Communications executives are surely the experts on using social media to create value in large organizations. This Idea shares the results of a large survey on social media use in the communication profession, specifically looking at the increasingly common practice of executives using multiple social media profiles or personas to achieve diverse goals.
With multiple social media outlets in existence, should executives spend time maintaining different profiles simultaneously, and how can this help their communication teams in general? Especially now that social media are no longer a uniquely private playground; instead, professional and private purposes have merged to create a valuable space for communicators.
European communication practitioners frequently maintain four separate yet complementary online personas: the online leader, the help-seeker, the digital care-giver and the self-promoter. This new finding is based on the 2011 University of St. Gallen/European Association of Communication Directors (EACD) Social Media and the Communication Profession survey, in which 1,383 professionals from 30 different European countries participated to look into how social media affect and change the way communication professionals conduct their daily work.
But why do executives take on more than one profile? Diversification allows for safe experimentation with different audiences and approaches:
It is important to stress that interaction through social media is widely shaped by the personal attributes of those involved, much like in real life. The difference is; social media offers the opportunity to share a wider array of personal traits through the different roles executives cover throughout their days. Crucially, social media allows progress to be known or for support to be asked for without losing credibility and authority.
Pooling results from the University of St. Gallen/EACD survey, we can share the following top ten pointers for becoming more social media savvy:
Above all; take the time to establish a climate of digital tolerance and openness, it will eventually bring unexpected resources, and can lead to previously unconceivable objectives.
Me, Myself and My Team: How communications teams can harness the power of online impression management. Fieseler, C., Meckel, M., & Ranzini, G. Communication Director, 02(2012), 34-37.
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