6 Steps To Help Social Start At The Top


This morning I walked in to meet with the leadership team of a new client, and the President started with, “I don’t even understand all this tweeting and Facebook stuff, so you will have to work with these guys” (pointing to the 2 marketing managers). While this is not uncommon, and it is no easy task to make an organization SOCIAL, it is UNACCEPTABLE to know nothing about the biggest shift in business since the steam engine!  (Click to Tweet) You don’t have to be an expert on e-commerce, to log in to your site and try it out so you understand how the customer experiences your brand. You don’t have to be a professional assistant to know how to type a document or start a spreadsheet and you don’t have to be a social media guru to create a Twitter account and see what all the chatter is about.

Social, Business, twitter , executives, media, management, marketing
Social Media Has Changed Business

The challenge most businesses have with social media, is they lock it in the marketing department and no one else understands what goes on. (Click to Tweet)  As a matter of fact, most Community Managers (those who manage the daily activities involved with promoting and nurturing the social presence) will tell you that people outside their own team, have no idea what they do and some make comments like, “So you just play on Facebook all day? Wow, it must be nice.” That’s what my own family member think, so I understand!

Every part of the business has to understand social, since every part of the business interacts with customers and potential customers–either on the job or off.  (Click to Tweet)  While that is a subject for another post, it has to start at the top!

Social Service Business Media Marketing Hotel Restaurant

Here are 3 baby steps to “Start Social At the Top”:

  1. Have the leadership team (including executives) create accounts on Twitter. They don’t have to tweet anything–let them be TWATCHERS for awhile-watching and listening to what goes on in your industry and others’.  There are quite a few executives on Twitter to watch and learn from.  (Click to Tweet)
  2. If your business is one that uses geolocation tools such as Foursquare, have your leaders sign on and check in somewhere.  They don’t have to become the Mayor of their local Starbucks, but by “playing” they can see how others use the tools to review a business and share tips. (Click to Tweet)
  3. Does your business receive customer reviews on Yelp or TripAdvisor?  A leader should become familiar with these important sites as well.  Create accounts and actually post a review after dining somewhere or traveling. (Click to Tweet)

Are you ready to take social to that next level?  Here are 3 tips for those more adventurous Social Leaders:

Executives on Twitter Social business, social management Hotels

  1. Become one of the corporate spokespersons. Why not share opinions on current events from behind the iron curtain. Authenticity is attractive.  Who doesn’t enjoy seeing the news coming from the top?  (Click to Tweet) Sure there are dangers with having executives put their thoughts out there for permanent record, but like any media, perhaps some training and a few guidelines are in order. (Click to Tweet)
  2. Be real. It is wonderful when you read that the executive left her briefcase on the roof of the car after dropping kids off and had someone point it out at the light. You can totally relate (okay–so maybe only I relate to that one). Executives can become REAL to the consumers they serve on Twitter. Again, have some guidelines in place to ensure “some sharing” doesn’t become “OMG-She said WHAT”. (Click to Tweet)
  3.  Stay awhile. Tweeting up a storm at a conference and then hibernating for 6 months is not a good social practice.  While tweeting 10-20 times a day is not necessary, a few times a week consistently is a wonderful practice.  (Click to Tweet) 

Do you know a leadership team doing social right?  Do you think social media belongs at the top?  I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas to help social thrive at the top!