The rise of social media has sent companies scrambling for the best way to position their brand in this new realm of the Internet. Opening accounts on Twitter, Facebook or the multitudes of other social networks isn’t directly going to increase your bottom line, but it could be worth much more than that in brand loyalty.
Think of social media as extension of your media relations department. Without the faceless bottom-feeding PR agents talking about every little release as if it’s going to “revolutionize the industry” and “shift the paradigm.” Give the brand a face on your social networks. Someone people can relate to and feel a connection with. Beyond his editorials on the CalvinAyre.com iGaming news site, BodogBrand Founder Calvin Ayre routinely takes to his Facebook and Twitter accounts to talk with readers of the tablog. Whether he’s asking for the cure for a deadly Jagermeister hangover or what people think about the latest merger, fans are quick to respond in order to join the conversation.
The most important thing is to demonstrate that key figures of companies are not just sitting in their ivory towers, surrounded by scantily clad supermodels, sipping the blood of newborns out of the finest bone china teacups. Even if it’s true, at least now they are accessible to have an open dialogue with each and every one of their customers.
Currently, not enough companies are putting their leaders front and centre in their social media programs, but those that do are at the top of the social media heap. Sir Richard Branson, Hugh Hefner, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have all connected with customers through their Twitter accounts. All of the CEO’s currently have more followers than the Twitter accounts of the companies they created. The biggest disparity is Microsoft’s 51,000 followers, while founder Bill Gates is absolutely crushing his own company having close to 2 million people hanging on to every 140 character Tweet.
The bottom line is that people want to hear from the Boss, El Jefe, and the Big Cheese… the key decision makers. It’s way more interesting than some marketing account executive spewing taglines and rehashed promotional BS. It might take some coaxing, but if you make the Boss the face of your social media plan – you will be rewarded with the most valuable commodity in any industry.