CEOs like Walmart’s Doug McMillion and Nasdaq’s Adena Friedman are using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram to connect with their shareholders.Employees value executives who can actively communicate about companies online, according to business advisory group Brunswick.Here’s how the best CEOs garner audiences using social media.
Celebrities and influencers aren’t the only ones using social media to bolster their career.Chief executive officers in between managing some of the world’s largest corporations are using Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn more than ever to build an online following. The business advisory company Brunswick analyzed the social media profiles of 790 CEOs of S&P 500 and FTSE 350 companies to find the ones who cultivate the best audiences online.Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, for instance, posts to Facebook nearly every day. Nasdaq’s chief Adena Friedman regularly engages with her nearly half a million LinkedIn followers.Having a good social media presence leads to more trust among employees and shareholders. Around 65% of US employees say it’s important for CEOs to actively communicate about their companies online, particularly during times of crisis, the report found.Additionally, 60% of employees say they would check an executive’s social media before joining a company.For company leaders or chief executives looking to garner a social media following, Brunswick outlined the steps they should take to get there:
1. Publish an online biography
The first step CEOs should take is to establish themselves online. Brunswick suggests creating some form of online biography or Wikipedia page to verify their title as a chief executive.
2. Develop a plan on how to meaningfully engage with audiences on one social media site
To increase visibility on social media, Brunswick suggests starting with just one platform. CEOs should work to actively engage shareholders, employees, and the public on the social media platform.Top connected leaders use visuals, both photos and video, to cultivate a more authentic presence, the report states. Pictures and video also help craft an “authentic” image of themselves, which Brunswick says is vital to meaningfully connecting with an audience.Connected leaders also post twice as frequently on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram than other CEOs, though Brunswick warns just posting isn’t enough: “The content must be valuable and engaging or audiences will tune out.”
3. Become an active user of one social media platform
Most CEOs report actively using just one social media platform already. Most of the time execs use LinkedIn to engage with their audience, but 90 CEOs report using Twitter as well. Just 12 and 17 use Facebook and Instagram, respectively.
4. Connect with your audience
After following through with your strategy on one or more social media platforms, CEOs will have successfully connected with their following and built a strong online presence.