7 Traits of Highly Successful Social CEO’s!
Rising through the ranks is never easy but today it takes more than mere talent or even leadership skills; modern managers, small business owners, entrepreneurs and CEO’s must be adept communicators and social giants. As a social media management firm, we encounter our fair share of budding entrepreneurs, small business owners and top brass CEO’s; there are always a few that stand out head and shoulders above the rest. Of course, our observations are also supported by the research into what makes some CEO’s better suited for social media while others seem to lag behind. Is it age? Gender? Personality type? Nope…none of the above! Do you have what it takes to reach the top? See for yourself by comparing these 7 traits found among highly successful social CEO’s:
1. Ability to Face Fear. Far more important than age, gender and sometimes even experience is the ability to face fear head -on. Don’t confuse this with stupidity or a lack of recognition about fear in the first place; successful social CEO’s are actually more in tune with potential risk and demonstrate a healthy respect for adverse outcomes. Unlike others, social CEO’s actually admit the risk and talk about it with partners, clients and even customers. They ask questions, listen to feedback and remain open to new ideas or insight into how to reduce risk or eliminate a problem. In short, successful social CEO’s value transparency and the open exchange of ideas made possible via social media rather than fear it.
2. We, Me & It. Social CEO’s have found an authentic voice which reflects a three-fold system of values including we (the company and clients), me (a personal side of the employees or clients) and it (the product or service descriptions). In general, the “we” aspect should encompass the majority of most communication by providing valuable insight or information to clients in an engaging manner. Although it differs from business to business, in general, at least 60% of social communications should be dedicated to “we” followed by equal shares of “me” at 20% and “It” at 20%.
3. Good Timing! Social CEO’s have good timing…no, make that GREAT timing…and it’s not by chance. Most take great pains to deliver social messages as precisely, steadily and deliberately as they would when giving a business presentation. In fact, many compare social media to informal business presentations all the time. Again, it differs from industry to industry but on average, effective social CEO’s were found to send out (on average) 3 social media messages per day during optimum or peak periods. Savvy small business owners will instantly recognize the time challenge of making this happen each and every day…again, it’s not by mistake. Social CEO’s often utilize the talents of others to help make this happen; outsourced social media management firms are able to automate posting times, create customized messages and tailor fit services to meet almost any need.
4. Recognize Limitations. While it may seem obvious enough, this is such an important aspect that it is worth repeating…successful social CEO’s recognize their own limitations. In fact, when asked what single source of advice they would pass along to others, at least one major social CEO stated “if you don’t have the time for it and you don’t understand how…(it) adds value, you shouldn’t do it…Your organization is going to have to figure this out and it’s going to be social whether you – as an individual – want to be or not”. To put it another way; social isn’t optional but deciding whether or not YOU will be social is optional. In many cases, it’s best left to the experts especially if you have time or other limitations. Even the most social CEO will be a liability rather than an asset without sufficient time to handle the task every day!
5. Enjoy Social Interaction. Social CEO’s enjoy the process of communicating with employees, partners and clients via social media. It’s not something they dread nor is it considered a chore…in fact, most rue the lack of available. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that social CEO’s are all extroverts – nothing could be further from the truth! While there is certainly a fair share of social CEO’s which are hard-core extroverts, a surprising number of self described introverts also enjoy the use of social media as a primary method of communication. Unlike direct face-to-face interaction, the use of social media allows introverted types to reach large numbers of people without the tiresome travel or face-to-face interaction with many find challenging. Social media is able to bring out the best in both introverted and extroverted CEO’s!
6. Deliberately decide on what is to be shared…and what isn’t. Social CEO’s recognize the importance of creating firm boundaries between what should be shared and what should not be shared. Legal, ethical, fiduciary, legislative and other factors are each independently considered in advance with a strong written code of conduct distributed to all involved parties. Compliance with formal and informal terms of service, expectations, marketing and other issues must be adequately addressed in advance.
7. Actively embrace social media as a valid methodology. Last but not least, social CEO’s don’t just view social media marketing and communications as a tool but rather a comprehensive mindset which permeates the company and personal lifestyle. Social CEO’s recognize the opportunity, responsibility and constant need to re-evaluate current trends as a part of the modern method of doing business. Rather than rely upon traditional means and methods, social CEO’s are not afraid to take a few calculated risks in order to reap the early adopter rewards. Most importantly, social CEO’s view technology as a positive way to enhance transparency, increase awareness and encourage interaction both on the job and off.