Currently we can find quite a number of middle, senior and top managers online, LinkedIn being the key platform for them. Statistics show that 54% of Fortune 500 CEOs have social media presence and 50% of them can be found on LinkedIn (Influential Executive, 2019). Some of them just sign up; others have up to date information about themselves. However, only a small percentage create content from their personal accounts and an even smaller fraction could be considered as examples of good practice. 

Why are managers still reluctant to use social media (LinkedIn especially) for building their personal brands?

There might be a number of reasons for that. Some managers have not yet discovered the value of communicating from their personal accounts; others do not have the ideas, time, and skills or simply hesitate to start. Some are in need of advice and support within the organization, while others want to avoid conceivable negative comments from the audience.

I believe that skills can be obtained, time can be made, inspiring ideas can be stirred. But the most important part is to understand the value and importance of building a personal brand on social media that later translates to bottom line results.

Here are some of the key reasons why every manager should care about building his or her personal brand online and put in the effort to communicate from their personal account.

a. Increasing awareness

Personal communication on social media can be a great tool to increase brand or company awareness. Is your company or brand already well known? Communication on social media may increase awareness of a new advertising campaign or new product introduction to the market; or it may simply be sharing information about your organization (which otherwise may not be immediately seen by current and potential customers).

b. Strengthening brand image

If increasing awareness of your brand or company is not your priority, personal communication on social media may be helpful in achieving organizational objectives in terms of strengthening its brand image. Personal communication tends to be a lot more sincere and honest compared to rather official and “cold” corporate content. When communicating from your personal account, it becomes a lot easier to reveal emotions, communicate about values and go for resonance, in other words, build a closer connection with the consumer.

c. Attracting talent

Personal connection on social media can be created not only with a prospective consumer, but also with a potential employee. A manager who communicates openly is able to engage the audience and reveal interesting details about the organization’s culture; this might become a magnet to draw candidates to open positions in the organization.

d. Leading by example

Are you as a manager willing to engage your team and colleagues to communicate on social media? It’s a lot easier if one practises what one preaches.

e. Keynotes at conferences and events

Building a personal brand on social media includes more than communicating about your brand or company. People are interested in other people. This is an unwritten rule and an explanation why influencer marketing is so trendy nowadays. If a manager actively communicates on social media, he may not only contribute to organizational goals, but will also strengthen his personal brand as a leader or expert. Invitations to speak at conferences and events as well as share insights in the media are oftentimes a sign that his efforts in building a personal brand are paying off. Such affirmation might be especially relevant for managers of smaller or less known companies, given that the leaders of big companies are already in the spotlight.

 

If you are a manager and you’ve already decided that it’s worthwhile embarking on building your personal brand on social media, here is some advice to help you to achieve better results:

Understanding your target audience and your own positioning

Imagine, you are the CEO of company X or the manager of its Y department. If you’d like to start sharing content and spreading the message, you should first understand who your target audience is and how you want to position yourself in their minds. There might be several target segments, for example, your current customers, potential clients and potential employees. It is important to understand how your content will create value for such different segments.

Authenticity

Managers are busy people and it is totally normal that their social media posts might be taken care of by folks in the marketing and communications department, assistants or external specialists. However, even then, it is crucial to remember the importance of authenticity. The manager and the person in charge of communication should talk often, discussing details and nuances that might arise along the way. We often see non-personal, monotonic, cold and boring managers’ content, which is the consequence of low engagement between the two.

Quantity vs. Quality

It is often the case that when one starts to communicate on social media, they might be eager to broadcast every single event. However, as in many other contexts, quality should win over quantity. The most important part isn’t the amount of content created, but the value it creates for the target audience.

At first it may seem that building a personal brand on social media takes a lot of time and effort. However, as time goes by and competence develops, it becomes a lot easier. People start understanding what kind of information is valued by the target audience and what kind of content engages it. A strong manager’s personal brand on social media is not a short-term project, but one of consistency and nurturing. All this will bring far-reaching benefits to the organization.

 

Interested in a consultation, workshop or employee advocacy programme at your organization?

Contact us by saying hello@personacognita.com

 

The Lithuanian version of this article was first published on Delfi M360 platform (2020-02-12).

Brand You Photo | Eglė Šenderovienė