CEOs! It's time to up your social media strategy

Employees are paying close attention to how C-Suite leaders stay connected online

CEOs! It's time to up your social media strategy

In a year reshaped by crisis and upheaval, how can C-Suite leaders communicate support to their people? By tapping into their influence on social media, a new study on leadership revealed.

Lockdown measures have forced employees to maintain connection with their teams despite the physical distance. But they also want their own leaders to be equally active and communicate their presence on digital channels, especially on social media, according to research from global advisory firm Brunswick.

“Globally, employees who report working from a new location (89%) due to COVID-19 are more likely to get information from social media than employees who have not changed locations (78%),” the firm’s Connected Leadership report said.

Read more: How crisis will define your employer brand

But these patterns of media consumption don’t stop at monitoring events on the news. As the findings suggest, people want leaders to communicate their vision to a wider audience on the web.

Three in four business-savvy media consumers worldwide (74%) say they are keen to trust a “connected leader” more than they would a CEO who doesn’t use social media as part of their leadership strategy.

More importantly, nine in 10 employees and financial readers believe it’s crucial for CEOs to stay visible and update the public on social media during a crisis.

A similar percentage also say “correcting misinformation about the company” is part of the CEO’s responsibility to their online community.

Read more: In times of crisis, workplace relations can grow stronger

“In today’s saturated news environment, social media provides a direct line of communication to inform and reassure stakeholders when clarity, control, and scale are essential,” analysts said.  

“Adaptive executives who build trust before it’s needed and have an established channel for digital engagement are better positioned to lead more effectively when it matters most.”

In 2021, which issues do employees want leaders to discuss actively on the social web?

  • COVID-19 – 88%
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion – 82%
  • Social issues in the media – 72%
  • Political issues in the media – 63%

Overall, employees say they prefer to work with corporate leaders who use digital and social media for the following reasons:

  • Digital/social media usage makes a leader more accessible – 46%
  • It is easier to communicate with them – 43%
  • It provides employees with up-to-date information – 43%
  • It helps keep teams connected – 42%

“To build and sustain trust at a time when trust in leadership is fragile, executives must adapt to forge and fortify their reputation online,” analysts said.

“Considering a CEO’s reputation directly impacts the company, digital and social media are critical tools for building and protecting their reputation – both online and offline.”

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