Executives are starting to realize the importance of being visible participants when it comes to their brands on social media. No longer can they rely solely on methods that have worked in years past. Each year the world becomes more socially connected via the Internet, and methods of engaging with customers and growing brand awareness must change along with it or brands will be left behind. More and more, people want to connect with brands online and particularly on social media sites. And they want to hear from those in leadership. Communication and relationships are what people are looking for in brands today.
In May 2012, IBM released a study they conducted called Command & Control Meets Collaboration. In this study they said the following about the future of CEOs using social media to connect with customers:
“To forge closer connections with customers, partners and a new generation of employees in the future, CEOs will shift their focus from using e-mail and the phone as primary communication vehicles to using social networks as a new path for direct engagement. Today, only 16 percent of CEOs are using social business platforms to connect with customers, but that number is poised to spike to 57 percent within the next three to five years. While social media is the least utilized of all customer interaction methods today, it stands to become the number two organizational engagement method within the next five years, a close second to face-to-face interactions.”
This month, Altimeter published a report called The Evolution of Social Business. Altimeter surveyed almost 700 social media professionals and executives. They found that: “Only 34% of businesses felt that their social strategy was connected to business outcomes.” They also discovered “that half of all executives are not informed, engaged, or aligned with their company’s social media strategies in any capacity.”
These studies outline clearly the necessity of executives stepping up to the plate and utilizing social media practices in their companies, internally and personally. They can be a strong and confident voice for their brand and become influencers in their industry.
Executives can have an impact on the fans and followers of their brand. By being visible socially they can increase brand visibility and loyalty. By engaging in social media they will communicate to users of these platforms that they are knowledgeable, believe in the value of their brand, and that the people they reach out to are important to them.
Connection and communication through social media will put the brand where it will be noticed and followed. Executives who do this will realize the value as they see their brand’s influence grow strong.