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3 Reasons Executives Should Be Active on Social Media

If there’s one word that you could safely use to describe executives at tech companies, it’s probably “busy.” After the meetings, presentations, networking events and sales calls, there’s hardly a moment to spare. And especially not for something like “social media.”

The fact is that the top executives at different companies aren’t all that social. A study from CEO.com found that just 5.6 percent of the CEOs at Fortune 500 companies are on Twitter. In addition to the time constraints, many execs just don’t feel like it’s worth it to be social. That’s why most leave that for the marketing and communications team.

But the benefits of having an active executive on social media can be worth it. Here’s why.

1. Individual Brands Build Personal Connections.

Unlike the company Twitter or LinkedIn account, a social executive who shares things periodically can build closer connections on a one-on-one basis with prospects, partners, investors and industry influencers. The material execs share shows people what’s on their minds and what big issues they’re thinking about for the future.

This is a great way to both build thought leadership and help foster trust in the company. A study by BrandFogfound that, among U.S. employees, 77 percent believe that actively social C-level executives create more transparency for the brand, and 83 percent believe that social media allows for stronger relationships.

2. Social Execs Can Amplify PR Campaigns.

If a new piece of coverage about the company comes out, a social-savvy executive can significantly amplify the reach of that coverage through a single status update. The same goes for press releases, blog posts, case studies and any other collateral that supports the brand.

An exec who has an active social presence cannot just help elevate visibility for his/her company but also becomea big asset for storytelling. Social media serves as a platform for them to communicate directly, transparently and immediately with their audience; this is especially important in times of a crisis.

3. Conversations Can Lead to Conversion.

Business is all about building relationships. If execs take the time to follow and connect with industry peers or businesses that truly interest them and then interact by sharing content or tweeting a response to a conversation, that can create a ripple effect.

According to the BrandFog survey, 61 percent of U.S. respondents are more likely to purchase from a company whose values and leadership are communicated through exec participation on social media. Clearly, execs should choose to make the relationships on social media count because customers are paying attention.

We’ve all seen how one social media conversation can snowball into something much bigger, for better or worse. With the right engagement strategy, social-savvy executives can foster meaningful conversations and grow relationships that turn into real opportunities. An active social media presence effectively means that there’s a networking event at anywhere, anytime, so the brand building is limitless. As long as you feel like showing up.

This post originally appeared on PR Nonsense by Beth Brenner.