There a rare breed (for now) connected leaders that is. We can now evidence that many leaders, especially CEO's and CMO's have a 'passive' not 'active' social footprint.
The majority are on platforms like LinkedIn because of FOMO, but should they be using it as an expression of leadership and to build out a like minded community With 3.8bn people on one social network or other around the world it's difficult to see how they are going to cut it in today's socially savvy consumer world unless they start to 'up' the social footprint.
A study by the Edelman Trust Barometer found that 67% of consumers trust “company technical experts,” while only 43% trust CEOs. Employee generated content is often more authentic than company-produced content. Therefore, consumers are more likely to trust what individuals have to say over any corporate communication.
Matching content with a face helps brands gain consumer trust.
As advertisers bombard consumers across platforms like Twitch, Facebook, television, billboards and more, consumers are trying to get away, signing up for ad blockers and subscription services.
Change is driven by leadership mindset, businesses that cling to a legacy thinking mindset 'we can't change because of' type of excuses, or our 'legacy systems can't just be thrown away', or 'our leaders don't do what they ask us to do' are the most common 'blockers' of any change.
When we look to benchmark strong 'social leaders' they all seem to adopt five key behaviours.
1) Authentic – They are “real”; in other words, genuine, believable human beings that you warm to. It’s one of the reasons why leaders are increasingly outperforming brand social media channels.
2) Conversational – They get involved in the conversation, by replying to comments and questions. “Likes” aren’t enough. And, it’s not just a broadcast all about them. Connected leaders listen.
3) Have a purpose that inspires – Connected leaders’ content isn’t just there for the sake of it, rehashing posts from the PR team. It has a purpose that relates to their core beliefsand mission.
4) Share insights – Leaders haven’t got there by accident – it’s because of a lot of hard work, commercial acumen and talent. People want to know how they got there. So their insights and opinions are invaluable.
5) Present – This is both about having a regular cadence of posts and activity (no drive-by Likes) and thinking holistically about their digital footprint and public profile. For top leaders it’s not enough just to be on LinkedIn. They need to think bigger and more broadly.
So, how does your leadership team stack up?
Let’s face it, BP is a target for environmental campaigners – Greenpeace, in particular. So, some might say he’s brave or naïve for using social media so overtly. I disagree. I don’t think you can truly get people on board with your ideas unless you put yourself out there. A CEO is the ultimate guardian of the brand and should adopt the behaviours that support this.