Back in 2009, social media marketing as we know it today was barely a thing. A decade from now, we’ll likely have a hearty chuckle or two at its present state, too.
That the social media marketing landscape is constantly shifting is no excuse not to keep up with the times. As the calendar flips into a new decade, it’s high time you took a hard look at your enterprise’s campaigns. What worked five years ago, or even last quarter, may no longer be operative.
Nowhere is the ground shifting faster than in the realm of thought leadership, whose increasing centrality to corporate branding has forced marketers across industries to center top executives and process owners in revamped campaigns.
That this trend will continue into 2020 is a foregone conclusion. Stay ahead of the curve by testing and implementing these five crucial social media strategies.
1. Punch Up Your Copy (And Embrace Brevity)
Executives are busy people. Most don’t directly manage their official social media activity.
This raises the stakes for those who do so on their behalf. Above all else, those responsible for posting social content and engaging with followers must remember that brevity is the soul of wit — regardless of format. Even thousand-word Medium essays need to be concise, structured, and rhetorically coherent.
2. Cultivate Discrete Thought Leadership Domains
Another key principle of thought leadership: Executives shouldn’t stray too far from what they’re good at. This steel executive’s Twitter handle is a great example of the benefits of a focused, disciplined approach to social media activity.
3. Follow Social Media Policies to the Letter
The imperative to remain disciplined in the often-freewheeling world of social media extends to the official social media use and content policies that your organization should already have in place. More so than other employees, executives must lead by example in this realm; as in other domains, they set the tone here, and a single significant misstep can have big downstream effects.
4. Hold Digital Roundtables (And Similar)
Without putting themselves in a position to violate these social media policies, executives and their social media times should seek out (or manufacture) opportunities to engage with fans, followers, and other thought leaders in loose, interactive settings. Digital roundtables, live Q&As, streamed talks with time for audience questions — all work to your organization’s advantage here.
5. Spend Some Time in the Replies
Top executives are busy. But they (or their social media minders) aren’t above interacting with the little people. Such interaction is critical to perceptions of authenticity and conviction, which reflect well on the entire organization.
Lead by Example
Your organization’s top executives are accustomed to leading IRL. They may not be as comfortable with the requirements of digital leadership.
It’s worth reiterating that, for better or worse, it’s up to your organization’s marketing team (in consultation with HR and other relevant process owners) to lay out sound social media policies and ground rules governing executives’ social media use. Do this well and you can trust rank-and-file employees to fall in line — and to face swift accountability when they fall short.