Its No Secret That Social Media Is A Useful Tool For Leadership Development
CEO’s and business leaders have celebrity status and often feature in the media. We want to know them, and feel like they are accessible.
Social media provides an opportunity for leaders to create a personal brand and interact directly with their communities. As technology evolves there are new ways to communicate with stakeholders and engage them with business development. Through savvy use of social media, leaders can create an online persona that tells their stories and conveys their values.
Richard Branson maximises social media to remind us just how effortlessly cool he is, whilst conveying all the wonderful things he achieves via his Virgin brand. Breaking world records, inspiring sustainable development and hanging out with Barbarella.
However, whilst we want to generate a wonderful perception of ourselves and share our stories, we need to limit the risks!
Kenneth Cole famously created buzz for all the wrong reasons by attempting to exploit war to sell shoes. Most recently he took to Twitter to make inappropriate statements relating to the civil unrest in the Middle East. Ultimately his business felt the full force of his actions he was slammed by more socially conscious brands and consumers boycotted his products.
Here are my 10 rules for a successful social media strategy:
- NO social media before coffee or after alcohol! For obvious reasons.
- Use active following! Do not presume everyone knows who you are and wants to be your friend. Invite people to join your network.
- Keep the stuffy business terminology to a minimum and be approachable. Remember you wish to appeal to a wider network.
- Interact with your community and share mutually beneficial content. Start a conversation. Share a link to your blog or website. Comment on other blogs you find of interest.
- Utilise existing networks and collaborations to increase your reach. Be strategic with your connections. How can you benefit each other?
- Be explicit that all views are your own. Take care when endorsing other people or brands as you may become affiliated by association.
- Whilst you want to be popular and come across as the cool guy maintain your relevance and be real. Think about whom you could offend.
- Be consistent and refer to your strategy. Why you are doing this? Select a way of measuring your progress. Define your monthly progress targets.
- Access social media management tools to improve your time management.
- Analyse your audience and look at their demographics. How can you tailor content to maximise your appeal?
So while you are figuring out your social media strategy, define your rules of the road. It’s the first step to achieving your social media goals, securely and efficiently whilst avoiding a costly public relations catastrophe.