The Immense Value of CEO’s Personal Branding on Social Media

Personal Branding

In a previous article, we had talked about how the CEOs of B2B companies can leverage the power of social media to widen their reach by effectively using channels like LinkedIn and Twitter. 

The company CEOs’ active presence and engagement on the social platforms help amplify the marketing message and enhance branding because the people are more interested in buying from ‘people’ and not just some ‘brand’.  

Did you know? Over 90% of customers trust recommendations from someone they know (Nielson). 82% of people are more likely to trust a company whose leadership team engages with social media.

Why should you consider being a ‘social’ CEO?

Many CEOs argue that they have a lot to take care of than spending time on social media. But something that they don’t realize is, being active on social media platforms is a part of their work, as personal branding will help them build trust in the minds of their target audience. You can take a look at a report by CNBC about the 10 most ‘active’ CEOs on social media to understand why you need to be there too. 

Being a ‘social’ CEO doesn’t really mean that you have to engage in personal interactions with your customer/clients on social media. It just makes you a real ‘face’ of your company, which, till now, was just represented by a graphic logo. As a CEO with a strong personal brand, you can help amplify the company’s message and augment the marketing campaigns. It can also help you express your unique ideas and insights on social media handles. Chances are, if your followers like you, your ideals, values, and gain sufficient information from your insights, they are going to opt for your products/services too. 

Let’s give you a detailed idea about the immense value of personal branding for the CEOs on social media. Scroll on!

It builds trust

Personal branding helps you create a reliable presence on social media. It gives your business the human touch that it desperately needs to attract more people towards it. As the CEO is one of the most influential ambassadors of the brand, their presence has a strong impact on the target audience. Creating a personal profile on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter can improve your branding efforts as much as the business profiles of your products/services. The importance of the CEO’s reputation can propel the business by helping the customers/clients connect with the brand on a human level. 

It helps you attract talent

The millennials are more attracted to companies with an impressive and authentic personal brand than those with nothing apart from logos. If you can establish yourself as a leader and motivator on social media, you’ll attract numerous young minds, who align with your mission, vision, and values. However, it’s important that you actually live those values that you claim on, as authenticity sparks reliability, failing which, it may even put your integrity in question. For example, if you claim to provide an open ground for sharing ideas for business growth, you should provide a platform for the same, so that the youth can come and discuss their unique ideas with you without any hesitance. That way, you can not only find the right people to take your business to the next level but also make them promote your brand through word-of-mouth. Who doesn’t like to share an idea that they have been an active part of? We guess you got the cue!

It helps you get in front of the investors

When you share your beliefs and ideas on a social media platform, potential investors may also take an interest in your business. As the investors seek confidence in the core team before they invest their money in a business, personal branding can help you achieve that. With your presence on social media, you’re in the public eye, which enhances reliability on your company’s behalf. When you share your story, mission, vision, expertise, and ideas on a public platform, you easily get on the radar of potential investors and create a seamless communication channel for them to approach you. 

Being at the forefront of your business gives you certain responsibilities to fulfill, and you can do that through personal branding on social media. Promote your ideas and brand, publicize your opinions and expertise, and be the most important advocate of your business by staying active on the social media channels. In today’s digitized world, such small efforts can go a long way to enhance your brand visibility. 

B2B Social Media – Answers to 10 Most Fundamental Questions

B2B Social Media - Answers to 10 Most Fundamental Questions

Midas Touch, the company I run, is a B2B Specialist, digital and social media marketing agency. Through that, over the past few years, we have got an opportunity to interact with hundreds of businesses offering products and services to other businesses – also called as B2B services. A few years ago, businesses were almost convinced that social media does not work for B2B. However, things have radically changed now. Several studies, stats, research, and experiences have convinced organizations that if they have to survive in today’s competitive marketplace, they have no option but to adopt social media optimally.

The challenge, however, occurs when the team handling their social media does not understand the intricacies of B2B social media – one needs to understand that it is very different than B2C social media and needs some special expertise.

As a starting point, I am sharing answers to some of the most fundamental questions about B2B Social media –

What is the importance of a blog for a B2B business?

In our experience, we have seen that the blog section is typically one of the top three most viewed sections on the website. The blog offers you a great opportunity to create fresh content for your website (Google loves fresh content), it allows you to answer the latest questions of your target audience, it helps you establish your thought leadership, and it helps you appear as a knowledge expert in your industry. I would highly recommend having an active blog section on your website.

Can the in-house subject matter experts write the blogs?

