Non-marking executives like CEOs and CFOs need to have practitioner (hands-on) experience in digital and social marketing. This includes having active personal social media accounts, logging into Google ads and Facebook ads, occasionally creating a piece of ad content, and seeing first hand the types of targeting that are available.
Why? We know that leaders with personal social media accounts stay relevant and visible while improving connections with employees, customers, and potential employees. They need this connection in the places where everyone else is communicating daily.
From a corporate perspective, a leader who has a basic understanding of the actual mechanics and possibilities of digital and social marketing contributes to decision-making more effectively, can translate tech terms to layman’s terms for investors, and engages with employees responsible for these platforms in a much more meaningful way.
It’s the combination of the two—personal social media engagement and practical involvement in business marketing—that brings the most benefit to the corporation.
Three Digital Activities All Leaders Can (And Should) Do
- Be active on personal social media profiles.
This is the best place to remain relevant as a leader. It’s also a place where you can attract talent. Graduates and experienced top performers alike are looking for positions with leaders who are connected and engaged.
- At least once a year, spend 30 minutes per major platform to build out a small pilot campaign and run an ad. The best way to learn is by doing, and the added knowledge and contextual understanding acquired when doing this will pay immense dividends—both in understanding, and strategic thought capacity related to your company’s digital and social media marketing efforts. Marketing plans and proposals are easier to understand and evaluate when you have hands-on experience with the platforms.
- Have your marketing team put on a ‘lunch & learn’ once a month where they show you the details of how ad platforms work, and together you brainstorm innovative targeting strategies. This is time well spent, and gives executives a clearer picture of how to connect the dots of customer experience at the macro level.
There’s a constant learning curve for digital and social marketing, but once you have direct exposure and experience on the platforms, all the changes become easier to understand and work with. It may only take minutes a day, but the digital tasks listed above empower executives to understand marketing on a practitioner level before applying it on an executive level.