Friday, December 14, 2018

Social Media -- A Good Thing For CEO's?


Social media may be habit-forming -- And for CEO's that's a good thing..

As a serial entrepreneur and agency president, my days are hectic -- and that’s how I like it. I always have something on the back-burner, whether it's my next idea for a company, a tweet that I’ve been noodling on or chores to do on the urban farm where I live.



I start my day at 4 a.m. and work until I collapse into bed around 9 p.m.

Part of my work is to find creative ways to share what’s going on in my world -- what I’m reading, thinking, growing or doing. Maintaining an active presence on social media has become a valuable habit I’ve formed because it introduces me to interesting people, and it adds meaning and connection to my life.

Some people ask me why I bother. Shouldn't CEO's have better things to do with their time? I disagree. While my company takes center stage, I play a crucial supporting role in its success. By using social media, I aspire to be accessible, present and transparent -- qualities that speak to our workplace culture. Social media is essential to so many individuals’ and organizations’ lives. Because I value connection, I can't ignore it. Instead, I want to be part of those harnessing it for good and as a tool to highlight insights for my business and the wider community of social entrepreneurs, agency leaders, journalists and opinion-makers.



Company leaders who personally engage in social media elevate and strengthen their organization's identity.

A recent article in Inc. detailed how John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, took to Twitter to reimburse a customer for her in-flight Wi-Fi charges. The customer had tweeted about a flirtatious couple next to her, and it went viral. Some observers said they would be changing carriers to T-Mobile, demonstrating the power CEO's can have when they engage on social media. CEO's can give a company a face and personality with which consumers can identify. Legere leveraged the moment while boosting T-Mobile’s image and behaving like a real human being.

CEO's can and should use social media to share what is important not only to them but to their business. Content might communicate with shareholders and consumers, but at the same time, it should showcase an organization’s personality and values. Far from being a waste of time, social media is a way for me to build relationships based on giving and receiving knowledge in a fast-moving world. I can help drive a conversation about the things that matter to me and learn from others with similar interests.



I use social media nearly every day as a tool to read, converse and learn.

It’s highly relevant to leading an agency that develops social media strategies for clients. By participating, I hone my craft, and I experiment with what works and what doesn’t. Many decades of experience in social business practices and advertising doesn’t mean I don’t have room to grow, especially in this ever-changing industry. I enjoy keeping tabs on fellow agencies, brands I respect and their leaders through social media. It gives me ideas for clients and insight on how I can improve my own business. The constant flow of innovation and ideas keeps me on my toes.

One of my mantras is "action, not words." Sharing what my companies are doing through social media demonstrates what is possible with conscious capitalism. Whether it’s photographs of our monthly employee volunteer outings or video footage of PlasticWorks, our community’s plastic up-cycling factory, I’m proud to be walking the walk. The goal of my new consulting venture, Humanista, is to transform more companies through social purpose. Because I’m so active on social media and not farming it out to a third party, my companies’ actions carry more credibility and lead to more genuine relationships with clients.



While it’s not the norm for CEO's to manage their own social media, a few leaders do it well consistently.

Elaine Welteroth, the former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, has a massive social presence that spotlights the events that she attends and the causes close to her heart. She helps use her platform to bring awareness to racial injustice and wage inequality. I’m also a huge fan of Andrei Cherny, who is a Twitter master and leads a socially conscious financial firm.

Leaders who want to play a more active role in their own social media must identify and observe leaders they admire. It doesn’t matter if they share your industry if they can create a sense of connection and authenticity and deliver value from the posts they share. I like seeing how leaders engage their own networks through social media, especially on LinkedIn, and how they take constructive criticism and use their platforms to inspire movements for good. For example, Dan Price of Gravity Payments is a social media master (best known for paying everyone at his company at least $70,000 a year) who evangelizes about paying workers a living wage and calls out companies that fall short. He’s caught some flack but takes it humbly.



Social media shrinks our world in terms of distance while expanding it exponentially in terms of access to new ideas and brilliant people.

Connections forged online have led to in-person connections -- both valuable assets. Plus, it's fun. In the early days of Twitter, I met a friend who recently launched a wonderful soap company that donates a percentage of its profits to endangered species conservation.

That friendship led to meeting my new business partner. Despite criticism because of trolls and fake accounts (not to mention our president), Twitter is one of my platforms of choice because it’s so quick and easy.

Guest Authored By Russ Stoddard. Russ is the Founder and President of Oliver Russell, a public benefit corporation that builds brands for purpose-driven companies. Follow Russ on Twitter.





"A CEO is the face of his or her company, like it or not. By participating in social media, we show the world who we are: transparent, authentic and committed to leaving the world better than we found it. Through my social media, I hope to inspire more people to act in a way that creates a positive difference in the world and learn from them along the way.." -RussStoddard



  • Post Crafted By:
    Fred Hansen Pied Piper of Social Media Marketing at GetMoreHere.com & CEO of Millennium 7 Publishing Co. in Loveland, CO. where I work deep in the trenches of social media strategy, community management and trends.  My interests include; online business educator, social media marketing, new marketing technology, skiing, hunting, fishing and The Rolling Stones..-Not necessarily in that order ;)
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