Social media trends and action items for CEOs based on BRANDfog’s 2014 Global Social CEO Survey.
Why Your Company Leadership Should Have Strong LinkedIn Profiles
In the growing digital world, social media allows companies to be perceived as interactive and relevant to prospects. But there is a demand for a more personalized message from companies—especially C-Suite leadership and management.
Many discussions on ways to make corporate social media more personalized have been focusing on one individual–the CEO. Brands are beginning to realize the importance of having the face of the company represented on social media and actively engaging with clients and prospects.
A recent survey published by BRANDfog states that 83% of U.S. respondents believe that CEO participation in social media can build better connections with customers, employees and investors. These connections create relationships that resonate with consumers—inclining them to be more attentive to your brand. And the best way establish those professional connections is through LinkedIn.
Importance of a strong LinkedIn profile
Founded in 2003, LinkedIn has become a pivotal part of the corporate world—allowing business to network, recruit and generate leads. And with over 225 million members and 27 million brands represented, it is time for CEO’s to join the movement.
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Here’s a few reasons and benefits for CEO’s and C-Suite executives to have a strong LinkedIn profile.
1. Positive public image
By creating a professional profile, CEO’s are able to clearly display their accomplishments, education, company brand and endorsements online. In addition to this, they can post status updates, job openings and new hires to show the success of the the company. An important point to mention is a CEO should either have a very strong profile, or none at all. An incomplete profile, especially one without an image, can hurt a company’s reputation and perception.
2. Consumer engagement
Creating a LinkedIn profile allows better accessibility to potential consumers to connect and interact with you. When the consumer feels they are able to interact with the CEO, it allows for a more personalized experience that creates trust. Nearly 75% of U.S. respondents to the BRANDfog survey believe that a company whose C-Suite executives use social media to communicate brand values is more trustworthy. It allows the CEO to be seen as a peer and creates a more engaging marketing experience – both for the company and consumer.
3. Promote your company
Part of having a strong LinkedIn profile is publicizing your company’s products and services, and showing your personal experience and skills. By having the CEO and other executives display strong, engaging profiles, this gives your company even more value and affirmation.
In addition, LinkedIn’s advertising opportunities provide a paid means of reaching a targeted audience. You are able to better target ads to by utilizing the connections of the CEO. LinkedIn will break down these target points based on the credentials that subscribers list on their profiles: profession, location, seniority and service.
These key points highlight one overarching theme – visibility. Utilizing LinkedIn allows potential clients, consumers, and competition to view and interact with your company and its people. By creating a profile on LinkedIn, your CEO and company are accessible not only though the website, but also accessible through search engines. CEO’s need to lead by example and use social media in productive, innovative ways to further promote and grow their brand.
CEO’s must realize that utilizing LinkedIn attracts positive PR and allows for more ways to communicate with potential clients and companies. These characteristics are something that gives CEO’s – and their company brands – a competitive edge.
Best Practices for C-Suite Blogging
n many ways, a CEO is the father of his (or her) company. And when it comes to social media and corporate blogging, it turns out that father does know best.
According to Media Bistro, “Four out of five employees (81 percent) believe that CEOs who engage on social media are better equipped to lead companies in the modern world, and 82 percent of customers are more likely to trust a company whose CEO and leadership team are active on these channels.”
The same 2012 survey, conducted by BRANDfog, also found that corporate blogging and other social media activities led to better communication, improved brand image, more transparency, and improved company morale. With so many benefits for a relatively small investment of time and effort, why are some C-suite executives still so resistant to social media?
There seem to be a few reasons why CEOs aren’t blogging, but they come down to two basic issues: fear and uncertainty. Hardly a week goes by without a high-profile social media gaffe, and that can make a lot of corporate leaders nervous about newfangled Web 2.0 technology. The fear of making a costly blunder is legitimate, which is why it’s important to coordinate with other departments within your organization before you launch your blog or Twitter account. Because it’s not always clear how a social media presence impacts the bottom line, many CEOs (and especially CFOs) may be reluctant to get on board. However, MDG Advertising put together a handy infographic showing the potential ROI for corporate social media that may change minds in the C-suite.
