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Two solid reasons CEOs should ramp up social media use

June 29, 2018

Article by Lisa Smith, owner of InVerve Marketing & Web

Social media use for C-suite dwellers can be tough, kind of a “can’t live with it, can’t live without it,” conundrum. According to a 2016 report from Domo and, which looked at social media profiles of every CEO on the Fortune 500® list on the six top social media networks, “60 percent had no social media presence at all.” While some CEOs may feel that statistic vindicates their own lack of social media use, here are two great reasons to make social media work for you — albeit with care and consideration.

1) Become a thought leader.
You have worked long and hard to get where you are, learn all that you know and become one of the best at what you do; it’s time to capitalize on that. Social media is like a speaker’s circuit on steroids when it comes to reaching people who want to learn from you. Unlike being a traditional speaker “guru” at a convention or meeting however, social media provides a exponentially larger audience. In the 2018 Global Digital suite of reports from We Are Social and Hootsuite, in 2018 the world passed the hallway point of internet usage with more than 4 billion people online.

Additionally, the report states, “Almost 1 million people started using social media for the first time every day over the past year – that’s equivalent to more than 11 new users every second.” That’s a pretty decent size potential audience.

Of all the social media platforms now available (and new ones appear all the time), the one most preferred by professionals is LinkedIn because those on it are, for the most part, interested in peer-to-peer relationships and digital interaction. Some tips to consider for building your LinkedIn thought leader profile include:

  • Be vigilant about maintaining your profile; update it as pertinent things become available like title changes, new jobs, awards or accomplishments, and so on.
  • Post new articles or blogs (or links to them) on topics that interest you and your connections. If you are the author of these, all the better, but even if you aren’t, adding a professional, well-informed comment will help to bolster your image as a thought leader on the topic.
  • Join groups aligned with your interests or area of expertise. This automatically refines your audience and enables you to share with people with a variety of interests and levels of expertise all with just a click.
  • Don’t be afraid to follow others you consider thought leaders. There will always be someone who knows more than you so take advantage of their knowledge to enhance your own.

2) Create your personal brand to augment your professional brand.
You have lots to share with the world when it comes to work, but if you prefer to draw the line at sharing your personal life online, think again. As a CEO you may be considered more of a figurehead, unreachable and unlike most “regular” folks. And that may be the way you want to be perceived, but if it isn’t, consider how social media can help.

For example, you are a wiz at finance during the day but when you get home, your area of expertise changes from Wall Street to Main Street, as you volunteer on a committee creating your downtown redevelopment plan. Or maybe you run a small manufacturing plant during the day but also coach your child’s little league baseball team after hours. These are things that reach across divides when it comes to defining you as a human and make you someone people can relate to positively.

Be sure to share team kudos and photos, links to comments on community plans, and other things you are involved in that show the other real you. While you can add such extracurricular attributes like these to your LinkedIn profile, platforms like Facebook and Instagram are more appropriate for full-blown sharing of photos and announcements.

No matter what you do for a living, don’t forget that how you live, and what you give back, can be as valuable to you and your professional brand as all the whitepapers and keynote speeches in the world.

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