Consumers increasingly prefer to access customer support on social media than by phone – and the demand to ‘speak to a manager’ has transformed to a tweet to company executives. Smart industry leaders have taken advantage of this trend and staked positions as thought leaders across every business sector.
Social media has become a primary means of business communication worldwide. Its influence is felt acutely across marketing, PR, brand and product positioning. One thing, however, that’s often underestimated is the importance of CEOs own social presence and activity. CEO engagement in social media helps communicate company values, shape a company’s reputation, and grow and evolve corporate leadership in times of crisis. Leaders who do step forward can get ahead of the issues.
Customer expectations now include corporate transparency about everything from product origin, clean supply chains, employee rights, fairness and diversity, and corporate responsibility.
A fear of risk and a scarcity of time are the two most widely stated reasons for C-Suite inaction on social media. Yet a reluctance to engage can cost companies the brand trust that they most covet. A recent BRANDfog survey showed that executives who engage in social media significantly increase brand trust. What’s more, 75% of stakeholders state that CEO engagement on social media leads to better leadership.