David Amerland, writing for Forbes, recommends that CEOs embrace their new role as the public face of their company. “Don’t ignore it because you don’t understand it,” he cautions, “and don’t outsource it to people that understand it only slightly more.” Amerland uses Richard Branson as an example of the best use of social media by a corporate leader; the charismatic founder of the Virgin Group brings his boundless energy and adventurous spirit into everything he does—including his Twitter account.
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David Gingell countered Amerland’s advice (and in fact, the two later had a video debate about the topic), stating that he “would rather my CEO was keeping the company’s strategic intent within the C-Suite or at least within the company, and definitely not sharing it or elements of it, with the public. I want my CEO to be focused on leading the company from the front, not writing blog posts in his office.”
Here are some Dos and Don’ts of corporate blogging:
- Do be authentic. The whole point of social media for C-suite executives is to put a relatable public face on a company, and it’s a lot easier to build relationships with readers if the writer is honest and open.
- Don’t share proprietary secrets or any other information that isn’t ready for the public (and the shareholders) to hear.
- Do get personal. We’re not saying to list your Social Security Number, but letting readers get a peek at the person behind the desk is a great way to humanize your company.
- Don’t use the blog as a platform for personal grievances or off-topic ranting. At the end of the day, the blog is still a marketing tool and should be treated as such.
- Do plan your social media activities in advance. A well-planned editorial calendar will save everyone time and effort in the long run.
- Don’t forget to proofread!
CEOs with social media savvy are seen as better leaders, so if your C-suite isn’t already blogging, share this article with them. And if you’re a CEO, take a page from the top 25 social media savvy executives and start connecting with your customers, employees, and other stakeholders today!
4 Social Media Secrets You Can Learn From Elon Musk
USING TWITTER FOR CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT AND BRAND-BUILDING IS A NO-BRAINER, BUT SO MANY MAJOR CEOS ARE STILL NOT USING THE TOOL TO THEIR ADVANTAGE. HERE’S HOW YOU CAN OVERCOME THE ANXIETY AND DIVE INTO THE TWITTERSPHERE.
Tesla Motors’ CEO writes frequent, lively posts about Tesla and its Model S electric sports car, along with observations about his professional and personal interests, from space travel to movies.
Recently, one of his tweets touched on two of his main passions: He posted a link to a YouTube video created by two recent college grads as an ad for Tesla. The video shows a little boy climbing into a Tesla in his garage and imagining he’s piloting a spaceship.
“I love it!” the billionaire raved to his nearly 600,000 Twitter followers.
Musk clearly recognizes the role Twitter can play in building a corporate brand and bolstering an executive’s image. He uses the microblogging service to share news about his ventures in 140-character blasts that promote Tesla in interesting ways, and they also underscore his image as a curious, energetic, agile business maverick.
At a time when storytelling in business is all the rage, Twitter allows CEOs like Musk to play the role of an accessible, engaged, transparent brand narrator. In today’s hyper-connected, information-driven world, Twitter is the modern PR outlet that allows a CEO to build engagement and trust among customers, employees, investors, and journalists.
In fact, our 2014 Global Social CEO Survey of 1,000 U.S. and U.K. employees at companies of all sizes, found that 82% of respondents believed a CEO’s active engagement on social media enhances their reputation as forward-thinking, trend-setting leaders.SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE ANXIETY INDUCING, AND IT CAN ACTUALLY BE LEVERAGED AS A TOOL FOR BETTER LEADERSHIP.
But too many CEOs don’t know how to use social media. Although Twitter has more than 240 million active users and is now eight years old, CEO.com and Domo foundlast year that almost 70% of Fortune 500 CEOs have no presence whatsoever on major social media outlets and, amazingly, only 28 among them are on Twitter.
Some CEOs claim they don’t have the time to spend on social media, which is a valid concern. Others fear being too accessible to critics and ending up on the firing line if there is a crisis. In many CEOs views, the immediacy of Twitter means a lack of control and the possibility of gaffes.
But social media engagement doesn’t have to be anxiety inducing, and it can actually be leveraged as a tool for better leadership.
