual-appearing question/answer session on the social media platform, you’re converting your company from a service-provider to value-creation. Think about it.
- Defining the Difference
The Internet has demonstrated its disgust for imitation of content and graphics. Besides, a CEO isn’t expected to endorse every second thing. So plan wisely what you want to display on your social networking platform. If you are sharing blogs/articles, verify if the source is authentic. A tech-savvy CEO like you has to find an authentic voice to make a difference.
It’s good to avoid engaging in controversial commenting, more so after seeing how Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel was ridiculed on Twitter for calling India a poor country to use Snapchat
However, it doesn’t mean one can’t take a social stand. Focus on larger goals, be it business expansion, building influence or philanthropy, just as Bill Gates does so well.
- Amplify by Employee Advocacy
Not setting any fictional expectations, we understand that not very social media interaction can win you business or make you an uncontested champion in your business. But that’s perfectly fine. Getting viral is not something that even the most powerful leaders or celebrities do on a regular basis.
Being a CEO however, you can do much better than them. All you need to do is to promote a sense of employee advocacy so that your team and colleagues can amplify your posts and social networking efforts using their own social networks. With hundreds of dedicated employee strength, you sure have better chances to influence the market, don’t you?
Trading time with Technology
Now, all sounds like a great plan that is going to promote your business and make you popular. But that’s the magnitude of social networking, you only have to commit yourself and be regular in social networking activities to see the difference. As surveys indicate, CEOs who frequent social networking channels and actively engage with the audience are:
- 89 per cent better at empowering others
- 52 per cent stronger at compelling communication
- 46 per cent more influential
- 36 per cent better at cultivating networks
- 19 per cent more passionate about results
- 16 per cent better at making decisions
But there’s a cache. Already busy in formulating new business models, super-occupied in meetings and phone/video calls, travelling extensively, how much time do CEOs have for an additional time-taking goal like social networking? That is threatened by the fact that social media already has great business leaders who literally dictate digital trends. And it’s not easy to match the level, without special assistance.
So while authenticity is the prime focus of an outstanding social media presence, you should consult professionals who can help you in planning things in advance. You will even do better if you have a team of really dedicated people to take care of your social media profiles to give the 24x7 effect. The right support system is an investment in uplifting your social avatar, and you know the results are going to be overwhelming.