What CEOs can learn about Content from Amitabh Bachchan and Richard Branson

Why is Amitabh Bachchan active on social media, communicate with his fans, write blog posts and tweets frequently, and most business CEOs do not? Do CEOs not have fans or Amitabh Bachchan cannot afford media/communications team?

What about CEOs like Richard Branson? Why Manmohan Singh did not and why Narendra Modi does?

Most CEOs are living in the old world where media, public relations, and communication with the stakeholders are managed by the respective departments. Virgin group and for that matter Narendra Modi and Amitabh Bachchan do have their media team and yet they are active on social platforms. They create content which is consumed by their millions of fans and followers.

This is nothing about charisma or flamboyancy, this is a pure business (or political) need.

Author, Sandy Carter in her book Get Bold, Using social media to create a new type of business, writes,

“Forrester‘s CEO George Colony, in his blog interview, projected that in five years 20% of CEOs will be socially active, and in ten years it will be close to 50%. He continued by saying that corporate boards will begin looking for people, who can be social for CEO positions.” (this was in 2012)

Every company and brand has their own fans and stakeholders. Communication from the top man gives them assurance and trust. It establishes the company and CEO as a thought leader in the area they operate.

Richard Branson knows how to work the matrix of social media. He is a LinkedIn Influencer. He tweets – a lot. His blog is loaded with relevant, engaging content fuelled with a purpose – to keep you sharing his thoughts, activities, and observations. Branson – and Virgin Group – know how to work blogging to benefit not only the thought leader that is Branson but the missions and objectives of all that is the Virgin Group.

In the pre-social media days, this opportunity was not available. People used to queue up to listen to Warren Buffet during Berkshire Hathaway annual meetings. Now he can tweet and write his own blog post to remain in touch with his fans and stakeholders. This is an unprecedented opportunity of not only remain in touch with the followers but also to create most important TRUST among the stakeholders.

The interaction builds trust over time. When the CEO is ready to communicate directly with the stakeholders, the trust increases many folds.

When the CEO is positioning himself as a thought leader in the industry he operates, not only his trust and reputation but the trust and reputation of the brand she represents go up.

Remember: People love and trust CEOs who are ready to listen to the stakeholders.

CEO’s reasons to Blog and invest in Content:

1)  It creates a position of thought leadership. When the CEO writes about his industry, he is seen as a thought leader. Employees, suppliers, and even competitors look up to him. Which industry do you represent?

2)  It creates trust in the brands: People trust individual more than a corporate image. This trust can go a long way to benefit the company. When a company is distrusted 57% of people believe negative information about them after hearing one or two times, but when the company is trusted, only 25% of people believe negative information about them after hearing one or two times. (Source: The Edelman Trust Barometer recent study)

3)  It reassures the employees, customers, and suppliers. People like to see the top man in touch with them directly as and when require. This is hugely reassuring. 

4)  It motivates CXOs to focus on the customer experience. Unhappy customer directly communicating with the CEO makes the organization agile and alert about the customer experience they are creating.

Companies like IBM and HP even allow and motivate their employees to use social platforms to write blogs and address customer issues. Imagine how this can act as a huge brand building exercise in the digital world.

“When CEOs post on social media, nearly 70% of senior professionals report that it makes the company a more attractive place to work, according to Weber Shandwick and KRC Research.”(Source: Fast Company Article: Yes, Even CEOs Need To Use Social Media–And They Need To Do It Well)

Sandy Carter writes:

“Take Bill Marriott as an example. His goals are new clients and crisis management. As the of Marriot Corporation, he writes his own blog from the heart. He not only drives sales through his blogging strategy but also uses this tool to address any falsehood in the press. His attitude extends throughout the culture. In fact, in one of his blog posts, the 77-year-old CEO wrote.” What’s a big deal? This is simply another medium for me to listen to my customers and talk to my customers.”

Aren’t good communication skills, listening to customers and talking with them very important part of CEOs job? The basic minimum requirements.

Social media content creation capability is the new normal for the CEO’s qualification.

“Communication Is The Most Important Skill Any Leader Can Possess.” Richard Branson

In the present time, Social Media is a prefix the above quote deserves as the article Six social media skills every leader needs in Mckinsey.com, states;

“It takes guts to innovate radically in leadership and organization, for legacy systems, cultures, and attitudes are powerful forces of inertia. Fortunately, the inherent quality of social media is a powerful transformational force. Social-media engagement will confront leaders with the shortcomings of traditional organizational designs. Leaders who address these shortcomings will learn how to develop the enabling infrastructure that fosters the truly strategic use of social technologies.”

Content Marketing is Important, CEO created Content Marketing propels the company to a different level. Don’t shy away, embrace the medium. In the social media enabled world, brand, and trust are created differently by the CEOs, more than the respective departments.

Food for thought: Richard Branson is running hundreds of businesses and trying to propel spaceship technology. Amitabh Bachchan is the busiest actor. If they can find time to blog, you as a CEO have no excuse.

Handpicked related content: 13 blogging mistakes most businesses make

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