Here are four secrets that can guide CEOs on the path to successful engagement and brand-building in the Twittersphere:
If you don’t take ownership of your own CEO brand, somebody else will. And what’s the downside of being a social media wallflower? Trolls love a social media vacuum. When executives fail to speak for themselves, social media handle squatters are all too happy to fill the void and shape a brand story by setting up fake accounts and impersonating brand insiders.
Just ask Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, whose name was hijacked and transformed into “Lloyd Bankfein” and who was touted as CEO of “Goldmine Sachs” on Twitter.
And United Airlines is probably not laughing at @FakeUnitedJeff, the fake account of its CEO Jeff Smisek:
Increasingly, companies are seeking leaders who personify the company’s brand 24/7. One business leader who has mastered the art of real-time branding on Twitter is Warby Parker cofounder and co-CEO Neil Blumenthal.
Blumenthal’s Twitter bio notes that the eyewear company executive “loves helping people see.” His 7,000+ Twitter followers are treated to images from Warby Parker’s work overseas as well as more whimsical posts, such as pictures of pies on March 14—“Pi Day”—and pictures of cool new toys Blumenthal enjoys with his son. This is a great way for the founder of a company that makes fashionable eyewear more affordable for more people to show that he—and Warby Parker—are accessible, too.
Similarly, more than 4 million people follow Richard Branson at @RichardBranson. The swashbuckling Virgin CEO’s Twitter bio reminds us he is the “tie-loathing adventurer and thrill seeker who believes in turning ideas into reality.” One moment he tweets about Pakistan’s brave young heroine Malala; the next, he notes that Virgin is constructing a new green building. His tweets suit his image and his conversation style.
Apple’s Tim Cook, IdeaLab’s Bill Gross, and Salesforce.com’s Marc Benioff are other CEOs who share professional and personal interests on Twitter, which seem sincere and are very engaging. While Gross recently posted live stream photos of the Total Lunar Eclipse for his followers, Cook tweeted on Earth Day about Apple’s commitment to the environment. Benioff, meanwhile, celebrated Salesforce’s 15-year anniversary by tweeting a video that showcased his company’s commitment to social good through the Salesforce.com Foundation.
Last spring Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer used Twitter to trumpet the company’s acquisition of Tumblr and to invite her followers to support East Palo Alto Charter School. She also used the social media platform to apologize for making a comment that was viewed as disparaging of professional photographers, which helped quell critics.
Unfortunately, Mayer, who has more than a half-million followers, now only occasionally composes an original Tweet. Mostly, she re-tweets posts from others—so often, in fact, that folks who’ve noticed her inclination to do this have posted tweets saying they will open a Yahoo account or get an exclamation point tattoo if @marissamayer retweets their tweet—which she then does. It’s time for Mayer to take control of her tweets and use the social media outlet to make her seem like a more comfortable, accessible leader.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella seems to understand the importance of being socially present and engaged in his new role. In his first post since 2010, he tweeted:
Recently Nadella enthusiastically took to Twitter to boast that Office software made for iPads shot to the top of the charts at Apple’s App Store. “Looks like it’s a pretty productive Friday for #iPad owners!” Nadella tweeted, along with a picture showing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint as the three most popular free applications at the App Store. This is a nice way for Nadella to show that he’s more socially savvy than Steve Ballmer who, at last check, wasn’t active on Twitter (although there are more than a half-dozen fake Ballmer handles).
CEOs would be well-served to remember that many of the world’s greatest leaders were highly skilled communicators—from Winston Churchill to John F. Kennedy to Steve Jobs.
When CEOs express opinions on issues they care about, it makes them more accessible as human beings. Having the courage to reveal personal values and take political positions builds trust, and strengthens the leadership of the individual as well as the brand.
Social media outlets like Twitter make it easy for CEOs to transform how they relate to customers, analysts, partners and employees, and will help redefine the culture of leadership for a modern world.
A Benign Virus: Your Company’s Content Shared Across Social Media
Many companies dream of the day when their marketing content goes viral on social media— resulting in thousands of shares, Facebook “likes,” retweets, comments and even TV news coverage. This brings a certain amount of glory and can result in much more exposure for the brand.
