From the first time someone Tweeted and logged into LinkedIn, our personal and professional personas have started to blur. The line between personal and professional seems to overlap even more the higher up the person is in the company ending up at the CEO. News outlets now look more at how a CEO Tweets than what is reported in a quarterly earnings report.
There are many problems with this, which is the subject of a different novel… The purpose of this guide is to help organizations take advantage of this truth. This pragmatic approach has its perks; Individual executives have a significant advantage over company accounts across many platforms from both a storytelling and algorithmic standpoint. On LinkedIn, for example, posts from a company account are throttled and aren’t shown as much as posts that come from an individual account.
Before reading further, be clear, none of this will really work if your executive employees refuse to be public and let others support in the sheer volume of work necessary for creating active profiles. While every case is unique, we feel confident with the following priority of platforms as they relate to using executive profiles:
- LinkedIn Personal Profile
- Twitter CEO profile
- Case by Case depending on the CEO, existing brand, audience, and goals
- Instagram CEO profile
- Facebook (depending on brand of account)
- Podcasting (great use of a CEO but not really the point of this guide)
First, shameless plug for Whole Whale tools that will help a team working to increase a social presence:
- Linkedin tips article
- Whole Whale’s Social Media Course
- NonprofitNewsFeed.com is a weekly nonprofit news feed that can give your team ideas for content for a CEO to react to.
- Whole Whale Content Calendar to organize out a year in themes
- Read this before starting a nonprofit podcast
Social Media Tools
- DIY Multimedia tools to create social content
- Canva for nonprofits – pictures dominate social comms and a good canva template can go a long way.
- LinkedIn Analytics with Shield AI tool for a personal profile. This can be used to track the engagement rates of posts on a personal profile.
- Sprout Social or Hootesuite tools to schedule out posts to personal profiles. This will also allow some privacy for the CEO if they don’t want to share their full profile access.
- Feedly.com is a tool that helps search and organize news across many different outlets. This can be used to quickly aggregate relevant news in the sector and show a summary to the CEO for quick reactions.
- Rev.com or Otter.ai are tools that can quickly translate audio notes to text with AI services. This can be useful if a CEO just wants to make some audio notes every morning reacting or giving quick thoughts around a theme. These notes can then be edited and framed for relevant platform social posts. Remember, any ZOOM call can be recorded for audio in two channels, that file can then be sent to this service and translated in minutes.
- Google Sheets or AirTable can be used to map out content.
- LinkedIn Insight Tag – Marketing Solutions will help understand who is coming from LinkedIn to your website.
Thoughts on Process for CEO Social Account Management
Establishing a process will assist in establishing clear lines of communication and clear boundaries.
- Start with drafts that the CEO approves and then move to more trust where social teams post on their behalf
- Consider a beginning-of-week meeting to establish the CEO’s takes on topics and ideas
- Consider an end-of-week summary of any responses and data from top posts. This should be automated for the numbers and be simplified for key responses.
What does success through your social media strategy look like? Setting even a few small goals at the beginning of this work will help establish the framework to evaluate your ROI with more efficacy and objectivity down the line.
- Start with a high level of reach and reputation – what does success look like?
- Map out what numbers/KPIs you’re trying to increase on and off-platform. This could include engagement, traffic, registrations or signups.
- Create expectations for posting frequency
- Set a timeline for the experiment and when you’ll reevaluate the work investment
Thoughts on Brand Voice
- Work with your CEO on establishing the elements of their brand, their narrative arc, their point of view. Some articles to help:
- Come up with a visual standard that fits your organization. Communicate consistency with your branding.
Thoughts on Themes/Ideas
It will be important to establish buckets of content that categorize the types of posts you’ll be making. Here are some ideas:
- Highlight a company announcement but with a personal reason why it is exciting to the CEO
- Comment on a news story
- Tell a personal story that ties to a larger organizational narrative
- Celebrate the success of a staff member while also noting the win the company had
- Celebrate any partners
- Debate a macro topic while asking a question of what others think. This post format would also work well with a LinkedIn poll, which can increase your organic impressions by over 100%.
- Post about something that inspires or motivates the CEO
- Look at Google.com/trends for themes for your CEO to react to
- Publicly message an organization/influencer/leader/celebrity
This is just a small starting point to get people thinking about how an executive’s social account can be leveraged while maximizing their limited time. It should be noted that one danger of investing in this work is that when a CEO eventually leaves so too does their profile. This is the nature of personal social media profiles and it is important to note this upfront. It is also a great reminder that the goal of this work should be to drive KPIs of the organization rather than just the personal reputation of the CEO.