Friday, September 6, 2013

Are CEOs exempt from participating on LinkedIn? (The Waldo Factor, part 23)

Many CEOs feel they are absolved from participating on LinkedIn and other social networks. They ignore it, post a minimal profile, or have someone do it for them.

These are all poor strategies.

Ignoring LinkedIn or taking it lightly is akin to ignoring all of the people in your niche, including your customers and prospects. By any measure, LinkedIn has become one of the most viable and accessible business marketing tools available – and it is largely free to use.  

A minimal profile buys you absolutely nothing and offers no reason for anyone to pay attention. It shows a lack of respect for yourself and is a waste of time for those viewing the profile. It offers absolutely no reason for people to connect with you.  The assumption seems to be that as a CEO, the “right” people will want to connect with you.

Having someone manage your profile for you runs the risk of statements that don't reflect who you are and what you think, and eliminates the interaction of discussions on any social media platform.

I have discussed this with CEOs that fit into each category and they gave a variety of "reasons" for non/minimal participation. Among these are the time factor, the relevance factor, and the "I think it's a waste of time" factor.

The time factor is simply that they feel "too busy" to do it, so they put up a minimal profile, join no groups, and wait for something to happen.

The relevance factor goes a little deeper. They don't feel that social media deserves attention as it is not relevant to 'their circle" and/or their niche. LinkedIn is a business network that proves over and over Chris Anderson’s “Long Tail” theory (you can find virtually any niche group on the web).

The "waste of time group" is identical to the "relevance" group, just more blatant, though still very wrong. This group feels that online social networking is nothing but a complete waste of time.

My friend Carl Dickson ( takes the sarcastic, contrarian point of view: CEOs should not be involved in marketing, business development, sales and other granular activities, so they don't need to be on LinkedIn or any other social media. Carl feels that if they believe any of the above reasons, they really shouldn’t be allowed online or perhaps out of the building.

Many studies over the past few years from Forrester, Market Connections and others indicate the importance of leveraging social media, especially LinkedIn, in B2G.

LinkedIn affords savvy users the ability to position themselves and their companies as thought leaders in virtually any niche. It provides a platform where you can reach out and build a network of those important to your success: partners, prospects and customers. It delivers the venue where you can stay on the radar of the network you build. All this if you take the time to learn how to use it well.

Those government contractors and CEOs not leveraging LinkedIn will lose new business in direct proportion to their inactivity, because your competitors will be here taking that business away from you.

If you need a little push to really start to leverage LinkedIn- go here:


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