Before I answer this question, let us first understand what is a relevant and appropriate blog article. A relevant blog article should answer the questions of your target audience, it should educate your audience (and not sell), it should talk about the solutions to the buyer’s problems (and not the features of your product/ service), and it should make the reader the hero (your product should not take the center stage). B2B content writing is a specific skill. I have earlier written about the traits of successful B2B content writers. If you have subject matter experts who are skillful writers and understand all these aspects, they can absolutely write the blogs for your business.

What all types of content can I create?

B2B businesses think that blog posts are the only form of content which they can create. However, that’s not true. There are multiple other options such as infographics, eBooks or whitepapers. Infographics are highly visual and extremely useful for establishing thought leadership. You can use these to create awareness and start conversations with your target audience. Whitepapers and eBooks are very good authoritative reports and more in-depth than a blog. They can be used to address specific business issues in detail with in-depth research and original point of view. These are excellent sources to demonstrate technical knowledge or business information. These can be your very good weapons for specific targeted campaigns and lead generation. You can also use other forms of content such as webinars or podcasts.

What is the role of webinars and podcasts?

Webinars and podcasts are great mediums to generate awareness about your brand and also to get qualified leads. These are brilliant tools to move the prospects up in the interest ladder. You can conduct webinars with your customers or industry experts. Product webinars are also very effective for keeping the prospects engaged.

Which are the most relevant social channels for B2B content promotion?

LinkedIn is the most active and vibrant social channel for professionals. People use LinkedIn not only for job search but also for professional connections, social selling, thought leadership (through LinkedIn Pulse) and group participation. So you definitely have to consider LinkedIn, LinkedIn Company Page, and LinkedIn Groups as your prominent social channels. Next, I would recommend Twitter. Twitter is extremely effective for sharing your content, easily connecting with industry experts and influencers, and joining the ongoing conversations. SlideShare is an another good channel for lead capture if you have very high quality, educational presentations. The tight integration of SlideShare with LinkedIn makes the promotion of those presentations easy. If you have very good quality videos, you should consider using YouTube because that’s the second most used search engine. In the B2B context, you can upload your conference speaker videos or product videos on YouTube. There are many other channels as well and the choice depends on where your target audience is. However, these four would top my list in most of the scenarios.

Is Facebook relevant for B2B?

It’s very tempting to say “It depends”. But let me elaborate more on this. Facebook is a great channel to reach out to the audience outside your sphere of influence. However, remember that people are on Facebook to connect with their families and friends. When they are on Facebook, they usually have no intent of doing any research or study for their business needs. Therefore, while Facebook makes it a great channel if you are running a restaurant, eCommerce site, or a salon, it is not a great medium if you want to reach out to serious buyers when they are looking for solutions to their problems. Having said that, Facebook is a great platform for talent acquisition and talent branding for B2B businesses.

Within how much time can I start getting leads from social media?

Let’s understand this – Social media and content marketing are (crucial) parts of your overall sales funnel. These are not the ONLY channels for your sales. B2B sale is a complex process where multiple stakeholders are involved and they are evaluating the vendors at multiple stages for various things. You, as the vendor, need to ensure that you are in front of the buyer when she is doing her research, you are helping her in her decision making, appearing as a knowledge partner, and creating a positive impression about your company. Let’s be honest here – It is quite unlikely that someone will read a piece of content written by you and immediately fill out the contact form on your site (aka convert into a lead).

How should I measure the RoI?

Almost everything about social media is highly trackable and measurable – which, of course, is good. I would highly recommend you measure both the qualitative as well as quantitative RoI. By qualitative RoI, I mean things like who is engaging with you, what are the questions people are asking you, which hashtags are working for you etc. By quantitative RoI, I mean you can track things like impressions (which is a great measure of visibility), overall engagement with your content, visits to your site, time spent on your site by the people who are coming from social channels, downloads for specific items like eBook and whitepaper etc.

What is the best way to integrate the offline events with social media?

Social is a great way to leverage the offline events like conferences and events. For starters, you can always create online buzz about your event through social platforms by creating specific event hashtags. If you are attending a conference, you can engage with other people who are talking about the conference. You can also engage with specific speakers or exhibitors since almost everyone is on social these days. Twitter works very well for all such things. The other way is to do live promotion of the event – as the easiest option, you can do the live tweeting. Post the conference, you can share your experience and learnings through blog posts.

What is the role of personal branding of the founder?

