Companies have a major role to play in social media, and eClincher is here to help. But at root, of course, we’re talking about something “social”, i.e. between people. Thorough presence is accomplished when employees present themselves personally online in voices that are both authentic and consistent with company objectives and messaging. eClincher recognizes this, and our software can coordinate posting and engagement by companies with their key people’s activities.
To demonstrate the power of great social media presences by executives, we’ve surveyed tweeting CEOs to find some standouts. These people complement their companies’ presences with distinctive personal perspectives. But the project was harder than it should have been as there are not enough good examples out there! More than a decade into the social media era, too many executives let their presences languish with infrequent posting, or concede to their communications colleagues posting sterile content on their behalf, or merely share links and re-post others’ content without putting forward their own thoughts and personalities.
This oversight provides opportunity for more executives to step forward and lead with their authentic voices. Here are three CEOs who show the way.
Jack Salzwedel @AmFamJack, chair & CEO of American Family Mutual Insurance Company
The theme of this twitter account is revealed in its header photo that shows AmFam employees volunteering. There’s an accompanying statement about the company seeing its societal role being greater than just growth and profits by selling insurance. Salzwedel’s posts extend the celebration of his and his colleagues’ commitments to a better world through philanthropy and service efforts.
Salzwedel delivers his celebration of noble behavior in an eminently personal way that makes it especially authentic, endearing and broadly uplifting.
He posts a photo of himself beaming with technology vendor specialist Deb Harman after her completion of a race to raise money for pancreatic cancer research. While many CEOs’ feeds are congested with them in suits behind podiums, this one’s got t-shirts, mussed hair and a baseball cap. And genuine smiles. And Salzwedel further demonstrates his cultural commitment by re-tweeting Deb’s colleagues’ recognition of her accomplishment including his personal comments on each retweet.
Company social media accounts are important for messaging and identity. But they can’t stress a level of commitment to giving back with the strength and sincerity of Jack Salzwedel’s very personal Twitter feed.
Ida Tin @idatin, co-founder and CEO of Clue
Clue is a female health startup that provides guidance about menstruation and fertility. In addition to the company’s app that tracks and predicts personal cycles, it’s very much a content company including its home page being a topical blog with each post featuring cover art that bears a particular artistic styling. That imagery fills the company’s twitter feed. It’s nice and tasteful and thematic, but it’s also very clearly professionally produced.
Clue CEO Ida Tin utilizes this aesthetic for her Twitter header image, but beyond that, she offers a very clearly personal twitter feed even while it complements Clue’s company content. She extends the celebration of women and broadens it from focus on health and reproductive issues to more general considerations. Like AmFam’s Jack Salzwadel, Tin doesn’t just bluntly re-tweet or share links, but augments with captions in her own words.
Tin recently took further personal initiative to share learnings from an executive session with former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo arranged by Clue venture capital investor Union Square Ventures. In addition to the generosity and diligence of scribing and sharing the content to which she had exclusive first-hand access, she also demonstrates her on-point expertise with how to construct a numbered tweetstorm, while the little punctuation, spacing and capitalization glitches within it reveal its being an in-the-moment, personal exercise.
Clue has beautiful and articulate content. CEO Tin’s weighing in on broader female and entrepreneurial issues, in a highly personal voice, complements and deepens the company’s overall presence.
John Legere @JohnLegere T-Mobile America CEO
Our third CEO is certainly the hardest one to miss, with his multi-million follower count and magenta everywhere. The tweets come fast and furious. In fact putting this blog post together was challenging because he keeps putting new stuff up while this is getting written, including a 9.5 minute monologue selfie Periscope post from his desk, solicitation of proof that others celebrating #MagentaMonday with him (got a few dozen replies), and a poll about whether to do pineapple pizza for the next #SlowCookerSunday (“Hell YASSS” edged out “YASS” by 29% to 26%).
John Legere’s weekend included appreciation of rare good weather in Seattle through an animated gif and a sticker adorned photo . .
. . commemoration of a local SPCA fundraiser where his bunny ears were not spared from the owner of a pup decked out in a T-Mobile bow tie (which also happened to be recently acquired by the pooch of this post’s author) . .
. . and like just about every weekend, there’s Legere’s Slow Cooker Sunday which this week introduced many to Burgoo. This show is primarily broadcast on Facebook Live, demonstrating the CEO’s devotion across social media channels.
John Legere is so busy on social media it’s hard to imagine he’s actually the one doing it, but the content is so personal that there’s really no other explanation. That makes it hard to understand how he makes time for other demands of being CEO, yet he’s currently pulling off a merger of T-Mobile with Sprint. Legere’s posts extend from the whimsical and personal to celebration of his company and the causes it supports like TeamRubicon and pretty regular jibes at T-Mobile rivals.
So if John Legere makes the time to get himself out there and add his personal voice to what T-Mobile does online (really, he overwhelms it), what excuse does your company’s CEO have? Legere, Tin and Salzwedel provide great examples of how to be themselves and support their companies. OK, now I’m going to get this post up and go lecture Gilad Salamander about him needing to up his Twitter game.