Marketers should create any content for a company with the intent of somehow sharing it via social media, though social media posts are currently weighed as part of Google’s search algorithm, according to Google engineer Matt Cutts. But amid the cacophony of the internet, how can one company’s content rise above the rest?
Here are some pointers:
1. Show social currency. Creating content that will go viral can be practically a science, according to Jonah Berger, professor of marketing at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. In his 2013 book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On, he outlined six qualities that predispose a piece of content to go viral on social media, the first and foremost being “social currency.”
Internet users put a lot of stock in how they appear online, so any piece of content they share should elevate their status or show their social currency. The content could be funny, which would show that the user has a great sense of humor. It could contain an important piece of political news, showing that the person posting the tidbit knows a lot about current events.
2. Evoke strong emotions. Berger also collaborated on a 2011 piece in the Journal of Marketing Research, “What Makes Online Content Viral?,” after studying articles published byThe New York Times for three months to see what kind of emotions played into a piece of content going viral. Berger and his co-author, Katherine Milkman, found that content displaying positive emotions had the potential to go viral more than that showing negative emotions. Some pieces displaying negative emotions also went viral, if they were “high-arousal” emotions, like anger or anxiety. Sadness, on the other hand, a “low-arousal” negative emotion had less viral potential.
3. Provide a way for users to engage. Recently quizzes are cropping up on Facebook news feeds, often shared from BuzzFeed. Quizzes posing questions like “What Kind of [Fill in the Blank] Are You?” are highly shareable: They often connote social currency.
Engaging users with this type of content plays directly into people’s inherent egocentricity. Quizzes may ask users to submit their own content (at the end) and can help people feel more connected and thus more likely to share the poster’s content.
4. Know your audience. There is no such thing as targeting “everyone,” especially it comes creating contact that others will want to share via social media, according to a 2011 study by The New York Times Co., “The Psychology of Sharing.” Different demographic groups behave differently, the study indicated, breaking social media consumers into six different types of personas (altruists, careerists, hipsters, boomerangs, connectors and selectives), who all were prompted to share for different reasons and via different platforms.
Beyond this, figure out whether your company’s target audience is male, female and the general age group.
Related: The 7 Secrets to Shareable Content
5. Be timely and act fast. Instead posting generic articles, be more news-focused. Look around at recent news, try to dig up something that would be relevant to one’s business. Is the birthday of a celebrity or leader in a business related to your company’s focus? Is there a big sporting event coming up that you mention that dovetails with company news?
Don’t wait until the last minute. Other bloggers might have the same idea and post it faster.
6. Keep posts short and simple. Even though Google has recently touted its “in-depth articles” feature (scholarly articles with deep insights), shareable content does isn’t long form. Most articles that go viral are fairly short; viral video content is often 30 seconds or less.
Internet readers love content that’s quickly digestible and easy to read. Infographics works work well, since images can make reading the content more fun. Breaking up text content with large, appealing images results in content that’s more likely to be shared.
7. Optimize posts for mobile. Nielsen’s “U.S. Digital Consumer Report” released in February showed that people are spending more time on mobile devices than PCs to access the internet. When comes to accessing the web more than 34 hours a month are spent by the average consumer on smartphones as opposed to 27 hours on a computer. Over the past year, use of personal computers for web access dropped almost two hours, while smartphone usage for internet access climbed almost 10 hours.
Any content created, whether it’s an infographic, article or video, must pass the mobile test. Otherwise, users might just skip it.
8. Maintain a social presence. With the plethora of social media platforms available, it can be exhausting to post on all of them. But this can boost a company brand’s credibility and, with more followers or likes, the firm will gain exposure and consumer trust. And a user that trusts a brand is more likely to share its content. BRANDfog’s “2014 Global/Social CEO Survey" noted that 71 percent of its U.S. respondents said that a company whose senior-level executives use social media are more trustworthy.
Why your Chief executive too should be on social media
By: Abhijit Bhaduri
A minute on the internet means 240 million emails ; 4 million Google searches ; 48,000 app downloads , 277,000 tweets. The net has gone social in a big way . BRANDfog’s ‘2013 CEO, Social Media Leadership Survey’ raised the big question, why are CEOs/CMOs not present on social media channels ? You would have guessed it right.