People connect with people and not with companies. In the B2B context, therefore, it is very important to remember that your company brand also needs a face. People want to know who are the people behind the company, their backgrounds, and their expertise. Having a well-developed LinkedIn profile is just the starting point. The founders of the companies should focus on building their personal brand through blog articles, active online presence through LinkedIn and Twitter. I have shared more detailed views on the importance and how to of personal branding, here.

I hope this article helped you in getting answers to your common questions. If you have any more questions, I will be happy to answer those. Just post those in the comments below!

12 Things to Share on Twitter While Building your Personal Brand

12 Things to Share on Twitter While Building your Personal Brand

Personal branding is more important than ever. It’s not that you don’t understand it, but you are busy, strapped for time, juggling multiple balls in the air, and don’t have too much time to think and spend on social media.

I often come across Twitter handles of executives, CEOs, consultants, where there are a few tweets put up initially and then no activity thereafter. The Twitter account is collecting cobwebs and it are almost giving away an impression that either they don’t care or they don’t really know how this new world of social media works. In any case, it’s not giving away a very good impression.

I have Twitter app on my phone, but I don’t really know what you can share there”. I hear it quite often. Well, leveraging Twitter is actually very easy – provided you know how to use it.

Here is a quick list of few things which you, as a startup founder, company CEO, independent consultant or a trainer, could share from your personal Twitter handle –


#1 Industry News – I am sure you read a lot of news, blogs are articles to keep yourself updated on what’s the latest in the industry. Share the articles which you think could be useful and relevant for your followers. It will also show that you do take efforts for keeping yourself updated. Personally speaking, I have subscribed to various magazines on Flipboard which provide me the daily dose of latest updates.

#2 Your own blog articles – You have your blog, or write for your company blog? Great. Twitter is a great place to share those articles. It will be very useful for your Twitter audience if you share some insightful information through your blog.

#3 Books – Sometimes too many lists of recommended books or tables in book stores can be overwhelming. People always like suggestions from friends, connections, or from someone they look up to. Share the names of the books which you are reading, which you have liked/ not liked, or which you would like to highly recommend reading.

#4 Personal Interests/ Passions – Like to write stories, poetry, or like photography? Don’t hesitate to share your passions on Twitter. Don’t think that your ‘personal’ side will interfere with your ‘professional’ side.

Padmashree-Tweet

#5 Employee Appreciations – Has someone from your company or your team completed some milestone? Spent 5 years, 10 years with you? Got some awesome certification? Why not click a picture with them and post it on Twitter?

Employee Appreciation

#6 About the Organization – You can very well use your personal Twitter handle to talk about your company, some milestone, event, or any important update about it.

#7 Company Blogs – If your company has an active company blog and you especially appreciate some article, go ahead and tweet about it.  

#8 POV about Industry Updates – Some big thing about your industry is making news and you have got some views about it – go ahead and tweet about those. It could be release of some product/ service, passing of a new regulation– Post a tweet with your views and link it to the article.

#9 Podcasts/ webinars you attend – Webinars and podcasts are great ways to keep yourself updated with what’s happening in the industry and also learn from the experts. If there are any specific podcast / webinar which you would like to recommend to your followers, go ahead and tweet about that.

#10 Speaker Sessions / Industry Connections – If you are speaking at some conference or a meetup, Twitter is a great place to talk about it – build up the excitement by asking the audience what they would like you to cover in your talk, interacting with then, and letting people ask you questions there.

#11 Polls – Want to get the opinion from your online audience? Run quick polls. Yes, Twitter allows you to run polls with simple question and options. You can get the pulse of your audience and use this data in your research as well.

#12  Presentations of Talks/Videos – If you have given a talk at some event or have prepared a very good presentation, host those assets on relevant platforms such as YoutTube or SlideShare and use Twitter to promote those assets.

Don’ts

Now that we know what all can be shared on Twitter, let me also share some “what not to do”.

  • Automated Messages – Many people are in favor of it, but I am personally not in favor of automated RTs or Direct Messages. No matter how personalized the message is, it does not go well with a personal handle.
  • Non-engagement – Social media is about engagement. It is not a broadcasting medium – it is for two-way communication. So if someone engages with your tweets in the form of RT or reply, ensure that you don’t ignore it. Acknowledge and respond to it.  Don’t forget to ReTweet others’ tweets and converse with your followers and Twitter audience.
  • Not Understanding the Platform – One needs to remember that Twitter is quite different from the other social networking platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook. Understand the nuisances of the platform and you will be able to rock it!

I am on Twitter at @radhagiri. Look forward to connecting with you there!