8 Simple Tips for Busy Executives on Social Media

Executives’ interest in social media is growing. They recognize that social networks can help them build their personal brands, share their expertise, humanize their companies, build brand awareness, and increase revenue.

But there’s one problem. While many executives understand the importance of social, they feel like they don’t have time for social networking. That’s why I sat down with Henry Nothhaft, Trapit’s CEO, to uncover some of his best tips.

Over the course of eight months, Henry grew his Twitter following by 1100% and his Twitter reach by 3900% – without spending a dime on advertising. Needless to say, he knows a thing or two about building a social following. (You can follow him on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.) So, from one executive to another, here are eight of Henry’s best tips for building your audience.

Tip #1: Be Consistent

Post content to social networks regularly. Consider posting daily to LinkedIn and several times each day to Twitter. A daily 15-minute investment will pay dividends.

Tip #2: Don’t Be Boring

Curate only the most informative and interesting content that you can find. Make sure that your social sharing adds value to your social network. Give people a reason to follow you and engage with you. If you simply retweet already popular content or broadcast your company’s latest press releases, people will ignore you. And you won’t build your company’s brand or your professional brand.

Tip #3: Be Authentic and Show Your Personality

Of course, you want to share work- and industry-related content. That type of content should be the bulk of what you share. But it often helps to supplement business-related content with something that is more personal.

After all, as an executive on social, you’re trying to humanize yourself and your company. And no one eats, sleeps, and lives their work. So, pick an interest or hobby and share about those topics every now and again. For example, Henry posts regularly about digital photography and videography.

Tip #4: Acknowledge Others

Mention people by using the @ symbol in front of their Twitter handle, or in front of their name on LinkedIn. This is a great way to acknowledge a well-written article or a great podcast appearance. When done correctly, mentioning others can be a great conversation starter.

Tip #5: Interact with Others’ Posts

Social networks require interaction. If you only share content and don’t take time to react to what other people post, you won’t be effective. So, take the time to read what others post and show others that you’re consuming their content.

If you’re strapped for time, favorite or like the posts you enjoy or find amusing. Consider favoriting five to ten articles every day on LinkedIn and Twitter. This is an easy way to get social media users’ attention and start to build your social network.

For posts that truly pique your interest, take the time to leave a comment. It’s a great way to demonstrate your expertise, as well as swap ideas with other thought leaders in your industry.

Tip #6: Minimize Your Workload

Make sure that your company has the right software in place. With tools like Trapit, executives can automate tasks and schedule posts ahead of time. What’s more, busy executives don’t need to scavenge the internet, searching for the best content. With a tool like Trapit, marketing managers can easily help executives choose content to share so that their social profiles are always fresh.

Also, if you have an executive assistant or a trusted marketing manager, you may want to rely on an assistant’s help to maintain your social presence.

Tip #7: Don’t Forget Nights and Weekends

Many people check Twitter and LinkedIn at night and on weekends. By scheduling posts during off-hours, you can boost your engagement. But be cognizant of what people are doing when they’re not at the office.

At 10pm on a Thursday evening, most social media users aren’t looking for a dense white paper to read. Instead, consider sharing content related to your interests – like digital photography (see tip #3) – or something that’s easier to digest – like an infographic or SlideShare.

Tip #8: Find the Right Mix of Company-Created and Third-Party Content

Social media experts recommend that 80% of the content shared by employees come from third parties (e.g. other people’s blogs, interesting articles, news, reports). The other 20% should come from the employee’s company.

At first, this might seem contradictory. Executives on social can help build their company’s brand, yet they shouldn’t share too much content produced by their company. Huh? How does that work?

As an executive on social, your primary goal is to serve your followers and customers. If you share only your company’s content, you lose credibility with your followers. Social media users don’t want to interact with corporate parrots, who simply repeat the latest marketing messaging. Instead, they want to engage with someone who shares original thinking and authentic interests. That’s ultimately how you will help build your company’s brand and raise its visibility.

Leading the Digital Charge

If you’re still on the fence about starting a social presence, think about it this way: people now spend more time using apps like Twitter and LinkedIn than they do watching television. That’s why digital and social transformation is a top priority for the majority of today’s CEOs.

To support your company’s digital initiatives, executives need to immerse themselves in the digital experience. Today, it is hard to lead and understand the digital revolution without a personal social media presence. The good news is that, contrary to what many executives believe, building a social presence is easier than they think, and the rewards build up quickly. Use the eight tips above as a starting point.

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