News & Insights

29/08/2019

Why senior executives need a presence on LinkedInby Alex Cowan



The emergence of social media has reshaped the dynamics of how organisations interact with their audiences and vice versa. It has undeniably empowered the individual but has also created fertile ground for organisations to directly engage with partners, investors, stakeholders and customers.

In the age of fake news, scepticism and privacy concerns, the need for transparency and authenticity has never been greater. What better way for organisations to demonstrate these qualities than via their senior executives, on social media?

The pen is mighty, but LinkedIn is mightier

LinkedIn is a vibrant network of business professionals offering an endless universe of opportunity.
Beyond commenting, sharing and ‘liking’ content, the power to publish and broadcast messages across a vast network is invaluable. LinkedIn provides this ability whether it be via uploading a research paper, posting a video, or publishing a thought leadership article.

Further, harnessing the power of hashtags and tags, joining LinkedIn groups, and injecting inspiration into online conversations allows for even greater amplification beyond the immediate ‘1st degree’ network.

Human-to-human (H2H)

Whether an organisation is B2B or B2C focused, ultimately the decision to act is made by a human. Therefore senior executives are in the box seat, uniquely positioned to engage with other people and drive corporate values and messaging, albeit with a personal twist.

This quote from John Thiel, former Head of Wealth at Merrill Lynch, sums it up:
 

 “Well as it turns out I am a human being and I have feelings and points of view. And it turns out that me, being me, is more popular than me being the Head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. And that is what I am trying to do, because I live my values every day in what I do”.

Finding the right balance between personal and professional can be challenging, but it can be a highly effective way to offer insight and showcase the human side of your organisation—your values, your people and your character.
Not only can this foster greater interest and engagement levels on LinkedIn, but it can develop a closer relationship with your audience by building authenticity and transparency—this builds trust.
 
Content mix

In addition to getting the personal professional balance right, it is also important to post a mix of content themes and formats to sustain engagement and avoid fatigue. The popularity of video content is on the rise and posts with a link and including imagery tend to garner better engagement.
Source: Socialpilot.co

The conversation is happening, with or without you

LinkedIn has more than 500 million professional users, with 45% of readers being in the upper ranks of business. It therefore offers a powerful platform for senior executives to share their personal experiences and views with a view to building an engaged and loyal community.

Stepping into the digital and public sphere of LinkedIn might seem daunting to some, but the opportunities it affords for organisations are plentiful. Whilst there are some risks involved, a well thought out and carefully implemented social media communications strategy can mitigate much of this.

Whether you choose to or not, the conversation is happening with or without you.

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