Richard Branson. Bill Gates. Arianna Huffington. Who’s your favorite business leader? Do you follow her on Twitter? Read all of his posts on LinkedIn and Facebook? And do you ever wonder why some of them seem to be everywhere at once? Chances are it’s because that person has mastered the art of getting the word out on social media.
Recently, my company helped rank the top 100 CEOs from around the world, based on the quality of their social media presence. Below are the top 10 from the full list. Have a peek and see if your favorites made the cut.
To narrow it down to 100, our team worked with closely with Xinfu to analyze hundreds of global company leaders—from large corporations to tech CEOs and rising entrepreneurs. Some of the key factors used include value in content shared, Klout score, vision in strategy and size of followings on Twitter and LinkedIn (the two primary networks for business leaders on social media):
So, what do these social CEO gurus have in common? Here are a few key secrets to their (er… our) success business leaders might take a page from:
Offer valuable content
Establishing yourself as a thought leader, who people want to follow, begins with sharing quality, value-added content. This can include industry insights, leadership tips and advice, commentary on news and trends, video Q&As with followers—and more. With your social and content teams, craft, plan and share this type of content regularly through your social channels.
Commit: Do it regularly
The real key to success (where many fail) is consistency. Set up a regular social media schedule that fits your calendar. This can be as minimal as putting aside five minutes every Sunday to chime in on the latest industry news, five minutes on Tuesday to shoot a quick Q&A on your phone, and five minutes on Thursday to post a company update.
Find your own authentic voice
The most effective CEOs on social media offer a window into their unique worlds: behind-the-scenes photos and videos showing off their company, teams, passions, hobbies, etc. They also let their authenticity come through in their voice via social media. This can range from off-the-cuff and sometimes controversial, like T-Mobile CEO John Legere, to positive and inspirational like Tim Cook—but authenticity is always key.
Amplify your work
It’s true that some social media messages “go viral” and spread like wildfire, capturing big audiences. But most of the time, this simply isn’t the case. One powerful way great social CEOs extend their reach is through employee advocacy. What does this entail? They simply ask their own teams to ‘amplify’ their posts with their own social networks. At companies with hundreds of employees, this quickly adds up. (My company also has a tool to help with this, called Amplify).
Don’t go at it alone
It’s a well-known fact that CEOs have zero time to spare. So how can they carve out the extra minutes to manage even one social media account, such as Twitter? While authenticity is key in social media, most of them have a person or team backing them up. With support staff (PR, marketing, social media agency) in place, they’re then free to focus on injecting insight and personality with the time they can spare however tight that might be. I can’t stress it enough: The right support will make this entire process easier—from strategy to compliance.
If you have further questions or need help, give me a shout at my CEO help desk: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The bottom line: It’s clear by now that social media represents a cultural shift, not just a technological one, and it certainly isn’t going away. CEOs who fail to adapt don’t just risk being left behind—they will be left behind.
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