Should Executive Directors and CEOs Use Social Media?



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What are some of the best examples of ED/CEO using social media?

Holly Ross
Scott Harrison
Steve Case


__Tweets__ that Reeta Roy, president and CEO of the __MasterCard Foundation__, is sending from her site visit to Uganda and Kenya. As background, the mandate of the $2 billion Foundation is to enable people living in poverty to improve their lives by expanding their access to microfinance and education. Reeta is currently in Uganda, where she’s learning first-hand about the Foundation’s partnership with BRAC. In 2008, the Foundation awarded BRAC a two-year grant in the amount of $19.6 million to provide economically active women with loans, training and technical support. The program also includes vocational training for adolescent girls. In Kenya, Reeta will announce – with the Equity Group Foundation and Minister of Education Sam Ongeri – a scholarship program that will provide $4.6 million in educational support to 672 secondary students over the next five years.

What are your best tips and advice for ED/CEO who use social media effectively?

My advice would be to get them using the tools and help them understand the workload. I think it's also good to set them up with an account to assuage the fear of social media. Our Senior leadership doesn't use social media constantly but they do recognize the relationship building is really valuable and made easy with social media. Danielle Brigida

Focus first on listening, not talking. Sometimes counter-intuitive for senior leadership! - Lisa Colton

Identify your knowledge field, your added value and your expertise: it empowers your impact and your leadership in a social network. Concentrate your advice and your presence on the net by answering questions and offering information about specific areas.- Neus Lorenzo (@NewsNeus)

Sounds easy, but be yourself. Remember that no matter how many "followers" or "fans" or readers you have, you are being read by only one person at a time, and they want to hear your authentic voice. - Ami Dar

One hurdle to jump over is the overwhelming feeling execs I've run into have that opening another form of access will suck them dry - most are already drowning in email from the public and internal employees and they worry the volume will overtake them. I can't assuage this fear too much but I try to instill in them the importance of putting some prioritization on participating bc it's what people expect of them now and it's where their audience is. - Wendy Harman

Show executive insights. CEOs have perspectives the middle tier doesn't, and the best ones show that savoire faire and vision with their tweets, and also by referencing articles they think are important. -GL

Don't forget that you are the face of your organization. Don't make comments about your BMW acting up. - @jasoninman


Is there a time or situation when a ED/CEO should not use social media?

If they can't keep up with it, they shouldn't put themselves out there. In some cases I can imagine having an assistant flag things to respond to to increase efficiency, but if someone is talking to the ED and gets radio silence, it's not good. - Lisa Colton

I would put it the opposite way: use it only when you truly have something to say. Otherwise, better to be quiet :) - Ami Dar

I think some fundamental understanding of how the culture of the social web works is paramount before jumping in. For some this revolution hasn't crossed the tipping point and it doesn't seem like a necessary addition to their duties. ED/CEOs who do make it a priority now (and who do it right) are positioning themselves to continue to be relevant. -Wendy Harman

If they're a controller who can't take the masses or public criticism, then don't use it! Delegate the role... GL

Best Articles and Resources

Wicked article on how to be a master CEO, And I think a lot of it translates. "The CEO's Secret Handbook"
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/business2/business2_archive/2005/07/01/8265517/index.htm
GL

Here's an interesting WIRED article: http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/06/ceos-are-social-media-slackers-study/ -Danielle Brigida


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