Almost 24% of the C-Suite are risk-averse . They fear potential negative criticism or feedback and , hence , avoid it avoid it altogether. This is also because many of them do not know how to use it. It is hard to be passionate about driving if you do not know how to drive. According to Hubspot , 82% of consumers are more likely to trust a company whose CEO and leadership team engage on social media. Yet only 1 in 5 CEOs have a social media account. Why should the C-Suite be on social media ?
The Concept of Leadership has Changed
Leaders no longer have to be remote figures seen only on television channels or in the pages of business publications . They are real people who people can reach out to. They are like anyone else but they lead cooler lives. They are thinking of new ideas.
They also make mistakes. That is a relief , because that is what makes them real . The key skill of a leader is the ability to have conversations in real time . People enjoy seeing leaders who can engage a variety of stakeholders and have the ability to be challenged . That shows people that they are secure enough not to hide behind scripted responses . Leadership is all about real people having real conversations in real time .
Communication has Changed
Leaders used to communicate through press releases that had been crafted by their PR agencies . The leaders just had to lip-sync when they were on camera . Even those films were carefully edited to remove any creases and fumbles . An overtly edited and scripted film does not generate awe . It is viewed with mistrust . A little fumble , a little flaw also reassures people that the communication is authentic and unscripted .
Such direct communication can raise the profile of the corporate brand and communicate the company’s mission and values . It gives a chance to drive deeper engagement with customers as well as employees . Communication today is shorter but more frequent . In a global world , communication will also become more visual . It is quite like learning a new language . One has to practice it for a while before we get it right .
The Media Has Changed
Everyone who has a smartphone is a media house. Employees are talking about the brand , the workplace , company policies and everything that was thought to be discussed in hushed tones by a few. Salaries are routinely made known on social media . The line between what is private and what is public has blurred . So, instead of staying away it is important to get the right information and data into the open . The leaders may choose not to engage in he conversation but that is not going to stop the conversation .
Social media is not a megaphone . Often a crisis or a PR disaster will force the CEO to “issue a statement” to correct perceptions . At such times , being seen as trustworthy is vital . The concept of leadership has changed . The employees , customers , analysts and all other stakeholders are on social media . It is time to bring the C-Suite to the party as well.
CEOs Who Tweet Are Better Leaders, Workers Say
If your company’s CEO isn’t spending time on social media, he or she should be.
Employees view company executives who regularly use social media as better leaders, more trustworthy and better brand ambassadors, according to a new study from the social media and digital leadership firm BRANDfog.
The research discovered that 75 percent of U.S. employees believe C-Suite participation in social media leads to better leadership, up from just 45 percent a year ago. Additionally, about three-quarters of those surveyed think that executives who use social media to communicate the company mission and core values are more trustworthy.
"In today’s hyper-connected, information-driven world, CEOs and senior executives are expected to have an active social presence," said Ann Charles, BRANDfog founder and CEO. "The survey results were definitive - social media is an extremely undervalued channel for managing brand reputation, building brand trust and better leadership."
The study also revealed that more than 80 percent of employees believe that executive use of social media raises brand awareness and that social media is a valuable public relations channel for managing brand reputation.
In addition, those surveyed think that CEOs who participate in social media can build better connections with customers, employees and investors. Eighty percent of employees said actively engaging on social media helps to enhance the image and reputation of C-Suite executives as forward-thinking, trend-setting leaders.
Charles said what’s often missed in discussions about social CEOs is the inherent risk leaders take by ignoring it. She said brand conversations take place on Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Medium, YouTube, Instagram and elsewhere even when management is not looking.
"Their social presence humanizes the brand, allowing CEOs to be seen as real, accessible individuals," she said. "Today’s leaders have the ability to use social media to join industry conversations, directly influence public perception and shape the reputation of their brands."
The study was based on surveys of 500 U.S. employees.
Originally published on Business News Daily.
If Winston Churchill Tweeted
Take a lesson from one of the most quotable leaders in history—it is possible to communicate and inspire in 140 characters or less.
