On Leadership, Social Media and Building Brands

Social Media Icons

I recently participated in a webinar on HR.com that discussed how important it is for employees to be aware of the content they’re pushing out on social media platforms and how it can positively or negatively impact their company’s brand.

From the outside looking in, people view a company as credible when they see that not only the leaders of the company, but also its employees, are showcasing their ability.

It builds trust and a relationship with the brand.

The Power of Personal Branding

So, one might ask, how exactly does an employee’s personal brand affect the company he works for? Your followers, friends, and circle of connections see what you’re sharing — they’re paying attention, too.

Before you know it, the information you offer, the blog posts you write, and the tweets you share will inevitably draw interest in your company.

As a leader, it’s important to recognize that your employees can become your biggest brand advocates.

Think of them as brand representatives, treat them like salespeople, and prepare them with the right information; most importantly, motivate them.

According to HubSpot, 71 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase decision based on social media referrals. Advocates are also 50 percent more likely to create content that influences a purchase.

Leading the Way

It’s essential to support your employees and encourage them to create content on social media. You hired them for a reason: they’re good at what they do and they’ve got a specific, valuable skill set. If you have an employee who’s an HR guru, tell him to share his ability, stories, and lessons — whether that’s through posts, podcasts, or webinars.

Supporting this type of initiative humanizes your brand, creates familiarity, and breaks down barriers with consumers.

It also creates awareness and credibility, and it can help with talent recruitment. Candidates want to work for companies leading the conversation in their industries.

The Big Three Leaders

Let’s look at a few of the major social platforms and how your employees can maximize their use of them.

LinkedIn

When you visit someone’s LinkedIn page and it’s not completed, what’s the first thing that pops into your mind about that person and the company he represents?

There are several tips and tricks to use your LinkedIn page to expand your credibility. Make sure you’re joining industry-specific groups and engaging in conversations with other participants. If you’re getting published, whether on your personal blog or Forbes, make sure you’re updating your LinkedIn page to showcase those third-party endorsements of your knowledge.

Facebook

Think about how you want to be viewed on Facebook. Does the content you’re currently posting say that? Who are you connected with? When you post something about your job, it can have an impact.

We have developed a pretty cool team culture at my company, Influence & Co., and we’re always together. I have actually gotten inquiries about job openings from social event photos I have posted, even though I’m mostly only connected with friends and family.

Twitter

Make sure the content you’re creating will grab the attention of key influencers in your industry or potential clients. You only have 140 characters to catch someone’s attention — so make them count. Think about what they want to hear: industry trends, new tools to use, etc. Educate your audience, but avoid being promotional.

The content you post on Twitter should be different than what you post on other social networks, and you need to make it actionable. We recently launched “Contributor Weekly,” a newsletter providing tips, tricks, and resources for people who contribute to publications.

When we post content about the newsletter on Twitter, we want to have a call to action; we get straight to the point by simply saying, “If you contribute to online publications, you’ve got to check this out.”

On other platforms, we’d probably share a resource or a tip from the newsletter. But it’s important to remember that the audience you have on Twitter wants bite-sized, easily consumable, actionable information.

Knowing Your Audience

So what type of content should you encourage employees to create? It’s important to recognize the audience you’re talking to and acknowledge the key influencers in your industry, and then start a conversation.

As Sheryl Sandberg would say, don’t be afraid to lean in, but be strategic about it — who’s going to be consuming the information you’re sharing, and what are they going to take from it?

The benefits of taking advantage of social platforms to share content are many. You can develop invaluable relationships and knowledge simply by sharing your own knowledge and being proactive on these sites.

Be transparent with your employees about what you’re doing.

If employees are engaged and understand the direction the company is headed, they’re more likely to share content and their expertise. And that’s the kind of brand advocacy your company can’t afford to miss out on.

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———————–
Natalie Stezovsky
Natalie Stezovsky is a Vice President for Influence & Co
She helps experts build their businesses with thought leadership
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web

Image Sources: levelbrand.com

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2 responses to “On Leadership, Social Media and Building Brands

  1. While I enjoyed the blog, I simply don’t see how a company can impact what an employee puts out on social media and then get them to say good things about their employer’s brand.

    Moreover, I don’t think all Twitter content show contain a ‘call to action.’ I think that would quickly put people off if you are doing that all the time. Best build slowly and get the trust of your community. I simply ignore people who constantly tweet ‘check this out’ and ‘you must read this.’

    Just my views, of course.

    Like

  2. Geoff— Thanks for your comments and feedback.

    And I agree with several of your points made. A company can’t force an employee to put something positive on their social media channels. All I’m stating is that an employer should encourage and coach them through that process and then it’s in their ball court.

    With Twitter, I agree too. It’s all about the interaction that you have with your followers and building that relationship — and engaging with them in a meaningful conversation. But do believe at some point those efforts should be strategic too.

    Thanks again, Geoff!

    Natalie

    Like

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