The ‘Age of the Social CEO’ has officially dawned. But it doesn’t stop there — all C-level operators and management inner circle can use savvy social media to breathe new, exciting life into an established brand. And the time to start is now, because those that don’t adapt will perish. Here’s the whys and hows of equipping the top 10% of your leadership with some serious social media chops.

Making the case for a social media presence: Why social leaders might be better at what they do

There are literally two groups: Those leadership professionals that engage social media and those that don’t. As the impact of social media has continued to become increasingly documented, more attention is being paid to the differences between these two practices and the effects each style has on the leaders that it produces. As you might expect, the differences are notable.

An enlightening study presented by Development Dimensions International, Inc. (DDI) — an international leadership consortium — outlined why C-level execs who are already active within the social media environment might be uniquely suited to the leadership roles they hold. In High Resolution Leadership, the following finding makes a strong case for social media activity among a wide variety of corporate leaders — meaning CEOs and beyond.

  • 89% stronger at empowering others to succeed
  • 52% better at meaningful communication
  • 46% more influential in and outside of the office
  • 36% stronger at cultivating networks
  • 19% more results-driven
  • 16% stronger at decision-making

K&A Tip: The development of social media awareness within the sphere has its own set of unique and measurable benefits. Brand leaders that practice social media interaction on a regular basis are better prepared to extend that knowledge into the office space. This consistent interaction with others gives them an advantage over their non-social counterparts.

Be the change you wish to see: How to start with yourself and model for your brand

So, you’ve decided you want to be the C-Suite leader that masters the social space — and then model that success for the rest of your colleagues on the team to notice and act on. Smart move. Especially if you have dreams of moving up the corporate ladder, a determination to be the most useful personality in the boardroom, or you just want to make a difference in the growth of your brand.

The key to making waves in social media is patience, determination, and persistence — just like it is with any worthwhile endeavor. You should go into it knowing that success won’t happen over night, but rather slow-and-steady wins the race.

  • Create a sharp, concise profile for each social media channel that showcases your accomplishments
  • Find influencers and news sources within your industry and create notifications for new content
  • Begin publishing your own fresh, meaningful content via posts, updates, etc.
  • Follow and engage in social conversations, providing insight whenever you can

K&A Tip: Ignore the natural urge to sell to your followers. Pushing your brand is just what you do — and we get that. But the most successful social media influencers provide insight and information that their readers can use to make themselves more successful in their own spheres. That’s what creates followers and an audience thirsty for your knowledge.

From the how and the why and on to the where: Selecting the right social space for your brand

So of the 10 or so predominant social media channels available, remember that you don’t have to be a Tour de Force in every single one. That’s nearly an impossible task, anyway. Smart influencers — just like smart brands — work to find the specific channels that work for their communications style followed by an acceptable mix of time spent on each channel. That’s what’s so great about social media — the potential for mixing and matching audience to suit your style and brand are virtually endless.

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn should makeup the core of your initial efforts, simply because the audience on those channels happen to be so large and active. Once you have yourself grounded in those environs, you can add additional channels as you see fit — think Pinterest or Instagram.

  • Create feeds on each channel that monitor daily mentions of you or your brand
  • Dedicate a room in your office to social media strategy — a ‘war room’, if you will
  • Meet regularly to review strategy and results in an open-ended session

K&A Tip: Put several team members on several leadership levels in joint responsibility of your brand’s social media success — the multiple perspectives and check-behind ownership will prove invaluable in creating a system that is built for the long game.

Are likes enough? A quick word on the status of going ‘Facebook Live’ for your audience

The rise of Facebook Live — the social video platform that is gaining popularity in the business world with those looking for a YouTube alternative — is raising as many questions as it answers for social media marketers looking to engage and grow its audience. Home products and building materials businesses in particular are beginning to imagine and exercise the benefits with product reviews and launches, instructional process applications, and other B2B activities that can increase buying frequency and purchase value.

For example, Makita Tools recently went live on Facebook for their ceremonial ribbon-cutting and open house for a new distribution center — and new product showcase — located in the city of Wilmer, just outside of Dallas. The strategy garnered over 50 likes and a string of comments that could hint at future interaction with the Makita audience. The move even garnered a mention on the HBS Dealer website — the ultimate example of earned media from the PESO model.

However, at a recent gathering of 100 top publishers in New Orleans at the Digiday Video Anywhere Summit, the question was raised: Is going Facebook Live really a monetizable strategy that offers any real benefits to the publishing brand? Or, is Team Facebook the real winners, offering only ‘likes’ in exchange for adding fresh, unique content to the mammoth social network. Here are some quick takeaways of the discussion:

  • Facebook ‘likes’ do ultimately matter in the assembling of a captive audience
  • Facebook Live is an ideal compliment to paid ads in that it recycles your brand for stickiness
  • Telling your story is what builds confidence in your brand and makes for loyal followers

Team Kleber creates dominant social media strategy and trains leaders to lead in the social space. If you’re ready for an all-in-one social media brand transformation that moves top-down and is created for longevity, then you’re ready for Kleber & Associates — contact us today for a personal presentation of how we can turn your team into a band of influencers.

About Kleber & Associates
Kleber & Associates (K&A) is an Atlanta-based marketing and communications firm that focuses exclusively on building materials manufacturers and building products. Our integrated marketing spirit specializes in brand development for clients in the home and commercial building products marketplace. For more information on our capabilities, please call +1-770-518-1000.