Whether you have four employees or 4,000, as CEO and founder of a business, you need to have a social media presence. Yes, your business should have its own profiles and pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and even Snapchat, but you need pages and profiles for yourself, as well. Your social media presence (for yourself and your business) can either work for or against you, though, and it’s important to know a few things about social media marketing and what you should be doing as a CEO in the 21st century to boost your business.

LAY CLAIM

One of the first things that any social media marketing professional will tell you is that you need to stake your territory on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

What does that mean? It means that you need to go online to different social media platforms and create accounts for yourself and your business now. For example, let’s say that you’ve invented a new way to roast coffee beans that results in coffee so smooth that even someone with a major sweet tooth won’t need to add sugar. Your business’ name is Arabica Unlimited, and your name is Josephine Sanders. You need to go to all of the available social media platforms and lay claim to “Arabica Unlimited” for your business pages, and you need to claim your own name, as well.

Why is it so important to create accounts for your business and yourself now? Consider what happened a few months ago, when Jeb Bush accidentally let his domain, JebBush.com expire. Before Bush’s team even noticed the lapse, someone on Donald Trump’s team saw it and bought the domain name. Before you knew it, when you went to JebBush.com, you were immediately redirected to DonaldJTrump.com. Don’t let the same kind of thing happen to your name on social media.

CREATE A SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Of course, protecting your claim to your name isn’t all you need to do to help your business and your reputation on social media. We could go into all of the things you can do on a daily basis (e.g., posting regularly, answering questions, commenting on followers’ posts, etc.), but before you get to that, you need to ensure that your business’ reputation is safe.

To do this, it’s a good idea to create a social media policy for your employees. You want them to act as brand ambassadors, so you don’t want to say, “No social media for employees!” or publish a list of things that they can’t do on social media. Instead, come up with a list of things that they can and should do on their social media pages. You’ll want to be clear about any non-disclosure agreements you have with your employees so that no company secrets are accidentally leaked, but after that, it’s all about ways that you can empower your employees to use social media to build their personal brands and represent your business.

Be sure to address what you deem appropriate and inappropriate content for employees’ corporate profiles and whether or not you’d prefer employees to have separate social and professional profiles. Above all else, though, be sure that you follow your social media policy strictly yourself. If you don’t respect the rules, you can’t expect your employees to respect them, either, and your personal and corporate brands will both suffer.

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