Article featured in Personal Branding Magazine Issue 16

Social media has opened the door for CEOs to lead their company in new ways and successfully gain a competitive industry edge. As a result, it’s integral that CEOs develop a full understanding of the space and put theory into practice to engage employees, improve client relations and enhance their business development efforts.

Engage and Listen to Employees. Engage with employees in new ways by having an open-door policy that allows employees to interact and share their ideas with you, both in the office and online via Twitter, LinkedIn and/or intranet services.

Never Stop Networking. Even CEOs need to continually update their online social networks. Numerous opportunities exist for CEOs to connect with prospective and existing clients, business partners, industry leaders, employees, colleagues and friends on LinkedIn and related social networks.

Facilitate Idea Sharing. CEOs can gain an edge by publishing their thoughts and insights on a regular basis in a manner that’s shareable with internal and external stakeholders. Foster an environment where employees also feel they can share ideas. The best ideas that can benefit clients and business partners can come from anywhere.

Realize the Benefits of Real-Time Communication. Social media tools provide an excellent means to share insightful articles with employees, colleagues and potential business partners.

Establish Internal Biz Dev Teams That Utilize Social Media. Set monthly meetings with internal business development teams to discuss recent developments in social media and how they can benefit your business efforts. Leverage team personnel to create video interviews and publish unique content that pertains to recent news and industry developments in an effort to demonstrate thought leadership.

Host an Industry Social Media Summit. CEOs should leverage their expansive networks to host a social media summit where they can bring their connections together and share industry best practices. CEOs can showcase their social media skill sets by driving awareness for the event with unique social media campaigns and by producing valuable online content that can be shared with attendees via social media post-event.

Listen. Use social networks as focus groups to hear what consumers are saying about your brand in real time. Monitor Competitive Activity. Gain a better understanding for how competitors are using social media to drive their business by monitoring hash tags and select keywords in real time.

Foster Engagement Marketing. Utilize social media as a complement to existing traditional marketing channels (direct mail, e-mail, etc.) in an effort to foster two-way conversations with consumers

Maintain Relevancy. Continually update social media channels and publish content on a regular basis to create a strong following of brand enthusiasts and drive repeat traffic to your website or place of business.

How will you represent your brand as a thought leader in the industry so that you can give your consumers what they want? Listen to your consumers and then you’ll know exactly what you need to be saying to them.