No Social Media presence yet? Top business leaders weigh in

By Shailesh Merai
December 08, 2014

Many small and medium sized businesses still express trepidation about being on social media. Some reasons they cite for their hesitation include: fear of looking bad, making mistakes for all the world to see or not knowing how to deal with negative feedback.

Socially savvy businesses

The trend of companies utilizing the web to attract business grows exponentially every single day and social media presence plays a major role in harnessing the power of the internet. In fact, the most successful businesses today are socially savvy and interact on a number of social networks daily.

What business leaders say about social media

Richard Branson, Founder and Chairman of Virgin, uses Twitter to drive all aspects of his business and has become a brand himself.  With over 3.3 million Twitter followers, over 4.7 million Google+ followers, and 2.1 million followers on his LinkedIn influencer blog, Branson has no equal among social CEOs.

He has this to say:
“Like all other areas of business, CEOs have the opportunity to set the bar. By ignoring social networks, they are potentially missing a trick.”

Doug Conant, Chairman of the Avon Board of Directors and former CEO of Campbell’s Soup believes in engaging his followers and tweets often 10 times a day, and posts photos on Instagram regularly. His social presence includes a LinkedIn profile and a Facebook profile, and he has written blogs for the Harvard Business Review since 2011.

Peter Aceto, CEO of Tangerine, formerly ING DIRECT, is a strong advocate and stated recently:
“Successful leaders will no longer be measured just by stock price. Managing and communicating with shareholders, employees, government, community, and customers will be table stakes in the future. They are talking about your business anyway. Why not be included in the conversation?”

Join the conversation

More and more CEOs of major corporations are rocketing into this universe daily and joining in the conversation. Business leaders increasingly agree that being silent or non-existent on this medium is no longer an option.

What’s the worst that can happen?

If you’re afraid of making mistakes or looking bad, social media is a great antidote to any number of faux pas.  Some of the biggest companies have put their feet in their mouths only to apologize publicly and come out of a bad situation smelling like roses!

The internet can be a very forgiving place it you’re transparent about your business dealings. In fact, that’s the beauty of the online universe - it just takes a moment to apologize!

Transparency rules!

Being transparent via social media gives you the ability to closely engage with your customers, allows them to honestly and openly voice their opinions, and lets your company clearly understand their comments or complaints. It then gives you greater opportunities to improve your product or service and overall company branding.

Hire a social media expert

If (even after reading this persuasive blog!) you still feel you and your staff members are too uncomfortable with the whole social media thing to do it yourself, you can always hire an expert.  There are a myriad consultants and agencies out there to fit pretty much any budget.

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