CommCore Blog and News

The Cure for CEO Social Media-itis

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CEOs still don’t like social media. Almost 7 out of 10 still don’t participate despite its importance for a myriad of reasons. Few postings we have seen on the subject are so to-the-point and informative as Joshua Steimle’s Forbes.com, The Anti-Social CEO’s Guide to Social Media. Steimle reduces his argument to three key points:

  • Do It
  • Do It Yourself
  • Do It Now

Steimle says if, as CEO, you have to stop and think about it for too long, you won’t succeed when you eventually try social media. He admonishes, “You and I both know that’s code for ‘I don’t want to admit to myself that I’m scared to do this, afraid I’ll look like an idiot, and so I’m going to use the excuse of being too busy and put it off indefinitely, hopefully forever.'”

Procrastinators should look to social media guru Arik Hanson’s well-known blog posting: 10 Business Cases for CEOs to Use Social Media. The ones that stand out for us:

  • Gives the C-Suite a human face
  • Conveys a sense of transparency
  • Stays in touch with the customer without corporate filters
  • Simple form of brand extension

For the reluctant CEO we add a few suggestions:

  • Discuss your potential excursion into online conversations with your communications team, marketing department and legal counsel to make sure you are in sync on corporate brand goals and any regulatory restrictions on what can be disclosed to the public
  • Find two or three CEOs in your business sector who DO post regularly and follow them for a while
  • If you find yourself wishing you could engage in the conversation then you’re likely ready to initiate your own
  • A good place to start is LinkedIn’s 2013 ranking of the Top 60 CEOs on Social Media

We don’t recommend that CEOs post in name-only. Get involved, at least in the editing. The social media world is good at sniffing out phonies. As CEO you won’t learn much if your original content is limited to your title and name.

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