Through the Spyglass


Should Executives Have A Social Media Presence?

If you are an executive and you do not have an active online presence, you are missing out on business development opportunities that are easily within reach. Every business executive should actively use social media, and it’s easier than you might think. Perhaps you believe that you don’t have enough time, or that people aren’t interested in what you have to say. Maybe you feel like you don’t know what to say, or that what you have to say won’t really benefit your business. But these are all myths. Let me debunk each of them.

Image Credit: Sebastien Wiertz Image Credit: Sebastien Wiertz

Myth One: I don’t have enough time.

Perhaps you think you don’t have enough time to manage social media profiles but I’d argue that you do. I have yet to meet an executive who didn’t read articles from noteworthy resources like Harvard Business Review or Forbes, because those articles help inform business decisions. They make you do your job better by giving you case studies of the successes and failures of other companies. Those stories help you put your own daily challenges in context.

Since you’re already reading these articles, why don’t you share them with your network, and include a brief statement as to why others should read them or why they were meaningful to you? Or if you send articles to people in your network directly in order to stay on their radar, why don’t you do the same thing on social networks like LinkedIn? You’d be amazed at how easily this practice can be incorporated into your daily routine.

Myth Two: People aren’t interested in what I have to say.

Perhaps you are not Bill Gates or Meg Whitman and you think that people don’t care what your company does in the grand scheme of things. Maybe you’re not publicly traded so you don’t have investors wondering about your mindset on this product or that merger. But you do have other stakeholders, especially your customers, who, given the chance, would like to know how you think as a decision maker at your company.

Besides your customers, there are people in your industry who are also trying to better themselves by reading articles, and if you can shed some light on something they’ve been scratching their head’s over, you could win some powerful advocates. You have a unique perspective, and your niche network wants to hear it.

Myth Three. I don’t know what to share with my network online.

You are (hopefully) always learning. You’re reading articles, studying the stock market, evaluating purchases, and examining customer service practices. All these experiences influence your day-to-day life and decision-making processes in some way. Share about this. If you learn something, share that online to make other people’s lives easier. If you have a question, present it to the online community to get their take. Develop a sense of connectedness and transparency that will be a positive influence on your customer base as well as your personal network.

Myth Four. What I have to say won’t benefit my business and therefore is a waste of time.

As you develop a sense of transparency and thought leadership related to your industry and your company, you will also develop authority and consumer trust. People will begin to see you as an authority, and they will want to hear more of your opinions and respect your thoughts. They’ll also want to know more about your business’ decisions, services, or products.

As you build an engaging social media presence, you will encourage consumer trust. People will consider you an individual of influence at your company, and will in turn develop more trust toward your company. Over time, all of this will ultimately lead to more customer loyalty and improved sales

So get started building your social media presence. Share those articles you’ve been reading. Post your learned insights and thoughts for the benefit of your community. And watch how your business can grow because of it.