It doesn't take long to discover that not that many CEOs actively participate in social media. Just last summer, for example, ÃœBERCEO noted that only two of the Fortune 2009 list of the top 100 CEOs had Twitter accounts!
If your B2B is using social media channels like YouTube, Twitter, Flickr or a business blog, here are some reasons your CEO should be regularly involved:
Participation, Active Involvement
CEOs should not be isolated from customers and potential customers. In fact, your company can seem more in touch with its audience if the CEO actively participates.
Of course, CEOs are, by nature, busy people; however, they should be part of your content marketing strategy. If B2B CEOs are regularly:
- writing a CEO blog,
- appearing regularly on YouTube or
- a podcasting
your marcom strategy can bring your CEO closer to your audience.
It's not necessarily about involving them on EVERY channel, but your CEO should be involved somewhere that is clearly marked. For example, one of my clients, Stockholm University, draws attention to the vice chancellor's blog as part of their social media strategy.
If you regularly receive a lot of discussion about your services on Twitter, get your managing director micro-blogging. From a customers point of view, there's one thing to make contact with customer services and another to actually connect with the CEO of a company who takes your issues or comments seriously.
Beyond B2B Crisis Management
It's typical to see the CEO wheeled out onto YouTube or the company blog if a crisis hits. There they are apologizing, assuring customers the matter is being dealt with blah blah blah.
What about regularly involving your B2B CEO in YouTube broadcasts or podcasts though? Simple Q/A sessions can show your audience how up-to-date your senior management are with ongoing issues and, if they have the right kind of media training, inspire confidence and trust in their skills and abilities.
When a crisis does hit, a senior manager who is used to participating in his or her companyâ€™s social media strategy will have more credibility with online stakeholders, as well as more experience in talking with the companyâ€™s online followers.
Openness and Training
Of course, involving your CEO in your company's social media activities can also be risky. If they are completely unfamiliar with blogging or micro-blogging, or seem stiff and uncomfortable on camera or podcast, this could negatively affect your brand.
If that's the case they might need some media training and work on how to maximise their strengths.
How is your B2B company involving top management in your B2B social media marketing strategy?