Prioritize Social Media in Your Executive Communications

Communication pros can help improve their executives’ communications by harnessing the power of transparency in messaging. But how can that same principle be applied to executives’ social media—specifically LinkedIn? As one of the most widely used business and employment-focused social media platforms, LinkedIn has the potential to enhance your leader communications and boost your organization’s credibility.

Take Advantage of Social Media’s Unique Opportunities 

Today, most organizations employ a team dedicated to developing social media strategies and running their company channels informed by metrics and driven by editorial calendars. But not every organization dedicates the same resources towards running its executive team channels. This can be a missed opportunity in a world where employees and external audiences are looking to CEOs and others in the C-Suite for information, guidance, and industry insight.    

Leveraging social media platforms, like LinkedIn, as an executive platform provides organizations with an opportunity to boost company credibility, authenticity, and transparency from the inside out. It’s one thing to post about an exciting new company benefit in a standard company-wide newsletter. It’s another to have your CEO post about that same announcement directly on their LinkedIn page where users have the chance to comment, ask questions, and provide feedback, increasing perceptions of leader accessibility and lending additional credibility to the announcement. This is especially true in hybrid or fully remote environments, where employees may not feel as connected to their leadership team compared to if they worked in an office full-time and regularly engaged with leaders face to face.

LinkedIn also presents the opportunity to lean into timely topics on a low-risk platform. This is because you can post in real-time on LinkedIn, and the dialogue throughout the platform is generally civil and productive. This can provide an accessible and authentic forum for responding to and blunting the impact of crises or labor activity. For example, you don’t need to pitch your story to a media outlet and wait for the news story to be posted. Instead, you can get ahead of the story and post your update in your own words on your own time.

Ultimately, having your executive team utilize their social media channels increases their visibility as leaders both internally and externally, which leads to increased stakeholder trust, confidence, and understanding.

Follow a Strategic Approach for Maximum Impact 

When using social media for executive communications, it’s important to establish a trustworthy, authentic, and informative presence. You can think of this as a three-step process:

  • Personalize – Make sure all of your messages are personable and in your voice. Don’t use boilerplate language that could been seen as” too corporate.” If you’re posting about an industry trend, consider sharing a personal example of how you’ve been impacted by or interacted with that topic.
  • Localize – When appropriate, connect that trend to what’s happening at your specific business or in your geographic area. This demonstrates your understanding of the issues at large and your capacity to scale to your audience.
  • Engage – Don’t post and ghost. Take time to engage with your followers by responding to comments, reacting to other users’ posts, highlighting employees’ posts, etc.

In theory, this is simple. In practice, it can be a bit more complicated. This is because leaders not only need to think about all of the above, but they also need to keep their organization’s values, brand personality, and goals in mind—and ensure their own messages and ideas properly align.

There is an important role for corporate communicators here: busy executives often don’t have the time to develop their own consistent editorial calendar, hone an authentic online voice, or pay attention to effective engagement with followers. That’s where a communication pro comes in. When helping leaders craft their messages, encourage them to think about their unique personalities and experiences. For example, what stories can they tell to illustrate important industry challenges or trending workplace issues? Or what insights can they share that show who they are as a leader, and, by extension, the type of workplace your business is?

Drafting the perfect message can get tricky, which is why many organizations rely on executive communications experts, like those at IRI Consultants, to help them get it right. This is especially important when dealing with labor relations messaging. A true executive communications expert will take the time to get to know your leaders, understand their voices and visions, and help you make the impact you want. 

At IRI, we help organizations leverage social media to enhance executive communications and boost company credibility. We believe every business is different, and each requires its own holistic and customized approach to communications. Whether you need an internal communications assessment, guidance in developing your internal communications strategy or social media strategy, digital media intelligence, crisis communications services, media relations, or media training, we have expert communications consultants who can quickly provide a specialized solution. Contact us today to discuss the next steps, give us a call at (313) 965-0350.

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