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The influence of leaders on social networks

Today, social networks have become an essential part of a company’s communication strategy, regardless of its size. Using social networks wisely, can increase business opportunities, influence of a company and develop its brand image.

When the company manager becomes an engaged corporate ambassador on social networks

More and more companies are using social networks as communication tools to relay their news and commitments.

The mission of corporate ambassador on social networks can be entrusted to the manager but it is full of pitfalls. Well installed in this role, he will testify in an authentic way, with his own words, about the life of the company, its values, its convictions and its commitments. The manager then becomes the digital standard-bearer of the company that employs him. His voice is more credible, he inspires confidence and his post on social networks is more personalized than a publication that would come from the communication teams. Indeed, Internet users feel more confident when reading content shared by an employee, than a simple brand publication.

Nearly 840,000 French companies are present on LinkedIn. It is the most used social network by B2B decision makers in France. Other media are also used such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

Using social networks in your communication strategy brings many benefits such as:

  • Improve its visibility and notoriety
  • Develop your brand image
  • Create a community around the company
  • Build customer loyalty
  • Acquire new customers

Today, social networks have become an essential part of a company’s communication strategy, regardless of its size. Using social networks wisely, allows to increase business opportunities, the influence of a company and to develop its brand image. The main challenge for companies is to know how to correctly use all the levers of this social media environment: position yourself on the “right” social networks, those that are in line with the services offered by the company and optimize your social media presence with rigor and recurrence.

It is no longer enough to have a perfect knowledge of your target audience and the market in which your company operates. It is also necessary for a company manager to be skilled in using new media to promote his knowledge and experience, while remaining a responsible ambassador for the company he works for.

For a company to integrate social networks in its communication strategy, it is imperative that its managers, and even more so its employees, are its allies with their own accounts. Indeed, who are the followers of corporate social networks? Mainly managers, employees and sometimes shareholders of the company, who want to stay informed. But rarely customers and prospects. The latter tend to follow people they know or appreciate for their background and experience. Therefore, companies have every interest in soliciting their managers to deploy their image. However, the company’s managers often have high-level networks of influence in their field.

But these same managers have their own network and image, sometimes not exclusively linked to the environment of their current company but often linked to their business skills. Moreover, they do not necessarily want to be the relays of their company’s news when they do not fully subscribe to it or to not be perceived as simple promoters of a company.

How can managers use social networks to develop their own influence, while serving their role as corporate ambassadors?

 

Relaxing the rules of internal communication within the company

The manager is bound by the rules of communication imposed by his company. Indeed, he cannot say anything and express himself on sometimes controversial subjects as he pleases. These rules can limit him when it comes to acting on the networks. As a result, they often only like and share corporate publications on an ad hoc basis. How can we support them in their role as committed corporate ambassadors ?

We will see how to make him proud of his achievements and those of his company, especially if they are synonymous with commitment and innovation, in connection with subjects that affect him personally.

Understanding and getting around the obstacles encountered by the manager

The corporate manager has several missions that are entrusted to him throughout his career. By positioning himself as a committed corporate ambassador on social networks, he will encounter several obstacles, which may prevent him from fulfilling this role:

  1. Lack of time. Between his main missions as a manager and his role as a corporate ambassador on social networks, how can you help him to post regularly and quickly?
  2. His accounts on the different platforms belong to him, it is his property and his followers are his own. How to stay in the themes that correspond to him personally?
  3. Is the use of social networks within the company properly supervised, without restricting the pleasure of expression? How can we avoid abuses without banning employees’ publications ?
  4. Involve the different departments of the company in the practice of social networks: the communication department, HR and General Management. It is imperative to create an environment that is favorable and conducive to the activity of all employees on social networks.
  5. Take into consideration the lack of experience of company managers in using social networks. How to give them the desire to be actively present, without losing their image?

Integrate the experts of Skills to train and accompany your managers in the optimal use of social networks by circumventing the obstacles

 

From now on, social networks accompany companies in their communication strategy. These new social platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to name but a few, allow companies to address their audience directly. The birth of new professions such as community managers or social network trainers and coaches are new opportunities that cannot be ignored by companies wishing to develop their managerial communication and influence strategy.

As a digital communication agency, Skills Communication has been accompanying for many years the major actors of the French financial sector, particularly in Banking and Asset Management. To help company managers to use social networks correctly, we accompany them by offering them a tailor-made coaching. Implementing an online digital strategy means :

  • Choose a profile for each manager (subjects, opinions, fields of intervention, values …)
  • Determine the themes and skills of the company to highlight (social, environmental, shareholder commitment, investment strategy, trends, regulations …)
  • Establish an editorial calendar and list the topics: your team’s projects, company news, market news to be commented on…
  • Supervise the manager’s interventions by proposing an angle, an editorial line, and even the publication and measurement of results.

Once the company manager profile has been determined and the editorial calendar validated, it is then possible to create regular publications on the manager’s personal account. These publications are personalized and respect his profile. The objective is to promote publications about the company’s achievements and to respect the manager’s personality and profession.

The next step is to put in place the necessary means to go further:

° How to make the manager autonomous?

° What KPIs should be put in place to progress?

° How to develop one’s community of influence and that of the company?

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