Social Media for Executives: The Hour a Day Plan

This blog post is based on a great question we came across on Quora:

What are the best social media practices for executives to put into practice for one hour a day?

Online activities in which upper-level management can get the most results for their company by helping with social media marketing, spending no more than one hour per day.

We like this question because it highlights the value of C-suite participation on social media, but also keeps in mind that busy executives don’t have a lot of spare time to dedicate to social media efforts.

There are a lot of great examples of executive involvement out there. We picked two of our favorites to demonstrate a reliable strategy for getting involved in your company’s social media efforts using what little spare time you have.

Steve Jobs’ Personal Response to Consumer Emails

The late Steve Jobs had a great model for interacting with consumers. He was known for personally answering random consumer emails. The responses would then spread virally throughout the web (“Hey, guess who answered this question about my iPhone…”).

A simple strategy like this can develop a lot of traction for a brand. This is an email-based example, but the principle is the same: take a customer-centric approach and make people feel special.

Virgin Founder Richard Branson’s Twitter Chats

Another exemplar of executive activity on the web is Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group. Richard (@richardbranson) uses Twitter to share company developments, seek feedback and to show a bit of personality.

b2b social media, social media b2b, social media agencyIn the example to the left, Richard responds to user feedback. This couldn’t have taken Richard longer than thirty seconds, but the fact that he personally acknowledges the idea and connects the user with the resources he needs shows that even the founder of the company cares about small concerns.

Richard also runs a regular Twitter chat that allows followers to Tweet questions to Virgin’s founder using the hashtag #askrichard. This requires a bit more dedication and a larger audience, but also creates a great forum for consumers to speak one-on-one with higher-ups.

The Hour-a-Day Social Media Plan

With an hour or less to dedicate to social media each day, the key is to spend that time being a resource.

If you are are a top B2B exec, hop on Quora or LinkedIn Answers and tackle  relevant questions that match your expertise.

For B2C, head to your company’s Facebook page to give some helpful input, or answer customer complaints/concerns on Twitter. If you choose to respond from your company’s account, you can sign tweets with your initials to let users know that you personally responded.

The message is clear: by spending valuable time in a public-facing setting a CEO or top executive can increase good will and chatter around the brand. And isn’t that a part of every CEO’s job description anyway?

What has been your experience as an executive on social media?