Winston Churchill would fit in perfectly with today’s social media culture. His style was to communicate constantly, interpreting events as they unfolded, and explaining what he intended to do in real time. Churchill’s astute observations and keen wit helped to build his towering reputation as a great leader. Although public speaking was the primary medium of the day, Churchill was a prolific writer who came up with some of the best, less-than 140 character quotes in history. Consider this example at a mere 90 characters:
“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
A true leader has the ability to communicate a vision and set a new course of action during times of crisis. Today CEOs and senior executives have to work harder than ever to communicate their vision, because the entire structure of communications is irrevocably changed. Twitter takes the pulse of our culture, Facebook documents the minutia of our lives, and LinkedIn tracks our every career move.
We now expect heads of companies to talk to us directly online, to engage in brand discussions, and to respond to questions in real time. But many CEOs are notoriously reluctant to engage in social media. The confidence to share ideas and enter into public discussions does not come easily. The idea of opening up to customers, constituents, and colleagues can be unnerving for business leaders who are used to having complete control over messages.
Executives willing to engage in social media understand that interacting directly with constituents is empowering. Churchill’s gift was to use language to persuade and sway public opinion toward his way of thinking. Business leaders today have the potential to use words and ideas to build follower communities of loyal brand enthusiasts.
Twitter streams create a personal narrative, allowing executives to be seen as real people. This skill can be learned and integrated into a company’s communications strategy. Through social channels CEOs have the ability to directly influence public perception about themselves and their brands. As Churchill succinctly put it (in 73 characters):
“There is no such thing as public opinion. There is only published opinion.”
Today, we are all engaged in writing our own history, one tweet at a time. That history includes defining who we are as people, as corporate citizens, and as leaders. In a relationship economy, people are looking for a reason to work with you, to buy your products and to trust you. With social media, CEOs can shine a light on all the good they are doing for their company, community, employees, and customers. Developing a culture where executives are forthcoming and transparent and willing to communicate will change the leadership dynamic forever.
If Winston Churchill were on Twitter, this quote would have certainly gone viral:
“History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.”
Cómo su identidad digital puede beneficiar a su negocio
Los empresarios y líderes de las empresas colombianas tienen ante sí el reto de implementar su presencia en la red e interactuar en la misma con sus principales públicos con el fin de mejorar la reputación de su compañía o marca.
En un mundo cada vez más interconectado y competitivo, a la gente le gusta saber que detrás de una empresa hay personas con una visión. En mercados con productos y servicios cada vez más ‘comoditizados’, quienes dirigen una empresa pueden aportar un importante valor a la misma humanizando sus activos intangibles para diferenciarla de la competencia.
Y no solo a ojos de sus clientes, sino de todos sus ‘stakeholders’ o grupos de interés: empleados, activistas, reguladores, etcétera. Según un estudio de Brandfog, el 94% de las personas considera que los CEO ‘sociales’, activos en la red, mejoran la marca.
Pero en el reciente estudio ‘Mapa de Poder en la Red’ de Llorente & Cuena no encontramos a ningún empresario entre las 50 personas más influyentes del país en internet. Nos podríamos preguntar, ¿acaso no son influyentes en la vida ‘offline’? Seguro que entre las personas más influyentes del país hay un buen número de empresarios y CEO. Entonces, ¿por qué se mantienen al margen y qué oportunidades de aportar valor a su negocio están dejando de lado?
Tan solo el 9% de los más de 500 CEO y empresarios colombianos mapeados cuenta con un perfil en Twitter o un blog en Internet. Cifra inferior a la media mundial, pues según un estudio de IBM el 16% de los CEO tiene presencia en redes sociales de manera corporativa y gestiona activamente su identidad digital. El mismo informe predice que dentro de cinco años esta cifra aumentará al 57%.
Entre los que sí cuentan con activos de identidad digital, su participación en la conversación es muy baja o nula. Lo cual no deja de ser una opción estratégica: no quieren exponerse a la conversación y ejercer su influencia pero necesitan tener activos online para no ser suplantados.
