Can Serving Leaders Expand Their Influence Through Social Media?

Can social media help you share and connect?

Can social media help you share and connect?

How can serving leaders be more effective growing their communications strategy? As serving leaders we need to leverage our time and activity to be more successful in our lives. It’s the fourth quarter of the year and my partners and clients want to know if it’s time for them to become more active in social media. What would you tell them? Five percent of the CEOs I’ve work with are involved in social media today.

When I look at new clients and entrepreneurs from the past several years, the number jumps to over 30%. Less than 5% of CEOs are really active within their networks. That astonishing fact is from a report I recently reviewed by and Domo called 2014 Social CEO Report . You can download your free copy at their website. If you advise leaders on their communication strategies you should read their report today!

Over the next several blogs, I’ll share what I see happening in social media and how it might impact your communications strategy for the coming years. Next week, we share a resource that can help you create stronger messaging and help you understand how to connect and engage your community.

The most startling fact I saw in this CEO report card is 68% of CEOs have no social presence on any social network. These major networks include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, or Instagram. Of the CEOs on social networks, two thirds of them are on only one social network.  My CMO clients could have told me that, but I thought I should get additional facts to support their intuition on the situation. I don’t believe the facts tell the whole story here.  The report helps you better understand why your social marketing may be missing the mark.

What does this mean for you? I believe that social media continues to emerge and grow in impact on leaders in many industries. As the next generation of leaders begins to take charge, we will see an increased use in social communication technology that aligns with your organization’s strategy and growth goals. Since 20% of our readers manage nonprofit and government organizations, it means that many of your board members and largest contributors do not use social media. A key question for my favorite nonprofits is where are you investing your time and money when trying to increase awareness and strategic funding for your cause? This is especially critical in building an endowment for your organization.

One of the biggest trends in the leadership ranks is the continuing rise of CEOs and Managing Directors as celebrities. This is not new, but social media has taken the ability to connect with key stakeholders to a whole new level. Many of the worlds most successful CEOs and Managing Directors have found it to be a very powerful tool to help them build more thriving communities around their brands and customer experiences.

So why do I advocate to my clients and their leadership it’s time to get in? If you’re a CEO or Managing Director for an emerging brand or looking to create new markets for your products and services, social media is the fastest way to get to market.  To do this, you must be willing to think more creatively about all aspects of your communications strategy, including listening and adapting your strategies on the move.

If you are trying to connect only with senior level corporate economic buyers, social media can help, but you should also consider more traditional ways of building market share. Unless, of course, you have a cool product or service, then all bets are off.  In my experience, breakthrough products and services rollout so quickly you have other challenges, including delivering an extraordinary experience and service to your early customers and clients.

If you’re a Managing Director for a nonprofit, your challenge is to create an extraordinary connection with people who share your passion and purpose. When you think of the ALS ice bucket challenge, why did it capture the imagination of so many to this cause? Can they leverage their success to build a sustainable funding strategy that, ultimately, helps them discover a cure? It is important to see around corners when building a successful campaign.

Next week, we talk about several key ideas you should consider if you want to get more involved in social media. Once you get the mindset, it’s much easier to develop and implement the strategy. See you next Tuesday.

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