Zoe Amar and Matt Collins of Platypus Digital created the #SocialCEO Awards in 2013 with the goal to celebrate charity leaders who are using social media in support of their organization’s missions. This year’s winners were announced earlier this week. They have also released a briefing on “Digital Leadership: How To Survive and Thrive As A Social CEO” in partnership with Just Giving. The guide includes some case studies and practical tips for CEOs.
CEO Case Study: Bowl Cancer UK
Deborah Alsina is the CEO of a charity, Bowl Cancer UK. She shares a case study of lessons learned. Several points she made resonated:
Adapt your style
“Whilst some of my tweets are to inform people about what the charity does or thinks about a particular issue, I know that engaging in real conversation with patients and their families has been really important. In fact it’s enabled me to form strong long term relationships with a broad range of people. In turn that’s given me great insight into bowel cancer treatment and care and the impact the disease has on people’s lives.”
Blend the personal and professional
“As I have wanted to develop genuine interaction with people closely affected by bowel cancer it’s been important that there is a good dose of me in my Twitter feed. Whilst I purposefully don’t tweet that
much about my home life, people respond positively when I occasionally do so. I believe that stakeholder communications on social media don’t always need to be very formal to be effective and many people have fed back to me that they like tweeting with a real person not just a logo or job title.”
CEO Social Media Advice from Matt Collins
Matt offers up some great advice for CEOs about being authentic and human on social media. Here’s why: “Think of social media as an enormous watercooler, with millions gathered round it. Some of the most important morsels are discovered here, the scraps that help you get things done, even if they’re just ideas. The difference with this watercooler though is that it has the most influential and most important stakeholders sharing their most intimate thoughts around it. If you don’t pay your dues by getting personal, who will share those mission-critical scraps with you?
He also offers some great advice about finding their voice on social media:
If you are sharing news from your organisation, always add a feeling layer on top of the fact – are you delighted, excited, outraged? Tell us! Finally, to whatever extent you feel comfortable, talk about your personal life and thoughts. The only rule you need to apply here is instinct – if something in you is stopping you pressing ‘tweet’ on an update, don’t do it. Remember, being personal gives you personality. And it’s a rare leader who gets far without a fair dose of that.
Does your nonprofit’s CEO use social media in support of the organization’s mission? Have an example? Share it in the comments.