From CEOs of Fortune 500 companies to presidents of nonprofit associations to youth soccer team coaches, those who lead have found that a social media presence can be beneficial. Despite the documented successes found by leaders who engage on social media platforms, there are still some leaders who do not participate.
I recently took note of this at a conference I attended for PR and communication professionals. Attendees were encouraged to use social media during the conference to connect with others and to get highlights from sessions. A good majority of them were senior-level executives and many others were sole proprietors of their own agencies, but yet few were using some form of social networking. This shouldn’t have been a surprise; according to a report from Domo and CEO.com, 68 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs lacked a social presence – they weren’t on any of the major social networks.
I decided to try to get more of the leaders at the conference to turn to social media. After a quick 30 minute pep-talk about the benefits of engaging on social media, I sat down with a few and showed them how to tweet from their phones, create a list of speakers and sponsors, and even post a photo on their Facebook pages using a hashtag! They all enjoyed the lesson and said they planned to re-engage with their followers to hopefully increase their network.
Here are three tips to share with your leaders on why social media is relevant:
- The Ability to Build a Personal Brand – Social Media allows a leader to continually provide content to stakeholders in a way that adds significant value to the brand. In addition, leaders can identify and engage online colleagues by reading and commenting on their blogs, following them on Twitter, and connecting with them on Facebook.
- Create a Sense of Connection and Engagement –From coffee meetings to jet-setting across the world for big deals, everyone has a busy schedule. Social media allows leaders to engage on the go.
- Allow People to Self-Organize to Do the Work – Twitter and Facebook have been instrumental to grouping networks. Smart leaders understand that social media provides multiple points of entry for engaging people in various aspects of business. I plan to follow-up with the leaders from the conference in a few days to see how they are engaging on social media since we last spoke. In fact, I may tweet them and see if they tweet me back!
About the Author
Tiffany Young is the manager of public relations for American Public University System. Her expertise includes: media relations, event management, and community engagement. She earned a certificate in Public Relations from the University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies and received a B.A. in Mass Communications from Virginia State University. She is on the board of the National Black Public Relations Society, Inc. (NBPRS). You can find her on Twitter @tyoungpr.
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