How Senior Leaders Can Embrace Social Media

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Social media a perilous territory, which explains why many senior business leaders happily avoid it.

But Jay Palter, a social media strategic and personal brand expert, contends senior leaders can successfully leverage social media by delivering insight and value while avoiding the pitfalls. 

In this episode of Marketing Spark, Jay offers pragmatic advice on how senior leaders should use social networks like LinkedIn and how success can be defined.

 

For more details about Jay and the podcast, check out the show notes

...o welcome to markey spark the podcastthat delivers small doses of insight tools and tips from marketers andentrepreneurs in the trenches by small doses, its conversations that are fiftyminutes or less. Today, I'm talking with J Palter, a social media,strategist and personal brand expert J works with B TB companies in thefinance and technology sectors. Let's start off with a question just in termsof the social media, landscape, pre coved, and what happened has happenedsince because you know the reality is we're not socializing the way we usedto go into conferences and meet ups and actually going to visit prospects andcustomers, so as social media become a lot more social? Yes, I'm really anadvocate that social networks are in fact social networks first and notreally marketing channels in their primary instant. So I believe, in theabsence of in person meetings we really...

...have social networking. We havevideoconferencing and and phone calls. Of course we always have, but socialnetworks and social media platforms are more important than they ever have beentoday, because we have to stay in touch with people. We have to nurture andbuild our networks and we have to build what I call social capital, which isreally a positive outcome from those social interactions. What I'm wonderingabout is whether you've noticed a discernible difference in how peopleare using social or trying to use social, because you know a lot ofpeople are. Some people are really into it. They're social media, animals andothers are they come and they go. Some people like nor social media butoverall has have you noticed the change of behavior. My experience has been inthe last several months that there's much more focus on linked in than everbefore, at a professional level that people are kind of desperate to to meet.Others engage, do all the things you do...

...when you attend a conference, forinstance, or you go to in person needing that when you share ideas, you learn and I've seen a lot morepeople engaged in those platforms. There's a lot more conversationhappening in linked in between people. There's people writing articles,there's way more content that way just people having a need to expressthemselves. I certainly see business networking, which I think is a, I think,is a really important part of social social media and often overlooked in acorporate setting. I think that kind of behavior is really turned up, and Idon't think it's going to stop. I think, even though the Covin pandemic is goingto play itself out over a longer period of time and there's going to be someopening up, I do think there's going to be an ongoing need to maintain ourrelationships through digital virtual social networks. I noticed the samething like Dan. You know: Microsoft made a very savvy investment when theybought linked in I'm curious about your thoughts on the amount of content thatis be published on linked in everybody...

...seems to be jumping on the band wagon.Some of it is very good. Some of it is good and some of it you wonder whetherpeople are just going to the motions one of the things I wonder about fromyour perspectives. How do you break to the noise on linked in and and shouldpeople be worried about breaking to the noise when perhaps the value of Linkinis the networks that you can develop in the engagement you can have with otherpeople yeah? But it's true that socialnetworks do get they get crowded, they get noisy, there's lots of peoplecompeting for attention, and I mean everybody still wants some attentionfor themselves and you know whatever services they might be offering to theworld. My feeling has been for a long timethat if you want to get people's attention, then you give peopleattention and you know for a corporate brand to do that. It can be kind ofchallenging and a little bit awkward to pay attention to people too much whenyou're an individual, maybe representing a brand or working for anorganization. That's a different activity. People are much morereceptive to somebody who's, paying...

...attention to them and perhaps sharingtheir content or commenting on their content, which helps their content getvisibility. I mean that's actually one of the most effective ways to getpeople to pay attention to. You is just is just pay it forward and it myexperience has been it's hugely a hugely powerful tool for getting peopleto pay attention and cut through the noise. My expression in socialnetworking is always be opening, not always be closing. So if you're, evenif you're trying to sell something in social networks, you're doing B to besocial selling of some kind O, you really don't benefit by trying to getpeople to buy things directly in social networks. You get a lot more benefit bybuilding an audience, opening up new relationships and giving people achance to get to know you better, because when they're ready to buythey'll, do their homework and they'll show up at your doorstep, ready to talkto you quite seriously, and that's when you have a conversation about aboutselling something. Now you spend a lot of time working with bisiness leadersand helping them take advantage of socialmedia. How do you thinkbusinesses have changed their opposed...

...to social media and social mediamarketing due to Colvin and have you noticed a change in their? Is itthought leadership? Are they trying to they trying to sell more they trying todrive more connections? Have you have you noticed sort of discernibledifferences? I think in general, there's been stepping back a little bitfrom the selling and the marketing. Certainly in the first several weeks ofthe of the OVID crisis, people were isolated, they were locked down at homeor self quarantine, and it was just not an environment. People were distracted,it was not a great environment to be be trying to get people's attention tosell them things, and so a lot of brands. I think migrated in thedirection of a generally in inspiring people trying to keep people's spiritsup and inspire hopefulness and the thoughts and that's transitioned alittle bit more as people recognize they have to get back to the businessthat they're in. As I you know, as...

