May 12-14, 2020
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c-suite execs as employee advocates

How to Turn Your C-Suite Execs into Employee Advocates on Social

By: Scott Gerber

January 16, 2019

Seventy-one percent of social marketers use employees as advocates and influencers on social, according to Sprout’s 2018 Social Index, so why wouldn’t that include your organization’s executives as well?  It should, of course, but in their haste to build personal brands, execs may go about the process haphazardly.

Social media marketers can work with communications teams to help CEOs and executives create thoughtful and strategic personal brands that are enormously powerful and beneficial to them and the companies they lead.  Here a few tips for doing it right:

1. Craft a thesis. A thesis is developed by helping your client take stock of his or her most deeply-held beliefs and unique perspective. Help them think about what they (and their brand) stands for, the stakeholders who they want to address, and the topics that most naturally lend themselves to communicating the thesis. The goal should be to speak and write in a voice that is uniquely theirs about topics that are of genuine interest to them and the people they want to reach. Remember that audiences are unforgiving when it comes to fakery, so resist the urge to sell or promote.

2. Create multi-channel content. Using the thesis as the foundation for your executive’s personal brand, make a solid plan for the creation of written content that establishes them as trusted thought leaders in their industry. They may opt for paid placements or content opportunities provided by membership organizations or other native channels, or contributed posts to established media properties and blogs. The channels you choose should be informed by your business goals. If, for instance, your goal is to book your executive as speaker at a major industry conference, contribute content to an association’s blog or publication months in advance of the event. If you want to establish them as a trusted source for journalists, target prestigious publications and offer to contribute insightful trend and thought leadership articles.

3. Amplify the message. Amplify their message on social media. The more the content is shared, the more likely they are to appear on the first page of a Google search for their particular area of expertise. Share content and encourage them to initiate conversation on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and whatever niche social networks they belong to. Keep in mind that the goal isn’t just to show people that they’re a published author. Who cares how many “likes” and “shares” they rack up if they aren’t truly engaging with the people who matter most to them? In this case, less can be more. Amplify their message to the right audiences, coach them to have meaningful conversations with the right individuals, and you’ll have an excellent chance of creating a strategic social media beachhead among their industry’s influencers and their brand.

Scott Gerber is the CEO of The Community Company and coauthor of the book Superconnector: Stop Networking and Start Building Business Relationships That Matter. Follow Scott: @scottgerber

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