Social Media savvy CEO’s are they wasting their time

Social media isn’t a waste of time for CEO’s if its done right.

social media CEO time suckThe wrong way for a CEO to handle social media.

It’s not wise for the business owner or social media savvy CEO to handle all the businesses social media. It’s time consuming and their time is better spent converting prospective customers into clients, selling the businesses next big account, sorting out staffing issue, dealing with contractors and countless other activities CEO’s and business owner perform that bring the most value to their business. Social media won’t keep their business running unless social media is their business.

How top level management should handle social media

CEO’s should have a social media presence.  Their presence in social media can play an important role in their business. It’s well known people do business with people. People need to “know, like & trust” the people behind the business or the person referring them to the business. Therefore top level management should be relatable and approachable on social media assisting the businesses public relations. Their social media presence will help sway new customers and build relationships with existing customer. But a personal social media channel isn’t a place to tout business or handle customer support. Personal social media channels are for posting things about yourself, your interests and to communicate with friends, family and peers. Be approachable on social media but direct enquires to the correct channels, your business website, business social media channels or customer support. You will appreciate the separation of business from personal, make your business scalable and save yourself time.

If management should be relatable and approachable on social media but not ever dealing with the everyday issues who should be talking to customers?

The businesses social media persona

As mentioned above personal social media accounts are just that personal. An online space for people to connect with friend, families and peers.  It’s a statement about who you are, what you like and the issue and events in your life. Unless your business is all about you, your social media channels are not an appropriate place to be talking business, helping customers and attempt to close sales.

Likewise the conversations your likely to have with peers on social media often deal with issue and problems that are of little or no interest to your customers. Your customers may eventually join you in these conversations as they transition from customers to influencers and then peers but new customers are only just starting to deal with the solutions your business provides. It will take them some time to learn about your solutions and their benefits.

A business needs a company persona that can talk the language of your customers at their level on social media. A persona that can empathy with their issue, assist them to understand the solutions and train them to see your business as the right solution for them.

When they transition to customers this same persona should be there to hold their hand and help them through difficulties, misunderstandings and educate them to the benefits of staying with your business for the long term. Finally it should groom your customers to become advocates for your business and its solutions.

A company social media presence/persona should talk the customers language to

  • attract new prospective customers
  • provide customer support
  • entice influencers and customers to share content

Note: company based social media is all about customers while personal social media accounts are about the person

Customer Support

Social media is the idea way for customers to get your businesses attention. As a result its a fantastic tool for quick question and answer customer support.  To get your businesses attention on Facebook and Google+ a customer need only Like/G+ your page and then direct message your business. On Twitter just @ the business and “someone” on your team should receive the message and action it. All are instantaneous and very personal first point of contact. No waiting on phones, no gate keepers and potentially more precise interaction.

New Customers

People with the problem your business solves are looking for a solution. Some may not know they even have the problem or need a solution yet. While others do and are actively searching right now. Searching Google, asking friends, associates and peers for advise.  These businesses don’t know your business has a solution for them. Social media is one avenue to these people. It replaces word of mouth in the online world. Likes, shares, comments and repost are the conversation. All engagement is a form of PR online, some may result in referrals to your business.

Other avenues to new customers online are via influencers, SEO, SEM, PR, offline advertising and branding.


Simply put your existing customers are influencers. They know like and trust your business and can promote your business to their peer network. More importantly you have provided a solution to their problem, which will provide kudos for them when shared with their peers.

Then there are other influencers  who are on the periphery of your business. People who are not your customers but have some association with both your business and your customers. These people may be suppliers, coaches, teachers, politicians and other. Influencers communicate with people and businesses that have similar problems to those of your customers. They will promote and share your business with these people if your businesses social media offerings appeals to their share ability criteria.