...we've talked about, I feel that there'sreal opportunities for for P business leaders for people who are involved inbusinesses for the people that are involved in those organizations to stepforward and get more active in in mobilizing their own social networks.We all have them and they're often parked at the side on the sidelines andleft for individuals to pursue if they want to or not. But I think I think thesmarter leading corporations are looking at their human capital, theirhuman. You know the people working in the organization and the relationshipsthey have and trying to figure out how to mobilize those relationships in youknow what support of the organization yeah, I'm really interested in business leaders taking a more activerole, social media, because you know by and large you see a lot of a lot ofemployees very active on social media, because they've got their own agendas.They want the looking to raise their profiles, maybe they're trying tochange jobs, but for business leaders I...

...mean a platform like macdon a greatplace to to just lay thought leadership, but but they also have to be verycareful because there are pros- and there are cons you can- you can do somewonderful things on social media can also get yourself in trouble. How doyou work with business leaders to make sure that they're taking advantage ofsocial media in the right ways and if they approach it properly, so it's awoman proposition, so it helps them. It helps their companies and helps theiremployees and customers. I think the first answer to that question is thebigger the organization, the harder it is for a leader to step forward and beeffective in social networks. I just think the reality is: There's there'smore at stake. There's more people in the organization who are involved inmanaging the brand there's they're, potentially greater risks of doing so,and even with the best intentions, it can be very, very difficult. So havingsaid that, I do think that that's a small number of organizations that areout there, businesses that are out there, I think smaller and medium sizedbusinesses have much more opportunity...

...to really have leaders embrace social,social networking in a strategic and a complimentary way to to the brandmessaging, and he and the brand work that's going on in the organization.Having said that, there there still are risks and you you know. I think it'sreally important to to be mindful of the brands and the brand messaging tobe complimentary to that messaging, and I would argue in fact, to be social. Ithink I think a lot of businesses could benefit by emphasizing the strongpersonality, characteristics or leadership aspects of of the leadersthat there are issues that are not directly related to the business you'rein but are related to maybe the role you play or or a commitment to a socialcause or social issue or a charitable issue. That's that's. You knowauthentically close to your heart that that's where there's real opportunity,I think, for leaders to step forward and and compliment their brand, thebrands messaging. So I'm co of a fairly...

...high profile brand. I've noticed thework that you've done with other senior leaders, and I say to myself: I want tobe more active on social media. I want to have a better presence on Likin, soI call you up. We agree to work together. Where do we start walk me through theprocess from not having much of a social media presence to having a solidsocial media presence? The first thing to do, I think, is to is to bestrategic about the people you want to reach out to, because we're not I meanon some level where you were going to engage an audience, and you know socialmedia in general, but there are specific high value individuals. Theymay be customers in your current business. They may be prospects. Youhave your eyes on. They may be influencers in the ecosystem in whichyou're doing business those folks become very strategically valuable. SoI would start by saying: Let's, let's determine WHO's strategically importantto us, that we want to pay attention to...

...and and then you know, we do some basic,not dissimilar to brand profiling. We do some basic person, personal brandprofiling, trying to understand what are those issues that are the leader ispassionate about and that are and make sure that those are consistent andaligned with the brand messaging. And then we start to engage, and you knowthat's why I'm trying to identify some strategically important folks, becausethe way you're going to get attention from anybody in your network is ispaying some attention, even if you're, a CEO leader and it's still valuable toto pay attention to what others are sharing and engage in those kinds ofconversations and interactions. So that's I mean in an that, shall youwant to have a stream of insightful content coming out? That's not allcoming from your organization! You're, not just a you know, mouthpiece for thebrand. You actually have a personality, you're, a leader, a person in your ownright, and you have some authenticity as a leader. It's we want to articulateall those things for curation and through engagement and commenting yeah,and that takes as you can imagine. It...

...takes some time out of a busy week of aCEO. So the more help you can get from a team surrounding you, the better. Solet me ask you a more challenging question when it comes toworking with senior executives. How do you define success by the end of theday? What would make someone say Jay? This has been awesome, working together,you've done Xiz and I'm super happy because you've helped me achieve whatwhat do I get as a co? What's what is success to me? Well, it it's a reallygood question. It's a question. Everybody always asks, and you know I think partly success isrelative to the person and their objective. So I indicated there are youknow we would go into that with some strategic objectives there, individuals,who are more important, perhaps to build relationships with so we couldmeasure some of our success in how effective we were at getting theattention of those folks of actually building relationships. I believestrongly that the R Y ave a lot of...

...social networking activity is in factrelationships, and so, if you're, the Co of a company and you identify aninfluence or you want to get to know at the end of the day, you walk away witha relationship that lasts for years to come with a person. That's a high valueperson in the industry you're working in and that you know that. That's it'sa hard thing to measure. It also doesn't happen overnight. So we have tobe patient, take some time with it, but there are also metrics just aroundvisibility. You can, you could be paying attention to making sure you'regetting increasing engagement in your social shares and there's a wholevariety of waste to measure that in the on the native platforms linked in thesedays is the best, but it doesn't have the best access or visibility into thethe metrics of engagement. So that's a bit of a challenge with the platformitself, but yeah. In a nutshell, I think your success is relative to whatyour objectives are and in most business leaders the objectives arebuild relationships with high value individuals in the industry and and ofcourse, you might get invited on podcast you make it invited to speak atevents when they return are on virtual...

...events. Those are all also markers ofsuccess in building relationships and authority and visibility in theindustry. Thanks for listening to another episode of marketing spark, ifyou have questions feedback or like to suggest a guest, send an email to markat Mark Evans. DOTS see next time, O.

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