Executive Social Media and an Online Footprint for Interim Executives
For interim executives, executive social media is becoming increasingly important to build your portfolio online and get your message and brand out there
Entire books have been written on this single subject – executive social media. Rather than try to squeeze in a quick tutorial that wouldn’t do justice to the possibilities, we’ll focus on the question, “Do I really need it?” and a few things to keep in mind.
Executive social media is helping people build their own private portfolio. Companies are able to begin building trust prior to meeting or being introduced to you. They can see common contacts, a range of your content, and your personal/ professional interests. As a result, there is an initial connection.
LinkedIn for Executive Social Media
The rise of LinkedIn is a great example of this. LinkedIn has become one of the largest staffing companies and networking sites in the world. How is this possible when most LinkedIn profiles have less work experience background on them than the average resume? For users, the site offers information beyond their work background. Not only can you put forth your expertise, skills, and experience online, but also recommendations and endorsements from other people. You also gain access to groups and online communities.
Social networking sites are hot spots for professional work-related activity with a rapidly increasing user base. Establishing your presence on the web can be highly beneficial for your brand. Start by creating and maintaining an updated and comprehensive profile.
You can create a personal brand using social media networks. You have the power to control what people see when they search your name on Google or Bing. By creating profiles on sites like Twitter and LinkedIn, you can control what information is shown and what image you present.
When somebody visits your website’s home page, he or she should be able to know instantly whom you serve and what type of impact you can make. This is “credibility and context.” If people know what you do and why you are a credible authority, they are more likely to recommend you. Nobody wants to be embarrassed with a bad recommendation that puts their judgment into question.
By using social media sites, you are making it easier for people to recommend you. This is important; the more consequential strangers who know what you do and can tell their friends what you do, the more likely they will be to refer business to you. This strategy does not depend on whether you have a large or small social network, but on how effectively you communicate what your business does.
Executive Social Media Websites
We often hear the question, “Do I need a website?” A company has to have a website. Otherwise, some clients will think you don’t exist or are not substantial enough to do business with. This doesn’t apply as broadly for independent executives. When building trust, it can be helpful to more quickly build validity. Because so many executives don’t have websites and instead are using executive social media, a website can help you stand out. It also can show your commitment to working as an independent executive as a career and highlight the areas you focus in. Given how easy building a website is, with drag-and-drop sites on the rise, it doesn’t take much. It is a simple way to establish an online presence.
Social Media Pictures
Please make sure your headshot is professional. No pets, children, fishing trip, or NASCAR weekend. As pretty as the beach is, it doesn’t come across as professional. We have had clients comment on this. They do like to get to know you on a personal basis, but an unprofessional or inappropriate picture can leave a bad image in the mind of the client or referrer. You don’t want that image to be remembered as you snuggling with your dog rather than the image they want of the person who can help them with their company.
There are an infinite number of options for creating and communicating your brand. It starts with your background and ends with your client’s needs. As challenging as it is to find the shortest path between the two, it can be one of the most effective things you can do to set yourself up for success.
Keep Your Messaging Consistent across your social media
Whatever you decide, keep your information and messaging consistent. Don’t tell a networking group you are looking for your next COO role when the last four positions on your online profile were all CFO positions. It’s understandable to want to look for entirely different roles, but companies want executives who bring years of relevant experience to the table. So, make your information consistent with your history and what you want. It is also confusing and frustrating when someone you meet finds nothing from your conversation reflected on your LinkedIn profile. Regardless of where you display your information, whether on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., it needs to be consistent across the board and highlight your expertise.