68% of employees prefer to work for leaders who use social media (Source: Brunswick). CEOs with networks between 1,000 and 10,000 connections have the most active employees on LinkedIn – 9.4% of them share content there.
So, if you activate your leaders on LinkedIn, it may just encourage your employees to start posting, too.
In a recent LinkedIn Live, Sarah Goodall spoke to David Perry (aka Social Dave), Employee Advocacy & Social Media Strategy Manager at WSP about how to encourage leaders to be active on LinkedIn.
You can listen to the full interview below, or read the summary of what they discussed in this blog.
The Challenges Of Activating Leaders On Social Media
David explained that he wishes he could get all leaders active on social media, but that’s easier said than done.
It’s hard to get someone in a leadership position, who books their calendar in 15-minute increments, to put aside an hour to use a platform they haven’t used since applying for their role. Especially as they have to change how they use it and focus on using it as a conversation platform.
Some leaders will inevitably drop off; however, this is natural. It’s important not to shed too many tears over the ones who fall flat. Focus on helping the next one.
How To Convince Time-poor, Apprehensive Leaders To Be Active On Social
David advised focusing on the leaders who’ve shown an interest already. Maybe they posted on their timeline 2 or 3 months ago.
What prevents them from posting consistently? Find a cadence that works for them.
A lot of leaders and employees know that it’s important to be seen. To help convince them, David often positions it as:
‘If you’re not having those conversations, if you’re not posting that content, and our competition are, they’re having a conversation with our competitors. Are you comfortable with that?’
How To Support Leaders On SocialDavid has found that there can be a lot of hand holding involved to get them onboard.
You can’t just give leadership a recipe, forget about it, and have them still be posting consistently and getting great engagement in six months’ time.
To ensure consistency, David takes 15 minutes twice a month with leaders.
Prior to the meeting, he identifies articles they could share and gets them to read the article ahead of time.
In the meeting, they work on the text to go with that article. Some people will keep going once you stop doing this, others will fall flat.
The Leadership Void
David explained that we’re heading into a void of leadership. Baby boomers are about to retire in numbers we haven’t seen before.
There’ll be a vacuum; missed opportunities from current gen X leaders to be seen, heard, and rise to the top.
Millennials and gen Z aren’t looking to repeat what gen X or boomers did in terms of their careers. They know time is precious. To get the best out of your team you need to be present.
Remember the stat at the beginning of this blog: 68% of employees prefer to work for CEOs who use social? Well, this stat increases to 82% among employees aged under 24 (Source: Brunswick).
‘It’s a no-brainer. Be there, be present, and you’ll gain that recognition and start engaging with individuals who are early in their careers. You’ll have an impact on them.’
Becoming Best-in-class On LinkedIn
David uses the bell feature to get notified every time a leader posts. This ensures he engages with their content.
He can also share it with any relevant people who can help it get more engagement, such as marketing.
Leaders’ social media has a huge impact on the organisation, which is why he does this.
They’re visible to people outside of the organisation.
And in large organisations, leaders who are active on LinkedIn can also have a lot of impact on employees.
Using Generative AI Tools To Help Leaders Create And Distribute Content
David believes generative AI is exciting. But he cautions:
‘You can do wonders with a chainsaw or a hammer, but you can hurt yourself if you don’t know how to use it, or it can hurt the reputation of your company.’
AI tools can help experts who have difficulty laying words down in an interesting fashion because communication isn’t their forte.
But, as David explained, ‘authenticity is important’.
So, you still want to edit anything generative AI writes to sound like you because otherwise, it may sound robotic.
And, if your content uses words or structures, you’ve never used, your audience will notice.
Be sure to check any stats or sources that it comes up with, too, as these aren’t always accurate.
Activating Leaders On LinkedIn
When leaders are active on LinkedIn, it positively impacts employees and the employer brand.
Encouraging leaders to be consistently active on LinkedIn requires providing them with the right tools and support. That could mean explaining the benefits of using LinkedIn to them, offering adequate training, or showing them examples of other leaders who are successfully establishing themselves on social.
If you’d like help activating your leaders on LinkedIn, get in touch today to find out more about our leadership services.