Today I read an interesting article by Carmen Hentschel on LinkedIn: “How important is it for CEOs to be visible in social media? The whole thing is linked to ifs and buts, so I prefer to deal with it in a blog article instead of just in a commentary.
Does a CEO or board member have to be on LinkedIn?
This Question is objectively easy to answer: “Yes, of course”. Reasons for this are quickly counted:
In a modern world, it’s the executives who hold the brand of your company in high esteem.
Employer branding is not just a job for the human resources department, but the job of everyone in a company. Senior management in particular is called upon to set a good example.
An emotional closeness to a company is more likely to be established if everyone is reachable there. This applies not only to normal employees, but especially to senior management.
Does every CEO or board member now have to be represented on LinkedIn (Twitter, Facebook, whatever…)? The answer is not that simple. Although there are objective reasons for this (see above), there are also some against it. First and foremost, the time factor: Can an exposed person in senior management spend hours every day in social media? Is it possible to spend time on this? But it’s also a very pragmatic problem: Do I really want to spend hours as a senior manager on Twitter, LinkedIn or anything else? Can I even afford that?
The thing with authenticity
Very important: Authenticity. One sees again and again profiles of persons from the senior management, whose profiles are recognizable also for outsiders fast as agency service. However, the profiles are only effective if they are authentic.
The best examples are Tim Höttges from Telekom AG, Dieter Zetsche from Daimler, and Janina Kugel from Siemens. These people also seem to operate their social media presence themselves. The topic of authenticity is important when it comes to operating an agency: operating an agency quickly conveys a lack of authenticity. This can be counterproductive.
So if people from senior management operate social media, please do so authentically and in such a way that outsiders believe in it.