The rise of the Social CEO
The past few years have seen leaders riding a tidal wave of change when it comes to marketing their brands. From the comforts of tradition print and TV advertising, to the explosion of social media as a viable business tool, these challenges have been transformed into opportunity. Social media has levelled the playing field, with small businesses able to reach huge audiences - if backed by a solid digital strategy - and have forced creative minds across all industries to reach further, do better, and perform more efficiently.
If you are a business leader yourself, you will no doubt have seen the importance of adapting to these changes. Not conforming is no longer an option, and the wine industry is no different. Not only has social media provided a platform to showcase your product and your story, but it is now a crucial part of connecting and engaging with influential audiences, prospective clients and potential future deals. With all of this in mind, why then would you neglect the importance of your own personal online presence?
Pan-industry, a new wave of founders, CEOs, directors and freelancers are waking up to the realisation that leveraging their own digital footprint might be just as important as it is for their companies. What at first may seem like an exercise in self-indulgence, is in fact an impressive branding exercise that goes beyond the boundaries of traditional business.
Working culture has changed, and CEOs who rule by fear and insist on outdated business structures are becoming few and far between. With the rise of start-up culture, so too has the demand for more personable leaders, who respect the individuals powering a business, from the bottom up. With this in mind it is therefore no wonder that there has been a spike in interest in the person behind the corner office.
The Ancient Greeks were not wrong about the importance of making sure that all is well at home before looking abroad, and this is especially true for your online presence. Whether you like it or not, you will already have a personal brand floating out there in the ether of the internet, and if you haven’t tended to it for a while, you’ll probably have some housekeeping to do.
Do a manual Google search of yourself and see what you find. Is this what you want potential clients or investors to see when they look to find out more about you? Could your shop window be improved? Perhaps there are mentions of you in articles that you didn’t know about, or care to forget. Or perhaps you’d forgotten about that very niche and now very embarrassing blog you used to write as a teenager.
The above applies to your social media channels, too. This may also be true for some ill-informed or inappropriate content that you may have tweeted mindlessly before the internet seemed so dangerous. That’s why the first step towards improving your social presence is to check what’s already there, before adding anything new.
Becoming your brand’s very own ambassador should be your end goal, and as such, you’ll need to dedicate time and strategize on how this goal will be achieved. Using platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter should give you a broad range of opportunity, and the chance to use different content to reach different people.
Cross promoting your company’s posts is a great place to start, but make sure that’s not all you’re doing. If you want to be seen as a leader, then you need to act like one. Don’t be afraid to start conversations and encourage your industry peers to chime in. Writing LinkedIn Articles, or blogs if you have one, particularly in response to current events relevant to your line of work will increase traffic to your channels and as such, increase your audience.
Another element of your personal brand not to forget is your Wikipedia page. Do you need one? If so, why don’t you already have one? Bringing with it mega SEO value, this page will most likely be the first thing that people find when searching your name online, and as such, you have the power to shape this page to highlight the elements of your life and career that you want others to see.
Humanising your brand through the power of social media has never been easier, and the opportunities that come with using this tool as a means to reach and connect you with others in your industry have never been more plentiful, as long as you are ready to be fearless. Be confident, and let people discover the people behind the brand.
If you’re feeling inspired to get your personal branding in order, but don’t know where to start, get in touch to see how we can help you get started.