Should Marketers Use Social Media Personally Before They Use it Professionally?

by Mack Collier

social media, companies, marketing, ceoI recently read an emarketer article on a study BRANDfog did into how employees viewed their CEO, if the CEO tweeted.

The study found that 51% of employees were more likely to trust a CEO that tweeted, while another 31% were much more likely to trust their CEO, if they tweeted.  The study also found that 82% of respondents said they trust a company more when its C-Suite is using social media.

Does this hold true for you?  Are you more likely to trust and view a brand favorably, if its CEO is active on Twitter?  I tend to agree with this, because it makes me feel that the CEO is at least familiar with the tool, and is likely encouraging their employees to be active in social media as well.

So to flip this around, instead of companies cutting off access to Facebook and other popular social media sites at work, should they instead be encouraging employees, and especially executives to use social media?

A big problem I see with how many companies use social media is that they view it as a marketing tool, instead of a communications tool. They learn about how popular Facebook and Twitter are, and think ‘Ohhh….shiny new marketing channel!’  When of course, we are using these tools to CONNECT with each other, not to market to each other!

What if a company was wanting to start using social media, and the CEO called her executive team in and told them to start a Facebook and Twitter personal account, and pick one other account.  It could be a blog, Plus, Pinterest, whatever.   Let’s say the CEO just told her team to use the tools for a month, and then everyone would report back with their thoughts on the tools, and their experiences.

If a company took this approach and FIRST used the tools personally, would that make their efforts in using the tools professionally more or less effective?  What do you think?

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