Share ability criteria

Psychologists at UCLA found that people share social media content and personal knowledge to:

  • entertain, inspire, and be useful
  • express who we really are
  • nurture their relationships
  • feel more involved
  • get the word out about specific causes

They also say people engage on social media to build relationships ( feel better about themselves ). But that’s too broad. I’ve found there are three basic reasons why people share and they are all very ego centric. They share to:

  • get something
    • concessions and free stuff
    • vent anger and frustration about their issue
    • find a solution to their problems
  • feel involved
    • nurture their relationships
    • show support for their causes
  • feel valued
    • entertain, inspire, and be useful
    • express who we really are
    • nurture their relationships

Building a business Social media presence

Defining an ideal customer profile

An ideal customer profile is the very first step. Without an outline of the type of customer your business want as a client there is no direction, theme or strategy to your social media campaigns. Your business will try to engage everyone.

Engaging everyone just isn’t practical not everybody has the problem your business solves.

By narrowing down your target audience to a particular person, you can engage them through content, images, videos and ads that appeal directly to them. Offerings that will draw them closer to a knowledge of your business and how it can help with their problem.

In depth knowledge of your businesses ideal customer also acts as a filter through which you can subject all strategies, themes and campaigns to weed out ideas and actions that are not appropriate and solidify those that are. For example if an ideal customer is not interest in football then run a TV ad campaign during Saturday’s game would make no sense at all.  Not running this ad will save the business both time and money.

This part of the equation is so important that Michon International provides a free service to help business define their ideal customer profile. Why not let us help you get started.

Develop the company persona

Once you have a good idea of your ideal customer you can sculpture your businesses persona to deal with that person directly. A knowledge of their likes and dislikes, vocabulary and their daily, weekly, monthly and annual routine will:

  • mean your business persona can appear at places they like and avoid places they don’t
  • talk about things which effect them on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis.
  • schedule content, ads and comment to engage them when they are most likely to be looking for a solution or need help with the problem you solve.

The persona can be modelled on your business CEO or a person in customer service it doesn’t really matter, but it must be relatable to the ideal customer and once established should present a consistent image of the business. It needs to represent the business, its ideals, motivation and culture. Dealing with the persona should be comparable with the experience a customer has visiting the store front or talking to an employee on the phone.

Staff and external contractors will need to be taught how to talk to customers, create content and respond as this persona, so your business social media presence needs to be documented once its defined.

Implementing a businesses social media presence.

If your a one man band or small business owner then you probably don’t have a choice – social media manager will be one of your portfolios. Small to medium enterprise and bigger business should have a social media presence that’s handled by an employee or shared by a team. The presence should be a reflection of the companies persona and not that of the CEO or any management. It’s independence will allow it to survive through restructures and dismissals without losing any momentum.

After the initial research phase to define an ideal customer and develop a company persona, staff and external contractor will need to be trained to understand the ideal customer and respond in a consistent manner with the businesses persona.

Social media channels will need to be created in the spaces your ideal customer hangs out online. These could be a Facebook pages, Facebook groups, twitter feeds,  Google+ pages, LinkedIn Company pages or blogs and forums. A strategy is required to establish a presence in those spaces, to develop a level of expertise, content contribution and engagement. Regular posting of original and curated content is the key during this initial stage. Content should be suitable to the platform and attractive to your customers.

Special note: Alway personalise and add value to curated content. Readers want to know the businesses opinion of content they have shared.

Always post more often than you think necessary. A large number of posts is important as social media works against you.  The number of posts people see in their social feeds is incredibly large and often only a subset of the total they could be served. If you want your business to be noticed then posting once a day isn’t going to cut the mustard. Just because you see all the post in your feeds doesn’t mean everyone else is seeing them.  (in fact only 5% of your businesses followers will see an individual post from a Facebook page)  In a similar way not every heading, image and by-line your business posts will  attract the attention of your ideal customer. The initial ideal customer profile is a first best guess, it will need to be refined over time with feed back from customers, staff and analytic data. Posting often will provide you with feedback faster. Why wait months to refine when you could do it in weeks.

To achieve these high levels of social media output your business will need to automate a portion of the content creation and curation process. Outsourcing is a great way to achieve the volume and quality required. Michon international offers these services in our digital marketing department. We can help define your ideal customer, document your company persona and implement a semi automated content creation process to deliver quality content to your social media presence and business blog. See SEO and Social Media does your business need both to explain why we include your company blog in our strategy.




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