Reinforce Your CEO’s Social Media Savvy

By Michael Kaplun, Senior Strategist, The Fratelli Group

**Full column published on ASAEcenter.org.**

Excerpt: Elon Musk’s recent eye-opening tweet drew the ire of shareholders, the media, and regulators. It shook Tesla’s share price and set off a monthlong fire drill for the company — and an eventual retreat from the cofounder and CEO himself. Musk’s tweet was the latest example of a noteworthy trend among senior leaders and prominent public figures: the regrettable social media post.

The case for using social media is clear. These channels have revolutionized how associations connect directly with internal and external audiences. Political campaigning, brand marketing, and news reporting are rapid, direct, and constant on these channels, where more than two-thirds of U.S. adults now get their news and information. In my experience, it’s not uncommon for association leaders to want to contribute to the conversation themselves.

Amid this modern shift, however, it’s imperative that communications teams work with their CEOs to follow three principles before that next executive post. These steps may not stop an executive from going rogue on a personal account as Musk first appears to have done, but they can help prevent an ill-advised post or tweet bearing your organization’s brand from marring your mission and image. …

Before giving the CEO logins and passwords to social media accounts, ask these questions: Why is this person using it, who is the primary audience, and what does success look like as part of your overall communications plan? The answers will be revealing — and they will certainly help better identify which platform, if any, is best to use. …

For the busy, restless principal to achieve their social media goals, your team needs a thoughtful game plan. Like any effective communications plan, the strategy should consider small and large elements …

Once your strategy is set, and before your CEO unintentionally upsets members or invites a flurry of press calls with a careless post, establish a process. That is, figure out who is going to draft, approve, and send the posts. This needs to be carefully thought out. …