The days of the guarded CEO fenced by public relations associates issuing heavily edited press releases may come to an end in the digital age. For the new generation who grew up in the loud social and share economy, CEOs are having to become more vocal and opinionated to get noticed.
Social media has given CEOs the chance to connect with their customers as thought leaders, which can help boost their brands.
Better yet, one-to-one communication can go viral. CEOs should have their own Twitter accounts, regularly publish content on various social media platforms, and voice their opinion in a way that reflects their brand values. Transparency, social skills, a relatable message from the CEO can really promote brand loyalty.
A study found 82 per cent employees thought that CEO participation on social helped communicate a company’s values and shaped the brand reputation. With social media being the main way, we communicate these days, CEO branding is more important than ever, here’s why:
Southeast Asia accounts for one of the highest social network usage among internet users in the world. Today, social media platforms are powerful digital marketing channels CEOs need to leverage on. The constant exposure and visibility of a brand leader will inevitably condition consumers to associate the brand with his or her face, opinions and actions.
Who else is more fitted to be an ambassador for the brand than the CEO? This is not to say that the CEO must be a celebrity or influencer with thousands of followers on Instagram, but he or she should be constantly reflecting the brand’s values and ideals in every piece of communication. As the main representative of the company, the leader is an icon who can shape stakeholders’ perceptions of the brand.
Consumers today expect an emotional connection with brands. It is no longer merely about two-way communication and satisfactory customer service.
By putting a face to the name, CEOs have the power to secure consumers’ loyalty to the brands by reaching out personally and sharpening his/her presence associated to the brand. This way, the emotional bond is strengthened.
When a voice is established, it separates the brand from its competitors. The brand gains a competitive advantage when the CEO is branded as an icon tied closely to it. The element of individuality is something competitors within the market would be unable to match - and even if they do, it would be impossible for them to replicate it exactly.
With the presence of digital marketing channels, the visibility and recognisability of both the brand and its CEO has become more prominent.
A true leader has an authoritative role in his industry, and commenting on social media, writing blog posts, publishing articles, are all things that a CEO can do to brand himself. All of his actions should make him relatable and understood.
But watch out, keep your PR associates by your side as you never know which comments can be misinterpreted.