The surprising reason why CEOs should be social media savvy

In the past semester, we learnt how to devise and craft social media strategies for firms by looking at both internal factors such as the firm’s manpower, networks and advertising competency, and external factors such as consumer purchase behaviours and crisis management, with a focus on the firm’s employees and their actions.

However, a commentary titled “The surprising reason why CEOs should be social media savvy” offered a different perspective on social media strategy by focusing on the CEO and how their social media presence affects their firms. Neal (2017) stated that CEOs who were active on social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter are better at cultivating networks, make better decisions and are in general, more influential and “in the future, social media savvy may no longer be something that’s “nice-to-have” for prospective CEOs. Instead, it could be a powerful selection criterion that helps companies to identify CEOs who are well-prepared to lead” (Neal, 2017). That being said, we must also consider social media in the Asian content in determining whether such a move is viable for CEOs in Asia as users in Korea and China are more inclined to the role of producers and sharers while users in Japan and Singapore value anonymity and tend to be commenters and watchers.

In addition, Neal (2017) raised an example on how Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky crowdsourced for suggestions on Twitter on Christmas Day in 2016 and this is in line with a few of the concepts we discussed in class. The first being the Magnet strategy where the firm establishes a two-way communication by involving the customers and making them a part of the business and the second being the IMC strategy where this is similar to the Blendtec case study in the sense that the audience is also able to talk back and the CEO is used as a mechanism to build relationships.

All in all, it was not only interesting to see the importance of social media in a firm’s performance and how the impact starts from within, but also nice to be able to apply the frameworks learnt in class to analyse such issues.

References:
Neal, S. (2017, April 13). Op-Ed: The surprising reason why CEOs should be social media savvy. Retrieved April 15, 2017, from http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/13/the-surprising-reason-why-ceos-should-be-social-media-savvy.html

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