The writing is on the wall when it comes to corporate communication: Adopt a top-down social media approach, or be left in the dust. At least that’s what the data suggests.
IBM conducted a 2012 study of 1709 CEOs around the world with the goal of exploring what greater organizational openness ahead means. Among their findings, only 16 percent of the CEOS surveying were participating in social media at the time.
But their analysis shows that the percentage will likely grow to 57 percent within five years. The report also found that social media–after face-to-face communication–will likely become the second most used method of organizational engagement method within the next five years.
The Benefits of Executive Blogging
The benefits of executives telling their brand’s story via online platforms (such as LinkedIn’s publishing platform) are plentiful.
“We opened the platform to 100 million people in the third quarter of 2014 – and over the remainder of this year and into early 2015, all LinkedIn members will have the ability to post their unique thoughts, insights, perspective and analysis through long-form writing on LinkedIn,” says Akshay Kothari, LinkedIn’s principal product manager.
According to Kothari, there are several advantages to executive blogging, particularly when using the LinkedIn publishing platform.
- It can build credibility and strengthen your professional brand: According to Kothari, “With just a simple post, you have the opportunity to prove your expertise and thought leadership through your original and authentic voice. It becomes part of the dynamic portfolio you’re creating with your profile.” In other words, blogging is a way to position yourself and company as an industry leader through a form of digital storytelling.
- It can put a human face on a brand: Writing on LinkedIn as an executive is useful in a number of ways –amplifying your reach, putting a human face on the company, being a thought leader on trending or current topics and more. Some executives have even found success in using this as a forum to respond to events that affect the company. Kothari cites Target CMO Jeff Jones’s piece from May as a great example of using blogging to address a public relations nightmare.
- It is scalable and shareable: LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, with 332 million members. That’s a lot of potential pairs of eyes! “People benefit every day from reading, commenting and sharing those stories they find on our platform,” says Kothari.
- It can translate to success offline: Kothari says collectively users typically generate 40,000 blogs per week, which can really yield results. “We’ve heard from members who have gotten jobs, secured speaking engagements, been interviewed by major news outlets like Fox or picked up by publications like The New York Times, and made valuable new connections as a result of publishing on LinkedIn.”
CEOs and their respective companies must keep up with the times to stay relevant and competitive. Employees, vendors, customers and many other company touch points look to the top to communicate with them to foster trust and help them feel invested with the brand. Show them that you’re ready to have that conversation by putting a voice behind your organization’s leadership.