October 5, 2017

Is My Executive a Good Fit for Social Media? (Preview)

By Krysta Privoznik

I learn something new every day tuning into my social media accounts to read chatter from those I follow, many of whom are health care executives within influential organizations.

I’m intrigued by their knowledge and guidance that helps improve the overall health care system. Their willingness to put themselves forward on social media garners huge results: they not only help raise the visibility of their organizations and drive awareness around important topics, they also build an authentic online reputation for themselves. In turn, they create a community of inspired followers who listen and respect their words.

So how do these leaders establish and maintain compelling social media profiles? And how can we, as strategists, identify potential social media stars, support them and help them grow?

Up-front planning is key to success

Developing an effective social media presence is easier said than done and is often a team effort. I’ll talk more about how to engage executives in social media on December 12 at Mayo Clinic’s annual social media conference. But I’ll give you a preview: much of an executive’s social media success depends on up-front planning.

It’s our job as strategists to have conversations with our company’s leadership – ask questions, listen, identify opportunities -- to determine whether the executive is a good fit for social media.

Key qualities to look for:

  1. Thought leader: When “thought leaders” talk, people listen. This is because they possess specialized knowledge, skills and “leading thoughts” based on experience in their respective areas. Because they consistently provide high-quality and value-added insights, their opinions matter and hold weight among their peers – becoming a trusted, go-to source. This credibility is key in having their content break through the fast-paced/cluttered social media space.
  2. Conversationalist: Social media is built for two-way dialogues; therefore, executives must be able to connect with people. They must feel comfortable initiating conversations, sharing content created by others, and asking and answering questions, even if they have never met the person.
  3. Good Listener: They must be aware of the environmental landscape (trends, competition, risks) and understand their followers’ interests and values (even if different from their own). Seeing things on both a broad and personal level, while having some thick skin and a discerning ear, helps executives know how, when and where to use their voice purposefully.
  4. Desire to help: They are passionate about what they do and aspire to motivate with what they believe. Their natural enthusiasm to share information helps others solve problems and keeps people intrigued and coming back for more.
  5. Time Commitment: Executives must be willing to keep up and commit to the needs of the channel – that may mean posting daily. This consistency is key in staying top-of-mind among followers and the rest of the social media chatter.
  6. Authenticity: They must be themselves! Use humor. Share personal photos. The more open, relatable and transparent executives are, the more trust they build with their following. If these traits are lacking, audiences tune out quickly.
  7. Wants to HAVE FUN: Yes, I said it. None of this should feel like work. Executives should be excited to use social media and want to get out there, interact and play. It should be an easy, natural fit.

All these qualities will help you recognize if there is potential on social media. Of course, it doesn’t end there. Next steps include training, rules of the road, a strategic plan, creative tactics and ongoing analysis.

Have I scared you off yet? Hopefully not, because when done strategically and with commitment, social media engagement from executives can mean great things for both executives and the company.

Krysta Privoznik is Manager of Digital Content at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA). Krysta oversees the company’s digital content strategy and executes through website, social media, video, and graphics helping BCBSA influence key stakeholders and advance conversations about important topics in the healthcare industry. In her spare time, she enjoys using her creative story-telling in the art forms of dance and improv.You can follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn to gather more insights or ask questions.

Join us for the 2017 MCSMN Annual Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. Dec. 11-12, where Krysta will share a case study.


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How can leaders establish and maintain compelling social media profiles?
How can strategists identify potential social media stars and help them grow?
Social media engagement from executives can mean great things for both executives and the company.

Tags: Annual Conference, Case Studies, Reputation Management

Great piece Krysta, many thanks for sharing.


@christineelmer – thank you! I found that this first step may be the most important part and am thrilled to share more about my experience at the conference.


Really looking forward to this one!


Thanks, @katiewhitt! I’ll see you in December. 🙂

Liked by Katie Whitt

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