Este es el caso del mexicano Carlos Slim quien tiene presencia en Twitter y página web oficial para proteger su reputación frente a posibles suplantadores, pero no participa en la conversación. Nuestra conclusión: el 91% de los CEO colombianos están desprotegidos en Twitter y en la web.
Pero para aportar valor a su negocio, protegerse no es suficiente ya que han de difundir sus posiciones, ideas, preocupaciones, dificultades y logros, es decir, su visión. Y así influir con su inteligencia, vocación de servicio, capacidad de trabajo y creatividad en los estados de opinión sobre sus productos, empresa o industria.
Ante este panorama alguien puede estar pensando: ¿identidad digital? ¿cómo empiezo? Pocos CEO son expertos en redes sociales o tienen tiempo para dedicarse a ello personalmente. La mayoría se sienten más cómodos con la ayuda de profesionales que les guían y ejecutan la actividad diaria de difundir su visión empresarial.
Habitualmente la actividad es planificada de acuerdo al plan estratégico de la empresa y cuidadosamente ejecutada a través de mensajes que transmiten tanto las expresiones corporativas como las más mundanas y personales. La efectividad de la comunicación en los medios tradicionales no se improvisa, sino que se planifica y prepara, y en las redes sociales y el mundo ‘online’ pasa exactamente lo mismo.
Director de Comunicación Online Región Andina Llorente & Cuenca
Brands need to find their mojo on social media
They can do well targeting niche communities as much as generic platforms
In a young vibrant country like the UAE it is clear that today hundreds of thousands of people are members of the “Facebook and Twitter” generation. They are social media savvy, use it on the hour, every hour and are using their smartphones or tablets as their platform of choice.
And what that means is social media is now essential for brands, large or small, to communicate in real time with their customers. The UAE has one of the highest smartphone penetration rates in the world, which in turn provides brands with an exciting opportunity to create audiences who have opinions, spark and engage in conversation and influence others within their own network — something that is being referred to as ‘now’ media or bottom-up conversation.
Historically too many companies look at a social media checklist and as long as they can tick off a Facebook page, Twitter feed, LinkedIn profile and maybe Instagram, they think they have it covered.
But the way brands are now utilising their on-line presence to engage is changing, and today we are seeing consumers becoming more dependent on certain influencers present within their communities. It means companies have to be more nimble with their engagement strategies.
According to Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report, influencers are becoming more successful in shaping opinions and purchasing decisions of consumers than social networks alone. In fact, according to Search Engine Journal, 72 per cent of consumers surveyed said that they trusted online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
According to CrowdTap, 66.4 per cent of shoppers update their Facebook status to tell friends about the best offers and finds on the market. Brands now have a bigger opportunity than ever before to communicate with audiences about their products and services by engaging with influencers who already have a loyal following and are respected by their online community.
Forbes reported that a recent survey of US consumers indicated that 81 per cent of the people surveyed were directly influenced by their friends’ social media posts regarding purchasing decisions. When I talk about online social communities I am referring to large and small communities, the places where consumers live and interact with each other.
I am not only talking about the most obvious suspect Facebook. In my opinion the riches are in the niches.
At the moment we are seeing a huge restructuring of the word community and growth in destinations such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Pintrest, Quora and of course Twitter. But, small and niche community platforms are the latest social trend with 54 per cent of consumers profiled admitting that smaller communities had a greater influence on a particular topic than a larger one.
Platforms such as MightyBell.com, created by former Ning founder Gina Bianchini, are putting the power of community and content organisation in the hands of the consumer.
It is not only the ‘New Famous’ influencers that have the ability to change the perceptions of their communities, but also internal influencers. It was reported by (2012 CEO SocialMedia Survey, BrandFog) that 82 per cent of buyers said they trust a company more when the CEO and senior leadership teams are active in this space.
In many cases your best voices are actually inside of the company. It becomes your opportunity to create an environment where they too can become brand evangelists in social media.
In the UAE there is a huge potential for savvy brands to understand this new phenomenon and to use their share of voice to serve their customers better and in some cases leverage HR to find passionate new employees.
— The writer is chief digital evangelist at Studigood and one of the speakers at the BPG bConnected Forum in Dubai.