7 social media tips from top CEOs

Just how public should a major CEO’s social media presence be? Consider these insights as you attempt to connect with your consumers and stakeholders online.

CEO social media tips

Many of today’s top CEOs maintain active accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even Instagram.

Because of the strong influence they have within their given industry, their presence is highly curated. Here are tips organizations and business professionals can take from these leaders to develop their own social media presence.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple

The only verified presence of Tim Cook on any form of social media is on Twitter. He uses this account to make statements about current events and clarify what Apple is doing to help.

A recent example is his response to the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia and an announcement that the company would be making a donation to aid in the recovery process. Cook’s other tweets announce and promote new products, expansions and partnerships. He also interacts with Apple’s audience via retweets with hashtags such as #ShotOniPhone.

As a well-known CEO, his lack of presence on other platforms makes followers focus their attention on this one outlet, which makes it seem exclusive.

The lesson : You don’t need to be on every social media platform to have success.

Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors

GM CEO Mary Barra is on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The overarching theme from a quick analysis of her social media channels is consistency. All of her profiles post the same articles with a similar message tailored to that specific platform; in addition, she uses the same profile picture on both her Twitter and Facebook accounts.

One notable variation is that Barra posts messages of condolence for prominent figures and icons who have passed away on her Twitter. This uniformity makes her profiles more recognizable as well as on-brand and true to the message both she and her company want to portray to the world.

The lesson: Be consistent across all social media channels.

Satya Narayana Nadella , CEO of Microsoft

Satya Narayana Nadella can be found on Twitter and LinkedIn. Like most CEOs, his Twitter largely focuses on informing the public about any new products or business adventures. Nadella also tries to use his social media profiles to humanize the company, tailoring his messages in a way that exudes sincerity.

This attempt to be genuine carries over to Nadella’s LinkedIn profile, which he uses to post highly personal articles inspired by his own perspective and experiences. In doing so, he allows consumers to connect with him on a personal level so that, by association, they can also connect to his brand.

The lesson : Be authentic to your unique voice as a person—not just the brand you represent.

Mary Dillon, CEO of Ulta Beauty

In addition to Twitter and LinkedInMary Dillon is active on Instagram.

Dillon’s social media presence is unique compared to her peers. Her Twitter account is private, allowing access to only those followers she chooses to confirm. Her LinkedIn contains only basic personal information such as her past work experience, education and interests. Those two accounts make such a public figure seem almost elusive and detached from her customers or anyone else who might be interested in following her.

Her first Instagram post appeared on August 15, 2018, so she is still new to the platform, but this account is the only true chance consumers have at getting a glimpse of her everyday life. As of now, a majority of her posts are dedicated to conferences and panels; however, as her content grows she will be one to watch for profile development.

The lesson: Too much withholding won’t grow your following.

Mark Hurd, CEO of Oracle

Mark Hurd is currently active on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. There is an apparent thread of consistency woven throughout his social channels, as most of the content and messaging is the same, just tweaked slightly to suit the platform in question.

Along with this consistency, Hurd’s social profiles provide a peek into his passions. Hurd attended Baylor University on a tennis scholarship, and on both Facebook and LinkedIn, his support of the sport and the opportunities it provides to collegiate athletes is evident.

Most of Hurd’s content is predictably focused on articles about his company and industry, but his consistency across all three platforms paints a cohesive picture.

The lesson: Share your passions.

James Quincey, CEO of The Coca-Cola Company

As the CEO of such a gargantuan company as Coca-Cola, one would expect James Quincey to have a more fleshed-out social profile. On the contrary, you can only find him on LinkedIn and statements from him on the official Coca-Cola company Twitter.

His LinkedIn, like Dillon’s, contains only the bare minimum — his past work experience and education. Quincey’s lack of presence on social media makes him more of an enigma than an accessible and friendly persona.

The multitude of fake Facebook profiles for James Quincey show a want for information on and from him—and illustrate how easily your image can escape you if not appropriately curated.

The lesson: No social media presence can be a big missed opportunity.

Robert Iger CEO of Disney

Like Apple’s Tim Cook, Robert Iger’s Twitter account is his lone method of connecting to the public via social media. Still, his Twitter feed offers a more personal view of the man who is currently the face of Disney’s operations.

Iger’s Twitter reads like one would expect an older relative’s social media account to read, but he also offers opinions and commentary on news from both Disney and the world at large. Iger’s Twitter can occasionally get political, but overall he stays true to the brand and the mission of Disney.

Whoa are some of your favorite industry leaders to follow on social media? What do they get right (or wrong)?

Amanda Peterson is a contributor to Enlightened Digital and software engineer in New York City.

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