C-Suite Executives and Social Media – There Needs to be a Connection!

I’ve been wrestling with this for a couple of days now and came to the conclusion that I should write a quick post about it to see what the general consensus is. In today’s connected world the C-Suite executives need to know how their customers prefer to communicate. Social Media makes the process easy. I am not suggesting they spend hours reading and answering comments this would be counter productive. I am however suggesting they take a genuine interest in what is being said and pen a few personal responses at least once every couple of weeks. A meeting with the Social Media staff monthly to discuss new platforms, trends and review past statistics would also be beneficial.

First Things First

The C-Suite executives need a business presence on the platforms that have been identified as gathering places for their customers. No need to create a profile on Tripadvisor.com if your company is not in the travel industry. Use common sense here and do some research to find where your customer base likes to gather and share experiences.

At the very least your company should by now have a business page on the major Social Media platforms ie. Facebook, Twitter and either Instagram or Pinterest. If you don’t then now is the time to seriously get moving in that direction. I’m not going to reiterate how that’s accomplished – smarter people than myself have written volumes on just that subject. A quick search in the book section on Amazon.com resulted in 20,171 results for the term “social media marketing”. There are also countless websites, blog posts, Twitter feeds, YouTube videos and Facebook pages devoted to the subject. Do some leg work and find some resources that speak to you and cover your market then make it a number one priority to have a Social Media presence for your company TODAY!

If you are already in the social space then sit down with the person(s) involved in handling these pages and get to know them. Up to this point they have been responsible for representing your brand and interacting with your customers – who better to get insight from then the people on the front lines.

Now It’s Time To Get Real

Once you have located your customers it’s time to create a business profile for your C-Suite executives. Shy away from the impulse to have someone else do this for them but don’t leave them to figure it out for themselves  – make sure there is someone at hand that can guide them through the process. The act of building their own profiles will shed some light onto the processes required to get a platform up and running. There is no substitute for hands on experience.

Do as much upfront work as possible before sitting down to create these profiles. Have them craft a short bio, acquire a good photo (something that falls in between the casual and business look), and any other relevant information required by the social platforms you’re going to use.

Listen Before You Speak

As children growing up we were always told to listen and then think about what you wanted to say before speaking. This holds true in the world of Social Media as well. Take time to find other top executives that have a presence in the space you are entering. Follow, Like or whatever the appropriate action is to gain insights as to how these individuals are using this space. Not all users are alike so tread carefully and follow along for awhile to see if their style of interaction is working or not and take notes.

Use search terms within the platforms to setup monitors for keywords about your brand, industry, area of expertise, competitors and other relevant terms that would be of interest to follow. This will more than likely begin to get you closer to where your customers are and allow you to view comments specifically aimed at your business.

Answer Back with Actionable Items

Do an impromptu analysis of negative vs. positive comments and then look for any trends that may appear. First take note of any negative trends, these will give you the best indication of how your company is doing, prioritize them and then set into motion a plan to fix them – share that plan with your followers.

Transparency may seem to be an overly used catch phrase today but it works. Social is all about sharing. By sharing your plan socially you are closing the loop on the conversation started by your followers/customers. This speaks volumes over anything you would do in the way of “pushing out” your message.

Resource(s) To Help You Get Started

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