CEOs Engaging in the Social Circle

In the last two Quarters, there has been a rise in CEO activity in online social forums. One of the key drivers is a new strategy to maintain relevancy as a thought and industry leader, while offering the marketplace transparency to their personal and professional lives. The social sphere provides a real-time gauge of business from internal operations to marketplace reaction from customers. CEOs are learning they can’t afford to be left to the “business section” in these digital times. In a recent Inc. 500 it was discovered that more CEOs are aggressively using social media to monitor their brand, interact with customers, and even communicate with vendors.

Using platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and LinkedIn can help shape the a CEO’s image, create engagement with audiences about company news, provide sneak peeks at new products or changes in services, as well as utilize the overall views, opinions and insights that only a CEO can share. Today’s CEO must be much more directly and actively connected with his or her clients, the market, and their brand.

Let’s get specific. If you know of Dell Computers, then you probably know who Michael Dell is. And if you don’t, then you can Google him and see that his top search results show him on Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn. Dell brands himself as “Family man, Chairman and CEO” on Twitter, creating his own image. On Google Places there are pictures of him with his family and kids. LinkedIn is minimal but focuses on his professional connections and recommendations. The true kicker here is what Dell says and where he says it.

Dell uses Twitter to talk about updates for the company’s news, products and acquisitions. He thanks and shows appreciation to people, he talks directly @ individuals and he throws in a few comments that are completely unrelated about Dell. Then on Google Plus, the whole outlet is him talking about company related news and information. Even more importantly: he interacts. He responds to other’s comments about his announcements, re-establishing the engagement and boosting shares.

Here’s the point: the shift for CEO transparency and open engagements becomes a priority in the digital space. Active participation in social channels is a must. When customers see transparency, innovation, and engagement throughout all levels of business, they become more interested and engaged – this translates to transacting with the Brand and (more likely) the bottom line: sales.