It’s not uncommon for CEOs to create personal social media accounts on platforms like Twitter and Instagram. What is fairly common is attempting to figure out what to do next. It wasn’t that long ago that an entrepreneurial CEO (or anyone with a social presence, really) would prioritize gaining tons of followers. Now, the focus is on the quality of the account and not its quantity.
As an entrepreneur and a leader, you want to create social media accounts that emulate your role models. But how can you command the kinds of loyal fans that influencers like Richard Branson or Sara Blakely seem to draw toward them naturally?
The answer, as it turns out, isn’t necessarily to create a strategy where you nail content down to a science. It has to do with being unapologetically yourself.
Reveal your vulnerable side
There was a time, not too long ago, where CEOs and thought leaders didn’t speak up on their social channels. When they did, it was simply to reflect on how their hard work and positive attitudes got them where they are today. The message was positive, but it also sounded condensed, rehearsed and predictable.
Nowadays, the tables are radically turning, and leaders are becoming vocal about, well, everything on social media. Thought leadership is on the rise, and entrepreneurial leaders are speaking up about their mistakes and failures in business. They’re actively advocating for issues they are actively changing in the workplace, like the gender pay gap, and opening up about mental health issues in the workplace.
Vulnerable discussions like these are one of the greatest pieces of content a leader can share through social media. More often than not, entrepreneurs tend to feel lonely when they begin the journey of starting a business. It can feel as though nobody else knows what you’re going through. Leaders who share their brand successes and struggles with their fans through tweets or Instagram Stories may not realize the impact of their actions. Countless entrepreneurs watching may feel less alone afterward, and even inspired to keep reaching for the stars.
Explore what you love beyond work
We get it; your startup is your baby. Most of the content on your social media accounts will be news centered around that baby’s growth. Besides work, family and friends, what else gets you up in the morning? What other things interest and inspire you?
A leader’s social media account is the perfect place to share everything else you’re passionate about, no matter how niche it might be. Love to skydive or zipline? Add videos of your adventures to your profile. Got a green thumb in the garden? Take photos of the vegetables and flowers you’re currently growing. Love to draw or paint with watercolors? Fearlessly show off your illustrations and designs.
Leaders are multifaceted individuals just like the rest of us. They have a voice that goes beyond their brand, and when they share their interests with their fans, they’re doing more than revealing snippets of their personalities and lives. They’re building a stronger, transparent rapport together.
Use social media platforms to engage
You’ve admitted all the mistakes you made so far in business and shared an embarrassing video of yourself dancing in public. Fans are enjoying your content, and responding to it with comments of their own. Go ahead and reply back to them!
This, of course, comes with the caveat that leaders shouldn’t feel the need to interact with everyone who engages with their content. Remarks from trolls or spammers are fine to dismiss. Comments or questions from curious customers, members of the media, and even other influencers in the same space, however, are worth the response. Your fans might not expect it, which may further endear you to them, which will keep them interested and following along to see what happens next.
As an entrepreneur, it’s important to establish your personal brand through social media in order to make an authentic impact. By using the above strategies, you’ll be making the right connections in no time.