Internet and the new technologies have revolutionized business, communication processes and how the brand relates to the public. But digital transformation not only affects the organizations in an operational sense, it also affects the leaders, since the digital positioning of the company depends on the positioning of the CEO.
If we take as an example the companies of the Ibex 35 (the benchmark stock market index of the Bolsa de Madrid), you can see how the use of social networks by companies is widespread: 97% have a profile on LinkedIn, 85.7% on YouTube and 82.9% on Twitter. But this trend is not reflected in its top management executives: 62.1% of CEOs have neither Twitter nor LinkedIn, and only 24.2% have a profile on the latter.
The CEO as the Corporate Voice of the Company
Social networks are the perfect platform to promote corporate communication, but is not enough to execute a social media strategy from the official channels of the company. Top management executives are too the voice of the company, and consumers want to know who they are, how they act and what their praxis and business strategy are. The CEO’s online positioning is as imperative as the offline.
There are many functions that the CEO, as a representative of the company, can have in social networks, but most of them respond to a marketing and communications strategy. It is the opportunity to be seen as a company accessible to customers, generate and increase the confidence in the target markets and connect with potential customers of the brand.
There is an undeniable link between the reputation of the company and that of its CEO and its actions and its use of social networks must connect with values, philosophy and corporate culture.
Having a good communication strategy and generating quality content in these platforms boost the leadership and positioning of the manager in other areas (establishing himself as an expert in management, business digitization, among other managerial topics,) and generates greater visibility of the company as the CEO not only attends and gives lectures and conferences as an expert, but also as ambassador of the brand.
Of course risks exist, and the difference between personal and professional lives is one of the red lines that CEOs must face in social networks, as well as managing potential crises of the company. Therefore, their presence in these media must respond to a planned strategy and aimed at the pursuit of specific objectives.
Top managers are the voice and visible face of the company and, although that carries an added responsibility in social networks, by working on their digital positioning, they print their personality and show themselves with transparency, which are two key aspects to build credibility. Behind the scenes posts make the audience see CEOs as real humans (what they really are) and brings a human side to the company (by sharing anecdotes, achievements, new additions, company party…), which becomes much more effective if it is the CEO who tells these stories.