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The Social Media CEO Manifesto

Written on Sep 25 2012

Being a CEO in the social media era is not as simple as it looks.

First, you are forced to take into consideration another communication channel – the online space. Then you must prepare a sustainable strategy for it that integrates with your existing marketing plan.

From now on, leading you business means being aware of the fact that you cannot ignore the power of social media.

Your customers have embraced this public sphere as their second life – spending more and more time on this new web.

Your employees are already a part of this community and can become ambassadors of your brand through their behavior, their choices, and their group of friends.

Your competition is also taking care of their social media presence – building their online image and community every day.

The debate surrounding the benefits of social media for most user segments has long been resolved. But this is not the case for CEOs. There are strong opinions in the business field on how effective social media can be in terms of ROI – whether it is worth the investment. Aren’t these only excuses to gain more decision time? Isn’t a part of you afraid that you will not be able to integrate this new communication channel in your leadership plan?

Well, as a CEO you know that ‘where great debate is taking place, great opportunities exist for those willing to lead’.

Leadership advisor, Mike Myatt, found at least 3 reasons why you should see social media as a leadership opportunity and not as a threat:

  1. Leadership Benefits: As CEO, you’re supposed to be the visionary of your company and embrace change as an opportunity. This may sound a little bit harsh, but this message needs to be heard. If you stand outside social media, you are outdated. Old fashioned. Grandmotherly (in the bad, stuck-in-your-ways sense of the term – not in the comforting, smells-like-lilac sense). How can you ask your team to be pioneers – engaged, proactive, creative, authentic and communicative – if you yourself are not embracing those things? You cannot be an effective leader if you don’t model the behavior you seek in others. Social media is a challenge that can teach you how to move forward in a new way.
  2. Learning Benefits: When you decide to open your business to social media, you have to be aware of the fact that social media is not just a tool for pushing out your corporate identity. If you attempt to use it only as a means of receiving attention without giving back anything worthwhile, you’ll be ignored online. There’s nothing worse than this for your company! Instead, you have to see social media as an opportunity to access people and their needs, relationships, communities and groups. Put simply, it’s a chance to observe, listen, process, learn and engage. Only after going through all these processes can you consider building your online strategy. A CEO needs to understand that social media also provides a window into the insights of their employees and allows them to monitor the pulse of their culture. Social media gives you access to business, market, and competition in the same place – pretty valuable!
  3. Business Benefits: As a CEO, you always have to pay attention to business and investments. This is why you should stop ignoring social media and hop online immediately. The market has changed since preferences, needs, visibility and awareness are now measured online. And it seems that the social marketplace is gaining more and more attention not because of its direct results, but because of its proposed ‘open source’ business model. Social media does have significant ability to drive indirect profits by increasing personal and corporate brand equity, opening markets, creating relationships, driving innovation, improving CSR campaigns, building partnerships, and through generating communication influence.

Entering social media means giving your customers and employees a positive role in your business, transforming them into active participants in your growth. This can help you evangelize your values, recruit people to your business vision, and help others with their causes. Social media can help build your business in a sustainable way, for your market and your community.

Let us show you how to do it in a simple and social manner, in the SimplySocial way.

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