Everyone has an online presence. It can make or break your career if you are an average person, but it can do far more if you run a major company. For C-level executives, a media presence can have a major impact on a company’s future. Understanding exactly how a CEO’s online presence can help or hinder a company is an important topic for discussion for companies of all sizes. Failure to take this aspect of a CEO seriously could have major repercussions.
Putting A Human Face On A Company
From a positive standpoint, a CEO’s online image can pay huge dividends for a company. Having a positive online presence helps to lend a human face to a business, connecting with customers in a way that’s almost impossible with a standard marketing campaign. According to Domo, 2,430,555 posts are liked on Instagram every minute, and 216,302 photos are shared on Facebook. Social media is a huge part of our daily lives personally and professionally. A good social media account can help bridge the gaps that no amount of PR can bridge, so tasking a CEO with maintaining a positive presence is very important. With a little coaching, a CEO can become a huge asset to any company that has a strong an online presence.
By embracing an online platform, a CEO also has a chance to have very human interactions with customers. Whether these interactions provide a customer with his or her desired results is often irrelevant, as simply knowing that a CEO has given him or her attention is enough to convince most customers that a company cares. A CEO who is able to step into a conversation to provide more than the standard company line can be invaluable when a company wants to stand out from the competition and engage with an internet-savvy demographic. While not a solution to all problems, a CEO with a good online presence can help with many public relations issues.
Of course, a CEO’s online presence is not all fun and games. It doesn’t take much for an individual to lose face online, and a CEO who doesn’t carefully monitor his or her output can cause a loss of face for an entire company. When the CEO is well known, his or her presence will be constantly scrutinized – and one small misstep can wreak havoc with any company’s well-laid plans. It doesn’t take much for the stocks to start tumbling, and one egregious tweet can be as bad as a series of bad business decisions.
There’s also the possibility of linking the business too closely with a public CEO. While having that individual work as a mouthpiece for the company can be useful, problems can arise when the CEO leaves. If the CEO’s force of personality was being leveraged too heavily as a marketing strategy, the CEO’s exit can spell disaster for a company. Even worse, a CEO who is opposed to certain strategies or who is ousted can use his or her online presence as a way to tear down the company, with little recourse available to stop him or her.
A CEO can be a huge asset or a huge liability online. While he or she can put a human face on a company, he or she also subjects a company to all of the failings that are inherent to being human. If there’s a lesson to be learned, it’s this – a good CEO needs to know exactly what kind of impact he or she is having on the company, and needs to work with the marketing and public relations departments to make sure that everything goes according to the greater plan. While this might seem invasive to some, it’s simply a part of doing business in today’s market.
About the Author
Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2